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"I am not a reflection of my father. I am Tenzin."
— Tenzin finding his spiritual enlightenment.[1]

Tenzin is the youngest child of Avatar Aang and Katara and the oldest living airbending master. He lives on Air Temple Island with the Air Acolytes, his wife Pema, and their four children: Jinora, Ikki, Meelo, and Rohan. During the resurfacing of airbending across the Earth Kingdom after the Harmonic Convergence of 171 AG, Tenzin and his family temporarily relocated to the Northern Air Temple.[8] A calm and serious man, he represented the Air Nation on the United Republic Council in Republic City prior to its dissolution and was responsible for educating Avatar Korra in the art of airbending and spirituality.[5]

Quick Answers

How many children does Tenzin have? toggle section
Tenzin has four children with his wife Pema: two daughters, Jinora and Ikki, and two sons, Meelo and Rohan.
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How old is Tenzin in "The Legend of Korra"? toggle section
Tenzin is 51 years old at the beginning of "The Legend of Korra", and the youngest of Avatar Aang's three children.
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How strong is Tenzin at airbending? toggle section
As the only one of Avatar Aang's children to be born with airbending abilities, Tenzin was trained extensively by his father in all aspects of airbending, and after Aang's passing was the only airbending master in the world. In combat, Tenzin is strong enough to create air blasts powerful enough to knock back mecha tanks, and successfully fought one-on-one with Zaheer, himself a proficient airbender.
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Where does Tenzin live? toggle section
Tenzin lives with his family on Air Temple Island, a small isle off the coast of Republic City in Yue Bay. Constructed by Avatar Aang, it is also home to the Air Acolytes, a group dedicated to preserving the culture and traditions of the Air Nomads, and colonies of flying bison and ring-tailed winged lemurs.
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What is the significance of the Harmonic Convergence of 171 AG in Tenzin's life? toggle section
The Harmonic Convergence of 171 AG was a pivotal event in Tenzin's life. Following this event, many individuals across the Earth Kingdom suddenly developed the ability to airbend. As the son of Aang, the last airbender, Tenzin took it upon himself to train these new airbenders, helping to restore the Air Nation. He became the figurehead of the new Air Nation, representing it in global affairs. However, this also led to conflicts, such as when he helped airbenders escape from Earth Queen Hou-Ting's custody, leading to tensions with the Earth Kingdom.
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Early life[]

Aang, Katara, and their children

Tenzin stood for a photo with his family when he was a baby.

As the only airbender to be born in over a hundred years, Tenzin was extensively taught the traditions and customs of the Air Nomads by his father and eventually earned the traditional Air Nomad arrow tattoos, symbolizing his status as an airbending master. Tenzin inherited most of his father's mementos prior to Aang's death.[9] As a child, Tenzin was often the victim of Bumi and Kya's teasing, who liked to play rough games with him,[5] though the siblings still maintained a healthy relationship, and Tenzin was supportive of Kya when she revealed her sexual orientation to him.[10]

By the mid-130s AG, Tenzin still had not earned his arrows. One day, he noticed two young vandals defacing the airbending gates on Air Temple Island with graffiti and went after them on his glider, fighting them off at the docks of Republic City. He and the criminals were arrested by the Republic City Police and brought to Toph's office. Tenzin explained why he had done what he did, but Toph told him that he should have reported the issue instead of dealing out vigilante justice. Avatar Aang arrived at Toph's office and offered to take charge of the vandals, as the crime was on Air Nation territory. On the way back, Tenzin apologized and said that he should not have used violence or used his bending to attack people who deserved it, believing this was the reason why he had not earned his arrows yet. Aang told him that he could never be a disappointment, and that while he did not want Tenzin to bear the responsibility of carrying on the Air Nation, he trusted him with it. The two airbenders and the other kids then carried out conflict mediation in the style of the Air Nomads, with the offender and victim meeting one another before cleansing the air. Tenzin and the vandals therefore worked toward a resolution by cleaning the gates together.[11]

In 158 AG, after Korra's identity as the new Avatar was revealed, Tenzin joined forces with Southern Chief Sokka, Fire Lord Zuko, and Korra's father, Tonraq, to prevent a kidnapping threat forged by Zaheer, Ghazan, Ming-Hua, and P'Li. They were able to defeat and apprehend the criminals and imprison them in four separate and specially-designed prisons that would neutralize their combative abilities. Because of this threat, Tenzin and Tonraq decided to move Korra to the Southern Water Tribe compound where she could safely train.[12]

Tenzin has been friends with Lin Beifong since they were children and, at one point, the two were a couple.[13] However, their romantic relationship eventually deteriorated, partially because Tenzin wanted children while Lin did not.[14] As their relationship was slowly falling apart, Pema approached the airbender and confessed her feelings for him, causing Tenzin to break up with Lin and start a new relationship with Pema instead.[15] Tenzin and Pema eventually married, and by 170 AG, their family consisted of three children: two daughters, Jinora and Ikki, a son named Meelo, and a fourth child on the way. He succeeded an Air Acolyte in being the representative of the Air Nation on the United Republic Council.

170 AG[]

Main article: History of Tenzin (119 AG - 170 AG)
Tenzin reassuring Korra

Tenzin reassured Korra that it was all right to struggle with airbending.

After Avatar Korra successfully completed her training in the other three elements, Tenzin started her airbending training after she had followed him to Republic City.[4] When it became time for the first lesson, Tenzin theorized that Korra's struggles to learn airbending were because the art was opposite of her hotheaded nature and he emphasized that she just needed to be patient. Both parties soon became frustrated, however, as they often clashed about the reasons for Korra's inability to airbend and about how the teenage girl should spend her free time.[16]

After Korra returned from an Equalist rally and stated how Amon had succeeded in taking away someone's bending ability, Tenzin stated that the revolution was more dangerous than ever.[17] As a council member, Tenzin tried his best to avoid anti-nonbender measures to be taken, though he was unable to prevent Tarrlok from forming his task force to attack Amon head-on. After Korra publicly challenged Amon to a duel, Tenzin tried to dissuade her, to no avail, and afterward offered her comfort when she cried in fear of Amon.[18]

Tenzin airbending

Tenzin used his airbending to evade the attacks of the mecha tanks.

After this encounter, Tenzin and the rest of the United Republic Council were threatened by Amon to shut down the Pro-bending Arena or face "severe consequences". Despite Tenzin's disapproval, the rest of the Council voted to keep the arena open, which proved to be catastrophic as Amon and his Equalists blew up part of the arena in their attack.[13] With Lin and Korra's help, Tenzin discovered that Hiroshi Sato had ties to the Equalists, though the ensuing confrontation nearly led to their capture.[19]

When Korra was kidnapped, Tenzin set out to find her, together with Lin, Asami, Mako, and Bolin. After they discovered an Equalist hideout and rescued several captured Republic City Police officers, Tenzin realized that Tarrlok was the one who was holding Korra captive. They eventually found the Avatar as she was being carried through the city by Naga.[20]

Tenzin and his children captured

Tenzin and his three eldest children were captured by Amon.

Soon after, the city came under attack. Tenzin only narrowly managed to evade being captured and was forced to flee the city with his family.[7] However, they ended up being captured and Amon was about to take their bending when Korra and Mako saved them, though it cost Korra her bending abilities. After Korra regained her bending and gave Lin her earthbending back by using energybending, Tenzin, who had been in awe watching her, walked up to her and told her "I am so proud of you, Avatar Korra."[21]

171 AG[]

Main article: History of Tenzin (171 AG - Harmonic Convergence)
Tenzin bidding farewell to Korra

Tenzin bowed before Korra, sadly bidding her farewell.

