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A dork avatar is what he is.
Gender: Male
Type: Evil Mentor
Dark Messiah (or Dark Avatar in this case)
Evil Reactionary
Age: Around 30s-Early 50s (presumedly)
Species: Human (prior to Darkness Falls)
Human-Spirit hybrid (Darkness Falls and Light in the Dark)
Portrayed by: Adrian LaTourelle
Status: Deceased (or Purified)
Media of origin: The Legend of Korra

See, even the creators knew he was bad!
Unalaq is one of the major antagonists in The Legend of Korra, appearing as the secondary antagonist of Book 2: Spirits (alongside with the main villain being Vaatu) and a posthumous antagonist in Book 3: Change.

Unalaq is Korra's uncle and second archenemy, the younger brother of Tonraq (Korra's father), and the father of the twins Desna and Eska. Though he initially seemed to be a well-meaning individual who offers to train Avatar Korra in the ways of the Spirits, his villainous side was revealed when it is learned that he was the one responsible for the banishment of Tonraq from the Northern Water Tribe.

Bad Qualities

  1. Compared to all of the other antagonists throughout Legend of Korra who were at least entertaining and compelling, he seems like a bland, underwhelmed insane, and cartoonishly evil antagonist. Even, after the plot twist that he's an follower to Vaatu (the Avatar and Raava's first enemy).
    • Amon from Book 1 was unique for being one of the few people who could take away someone's bending, and he was fighting for equality thinking benders were a dangerous threat and making some rather valid points.
    • Zaheer from Book 3 featured a complex philosophy about a world free of tyrants, exploitation, and oppressive laws. On top of that, he delved into the spirit world a number of times and he was an acrobat non-bender-turned-airbender, who fought alongside with a Lavabender, another Combustionbender, and a terrifying armless Waterbender. Plus, he's crazy unpredictable. How awesome is that?
    • Kuvira from Book 4 was a master strategist and an elite Metalbender with an incredible large-scale army and some cutting-edge tech. She also a better reactionary villain who really wanted to reclaim the United Republic to make the Earth Kingdom into a coherent whole, restore order and prosperity.
    • Vaatu was a good villain on his own, being a powerful spirit, but Unalaq stands alone as being a generic rotten-to-the-core baddie and his right-hand man with zero sympathetic qualities or coolness factors, which makes him feel unoriginal and inferior in every way rehash of Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  2. Squeaking of rehashing. He also acts like a mostly weak foil to Gyatso (or Tenzin) from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Due to these two are having connections (artificial and/or biological) with the current Avatars (Gyatso being an Airbender Monk/Member of the Council of Elders and father-figure to Aang (or Tenzin is a real father to his family and a metaphorical father-figure for Korra) and Unalaq being the main Waterbender Chief and uncle to Korra). And have different beliefs of how to connect with the spirits (Gyatso/Tenzin is non-radical and peaceful, while Unalaq is the opposite of these two).
  3. He has a generic look that looks too much like Tarrlok, making them very difficult to tell apart.
  4. His motivations regarding uniting the material and spirit worlds aren't fleshed out, and his development feels rushed in no small part to his characterization mentioned above.
  5. Also his plan makes no sense. He wanted to release Vaatu (the spirit of darkness), merge with him, and bring about 10,000 years of darkness. Why he thinks this is a good idea, and how ending humanity is supposed to help his earlier goal of restoring his nation's neglected spiritual beliefs, is not really addressed. But hey... insanely evil!
  6. His constant flip-flopping over whether he needs Korra to open the northern spirit portal is pretty awkward.
  7. His manipulation of Korra would've been more effective and lasting, if he hadn't issued a civil war on the North and South Water tribes and tried to do away with his brother, Korra's father, just out of petty spite.
  8. Overall, his completely rushed motives made him so vile, that nobody, even including his family, cared of his death, nor even anybody trying to avenge him unlike with Ozai who got a secret society to try to restore him back to the throne.

Good Qualities

  1. His voice actor, Adrian Latourelle, did a good job voicing the role.
  2. Though poorly executed, the idea of having a Dark Avatar as opposed to its Light counterpart is a pretty cool concept.
    • Also their giant Dark Avatar form, looks very cool.
  3. Unalaq started off interesting as a well-intentioned villain, though he rather turned into a nearly-generic Doomsday villain quickly.
  4. He is capable of spirit bending which can be pretty cool.
  5. His death in the finale was satisfying to watch considering how his interestingly good intentions ultimately fell completely flat in execution.


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