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Headscratchers pertaining to Book 1 of The Legend of Korra. Return to the index for more.

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Amon

     Practicality of Amon's ability on a large scale 
  • Amon can de-power three benders in about as many minutes, and that's impressive, but there are millions upon millions of benders in the world. Amon is one man. Are the Equalists planning on rounding up the benders up gulag style, straping them to an assembly line, and carting them past Amon one at a time 24/7 so he can de-bend them?
    • The hilarious thing is, this is exactly what happens in the finale.
    • Those were only the police and white lotus who defended the temple during Amon's raid
    • He'll find out a way, and likely that involves teaching others how to de-bend people.
    • If he doesn't do that to start, even one or two select kidnappings or assassin-style infiltrations into prominent bender's homes to depower them would be a good kickoff to instilling terror in the bender populace and destabilizing government, generally.
    • Not to mention, there's no reason to believe he won't start encouraging his followers to round up and simply kill benders.
    • In all honesty, Amon depowering Benders one-by-one doesn't seem so outlandish, even if we assume that he can't teach Energybending or whatever process he uses to other people. Keep in mind that the reason it took him as long as it did to depower those gang members was because he gave them the chance to fight to keep their bending, presumably to make a more impressive demonstration of his power to the audience. If he stopped bothering with the fighting and just kept them tied up and possibly chi-blocked as well, he could probably disable three, four, maybe five people per minute. Having his followers line Benders up like cattle to the slaughter and then depowering them, one-by-one, would be time-consuming, yes, but its also dramatic and cruel, which seems to fit his character perfectly. On top of that, even if it would likely take years to fully enact, Amon seems willing to do whatever it takes. In short, yes, it would take a long time, but is it beyond reason, given Amon's characterization thus far? No.
    • But he only let Lightning Bolt Zolt fight to keep his bending. Bolin and the other benders weren't afforded that opportunity and just shoved in front of Amon after being untied so that he could take away their bending. It's clear from how long it took him to take away their bending that de-bending takes some time, but the point still stands. It would just take way longer.
    • Being untied and shoved in front of Amon = being giving the opportunity to fight (in the Equalists' minds, anyway). I think we saw some others try to fight him. Bolin was too scared.
    • Maybe his solution doesn't involve de-bending at all. However, there is no evidence (yet) that he's THAT evil.
    • Or maybe he plans to make Republic City the center of a World War - Equalists vs. the rest of the world. Everyone will be forced to fight as the 3 nations decide Amon can't be stopped by a flat out war. Now if Amon plans to win despite such opposition and if he does keep winning for a while, he could take mass POWs and de-bend them all, what he calls 'purification'. He could start by taking over the city, taking over the Government and ordering the arrest of all benders and then removing their bending one by one. It takes only a few seconds for him, so he could de-bend thousands of people a day if all works in his favor. The finale promos have some hint in this direction.

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     Amon as a hypocrite? 
  • He's the leader of the anti-bending faction, and yet he can energybend. Energybending is a form of bending...Hitler expy much? Once some mook figures it out, what will happen to him? Will they just ignore it or will there be a faction in a faction? It's definitely something to think about.
    • The badguy might be hypocritical? Gasp and alarm.
    • If it is energybending, then he is a hypocrite, but then we can't be sure it actually is. Only the Avatar should be able to do it. There's more to Amon than what we've seen. We need more answers to make a proper assessment.
    • There's nothing to indicate that only the Avatar can energybend. The ability was given to him by a Lion Turtle, who implied that people in the distant past had the ability.
    • Actually, the Lion Turtle flat out states energybending predates the Avatar circle, and the other four forms of bending. So Tenzin saying only the Avatar could do it was most certainly a misconception based on the fact the only KNOWN energybender ever (since there seems to be no recorded history from the times before the Avatar) was Aang.
    • I imagine he and his followers have an "ends justify the means" type of thing. They don't see themselves as hypocrites because they feel that unlike the water, earth, and fire benders, that they aren't abusing the power. But, yeah, that still makes them hypocrites, assuming that he even considers his ability a form of bending.
    • It's clear that what Amon and the Equalists are actually against is not bending, but benders abusing their powers to rule over and terrorize the common people, i.e. non-benders. However, they don't seem to think this problem can be solved by trying to get rid of the bad apples among benders, probably because they feel every bender has the potential to be corrupted by his power. Since all energybending can do is take away one's bending, it cannot be used to rule over non-benders, so Amon isn't actually hypocritical.
    • Whether Amon is hypocritical or not is yet to be seen. The Equalists definately believe that Bending itself is a bad thing that destroys the balance of the world and causes wars and discrimination, which is why it has to be removed from the equation to create true equality, but they don't seem to have established attitude towards the almost unknown Energybending. It's possible that Amon considers Energybending to be the true, "pure" form of Bending, a primal, uncorrupt state from which the "lesser" forms of Bending originate. If this is the case, then he wouldn't see himself as a hypocrite, but we still don't know enough to determine what his actual beliefs and motivations are.
    • It's not necessarily hypocritical. Just because we define it as a form of "Bending" doesn't mean that he has to (like the Vegetarians that eat fish, for example, don't view it as hypocrisy, but an exception with a reason.)But really, this is just a technicality. Energybending can't be used as an advantage over non-benders. If only Energybenders were left, there would still be equality.
    • It's worth to note that Amon might not be aware that energybending is a form of bending. After all, only four types - if not three, depending on how well known airbenders are - of bending are known, and whoever gives energybending can easily lie about it's nature, so...
    • I second the above and whether he's energybending or not (I actually vote not with the limited info we have) It should be noted that apparently in the original notes Bryke did for the series that I think appear in some back story book about the series' creation Bryke hadn't worked out exactly how Aang was going to resolve the Ozai conflict without killing him and used the placeholder of "A skill that only the Avatar could use." This likely belongs in WMG but I always thought that the reason the Avatar was the only one left who could energybend was because he was the only one who could actually recognize the lack of separation between the bending arts and meld the knowledge back into Energybending.
    • Most likely neither Amon nor his followers consider it bending, and if you remember, so far nobody has called it that. Amon, and everyone else, simply refer to it as "the ability to take bending away", and Amon claims to have learned it from a spirit, much like Aang learned it from the lion-turtle. It's entirely possible that whatever spirit taught him didn't refer to it as bending, and may not have even told him what it really WAS at all, just taught him how to take someone's bending away with it. And yes, Amon is a hypocrite, because energybending is not inherent to the Avatar and can potentially be learned by anybody. But who has Amon taught? Nobody. Why? Because then he'd have to share his super-special anti-bender power. Just like every Communist dictator, Amon's all for equal so long as he's the most "equal" of them all.
    • Amon isn't a hypocrite at all. His problem is with benders using their powers to control and harm others, particularly non-benders, not with bending as a concept. Energybending can't be used to hurt non-benders that we know of and he has been very deliberate in only debending people who he could reasonably assume were causing serious harm with their powers. There's no indication that everyone can learn energybending either, Tenzin was shocked when he heard that someone other than an Avatar was using it and Aang doesn't seem to have taught anyone to do it (unless Amon learned from Aang).
    • For one, if you were listening to the lion-turtle's explanation in the first series, energybending can absolutely be used on and by non-benders, since it predates all other forms of bending. It's just that for some reason the knowledge was lost (which is a whole other WMG); Aang being the Avatar wasn't what let him learn it, it was the fact that his teacher was a being ancient enough to even know about it in the first place. Secondly, it can most definitely be used to hurt non-benders, since "energybending" actually isn't the most appropriate term for what it does; "spiritbending", I think, is more accurate, since you're basically using your own spirit to bend someone else's. What Aang did to Ozai, and what Amon's doing to benders (assuming his ability is not something totally new) is using spiritbending to alter their spirit in such a way that they lose whatever qualities of their spirit allows them to bend, so it could very likely be used for other things (very terrifying, Fridge Horror kinds of things, actually). In fact, it pretty much HAS to do something aside from take away bending, since again, it predates bending. And finally, we have very little solid evidence of any of Amon's inner workings or true motivations. While he might genuinely believe in what's he's preaching, it could go either way; he could very well be targeting criminals and abusers of their bending for the simple fact that it's good publicity and he gets to portray himself as the hero, instead of a would-be dictator using anti-bending sentiment for his own gain (it certainly wouldn't be the first time someone used a despised scapegoat to seize power).
    • As of the season finale, this turns out to be a moot point. Amon is a hypocrite, but not because he's an energybender. He's secretly a waterbender and bloodbender.
    • Amon is a hypocrite, but from his followers point of view. Even though he was taking bending using bending, he needed the non-benders support. To rally an anti-bender faction. As such, he was manipulative of non-benders, and an hypocrite only to them, but he always stayed true to his goal. Generally speaking, this trooper does not consider him a 'complete' hypocrite, if the expression serves.
    • He's a hypocrite not just because he's a waterbender, but because he's using bloodbending in his quest to purge the world of bending, while lying to his followers and the world about his past.

     Amon is holding an Idiot Ball in the finale. 
  • So, when Tenzin, Korra and co. escape, Amon goes after Korra. Without any backup. Alright, I guess that isn't too bad though I'd have expected better from him. So then he... bloodbends them. In the middle of his base. Which leads to the Liutenant finding out he's a bender. OK, then, that was pretty stupid but I guess he had no other choice. And then he debends Korra and is knocked out the window when she spontaniously develops airbending powers. And this is where the real stupidity starts. Amon JUMPS OUT OF THIS WATER ON A GIANT PILLAR OF WATER IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, EXPOSING HIMSELF AS A WATERBENDER. Yeah, his mask got knocked off. Why didn't he just put it back on? Or swim away? That water was deep enough that no one would notice him swimming away, and Korra was powerless to stop him, being unable to airbend water and all. I'm sorry if I sound upset, but I really expected better from a great character in a great show written by some great writers.
    • Him bursting out of the water at the end was a panic reaction—he was unconscious, found himself underwater (and probably starting to drown) and just reflexively got himself out of the water the quickest way he knew how. News flash: People who are just jolting into consciousness after being hurled out of tall buildings and into freezing cold water usually do not, in fact, have the presence of mind to analyze and account for every possible consequence to determine the statistically favorable outcome.
    • Yeah, I guess but... it's Amon. He's always been cold and calculating, never panicking. He didn't even flinch when a giant fireball exploded behind him! But you're probably right. I'd still sort of like an explanation of those other things as well if anyone has one.
    • In all those other instances, there was one thing going for him that he did not have here: he was conscious. "Fireball coming, better look badass," is what he thinks when he's making his grand exit. "Oh shit, drowning, waterbend," is what he thinks when he wakes up underwater and unable to breath. Context.
    • That's still weird and unsatisfying payoff, though. Instead of planning a trap or cleverly exploiting one of Amon's personal weaknesses based on his personality or training or such, Korra just beats him up until he randomly makes a mistake. You could argue that Amon gradually got more scared of Korra, hence his panic (despite still having an army at his disposal), but that requires some thorough headcanon interpretation of Amon's state of mind.
    • Amon, like Tarrlok, is someone who's always been in control and really can't handle it when he loses that control. He's not holding an Idiot Ball so much as Korra's uncovering of his origins, the suspicion of his most loyal followers, being forced to show vulnerability and weakness (ie. the fake scar) to regain their trust, and the embarrassing loss of the airbenders on-stage in front of an audience of thousands all come together to drive him to the point of utter desperation (and, due to his personality, lashing out with vindictive cruelty). He only gets more desperate as the fight drags on and he loses even more control of the situation due to his growing recklessness (first when the Lieutenant shows up, then when Mako electrocutes him, then when Korra regains her airbending, and finally when Korra overcomes his bloodbending to kick him out a window); by the time Noatak wakes up drowning, there's nothing of the cold and calculating Amon left.
    • The giant waterspout also could've been subconscious on his part - Katara originally freed Aang from the iceberg he was trapped in due to an argument she was having with Sokka, and considering Amon was powerful enough to bloodbend without a full moon, his base waterbending could've been strong enough to create a waterspout just by him scrambling to the surface. And remember, this wasn't just that he was running out of air - we see him inhaling water before he outs himself. At that point, it was either breach, or drown.

     Why did Amon have Korra almost killed in episode 6? 
  • In the end of episode 4, Amon says he's not gonna kill Korra yet, he doesn't want her to become a martyr, he will save her for last. But in episode 6 the Equalists tie up Korra, Mako, and Bolin under the arena, no doubt under Amon's orders, even though they're about the blow up the whole place soon. If Pabu hadn't saved them, Korra probably would have died in the explosion. So, if just two episodes ago Amon didn't want to kill Korra and was gonna save her for last, why did he now have his men put her in a situation where she was likely to die?
    • It's possible that this is in fact Foreshadowing to a rift inside the Equalists. The Lieutnant was responsible for tying Korra and the others up under the exploding arena. Maybe he doesn't agree with Amon's assessment that the Avatar should be saved for last. Though it also doesn't seem that the lower parts of the arena were damaged in the explosion; we never see Mako and Bolin hop in the water to save themselves.
    • That explosion clearly wasn't a danger to Korra or her team. It goes off right above them and the underside isn't even touched. The explosion just took out the ring elevator. A hardened structure like that would take much more than the minor blast used to bring it down.

     Does Amon not know where electricity comes from? 
  • Everyone can have a shiny new tazer glove once they're useless due to us removing the ability that fuels them. So come join the Equalists today!
    • City power is generated by benders. Those gloves obviously use an independent power source, just like the Lieutenant's backpack.
    • Which of course leads to the next question: Why don't you just waterbend at the guys with lightning backpacks? Either they backfire and shock themselves, or they at least short out. Really it seems like kind of an easy win. Also it'd be interesting to see how these guys fight against real masters like Paku or Iroh from the original series. Dodging is all well and good until the guy is 40 feet in the air firing a tidal wave which then freezes instantly at you. All the new guys seem to be of the pro-bending school of "fire a small fist sized burst" style of fighting, which is exactly what the chi blockers counter.
    • Korra tried that. The Lieutenant had the advantage of surprise and beat her to the punch. If it happened, though, it could damn well kill him. Those gloves likely don't have the juice for a fatal blow, but that big rig of his would provide more than enough. There hasn't been another situation yet where waterbending was a feasible option for those under attack.
    • I bet Amon has his own personal coal-powered generator to power up his gloves, but once he gets rid of all benders, that can't provide for the whole city.
    • They can adapt, though. If power generation is possible on a small scale, it can be made to work on a large one.
    • It's in fact possible that most of the city's power is produced through mundane means, and the lightningbenders just provide emergency help when voltage drops low, or if there's a problem in the system. Remember that it doesn't take long to tire a Bender out in normal circumstances, so it would take an absurd number of lightningbenders to keep the city running 24/7.
    • The Welcome to Republic City flash game doesn't mention any mundane means being used at the power plants. Its entry on firebending makes it seem like an army of firebenders is providing for all of Republic City's electrical needs.
    • They have cars, which are presumably powered by an IC engine and not a midget firebender under the hood. They don't lack mundane means for generating power, they are just likely not used when you have people who can generate electricity from thin air. Or heck, even firebenders who can generate heat to power a generator of our standards without having to burn coal. Just because they aren't wasting coal/wood/oil when it isn't needed doesn't mean they can't if they needed to.

     How do ex-benders fit in Amon's worldview? 
  • Tahno and Zolt (and the gangsters) are people who are despicable for what so this hasn't really come up yet but not every bender is like that. Once a bender who is a decent human being loses their powers how are Equalists supposed to treat them? Do they count as benders to be despised? Are they supposed to be welcomed?
    • Amon calls them "purified". In other words, "you're one of us, now." Taking their bending sticks them on the other side of the fence. Now they have to survive as non-benders.
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     Amon blimp 
  • An airship is kind of a conspicuous getaway vehicle, how come nobody saw where it was heading? To a cop who just heard the attack on the radio, a giant unauthorized blimp coming from the direction of the arena should have looked suspicious.
    • The officers inside the arena had been knocked out, and the officers outside wouldn't have been listening to general radio channels when guarding against a possible terrorist attack. Then, judging by how the ships were already on fire, it's very likely that Amon sent chi-blockers to take out the ships first, so that the airship wouldn't be stopped.
    • I just went through the Welcome to Republic City thing on Nick.com, and discovered that the blimps are manufactured by Future Industries. It's certainly probable that Hiroshi Sato could have designed them so that there were secrets that only the Equalists would know, or even provide Amon with his own personal blimp.

     Amon is either an idiot or the ultimate Magnificent Bastard. 
  • We know that Tarrlock is Yakone's son, so we know that bending (especially unusual types of bending) is at least part genetic. We know that spirit-bending (or whatever Amon is doing) only removes the person's bending, not anything else about the person. What is stopping the de-bendified benders from just having kids? Unless Amon takes over the world entirely and de-bendifies every child at birth, there is no way that he can wipe out bending entirely. So, he's doing one of two things: either A) he's wiping out people's bending because he's an idiot who has no idea how bending works, and is doomed to fail once more babies are born, or B) he's playing the long game and has some plan involved that doesn't involve the total eradication of bending.
    • C) He's a fanatic who actually does think he can wipe bending out, starting with Republic City.
    • Or maybe Tarrlok's mother was a waterbender too.
    • Well, yeah, de-bending babies and children is probably what Amon is going for.
    • On top of that, Tarrlok's age confirms that the de-bended can still have bender offspring. He was born five years after Aang took away his father's bending.
    • One of the above tropers pointed this out already, but that doesn't really confirm anything when it comes to the De-bended having bender children. We only know the identity and bending status of one parent. the other parent may have been a bender. As for Amon status as an Idiot or Magnificent Bastard, we'll have to wait and see. I'm betting there's more to his overall plans than we know.
    • Still, what are the odds that they somehow found another woman who had the same bloodbending abilities? Korra specifically said that Tarrlok was able to bloodbend without a full moon because his father was Yakone, who possessed this ability before he was de-bended, and Tarrlok doesn't deny this as the reason for his bending abilities. Furthermore, we know it's possible for non-benders to have bender children, like Katara and Toph. So who's to say that non-benders who weren't de-bended won't have children or grandchildren who can bend in the future?
    • She doesn't have to be a bloodbender, just a waterbender. Bloodbending is a skill you can learn. Presumably, Yakone taught Tarrlok. As for why it works during the day, I'd assume that Hama (and Katara) mistakenly believed it worked only during the full moon. Hama was in an incredibly frail state and needed the power boost. Katara never tried it and took Hama's word for it. Yakone, a healthy guy, heard about it, tried and out and realised he doesn't need a full moon. Or maybe he was so keen on practising it that he trained for a long time to be able to do it during the day.
    • None of the above is supported in the show. Yakone's lawyer explains what bloodbending is, namely an ability only a few waterbenders are capable of. Katara was something of a prodigy, she had the ability to learn it, but most waterbenders couldn't no matter how much they trained. Yakone possessed an even rarer, perhaps unprecedented ability, bloodbending without a full moon (or perhaps during any time except a full moon).
    • Actually Amon is pushing an idea. Rather than practically debending everyone, he wants to start a revolution in empowering the nonbenders so they that fight back (and possibly suppress) their bender equivalents. This way, even after he dies or debended people have children, the very idea of bending=evil will be ingrained into their minds and people will be discouraged from teaching bending or learning it. There's more to it than the physical side of bending, and that's the emotional-psychological or spiritual side.

     How did Amon know where Tarrlock was? 
  • See title.
    • By spying on him. He had blamed them for kidnapping Korra, and Lin and co. had just made off with a bunch of prisoners. Not to mention tracking him in the snow would be ridiculously easy as long as they had eyes on his car when it left.
    • Maybe they were planning on dealing with him for framing them (and all the non-bender oppression) and snuck into his car. Tarrlok probably left in a hurry and might not have noticed them.
    • And now I'm picturing the Equalist's awkward glances as Tarrlock stops for drive through, or sings along with the radio.

     How did Amon know that Korra was trapped in a box? 
  • Amon orders the Lieutenant and his chi-blockers to "electrocute the box and knock her out" before opening it. Yet... How did he know that was how Korra was being subdued? That is oddly specific.
    • Remember, Korra is the Avatar and can bend three of the four elements. The only realistic way to keep her restrained would be to lock her in a metal box.
    • Amon no doubt got there first and scoped the place out first, then the Equalists hid until Tarrlok entered the basement so he had nowhere to run.
    • So, Amon scoped out a place he doesn't know about, getting there before Tarrlok, the person who owns the place, whilst keeping the smoke and tracks of his own vehicles hidden from view. That raises questions of its own.
    • Tarlock is a well known member of the ruling council and has been the one pushing for all the overt actions again the Equalists, not to mention has passed laws discrminating non-benders, ie the exact sort of Bender Amon would want to make an example of. It wouldbe stupid of Amon not to have had some of his equalists scope out every piece of property Tarlock owned. And all they had to do was come across the house anytime that day and find Korra; once they found her they would know he would have to come back soon to at the very least give her something to eat or drink since if he was going to kill her he would have done it already.
    • Why would Tarrlok advertise this particular house? If he's going to kidnap someone, he's not going to use a house that's in the public record. If Tarrlok can keep his parentage a secret, he can keep his hostage-stashing house a secret, too. Amon would have had to have followed him, not "scope out every piece of property" he owned.
    • Additionally, if Amon came up to the house in the middle of the day, he would have simply taken Korra from the box and put her in the Equalists' truck. There's no reason for Tarrlok and Korra to chitchat. Just collect Korra, wait for Tarrlok to show, then take him out, too.
    • There is a reason; Tarrlock is a water bender and there is a lot of it in the snow around the house. If Korra wasn't there Tarrlock would immediately freak out, and there has to be another way to get out of that basement since he got the huge metal cage in. By keeping Korra in the box, Tarrlock won't think something is amiss and will come back up to the room that is completely empty of his element and is cornered, which fits Amon's MO of never fighting someone who has any advantages. Imagine if Tarrlok had pulled that "water-bubble" move he pulled on Korra. No Equalist could have touched him. Hell, for extra protection, he probably could have just frozen the bubble and then rolled away like a hamster.
    • Same troper as above, the two-part finale revealed the truth; Amon and Tarrlok were brothers. With that in mind, wouldn't Amon want to know every little thing about his brother who he knew was a bloodbender in his own right?
    • He must have followed him from City hall. They would have hidden along the route and followed him. As for the box, they could have figured it out from the dialogue.
    • I thought he would have glanced down the stairs while the camera shows his mooks getting up. Seeing a metal box in the basement makes a safe bet it's Korra's cell.
    • They were on the floor right above Tarrlok and would have easily heard him talking to Korra and her slamming against the box.
    • Pretty much this. He hears the word "hostage", there's banging on a metallic substance and there's a couple of seconds in which he's offscreen while his mooks get up, so he could have simply looked inside and saw a box in those two seconds.
    • What bothers me in this context is that Amon didn't even try to whisper when telling the others to electrocute the box. Didn't he think Korra could hear? And why wasn't he right there? I'm honestly thinking he let her get away on purpose.
    • She got lucky. In most situations, anyone trapped in a cage like that wasn't going to escape. Amon had no reason to whisper because, as far as he was concerned, they had Korra at their mercy.

