Waterbending emblem Spirit Emblem
Dark aye-aye spirit By Gingalover Part of the Book Five: Memory continuity.
El Nino (Official)
El Nino
Biographical information
Birth place


Physical description


Hair color
  • Blackish-Blue (Human)
  • None (Spirit)
Skin color
  • Brown (Human)
  • Cyan Blue (Spirit)
Eye color


Personal information
Bending style(s)




Chronological and political information


First appearance
El Niño is one of the most ancient water spirits, only surpassed by the Moon and Ocean spirits, and Koh, the Face Stealer. El Niño also has the title as one of the most powerful Waterbenders in recorded history, being made of water himself.


Origins and Return

El Niño was created into existence sometime after Tui and La came to the physical world, manifesting when the spiritual energy entered the human world. Unlike most spirits, El Niño didn't follow much rules in comparison to other spirits. Examples include fighting other spirits that enter his territory, and creating the destructive Qishi (which only appear during his presence). For many years, El Niño was in control over the water currents, but was unaware of how deeply an effect he had onto the world when he decided to "mix things up", nearly causing a global ecological disaster as a result. He never noticed the danger, but was sealed away by Raava herself, to keep him from continuing his personal control over the ocean, and disturbing the natural balance of the world.

He remained trapped for centuries, the power of Raava (and the sealing of the portals by Wan) forbade him and the Qishi from escaping from their sealed away prison. However, when the portals were reopened centuries later by Korra, he found the binds had become less constrictive, but it wasn't enough to let him escape, needing more spiritual energy in order to get out. That extra amount of energy finally came when Korra defeated Kuvira, creating another spirit portal. With that, he finally was able to escape.

Soon after escaping, El Niño first began to spread his precious creatures to various locations, starting with the Northern Water Tribe, where he released the Flying Qishi. After he'd done so, he went off towards the Fire Nation, a better habitat for most of his species to live, and began to release his destructive creatures there as well.

During that, he went inside a fish market, disguised as a human in Jang Hui, asking the fisherman various, complicated questions. Those included the current, temperature, and pollution of the river. Soon after getting his answer, he left and soon returned with more species of Qishi, which included the Flower Squid and Bubbleskimmer.

Crossing the Avatar

He remained in Jang Hui in order to keep track of his beloved creatures, when he was found by Korra, Ziyou, and Naga. He gave them all a quick look over, claiming Korra seemed 'peculiar'. When Korra tells him about the Avatar, he remained completely oblivious, never having heard about the Avatar up to that point. He asked an assortment of questions, but when Korra told him about Raava, he got quite spooked, and soon fled after a few more questions, hiding in the water until they left.

While continuing west, he decided to notify the current Fire Lord, Izumi, about his plans to turn Fire Fountain City into a new breeding ground. After the notification, he arrived at the city in question, wandering around for a bit until coming across Korra again. They both spoke for a while, until a fight broke out, him winning by accidentally forcing her to drink cactus juice, which he thought was milk at the time. He ignored the problem and hid away. That night, he appeared on top of a nearby mountain, until Opal and Kai confronted him. He fought them for a while until the others showed up, which he trapped soon after some more confrontation. With the enhanced power from the moon, he flooded the entire city, and disappeared after jumping back into the water.

The defeat

Since leaving Fire Fountain, El Niño had gone quiet and steadily traveled towards the capital, eventually catching up to Team Avatar. Upon arrival, he informed the Firelord about his plan to turn the Capitol into a Blimpus breeding ground, which resulted in a confrontation. He saw humans as "godly creatures" and believed they shouldn't even bother to worry about his creatures. During this, the full moon forced him to expose his true form to them, revealing he just borrowed a skeleton for his human disguise. His mind changed when Eska confronted him, scaring him enough for him to run away from the palace in a panic.

As he got out, he found he was being pressured by Team Avatar, and tried his best to keep them away. He was finally stopped when Eska froze him still, and he was sent back to the Spirit World alongside Eska.


He is a bit emotionless for the most part, at least in front of the other humans. Being a threat against both humans and spirits alike, he finds it impossible to truly trust anyone aside from the Qishi he created. He is also quite naïve when it comes to the consequences of his actions, his involvement with the currents being an obvious example. When it comes to Raava though, he isn't very fond of her (being trapped and all that), but he doesn't hold any true grudges towards people, finding it actually kinda pointless.



Being made of pure water himself, his waterbending exceeds the bending done by any human that had existed, having enough power to control the ocean's currents, causing drastic changes in the waters of the world. When it came to combat, his arms act like whips, and are an expert of manipulation when used.

Human Form

Since his escape, he had developed the ability to manifest himself into a humanoid-like shape, resembling a Water Tribe citizen in appearance. He had developed this ability in order to avoid getting caught again by Raava. In this form, his abilities of waterbending become slightly restricted, since his body has to turn into a solid instead of a liquid in order for the transformation to work. Despite the accurate change, he's unable to change his eyes.


  • El Niño's name and abilities were based after the real world phenomenon under the same name, which is caused by the massive shift of warm and cold waters of the world's oceans.
  • His waterbending fighting strategy, in both forms, resembles that of the technique used by Ming-Hua, an armless member of the Red Lotus.
  • El Niño is the first, and only spirit unable to recognize the Avatar, nor sense Raava's presence upon meeting Korra.
  • He is the only character with black Sclera.
  • His defeat resembles that of Hundun.

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