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  • Why does waterbending have so many special subskills? Earth and Fire have Sandbending and Lightningbending respectively, Toph and Combustion Man are exceptions (which confuses me), also respectively, and Air doesn't seem to have one (also confusing), but water has healing, plantbending, AND bloodbending (or, if you lump the last two together,extracting moisture from something instead of swishing it around inside), also how does Katara pick all the moves up, they're all different martial art styles.
    • Because water is life. Incidentally, Katara never learns plantbending, and healing is an innate skill which doesn't require any fancy moves.
    • It's said in-universe that water is the element of change and the most adaptable, which makes sense because from a chemical standpoint H2O is extremely adaptable. And, as mentioned by the troper above, for those reasons life exists. I'd also like to point out that the only plants bent were only swamp plants and seaweed; both of those have high concentrations of water.
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    • The nature of subskills is really just a fan invention. In-universe, it's just a slightly different style coupled with the normal movements. Water happens to be in a lot of stuff, so there is a lot you can do with it.
    • Toph isn't an "exception" like Combustion Man, she just uses a variant style (Toph is to Earthbending as Iroh is to Firebending). So earth is as broad as waterbending, between sandbending, metalbending and seismic sense.
    • It's likely that airbending did have subskills, but they would have been lost when all the airbenders died; Aang was (fortunately) a master airbender already when he was frozen, but he was still very young and wouldn't have known every single secret.
    • Earthbending likely has a large number of subsets but given the stubborn nature of earth you need specific specialists for most kinds so most go unnoticed until someone with the right talent stumbles on the right mindset. For example there's likely to be glassbenders out there but we haven't seen anyone even try.
  • How come Azula is the only one who has blue fire? IIRC, blue fire is hotter, and Azula being a prodigy and whatnot, it would make sense for her to have stronger fire. How come none of the other firebending masters ever get blue fire? Sure, it comes in handy to seperate Zuko and Azula's fires when they are both in a fight scene, but Ozai vs Aang? They both had orange, plus, Ozai is the FIRE LORD, why couldn't he use blue fire?
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    • Azula is pretty much stated to be a firebending prodigy the likes of which the world hasn't seen in a long time, and may never see for an even longer time (not exact quotes, but whatev). If Jeong Jeong or somebody else (even Ozai) just started with the blue fire, she would lose uniqueness.
    • No one said Ozai or any of the other firebending masters couldn't use blue flames. Heat doesn't completely factor into firebending combat, as it also focuses on precision, control, and force. Azula prefers to make her flames intensely hot, while other firebenders seem much more conservative in terms of raw heat output.
    • The blue fire actually does not appear to be any more effective than regular fire in and of itself, beyond Azula's own innate skill. Azula making her fire blue might be simply vanity on her part.
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    • It may have a double meaning. It's to show her precise control over the element, but also the cold, calculating aspect of her personality as well.
    • It was stated in Avatar Extras during The Chase (I think it was that one) that Azula's fire is blue because she puts more heat into it - which is also why it turns orange when she is no longer fueling it and it is left to burn on its own.
    • It's consistent with her elitist philosophy. Remember her speech to Long Feng about how leadership is something your born with? It's been part of her character since her first (non-flashback) appearance. At the beginning of Book 2, Azula had a huge Fire Nation military escort with her own personal battleship, which she left behind to form her "elite" team, Mai and Ty Lee, children of nobility, and exceptionally powerful warriors with unique skills, an elitist military model. Her "special" blue fire, mixed with her precise bending style (notice the way she points her hands) is just this idea applied in martial arts, less fire but more heat per flame (which makes it blue).
      • It also speaks to her vanity—she doesn't need to make them that hot, but she feels she has to constantly show off to everyone that she's the best.
    • Just gonna add, blue fire being hotter likely means that it consumes more energy from the bender. While most firebender's aren't exactly rational and tend to be overly passionate, the weaker ones most likely to give in to that probably can't create fire that hot yet and the masters who can would be more controlled at least in style so as to keep bending for longer in case a fight lasts longer than they expect. Azula, however, has a personality that lends itself towards flashy, passionate displays for the purpose of power at the cost of longevity, "candle that burns twice as bright..."
  • I assume when two earthbenders have a kid, they make another earthbender. But what would happen if, say, an earthbender and a waterbender fell in love and had a kid?
    • Probably either one or neither. Look at a Punnet Square. Red flower+ White Flower= 1 Pure red flower, 2 Red flowers with white genes, or 1 White flower. Just depends on which one is dominant. Also I know that it is a fuckton more complicated and probably dead wrong with human genetics, but it's a cartoon. This should suffice.
      • Bending is spiritual, not genetic. It would depend on the child's upbringing, personality and things like cultural indoctrination. You could have an orphaned Earth Kingdom baby raised in the Fire Nation and that child could be a Firebender. Come to think, that'd be a good fanfic premise: if that child were to find out their true parentage.
      • It's not based on the person's spiritualness, but the nation's, that determines the non-bender to bender ratio. This is why all Air Nomads are air benders.
      • You make an interesting point, but evidence from the show says that only certain people can be certain benders; if I'm remembering right.
      • If it's spiritual, what's to stop somebody who's not an avatar from learning the other elements?
      • The spiritual leaning appears to be mutually exclusive if you aren't the Avatar.
      • I think that it's partly nature and partly nurture. Someone who has two Earthbending parents is more likely to be an Earthbender, first because personality types (Which helps to determine bending, note that Toph is very strong-willed and stubborn, Aang is very light-hearted and playful) are partly genetic, and second because your environment and the people around you also greatly influence your personality. So, someone who would have had the potential to become a fiery, passionate Firebender who was raised in a very peaceful pacifistic home, more likely than not would have been a nonbender.
      • As Pathik, Iroh and Hue said, the differences between the elements don't exist. Anybody could theoretically learn any element, but the mental blocks are so ingrained that most people don't think that.
      • Actually I've thought about this. My theory is this.
        1. Bending is based on spirituality not heredity. This explains why Katara can bend but her brother, father and mother cannot.
        2. The reason a person other than the avatar cannot bend all the elements is because even if they can understand the philosophies behind the other elements a person, other than the avatar is simply so connected to the spiritual side of their element there's just no room for another element.
        3. Personality shapes the bending as much as bending shapes the personality. A person starts off with a personality that matches their bending talent but it becomes more ingrained over time.
        4. The reason that someone who is spiritual (like Ty Lee) couldn't bend is that it's a talent like anything else. Not everyone has it. Not everyone can create good art or play music even if they have a respect and enjoyment of it.
    • Word of Bryke states that if Aang and Katara were to reproduce, each of their children would be either an Airbender, Waterbender, or non-bender.
    • Reminder, Word of Bryke also holds that it's a * combination* of spirituality and genetics. Genetics hammers down what element you're capable of learning, while the spirit determines if you can do it. Avatar Spirit trumps genetics, however, hence the Avatar can learn all four.
      • Interracial families are like what the LDS Church believes about belonging to the Lost Tribes, which is part genetic and part spiritual: "Because each of us has many bloodlines running in us, two members of the same family may be declared as being of different tribes in Israel."
    • Making a comment about your 1st point, Katara's mum could waterbend. She's the one who taught Katara to begin with.
      • No, she couldn't. There was only one Waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe when the Southern Raiders invaded, and that was Katara. Kya only claimed to be the Waterbender to protect her daughter.
    • According to the "official" Avatar Wiki, "bending abilities are not defined genetically, but are related to one's nationality. It is unknown how some people become benders while others do not. Even with identical twins, one can be born a bender while the other is not." Whether one parent's "nationality" relates to what nation he was born into, or to where he was when the offspring was conceived/born, isn't clear.
    • Presumably what nation he was born into, since Aang and Katara's son is an Airbender.
    • Think about this: bending is heavily tied to the spirits. What if it's based on what the spirits think should happen? That would explain why all of Aang's children and grandchildren are airbenders; since the airbenders are endangered, the spirits would want as many airbenders as possible to be born. This would only be the case if the parents are different kinds of benders.
      • Tenzin is the only one of Aang and Katara's children who is an airbender.
    • But bending is said to have been learned from non-human sources. Water was learned from the moon, Earth was learned from Badger Moles, Fire was learned from dragons... and I can't remember how air was learned. But this means that all humans must have been non-benders in the beginning, so surely if a non bender of any nation were to learn their power from one of the original sources, they could learn any type of bending, as long as they kept an open mind, and were willing to learn other cultures and fighting styles.
    • As of The Legend of Korra, We know that the lion turtles were the original benders. They either a) could all energybend and could all give any human any power but prefered a specific bending discipline, or b) could give a specific bending discipline unique to themselves (E.g. Wan's lionturtle could give firebending, Aang's lionturtule could give energybending). In the case of the Avatar, a spirit(Or possibly only Raava/Vaatu) has to hold other bending disciplines for the human and swap them around; this actually means that Wan was a firebender, then stopped being a firebender and became an airbender, then stopped being a firebender and became a waterbender etc. However, when a spirit/Raava/Vaatu fuses with a human, they have the ability to manipulate all the elements that that spirit holds, along with (as proven with Aang and Korra's energybending) the ability to gain other elements as well. So the Moon/Dragons/Badger Moles/Air Bison only gave the technique to control their elements, as shown with Wan learning the Dancing Dragon from a dragon
  • Energy bending was a bit of an asspull...even for a show about spiritual magic. I could accept temporarily shutting down Ozai enough to end the war, but PERMANENTLY removing his bending? And of course it gets glossed over, as Katara should be just a liiiiittle uncomfortable he not only has this power but also used it, even if it was on a bad guy, judging by her reactions through the series to Ty Lee.
    • Except there were a grand total of two options to win the war, Kill Ozai (remember Firebending comes from the breath not the muscles, as stated in Episode 1, so no Cutting/crushing his hands off to keep him from bending, so removing it temporarily does not in anyway remove him as a threat) or remove his bending. Aang chose the path of mercy by leaving him alive and powerless, rather than dead and powerless. As for Katara, she's fighting a non-bender that can take away her only weapon while her ally was throwing sharp metal things at people, like Sokka.
      • Katara was still concerned nonetheless, of course she probably allows it under knowledge that, y'know, Fire Lord Ozai had to be stopped. The main problem is that the second option of removing his bending was the asspull, it's cheats the problem presented by giving Aang an easy way out.
      • Energy Bending might seem as an asspull, but late into season two we get some hints about this new form of bending in the episode Appa's Lost Days. If you watch from here on, there are hints about Energy Bending all over. Still there aren't enough hints to warrant an All There in the Manual, but it isn't a complete asspull.
    • Actually, I like to think of the energybending as Fridge Brilliance. Firstly, because of the hints in earlier episodes, but also the fact that in many cultures that have the four elements there aren't really four. There are five. The four plus spirit. Most people don't really acknowledge it because the fifth changes culture to culture and it's an example of What Kind of a Lame Power Is Heart. So, really this series is just another example of how heart/spirit/good will/soul beats the blatantly corrupted bad guy in the end.
      • Addtionally, Spirit is a fifth element in many cultures, including Hinduism, which ties into Aang's use of chakras. Pure Fridge Brilliance.
      • It's also Fridge Brilliance in the way it actually subverts the usual Ass Pull, in that Aang actually didn't need to use the Energy Bending at all. He already won the fight. Ozai was at his mercy. And he didn't need to kill Ozai either. There were lots of options previously shown by which a powerful Firebender could be neutralized and controlled. Iroh was rendered helpless twice by earthbenders using two different techniques. Azula was captured after her arms were chained, even though she could still firebend with her mouth, she couldn't do anything useful with it with respect to escaping. Then there was the freezer tubes used in Fire Nation prisons. Simply deposing Ozai might even have been enough. Without political power Ozai would just be a dangerous individual criminal - no threat to the balance of the whole world. Aang chose to Energybend Ozai, at considerable added risk to himself ("to bend another's spirit, your own spirit must be unbendable, lest you be corrupted and destroyed"), because he decided that was the most merciful of all these options. (Though YMMV as to whether he was right about this - given how integral bending is to a bender's self-identity, permanently removing someone's ability to bend might be equivalent to crippling a regular person.)
      • The English word "Quintessential" (a perfect example or archetype of something) comes from latin 'quinta essentia,' meaning 'fifth essence' or 'fifth element.'
      • Actually, we'd already encountered a limited form of Energybending: Aang's attempt to master the Avatar State. Remember that Energybending is basically just manipulation of one's Qi (also spelled "Chi" and literally translates to "breath"). For anyone who's familiar with Wuxia and Chinese Martial Arts in general, it's really not much of a stretch for Aang to learn how to extend the ability to manipulate his own Qi flow into the ability to manipulate someone else's. I'm pretty sure it was meant to evoke the extremely common Wuxia scene of two master martial artists standing stock still in physical contact as they try to kill or cripple each other via sheer mastery of Qi manipulation. If that's true, it's a slightly esoteric Shout-Out, not an Ass Pull.
      • Agree with above. Also I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Guru Pathik's Chakra manipulation and Ty Lee's pressure points are both Energy Bending. So Aang is probably not even the only one who can or has used energy bending in the show, people just don't recognize it as that.
      • I disagree on Ty Lee, her abilities share little with Energy Bending (especially the risk of it turning against you, which is present when Aang does it with Ozai (risking being overwhelmed by Ozai's essence), and when he does it with the Guru (risking permanently blocking his chakra).
      • Ty Lee doesn't actually bend but the principle is the same: she hits certain points on the body to block a bender's chi and stop them from bending. What Aang does at the end is bend chi directly.
    • First poster on this became a Hypocrite at the mention of Ty Lee's name. She has zero bending power, yet she can temporarily block others' bending and in fellow non-benders' case even turn their bones to jello. So how is it that when the goddamn Avatar learns a more dramatic and permanent version of this it's suddenly unconscionable?
    • In relation to Ty Lee, she doesn't bend. Her talent appears to be something more like accupuncture and pressure points, stuff that exists in real life. Rubbing your big toe can remove headaches, because it is a type of pressure point for chi energy (or something, I could be wrong on some details), accupuncture relaxes the body through specific points of energy within the body, etc. Ty Lee's using a similar concept to block that energy, which in turn can immoblise her target and thus block their bending.
      • As you say, she is actively controlling people's energy in way of blocking it. I see this as energy bending, albeit a weaker form of it than Aang does in the finale. One does not have to be a bender of the other elements to bend energy.
      • I wouldn't even really call it bending. What it could very easily be is Ty Lee using a form similar to that of a type of bending she can't actually use. In the same way that firebenders Iroh and Zuko redirect lightning using waterbending form and aping its personality, so too is nonbender Ty Lee using energybending despite not being that type of bender.
      • She's just hitting pressure points. Same technique seen on Xena. She also uses it on Sokka once numbing his limbs one by one.
      • Though it is possible that Ty Lee has a very weak form of Energybending. Not enough to actually bend another's soul directly, but enough to allow her to more accurately target chi points by actually sensing them. This would also explain her Aura Vision: She's actually seeing the state of everyone's chi.
      • Ty Lee's pressure point manipulation is to energy bending, as making a fire is to fire bending or moving water in a bucket is to water bending. It is a base, manual reproduction of it. While not truly bending, it helps set a base for energy bending not being an asspull.
  • What happens when the Avatar Cycle reaches the Air Nomads? Hopefully, it will be a long time before Aang dies, and after that, the Avatar will be reborn as Firebender, Earthbender, and Waterbender (I know they're probably not in order, but that's not the point), but what'll happen when it reaches back to Air? Sozin wiped out all the Airbenders, save Aang. I know chances are Aang will have children who can Airbend, but unless those children find some other Airbenders to mate with, or do something really squicky, there probably won't be any Airbenders when the cycle goes back to them. So what happens? Does it skip over them since they don't exist anymore? Or does the Avatar disappear ''forever?''
    • If Aang could have Airbending kids with Katara, what's stopping those same airbenders from having airbending babies of their own?
      • See the genetics and Elements discussion above.
    • If Energy-Bending allowed Aang to remove someone's bending abilities, who says that he can't give people those same abilities. In theory, with the correct candidates, he could a create new Air Nomad community. The Lion Turtle briefly implies that there were no benders before the Avatar showed up, so its possible that this has happened before.
    • Also, it has been already stated in The Legend of Korra that Aang and Katara have a son who is an airbending master, the same guy who teaches Korra airbending. And that came from an airbender father and a waterbender mother. I guess hope is not all lost for airbenders. But that means the next airbender Avatar would be a descendant of Aang.
      • Why? Just because Aang taught his kids does not mean he could not instruct anyone else. I suspect the crowd at the Northern Air Temple would develop a rival style by the time the Avatar Cycle rolls around to Airbending again.
      • They can't learn airbending because they're Earth Kingdom. Tenzin and his kids are the only airbenders in Korra's time. Bending tournaments use three elements.
    • Taking from the above genetics/bending discussion, quite possibly a natural air-bender could be born to, say, Earth Kingdom parents, just because the Avatar cycle needed it. Although, the traditions of airbending would probably have been lost by then.
    • Um... genocides are really, really hard to do. In my head-canon, while most of the Air Nomads were destroyed, there were some that weren't because they weren't in the temples, and when they learned of the war they just... disappeared into the rest of the world. It makes me happy to think so, anyway.
    • It'll be one of Aang and Katara's airbending descendants. Question answered.
    • Tenzin (Kataang's son) has 3 airbending children. There are also nonbenders called air acolytes dedicated to preserving Air Nomad culture. By the time another airbender is Avatar, the damage will be healed.
    • Now that the airbenders are back in number in Korra season 3, it seems these fears can be put to rest.
      • Besides the aforementioned fact that in LOK the air nation was back, that was precisely what the Fire Nation wanted, to break the Avatar Cycle by eliminating the next nation in line to be the Avatar’s host, so without the resurrection of the Air Nomads in Korra’s time the Avatar would be no more.
  • It kind of bugs me that it was stated by Mike and Bryan in a interview that all Air Nomads were benders, no muggles among them I guess I would have been fine with this if it were a genetic thing or something in the bending art itself which makes it easier to learn but the canon reason for this is "the high level of spirituality of their people". Which to me, although I might be over-analyzing things and ranting without serious motive, stinks of their life style/government/religion is far superior/true although they do have flaws or else the genocide wouldn't have taken place so in your opinion are they eligible for being a Mary Sue Utopia or am I just biased because of the four nations I found them the least interesting?
    • I think that civilization has a major flaw in that they keep the males and females separate. This troper reads that as the Air Nomads were hetero nominative, and related to that, they considered carnal attachment as absolutely exclusive from spirituality. Therefore, all the benders weren't born in the Air Temples (because enlightened people don't have sex) but born elsewhere, and sent away to the air temples to live and train if they showed airbending potential.
      • No, the Nomads were all airbenders. So although they kept separate temples for men and women and raised their children communally, they did have sex to produce the next generation and all their children showed airbending potential.
    • My take was different. Before the Chinese took over Tibet, all the education was in the hands of the clergy; if you wanted an education, you went to the monks (I dunno if this included girls as well). I can see the Air Nomads raising their children to five or six, sending them off to the monastary for their education, then receiving them back to marry and raise a family. A handful would be celibate and stay at the monastary to educate the next generation. I can fully see how having a teacher like Gyatso rather than that wretched Fire Nation teacher Aang had for a couple days would lead to being a more spiritual person, but not necessarily a full blown monk or nun.
    • I don't see a problem with it. Bending is using the force of nature as a weapon, so it's likely that you'd have to be a part of nature to bend. The Fire Nation relies too much on technology. They're the only nation with metal ships. All other vehicles in all other nations are made of wood, stone, and/or cloth (Earth Kingdom tanks didn't debut until Season 3). The entire Northern Water Tribe was basically carved out of an iceberg. The Air Nomads focused on living in harmony with nature. And the Earth Kingdom is too stubborn and proud to rely on technology; They're at home in the earth. As for the last sentence up there... what do you expect? There were, like 15 minutes of Air Nomad culture shown, seeing as they were all wiped out before the start of the show, and their only representative is Aang.
    • How does the Air Nomads having flaws equal a reason for the genocide taking place? I'm pretty sure Sozin didn't totally annihilate the Air Nomads simply because he though they were flawed.
    • That wasn't the reason for the genocide, Sozin knew that the next Avatar would be an Airbender, so he wiped them all out so said Avatar would certainly be too young to stop him.
    • Air Nomads are all raised as monks and so their community has very high spirituality, thus the 100% benders thing is pretty justified. The Fire Nation has the second highest percentage of benders. Their spirituality most likely stems from their intense nationalism. The Earth Kingdom is very fragmented and they seem to have only a moderate percentage of benders. The Southern Water Tribe has a grand total of 1 waterbender. Their lack of spirituality probably comes from them losing morale through all the Fire Nation raids. The Northern and Swamp Water Tribes are better off because for a long time, they were unaffected by the war; so they have a higher percentage of benders.
      • Katara is the only waterbender in her tribe for the same reason that Aang is the last airbender: all the rest were killed or taken away by the Fire Nation. The same thing is happening in the Earth Kingdom; the Fire Nation just isn't finished yet. The current ratio of benders to nonbenders in each nation is not indicative of the naturally balanced state of the world, and the Southern Water Tribe's lack of benders isn't about spirituality, just about their being a threat to the firebenders and an easier target than a fortress or a city.
    • The Fire Nation can canonically staff their army solely with firebenders. It looks like it's more about spirituality in relation to their element, which the Air Nomads could follow very closely thanks to the religiously spiritual focus of their lives, rather than being Magical Native AirNomadians.
    • Since when are spirituality and flawlessness the same? We have seen that the air nomads did stupid and selfish things as well (Aang running away, the monks giving Aang a reason to run away in the first place), yet it doesn't interfere with their bending. The way I see it, the air nomads had a population so small that their population could fit entirely into the temples. All of them grew up alongside the monks, and learned about stuff like meditation. Not to forget that the air temples contained the original airbenders, the sky bisons. The dragons were able to grant people firebending within a few minutes, and every air nomad got his very own sky bison when they were still children, growing up alongside a natural bender.
    • This troper assumed that the Air Nomads were all airbenders because, if you were a child airbender, you were sent to live with the Air Nomads. So similar to the Tibetan education from a troper above, if you were a villager relatively near air temple and your child was showing air bending tendencies, you would send them off to their new life with the Air Nomads.
      • But, as stated before, belonging to a nation is more of a blood thing than anything else, is unlikely that people from other nations develop potential airbenders.
    • Low grade Nightmare Fuel could answer this, and has some supporting evidence. What if the Nomads simply sent away any non-Airbending child? We know they were always low in number, and exiling some portion of your children would certainly keep population growth down. But still sorta tragic if you factor in that bending wouldn't show up til 3-4 years old. So AFTER that time period has passed, they would have to give up their kid. OR... the monks that ran their education did it FOR them.
      • More like a WMG here, there is no indication that the Air Nomads felt any desire toward eugenics.

