|More about Toph Beifong|
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| Book Two: Earth (Spring 100 AG) |
Book Three: Fire (Summer 100 AG)
|Toph Beifong's relationships|
|Toph in the games|
The Blind Bandit
As Toph had appeared to Aang in a vision at the swamp, Aang recognized her during Earth Rumble VI in Gaoling, where she was the reigning champion under the name "The Blind Bandit". Aang found an opportunity to speak with her when the tournament host Xin Fu asked for a volunteer to challenge the champion. While Aang attempted to talk to Toph and persuade her to teach him earthbending, she assumed he was only there to fight her and kept attacking him. Finally, Aang, trying to defend himself, overtook her by using his airbending ability, which Toph could not sense due to her blindness. Upset at losing, Toph left the arena without giving Aang a chance to explain who he was and why he sought her out.
Aang found Toph again at the Beifong Estate and tried to explain why he needed an earthbending teacher, but Toph called for the guards. Aang, Katara and Sokka fled, but they returned later determined to have Toph as his teacher. Having received an invite to dinner, they officially visited the Beifong family, during which Aang attempted to talk about Toph's earthbending with her father by addressing his own need for a teacher. Toph tried to silence him since her parents knew nothing about her secret life as the Blind Bandit, causing further tensions ran high between Aang and Toph. However, the two of them reconciled after dinner when she explained about her parents and her ability to "see" through her bending. Their conversation was cut short when they were kidnapped by the members of Earth Rumble VI, as by The Boulder's account, Toph seemed to have lost intentionally, since he did not see Aang earthbending when Toph fell out of the arena.
Xin Fu, the host of Earth Rumble VI, demanded to Toph's parents that his money be returned in exchange for their daughter and Aang. Katara, Sokka, Master Yu and Lao Beifong went to the arena and repaid all the money. Toph was released, but Aang was kept because Xin Fu had realized that he was wanted by the Fire Nation. Katara asked for Toph's help in defeating the earthbenders and rescuing Aang. Toph's father cut Katara off, claiming once again that his daughter was too weak and blind to do any sort of fighting. Fed up with her father's assumption, Toph agreed to save Aang to show her father what she really could do. Toph displayed amazing earthbending and easily defeated all of the Earth Rumble VI contestants, as well as Xin Fu, much to the amazement of both her father and Master Yu. The earthbending master remarked to Lao that Toph was the greatest earthbender he had ever seen.
Later that night, Toph explained her secret to her parents, telling them that she hoped it would not change their opinion of her. Toph's father responded that it did not change his love for her at all, but that he realized that Toph had been allowed too much freedom, and she would henceforth be watched by guards at all times. He also declared the Avatar and his friends were not welcome in his home and forced them to leave, as Toph shed a single tear.
Just as they were about to depart on Appa, Toph appeared and told them that her father had changed his mind and now she had permission to go to with the Avatar. While both Sokka and Katara realized that she was lying and was in fact running away from home, Aang seemed to believe that she was being genuine and accepted her into the group happily. Back at the Beifong Estate, Toph's father offered a large reward to Master Yu and Xin Fu to recover his daughter, whom he assumed was kidnapped by Aang.
Joining the team
Not long after she joined the group, Toph started a feud with Katara. As the group set up camp, Katara noticed that Toph was slumping lazily against a rock. Katara informed her that they usually divided the work among the group, implying she would like Toph to help them set up camp. Toph told her not to worry, as she felt she could carry her own weight; she suddenly earthbent a triangular, earthen, makeshift tent with two slabs of stone for herself.
Katara rephrased her last statement, telling her that they all had a job to do, including Momo, who appeared on her shoulder with berries. Toph refuted that she did not feel she had to help anyone else because no one needed to help her. Katara attempted once more to suggest to Toph that she help out, but all it did was further irritate her. Katara finally gave up and walked back to their campsite. Later on, Katara tried to reconcile with Toph for the previous argument, apologizing and noting that she thought that they were all just a little tired and getting on each other's nerves. Toph, rather than sharing the blame and accepting her overture, simply agreed that she did seem a bit too tired and lay down to sleep. Katara, though clearly incensed by the insulting retort, brought herself to half-heartedly tell Toph goodnight and walked back to her own tent.
