The attempted kidnapping of Chief Unalaq was a preemptive attack planned by Varrick and carried out by Southern Water Tribe rebels, who had grown tired of the Northern occupation of the Southern Water Tribe following the Glacier Spirits Festival of 171 AG. The attempted kidnapping was thwarted by Avatar Korra, who subdued the kidnappers and freed her uncle.
After the winter solstice of 171 AG, Northern troops arrived at the Southern Water Tribe under Unalaq's pretenses of protecting the Southern spirit portal from those who wished the spirits harm. Unalaq claimed that he wanted to unite both Water Tribes by opening each spirit portal. The Northern forces quickly closed the port and had removed the tribe's chieftains and elders from the Southern Water Tribe Royal Palace. The increasing interference and second-rate handling by the Northern forces stirred old resentments between the North and South. Despite an appeal by Korra, who had taken part in a meeting of Southerners, Unalaq insisted that what he was doing was in the best interest of the Water Tribes. At night, Korra learned from her mother, Senna, that Varrick was plotting a rebellion and had asked Tonraq to join in. Hearing this, Korra immediately took off to the palace.
At the palace, Korra called out for her uncle, but found only Northern soldiers tied up. Going to the upper level, she discovered a group of Southern rebels, one of them carrying Unalaq over his shoulder. Korra tried to negotiate Unalaq's release, even offering to let them go and covering for them, but the rebels attacked her.
The rebel carrying Unalaq split from the others, who proceeded to battle Korra. Korra fought them with much restraint, battling only to incapacitate them. She used airbending to tie up a couple rebels in a tapestry and used another's rope to tie him to a pillar.
As the rebel carrying her uncle escaped on a snowmobile, Korra crashed it with waterbending and unmasked the rebel leader, shocked to learn it was not her father, as she had believed. The rebel leader told her that they had approached her father, but he would not help them, identifying himself as a traitor in the rebel leader's eyes, similar to how he identified Korra.
The rebels involved in the kidnapping attempt were arrested, and Unalaq demanded Varrick to be found and arrested as well. Korra advised Unalaq that imprisoning them all without further notice would only make the South angrier at the North and instead suggested that they stand trial for what they did. Unalaq respected Korra's wishes as the Avatar, and the rebels were to face trial.
Korra later met with her parents, glad that her father was not among the rebels. Their encounter was cut short by Unalaq, who arrived and had Tonraq and Senna arrested for plotting to assassinate him. Meanwhile, Varrick anticipated that the trial would be rigged and remained hidden from Unalaq and his soldiers, while trying to plan a way to free his rebels. During the trial, Senna was found innocent, but all others were condemned to life imprisonment. When Korra later threatened the judge in order to get him to release her father, she learned of Unalaq's machinations, both present and past. In trying to free her father, Korra directly contributed for the beginning of the Water Tribe Civil War.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 20, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 27, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.