By AvatarQuan See other fanon and fan fiction works from AvatarQuan.
Iroh shoots lightning

Lightningbending is very similar to lightning generation, except for the fact that instead of just generating an arc of lightning and releasing it, a lightning bender can shape it into multiple forms, such as a ball or a stream. Also, unlike normal lightning generation where one has to use their index and middle fingers to conjure and shoot the lightning, a lightning bender may use an open palm or a closed fist or a half-closed. They can also channel it through their feet and mouth as well as their fingertips.

Origin and method

Azula (games)

Princess Azula II, the inventor of lightninbending

The ability to bend lightning was discovered after Avatar Korra's death by the newly crowned Fire Princess Azula the Second. She had inherited her grandmother's ability to bend blue fire as well as the ability of lightning generation. As Azula II practiced the art of generating lightning, she discovered that she could shape the conjured lightning into multiple forms such as disks, blades, and whips. She eventually mastered this newfound art and traveled to Republic City to teach the selected firebenders who were blessed with the ability to generate lightning how to take it further. Soon, Republic City was full of lightningbenders and so Azula II returned to the Fire Nation to train the citizens in this new art. After 45 years of teaching lightningbending, Fire Lord Azula II died at the age of 60, leaving behind a great legacy.

In order for a firebender to have the ability to bend lightning, he or she must be able to first generate lightning. They must be able to separate the positive energy and negative energy within them and in order to separate the two energies, they must have a clear, peaceful mind without emotional turmoil. After separating the energies, they will clash back together creating lightning that is guided by their arm in an arc of lightning. 

If the Avatar can create lightning, then he or she, no matter what nation they are from, may be able to bend lightning.

There is also an ability in lightningbending that only the Avatar can use.


Lightningbending is used rapidly throughout the Fire Nation and Republic City.

Below is a list of all known techniques within lightningbending.

Beginning level

Lightning manipulation – A lightningbender will have the ability to manipulate lightning into all sorts of shapes and forms, such as high-speed jets of lightning, disks of lightning, and even a defensive shield of lightning. More advanced lightningbenders can manipulate lightning from the sky as well as generating it themselves.

Lightning bolt – The most basic move in lightningbending. It's pretty much just generating lightning and releasing it in the desired direction. The damage and velocity of a lightning bolt can go from a small, non-charged shock, capable of disarming an armed opponent, to a quick stun, to a full-charged bolt strong enough to strike down a tree or destroy a large wall of stone.

Lightning burst/ball – By using two fingers, open hand, closed hand or feet, one can shoot balls of lightning at an opponent. This move is excellent on the battlefield when facing firebenders, earthbenders or even other lightningbenders.

Electricity manipulation – A lightningbender has the ability to manipulate and control electrically powered objects such as light bulbs and Satomobiles, as well as to give power to an electrical plant or to operate a factory.

Lightning Punch/Kick-A skilled lightning bender can channel lightning directly out of his/her fist or foot without the need to first generate lightning.

Lightning Swipe-A skilled lightningbender can spin his/her leg on the ground and by sweeping their leg from one side to the other, they can create an expanding ring of lightning on the ground for a low blow attack.

Lightning Wheel- A more talented lightningbender can swirl their hands and wrists in a circle and create a swirling wheel or pinwheel disc of lightning, which is excellent for cutting through earth walls or ice walls created by earthbenders and waterbenders.

Lightning daggers – By shaping a ball of lightning into a short, narrow, flame-thrower like arc, one can use lightning in the form of armed and hand-to-hand combat as close range attacks.

Lightning blade – By making a lightning dagger longer and thinner, one can use lightning in armed combat as a sword. A lightning blade is very useful again dual dao sword- or spear-wielding opponents.

Lightning disks – By shaping conjured lightning into a flat, rounded shape, one can launch swirling disks of lightning at an opponent. This move can be used as a machine-gun attack by shooting a continuous chain of lightning disks at multiple targets.

Lightning Bullet- The Lightning Bullet is performed by first conjuring lightning and then by thrusting your arms forward with your wrists thrusted inward a fast moving blast of lightning is shot forward with the velocity and speed of a bullet.

Lightning jet – By thrusting their fist, open-palm or foot forward, one can release a strong, concentrated and very fast-moving blast of lightning at an opponent. It's excellent when fighting earthbenders and other lightningbenders.

Lightning whip – By moulding a lightning blade into a longer, much more narrow and flexible form, one can use a lightning whip in combat.

Lightning stream/wave – By using a slashing movement with their arm or by performing a sweeping or spinning kick, one can release an expanding wave of lightning towards a target.

Advanced level

The advanced level is reached when a lightningbender can manipulate lightning from the sky as well as generated lightning.

