Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: Legend of Korra brought some of the best fight scenes television has seen. But which ones are the very best? I gathered the top 20 fights and battles from both series.
Here’s your one and only spoiler warning!
Momo vs. Appa in “Nightmares and Daydreams”
While this may not have been a “real” fight, it was one of the most hilarious bits from The Last Airbender. Aang’s sleep deprivation is what brought us this scene.
I didn’t know I needed to see Momo and Appa talking until this episode premiered. What’s even better was everyone’s reaction to Aang’s reactions.
This is one scene that I could watch over and over again and not get tired of.
Aang vs. Fire Lord Ozai in “Sozin’s Comet”
Of course, Aang’s last stand against the Fire Nation is on the list.
I love the irony in Ozai being the one to unlock Aang’s chakras, allowing him to enter the Avatar State.
Aang going against what past Avatars suggested and letting Ozai live without his bending is one of the most satisfying moments in the franchise. The animation and coloring of that scene are so dramatic; I’m kind of glad it didn’t happen like that in the next series.
Fire Ferrets vs. Wolfbats in “And the Winner Is…”
All of the probending scenes in Legend of Korra were amazing, but the tiebreaker in this game put this ahead of all the others.
The fighting throughout all three matches was great, what with both teams being top in the city. And while the tiebreaker didn’t consist of much action, it was one of the best parts of the match.
Korra literally kicks water into his face, knocking him right off the pedestal. No matter how many times I watch it, I laugh until my throat is hoarse. Even the reactions from the crowd are hilarious.
Aang as the Moon Spirit in “Siege of the North, Part 2”
Aang as the Moon Spirit taking on all of the Fire Nation troops is one of the best ways to end a season.
While he is overpowered, watching him in a giant water dinosaur defending the Water Tribe was fun. If I was part of the Fire Nation, I would have been terrified!
Korra vs. Unavaatu in “Light in the Dark”
This fight was amazing. Everything about the animation was perfect. And Korra isn’t even the only one fighting against Vaatu.
Jinora is the main reason Korra was able to fight back and ultimately defeat Vaatu. Pema’s reaction to Jinora being there was also what we all want from our moms.
Iroh vs. Dai Li in “The Crossroads of Destiny”
I couldn’t make a list without at least including Uncle Iroh. This battle showed us how everyone’s favorite uncle got his nickname, “The Dragon of the West.”
Iroh’s fire breath was the first time we had seen this technique in the franchise. It really showed how powerful he was even under duress.
Sokka vs. Master Piandao in “Sokka’s Master”
This was Sokka’s only big solo fight and one of the only non-bender fights in the franchise.
Sokka, and all of us, had been waiting for his moment. And Master Piandao is the best person to give Sokka his moment. I wish there had been more of this kind of fighting in the franchise.
Korra vs. Tarrlok in “When Extremes Meet”
This was one of the biggest plot twists in the first season of Legend of Korra.
The fight showcased different fighting styles from waterbending tribes. Tarrlok’s focused more on the offensive and short, quick bursts. At least until he broke out the bloodbending.
Korra was more defensive while waterbending, but once she remembered she could earthbend, she gained the upper hand and took the offensive.
Tenzin vs. Zaheer in “The Ultimatum”
This is on the list because we get to see airbenders fighting, which (obviously) we never got to see in The Last Airbender.
The best part of their fight was Tenzin’s move. He definitely got that from his father. And while Tenzin didn’t win, that wasn’t because he wasn’t a good bender.
Suki, Sokka, and Zuko vs. Azula and Ty Lee in “The Boiling Rock, Part 2”
The battle on top of the trolley off of the Boiling Rock consisted of two fights.
Ty Lee faced off with Suki, showcasing the difference between the non-benders. Ty Lee’s style was more flowy and flexible like a gymnast, while Suki was more aggressive and heavy-handed.
On the other side of the trolley, Zuko faces off against Azula. Their fighting is just like it had been in previous battles, but Zuko was more focused on protecting Sokka this time.
Korra vs. Kuvira in “The Battle of Zaofu”
The first fight between Korra and Kuvira in season four shows that sometimes the good guys don’t win.
Kuvira was constantly baiting Korra into moves that she could easily dodge. Korra only got the upper hand for a few minutes because she had the Avatar state.
Also, was Kuvira seriously going to kill Korra? She already beat her; she didn’t need to try to take that next step.
Team Avatar vs. Red Lotus in “Venom of the Red Lotus”
Korra was literally dying and still kicking butt.
However, Zaheer effortlessly used his newfound ability of flying, something unseen for centuries. I couldn’t help but root for him a little bit just for that.
Away from the Avatar’s battle, Bolin and Mako held their own against Ghazan and Ming Hua. Their fights were some of the darkest scenes we’d seen in the franchise.
Katara vs. Pakku in “The Waterbending Master”
For a newbie to waterbending fights, Katara did a pretty good job.
The whole battle changed the Northern Water Tribe’s culture for the better. Also, I’m happy Katara’s grandmother didn’t marry Pakku.
Who knows how the series would have come about otherwise?
Avatar Wan vs. Vaatu in “Beginnings, Part 2”
The first-ever Avatar fight (chronologically, at least) deserves some recognition for that honor.
Wan took responsibility for his actions in unleashing Vaatu onto the world and did everything he possibly could to fix it. In the end, it worked out, and Vaatu was locked away for centuries.
I also loved the animation style. The distinct change from both series’ styles was a breath of fresh air. I hope we get to see more of this style in possible Avatar projects.
Toph vs. The Earth Rumble Six Fighters in “The Blind Bandit”
Toph’s introduction into the series was one of the best. However, this fight was just a step above that first match.
This fight was the moment Toph’s father finally understood his daughter wasn’t completely helpless.
And, the best part of the fight? When Toph was throwing her opponents off the platform, piling them on top of one another.
Korra vs. Kuvira in “The Last Stand”
Korra and Kuvira’s big battle was also the last fight of the series. My biggest quip with the fight was why they fighting in a robot that could blow up at any minute.
However, my favorite part of the battle was Korra saving Kuvira despite Kuvira trying to kill her moments before. It showed how far Korra had grown from the first time we saw her.
Korra vs. Amon in “Endgame”
I had to put this battle on the list because it was the first time Korra was able to airbend. Despite losing her other three elements, she put up the best fight she could.
To top it off, she didn’t use typical airbending techniques. Those punches were firebending.
Also, Amon’s bloodbending was the creepiest part of season one.
Katara vs. Hama in “The Puppetmaster”
Ah, the first instance of bloodbending in the franchise.
Katara’s techniques showed how far she’d grown and adapted from watching Aang learn earthbending. She deflected Hama’s attacks with an earthbending move.
Besides bloodbending, both Hama and Katara showed how powerful waterbenders are by extracting the water from grass and trees to rip them apart.
Katara and Aang vs. Zuko and Azula in “The Crossroads of Destiny”
We wouldn’t have seen Zuko’s arc in season three if it hadn’t been for this fight. The guilt from what he’d done in this episode ultimately led to him joining Aang’s side.
This is also one of the first times we see Katara as a full-blown waterbending master. And it was the first time we realized how vulnerable Aang could be in the Avatar State if he wasn’t observant.
Azula vs. Zuko and Katara in “Sozin’s Comet”
From Zuko’s sacrifice for Katara to her capturing Azula with water to Azula’s breakdown once she’s captured, everything was brilliantly done.
This is by far the best fight from the franchise. I hope it gets done well in the live-action series.