For theories about other subjects, see The Legend Of Korra Wild Mass Guessing Index
They are the offspring of King Bumi and Azula
Oh, yeah. So, basically, King Bumi rescued Azula from prison and they fell desperately in love. Wow... this theory sounded funnier and less perverted in my mind.
- Impossible AND Jossed. Their parents are shown in a photo in Book 3, and it's clearer than glass from that photo that they are not Bumi and Azula. Plus, Azula would possibly have been too old to have them, considering how old Mako and Bolin are in the first 3 Books.
Bolin and Mako are Ursa's grandchildren...
When she was banished, Ursa probably hid out in the Earth Kingdom somewhere. Eventually, she remarried an Earthbender man. They had at least one child who relocated to the United Republic, who later had Bolin and Mako, an earthbender and firebender, respectively.
Similar to above, Mako and Bolin are somehow related to Zuko.
Mako looks similar to Zuko. Bolin and Mako's names follow a small trend from the royal family. S"O"zin, "O"zai, Ir"O"h, Zuk"O", B"O"lin, Mak"O". They all have the OH sound. And before anyone just says it's a tribute to Mako(the voice actor), Two Birds, One Stone. Zuko, the grandson of Roku(again, a hard OH), Traveled with the Avatar. Now, perhaps, HIS grandsons travel with the next Avatar.
- IT'S A TWIST! 8D
- Mako's not just a Zuko Expy, it's In the Blood. The brothers may not even know they're related to the royal family until something happens to reveal it.
- Also more to the point: It cannot be more glaringly obvious that the Avatar 'verse takes cues from various Asian cultures, and The Legend of Korra does not deviate from this whatsoever. It was actually common for feudal lords and the like to preserve their bloodlines by siring children with commoners and keeping them unaware of their lineage until the time comes that a propper heir doesn't seem to exist. And, correct me if I'm wrong because I'm too lazy to find a high-quality image of him right now, doesn't Mako have the Fire Nation Royal Family's trademark gold eyes?
- Golden eyes are a Fire Nation trait, period, not restricted to the royal family in the slightest.
Mako and Bolin are Azula's grandsons.
Azula recovered from her insanity some time after the War ended, and traveled the Earth Kingdom as The Atoner
during the turbulent days between her father's defeat and the founding of Republic City. There, she met Haru, fell in love with him and his smexy mustache, and married him. At least one child and one in-law later, here come Mako and Bolin. Maybe they have a firebender father/uncle/cousin who is voiced by Dante Basco
- Or maybe she married King Kuei being a Princess and everything. (Don't look at me like that...)
- I now ship this.
- He fell for her when she held a fire-knife to him during her takeover of his kingdom. Kuei thought that was hot.
- Writing fanfic now...
Mako and Bolin are Lu Ten grandson's, Iroh's great-grandsons.
Inheriting both Iroh's open-mindedness and his charisma, Lu Ten had a secret romance with an Earth Kingdom girl. Being a member of the Royal family, directly in line for the throne, his combat abilities would be comparable to Ozai, Iroh, Zuko and Azula. Also, being a prince, he was probably kept way from the most dangerous fighting. The reason he was killed was because he was unfocused and emotionally conflicted, torn between his duty and his feelings. With Lu Ten dead, and either pregnant or having given birth to a child fathered by "the enemy," the mother would have been pressured into leaving her home, with her child. The mother and child would have been homeless, until eventually moving to Republic City, somewhere they could finally be accepted. While till very poor, possibly still homeless, Lu Ten's child was still able to have a family, Mako and Bolin. This would explain Mako's very impressive firebending abilities, being able to win 3v1, assuming bending proficiency is inheritable. It would also make a connection between Mako and the man he is named after, Iroh's voice actor. It would also make quite an interesting backstory, making these street rats directly related to royalty, as well as creating a connection to the previous series.
- Unlikely. It's doubtful Ozai would have described Iroh's line as dead if he had grandchildren. It's implied from that conversation that Lu Ten was Iroh's only child and that he died childless.
- Except that idea has points against it. The WMG states that it was secret. If Iroh didn't notice the it is unlikely that family at home had a clue as to what was going on. Also, even if they did know, they probably would have rejected the child because the mother was from their rivals, the Earth Kingdom.
Mako and Bolin will have a family name.
Republic City is densely populated enough that single names wouldn't be sufficient to organize society, surnames will have been adopted by the general populace.
Amon is Mako and Bolin's older brother.
When their parent(s) dropped them off at the orphanage, Mako and Bolin were separated from their older brother because they were benders. Due to the special needs of young benders, they get segregated from the non-bender orphans. Can't have them setting the bed sheets on fire and whatnot. A heartbroken Amon (not his name) came to resent his brothers when they were adopted and he wasn't, because their new parents only wanted benders. While Mako and Bolin ran away from this couple for whatever reason, Amon had escaped the orphanage and joined a non-bender gang that trains him in chi-blocking. So the episode titled "The Skeleton in the Closet"? That skeleton is in Mako and Bolin's closet, and it's their brother Amon. Although Korra either won't find out about this until much later, or will learn it but agree to keep it quiet to protect Mako and Bolin's reputation.