     Does Amon have some sort of immunity towards bending? 
  • In Episode 6, he didn't even flinch against Korra's fireball that blasted all his mooks out as they boarded his airship. He just stood facing the flames. And now he has considerable immunity to Bloodbending and got Tarrlok while he was still using it. Does he have some spirit power to resist bending and cancel it's power (which might explain why it's impossible to bend in the spirit world? Or is it that suit he wears that has some sort of shield against bending. Or are his limbs still organic (read Darth Vader)? Perhaps he uses cybernetics to augment his speed and agility.
    • Watch the show. You'll learn when the rest of us do.
    • It didn't seem like he was immune to bloodbending...the sound of his muscles being rent was there, and his movement was hindered a bit. I think Amon just beat it through sheer willpower and forced his body to keep moving. If this theory is right, it's kind of horrifying. Amon is so dedicated to destroying benders that even his body being destroyed from the inside barely slows him down...
    • I'd agree if it weren't for the fact that, at least briefly, the others were actually knocked out. If it had been just a force pushing him back, I could buy "having the willpower to resist". But he can't "will" his blood to keep flowing normally.
    • His blood wasn't flowing normally though. When it zoomed in on Amon's limbs, the bloodbending sound was still there, and his movements were a bit shaky at first. He may have some kind of resistance to the bending, but he definitely wasn't flat out immune.
    • Alternately, Amon himself is a waterbender. Katara was able to power through Hama's control, despite having only just been introduced to the knowledge of bloodbending. She states outright that she did this because she was a much more powerful waterbender than Hama.
    • The above turned out to be true shockingly enough.
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     How come Amon's energybending is different from Aang's? 
  • The way Aang takes away bending is different from Amon's. Amon presses the head chakra and the Amon pressure point behind the neck, while Aang puts his fingers against the head and heart chakra.
    • Ditto to the above.
    • That's part of the mystery. FYI, the pressure point he touches on the back is called Amon. Make of that what you will.
    • Because he's doing something different from Aang. Aang uses the Anahata (the chest/air chakra) and the Ajna (the forehead/light chakra), while Amon strikes at pressure points behind the neck (and possibly also the Vishudah, the throat/sound chakra) and the Ajna. The Anahata is the chakra of compassion/love, and the Ajna of intuition/truth; what Aang is doing is not just blocking bending, but infusing the bender with guilt (after all, both his targets were sociopaths). Amon doesn't need to do that; all he wants is to block bending. Therefore, he does so in the quickest and most efficient way possible: he strikes at the pressure points in the back of the neck to paralyse the victim, and then strikes at the Ajna to energybend while the victim is paralysed. It's a crude method for a person more interested in pragmatism.
    • Another way to look at it is that Aang is using true Energybending, while Amon is just using a highly-advanced form of Chi-blocking. Aang simply removes a person's ability to bend, while Amon's actions permantently seal the chi-paths in the person. Either way, it has the exact same result: a complete loss of a person's ability to bend.
    • Except chi-blocking already has issues in dealing with minor pressure points. Dealing with chakras would be absurd when you can't even do that (granted, Ty Lee's method did come close, but even then it was curable). Furthermore, it'd be extremely stupid if the exact same chakras had to be used. The only reason there's consistency in using the Ajna is because somehow that blocks bending.
    • The chi-blockers strike from the outside. Amon most likely uses bloodbending to get at them from the iside of the body. It's not impossible; we already saw that physical trauma can block chakras when Azula fried Aang and leaves enough vague wiggling space to say it might last so much longer than normal touch-based chi-blocking so as to be called permament... And doesn't kill you, like lightning.

    Has no one tried to earthbend Amon? 
  • Amon is a good dodger and can avoid fire blasts and water. So why not just earthbend a wall in front of him? Or better earthbend four to trap him?
    • Jumping over an earthbent wall is a pretty easy feat for just about everyone in the setting. And raising the wall takes time enough for him to dodge out of the way anyway.
    • Amon basically never lets a fight draw on long enough for the enemy to use any gamebreaking tricks.
    • Boxing him in is a useless tactic as you'd need a ceiling for the cube to keep him from climbing or hurdling the sides, and that might take too long. Still though, why does noone put a sinkhole under him or pull a tube of earth? That is a relatively basic move and could be done pretty quickly by skilled Earthbenders in both series, he'd be immobile, and yes, I know that all cases were against a stationary or off-guard foe, but watch Amon's fight scenes, you'll see he only makes sudden moves when grappling or ducking projectiles, so catching him flat-footed with this move is feasible.
    • He's light on his feet, though, so he might have time to bounce away if he saw the attack coming. What that technique would be useful against is the mini mecha.
    • Or just make an earth tent around him to pin him like Aang did to Yakone.
    • Maybe the "winning move" will be exactly what Aang did to Yakone, encase him in earth. Although I think I'd prefer ice, since Korra is a waterbender, and for the sake of variety.
    • As per the finale, the real answer is that Amon Bloodbends his opponents to stop them from using this tactic.
    • It is highly likely that Amon has a 'blood-sense' and can detect the movements of a person without looking at them. Also, considering the magnitude of Amon's goal for a bender-less world, it's beyond obvious that he has extensively studied all sorts of benders. Thus, he could very well know exactly what a bender is trying to do with just their motion (without even looking at them), and have plenty of time to dodge. It has been explicitly stated in the series that Amon is a water bending prodigy, and may even be the most powerful bender even.

     Why hasn't Amon fired the Lieutenant? 
  • I believe he would have drawn the line if he saw Jinora send him flying over a roof.
    • Given just how unbelievably badass the Lieutenant normally is, I'm inclined to believe that Amon would forgive him for being sneak attacked by a bender he has no experience fighting.
    • It's just not just Jinora though. Though he could forgive a sneak attack, as they happen, the Lieutanent got bitch-slapped by a polar bear-dog in mid-air... it's not looking good for him.
    • Give the guy some slack. He was never trained to fight airbenders or large animals. He's single-handedly won almost every fight against fire-, water- and earthbenders.
    • Basically this; he's not incompetent, he just has really bad luck about who he gets stuck fighting.
    • We're moving into the endgame. The name of the episode is even "Turning the Tides". The first three episodes were spent establishing the Equalists as a threat, culminating in the reveal of Amon's debending power. The last three are about their gradual defeat. The threat level of their mooks is declining (witness the agile chi blockers standing motionless when the kids attack) and the power of the heroes has been increasing.
    • The Lieutenant's fighting skill is mostly our invention given how badass looks. He's only had a few fights and won none of them through straight up combat prowess.
    • He did take down Lin remember? Still, as badass as she is it didn't entirely make up for losing against Jinora and Naga. I half expected Pabu to come out swinging for his final appearance.

     How in the world did Amon get Tenzin and the kids? 
  • They were going to the South Pole weren't they? Sooo...strongest waterbending in the world and a master airbender are incapacitated and are later shown to be no worse for wear? And it ain't like Sato's new aeroplanes could to anything against a master airbender like Tenzin...
    • They didn't say. I'm betting this question will be answered with Word of God. I'm betting that Tenzin didn't make it to the South Pole.
    • This one's easy to answer. The airships are faster than Sky Bison. Sure, Lin sank one and forced the other to turn back, but they had plenty of others. They might have even surrendered to avoid Rohan getting netted or electrocuted with the Bison.
    • I'm pretty sure the Equalist biplanes in "Skeletons in the Closet" are much faster than the airships and the sky bison.

     How did Amon survive Lightning? 
  • No One Could Survive That!. Wasn't it a one kit KO back in ATLA? Amon was not even weakened?
    • Mako probably set it to stun. But then again, Amon might have been wearing some sort of electric vest in case any of his minions tried to use one of their gloves on him.
    • As confirmed by Word of God in the last series, intent is required in order to kill someone with bending. Hence why Toph can use the same attack on Zuko that Long Feng used on Jet without killing him; Long Feng intended to kill Jet, while Toph didn't. As for not being weakened, Made of Iron. It ties back to his backstory of surviving in the North Pole after running away without any form of supplies. Amon is just that tough.
    • I have a theory that ties this in to why so many random Firebenders can Lightningbend now. Basically, sometime since the end of the previous series, someone had come up with a way to Lightningbend that was safer and easier than the usual way, but is considerably weaker. For one, with electrical devices like radios and the Equalists's taser gear, it's obvious that people in the Avatar-verse have a much better idea of how electricity works now, and so are likely better able to come up with something more scientific and straightforward than the spiritual "clarity of mind" thing in the first series. However, a technique that puts such a disconnect with the spiritual side of bending seems like it would be much weaker than the real deal, more Electricitybending than full-on Lightningbending.
    • In the finale, Tarrlok specifically explained that Amon was somehow using his bloodbending to weaken the bending of those who fought him. That's why powerful bending attacks didn't faze him in earlier episodes, and that's why Mako's lightning didn't do serious harm to him. Korra's airbending caught Amon by surprise, because he didn't think Korra had any bending left in her, so he didn't have the time to try weaken it. Also, weakening different forms of bending probably required Amon to use different bloodbending techniques, and he didn't really have much experience fighting airbenders, so Korra was able to gain the upper hand on him.
    • Electricity kills by disrupting the beating heart, stopping blood flow (it also burns, but the burns themselves aren't usually fatal). A psychic bloodbender as skilled as Amon could probably bloodbend his own blood and heart at the moment the electricity strikes and survive (it would be like performing CPR/cardiac massage on himself).

     How could Amon be beaten so fast and Korra become fully realized in no time? 
  • After 10 episodes of buildup, arguably the greatest Magnificent Bastard in Western Animation and all his plans were ruined in 10 minutes or so?
    • No chain is stronger than its weakest link. All of Amon's success hinged on his mind games - the fundamental fact that everyone assumed his story was true. He also made a big mistake in debending Tarrlok, and possibly never believed that his brother could have had a Heel–Face Turn and betrayed him. Also the Equalists' style of fighting had a weakness towards Airbending.
    • Or that Korra could now Airbend.
    • There was a bit of foreshadowing at the final rally. Amon dodges all the other bending attacks, but had no way of dodging or blocking Tenzin's attack.
    • Maybe the fact that Amon/Noatok attempted to murder his own sub-commander and then promptly outed himself in desperation could have had something to do with it. Sure, it all came crashing down for Amon and friends, but face it, they had a lot of help. Besides, it's rather critical that thanks to Asami and Bolin, they lost their air superiority, allowing the UF forces to promptly rout the confused, chaotic insurgency at their weakest, which ironically is exactly the tactic they used to gain the upper hand in the first place.
    • Amon is also even more vunerable to airbending than the rest of his men. His combat style relies on throwing off their forms using subtle bloodbending, which relies on him at least understanding those forms at a basic level. Notice he tries to blood bend Korra at the end, but she just flowed with it and unleashed her attack anyway.
    • Plus, each time Amon was fighting an airbender, he didn't have much space. While fighting Tenzin on the stage, Mako and Korra were also throwing attacks at him, leaving him too distracted to focus on Tenzin's air gusts. When fighting Korra's airbending, he was in a very tight hallway, leaving him no room to doge or use his signature chi blocking attacks, thus he was thrown around like a ragdoll.
    • Also, Amon's way of overpowering people involves dodging their bending attacks to get close to them, but he has to see those attacks in order to dodge them. We, the audience, can see the air as it's bent because it's a visual medium, but there's no indication that airbending makes the air visible in-universe.

     What the heck was up with Amon's skin tone? 
  • Amon being Tarrlok's brother was a common fan guess right after the whole bloodbending thing was revealed. However, many people thought Amon and Tarrlok couldn't be brothers, because Tarrlok had the brown skin of the Water Tribe, whereas Amon's skin was clearly lighter. See this image for an example: Amon has a notably lighter skin tone than Korra, whose skin is the same colour as Tarrlok's. Then Tarrlok revealed Amon was indeed his brother. Okay, maybe Amon was just born with a ligher skin tone than his brother? Nope, when we see the flashback to the their childhood, Amon has the brown skin of the Water Tribe, the same as Tarrlok. It can't be that Amon used some kind of a make-up to change his skin tone, because even after the sea water had washed away his fake scars, Amon still was light-skinned. So it seems the makers of the series deliberately cheated the viewers and changed Amon's skin tone with no in-universe explanation, just so that people wouldn't guess who Amon really is.
    • We did see Yakone somehow able to get darker skin from plastic surgery. It's also possible that Amon/Noatak spent a lot of time inside and that just made him pale.
    • Except this isn't like a white person having a tan and then staying indoors for a long time. This is the skin color that's been consistent for the entire race, and skin color that's naturally that dark wouldn't change so drastically just from not getting enough sun.
    • Yeah. Maybe there is some good in-universe explanation for Amon's skin change, but since the writers didn't explain it in any way, it just feels like cheating.
    • There is a such thing as skin whitening cream's as well as other methods of artificial skin whitening.
    • In our world, yes. There's no reference to them existing in the Avatar world.
    • It has been shown that they wash and dye their clothes, so yes, the same chemicals would exist in the Avatar world.
    • You ever not gone outside much? You quickly have people saying you're pale, and might need to go outside... depending on how long he wore that mask, Amon hasn't gotten any sunlight to produce body reactions, hence his face slowly lightening over time. And why does eveything need an in-universe explanation, you feeling cheated or otherwise? (This is what Fridge, WMG and Headscrathers are for.)
    • Er, that's not how melanin works. Light-skinned (white) people can get paler if they stay indoors and their skin loses the tan it normally has. But people born with a darker skintone (like Tarrlok and Noatak) can't have their skin so radically lighten because lack of sunlight. And having an in-universe explanation would make the story better, because it's an important detail that was inexplicably inconsistent. Good writers have in-universe explanations for such inconsistenties, bad writers try to pretend they don't exist.
    • Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, on the matter of in-universe explanations determining the quality of a show; it's not a clear-cut idea, it's different between individuals. When done badly, they just drag down the quality of the show, damaging the emotions we're supposed to be feeling. Besides, some of us find it fun to think about the answers ourselves (especially if the in-universe ones don't suit what we wanted), outside of the target's universe.
    • Okay, if you are brown-skinned and you stay indoors for long enough your skin will lighten. You won't turn white, but a brown person can pretty pale. In fact, there's an issue with people from tropical climates living in far northern climates because the lack of sunlight can be harmful for us in the long run, just like too much sun can be harmful to a light-skinned person.
    • Maybe waterbenders just tan really well. Yakone had relatively light skin himself, until he went to the pole and started getting out more. The Foggy Swamp Tribe has light skin, and they're just waterbenders that left the poles, and live in a very shady environment. Noatok stays inside all day, and covers almost every square inch of his skin to boot. It's unsurprising that he would lose his tan, unlike his brother, who is also athletic but presumably is free to get out more. Also? Tahno. Just look at that guy, he's very pale. The closest he looks to have gotten to the sun is under the arena lights.
    • Swampbenders presumably moved to the swamp countless generations ago, so their skin tone has slowly changed via evolution, just like white Europeans are descended from black Africans. As for Tahno, there's no indication he is from either of the Water Tribes, he was probably born in Republic City. Maybe one of his parents or grandparents was a Water Triber, but most likely he has other nationalities in his heritage too, which would explain his lighter skin. And it can't be just that Water Tribers "tan really well", because the poles get less sunlight than other parts of the world. If the brown skin was just tan, Tarrlok in TLoK as well as Sokka and Katara in AtLA should've become more tanned when they left the pole and started living in sunnier places, but that clearly isn't the case.
    • Actually, when you live in an area that is snowy for most of the time, you can get a decent amount of sun exposure because the sunlight bounces off all the snow.
    • That doesn't change the fact that on the poles the sun stays out for long periods; the snow can't reflect the sunlight if there's no light to begin with. So the sun exposure you get on the poles would still be smaller than what Katara and Sokka got while they were travelling the world, especially since they were staying outdoors for most of the time. Also, remember the case of Hama from "The Puppetmaster"? She was kept inside a cage with no sunlight exposure for years, possibly decades, yet the flashbacks in that episode showed no significant change in her skin tone during that time.
    • Okay, several things. First, Hama DID lose her tan. Look at her and Katara! Second, you're acting as if you can't get tanned on the poles, and that Noatok had absolutely no tan to begin with, both of which aren't true. Third, just look at Yakone and Noatok. Their skin tones are essentially the same, from low exposure. This whole thing is completely overblown, it's not like he went from being black to albino.
    • It's true that Hama had a paler skin when Katara met her, but that was when she was an old woman who'd spent decades living in normal sunlight. If you look at the flashbacks where she's in prison, her skin tone isn't that different from the she was before she was captured, even though she spent years in that cage. So maybe it was old age or something that made her skin pale, but it certainly wasn't lack of sunlight. And it's also true that in some scenes in the finale the unmasked Noatok appears to have the same skin tone as Yakone, but that doesn't change the fact that in earlier episodes he had a much paler skin than in the flashbacks to his childhood, and there's no explanation for this. Maybe the makers of TLoK decided to colour the unmasked Noatok somewhat browner than the masked Amon so people wouldn't notice their cheating, but they couldn't make him as brown as he was as a kid because then the discrepancy would be really obvious and the cheating would be exposed anyway.
    • Ok, so Hama is old and that makes her pale or whatever. Couldn't the same apply to Noatok? Particularly in conjunction with his utter lack of sun? And you exaggerate amon's previous paleness, as you can see from his unmasked scene, and from his art, his skin tone hasn't changed at all. The mind has a tendency to exaggerate things in the past based on our assumptions. You thought Amon was pale all along, your mind conveniently forgets his more moderate skintone. Thus, it's more of a shock when you see that he isn't that pale.
    • There's no indication that aging makes Water Tribers go pale in general; all the other old and middle-aged members of the Tribes we see in AtLA and TLoK still have brown skin. So Hama was a special case. And the picture of masked Amon you posted is not a still from the show, it's a promo pic with some weird lighting. Look at the scenes in the actual series where Amon meets Korra; hell, look at even the scene where he debends Tarrlok – Amon is clearly coloured lighter in those scenes, even though the flashback scenes show Noatak had the same skin tone as Tarrlok and Korra.
    • If Hama was a special case, why not Noatok? Seriously, when is the last time he had ANY exposure to the sun?! And Amon is emphatically NOT colored differently in those scenes, you're just misremembering them.
    • Amon is a bloodbender, and a ridiculously skilled one at that. He can alter human physiology in intricate ways. He could have deliberately done some bloodbending plastic surgery to himself. Also, while this is WMG, it seems that all bloodbenders are unusually pale for Water Tribe members; this seems to imply that using the power a lot will change you physically. Hama, Yakone and Amon all became unusually pale over time.
    • Except Hama was always paler. That means that however small, there could be a minority of pale-skinned waterbenders.

     Amon's plan was doomed to fail in the long run. What were his true motive? 
  • There is no way Amon could have hoped to get rid of bending. Even if he somehow debended an entire generation of benders, it's certain that their children and future generations would still be born benders. Even Energybending cannot stop that. Amon cannot divulge his secret to any one and sooner or later and after him bending would anyway make a resurgence. Of course, this is not accounting the sheer impracticality of tracing down every bender in the world. Even the fire nation couldn't do that with Water and Earth benders or even Aang given 100 years of tyranny and a nation's worth of manpower. So what was his real motive? Was it revenge against the Avatar for debending Yakone? Was he carrying on his father's goal of taking over Aang's beloved city just like Tarrok? Did he really want to destroy all bending? Or had all that bloodbending muddled his mind and resulted in a bit of Joker-ish insanity? (This is a little Fridge Brilliance that carries on from all the similarities and Shout Outs to Batman we've seen among our characters and their backstories).
    • His true motive was advancing his own power, and living up to his father's pressure to avenge him.
    • He definitely wasn't avenging his father, he hated Yakone.
    • My theory is that Amon really did hate bending, and thus hated himself too, and wanted to eventually die as a martyr for the Equalist cause, probably at the hands of Korra. Their leader being killed by the Avatar would've given the Equalist movement a strong impetus to carry on, so even if Amon wasn't able to debend everyone, his legacy of anti-bending would've lived long after he was dead. If Korra had not found out about his true identity, all this might've actually worked.
    • It feels that his motive was power and a chance to impose his views. All that bloodbending affected his mind and filled him with lust for more power. Look at the way he gets the wolves to bow down to him. He hates his father and accuses him of being weak. To him, the most powerful ability of all was the Avatar's ability to remove bending, which had defeated even his father's psychic bloodbending. So he made up his mind to make himself more powerful than the Avatar and acquire the ability to remove bending himself, and then beat the Avatar with Aang's own ultimate technique. But on the other hand, his hatred for bending stemmed out of how his father was biased against Tarrlok because he was the better bender and the Training from Hell that they were put through. History lessons probably reinforced the feeling that bending leads to discrimination and Republic City was the perfect place to pitch his views. It would give him a chance to use the bending removal technique he believed was the most powerful ability of all, while also satisfying his desire for Equality. By debending the Avatar, he would succeed where his father had failed, and establish himself to be more powerful than the avatar, master of the ultimate ability, while simultaneously becoming a symbol for equality.
    • Why does his motive have to be anything different from what he said? Just because it's realistically unattainable doesn't mean that it isn't honestly his goal. Lots of people have goals that they think they can pull off that are just about impossible, on every level imaginable.
    • After de-bending the Wolfbats, Amon declares that any bender who stands in his way will meet the same fate. Once the Equalists take over, Hiroshi's speech says that the first thing they did was declare bending illegal. The benders lined up for the "public execution" scene were mostly in uniform - cops and White Lotus members; in other words, people who were fighting the Equalists during the coup. It seems the plan was to rule mostly through fear, with Amon acting as his own Sword of Damocles: "Live like the rest of us and you'll be left alone, but get caught practicing your perverted bending and it's straight to Amon for you." That way Amon doesn't have to spend the rest of his life hunting down benders to De-Power, and if all goes well the bending arts will die out because no one will dare teach them. There would, of course, be a hard-core group of holdouts, but they'd be easy to demonize via propaganda.
    • On whether or not Amon really was genuine in his desire to destroy bending, there's an extremely strong piece of evidence in favor of that in episode 11: Tarrlok saying it was so as part of an Exposition Dump on Amon's true backstory. It's exceedingly rare for information reveal that blatant to turn out to be false, and even then, in virtually every known case of that happening, the fact that the Info Dump was false is made very, very clear, and the fact that we can still call Amon Ambiguously Evil (ambiguous as to how evil he was) shows that there was no such denouncement of Tarrlok's exposition, so we can safely say in my opinion that Amon was at least partially genuine about his cause. That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was lying to himself about how much of it was really for the people, and how much was about personal glory or upstaging his father.
    • Amon's plans couldn't realistically be brought to the world-stage—he probably wouldn't even survive the inevitable uprising of depowered benders—but those were never really the stakes the show presented. Amon is a threat in the framework of the story because he endangers Republic City's benders, Korra and her friends, and the last remaining air benders. He had the potential to do catastrophic damage, even if his plans had no long term or global viability.