Six months after the Anti-bending Revolution, Tenzin traveled with Korra and his family to the Southern Water Tribe for the Glacier Spirits Festival. When Korra learned that Tenzin was partially behind the decision for her to grow up in the secluded Southern Water Tribe compound, her relationship with him became strained. When the airbending master failed to subdue a dark spirit, Korra accepted Unalaq as her spiritual mentor in Tenzin's place. While Korra remained at the South Pole, Tenzin left for the Southern Air Temple with his family and siblings,[5] where he visited the hall of Avatar statues with his children.[22]

When Ikki ran away after a conflict with her siblings, Tenzin and his siblings set out to look for her, though it did not take long before they too ran into trouble with each other. Tenzin told his siblings to go back to the temple to see if Ikki had come back while he would continue looking for her alone.[23] When he eventually found her in a cave with four flying bison calves, they had a talk about family with each other and concluded that while every family has its ups and downs, they would always be there for each other. The duo returned and reunited with their respective siblings.[24] The rest of their stay at the Southern Air Temple was quite relaxing, with Tenzin teaching Meelo how to train ring-tailed winged-lemurs.[25]

Tenzin confesses

After failing to guide Korra into the Spirit World, Tenzin sadly admitted that he had never entered it before.

While staying at the Eastern Air Temple, Tenzin reunited with Korra, who brought him up to speed on the Water Tribe Civil War and Unalaq's intentions to free Vaatu during Harmonic Convergence. Tenzin tried to help Korra to cross over into the Spirit World, though he was unable to do so and reluctantly deferred the task to his eldest daughter, Jinora, while he and his siblings would guard their bodies.[26] However, when only Korra returned from the Spirit World, Tenzin grew alarmed for the well-being of his daughter.[27] Horrified to learn that Jinora's soul was trapped in the Spirit World by Unalaq, Tenzin and his allies set out toward the South Pole to enter the Spirit World through the spirit portal there.[28]

Tenzin finding spiritual enlightenment

When Tenzin finally decided to step out of his father's shadow, the reflection transformed into one of himself.

While Jinora's physical body was left in Katara's care, Tenzin, Bumi, Kya, Korra, Mako, and Bolin made it into the Spirit World, where Tenzin and his siblings split off from the teenagers in order to locate Jinora's spirit. After wandering through the Spirit World for a while, they were found by Iroh and Tenzin deduced from the elder's cryptic warning that Jinora was being kept in the Fog of Lost Souls. After losing track of Kya and Bumi in the dangerous mental prison, Tenzin began to desperately cling to his views on who he was until he was met by a manifestation of Aang, who made him realize that he should not try to be anyone but himself. Understanding what Aang meant, Tenzin found clarity and was able to escape the fog with his daughter and siblings.

Tenzin consoling Korra

Tenzin consoled Korra after her defeat, reminding her that she was not defined by the Avatar spirit, but by her own spirit.

After finding and healing Korra, Mako, and Bolin, Tenzin learned that Raava had been destroyed and Korra's connection to her past lives severed. The airbending master brought her to the Tree of Time, where he reminded her that it was not Raava that defined her but her own accomplishments. When Korra subsequently used energybending to create an astral projection of herself and left to fight the Dark Avatar, Tenzin and the others defended her body against countless dark spirits until she returned. When the battle was over and the Avatar Spirit restored, Tenzin noticed that Korra hesitated to close the portals and encouraged her to do what she felt was right, whereupon she decided against closing the portals.[29]

Post-Harmonic Convergence[]

Discovery of airbenders[]

Two weeks after Harmonic Convergence, Republic City was still overgrown with spirit vines from Vaatu's attack. When Korra futilely attempted to clear away with firebending, Tenzin remained optimistic that she would find a solution. When they returned to Air Temple Island, Bumi claimed that he could airbend, though Tenzin did not believe him. However, Bumi continued insisting it was true as they had dinner. Figuring that his bending would activate if his life was in danger, Bumi requested that Bolin earthbend boulders against him, which Tenzin forbade. However, Meelo complied with his uncle's request and threw a plate at him, which Bumi miraculously stopped in mid-air with airbending, much to everyone's astonishment. The next day, Korra postulated that entering the Spirit World could have given Bumi the ability to airbend, where Tenzin contemplated whether or not Korra's theory is valid; Tenzin's children merely suggested to their father that their uncle was possibly just a late bloomer. Later the group was informed by Lin and Mako that there was another airbender in the city and on the run because of his new abilities. Tenzin later reflected with his children on the idea of them no longer being the only airbenders in the world.

Tenzin later found Korra meditating in an attempt to reconnect with her past lives for a solution on how to remove the spirit vines with no success. She began considering whether she had made a mistake in leaving the portals open, but Tenzin consoled her, telling her that her fulfilling her duties as the Avatar would not please everybody. Bolin soon arrived and informed them that the new airbender had turned up on the city bridge. After Korra rescued the airbender, Tenzin offered to train him.[30]

Tenzin solicits for airbenders

With the emergence of new airbenders, Tenzin desperately attempted to recruit them to rebuild the Air Nation.

The next day, Asami brought in an airship for Team Avatar to use to search for more airbenders. However, everywhere they went, none of the new airbenders seemed interested in leaving their previous lives and training at the Northern Air Temple. Bolin suggested that they put up a circus act at the next town, and the group succeeded in drawing out an orphaned airbender boy named Kai. Just as they accepted Kai into their group, the local sheriff and his deputies arrived and revealed that Kai was, in fact, a thief who had stolen his adoptive family's life savings. The sheriff intended to put Kai in prison; however, in exchange for returning the life savings to Kai's family, Korra convinced Tenzin to accept Kai as his ward to turn over a new leaf with Team Avatar.[31]

In Ba Sing Se[]

As the group neared Ba Sing Se, Korra asked Tenzin about the Earth Queen, to which the airbender replied that he had not met her, but heard that she could be demanding. Upon arriving, the group was personally greeted by Grand Secretariat Gun, who led them to their guest house while giving a lengthy list of rules for interacting with the queen. Shortly after they settled into the house, they realized that Kai was missing. As the others wondered if he was even worth searching for, Tenzin argued that despite the boy's shortcomings, he was still their first recruit and they could not lose him.[32]

Mako talks about Lake Laogai

Tenzin discussed the possible whereabouts of the missing airbenders along with the other members of Team Avatar.

Two days later, Tenzin learned from Korra that the queen, Hou-Ting, had been conscripting the city's airbenders into her army. Like the rest of the group, Tenzin glared at Bumi after he suggested that the queen had a right to do so. Mako suggested that the airbenders could have been held under Lake Laogai, and Jinora told her father and the group that she could still use her spiritual projection to get underneath the lake, much to Tenzin's shock.

Team Avatar made their way to Lake Laogai and, before his daughter began her meditation, Tenzin advised her to return to her mortal body if anything were to go wrong. When she returned, she informed Tenzin and Korra that nothing was down there. The airbending master was left frustrated, realizing that the Dai Li could be holding the airbenders anywhere in the city. When Korra suggested that Jinora and Kai had a connection, Tenzin wondered what that could mean as Jinora attempted to meditate and reach locate Kai again.