- Wow, I want this to be true. Maybe all the details won't play out that way, but Amon being related to Mako and Bolin would be a great revelation.
- Alternatively, Amon is Mako and Bolin's older brother, except he never knew that they were benders. During "The Revelation", Amon claimed that his father had been killed by a Fire Bender, along with the rest of his family. Earlier in the same episode, Mako revealed that his parents were killed by a Fire Bending mugger. The stories are similar enough that, looking at the ages of the parties involved, might account for the minor inconsistencies. It will eventually be revealed that Mako was able to save himself and Bolin from the Fire Bender by Firebending for the first time, but Amon thought they perished with their parents in the attack since he believed no one in the family could bend. Perhaps he even recognized Bolin at the rally, leading him to later seek out his only remaining family and eventually pull a Heel Face Turn.
- Jossed. The Skeleton In The Closet was Amon lying about his past. Amon/Noatak and Tarrlok's father, Yakone, died shortly after Noatak deserted him. Seeing as how the events surrounding Yakone take place 40 to 25 years before The Legend Of Korra, and he died of grief at the end of that time period, and Mako & Bolin were in their late teens for Book 1, that makes it impossible for Mako & Bolin to be related to Amon, since THEIR parents were murdered, were probably nowhere near the Northern Water Tribe, and were killed in Mako & Bolin's early years, well after Yakone's death could have taken place.
- On top of that, no Heel Face Turn happens. Amon escapes with Tarrlok after Korra outs him as a Waterbender/Bloodbender, and Tarrlok blows up their escape boat, killing them both.
- And the final nail: A photo of Mako & Bolin with their parents was at their grandmother's house in Ba Sing Se, and they look nothing like Yakone and his wife.
Mako won't believe in the traditional Fire Nation concept of honor. Bolin, however, will.
Stemming from the multicultural angle of the show, Mako's personal belief won't lie up entirely with what we've come to expect from a traditional firebender. Growing up in a republican society rather than a feudal one, and among people of many cultures, Mako won't put any stock in the notion of honor. Instead Bolin will, as a way to tie himself to whichever parent of theirs is ethnically Fire. This division between the brothers, and their respective beliefs, will catch them flak from the more traditionally minded members of their native elements: Mako for not measuring up to what a "real" man should be, Bolin for acting like he's Fire Nation.
- This sounds like it would have been a fun concept to play around with. Too bad we don't see anything like it in the show.
Mako will be Bi.
And thus Yaoi Fangirl
Korra will have a very satisfying relationship with her BF indeed.
- Haha, nope. As of the finale, it's the other way around.
Mako will apply the technique of bending lightning in new ways.
From what we've seen, Republic City is a sizable metropolis, and with the series being set in 20's of the Avatar 'verse, it's not a stretch to imagine that there are electric lights and other such devices present within the city. At some point, either via his own merits or by being taught by someone else, our party's resident firebender will gain the ability to influence electric technology with his bending. This could have numerous applications; halting the current in a wire shuts down an electric machine, sending a jolt of power through a device overloads (and explodes) it, stopping and starting the flow of current in lights is used for signaling purposes, etc. Such a skill would invariably prove useful to the party, and would just be cool as hell.
- Confirmed, sort of, in "The Revelation." Mako and other Firebenders use lightning-generation abilities to help run a power plant.
Mako is Koh.
Only thing I have going for this is the pronunciation of Mako's name, Ma-koh
. I'm aware of the Meaningful Name
, but nothing says that honoring Mako
has to be the only meaning. It's been a full Avatar Cycle since Kuruk tried to kill Koh, so maybe he doesn't care about that anymore. Mako could be Koh's temporary human form, and through a friendship with Korra he can be certain this
Water Tribe Avatar won't be as lazy as Kuruk.
will end up joining the Equalists
- It's already been spoiled that Bolin will be kidnapped by the Equalists Maybe it's a ploy to lure Mako and Korra, and once they arrive Bolin will use some Chi-blocking attacks to beat the living shit out of them. Mako...Will Not take this well.
- There's a little problem: Bolin is an Earthbender. The Equalists, as you may recall, have a dim view on the Benders.
- And it's jossed. They were actually getting ready to take his bending away, but Mako & Korra save him. He never joins the Equalists.
Bolin will use Pabu to flirt with girls.
Bolin is a ladies man, and who can resist a Ridiculously Cute Critter
Mako and Bolin were Triad enforcers
When looking for Bolin in the latest online clip Mako's first instinct is to check the Triad headquarters. He knows where those headquarters are and he seems unusually familiar with Triad protocol. This troper thinks that Mako and Bolin used to work as muscle, perhaps even high-ranking muscle, for the Triple Threats and used the money they earned there as a stepping stone to becoming pro-benders. That might also be why the fabulous bending brothers are such a dominant team. They earned those bending skills by fighting for their lives in the back alleys of Republic City.