  • It took Aang less than one year to gain sufficient mastery of the elements. Why did it take Roku twelve? Deadline pressure aside, it's still a huge difference. Even if Aang is a prodigy among prodigies and Roku was just really bad at it (neither of which is shown to be the case), one could probably expect, at most, a five-year discrepancy.
    • I don't think Aang has really "mastered" any bending except air and maybe water (Katara compares Aang to a master in one episode). He has a sufficient grasp of them, enough to know a few badass moves in each style. Roku spent the twelve years refining the skills he was being taught.
      • Correct answer. To add: In part 1 of the finale, almost everyone remarks that Aang is nowhere near mastering all the elements and still needs significant amounts of training. (Aang himself says that he "still hasn't mastered firebending", Toph adds that his "earthbending could use some work, too" and he can still be seen practicing waterbending with Katara.) Aang wanted to wait fighting Ozai until some time after the comet for this very reason. Eventually, he beats Ozai only after the chakra in his back is unblocked and he is able to access (and control) the Avatar state. Otherwise, he would have been in serious trouble.
      • Actually, I would consider that battle the very point where he mastered the elements. He was already a master airbender. His Earthbending with those pillars was, I would say, master level, and he used Toph's seismic sense, having learned it. Then, there was him having the ocean "catch" him while in midair. And his firebending, which was enhanced, was very potent. With the possible exception of firebending, I'd say he had a mastery over the elements.
      • According to "Avatar Extras", as of the final battle, Aang is officially the most powerful firebender in the world. Disregarding the dubiety of such a claim after having been learning it for a few months at best, if we take Word of God as fact, he's at least mastered that. Then there's the instinctive use of the seismic senses, as you said, which probably indicates mastery of earthbending. Water is never stated outright (unless I'm missing the source where it says so), but highly probable, seeing as he's been studying it for longer than the other two and seemed to have an easier time of it as well, and apparently airbenders don't get those tattoos until they become masters, so if there was any question about that one, it's pretty much official. I suppose the fact that he is a master of all the elements after less than ten months is somewhere else on this page and/or attributed to the whole reincarnation thing, so I won't get into that here...but I think we can safely say Aang has, in fact, mastered the elements. Sure, there's probably more to learn (blood/metal/lightning), but from the point he's at, that shouldn't take eleven more years.
      • Being very powerful is not necessarily the same thing as mastery
      • There's nothing really all that dubious about Aang being the most powerful firebender in the world, he's the avatar. Remember, skill does not equal power. Even in the first season, Jeong Jeong told Zhao that he had never seen "such raw power" in one person before, even though the only firebending Aang knew at the time was squatting and breathing.
      • There could also easily be different levels of mastery. And I think the phrase used in Roku's flashback was actually "fully realized Avatar" which to me means something more than just mere mastery of the four elements, but the ability to use them all at master level simultaneously, ie doing what Avatar-State Aang did without using the Avatar State.
      • As we've seen in Legend of Korra, part of being the Avatar is spirituality, and besides that one episode where Aang almost entered the spirit world he doesn't really have any contact with the spirits. I also would like to add that just defeating Ozai, who while the best firebender in the world at the time, is still just a man, doesn't mean he has complete mastery, just he has enough power to defeat the fire lord.
  • Throughout the series, benders are rendered helpless by constricting their limbs, although firebenders can use their nostrils and airbenders their mouths. Aang doesn't move his limbs or use his mouth when he's using his glider, which is supposed to achieve true flight through airbending. Er, how does that work...?
    • Aang has shown on numerous occasions that he can manipulate wind without the fancy flips and what have you, additionally he should be more than able to guide the thing into air currents. If a kid in a wheelchair can do it, why can't a master airbender like Aang?
    • I always took it as needing to swish and flick in the relevant way to start up the move, but after that you just need to keep up the flow of chi for most firebending (like the breath and the fire knives/jets), most airbending (like keeping up the flow of the Rasengan-ball Aang rides or propelling oneself from gliding to true flight), and a couple of waterbending moves (like Katara's "start up a wave and just keep adding to it" move, though that seems to require the additional energy behind it to ebb and flow, even if the water and the waterbender's body don't).
    • Remember, Bumi is able to earthbend with his face. Presumably, if you're experienced enough at bending in a particular way, you can bend without needing to move your arms or legs. Aang is probably so experienced at using his glider that he doesn't need to move his arms.
      • This is supported by the fact that Azula and Ozai are both able to do their "rocket boots" flight/running thing without needing to do stances or forms. Whatever the training that involves these methods of movement, they appear to not involve moving the arms or legs, which makes sense - having to gesture to bend while moving would be problematic to your maneuverability.
      • I guess some techniques require stances and moves, and some do not, while tending to be more advanced as well. Which brings me to Azula's defeat. She's always shown to be very acrobatic and flexible; why not twist around and belch fire on the chain to melt it off that ring? Then, when the loose chain comes off, turn Katara and Zuko into black stains on the floor.
      • You MIGHT not have noticed Azula wasn't thinking straight at that moment...
      • Also, firebenders aren't fireproof, flames always start a bit from their hand visually and Zuko got pretty badly burned by his father. They probably aren't molten-metal-chain-proof either.
    • There are also many techniques in certain martial arts that teach subtle changes in muscle tension to resist grappling or tank a punch. Maybe some of the more passive functions of bending can be done with similar minor shifts. So Aang can lift and steer his glider just using small twists to his core and tensing his arms.
    • Word of God says the reason Aang doesn't need warmer clothes at the poles and cooler clothes around lava is that skilled airbenders are taught to breath in such a way that allows them to control the airflow immediately around their bodies. Flight, even in a world with magical element manipulation, is presumably an advance-level technique that makes use of the same breath techniques.

