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Badgermole

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Featured CPrince Headpiece Good Earthbending emblem Earth Kingdom emblem
Badgermoles
Badgermole
General information
Habitat

Earth Kingdom

Status

Active

Bending

Earthbending

Uses

Earthbending instructors, beasts of burden

Chronological information
First appearance

"The Cave of Two Lovers"

Last appearance

"The Firebending Masters"
(flashback only)

The badgermole is an enormous blind mammal native to the Earth Kingdom. Living mostly underground, it was the first creature to master earthbending and later taught humans the art. Notably, Toph Beifong was one of those taught by badgermoles.

History

Oma and Shu learn earthbending

The first earthbenders, Oma and Shu, were taught the art by badgermoles.

Oma and Shu were the first humans to be taught earthbending by the badgermoles. The two lovers and the badgermoles created a maze of tunnels through the mountains dividing their two villages, allowing them to meet in secret. The tunnels' ceilings were embedded with crystals that would only glow in total darkness and lead to the tunnels' exit.[1]

Toph also learned the bending art from badgermoles. Once, when she was a child, she ran away from home and encountered them in a cave. According to her, their earthbending was not merely centered around fighting, but an extension of their senses and their way of interacting with the world. She learned earthbending through copying the badgermoles' movements while navigating the tunnels.[2]

Several years later, Team Avatar met a group of nomads who brought them to the Cave of Two Lovers, a passage under the Kolau Mountains. Eventually, Team Avatar and their companions got lost in these caverns as the badgermoles were using earthbending to alter the layout of the underground network. After being separated from the rest of the group, Sokka, Chong, Moku, and the other nomads encountered these creatures, who initially demonstrated aggressive bending. However, they serenaded the badgermoles with music, pacifying them, and were able to ride them out of the cave.[1]

Anatomy

Badgermoles are enormous in size and have brown fur with one white stripe between two black ones running down their backs and white, mask-like patches on their faces. They have long tails and five claws on each paw. Badgermoles use their noses and sensitive whiskers to inspect objects in front of them. Although they have vestigial eyes, evolutionary leftovers from long-forgotten times when they lived above ground, badgermoles are more-or-less blind; their earthbending abilities allow them to feel the presence of their surroundings in recompense.

Behavior

Badgermoles use their tongues to lick in order to show their affection, an action seen when Toph first met them. They enjoy hearing music, which seems to put them in an almost tranquil state in which one can get them to do nearly anything.[3] Badgermoles seem to be the natural predator of the wolfbats. These creatures use earthbending to form tunnels and travel underground, where they live and hunt for prey.

When fully and properly tamed, badgermoles can be used as beasts of burden and can perform tasks such as paving pathways or clearing stone debris, such as during the Earth Rumble tournament.[4]

Connection

The badgermole resembles a cross between the American badger and the common mole. The facial coloring and white back stripe of the badgermole resemble the badger whereas its claws, tail, and eyes are indicative of the mole's. Both animals are among the best diggers in the animal kingdom: badgers are powerful diggers that can dig through the toughest earth, and moles, also quick diggers, almost "swim" through the earth.

Trivia

Badgermole earthbending

A badgermole used earthbending to help Sokka and the nomads in the Cave of Two Lovers.

  • Badgermoles are blind like Toph, so they were able to understand each other well, and in return taught Toph how to earthbend.[2]
  • In Earth Rumble VI, an underground earthbending tournament held in a giant earthen arena in Gaoling, badgermoles were used to clear the ring of rocks.[4]
  • The Boulder had a tattoo of a purple badgermole on his back.
  • Badgermoles are the only original animal benders that are not known to be a companion to an Avatar. Roku had Fang, a dragon, as a lifelong friend, and Aang had Appa, a sky bison.
    • They are also the only original animal benders that are not known to have been killed substantially by the Fire Nation; the dragons were killed for glory and pride, with only two known survivors, and many sky bison were killed along with the Air Nomads during the Air Nomad Genocide.
  • After the Hundred Year War, a pro-bending team named itself the Ba Sing Se Badgermoles.[5]
  • According to Chong, badgermoles hate wolfbats.[1]
  • Due to the badgermole's importance in Earth Kingdom history, the animal has had an influence on the art of the nation.
    • The king's throne in the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace is designed after a badgermole.[6]
    • Two bagdermole statues are found outside the Earth King's palace. These stone sculptures were launched at Team Avatar by the Royal Earthbender Guards when the Avatar and his friends attempted to break into the Royal Palace.[6]
    • Ornate badgermole statues are also found in the ruins of Taku.[7]
  • Kyoshi earthbent two statues of badgermoles whilst in the Avatar State in a vision given to Aang by Roku.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (March 24, 2006). "The Cave of Two Lovers". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 15, 2008). "The Firebending Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  3. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
  4. 4.0 4.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (May 5, 2006). "The Blind Bandit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  5. Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (May 11, 2012). Retrieved on May 11, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  7. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  8. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.

See also

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