     Amon and Tarrlock's fate 
  • So, did Word of God confirm that they were both dead? Because the show didn't say it. I thought that it was intentionally open ended in case the show got Screwed by the Network.
    • Mushroom clouds arent usually intended to be ambiguous.
    • Yeah- I doubt there's anything in even a master bloodbender's arsenal to survive being right in the middle of an explosion. They were about as explicit as could get without showing the charred corpses, which they'd never have gotten away with anyway.

     Does Amon have a bloodbending based "chi sense"? 
  • How did he find Korra and bloodbend her out even though she was well hidden, and at the one moment where she let down her guard, but not Mako? This man is the greatest bloodbender who ever lived. Is it possible that all his years of bloodbending has given him a "blood sense" like Toph's seismic sense? Think about it. Similar to Toph, that give him an advantage in predicting his opponent's moves, by sensing their muscular movements? It would also explain how he could sever the chi paths in a bender, he senses where the chi is flowing using this ability and then destroys those chi paths. He'd need the sense because his bloodbending would need surgical precision for that.
    • What's interesting is this theory would also explain how Korra could still airbend. Amon has never had any experience debending an airbender, so he might not know exactly where the air paths were. After using his technique he would have detected zero chi flow and concluded that he had beaten Korra. Since Korra's chi paths connected to the Air Chakra were not active, he couldn't sense them, so he would never know the difference. But then her Air Chakra opened (it's opened by love), and she could airbend.
    • Tarrlok pretty much says this when he's talking to Korra.
    • If you listen carefully Korra lets out a sigh of relief once Amon has walked past her, then she gets bloodbent out. Amon just heard her breath and figured out where she was.
    • It could be that benders (especially water and earth) all have an intuitive sense of where their element is around them, even if they're not actually manipulating it at the moment. Toph refined hers to the point of Disability Superpower, but many benders have shown the ability to bend without looking to see where their element is first. If you're a powerful waterbender, and you sense a collection of water under a table when you're looking for someone who's hiding from you, what do you think it could be?

     Amon doesn't hold anything against Tarrlok for foiling his plans? 
  • He must know that Korra learned his true backstory from him, since that's the reason why he imprisoned him separately in the first place. Yet neither of them bring it up when they reunite, and Noatak is so genuinely happy to be with his brother (the one who directly contributed to the defeat of the movement he invested years of time and effort in) that I must have forgotten myself, considering it took so long after the finale for me to realize this.
    • First of all, even if Noatak realized Tarrlok had helped bring him down, at that point he had no one else left. He had spent years, possibly decades, living as Amon, and almost all his worldly connections were made with the Amon persona. When Korra effectively destroyed the Amon persona, all those connections were severed. After that Noatak tried to grasp his last straw, the only emotional bond he had left that that preceded him becoming Amon: his connection with his brother. Secondly, just like Tarrlok did, it's possible that at the moment of his defeat Noatak realized that he had actually continued his father's legacy, even though he had intended to rebel against it. Yakone had cruelly molded him as a vessel of his revenge, and Noatak had rebelled against that by trying to make the world see all benders were power-hungry despots, like his father was, but in the end he had tried to do exactly what his father had wanted: defeat the Avatar and become the ruler of Republic City. So it's possible Noatak actually felt remorse for the things he had done as Amon, and that he came to realize, like Tarrlok did, that Yakone's evil legacy had lead them both astray. If this is true, Noatak probably felt more sympathy than hate towards his brother.
    Why use fake scars? 
  • So the whole reveal with Amon at the end. I can buy that groupthink could reasonably lead to "He has a scar, just like he said, this proves his entire backstory true," but then it just ends up being face paint? Really, Amon? Couldn't be bothered to spend 30 seconds actually scarring your face?
    • Do you really, seriously think that "30 seconds" is all the inconvenience there's going to be from burning your face off? That is really, really not how it works. Burning his face off would have been one of the stupidest things Amon could have possibly done. You're saying he should have crippled himself for life.

      Let's start from the top—his eyes. If he wants a scar that would justify wearing a mask, we're talking a really bad scar covering his face. This would mean cooking his face, and you may not realize it but fire isn't a precision tool. There's no way he's going to get that big, that horrific a scar without burning out his own eyes.

      Next, his nose and lips—he's saying goodbye to his sense of smell at best, and without lips he's not going to be much of a public speaker. Then there's the recovery—maybe Amon is capable of healing, but could he concentrate on that when he's in maddening pain from literally cooking his own face?

      Facial burn scars aren't just some cosmetic thing you can just slap on and move on with your life. They're a crippling disfigurement.
    • Fire may not be precise, but this is also a world with firebenders (Which granted fire's uncontrollable nature is one of the key points of it, but they're able to achieve SOME level of precision with it). And obviously it would hurt, but I dunno, there's something decidedly disappointing about a villain who's not willing to go through excruciating pain for his cause (Death to the benders! I just hope none of those firebenders hit me, cause that stuff is like seriously hot, you gaiz). Hell, it doesn't even have to be that disfiguring, he just needs a scar to be like "See, that thing I said totally happened." Or he could have made up a different backstory that would be less painful to corroborate. I'm just saying, even if the villain is supposed to be wrong, it'd be nice if he'd at least commit (Even springing for face paint that isn't going to come off in water, especially given how large crowds plus underground steam vents generally equals wet).
    • He needs to have some alleged facial disfigurement to justify the mask. If he said he just wore it to avoid being recognised, or to hide a small scar, his fellow equalists may get suspicious if they NEVER see him with the mask off. That way, he has a sympathetic reason for this. Furthermore, actually hurting himself would be very impractical. Not only for the reasons mentioned above; without his mask, he can just disappear in a crowd. Nobody knows what he really looks like, and nobody expects him to not be disfigured. If something goes wrong, he removes the mask and the make-up and he's gone. I'll give you that, though, the face paint did come off rather easily.
    • I dunno, one of my friends did a Joker style cosplay for a con, and based on how long it took him to do the relatively tiny mouth scars, I would think that creating such a detailed and convincing scar every morning as part of a Xanatos Roulette (Not only on the off chance that someone calls him out on it, but even then banking on his followers being frothy enough to not actually stop and think about it) doesn't seem all that practical. Though I guess the ability to disappear in a crowd makes sense.
    • Depending on how often he went out scar/mask-less and how often he took his mask off to "prove" himself, he probably didn't need to do it every day. If he lived alone, he would have had to do it rather infrequently. I can see him easily leading the Equalist movement via telephone/telegram/letter, without the need to wear a mask every day or even put on makeup. I can also see him just appearing to live life like the average non-bender, perhaps even using his real name. Hell, he might not ever have used makeup until he captured Tarrlok, who very quickly figured out who he was and might have betrayed Amon long before Korra found him.
    • He's not going to use a Firebender, because that's either one person alive who knows the truth (which is one more than he would want), or someone he's going to have to kill to prevent loose ends—both of which are still more work and complications on top of, once again, cooking his own face.

      And his make-up wasn't "detailed and convincing." If anyone had taken more than a cursory look at it, especially someone who had seen real facial scars, like Zuko's, they'd have been able to tell it was false. For one, his nose isn't at all misshapen, his eyebrows are still there, the skin itself isn't deformed at all except for upper lip—it was enough make-up to fool people from 15 or so feet away for 30 seconds before he put the mask back on. And more importantly, to fool people who were largely inclined to believe him in the first place—it was what they expected and wanted to see. Notice how the one person close enough to see the real details—the Lieutenant—actually does apparently begin to suspect immediately.
    • Besides, he wears a mask everyday. Painting on the scar could have been a one-time deal.
    • Having real scars would prevent him from using a Plan B or even just going incognito with his scarless face if he ever needed to.
    • He should've just blood-bent his face so it'd look deformed. That'd solve everything!
    • Bloodbending is probably how he got his lip to look disfigured, which is the only part of his "scars" that he couldn't fake with makeup. It'd also be a nice, convincing touch that, if done well, would draw people's attention so they don't focus on the fakeness of the rest of it.

     Amon's abilities 
  • How can Bloodbending take away bending? Or work essentially like Energybending? Chi is not in the bloodstream, as far as I know. Or if it is, it was never established.
    • It can't. Aang could take away bending but couldn't bloodbend. The simplest explanation is that any bender is capable of energybending but few have the skill to master it. Or the necessary strength of will.
    • We've seen Chi-Blockers block Chi and thus temporarily negate bending. Amon's Bloodbending probably works like that except more viciously, attacking the various Chi points from within, permanently screwing them up. If anything, we might have discovered a more mundane way of permanently removing bending, through the use of complex and probably unethical surgery.
    • Presumably, Amon has worked out exactly which parts of the brain control bending, and then he physically cuts those parts out of the brain with bloodbending. Basically a lobotomy.
    • We know form Azula electrocuting Aang that physical damage can absolutely block chi paths. I doubt the lobotomy idea above, but just like in the real world chi tends to be related to certain points of the body in the Avatar universe, so he just needs to thoroughly mess up those points.
    • As I understand it, Amon is basically combining bloodbending with chi-blocking. Instead of a precision strike that temporarily blocks the victim's chi paths, he is using bloodbending to either 'cut off' the victim's chi paths entirely, or somehow permantly block them, which is why it cannot be healed by any method short of energybending. And he's able to do it with such precision that the victim can still move, but is no longer capable of bending at all.

     News of his death 
  • We know Amon is definitely dead, but does anyone else in the show actually know? No one saw him and Tarrlok die, and I doubt that explosion left much in the way of remains. In book 2 he's barely mentioned despite the possibility of him being alive poses a massive threat to Korra.
    • As of Book 4 Varrick knew and nobody shows any shock so at some point it became common knowledge though it's impossible to know when or how that may have been.
    • Alternatively Varrick always thought Amon was a zombie.
    • While Amon was a threat in himself, his real power came from being the leader of a fanatical extremist sect — even as a bloodbender of his talent and skill, the threat he poses as a singular person is drastically reduced. I mean, what's he going to do? One person can't take over the city, and as she is a fully-realized Avatar now, he's not really a threat to Korra anymore. As shown in the flashback, Avatar State beats Bloodbending.

     Did Amon really deserve to die? 
  • Rewatching the Legend of Korra, I'm actually very surprised why Amon had the most violent and sudden end out of all of the villains. Looking back, Amon was probably the most moral out of the villains, and actually did little actual evil within the show. Firstly, he is the only villain to actually not have attempted to kill Korra. Unalaq, Zaheer, and Kuvira were all ready to put an end to her, while Amon, even though he LITERALLY HAS THE MOST POWERFUL BENDING OUT OF ALL OF THEM, shows restraint and seeks to take care of her non-lethally, even when she's seconds away from revealing his identity (remember, he could have just crushed all of her internal organs through her blood several times during their final fight but doesn't, even when his own life is in danger. That takes nerves and a moral code of iron). Mako, Lin, and even Korra have violated the no-kill rule, but Amon, in all his time as a villain, never actually kills anyone, only debends them, something which loses it's weight when you find out that the Avatar can restore it (besides the Fire Nation forces, but to be fair, they attacked first and we don't actually see any of them dying onscreen). Compare this to Zaheer who committed regicide, threw an entire kingdom into anarchy, where no doubt dozens, if not hundreds of people lost their lives or had their possessions taken from them, or Kuvira who killed thousands of people with the Spirit cannon, if not more given that her attack came a week early and people didn't have time to leave. Unless all of the buildings she destroyed in her rampage were conveniently empty. Yet she gets redeemed because of an incredibly lame Freudian Excuse, but nonetheless, even though she went on a genocidal rampage, Korra forgives her because they're similar people. Somehow. Yet Amon, the most peaceful and restrained villain with a better moral code than most heroes, deserves to die.
    • Yes, Amon deserved to die. He took the bending away from many innocent people and misled the other Equalists into rallying for his hypocritical cause. Granted, this troper hasn't seen the other villains in the series, but by no means is it just to judge him based only on how evil he was compared to them...Not to mention, it was his brother who brought about his violent death. We can assume he would've been killed or imprisoned for life had he been captured and returned to Republic City, so it was really a foregone conclusion at that point.
    • Amon did deserve to die, at least according to the only person whose opinion mattered at the time.
    • I think you're giving Amon a bit too much credit. Let's be honest with ourselves, even if he didn't kill anyone onscreen, he still de-bended a TON of people. There's also the fact that Amon very much understood the pain blood bending can cause, only to use it on people who did nothing to him in the first place, including his own brother. Getting your bending taken isn't shown to be just a mild inconvenience, even if the Avatar can restore it; the benders we see are exhausted and distressed at the loss, and given how terrified they are of having it taken away, it's likely that the experience is traumatic and painful, almost analogous of rape (Consider the scene where him and his men kidnap Korra and threaten her, which is traumatic in and of itself, and she's probably not the only person in Republic City who was traumatized by him, she just got the focus on it because she's the main character). He also definitely planned on killing Korra as well, he just wanted to save killing her for last to break her spirit, so he's certainly not above murder, he just didn't feel like it at the time because it would disrupt his plans. His movement also likely got a ton of innocent benders killed, (since another way to get rid of benders aside from defending is just outright murder, and a lot of his followers are likely a lot less scrupulous than him) so even if he himself didn't kill anyone, his followers very well could have. Yes, Amon isn't as bad as the other villains in the show, and his backstory does make him more sympathetic, but he shouldn't be rewarded simply for not being an active murderer, when he was still a terrible person who definitely tortured and spiritually mutilated a ton of people, which is kind of a big deal in the Avatar universe.

Tarrlok

     Why are there two water tribe representatives as opposed to one for all other nations? 
  • Because there's two water tribes—the Southern Water Tribe and the Northern Water Tribe.
     Where did Tarrlok learn to bloodbend? 
Katara was the only one who knew the technique, and she would never have passed it on like that; if she taught anyone at all, it would be Korra, and I doubt that she did. (Also, Tarrlok is from the Northern tribe, so he probably wouldn't have learned it from her anyway.) From what Korra said, it's not completely unheard of, just very rare; again, Katara certainly wouldn't have spread it around. Did someone else just develop it on their own in the interim?

  • The first bloodbender, Hama, was imprisoned by the Fire Nation and she invented bloodbending because she was desperate for power, which she needed to escape the prison. We already saw Tarrlok's ambition for power, so it'd really make sense if he were to practice bloodbending on his own because he wanted the power.
  • That, and Yakone is implied to be a bloodbender, so the art was defenitely not lost.
  • Maybe, one day in some pub in Republic city, one of Hama's victims told the story about how some freaky waterbender made him move around like a puppet. Someone overheard it and decided to try it out. I think it's one of those things where if you know it's possible, you can find a way to do it.
    • Going off this, Hama herself says "Congratulations, you're a bloodbender" right in front of a decent-sized group of people, so it's not unreasonable to think they went out and spread the story.
  • Maybe the Ember Island Players uncovered Hama's story during their 'research' and worked it into their play. Once Bloodbending became common knowledge, any Waterbender with sufficient power could have independently developed the technique.
  • Why not? The fundamental principle behind it is pretty simple. All it takes is for someone to observe that the human body is about 75% water and a villainous streak of insight to realize that it could be possible to bend a person's nerves and muscles by bending the water in them. More than one person could have figured that out. I mean it's not just the Japanese who made cool swords. The rest is all a lot of training. Eventually the bloodbender would become so powerful that they might not need the full moon at all. With even more skill they could bend even with their hands and feet tied (like King Bumi). Use a bicycle long enough and you can ride without using your hands.
  • Also the Crescent Moon symbol on Yakhone's shirt is the same as the moon shown in the sky when Tarrlok drives Korra away. It's likely that Tarrlok is Yakone's son and he could have learnt it from him.
    • Confirmed as of "Out Of The Past."
  • It's implied that the public (or the higher ups of Republic City) have fair knowledge of Bloodbending existance because Yukone's trial scene explicitly mentions it's outlawed.

    So... Why did Tarrlok do exactly what the Equalists wanted? 
Lets go try to simplify what the Equalists believe: The Equalists believe benders hold a dictatorship like control over non-benders, therefore they must cripple them of their power, thus creating equality.

Ok, fine, I can roll with that, they have at least some basis to go on in this argument, after all the Triple Threat Triad are a gang of benders. However, we never see the actual power structure (Be it the Metal Bending Police force or the assumed entirely bender city council) actually do anything repressive or what have you, until Tarrlok grabs the Idiot Ball with both hands and initiates his Police state in 'When Extremes Meet'.

He sets up a curfew for non-benders, he takes out their electricity and attempts a mass deportation when the rightfully angry innocent citizens want answers... Exactly what Amon said those 'evil' benders do... Yet who is doing this is TARRLOK! The Head of the Anti-Equalist Task Force! He is just playing into Amon's hands.

This honestly made me believe that Tarrlok and Amon were working together, before that was proved bitterly otherwise.

  • Tarrlok underestimated Amon and the Equalists, he thought that once he used the panic they were causing to gain complete control of the city he'd be able to root out and crush them and any other resistance without much trouble.
  • Tarrlok wasn't actually trying very hard to stop Amon and/or his Equalists. At least, not at this stage. He was merely making a show of doing so to provide him an excuse to take advantage of the fear and paranoia that they had generated to manipulate the public and expand his influence with the ultimate goal of taking total control of the city by becoming its false paragon and ultimate authority.

     So, why doesn't Tarrlok just...kill everyone? 
It sounds like a stupid question, but by the time the mid-point of episode nine rolls around, his secret's out, he's a wanted man, he has nothing left to lose, and he bloodbends virtually the entire extended Team Avatar right then and there, so...why not? Why not take it a little farther? He had the opportunity. He had the motive. Hell, since no one else knew he could bloodbend, it's a crime that almost covers itself right up. For that matter, I don't know why he didn't kill Korra when he got back to her little prison. Killing the Avatar is never the ideal solution, since they reincarnate, but that at least grants you a good 12-16 years of security while the new Avatar grows up. Basically, killing would seem perfectly in-character, and there just doesn't seem to be a good reason it didn't happen except for "It's a kids' show" and "There would be no plot."
  • I figured he kept Korra alive as a hostage just in case. He even says so just before he meets Amon. Also, as seen in the flash back, killing people take a lot more time then just knocking them out, time which he could use to make his escape.
    • Keeping Korra as his hostage to start a new life was his backup plan as seen in the following episode.
  • If you payed attention during Korra's flashback to Aang's battle with Yakone, it explains why. Yakone, who is arguably far more powerful than Tarrlok since he doesn't even need his hands to bloodbend, was visibly exerting a huge amount of effort to kill Aang via bloodbending, and it was a very slow process as well, giving Aang enough time to go into the Avatar state. Tarrlok simply doesn't have the skill or time to kill off every single witness, and even then he'd have a very hard time covering it up.
  • Bloodbending seems to involve a great deal of strain in general. Even knocking them out took a great deal of time and effort. If he takes the time to kill them he risks someone else entering the room, quite possibly a person more dangerous than his secretary.
  • In addition, despite being quite the Jerkass, Tarrlok wasn't really portrayed as someone that would want to indiscriminately kill people. He wasn't THAT evil.

     Why Tarrlok and not Amon? 
OK. So Aang is trying to communicate with Korra. Due to Korra's spiritual problems, he is not able to flat out talk to her, only show her disjointed visions. So why focus on Tarrlok instead of the far more threatening Amon? Granted, Tarrlok is dangerous and they needed him out of power as soon as possible. But Amon is obviously the bigger threat, having the big army, and the truckload of evidence that he has energybending powers and a connection to the Spirit World. So why focus on Tarrlok instead of getting Korra intel on Amon?
  • Its entirely possible he has no intel on Amon.
  • What if the visions Aang showed her weren't just about Tarrlok? What if Aang was trying to warn her about Amon, too, because Amon's also a bloodbender? I mean, Amon just stepped right through Tarrlok's bloodbending. In "The Puppetmaster," Katara was able to stop Hama bloodbending her because she also had that ability.
    • The preview for the season finale implies that this is right on the money.
  • I certainly hope that there's more to it, because otherwise, it would be quite disappointing for a variety of reasons: first and foremost, the warning was ineffectual. Second, the Tarrlok storyline is pretty much over, unless Amon didn't actually take his bending. Third, Tarrlok, while scary and creepy, wasn't the actual threat in this story. Fourth, it would seem like a weird attempt at shoehorning the Gaang in. The flashbacks served exactly no purpose. Korra still hasn't actually communicated with Aang, she still hasn't airbended, and the flashbacks didn't reveal anything to her that only Aang could have known and she didn't learn a lesson from it either.
    • The flashbacks were intended as a warning about Tarrlok, but due to lack of spiritual side, she received the hint too late. But considering the Avatar's past lives are always with them, it's probably not the last time we'll see them. As for why the warning was about Tarrlok, and not Amon, Aang died without ever having known Amon at all, but he knew Yakone had a son at some point (they had to be keeping an eye on him after he took away his bending). So while he couldn't advise Korra about Amon, not knowing him much, he COULD about Tarrlok.
      • That's the problem though. Even if she had received it earlier, how would it have helped her? Without Tarrlok bloodbending her, she probably wouldn't have guessed that he's Yakone's son. She would have known what Tenzin probably could have told her too. Anyway, because someone brought it up below, I hope attention will be drawn to the fact that Aang and Amon take bending away differently. Because other than the person debended, who except Aang witnessed the debending? Now Korra knows and can get suspicious about it.
    • Were the flashbacks all about Tarrlok? The most important part of the scene I noticed was the juxtaposition of the council members and the act of energy bending in the past and present. The flashbacks give perspective to both new viewers who've never seen the original series and Korra herself who needs to learn to look at problems more complexly, which she's already started by standing up for the innocent non-benders.
    • From a more out-of-universe perspective, the flashbacks also served to flesh out the backstory of the current episode. It wouldn't have been very satisfying to learn "Tarrlok can break the rules and bloodbend without a full moon because his dad taught him how" without actually seeing his dad in action.

    Why didn't Tarrlok bend the snow? 
  • I can understand needing to focus on bloodbending the rest of the chi blockers, but when facing Amon couldn't Tarrlok have bent the surrounding snow into the cabin and used that against him? I'm sure it's not impossible to bend snow with enough force to break glass.
    • He was probably confident enough in his bloodbending abilities. When it didn't work against Amon, he didn't react fast enough out of surprise/shock/fright.
      • Pretty much. Plus, Amon moves really fast and there wasn't much room. By the time he could think to shift strategies, Amon would be up in his face.
    • Is it even possible to bend both blood and other water at the same time? Been a while since I saw the Puppetmaster and I don't remember Katara or Hama from A:TLA bloodbending and waterbending at once. If Tarrlok still needed to bloodbend the other Equalists to prevent them attacking maybe he couldn't bend the snow.
  • Honestly, a better question is why he didn't try to bloodbend the other Equalists into Amon. Though again, he was taken completely off guard and had to deal with a master of close-combat fighting at close range.
  • Forgot About His Powers strikes again!