Sky-to-ground lightning – During a lightning storm, a lightningbender can manipulate the lightning dancing across the sky by making a bolt strike an intended target or they can use the sky lightning to shape it into disks for a rapid-fire attack or as a whip.

Blocking Lightning-More advanced lightning benders can block lightning attacks with a quick swipe of their hand or foot, although it can be dangerous to try and block a lightning attack with your bare hands, it is also the most basic way to defend against lightning other than redirecting it.

Lightning lash – A more difficult move. By shooting a continuous jet of lightning into the sky and then bringing their arm downward so it touches their foot, one can bring a deadly arc of lightning crashing down on a target.

Lightning shield/barrier – A defensive move. By shooting lightning in a line on the ground and manipulating it, a lightningbender can shape it into a large, rounded barrier that can protect up to 10 people on the battlefield.

Zuko absorbing lightning

Hahn experiences a lightning hold-up

Lightning hold-up – A more skilled lightningbender who is battling another lightningbender can either sense the incoming lightning attack inside of the bender's hand or foot and completely obliterate the attack or they can destroy the attack before it reaches them.

Ring – An upgraded version of the lightning wave.

Lightning wall – By creating a long straight line of lightning on the ground, one can now make it grow into a large wall of lightning capable of protecting a whole army.

Lightning bullets – By shaping lightning disks into small, round balls, one can use lightning as a rapid-fire attack of projectiles.

Master level

The master level is reached when one can summon lightning from anywhere within their bodies (chest, arms and legs).

Ozai and Zuko battle

Wan Lee using Chain Lightning

Chain lightning – A master lightningbender can generate more powerful arcs of lightning and release it in a strong, continuous jet of lightning, capable of completely obliterating an entire building or war ship.

Compressed lightning ball – A master can conjure a strong arc of lightning and then shape it into big, multiple balls of lightning.

Lightning propulsion – A skilled master can generate jets of lightning from their feet and glide across the battlefield at top speed.

Lightning vortex – By generating lightning and moving their arms in a spiraling motion, a master can create a swirling arc of lightning and release it forward.

Lightning Cloak- A master can manifest lightning from within his/her body and use it as a sort of Light Armor Protection.

Lightning spout – A master can summon lightning from within their bodies and cause the lightning to rotate around them to form a large, swirling tower, lifting the bender off the ground.

Lightning Sphere- A master can manifest lightning from within his/her body and then expand and shape it into a large circular bubble or dome for protecting a large group.

Avatar level

Atmokinesis – While in the Avatar State, a lightningbending Avatar can combine lightning with the other four elements and have the ability to control the weather. Making rain or conjuring a hurricane or tornado or generating massive flood-inducing waves. This is a power only the Avatar can possess due to the usage of all four elements as well as lightning.

Specialized forms

Azula firebending

Princess Azula the II using Thunder Fire

Breath of lightning – A talented master can channel lightning from within their own body and release it through the mouth as a continuous lightning jet.

Thunder fire – By combining their regular firebending in one hand and lightning bending in the other hand and crash them together, one can now firebend with an electrically charged blue fire. Thunder fire also has a combustive force and will make objects explode on contact.

Elemental State

Inside every lightningbender is the ability to enter and control a very powerful bending state which is known as the Lightning State. Like the Avatar State and the Air, Water, Earth and Fire Elemental States, the Lightning State gives a lightningbender the power to summon vast amounts of energy and then focus that energy into the strength of 10 master lightningbenders. Like the Avatar State, the Lightning State works in 2 ways, continuous and non-continuous. All lightningbenders, whether they have mastered lightningbending or not have the power to enter the Lightning State, but only those who have truly mastered lightningbending will be able to completely control it. Those who have not mastered lightningbending will enter the state sub-consciously, usually as a result of being in extreme danger, and they will have little to no control over their actions, they must either attempt to exit the state themselves or be forced out of it by a master lightningbender; this is known as a continuous use. Whenever a lightningbender uses the state, their eyes will glow white and lightning will emit from the corners of their eyes and their hair will also emit lightning and it will blow as if a strong wind were blowing through it. When used continuously, a lightningbender's eyes will remain glowing. Used non-continuously, the lightningbender's eyes will glow only for an instant. A master lightningbender can control the Lightning State both continuously and non-continuously, though most masters prefer to use it non-continuously. When a master uses the state non-continuously their eyes glow only for a moment; during that moment, they quickly summon all the energy they require, and when they exit, they store that energy they need to do a specific task. Although a master can still have a controlled continuous use over the State, it is of the highest risk to do so, because if they were to be attacked while in the State by another lightningbender for example, the blow could be as fatal as instant death if it is not immediately treated by a healer with spirit water.

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