Kai from The Legend of Korra went from thief to becoming an Airbender after the third season of the series. Taking place several decades after Avatar: The Last Airbender, the sequel series gave audiences a whole new group of heroes and villains as our main hero Korra attempts to keep the balance in the world just like her predecessor. We also had some great supporting characters along the way.
Book Three introduced us to Kai, an orphan who resorted to stealing in order to survive and went on the run from the Earth Kingdom due to his actions. Being an Airbender himself, he later joined Tenzin, and others like him to help train in his skills and learn about their culture. Finally finding a place where he belonged, Kai found his calling while living with the Airbenders and helped Korra in her journey. Here are some interesting facts to know about Kai.
10 Kai Gave a False Story When He First Met Team Avatar
When they first meet Kai, Team Avatar was given a false story from Kai about his background. He claimed to have lost his parents when a couple of outlaws were after his family and has been on the run ever since. Korra and the team bought the story and decided to have him tag along with the group. He was later exposed when the outlaws caught up with him and revealed to be the authorities. Mako caught Kai red-handed as he attempted to run off with his loot.
Once the sheriff took custody, Kai was sent to prison. However, Korra decided to give him another chance to redeem himself by offering to return the stuff he stole in exchange for his freedom. Ever since then, Kai vowed to turn over a new leaf and learn to hone his skills as an airbender.
9 He Is an Expert Thief
As an orphan, Kai had to resort to stealing in order to stay alive. With his Airbending abilities, Kai was able to go on by as he used them to pickpocket the rich. He was also a convincing liar when he came up with a false story to tell Team Avatar in order to get on their ship and loot them.
After joining Team Avatar, he went back to thievery when they landed in Ba Sing Se by stealing from the wealthy and living off of their riches. His other skills as a thief include lock-picking, which he was able to use when he tried to escape a metal cage when he and Jinora were kidnapped by bison hunters.
8 Kai Got His Airbending After the Harmonic Convergence
Just like countless others who were non-benders, Kai developed his skills as an Airbender after the Harmonic Convergence. For those who don’t know, the Harmonic Convergence is a supernatural phenomenon that happens every ten thousand years. It’s where all the planets align, causing the spirit portals from the North and South Poles to merge and amplify spirit energy.
It was when spirits Raava and Vaatu engage in a battle to determine the fate of the world. After Korra managed to save both her world and the spirit world, the planet’s energy started to shift and make some drastic changes. One of those changes included giving ordinary people the ability to Airbend. It seems like Kai managed to get his skills as a thief after his Airbending abilities manifested.
7 He Is a Master Airbender
Ever since becoming an Airbender, Kai has grown accustomed to the abilities as he continues to craft his skills. When we first meet him, Kai was able to use the air to pull off some amazing maneuvers to escape when he pulled off some heists.
After he trained with Jinora, he displayed some amazing combative airbending when he was held captive by the Dai Li. Even when he was learning from Tenzin, he kept getting better and better over time. He learned some impressive airbending techniques like making an air shield. Three years later after his training, we see that Kai has drastically improved his style by making some adept and accurate attacks.
6 Kai is an Animal Lover
After arriving in the Northern Air Temple, Kai and Jinora notice a herd of flying bison going by. Kai is fascinated by these creatures, often referring to them as “bisons”. He is particularly friendly with the baby flying bison when he goes down to pet one of them.
When the baby bison were kidnapped, both he and Jinora freed them from captivity and stopped the bison rustlers with some help from Tenzin. Afterward, it seemed like the bison warmed up to Kai, with Tenzin explaining that the herd recognized him as their own.
5 He Has a Flying Bison Named Lefty
During his stay at the Northern Air Temple, Kai befriended a baby bison, whom he named Lefty. His new friend managed to pull him and his friends out of safety on a number of occasions.
The two of them would later go on other adventures during the three-year time jump in Book Four, where he would go on missions with Jinora and Opal. Lefty has been the most helpful during these rescue missions with Kai when they save some nomads by picking up supplies for them. These two were inseparable after they met, making them friends for life.
4 Kai Ends Up with Jinora
Over the course of the series, we got to see Kai and Jinora’s relationship develop over time. When they first met, Jinora developed a crush on Kai after offering to train him in Airbending.
We get to see them go on many adventures together, but it wasn’t until Jinora saves Kai from the Earth Queen’s prison that it turns out Kai also liked Jinora. They both grew friendly towards each other during their training lessons and Kai seems to respect Jinora as a person after encouraging her to prove to Tenzin that she can become an airbending master. He also cares for her safety and well-being when they were running away from the Red Lotus. After the three-year time jump, it was nice to see that they finally made their relationship official.
3 Kai Changed for the Better
Ever since joining Team Avatar, Kai’s perspective of the world changed as he was out of his bubble. Seeing people like him looking for help has caused Kai to change his attitude and use his airbending skills to aid individuals in need rather than stealing for himself.
We get to see that when he helped Kuvira deliver supplies for the nearby villages. During the takeover of Republic City, we got to see him save fellow Airbender Ryu from Kuvira’s machine. He has come a long way from being a thief and redeemed himself by using his abilities to help others.
2 Kai Shares the Same Traits as Avatars Aang and Wan
Kai comes off on screen as this adventurous kid who comes from a rough place. As a character, he happens to share some of the same qualities as two Avatars. According to the creators of the show, Kai’s personality comes off from a bit of Aang from the first series and of the first Avatar, Wan.
We do see bits of a mischievous Aang as Kai craves for adventure by pulling scams on people using his airbending. As for Wan, we see that Kai comes from a mysterious background like him. Like Wan, Kai was living in poverty as he was trying to survive by stealing.
1 Kai Was Named After the Son of One of the Series’ Writers
The development of Kai’s name goes back to the writers’ room when Joshua Hamilton, one of the writers on the show was creating the character. Hamilton has worked with creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko since Avatar: The Last Airbender writing a couple of episodes.
Hamilton returned for the sequel series starting from Book Two. With Kai, Hamilton named the character after his own son when he wrote the first episode that he appears in. It shows the sentimental love that Hamilton has for his son by naming a character after him.
Kai from Avatar's sequel The Legend Of Korra had a ton of development on the show. Here 10 facts & trivia you may not know about him.