- Jossed.. they ran numbers (did accounting).
- Actually, it seems running numbers seems to mean something a little different than accounting.
- Second actually, Mako said I ran numbers. We're never told what exactly Bolin did.
Mako and Bolin are Zuko and Mai's grandchildren
Mai and Zuko's child was a firebender, who maried an earthbender, and they they had two sons. Mako looks a lot like Zuko.
- If Mako and Bolin were the grandchildren of the Fire Lord, wouldn't the Fire Nation royal family have taken them into care after their parents were killed, instead of letting them grow up as orphans on the street? Also, Mako's story of his family getting killed by a firebender implies that neither of his parents was one.
- How would being killed by a firebender indicate that neither one was a firebender?
- If one of the parents was a firebender, s/he would have probably tried to fight the other firebender, and Mako would have probably mentioned this in his story.
- Perhaps they were pacifists? Or they were adopted and he didn't know. Or his mother wasn't exactly faithful. Or maybe the father did try to fight but was just an electrical worker and didn't have the actual fighting skill necessary to beat a street thug. But, at any rate, saying a firebender killed his parents is important to the story because it's how they died but whether they could bend or not is irrelevant because it did them no good and Mako clearly didn't want to spend too much time reliving the entire ordeal.
- Perhaps Mako and Bolin (or maybe just Mako) was the result of infidelity on the part of their mother and Zuko and Mai's son. If the mother didn't tell Zuko's son that her son (or sons) were his, he wouldn't have known to take them in after they were orphaned.
- First of all, Any special royal services either Zuko or his daughter would be able to prvide Mako and Bolin woukd be rendered meeaningless after the formation of The United Republic. Secondly, I came up with this theory based almost entiuerly on the fact that Mako and Zuko look strikingly similar. I don't think that's a coincidence.
- The existence of the Republic doesn't mean the Fire Nation has ceased to exist. It's still there, and presumably the Fire Lord still is a powerful and influential leader. And even if he/she wasn't, had Zuko or his daughter learned that their grandchildren/nephews had become orphans, surely he or she would've taken Mako and Bolin to live with them instead of leaving them on the streets. As for Mako looking like Zuko, many comic book and animation artists simply like to use similar character models. For example, Tahno looks kinda like Jet, and Asami looks like June, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are related.
Mako and Bolin are actually waterbenders. Also Mako is actually Amon and Bolin is the true avatar
There is no such person as "Amon". Just some poor random guy Mako takes complete and utter control over as a puppet for his firebender-hating agenda, using his extremely advanced bloodbending. Think about it: exact same back-story, except with an additional "scarring" in "Amon"'s case as a convenient way to just grab any ol Joe off the street and sticking a mask on him without arousing suspicion. As for Mako's "firebending", all he's doing is imitating firebending forms and super-heating water vapor to incandescence using his insanely powerful waterbending to look like he's a firebender, thus deflecting any suspicion that he's the mastermind behind "Amon" through bloodbending. Bolin knows all of this, but he plays along because he's FUCKING TERRIFIED of Mako and his beyond-Azula levels of crazy nastiness. Also Bolin is the real avatar. Korra can bend three elements because a lionturtle secretly visited her at birth and used spiritbending to give her the ability to earth- and firebend, just to troll people. This explains why she has such trouble airbending: because she CAN'T. Bolin is a waterbending avatar. He just doesn't know it because everyone already thinks Korra's the avatar. He just thinks he's an earthbender because, for some weird reason, he only ever bends the water in the hydrated silica in the crystal structures of rocks.
- Jossed. For one thing, Amon took away bending when Mako wasn't there (while capturing Korra), and it would be pretty much impossible for him to follow Amon around while he was chasing Korra. Mako also lightningbends, which would be pretty hard to fake as a waterbender (especially if it was your job). Furthermore, there's little doubt that Korra's the avatar after season 2.
Mako and Bolin's parents were both earthbenders.
Or, at least Bolin's were. Mako and Bolin's father wasn't really Mako's biological father because their mother had an affair with a firebender, resulting in Mako's conception, but it was broken off at some point before Bolin was conceived and her husband was oblivious because Mako hadn't begun to bend yet (or if he did, he kept a secret, perhaps because his mother asked him to). Mako's biological father may or may not have been Zuko's son.
- Why does he have to stay oblivious? All Mako knows is his parents were killed by a fire bender. Who's to say that fire bender wasn't his biological father?
The White Lotus Guards and Air Acolytes will be endlessly amused.
- Episode 6 previews show that the arena might be closed. Maybe this happens in the aftermath?
- Episode 7 initially subverts this. Korra invites them, but they move in with Asami until it's discovered that her father is an Equalist. Now it seems all three of them are going to move in.
Mako and Bolin are not actually blood-related.
- This would explain why they don't realy look alike, like, in the slightest. Bolin would be a street child that Mako more or less adopted when he himself had to live on the streets.
- This theory... Is just adorable!