After Jinora discovered that the airbenders were being held under the Earth Queen's Temple, the team reconvened at their home, with Tenzin believing they needed to free them that night. When they heard a knock at the door, Tenzin opened it, and was shocked to see that it was Lin who had dropped by. The police chief informed them that Korra was in danger and needed to leave Ba Sing Se due to the escape of Zaheer and his allies. When Korra asked who these people were, Tenzin answered by telling her of the criminals' kidnapping attempt, subsequent imprisonment, and why he and Tonraq placed her in the training compound. The Avatar refused to leave however, instead desiring to continue with Tenzin's plan to free the airbenders, which Lin agreed to join.

Team Avatar ambushes guards

Tenzin and the members of Team Avatar ambushed two Royal Earthbender Guards to infiltrate the Earth Queen's Temple.

That night, Team Avatar infiltrated the Earth Queen's Temple, easily defeating two Royal Earthbender Guards. Once underground, the group split up, with Tenzin, Bumi, and Korra going to free the majority of the airbenders after advising the other half to radio them if anything went wrong. When Tenzin and Korra entered the airbenders' barracks, they wondered what the two were doing there, with Tenzin trying to calm them down and informing them that they were being freed. They watched as the benders left the barracks, Tenzin assuring one of them that Kai was also going to be released. Soon, they all found their way above ground, and began to make their escape. However, they soon found themselves surrounded by Dai Li agents and the Earth Queen, who ordered the agents to attack the group when Korra refused to turn the airbenders over. Tenzin joined in the effort to hold off the agents as Lin's police airship made its way overhead and the benders fled to it. Tenzin and Korra soon worked to blast Dai Li agents off the scaffolding of the temple as the airship made its way away from it with the airbenders in tow. Upon seeing Oogi, the master airbender whistled for his companion, and he and Korra propelled themselves onto the bison's saddle. Shortly thereafter, the other members of the team, including Kai, launched to the flying bison with Bolin's earthbending, enabling a full escape of the city.

The morning after, Tenzin offered the airbenders either safe refuge or relocation to the Northern Air Temple to learn the ways of the Air Nomads. Much to his happiness, they all chose the latter option. Before he left, Tenzin assured Korra that she was making friends and had done well before embracing her. He soon departed for the air temple aboard Asami's Future Industries airship.[12] Settled in, Tenzin messaged Kya at Air Temple Island, informing her that he was with a group of airbenders at the Northern Air Temple and wished for his family and the Republic City airbenders to join them there.[33]

Training the new airbenders[]

Tenzin annoyed

Tenzin grew frustrated with his class of new airbenders, as none of them, save for the Air Acolyte Otaku, showed any interest in Air Nomad history and even Jinora had to laugh at Bumi's distraction.

At the Northern Air Temple, Tenzin tried telling the new airbenders about the tale of Monk Tang Xu's legendary fast, but to his dismay, only one airbender, Otaku, showed any interest in the lesson. He tried to ask the group which island the fasting took place on, but only Otaku knew the answer. As he tried to continue with the lesson, he found his teachings mocked by Bumi, inciting laughter among the class and, to the master's further frustration, Jinora. Tenzin was able to catch the group's attention by riding around on Oogi and performing tricks, though warned an excited Kai that they needed years of training, in addition to there not being enough bison for them. After they saw a herd of the animals, Tenzin further cautioned them that they were wild and would again require years of training to tame.

Tenzin being informed

Tenzin was informed by Kya and Pema about Zaheer's infiltration at Air Temple Island.

Before he could continue his lesson, however, Ikki, Meelo, Pema, and Kya arrived with the airbenders from Air Temple Island, and Tenzin dismissed his class in annoyance, as he noticed that they were all distracted by their anxiousness to see them. Meeting up with his family, he asked his wife and sister how things were in the city and was informed by the former about Zaheer's infiltration of Air Temple Island. He was assured that everyone was all right although Zaheer managed to escape and take the locket of Guru Laghima with him. After he helped Kya with the correct pronunciation of the guru's name, she expressed her confusion regarding all the gurus, and Tenzin grew annoyed when she inquired if he remembered the "long and boring" story of the guru who never ate, gruffly saying that he recalled it. Their conversation was cut short, however, when Tenzin was called away by an Air Acolyte who informed him that Korra was calling on the temple's radio.

Tenzin asked Korra if everything was all right and where they were; he found out they were in Zaofu and that Lin's half-sister, Suyin, had an airbending daughter, Opal, who would be headed his way, much to his pleasure. He was briefly left with an awkward feeling, however, when Bolin jumped on and fawned over Opal. Once Korra regained control, she asked him how the training was going. The airbender expressed his disappointment over the students' lack of interest in the training. At her suggestion of letting Bumi help out because of his military command experience, he was baffled, noting that he believed him to be his worst student. Once she explained about his enjoyment of organizing and how he could trick his brother into thinking it was all his idea, Tenzin agreed and called her wise.

Bumi advising Tenzin

Following Korra's advice, Tenzin asked Bumi for advice on how to motivate the new airbenders.

Tenzin approached Bumi for leadership advice. His brother advised him that he would need military discipline: he must break them down and build them back up, rule them with an iron fist, and show them who the master was. Tenzin thanked him and, the next morning followed up on his advice. He woke the airbenders at dawn with a large blast from a horn before leading them on an exhausting ten-mile hike, but he kept them pushing onward to meditation lessons, saying the chilled group could warm themselves with their breathing. He promptly dismissed Bumi's concerns, going right into meditation.

The airbender followed up by leading them to a training area for a balancing exercise. He demonstrated the proper form by shooting up onto a small post on one leg, explaining they would need to maintain their connection with heaven and earth while balancing like a feather in the air. He ordered them to stay on the posts and concentrate; when Bumi fell, Tenzin got in his face and told him to get right up, asking him angrily if he could not handle it while calling him a soldier. He assured a concerned Jinora that they would be able to take it, while advising Otaku, who was covered in lemurs, to keep concentrating.

Tenzin yelling at Bumi

Now following Bumi's advice, Tenzin started teaching with an iron fist, yelling at his students and dismissing their complaints.

Later, he shaved Daw's head while explaining that, with one's head shaved, an airbender could feel the wind around them. As the rest of the group showed some reluctance to shave their heads, Tenzin was quick to elaborate that they did not need to as it was a personal choice, much to Daw's surprise, who had not been aware of the fact that he had had the option to refuse. When no one else opted to have a haircut, Tenzin moved them right on to the obstacle course. He was warned by his daughter that he was pushing too hard, but again assured her all was under control before walking away. As the students attempted the course, he advised them that airbenders needed to move like the wind. While they crossed a field of cacti, he stated they would need to stay on their feet. Once everyone except Bumi had made it up, Tenzin warned his brother that failing to complete the course in thirty seconds would mean everyone would have to run it again. After Bumi fell, Tenzin told him to get right back on the wall, prompting the retired commander to quit out of anger. Tenzin dismissed him, saying they did not need his attitude. Upon several complaints from the other recruits, he snapped at them and told Jinora to take over, telling her she was the master and to lead them through basic exercises. Jinora wondered when she could get her tattoos, the idea having been brought to her by Kai, but the master snapped again, believing Kai had no knowledge of when one got their tattoos. He told her she was still a little girl and thus could not get them, but his daughter snapped back and walked away. Tenzin subsequently told Ikki and Meelo to lead them through the Ba Gua circle.

