Duels are battles fought by at least two individuals and can be considered a form of recreation, a way of settling disputes, or a training tool for students who are developing skills in a particular fighting art. They may be friendly spars, fought to pass time, or in the most extreme cases, fought to the death. A variety of cultures practice dueling.
Duel between Zaheer and five White Lotus guards
Upon arriving at Zaheer's prison, the White Lotus sentries ordered Zaheer to turn around with his hands behind his back. He complied, though recited an excerpt from one of Guru Laghima's poems, prompting one of the White Lotus sentries to question the meaning of it. After answering, Zaheer airbent the sentry who had been standing at the front of the cell into the metal bars and held him there as a shield, dissuading the other sentries from attacking. Zaheer took the keys, threw him into the cell, and continued to battle the remaining guards. He managed to lock everybody inside his cell before he jumped down the mountain ranges using airbending to cushion his landings.
Duel between Korra and several Earth Kingdom officers
As Team Avatar, Bumi, Tenzin, and Jinora were about to leave the small Earth Kingdom village where they recruited Kai, five motorcyclists pulled up, their leader demanding them to release Kai, while the four others prepared to launch a rock at the airship. Under the impression that they were outlaws out to get Kai, Korra swiftly scattered the men using airbending. The leader attempted to strike her down with a rock, though she pulverized the object and incapacitated him. When she moved to imprison them, the leader revealed that they were the local sheriff with his deputies and that Kai was a thief.
Duel between Korra, Asami, and Gombo's gang
Victor: Korra and Asami
As soon as Korra and Asami arrived a desert town and ordered the royal guards to load the tax money onto the Future Industries airship, a flash of red light illuminated the sky, signaling the arrival of Gombo and his men. The royal guards ran away, leaving the two women to be surrounded by the gang, consisting of twenty men in total. Korra and Asami quickly took care of the barbarians, defeating them mainly with earthbending and electric attacks. As they retreated, Gombo shouted at Korra that she was wrong to collect the money for the queen, as it belonged to the people. Korra acknowledged that she felt he was right.
Duel at P'Li's prison
Victor: Red Lotus
To stop Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua from freeing P'Li from her icy prison at the North Pole, Chief Tonraq, Lord Zuko, and Chiefs Desna and Eska opposed the three Red Lotus members on the tundra plains. While Tonraq traded blows with Zaheer and Zuko took on Ghazan, the twins barraged Ming-Hua with ice projectiles and iceberg spikes. However, the armless waterbender easily evaded their attempts to thwart her advance and, using her own water tendrils to sweep the Northern chiefs of their feet, encased them in ice. Morphing her water arms into a drill, she dug her way toward P'Li's prison, where she made quick work of the guards and freed the combustionbender. Resurfacing, the two women were attacked by Druk, Zuko's dragon, though P'Li dissipated his flames and shot him out of the sky with a well-aimed combustion attack. When Ghazan managed to knock Zuko down, P'Li fired at Tonraq, who managed to protect himself from substantial harm with an ice shield, though was knocked unconscious when the combustion beam made the ice explode. With their enemies unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, the four criminals made their escape.
Duel for the airbenders
Victor: Mako, Bolin, Kai, Jinora, Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, and the other new airbenders
When Mako, Bolin, Jinora, and Kai were heading out of the underground airbender prison cells, they encountered three Dai Li agents blocking their exit. Announcing desertion from the army to be punishable by death, the three Dai Li agents opened fire with several rock gloves. Mako and Bolin swiftly took down two agents, knocking them out conscious with rocks from the wall, though they could not prevent the Dai Li sergeant to grab Jinora as a hostage. As Kai surged forward, the sergeant aimed a rock at him, though the young airbender dove underneath it and sent an air swipe at his feet to bring him out of balance, enabling Jinora to escape and himself to blast the earthbender unconscious against the wall.
While trying to make their escape on the surface with the newly freed airbenders, Korra and Tenzin ran into Earth Queen Hou-Ting and a group of Dai Li agents. As the earthbenders attacked, all the airbenders worked together to blow them back, while they retreated onto their airships to escape Ba Sing Se. When Bolin, Mako, Kai, and Jinora made it out of the dungeon, they too were taken under fire, though managed to evade the attacks and escape on Oogi.
