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Transcript:The Southern Lights

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Real-world


Shiro Shinobi [Narrating a newsreel.] The Southern Water Tribe is under siege! When Avatar Korra was attacked by a dark spirit, Chief Unalaq was the only one able to stop it. So, Korra turned her back on Tenzin and chose Unalaq as her new spiritual mentor. Tenzin and his family left for a vacation at the Southern Air Temple, while Korra remained in the Water Tribe. Will she be able to restore balance between humans and spirits?
The camera pans down to reveal a shot of the Glacier Spirits festival. A dark spirit appears on a nearby cliff, and looks out over the festival. Cut to the camel yak stables, as Korra rides in on Naga, with Unalaq waiting for her. Korra dismounts Naga and approaches her uncle.
Unalaq You're early.
Korra What can I say? I'm pumped up to learn that Unalaq spirit fighting.
Unalaq [Places his arm on her shoulder.] I'm not here to teach you to fight spirits, I'm here to help you begin your spiritual training. We're going to one of the most remote places in the world, the long neglected spiritual center of your tribe, the South Pole.
Korra You're going to train me at the South Pole?
Unalaq We will do more than just train. By neglecting the spirits, the people of the South have brought darkness upon themselves, and now it threatens to destroy our tribe. We must set things right. The Southern Water Tribe depends on you.
Korra [Enthusiastically.] A dangerous trip to the South Pole? Count me in!
The scene changes to a shot of the Southern Air Temple, which comes into focus through the clouds. Oogi flies into shot heading for the temple, with Tenzin and his family riding on him.
Tenzin There it is, the Southern Air Temple. Isn't it magnificent?
The scene changes again to two Air Acolytes, one of whom is sweeping, while the other feeds three ring-tailed lemurs. They turn in surprise as Oogi flies in, and as he lands, three Acolytes walk toward the bison, two of them carrying a large case.
Shung Master Tenzin, welcome!
Tenzin Good to see you again, Abbot Shung. [He and Pema bow toward the abbot.]
Shung Is there anything you need? Water? Dandelion greens? Ahh, perhaps you'd like to recenter yourself by meditating in the gardens?
Tenzin No thank you, I'm fine.
Shung And you must be the honorable Pema! Please, accept these gifts. [Shung reaches into the case, and pulls out an odd contraption, which he hands to Tenzin.] This is an ancient airbender head shaver we've refurbished just for you.
Tenzin Oh. [Unsure of how to respond.] Okay?
Shung And Pema! [He hands Pema a massive bouquet of flowers.] These flowers once filled the mountainside! Now, they can brighten up your room.
Pema [In a similar manner as Tenzin's response.] That's ... sweet? Y-you didn't have to.
Shung Nonsense! Whatever you need is yours. Anything for the mother of the next generation of airbenders.
Ikki [As a female Acolyte hands a book to Jinora as a gift.] No! [Ikki snatches away the book.] That gift is mine!
Jinora You don't even like to read!
Ikki [Sticks her tongue out.] Eeeh!
Pema [Slightly embarrassed. Wearing a smile.] Yep, those are the world's next generation of [Smile falters.] airbenders.
Meelo appears from behind the three Acolytes and jumps on the abbot's back, a lemur held in his hands.
Meelo [Excitedly.] Mommy, Daddy, look! I finally got a lemur! I'm gonna name him ... Poki!
The lemur flies away, and Meelo jumps down from the abbot and forms an air scooter to chase after the creature.
Meelo Poki! Come back!
Kya and Bumi are still by Oogi, unloading supplies from his saddle. Kya tosses some bags down, which hit Bumi, and he grunts. Kya drops down from on top of the sky bison, and Bumi sighs.
Bumi [Somewhat frustratedly at a nearby Air Acolyte.] S'cuse me, a little help here?
Acolyte [Just noticing the two siblings, she turns around and stops sweeping.] Sorry, I thought you were the servants. [Bumi and Kya make angry faces.]
Bumi [More frustrated.] We're Tenzin's brother and sister!
Acolyte [Shocked.] Avatar Aang had other children? [Excitedly.] The world is filled with more airbenders?
Kya [Calm, but upset.] We're not airbenders.
Acolyte Oh ... [Bows.] I'm so sorry.
Bumi and Kya looks a little confused, before pouting and glancing at each other. The scene switches to Korra saddling up Naga, as Mako helps her pack supplies.
Korra I thought you said Bolin was coming?
Mako He said he'd be here, but I can't worry about it. I have to make sure you have everything you need for a safe trip.
Korra [Sarcastically, but with a smile.] Thanks, Captain Expedition, but I'll be fine.
Korra hears a sound and turns her head around to see Tonraq pulling up on a snowmobile. Unalaq, who has been packing, notices Tonraq and scowls, before approaching his brother.
Unalaq Tonraq, what do you want?
Tonraq I heard you're taking Korra to the South Pole. [Crosses arms.] I'm coming.
Unalaq [Angrily.] Absolutely not. You're a distraction to Korra and a hindrance to what needs to be done.
Tonraq My daughter is not going without me! She needs someone to watch after her.
Korra [Korra rides up to them on Naga, Mako sitting behind her.] Dad, why do you always think you know what's best for me?
