Lightning-Bending

anyways but. also

jordan: earthbender?? what the heck. hes able to metalbend and lavabend. but unlike an earthbender he tends to be kind of flighty although he does stick to his principles

tom: firebender what the heck. he was never able to bend lightning tho hes never really able to settle down. he summons green flames?? for some god damn reason?? jericho is convinced its because he places copper powder on his hands before he does anything but tom denies this. and then after a long battle his flames turn back to orange/red and jericho is proved. very right.

jericho: firebender. and hes able to summon lightning unlike tom since he has a clear-ish mind. he tried to teach tom how to lightning bend but tom kind of gave up. 

sonja: ok i know. i know i should say waterbender but listen shes 200% an airbender and is able to astral project. she’s friends with literally every single animal ever.

wag: lets go with waterbender tbh. hes able to bloodbend/heal. he doesnt do that much tho he just experiements with bending chemicals on his friend’s heads.

9

Mako + Lightning bending

I’ve seen a few people express dislike for the portion of Mako’s new character bio where it says Mako’s choice of weapon is lightning given how little he’s used it lately. So I took it upon myself to track back through everything released so far and sure enough… 7 instances in Book 1 and only once in Book 2 and nothing so far in Book 3.

And then it hit me… Lightning is the cold blooded fire. According to the Avatar Wiki page lightning bending “Mentally it involves a complete absence of emotion and peace of mind, and physically it requires separating the energies of yin and yang, also interpreted as positive and negative electric potential respectively." (x)

Now we know full well that Mako is physically capable of producing lightning. In fact, of all the people we’ve seen generate lightning, he probably does it with the least amount of effort.

So why the sudden lack of lightning from Mako?

"Mentally it involves a complete absence of emotion and peace of mind”

Think about the events of Book 2 and Book 3. Compare the stoic and restrained Mako you saw in Book 1 with what you’ve seen of Mako in Book 2 and Book 3. That’s not the picture of someone who’s absent of emotion or abundant in peace of mind at all. At least in Book 1 Mako was more in control of his emotions in the sense that he was pretty good at ultimately shoving them aside (and not dealing with them entirely at times). That ability wore off severely by the time Book 2 rolled around (I think a certain waterbender may or may not be to partially blame for this).

In full honesty, opening yourself up and allowing the avatar of all people into your life, especially an avatar as chaotic as Korra… there’s only so long you can keep your inner emotionless peace.

The avatar lives on a different level than everyone else. Who else is surrounded by the only airbenders (at the time), constantly in the public eye (for a different reason than probending), basically seen and depended on as the savior and problem solver for the world, always involved somehow in a conflict or diplomatic event (the Water Tribe Civil wars and traveling the world looking for airbenders) and is constantly under the threat of attack (and not just anyone, but literally the dark spirit of pure evil and four master assassins).

Not to mention the romantic side and how much Korra has gotten under Mako’s skin and really taken him out of his comfort zone. Mako doesn’t have a little crush on Korra. It’s not a “oh she’s pretty and nice and I like hanging out with her”. She drives him crazy. She makes him feel things he’s never felt before and it’s been proven over and over again that ultimately he doesn’t yet know what to do with these feelings or how to handle them.

Honestly would Mako have even come close to doing half of what he’s done so far if it weren’t for Korra? Without Korra, Mako would’ve probably dropped out of the probending tournament because Hasook left them, gone back to training for another year, maybe even been on the streets depending on how lenient they’d be with the brothers living in the attic for free for a while, looking for a replacement waterbender for the team and trying to scrape by protecting and providing for Bolin.

And the chances Mako would’ve became a cop probably wouldn’t have been that high. When Korra found Mako he was very much in survival mode. He wasn’t living, he was simply surviving and in that lifestyle Mako can keep his emotionless peace of mind. For someone who’s been doing it since the age of 8, he’s a master at it by now.

Because of Korra, Mako, for the first time since his parents died, had the chance to really live. For the first time he had another option. He could live at Air Temple Island. He could be fed good food. People were there who would make sure he had clothes and was taken care of. Because Korra found Mako, Mako was able to experience a life beyond survival. He was allowed to experience his emotions in a new way because it didn’t jeopardize his and Bolin’s potential safety and well-being.

Meeting the avatar severely changes your life and your destiny. We saw this with Katara and Sokka and now we’re seeing it with Mako and Bolin.

I truly believe Mako’s actual preferred choice of weapon is still lightning bending. But at the moment his emotional life is chaos and he’s dealt with almost none of it (which I really think is going to come back to get him in the next few episodes). After bottling up his emotions for so long it’s hardly surprising that he has almost no idea how to handle them. So this is the next phase of Mako’s character development - handling his emotions in a healthy way.

And I think once we see Mako find his peace while balancing his emotions (not neglecting them but not letting them get out of control), I think we’ll see more lightning from Mako. Because as I said earlier, I really think that is his preferred weapon of choice.

Ok, but like, am I the only one who thinks that bloodbending isn’t bad? I see all of these posts about how brave Katara was to avoid bloodbending and how great of Aang it was to outlaw it and how it reflects poorly on the Zutara dynamic that she bloodbent in front of Zuko but like ???????????