  • It is implied that firebenders can bend lava. I don't remember exactly when, but there were a few 'cutscenes' in which a sillouette bended lava out of a volcano and was a firebender. Also, in part two of The Spirit World, when Roku 'posseses' Aang, he bends lava. The only other bending he ever does is firebending, so I doubt that was supposed to be earthbending. So why? Isn't it common knowledge that lava/magma is melted rock? Shouldn't earthbenders be able to do that?
    • Well, the only two people who have been seen bending lava were Avatars. For all we know, since there's no Word of God about it, bending lava might even require earthbending and firebending.
      • Confirmed by Avatar Extras.
      • This explanation makes the most sense, given the fact that the "lavabender" would probably have to use waterbending moves to control the substance. And I guess airbending would come in handy to control the smoke and toxic gases. (Hm, seems like Roku was really unlucky...)
      • Not necessarily. Katara can bend ice, water vapor, and water. So shouldn't an earthbender be able to transition from Earth to lava just as easily (not necessarily turn the earth into lava, but be able to bend it)?
      • Water is known for its mutability. Earth is not. It's not entirely unreasonable that a waterbender would be able to adapt to and even cause changes in state, whereas an earthbender would find himself unable to use something that lacks most of the qualities for which his element is known.
      • This is an interesting question because, exactly what constitutes an element? If Katara can bend “water” the chemical compose (H20) no matter if is ice, water or vapor, then she would not be able to bend any other liquid. We know she can. It is curious because, for example, in Wicca and some Occult traditions is said that the four elements are not literally water (H20), air (oxygen), earth (the dirt were we stand) and etcetera, but representations of the four states of the matter; air (gas), water (liquid), earth (solid) and fire (plasma).
    • Given that both Katara and Toph can bend the slurry of rock and water during the attack on the giant drill thing at Bah Sing Se, I'd guess that both firebenders and earthbenders would be able to bend lava.
      • But this is because there was both rock and water, and it seemed as though some of the rock had "blended" with the water, like mud. Lava isn't fire and earth, it is melted earth. Ice is to water as rock is to lava.
      • Melted being the operative word. Lava is earth under a significant amount of heat. It has been shown a few times that firebenders can manipulate heat just as they can actual flames. I would even venture that that's how they can create their own fire out of the air.
      • Ehm, as far as this is concerned, if metal is earth purified by fire, and earth benders can work with the latent earth within it, and fire benders can activate the latent fire within it. Than I'd imagine something like Lava bending would be Earth tainted by fire, thus would be open to either kind. I'd imagine, given how lightning is formed (high and low pressure friction along with some other causes) then an air bender would be capable of manipulating it as well. Same for things like mud (earth marred by water), sand (earth scoured by air), cloud (water intruding upon air), etc. Thing is, don't expect the bending to work rationally/scientifically, it functions based upon chi, or energy make-up, not the physical materials it works with.
      • Except firebenders have never been shown to be able to bend metal. They can work it, because they are more technologically advanced, but only earthbenders can metalbend. The other examples given all very clearly contain both elements so of course multiple benders can manipulate them, they just manipulate them differently.
      • Book 3 of The Legend of Korra confirmed that earthbenders can lavabend.
      • Still, lavabending is seen as a rare skill, almost like an earthbender has to have an innate disposition for it, so it's possible even the avatar might not be able to learn. They never explain it further than "it can be done" but presumably works on the same principle as a waterbender melting ice, just more complicated because the melting point of rock is pretty insane.
  • In that vein, since firebenders can manipulate heat (e.g. when extinguishing fires, Zuko shielding himself from the blast, Iroh heating up his manacles, etc.), then shouldn't they be able to freeze something by taking the heat out of it?
    • They can, but probably just not to the extent of freezing something with a low freezing point. Recall the flashback where Roku and Sozin are fighting the volcano. Sozin removes the heat from a bunch of lava, shooting it out away from the volcano, which renders the lava into rock, i.e. freezing it. Something with a much lower freezing point than rock is probably a lot more difficult to do.

  • So this one always bugged me, but... Earthbenders have been getting trapped in metal cages for at least the past 100 years. Furthermore, they've more than likely been trying to figure out Metalbending since the invention of metallurgy itself. So why, then, is a twelve year old girl who's been working on the problem for a few hours, tops, able to figure it out to the point of ripping a half-inch sheet of metal in two, and then kicking another one literally across a hallway, and then mastered in only slightly more than three months to the point of crafting and perfectly controlling metallic armor pulled from the floor and ceiling of a blimp.
    • Toph was only able to do it by detecting the impurities in the metal with her blind-sense thing. Sure, there may have been other blind (human) earthbenders, but maybe they just thought it couldn't be done.
      • None of them was THE GREATEST EARTHBENDER IN THE WORLD!
      • This would imply that if the metal was sufficiently pure, Toph wouldn't be able to bend it. Though since it is often the impurities in metals that provide the adjunct properties that make the metals useful for tools, this shouldn't ever be a practical problem.
      • Confirmed in "The Aftermath" in The Legend of Korra.
    • Toph's style is also different from traditional earthbending. Hers is based on the Mantis Style. Presumably she learned this from the badger moles, which puts her closer to the pure art of earth bending in the same way that Zuko's lessons with the dragons taught him true firebending.
    • When lecturing Aang on chakras Guru Pathik explains that metal is merely earth that has been refined, so the concept of metalbending was at least theoretically known. Whether anyone before Toph had ever been skilled enough to put that theory to practical application is unknown, though the fact that the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has an entire metalbending police force would seem to imply that metal bending isn't that difficult to learn once the style has been invented, so Toph probably was the first.
    • Toph isn't bending the metals, but the impurities within it. To bend something, you need to know where it is. Since the impurities are in the metal, most earthbenders don't know what exactly to target. Toph however, can find the impurities using her unique style.
    • Keep in mind the airships were built very quickly and en masse. The fire nation did not have much time to build them. The plans for the airships were taken from the mechanist at the northern air temple. The large amount of metal required and the speed at which they refined it leads me to believe that the metal was very impure. Toph's sensing technique could easily locate and bend the impurities, especially since she is stated as one of if not the most powerful earthbender alive.

  • In the season one episode "Imprisoned" it's made clear that earthbenders need earth around them, otherwise their bending skills are useless. Waterbenders need water around them to bend it and Aang is, of course, always surrounded by air. These three always need their specific element around them to be able to do anything. How is it that firebenders are the only benders who can pretty much create fire out of thin air? I know, Rule of Cool. But... it just bugs me.
    • Presumably Firebenders need air around them as well, as Oxygen is needed for combustion reactions to occur. The best example I can think of this is Azula's inability to firebend when encased in Katara's ice, but as someone pointed out above, her movement was restricted as well.
      • That wouldn't be surprising. Near the beginning of the episode "The Firebending Masters", Zuko's heavily weakened fire-bending was slightly less weak at a lower elevation.
    • Or you could read it like this: Water, Air, and Earth are all abundant in nature, and, since they have definite mass, always exist in some way, shape or form (ie. Earth might take the form of dirt, sand, mud, etc.). But fire, on the other hand, is not. It is energy formed by a chemical reaction. You can't have fire that stays lit without something to burn and something to ignite it. So, even though Water, Air and Earthbenders need to have their element of choice around them, it isn't a problem, since all 3 are abundant and easy to find. Firebenders, on the other hand, have an element that must be created through ignition anyway, so why shouldn't it make sense that they can create it themselves?
    • Also to point out, each of the other three elements in their natural state match a state of matter (Earth-Solid, Water-Liquid, and Air-Gas). Fire, therefore, is logically the fourth form of matter, plasma, which doesn't exist passively and only by creation (naturally in lightning or the like, or man made).
    • Firebenders learned by watching dragons breathe fire. I assume that at first, they could only breathe it, and eventually learned to shoot it from their hands.
    • For Firebenders, it's just about gradually igniting their own body heat. In a few episodes, it's implied that young firebenders-in-training have to do breathing exercises to help them master this.
    • From the Avatar wikia: "Firebenders use their internal body heat as a source of their bending to create fire. This facet of Firebending is in sharp contrast to the other bending arts, which manipulate already present representations of their element (though Firebenders can control or enhance flames nearby). Unlike other bending disciplines, Firebending has few defensive moves aside from blocking and dodging, although master Firebenders are able to create walls of fire to absorb incoming attacks or shoot down incoming projectiles."
      • Body heat comes from oxidative metabolism in cells, which is fire, burning food. Firebenders do have to have a source of their element nearby in order to bend. They're just lucky in that the source is found inside their own living bodies. ("Fire is life.")
    • It's also been shown that firebenders are able to manipulate heat. Maybe firebending is just projecting heat outwards in the form of flames? In that case, firebenders would only need heat(which would mean they are powerless at 0 degrees Kelvin. Just like anything else anyway). And as said in the link, even the body itself is a source of heat. On the other hand, lightning is made of plasma, so maybe it's a combination of binding heat and plasma?
      • In "The Boiling Rock", both parts, Firebending prisoners are thrown into an incredibly cold cooler. They apparently can't firebend in these conditions (although Zuko is able to do a small puff of flame from his mouth...then again a small puff ain't gonna do much to anyone. Maybe slightly tinge their skin.)
    • It probably has something to do with how each bender's nation learned how to bend. Earthbenders learned from the badgermoles and they bend the earth around them, Airbenders learned from the sky bison and sky bison bend the air around them, and waterbenders the moon which moves the tides, from that logic if fire bending comes from dragons they produce there element within themselves which is probably why they don't technically bend fire so much as produce it.

