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Friends for Life

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"You know, all Avatars have had animal guides in the past. Perhaps Korra has discovered hers."
Katara suggesting to Tonraq and Senna that Korra should be allowed to keep Naga.

"Friends for Life" is a comic short written by Michael Dante DiMartino and drawn by Heather Campbell. It was released by Dark Horse Comics on May 7, 2016, as a part of Free Comic Book Day.

Overview

As a child living in the Southern Water Tribe, Korra finds a polar bear dog cub which has become separated from its pack in a storm. After Korra names it Naga, Katara convinces Korra's parents, Tonraq and Senna, to allow her to keep Naga, believing that Korra has found her animal guide.

Synopsis

Katara trains Korra

Katara trains Korra in waterbending outside of her family's hut in the Southern Water Tribe.

In the Southern Water Tribe, Tonraq and Senna watch as Katara teaches Korra the importance of slow and calm movements in waterbending during a training session. Eager to demonstrate her abilities, Korra covers Katara in a blanket of snow, prompting Senna to apologize and remark that her daughter does not understand her strength. Katara reassures Senna that she is fine, noting that she has battled more dangerous waterbenders and that the Avatar will learn to control her abilities in time.

Meanwhile, Tonraq explains to his daughter that the move she demonstrated was too rough and could have potentially injured Katara, prompting Korra to insist that she did not intend to hurt anyone. Before the training could resume, Tonraq notices an approaching storm and decides to end the session prematurely, much to Korra's disappointment. The young Avatar bids Katara farewell, apologizing again for knocking her over. Katara reassures Korra that she is fine and that they resume training the following day.

Later that evening, as the storm moves in, Korra and her family hear howls characteristic of polar bear dogs in the distance; Tonraq surmises that there must be a pack nearby. Korra howls back before expressing her intent to play with the animals, prompting Tonraq's immediate disapproval; he tells her that polar bear dogs are wild creatures capable of devouring Korra in a single bite. Senna echoes her husband's concerns and urges Korra to fear the creatures.

Korra discovers Naga

Korra discovers a lone polar bear pup in the South Pole after searching the tundras in the middle of a storm.

Sometime during the night, Korra awakens to more howls and sneaks out of her family's hut to search for the polar bear dogs. Venturing some distance into the tundra of the South Pole, she discovers a polar bear pup, which she presumes became separated from its pack in the storm. Korra offers the defensive and agitated pup a piece of fish jerky and attempts to engage it in play, before realizing that she can no longer find her way back home.

Shortly thereafter, Korra uses waterbending to construct a shelter out of snow and urges the pup to come inside with her to take cover. Inside, Korra attempts to use firebending for warmth and winds up scaring herself and the pup. She apologizes and admits that she is "not a very good firebender yet" and reveals that Katara wants her to master waterbending before beginning to train in the other bending arts. Korra remarks that although she initially thought that being the Avatar would be carefree and enjoyable, she is finding that the job is laden with rules. She becomes momentarily lost in thought before the pup licks her hand, tickling her.

The next morning, Korra's parents and Katara search for Korra outside of the village; Senna spots a mound of snow that appears to have been constructed using waterbending. Tonraq bends it open, and the three are alarmed to find Korra with a polar bear pup. Tonraq tells Korra how concerned he and his wife were while she was missing, while Senna expresses disbelief over her daughter surviving overnight in a storm by herself.

Korra and Naga throughout the years

Korra and Naga remain together throughout the years.

Korra corrects her mother, saying that she was not alone, as she had Naga for company, gesturing toward the pup with whom she took shelter. She explains that Naga lost her pack during the storm and remarks that she needs a new family, asking her parents if they can keep her as a pet. The two both defer to each other, but Katara takes them aside and sways them to allow Korra to keep Naga, commenting that all Avatars had animal guides in the past and that a polar bear dog may just be what a "high-energy girl" like Korra needs. Tonraq firmly remarks that the two will tire each other out eventually, although Senna remains unconvinced. As years pass, Korra and Naga remain together, having become inseparable.

Production notes

Transcript

Main article: Transcript: Friends for Life

Series continuity

Trivia

  • This is the first comic primarily set within the Water Tribes.
  • "Friends for Life" features the only instance in which an elderly Katara is seen performing regular waterbending, as she is only seen healing in her appearances throughout The Legend of Korra.

References

  1. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  2. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  3. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.

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