Duel at Air Temple Island
After discovering "Yorru" in Tenzin's study and realizing he was really Zaheer, Kya promptly attacked him with water from a nearby fountain, before barraging him with ice projectiles. Zaheer deflected the ice with an airbender staff taken from the altar and blasted himself out of the window, intending to glide away. His escape was short lived, however, as Kya followed him, calling for help, and used a water tendril to drag him down into the island's pond, where she attempted to freeze him. Zaheer managed to break free, however, and after evading Kya's next attack, knocked her back with an air blast. Trying to grab the glider, he was forced on the defensive once more by two firebending White Lotus sentries. Bending the weapon to him, he used the staff to augment his air slice attack and knock the two guards unconscious against the temple. Meanwhile, Kya had recovered and summoned a large amount of water, which she used to send two spirals at Zaheer. He ducked, however, and knocked her back against the wall with an air blast, rendering her unconscious before flying away.
Duel between Lin and Suyin
Victor: None; interrupted by Opal
Having faced her past with the help of Guo, a physically weakened Lin confronted her half-sister, Suyin, blaming her for tearing their family apart and ending Toph's career as Chief of Police of Republic City. When Suyin retaliated by saying that Lin kept it like that and that it was no wonder Tenzin broke up with her as she would always be a bitter loner, Lin bent a rock at her sister, who shattered it, before bringing Lin off balance with an earth fissure and knocking her down with a meteorite. The two continued to throw metal and earth-based attacks at one another until Suyin managed to knock Lin back against the stairs of a nearby pavilion. Picking up a part of the staircase, Lin brushed off Suyin's attempts to stop the fight and charged her, prompting her younger sister to do the same, holding a large rock afloat. However, before the sisters could collide, Opal blew them apart using her airbending. As the adrenaline left her body, Lin, already weakened from before she started fighting, collapsed.
Duel at the Misty Palms Inn
Victor: Ghazan and Ming-Hua
To give Asami the time to escape the Misty Palms Inn with Korra's unconscious body, Mako and Bolin faced off against Ming-Hua and Ghazan respectively. While Ming-Hua chased Mako all over the premises, forcing him constantly on the defense with her water tendrils, Bolin stated that he felt like he was giving Ghazan more options to attack him by retaliating with earth, which the lavabender easily turned into lava to attack him with. In order to avoid being skewered by a water tendril, Mako pushed himself off a wall and backflipped, enabling him to cut the tendril in half. However, before he could utilize his small advantage, Ming-Hua used her other arm to freeze his hand and flung him through a door, where he slumped unconscious. Bolin's resistance was cut short soon after, as Ghazan melted the teenager's attack once more and barraged him with chunks of lava, forcing Bolin to take refuge in the inn's pool where he was an easy target for Ming-Hua. The waterbender used her skill to trap Bolin in a bubble, while she elevated Mako into the air with a tendril to his neck. Confident she had the brothers under control, she told Ghazan to pursue the Avatar, though he was too late to keep her out of the hands of the Earth Queen's troops.
Duel in the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace
Victor: Red Lotus
After having struck a deal with the Queen to exchange information about the airbenders' whereabouts for Korra, the Red Lotus called off the deal after learning of the Avatar's escape in the Si Wong Desert. As eavesdropping on a royal conversation was punishable with imprisonment, the Queen offered them redemption if they would reveal the location of the airbenders. Zaheer refused, which prompted Hou-Ting to order their arrest. Although the agents had the Red Lotus surrounded, they were no match for their prowess and were easily defeated by knockout or incapacitated in another manner. With the Queen now defenseless, Zaheer asphyxiated her by bending all the air out of her lungs.