  • Why doesn't someone try to learn all the elements if they aren't the chosen one? It's not like you can't. Are people really that set on only knowing one? Is it some social way of thinking? Also, what makes the Avatar so special? It seems like that test just chooses a random baby.
    • Um, actually, you really can't. Like, at all. People are BORN with bending skills. Stop trying to change the rules of the Avatar universe.
    • See above speculation about bending being partially genetic, partially spiritual. And it's not like there's too much communication between the nations anyway. And the method of choosing the Avatar is actually based on a real-life ritual, I believe the one to choose the next Dalai Lama. Children are brought into a room full of toys and are told to choose from them. The next Dalai Lama is the child who picks the same set of toys the Dalai Lama chooses in every life.
    • Additionally, it's not just a social convention, it's most likely a literal impossibility. After all, reason does hold that people would have attempted it in the past. This troper always theorized that rapid evolution manifested in genes favoring bending specialization which conveniently matched the nationality of the user.
    • Individual Avatars always find the element opposite to their birth element in the cycle very hard to learn (Aang had great trouble with Earth, Roku had a lot trouble with Water). Aang also had trouble with Fire in the sense that it was dangerous for him, and quite possibly other Avatars would find the third element in their cycle tricky/dangerous in some way too. It might not be theoretically impossible for anyone to learn more than one element, but mastering all four might be practically impossible to do in a single human lifetime for anyone who doesn't have access to the accumulated wisdom of all his/her previous lives, like the Avatar does.
    • Also, isn't the Avatar the representation (AKA Avatar) of the earth? And the Earth has all <s>Four</s> Five elements?
    • According to Korra, the Avatar is actually the perfect combination of a human and a light spirit, Raava, who holds the elements for the Avatar to use. The first avatar, Wan, is only capable of bending a single element at a time after being blessed by individual lion-turtles for each element. The original benders were given the ability to bend, temporarily, by their interactions with the lion-turtles. Only his fusion with Raava makes his spirit immortal. The Avatar being the representation of the earth was originally considered, according to Wo G, but was never publicly stated. It can be considered a moot point in the aftermath of Korra season 2.
      • Additionally, the legend of Omashu is not necessarily false- instead, it is likely that earthbending became a lost art for many years before it was reawakened. E.g., the badgermoles didn't teach earthbending, per se, but are natural users of it. It is unlikely that Omashu is a 10,000 year old civilization- most modern civilizations are only a few centuries old.

  • If Waterbenders can control the temperature of their water, then how come the people they freeze in cubes of ice don't die from hypothermia/lack of breath/ etc? Also, how come no waterbender ever thinks to use "scalding water" attacks?
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but when have waterbenders ever controlled the temperature of their water? As in made some random body of water hotter or colder? This is not to be confused with their ability to change the state of water. What waterbenders do is intrinsic to the water itself, not any object it touches. Ergo, people frozen in ice aren't killed because the water itself is being manipulated, as opposed to just feeding energy to the whole thing. The water is being frozen around them without actually reducing the temperature of it in the conventional sense. Rather, the process actually causes molecular bonds to form per the bender's will while reducing the amount of energy in the system all at once.
      • The above answer makes no sense. Changing the state of water, by definition, means changing the amount of energy present, which would result in a change in temperature or pressure. Wikipedia has a more detailed explanation, but the bottom line is that the statement "The water is being frozen around them without actually reducing the temperature of it in the conventional sense" violates the definition of phase changes. Also, adding energy to ice makes it turn to water, then gas (the above post implies the opposite).
      • I meant to say "taking" energy, just forgot to fix it. Bear in mind that they're already violating several laws of physics. Let me put it this way. It is possible for water to exist in a gaseous state without being heated to boiling. Clouds, for example, though that's a whole mess of factors. Benders can cheat the energy requirements. What they're doing is controlling the molecular bonds of the water. Ergo, water becomes gas because they break the bonds, and that energy is applied to the bonds only. Conversely, they're forming molecular bonds to create ice, and the person would no more freeze to death than you would for stacking ice on your chest. Granted, they would get cold rather quickly with that much ice around, but that's beside the point. The energy being either applied or removed from the system is not being applied to the person, only the water, and at such a rapid pace that there is no time for the water to leech energy through contact before it's already changed state. It's been a while since I've gone through the whole series, but hypothermia takes a bit to set in. So does suffocation for that matter. I don't think they've ever been trapped for such extensive periods that they'd be irreparably harmed for the effort.
      • I would guess that the waterbenders are creating a polymorph of water, similar to Kurt Vonnegut's Ice IX, which is solid at or above room temperature and pressure. You could even explain the suffocation method in this fashion - the polymorph makes the ice highly permeable to oxygen in specific, or air in general.
    • Remember Imprisoned? Haru and Tyro were able to take several chunks of coal and make them into one solid boulder. Likewise, and Earthbender is able to turn a boulder into dust. A similar principle is used here.
    • There probably is a "scalding water" technique but we hadn't met anyone who could do it.
      • Probably for a very good reason. This is a Kids show, so slow painful death by scalding water is out.
    • It's Wuxia. People are Made of Iron in these settings.
    • I don't think waterbenders really control the temperature of the water. If a waterbender is using ice and gets interrupted mid-bend by chi-blocking or similar, the ice melts instantaneously. If a waterbender was controlling the temperature, it shouldn't melt like that. I think when using ice they hold the molecules in a rigid shape, and that results in what we see as ice.
    • About that "lack of breath" part, do you remember part 4 of Sozin's Comet? Katara froze Azula into a huge chunk of ice, and when she came out she was gasping.

  • Why, when Toph and Katara are trapped in the wooden cell, does she use her sweat to escape when a more plausible source of water is urine, which they both would likely have in much greater quantity than sweat. I know it's a kids cartoon, but it just bugs me they didn't pop a squat instead of running in place.
    • Because they didn't think of it, obviously. Katara wasn't like "ha ha ha, no cage can resist my sweat", she was dumbfounded until the Eureka Moment when she wiped from forehead.
    • They were only in the cage for a few minutes and they were already sweating from the heat, so clearly they just never got desperate enough to think of urine. Really, this complaint is far more appropriate when applied to Hama's backstory. You'd think she and her fellow imprisoned waterbenders would have tried bending urine long before she discovered bloodbending. How on Earth could fire nation prison guards reliably prevent their charges from soiling themselves and attacking them with the waste? For that matter, what prevents them from bending the water they're given to drink? Yes I know, the guards bound the prisoners' limbs before giving them water, but we've seen Katara bend water right of Aang's lungs so bending it out of their own stomachs should be doable, and they could always just force themselves to vomit if they had to. Guarding waterbender prisoners has got to be the worst job ever.
      • Well, it's up there, but being Azula's keeper would be no picnic either. (Ni-i-i-ce crazy lady. I'm just here with your breakfast—Ow!!)
      • Maybe someone did try it and was killed with fire before she could do anything. Hama was able to escape because she controlled the guards. If she had just tried to waterbend a small number of external fluids, the guards would have seen it and shot her.
      • Hama said herself that any sign of resistance was met with "cruel retribution." So it sounds like the Tailor-Made Prison isn't the only thing keeping the waterbenders there, but also psychology as well. If you really start to pick it apart, the prison really wouldn't be all that effective by itself in holding waterbenders, see above urine example. However, when combined with fear of the guards, a feeling of crushing despair, and the general hopelessness that came from being unable to bend effectively, it would make an effective prison indeed. Think about it, to any bender, their greatest source of pride, self-esteem, and feeling of worth and accomplishment would come from their bending abilities. Denying them that, even mostly symbolically, would be a cruel and effective form of psychological torture. If you really think about it, it makes the prison even more horrifying than it already was. No wonder Hama was insane. See also some of the discussions about Aang taking away Ozai's bending and how "humane" it really was.
      • The guards probably only gave the prisoners the bare minimum amount of water needed to survive so they couldn't spare any of it to attack without dying of dehydration, and as a result they didn't have enough energy to fight effectively with their urine, or enough urine to do more than annoy the guards even if they did. I'd imagine at least a few of them tried it anyway, but their weak attempts were easily defeated and the punishment they received was enough to discourage the rest. Not to mention, living in a state of near-dehydration for years would be torturous and incredibly demoralizing.
  • Also, why did Toph not simply try to bend the earth under the building? She knows it's there, and earlier episodes have established she can still bend earth when standing on wood.
    • Bending seems to require a line of sight to the object being bent. A normal earthbender probably could have bent the earth underneath them through the bars of the wooden cage, but Toph, who "sees" via earth-transmitted sonar, is effectively helpless if she's not in direct physical contact with the ground. This is why her shoes don't have soles. Because the wooden cage kept her from touching the ground, she couldn't "see" it, and thus couldn't bend it.
    • The Problem with that is: Toph can sense earth she's not in contact with. It is outright stated in Avatar Extras. If she could only bend rocks directly through her feet, she wouldn't be able to bend the dust she had kicked up in the arena and wouldn't have so accurately dealt with the savage-themed Earthbender that swung down from above with a large rock. Contrast the guy from above with the vulture-wasps, that didn't have rocky material on them and caused her trouble. Also, a sighted person wouldn't be able bend the earth through visibility, either, because the ground wasn't visible. This episode, the creators probably just forgot, kind of like they forgot that Toph didn't need exposed eyes in Bitter Work (but this time, goofing up some plot).
      • Actually when she senses rock/earth under her in most situations, it tends to be direct to other earth or in contact with some derivation of earth (which was discussed in context of her style above). That aside, the wood probably provided a barrier to the bending forces.
    • I always assumed she didn't want to earthbend since they were in the Fire Nation and wouldn't exactly be very subtle (Especially, you know, since it's Toph). Katara's waterbending was a much better way to escape, especially since water evaporates and wouldn't leave any trace of the fact that Katara was a waterbender
  • Fire. How is it that it has enough force to break rock?
    • Firebending is more than just normal fire, it's explosive and concussive force.
      • Don't forget heat and electricity generation. Firebending has a bunch of loosely connected elemental abilities keep it balanced with the other bending arts. If firebending couldn't break through rock, firebending would be completely inferior to earthbending, which would break the plot.
      • Firebending is completely inferior to earthbending. Have you seen what earthbenders can do?
      • Have you seen what firebenders can do? Iroh can flick his wrist, and Zhao goes skidding across the ground, or blow breath onto iron manacles and immediately superheat them. Zuko can use a sword to shatter boulders mid-flight or cut through chains, and use a flying kick to literally kick a boulder that an earthbender is using that is larger than himself so hard it right-angles away and out of the earthbender's control. Seriously, go back and watch him rescue Iroh. Firebenders are quite clearly capable of using bursts of superhuman strength. Fire has less out-of-combat uses than earth, sure, but by no means is it inferior as a combat art.
    • Fire is nothing more than thermal energy being directly transferred. Sudden, swift and intense direct energy transfer into an object can cause violent, explosive combustion, if you're pumping enough thermal energy into it. If the fireballs are shattering stone, its simply because the firebender in question is slamming so much energy into the stone in an instant that it's exploding.
    • Regular fire probably couldn't, but it's implied Bended fire is somehow different—Sokka's plan to use bomb-fire to open the door failed. Mysteriously. Thus, Bended fire can do more.
    • Its explicitly shown that bended fire has concussive force in the finale, when Jeong-Jeong uses bended walls of flame to hurl the Fire Nation tanks into big piles.
  • When Toph covers herself in that rock suit of armor while sparring with Aang, why does she leave her eyes exposed?
    • Because she can.
    • No, seriously, because she can. I bet Toph got a kick out of Aang only being able to see her blank gray eyes staring at him. Toph's been willing to poke fun at and emphasize her blindness before when she thinks its funny, so this more subtle but no different.
    • Actually this was addressed in the Avatar Art Book where they show a sketch of Toph in her rock suit that leaves her mouth and nose exposed instead of her eyes. It had a description saying they originally planned to animate it this way, since she would need to breath and not see, but forgot when they actually got to it. Probably, the animators changed it a mix of Rule of Cool and forgot she was blind.
    • She probably left her eyes uncovered because she was sparring with Aang, who isn't blind. She was trying to teach Aang Earthbending at the time, so it would make more sense to show him techniques that he can actually use.
    • Assuming there's enough space behind the helmet to allow air circulation, it actually makes some sense to put the opening away from her mouth - besides the psychological effect. She may have decided that, in case anything went wrong, she'd rather risk injury to her already useless eyes than risk a cut lip and broken or knocked out teeth.

  • Firebenders are rendered powerless during a solar eclipse. This implies they need the sun to use their power. Why can they use their power at night if this is the case?
    • Remember what causes a solar eclipse. It's not just the sun not being visible, it's the moon covering the sun. So you have the source of Waterbending blocking out the source of Firebending. SYMBOLISM.
    • Consider also that waterbenders can bend when the sun is up. You know why? Because the moon still has an effect on the earth; it's just on the other side of the world at the time. In this world, a solar eclipse apparently stops a good chunk of the sunlight from reaching the earth as a whole. Not that firebenders weren't completely unable to conjure fire; they just can't make enough to be the slightest bit effective.

