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This article is about the character in The Legend of Korra. For the voice actor, see Mako Iwamatsu.
Biographical information

Republic City, United Republic


Fire Nation; Earth Kingdom


152 AG

Physical description


Hair color


Personal information

Bolin, his parents, Korra, Pabu, Toza, Asami Sato, Naga, Tenzin, Lin Beifong, Jinora, Ikki, Meelo, Rohan, Tarrlok, Gommu, Iroh, Skoochy, Shady Shin (formerly), Varrick more ...


Hiroshi Sato, Amon, Equalists, Lieutenant, Tarrlok (formerly), Unalaq

Weapon of choice

Fire, lightning

Fighting style(s)


Chronological and political information
  • Fire Ferrets' firebender and captain (formerly)
  • Detective
  • Boyfriend of the Avatar (formerly)
First appearance

"A Leaf in the Wind"

Voiced by

David Faustino

Mako is a firebender from a multicultural family who grew up on the streets of Republic City as an orphan with his younger brother, Bolin. Mako always wears his signature red scarf that was once his father's, who was murdered along with his mother when he was a boy.[1] He formed a pro-bending team with his brother and Hasook, but eventually Avatar Korra joined the team and took the waterbending position from Hasook. Mako, with the help of his teammates, was able to lead the team to second place in the championship. After the tournament's conclusion, Mako joined Korra in her efforts to stop the Equalists.


Early life

Mako was born to a multicultural family in Republic City; his father being from the Earth Kingdom and his mother from the Fire Nation,[4] two years before Bolin. When he was eight, Mako witnessed his parents being killed by a firebender, leaving Bolin, his younger brother, as his only family[1] and his treasured red scarf as the sole memento of his father.[5] Being the elder brother, he was forced to take on adult responsibilities from that point on, depriving him of the majority of his childhood.

As an orphan, Mako did whatever was necessary in order to survive along with his brother. He often resorted to his firebending to protect himself and Bolin on the streets.[2] Both of them also ran small-time scams during much of their youth. This attitude brought him in contact with the criminal organization known as the Triple Threat Triad, for whom he collected money for bets and ran numbers. Mako even came into close contact with the leader of the triad, Lightning Bolt Zolt, and was able to learn the techniques of lightning generation and redirection from him.[6]

One day in 167 AG,[7] during Mako's involvement with the Triple Threat Triad, the young firebender and his brother attempted to pull off a scam on an elderly woman. Posing as a thief, he ran toward the woman from behind and grabbed her purse, before leaving her sight by entering a side alley. When Bolin pretended to chase after him and fight, Mako willingly gave the purse to his brother, deceiving the woman into thinking that the young earthbender had stopped a thief. Bolin returned to Mako with a reward of two yuans and a loaf of bread he had stolen from the old woman; after Bolin gave a piece of the loaf to his brother, Mako reminded him that they had not eaten anything the day before.

Mako lecturing Bolin
Mako stated to Bolin that in order to survive in Republic City, one had to "hustle or be hustled".
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Later that day, Mako went to the Triple Threat Triad headquarters with his brother and saw Shady Shin bribe Toza, a pro-bender. When Bolin expressed his disappointment about seeing Toza act this way, Mako became upset – Toza should be happy about being paid, Mako opined; after all, there had been no one to mourn for their losses when their parents died and had left them to fend for themselves, and that one must "hustle or be hustled". Afterward, Shin told them that if they did not acquire enough bets to recover the ten thousand yuans given to Toza, he would abandon Mako and Bolin on the streets, after which the two brothers speedily departed.[8]

While the brothers were collecting bets at a pet shop, a fire ferret escaped and was restrained by its owner, Mr. Feng, because it was to be fed to a pythonaconda. Mako stopped Bolin from buying it as they could not afford to feed it, and felt his younger brother needed to toughen up and realize that bigger animals consumed those smaller than them. Mako collected the owner's bet while Bolin talked to Toza about that night's match; the firebender chastised him because he believed that doing so would get them in trouble with Shady Shin. Bolin angrily responded that Mako was being mean and walked away, leaving Mako to sigh.

Mako defeating pythonaconda
Mako saved Bolin from the pythonaconda.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

That night, after Bolin broke into the pet shop to steal the fire ferret, he was strangled by the pythonaconda, but Mako arrived and yanked the snake away. After again criticizing his brother for getting into stupid situations, the two left, but, at Bolin's urging, with the fire ferret whom the earthbender named Pabu. Mako warned Bolin that Pabu's food would come out of half of his money.[9]

After a while, the cooperation between the Triple Threats and the two brothers came to an end. Acknowledging the dangerous nature and moral ambiguity of their past, Mako was determined never to return to that life and explicitly forbade Bolin from associating with the Triple Threats in any way.[1]