Duel between Tenzin and Zaheer
Victor: None, Red Lotus members interfered
Refusing to be used by the Red Lotus as leverage to get to Korra, Tenzin instigated a fight with Zaheer. While trading blows and attacks, the two airbenders made it to the top of the temple wall, where they continued their fight. Tenzin had the upper hand, managing to knock Zaheer back a number of times, though before he could land a substantial blow, P'Li shot him off the ledge and down to the courtyard, where he came into the attacking range of Ming-Hua and Ghazan. Although outnumbered, Tenzin continued to evade, deflect, and land attacks, though was eventually severely wounded and cornered against a wall when P'Li blasted him again with her combustion attack. Despite being battle-weary, Tenzin refused to give up, though he subsequently faced a barrage of earth, water, and air attacks by the three Red Lotus members.
Duel in the temple's courtyard
Victor: Ghazan and Ming-Hua
In an attempt to give the new airbenders time to evacuate the Northern Air Temple, Kya engaged in a battle with Ming-Hua. Using the water from the temple's fountains, the two waterbenders had ample ammunition to constantly shift between deflecting, evading, and attacking. During the fight, Kya managed to break off Ming-Hua's ice blade appendage and throw it back at her, though the armless bender was able to retaliate, sending it back at Kya and knocking her off-balance with further ice projectiles. Before Ming-Hua could skewer her, Kya fought back with a wave from a nearby fountain, blasting Ming-Hua off the temple's balcony. Ming-Hua managed to hold on, however, and used the excess water to create six water tentacles, which increased her mobility and attacking power and she managed to push her opponent back into the courtyard.
Meanwhile, Ghazan barraged Bumi with a multitude of lava-based attacks, though did not manage to pin the novice airbender down, as he used his airbending to improve his agility. At one point, Bumi managed to slide underneath Ghazan's legs and took the opportunity to launch himself onto the earthbender's back. Out of harm's way of the lava attacks, he started to pull Ghazan's long hair and even bit his shoulder. Enraged, Ghazan struck back by bending an earth pillar to launch Bumi into the air.
Teaming up, Ghazan and Ming-Hua simultaneously took on Bumi and Kya, pushing the siblings toward the temple's balcony, where Ghazan eventually pushed them over the edge with an earth wave. Although Bumi managed to catch Kya and grab a hold of the building, he had to let them both fall down the mountainside lest they would be shot by P'Li's combustion attack. Tumbling down the slope, through trees and over rocks, the siblings came to a halt on a mountain path, where they lay unconscious, while Ghazan and Ming-Hua found and engaged Tenzin in battle.
Duels at Laghima's Peak
Duel between Korra, Tonraq, and Zaheer
Korra turned herself over to the Red Lotus, but received a call from Mako that they were tricked and that the airbenders were not at the temple. The Avatar angrily yelled at Zaheer they had a deal, and promptly blast air at him. Korra was fighting with Zaheer, blasting fire at him, which the airbender deflected. She kicked up a rock, but Zaheer ducked and attempted to get close to the Avatar again. Korra continued blasting earth and fire at him, but she found herself restrained by the chains P'Li put on her earlier. Zaheer managed to land a blow and knocked Korra out. As P'Li went away to fight the metalbenders, he brought Korra onto the airship, but Tonraq also made it up the mountain and intervened. His daughter fell off the ramp of the airship, but he used a water tendril to catch and save her. Back on top, Korra promptly blasted fire at Zaheer, who created an air shield in front of him, but was still blown back. Tonraq cut the tethers of the airship, which floated away and yelled at Zaheer that he had no where to go. Tonraq and Korra teamed up, and Korra bent a rock at Zaheer, followed swiftly by her father, who used his water tendrils in an attempt to knock the airbender down. Zaheer blasted away at Tonraq and Korra, and the Chief was having trouble staying on his feet. But just as he was knocked down, Korra came to his aid and, in spite of her chains, managed to dodge all of Zaheer's attack and launched a fissure his way. He used this as a ramp to jettison himself into the air and get close to Korra, but she had accounted for this. As she jumped out of the way, her father was right behind her and blasted the airbender with a stream of water, knocking him back. As Zaheer was cartwheeling back, Korra launched another fissure right in his path. He tripped, and Tonraq phase-changed his water tendril into an ice dagger, but Zaheer dodged it at the last second. The dagger shattered, and the airbender used this moment of Tonraq's distraction to create a tornado, and pick up the Chief. Sarcastically remarking to give his regards to the Earth Queen, Zaheer threw Tonraq off the mountain as Korra watched in horror. Having done this, Zaheer heard a hollow, metallic explosion, which he knew meant P'Li's death. The Avatar noticed the airbenders distraction, and sent a blast of fire his way. He dodged this though, just like the subsequent ones Korra shot at him. Zaheer blasted her down on the ground, which knocked her out. He picked Korra up and saw his airship floating freely in the distance. As Lin and Suyin also made it to the top of the mountain and told him it is over, Zaheer began reciting Guru Laghima's poem. He calmly proceeded as the Beifong sisters continued ordering him to put Korra down. When he finished, he took a small step back and fell off the cliff, much to Lin and Suyin's horror. As they ran to the edge, they saw the airbender flying, and tried to restrain him with their cables, but they missed. Leaving the sisters in disbelief, he flew away with Korra on his shoulder, past Ghazan and Ming-Hua, who remarked he doesn't need a ride. Meanwhile, it turned out that Kuvira caught Tonraq who could do nothing but watch as Zaheer flew off with his daughter.
