Also, LOK started as a small mini series meaning that Makorra was canonically the only pairing to be endgame. Of course, things change but seeing how oddly Book 1 ended I wondered why they made such large themes as nonbenders vs benders shrink to some 13 episodes book. Also the pace of Mako and Korra becoming a couple was not badly done in Book 1 though it was not as efficient as it could have been it was not so poor as its execution in Book 2. Additionally, when a breakup happens normalize the relationship into friendship — give both verbal and nonverbal hints that this ship had sailed away — even in Book 2 and even Book 3 Makosami and Makorra was pretty subtly there. Asami did not seem to mind Mako much and their friendship or her forgiving of him was not shown with the caliber that it could have been. Korra and Mako had so many moments even in Book 3 that I was pretty sure they might have a resurge of their relationship the way they were going. Of course, this was less evident obviously of Borra which was now pretty much a ship of friendship; Boilin reiterated that Korra and he were good friends almost since the last part of Book 1. Obviously he had a strong attraction from her since the very first time they met/he saw her. Yet, this normalisation was handled very beautifully. This was the BEST TRANSITION in the ENTIRE LOK series. I will give props to Bryke showing how as Bryan wanted a boy and girl who inspire one another become friends — this was best done via Bolin/Korra or Borra relationship.
I won’t say Bolin had good character developments in the later books; Bolin was best portrayed in Book 1 and Book 3 (where he learned lava bending). Bolin’s character for me was difficult because I think people did not know how to write him. In Book 1 he was comic relief as well as a main character (like Sokka from TLA) but Sokka had a lot of layers by the end I do not think Bolin had the same sort of exposition and multi-arcs as much as Sokka did. Not to mention that Boilin and Opal’s relationship is pretty much summed up as Opal comparing Bolin to an air bison: “air bison chooses you.” — I didn’t like the humour concerning that most of Book 2 Bolin was in a pretty abusive sort of relationship where he was pretty much left out his personhood — I do not think Opal comparing him to an air bison does him much justice
I think the characters they invested a lot of time in is as follows: Korra, Tenzin, Mako, Jinora and Lin with some more done to Suyin, Kuvira and Bumi. Though the episode count was smaller TLA and LOK had a 10 episode gap: TLA had 62 I think and LOK had 52. I know that there was a lot of technical problems and Nickelodeon made it harder for Bryke to work and these 10 episode difference is also quite surprising. I know Nick at first did not not like that Korra was a girl. That they thought that her being a boy would be better. Yet this amount of studio and creators’ dispute is pretty alarming.
Truthfully, I really wondered what happened with Bryke and Nick because the amount of hostility between both parties was kinda shocking. This hostility I do trust is a reason Bryke do not also want to work on the avatar project in a long while. They are in a business where Tomb Raider have had multiple incarnations and Adventure Time has over 50 episodes in one season so I cannot fathom what happened between them that would generate such reluctance to work with each other. Not to mention that avatar is a franchise and world that has much more to offer.
This and from what I know that Bryke may be the show’s creators but the TLA team was more large and widespread. The writers were many and there were many more input which was absent in LOK. This smaller group was also a bit surprising. I know that the TLA team was a major reason why TLA was a success. The fact that the ending originally was not so romantic in LOK as in Korrasami was not holding hands may also be something that Bryke wasn’t so sure about. I honestly believe that they wanted either Korra to go alone or wanted Makorra but couldn’t decide. After all Bryan said now that he also felt Kataraang was somewhat forced so I am a bit skeptical about Korra’s romantic conclusions. Though they didn’t want Zutara I can see maybe the idea was toyed with a bit as well but then scrapped and understandable. Either way both Kataraang and Zutara relationships had ample ground to be worked on so either conclusion was enjoyable and good 🙂 many may still want Katara to be with Zuko because of their interactions but it’s no bummer that they are not: I liked Zutara a lot but I am not unhappy it didn’t happen because I can also see the love and progress of that love between Aang and Katara. I respect that relationship a lot as well.
If Kornora happened I think I would be think it is more exposed and we have seen a lot of Jinora and Korra to understand as a couple. I think that representation would be more beautiful. Many people would say that Jinora is pretty young but obviously if they wanted they could have made it years later that these two characters hook up. Jinora, according to avatar wiki, is 14 and Korra is 21. If the timeskip happened a bit further Jinora may be eligible to date Korra. Korra and Kuvira could have been managed from Book 3 or just write Asami better from Book 2. Either way I found Jinora, an older Jinora, or a more mature Mako and a placated Kuvira as a better love for Korra not Asami as she was shown in Book 4. This is mostly due to how Asami is written because I think they could have done better. Asami, as I aforementioned so many times, is a very marginalised, thinly written and usually just a pretty face but she had amounts of uninvested potential.
The undeniable fact is that Korra and Asami have one similar vein that unites them: Mako. They both dated Mako. Aside this their relationship has no origin or conclusion; even by the end, even in their reunion, even when it seems really crude for him to be present Mako turns on the lamps and gets everything into motion. This is also another reason why the development of Korrasami seemed blotched and pretty irregular to me like some beaten clay that has not really solidified to its pottery-shape. Mako is the irreducible factor in the Korrasami equation. Even by the end with both ships afloat you see that neither Korra and Asami can shake the boogeyman of Makorra in overdrive or even Mako as a character. This is more strange because Book 4 has given Mako ample time away from the screen which I criticised but Asami and Korra must entail him in their presence. This is not what a lesbian relationship is about. This is not what a bisexual relationship is about.
A bisexual, gay or straight relationship isn’t about the prominence of past relationships; even if your ex is your friend the romantic friction must be at an organic all time low even if there is still some residual attraction. Makorra cannot die easily and neither will it because writers pretty much left that open. Korrasami cannot progress well because it is as an abandoned art piece you see its beginnings but you pretty much know nothing about it. Korrasami is just more or less fandom stuff — so was the strange ways Makorra was executed. I am not saying Makorra can’t end or that it has to be canon but even when Makorra is being “bad” it is being so advertised that it stays on with people even if that be annoyance. Makorra’s chemistry was explored and Korrasami was pretty much last minute answers.
As a whole, Korra is without a doubt a character with more potential then the series gave her. Ultimately, Korra is more defined by her romantic relationships than any other avatar. Korra as avatar is usually last servings; Korra as a captain of a ship is more or less the Korra we are most familiar with (a Jack Sparrow of sorts). The fact that so many people and I wrote about this in length, her romances, is very telling.