     Why didn't Tarrlok use the bloodbent Equalists guards to stop Amon when Amon resists the bloodbending? 
Think back to "The Puppetmaster." Hama made Aang and Sokka attack each other using bloodbending. Tarrlok could have done a similar thing against Amon using his own Equalist bodyguards. My guess is that he was just too surprised to react quickly.
  • Surprised and terrified, definitely. But even if Tarrlok had done that, Amon probably would have had no trouble sidestepping them and getting to Tarrlok. One second is all he'd need.
    • In light of "Skeletons in the Closet", even if Tarrlok had tried to use the bloodbent Equalists to restrain Amon, he still would have overpowered Tarrlok by canceling out his blood bending.

     Why did Tarrlok blow up the boat? 
They were both fleeing, and after failing Noatok truly felt regret. He said Tarrlok was the only thing he had left, and was looking forward to starting a brand new life. Tarrlok responds to this by... blowing up the boat they were on. What? His brother has decided to turn over a brand new leaf and Tarrlok decides to kill him, along with himself? How does that even begin to make sense?
  • They're well known, wanted criminals who can no longer bear to use their only defense against being recaptured. Imagine them being confronted by the White Lotus. Noatok would bloodbend them, he would have to, and the emotional strain of that would either drive him to suicide or result in Tarrlok killing him (which would leave Tarrlok nothing to live for). Suicide also kills off their father's dangerous genetic legacy which secures one real victory for the Equalist cause.
  • It's Tarrlok's first chance to collect his thoughts and have a My God, What Have I Done? moment. They have both done monstrous things, violated all of their principles, and gained nothing for it. Suicide is a tradition response.
  • Who said Noatak was planning to turn over a new leaf? Start a new life, sure. But even doing that didn't stop their father from trying to take revenge. Tarrlok just wanted it to end.
    • Notice how Tarrlok takes awhile to look at both the gloves and Noatak. This could be interpreted as him simply forming the plan... or it could be him realizing that, since Noatak still had the Equalist weapons, he hadn't really changed. And then he decides to end it all.
      • In addition, Noatak had manipulated all of Republic City. Tarrlok had one chance to stop his brother, and had very little reason to trust him. When would he get a chance to stop Noatak again? Given how powerful he was, maybe never, so killing him then and there was the only chance.
  • Tarrlok commits suicide because he sees his entire life as a dead end and is deeply depressed. Remember, just a couple of weeks ago at most, he was the most powerful man in Republic City, a respected member of the City Council. In that time he was called out by Korra, publicly exposed as a bloodbender and Yakone's son, had his bending taken away, and realized that the terrorist who's been attacking Republic City is actually his own brother. Given all that, it doesn't seem surprising that he might decide to end his painful family legacy once and for all. Keep in mind that Tarrlok described himself as someone who isn't afraid to go to extremes.
  • I don't think i have much to add to this discussion, but i had a small problem with that scene for a different, but related reason. When i saw him eyeing the glove, i thought he was going to KO Amon and take him back to Republic City so he could try and play it off like he was a hero (I hope that wouldn't work, given all he's done, but that's the kind of weaselly thing i'd expect from him). And, actually, if he played it off right and kept his connections in politics, he might have succeeded in at least absolving him of responsibility for his actions against Korra and Council. That would've been entirely in-character and solidified him as the coldest son of a bitch to ever be animated. So yeah, forget killing himself, why didn't he do that?
    • Because no prison could ever hold either of them. Korra's energybending at the end was set way later. At that moment, the fact was that Tarrlok and his brother were downright unstoppable, and Tarrlok knew it. It was only going down one way.
    • Character Development
    • ^ This. One of the main points of the flashback to his and Amon's childhood was that both of them hated their father for what he put them through, but ultimately ended up doing exactly what he wanted. Their father taught them bloodbending so that they could take revenge on the city and the Avatar. They thought they were rebelling against him, with Tarrlok becoming a councilman and Amon starting a crusade against all benders, but they end up attacking the people of the city and the Avatar using bloodbending, just like their father had planned. Tarrlok even lost his bending and then was going to escape to start a new life, exactly what happened to his father. It's pretty clear that Tarrlok realizes all this and decides he just wants it all to be over.
  • He's probably quite familiar with how Yakone's trial went down- either from Yakone's own account or Republic City's archives. Noatok sounded just like Yakone fleeing the courthouse. I submit that he thought that it wasn't over until Noatok was dead, and the only means he had available to kill him was blowing up the boat- even if he survived the explosion he'd be miles from land, and even a master bloodbender would drown under those circumstances.
  • Amon shed a single tear about two seconds before Tarrlock blew up the boat. He may have been in on it too. They both knew it was all wishful thinking, and Amon might have known what Tarrlok was about to do (he'd have figured out that no one else could have leaked his secret). For all his hatred of bending, Noatok couldn't escape the fact that he was a bender himself, and could only become Amon and get his dream with the very bloodbending he loathed.
    • Noatok sheds a single tear when he hears his real name, suggesting just how much he hated being Amon at that point and how he also knew they could never go back to those happy times when Noatok Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Both of them had ruined their lives by crossing the Moral Event Horizon. So when he said he was planning to start a new life, he meant ending the old one literally.
  • Because Redemption Equals Death.

     Why did nobody see through Tarrlok's little "Equalists kidnapped Korra" lie? 
There was a huge crater on the floor of the main hall, half the floor in his office got ripped apart, an entire wall was askew, rock debris everywhere... Equalists can't do that. Even their mechas would have left different marks on the building. Further, he knocked himself out with an Equalist glove while wearing it. He had no guarantee he'd wake up in time to get it off!
  • Korra can do all that, and Tarrlok's explanation was that they had fought the Equalists. Korra most definitely wouldn't care about some collateral damage if she was about to get captured. The bigger question in all this is why Tarrlok himself wouldn't have been captured right along with the Avatar, but he kept everyone too busy to ask that crucial question until much later.
  • I figured Tarrlok was able to hold onto consciousness long enough to yank the glove off and toss it away after shocking himself.

    Tarrlok and the Police 

  • Why would Tarrlok, a councilman, be involved in leading a police operation?
    • The Avatar world is still, to a large extent, a place where Authority Equals Asskicking and Asskicking Equals Authority. Most of the nations associate power with ability to lead, and given this is a world where the leaders and heirs to thrones are on the front lines at war, this sort of thing is just accepted.

The Equalists

     Why don't the Equalists just learn how to bend? 
  • Bending is like a form of martial arts in the world of Avatar. Heck, remember the arc in the original series where they met Toph? There was an earthbending teacher that offered lessons for money, just like any karate teacher that's in it for the business would. There are even scrolls with instructions on how to bend in them.
    • The TV series has made it pretty clear that elementbending is a skill one innately has. The lessons and whatnot are only meant to hone the abilities a bender already has. Sokka wouldn't be complaining about being the only one in the group who can't bend if he could just take a couple lessons.
    • Per the above, this is the reason the Avatar is so special. If one could just learn whatever element they wanted, there'd be no need for an Avatar because anyone could do it.
    • While OP was oversimplifying, his question is still valid, and actually something I felt that was never addressed. It seems like, while bending is an innate skill you're born with, someone at some point LEARNED how to bend, either from Dragons (fire) Badger Moles (Earth) Flying Bison (Air) and, um...the moon (water). I kind of assumed that one would have to be highly spiritual and possibly do some kind of weird spirit magic thing to do so, but unless those are just creation myths (whic i guess is possible, but it doesn't feel like "no, bending is just a genetic quirk that some humans have and some humans don't" would be the answer in a universe with spirits who actively participate in world events) i feel like the answer needs to come in this series. it would be cool for a non-bender to bust there ass and somehow come up with a way to learn bending. it would be even cooler if someone learned a totally new element from a different animal/celestial body (though for the life of me i can't think of one that wouldn't fall into the previous 4).
    • There is a possibility that these stories are just myths created to explain how the natural process behind the bending happens.
    • It's combination of innate and learned. Oma and Shu learned to earthbend by mimicking the Badgermoles, for example, but not everyone would have had the spark to be able to do so. Apparently once the four elements were established it solidified the rules for future generations and led to the Avatar Cycle; energybending pre-dates the Four Nations and the Avatar. I suppose it's possible that you could have a group of non-benders try to learn from a scroll and one of them turns out to have had the latent ability all along, but it wouldn't be common, because with the bending arts being known quantities now, the potential for bending obviously tends to be recognized for what it is at a young age, hence all the young benders.
    • Just because someone at some point initially learned to bend from an external source doesn't exclude the possibility that the ability has innately been there all along in the people of the world. For example, a child can learn about his/her cultural, genetic heritage and then proudly carry on the traditions, but it doesn't mean that heritage wasn't there in the first place. In simpler terms: maybe the ability to bend was already there, and the "discovery" was just the push to get it going.
    • Bending is definitely innate. Scrolls and tutors exist to teach the skills and spiritual connection you need to be really good at it. Just think about this: First of all if anyone could learn to bend then when the Fire Nation was a military state it would have turned every citizen into a firebender. Secondly we've repeatedly seen competent child benders, Meelo is both too young and too inattentive to have learned complex martial arts from his father, Korra learned to firebend and earthbend before she was likely to have been exposed to either and long before she could have started training.
    • Anyone can learn how to bend actually. It just takes high spirituality. Before The four bending arts, there was spirit/energy bending, the bending of one's and other's energy. To do this, one must be pure (what type of pure isn't stated) and Balanced. In other words, one must have a high spiritual state. From this one bending, the other arts developed, and then the four nations developed from this as well. There was one nation that stayed with this high spirituality approach, the air nation. The point of this is that due to the high spirituality of the Air nation, they were able to ALL be air benders. No other nation rivaled the levels of the Air Nomads in terms of this. This also explains how Amon learned Energy bending. He said the spirits talked to him, thus he (if telling the truth) seems to be very spiritual as were the people before the nation's time.
    • If anyone could do it, then Pathik would be a bender. For that matter, the Air Nomads would have figured out the energy bending thing a long time ago. It's not just spiritual, and never has been.
    • If "high spirituality" was the only factor that Korra would be the most useless bender ever rather than a master of three elements. There's blatantly a selection process that occurs before birth. We've seen lots of unspiritual benders and no non-benders who later became benders thanks to spirituality.
    • It could also be a case where bending is dependent on the local spirits, not a person's genetics, like if a spirit is present when a child is born they can chose to "bless" them with the ability of bending whatever element the spirit is associated with. It could also explain how Amon had the potential to spirit bend and said he was taught it by a spirit or why only one of the identical twins in the first series could bend and the other could not.
    • Bending-potential may be caused spiritual interference during birth, but it raises the question of why Yueh wasn't the best waterbender ever instead of a nonbender...
    • The spirits seemed to have other plans for her.

     Conversely why do the Equalists bother taking people's bending away? 
  • Bending is a martial art and the Equalists seem to have their own super-awesome-ninja-like martial art which has proven effective against bending. The Equalists might as well train all non-benders in that martial art and level the playing field rather than building a giant machine that can chi-block every bender in Republic City (That could be their plan, right?).
    • Because you can't train all non-benders to be awesome ninja chi-blockers. Besides, one-on-one a chi-blocker has an edge. Scale that up to an army and the chi-blockers are going to lose badly. When the benders have a lot of targets to hit, they're going to do much more damage.
    • Besides, is being a Badass Normal really as cool as shifting and tearing chunks of the ground, shooting fire bolts from your hands, or drinking without touching your beverage.
      Korra: What are you talking about? Bending is the coolest thing in the world.

     Are the Equalists Right? 
  • Although it's pretty clear that Equalist methods are pretty freaking awful, is their overall complaint all that wrong? It seems fairly clear that non-benders really are at a disadvantage in a world without bending, and we're seeing lots of hints that they're effectively second-class citizens (e.g., the council that rules the city is composed of benders, as is the entire police force). If you were a non-bender in such a society who found yourself effectively at the mercy of benders, politically as well as practically, wouldn't a message of opposing bender power have a lot of force?
    • It's not exactly black and white enough that you can slap a right or wrong label on it, but Amon wouldn't have so many followers if he didn't make any good points. It's not exactly hard to imagine a person who can't bend feeling like they're not as good as those who can - the very first scene of the first series involved Sokka complaining about Katara being a bender, no doubt partially out of a little jealousy. Benders have more job opportunities such as the Earthbenders who pushed the trains and the Firebenders powering a generator. They probably even get paid a little more since Bending-only jobs would have a higher demand than the jobs that anybody could do. Nearly every sport or game we've seen thus far requires control of some element or another, most notably pro-bending which of course requires all three. So, yes, clearly a movement promising you that you are special despite the fact that you can't bend wouldn't have to go very far to find followers.
    • Jealousy is by far the smallest factor here. Fear is what is at play in Republic City. It is very deliberate that one of the first things we see during Korra trip through the city is non-benders cowering in terror from a group of bending criminals. It's childish to dismiss the Equalist agenda as "jealousy" when its a major plot point that they're actively being terrorized. Look at the raid in episode four, even for chi-blockers there is no defense against benders unless you attack them first (or massively outnumber them).
    • Their overall complaint isn't completely wrong. The Triple Triads were shown to be abusers of their bending among other things, and left unchecked, as shown by Koraa's action in the first episode, can cause lots of property damage. However, simply removing bending is not the solution. I mean, for the sake of argument, let's say Amon's plans of completely removing bending from the world does happen. How sure are the people that no one will abuse whatever power they have, no matter how small it is? there still weapons like knives and swords. Or political and/or monetary powers. The main problem isn't bending being the cause of problems, as they are simply tools. The problem is the nature of people. Look at our own history and you'll see it over and over again. Guns don't kill people, the person pulling the trigger does. Elemental bending doesn't kill people, BENDERS do!
    • Amon would probably pose his solution as a way of creating meritocracy. No one is born with superpowers, instead they have to work to gain power.
    • Like Hiroshi Sato, one of the most powerful people in the series and a non-bender? Or, I dunno, Sokka?
    • Guns aren't a good example to use since the portion of society that is physically unable to use guns is very small. Not to mention that "bending doesn't kill people, benders do" is a pretty good Equalist rallying cry. Benders are killing them. Benders need to be stopped.
    • Benders also save them. Benders help them. Benders are their friends and family and loved ones. Because some people use guns to harm others doesn't mean that everyone who owns and properly uses a gun should have it taken away and incinerated into ash.
    • "Benders also save them" just drives the issue home. Non-benders are totally dependent on benders just to stay alive. That's a very bad thing. Debending is one solution to it, almost certainly the worst one given the tremendous econoic, spiritual, and human cost involved. Ironically Hiroshi is in a perfect position to end the problem without Amon's involvement. If his wife's death hadn't made him so hateful he could have sold mechs and shock-gloves peacefully. The most serious problem (that non-benders are powerless against malevolent benders) would be dealt with. Economic and social issue would remain, though.
    • That's assuming the Council wouldn't outlaw such things, fearful of them being used by nonbenders rising up against their masters.
    • The shock glove he might be able to pass off as a self-defense item, properly licensed. "Self-defense armored mecha" is a pitch he could likely only make to the military.
    • For most of the season it is easy to sympathize with the Equalists, but the finale shows us that a) Amon's motives are far from pure, and b) that despite his claims of a "bending elite" benders and non-benders exist at all levels of society. The fact that Republic City's homeless population has no sympathy for the Equalists is telling.
    • This is likely a major reason behind the (all-bending) council being replaced by an apparently non-bending president in the second season. The Equalists DID have a point, and taking Amon out of the picture wouldn't make their movement disappear, so there needed to be reform.

     What if the Equalists have kids who are born benders? 
  • It's established in the Avatarverse that there's always a 50/50 chance people are born benders (not counting the Air Nomads since ALL of them were born benders). Ever since the Equalists made their presence known it's bugged me that even they're all non-benders, they could likely have relatives and even offspring that are benders. I can only imagine being a child born a bender to have parent(s) who are fierce anti-benders. A bit of Fridge Horror sets in right there...
    • I imagine it would unfold the same way it does in X-Men when an anti-mutant couple has a mutant child. Some of them will disown their bender children and throw them out into the street. Others will try to hide it and tell their kid never to use their evil bending powers, for fear of what the other Equalists will do if they find out. In fact I'd bet money that this very thing will be a plot point in a future episode.
    • They could simply take the child to Amon for some corrective energybending.
    • Imagine the kid's reaction. You can bet there'll be an instance of one or more of these tropes: Why Couldn't You Be Different?, Have You Tried Not Being A Bender, The Unfavorite.. Then having the kid de-bended. If the parents have it done against their will...
    • Not if you provide a proper cultural background firsthand, which the Equalist would've no doubt done, should they have won. Teach the kids from youth that it's not their fault if happen to have these powers, but nevertheless they should be removed as soon as they manifest for the sake of common good, yadayadayada. Debending doesn't seem harmful, other than the power-loss-induced depression, but for a child who didn't have time to get used to their powers that wouldn't be a problem.
    • Eh. There has never been a bender born from two non-benders as far as we know. We've seen benders born from benders, benders born from one bender, and benders give birth to a non-bender. But never non-benders having a bender.
    • Katara. Neither her mother Kya nor her father Hakoda was a bender, remember? Katara was the last bender in her tribe.
    • As far as we know, neither of Toph's parents were benders, either.
    • There's no firm indication that either San or his wife(Mako and Bolin's parents) were benders either AFAIK; we know that he was from the Earth Kingdom and she from the Fire Nation, but IIRC nothing's ever stated whether either of them were benders.

     Just why did the Equalists leave their most important opponents for the last? 
  • OK, maybe Amon wants to deal with Korra last, but why would his men leave a member of the Council, Chief of the Police and the Avatar lying on the side unguarded while ordinary officers were being loaded into trucks? They seriously didn't realize that this could only be a bad idea, even if no outside help did arrive?
    • Whose to say they wouldn't have loaded those three? They simply hadn't gotten to it, yet.
    • They were left for the last, unguarded. Three most dangerous people in the whole group. Just how is this supposed to make sense?
    • Tenzin was tied up and unconscious, and the other two were also unconscious. They had also matter-of-factly lost to the mecha and were in a sealed room. They weren't going anywhere.
    • There were still a few Equalists manning mobile suits. If they got back up, they'd have to fight the suits again and in a weakened state. Plus, maybe Hiroshi and company just got cocky. They had just bagged the only living airbending master, the police commissioner, and Avatar.
    • And even then, Sato and the Lieutenant were still keeping an eye on them, since they managed to catch Mako and Bolin so quickly.

     Why are the Equalists taking prisoners? 
  • I'm certain this will eventually be answered in upcoming episodes, but it seems strange that if Amon already took away their bending, then why force them in their prison? For example, the police officers that were captured had their bending taken away, but they were in a prison cell, and Tarrlok's bending was taken away, and Amon and his forces took him away.
    • It's only been a few days. He may have only gotten around to it recently and they just weren't ready to release them yet. They were also in a sensitive area. They're a security risk.
    • Because they are police who will continue fighting them in any way they can in spite of losing their bending.
    • They might be bad for the Equalists' PR. It's one thing to de-bend gangsters and sport cheaters, but imagine Tarrlok parading these cops in front of the press. You don't want to put a human face on the enemy targeted by your revolution.
    • Um... maybe because no one knew of the underground tunnels yet? Why release metal bending cops who could then go and blab your secret to the world?

     If the Equalists were that easy to find, why didn't Chief Beifong and/or gang Avatar look for them earlier? 
  • In episode 9, the protagonists are able to find the Equalists easily based on a hunch Chief Beifong had, and on what Bolin remembered about his capture in episode 3. Since they've had this information for several episodes, why were they using it only now? Didn't it occur to Chief Beifong earlier to question Bolin about his captivity?
    • It's possible that she flat-out wasn't told any details about the whole thing. It's not like she and Korra were in very friendly terms with each other, and it never occurred to Korra to relay the information about details like which street they were going to anyone. So Lin would only know that Korra busted an Equalist meeting, which would give no information of their true hideout. And there's simply too many tunnels under the city to search blindly, even with Earthbending.
    • Add to that that the reason Bolin got into the mess in the first place is because he was involved with the Triple Threats. Not exactly something you'd tell the police, right?
    • It's true that Chief Beifong initially wasn't in friendly terms with Korra and the gang, but wouldn't it still have been in their interest to help the Chief catch the Equalists by giving her the information they had? Also, the relationship between the Chief and Korra's gang got much better after episode 6. In episode 7 they all worked together with the Chief to defeat Hiroshi Sato, and she swore she would save her kidnapped officers from the Equalists, yet even after that it didn't occur to her or Bolin or anyone else to discuss where they might find the Equalists? As for Bolin's involvement with the Triple Threats, there was no need to bring that up. Bolin could've simply said that the Equalists kidnapped him because he was a prominent pro-bender, I'm sure the Chief would've believed that.
    • Because no-one thought about it. They had a lot on their plate, and no-one came to consider the possibility. Mako just happened to have a flash of inspiration when Korra was captured. While it has nothing to do with the matter, Lin isn't stupid, and would be unlikely to believe that Bolin just happened to be captured along with a Triad boss and enforcers.