Duel between P'Li and the Metal Clan
Victor: Lin and Suyin Beifong
Casualties: P'Li dies.
Mako radioed Lin, telling her to get Korra immediately as they had been double crossed by the Red Lotus. She, her sister and the other metalbenders used their cables to scale the mountain. As Zaheer was busy fighting Korra, the metalbenders also made it to the top of the mountain. P'Li told Zaheer to bring Korra onto the airship, and that she would hold off the metalbenders. The firebender jumped down to the lower peak, and shot a combustion beam at Lin, who used her cables to jump up and evade the blast. Two of Suyin's sentries did not manage to dodge the blast and were blown straight off the mountain, but used their cables to keep themselves from falling to their deaths and went straight back up again. Lin continued to evade P'Li's blasts, and started bending boulders at her, but those were subsequently blown up by P'Li's combustion. Lin got aided by her sister, but the combustionbender dodged every rock they threw at her. She managed to keep the upper hand in the fight, continuously shooting combustion beams at the metalbenders, who were knocked down every time. Suyin used her considerable agility to jump out of the way of a volley of beams, ending up behind a rock with her sister. Realizing they were pinned down, Lin decided told her sister she was going to draw her fire, while Suyin would take her out. The matriarch objected, but was interrupted by P'Li's blasts, who was curving her combustion beams around the rock, but could not get the proper angle. The Chief of Police told her sister she loved her, and jumped out from behind her cover and taunted the combustionbender, who responded by shooting another combustion beam. Lin bent a rock her way, but P'Li effortlessly blew it up. As she made down to lower ground, Lin bent two more rocks at the firebender, but she dodged these and shot another combustion beam at the Chief. She blocked this, but was knocked back to the edge of the peak in the process. As P'Li saw her chance to finish Lin off, Suyin jumped out from behind her cover, lifted her armor and wrapped it around the combustionbender's head, right before she was going to shoot at Lin. This created a closed sphere around P'Li's head, which resulted in her death.
Duels between Team Avatar and the Red Lotus
Duel between Korra and Zaheer
Victor: None, interrupted by Jinora and several other airbenders
After Zaheer administered the venom to Korra, she was forced into the Avatar State. She ripped one of the chains from the wall, and attempted to crush Zaheer with it, but he jumped out of its way. Korra then knocked out Ming-Hua with it. Ghazan tried to kill her by shooting up a large volume of lava, but she used her airbending to send it back to the earthbender, who also quickly jumped out of the way. After breaking free of her chains, she lifted four boulders and spun them around, before trying to crush the Red Lotus members with them. Zaheer flew away through a small cave and Korra followed him, propelling herself with firebending. The airbender made it through the small opening in the mountainside unscathed, while the enraged Avatar destroyed the entire opening on her way out. She launched boulders at Zaheer, which he deflected, but before he could fully recover, Korra tackled him mid-air. He blasted Korra against a rock column, but she got back up and spun around another column and broke the top off in an attempt to crush Zaheer. He flew between two columns, and she bent these two together, but he made it through. Korra kept shooting rocks at Zaheer, but he continually managed to dodge them. He knocked the Avatar down, but she got up and took an enormous boulder with her and tried to crush Zaheer between it and a mountain, but he evaded it. Korra landed in a pond, and shot at her opponent with water, and she eventually hit his leg, freezing it in a block of ice. This impeded the flying airbender, and Korra moved in for a good shot, but the venom started to have its effect and she was unable to continue fighting because of this. Zaheer broke free from the ball of ice, and flew up to Korra, who made a crash-landing. Meanwhile, far below, Kai wanted to help Korra, but is stopped by Lin, who's telling him he doesn't stand a chance against Zaheer. Jinora has another idea and takes the initiative to create a massive tornado, when the other airbenders join in and help her.