During the night, Toph awoke suddenly. Feeling the ground, she sensed something approaching and alerted the rest of the group. When asked exactly what that something was, all she could say was that it felt like an avalanche, but also not in a way. The team was forced to journey all night in an attempt to avoid whatever was following them; Toph picking up the vibrations every time. After settling at a campsite in the morning, Toph and Katara continued to fight. Toph noticed that Appa was leaving a trail of fur as he flew, which was why they were continuously being followed. Aang snapped at Toph for blaming Appa, saying how the bison had carried her weight, and that it was easier flying for him prior to Toph's arrival. Toph had heard enough, thus she picked up her belongings and left the group.
Toph walked through the forest, soon meeting an old man after attacking him due to thinking that he was another kind of person. Toph had tea with Iroh on a small cliff. She commented that he was probably thinking she could not take care of herself because she was blind and a little girl, as he would not let Toph pour her own cup of tea. Iroh explained that he poured her tea only because he wanted to and for no other reason. Toph told him that everyone treated her like she was helpless, but she could take care of herself. Iroh responded that she sounded like his nephew, mentioning how both seem to feel that they had to do everything themselves, but both had friends and family that love them and want to help them. He also added that he had been trying to track Zuko, so that even though Zuko may have wanted to be alone to figure out his problems at the moment, Iroh would be right there should Zuko need him. Iroh's words inspired Toph and she decided to go back and find her friends, but first told Iroh that Zuko was lucky to have an uncle like him and also that perhaps he should tell Zuko that the uncle needed the nephew as well. She proceeded to rejoin the Avatar's group in a fight against Azula, who finally disappeared with a firebending trick.
It was Toph's responsibility to teach Aang how to earthbend in preparation for the fight against Fire Lord Ozai and the Fire Nation. Her task, however, proved extremely difficult as the fundamentals of earthbending (remaining steadfast and determined) are the polar opposites of airbending (using many perspectives and methods to solve a problem), and so Aang found himself in conflict with his former training. Toph had very little patience for him and aggressively pushed him to learn to earthbend. She put him through a series of basic tests, but Aang had trouble grasping the concept of earthbending. He failed the first three tests, which included pushing a large boulder, lifting and carrying a boulder and pushing his fingers through solid rock. He performed slightly better in the next few tests, and Toph deemed him ready for a harder test, where he had to hold his stance and stop a boulder that was rolling down a high cliff toward him. However, Aang chose to evade the rolling boulder, further angering Toph.
Disheartened, Aang took a break from training with Toph, who insulted him for not being brave enough to stop the rock, choosing to work on his waterbending with Katara. He returned to find Toph, who was using his staff as a nutcracker. Katara noticed that Sokka was nowhere and asked Aang for help to find him.
Minutes later, Aang found Sokka trapped in a crack in the earth and tried airbending him out. But that failed and Sokka asked him to earthbend, but Aang told him he could not, nor could he get Toph because it would be too uncomfortable for him. The baby saber-tooth moose lion Sokka was trying to capture earlier returned, closely followed by its mother, who charged at both Aang and Sokka. Aang stood his ground and defeated the mother using his airbending, saving Sokka. Toph, who was silently observing the conflict, half-heartedly congratulated Aang, stating that he could defeat the creature by standing firm and unmoving, like an earthbender. Incensed that she callously stood by and did nothing as Sokka's life was in danger, Aang forcefully demanded that she return his staff. Toph said that Aang was thinking like an earthbender and told him to do the rock test again, which Aang accomplished successfully. After deeming Aang a true earthbender, Toph dragged Sokka out of the hole, finally giving him freedom.
Journey to Ba Sing Se
After the group lost Appa in the Si Wong Desert, they were forced to travel on foot. After they encountered a family with a pregnant woman and Suki, they decided to pass the lake separating them from Ba Sing Se, called the Serpent's Pass. They started to cross it, but they later came to a dead end in the middle of the sliverous path. Katara and Aang had to waterbend a path through the water so that they could pass. While they were walking on the path, they discovered why the name of the path is "The Serpent's Pass", it was guarded by a gigantic serpent that disrupted their waterbending. In order to stop them from drowning, Toph elevated the ground and brought them to the surface. This stranded them in the middle of the water, with the serpent circling around them.