Mako and his brother first began competing in the Pro-bending Tournament when Toza discovered them fighting in the streets and acknowledged their potential. Toza taught the brothers pro-bending,[10] offered them a place to live in the attic of the Pro-bending Arena, and let them work odd jobs to pay rent which allowed them to focus on the sport. Mako eventually became the captain of a pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, which included his brother and his friend Hasook.[11][12]

170 AG

Main article: History of Mako (152 AG - 170 AG)
Korra and Mako at the Revelation
Mako and Korra infiltrated an Equalist rally.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

At age eighteen, Mako was trying to qualify with the Fire Ferrets for the Pro-bending Championship. However, when Hasook was a no-show on the last match, he was forced to allow Korra, a green player, to take the waterbender's place. She eventually managed to help them win the match, and as such, a lasting partnership was formed.[12] When Bolin was kidnapped some time later, Mako set out with Korra to find him. They tracked the earthbender down to an abandoned warehouse, where they witnessed, first hand, Amon's ability to strip a bender of their bending abilities. However, with Korra's help, Mako was able to rescue his brother before Amon reached him.[1]

Heading for the championship, the team needed funding to play, thus Mako got a job at Republic City Power Plant. When he returned home from work one day, Asami Sato nearly ran him over. To make it up to him, she took him to dinner at Kwong's Cuisine, marking the start of their relationship. Due to this connection, Future Industries took care of the Fire Ferrets' monetary issues by sponsoring the team. The team started to train hard for the Pro-bending Championship, and although they had some hard matches due to internal romantic struggles,[13] they managed to reach the finale. However, after their match against the White Falls Wolfbats ended with their defeat due to cheating of the other team, Amon and his Equalists attacked the Pro-bending Arena, effectively destroying the building and leaving Mako and Bolin homeless.[14] Asami offered them a place to stay, but after Hiroshi Sato was outed as an Equalist, both the bending brothers and Asami moved to live at Air Temple Island with Korra.[15]

Mako threatening Equalist
Mako threatened an Equalist to get information about Korra's location.
KettleMeetPotAdded by KettleMeetPot

To make an insecure Avatar feel better about herself, Mako formed a team with her and the others to actively do something about the Equalists in the city. They were successful, though the team was broken up when an angered Tarrlok arrested Asami, and subsequently Mako and his brother as they came to the girl's defense.[16] He was broken out of jail by Lin Beifong soon after, who alerted them, much to Mako's shock, that Korra had been kidnapped. Together with Tenzin, they all set out on a frantic search for the Avatar, and when they found her again, Mako tenderly took care of her, despite being in a relationship with Asami.[17]

Mako zaps Amon
Mako blasted Amon with lightning for a momentary escape.
Random RanaunAdded by Random Ranaun

In the aftermath of finding Korra, Amon launched his grand attack on the city. Mako and his friends fought back for a while, but the sheer number and power of the Equalists forced them on the run. The foursome retreated into the tunnel system of the city, where they would await the arrival of reinforcements in the form of General Iroh and his United Forces.[18] Mako and Asami's relationship grew more and more tense as he spent more time with Korra doing reconnaissance work by spying on the Equalists. However, after General Iroh too proved to be no match for the Equalists machines, Mako set out with Korra to confront Amon. After having learned that he truly was a waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe,[19] they eventually found him at the Pro-bending Arena, where he was holding a victory speech. They freed Tenzin and his children, though when they were faced by Amon, the Equalist leader managed to take away Korra's bending. When Amon moved to do the same to Mako, the firebender managed to temporarily overpower Amon, and run away with Korra. However, he was stopped by Amon and was on the verge of losing his bending, when Korra saved him with her newly unlocked airbending.

After the Equalists' defeat, Mako traveled to the Southern Water Tribe, hoping that Katara could restore Korra's bending. When it became clear that the old healer was unable to and a heartbroken Korra ran off to grieve on her own, Mako confessed his love to her, though was shot down. Unsure what to do, he followed her and witnessed how she got her bending back, after which she confessed her love for him too and they began their relationship.[20]

171 AG

Officer Mako
Mako mocked several triad members after apprehending them.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Sometime during the six months following the defeat of Amon and the end of the Anti-bending Revolution, things were looking up for Mako and his brother. Mako left the Fire Ferrets and became a policeman. Using his earnings and Bolin's, the bending brothers acquired a decent apartment in Republic City.

Riding his motorcycle, he patrolled the streets of Republic City in order to apprehend criminals. In one instance, he chased a delivery truck with hostile waterbender thieves trying to evade him. After a lengthy chase which included a jump, he utilized a fire blast, which caused the truck to crash and flip over. Mako enjoyed his job of chasing down triad members, and aspired to become a detective for the Republic City Police Department. His romantic relationship with Korra underwent a number of struggles during this time, but the couple was able to settle their differences each time.[3]

Glacier Spirits Festival

Mako accompanied Korra, along with Bolin and Tenzin's family, back to the Southern Water Tribe for the Glacier Spirits Festival. While resting against Naga, Mako bragged about the quips he used during his recent arrests of triad members. Korra expressed envy of him, informing Mako that Tenzin feels that she was growing irresponsible as the Avatar. Mako attempted to reason that Tenzin was only trying to help her, only for Korra to storm off. Frustrated, he asked Naga why it was easier to handle criminals than his girlfriend.