As Zaheer continues battering Korra, he is telling her the venom did it is work and that the Avatar Cycle will be over soon. The airbender locks her and starts pulling the air from her lungs and forming a ball around her head, just like he did with the Earth Queen. However, before he can complete this, the tornado catches up with them, and he loses his grip on Korra. He still attempts to fly away with her, but the pull is too strong. He decides to drop the Avatar, but Korra uses the chain wrapped around her wrist to trap Zaheer and pull him down with her. As they land, Korra falls over, completely exhausted, while Zaheer is trapped by the Beifong sisters.
Duel between Bolin and Ghazan
Victor: Bolin and Mako
Casualties: Ghazan (death by suicide)
Bolin, Tonraq and Mako made it into the cave just as Korra went after Zaheer. Ghazan immediately used their distraction by bending a big boulder at them, but Bolin quickly threw up cover for them. Mako told Tonraq to go outside to help Korra. Bolin took the high ground and bent a few rocks at Ghazan. The latter deflected these and struck back with a boulder that blocked Bolin's view of him. When Bolin blocked this attack, Ghazan tackled him. Launching two more rocks his way, the criminal was smiling the entire time. Bolin blocked these strikes and asked him what he was smiling about. Ghazan told him he was just remembering the last time they fought and turned the ground into lava. He launched this at Bolin, but the latter stopped this and used his new skill to shoot it back at Ghazan. He realized this is how the bending brothers made it out of the air temple and admitted he was impressed. The two continued trading blows, with Ghazan only marginally able to gain the upper hand. He did force Bolin down to lower ground with a flood of lava, but Bolin managed to stop this. Ghazan jumped after him, but when he lifted a rock to attack Bolin from behind, Mako came to his aid, taking Ghazan by surprise and knocking him down. Together, the bending brothers were easily able to gain the upper hand in the fight, telling Ghazan to give up. He refused to do this, saying he is never going back to prison. The criminal cracked the walls of the cave, yelling that if he is going down, Mako and Bolin are coming with him. He turned the newly created cracks into lava, collapsing the entire cave. Bolin reacted quickly, and created a platform to get himself and his brother out of there. As they watched the cave crumble and Ghazan die, they made their escape.
Duel between Mako and Ming-Hua
Casualties: Ming-Hua (death by electrocution)
Mako launched a quick blast at Ming-Hua, but she used her water tendrils to deflect this and got away by grabbing the crystals scattered throughout the cave. She continued to get away from the firebender, but her water tendrils were shrinking due to Mako's fire blasts. Unable to keep her balance without them, she tripped and fell down a small ledge. Mako told her to give up, as there was no more water around them. Retorting otherwise, Ming-Hua jumped into a shallow underground lake, which provided her with all the water she needed. Mako followed her down but did not see her, as it was too dark in the cave. He made a fire dagger, but the waterbender was waiting for him, supporting herself with nine water tendrils. Declaring that the situation was now hers, she attacked the firebender, lunging out with her full arsenal of watery limbs. Mako managed to evade her attack and sought refuge between two stalagmites. From his elevated position out of the water, he shot a bolt of lightning into the lake. The electricity conducted up the water tendrils and into Ming-Hua, killing her.