|"I have no choice but to protect my kind."|
|— The dragon eel spirit to Korra regarding the spirits' involvement in human conflict.|
Defending Republic City
When Kuvira's power began to threaten the spirits who had come to reside in Republic City, the dragon eel spirit retreated to the Tree of Time in the Spirit World. They were later visited by Avatar Korra, who asked for the spirits' help in defending the city, but the dragon eel informed her that spirits did not get involved in human wars. Korra countered that the spirits had sided with Unalaq in his campaign of darkness, but the dragon eel corrected her that the former Chief of the Northern Water Tribe had misappropriated the power of Vaatu during Harmonic Convergence and forced the spirits to fight for him. Despite Korra's claims that she did not wish to force the spirits to do anything, the dragon eel concluded that, ultimately, she wanted the same thing as Kuvira: to use the spirits as weapons in a human war. Reiterating that spirits would not get involved, the dragon eel vanished, with the other spirits following their example.
After Kuvira's defeat and the creation of the new spirit portal in the heart of Republic City, the dragon eel spirit returned to the city's Spirit Wilds, and later circled the portal when Korra and Asami approached it to start their vacation in the Spirit World.
Defending the spirits
The dragon eel spirit was again circling the spirit portal when Korra and Asami returned to Republic City from their vacation, monitoring an argument between Wonyong Keum and Jinora about the airbenders' presence there as they did so. The spirit continued to keep its distance when Korra and Asami joined the discussion, but when Wonyong told Asami that Keum Enterprises owned the land surrounding the spirit portal and could therefore do with it as he pleased, the spirit angrily flew up to Wonyong and accused him of being "just another human" who refused to respect the sacred. Making it clear to the businessman that the deeds to the land did not give him the right to ravage and plunder the Spirit World, the dragon eel spirit turned to Korra and urged her to close the portal, as it was never meant to be there and left the Spirit World vulnerable to exploitation. Korra asked the spirit why they were suddenly interested in human conflicts, noting their previous vehement refusal to get involved when Kuvira posed a threat to Republic City. The dragon eel replied that since there now was a portal in the middle of the metropolis, they had no choice but to protect their kind. When Korra refused to follow up on their request, reasoning that the new spiritual energy would have a harmonious effect on the citizens of Republic City, the spirit relented and retreated to the portal, though not before warning her that they would hold her responsible for keeping the portal safe.
The dragon eel spirit later returned during the Triple Threat Triad's attack on the airbenders and Team Avatar, who were defending the spirit portal. Emerging from the portal with several other spirits, most of whom had turned dark, the dragon eel ordered them to protect the portal, upon which the spirits lashed out against the Triple Threats. The enraged spirits were confronted by Korra, who pleaded with the dragon eel spirit to call them off, but they refused to do so, telling her that it had been her responsibility to protect the area and that she had failed. The spirit became further enraged when Korra noted that their actions would only escalate the conflict, responding that it was the humans who had started the fight and that one of them had to pay. Turning dark, the spirit was left unhindered when Korra was forced to leave to assist Asami and rounded on the Triple Threats' leader, Tokuga. The mobster threw three knives at them, but they passed straight through the spirit, who subsequently knocked Tokuga to the ground. The dragon eel held him responsible for disturbing the portal and stated that he would have to live with the consequences. Charging again, the dragon eel spirit traveled through Tokuga, deforming him in the process. Having exacted their revenge, the dragon eel spirit returned to their normal form and retreated into the Spirit World, ordering the other spirits to do the same.
The Legend of Korra
Book Four: Balance (平衡)
- The design of the dragon eel spirit, which was done by Angela Song Mueller, is one of Bryan Konietzko's favorites.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Piekos, Nate; Blambot (letterer), Campbell, Heather; Bak, Jane (cover), Ng, Killian (colorist). Turf Wars Part One (July 26, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Four: Balance, page 114.
- Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (December 5, 2014). "Operation Beifong". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 10. Nick.com.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (December 19, 2014). "The Last Stand". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 13. Nick.com.