Tenzin retired to a small room for meditation, muttering in frustration about his daughter's and Bumi's actions while trying to focus. When Pema approached him, he lamented over his apparent failure while wondering why the new airbenders could not understand his goals. His wife reminded him that they were not necessarily Air Nomads, while telling him about her first worrisome night as an Air Acolyte, though Tenzin said the hard beds she had to lie on were better for one's back. This only served to annoy her, and Tenzin promptly apologized. His wife continued, recalling her need to adjust and advising him to be patient as they dealt with the same. Tenzin came to a realization about his attitude, particularly toward Korra, before thanking his wife and kissing her on the cheek.

Returning to where Bumi and the airbenders were gathered, Tenzin apologized to his brother for losing his patience, but Bumi told him he was not talking to him and walked away. The master tried to tell him to get back there, but just sighed and wondered where Jinora was. He was told that she left with her "boyfriend" on her glider, whom he recognized as Kai.

Searching for Jinora atop Oogi, Tenzin soon spotted a truck riding around the mountain. Upon hearing a cry for help from his daughter toward Kai, Tenzin took action, directing his bison toward the ground. He rammed the truck from the side with Oogi before rescuing Kai. After Kai began attacking the truck's driver, who was the head of a gang of bison rustlers, Tenzin stopped him, advising his student that an airbender did not attack a defenseless foe, though complimented him on his technique.

Tenzin and Bumi reconcile

Tenzin apologized to Bumi for yelling at him and emphasized that he truly was a part of the Air Nation.

That evening, with the bison retrieved and the rustlers captured, Tenzin expressed his pride in Bumi; his connection with the spirits and natural leadership reminded him of their father. The master accepted his brother's apology for being a problem and assured him he was truly a member of the Air Nation. Afterward, he approached Jinora and Kai, telling the two that the bison recognized them to be of their own kind because the animals were the original airbenders. He hugged Jinora, expressing their luck that no one was hurt. He also realized that he had been too hard on his daughter; while unable to believe she could be old enough to earn her tattoos, he promised her he would think about it. Upon watching as the baby bison began to fly, he stated that everyone was growing up.[34]

Ambushed by the Red Lotus[]

Tenzin and his family cornered

Tenzin, his family, and the other airbenders were rounded up in the Northern Air Temple's courtyard to be used as leverage by the Red Lotus to get to Korra.

Sometime later, Tenzin was tending to baby bison when Meelo retrieved him as Korra was calling on the radio from Zaofu. He was warned that Zaheer was on his way to the Northern Air Temple, but upon receiving the message, he noticed the Red Lotus had already arrived. When questioned by Meelo what was happening, he told his son just to stay close as they flew to the courtyard on their gliders. Tenzin found Bumi with a group of airbenders and told his brother to gather up the rest of the benders, get to the bison stables, and evacuate. As he, Pema, and their children tried to leave, they were confronted by Zaheer and gathered, along with the rest of the airbenders, in a courtyard. There, the master asked Zaheer what they wanted from them, only to be told the Red Lotus wanted nothing, which prompted him to ask why they came at all. Upon the criminal telling him he wanted Korra, Tenzin realized he and the airbenders were being used as leverage. Declaring he would not let his foe get to Korra, Tenzin attacked Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua with a powerful gust of air before telling Jinora to lead the airbenders out while asking Kya and Bumi to help him hold the Red Lotus off. After nearly being impacted by a combustion beam from P'Li, he warned everyone to stay out of her line of sight.

Wounded Tenzin

A battle-weary Tenzin declared that he would rather die than let the Red Lotus get to Korra.

Tenzin dueled with Zaheer and went on the offensive, pursuing him up the courtyard walls and firing several blasts of air as he chased Zaheer up the temple and toward the cliff. At a temple's ledge, he briefly knocked the criminal airbender down and dodged counterattacks. Soon after, Zaheer lunged over him and attempted to attack from behind, but Tenzin fought it off and continued to duel along a walkway. The master was able to knock down his foe again while turning on his back, but just as he was about to finish off Zaheer, P'Li shot a combustion beam at the cliff, sending Tenzin flying; he was, however, able to break his fall with airbending. As he recovered, he was hit with shots of water and earth from Ming-Hua and Ghazan, knocking him down. He tried to get back up and defend himself, but was overwhelmed by his foes and knocked down again. Rising a third time, he blasted Zaheer and Ghazan away with airbending and managed to defend against Ming-Hua, but was blasted to a wall by P'Li. Surrounded, badly injured, and barely able to rise, Tenzin nonetheless refused to yield, saying it was not over as long as he was still breathing. He tried another air blast at Zaheer, but it was dodged; he was instead hit by Zaheer in return. Soon, the master found himself relentlessly being attacked by Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua.[35]

Escaping the air temple[]

Asami supporting Tenzin

After being released by Asami, Tenzin was held up by the industrialist.

Tenzin was taken to a small room in the temple and chained to the floor, where he was found by Mako, Bolin, and Asami, who had come to retrieve the airbenders under the terms of Korra and Zaheer's deal. Upon Korra's surrender to the Red Lotus, Bolin and Asami worked to try and free him, only to soon realize the Red Lotus had double-crossed Team Avatar. While the brothers tried to hold Ghazan and Ming-Hua, Asami continued to try and release him, asking him where the airbenders were, to which he replied he did not know as Zaheer moved them out of the temple. Ghazan began using his lavabending to destroy the temple as Tenzin was freed through Asami's hairpins. With the exit blocked off and lava quickly surrounding them, the airbending master informed the team that Oogi and the other bison had been scared away, but let them know of a secret passage out, telling Bolin to bend through a back wall.

The group made their way up the stairs to a meditation room with Mako and Asami supporting Tenzin while Bolin tried to block the lava flow. He pointed them to a door which led to a secret stairwell out of the temple, but on the way down, the hot liquid rapidly approached them. With them unable to outrun it, Bolin tried bending out rocks along the side of the stairwell, but this only led them to the edge of the mountain with nowhere to go as the lava approached them. Bolin, however, was able to bend the lava back and cease its flow, with Tenzin remarking it was incredible. Kai soon approached them on his baby bison, Lefty, much to the master's happiness. The group hopped aboard Lefty and flew away from the collapsing temple; Tenzin watched briefly in sadness as it fell apart.

Kai and Team Avatar

Kai told Tenzin and Team Avatar about the airbenders' probable location.

After meeting up with Lin, Suyin, Tonraq, and members of the Metal Clan, Tenzin was held up by Mako and Lin, asking if Zaheer had escaped with Korra; he was told that was the case and that Zaheer had unlocked flight, much to his shock. He told them about Guru Laghima's rumored ability to fly, but had never believed it to be true. Upon saying they needed to find the airbenders, Kai told them he knew where they were, prompting Tenzin to ask of there whereabouts and how he found them. The younger airbender told him he had seen them being transported by P'Li to a series of caves, where the captives were taken by Red Lotus guards. Unsure of how they could reach them, Tenzin soon spotted Oogi returning and patted his head, glad to see him again. He rode on his bison, along with several others except for Kai, to the caves in question.[36]

Reunion and rescue of Korra[]

After reaching the caves, Tenzin was helped off Oogi by Tonraq and Bolin. He told them to find the airbenders and his family, to which Suyin assured him they would not leave without them. While he watched Korra and Zaheer duel, his family approached him with Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo rushing to hug him, saying he was glad they were all right while assuring Pema he would be fine. He watched as everyone else emerged before continuing to view the duel in the skies. When Bumi asked how Zaheer could fly, Tenzin explained the criminal had unlocked airbending powers that had not existed for thousands of years. He soon played spectator as Jinora rallied up the airbenders to create a tornado to save Korra from Zaheer's grasp and also as Suyin saved the Avatar by extracting a metallic poisonous substance from her body.[37]

Anointing Jinora[]

Two weeks later and fully recovered, Tenzin returned to Air Temple Island with his family, joining them, the Beifong sisters, Korra's family, Zuko, and Raiko as Asami wheeled the debilitated Avatar out to them. He told her she was looking stronger every day. He assured a concerned Raiko she would be fine, needing time to heal from the effects of the poison, though pondered who could protect the world as the Avatar healed.

