Amon, the quintessential leader of the Equalists. What about him? There's recently been a vicious debate regarding the energybending "skills" he possesses and puts to good use in "The Revelation", taking away among others, Lightning Bolt Zolt's firebending away, permanently. On the one hand, some argue that Amon's using energybending to accomplish the task, while others state that the positioning of his hand on Triple Threat Triad leader's forehead blocks off the latter's third-eye chakra (also known as Ajna), obstructing his perspective of himself, losing the ability to bend while still retaining the potential to do so.
I on the other hand, will be investigating three distinct possibilities for his "powers"; that he legitimately acquired the ability to energybend, that he is using an enhanced version of chi-blocking, or that what he does is invoke a harsh psychological block, using his mastery of intimidation and fear to subdue his victim. What is the right answer to the question of his skills? Undoubtedly we will find out at a later time, but for now it is as unknown as the fate of Zuko's mother, Ursa. However, I will attempt to make the scenarios mentioned worthwhile, even if I don't know the answer myself, though I will support the theory with the most merit behind it.
The first possibility I mentioned in my opening argument is that Amon has genuine energybending at his command. How, you ask? The answer is easy to fathom; he likely acquired it in the Spirit World. Amon mentions in K1.03 that he lost his parents and other family members at the hands of a firebender. In addition, that same firebender scarred and completely burned his face, which is why he's wearing a mask. As implied by Iroh's unseen visit to the realm after the death of his son, Lu Ten, one can travel there in times of extreme distress or even extensive trauma. That said, Amon could've suffered the amount of trauma necessary (by having his face burned off) to fall unconscious and head to the Spirit World, where he could've learned the lost art of energybending. After that point, he'd have woken up and likely become vengeful, hardening himself to what's required to successfully take bending away from the equation (the ability to have one's spirit incorruptible to the victim's own). To interject, I don't buy the Koh theory in which he supposedly made a deal with the face-stealer in exchange for gaining the ability.
The second possibility is that of Amon using a heavily-enhanced form of chi-blocking to render bending useless on a permanent basis. In K1.03, Amon is seen placing his hands on both the 6th and 7th chakras (forehead and crown of the head, respectively). From "The Guru", it's understood that the sixth chakra (the Light Chakra, a.k.a. Ajna) governs insight and is blocked by illusion, and the seventh chakra (the Thought Chakra, a.k.a. Sahasrara) governs pure cosmic energy and is blocked by earthly attachments. What Amon could be doing is enforcing a damming of chi from both chakras to prevent energy from reaching them, thus keeping a person (in this case LBZ) from bending. Not even regular Equalist forces with their chi-blocking fighting style could do this. Blocking Ajna would be critical, because it allows for bending to be focused towards a target and if blocked or damaged, bending could backfire; remember, Combustion Man's firebending came from his third eye, which was located in front of his Ajna (and when it was blocked or untrained, his bending caused damage to him; first one blew off his limbs, second stunned him and the third killed him). Of the three possible theories, I think this one is the weakest of the bunch, as chi-blocking hasn't been known to permanently strip bending from a bender.
The third and last possibility is that Amon imposes a brutal psychological block on a bender, to make him/her believe that he/she can no longer bend, while the victim still has the potential to bend. How would he do this? As the leader of the Equalists, Amon seems to be a master of intimidation and fear against his victims. He would impose the block, enhanced by his chi-blocking skills, resulting in a long inability to bend. It however would only be permanent unless the affected party does two things: acknowledge that he/she has a block on bending abilities (which is hard to identify), and employ sheer willpower or trauma (shock therapy or another debilitating measure) to try and remove it, and thus would be able to bend again if successful. It can be assumed that Amon's victims are often demoralized by the "loss" of bending ability (thus tightening the psychological block's hold). Of the three, I believe this is the strongest theory explaining possibilities for Amon's abilities.
Now that I've outlined three theories, the floor is open to discussion. Personally, I believe that Amon uses the third theory to target benders, since energybending takes a great deal of effort and strain to achieve. I've stated my thoughts, so what are yours on the matter?
Note:I do not want any flaming going on this blog, only constructive ideas and opinions. Any instances of flaming will be deleted en masse from the blog, without question and without warnings. Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem 21:11, April 22, 2012 (UTC)