Later, when they arrive at the south, Korra reintroduces Mako to her father, Tonraq. Tonraq sternly asked a nervous Mako if he was keeping his daughter out of trouble, but changed his mood at Korra's urging. At the same time, Unalaq, chief of the Northern Water Tribe and Korra's uncle arrived, and Mako and Bolin could not help but notice the tension between the two.

Korra and Mako at Glacier Spirits Festival
Mako was asked by Korra for advice about what she should do.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Later that night, Mako and Korra began to enjoy the festival together. While Bolin was busy chatting up Korra's cousins, Desna and Eska, Korra informed Mako of her uncle's offer to train her about spirits but Tenzin and her father refuse the idea, so she asked Mako for advice. Mako suggested that she do whatever she thought was right, but Korra failed to find it helpful.

Later, everyone was woken by Naga's howling, as a dark spirit attacked Korra. Mako, Bolin, Tonraq, and Tenzin attempted to come to her aid, only to be swept aside by the spirit. After the spirit was purified by Unalaq, Korra renounced Tenzin as her mentor and chose to learn from Unalaq instead.

The next morning, Korra asked Mako if she made the right decision. He confessed that he did not know, but told her to trust her heart.[3]

Traveling to the spirit portal

Dark spirits attack
Dark spirits attacked the group, and Mako and Korra attempted to fend them off.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

When it became clear Korra and Unalaq would travel to the South Pole, Mako helped her prepare for the journey. He was originally going to ride with Korra on Naga, though when Bolin appeared on a snowmobile with a sidecar, Mako took Desna and Eska's arctic camel instead. The next day, the group continued toward the Everstorm in the South Pole. As they ventured into the storm, they were attacked by dark spirits. Mako attempted to ward the spirits off, albeit with little success. By the time Unalaq had used his purification technique to calm the spirits down, Mako noted that their supplies had all been destroyed, causing Tonraq to insist that they all turn back. When Korra told her father to leave instead, Mako assured the man that he would keep an eye on his daughter, much to Tonraq's appreciation though to Korra's irritation. He emphasized to her that he was not siding against her, but merely trying to help out, just like everyone else.

The group arrived at the spirit portal, and Mako tried to accompany her, but Tonraq insisted they go in alone. He reluctantly remained behind, and watched in awe moments later at the newly returned southern lights. When Korra emerged from the frozen forest, Mako hugged her, stating that she never ceased to amaze him. As Korra apologized for her behavior, saying it was hard being the Avatar, Mako teased her in response, joking that it was even harder being the Avatar's boyfriend.[21]

Northern and Southern tensions rise

Mako proposing a date
To help his girlfriend relax, Mako proposed to go on a calming date between the two of them.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Shortly after their return to the Southern Water Tribe, tensions began to rise as Unalaq brought in men from the North. Around this time, Bolin approached Mako, seeking advice on how to handle his relationship with Eska. Mako suggested that if Bolin was feeling unhappy, he break up with her, as it was the right thing to do. He likened the break up to ripping off a leech: painful, but one would feel a lot better afterward. Later, Korra approached Mako, venting to him about her struggles in keeping peace between the North and the South. In an attempt to calm his girlfriend down and be there for her, Mako suggested taking a break from it all and enjoy a quiet dinner with him. His plan backfired, however, as their date was crashed by Bolin who had brought the twins with him.[22]

Mako later accompanied his brother and Asami as they attempted to meet with Varrick. When Desna and Eska entered, looking for Varrick, he learned to his shock that Korra's parents were arrested and to be tried for conspiring to assassinate Unalaq. After the twins left, Mako went to check up on Korra and later attended the trial of her parents, where he was shocked to hear Tonraq and the other Southern Water Tribe rebels be sentenced to death.

Later, Mako and Asami were in Varrick's mansion, when they were approached by Korra. She asked for their help in breaking her father out of prison, as she had learned that the entire trial had been a setup. Although he noted that if there were to go through with the plan, a war would break out with no way back, he did not hesitate to help her.

Korra and Mako fighting Unalaq
Korra and Mako attempted to fight off Unalaq so that they could leave.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Mako and the rest of Team Avatar went to break Tonraq out of prison, but they found his cell to be empty and Unalaq there waiting for them. After learning that the Chief had shipped the prisoners off to the North, Korra and Mako got into a brief skirmish with Unalaq, before leaving for Varrick's yacht in hopes of catching up with the ship. However, shortly after they set sail they ran into a Northern blockade preventing them from leaving the harbor. In order to take Korra close enough to the battleships to clear them out, Mako and Korra used their firebending as boosters to offset the lack of a runway on Varrick's ship, enabling Asami to take flight with Varrick's plane.