  • Would Firebenders bend in their sleep? Cause if so, that could make Zuko dangerous just to be around.
    • No? Why would they? Bending anything takes conscious will.
      • So do speaking and moving around, and yet people talk and walk in their sleep in Real Life.
      • There was actually a comic in Nick Magazine called Sleepbending, where Aang bends in his sleep. It was Played for Laughs, though.
      • Katara bends the iceberg in the first episode by mistake. The only reason I asked about Firebenders specifically is because the worse the other three elements could do is mess up thier room. Zuko could burn the temple down.
      • Bending doesn't necessarily take conscious will. You see many examples of people accidently bending things. Beside the Katara iceberg example, there's Aang airbending accidentally while sneezing. It seems therefore possible a firebender could firebend while sleeping. Though it is possible this might require fire to be near him, as it is likely generating fire would require a conscious effort.
    • They may fire-bend a small amount, but most likely nothing more than turning the heat up a few degrees around them. To generate any significant amount of heat, and especially to create fire, they tend to need consciousness.
    • During the Seige of the North, watch carefully when Katara, Sokka, and Yue show up to rescue Aang. Katara blocks Zuko's first attack, then his second attack fizzles out half-way to Katara when she tosses him up into the air. So sustaining an attack of real substance seems to require continued concentration, otherwise it fizzles out.
    • Maybe bending in general can be involuntary but not firebending. When teaching Zuko about the four elements, Iroh describes fire as the element of power and its people as [paraphrasing] being willful and driven. Moving stuff that's already there in your sleep? Everyone can do that. But to shoot out fire you have to want to.

  • Ok, so they've made an (unstated) point of having Toph's style of Earthbending be different than your run-of-the-mill earthbending. This makes sense, as Earthbending is an extension of her senses. However, why then does Aang (as far as I can tell, I'm no expert) use the standard earthbending? He is not using it as an extension of himself, but he is still learning it from someone who is. Unless she went out of her way to teach him the standard version, then intended to teach him her style after he mastered the seismic sense, this doesn't make sense.
    • Actually, I believe that all the way up to the last episode of the finale, Aang always used Toph's form of bending. He never really uses the standard form save for the moves that the standard form and Toph's form have in common. This, because repeatedly throughout Season 3 you see Aang using seismic sense to earthbend (practicing with Katara and Toph during 'The Runaway', fighting the Fire Lord in the finale)
    • This troper always saw Aang's earthbending as being more of a mix of Toph's style and the standard style, which would make sense; he's taught Toph's style, but mixes in the style he's seen and watched for virtually his entire life, which is entirely possible when you understand the principles and movements of a fighting style well enough.
    • What do you mean by "not using it as an extension of himself?" The idea is that bending is by its core used by benders as an extension of themselves, and that's no less the same with weapons either i.e. Sokka learning to use his "Space Sword" as an extension of his body. The miscommunication here is that while Toph uses it not only as an extension to herself, but also as an extension to her senses (As stated by her in "The Firebening Masters"), Aang is not blind like Toph thus he doesn't need to use it for senses. The idea is that Aang learns Earthbending first to nail down the basics i.e. facing a rock head on, and then to refine his skill by teaching him the harder lessons like Seismic Sense.

  • When Toph and Katara were trapped in the wooden cage, they were both wearing golden jewelry. Or something that looked like gold. So why didn't Toph bend those?
    • At a guess, the metals in them were far more refined than the steel Toph is shown to manipulate.
    • If it's gold, it's going to be soft. Soft metals are ill-suited for cutting.
      • As opposed to water? Granted, water is used in industrial cutting, but you have a LOT of water hitting the target at extremely high speed. Using solid gold blades to cut something harder than gold will work as well, if you have a lot of time and gold blades. Something like months or years of constant work to cut an ordinary pipe. Using molten gold like water, even given enough gold, presents interesting logistical issues, what with its density and the heat you need to put in it, and the fact that, through convection, you'll be warping and dilating the shape of the material being cut, whose own melting point may or may not come into play. But with the amount of energy Toph can put into it, the gold should go through wood easier than Katara's sweat, definitely. She's also demonstrated that she can reshape the metal with trivial ease, negating its being blunted.

  • Okay, so... Sozin's Comet boosts the powers of all firebenders, making Ozai that much more dangerous. I'm confused, however, on why Aang should worry about this, given that he's a firebender too, and thus the advantage the comet gives Ozai should be negated.
    • Because, unlike Ozai, he's not a skilled firebender.
    • And what about the other three bending disciplines? You know, the ones that aren't increased a hundredfold by the power of the comet? That pretty much wipes out Aang's only advantage. And it should not negate Ozai's advantage if you assume that The Comet boosts all firebending by the same magnitudenote . So if Aang's firebending is weaker than Ozai's it will still be weaker with the power of the comet.
      • Actually, the Extras openly state that Aang is a more powerful firebender than Ozai, and is in fact more powerful than any other Firebender in the world. However, this is mainly due to understanding the true nature of firebending, which is also the reason why, having never created fire with firebending in his life (recall that the fire he burned Katara with was started by Jeong Jeong, he just grew it with no control whatsoever) he was able to fire off a bigass fireball immediately after the dragons breathed on him. The issue, as is stated above, is that Ozai was far more skilled than him. On the other bending disciplines, though, no one is really seen doing anything with the Super Fire Bending Powah other than making their fire much bigger and more forceful. Firebending is shown to be most effective as a fighting style as tight, fast and fluid. This is why Zhao emphatically sucks against more skilled opponents like Zuko and Aang. This doesn't really render the other bending styles useless, and in fact it can be seen in the final battle: water isn't used so much, but Aang's primary weapons are not Fire, used sparingly, but Earthbending for head-to-head and Airbending for avoidance, and he puts up a damn good show considering he's up against the third most powerful firebender alive (coming in behind Aang himself and Iroh).

  • How come there's so many damn fire benders? Yes, the fire nation is discouraging other elemental bending, but it seems like any one fire nation member that's placed on screen can bend. With the other nations, it's a case of "a few can bend, others can't, life goes on". Does the fire nation just constantly reproduce with bending preference?
    • You could justify it by saying that Aang and co. are more likely to be fighting Fire Nation soldiers than drinking tea with Fire Nation citizens, so they're more likely to encounter the elite of the Fire Nation concentrated into units rather than being spread out. Alternatively you could just chalk it up to the creators needing the fights to look cool.
    • Not every Fire national is a bender. You'll notice there's plenty of soldiers who display no signs of bending ability. Generally, if you see a Fire Nation soldier who's wielding a spear, he's probably not a bender.

      That said, as the previous poster said, for the bulk of three seasons most of the Fire nationals you see are soldiers, and the Fire Nation is definitely the type of place that would specifically pick out and recruite firebenders for the army specifically. It'd be expected for the military to be skewed toward firebenders in a higher proportion than the rest of the citizenry.
    • Actually, going by the number of bending-capable soldiers we see in action, both the Northern Water Tribe and the Earth Kingdom seem to employ more benders in their militaries than the Fire Nation. If nothing else, the Fire Nation seems to employ more non-benders as infantry/artillery operators/cavalry. I can count the number of non-bending EK troops I've seen in the series on one hand, and the only NWT soldier who wasn't bending water was, ironically, the prince who tried to attack Admiral Zhao With Catlike Tread. By comparison, there were countless spear-carrying mooks in the FN army and navy. This actually makes a lot of sense, considering the small size of the Fire nation when compared with the fact that they're trying to take over the entire world. They can't afford to be picky about their troops; they need boots on the ground, whether those boots are wielding fire, wrenches, or spears.
    • Firebenders are incredibly sparse. The Fire Nation has more nonbenders than benders than any other nation, but anyone that can firebend is usually enlisted in the military. This is why it seems that they fight a large number of them, but you have to consider a few things. For the most part, there are maybe 1-2 firebenders in every vehicle crew. The airships are prime example of the ratio and the value of the firebenders; most of the crew consists of mechanics and other combat personnel, with only a few benders on staff on the exposed decks for the attacks. They would seem to consist of shock troopers and specialists, and don't seem to make up the bulk of the military by any stretch.
    • The Fire Nation is ruled by an authoritarian state that is able to compel the service of (nearly) every military-age firebender. Notice that while we see a lot of firebending troops, we see very few firebending civilians (whereas earthbending civilians are common in various walks of life, and even the swamp benders have them in all their boats.)

  • If Earthbenders can bend coal, can they bend petroleum? What about wood, which is what coal was? At which stage from wood to coal does the substance become bendable? For example, is peat bendable? What about other predominantly carbon-based substances? Can an earth bender bend dry ice? CO 2? Furthermore, if sand is bendable, can glass be bended? What about calcium. Can an earthbender bend bones like he bends calcite and limestone?
    • Good question. Earth bending is usually explained as the ability to control minerals to justify people bending stuff like gemstones and materials with mineral impurities like metal, but coal isn't a mineral and earthbenders can manipulate it anyway, so who freakin' knows? Whatever logic lets them bend coal should let them control all those other things too. Glass isn't a mineral anymore so I'd say no to that one, and bonebending would seem to work by the same principle as waterbending healing does (manipulating the element present within the human body to repair it), so I'd imagine that's a standard technique employed by earth nation doctors and combat medics for treating broken bones.
      • I have developed a rule about applying real-world science to bending: don't. Bending is based off eastern mysticism; trying to apply science to it just results in headaches. My definition of earthbending is, "If it's not alive, and can be found naturally in the earth, it falls under earthbending." They can bend coal because it's earth, they cannot bend wood because it's not earth (and it's a living thing). they can't bend processed metal because it's not naturally found in the earth, and the same goes for man-made glass too. Going by this definition, then yes, earthbenders can bend oil, because it's also a natural part of the earth.
      • Perhaps earthbenders can bend a wider variety of materials than what we consider to be minerals. If waterbenders can bend ice and vapor, then logically earthbenders could bend petroleum. I'm not sure about wood, though; does wood contain enough pure carbon?
      • Actually it makes sense for them to bend coal, you know since coal is mined... from mines... with pickaxes, now CHARCOAL on the other hand, that is made out of wood. So i don't know if they can bend that.
      • The question here is if the element is a chemical compose or a state of matter. Let’s say for the sake of the argument is the latest; earth is a key word for solids, water for liquids, air for gases and fire for pure energy, we saw earthbenders bending anything solid (rock, coal, metals), firebenders bending different forms of energy (fire, lighting) and waterbenders bending all sorts of liquids (water, blood and sap, I assume they can bend wine or milk if they want), from the airbenders we don’t know much because only Aang is around, but let’s say they probably will be able of bend some other gases besides oxygen. Yes, it is said that metalbending is only possible because of the “impurities” on the metal and bloodbending and plantbending because blood and sap have water, but those maybe the explanations from a pre-scientific culture rather than the real reason. Yet, the problem with this is that we know waterbenders can turn water into ice, that is solid.

  • Why would the fire nation assume that by restraining Bumi he can't bend? ALL THREE OTHER TYPES OF BENDERS can bend with their faces or by breathingnote , why assume earthbenders would be the only exception?
    • He might be able to bend, but they thought it would be in limited capacity. Yes, Katara can melt the water—if her breath is hitting the water. Iroh can breathe fire—if whatever he wants to burn is in front of his mouth. Ditto Aang and his sneezebending. If you restrained any of them, they wouldn't be able to do much outside of line of sight pushing with their element direct from their mouths. Bumi, however, demonstrated the ability to bend almost as well with his face as he did with his whole body, which was unknown to the Fire Nation.
    • Because the method of restraint - namely, keeping the earthbender on metal and disconnecting the earthbender from the ground - has consistently been proven to be effective at restraining other earthbenders, and Bumi never does anything in sight of the FN troops to dissuade them of the notion that it's working.
      • Disconnecting an earth bender from the earth never works. When they levitate boulders, they aren't touching them are they?
      • No, but they generally are touching the ground when they do so, and when earthbenders are moving earth, they usually have their hands free to perform gestures.
    • It's possible the reason is because unlike the other three elements, earthbending is based solidly in the muscles. Even though Fire, Earth, and Waterbenders can bend their elements when they can't move, they're still directly interacting with the element itself-air in Aang's case and the water in the air in Katara's-or its direct source-Firebending draws from the breath, not the muscles. They thought that Bumi couldn't do anything similar... and in fact, they were right. He couldn't bend without moving. He could bend just moving his head, and that was the security flaw, but the Fire Nation was absolutely correct in their assumptions that you can't Earthbend without moving.
      • Which brings back the original question: Why would Earthbending be different from all the other bendings?
      • Because Earth is solid and completely external, while the others are fluid and originate from/are present within the body. Each of the elements has some differences with the others.
    • It's really a case of air- and firebending being different from the others, since A.) there's air everywhere that an airbender can control, and B.) firebenders generate heat from the energy within their own bodies. Katara exhaling to melt ice was a very specific facet of waterbending, and she was in direct contact with the water being bent. It's not like you could chain her up and expect her to do the same thing just by breathing.