Unalaq Because he's misguided. The sad truth is, it's men like your father who have put the Spirit World out of balance. He's ignored my warnings in the past and hasn't learned since.
Korra What happened in the past?
Tonraq It doesn't matter. What matters is the Everstorm.
Mako The Everstorm?
Tonraq It's a massive blizzard that's battered the South Pole for decades. [To Unalaq; stubbornly.] I'm coming, unless you think you can stop me.
The camera cuts to a close-up of Unalaq, followed by Tonraq, as they glare at each other. Tonraq looks to his left, however, when Bolin shouts at them from a distance.
Bolin [Voice-over.] Guys! Hey, wait for me!
Bolin zooms in on a snowmobile with an attached sidecar, wearing a new snowsuit. Cut to a confused Mako and Korra as they trail Bolin's arrival with their eyes before turning completely to face him as he pulls up next to them.
Bolin Check it out, [Rests his elbow on the throttle.] I'm traveling in style! [He accidentally turns the throttle causing the vehicle to jerk forward, but promptly stops the vehicle.] Okay, uh, sorry, still getting used to that throttle.
Mako Uh, where'd you get the ride?
Bolin Varrick; he's awesome! He also gave me this fancy snowsuit! It's inflatable, with an internal heater, emergency beacon, and food ration pouches! I mean, if I get lost, I can survive in this thing for like, like a month! [Reaches into his snowsuit.] Who wants some freeze dried cucumberquats. [He pulls out several cucumberquat slices and offers them to the crowd.] Nobody? ... Did I interrupt a conversation? [Pabu pops out of Bolin's suit and eats some of the cucumberquats.]
Korra [Strongly.] No, the conversation is over. [To Tonraq.] Dad, come if you want, just don't interfere with my training. [She rides away from the group, as Eska gets off of her camel yak and approaches Bolin.].
Eska Does this sidecar have the capacity for two passengers?
Bolin [Flirting.] Sure does. But, uh ... who's gonna drive?
Cut to later that night. Bolin is driving the snowmobile while Desna and Eska sit together in the sidecar. Bolin looks upset with the circumstances, and Mako rides toward the trio on a camel yak.
Mako [Teasing.] Well, what do you know? Looks like--
Bolin [Annoyed.] Go away, Mako.
Korra [To Unalaq.] So once we get to the South Pole, then what happens?
Unalaq You will open an ancient spirit portal.
Korra I'm sorry, what now?
Unalaq At the South Pole, there is a portal that connects our world to the Spirit World, but it has long been closed.
Korra And that's why the evil spirits are attacking?
Unalaq There are no evil spirits, there is light and dark in them all. But when they're unbalanced, the darkness takes over. [The Everstorm appears in the distance, and thunder from it is heard.] If you can open the portal in time, balance will be restored.
Korra What do you mean ... in time?
Unalaq There's a reason the Glacier Spirits Festival ends on the winter solstice. That's when the Spirit World and the physical world are close together. Only then can the Avatar open the portal.
Korra The winter solstice is tomorrow.
Unalaq Exactly, and we can't afford to wait another year.
A dark spirit appears in the distance, watching the group. Naga, sensing the creature, turns toward it and starts growling.
Korra Easy, Naga.
The fog begins to clear, and the dark spirit, now joined by two others, comes into view.
Bolin [Shrinking.] What are those?
Korra Dark spirits.
The fog picks up again, hiding the spirits from view once more.
Tonraq Let's keep moving. We have to find a safe place to set up camp.
Tonraq drives away, and the scene cuts to a roaring fire, the group huddled around it for warmth.
Korra Uncle, why do you think the dark spirits are following us?
Bolin Can we not talk about dark spirits, please? [Scoots next to Eska and grabs her arm.]
Mako My brother doesn't like ghost stories.
Eska [Dryly.] Don't worry. I will protect you, my feeble turtle duck.
Bolin Thank you.
Unalaq Sadly, this isn't a ghost story. This is real. [Bolin gasps and closes his hood.] The spirits are angry because he's here. [Looks toward his brother; to Korra.] Haven't you ever wondered how your father ended up in the South Pole? Why he's never taken you to visit his homeland in the North?
Tonraq Unalaq, this is not the time.
Unalaq You're right. You should have told her a long time ago.
Korra Told me what!?
Tonraq [Sighs.] I left the North Pole because ... I was banished.
Korra You were banished from the North? Why?
Tonraq Because I almost destroyed the entire tribe. [He continues his narration, as the scene changes to a younger looking Tonraq.] Twenty years ago, I was a general in the Northern Water Tribe, sworn to protect my people.
Young Unalaq [Rides in to young Tonraq's camp.] Brother! We're being attacked!
Tonraq gets upset and charges out, as the scene changes to a damaged Northern Water Tribe, several plumes of smoke visible in the distance. The scene changes to inside the city, as the people attempt to defend themselves against the barbarians. One of the barbarians is hit from behind by a stream of water, revealed to be Tonraq, who has entered the city with two other water Tribe soldiers. Tonraq bends water from a nearby river in preparation for a second attack.

