‘The Legend of Korra’: Janet Varney Says Korra is Lovable, Even When Making Mistakes

The Legend of Korra just hit Netflix, which means the divisive follow-up to Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender is back in the spotlight. While Avatar is universally beloved by fans, Korra is much more polarizing — some felt as though the sequel tore down the progressive aspects of Avatar, while others found the protagonist unrelatable. However, Janet Varney, Korra’s voice actor, does not count herself among Korra’s critics. Rather, she thinks Korra as a character is lovable and relatable, even when she’s messing up

Netflix shuts down ‘The Legend of Korra’ critics 

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Many Avatar: The Last Airbender fans compare The Legend of Korra to its predecessor, a move that Netflix has deemed unreasonable. 

The streaming giant took to Twitter to tell Korra critics to back off well before the sequel was available on its platform. 

“Korra’s story was important, Aang’s story had been told,” tweeted Netflix. Fans were quick to respond to the somewhat controversial statement. 

Some supported the tweet. One fan wrote, “I loved both, I can’t understand why people didn’t like Korra. I mean opinions for sure but to fully dislike it?”

“You can’t really top Fire Lord Ozai, so continuing the story of Aang would’ve felt a lot like filler. By making a new story with a new Avatar, they can tell new stories while keeping it new. If you don’t like Korra, that’s fine. But don’t hate people for liking something new,” opined another user.

Meanwhile, other Twitter users simply replied with comments calling Korra bad, or claiming Netflix’s take was off the mark. 

Janet Varney loves her character 

Janet Varney voiced Korra in The Legend of Korra
Janet Varney voiced Korra in The Legend of Korra | Nickelodeon

While The Legend of Korra clearly has plenty of critics, Korra’s voice actor doesn’t count herself among them. In fact, Janet Varney says she loved Korra as a character, even when she was making mistakes.

“I always found her lovable, even when — maybe especially when — she was making mistakes or failing,” Varney told Vox.

“By the time of Korra’s Book One release, I had already recorded the whole season and had come to know and really love Korra. So I really only had one way I could imagine portraying her going forward into future Books: to continue to honor her humanity, which included all those qualities some folks decided made her … less ‘likable,’” she added.

Some fans think Korra-hate is a matter of sexism

Janet Varney voiced Korra in The Legend of Korra
Janet VarBolin, Mako, Aang, and Korra in The Legend of Korra | Nickelodeon

There are some fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra who feel as if the hate for Korra as a character comes from a place of sexism. Korra is a powerful female lead, and some fans think there are viewers who can’t handle that. 

One Redditor pointed out that many fans criticize Korra for the same sorts of actions that Aang gets a pass for, and the sentiment seemed to resonate with other viewers.

“[Y]eah there’s a lot of misogyny in the ATLA fandom in general. It’s worse with Korra too. One example would be just straight up nitpicking unimportant things to hell or overblowing a lot of things under the guise of ‘criticism’ even though they wouldn’t go to those lengths if it was a male character,” added another fan. 

One user suggested an alarming connection between those who dislike Korra, and those who nitpick Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Katara.

“I’ve noticed recently that a lot of the people who hate [The Legend of Korra] also seem to dislike Katara. Like hmmmm what a coincidence,” pointed out another Redditor. 

“It’s absolutely sexism! Varying degrees of it in people but always sexism. They hate Korra for not fitting their expectations of what a girl should be, what a female protagonist should be, what a strong woman should be,” added another commenter.