     How are the Equalists able to field such a large mechanized army/air force? 
  • Let's start off with the chi-blockers, elite soldiers capable of taking down trained benders, performing all sorts of missions like infiltration, kidnapping, all around badasses. It takes years to be able to reach their level of skill, and Amon seems to have a core force of about a couple hundred of these guys. Next, you have the mecha-tanks, a totally new type of mobile war platform made from a very rare element and prototyped in a secret underground factory and put into production in such numbers that Amon and Hiroshi don't bat an eye when they lose six of them. Then, they have the war balloons, enough of them to completely knock out the police balloons in short order. And you know they have a naval force somewhere in their toolbox, not to mention the electro-gloves.
    The question is... How? Or at least, how have they been able to do this without anyone picking up on it? It would be akin to a major military build up occurring within the borders of the United States without anyone at the White House realizing it. You have to move the material, train the soldiers, train the workers, build the factories, assemble the vehicles, et cetera. This is nation-building stuff. The Equalists are acting a lot like a sovereign nation, not like a clandestine group of assassins trying to fight the system.
    And it's not just an oversight by the Republic City leadership. How could the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom, and the Water Tribes completely miss this? How could their militaries and intelligence services be so blindingly incompetent? This is a conspiracy numbering in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, and not one person blabbed? Not one person noticed odd movements of war materiel, or the construction of these weapons and platforms? Very, very odd.
    • Considering the competence of Amon and the Equalists, I'd say they have a great amount of knowledge about how to field their operations, as well as how to execute them in the field. And whatever they needed, if it was legal and payed for in all aspects (or appeared to be), virtually no one would explore the reports in depth until too late. And I think it's reasonable to assume that they've stockplied resources for quite awhile, in addition to extensively training underground.
    • Plus, even if it still wouldn't hold up... this is usually part of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief aspect every show has. And now that Amon has taken control of Republic City, he has access to everything he needs easily.
    • I kinda guessed that Sato provided a lot of what they have. Money is a powerful force. Stranger things have happened, but you are right, a lot of the blame for this falls squarely on the establishment for even allowing it to happen. Also, i think that Non-benders are a majority in this world (I think. I could be wrong) so, if non-benders were at all swayed by Amon's movement (Given the level of Charisma he has, i'm betting a lot of people are) they might be willing to look the other way or even assist, even if they are part of the Fire Nation/Earth Kingdom/Water Tribe intelligence community.
    • I agree. A Sato Did It. Bear in mind that Equalist forces have always emphasized quality over quantity. Just look at the Equalist airship from "And the Winner Is...", it took down an entire patrol of police airships, which are also made by Future Industries. In fact, it was a moment of Fridge Brilliance for me once I realized that Future Industries might have designed the Equalist airships specifically to destroy the police airships. This is evidenced by the scene in "Turning the Tides," just before Tenzin loses consciousness he sees a police airship crashing. The top of the airship is pouring smoke. The police airships, like the Equalist airships, are hybrids; their lift is boosted by propellers and/or wings(the writers likely made them hybrids to hand-wave their huge payloads which an ordinary balloon couldn't lift). The police airship's lifting rotors, all four of them, are on top of the airship. Destroy those and the airship can't hold itself up anymore. It all fits the Equalist theme of finding a Logical Weakness.
    • There's only so much money can do. Yes, it can do some things, like fund the research and prototyping for all these new units. Perhaps pay for the highly professional army that Amon has built up. But, we're talking about a scope and magnitude beyond even a single industrial tycoon. Because once actual production ramps up, the problem becomes all the more complicated. We're talking about the movement of hundreds of thousands of tons of raw materials. The yearly salaries of a work force of thousands. Did Sato use Future Industries factories to do most of this work? Probably not, or the police would have found a whole lot of evidence during their search. So, he built new factories, hidden and away, which meant that the movement of those tons of raw materials could be tracked to these nice secret locations. Each new complication just adds to the magnitude of this problem. And if he pours most of his wealth into the development of these platforms, that means his business in Future Industries suffers. I'm not sure if Future Industries is privately owned or publicly traded, but I'm sure someone would have noticed.
    • I wouldn't underestimate the power of a "single tycoon". Hiroshi Sato is stated to be the wealthiest person in Republic City, and possibly even the world, barring royal families. Don't forget the Equalist rally in "the Revelation", either. Those are thousands upon thousands of fervent, almost cultish supporters, in the midst of an economic boom, no less. And it's not like the Equalist tactics are Zerg Rushing either. They focus entirely on being elite, stealthy saboteurs, right on down to their infantry. Those 20 or so airships can take down at least a dozen airships, each. Their Chi Blockers and gloved terrorists can take down several high-powered benders at a time like it's a piece of cake. The only fighting style they seem truly vulnerable to is Airbending. You're treating the situation like it's open warfare, it's not. They deliberately sabotaged the city so they could catch it off guard and conquer it with the least possible resistance. That minimizes their reliance manufacturing to as little as possible.
    • It would be one thing if the Equalists were simply stealing hardware off of the assembly line. But it's suggested that the Equalists have entirely new platforms that the rest of the world doesn't have, that they're way ahead of the technology curve. This is not something easily explained away by the actions of a single captain of industry.
    • The weapons themselves might be new, but the parts going into them could just be repurposed from existing production lines, then assembled at a secret factory by ideologically pure Equalists. We know Hiroshi already has one such factory. Casting the molds for the mechas is a tough one, but the gloves and biplanes don't seem terrible complicated.
    • Fun fact! During World War II, Henry Ford had his factories reorganized to put out one complete warplane per hour. So yes, one captain of industry can revolutionize technology pretty damn quickly.
    • Even funner fun fact! During the height of World War I, when manufacturing was still nascent at best, the Zeppelin Company produced one airship every two weeks! I'm surprised the Equalist's don't have a larger air force, to be honest.
    • I suppose these World War One warplanes were built in secret factories using secret supply lines and a secret work force? That Henry Ford surprised the United States government with this secret arsenal? That is my point exactly! The Equalists are acting like a nation state, not a oppressed terrorist group. The point isn't that an army can't be built. Sure, with even a fraction of the economy on your side, you can build a pretty sizable war machine. Just look at the Fire Nation or the United Forces. But to do it in complete secrecy? Can Hiroshi Sato completely hijack an entire economy to work for the Equalist agenda for so long without any hint or murmuring? If you can point to any examples in history, by all means.
    • Amon said the Equalists had been hiding for years so they could afford to take things slowly. They don't need a bomber every hour or an airship every two weeks, one a month for five years would supply everything we've seen.
    • In complete secrecy? What do you think aircraft factories were DOING in World War 2, painting bulls-eyes on the roof? No! They WERE, in fact, secret, and many were even camouflaged. And we KNOW that the Equalists have secret factories. Look, let's lay it all out: the only really hard thing to hide is the airships, of which there are about a dozen or so that we've seen. The gloves and mechs are small enough in both numbers and in physical size to be manufactured and hidden effectively. However, an airship is difficult to hide, obviously. So what are the Equalists known for doing? They hide in plain sight. These Equalist airships were pretty clearly manufactured by Future Industries. The same company... That manufactures airships. For the police. How could anyone know the difference if they were just, say, manufacturing a girder? Literally the only thing that gives them away is their paint scheme, and the fact that they're armed to the teeth. So what is an Equalist to do? If it were me, I would simply commission a type of airship for some BS reason, and when they were complete, finish the construction by adding the weapons and symbols you intended to be there the entire time. It wouldn't be the first time in history that someone has done such a thing, either. In early WW1 they commissioned civilian luxury Zeppelins to military service, by simply filling them with bombs and covering them in machine guns and Iron Crosses.
    • Complete secrecy from your government is completely different than a government contractor building weapons in secret from civilians and foreign nations. Yes, it's impressive what industry can do. And it's impressive what people can do in secret. The thing is, their output is damn impressive in its own right, and it was done in complete secrecy.
    • It's like you didn't even read what I wrote. My point is that it doesn't HAVE to be secret if you are hiding it in plain sight, as the Equalists are wont to do. I proposed a perfectly valid explanation, with pertinent historical backup, and I think you're still arguing that it's impossible because you don't want to be wrong. And besides, no one said their secrecy is perfect or without leaks. Even a street rat like Mako knew perfectly well what the Chi-Blockers were, and even how long the effects of their attacks lasted.
    • ... given that was the first time I've chimed in on the subject, or seen this HS, I don't think that I'm "still arguing because I don't want to be wrong." I just don't think your explanation is terribly convincing. I would just go with the "they've been amassing over years" explanation but they have been operating in near-perfect secrecy; until the beginning of the series the Equalists and Amon were an utter surprise. Other than the anti-bending demonstrator there's no evidence that anyone had any idea about the Equalists before the plot began. Part of it is obviously they weren't finding things they weren't looking for them, but it's the sheer scale of it... they have enough military hardware to take over the entire city, and rout the Republic Navy (at least put up a fight, we'll see when the finale hits). That just seems unbelievable to me. Even with Sato's backing, that's an utterly, utterly obscene amount of capital, manpower, and heck, just plain storage space for them.
    • Whoops, I'm sorry, it's just that you were making the same points as the person I was writing to, so I assumed you were him/her. And I'm having difficulty understanding why my explanation isn't "terribly convincing". Are you saying that the historical precedent that happened with actual airships is unconvincing? But anyway, you raise a valid point about storage space. I think that they probably have a hangar somewhere where they keep them, maybe owned by Future Industries. You also raise a valid point about capital, seeing as those mecha-tanks are solid platinum and whatnot, but there are two possible justifications for this. First is the existence of Earthbending, which undoubtably would make mining easier, and second is the apparent lack of demand for platinum goods, which would allow Sato to buy enough to make mecha-tanks rather cheaply. And airships don't actually require as much raw materials or money as you might think. They are, after all, mostly just empty space. A good rule of thumb is that airships tend to cost roughly a third as much as an airplane of equal cargo capacity, a rule which diminishes the smaller the airship is and widens the larger it is, due to the square-cube law.
    • The historical precedent is unconvincing because it's irrelevant. The question is not whether someone can manufacture that much, but rather can it be manufactured within the confines of the city without alerting the government. At this point given that they had an airfield outside the city, and a hidden manufacturing plant within it I'm just going to assume they have more manufacturing plants outside the city, or that base just happens to house a HUGE production center.
    • How exactly is that irrelevant? Just because you say that they were manufactured in the city and nobody noticed does not mean that they were manufactured there, or that there was anything to notice. The precedent- Imperial Germany quickly modifying civilian luxury Zeppelins into warships- has nothing to do with HOW or WHERE they were manufactured, because at the time of manufacture they weren't for the military. And who said the government had not been alerted? Why would they even care about a new type of civilian airship Future Industries was building? Clearly, the Equalists also use tricked-out satomobiles and bikes, but how could the government possibly predict what they would be used for when they were simply civilian models on a production line?
    • Let's not discount the possibility that some benders may be sympathetic to their cause. Indeed, they might have helped Amon and Sato build those underground complexes and even volunteered for de-bending afterward. Consider that history has plenty of people who detest their own social, economic, political, or racial group. Its even possible a bender might agree that bending is too dangerous too keep around. Also consider that the Equalist seem to have a huge budget, any number of benders might decide working for Amon and then getting de-bended is worth it as long as they make enough money to retire on in the process. "Sure, I'll help you build this complex of yours and let you take away my bending afterward, if you pay me a cool million in advance."
    • This is my point. Bender society is not monolithic, and some of them can be bribed to Amon's cause, or at least be sympathetic to it. But again, non-bender society is the same way. It is not monolithic, and a conspiracy of thousands is likely to have several holes, no matter how rigid, charismatic, and security conscious Amon is. That none of these holes brought the entire thing crashing down is... odd. In fact, the only hole in security was a deliberate plant.
    • How did they have such skilled pilots? Just an example of Universal Driver's License or Instant Expert? Keep in mind their airfield was outside the city, but close enough that they reacted to the fleet coming within minutes. Any training or even test flights would draw attention from the city. The airships make sense, that's older technology that people are used to. Seeing airships flying around wouldn't raise any concerns, even if the pilots needed training. But this is a brand new technology, and the pilots were skilled enough to accurately bomb ships with completely unguided bombs. And maneuver themselves so that their rear-firing bolas would can hit a following plane.
    • Maybe they tested them somewhere more secluded? The earth kingdom is big and has plenty of barren areas. Not to mention airplanes are somewhat easier to hide than airships.
    • Outside of the air raid near the end, at no time do the Equalist actually engage in open warfare. Everything they do is conducted via guerilla tactics ending with a decapitation strike against Republic City's leadership. Their success at conducting such warfare most likely masks their true numbers and once they suffer a decapitation strike themselves, they're easily subdued.

     How Do the Equalists Expect to Sustain the Society without Benders? 
  • Benders have been shown to be a major part of the infrastructure: the city is powered by fire benders, metal benders make up the police system (and probably factory workers), and in the previous series the tram system in Ba Sing Se was powered by earth benders. If benders are so crucial to the every-day goings on then what is going to happen when all these people are gone? Their technology seems to be directly linked to the manipulation of bending and there's been very little to suggest that such technology could exist without bending. Wouldn't the entire world go into a dark age if there were no more benders? How is that progress?
    • The real life Industrial Revolution didn't need anyone with superpowers to happen. They'd be starting with a basic knowledge of how the needed technology works and without benders who can do the work of dozens of people employment numbers would probably skyrocket. Obviously the pace of development would slow tremendously but things aren't likely to collapse. Sato is something of a one man Industrial Revolution as it is and the Lieutenant seems to have a generator on his back to power his clubs so electricity might not require firebenders.
    • The thing is, the real life Industrial Revolution didn't have superpowered benders to supplant the massive amount of resources consumed by industry.
    • But it still happened, perhaps more painfully than in the Avatar world, but it did happen. The wide eyed revolutionaries might not see exactly how much damage the change would cause but they do have Hiroshi Sato in their leadership. A collapse is far from inevitable. Regression, sure, but they're not likely to fall into a dark age.
    • It still happened, and many missteps and fatalities were incurred because of it. Not to mention the incredible amount of resources consumed by the human race to maintain our modern lifestyle, resources that are saved from consumption in the Avatar verse thanks to the Benders' various abilities supplanting them.
    • No one is saying it would be a good thing but industry is possible without superpowers. They'd stay at their current level of technology and start incurring all the damaging effects they'd been missing. Prices would rise across the board, wages would drop on average, work injuries would rise, life expectancy would drop. The real world didn't fall back into the 1700s because the Industrial Revolution came with downsides.
    • Amon's rehtoric implies that he wants to debend everyone but I don't think he's explicitly said he's going to yet. They could keep sympathetic (or enslaved) benders around if they really needed them.
    • While you could probably find some substitute for lighting bending at the power plant (like hooking it to a river), or earthbender miners in a short while, medicine takes longer to advance without the proper setting. Who's going to replace waterbending healers?
    • This is by far the most pressing issue. They understand technology just fine. We haven't seen much medical knowledge outside of waterbending. Mortality rates in Republic City would skyrocket above current levels. That is the kind of thing that causes counter-revolutions.
    • There's also the fact that it will take time to replace those things if all the benders are gone. I'm sorry, but most people won't like to hear:
    • "We took the power from all the lightning benders, so people living in these area will have to deal without electricity for a few years until we reconfigure all the power plants."
    • Or "Hey, the price of building material and construction has gone up since we don't have earthbenders to do some of the heavy lifting and moving and mining"
    • Or "Your kid's doctor the healing waterbender has no powers anymore. Little Lee badly burnt his leg? Oh, well, he'll just have to wait for it to stop hurting for a while and pray it won't scar! A lot of people don't like the removal of their modern conveniences, even if it's only temporary.
    • It's why certain changes (buying organic, changing what your car/home is powered by, etc) don't always go over well either. People worry about losing conveniences or money.
    • Amon may be willing to allow certain benders to keep their bending, once they no longer have power, if they don't attempt to rebel. He did offer Lin a chance to keep her bending in return for information.
    • Or he could just have been lying - 'punishing' a bender for betraying their allies is the sort of thing Amon likes to do anyway.

     What'll happen with the Equalists now? 
  • Do they just randomly drop everything and go back to their old lives now that Amon is revealed to be a liar?
    • They'll probably return in the next season. Maybe someone else will take up Amon's mantle.
    • While the creators have been less than honest in the past they did say that the seasons of Korra would be selfcontained. The Equalist movement probably won't be a major part of the next season (though I'd personally love to see The Lieutenant sitting on the Council as a representative for non-benders).
    • Considering that he aided with a terrorist who did a lot of damage, that's unlikely. If the Lieutenant survived (since the scene implies that he was killed via Blood-bending) he probably would show up at some point.
    • Korra will probably take care of the Equalists during the six-month time-skip between seasons. If Aang could master all four elements while traveling around the world AND put end to a hundred-year-long war in the span of eight months, Korra should be able to resolve a dispute between benders and non-benders in six.
    • As of the beginning of the second season, the (all-bending) council has been replaced by an apparently non-bending president, implying that some SERIOUS legal reforms took place. A good majority of the Equalists, disillusioned by the reveal that their leader was a bender and satisfied with the new reforms, probably simply took off their gas masks and went back to their regular civilian lives.

     Did anybody ever try a non-agressive way of dealing with the Equalists? 
  • This might just be because we jumped in in the middle of the uprising, but was the council's first reaction to a group of their citizens expressing dissatisfaction with their governing system really to treat them like terrorist threats? Did anyone ever suggest asking the Equalists to appear before the council and state their grievances. Maybe create a focus group to investigate the sources of the bender-are-oppresing-us feeling in the non-bendig community and rectify situations where policy is biased in favour of benders. Consider adding non-benders to the Council in order to better represent the diversity of their city. At least make a gesture of meeting them half way. Amon would never let his side back down and Tarrlok would probably sabotage anything that threatened his authority on the Council but it would have been harder to turn your basic citizen into a revolutionary when you can see your government taking action to try and change the things you've been complaining about once they were alerted to it.
    • I think that's the route that Korra's going to take afterwards. Remember "when extremes meet"? She was PISSED at the way non-benders were being treated.
    • Also, Tenzin, tried to oppose such measures but he was consistently outvoted.
    • I'd just like to point out that the Equalists were preaching in the streets without opposition in the first episode. Until they started kidnapping and de-bending folks, and saying they wanted to do it to everyone, the Council seemed to have no major problem with them. There is a big difference between the Equalists and people who are disgruntled with the power of benders, in that the Equalists' explicitly stated goal is to end all bending, and Amon wouldn't be building those mecha if he wants to affect peaceful social change. All of the council's extreme actions were undertaken by Tarrlok, who we are specifically told is kind of a dick, in response to those of the Equalists. And even then, he still didn't do much good; they were basically running around with impunity.
    • Agreed, if Amon really wanted a peaceful resolution then he would never built those mecha to begin with. And it's Truth in Television, that some terrorists won't negotiate.

     Bullying A Dragon 
  • Okay, so once again, there's that "We hate the people with superpowers!" plot going on. Now, I understand the concerns of the non-Benders, and I get that not every Bender is a good-hearted soul who won't abuse it, but here is my issue: With all the "Let's permanently block their ability to bend!" talk, you'd think that someone would say, "Hey, uh...let's not give them a good reason to hate us!" Especially if said person is the AVATAR (aka, the one who could turn Republic City into a smoldering wasteland if he/she so chose.) Are they just asking for Korra to find a reason to go apecrap on them and the city in general? Plus, don't they remember Aang? The previous Avatar who saved their collective asses from the Fire Nation? If they know she's the new Avatar (and likely the reincarnation of Aang) why are they pissing her off? Are they just trying to get her angry enough to go apeshit and Avatar-State the crap out of them and the city in general?
    • If i were an Anti-Bender? That is EXACTLY what i'd want. The Avatar using her godlike powers to slaughter a bunch of people? that's exactly the kind of press that proves every single thing that Amon is spewing. Martyrs make for good press. I'm willing to bet that this will be a plot point in future episodes, especially if Amon is smart enough to organize a situation wherein Korra goes Apeshit on some peaceful protesters.
    • A large part of the Equalist's rhetoric seems to be that people shouldn't have to live in fear of offending a Bender just because of what that Bender might do in retaliation. Amon's story paints a nice little picture of this, with his family being oppressed by a Bender, and then them all being killed when his father tries standing up to said Bender. The people of the city suffering under the gangs aren't going to think "Gee, let's try to be as inoffensive as possible and maybe they'll leave us alone", because they know that there is no possible way that that could ever work. With the way he presents it, Amon's power seems like it's a perfect 'solution' to the problem of Bending; i.e. "Standing up to the Benders will just get us killed, but this guy can take away their Bending, and so we'll have nothing to fear from them anymore".
    • And about Aang having saved them from the Fire Nation, the Equalist view is that a war wouldn't even HAPPEN if Fire Benders didn't exist to begin with, so the Avatar saving their asses would be unnecessary. It's a flawed point of view, sure, but one can see it working as propaganda.

     Why did Shiro, the pro-bending announcer, get electrocuted by the Equalists? 
  • According to Wordof God, he was also a non-bender.
    • Amon probably didn't want anyone's voice going out on the airwaves except his own.
    • The Equalists are violent, ideological revolutionaries. Non-benders opposing their agenda would be the equivalent of class traitors and treated as such.
    • "If you ask me, a blood traitor's as bad as a mudblood."

     How does a terrorist group have so many members? 
  • Seriously, am I the only one wondering why there seem to be an almost unlimited amount of Equalist soldiers? First of all, there wasn't much discrimination against non-benders to begin with, especially not violence. There are almost no reasons to join the Equalists unless someone you know got killed by a bender, like Amon and Hiroshi, but it's not like that many people have been killed by benders. Not to mention, these are dedicated soldiers, trained in the art of chi-blocking and all that stuff. It's obvious by now they aren't just Well Intentioned Extremists, they're terrorists. You don't see someone who doesn't really like benders join a TERRORIST GROUP to try and get equality. So, how is there so many people willing to give up their life for the cause?
    • The problem is assuming that he got all of his troops from Republic City instead of taking them in from all of the nations. He has a lot of people for one city, but from across five nations that span the entire globe it's a lot less unbelievable. As for there not being that much discrimination, there is still the fact that it appears all of the triads in Republic City alone are completely staffed by Benders, as we saw in the original series with Zuko Alone Benders still oppressed people. So think of it as generations of pent up aggression at the inequality of power between benders and non-benders.
    • Also keep in mind that the Republic City houses millions of people, and judging by the numbers we've seen, I'd estimate that there are only a few hundred full-time Equalist chi-blockers out there. Sympathizers who are willing to look the other way, or give financial aid and other indirect support probably amount to a few thousand at most. There were organizations in early 20th century Europe with equally grand plans to reorganize the society to their liking with similarly numbered ranks, who took over countries and reigned for decades.
    • The show has failed to show it but there were three large all bender gangs in the city. The number of non-benders people who don't want to be helpless in the face of that kind of abuse must be tremendous. Except for one scene all of this has been off screen so its impossible for us to really sympathize with their position.
      • Even so, Amon seems to rally people by saying that society favors benders over non-benders, which can't be tied to the gangs, who are criminals. If Equalist supporters don't want to be oppressed by gangs, fine, but that's got nothing to do with rebelling against the government.

    So is Equalism dead? Is that even a good thing? 
  • Obviously Amon and his army were terrorists but defeating them still leaves the Avatar world with just about the worst possible social problem a society could ever face. Even if the somehow eliminate bender gangs, institutional oppression, and Smug Supers non-benders they've only just started to address the issue. There is a class of people with enormous economic and military privilege that is chosen entirely at random. Its kind of impossible for a society to not self destruct under that kind of pressure over and over again. The finale didn't do anything to address this, I guess I'll have to hope for the next season.
    • I suppose we are left to assume things would improve without Tarrlok oppressive non-Bender rule and that the Equalists would be less of a threat to innocent Benders. Perhaps someone else would take Amon's mantle.
    • But Tarrlok was far from the only one oppressing the non-benders, and we never saw him oppressing the non-benders until later on. People like the members of the Triple Threat Triad seemed to be more of a direct threat.
    • Makes me really wonder how many Triple Threat Triad members Amon debended.
    • They're probably going to deal with that stuff next season.
    • I imagine that the reveal of Amon as a liar, as well as a bender, will have caused the terrorist Equalist movement to lose credibility and fall apart, for the most part, but a push for non-bender rights will still exist. Maybe it will come up in the second season.
    • Equalism is probably dead and yes, it is a good thing since it was a violent, destructive, usurping, indiscriminate hate group. However, that doesn't prevent Equalism successor movements from popping up, who feel that the Equalists had a point, or that the Equalists were abusing a valid point to move their own agenda.
    • In the second season, the (all-bending) council is replaced by an apparently non-bending president, so presumably there was some serious legal reform that removed much of the institutionalized oppression. No word on the status of the bending triads, though.
    • The fact that the president is elected from the local populace (bending and non-bending alike) may be a bigger help for the actual problems, as the SWT, NWT, EK, & FN appointing non-bending Governors General would only help counter the superficial silliness Amon exploited.