NO bending is inherently bad????

No one gave two shits about airbending being used to suffocate the Earth Queen or Bolin fuckin LAVABENDING, aka able to MELT PEOPLE down to nothing. Those alternative forms of bending aren’t intrinsically bad, even though they COULD be used for evil.

The same technique for suffocating someone with airbending could be used to resuscitate someone who wasn’t breathing. It could be used to help a newborn baby breathe. 

Lavabending can be used just as much for environmentally-beneficial reasons as it can for mass destruction.

Hell, even lightning bending was fine in the ATLA and LoK universe, but somehow bloodbending isn’t?

Can you imagine how quickly their healthcare would’ve advanced if Katara had been given the opportunity to use her abilities the way she was meant to? Hama only used them for violence because she spent her whole life trying to SURVIVE. It was all she knew.

Katara is a CARING bender. Her healing bending would’ve gone up 11000000000 points if she had learned to incorporate bloodbending. She could’ve learned how to heal blood illnesses, mend bones, prevent frostbite,  mend actual tissue. Katara could’ve invented MODERN SURGERY.

But somehow HER form of alternative bending is the only bad one?

An addition to my Master of Elements Series.  Master of Lightning!  I’ve been wanting to do this forever and finally got to it!  Yeeeeaaah! 

Thanks to everyone who joined in the stream and put up with us figuring out how to do a multistream!  it was fun!
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On Lightning Bending

As I was posting on a different post I realized some things. Namely (and obviously each firebender has his/her own style. 

Starting with Mako;

He tends to lightning bend with an open palm. The first shot is a bit hard to tell (as to whether or not his pinky and the finger next to it are actually touching his palm) either way around his bending is more open then everyone else’s. Perhaps this is an indicatior that he doesn’t know how to do it as well, maybe it’s the opposite. Perhaps it’s simply another sign that the Avatar universe changed. As it got older there came new techniques. 

Aang is interesting; his lightningbending (rather method of redirecting it) is very loose. His two fingers are spread apart. Every other bender keeps those two fingers firmly together. This I think is a clear sign that he’s new at lightningbending and is struggling to control it. The lightning is kind of pushing his fingers apart.

Iroh’s pretty unique; most of the firebenders seem to bend in horizontal motions or motions that keep their arms away from the ground. Iroh doesn’t he bends more vertically and his fingers are nearer to the ground. He’s definitly one of the more powerful firebenders so this could be an indicator of that experience. 

Zuko seems to have a more standard fire bending method. For one thing his is comparable to Mako’s. What that tells me is that he has the basics down and can still do some damage but he’s still only got the basics (at least at this point).  There’s another reason I say this and I’ll get to that in a bit. As for his form; his hand is much tighter. He has his two pointers extended and his tumb and pinky folded so that they touch. This is unique to him. He’s also got wider more bombastic motions when generating lightning (if I remember right).

 

 

Azula gets  a few (not just because I like her more but to provide solid examples). She is also why I say Zuko only has the basics down. Because her method of holding her fingers together was very similar to Zuko’s when we first see her doing it. Though there’s a slight difference in that Zuko’s thumb only touches his pinky whereas Azula’s thumb overlaps her other two fingers. Yet it’s the same sort of technique. As she became more experienced with the lightning she started swaying away from the simple form; she now seems to also lift her thumb up along with the other two fingers. Basically she’s more or less a step above the basics at this point. Granted when I looked through some images I’ve noticed that sometimes she does this other times she doesn’t.  I’m wondering if this depends on how relaxed or confident she’s feeling while doing it. Where she and Zuko are very different is that she seems to be the most graceful and fluid in her generation motions. She’s very precise. She also seems to like to keep her arms drawn closer to her body for longer periods of time than the others;

 

I may be reading too much into it but maybe this is symbolic of her need for control. The closer she has the fire to her the more control she feels she has over it. This is also something that changed in the comics

Furthering that symbolism perhaps this is another way of showing she lost control. Maybe it indicates that she got better at lightningbending–and by this I mean that it wasn’t effective to Marshall the lightning so close to herself. Maybe they simply didn’t have enough panels to show her entire bending form. 

As a side note, the fact that she can bend lightning at this angle is pretty impressive. And also it shows again that she now likes to bend with her thumb up. 

And finally majesty must be a family thing because Ozai looks like a majestic butterfly. Jokes aside he seems to be the quickest lightning bender and his motions are also pretty wide and sweeping. Like he has to be the star of the freaking show. He also seems to make a lot of pretty shapes. He’s definitely a show off. Also I think it should be pointed out that (while Zuko’s form is most similar to Azula’s) Azula’s form looks a lot like her dad’s. He’s also got his thumb sort of overlapping his fingers. This kind of serves to dispute my thought that this finger positioning indicates inexperience. So maybe Azula was just bending with her thumb up because it’s more comfy or she’s better at it that way. Or maybe its symbolic of her not being influenced by her father as much since she picked up her own style. But back to Ozai; the dude knows what he’s doing that’s for sure; looking at this same scene–by the end of his technique–he seemed to have generated more lightning and in less time. 

What do you all think?