Aang attacked the serpent, telling Katara to get the others across while he distracted it. Katara created an ice bridge for the others to cross, and leaped to help Aang without a second thought. The others crossed, except for Toph, who was afraid to go through the ice bridge, until the serpent slammed the ground behind her. She began to cross, until the serpent destroyed the ice path, sending her into the water. Toph said she could not swim, so Sokka called that he was coming after her, but Suki dove in first and saved her. Toph, thinking that it was Sokka, gave Suki a kiss on the cheek to thank "him" before Suki could tell her the truth. Suki soon did so, much to Toph's embarrassment, and Toph stated that "she [could] go ahead and let [her] drown now". The group survived the ordeal, and they head to Ba Sing Se. On the way to the Earth Kingdom capital, the pregnant woman, Ying, started to give birth. They named the baby "Hope" in the name of the journey they had while traversing the Serpent's Pass.
Battle of the Drill
Once the group arrived to Ba Sing Se, they were presented with even more trouble. A giant Fire Nation drill was trying to break down the walls of the mighty city. Sokka made up a plan to sabotage the drill. Toph refused to enter the drill, where she could not bend, and instead tried to slow it down from the outside using her earthbending. After Katara got out of the drill, she called for Toph to help her bend the slurry in the pipes back to help bring down the drill. After Aang dealt the final blow on the top, the drill shut down and the team was once more victorious. They saved Ba Sing Se this time.
In Ba Sing Se
Riding the monorail, the group finally entered Ba Sing Se. Sokka was confident that they will easily find Appa, but the city was bigger than they imagined. Soon after they arrived, Toph and her friends were met by Joo Dee, a cheerful, incessantly-smiling woman assigned to guide them around the city. As a reward for protecting Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation attack, Toph, Katara, Sokka and Aang were given a house in the city's Upper Ring.
In the Upper Ring, Aang and his group were finally taken to their new house. When a possible audience with the Earth King was finally mentioned, it was revealed that they will have to wait at least a month. It soon became apparent that within the walls of the city, no one wanted to talk or even think about the Hundred Year War raging in the rest of the world. Even Aang's attempts to find Appa bore no fruit as no one seemed willing to divulge any information to them, thanks to some meaningful glances from Joo Dee to citizens. Along the way they also saw members of the Dai Li — elite guards who safeguard Ba Sing Se's cultural heritage and society.
When a notice arrived of a party being held in the palace, Katara decided it was a good way to reach the Earth King. Toph said that since the gang is mostly commoners, they would be spotted right away if they went to the event. In the end, Toph decided that Katara could pass off as a nobility, and both of them dressed up in formal attire proper of the city. They later headed for the palace while Aang and Sokka waited at the house. The girls were initially refused entry by a guard, who rejected even Toph's family seal. They eventually got inside by tagging along with an official named Long Feng, but their attempts to sneak Aang and Sokka inside, whom had entered the party as servers, were stymied by Long Feng himself, who seemed determined to personally help them out. When he saw Aang was going to meet the king, he ordered the Dai Li to bind the team with earthbending. They went and had a meeting with Long Feng and learned that Ba Sing Se was really controlled by him rather than the Earth King. He also said that the War was a banned topic in the city and the king had no information about it, due to the fact that his function was to maintain the cultural heritage of Ba Sing Se, all his duties relate to issuing decrees on such matters, not military issues.
Days after the confrontation, at the location of the gang's house in Ba Sing Se, the whole group was busily cleaning themselves up for the day aside from Toph who had yet to wake up. When Katara woke her, Toph presented herself with her hair a mess and her body covered in dirt, which, according to her, was "a healthy coating of earth", considering herself ready. Katara suggested they have a "girl's day out", and took her to the Fancy Lady Day Spa. Toph agreed reluctantly, as long as they did not touch her feet. This request was denied and Toph sent one of the attendants through the wall during a pedicure. The girls subsequently took a mud bath where Toph used her earthbending to make creepy faces with the mud and scare away the attendant. The two later relaxed in a sauna, using their bending to both feed the fire and create the steam.