The scene changes to outside the city, the barbarians in retreat, followed closely by Tonraq and his men.

Tonraq [Voice-over.] I drove them out of the city and deep into the frozen tundra.
Tonraq yells as he and his men chase the barbarians. Cut back to Unalaq, who watches his older brother leave from the entrance to the city. Cut back to Tonraq and his men, who have a reached a large forest situated in the tundra. Cut to inside the forest.
Tonraq [Voice-over.] We tracked them deep into an ancient forest. Many believed this forest was the home to spirits, and the barbarians retreated there because they thought we wouldn't attack them on such hallow grounds. They thought wrong.
The barbarians are shown hiding behind trees. Three Northern waterbenders suddenly appear and summon a large wave, which crashes into the forest and washes away many barbarians. Tonraq is shown blasting unseen barbarians with three water attacks. Next, the Northern soldiers are seen marching the captured barbarians away from the now flooded forest, which is seen in the background. Tonraq continues narrating.
Tonraq [Voice-over.] We captured the barbarians, but in the process, we destroyed the forest. [Shown awakening in his bedroom.] I didn't realize the consequences of what I had done. [Jumps from his bed and runs to a window overlooking the city.] By destroying the forest, I unknowingly let loose angry spirits.
Two tribesmen are running from a large dark spirit. Tonraq attacks the spirit with two water whips, and jumps aside when the spirit attacks with its arm.
Tonraq [Voice-over.] They threatened to destroy everything, the entire city.
The dark spirit prepares to attack Tonraq once more, but stops as water surrounds it before glowing. Camera pans to Unalaq waterbending. Cut to a further view where four spirits are surrounded with the same glowing water, before changing to a golden color. Cut to the spirits returning to the spirit forest before disappearing. Cut back to Unalaq as he ceases his waterbending.
Tonraq [Voice-over.] Unalaq was able to guide the spirits back to the forest. But by then, the damage had been done. [Cut to an aerial view of a damaged Northern Water Tribe, before changing to the throne room, where Tonraq's father is seated with Unalaq next to him, and Tonraq standing beneath a flight of stairs.] For being the cause of so much devastation, my father banished me from the Northern Water Tribe in shame.
Cut to Unalaq, who watches on as his brother is banished. Cut to outside the city, as Tonraq sails away from his home. Cut to a closer view of Tonraq, who looks down dejectedly, before turning toward the horizon.
Tonraq [Voice-over.] That's when I came to the South and started a new life.
Cut back to the present time, as Tonraq bows his head in shame. He turns around, and faces the rest of the group.
Bolin Whoa, so you [Gestures to Tonraq.] were supposed to be chief, then he [Gestures to Unalaq.] became chief. No wonder you guys don't like each other. [Mako elbows him.] Ow! What? Isn't that what happened?
Korra [Standing in anger.] I can't believe you kept this from me.
Tonraq I was protecting you from the shame I brought on the family.
Korra Why did you keep hiding things from me and then telling me it's for my own protection? I'm tired of you protecting me! [Turns away.]
Tonraq Korra!
Cut to a far view of the Southern Air Temple. Cut to Jinora and Tenzin entering the inner sanctuary, which is filled with Avatar statues.
Jinora Wow, the statue room.
Tenzin That's right, Jinora, the most sacred place in the entire Southern Air Temple. [Cut to a closer view of the statues, as the camera pans up to reveal the various levels.] Here, you will find statues of every Avatar who ever lived. [Cut back to Tenzin, who suddenly looks around the statue room.] Where are your brother and sister?
Meelo and Ikki appear behind Tenzin, racing each other on air scooters. The wake from their bending causes Tenzin's robes to blow up and cover his head.
Meelo You can't catch me! I've the greatest air scooter-er of all time! [Trips over and crashes into a statue.]
Tenzin [Shocked.] Meelo!
Tenzin runs to tend to his son. Jinora walks forward to the statue of her grandfather, Avatar Aang, and looks at it in awe. Cut to a close-up of Aang's statue, as the two airbenders lock gazes. Cut to a close-up of Jinora's eye, which dilates suddenly. She looks behind, the camera following her gaze, but there is no one there.