     The Equalists have a point? 
  • Where are people getting the idea that the Equalists had a point in what they were doing? There are characters like Amon or Hiroshi who had their loved ones killed by benders, and we see bender gangs like the Triple Threats extorting weaker non-benders using their power, but that's not something they should've held against the city. Those people were criminals, and we never had any indication that people were "looking the other way" with regard to them. So why would the Equalist supporters cheer and applaud, say, a family of innocent airbenders being de-bended, and how is an elected president any better than a council of leaders? The council being made up of benders had nothing to do with anything.
    • For some reason a big part of the fanbase seemed to believe that there was no difference between being an Equalist and being a non-bender (you can find entire rants about how there being no sympathetic Equalists is bad writing and not just them being violent terrorists).
      • ...I don't get it. What does that have to do with what I was asking?
      • I misunderstood it as asking why viewers were siding with the Equalists. In universe....same thing really, the Equalists are playing on the imbalance in society between benders and non-benders, playing up the whole making people equal angle and downplaying their negative sides and people are buying it. They cheer for an innocent family about to lose their bending for the same reason people on this site argue that it's no big deal.

     In episode 7, why did Hiroshi Sato plant the fake snitch that lead the police, Korra, and Tenzin to his lair? 
  • Hiroshi admits that he planted the "repentant" Equalist worker who told Lin, Korra, and Tenzin about the lair under his mansion. But why did he do that? Just before this, Lin and Tenzin thought Korra had misunderstood the snippet of conversation she had heard, since no Equalist equipment was found in Hiroshi's warehouses. If Hiroshi hadn't set up the fake snitch, Lin would've given the investigation and Hiroshi could've continued working on his mechas. The only explanation I can think of is that Hiroshi wanted to deal with Lin, Tenzin, and Korra now, instead of waiting to strike them with the mechas later on, but what was the reason for this haste? It can't be that Hiroshi thought getting rid of the three would've stopped the investigation, since Lin obviously had told other cops about searching the Sato mansion, plus Lin, Tenzin, and Korra disappearing while they were investigating Hiroshi's possible involvement with the Equalists would've been really suspicious anyway. And it can't be that Amon told Hiroshi to catch them, because if Amon wanted to get the three at this point, he could've done it during his attack to the arena in the previous episode. So what exactly was Hiroshi thinking?
    • He says why right after he wins. It was a test run. If you want to test your anti-bender mecha, you test them against benders. And if the police already suspect you, then who better to test it against than the biggest badasses in the city?
    • But if the mechas didn't work, the equalists would loose one of their major benefactor and any opportunity to improve and fix their new weapon. And if they worked but some of the people investigating Hiroshi's house didn't rely only on metalbending (like, say, Tenzin and the Avatar), the equalists still risked having an important ally arrested for nothing. If Hiroshi wanted to test his weapons, he should've just asked the equalists to kidnap one or two metalbenders, so even if the mechas failed the benders were still surrounded by chi blockers and couldn't expect back up. He didn't need the biggest badasses in town, just any metalbender.
    • But Hiroshi clearly knew the mechas were un-bendable, that's why he built an entire wall out of the same material. In order to see how the mechas would hold up in a real fight, he needs masters from each element. Tenzin, Lin, and Korra fit that perfectly. That was the point of the test-run. To see how much the mechas could withstand.
    • Also, while Lin and the police might've still suspected Hiroshi, it was implied that they would've given up the investigation for now, had he not lured them to his cave. So the Equalists would still have had more time to prepare for whatever they are planning to do. Attacking the chief of police while she's investigating you will blow you cover regardless of if you win or not. So either the Equalists are about to launch a full-scale mecha attack immediately after the events of episode 7, or Hiroshi is an idiot. I guess the next episode will prove which is the case.
    • Hiroshi says in the phone conversation that they were going to strike soon. They had to test the mecha, and at that stage failure would have been a colossal setback. Better to know your mecha work and eliminate some problem benders than risk your prototypes in the field. Kidnapping a couple metalbenders wouldn't cut it.
    • Extra planning time would not have helped the Equalists. Amon is using the choas and confusing to his advantage here. The Council and police force have only just realized what a big threat the Equalists are, they need a lot more time to plan how to combat them. The longer they wait to attack, the more organized their opponents will be.
    • I think that Hiroshi and Amon thought it was only a matter of time until they found out what Hiroshi was up to after Korra overheard Hiroshi, so they decided to face them well-prepared. Possibly, the reason they wanted to take them to Amon was not (only) to de-bend them, but also to keep them from telling the public about the mechas. The disappearances could have been somehow traced to Hiroshi, but what to do without evidence?
    • Maybe they just wanted to get all these high-status benders at one time, without police air support.
    • They were sealed in a room full of armed Equalists, who have been shown capable of taking down all types of benders multiple times. Even if the mechas didn't work, they would still get taken down and incapacitated. Amon doesn't take gambles. He knows to only ever pick strategies that'll help him regardless of the outcome (exampe: threatening the pro-bending arena).

     The Lieutenant can take out benders... 
  • Yet Asami of all people, took him out in a matter of seconds. Not that she's weak, but still...
    • This has been discussed on other pages. Basically, she took him down because: a) she's skilled in hand-to-hand combat, in contrast to benders. b) He underestimated her and probably thought he'd just walk over and lower his stick and the job is done.
    • On top of this, the Lieutenant, along with the other Equalists, is trained to fight benders and is likely used to just fighting benders. Someone skilled in non-bending, hand-to-hand combat, might prove more of a challenge.
    • It wasn't a drawn out fight, like with Mako and Bolin, or with Korra; Asami very quickly hit him with that electrified gauntlet. I imagine in a longer fight without the gauntlet, she wouldn't fair as well.
    • She took him out with electricity, the same way he always takes others out in a matter of seconds. Same technique/weapon, same result, just a different person using it.
    • She was also able to take out earth benders.

     How the HELL is the lieutenant alive in the finale? 
  • Just from what I remember off the top of my head, he's been swatted off a cliff by a polar bear dog, and thrown off the roof of the pro bending arena by Korra. He said he devoted his life to Amon's cause - I think maybe that should be plural.
    • Motorcycle armor is tough stuff, apparently. He seems to be Made of Iron, but of course Amon DID make that sickening clenching gesture that suggests yes, the Lieutenant is well and truly dead this time.
    • People in the Avatar-verse are just made of tougher stuff than in our world. Lots of people in both series underwent blunt-trauma injuries that would result in crippling or death in Real Life, but managed to shrug it off.
    • He fell into the bay after being smacked by Naga, and may have reached the water instead of the dock around the arena after falling off the roof as well. The Avatar-verse has Soft Water.
    • He fell into the trees on the beach, not that water. Those probably softened his landing.

Pro-Bending

     How does Pro-Bending work in terms of how much of an element you can use? 
  • It seems like Earth has an inherent disadvantage, where the Bender can only pick up one or two discs at a time. Waterbenders could pull the entire channel of water to attack, like Korra does when she knocks that guy over the side. Fire, as in the previous series, is based entirely in the strength of the Bender, so they could theoretically be a dozen times stronger than the Earthbenders with their single discs.
    • Waterbenders and firebenders can only use short bursts, no more than a second or so, and waterbenders are limited to the channel in their zone. Korra broke the rules in more ways than one with that first shot. Earthbenders, by comparison, can use as many of those little discs as they want.
    • Where is is stated that they can only use small bursts? Mako does some pretty significant hits in his 3 on 1 moment. Definitely more fire than the other teams Firebender was using, at least. Also, Korra only pulls from her channel. It's just a lot of water. Much more mass than those discs.
    • The official rules of pro-bending state that bursts longer than 1 second can't be used.
    • There is a limited number of the discs, though, meaning they can use them as frequently as they want, provided they don't run out.
    • There could be hundreds of those discs in the reserve; it's unlikely that they ever run out in the course of a single match.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong because I can't check right now, but didn't the one of Fire Ferret's opponents run out of discs during the second episode? I think there's a set number of discs available per game or round.
    • Are you referring to the "out of juice" comment? I think that this rather meant that they basically got tired, not that they don't have any materials any more.
    • Addendum to the disc comment as well, it looks like during the demonstrations of the rules and explanation of game mechanics vid put up, its stated that there's a loading mechanism not unlike a disc launcher gun loaded a plenty of the discs. It didn't specify how many but sounded like there was probably more than enough to not worry about it going dry.
    • There's also the idea that highlighting these differences is not so much a glitch as it is a feature, a deliberate showcasing of the tactical differences and limitations each bender has for the benefit of the game.
    • I'd say that all the elements have inherent disadvantages. For instance, the natural instinct for a water bender would be to throw a curving torrent of water that knocks an opponent sideways (probably why Korra tried this first). But the rules say that they can only knock opponents off the back of the ring, forcing water benders to concentrate on straight and direct attacks. Earth benders are limited to moving small disks of earth at a time, whereas in the real world the entire landscape is their weapon. And of course fire benders can only throw a small amount of fire at a time (probably for safety reasons, i.e. to prevent collateral damage), which goes completely against the normal fire bending orthodoxy of overwhelming force. Even air benders would seem to be at a disadvantage. Recall that Aang's typical air bending tactics involved a lot of movement, typically making long circular dodges on currents of wind. But in pro-bending the competitors are confined to a small field which limits their range of movement.
    • Additionally, the game emphasizes the ability to push one's opponents around and off the ring. Fire doesn't provide as much knockback as earth and water. It appears that the availability of each element is inversely proportional to how dense/solid it is
    • Officially, the fire- and water-benders can't use more than a second or two of their attack-types. They are limited in size of attack to a degree [blast of water, medium-sized stone slab] but not supply [maybe supply a bit, but the size of the stadium and the mechanisms of the slots mean running out is hard to do]. That is the heart of the sport - efficiency of technique, efficiency of supplies, restraint, and teamwork. It's like a minimally-spiritual Air-bending training session for other benders.
    • In the episode where the president is almost captured, Bolin pulls up the whole stack of discs and it's stated that that would be an illegal move if it was a pro-bending match.

     Why is Korra allowed in pro-bending? 
  • Call me crazy but just for fairness sake I simply wouldn't allow the most powerful being in the universe to play a game that's based on your physical abilities. Just like I wouldn't allow Flash to enter the Olympics. While we're on the subject we're supposed to believe that a winning team with the Avatar on it had to luck into Henry Ford's expy to get sponsored? Unless the buy in is absurdly high I can't believe they don't have enough fans who'd pitch in to make something as stupid as the Team Avatar being to broke to go to the championship.
    • The chief advantage Korra would bring is that she can bend all elements- which she's explicitly not allowed to do (I'm assuming that a sport is not going to trigger the Avatar State, and if something bad enough does happen to trigger it, then everyone probably has much bigger things to worry about than the game). Restricted to just waterbending, she's just a particularly talented bender, balanced out by her inexperience with the sport. As for the funds, the Fire Ferrets don't seem to have gone public with their financial troubles, and somehow riding on Korra's Avatar reputation to get cash seems out of character for Mako anyway.
    • Well the last time an Avatar was kicked out of playing a sport he liked simply because he was the Avatar, he got depressed, ran away with his bison, and ended up frozen for 100 years while the world burned. Am I the only one who sees the irony is this question?
    • That's not why he ran away; they wanted to separate him from Monk Gyatso. Also, it was a bunch of 8-year-olds that wouldn't let him play the children's game that he invented; that just lead to him resenting being the avatar. Obviously, the adults on the regulation committee are much better at rationalizing.
    • The Flash (Jay Garrick) did enter the Olympics once, I believe.
    • The first answer has it nailed. Simply being the Avatar does not, by itself, guarantee exceptional mastery of any one element. Recall that by the end of ATLA, Aang was still in the process of mastering his non-native elements and didn't surpass his teachers (Katara, Toph and Zuko). Furthermore, the rules of the game are explicitly restricted even within the designated elements to specific regulated moves (water and fire blasts are limited to one second, earthbenders can only use the discs, etc.), which means that the Avatar's primary advantage over other benders — versatility — is not of much use. As for the Avatar State, going by common sense, it would likely result in punishment. The number one unwritten rule of almost all games is "if it's not explicitly in the rules, then it's not allowed". The Avatar State qualifies for "not being in the rules", just like bending an element other than the player's designated one, or knocking an opponent off the side of the ring.
    • There doesn't seem to be a formalized method for fans to donate directly to a team's pocketbook, nor does merchandising seem to be a common thing. Pro bending is still a young sport, and a lot of the structures that support a typical sport's business model don't seem to be in place yet. Mako and Bolin probably COULD have petitioned their fans directly for funds, but that would have required a media savvy and entrepreneurial spirit that neither had demonstrated at that point (although media-savvy second-season mover-star Bolin probably would have thought of it).
      Once the Avatar joined the team, presumably corporate sponsors would have lined up around the block, and Sato was simply the first one to get to them. Economy of storytelling makes that more interesting to watch than Mako choosing between a half-dozen offers. (One imagines that Varrick probably would have been interested if he'd been around in the first season, but maybe he was at the South Pole during the events of the first.)
  • Have you MET Korra? Are you going to be the one to tell her she can't do something? Because personally I like having teeth too much to do that.

     How do you get away with cheating for as long as the Wolf Bats did when the media isn't in on the scam? 
  • The radio announcer could see that the refs weren't calling blatant fouls against the Wolf Bats: Offsides (okay, even the announcer missed that one, but you can clearly see one of them stepped over the center line in order to attack), Icing, Hosing, Illegal Headshots, all broadcast over the radio. The announcer may as well have said, "This match is rigged," to the entire city. People bet large sums of money on sports, and they would be livid to find out they've been cheated. The ticket sales and attendance would suffer because people would stop taking the sport seriously (think Pro-Wrestling). How do you keep this scam going for four years?
    • Considering the announcer was blatant about the wolfbats cheating, but didn't reference earlier cheating and seemed genuinely surprised by the referee allowing it, its probable that they don't actually cheat as their regular strategy. It could be that they were scared of the avatar or wanted to enact some revenge for Korra scaring them with Naga.
    • They may have used a strategy of testing the referee's tolerance in their matches. Note how they started with small offenses. If in previous matches they get called on these earlier attempts, they dial it back, but if they don't get called they escalate until they do get called. It may well be possible that all experienced pro-bending teams do it, since every referee is probably different and has a different level of tolerance of borderline calls, and the matches stay fair because the calls are the same for both teams. The Fire Ferrets, being rookies, may simply have been to inexperienced to do this.
    • It's also possible that Amon had someone contact the Wolf Bats anonymously and tell them the judges were bribed; it was actually Amon who paid the bribes. The anonymous henchman could've just told the Wolf Bats he was representing someone who had bet a lot of money on their behalf. The Wolf Bats saw it as an easy chance to secure their victory, so they swallowed the bait. Amon's propaganda speech relied on the Wolf Bats cheating, so he had to make sure they actually did so.
    • Amon may not even have needed to contact the Wolf Bats at all. If he knew their style of play well enough, he could probably predict that they would escalate to blatant cheating if the referee allowed it, and he may have been counting on it.
    • It doesn't seem in line with Amon's character to "make" benders that are bullies. He punishes benders that are bullies just cause. His speech suggests this isn't the first time the Wolfbats have done this, and given how practiced they are, the possibility of them having cheated before is very high.
    • On the other hand, it is somewhat plausible that he knew the Wolfbats were bullies and put them in a position to prove it. Notice that Amon didn't mention the Fireferrets rallying valiantly without resorting to the same cheating. Kind of counterproductive to his message.
    • He does point out that the Ferrets were bullied, though. He compares the treatment of the Ferrets to how he believes benders behave on average. It's not really counterproductive to his message. "There are some good eggs" doesn't really defeat his argument that they're bad on the whole.
    • Alternatively, while they do cheat, they don't do it quite as blatantly. The ref's "bad calls" in the first match are relatively tame. He made a couple of mistakes and someone might pass that off as bad judgement. When the Fire Ferrets stayed in the game, the Wolfbats had to go to increasing lengths to win, and that is what outed them as blatant cheaters.
    • The damage to the team the Wolfbats faced in the semi-finals implies that they cheat even when they don't really need to. (Especially the damage to their masks, which seems to have come from their 'mixing peddles into a water whip' trick)
    • Another alternative is that it's all part of the show - the ref wasn't paid off, but the owners of the tournament deliberately rig it in the favour of the Wolfbats since they make good champions. They don't usually need to cheat, but the refs are instructed to look the other way on the few occasions they do, provided they can keep it relatively deniable. Their ridiculously over-the-top entrance is part of the whole showmanship thing they have going.
    • Unless you're talking about Pro Wrestling, competitors who cheat that blatantly tend to be unpopular. (Ex. Sammy Sosa's fall from grace, not from steroids, but from being caught with a corked bat.)
    • And yet the crowd still ate the Wolfbats up like candy when they won. The media just loves cocky assholes, their fanbases were secure.
    • Their cheating wasn't really very blatant. The hosing foul could be a judgment call, very few people would notice an earthbender bending a disc outside his zone, can spectators really tell if there's ice on the ring, the firebending headshots, the rocks in the water, none of these fouls could be spotted by anything more than a hardcore pro-bending fan. And while I'm sure there were more than a few angry fans in the stands that night, I'm not sure the laymen audience would have understood the nuances of all the rules of pro-bending.
    • The "laymen audience"? This wasn't some new, unheard of game that had just started and nobody knew what the rules are. Probending had been going on for a good long time. Hell, even Tenzin knows there's blatant fouls going on, and he's been brushing up on the game for, at most, a couple months. And this is the championship match remember, not just some pick-up game. The people in the stands are the ones who really want to see the game—some of whom are dressing up as their favorite players. Saying the "laymen audience" doesn't know the rules is like saying that the people in attendance at the Super Bowl wouldn't know what a false-start, facemask, or a block-in-the-back are.
    • We're forgetting the real issue at hand here. It doesn't matter if the Wolf Bats are cheating for the first or the hundreth time. It even doesn't really matter if the referees are turning a blind eye to just about anything the Wolf bats do. What really matter is that the radio announcer is one step removed from screaming to the entire city THE WOLF BATS ARE CHEATERS and that they dare to do so during an ultra mediatized event with at the very least one city councilor and the chief of police in the audience, both extremely respected figureheads AND descendants of legendaries war heroes and the friggin local messiah is playing in opposite team. I can't even start to imagine what the Wolf Bats were thinking. Heck, in a way, Amon's attack turn out for the better for them, since they go from "soon to be lynch-target for a very angry crowd" to "pitiful proofs of Amon's dangerosity". Not a single soul felt like punching them in the face like they deserved after their de-bending session.
    • The early calls being missed are actually pretty in line with Shinobi's reporting style. He writes of Korra's screw-ups in her first game as pure inexperience (an accurate statement), and when she used a grab and the a deluge of water to lift/drop an opponent in one of the later tournament games he writes it off as being worked up and adrenaline overriding her sense of control (it's a combat sport, defensive instinct kicks in eventually and the refs would call the fouls to wake them up to it). He does the same for the Wolfbats at first mentioning Tahno getting worked up with his hosing foul. Its when the Wolfbats don't stop and no calls happen that he starts calling it as blatant cheating, because normally when he notes something it becomes a foul (after all, if he sees it from far away the ref should see it up close), and with the occasional miss here or there. So it seems that a low level of cheating/fouls tend to occur regularly just from adrenaline and Shinobi's used to seeing that, but the Wolfbats crossed the line by doing it constantly and escalation. The reason it probably never got addressed after was because Amon showed up and they had bigger things to deal with than championship cheating (that, and the Wolfbats lost their bending). Now, why the refs allowed it to become that blatant (especially since Shinobi was screaming about the rocks-in-water trick or illegal headshots) is another matter. The stuff like the hosing foul could of been simply that in championship matches they loosen the judgment a little just for the spectacle, but for some reason they allowed it to become blatant. Hell, maybe the ref was an Equalist who was letting the normal escalation limit tests for championship matches go and didn't put his foot down. The Fire Ferrets never tested the waters themselves, Mako just automatically assumed that the refs were bought off.

     Pro-bending waterbender colours 
  • This is a very minor point, but why do pro-waterbending waterbenders have a grey belt and head marking, rather than the blue which you'd normally associate with waterbending? You'd think that they'd want to keep grey available for when airbending populations have grown.
    • They'd have to rework the entire game for airbenders. They'd have a huge advantage, even with short bursts of air.
    • They look blue to me... not quite deep-sea blue, but still.
    • They are the same shade of blue as the Water Tribe clothes.
    • I have to agree with the 'they are blue' front. I also have to think that the people who organised the pro bending colors wouldn't be that seriously concerned with the idea that the colors (not to mention the entire structure of the game) would have to change to accomidate airbenders once they become more common in.... a couple hundred years or so.

     Will it change? 
  • Now that Harmonic Convergence has created new Airbenders, will the game change to accommodate?
    • Probably not in the foreseeable future. There aren't nearly as many potential athletes to draw from.
    • Besides, if it does change, it might also have to accommodate non-benders. That said, maybe, many, many years down the line, there might be enough airbenders to justify making a version of the rules that includes them.
      • Why would it accommodate non-benders? It's called Pro-Bending... non-benders are excluded by definition.
    • Would it need to change much? They could just make it a four-player sport instead of a three-player one, and limit the duration of airbending attacks, like they do with the other elements.

     Entertainment value 
  • One source I've found on pro-bending states that each round only lasts for three minutes or so, provided neither team gets knocked out of the ring before then...With only three rounds in each match, isn't that a little short for a sporting event? Who's going to want to purchase tickets and crowd into an arena just to watch a 10-minute bending match?
    • Who says they're watching "a" 10-minute bending match? There's the headliner match, but there might be preliminaries or exhibition or youth games beforehand. Same as with boxing — the big title match can be over in seconds, so they pad out the card with smaller matches so people get their money's worth.

