Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra featured a plethora of characters from different walks of life. Most notably, however, was the number of female characters with personal depth and capability. Not all entries will feature benders, yet that hardly stops them from entering the fray with their elemental sisters.
Elsewhere, these women demonstrate their wisdom and strategic intelligence in situations that do not require brute force. Although each female character has merits of their own, it is nevertheless in the following list that a few of them will be included. So, here are 10 of the Most Powerful Women in the Avatar Universe.
10 A Mole in the Lion’s Den - Zhu Li
Sure, most of the viewers know Zhu Li in association with Varrick, but let’s face it, he would have been utterly lost without her. Zhu Li was neither one to shy away from the most difficult of tasks, either - having had to build a war machine, fly a glider, and even spy on Kuvira.
Furthermore, Zhu Li used her status as a minor threat to catch her off guard, until finally retaliating against Kuvira with a Mecha-suit. Sidekick or not, it is inevitably Zhu Li’s actions that defined her as a hero.
9 You Cut Me to the Core - Mai
Immediately upon meeting Mai, it was apparent that she was not going to settle for a sedentary life as the daughter of a governor. Her decision to take on Azula’s mission revealed her advanced marksmanship with throwing blades, as well as her capability of going toe to toe with benders like Katara.
Mai inevitably defies Azula, though, no longer willing to bend to the princess’s whims. Though indifferent on the surface, Mai is by no means a spineless lackey paralyzed by fear.
8 The Amazons of Avatar - Suki
Throughout the episodes of The Last Airbender, Suki demonstrates a warrior prowess able to fight benders and non-benders alike. Raised on the island of Kyoshi, Suki was the leader of a group of warrior women, who were trained to in stealth and combat to protect the island from invaders.
Suki eventually led some of her warriors to battle against the Fire Nation, and though she was later imprisoned, she managed to escape and even take the warden hostage. Like Zhu Li, Suki always comes through in the end, even when it is hopeless.
7 Boxing Glove on the Right Hand, Rolex on the Left - Asami
After her father’s betrayal, Asami had the burden of keeping Sato Industries afloat amid controversy. Fortunately, she was able to transform the image of her company using her business strategy to guide her.
Asami has shined elsewhere in her mechanical expertise, her ability to operate various machinery, and in her dominating skill with martial arts. She’s practically the Rosie the Riveter of LOK.
6 Finger on the Pulse - Ty Lee
To those who see Ty Lee as a seemingly naïve girly girl, it might be then hard to imagine her capable of treachery. Ty Lee's skill as a chi blocker is an incredible asset that allows her to temporarily remove a person’s bending.
Regardless, Ty Lee does not come across as a threatening opponent and uses her power mostly out love for her friends. Ty Lee is not loyal to a fault, though, and will turn on even her friend Azula, should the latter threaten her other friends. Reiterating further that love is stronger than fear.
5 By Your Command - Kuvira
Kuvira may have begun as a minor character in the background of season 3 of LOK, but she soon took center stage in season 4. Her firm commitment to her mission revealed her to be a character defined by her actions, which tends to be a rarity for female characters.
Instead of being cruel for the sake of cruelty, Kuvira follows an “ends justify the means” mentality that is entirely set on seeing her vision realized. There is a greater plan to what Kuvira intended for her people, and her dedication to seeing it to the end conveys her daunting strength and willpower.
4 “You Should See Me in A Crown” - Azula
Unlike a villain that blows hot air, Azula is every bit the cold, calculating antagonist that she is meant to be. The confidence and attitude that Azula exudes are highly compelling to see from a woman in authority, who is not only an advanced bender but a clever political strategist.
Though she was inevitably dethroned, it was following this that viewers saw the underlying pain to her unfeeling personality. In turn, revealing the multiple layers of Azula that define ultimately as a sympathetic villain.
3 Shaking the Ground that You Walk On - Toph
Introducing Toph was certainly a surprising development in The Last Airbender, and really in mainstream media, overall. Representation of people with varying ability is not nearly as positive as it was with Toph, who became one of the greatest Earthbenders alive, due to her advanced ability to sense as a result of her blindness.
Toph's bending expresses an effortless strength to command one’s surrounding, and it was only advanced further when she ushered in an era of metal bending. Toph is by far one of the best characters in the show, offering a genuine example of the impressive capabilities found in Earth bending.
2 71% of Our World Controlled by You - Katara
Although Katara came from a culture that saw women either in the role of domestic wife, or healer, in the case of female benders, she nevertheless proves this stereotype wrong. Throughout the show, viewers watched as Katara advanced from beyond frustration to confident control over her water element, which eventually led to taking down even Azula (twice).
Katara was also one of the few to learn blood bending, though, because she recognizes the cruelty in using it, Katara generally abstains from using it. Under these circumstances, then, Katara is actually holding back the full extent of her power.
1 A Living Legend - Avatar Korra
The feisty young Korra in season one of LOK expressed a determined personality that was set on being the best. The truth, of course, was that Korra had a long road ahead of her that saw the avatar learning about a world that was kept from her for so long. One that would always challenge her resilience to grow as an avatar.
What is most compelling about Korra, though, is perhaps her personal development, as she went from total impulsiveness to wisdom and diligence. Her many accomplishments are in themselves impressive, but it was not without the adversity she confronted and overcame, that allowed her to become such a powerful avatar.