Jinora hugs Tenzin

Tenzin was embraced by Jinora after he officially anointed her an airbending master.

At Jinora's ceremony, Tenzin expressed his pride in her, praising her for never giving up hope and demonstrating leadership when the fate of the Air Nation and the Avatar hung in the balance. He stated the future was bright and praised Korra as well for opening the portals and reviving the nation in addition to her willingness to lay down her life for them. He announced that, while she recuperated, the Air Nation would return to its nomadic roots but would serve people of all nations to help restore balance and peace. He vowed to Korra they would follow in her footsteps and bring harmony to the world before revealing Jinora's master tattoos, declaring his daughter would lead them in their new path. As the ceremony reached its conclusion, Tenzin was embraced by Jinora.[37]

Tenzin and a frustrated Korra

Tenzin tried to console a frustrated Korra, though had little success.

After the ceremony, Tenzin joined Jinora, Asami, Bolin, and Mako on the ferry dock to say goodbye to Korra, who was set to board a ship heading toward the Southern Water Tribe. He urged Korra to not worry about anything other than her recovery, emphasizing that he, his daughter, and the airbenders had everything under control. Months later, he journeyed to the Southern Water Tribe compound, where he was warmly welcomed by Korra, who excitedly dragged him toward the training grounds to show him how much she had improved. When her duel with three firebenders did not turn out well, Tenzin interfered, telling her opponents the sparring match was over. Helping Korra to her feet, he tried to console her by saying that there was no shame in taking the time needed to recover and that her duties as the Avatar could wait. He acknowledged that Korra wanted to help, though emphasized that everything was under control. Before he could tell her she merely needed to be patient, however, she cut him off and threatened to "water smack" him in the face if he dared to finish that sentence, prompting him to say that she needed to stop worrying about the future and focus on the progress she had made.[38]

With the Earth Kingdom in need of a leader after Hou-Ting's assassination, Tenzin traveled to Zaofu with President Raiko in order to convince Suyin to take control of the situation. He pointed out that she was the perfect person to take charge as the world leaders trusted her and as a Beifong, she had credibility in the Earth Kingdom. Although they failed to rally Suyin, Tenzin and the other world leaders made Kuvira the provisional head of the Earth Kingdom after she proved herself by stabilizing Ba Sing Se.[39]

174 AG[]

Preparing for Wu's coronation[]

In the three years following the insurrection of the Red Lotus, Tenzin made good on his promise to Korra and sent members of the Air Nation around the Earth Kingdom to help where needed. When he was contacted in 174 AG by the governor of Yi, he sent Kai and Opal out to deal with their situation.

Raiko, Wu, Lin, and Tenzin

Tenzin, Raiko, and Lin tried to reassure Prince Wu that his return to the Earth Kingdom was nearly without danger.

Meanwhile, Tenzin remained in Republic City and attended the opening of the renovated Central City Station with his family, holding Rohan on his shoulders. After the ribbon-cutting, the airbending master informed Prince Wu, the future king of the Earth Kingdom, that the United Forces would escort him to Ba Sing Se after his coronation. When the prince outed his doubts about the safety of his return, Tenzin attempted to assure Wu by stating that the roving bandits were "mostly" dispersed, though this failed to assure the prince.

That evening, Tenzin enjoyed dinner back at Air Temple Island together with his family, Asami, Mako, Lin, Wu, and the presidential couple, during which he was unimpressed by his eldest son's proclamation that he had turned into a man and would be unrecognizable to Korra due to that. When an Air Acolyte notified everyone that a Southern Water Tribe ship was pulling up at the dock, Tenzin smiled in anticipation of seeing Korra again. As he made his way out with everyone else, he shook Tonraq's hand, warmly welcoming him back to the city and stating how excited everyone was to see the Avatar again. When the Southern chief confusedly asked if Korra was not already there, Tenzin stated that they were under the impression that she would come back with him. Upon hearing that Korra had left the South six months prior and had written her father letters about being in the city, Tenzin assured Tonraq that they had not seen Korra, leaving everyone to wonder worriedly about the Avatar's whereabouts.[40]

The day before Wu's coronation as the fifty-fourth Earth Monarch, Tenzin arrived at City Hall, where he found Mako and Raiko eyeing a dancing Wu and dryly remarked that the prince was "becoming accustomed to the burdens of leadership". Tenzin's attention was drawn away from the prince by Raiko asking him if he had any updates regarding Korra's whereabouts. Having to respond negatively, he assured the president that he had airbenders all over the world on the lookout for her, hoping they would track the Avatar down soon. Tenzin was also concerned about the reports he had heard about Kuvira's growing military and the fact that she was throwing some of her dissenters into prison camps. Although Raiko reassured him that Kuvira was stepping down the following day and that they could then correct any mistakes she might have made, Tenzin was not entirely convinced and stated he would feel better if Korra were there.

Raiko and Tenzin

Concerned about Kuvira's declaration of usurping power in the Earth Kingdom, Tenzin shared a worried glance with Raiko.

The next day, Tenzin sat on the podium with the rest of the world leaders from where he witnessed Wu's coronation as the fifty-fourth Earth Monarch. As Kuvira gave her speech after receiving the Kyoshi Medal of Freedom, he glanced at Raiko, who was sitting next to him, in concern when the metalbender announced that she had no intention to relinquish the power over the Earth Kingdom to the newly crowned king, denouncing his authority altogether and appointing herself as the leader of the new Earth Empire. Concerned about Kuvira's declarations, Tenzin and the world leaders convened after the coronation and agreed to send Suyin Beifong as their representative to speak with Kuvira and convince her to step down.

Reunion with Korra[]

When Tenzin returned to Air Temple Island, he gathered his three eldest children in the meditation pavilion and tasked them to bring Korra home, as the world would need its Avatar with conflict coming to the Earth Kingdom.[41] As his children prepared to leave on Pepper the next day, Tenzin said to his wife that he could not accompany them as Raiko had asked him to stay behind and help find a diplomatic solution for Kuvira's actions. As Jinora hugged him goodbye, Tenzin inquired if she had been able to get a read on Korra's spiritual energy. Although the answer was negative, he was assured that she would be able to track Korra within a few days. When the three children mounted the flying bison, Tenzin reminded Ikki and Meelo that Jinora was in charge before watching them all take off, hugging Pema in comfort.[42]

Tenzin reuniting with Korra

After her long absence, Tenzin warmly embraced Korra and welcomed her home.