The girls left the sauna now with make-up on their faces. As they crossed a bridge, a girl of the Upper Ring named Star and her friends made fun of Toph's make-up. Toph was upset by these remarks and Katara tried to urge her to ignore them. Toph, however, laughed back at the girls and earthbent the rock of the bridge from under them, dropping them into the river. Katara finished with her own parting shot by waterbending the girls downstream. Katara tried to console Toph as they continued walking on. Toph claimed that because she is blind, she did not have to worry so much about personal appearance or the approval of others, but the words of the girls still hurt her all the same, and she shed a few tears. Katara complimented that Toph was not only confident and self-assured, but also pretty. Toph proclaimed she would like to return the compliment but had no idea what Katara looked like. Katara laughed at this and the story ended with Toph giving her a friendly punch on the arm.
Out in the city, the gang was setting up more posters for the lost Appa when Katara run into Jet. He told her that he wanted to help and he had changed and had left his group, but Katara distrusted and attacked him. Jet deflected her attacked and tried to prove his honesty by dropping his hook swords. The others arrived, drawn by the noise, and Jet tried again to explain himself. Jet promptly showed them a flier of Appa. Toph, reading Jet's heartbeat and breathing patterns with earthbending, pronounced that he was telling the truth. Katara was distrustful, but she agreed. Jet leaded them to a large empty warehouse, where he said they may had been holding Appa. Toph confirmed it by finding a tuft of Appa's fur, and an old cleaning man, a Dai Li undercover agent, said that Appa was sent off to Whaletail Island, down near the South Pole. Aang immediately wanted to set off, and Jet offered to come along. Toph asked Katara whether Jet was her boyfriend. She got mad and said no, but Toph teased her by saying she could tell she is lying.
On their way out, the group was sidetracked when Smellerbee and Longshot happened to come across them. Katara once again turned on Jet, as he had claimed to have left the gang behind. Jet insisted that he had been living alone in the city, but Smellerbee claimed that he was dragged away by the Dai Li. Toph realized they were both telling the truth, even though their stories did not match. Sokka quickly figured that Jet had been brainwashed by the Dai Li. Katara used her healing to try to soothe it. Finally, Jet remembered that he was taken to a secret facility under a lake. Sokka remembered what Joo Dee had said about her "vacation" in Lake Laogai, fully jogging Jet's memory, the base is under that lake, he said. The group made their way to the lake next day, and Toph quickly found and uncovered the secret underwater entrance. They went inside, quietly making their way through the dark corridors.
The gang found themselves confronted by Long Feng and several Dai Li agents. A battle quickly broke out. Toph showed the true mastery of earthbending when she incredibly took down several Dai Li agents. Long Feng escaped, with Aang and Jet in hot pursuit. After dealing a grievous blow to Jet, Long Feng escaped as the others entered the chamber. Katara tried to heal Jet and realized just how badly he was injured. Longshot, speaking for the first time in the series, told Aang and his group that they should go and find Appa and leave Jet to Smellerbee and himself. Jet tried to assure Katara that he would be fine, but as they left, Toph sorrowfully said that Jet was lying. Jet eventually died from his injuries.
After they exited the underground base, they finally met back with Appa. Katara and Toph both wanted to leave Ba Sing Se, as they had found Appa and thus had no reason to remain there; Toph hated the city. On the other hand, Sokka wanted to stay to inform the Earth King of all that is taking place within Ba Sing Se, as well as the approaching solar eclipse, as this was their entire reason for heading toward Ba Sing Se in the first place. Aang agreed with him. Ultimately, the others agreed to do so and all four rode Appa back to Ba Sing Se's royal palace and managed to break in, tearing their way through the Royal Guards despite a strong defense. Toph showed again her power, defeating many guards at the same time. She changed all the steps of the palace entrance to a flat surface making all the guards fall down like in a long slide.
At the palace, Toph and her friends finally reached the Earth King's throne room, where they were encountered by Long Feng and many Dai Li, who stood before the Earth King as a last defense. Aang went on to explain the various events going on that the Earth King was unaware of: a war outside Ba Sing Se's walls, Long Feng and the Dai Li's conspiracy, the imprisonment of Appa, and the brainwashing of their friend Jet and countless other individuals. They decided to show the Earth King Lake Laogai, the underwater headquarters of the Dai Li, but the latter had already hidden it all, so the team was left with no proof of its existence. Team Avatar decided to show the king the Outer Wall, which was earlier penetrated by the Fire Nation's drill, but the king had had enough, and decided to return to the palace. Sokka quickly convinced him to continue the investigation, however, by letting him ride on Appa.