After Korra successfully cleared the blockade, the three scoured the surface from their elevated position for the ship carrying Tonraq and the others. As they spotted it, they jumped out of the plane and let it crash next to the northern ship to create a diversion. They boarded the ship and quickly freed the prisoners. Mako and his friends subsequently left for Republic City again in hopes of convincing President Raiko to deploy the United Forces to help the South in the Water Tribe Civil War against the North.[23]

Troubles with Korra

Upon returning to Republic City, Lin Beifong called him back to the force, telling him she needed him to help maintain the order during a peace march held by the Southerners against the northern occupation of their tribe. When Korra expressed her desire to attend the march, Mako opposed to idea, believing that she, as the Avatar, should at least attempt to seem neutral. Realizing she would not follow his advice, he left the group, preparing to go back to work.

When Mako was watching over the protest, he discovered two suspicious people leave the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center. He attempted to stop them, but as he came close, they used a remote control to set off bombs in the building. Mako pursued them, intending on apprehending the culprits, but after a brief fire battle, he only managed to procure their control, and the people got away. He met up with Korra who was busy extinguishing the fire, and retold his run-in with the firebenders, telling her that the Northern Water Tribe might not be the culprit as she believed. However, his suspicion was promptly dismissed, both by Korra and Lu and Gang, the detectives in charge of the bombing case and whom he had given the recovered remote control. Believing in the North's innocence, Mako started an investigation of his own.

Korra and Mako argue
Mako and Korra argued about their conflicting opinions on the Water Tribe Civil War.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

The next day, Korra came by his apartment, venting her frustrations about President Raiko's refusal to send the United Forces to assist the south. Mako said that he understood why Raiko was not taking action, as the conflict did not concern the United Republic. Their argument escalated quickly, either one believing their respective job to be more important and pressing than the other's. After Mako blamed Korra for messing things up all the time, she stormed out.

Mako resumed his investigation, flipping through police photo books in hopes of identifying the firebender he had seen fleeing the scene of the bombing. When Bolin later came by, informing Mako of their friends' plans to assist the south, as well as his intention to star in Varrick's propaganda film, Mako mostly ignored him, up until his brother mentioned that Korra intended to go directly to General Iroh for military aid, which Mako dismissed as a terrible idea. However, as Bolin took the photo book and turned a page, Mako's attention was drawn to one of the men he saw there, identifying the person as one of the bombers. Excited about the breakthrough, he quickly headed to the police headquarters to inform Chief Beifong.

Mako talking to Raiko
Mako disclosed Korra's plans of going directly to the United Forces behind Raiko's back to the President.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

As he informed Lu and Gang about his discovery, the two detectives pranked him by sending him into Lin's office, well aware that she was having a meeting with the President and did not want to be disturbed. Angered, he disclosed his findings, namely that the Agni Kai Triad was hired to bomb the center and blame it on the North, to the two cops, though was promptly dismissed, as they did not investigate things further, believing the North was behind it. Mako returned to his own desk, though was approached by President Raiko. Mako was commended for his good work as a police officer, and asked if he, as the Avatar's boyfriend, knew if she was up to something. Reminded that he swore an oath to always uphold the law, Mako told the President about Korra's intention of going directly to the United Forces.

When Korra barged into the police headquarters some time later, the two got into another heated argument, as Korra felt betrayed by Mako's actions, whereas he perceived it as doing his job. Mako attempted to explain to his furious girlfriend that he could not ignore a direct question of the President. As the argument intensified, Mako angrily concluded that since they were both putting their jobs before their relationship, there was simply no room for a relationship anymore, and he broke up with Korra.[24]

Helping Asami

Desperate Asami
In an attempt to reassure Asami, Mako promised her that he would catch whoever was responsible for the theft of her shipments.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Later, Mako reminiscent over his time with Korra by looking at a picture of him and her. His musings were interrupted by a panicking Asami, who just had been informed of the theft of her shipment to the South. In an attempt to calm her down, he assured her that he would find the culprits, and let her listen in on Lin's questioning of the ship's captain. When he heard the man speak of how the bombs used to attack his vessel seemed to have been detonated remotely, Mako suspected there to be a link between the robbery and the bombing of the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center. He interrupted Lin's questioning to ask the captain if he recognized the detonator he had found at the bombing scene. However, Mako's ideas fell in deaf ears as an annoyed Lin promptly told to stop his investigation and do his job as a beat cop instead.