  • Why is bloodbending treated like it's somehow an inherently "evil" form of bending? It's true that in "The Puppetmaster" Hama uses it for evil purposes, but Katara only uses it to defend herself, yet the episode seems to suggest the mere application of bloodbending could somehow corrupt Katara, regardless of her motives for using it. Sure, with bloodbending you can control other humans, and thus it's possible to become corrupted with power (like what happened to Hama), but the same could be said of any form of bending. And plantbending works the same way as bloodbending, yet there's no suggestion it has any "evil" qualities.
    • In addition to what's said below, bloodbending lets you lobotomize people and destroy their bending. It's dubious enough to let the Avatar have that kind of power, but giving it to anyone less fettered is sheer lunacy. No other power can do something like that. Fire, Earth, Wind, those can kill you, but they can only kill you. Not Mind Rape you and sever your body from your soul.
      • This discussion is based on what happened in AtLA. No bloodbender in that series had the power to take away your bending, no one even knew something like that could be done, and yet bloodbending was still treated as "evil". Also, even in TLoK, taking away your bending is not something all bloodbenders can do... Neither Yakone nor Tarrlok could do it, only Noatak could. So it seems more likely that Noatak was either some freak of nature, or the skill of erasing bending was taught to him by evil spirits, but it certainly isn't something "regular" bloodbenders can do.
    • Plants are inanimate otherwise. Bloodbending is straight up taking over someone and subverting their will while they're forced to watch you do it. It's straight up horrifying just to think about.
      • Any form of bending can be used to "subvert someone's will while they're forced to watch you do it"; for example, waterbenders and earthbenders can trap someone in ice or between rocks. Bloodbending may look more horrifying than other forms of bending because it has no visible element, but that doesn't mean it should have any inherent "evil" qualities. When Katara uses bloodbending to stop Hama, how is it different from the many occasions he uses waterbeding to trap someone in a block of ice? The end result is the same, so Katara's motives should be what matters, not the form of bending she uses.
      • Provide me with a way that Bloodbending can be used for good.
      • In the case of an open wound, the patient could be Bloodbent to stop fatal blood loss.
      • There's a lot of difference between trapping someone with external forces and basically taking over their body. Bloodbending is clearly pretty painful as well, while simply trapping someone in ice and rock is not. The difference is between simply restraining someone, and painfully forcing them into taking action against themselves or their own side.
      • But my point was that Katara doesn't "painfully force someone into taking action": he just restrains Hama with bloodbending, just like she restrained other people with ice. Even if this causes Hama a little pain, it shouldn't be immoral considering that she does this to save herself and her friends. (Plus other forms of bending cause a lot of pain on their targets too, yet they aren't considered inherently "evil".) And trapping someone's whole body inside ice should be very painful (possibly lethal), yet in Avatar world this doesn't seem to be case... As for bloodbending being used for good, it happens right there in "The Puppetmaster": Katara uses it to beat Hama, and if she hadn't done so, innocent people would have died. How is that not using bloodbending for good?
      • Outside of a combat scenario, how is Bloodbending going to be used for good? Earthbending lets you make buildings and reinforce structures. Airbending allows for faster travel. Waterbending has the healing thing. Even Firebending can be used to keep people warm when it's freezing cold. Bloodbending doesn't have any other use than forcing your will on people. Trapping someone in ice or water is one thing. Using bloodbending is practically kidnapping and forced labor.
      • Presumably being able to manipulate someone's blood would be useful when treating large wounds, performing surgeries, etc. In fact it seems perfectly possible that the healing waterbenders do is all about manipulating the water that's inside the human body (not just in blood but elsewhere too). How else could waterbending have the healing qualities it has? So basically Hama's version of bloodbending is just an offensive version of what the healers do.
      • How is reliable non-lethal self-defense a bad thing, anyway? Also, forcing a person from harming others is a pretty good thing, all things considered.
    • Imagine that someone or something has just torn one of your femural arteries open and you've just sprayed your first two-meter long jet of blood. Your only chance is a WB around who can bend blood, and, whether they're your friend or enemy, you know they won't put you through any sort of serious abuse. Your choices are (a) let them Bloodbend on you to keep it inside or (b) die quickly from the blood loss. You have 5 seconds to pick one.
      • Why does she need blood bending for healing? She can already do that through waterhealing. And it seems like blood bending is actually painful to those that it's used on. So wouldn't the shock of using bloodbending on them be almost as fatal as the injury?
      • Like mentioned above, it seems likely that waterhealing is merely a benevolent version of bloodbending, i.e. manipulating the water inside a human body. How else could waterbenders use their power to heal people? The reason bloodbending in that episode hurts like hell is because it's used offensively, against the natural processes of the body, whereas when it's used for healing, it would strengthen the body's natural healing capabilities. That said, based on that episode offensive bloodbending doesn't seem to cause any serious injuries to people it's used against, so it's hardly "almost as fatal".
      • The water is merely a catalyst in some spiritual process.
      • That would mean that waterbending can, besides water, manipulate some kind of spiritual "healing force", which would be odd considering the other three forms of bending can manipulate only one element.
      • Or not so odd, if it's not a seperate force but a spiritual aspect native to the water itself.
      • The healing powers of water probably stem from the fact that living things are mostly water. Restoring the properties of the water inside would restore the state of the thing being healed.
      • Except that most injuries and diseases have nothing to do with "properties of water" being in imbalance.
      • Also, Bloodbending isn't bending external blood. It's bending the blood INSIDE the body to sort of "bend" the human/animal. Bending external blood is just regular old waterbending. Why doesn't the waterbender just heal you?
      • I would like to note that bloodbending can only be used during the full moon, so any waterbender able to bloodbend would be powerful enough to heal you using normal healing waterbending.
      • Like mentioned above, nothing in the series indicates "normal healing waterbending" isn't also about manipulating the water inside a human body, which would mean Hama's version of bloodbending is merely a aggressive variation of regular healing techniques.
      • Not saying that something is false is very different from saying it's true. For example: Just because I fail to say that I'm not royalty doesn't mean that I am. No one saying that Healing isn't just messing around with bodily fluids in no way implies that it is. Without someone saying outright that Healing is using waterbending to affect bodily fluids, you can't say that it definitely is, and as such, you can't say that Bloodbending is in any way related, other than being a Waterbending ability.
    • The answer to that question is pretty simple - the episode suggests that the mere ability to use bloodbending might change Katara because power does tend to change people. And in this case, the power of hers is the only power in the series that allows someone to forcibly take control over the body of another person. Also, the perspective from which bloodbending was shown was skewed, as Katara is a main character who was opposed to leaning bloodbending, as opposed to Hama who was a one-time character whose only reasons for living were revenge and teaching someone how to bloodbend. If we get over the bias caused by Katara and Hama, bloodbending is only a tool for benders; possibly the most powerful one and the definitely the most invasive one available to normal benders, but still just a tool, and it is possible to use it for a good cause, even if that is more difficult than using it for harm.
    • It was confirmed in Korra by everyone who was bloodbent in that series that bloodbending is intensely painful.
      • As opposed to getting hit by boulders or bursts of fire?
      • Yes. Every person whose been bloodbent has been shown to be horrified by the experience, meanwhile the normal bending forms only seem to cause normal pain, and even then only if the user was really trying to hurt tbhier opponent.
    • I think it's the power corrupts angle inside of bloodbending. And remember, it did corrupt Katarra. Briefly anyway. In The Southern Raiders, when Katarra and Zuko get their first real lead on her mother's murderor, it's a full moon. Katarra's willingly bloodbending the commander with every intention of killing him, likely as brutally as she could imagine. The tool came with the implications, like a gun. Guns are self defensive, but everyone knows their main use is to hurt/kill something/someone. That's where the evil comes from in bloodbending.
      • But all bending is power, and all forms of bending can easily be used to hurt or kill someone. Even if Katara didn't know bloodbending, there would've been ways for her to kill the commander "as brutally as she could imagine", such as filling his lungs with water. Yes, power can corrupt, but there's no reason why bloodbending should corrupt more than any other form of bending. Katara's corruption came from the rage she felt for her mother's murder, not from bloodbending.
    • There is also possibility that psychological aspect is necessary for bloodbending. Ice and Earth prisons may be constructed by impede the movement psychological mindset, but for bloodbending to work you have to get into control mindset even if you just wish to immobilize someone.
    • I'd also like to clarify simply that bending in and of itself is neither good nor evil. It's the bender who uses it who is good or evil. Pretty much the same reason why people view Firebenders in a bad light regardless of the person, because of the Fire Nation starting the Hundred Year War. Thus I believe that while the people who use Bloodbending for corrupt purposes are bad, bloodbending itself is capable of being used for good.
    • Waterbenders aren't shown to have any real trouble bending impure water, so there's no real reason to think that blood is uniquely difficult - a typical waterbender could probably bend exposed blood without any real problems. It's just that bloodbending is incredibly precise to be useful - again, a waterbender could "rip" the blood out of somebody and kill them, but controlling them, without killing them, would be much harder. But, in any case, that means that things like "surgical bloodbending" wouldn't be that hard to learn (and wouldn't involve learning to entirely subjugate another's will).
    • A part of it is also likely that being bloodbent is painful because, by bending the whole person, you are stopping most of the natural processes of the blood. People shown blood bending do it in situations where they aren't concerned with the bent person's wellbeing, and so don't devote effort to maintaining the individual processes of the body.
    • For all the people who argue that bloodbending can be used for good, I don't see very many of you giving examples of this. Using it to somehow heal wounds seems not only illogical but pointless, since waterbenders can already heal injuries without it. The bad thing about it is that it overrides people's free will, which is something no other kind of bending can do. And as seen in "The Southern Raiders," you run the risk of letting your emotions get the best of you even if you do use it to restrain someone in the name of good. (Even though, again, you could use any other kind of bending to achieve the same exact thing.)
    • Bloodbending can't be inherently bad just because it overrides a person's free will; what that person is forced to do is dependant on the waterbender's intent, which can be good or bad. If we're talking about say, a nicked artery spraying blood everywhere like the above example, it would be in that person's best interest to stay put while their blood is kept inside their body, or even having the body adjusted to slow the bloodflow. Not that a bloodbender wouldn't be able to do that anyway. Following that, bloodbending could be considered the other side of the coin to healing, since it's unknown to what extent a waterbender can heal someone before something more extreme is needed, like the spiritual water in Aang's case. It could even be used for a lawful cause, allowing a criminal to be restrained, especially in a hostage situation where someone's life is at stake.

      Bottom line, just because it's presented and used in a bad manner, bloodbending can genuinely have good applications like any other bending.
    • Aside from the moral and ethical implications of violating someone's free will, Bloodbending seems to be incredibly painful for the bendee or at least incredibly uncomfortable and terrifying. But, most importantly, absolute power corrupts absolutely; if you start allowing people to Mind Rape others even if the intentions are good at first you're opening a very dangerous can of worms that may be out of control pretty soon.
    • There's obviously no getting around the fact that restraining someone through bending is inevitably going to feel weird. That's not the point however; the point is it is capable of good applications. Besides, we've seen other bending forms be used for evil purposes even though they are generally used for good, and vise versa. Look at Airbending: it is capable of suffocating you as Zaheer demonstrated, yet Airbending itself is generally used by Air Nomads and is thus usually used for peaceful purposes. A more specific example would be Lightning Bending: it was pretty much used to throw lightning at your opponent in A:TLA and was almost guaranteed death if you couldn't dodge it or redirect it, but in Legend of Korra we see it used by paid Firebenders to power generators. The bending form itself isn't to blame in both cases, but rather it's the bender's actions. Bloodbending is really no different.