Cut to the Southern tundra, a small group of travelers just visible in the white snow. Cut to Korra riding on Naga, an angry look on her face. Tonraq pulls up next to his daughter on his snowmobile.

Tonraq Korra, you have every right to be mad at me. But I don't want you to make the same mistake I made. I should never have gone into that forest, and we shouldn't be going to the South Pole now. Spirits and the physical world should remain separate.
Korra [Moves forward and turns around, intercepting her father.] Dad, it's my job to be the bridge between the spirits and the physical world, and I finally have a chance to live up to my potential.
Tonraq [Sternly.] You don't even know if what Unalaq says is true.
Unalaq [Stopping his camel between the two of them; defensively.] You want proof? Look to the sky. Where I'm from, the spirits are at peace and they light up the dark.
Korra The Northern Lights.
Unalaq Yes. There used to be lights at the South as well, but during the Hundred Year War, the South was thrown out of balance and the lights disappeared. When the War ended, the North helped to rebuild you physically, as a nation, but we have not rebuilt you spiritually. Now the spirits no longer dance in your skies. Instead, they rampage in the Everstorm. 
Mako [Shouting to the rest of the group.] I think we're here.
Korra and Unalaq approach the edge of the cliff Mako has stopped at. Cut to a worried Korra, who gazes at the Everstorm raging in the distance. Cut to the team in the Everstorm, their hoods up to protect their faces against the icy wind. Korra stops and looks back, a roaring in the distance just audible over the wind. Cut to an aerial view of the team, as another, louder roar is heard.
Bolin [Fearfully.] Is that what I think it is?
Unalaq We must keep moving. [Looks up as the angry spirits continue to roar.
Bolin [Clutching his head.] Oh man, I really don't like this.
Mako Bolin, just stay calm, there's no reason to- [A dark spirit emerges from beneath his camel yak and grabs the supplies.] panic!
Another dark spirit emerges beneath Naga and lands on her face. Cut to a dark spirit grabbing Unalaq's supplies and another which grabs Korra's supplies. Naga stands on her hind legs, causing Korra to fall from her seat, and chases after the spirit. Korra looks turns and sees a flying spirit emerge. Tonraq forms an ice wall to fend off the spirit but it flies above the wall. Cut to a larger spirit which is running directly at Korra.
Tonraq Korra, look out!
Tonraq waterbends Korra away and attacks the spirit, but misses and is knocked aside. Another dark spirit enters Bolin's snow mobile.
Bolin [Terrified.] Oh, it's in the engine! [Engine explodes in gray smoke as the spirit exits. Bolin loses control of his snowmobile and speeds into the tundra with Desna and Eska.] Aaaahhhhh!
Cut to Korra and Mako fighting spirits with firebending. Korra somersaults out of the way and employs Unalaq's purifying move on one of the spirits. The spirit stops in a daze, but it manages to fight it, and pins Korra down. Before the spirit can continue its attack, it is purified by Unalaq and leaves. Mako walks over to Korra and helps her up.
Mako Is everyone okay?
Bolin Aaaahhhhh!