Upon the return of his children a short week later, Tenzin warmly hugged Ikki and praised them all on a job well done. When Meelo asked if he was proud enough of them to bestow him with his mastery tattoos, Tenzin candidly answered negatively, before moving to greet Korra with a hug, welcoming her home. He immediately asked her about the events that occurred in Zaofu, a question for which he was chastised by his brother for ruining the happy reunion. When Korra revealed that she felt like a failure for not being able to stop Kuvira, Tenzin pointed out that no one expected her to face the army commander by herself and that it was all of their responsibility to find a way to deal with Kuvira. He revealed that everyone was just glad to have her back.[43]

Later, Tenzin overheard Korra's conversation with Asami in which she told the engineer that she had failed to change anything in the world as it was more out of balance than ever. Much to the young women's surprise, he agreed with her on the fact that there would always be new conflicts and enemies to face, though he pointing out that the importance of it all was to learn from past enemies and better oneself over time, which was something she had done. He noted that Korra had matured from a hot-headed and slightly selfish person to a thoughtful young woman who placed the needs of others before her own and had become an inspiration to the world.[44]

Hostile spirit vines[]

World leaders at City Hall

As Raiko proposed a preemptive attack on Kuvira after learning of her super weapon, Tenzin declared that the Air Nation would not help in such an assault.

Weeks after Kuvira annexed Zaofu and effectively reunited the entire Earth Kingdom under the name of her Earth Empire, Tenzin attended a meeting between the world leaders, sans the Water Tribe's representatives, at City Hall to discuss their course of action to stop Kuvira. He raised a skeptical eyebrow at Wu's suggestion to capture Kuvira with the ruse of having won a tropical vacation, silently shooting down the idea. When Raiko suggested taking the fight to her, Tenzin opposed the idea, since the metalbender had yet to undertake any aggressive actions against the United Republic. As Korra later interrupted their meeting and grew offended over the fact that Wu had been invited to take part in the discussion whereas she was left out, he tried to calm her down by pointing out that she should not take it personally and explained that they merely believed they had called her back into action a little too soon. After Varrick and Bolin interrupted the meeting as well and revealed that Kuvira was working on a spirit vine-charged super weapon, a revelation that prompted Raiko to conclude they needed to launch a preemptive strike on the master metalbender, Tenzin sternly told the president that his airbenders would not take part in such an unprovoked attack, a stance in which he was supported by Fire Lord Izumi.

Korra and a worried Tenzin

Worried about Jinora's wellbeing, Tenzin was reluctant to allow Korra to face Zaheer, fearing she would be harmed as well.

After it became apparent that Jinora had been taken captive by hostile spirit vines, Tenzin traveled toward Republic City's Spirit Wilds, where Korra told him she wanted to face Zaheer. Tenzin opposed the request, however, deeming it to be too dangerous. He reasoned that Zaheer could not be trusted, even if he was locked up. He refuted Korra's statement that it was the only way for her to save Jinora, Ryu, and the other tourists, since he planned on calling Tonraq and ask him to lead an expedition into the Spirit World from the Southern portal. When Korra believed his refusal to stem from a loss of faith in her, Tenzin clarified that he was worried about Jinora and could not bear the thought of something happening to Korra as well. Upon her urging that she would be all right, he reluctantly revealed the location of Zaheer's prison and stated he would call Raiko to get her the necessary clearance, for which she hugged him.

Tenzin remained at the entrance of the Spirit Wilds, where he warmly embraced Jinora when she made her way out of the vegetation with the rest of the tourist group. Learning that it had been Korra who had saved them, he smiled fondly at the thought.[45]

Stopping Kuvira[]

Family hug

Tenzin was thankful for the support he received from his family and embraced them warmly.

When Asami and Varrick had come up with a new weapon to defend the United Republic, Tenzin met up with them, Korra, Mako, and Wu at President Raiko's office.[46] Days later, he attended a new meeting with that group, sans the inventors, to discuss the city's evacuation progress, though it was interrupted by Lin, Suyin, Zhu Li, and Bolin. When the latter informed them that Kuvira's spirit energy cannon was ready and Zhu Li added that Kuvira planned to attack the city two weeks later, Tenzin grew alarmed. With the evacuation now made mandatory, he returned to his family at Air Temple Island and asked them why they had yet to pack their luggage. When Pema informed him that she and his three eldest children wanted to stay and help out, Tenzin embraced them all and thanked them for their support. He suggested that Pema could help out Prince Wu with the evacuation, while Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo could help the other airbenders keep track of the progress of Kuvira's army from above.

Tenzin prepared the attic of the tower on the island to serve as President Raiko's base of operations. When Team Avatar approached him, Lin, and Raiko and announced that they intended to try and take out the spirit energy cannon before it reached the city, Tenzin shot down the idea, reasoning that it was an unnecessary risk, considering the evacuation of the citizens was on schedule and General Iroh was deploying his troops. Despite his reluctance, he let them take a flying bison and leave on their mission. He grew worried, however, when the team already returned the following day and was told that Kuvira's army would arrive in a couple of hours, a week ahead of schedule. Concerned about all the people still in the city, he ordered his wife to immediately find Wu and increase their efforts to evacuate the remaining citizens.

Airbender stealth team

Tenzin was selected by Korra to be part of her airbender stealth team tasked with kidnapping Baatar Jr..

Together with the other airbenders, Tenzin awaited the arrival of Kuvira's army from the top of a roof that gave them a vantage point over the battlefield. Although he had been warned about Kuvira's spirit weapon being attached to an enormous mecha suit known as the Colossus, he was still unnerved to see the actual machine. Witnessing the cannon destroying the United Forces' fleet in a matter of seconds, Tenzin and the airbenders retreated to the Future Industries factory where Varrick and Zhu Li were monitoring the manufacturing of the hummingbird mecha suits. When Korra later joined them, alerting them that Raiko had surrendered the city and his army, he agreed with her that kidnapping Baatar Jr. and forcing him to reveal the weaknesses of the Colossus and the cannon was their best option. He was chosen by her to be part of the stealth airbender team tasked with carrying out that mission. While Jinora and Kai stood guard atop the airship transporting Baatar Jr., he, Bumi, and Korra infiltrated the vessel. They swiftly overpowered the nonbender and after binding and gagging him, Tenzin and Bumi soared off with their wingsuits, carrying the bag with Baatar Jr. between them. Back at the Future Industries factory, he stood by as Korra eventually managed to force Baatar Jr. to contact Kuvira to call off her conquest, though Tenzin had to run for his life moments later when Kuvira traced the radio signal back to their location and blew it up with her spirit energy cannon.[47]

Airbenders attack Kuvira's mecha suit

Together with nine other airbenders and Korra, Tenzin tried to blow the Colossus off balance.

Tenzin managed to survive the explosion and emerged from the rubble with everyone else when Bolin lifted a large piece of concrete. He quickly assessed Kuvira's progress from atop a rooftop and alerted everyone that she was heading their way with a battalion of mecha suits. While Asami and Varrick attempted to adapt the prototypes of the hummingbird mecha suits in Asami's office to get them airborne, he and the other benders faced Kuvira and her army in an attempt to stop them or at the very least, slow them down. On Meelo's urging, Tenzin and the other airbenders equipped themselves with balloons filled with paint. Upon reaching the Colossus, they dropped the balloons on the suit's windows, momentarily obscuring its vision. Tenzin signaled Lin, Wei, and Wing on the ground to try metalbending the joints of the suit, though they soon discovered the joints were made out of platinum and thus impervious to their bending. After Wei and Wing tied the machine's legs together with metal cables and Bolin gave the signal, Tenzin and the other airbenders blasted the suit with air currents in an attempt to knock it off balance. The suit managed to stabilize itself, however, forcing him and the others to flee when Kuvira fired her spirit cannon at them. Sitting dazed on the ground, Jinora checked up on him to see if he was all right, before they all retreated to Asami's office, where a new plan was formed: the benders would relentlessly attack the Colossus to distract Kuvira and enable the two hummingbird mecha suits to land on the enormous machine and cut a hole in it without being crushed.