The Earth King arrived at the Outer Wall, and was shocked to see the remains of the Fire Nation's drill leading right up to and through Ba Sing Se's wall. Long Feng was promptly arrested. After the group split up, Toph got a letter that told her to meet her mother. She entered an upper-ring building that she found empty. She went in, but only suspected trickery at the last minute, and was captured in a metal coffin. Master Yu and Xin Fu emerged from the shadows and prepared to return Toph to their parents in Gaoling, so that they may retrieve their reward.
Out on a road, an ostrich-horse was pulling a cart carrying Master Yu and Xin Fu as well as Toph, who was trapped within a huge metal box. The two up front were arguing about which way to go in order to back to the Beifong estate, when Toph yelled at the two to stop arguing and let her out to go to the bathroom. Master Yu started to get up to let her out, but Xin Fu sharply pulled him back from the action, noticing the obvious trick where his companion did not. Toph pounded against the cage she was in, only infuriating Xin Fu more, who told her that no matter how good an earthbender she thought she may be, there was no way that she could bend metal. Toph continued bashing her hands into the metal walls of her coffin trying to bend it. Her blows sent out vibrations, allowing her to sense the fragments of earth contained within the metal. Toph reached out for the fragments, readjusted her stance, and created a very large dent on the cage. She cheered and congratulated herself for her discovery, before continuing her assault on the coffin's walls.
Master Yu and Xin Fu were startled by a tearing sound from the back of the wagon and went to investigate. A massive hole had been ripped in the back of Toph's coffin, and she was not inside. Toph emerged further back on the road, and used earthbending to thrust Xin Fu and Yu back into the metal coffin. She quickly gripped each side of the hole she made earlier and pulled them back together, trapping her captors in her place, metalbending. After taking a few moments to yell out her triumph and state that she was the greatest earthbender ever, Toph rapidly headed back to Ba Sing Se by surfing along a self-made wave of earth. This left Xin Fu and Yu locked very uncomfortably within the coffin, and Xin Fu frustrated as ever at having to spend time with his companion while Yu needed to go to the bathroom.
Sokka and Aang were making their way back to Ba Sing Se on Appa as fast as possible due to Aang's vision of Katara in deep trouble. As they flew along, they spotted Toph, who was trying to get back to the palace as quickly as she could. Because they were flying, she did not know of their presence until Aang asked if she needed a ride. Toph yelled in surprise, tripped, and fell. They picked her up and flew to Ba Sing Se, trying quickly to get there to see if Katara was all right. When asked if he had mastered the Avatar State, Aang lied to the others, saying that he had, although he had escaped before the end of the process.
Outside the palace, Sokka and Toph soon saw General How, but before they could say anything, the Dai Li placed them under house arrest. At that very moment, every general of the Council of Five was arrested. The two made it into the throne room, and they revealed to the Earth King that the girls were not Kyoshi Warriors. Upon seeking Sokka, Ty Lee started to flirt with him, but he said that he was involved with Suki. Ty Lee did not know who Suki was, which exposed them and Toph threw her to the side with some rocks. Mai, realizing that their identities were exposed, threw a hail of ornate shurikens at Toph, who blocked them with a wall of earth. Ty Lee began to "fight" Sokka. However, the fighting was in vain, as Azula soon had the king at flame-point. Sokka and Toph gave up immediately, and were soon disabled by Ty Lee.
Toph was later seen in a metal prison cell with Sokka and the Earth King. After Sokka checked to see if any guards were nearby, Toph easily metalbend and destroyed the door and they escaped to the astonishment of the king.
Later, back in the palace, Ty Lee was trying to teach Bosco, the bear of the king, how to walk on his front legs, but soon her hands and feet were trapped by Toph with earth. Toph and Sokka took a fighting stance against Mai, who in her nonchalance said to take the bear and the king reunited happily with his pet. After Aang got wounded in the Crystal Catacombs by Azula, the group (including the Earth King and Bosco) all escaped Ba Sing Se on Appa.