The death of Mako and Bolin's parents
I've got a couple thoughts concerning the nature in which they died and the intent behind their deaths. Keep in mind, part of this theory resulted from drawing comparisons between Mako and Bolin's parents and the Waynes
, which is integral.
One has to wonder if Mako witnessed his parents getting burned to death or getting electrocuted to death. Lightning bending has become a mundane skill, evidenced by Mako and many other firebenders who use it to power generators for work. It would take less time to take down a target with lightning, especially if said targets are benders—one of which, a firebender. Mako and Bolin's parents would have fought back the moment they saw they were in danger. Getting killed by electrocution is faster and less noticeable, as getting killed by fire would mean that the fight was drawn out, leading to possible witnesses and at the most the police being notified. In either case, the couple slipped up in trying to defend each other and the boys, ending in their deaths.
Of course, Mako and Bolin's parents may have been snuck up on, having no chance to fight back. Either way, Mako would have witnessed his parents die a horrible way (and God forbid Bolin witnessing it too, who was even younger at the time).
But what if this wasn't just your usual mugging with a desperate firebender looking for a way to make a quick yuan? What if, like in some versions of the death of the Waynes, that mugging was just a disguise for murder? Or what if it was just that—murder—and Mako never realized it?
A murder seems likely, as a mugging ending up in murder unintentionally seems improbable, at least not in the conventional sense. Any form of resistance would have resulted in a scuffle, and with bending involved it would have gathered too much attention unless dealt with swiftly, as stated above.
We don't know enough to know if the perpetrator was ever caught, or if Mako didn't tell Korra the entire truth if he knew more than he let on. What I do know is, for two benders to be killed by a firebender without much of a fight in a mugging is much more unlikely than it being intentional, planned out murder. In my eyes, their deaths has become a great mystery I hope the show explores. One has to wonder exactly who they were and if there was any reason behind their deaths beyond it just being another unfortunate casualty in Republic City. Were they just a couple who ended up as unfortunate casualties marking the corruption and crime in Republic City? Or were they people of significance intentionally sought out to be killed?
Because of the Equalists, they will be required to live with Korra and the Air Nomads, taking the now free time they have to learn about the history and origins behind their bending. By embracing the spiritual side of their bending and training on the Island with Korra while the Arena (which was where their home was) is being repaired, the two brothers' will have more powerful bending and become better fighters as a whole to help Korra counter the Equalists.
- Partially confirmed in Episode 7 where they move in with Korra and the Air family at the end. Now it's whether or not they use the time to Take a Level in Badass while there.
In book 2: Spirit, Bolin will be possesed by an evil spirit.
Such evil spirit will bring out his darker side and fight Mako, exploiting his hidden jelousy for his brother and it will make him a formidable foe.
- Jossed, although a Dark Spirit does possess a snowmobile that Bolin was using
Bolin will take a level in badass and invent or rediscover a technique or specialized type of earthbending
Calling it now. Bolin will rediscover magma bending, making him one of the strongest earthbenders of his era.
- "Who's bringing the heat now bro?!"
- He's not behind it being rediscovered, but he does learn lavabending.
Mako and Bolin do have a surviving aunt or uncle.
However, this relative is an Equalist who disowned their sibling long ago for either being a bender, marrying a bender, or having bender children. Mako and Bolin will find out about this relative and be eager to meet them, only to end up disappointed and crushed that their only other surviving family members want nothing to do with them.
- Confirmed. They not only have a living uncle, but an entire extended family, living in Ba Sing Se.
Mako is building up to becoming a sympathetic villain
In episode seven, he was pretty much a world-class jerk. He claimed Korra accused Hiroshi Sato of being Equalist-aligned because she was jealous of him and Asami, and he threatened to break off his and Korra's friendship because of it. However, at the end of the episode, when it turns out Korra is right, he swings right back around to being nice to her. This troper thinks this is some sort of foreshadowing of Mako's character. Maybe he won't turn into a straight-up villain, but maybe he will become someone who is definitely not a friendly.
Mako and Bolin are Sokka's and Suki's grandchildren.
Bolin is too like Sokka for this to not be true.
- Or Bolin read The Legend of Wang Fire & decided to be just like him when he grew up.
- Combining this with the above 'Mako and Bolin not related' WMG, it's just Bolin related to them.
Mako and Bolin are going to run into some old Triple Threat Triad friends in prison.
And Asami is NOT going to be happy about Mako's criminal past.
- Bolin is also mostly clueless on how dark things were and will make Mako explain, adding further pressure. It isn't pleasant if someone you looked up to got his hands dirty.
Mako will die before series end.
His will be a most epic death
, probably with a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner
or a Taking You with Me
. This might happen for two reasons: It could work as Bryke's tribute to Mr. Iwamatsu, giving his eponymous character a viking funeral. The second reason: Bryke enjoys crushing shippers' dreams. What better way to solve the Love Dodecahedrons' detailed in other guesses than to have at least one be all for naught? The second season will see Asami and Korra grieving Mako's loss together, and becoming closer friends in the process.