Meelo saving Tenzin

Tenzin was saved by Meelo from plummeting to the ground after he was rendered unconscious by narrowly missing a beam from the spirit energy cannon.

As such, when Kuvira aimed her cannon at Korra, Tenzin, his airbending children, Bumi, Kai, Daw, and another female airbender worked together to form a tornado in their wake and swoop down on the weaponized arm of the suit, knocking it off balance and distorting its aim. While he soared away, however, he noticed that Jinora came within range of the cannon herself. At the last second, he swooped down on her, pushing her out of the beam's trajectory, though the proximity of the blast knocked them both unconscious and they plummeted down. Before they could fall on the ground, Jinora was saved by Ikki and Meelo grabbed a hold of Tenzin and positioned himself underneath his father. By airbending at the ground from his feet, Meelo managed to break both their falls and they landed safely, where Tenzin regained consciousness.[48]

Ultimately, their diversion worked and while Korra, Mako, Bolin, Lin, and Suyin managed to infiltrate the enormous suit, Tenzin was supported by Jinora, while he and his children made their way through the streets of the city. Before they could reach a safe place, however, a wave of energy, caused by the firing of the spirit energy cannon inside Republic City's Spirit Wilds, bore down upon them and they were forced to flee inside the hall of a nearby building, where they all huddled down and Tenzin protected his children against the incoming smoke. As it cleared out, Tenzin was supported by Jinora once again and they made their way to the heart of the Spirit Wilds, where he was surprised to find a new spirit portal. Realizing Korra and Kuvira were nowhere to be found, Tenzin, Team Avatar, and their allies set out to search the area for the Avatar. When Mako reported that there was no sign of her, he quickly ordered them to keep looking, before calling for Korra himself. He was surprised to see all the spirits return a moment later and, when Korra supported Kuvira while emerging from the spirit portal, he was glad to see her again. After Kuvira was handcuffed and escorted away, Tenzin joined his friends and family in the group hug they bestowed on Korra.

Proud Tenzin

Tenzin praised Korra for all that she had already accomplished in her time as the Avatar.

Tenzin later allowed Varrick and Zhu Li to host their wedding on Air Temple Island and attended the wedding ceremony, where he sat between his wife and Lin. During the dinner party, he was seated at the same table as Tonraq and Senna and the presidential couple. When Korra had distanced herself from the party, gazing out to the night skyline of Republic City, he approached her, stating that he had spoken to President Raiko, who planned to announce the following day that they would expand the city rather than rebuild downtown. He complimented her on having transformed the world more in the few years she had been an active Avatar than most of her predecessors did in their lifetimes. Tenzin was pleased to hear Korra say that she felt like she had only begun her journey and that there was more that she desired to learn and do, taking it as a sign of hope. He lovingly placed a hand on her shoulder after she reflected on the purpose of the suffering she had gone through. Their moment was interrupted by Asami, however, who stated that Varrick was looking for him. Learning that the eccentric businessman desired to borrow a wingsuit and jump off the tower, Tenzin immediately ran to find him and prevent that from happening.[49]

Aiding Republic City's evacuees[]

Zhu Li leading the evacuee camp

Tenzin volunteered at the temporary evacuee camp.

In the aftermath of Kuvira's defeat, Tenzin and the rest of the Air Nation helped out at the evacuee camp that formed on the outskirts of Republic City where a multitude of evacuees had found a new, temporary home. Inside one of the tents, he listened attentively to Zhu Li, who had assumed leadership of the camp, but before he could commence his tasks for the day, he discovered Korra and Asami walking into their tent. He warmly welcomed them back, enveloping Korra in a warm hug, and expresses his hope that both women felt refreshed from their well-deserved vacation to the Spirit World. When Korra asked in return how things were in the city, Tenzin commended Zhu Li's efforts to regulate the relief efforts for the evacuees as President Raiko was being completely preoccupied with his presidential reelection campaign at the expense of the evacuees. When Kya interrupted, suggesting that Korra talk to the evacuees to boost their morale, Tenzin was immediately sold on the idea and led Korra outside. He reconsidered, however, when throngs of evacuees trouped around the Avatar, barraging her with pleas for help. He tried to guide her out of the masses, but Korra gave a rousing and inspiring speech to the crowd instead, making Tenzin proud. When they returned to the tent and Korra instantly went to Asami's side, Tenzin remarked that the two women made a good team.[10]

Tenzin, Korra, and the airbenders flew through the spirit portal on Oogi, entering the Spirit World. The party was surprised to find the Spirit World gray and withering. Tenzin took the opportunity to comfort Korra, knowing how special this part of the world was to her, and congratulated her on her new relationship with Asami. As spirit vines rose from the ground and began attacking the group, Tenzin and Ryu held them off with airbending before managing to fly out of the Spirit World on Oogi. Once they reached the other side, they found the United Forces stationed at the portal. Although General Iroh told Tenzin and Korra he was there on the president's orders and that he wanted to keep the peace, Tenzin asked him to retreat and let the Air Nation keep watch over the portal, though his request was denied.

The group returned to the evacuee camp, where Tenzin unsuccessfully petitioned Raiko to withdraw from the portal. Disappointed with Raiko's leadership, Asami asked Tenzin to consider running for president in the upcoming election. He declined re-entering United Republic politics but suggested that Zhu Li would make a capable president before turning his attention back to the needs of the hungry evacuees.

At Air Temple Island, Tenzin discussed the situation with his family, agreeing with his daughters that Raiko's actions were unjust and announcing that Zhu Li had decided to run for president. When Meelo suggested the airbenders should march on the portal, Tenzin was inspired to lead a peace protest to pressure Raiko to withdraw the troops.[50] Returning to the portal with the airbenders, Tenzin informed Iroh that they were staging a nonviolent protest and that the Air Nation would not leave until the United Forces did. Meelo soon grew bored, but Tenzin urged him and the other protesters to stand together united until the president retreated. At that moment, Raiko appeared on site, ordering the airbenders to clear off Wonyong Keum's property. Once Tenzin refused to return to Air Temple Island, Raiko sent in waterbender troops to hose the airbenders. Tenzin urged them to stand their ground without retaliation. While Iroh ordered the troops to cease attacking the non-violent airbenders, Tenzin was approached by Zhu Li and told that she and other civilians had come to support the protest.

When Tokuga later began to attack the portal, threatening to kill everyone present with poison gas, Tenzin ordered the airbenders to stand ready to bend away the toxic cloud if necessary, while he and Zhu Li helped to evacuate the area. After allowing Korra to borrow Oogi to reach the ship, Tenzin and the airbenders bent away Tokuga's gas after he released it.

