In this Legend of Korra - "Out of the Past" clip about Yukone's trial, it shows a grown up Toph Beifong, a tall woman. In this video of the fight between Su, Lin and Toph vs. Kuvira it shows a completely different version of how Toph looks - a small, old woman.

This really confuses me. I can’t understand why and how this happened. Why would the animators change her appearance so drastically? It doesn't seem logical!

Can someone explain why this change was made?

  • But before that: are you entirely sure you aren't confusing Toph with one of her daughters, Lin or Suyin?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 20:28
  • @F1Krazy Nope. Lin is her successor.
    – Alex A
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 20:47
  • I'm not sure what confuses you, the flashback is about 40 years in the past (from Korra's present). So of course the "present" Toph is an old lady. During the Kuvira storyline Toph is 80+ years old.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 22:29
  • @AlexA for the first link would this one do?. it's not named the same but it's the only time that i can recall what you are referring to about Toph's height
    – Memor-X
    Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


In LOK, Toph Beifong is shown as big chief of police

The chief of police in (present time) Legend of Korra is Lin Beifong, Toph's daughter.

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The old lady you see is Toph Beifong, Lin's mother and the earth-bending blind companion of Aang in Avatar The Last Airbender.

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Key differences

  • Notice that Toph retains her original hairstyle from ATLA.
  • Toph is blind, Lin is not.
  • There is also a vast difference in their personalities. They are both headstrong and stubborn, but Toph is quirky whereas Lin is stoic (quite the polar opposite).

The episode you mention (Out of the past, wiki link) is a flashback. From the linked wiki page:

enter image description here

Korra envisions a forty-year-old Aang and Toph on their way to arrest Yakone.

Notice how Toph still wears her own unique hairstyle. As far as we've been shown, from her first introduction in ATLA until well into old age, Toph has always retained this hairstyle. Since she's blind, it somewhat stands to reason that she's not inclined to ever change her hairstyle for aesthetic purposes.

Toph's presence in this flashback scene is also touched on in Toph's wiki page:

After Republic City's formation, Toph became the city's first Chief of Police, forming the Metalbending Police Force to help maintain order. She had two daughters with two different men: Lin, who succeeded her as Chief of Police, and Suyin, who created the metal city of Zaofu.

Because, normally in flashback where Toph was showed as chief of police, it suppose to continue, and not to be modified, because it doesn’t look logic. Am I right?

I have no idea what you mean. Do you mean that flashbacks should only happen if the present is still the same (i.e. Toph was still the chief of police)?

Because it's quite the opposite. Cinematographically speaking, flashbacks are almost uniquely used to showcase how the past was different from the present.If the past was the same as the present, there'd be no point to doing a flashback and you could instead have (present time) characters talk about a past event. Flashbacks allow us to have the option of additional context to help explain a story and how its characters behaved due to their circumstances.

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