- Jossed. Mako ALMOST has a Heroic Sacrifice in the Book 4/series finale, but Bolin rescues him just before the core of Kuvira's colossus blows up.
Mako will be separated from the rest of the group.
Whether by death, willingly parting ways, or unwillingly parting ways, he'll be away from Korra and co. for a long time. The love triangle will cease to be a big issue for Asami and Korra, Bolin will come into his own, and Mako may or may not grow as a person too from the experience.
- Confirmed. This all happens in the 3 years between Books 3 & 4. Mako is still very much alive for Book 4, though.
Bolin will learn how to Metalbend in Season 2 or become a Metalbender Cop at the end of the series
He has been trying his best to show he is a competent member of the team and is a skilled Earthbender. This would be a good marker to show his skill development
, his potential
, and many ladies would swoon over a man in uniform
Bolin will be mentored by Lin
- And Bolin will become the wisecracking, cheerful sidekick to the more serious, badass Lin. This will much please the people who think "Lin = Batman", as she now has her own Robin.
Either Mako or Bolin (either one really) will idolize Zuko
It just makes sense, especially considering that they hung out around Zuko's statue. Mako will be almost as awkward as he was with Asami when he finally meets him. Also, on a related note...
- Confirmed with Mako when he & Zuko meet towards the end of Book 3.
Mako will be mentored by Zuko
Getting lessons from the most powerful firebender in the world could be quite appealing to both him and Team Avatar. Plus, the lessons from Zuko as a Badass Grandpa
are just too awesome to pass up.
Mako doesn't have romantic feelings for Korra, but he has his own reasons for being so upset.
Compared to the other characters, Mako reacted a lot more strongly to Korra's kidnapping. Characters in the show, as well as real life shippers, see it as evidence of Mako having romantic feelings for Korra. But remember, Mako is an orphan and only has one family member, his brother. Bolin has probably had many close calls himself. Mako is more emotional about Korra's disappearance because he can't bear to lose anyone close to him. Bolin was likely young when their parents died and probably doesn't remember the event much.
- I had always thought that part of it was guilt. Mako said that they'd support her with helping Republic City, they end up in jail and she's been taken by Tarrlok. Maybe he felt that if he'd been there Korra would still be safe.
- He is also more cynical and pessimistic than most of the Krew. He might have thought of the worst-case scenario immediately, and then Korra showed up barely conscious on Naga, half-frozen and covered in cuts. Without the experience and maturity of Lin, he couldn't keep his emotions in check.
- Also, consider the fact that he's a Promoted To Parent to Bolin. He's not acting like that because he has feelings for her, its because seeing her hurt activates his Bolin-raising Mama Bear instincts.
- Except that he reciprocated Korra's kiss in "The Spirit Of Competetion," outright/explicitly compares both Korra and Asami as girlfriend material (for himself and not Bolin,) constantly calls the situation "complicated" to both women rather than "like being kissed by your sister," which would've saved everyone a lot of grief (both women knowing where the situation is, not affecting their game and Bolin not being slammed into the dreaded Friend Zone.) The other points are valid, but their supplimental to his feelings for Korra rather than a separate Team Parent instinct.
Bolin is the reincarnation of Sokka.
Someone mentioned above that Bolin was Sokka's grandson, but I think it goes beyond that. In the episode that explored Avatar Roku's life in Legend of Aang, it was heavily implied that the Avatar's close friends are reincarnated along with him/her. So while some of them may be still alive, those that have died have reincarnated into newer members of the Gaang. Bolin, being rather comedic most of the time, is a good fit for Sokka. We just haven't seen the Deadpan Snarker
side of him yet.
- Mako is the reincarnation of Toph!
- Does that mean that Bumi is the reincarnation of...Bumi?!
- Jossed. They are the same age as Korra, and Sokka died after they discovered her as the Avatar at age four, meaning Bolin can't be Sokka's reincarnation. Mako's not Toph's reincarnation either, she's still alive, and she shows up in Book 4. No word on Bumi, though.
The prosecutor at Yakone's trial was Bolin and Mako's grandmother.
There's really no reason why. Just an idea I had. But since we never hear about her, she may have gotten whacked when Yakone escaped from jail....
Bolin is not as heterosexual as we have been led to believe.
But he's not exactly gay either
Mako and Bolin (or at least the Fire Nation side of their family) are descended from Chan.
Remember when Azula and friends burned down his house? Perhaps his family moved somewhere else afterwards.
Bolin will end up with Korra's female cousin.
She'll think he's immature and beneath her at first and he'll think she's stuffy and less fun than even Mako. Something'll happen that'll end with them becoming unlikely friends and they'll just go from there.
- If you mean Eska, that is semi-confirmed, but it was an abusive relationship played for laughs, and although Bolin and Eska do ultimately part on good terms at the end of Book 2, he hooks up with Lin's niece, Opal, in Book 3.
Mako's joining of the Republic City Police in Book 2 will result in more non-metalbenders joining as well.