Cut to the back view of Bolin's snowmobile, which is hurtling away from the group. Cut to Bolin, who is holding onto the handle bars, a terrified look on his face, with Desna and Eska sat next to him, showing no emotion.
Bolin I can't stop it! [Eska and Desna jump off their seat and onto Bolin's back.]
Eska I'll save you.
Cut to the trio leaping off the snowmobile, which crashes into the cliff and explodes. Desna and Eska drop Bolin onto the snow, causing his snowsuit to inflate, revealing Pabu.
Bolin I'm a raft!
Cut to Desna and Eska as they cover their feet in ice and gracefully slide down the slope back to the team. Cut to an inflated Bolin following the twins, before he is stopped by Mako.
Bolin Uhhh, can someone please deflate me? [Eska deflates Bolin with three ice spikes.] Thank you.
Mako [Looking at their destroyed supplies.] Oh, great. There goes our equipment. Now what are we supposed to do?
Tonraq There's only one thing to do. We have to turn back.
Unalaq No! The solstice is tonight. And we're so close.
Tonraq This mission is too dangerous. We're leaving.
Korra [Sternly.] No, Dad, you're leaving.
Cut to an aerial view of the team in the tundra. Cut to Mako and Tonraq, standing besides Tonraq's snowmobile.
Mako Don't worry sir, I'll keep an eye on Korra for you.
Tonraq Thank you, Mako. [They shake hands.]
Cut to an irritated Korra, as Tonraq speeds off on his snowmobile.
Unalaq [To Korra.] Let's open this portal and lead your father and the entire Southern Water Tribe in the right direction. We don't have much time.
Korra Then what are we waiting for?
Korra moves forward. Cut to an irritated Bolin, sat in the remains of his damaged snowmobile, which is being pulled by a camel yak ridden on by Eska and Desna. Cut to the entire team, before switching to Korra and Mako, who sit atop Naga.
Korra [Irritated.] So, what exactly were you and my dad talking about?
Mako Nothing, he was just worried about you, that's all.
Korra [Still irritated.] Y'know, sometimes I wonder whose side you're on.
Mako There aren't any sides. We all just want to help however we can. You have to trust that we're here for you.
Korra looks on to the South Pole.
Unalaq We've arrived.
Cut to the interior of the South Pole, where there are a number of trees, their trunks covered in frozen ice.
Korra Trees frozen in the ice.
Unalaq [Walks up to Korra.] It's just like the sacred forest Tonraq destroyed in the North.
Korra So, what do I do?
Unalaq You must find your way to the heart of the forest where the dormant spirit portal lies. From here, you're on your own.
Mako Wait a second, there's no way she's going alone.
Bolin Yeah! If she goes, [Pabu emerges from Bolin's snowsuit.] we go, too!
Unalaq The Avatar must go alone.
Korra But I don't have any connection with the spirits. In fact, it seems like they hate me.
Unalaq You have to believe in yourself, like I believe in you. [Korra turns away.] What is it?
Korra I guess I'm just so used to people telling me how to do things that I forgot what it was like to have someone trust in me. [Korra smiles at her uncle.]
Unalaq Korra, all the past Avatars live on inside of you. Let them guide you. Let them help you find the light in the dark. [Looks to the South Pole, a gaze which Korra follows.]
Korra [To Mako and Bolin.] Wait here, I'll be okay.
Mako Good luck. [Pabu chitters.]
Cut to Korra walking into the South Pole, while the rest of the team looks on.