Chi-blockers

     Why doesn't anyone learn some sort of defense against the chi-blockers? 
  • In the original series we had one person use this technique on a few people, two of whom had never had professional training (Katara and Toph) and one (Azula) who she took completely by surprise. Maybe there is no defense, but that ought to be said. Maybe this will be adressed, and some sort of defense can be constructed.
    • There is no defense. Pressure points can't be moved, nor can the effects of hitting them changed. The Metalbenders should be immune thanks to their armor, though, since the force of the blows won't get through properly.
    • Ironically enough, pressure points do move from person to person, their effectiveness varies wildly on top of that and it is possible to train oneself to minimize or ignore their effects. But then again, that's only in real life.
    • It should be possible to develop a style specifically to avoid being hit. A master air or water bender would probably be very difficult to stop with chi-blocking if they knew what they were getting into.
    • Not getting hit isn't much of a style. The trick is fighting back without being being hit.
    • "Not getting hit isn't much of a style"? Isn't that a big part of what Airbending is all about? Remember the training with the swiveling gates? Aang certainly was good at avoiding getting hit in the original series (and Ty Lee never managed to chi-block him). And it fits thematically, seeing as Korra is still struggling with attempts to learn Airbending now.
    • As I said, not getting hit, in itself, is not much of a style. You need to be able to fight back. Aang never fought Ty Lee up close, and chi-benders are all about close combat. Just dodging isn't going to help unless Korra can do damage at range, too.
    • "Not getting hit" is a pretty good summary of the airbending style as a whole, actually. Airbending does not have any purely offensive moves.
    • It should be said that the original does showcase how to fight chi-blockers...by relying on hand to hand combat. This was best displayed by Suki in The Boiling Rock finale. The trick here Is that most of the benders we've been shown seemingly either aren't versed in it (like Katara previously) or are capable but aren't quite good enough (Korra herself in this case; who is a capable close quarters figher but doesn't quite measure up).
    • Chief Beifong comments in And The Winner Is..., that metalbender's armor blocks chi blocking, as justification for why they should defend against them, and they seem to be the only one with a solid defense.
    • Which led to a bit of Fridge Brilliance: The metal armor protects them from The Equalists' chi-blocking... but makes them doubly-vulnerable to The Equalists' shock weapons.
    • Which could theoretically be solved by making the armor as such that it forms a Faraday cage for the wearer. Or if the counter intuitive physics are a bit too much, have them use some non conductive padding underneath.
    • Only it doesn't matter either way since their weapons have proven to be a one-hit KO against armored and unarmored targets alike.
    • Related to the above: Why doesn't someone simply develop close fitting ceramic armor? Ceramics are generally lighter than metal so it wouldn't be too heavy, they're completely non-conductive so electricity is out and given the presence and abilities of earthbenders shaping and mass manufacturing the armor would be incredibly easy. A single solid plate for the chest and back and segmented plates for the sides of the chest, legs and arms would basically render a person immune to chi blockers. Slap a decent helmet on there and a bender could basically tank anything the average equalist could throw out. It wouldn't even have to be large, say a quarter inch thick. Just strong enough to deflect a single person's blows. With that in mind it could even be worn under clothes as a nasty surprise to any chiblockers. It would be pretty funny to see them do the whole elaborate series of punches only to have the person step back completely unfazed.
    • Aren't really durable ceramics a fairly recent invention? With all the acrobatics involved in bending simple pottery would break.
    • The composite ceramics used in things like tank armor and semi conductors are fairly new, yes. But silicon carbide, the stuff they make the plates in bulletproof vests out of, has been mass produced since the early 1890's. And all of this isn't accounting for cermets (Ceramics mixed with metals). There are many examples of those that are nonconductive, flexible, light and strong as well.
    • Also, wrapping yourself in earthenware is a horrible idea in a world with people who can control earth. Of course, a person in metal plate going against an metalbender is in the same position, but it seems that metalbending is much rarer and largely contained to the police force.
    • That seems unlikely. Sure we only see metalbenders in the police force, but it must be incredibly useful in industry and manufacturing. For their society to utilize metalbending strictly for law enforcement (presumably under the logic that it gives the police an inherent advantage) is neglectful of the economy and oppressive to the people, and to distribute metalbending to the public while equipping the police in bendable armor is equally dumb. Considering the level of incompetence and gullibility displayed by the Republic City Council, I'm not surprised this society is so poorly designed.

     Why don't non-benders learn chi-blocking? 
  • And for that matter if the metal-bending police force is a special force for benders stopping thier ability would be a much better idea. But if a substantial number of people learn to stop benders from abusing thier powers for a short term, and then can report them to the police, I would think that would address the problem, without interfering with the society's infastructure.
    • Why doesn't every real life person learn karate to stop muggers, or carry a gun for that matter? You should be able to see where this logic leads.
    • Having lived in a place where there was a firearm of some kind in almost every house, open carry was legal without a permit and CC Ws were issued to anyone who wasn't a convicted felon, and having personally trained in the martial arts, something that convinced me everyone should do it, I'm having trouble seeing the negative implications here. I'm kind of bothered that the non-benders in this show jumped from living in fear of the triads who abuse their power, to supporting a violent revolutionary who wants to rid the world of bending altogether. You would think someone would have simply said, in regards to the triads, " I don't want this to continue. Do you guys want this to continue? That's what I thought. Let's work something out." Then, get armed and organized.
    • You do realize that's exactly what the Equalists have done, and that it is emphatically a bad thing? There's a reason governments hire and train personnel to defend the public. The Equalists formed in response to exactly that sort of problem, but demonstrate how it, very easily, escalates to something worse.
    • Yeah, because this is how all organized crime fell in Real Life, right? Lets face it, in reality citizen militias have rarely solved any problems, at best keeping old ones from escalating further.
    • There's also the fact that even if armed militias and vigilantes are able to defeat their enemies, they have often by that point turned into the very thing they were trying to destroy.
    • Assuming the Equalist narrative about Republic City is true their membership (though obviously not all non-benders) is severely impoverished. The old, sick, starving, emotionally destroyed, and crippled don't make much of an army against people who can punch you across a football field. The limited pool of potential fighters ones would constantly be trying to make ends meet, leaving little time or energy to learn martial arts.
    • The task force bust in "A Voice in the Night" seems to imply that it may be illegal to learn chi-blocking in Republic City. (Of course, it could also just be that Tarlokk was overstepping his bounds in ordering the raid.)
    • The bust isn't about chi-blocking being illegal, it's about shutting down a training camp for insurgents who have publicly declared war on part of the population. It's not what they're teaching, it's why.
    • But it still sends a very violent and agressive message to non-benders; you are not allowed to defend yourself. Since non-bending methods of fighting seem to be rare and slightly elite, chi-blocking is probably the only option for non-benders who want protection. Violently assaulting arresting people for wanting a self-defence method is bad, no matter the intent. It just tells non-benders that Amon was right and the Council doesn't want them to fight back.
    • No, it sends the message that if you want to take the risk of training with the wanted criminals, you get what you deserve. Now, if they were shutting down a dojo that is being run with city approval, it'd be an entirely different story. This training area was meant to be a secret and is explicitly training soldiers. The only message it sends is that the city won't tolerate a growing revolutionary presence in its midst.
    • So? You are still illegalizing the only really effective method for non-benders to defend themselves (And there is absolutely no indication the government of Republic City allows dojo's to teach it), by doing so you are saying that Amon is right to oppose the city government as they are directly stopping attempts by non-benders to defend themselves.
    • There's no indication that it is illegal to be taught. The chi-blockers obviously learned from someone before they turned violent. I don't understand how you keep failing to grasp a simple concept. This is a training camp for insurgents. What part of that are you not understanding? It's not "free chi-blocking classes", it's "help overthrow the bending establishment." Would you join a terrorist group for shooting lessons, then act offended when you got arrested? Of course not, that'd be your own damn fault. If they want to defend themselves, they can take a class from people who haven't waged war on an entire section of the population. Seriously, stop trying to act like it's the material being targeted. It is nothing of the sort. It is the people doing the teaching and why that is under fire, and nothing more than that.
    • Amon's people are the only ones who teach chi-blocking (that we know of) and its hard to believe that any group teaching chi-blocking wouldn't be immediately grouped with them as a result. My real question is when it started being legal to take down Equalist cells, their advocate in the first episode didn't seem to worry about getting arrested.
    • Freedom of speech is a far cry from militarization, and Amon very recently declared war on bending itself. The training camp was training recruits for battle. The protestor is just talking.
    • The Equalists can argue, accurately even, that chi-blocking is a purely defensive despite all of Amon's rhetoric about a revolution (lots of real world countries have politicians who use that kind of talk without their followers being hunted down).
    • What they claim is can be used for doesn't change what they are using it for. They've already attacked several benders. Criminals or not, they've proven their intentions to be less than noble. That kind of spin-doctoring doesn't work for revolutionaries. Politicians can only get away with it because they have the clout. Amon doesn't have that.
    • Whether any of this is correct is probably beside the point. Anyone who is at all sympathetic to the Equalist position is going to see jackbooted benders taking away their constitutional right to bear electro-sticks, and Amon will be spinning it as exactly that.
    • I was under the impression that the camp was attacked because of the amon posters, indicating them as members of the equalists, not because they were learning chi-blocking.

     Why doesn't anyone use armor or padding? 
  • It's pretty clear that chi blocking uses strikes to specific parts of the body. Why has no one, thus far, thought to wear any sort of protection over those body parts? ESPECIALLY someone like Korra, who has been taken down by Equalists more than once AND is a high-profile target?
    • Look again. Tarrlok's entire taskforce, including Korra, indeed wear padded armour on the job. It's just that Armor Is Useless; maybe the important pressure points are in the areas of the body that can't be covered with too dense material without sacrificing vital mobility? Wearing armour in everyday life is incredibly uncomfortable and over time even physically debilitating. It's better to stay agile and learn not to be hit.
    • The task force units looked more fancy than useful. And note that, where they actually are wearing what could be armor, not a single Seperatist lands a blow, not even with their shock batons. And even assuming that the task force suits are armored... why didn't Korra wear it when going to confront Amon in "The Voice in the Dark." Of course, Korra was carrying a giant Idiot Ball during that part, so that might have been the point of not wearing it.
    • Korra may of felt the armor was limiting her mobility, and she was expecting a one on one fight with Amon. A bit of an idiot ball for thinking he would be dumb enough to go alone, but still it might of not of been for not wearing armor.
    • Either way, Ty Lee's chi-blocking worked fine on Earth Kingdom soldiers in the original series. Armor Is Useless, so better to preserve mobility.
    • However, in Episode 6, it's explicitly stated that the Metalbender police's armor is capable of blocking chi-blocker attacks, though they're essentially wearing plate armor.
    • It's actually a bit of Fridge Brilliance, since most bends need to be extremely mobile and need a wide range of movement in order to fully take advantage of their bending abilities. Heavy armor would merely impair their movements and therefore directly impact their bending ability.
    • Additional Fridge Brilliance: Many of the pressure points they seem to hit are on or near joints, which are notoriously difficult to properly armor.
    • The Metalbending Police do wear armor that guards the chakras. That's why the Equalists also carry electro-sticks. That said, waterbending or especially airbending in armor is probably next to impossible unless you're skilled enough to bend by flexing your butt cheeks or something similar.

Yakone

     Why wasn't Yakone in solitary after that stunt he pulled? 
  • He somehow had the opportunity to beget Tarrlok 4 years later, despite receiving a life sentence for 12 counts of bloodbending and proceeding to bloodbend the entire courtroom to resist being sent to jail, and then bloodbends the Avatar with intent to kill. That seems like it merits the sentence being upgraded to life in prison with no human contact (and only because they don't have the death penalty out of respect for Aang), except the people who will bring his meals, who are in turn forbidden to speak to him.
    • Sounds like you're expecting Republic City prisons to be as cruel as Fire Nation prisons in the original series. It's not unlikely that the influence of Aang/Katara/etc made the retributive system in Republic City more humane, and things like conjugal visits were allowed in their prisons, which would've made Tarrlok's conception possible. Since Aang took Yakone's bending away, he wasn't considered dangerous anymore, so he wouldn't have needed to be kept in solitary. That, or Yakone simply escaped from prison, and catching him wasn't a high priority anymore because he'd lost his bloodbending, so he managed to find a wife and live the rest of his life in hiding.
    • Because they're not evil scum who want to drive their prisoners insane? Even Ozai wasn't given such treatment.
    • Aang says he's 40 years old in the flashback which means that as stated it is 42 years ago, he dies 26 years later and Korra is now 16. According to the Welcome to Republic City game Tarrlok is 37. He was born when his father was in prison.
    • Or Tarrlok's listed age is wrong or represents a lie he's told. A fit man in his forties could pass as 37, especially one as vain as Tarrlock.
    • Could easily be a lie. Tarrlock does bare a resemblance to Yakone after all...if anyone brought attention to it, he could just make an offhand comment that he was born after Yakone was already in jail and the matter would drop.
    • Or maybe Yakone was broken out of prison. He did have a criminal empire.
    • It's possible that the background people, like JK Rowling, can't do math, and Tarrlock isn't supposed to have been born after Yakone went to prison.
    • The math assumes the Avatar is reborn right away, which may not be the case. Alternatively, considering the catastrophic emotional consequences of removing someone's bending, the council may have amended his sentence on the grounds that he has "suffered enough" and is no longer a threat.
    • A previous episode specifically states that Yakone was defeated 42 years ago.
    • Considering the fact that nobody knew Tarrlock was Yakone's son, I would say that Tarrlock is older than 42 and lied about his age along with his parentage.
    • Same troper as above, I stay corrected. The real answer is that Yakone escaped.

    Yakone's escape 
  • Forget solitary, how did Yakone get out of jail in order to start a new life in the North Pole?
    • They explicitly said that some of his criminal buddies broke him out. He was the head of a vast criminal empire. Exactly why they broke him out when he was stripped of his bending abilities, who knows? Maybe he had assets that the next gang leader could use, and only he knew where to get them, or maybe he simply possessed a level of fanatical devotion in his subordinates (maybe its in the blood) that they didn't care about his bending status.

    Yakone's gang 
  • It's implied that Yakone was pretty much the number one boss in the criminal undeworld prior to his arrest, or at the very least pretty high up there. Was he the boss of one of the Triads or would this pre-date the founding of any of them? If his gang was one of the Triads would it be the Triple Thrreat or the Red Monsoon?
    • Given he was arrested, depowered, and disappeared over 40 years previous to the rest of the series, his gang probably had nothing to do with the gangs that are around in the present.
    • Most fans seem to think it was the Red Monsoon.

Misc.

     How did Shiro Shinobi know Tarrlok was the one who kidnapped Korra? 
  • And if he had used his old Intrepid Reporter skills to find out, how did Tarrlok's cover story work? Would the truth not have been broadcast on the radio for all to hear?
    • The "Previously On" segments are clearly not happening in-universe. I'm simply amazed that someone could have come to the conclusion they were. Just...wow, I seriously cannot understand how this is being asked for a second time.
    • The confusion probably stems from the fact that, in the preview of the seventh episode, Tarrlok was the voice over and in the previous episode Shiro was attack, and Tarrlok's voice over is clearly in-universe. So to be fair, it's not completely unbelievable that someone would be confused.
    • It is also the only time that the voice over has mentioned information that wouldn't have realistically be available to the public.
    • So who Mako and Korra have crushes on—that they've never told anyone about—is information available to the public, too?
    • There's a trope for that.
    • That combined with celebrity gossip.

     Why were all these people killed by firebenders? 
  • Supposedly, Mako and Bolin's parents, Amon's family, and Sato's wife were all murdered by firebenders. Other benders can be killers too, so why have the writers used firebenders for each of them? Something's not adding up.
    • Probably simply because the previous generation was still suffering from the aftereffects of the 100-Year War, and because the United Republic consists of the former Fire Kingdom colonies. It makes sense that the Firebenders were the most common type of Bender in the region until the recent times.
    • Compare the many movie villains that have a German accent. A firebending is probably still seen as more evil than other forms of bending. This, I think, is why Amon says that his parents were murdered by a firebender. For the rest... It could be a plot point in the coming series, or a red herring.
    • Or there was a firebending serial killer or thief? Maybe it'll be a subplot.
    • Firebenders can kill a lot easier, and cleaner, than other benders can.
    • Not really...creative benders could find plenty of ways to kill quickly and easily. A clever and malicious water bender could easily drown their opponent, and then take the water with them afterwards, leaving no evidence afterwards; no mess. Earthbending probably would be messier, but a rock at full speed applied to just the right spot on the head will still kill instantly. It seems strange that firebenders are still the only rampant killers these days...unless, of course, all the attacks are connected somehow.
    • Drowning takes a lot longer than killing with fire would, and it's doubtful every earthbender could kill so efficiently.
    • Or they could make a spear or a blade out of water. Ice can have sharp edges, and can cut with them (I should know, I cut my finger on a jagged piece of ice once)
    • Smashing people in the head with rocks is a vastly easier method of murder than causing them to die of severe burns. If Zuko had taken a fist sized chunk of stone to the head rather than a blast of fire he would have been brain damaged or dead rather than scarred.
    • Or maybe they just electrocuted them, given that lightning bending is so much more widespread these days. That would be the easiest and fastest method. Nobody said anything about using fire.
    • A powerful waterbender could easily kill someone by by clotting or freezing the blood in their veins or arteries, which if done in the right place (e.g., the brain) could kill the victim within seconds or minutes, and leave no evidence behind (or plenty of space to plant false evidence).
    • But that's bloodbending. Yakone may well have done that a few times, but overall almost no one has that ability.
    • You have to remember that Fire is the one element that is based almost entirely on offensive moves. Also Water and Earth, while they certainly can kill you, don't strike fear into the hearts of people the way Fire does so Fire is the logical choice, not to mention there is still the stigma from 100-Year War as previously mentioned
    • As a whole, Firebenders tend to be more aggressive and more prone to resorting to violence to solve their problems, since that's part of the philosophy of their training. Also, since the Fire Nation technically lost the previous war, and Zuko has made attempts to make it a more peaceful nation, you can bet that there are thousands of disenfranchised Fire Nation soldiers who were suddenly out of a job, and their bitterness carried on to the next generation.
    • Seemed to me like foreshadowing. Chances are we'll find out at some later point in the show that it was the same firebender in all cases.
    • I read a theory on a message board that in fact all of these murders are the work of a waterbender called Alfred Firebender, and he is just commonly referred to as A. Firebender.
    • That's only three instances. It is not statistically significant.
    • If we were talking about real life then that would absolutely be the case. But this a story, and when events repeat themselves in a story it's usually for a reason.
    • The incidents are also removed from each other in time. Twelve years ago an unspecified number of Agni Kai Triad firebenders broke into the Sato mansion and killed Mrs. Sato. Ten years ago, a firebender mugged Mako and Bolin's parents. Depending on the veracity of Amon's statements, the incident that forced him to wear a mask could be anywhere from twenty to forty years ago. If the writers are attempting to lace these facts with any sort of meaning, they are burying it very deep indeed.
    • We also don’t know the details of how all these incidents happened (correct me if I’m wrong; I’ve only seen all the episodes once), so it’s possible that one or more of these murders were done not by firebenders but by others who took advantage of residual anti-Fire Nation sentiment to make it look like a firebending incident.
    • It turns out that Only two of those attacks actually happened Amon's backstory was a complete fabrication, he was actually secretly a bender
    • Which leads to another question, Hiroshi lost his wife to a Firebender but why did he blamed Earthbenders and Waterbenders as well? Instead of generalizing that all benders are bad, he should've developed a hatred towards Firebenders only.
    • Remember: This is the guy who went on a Motive Rant about how Amon was going to end bender oppression and make things a better, more just world for Asami and everybody (who isn't a bender), while apparently forgetting that he's the richest person in the biggest, most advanced city in the world. Oppressing him would take some doing.
    • Considering how he started out in poverty and became something of a self-made man in spite of it, it wouldn't be hard to imagine that Sato might have had the bender grudge from much earlier in life. The murder of his wife would have just pushed him over the edge.
    • Back to the question, it's entirely possible that Mako and Bolin's family as well as Asami's lived in Agni-Kai territory, especially if the brothers weren't quite as poor before they lost their parents. Living in an area where the primary criminal organization is composed entirely of Firebenders tends to skew the probability of being murdered by one.
    • Building on what was said before, think back to the Fire Nation school from ATLA season three - its goal was turn students in to perfect citizens of the empire-building Fire Nation and schools like it presumably operated for a solid century. There are going to be thousands (if not millions) of people raised in the Fire Nation who truly believe that their attempted global conquest was just, that the Avatar is the enemy of their people, etc. Then the disgraced and exiled heir to the throne teamed up with the Avatar to overthrow his father and usher in a new era of peace. There are no doubt going to be Fire Nation residents who were...unconvinced that this was a righteous act. They'd raise their kids with the "Fire Nation Uber Alles" value set.
    • Even so, there are many Fire Nation residents who have decided to keep the peace with the other nations. Instead of making people see Firebending for it's destructive qualities, many are trying to show the side Zuko saw; the creative side of Firebending.
    • Building on all the above, let's talk about what we know about the gangs in Republic City. The current three gangs are the Red Monsoon Triad (all waterbenders), the Agni Kai Triad (all firebenders), and the Triple Threat Triad (which includes all three common types of benders). Prior to that the largest, most influential gang in the city was Yakone's, presumably an all waterbending gang since the Triple Threats are the first known gang to consist of multiple benders. Following Yakone losing his bending ability and leaving the city there will inevitably be a power vacuum as Yakone's gang scrabbles for a new leader. Whether the Red Monsoon Triad was Yakone's gang or it's successor, they're not likely to have maintained a lot of power as seen even in Korra's time in the city, being the least powerful of the current Republic City gangs. Though this takes a slight dip into WMG territory, I'll wager the Triple Threats are a recent phenomena, only gaining their chokehold on the city by breaking the mold and being a multibender gang, possibly evolving from a gang of Earthbenders to round out the Agni Kais and the Red Monsoons, since gang wars on bender lines only makes sense. When both Asami's mother and Mako and Bolin's parents are murdered would then logically fall at a time after the waterbending gangs lost power and the Triple Threats either didn't exist or were still relatively new, meaning firebending gangs would be the most common gangs in the city. Even if the public has started to get over it's subconscious dislike and distrust of firebenders (which in all liklihood hasn't gone away entirely) the years of recovery and racism would also result in the Fire Nation population being in less economically stable parts of the city, demonstrated by Mako and Bolin's mother and Hiroshi Sato, which makes them more likely to get involved in gang violence. All this combined means it's not a stretch by any means to assume firebenders and firebending gangs held a grip on the city for a good while.