Mako hiring the Triple Threats
Mako and Asami hired the Triple Threat Triad as a last resource to find help for their sting operation.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Outside the police headquarters, Mako told her his plan of setting up a sting operation, but became hesitant to go through with it, as it would mean going behind Lin's back, and as such, he would risk his position as a police officer. However, when Asami pleaded with him to help her, as capturing the people responsible was the only way to save Future Industries, the last remnant of her family, he caves and agreed to set up the operation nonetheless. With the help of Varrick who offered a ship, he and Asami stated to load the vessel with empty crates, while stocking the true cargo in one of Future Industries warehouses. In need of extra manpower to capture the thieves, he avoided Asami's question of asking Korra for her, telling her he would ask Bolin. However, the earthbender saw his chance to get back at Mako for leaving him hanging after they all returned to the city, forcing Mako and Asami to turn to the Triple Threat Triad instead. In exchange for their help with the sting operation, he offered them to talk to Korra on Shady Shin's behalf to get his bending restored, and after Asami threw in some newly manufactured motor vehicles, the two teenagers struck a deal with the mobsters.

Mako fighting Viper
Double-crossed by the Triple Threat Triad, Mako fought Viper in an attempt to get away from them and to reach the warehouse where Asami's shipment was kept.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

While waiting for the ship to get ambushed, Mako and Asami were joined by Two Toed Ping, who, much to Mako's annoyance, kept talking non-stop. Due to Ping's relentless questions about his relationship with Korra, Mako told him and Asami that he had broken up with the Avatar, though he refused to talk much about it. As time passed by, the two teenagers listened to Ping telling them how he got his nickname. However, Mako got distracted when he thought he heard something. Unable to confirm it with his companions, he went to check it out, and overhead Shady Shin and Viper talking about how the Triple Threats were paid to keep him and Asami busy. Realizing they were being double-crossed, Mako ushered Asami to leave the ship, and together they made their escape in one of the speedboats. However, the gangsters gave chase, which eventually led to a one-on-one battle between Mako and Viper. Although Mako was initially defeated, he was saved by Asami's steering skills, which threw the triad's leader off their boat.

When Mako told Asami why they needed to leave the ship, the two made their way to the warehouse where Asami had stocked the true shipment, only to find it completely robbed empty. Although Asami lost all hope, Mako ensured her that he still believed in her, which resulted in her kissing him. He swiftly accepted her apology in an attempt to defuse the building awkwardness between them. He left her standing at the warehouse with a promise that he would find the persons responsible.

Mako suspects Varrick
Suspecting Varrick to be behind the attack, Mako set out to prove his guilt.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

In an attempt to find the thieves, Mako tracked down Two Toed Ping to get him to talk. However, the gangster could not tell him much more besides the fact that they had been hired by someone else to stall him and Asami. Subsequently searching for Varrick to ask the businessman some question, Mako went to see Bolin. As he watched Bolin do his scene, he asked one of the technicians how they managed to make the explosions go off and learned that Varrick Global Industries had developed the exclusive technology of a remote detonator. Realizing Varrick was behind all the attacks, Mako rushed to Asami to tell her the news, only to arrive just after she signed controlling power of her company over to Varrick. As Mako and Varrick knowingly stared each other down, Mako decided not to say anything in front of Varrick.[25]

Mako snapping
After being told to let his theory go, Mako snapped at Bolin and Asami in annoyance.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Later, Mako traveled to the set of The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, where he found Asami and Bolin and told them that it was Varrick who masterminded the thefts of Future Industries' property. His allegations were met with disbelief, causing him to snap at Asami. When the Sato heiress gently touched Mako's chest, stating that he needed to relax, Bolin interrupted the intimate moment by exclaiming in shock that they were dating again, a conclusion both Mako and Asami were quick to deny. The firebender quickly steered the conversation back to his incriminations of Varrick, elaborating his reasons for why he came to his conclusion. After he once again received no support for his theory and was even told by Bolin to let it go, he snapped at them in annoyance and left. However, before he could make his way out of the studio, he was halted by two broad men and taken to see Varrick.

Mako was pushed into a room where Varrick was sitting on a chair before a pit with burning coals, which he assumed were to torture him to make him talk. However, Varrick casually brushed aside that assumption, and proceeded with offering Mako a job on his security force, though the firebender declined, stating he already had a job. Even when Varrick implied that something might befall Asami or Bolin if he did not accept, Mako refused and promptly left the room.

