This Cobra Kai Theory Suggests That Tory Has a Connection to an Old Karate Kid Villain

This Cobra Kai Theory Suggests That Tory Has a Connection to an Old Karate Kid Villain
Cobra Kai, the webseries that recently found a rapt new audience on Netflix, catches up with a couple of key characters from The Karate Kid more than 30 years later. But in addition to continuing the stories of Danny LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), Seasons 1 and 2 of Cobra Kai also introduced a host of new, younger characters to fulfil the teenage roles first held by the show’s leads. Among them is Tory Nichols (Peyton List).

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Season 2 of Cobra Kai ended in a climactic showdown at the high school that left many fans wondering whether Tory would end up in juvie as a result of her violent actions. Cobra Kai showrunner Hayden Schlossberg has confirmed that this won’t happen, and that Tory will live to fight another day when Season 3 comes out next year. But a lot of question marks still hang over this character.

In a new video on the Cobra Kai Theory channel, one fan speculates that Tory might actually have a connection to an earlier instalment of the movie franchise. Nichols, or Nickels (it’s unsure how the name is spelled) could be code, it is argued, for silver. In this case, Terry Silver, the villain from The Karate Kid Part III.

Being the daughter, granddaughter, niece or even second cousin of the rich and powerful Silver would certainly explain how Tory was able to avoid spending time in jail after her attack with deadly intent on Sam in Season 2. And as nobody from her family has appeared in Cobra Kai yet, the theory does hold some water.

It’s also possible that Tori’s name was simply written as a nod to Terry, rather than an overt reference to them being related — but then again, this show does love harkening back to its own history, so who knows.

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Of course, it might actually be for the best if Tory ends up simply being a completely unrelated character. Cobra Kai is already so concerned with ideas of legacy and heritage, not to mention infused with nostalgia for the original Karate Kid movies, that at this point adding another branch to the fictional family tree would feel a little superfluous. (You only need to look at the labored plotting of the last Star Wars movie to remember how making a new character part of an existing dynasty in the canon doesn’t necessarily provide the audience with the narrative satisfaction it’s intended to.)

Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.

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