Just a thought. It seems likely, especially given how Mako himself seems to flourish in his new job in the animatic shown at SDCC; one would imagine increasing the diversity of their bending forces would be a good thing.
Bolin's new Fire Ferrets will have a rematch with Tahno's team at some point in Book 2.
And this time, it'll be a fair fight— and the Fire Ferrets will get their long-deserved victory over the Wolfbats.
- Didn't the previews show Bolin and two random other people getting thrashed in Pro-Bending?
- I was suggesting that this would come long after they've eventually gotten their act together and improved.
- Jossed. Only one probending match was shown at the start of Book 2, and Bolin and his team are wiped out faster than any other team in the sport's history.
Mako is the one who killed his parents.
It was an accident, and Mako's in horrible denial about it.
- Alternatively, Mako isn't in denial. Ever since the accident, he's been ridden by horrible guilt and given that it most likely happened when he was a child, it was what caused his change to become as serious and cynical as he is today. The only reason he says it was some firebending mugger is because Bolin came up with the lie to explain why their parents died to spare Mako being reminded of how he killed their parent. Bolin just doesn't want to see his brother to go through that guilt all over again and certainly Mako isn't going to oppose anything that keeps him from thinking of that day, so they both agreed to never speak of what really happened and keep to their lie of the firebending mugger.
- This is a great theory. It actually explains everything wrong with Mako. His personality is bland and boring because he learned the hard way what happens when a firebender gets too emotional. And he can't sustain a healthy relationship because he's afraid of what might happen if someone gets too close.
Mako & Bolin's Firebending parent killed their Earthbending parent, and then themselves in remorse.
Perhaps whoever was the Earthbender had an affair and then the Firebender flew into a fit of jealous rage, but instantly regretted it when when the deed was done and killed themselves. Perhaps it was some sort of awful Sophie's Choice
like scenario where some outside force (the Triple Threat Triads, the Equalists, or something else) forced the to either kill their lover or their children and they killed their lover and then themselves. It could have been a suicide pact, also including the kids, but Mako managed to safe himself and Bolin. Regardless, Mako knows the details but Bolin doesn't remember as much.
Either Mako or Bolin was adopted
If Mako was the adopted child, it's possible Bolin's mother had many complications during childbirth. So his parents assumed that they'd never be able to conceive a child (this is prior of Bolin's birth). They adopted Mako at a young age, and just a year earlier before Bolin would be conceived. Consider him a "miracle child" who was born through almost impossible odds and was lucky to be alive, even moreso to be born without any permenant health issues either.
The fire bender who would then killed Mako and Bolin's parents wasn't just any mugger. They were either racist, and were against the idea of some earth-bending family "tainting" a fire-bender. Or the mugger may have been Mako's bilogical parent who had Mako taken away due to being considered a bad parent (the parent may have been abusive or an alcoholic and would mistreat Mako when drunk), and they killed Mako's adoptive parents in a fit of rage.
If Bolin was the adopted child, Mako's parents probably worked for the Triple Threat Triad, and one of their jobs had them killing a prominent earth-bending family that stood in the Triad's way. Bolin was only a baby at the time, and as they had a son of their own, they couldn't bare to kill an innocent baby who wouldn't remember the event, so they took Bolin and raised him as their own child. However, years later someone higher up in the Triple Threat Triad found out that Mako and Bolin's parents didn't completely put an end to Bolin's bilogical family, and as they worried that Bolin may found out about his real parents that he could want revenge, they couldn't just ignore this. So they sent a fire bender to kill the family. Mako and Bolin just managed to escape while their parents held off the fire bender long enough for them (before they were killed).
Why the Triple Threat Triad didn't try to kill them though when Mako and Bolin were working for them? It would have been a very long time after when the two were old enough to seek the Triad out for work, so no one in the Triad ever recognised them as the children who got away that one night years ago. The Triade may have also never had anyone who knew what Mako and Bolin looked like in the first place either when they were children, so it would have been difficult to see any connection.
The fact that one of them was adopted never came up in the series isn't because they don't know, Mako and Bolin are aware of this just that they don't care. They're still brothers and they don't believe it matters that they're not related by blood. It'll probably come up if they'll ever be asked specifically about this.
Bolin's character development will cause many conflicts between he and Mako to get there
It's obvious that Mako is the more mature of the two, and as the older we can assume he was always looking out for Bolin when they were growing up on the streets. Considering how Bolin is so optimistic and naive despite going through the same hardships as Mako, it's very possible that Mako, in his own way, has been trying to shelter Bolin because he still only views him as his "kid brother".
As the series progresses, Bolin is going to mature become less naive. Particularly after an event where something Bolin has done has caused Mako to be kidnapped by the new thread in the second season, and Bolin starts to fret that he may have lost Mako for good.
This will lead to Bolin doing more risky tasks to pull his weight in helping the Krew more. Mako will start to nag Bolin over the increasingly dangerous things he's taking on, and it'll cause arguments where Bolin complains about how Mako has to learn to trust that he can handle himself more and to stop being protective of him all the time. These arguments will persist and it may look like they can't get back make-up over these arguments.