Mako arrested
Mako was arrested after Lu and Gang found incriminating evidence in his apartment.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Mako returned home, where he resumed his investigation, but was interrupted by Asami knocking on the door, who came by to help him relax by inviting him to dinner at Kwong's Cuisine. Reminiscing about their first date, the two shared a kiss, though their intimate moment was cut short by another knock on the door. As he answered it, Lin Beifong and Lu and Gang entered his apartment. When Mako inquired what they were doing there, he was informed that arrested Triple Threat Triad members had told Lin that he had hired the gangsters for a sting operation, as well as aiding them to rob Future Industries' warehouses. Although Mako refuted the allegations, Lu and Gang searched his apartment and stumbled upon a bag full of money and explosives. Consequently, Mako was arrested, causing Asami to doubt her trust in him. As he was led away, Mako tried to reassure her of his innocence, putting the blame on Varrick for framing him.[26]

Battle to save the world

Bolin visits Mako
Bolin visited Mako in prison.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Bolin subsequently visited Mako in prison, where Mako tried again to convince him of Varrick's duplicity, though Bolin remained unconvinced. After hearing about the premiere of the Adventures of Nuktuk finale, Mako warned Bolin that something might take place at the event. His suspicions proved correct, as several of Varrick's hired thugs impersonated Northern Tribe soldiers and attempted to kidnap president Raiko. After the attack was thwarted, Mako was vindicated and released, and informed that he would be promoted to detective. However, other issues quickly arose: Korra had returned with news of the dire threat posed by Unalaq's alliance with the dark spirit Vaatu. To Mako's surprise, Korra also remembered nothing of their breakup due to a brief bout of amnesia, and Mako chose not to remind her of the events. The reassembled Team Avatar departed for the South Pole aboard a battleship provided by the imprisoned Varrick.[27]

Mako recognized the need to reveal what had happened as a result of their previous fight, but was hesitant about doing so in the tension of the crisis they faced. After learning of Tonraq's imprisonment, the group coordinated an assault on the Northern camp at the Southern portal. Mako, Bolin, and Asami attacked the camp from a plane, attempting to provide a distraction so that Aang's children and Korra could enter the portal. Just as they neared the portal, they were shot down by Desna and Eska, while Korra's party, with the exception of Bumi, was also captured. Unalaq revealed to his captives his intent to fuse together with Vaatu upon the spirit's release, the two of them becoming a Dark Avatar. Unalaq left them in the charge of Desna and Eska, only for Bumi to rescue them with assistance from Naga and Pabu. Entering the Spirit World through the portal, Mako and Bolin engaged Unalaq while Tenzin and his siblings left in search of Jinora and Korra attempted to seal the portals before Harmonic Convergence. Unalaq proved too great a challenge for the bending brothers, and Korra's efforts came too late as Vaatu was freed.[28]

After Korra blasted Unalaq back through the portal, Mako and Bolin followed to prevent him from reentering the Spirit World. Desna and Eska, however, joined their father, briefly disabling Mako and Bolin. The two escaped and passed through the portal, only to be frozen in ice by the waterbending twins. As such, they were unable to assist Korra, who was forced to battle Unalaq and Vaatu after the two successfully merged. Mako tried to reason with the twins, insisting that their father was trying to bring about ten thousand years of darkness and questioned why they would protect someone who felt no affection for them. Desna was willing to hear him out but Eska ordered him to ignore Mako. Eska subsequently freed the two after Bolin expressed that he still had feelings for her, which Mako believed he was falsifying. The two followed the battling Avatars back into the material world, only to witness Korra's defeat and separation from Raava, the light spirit and Vaatu's opposite. The brothers attempted to attack the Dark Avatar, but were swiftly defeated by the chief, leaving them unconscious. As they picked up Korra after regaining consciousness, Unalaq transformed into a massive dark spirit and disappeared as he reached toward the spirit lights, causing a shockwave that rendered the trio unconscious.[29]

Mako and Korra's last kiss
Mako and Korra kissed one last time before going their separate ways.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Found by Tenzin and his siblings following their rescue of Jinora, the former Fire Ferrets were revived by Kya back in the Spirit World. Korra, having lost her connection to Raava and the previous Avatars, expressed a sense of defeat, but was encouraged by Tenzin. Mako watched as Korra entered the Tree of Time, her spirit emerging and growing to the size of Unalaq's new form. As the two titans battled in the mortal world, a force of dark spirits converged on the tree, forcing Mako and his allies to fight them off. Eska and Desna also joined the battle, and Korra returned after defeating the combined Unalaq and Vaatu. Rejoining Raava, Korra decided to leave the spirit portals open an allow humans and spirits to interact without restriction. At this point, Mako finally admitted their breakup to her, and she revealed that her memory of the fight had been regained in the Tree of Time. Agreeing that they would always love each other, the pair nevertheless admitted that a romantic relationship between them could not work. They subsequently shared a final kiss, ending their relationship on a positive note.[30]