Tenzin later visited the Republic City Four Elements with his family on election night, where he listened to Zhu Li's acceptance speech after she was elected as the United Republic's second president.[51] Some months later, he witnessed a fight between Jinora and Ikki, and told them the story about his arrest as a teenager to explain conflict mediation in the style of the Air Nomads, although the children still continued to argue even after they learned the story from him.[11]

At some point after the Gaoling Crisis, Tenzin tasked a group of adventurers with tracking down and recruiting an Air Nomad imposter, an airbender who had started to commit serious crimes while dressed like an Air Nomad. While Tenzin had never met this airbender, he hoped that they could be set on the right path after learning nomad traditions.[52]


Meditation practice

Tenzin meditated alongside Korra and his three eldest children.

Tenzin is far more calm and stern in demeanor than his father; however, he does have a sense of humor at times. He also occasionally displays a bit of "craziness" himself, though he works hard to suppress this. He always tries to be a calm person, an attempt that is sometimes thwarted by his "crazy" children or his siblings. Similarly, his mother described him as always having had a serious personality. He finds his patience severely tested by the arrival of the impetuous Korra.[6][53] In an attempt to fill his father's footsteps, he works hard to transmit the Air Nomad teachings and culture, while taking his leadership role in Republic City seriously. He embodies the Air Nomad nature of being peaceful and calm, but can sometimes be riled up around his children or Korra due to their differing perspectives.[6] Despite his generally calm demeanor, he can become aggressive and prone to do "whatever it takes", when his family is threatened or in any danger, exemplified by his willingness to use brute force to break through the Northern defenses surrounding the Southern spirit portal in order to save Jinora.[54] This desperation to protect his family and nation has instilled in him a dangerous inner fury that unleashes when his loved ones are threatened, much like his father.

Tenzin is a staunch traditionalist and, at times, can come across as rather inflexible and stubborn. This shows through his disdain for pro-bending, which he considers violent, irrelevant, and a perversion to more traditional forms of bending. However, after Korra joined the Fire Ferrets, he brushed up on the rules of the game and seemed better versed in the sport. In doing so, he became less antagonistic to it than before and even started cheering during one match. By doing this, he shows that he is willing to show a liking in the interests of those close to him.[13]

Tenzin also appears to be rather prideful and overbearing, as he hid his inability to enter the Spirit World from others, instead making up excuses that the people around him prevented him from doing so. When he found out that Jinora could see spirits, he grew jealous of her and kept stubbornly insisting that he should be the one to bring Korra to the Spirit World as Jinora would be unable to face its dangers. Following his sister's persuasion and daughter's assurance, he eventually relented and expressed his pride in Jinora.[26]

Despite this, Tenzin still remained doubtful and unsure of himself, taking on a heavy burden in his self-imposed drive to live up to his father's legacy, which only served to impair his well-being and mentality. However, upon rescuing Jinora from the Fog of Lost Souls, Tenzin was able to overcome these insecurities, no longer seeing himself as a reflection of his father, and grew in both spirituality as well as self-confidence.[1]

Tenzin will do anything to preserve the new Air Nation, even dueling with all the Red Lotus' elemental masters. Even when he is bruised and battered by the Red Lotus' attack, he refuses to give in, showing a strong resolve to protect his loved ones and allies and a love for his nation.[35]



Tenzin airbending backward

Tenzin uses his great dexterity and balance along with his airbending to simultaneously dodge and attack his opponents.

As the airbender among Aang's three children during his lifetime, Tenzin has been trained extensively in all of his father's airbending knowledge and prowess. After his father's passing, he became the only airbending master in the world. Ensuring that the teachings and techniques would live on, Tenzin has since been passing on the art to his airbending children, Avatar Korra, and the people who acquired airbending abilities in 171 AG. Though a pacifist at heart, Tenzin made his combat prowess evident during the first confrontation with the Equalists' mecha tanks, exhibiting air blasts that were powerful enough to knock his opponent backward or even lift them off the ground. Likewise, against Zaheer, another proficient airbender, Tenzin was able to effectively control the battle and gradually wear down his opponent, forcing Zaheer's allies to aid him. Tenzin was still able to hold his own for a short period, before being overcome.[35]

Tenzin airbending Equalists

Even when tied down, Tenzin is able to create a tornado powerful enough to lift himself and two additional adults into the air.

Tenzin is well-versed in all airbending techniques, including one of his own invention, a variant of Aang's air scooter technique.[55] Tenzin conjured a "wheel" of air which not only allowed him to evade attacks but was powerful enough to deflect the claws of the mecha tanks. He can also use a glider by bending the air around it. Tenzin is skilled in creating extremely powerful tornadoes that are strong enough to throw the mecha tanks in the air. He has also created an air dome to protect himself and others from any harmful gases. Tenzin was the first known individual to land a solid strike on Amon, sending him and some of his men flying away with an airbending kick, though he did have some assistance from Mako at the time. Tenzin has also displayed the ability to use airbending in order to conduct a spiritual cleansing of an area, which can restore a place's connection with the Spirit World.

Other skills[]

Tenzin is in excellent physical shape and has proven himself a highly nimble and evasive fighter.[31] When the Equalists launched a sneak attack to capture him, he effortlessly dodged their initial assault with no wasted movement. Even when his hands were bound, he was able to calmly dodge all of a chi-blocker's close-range attacks. He also has excellent stamina, going for a ten-mile hike without tiring,[34] and while defending the Northern Air Temple from the Red Lotus' elemental masters, he displayed incredible physical resilience when being beaten by all four of them, sustaining severe injuries without losing consciousness.[35]

Tenzin is also knowledgeable regarding locations in the Spirit World, such as the Fog of Lost Souls and the Tree of Time.


Main article: Tenzin's relationships




The Legend of Korra

Book One: Air (气)

Book Two: Spirits (神靈)

Book Three: Change (易)

Book Four: Balance (平衡)

Avatar comics

Graphic novels

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game


  • Tenzin is the only child of Katara and Aang who was not named directly after an already known character that was close to his parents.
  • "Tenzin" (Tib: བསྟན་འཛིན, Wylie: bstan-'dzin) is an extremely common Tibetan name meaning "defender of the faith" or more applicably, "upholder of the teachings". This is similar to his position as the last airbending master after his father died and that he must also defend his bending art against extinction. Its popularity derives from the fact that it is the first name of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
    • This means, from a real world perspective, Tenzin is still named after a character close to one of his parents, Aang's airbending master and parental figure, Gyatso.
  • Given that Tenzin learned airbending from Avatar Aang and is Avatar Korra's, who is Aang's reincarnation, airbending teacher, he is, in a way, passing his father's teachings back to him.
  • Tenzin is the first airbender to be born after the Air Nomad Genocide and the first known to be born to a waterbender.
  • Tenzin was generally seen wearing the same attire Aang did in his adulthood, with a slight alteration on the cape. By 174 AG, however, he started wearing a wingsuit, though continued to don his cape.
  • During the time between his father's death and the birth of Jinora, he took his father's title as the last airbender.
  • Tenzin provides the narration for the opening sequence of The Legend of Korra, as his mother Katara did in the original series.
  • Tenzin's habit of tugging on his beard when in thought was inspired by Michael Dante DiMartino.[56]
Preceded by
An Air Acolyte
Air Nation Representative to the United Republic Council
Unknown - 170 AG
Succeeded by
Position abolished

Preceded by
Avatar's guardian
170 AG - 171 AG
Succeeded by

Preceded by
Avatar's airbending master
170 AG - 171 AG
Succeeded by

Preceded by
Guru Pathik
Avatar's spiritual mentor
157 AG - 171 AG
Succeeded by


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