“The Legend of Korra” Season 4 will debut this Friday (Oct. 3), and the newly-released opening scene promises to have fans counting down the minutes. The new clip makes it clear that while Book 4 is titled “Balance,” more than a few elements of change are still working on Korra’s world.

Speaking of Korra, the Avatar herself is notably missing from the clip, though her absence itself seems to have become a presence in Republic City.

 



“The Legend of Korra” Season 4 opens with Hypable’s old friend Shiro Shinobi singing the praises of Republic City. The metropolis is now a cultural haven where humans and spirits intermingle. A statue of Korra stands in a park named after her (which is a little bit grim) and Shinobi blithely informs us that Korra has been away from Republic City for three years.

The passage of time has an evident impact on the the episode, which is titled “After All These Years.” Republic City’s railway system has been modernized, thanks to Asami, which allows for a new political alliance between the city and the Earth Kingdom. An heir to said kingdom, Prince Wu, has been scraped up from somewhere; though the kid is apparently a spoiled jerk, he will soon take the throne of Ba Sing Se. 

Other changes are subtle, but still noticeable. Air-baby Rohan is now a toddler, while Mako has new hair and a completely new costume. (But to our considerable relief, Meelo is still a nose-picker.)

Of course, it is the absence of Korra which poses the most questions. The first clip released from “The Legend of Korra” Season 4, which took place shortly after the conclusion of Book 3, indicated that the Avatar was leaving Republic City for a short while — but it seems that her recovery from Zaheer’s attack has taken considerably longer. 

A brief synopsis for Book 4: Balance offers a hint at what Korra will be up to in the show’s final season — and suggests that all is not quite as well in the world as Shiro Shinobi’s cheerful narration suggests.

“In Book Three, Avatar Korra had to save the world and endured her most intense battle yet. 

Now broken and bruised, she begins a journey of self-discovery and survival in a new world where the strong prey upon the weak.”

That definitely doesn’t sound good — but things get grimmer as the summary continues.

“When an aggressive military force rises up led by the power hungry Kuvira, the fate of the Earth Kingdom hangs in the balance and only the Avatar can set things right.” 

You know what that means: We may have to root for that stupid Prince Wu against the mysterious metalbender Kuvira.

Why, Bryke? Why? 

“The Legend of Korra” Season 4, episode 1, “After All These Years,” will begin streaming on Oct. 3 on Nick.com.

Posted by:Hypable