Mako grinning
Mako grins as he receives the winnings for one of the Fire Ferrets' matches.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Characteristic of his stoic and brooding personality, Mako is generally aloof and indifferent, though he is not incapable of genuine kindness and a protective demeanor. It is implied that Mako has excellent control over his emotions, as he is able to bend lightning – a technique that requires the user to have a calm and steady mind. He tends to act in a critical and controlling manner, stemming from a life on the streets and a drive to protect his little brother, which forced him to take on adult responsibilities at a young age. In light of the brothers' pasts, he cares deeply for Bolin and is very protective of him.[12] After Mako lost his parents, he was willing to do whatever was required to help him and his brother survive in the rough urban environment of Republic City, even going as far as scamming and working for a notorious criminal organization. Eventually, Mako abandoned these immoral activities, but refused to admit the criminality of his past actions to Korra, as he firmly believed he was only doing what was necessary to survive. Mako has always put the interests of safety and survival ahead of other things, as exemplified by his reluctance to let Bolin keep a fire ferret as a pet, since that would put a strain on their low food consumption. Living on the streets has given him a "hard-edge",[11] though he seems to relax when he is with Bolin, Korra, or Asami, or when he achieves something important. For instance, when Butakha gave him the winnings from their last match, Mako had a large grin on his face.[1]

Going with his hard edge, Mako has a wrathful side to him as well. This is particularly evident when he threatened an Equalist when seeking information regarding Korra's whereabouts. This more than likely stems from his fear of abandoning someone close to him due to the loss of his parents to a firebending mugger. His protective attitude toward his younger brother on the street in the years thereafter reflected this side of him as well.

Mako is very dutiful in his job as a cop, having arrested several triad members since joining the force, and was on the fast track to becoming detective.[3] Despite his coworkers' constant belittlement, Mako promptly suggests his theories on open cases, and refuses to take the easy way out to close a case, being adamant in following leads.[25] His commitment and effectiveness on the streets was such that he earned himself praise from President Raiko. His sense of duty also caused him to divulge information that would put strain in his relationship with Korra, ultimately even ending it.[24]



Main article: Firebending
Mako firebending at Lieutenant
Mako showcases his firebending.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Mako has shown considerable skill in the art of firebending, implementing a modern style of fighting that he uses predominantly in the Pro-bending Arena. Critics of the sport note his use of a distinct "cool under fire" technique, which primarily involves a series of defensive weaving and dodging patterns quickly followed by successive spurts of offense, rendering Mako capable of defeating an entire pro-bending team by himself.[12] Outside of pro-bending, Mako demonstrated great skill in traditional firebending combat. He can maintain his fire streams for a period of time for feats such as propelling himself through the air. He can also perform more advanced techniques such as the breath of fire.[15] The raw strength of his firebending is also considerable, able to offset a large and point-blank explosion unharmed.[24] His control is also very fine, able to form a sleek dagger for intimidation and the likes.

Mako shoots lightning
Mako uses lightning to distract Amon so he and Korra can save the airbenders.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Mako is also skilled enough to generate lightning and redirect it, having learned the skills from his former boss, Lightning Bolt Zolt.[6] He has used lightning for a job at a power plant in Republic City[1] and can effectively use it in combat. He is able to generate it quickly with little charging time and no arm movement and is also capable of maintaining the bolt for several seconds. He can also fire it with considerable aim, being able to hit speeding targets and controlling the charge of it to merely stun targets.[16] While fighting several Equalist mecha tanks, Mako redirected the electricity channeled through their metal cables to disable them.[18] When restrained by Amon's bloodbending, he was able to maintain enough focus and calmness of mind to generate lightning and score a direct hit against the Equalist leader. Amon admitted to Mako that he was impressed with his firebending skill, and that it was almost a shame that he would have to remove the bending of "someone so talented".[20]

Other skills

Mako pro-bending
Mako showcases his trademark "cool under fire" style of bending.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Mako has displayed considerable agility, being capable of both jumping long distances and performing impressive flips, proving himself difficult to hit at a distance. Mako also has considerable raw strength: he effortlessly launched an Equalist agent a great distance, casually carried Bolin over his shoulder, and in anger hoisted an Equalist into the air with a single hand. He can also carry Korra in his arms rather easily and has done so twice: once after she escaped from Amon and Tarrlok and again when her bending was taken away. While under the control of Amon's bloodbending, Mako was able to move his body slightly better than others caught under this technique and managed to aim a bolt of lightning at Amon, something that took the masked man by surprise, considering his great skill in bloodbending. Mako is also shown to be quite level-headed in dire situations, and has quick thinking, which was exhibited when he came up with a plan to save his brother from the Equalists during Amon's revelation.

Mako is also good with maps, as he figured out where the Equalist Rally was located by looking at the maps he and Korra obtained from the Equalist protester. Mako demonstrated his abilities with a map again when he discovered where the Equalist airfield was hidden. He also appears to be at least an adequate cook, preparing meals for himself and Bolin.

Upon becoming a police officer, Mako uses a motorcycle as his vehicle of choice, displaying great skill with maneuvering it over slick terrain, and even incorporating his firebending as a booster to extend the distance of his jumps and to stabilize after a near crash.