By the final of the second season, they'll both be put into a life or death situation and they only get out of it alive by reconciling. In the end, Mako will begin to realise that Bolin is more responsible than he gave him credit for, and Bolin will realise that Mako is only protective of him because he loves him and not just because he doesn't think Bolin can handle things for himself.
Mako and Bolin are the children of Hope and Tom Tom.
Unfortunately this means that those two cute little kids are now dead... That really sucks.
- Alternately, they could be the grandchildren of Hope and Tom Tom, since both of them would be in their 70s if they're still alive by the Korra-era. Though, one wonders why they haven't stepped in sooner to help their orphaned grandkids...which might just bring us back to the depressing option.
Here's a hypothetical scenario.
(Every major cast member except Bolin are in a room at Air Temple Island.)
Mako: Bolin's been taking the situation with Eska pretty badly. I should talk to him. Give him some relationship advice.
(Every person in the room turns to stare at Mako)
Mako: Why is everyone looking at me like that?
Mako: I'm not that bad with girls! There was this one time where...I...um...well, there was this other time and I...sort of...blew it...
Mako: ...OK, point taken.
(Mako leaves the room. Ikki follows him out to continue staring.)
- Alternatively, since the show crew does not seem to share the fans' outlook on Mako, we may instead get a Take That, Critics! moment like this:
(Bolin runs up to Mako, despondent and crying after some presumed issue with Eska.)
Bolin: My life is over! This is all YOUR fault! (he points at Mako, still sobbing hysterically)
Mako: Oookay...and I did what exactly?
(Bolin just stares awkwardly for several seconds before running away, at which point Mako sighs and follows him)
- Maybe confirmed? Bolin asked for advice from Mako on how to end things with Eska after Bo realizes it's rather one-way, and Bolin inadvertently burned his brother on his rather messy breakup with Asami. Mako was not amused.
Mako will consult with Katara at some point.
Much like how only another Avatar can be a good consultant on how to be an Avatar, only another Avatar's significant other can have any good advice on how to be romantically involved with someone with such awesome power and important duties.
Varrick will try to make Bolin a bad guy too.
It just wouldn't make sense for Varrick to build him up and make the people of Republic City love him if Bolin can then turn them against him when he is ousted as a villain.
- Kinda confirmed, but it doesn't happen until Book 4, and Varrick & Bolin were both unaware of Kuvira's true ambitions and actions. When they find out, they both defect from her army.
Bolin will reference Nuktuk in some way, shape, or form if he ever fights the real Unalaq.
Whether it'll be fighting him in costume, acting fully in character, or even just a passing reference, it's gonna happen. Bonus points if one of Nuktuk's fans is witnessing it. Even more if said fan makes some comment about "Nuktuk" being an Earthbender.
- Jossed. The Nuktuk movers aren't mentioned at all in the final battle of Book 2.
Bolin will become a mentor or uncle figure of the next Avatar.
Roku (Fire) was good friends of Gyatso (Air), and when Aang (Air) was born, Gyatso became a mentor and also Aang's teacher. Then Aang became close with Katara (Water), and when Korra (Water) was born Katara was the one who taught Korra waterbending. So, let's say the pattern continues. That means one of Korra's friends as an Earthbender would be the next avatar's teacher (and the next Avatar is going to be of the Earth Kingdom)... and guess who's right there? Bolin, the first person outside of Korra's life in the compound who she could talk too and as their 'date' scene indicated they are good friends. Plus, who doesn't want to see Bolin age into a Cool Old Guy
and a Big Fun
? Be an awesome contrast to the last two Earthbending teachers we've seen (Roku's teacher Sud and Toph) who are pretty much hardasses (though with a sense of humor), and would be an excellent way to act as a tie to anything set in the future. Double points for this if Korra asks Bolin to help take care of the next Avatar by learning from the mistakes made with her if the next one is found too early.
Mako will resign in disgust from the RCPD.
After being wrongfully accused of being a dirty cop and then having his name cleared, he becomes disillusioned with Chief Beifong and tells her to keep the badge as she's reinstating him, stating that he's quitting. Asami then hires him on as a corporate security officer in Future Industries.
- Jossed. Mako's name gets cleared, and the Dirty Cops Lu and Gang get fired, leaving a detective position open for him, which he accepts.
Mako is the illegitimate son of Lightning Bolt Zolt.
Look at their eyebrows! They're identical! It also explains why Zolt would take the time to teach Mako how to lightningbend, and why he really stopped Shady Shin from beating them up in the Republic City Hustle shorts. It could also cast a light on the reasons behind their parents' murder: Zolt was having a continued affair with their mother that was getting out of hand, so Zolt sent an enforcer to kill both of them.
Mako and Bolin's dad is the child of the Earth King from TLA
Mako and Bolin's dad San inherited his urge to travel the world from the Earth King, also Earthbending.
- I suspect their family has at least SOME relationship with the Earth Queen, I mean the only reason I can think of for their Grandma to like her is if their family in some way.
