Sunday, December 28, 2014

That Thing That Happened at the End of The Legend of Korra

In case you can't tell from the title, this has a spoiler. One big gigantic spoiler. Don't read past the Aangs if you don't want to be spoiled.

You have been duly warned. 

If you read my most recent Thanksgeeking post, you know that I love the idea of these two together. And now, it's canon! 

What blows my mind, though, is that a lot of people didn't see this coming. Sure, I've been wanting them to get together so I was able to pick up on their budding romance better than others, but it's been so obvious to me for two seasons that these two belong together. I didn't really get how other people missed it. 

However, Bryan Konietzko spelled it out beautifully: 

And that, friends, is what we call privilege. Specifically straight or hetero privilege. Most people view the world through their limited experiences and it can be hard to shake that. Being straight (or a part of any non-minority group) gives you a certain privilege. 99% of what you watch/read/listen to features no one who is LGBT. Any same-sex relationships are therefore automatically given a platonic label because you are not attracted to the same sex, nor are the vast majority of characters in what you consume. It just doesn't cross your mind. Even if you're a muslim woman of color with a disability living in Provo, you probably still have some type of privilege that you should learn to check. Remember that your world view is not "the" world view. And before you get on my case for being white, middle-class, straight, and cisgender, those are privileges I'm aware of, and it's a struggle to keep those in check. No on is perfect, but everyone should try. 

Anyway, the beauty of The Legend of Korra is that the entire show has been about different world views and marginalized groups. In Book One it was non-benders, Book Two was the spirits, Book Three was the low-income communities in Ba Sing Se, and Book Four was those who supported Kuvira in the Earth Kingdom. Each group was marginalized from society and with each season, Korra learned from her enemies, most of whom were fighting for causes that the audience (and Korra) sympathized with. It makes sense, then, to end the show featuring two bisexual women of color. 

It doesn't just make sense thematically, it makes sense if you watch the show while checking your hetero privilege. Korra and Asami have almost always gotten along, even when they were fighting over Mako, and their relationship grew to new heights through Book Three. My theory is that by the end of Book Three, Asami knew she had feelings for Korra, but Korra couldn't deal with romance right then for obvious reasons. It wasn't until she spent some time away from everything (including Asami) and started to heal that she realized she had feelings for Asami too. 

But seriously, look at all the evidence in the last two seasons! 

Asami flips her hair while talking to Korra. 
No woman flips her hair like that unless she's flirting. 

Korra loving the fact that she is impressing Asami with her pranks on Mako.

Asami volunteers to watch over Korra's body as she enters the spirit world.

Asami saves an unconscious Korra, something that would usually be done by a man 
(though the Avatar universe is famously feminist, so this one could go either way)

Asami is visibly more concerned about Korra after she is poisoned than Mako is. 
My theory is this is around the time she realized how she really feels about Korra.

Asami being visibly heartbroken when Korra is poisoned. 
You don't do a close up of a hand squeeze like that unless it means something. 
In fact, this whole scene is full of little hints like that.

Same scene, but look at the way Asami is looking at Korra. 
Tell me that isn't true love.

At Jinora's ceremony, Asami is there with Korra and her/Aang's family.
The only non-family member other than Zuko (and let's face it, he's family).

Asami being willing to drop everything 
(and she has a crap load to drop) to be with Korra while she recovers. 

Unlike Mako, Asami says she misses Korra and that Republic City isn't the same.

Korra is only able to write to Asami while she is recovering.

The differences in body language when Korra is reunited with Mako and Asami.

Korra blushes when Asami compliments her hair after they are reunited.

Their first little lovers spat 
(that argument was totally the product of strong feelings)
and Mako totally knowing something was up between them.

Asami doing cute little things for Korra.

Korra looking relieved when she sees that Asami is okay after they jump off a train.

If you still think all these things could just as easily be interpreted as being a platonic thing between two best friends, would you think the same if Asami was replaced by Mako in all of these moments? Probably not.

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