      Even if you argue that a criminal using Bloodbending is dangerous and is thus the reason not to allow it, the obvious solution for such a criminal is another Bloodbender who can bypass it. Besides, when would a criminal Waterbender capable of this technique follow the law anyways?
    • And what happens if all the bloodbenders suddenly decide to take over an make an Orwellian society with them at the top? who would stop them? There's a trope for that Who Watches the Watchmen?.
    • You mean like what Ba Sing Se's Secret Police and (more subtly) Tarrlock was doing in The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra respectively? Between the White Lotus and the Avatar, there's not that much to worry about. Even bloodbenders who oppose their hypothetical oppressors would do the trick.
    • Well, the setting already has problems with people abusing their power and turning into authoritarian regimes under well intentioned extremists like it happens on Earth Kingdom thus I doubt they want to risk this to happen yet again, and the Avatar is weak to bloodbending in fact which make them even more dangerous, but anyway, this discussion is sterile as, outside of fanfics, it's unlikely the position over bloodbending would ever change and may be more suitable for WMG than headscratchers.
    • The Avatar is capable of overriding it through the Avatar State. In fact, an Avatar fluent in bloodbending wouldn't even need to go into the state. Regardless of the in-universe reasoning of banning bloodbending (which incidentally I found applies to Republic City only as far as we know, go figure), the point of this headscratcher is to ask why it's rather unfairly portrayed in only a bad light when there's numerous examples of other bending that can and has been used for bad purposes. At best, the answer at this time seems to be the writers pushing the envelope on how evil it can be without exploring the other aspects. In-universe, it's just feared for how dangerous it can be. Even so, that's a heavy bias.
    • I think bloodbending is illegeal and unethical for the same reason using the Imperius Curse in the Potterverse is Unforgivable - in no uncertain terms, it strips its victim of their free will and forces them to act according to the whim of whoever is bending them. And unlike the Imperius Curse, the victim is completely aware of what they're doing and can't overcome it through willpower alone. Unless they're either the Avatar or another bloodbender, they're trapped. The implications aren't given as much focus as those of the Imperius Curse, but they are still there. Benders already have ways of subduing their adversaries while leaving their free will intact, just like wizards are shown to.
    • Bloodbending is inherently bad both for what it does to the target but also what it does to the user. The strain of bloodbending has a negative effect on the user's mental state. This is demonstrated by every bender we see who uses bloodbending with any regularity.
  • The thing about people getting hit by bending attacks. Why aren't victims of firebending attacks completely immolated? And why don't victims of water bending attacks at least get water up their nose, but more realistically, sending huge waves of water at somebody could drown them on dry land. As for Earth bending, I wonder why there aren't more victims of internal bleeding or smashed organs and limbs, as Jet masterfully demonstrated once. Airbending is pretty aboveboard, but it also gives me an idea: In theory, could an airbender generate a vacuum? If so, then it would be simple to shape one around a firebender's head in order to incapacitate them, as firebending is powered by the bender's breath.
    • Like in most kung-fu/wuxia movies and series, the laws of physics simply don't work the way they do in real life during fight scenes. Also, Avatar is a kids' show where (almost) Nobody Can Die, so even if the writers would have wanted the effects of bending to be more realistic, stuff like firebending immolating someone or waterbending drowning someone could never have been used.
    • This is fridge logic or WMG whichever you want to call it, but think about how many animals on Earth are poisonous and also how you don't hear about snakes or spiders being killed by their own toxin. People in TLA very likely evolved to be more durable (compared to us, anyway) in response to regularly having fire or rocks thrown at their faces.
  • Dunno if this has been brought up before but...how is it that airbending, with all them crazy ass flips and jumps and shit was developed by studying sky bisons which have to be the least suitable creature to learn such a style from...
    • Have you seen those things fly? They can turn on a dime and dodge like ridiculous, at least in the air.
  • Is lighting redirection only a Firebending technique? We've only seen Firebenders use it, but couldn't any bender (or even any person) learn to redirect lightning? Iroh even said it's based off of Waterbending.
    • I kind of figure that Waterbenders should be able to figure it out fairly easily, since, as you said, Iroh based it on waterbending techniques. Aang learns it only after he learns firebending, obviously, but if a firebender can make new techniques based off the element opposite of his, I see no reason why your average air or earthbender wouldn't be able to pick it up either. I think the only reason we ever see firebenders (and Aang) using it is because manipulating lightning in the first place is something that firebenders came up with, so it's natural that firebenders would be the first to use it. Given time, lightning redirection should be able to be taught to at least all other benders (even if lightning itself can't).
      • Actually firebenders appear to be the only ones capable of controlling electric charge. This makes sense since their fire is fueled by their internal energy, while every other form of bending is based on manipulating elements outside your body. The reason why lightning redirection is based on waterbending is because the waterbending fighting style is based on using your opponent's force against them, given how rare it is to bend lightning in the first place (the only three we see are all members of the royal family) it's not surprising no one besides Iroh thought of it before. While it isn't inconceivable that other benders could redirect lighting using their element, only firebenders can do it using their body, which is what your opponent is aiming at in the first place.
    • On a side note: the fact that Iroh developed a method of redirecting lightning has probably rendered the attack obsolete. Think about, firebenders must be controlling the electrons in their body, so when they shoot a bolt of lightning they are giving themselves a very strong positive charge. This would actually make them very vulnerable to any lightning reflected back at them, since it becomes very difficult if not impossible to dodge so long as their opponent points it in their general direction.
      • Lightning Redirection is uniuqe to normal bending in that instead of bending the element, this is rather guiding it down the arm, into the stomach, and out the other arm. I don't know for sure wether this can be considered a bending technique due to the description, but I would like to believe it is simply a skill that anyone can learn given the time and training, like Ty Lee's Chi blocking.
    • For what it's worth, when Iroh begins to teach Zuko the move, he refers to redirection specifically as a firebending technique. Firebenders generate fire by channeling the energy in their own bodies, which is something that's required for successful lightning redirection. If they're even able to, other benders might not be skilled enough at controlling their own energy to be able to pull it off.
  • Considering that comets are primary made of ice, dust, and rock, shouldn't fire benders be the last type of people who should be empowered by Sozin's Comet?
    • No. Because it is burning. And they are using the energy from said burning to empower their bending. Just like they would normally use the energy from the sun to power their bending. Except this burning is closer to them, so they get more power than they would from the sunnote .
      • Furthermore, it is consuming that ice, dust, and rock to burn. It's a cosmic emblem of the Fire Nation's dark side interpretation of Firebending.
  • Is there a specific list of substances that airbenders and earthbenders can bend?
    • Whatever the plot demands. "Earth" is not a substance to itself, so basically the writers can have earthbenders bend whatever comes from earth.
  • So the avatar is the "master" of all four elements, does that mean an avatar can do all the "alternate style" stuff like lightning, bloodbending, metalbending, etc.?
    • If they are taught, although finding teachers for those is extremely difficult. In the original series, only three people could bend lightning, one (I think) could bloodbending, and one person had just invented metalbending. Of those, only the metalbender was an ally, and Aang did learn a lot from her (was even able to learn her "Earth sight"). Most likely, people are more concerned with teaching the Avatar how to use the main elements as fast as possible so they are ready for any world consuming threat, fine tuning and learning of the sub elements can come later.
    • In TLOK, Avatar Korra learns healing and metalbending. She never learns bloodbending, because that's considered a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, and never learns lightning generation because the writers needed something unique for Mako to do.
      • It had nothing to do with making Mako special (especially since he rarely even used the power) and more the fact that Korra has a mindset that would make lightning bending impossible. She's aggressive, impatient and has difficulty focussing, any attempt at lightning bending would blow up in her face.
  • More things about Earthbending that don't make any sense. For a start, creating a pillar of rocks from the ground. Surely the rock would just fall back into the hole it came from? It's clearly shown that 1) Benders need their element as a resource in their bending, and 2) the amount of that element available directly corresponds to the size of the moves they may perform. So it's not like earthbenders can create rock from nothing. Also, when a rock is pulled out of the ground, the dust on the ground is often shown rushing outwards, as if it's exploding from the ground. However, the act of pulling a rock from the ground would create a temporary vacuum beneath the rock, pulling all the dust inwards, into the hole. If a pillar is pulled up in a completely vertical shape, fine, but if it's tapered towards the top, (i.e. to create a pyramid) then how did it come out of the ground in the first place? The width of the top of the hole would be smaller than the width of the base of the pyramid.
    • Maybe Earthbenders push rocks up from the ground, instead of pulling them out of it.
    • If waterbenders can manipulate water so that it's as soft or as hard as they need it, earthbenders probably do something similar. So when they earthbend a rock they're shuffling a piece around, but when they earthbend the ground it acts like clay, stretching and filling as needed.
  • Efficient ways of killing/disabling benders. The show bugged me with its extreme lack of violence, even though there was a war going on. I'm putting censorship as the reason why none of this was ever explored, but it still bugs me that there are far more efficient ways of bending to kill people than is ever explained on the show. For a start, there is direct control of the body. Bloodbending is used for puppetry, but if Hama was really so malicious, would she not have thought of dehydrating her opponents, or increasing the blood pressure on major arteries, causing massive hemorrhaging and internal bleeding? Fire bending, if it's correct that they can manipulate the amount of energy in matter (i.e. draining lava of heat) then surely they can boil their opponents alive? Air bending could be used to create a vacuum around the opponent's mouth, suffocating them, and, depending on how many 'impurities' were in the food in the body (considering it's set in the past, where food wasn't washed so thoroughly) there should be a high chance of ripping through the stomach lining. Not directly affecting the body, but still more efficient, if one can earthbend a giant boulder at 20mph towards an enemy, then surely, by developing enough focus, they can bend a stone bullet at bullet speeds towards an enemy, and then guide it through a group of enemies after it pierces the first?
    • Maybe in the Avatar world there exists some universal honour code that you shouldn't kill your opponent in battle unless it's absolutely necessary? Even the Fire Nation usually just put the enemies they captured in prison rather than just executing them. Only psychos like Azula and Ozai were willing to break this code whenever they felt like it. As for Hama, it looks like she wanted her Fire Nation victims to suffer the same thing the Fire Nation had done to her (rot in prison) rather than just kill them.
    • All the bending styles are based on martial arts forms, and one of the first things you learn in any martial arts class is restraint. You are being empowered, and with that power comes responsibility. Backed up somewhat by the cultural understanding of elements— water is life (thus using it for murder is a betrayal of your element [remember Katara's horror at killing the flowers]), earth isn't subtle (so bullets, while feasible, aren't their style), etc. Fire benders can't boil people alive because they aren't on fire; they manipulate their own energy, not other peoples'. There's also a heavy emphasis on honor in the Avatarverse, and none of your described methods are particularly honorable. It's one thing to kill someone in a fight, it's quite another to shoot them in the back. Even without your additional body horror aspects.
    • I've always just assumed that there are a LOT of ways to gruesomely kill people using bending that are regularly practiced offscreen, but we just never see them because one does not show that kind of graphic violence on a kid's show.
    • Well we also see that the Fire Nation does not kill their prisoners, nor even the leaders (the leaders are just put in a different special prison) and that you have unisex prisons were even teenage girls can go around with no apparent treat of sexual violence from the guards or the other inmates, so (besides the meta reason that is a kid’s show) Avatar’s world seem to be a very nice place, or where society in general is bound for a very strong code of honor if you want to give it a more cool explanation.
    • A combination of ethics and the fact that bending isn't strictly for combative uses. Consider this: you can do some pretty major damage to someone with your bare hands via strangling or clawing their eyes out, but that thought probably hadn't crossed your mind, because you don't think of your hands as weapons, but as tools.
  • Why do the Water Tribes fight the Fire Nation primarily on the ground? We've seen their ability to manipulate ice and water and it just seems like it would make a lot more sense to head out to open ocean and let the Fire Nation navy try to hit a dozen small targets zipping around them flipping their ships than trying to defend a wall or island while your homes are being pummeled by artillery.
    • Well, other than clearing the top of the ships with waves, what else could the waterbenders do? If the soldiers secured the deck like they would before a storm, it would take an absurd amount of work to sink one of the ships. They water benders could try boarding, but that leads to a situation where you are in a small, inclosed space with little water to bend and no knowledge of the layout. There was very little that the water benders could do, and it seems that the Northern Water Tribe decided that it wasn't worth the effort.
      • What about icebergs? They could forcefully break pieces off of glaciers and create a large belt of icebergs around the NWT, thus making it extremely dangerous to reach without waterbending.
      • ...Unless you have a ship full of people who can all shoot fire out of their hands and melt the icebergs.
  • Why can't earthbenders (using metal bending) bend blood? Basically, there is enough iron in the blood to be able to control it, the only problem with this theory is that metal bending uses imperfections in metal in order to manipulate said metal. Iron in the blood is probably too pure to control properly, though I'm surprised there are no other theories based on this.
    • About 80% of blood, and 60% of a whole human body, is water. Compared to that, less than 0.01% of a human body is iron, two thirds of which is in blood. If earthbenders could bloodbend because of that minuscule amount of iron, then waterbenders should be able to earthbend too, because there's always some water in earth.
    • This troper assumes that blood bending doesn't just bend blood but utilizes all of the water in a body. Calling it blood bending sounds more aesthetically pleasing than calling it meat bending.
  • Why is it that firebenders can create fire, but no other bender types can?
