It’s difficult to compare the two since their situations were so different – both Avatar Korra and Avatar Aang accomplished some incredible feats. Here are five reasons one might suggest Korra was more successful as the Avatar, and five reasons Aang was more triumphant.
10 Korra: Fought Against Terrorism
From the Anti-Bending movement spreading throughout Republic City to The Red Lotus wreaking havoc and destruction, and to Kuvira’s imperialist takeover, Korra had her work cut out for her as an Avatar when it came to fighting uprisings that threatened the balance of the world.
While Korra’s life was marked with struggles and setbacks, she would eventually overcome each of these foes and find redemption and victory waiting for her at the end of the series.
9 Aang: Reduced Corruption
Aang first uncovered widescale corruption while in Ba Sing Se, as he was still in the process of ending the 100 Year War and training for his eventual fight with Ozai. After Oppa is stolen, the Gaang gets sidetracked and ends up in the Earth Kingdom Capital, where they discover that the Dai Li, rather than the Earth King, are running things behind the scenes. Aang would eventually expose this corruption to the Earth King and its citizens.
Later in life, Aang assists in apprehending Yakone, an organized crime lord, and ends up taking away his remarkably dangerous blood-bending abilities. This shows that Aang was likely involved in reducing crime and corruption in Republic City along with Toph’s police force as he got older.
8 Korra: Stopped A Civil War Between The Water Tribes
Korra was left in a difficult position when her father and uncle each didn’t trust the other to help guide her. Initially, she put faith in Unalaq because of his unique spiritual abilities. However, as the truth about her father and uncle’s past was revealed, it became clear that Unalaq’s motives were not only selfish but pure evil. Unalaq brought the Northern Water Tribe’s military in to seize control of his own sister Tribe, lead by his own brother. After Korra defeated Unalaq as the Dark Avatar, she declared the war between the tribes over.
7 Aang: Reintroduced Energy-Bending To The Avatar Cycle
While Aang wasn’t the first Avatar to employ energy-bending, he was one of a select few to be visited by the Lion Turtle and bestowed with arguably the most powerful and unique form of bending. Aang used his energy bending in order to spare the lives of his enemies – like Ozai and Yakone – while still preventing them from doing harm to others.
Energy-bending isn’t just taking away a bender’s ability – it’s also the power to restore it. Through Aang’s spirit, Korra was able to gain back her bending abilities after losing them to Amon. Using the knowledge she gained from Aang’s spiritual guidance, she was able to restore other’s bending abilities as well.
6 Korra: Promoted The Transition To Democracy
The days of kings and monarchies were coming to a close by the time Korra was becoming a fully-realized Avatar. While she didn’t directly remove any monarchies, she helped the Earth Kingdom’s eventual transition out of one. She, Tenzin, and her friends fought back against Kuvira when she tried to take control of the Earth Kingdom and ultimately bested her. Korra then encouraged King Wu to step up as ruler – but he would become more of a figurehead before phasing himself out of the responsibility completely and instead, initiating a reform to a democratic system of government.
5 Aang: Brought Back The Air Nation
After the devastating discovery of the Fire Nation’s genocide against the Air Nation, Aang felt a tremendous responsibility to preserve the ways of his people. These strong feelings explain why he was initially unhappy with the refugees living in the Northern Air Temple not living as Air Nomads, and why he focused so much more time and energy on his air bending son Tenzin rather than his other two children later in his life. Aang would ultimately succeed in carrying on the legacy of the Air Nation, even though he didn’t live to see it grow in size after Korra opened the spirit portals, giving some non-benders in the population new air bending ability.
4 Korra: Defeated Vaatu
Unalaq and Vaatu together as the Dark Avatar were a daunting duo, threatening the world with a thousand years of darkness. Having a difficult time with the spiritual aspects of being Avatar, Korra made incredible strides in her spirituality when she used the energy from the Tree of Time to transform into a giant being of light. With the help of Jinora’s spiritual energy, she was able to subdue Unalaq and Vaatu and restore Raava, the spirit of light and peace, within herself.
3 Aang: Developed Fire Nation Colonies Into The United Republic Of Nations
The Avatar comic book series details the events that take place after ATLA. One such event was The Harmony Restoration Movement, a movement spearheaded by Aang and Zuko to decolonize the areas that the Fire Nation had control over and turn them back over to their original nations and kingdoms. A conflict quickly arises when Zuko halted the movement when he realized that he can’t force the ancestral Fire Nation citizens to leave the only home they’ve ever known, even if they are descended from Fire Nation colonizers.
However, Aang continues to keep pushing for colonization until he realizes he can’t do it without avoiding violence. He regroups with Zuko and they decide instead to form the United Republic of Nations rather than inorganically encourage the separation of the nations. This would lead to Aang overseeing the development of Cranefish Town into the large metropolis known as Republic City.
2 Korra: Merged The Spirit & Human Worlds
Merging the Spirit and Human Worlds together was an incredible feat for Avatar Korra, and probably her most significant achievement, again considering how hard she initially struggled with her spirituality. Not only is this a great accomplishment to the spiritual aspects of her personal life, leaving the spirit portals open would become a beneficial decision for all of society in the long run. While having the Spirit Wilds growing in and around Republic City took some getting used to by its citizens, they ultimately thrived in this new world where spirits and humans lived side by side.
1 Aang: Saved The World
While all of Aang’s actions and accomplishments that took place after the war was vital, ending the war itself was one of the most impressive things he achieved at just twelve years old. Undoubtedly his most important accomplishment, Aang saved the world from utter destruction when he defeated Phoenix King Ozai and finally fulfilled his destiny by ending the 100 Year War. In doing so he liberated the other nations from the Fire Nation and ceased the suffering and oppression that many living in the perpetual war came to know. He took the first steps towards peace and healing by showing mercy to the Fire Nation and even Ozai himself, opting to take his bending away rather than taking his life.