- More likely the citizens of Ba Sing Se are just taught from a young age to revere the current monarch. Happens all the time in real life. Also, the Earth King was a non-bender and so is Hou-Ting.
Mako and Bolin great-grandmother is Jin from TLA
Just look at the likeness of their names: Yin (Mako and Bolin's grandmother) and Jin. They even have the same Cat Smile
Something tragic happened in Bolin's past that made him resent his apparent inability to metalbend.
Maybe he could've saved his parents if he could metalbend, but he wasn't able to at the time? He seems a little too sensitive over the issue for it to just be some cool power he wishes he had.
Bolin will learn to Lavabend
It would be an interesting outcome, what with him wanting to metalbend. And a lavabender vs. lavabender fight between him and Ghazan would be awesome
- Bingo. He does learn to lavabend, and he does have a lavabender vs lavabender fight with Ghazan.
Mako doesn't lightning bend anymore because of the damage Amon did to him.
Amon, peeved at Mako getting the better of him, used his bloodbending to damage Mako's chakras. It wasn't full debending because Amon can't do that at a distance, but he did manage to screw him up very subtly, making him unable to use the ability, or at least not without killing him. Korra might or might not have fixed him (she might not know there was something wrong), but if she did, Mako's confidence in his lightning bending has been frazzled to the point where he doesn't feel like he could without killing himself.
- Jossed. He does lightningbend in the final episode of Book 2, and he does so again to take out Ming-Hua at the end of Book 3.
(OP Can't remember if Mako Lightning Bent at any time as a cop).
- Jossed. Mako used lightning against the Dark Spirits in the season 2 finale.
Bolin will finally Metalbend in the Book 3 finale.
- Jossed. But he learns to Magma Bend, so it's a decent consolation prize.
Bolin being able to lavabend is a product of him being an earthbender with firebender blood
- Think about the timing of when this ability first appeared outside of the Avatars. Judging by Ghazan's age, it seems to have surfaced within some decades of the first known mixed families between fire and earth nation, and there's no conceivable way it happened before then, or this ability being used by a non-avatar wouldn't be such a shock. It's entirely possible that, like how many benders are born with mutations that allow them to do special things or break certain bending rules, Fire Nation DNA can trigger the capacity to lavabend in earthbenders. This would explain why Bolin can do it, and we don't know, and probably never will know, Ghazan's origins, it's entirely possible he's a mixed-race too.
Bolin being able to lavabend has nothing to do with his his Fire Nation heritage.
- Lava's just earth in liquid form. Kind of like how water is ice in liquid form. Waterbenders swing their element between solid and liquid all the time; it makes sense that earthbenders should be able to do the same. It just takes more effort (and/or skill) for them because earth has a MUCH higher melting point than ice. In fact, since lavabending is all about controlling the flows and currents of a liquid, it should borrow more from waterbending than anything else.
- The recent (apparent) increase in the world's lavabender population has nothing to do with race-mixing, or with harmonic convergence. The blending of cultures has allowed benders of one element to soak up the philosophical leanings of another nation. Bolin (and perhaps Ghazan as well) may be an earthbender, but his laid-back, go-with-the-flow personality reveals the spirit of a waterbender.
- It's not a recent "increase", it's a recent appearance. Before Ghazan and Bolin, no other earthbender on the planet is shown to be able to bend lava at all. Only the Avatars could, and they're already firebenders. The shock at the existence of a lavabander heavily suggests none existed before then.
- Really, the only reason to think lavabending has anything to do with firebending is that lava is hot, and glows red like fire. But that doesn't mean lava is a mixture of Earth and fire. Lava is just a form of earth—kind of like metal. Bending it is and advanced and difficult technique, but one which almost any powerful earthbender can potentially learn.
Bolin will not be able to lavabend come Season 4
- Given how absurdly powerful and unstoppable Ghazan was, it seems unlikely Bolin will be using that with any degree of regularity. A likely handwave will be that Bolin will be unable to turn rock into lava, as he didn't display that talent during the finale, only using rock Ghazan had already turned.
- If this happens, it won't be for the reason you mentioned, because Bolin did turn earth into lava during his fight against Ghazan.
Mako and Bolin will both have opportunities to refine their bending in the Fire Nation.
Mako will train under a master (possibly the Fire Lord herself), while Bolin will find a source of lava, such as beneath the palace, and practice his own new skill.
Mako dislikes to lightning bend
Remember how lightning bend seems to come from uncontrollable anger non-sun fire bending? Well, as it turns out Mako channels his anger towards his parents' killer in order to be able to do so, but that not only brings to shore painful memories, but also brings feelings that he'd rather not have.
- That doesn't quite jive. Lightning bending was never described as an "angry" technique in itself, and arguably, being ruled by anger makes it harder, based on how Iroh Sr. told it. Chances are it's just an extremely difficult and dangerous technique that should be saved for an emergency.
After many careers such as professional athlete, actor, soldier, and minister Bolins last career choice before retiring will be...
President of the United Republic of Nations.