Main article: Mako's relationships


Earth Kingdom
Fire Nation



  • Mako is named after the late Mako Iwamatsu, the original voice of Iroh during Book One: Water to Book Two: Earth, as a homage.[31] His name is a shortened form of the Japanese name Makoto (信), meaning "truth" or "faithfulness".
  • The creators commented that Mako reminded them of Zuko, but without the angst.[31]
  • Mako's "cool under fire" style of pro-bending bears similarities to the defensive styles of boxing, and the styles of iconic boxers such as Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali.
  • Mako's dark childhood is similar to that of Sokka, Katara, Jet, Asami Sato and Aang as all six of them have lost family members to firebenders. However, while Katara, Sokka and Asami only lost their mothers, Mako and Jet's parents were murdered right in front of them, though on the other hand, Aang lost his entire people to firebenders while he was sealed in an iceberg. Jet and Mako also both lost their family at age eight.
  • Mako's history is similar to Batman's, in the sense that both of their parents were mugged and murdered in front of them at the age of eight. In addition, David Faustino, Mako's voice actor, has previously worked on an episode of the Batman animated series Batman Beyond, in his second voice-over role as the character Sean Miller.
  • Mako learning pro-bending from Toza and lightning techniques from Lightning Bolt Zolt were both cut out of the show for time saving purposes.[10][32]
  • Mako seems to show no regret for his powers, even though his parents were killed by a firebender.
  • Mako's scarf is very similar to Katara's necklace in the way that it is the sole memento of a deceased parent, although Mako's scarf came from his father while Katara's necklace came from her mother.
  • He is the first bender shown to stop Amon from taking someone's bending away.
  • Mako is the fourth known person to break free of a bloodbender's hold by their own doing, and the first non-waterbender known to have done so.
  • Mako is the only member of the new Team Avatar to have never been seen crying.
  • Mako is similar to Katara in that both have mothers killed by firebenders, a memento of a parent (Mako's father's scarf and Katara's mother's necklace), both also raised their brothers as a parent would do, a personality contradictory to that of their brothers', and are love interests of their current Avatar.
  • Mako is the only named male love interest of an Avatar.
Preceded by
Position established
Fire Ferrets' captain
Unknown - 170 AG
Succeeded by


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 21, 2012). "The Revelation". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (May 11, 2012). Retrieved on May 11, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 13, 2013). "Rebel Spirit". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  4. The Legend of Korra — The Art of the Animated Series, Book One: Air, page 15.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 28, 2012). "The Voice in the Night". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Legend of Korra — The Art of the Animated Series, Book One: Air, page 65.
  7. The Legend of Korra: 'Republic City Hustle. IGN (YouTube). IGN Entertainment (2013-08-12). Retrieved on August 17, 2013.
  8. Hedrick, Tim (writer). (August 9, 2013). "Republic City Hustle: Part 1". Republic City Hustle. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  9. Hedrick, Tim (writer). (August 16, 2013). "Republic City Hustle: Part 2". Republic City Hustle. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 DVD commentary for "A Leaf in the Wind".
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Legend of Korra Press Site - Character descriptions. Viacom International Inc. (March 2012). Retrieved on March 17, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "A Leaf in the Wind". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (May 5, 2012). "The Spirit of Competition". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (May 12, 2012). "And the Winner Is...". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  15. 15.0 15.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (May 19, 2012). "The Aftermath". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  16. 16.0 16.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 2, 2012). "When Extremes Meet". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  17. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 9, 2012). "Out of the Past". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 9. Nickelodeon.
  18. 18.0 18.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 16, 2012). "Turning the Tides". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  19. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 23, 2012). "Skeletons in the Closet". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  20. 20.0 20.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 23, 2012). "Endgame". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  21. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 13, 2013). "The Southern Lights". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  22. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 20, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  23. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 27, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 4, 2013). "Peacekeepers". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 17. Nickelodeon.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 11, 2013). "The Sting". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  26. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 1, 2013). "The Guide". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  27. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). "Night of a Thousand Stars". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 23. Nickelodeon.
  28. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 15, 2013). "Harmonic Convergence". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 24. Nickelodeon.
  29. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 22, 2013). "Darkness Falls". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 25. Nickelodeon.
  30. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 22, 2013). "Light in the Dark". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 26. Nickelodeon.
  31. 31.0 31.1 San Diego Comic-Con 2011
  32. DVD commentary for "The Revelation".

Start a Discussion Discussions about Mako

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    • Vendall wrote:Well there is a whole Blog dedicated to explaining why Mako is Desliked called "Lets Rost Mako" which makes excellent points on ...
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  • Why I hate Mako.

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    • Chi Scarlet Fever wrote:Mako gets girls, but he doesn't know how to treat them in the right way. Best saying evar.
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