In the 2000s, Nickelodeon introduced viewers to the inspired world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, where benders control the four elements and spirits roam freely. Starting in 2012, the series returned with a sequel, The Legend of Korra, along with a whole new cast of heroes and villains.
This series spans 52 half-hour animated episodes, divided into four seasons. In them, Korra and her allies fight against the villainous Equalists in Republic City, battle corrupted spirits and Unalaq, confront the anarchist Zaheer and the Red Lotus organization, and contend with the Earth Empire. Fans often rank their favorite episodes on IMDb and rate them from 1 to 10, and ten particular episodes rose to the top. So, which episodes of The Legend of Korra did fans like the most? Let's take a look!
9 Episode 49: "Operation Beifong" (9.0)
This list begins with an action-packed episode from Season 4, "Balance." In it, the battle against Kuvira's oppressive Earth Empire heats up, and the entire Beifong family (hence the episode's name) is rising up to rescue everyone that Kuvira's forces kidnapped.
This episode is packed with earth and metal bending action at one of Kuvira's military bases, and we even see an elderly Toph join the fray! Later, Korra scrambles to rally any allies she can against Kuvira's impending attack on Republic City itself.
8 Episode 12: "Endgame" (9.2)
Season 1, "Air," concluded with the action-packed episode "Endgame." At one point, this would have been the end of the entire series, until the creators decided to continue Korra's adventures in then-future seasons. The battle against the Equalists reaches its climax, and Korra and the terrifying Amon clash personally.
The Equalist leader actually steals Korra's bending, until she unlocks air bending and blasts Amon out of a window. From there, Amon accidentally outs himself (to a whole crowd) as a water bender, and he flees in defeat. After the dust settles, Korra is at a low point when she visits the Southern Water Tribe, her bending still gone... until the spirit of Avatar Aang arrives and restores it. Cue Season 2!
7 Episode 52: "The Last Stand" (9.2)
Bolin and Mako devastate the colossus from the inside while Korra personally duels Kuvira in a clash for the ages. By the end, Korra saves Kuvira's life, and she's in awe as the colossus's detached spirit cannon accidentally creates a new spirit portal right there in the city. After that, when all is said and done, Korra and Asami depart together for a sojourn in the spirit world for a much-needed vacation.
6 Episode 19: "Beginnings, Part 1" (9.3)
The Avatar Cycle had to start at some point, and in Season 2, we discover those mysterious origins at long last. Some 10,000 years ago, a good-hearted thief named Wan grew up in a lion-turtle city dedicated to fire, until he earned the ire of the ruling family and was banished to the spirit wilds (spirits often lived in the mortal plane at the time).
Wan got used to his new life after a few false starts, and soon became a friend to the spirits and a permanent fire bender. Things take an ominous turn, however, when Wan intervenes in a battle between the ultimate light and dark spirits, Vaatu and Raava, upsetting the balance of the world in the process.
5 Episode 37: "Ultimatum" (9.3)
In season 3's "Change," the anarchist/terrorist known as Zaheer is tightening his grip on the Earth Kingdom. Zaheer has already murdered the Earth Queen, and now the citizens are rampaging through the city unchecked to tear it all down.
In the middle of all this, Mako and Bolin escape the city to the Misty Palms Oasis to warn Korra, who is pressured by Zaheer' ominous ultimatum. Zaheer wants the Avatar dead, and he knows exactly how to arrange that. Can even the Metal Clan help the Avatar get out of this one?
4 Episode 41: "Korra Alone" (9.3)
Early in Season 4, Korra is broken and alone, as per the title. Although she had triumphed against Zaheer and his anarchist cell, the Avatar was heavily injured in her battle due to metal poison. Not long after she completed physical therapy with Katara, the Avatar roamed the world alone, even fighting in Earth Kingdom arenas for money.
She is depressed and aimless, more vulnerable than viewers had ever seen her. All is not lost, though, and a tiny spirit leads Korra to a swamp, where she meets a famous metal bender the world has not seen in years.
3 Episode 51: "Day of the Colossus" (9.3)
This is the penultimate episode of Season 4, in which we see the full power of Kuvira's terrifying colossus weapon. This towering giant has a spirit cannon and armor plating that no metal bender can destroy, and Kuvira's victory seems certain. Not that Republic City will just roll over and concede: both Asami and her father Hiroshi muster the latest tech in Future Industries to fight back, including ingenious hummingbird-inspired mecha suits.
It's a thrill to watch this unstoppable titan lumber through Republic City as Korra and her allies devise different tactics against it. This is a boss battle for the ages!
Several episodes on this list feature the climaxes from different seasons of The Legend of Korra. Episode 38 shows the great struggle between Zaheer's Red Lotus and Korra's rescue team, where Zaheer unlocks the ultimate air bender ability: true flight! Even Tenzin can't believe his eyes.
This is one hectic episode, as we watch Korra and her friends fight to free the captured air benders (to no avail) and duel the deadly P'Li in the process. Interestingly, Kuvira makes one of her earliest appearances in this episode, using her metal bending to rescue Korra and Tonraq from falling to their deaths over a cliff.
2 Episode 20: "Beginnings, Part 2" (9.6)
On IMDb, fans of The Legend of Korra rated the second half of Wan's adventure as their second-favorite episode, and for good reason. Avatar Wan has made a grievous mistake in allowing Vaatu to escape the light spirit Raava, and he's determined to set things right, no matter what. To do this, this pioneer visits the other three lion turtles to learn the four elements, setting a precedent for the next one hundred centuries.
Once Harmonic Convergence begins, the giant dark spirit Vaatu is ready to remake the world in his image, but Avatar Wan, wielding the four elements, fights back. In a battle for the ages, Wan seals Vaatu in the Tree of Time and escorts all spirits back to their own realm, restoring world peace. Decades later, we see him dying on a battlefield, distraught that war has returned the world. Raava assures him that their connection will transcend the generations, however, and as the screen fades out, we hear a newborn baby's cry...
1 Episode 39: "Venom of the Red Lotus" (9.6)
This is the highest-rated The Legend of Korra episode of all, and it's also the climax of Season 3. Zaheer's master plan seems assured, and he has Korra in chains in the Red Lotus's cave lair while the air benders are still prisoners, unable to help. Korra enters the Avatar State against her will, and she is dying from metal poison.
Zaheer and his minions try to kill her, but they underestimated the Avatar State. Korra frees herself and fights back with all her strength until the poison begins taking its toll. Through simple trickery, the air benders free themselves and create an air cyclone to capture Zaheer. Suyin removes the metal poison from Korra to revive her, but the damage is done. As we all know, though, the tale of the Avatar isn't over yet.