Cut to Korra trudging deeper into the frozen forest with a look of uncertainty and fear. A snake-like dark spirit nears Korra and screeches, causing her to turn around. In the distance, two dark spirits charge toward Korra, causing her to gasp. She turns and starts to run from them, but they manage to catch her and begin to wrap themselves around her body and legs. One of the spirits attempts to attack Korra, but she defends herself with a blast of fire, and frees herself from the spirit wrapped around her with airbending. The spirits charge back at Korra, but she stops them with an ice wall. Korra turns from the spirits, and finds herself in a large cave, a glowing dome positioned in the center.

Korra [Approaching the glowing dome.] The spirit portal. Amazing.
Cut to a room in the Southern Air Temple where Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo are asleep. Jinora awakens and walks through the hall of statues in a daze. Cut to a close-up of her face, as she breaks free from her daze in shock and surprise, finding herself in front of the statue of an unknown Avatar.
Jinora Whoa. What Avatar is this?
Cut back to the spirit portal, as Korra stands over the dome, staring into it.
Korra The light in the dark.
Cut to Korra as she readies her stance, and subsequently punches the frozen portal with airbending, but to no effect. Korra tries to firebend at the portal, but still with no results.
Korra Why isn't it opening?
Numerous dark spirits appear outside the hub and start attacking the roof, shocking Korra.
Korra [Continuously striking the portal with airbending.] Come on portal, open!
Cut to the spirits as they manage to break through the roof. They charge toward Korra and grab her around the waist. Cut to Korra, a scared look on her face, as the spirits continue to tangle themselves around her. They start pulling Korra up toward the roof of the cave as she repeatedly firebends at the spirit portal, but again her attacks have no effect. Korra is dragged further upward, as more spirits wrap themselves around her arms, preventing her from continuing her attacks. She enters the Avatar State, allowing her to momentarily break free and drop toward the portal, but the spirits still manage to keep a hold of her. Korra struggles to reach the portal, reaching desperately with her hand, and finally manages to touch it with her finger. An orange ring forms from where she touched the portal, and the ground cracks beneath her, creating a blast that tosses Korra aside and dispels the spirits.

Cut to outside the South Pole, as a green beam of light rises and causes the southern lights to appear in the sky, while the Everstorm dissipates. Cut to Korra looking at the lights.

Korra The spirits, dancing in the sky.
Cut to Jinora at the Southern Air Temple, staring in surprise as the statue she found herself in front begins to glow.

Cut back to the South Pole, as the team stare at the bright light that has emerged from the portal.

Mako I can't believe it.
Bolin It's beautiful. [Rubs his eyes.]
Cut to Unalaq looking ahead with a grin. Cut to Tonraq speeding away from the spirit forest. He stops his snowmobile and looks back at the lights.
Tonraq [Proudly.] She did it.
Cut to Korra walking out of the forest.
Bolin [Runs to Korra.] Hey, Korra, you're back. [To the rest of the group.] Hey, Korra's back! [He hugs Korra, but an ice wall separates them and brings Bolin back to face Eska.]
Eska Why are you initiating physical contact with another woman?
Bolin looks at Eska with a weak fearful laugh, before Eska melts the ice wall.
Korra [To Unalaq.] Everything you said was true.
Unalaq Avatar Korra, you have taken the first step in bringing balance back to the South, and soon the whole world.
Mako [Hugging Korra.] You never cease to amaze me.
Korra Thanks. By the way, I'm really sorry for being a total pain. Things were really stressful and pretty confusing. It's hard being the Avatar.
Mako [Jokingly.] It's harder being the Avatar's boyfriend. [Nudges Korra before they hug.]
Cut to the team returning back to the Southern Water Tribe. Korra, Mako, and Unalaq look out to see a number of large battleships entering the harbor. Cut to troops marching in. Cut to the sea, where there are more battleships approaching the city.
Korra [To Unalaq.] What are all your Northern troops doing here?
Unalaq Opening the spirit portal was only the first step in getting the Southern Water Tribe back on its righteous path. There's more difficult work to be done before our two tribes are truly united.
Cut to Korra's unsure face, as she looks ahead at the troops.
Fade to credits.

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