    • I'm not at all sure firebenders can create fire. Remember, everything in the world (that isn't at absolute zero) contains fire. Maybe firebenders are just pulling heat out of their surroundings?
    • They use their own body heat to ignite the fire. That's why both their breathing and body temperatures are so important.
    • Because fire is energy. The other elements are physical matter.
    • Its actually a case of Fridge Brilliance, Fire doesn't exist naturally, as its really just a chemical reaction that generates heat in the form of flame. So the only way for the writers to make Fire Nation a threat to the protagonist is to let them make there own fire.
    • Firebenders generate fire from the chi and energy in their own body. It's just like how Aang can bend using his own breath and Katara using her sweat. There is heat, water, and air inside everyone.
  • Why are there materials that no one can bend? If the four element model is true, then everything should be made of those four bendable elements.
    • Because people didn't think they could. Just like metalbending was thought to be impossible until Toph figured out it. Also there's the notion of concentration; there might not be enough earth/minerals in wood, for example, for it to be bent.
      • Then could someone bend actual metal, not just the earth inside it, if they thought it were possible? Could Korra have learned to bend her platinum cell and started a new classification of bending arts? Assuming everyone is really a bender, could the "non-benders" actually learn to bend all the elements of our periodic table? This would fill in some logic gaps.
    • You're over thinking it. The idea of the four elements is that they are all important to the world and life. For example, the basic nessecities of the world is the Sun for Fire and the Moon for Water as well as a day and night cycle, and the world itself is composed mostly of Water and a lesser amount of Earth. Then trees and plants use Earth to plant their roots and Water for nourishment, as well as taking energy from the Sun's rays, then they take in carbon dioxide and let out what? Air, which is important for Water as it's part of it's make-up, allows Earth to become fertile for areformentioned flora, and let's Fire breathe and burn. Without these elements, there is no life and thus why they have more importance and why they are bendable.
    • Working off the model that everything is some combination of the 4 elements could theoretically mean everything is bendable, but I dare you to look at a tree and tell me exactly where those 4 elements are and in what amount. To bend anything more complex than the pure element would take an obscene amount of concentration and probably multiple benders to work effectively.
  • What is airbending's 'advanced' technique? Water has healing and bloodbending, earth has metalbending and fire has lightningbending, but air seems to have nothing.
    • The way I always saw the 'advanced' techniques weren't that they were high level bending subtypes, but that they were the same old bending used in new/creative ways. Bloodbending is just waterbending being applied to the water in someone's body. Metalbending is just controlling the earth that's inside of metal to make indirectly affect it. Lightningbending is taking what firebending is (manipulation/creation of energy/chi) and putting it into a different form. So if air does have an 'advanced/ technique, it would probably be whatever took the pre-existing rules of airbending and applied them in a new and unique way.
    • My [1] concept of an airbending 'advanced' technique is sound manipulation. Since sound as we perceive it is just a disturbance propagated through air, it would make sense that some airbenders would be able to control it. Sadly, as Aang never seems to demonstrate knowledge of this or any other 'advanced' technique in airbending, it is entirely likely that the knowledge of such a technique (if there ever was one) died out with the Air Nomads
    • Cryostasis bending?
    • As demonstrated by Zaheer in the Korra season 3 finale, it's flight. It's very rare and there are only two people known to have learned it, ever.
    • Expanding upon this; Korra's run has shown that Airbending technically has two advanced techniques; the one noted directly above and astral projection demonstrated by Jinora, which for all intents and purposes means that Airbending had one of it's secret techniques shown during this original run via Aang himself. Although he never used it the way she did, the required traits seems to apply anyway; a very rare kind of spiritual connection and enlightenment that allows one to tap into the Spirit World.
      • It's never explicitly mentioned that Jinora's astral projection has anything to do with airbending, though; unlike all the other "advanced" techniques, it doesn't seem to be derived from the basic type of bending in any meaningful way. It's true that Jinora and Aang are the only ones who are shown to be able to do something like this, but that could be just because as Air Nomads they are much more attuned to spiritual matters than almost anyone else in the world. Maybe astral projection is simply a incredibly rare talent, but anyone with enough spritual inclination can develop it.
      • Jinora herself states it's an advanced airbender technique.
      • It's also implied that her uncle Bumi has a weaker version of the same power set.
    • I always assumed that advanced airbending techniques were things like flight and temperature control (why Aang doesn't need Winter clothes at the poles but Katara and Sokka do). The only reason we don't think of them as advanced techniques is because the 100% bender ratio of the Air Nomads means there's also a much higher ratio of mastery. Similar to how metalbending, while still a distinct school you have to work for, isn't really seen as super special in Legend of Korra; enough people learning to do it normalizes it.
    • Another possibility is that Airbending has more advanced techniques, but they were lost when all the airbenders died and nobody has rediscovered them yet (hardly surprising given how few people are available to study it.)
  • To continue with the Toph and Katara in a cage deal, as pointed out by someone, they were in Fire Nation territory. The problem is however, the most likely criminals that will end up in that wooden prison are Firebenders. Whut?(I do believe there was metal cage in the same place but my argument still stands.)
    • There are non-firebenders in the Fire Nation. I believe Word of God is that the Fire Nation actually has the lowest ratio of benders to non-benders. Wood is cheaper and easier to work than metal.
      • OP Here, But even so, a firebender in that place could still burn it open and even having the foresight to put him/her in the metal cage doesn't stop them from burning the floor and by extension building with their breath. (Unless that's why they have the Boiling Rock. Hell, if that's the case what's to stop them from concealing their bending and when the time comes, bust out?)
    • That cage was probably built specifically for Toph and Katara. They knew Toph learned metalbending and thus couldn't be contained in a metal prison like the earthbenders in season 1, so they tried a different approach.
  • Why does a lunar eclipse negate waterbending? It's made fairly clear in the series that waterbending is powered by the same force that controls the tides - lunar gravity. Gravity is not turned off when the moon passes into earth's shadow, so why should the waterbending be? If the reflection of red light negates waterbending, then why don't waterbenders lose their power at dawn and dusk? The exact same effect that colors our sunsets also colors a total lunar eclipse. Nor does the negation of waterbending happen to balance out what happens during a much rarer, much less effective, much shorter total solar eclipse.
    • It wasn't negated by an eclipse. It was negated by Zhao murdering the moon spirit.
    • When Zhao first removed the fish from the pond, it was represented by the moon turning red, a.k.a., a "blood moon", a.k.a., a lunar eclipse. Katara even refers to it as an eclipse in a later episode.
  • In the episode Imprisoned, why didn't the coal burn when the earthbenders used it as a shield against the fire? It's flammable.
    • It does. Several of the piles of coal they're throwing around are on fire. Coal burns long and it burns hot, but it does not burn quickly. Ever been to a BBQ? There's a reason you have to get the fire started with lighter fluid and give it a long time to heat up before you start cooking.
    • There's actually a town in Pennsylvania that had to be almost completely abandoned due to an abandoned coal mine that caught fire right underneath it in the 1960s. The coal is still burning today, and is expected to continue for about 250 years.
  • If, as The Legend of Korra says, bending was given to people by lion turtles, the original benders, doesn't this completely take a huge dump on the story of the two lovers learning earthbending from badger-moles and the source of firebending being dragons? It doesn't line up at all.
    • What are you talking about?! It lines up perfectly! It does not take a huge dump on the sources of learning earthbending (the keyword here is "learning"). It is not a plot hole. It is not a contradiction (contradictions are synonymous to plot holes). It is most certainly not a retcon. The Legend of Korra actually filled in a major gap left unexplained by the original series (and some see the mysterious gap as a plot hole since this actually was a contradiction before), and that was that people merely learned bending from those sources, which implied that anyone could learn bending, which would mean that the ability to bend is not genetic, despite the fact that the original series does indeed show that bending and genetics are interconnected. This gap, and the Deus ex Machina ending of ATLA are fixed with the reintroduction of the lion turtles as being the ancient ones who give the power and the ability of using the elements ("give," and "power"/"ability" being the keywords here). The sources like the dragons taught people who had the power of the elements to learn how to bend. What's the real Head Scratcher here is the fact that so many fans don't understand the most well-explained, best plot hole filling concept/story element in the entire franchise.
    • It does. The lion turtles gave people the power to use the elements, but tha arts of bending are developed by watching those animals. You see Wan performing the Dancing Dragon form, with... an actual dragon, and after that, people say how he's using the fire in a way theyve never seen before.
    • Another example of this is the Avatar him/herself - he was the only person to be given the power to bend from four different lion turtles, which is why Aang is capable of bending all four elements, but he still needs to learn how to bend them from other benders.
    • Aren't the stories of the mole-badgers and the dragons creation myths? So they're the In-Universe equivalent of Aesop's fables like "How the tortoise got its shell".
    • They may perhaps be regarded as such by most people, but Toph, Zuko and Aang, and Wan in Legend of Korra are shown to be learning their art forms from these creatures, so if anything there's a grain of truth to the stories.
  • What's up with the eye-tattoo people (Combustion Man and P'li in The Legend of Korra) who shoot fire out of their minds? Are they from some sort of cult or something? Did they spend their lives in an assassin training facility? Some of the things P'li said lead me to think along those lines.
    • They're combustion benders, it's a rare talent (like lava bending) that some fire benders are born with. The tattoo is to help focus. the power.
  • I know this was one of the main complaints about the movie, but...why do firebenders not need a preexisting source of fire in order to bend? I'm pretty sure none of the other benders can form their respective elements out of nothing, so where does the fire come from?
    • Yup, one of the very very very very few things that the movie does right is to fix that plothole, I don't get why people complain so much —especially because creating fire out of nothing may work in a cartoon but not in live action—, the only justification I can think in-universe is the use of Chi? like Iroh manage to do in the movie.
      • It's not a plothole. Unlike the other 3 elements, fire does NOT exist naturally in the world, it has to be created. As such, Firebenders are the only ones capable of creating their element. Also take into account the original benders of each element. Air has the flying bison, water has the moon, and earth has the badgermoles; all of which were shown manipulating their respective elements. Firebenders, however, have the dragons as their progenitors, who are capable of breathing fire; i.e. creating it from their own bodies. That's the reason the hundred year war started in the first place, Sozin believed that the Fire Nation was superior to the other three. Shyamalan made them need an existing source to bend because he believed them to be too powerful, even though that's the entire frigin' point.
      • There are many natural sources of fire in nature. But even so, we have to admit that generating fire is too cartonish for a live action movie.
      • I'm pretty sure that's not the reason. We're talking about a world where people can manipulate air, water and rock using various kung fu techniques - why would shooting fire out of their hands be where the developers drew the line?
      • Well to be fair the way they manipulate those is pretty tame too, compare with the animated series, it's almost like if MNS was ashame of working on a movie about Elemental Powers.
      • That was a budget problem, hard to pull off awesome elemental bending when you're blowing the budget on a bunch of other things. He tried to do too much but didn't have the money to do all of it well and ended up with a disappointment all around.
      • That's like saying bromine being the only non-metal that's liquid at room temperature is a plot hole—it's inconsistent, but it's not illogical. The movie gives the perfectly fine reason why that is—because fire being so rare to find naturally means firebenders would almost always be at a huge disadvantage against anyone. Heck, a nonbender skilled in weaponry will likely easily defeat a firebender in Shyamalan-Avatar.
    • The fire is created from their own body heat. That's why putting them in cold places prevents them from firebending.
  • During her lessons with Aang, Toph tells him that the only way to Earthbend is by being steadfast and tackling it head-on, like a rock...but how does that work with Bumi's philosophy of using different angles and the like? Aang at one point even suggests coming at the rock from a different angle, only for Toph to chastise him for thinking like an airbender.
    • Because Toph believes herself to be the greatest earthbender in the world (not easy to deny that), and as such would naturally believe that her method is the best method.
      • Toph actually fights the same way Bumi does, that's why Aang picked her as his Earth bending teacher. She was teaching him the absolute basics, the mindset he needs to earth bend at all.
  • Why did the rest of Team Avatar make fun of Aang and Zuko after they showed them the Dancing Dragon? Don't a lot of different bending forms resemble dancing in some way or another?
    • They made fun of the name itself, not so much the bending form.
    • But they were making fun of it before they even asked what it was called.
    • Probably because that bending form requires two benders to perform the same moves in sync with each other. That's not exactly common in most other bending forms and may seem noteworthy, if not silly to the Gaang.
  • I understand firebenders need a drive to power their firebending, but why exactly was Zuko said to have lost his before meeting the Sun Warriors? He says at the end of the episode that his new drive is to help Aang defeat Ozai, which restores his firebending, but hadn't that already been his drive since he defected on the Day of Black Sun? It seems like he embraced it pretty wholeheartedly from the get-go.
    • It's not just about needing a drive. He believed that firebending was meant to hurt people, because of how he was brought up. He needed something to believe in about firebending specifically. Learning that firebending was about life is what he needed.
  • How do the gliders used by the sandbenders work? From what I understand, you need a burst of wind to fill the sail for them to move. But the sandbenders are...well, sandbenders. They're earthbending, not airbending. How do you create wind just by forming sand into a vortex?
    • have you tried swinging around a towel? It will create a wind effect. Now try that using millions of small rock pieces a.k.a sand. They are not forming the sand into a vortex but rather swinging around the sand at a high speed into a twister. Given the nature of sand, it is more easier to do this with it, than with boulders or chunks of rock. Hence the reason why they are the only ones we could see see. But you could generate air using the same method with water or even with fire since they both can effect the air around them.

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