     Power Level Math does not work out at all. 
  • So...thus far we have two Elite Mooks who defeat Mako + Korra in a straight-up fight. One Equalist Lieutenant who defeats Mako + Bolin in a straight-up fight before getting blindsided by Korra. And now, as of Episode 7, Asami can defeat the Equalist LT in a straight-up fight? How does that power differential even work? Sure, there was a "self-defense classes" handwave, but the LT would very likely have had just as much training if not more, and it's not like bending moves (being the exact same movements as several real-life martial arts) are much different from h2h combat when you remove the elemental part of it, so how exactly is Asami that much better than Mako, Bolin, or Korra at melee?
    • The Lieutenant likely assumed that Asami was just a normal girl and would be easy to take down. She proved him wrong. Basically, when he fought Mako and Bolin, he was fighting for real. When he attacked Asami, he just expected to quickly incapacitate her in a single strike.
    • Anyone can make the same motions as a professional boxer that doesn't mean they can actually fight like one. Mako, Bolin, and Korra know how to stop bending from hurting them not fists, the defenses are completely different.
    • "Power Level Math" is an utterly, completely false premise, for a start. Unlike Dragonball Z, no, there is no definite scale that determines who will or will not win a given fight of any kind. There are any number of factors that will tilt the odds in the favor of one side or another in any kind of conflict, regardless of who they are. Just boiling it down to who's fighting doesn't mean a damn thing.

      Because the Lieutenant beat Mako and Bolin once doesn't mean he always will. Nor does it mean he will automatically beat anyone those two have beaten. All it means is that he beat Mako and Bolin once. Him getting KOed by Asami doesn't mean Asami is an unstoppable badass who's better than the rest of the cast; all it means is he got KOed by Asami.
    • And lets not forget that the Lieutnant has been trained exclusively to fight against Benders, as indeed are Mako, Bolin and Korra. Asami, on the other hand, seems to be trained to fight against martial artists in general.
    • That was my thought as well. The Equalists are specifically trained to contend against bending-style martial arts; of course they have an advantage over the cast's benders. But Asami has been getting general martial arts training from a very young age, likely from multiple different teachers—and probably from Equalist teachers, as well, since I see no reason Sato wouldn't want her to have a head-start on that for when and if she was ever brought into the fold. She probably has more sustained martial arts experience than a number of the normal Equalists. Beating the Lieutenant can probably be explained as a combination of his surprise, her speed, and possible unwillingness on his part to use especially harsh force against the daughter of the dude who just built you all these big mecha that are standing around.
    • Asami attacked him with electricity — something none of his other opponents were seen using against him. It was as effective when used against him as it was when he used it against the other opponents we saw.
    • And you have to factor in that the Krew just isn't very good at actual combat. Spectator sport brawling? They're beast. Actual life-or-death struggle? They're meat.
    • Especially considering they were up against two revolutionaries, an all-powerful spirit, four very powerful and anarchic benders, and one powerful metal ending leader.
  • Simple the Equalists had several layers of surprise, and had multiple tricks up their sleeves. The lieutenant and the Equalists were very quickly losing combat effectiveness as their campaign progressed, as they relied predominately on getting close to benders, surprise, and tactical numerical superiority in order to win. This is also why Amon's dream of a world wide revolution was doomed to failure (If he ever had thoughts of it being possible in the first place) as he was running out of surprises and would never have the resources to pull it off in the first place. Sato may be a genius but they were obviously running out of steam as time went on. Short of inventing GU Ns, the Equalists were always fighting at a disadvantage.

     Why did they not take out the mechas with more powerful Earthbending, or Airbending? They were all holding back except Lin. 
  • They were in an underground bunker, the floor was all earth and some powerful earthbending moves like the ones Toph used would have sent the mecha into the walls or buried them in the ground, with enough force to knock out their drivers. A large boulder shot used in the last series could have smashed one of them to pieces. Air was powerful enough to rattle Sato's mecha and very powerful air blast/explosion or a cutting move like the one Aang used could have severely damaged a mech or toppled it. But since Airbenders always fight defensively, they never fight without inhibitions. Lin was devastating when it comes to fighting and was the only one who took out a mech, because she was really fighting to kill. It didn't occur to anybody but her that the Mecha's glass canopy is easily damaged. It appears that the metalbender cops are overly reliant on their cables and the Equalists took advantage of their weakness. Doesn't it really seem like all the benders are holding back their best moves?
    • I attribute it to surprise and not knowing what they were dealing with, so they stuck with the techniques familiar to them, then didn't last long enough to get their thoughts together and pull out the big guns. For example, Korra started out by throwing fire as she usually does. When that proved ineffective she switched to earth, but got taken out before she could do much with it. Next time they face the mechas they'll be better prepared.
    • There were a lot of them as well, and they had the heroes flanked. Big fancy moves are best suited to fighting a single opponent who's counter attacks you can closely guard against. As for Korra's firebending, that was stupid yes, but she always opens up with firebending. At least she quickly worked out that wasn't working very well. As for the metal benders, they're just not trained in those sort of moves. That's like training cops in anti tank weaponry, expensive and pointless.
    • I can buy them getting caught flatfooted by an unexpected enemy... But seriously, we've all seen footage of cops pulling out the stops when faced with that kind of firepower. That their training inhibited them to that degree in the heat of battle, in a place where cutting loose was not only justified, but mandated? In a situation where basic earthbending moves like pilar raising would've served them far better? Ruling on the field stands: Forgot About His Powers/Idiot Ball combo.
    • Oooooorrrrr, the cops just aren't very good at regular Earthbending on the fly. Their training might, in fact, be almost entirely metalbending, given how much they rely on it.

      Also, don't discount training. Do you know what training is really for? It's not just techniques and protocols. It's conditioning. It's training your body such that when your mind is scared and you're unable to think, you can keep acting on what has become instinct. I.e., when you're scared and facing something like those mecha, chances are that you are going to be doing the rote techniques that you've had drilled into you for years instead of getting creative and fancy. That is how armies have worked for pretty much all of human history.

      It's not Idiot Ball, it's people who have been trained for years falling back on that training when they're in a tense situation and borderline panicking.
    • You don't want to inadvertently cause a cave-in and wind up killing yourselves in the process. Earthbenders might be most dangerous underground, but they are also vulnerable to being buried with the enemy in the process.
    • Except that Lin did exactly that to bury the Equalists and tunneled the team to the surface like in the next episode.
    • I'm not sure if this has been 100% explained in the comics, but the original 3 students of Toph in Metalbending were not Earthbenders, but had a special resonance with metal. It may well be a very special trait that Lin is both a Metalbender and an Earthbender.
    • No. All Metalbenders are Earthbenders. That is how they bend metal in the first place, by bending the impurities in it. Toph selected those students based on her belief that they needed a specific kind of personality to do it.
    • The fights in general seem to have much less bending (or at least have it on a smaller scale) than the first series did. I assume that it's because Republic City is build largely like a city from our world, that is one that doesn't require benders to function. I could be wrong, but it's made clear in the pilot that earthbenders can rip apart the streets, which are much harder to fix than to break. I imagine that people have gotten used to living in a city that's much more fragile than the rural areas from The Last Airbender. So it probably doesn't occur to earth/metalbenders to use to landscape as a weapon, waterbenders to shatter pipes, and firebenders to risk burning down buildings. It would have been an interesting plot point to consider that benders are, in a sense, oppressed by the fact they can't use their powers as much without getting fined or arrested for damages. At the minimum, we certainly don't see much bending outside of sport or crime, the possibility of manufacturing is strictly inferred and only the power plant is confirmed to specifically employ benders.
    • Out-of-universe reason: Serial Escalation. They need more cheap bending to pad up the high-power fights in the future episodes.

     Why is everybody so lightly dressed? 
  • The only thing coming close to a reasonable outfit is Lin's coat.
    • She had time to change, they did not.
    • It's less about that, it's their choice of wardrobe in the first place. It's winter, and they're wearing the same things they are wearing all the time. Korra, of course, is the worst offender, leaving the house like that. The Satomobiles aren't exactly warm and cozy either, which would have explained why Bolin and Mako don't put on more clothes.
    • Korra use to live in the South Pole. She's probably use to the cold. Mako, Bolin, And Asami didn't have time to change what with breaking out of jail and all. Tenzin's cloths seem pretty warm. (Don't quite remember what he was wearing.)
    • Tenzin has the excuse of being an airbender. Aang seemed just fine in both Poles with his regular clothes; fandom is that he used airbending to insulate himself. Tenzin would have learned the technique from his father. As for Mako and Bolin, remember they lived as orphans on the streets; they know how to deal with being in winter weather without proper clothing.
    • Korra and Mako are firebenders; they don't need heavy clothing to keep warm. Asami and Bolin are reasonably well dressed; judging from the copious snowfall, it can't be much below freezing, if at all. Thick snow only falls in relatively warm winter weather.

     What happened to the spectators in the stadium? 
  • We have a stadium full of excited spectators. In many cases, fans of sports teams are willing to literally kill you if their team loses. Why on earth, spectators stood still? We are talking about people who can shoot fire from their hands and they are watching their favorite team being tortured right before their eyes Are they so frightened by a lot of tasers that are not able to defend their team? The second strange thing that happens is that when Korra ends her fight on the roof and back into the stadium there's nobody left. Is it possible to evacuate a building of that size so quickly? It's almost as if the writers were not sure what the hell to do with those people.
    • Korra's fight lasts a while, long enough for everyone to pour out the exits. As for the behavior, they may not be at the "riot over a loss" stage of sports devotion.
    • Large buildings are also designed with lots of exits (which we know the arena has, the Equalists are shown getting through them). You can evacuate enormous stadiums in less than a minute. Still you'd think the Equalists would want witnesses.
    • They did. The audience was forced to stay there while Amon was giving his speech. Only when the Equalists were making their exit did the audience flee.
    • The creators are Americans, we don't have deadly riots over sports as a regular occurrence over here. You're also underestimating how scared of the Equalists people are. Amon has spent a long time building up his revolution.
    • Tenzin didn't join Lin and Korra in the battle against Amon, so I assumed he was helping to evacuate the crowd. Mako and Bolin may also have assisted; Mako would certainly have wanted to make sure Asami was safe.
    • We aren't talking about a group of people who stormed the ring because they hated a team or something. This was a terrorist organization! Most people aren't going to exactly be leaping to try and take on a threat like Amon, especially when he can take away their bending so easily.
    • How would they access the arena? If they just shoot fire from where they're sitting, they'd risk hitting the team members, not to mention other spectators. Maybe the waterbenders could have conjured a flood, but again, risk of injuring the team, not to mention that a coordinated attack would have been difficult, not to mention that the guys with the gloves would have stopped any such attempt in a second. And would you really like to be the one person that Amon singles out from the crowd? Also, don't forget the police force. Most likely, people relied on them and considered themselves safe. Once all policemen started dropping like flies, they probably realised that their chances aren't strong. ALSO, most of them probably don't know how to fight. Remember, it's a time of peace. I'd imagine that most of them are as capable as someone who's been to some self-defence classes. You might be able to fight off a mugger, but it's not exactly a case of Mugging the Monster.
    • Not all pro-bending fans are benders. In fact, that was the whole reason for Amon's attack. Non-benders were lifting up benders as sports heroes.

    Why would the Equalists' lightning hurt Korra at all? 
  • Korra was inside the metal box. Trying to electrocute her from the outside was kind of futile. Faraday cage. Are we supposed to believe Amon didn't know school-level physics?
    • Are we supposed to believe that the Avatar world's school curriculum is the same as modern real-world schools? Given that the electricity is shown to have worked, this is just a physics goof.
    • I'm no expert, but from a cursory glance, I'd say that the bars in the lid of the box that Korra was in were way too far apart for the box to act as a proper Faraday cage.

     Ikki's tree-count 
  • Yeah, it was funny as hell, but how in the world does Ikki - not Jinora - know the precise number of trees on the island? Did she just decide one day to just go out and count them all or something? Additionally (A) what if the number of trees suddenly changed (B) how does she recall the exact number of trees? What is that relevant to- never mind actually, this fits fairly well with her CloudCuckoolander status...
    • Maybe someone got fed up with her perpetual sugar rush and ordered her to count all the trees just to keep her busy. The number of trees isn't likely to suddenly change. And after spending a whole afternoon counting trees, wouldn't you make an effort to remember the number?

     How the hell are there more sky bison? 
  • I'm sure this has been asked, I just couldn't find it. It's stated in ATLA that Appa is the last sky bison. So...how would there be more now? Are they some sort of hybrid?
    • Aang found more of them between series.
    • In Beginnings Part 2, it was revealed that a fire sage had been breeding Sky Bisons since the 100 Year War.
    • Ironic since the Fire Nation symbolized sky bison with the Avatar and thus were sworn enemies.
  • Why are there still whales? We spent more than 200 years hunting them for meat and oil, but they're still kicking around. Answer is simple, just like whales its hard and not worth the effort to hunt to extinction.

    What happened to the North Pole? 
  • More specifically, the Northern Water Tribe. The first series showed it to be a relatively large place with a design similar to Venice, Italy. Yet when we see it in Taarlok's flashback story, it's comparable to what we saw of the Southern Water Tribe back in "The Boy in the Iceberg". And considering it's only ever referred to as the Northern Water Tribe, there seems to be no indication it would be some sort of outpost town or settlement.
    • Is there any actual reason to believe it wasn't some sort of outpost town or settlement?
    • Yeah. The Northern Water Tribe is just the name of the whole tribe, like the Zulu. Just because the Zulu are referred by a common tribe name doesn't mean they all live in the same city.
    • The Northern Water Tribe we saw was one after 100 years of war—a fortification made for defense. At the time, yes, that was probably where the entire Tribe lived—but after the war ended and the danger of Fire Nation soldiers attacking and abducting people was gone, it makes sense that they would expand into other settlements.
    • In Tonraq's flashback in Book 2 we get to see the capital of the Northern Water Tribe again, and it looks even bigger than it did in the first series.
    • Keep in mind that expansion happened during the years after TLA. The North Pole probably expanded to better accommodate the new people and changing times.

     Seventy years later and there are only five Airbenders in the world? 
  • ...Three of whom are children and the fourth is the Avatar? Not a single bender emerged outside of Aang's bloodline or the Avatar cycle? Really?
    • Five Airbenders known to the world, anyway. Maybe there's a kid out there with Air Nomad ancestry (or the bending gene and an Airbending disposition, or however it works) who's amusing his village blowing wind at people, and no one's connected the dots and informed Tenzin yet.
    • Well, Aang was the last one for a reason. If they could just emerge, then this storyline would have been pointless. Also, the sixth airbender is about to be born.
    • If there were any descendents of the Air Nomads they would have emerged during the 100 years Aang was frozen. One can assume the Fire Nation was thorough in their genocide and/or the Air Nomads were fairly insular.
    • I imagine that if there were any survivors and descendents, they would just stay hidden on account of, you know, the concerted effort to wipe them off the face of the planet.
    • It's also established, time and again, that bending is just as much a discipline as a genetic thing. If there's no one to pass on the teachings, it's gone forever. For comparison, when the Commie Nazi Khmer Rouge were kicked out of Cambodia, you could count the number of people who knew how to perform an ancient type of ballet on one hand. Everyone on Earth is, theoretically, capable of performing this dance, but if there's no one left to show you, how are you going to know the moves? Scrolls burn and people die.
    • That's the point: In the the decades Aang was alive and active, only one Airbender - his son - emerged? For that matter, that son and his family are the only ones in the world who live the traditional Air Nomad lifestyle? I find that statistically implausible. Hell, even with dead languages, someone is still studying and learning it.
    • Most dead languages haven't had a whole nation trying to hunt down anyone who might have spoken that language, starting with a concerted effort to wipe them all off the face of the planet. The Fire Nation was, apparently, very thorough.
    • I has been proven that a culture didn't need to have benders for someone with bending potential to learn the art, Katara was completely self taught in the benderless Southern Water Tribe before Aang showed up, but all air nomads were air benders so when all the air nomads were wiped out there wasn't anyone left with the potential to air bend because unlike the other nations they never had anyone with a "hidden potential" for bending that could be passed down.Only Aang could continue the legacy and of the three children he had with Katara Kya was a waterbender and Bumi couldn't bend so only Tenzin was comfirmed to be able to continue the line. Apparently any children Kya or Bumi had didn't inherit the ability to airbend.
    • And not only was Katara self taught- she didn't become a master waterbender until they got to the north pole, where they had lessons with master Pakku. So it only takes a potential for bending for a child to discover she can bend an element, but without learning from an external source (the scroll, Pakku) it would stay at the same level (so a child being born an airbender is not enough for him to be a full grown airbender, if there's no one to teach him how to bend).
    • Which ignores Toph being self-taught, as her Earthbending instructor intentionally never showed her anything other than the very basics. (Stuff she already knew at that point.)
    • Toph wasn't self-taught, she learned earthbending from the badger-moles. While it isn't explicitly stated, the implication is that this is why she was such a skilled bender at such an early age. Like Zuko and Aang later did with firebending, Toph discovered the source of earthbending and learned its purest form from them.
    • In the episode "A Leaf In the Wind," we see that Tenzin and his family aren't the only ones on Air Temple Island. I assume that at least some of them are learning airbending. It probably doesn't come as naturally to them as it does with Tenzin's kids .
    • They're presumably not benders (as bending's been pointed out above to be a mix of genetics and spirituality), but at the very least they can help preserve the remnants of Air Nomad culture, as well as the airbending teachings themselves. Even if the airbenders remain rare for a few more decades, the Air Nomads are certainly returning.
    • This was shown in the comics. What started as an Avatar Fan Club adopted Air Nomad culture and were taught the specifics by Aang. But they are all other nation converts, so would not be able to develop Air Bending.
    • However implausible it may be, the series itself does sort of answer this on its own. Its an established fact that all Air Nomads are born benders naturally through sheer level of spirituality amongst its peoples; so one would be correct to assume that Aang would automatically have airbending children. However, perhaps his intermarriage caused a hiccup in the lineage. It's not a jab at Katara mind you, a powerful master Waterbender, but because she didn't have the same innate understanding and enlightened spirituality of her husband (which is NOT to say she wasn't spiritual, just not the same level) it took a little bit (two kids in their case) for the kink to work itself out. Case in point, Tenzin and Pema's children; after Pema wholly embraced the Air Nomad culture - and all the spiritual focus it demands...all of their children (thus far) are natural Airbenders. Mind you, this works only if Aang really truly was the last Airbender post genocide, which all hints from the series seem to support, as well as that one simply can't find a Sky Bison and learn Airbending as it was originally founded.
    • At one point in the Avaverse's history, bending was taught to people by dragons, sky bisons, badger-moles, and the moon— elemental bending, that is. Before bending split off into the four different elements, benders manipulated the energy within themselves. Keyword being benders. Non-bending Air Acolytes can't become benders or necessarily produce them. They all have Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, and Water Tribe ancestry, so if they did produce benders, they'd only have firebenders, earthbenders, and waterbenders. Unless Jinora, Ikki, Meelo and Rohan marry and have children with other Air Acolytes, airbenders will have to be born, not made. And that's a tall freaking order, to have more than five (or six, assuming Rohan is an airbender) in seventy years.
    • Hmm, just thinking out loud here, but maybe Aang should have been a polygamist. More wives means more airbenders, after all, and restoring the lost race must be important to restoring the world's balance. Maybe he could take one wife from each nation. I'm sure Katara would understand.
    • I really don't think she would. And even if, it would still propably hurt her and Aang would never do that. And ignoring all of that, does Aang really seem like someone who would marry out of duty instead of love?
    • Or Aang and Katara should have had as many children as physically possible for Katara... which, for all we know, very well could have been the 3 they did have. Even with advanced waterbending healing and whatnot, Katara would be putting her health and life in danger, if something happened during the birth of even one child— having more increases the odds of complications. Aang wouldn't do that to Katara, either, and who's to say he'd even want more than 3 anyway? Raising one child is difficult and expensive, three is even more so, and even being the Avatar and a waterbending master wouldn't help Aang and Katara raise 20 kajillion airbenders and counting.
  • And of course, all of this was rendered moot by the events of Season Three - up to and including Aang and Katara only having one Airbender child.
  • Irrelevant of arguments on the matter, the Fire Nation couldn't hope to "Entirely" wipe out Airbending in their initial operation or subsequent attacks. It took the Germans years of meticulous census data, enormous levels of resources, and a couple years of occupation to even have the ability to attempt genocide, the Fire Nation pulling off 1 surprise attack, even as powerful as they were, would take too long and more than a few airbenders would have slipped through the net easily, especially since this is before the Fire nation had all its nifty war toys like tanks and war balloons. without knowing if Airbending or bending in general is a dominant or recessive trait (Unlikely) or if its dormant at time only to reemerge, we can assume that any Airbenders who survived would have gone deep into hiding, and if any peasants from the earth kingdom or other tribes popped up with it they would have been priority targets by the Fire Nation claiming "Its the Avatar!" Meaning that anyone with Airbending would have hidden their ability. While we only know of the five airbenders the rest would have either never preformed airbending in fear of the Fire nation, or they would have been shunned by their people and lived alone unable to breed.
  • 'the Fire Nation couldn't hope to "Entirely" wipe out Airbending in their initial operation or subsequent attacks.' And yet, that's precisely what the Fire Nation did. Until the Air Nomad Genocide, 100% of the world's airbender population was concentrated at four specific location. The vast majority of them were exterminated in the original attack. And the comics establish that, while only a very small number escaped, the Fire Nation then had a hundred years to find them, which they did through things like setting traps that used air nomad relics stolen from the ransacked temples to lure them into ambushes. When the series calls Aang "the last airbender", it literally means that he is the LAST Airbender. Apart from him, the Air Nomads were hunted to extinction over the course of a century.

     Tenzin the First Airbender 
  • Aang was the Last Airbender, the existence of Tenzin didn't change that and Aang was usually quite smart. I understand training his son in the Air Bending Arts, that made perfect sense but why didn't he teach Tenzin to be the first citizen of the New Republic instead of trying to revive a century plus dead society that he himself doesn't know much about because he ran away as a child. It makes a lot more sense and might have lessened the rivalry between Tenzin and his siblings if Aang had told Tenzin from the start that he's not the continuation of something old. He's the beginning of something new.
    • Maybe there was a better way to do it, but Aang didn't want to risk losing Air Nomad culture. It's also important to keep in mind that Aang and Tenzin were also responsible for preserving the airbenders (separate from the Air Nomads), and it's not quite clear how bending is passed down; a lot of it has to do with culture and spirituality. Remember, every single Air Nomad was an airbender, so they were clearly doing something right, and the theory is that when the non-bender Air Disciples eventually have bender children, they'll be airbenders.
    • But isn't Pema the only air acolyte with children so far? And her children are probably all airbenders because their father is Tenzin. After all, not all of Aang's children were airbenders. And one of them was a non-bender (at first).

     Why are the Avatars different ages? 
  • In the very last scene of the season, dozens of past Avatars are shown standing together. Aang is shown at 40 years old(he died at 65), Roku at 70(the age he died), Kyoshi at 42(she died at 230). Kuruk and Yangchen are shown looking pretty much the same as they did when Aang first saw them, and while Kuruk died at 28, Yangchen's year of birth is never stated. So what I'm wondering is: what determines the apparent age of their spirit's image? It doesn't seem to be "how old they were when they died".
    • The individual avatar persona appears to others in the form in which they see themselves which is why Aang and Kyoshi look young even though they died old because that's the image they associate themselves with .

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