How Long After Avatar Is Korra (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 70 years

Korra – also known as Legend of Korra- is an American animated television show that’s a sequel to the previous show titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. Avatar premiered in 2005 and ran until 2008. While the Legend of Korra debuted in 2012.

Both shows are based on fictional characters in imaginary universes where they are blessed with powers of bending one of the 4 basic elements of the world –earth, fire, water, and air. In this universe, only the avatar can manipulate all 4 elements. The Legend of Korra follows the life and adventures of avatar Aang’s successor- a 17-year old girl called Korra.

How Long After Avatar Is Korra

How Long After Avatar Is Korra?

In the world of anime, the time difference between sequels and prequels is measured in two prominent and equally significant ways. It is seminal to gauge both these timelines and locate their anomalies and similarities. One primary method is to use the reel-world time difference between the two. This implies the in-story time difference.

In the case of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, this time difference is about 70 years. This implies that the Legend of Korra happens about 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is also important to cognize that for manga and anime, this time gap is more significant for fans than the second method of calculating the time difference.

In the second method, the real-world time difference is used to assess the two shows. For the Legend of Korra, this accounts for about 4 years. Since the original prequel, Avatar: The Last Airbender debuted in 2005 and ended in 2008, the next installment, i.e. Legend of Korra debuted in 2012. Thus, the time difference between the two is equal to almost 4 years.

As stated, the most significant time gap category is the one created by the story. The time difference of 70 years is palpable in the Legend of Korra since the show was announced as the sequel to Avatar and is set in a much more technologically advanced futuristic society. According to the markers, the Legend of Korra is chronologically situated sometime in the 2000s. This implies that Avatar: The Last Airbender was situated in 1900s.

In Summary:

Perspective SelectedTime Difference
Reel-world70 years
Real-World4 years

Why Is Korra So Long After Avatar?

The Legend of Korra is so long after Avatar: The Last Airbender because it took the team some time to develop the sequel. The real-world time difference of 4 years can be attributed to this seminal variable.  Korra’s wide critical acclaim is symptomatic of the time it took to ideate the future of the anime and develop it for television.

The in-story time difference was necessary as the creators wanted to place Korra in a technically adept society. Since the events of the Last Airbender, they wished to show that there had been considerable change. The theme of conflict resulting from the spiritual unrest in the modern world was an essential theme for Korra to explore. To be able to succinctly do so it was important to set in far into the future.

By placing the Legend of Korra 70 years into the future, the creators were poised to explore more mature socio-political themes than the Last Airbender. The 70 years in between the two installments had allowed for considerable social, economic, and technological progress that created a rich tapestry for the main action to unfold against.

Thus, the chosen time gap in the story was a consciously planned one. The storyline in terms of the obstacles encountered over the seasons, the weapons used, etc. all depended on the technical progress that occurred over the time lapse in between the two shows. Since Korra depicts revolutionary movements, political machinations, underground criminal activities, social inequality, etc. – issues not dealt with in the previous installment, it was important to create the time lap between the shows.


In the world of anime sequels and prequels, there are often disputes vis-à-vis the chronological lineup of the shows. This is true for the world of Avatar as well. Avatar: The Last Airbender was the original show that was later succeeded by Avatar: The Legend of Korra. The time gap between them is both in-built as well as real.

In terms of the in-story time gap, Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of the previous show –Avatar: The Last Airbender. However, the real-time difference between the two shows is quite brief, spanning only about 4 years.


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