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This blog's title is "Bending Removal" simply because I thought "Bending Removal, and why Amon's Greatest Strength is his Greatest Weakness" would be too wordy and boring. So in a way, I've tried to trick you into reading this. It must have worked too, if you're reading this. Anyway, onto the topic!
Why Amon's greatest strength is his greatest weakness
I’ve noticed something occurring throughout the Avatar fandom lately, and it is often found in the form of “OH NOES <insert character here>’s BENDING WAS TAKEN AWAY, I SHALL MOURN AND SOB OVER THE LOSS OF THE CHARACTER’S AWESOMNESS!!!!!!!!!” Why does this bug me? Because as sad and tragic it is when a character gets their bending taken away, it isn’t the end. Sure, the character won’t be able to control an element anymore. But do you really think that can stop them? I highly doubt Lin is going to sulk around while Amon tries to take over Republic City. Actually, a big flaw in Amon’s plan is that after he removes everyone’s bending; he’s assuming they won’t fight back. There’s no way Amon can imprison all of the former benders of Republic City, and that means there is nothing to stop them from fighting back. If I was a fictional cartoon character and I got my bending taken away, I wouldn’t pull a Tahno and sulk around for the rest of my life. I would do my darnest to ensure Amon was taken down and get my revenge. A bender has generally trained to improve their abilities, and this has made them fit and, depending on which element they bend, fast, agile, strong, tough, etc. Maybe they can’t block chi, but by removing bending the Equalists are lowering the effect of one of their greatest secret weapons. If you are no longer a bender, the Equalists won’t be able to surprise you by taking away your bending. Sure, they can still temporarily paralyze you or electrocute you, but I believe former benders by now would have analyzed the Equalists’ weakness and strengths and started to fight in a style closer and more evenly matched to that of the Equalists.
The Equalist strategy depends on two things:
1. The benders will rely heavily on their ability to bend, therefore temporarily or permanently removing their bending will leave them helpless.
2. Once their bending has been taken away, former benders will no longer be a threat.
By removing bending the Equalists are forcing the first rule to become untrue. Once there are no benders, the first rule will not be able to apply in any situation, so rule one really only applies to the first phase of Amon’s plan. After the first phase, only the second rule is left, and I have stated earlier how untrue that is.
Amon must have some idea how easily his plan could fall apart, so he’s been using intimidation to scare the former benders so that they will not try to fight. However, once the removal of bending starts to happen quickly (as seen in one trailer, where a line of people are being led up to have their bending taken away), intimidation will no longer matter as a survival instinct to prevent their bending style from going extinct kicks in. Think of it this way, if something bad happens to you, you might accept it and try to get on with your life; but if you see that same thing happening to friends, family, and neighbors, you will do your best to protect them from what you had to endure. Sure, maybe the guy’s mask creeps you out and his minions can paralyze people, but all around you other people who had their bending removed are thinking just like you, they’re thinking now is the time to take a stand. When every former bender is working together for a common goal, there’s no way the Equalists will be able to stop them until it’s too late. The only thing the benders have to do is take out Amon. So far, he’s the only one who can remove bending, and his revolution would die if he did. Basically, even though really dramatic and depressing music might play, it is not the end. There’s really no way Korra can’t win, even if her bending is removed.
And now its time for a mini rant!
On a different note, the one thing that really irks me is that everyone seems to be hoping there will be some way for a character’s bending to be restored. Personally, I think this would cheapen the whole series, as some of the most dramatic moments were made less important. The loss of Lin’s bending was tragic, but it showed the best side of her, her willingness to sacrifice herself to protect the airbenders and Korra. Is it absolutely heartbreaking that Lin lost her bending, something she obviously loved and was a big part of her life? Yep. But I doubt she lost her bending through a temporary thing, and I really hope she didn’t. The removal of bending is a chance to show that even without bending, a character can still accomplish so many things, and still be a fantastic fighter.
In fact, and interesting and bold move would be if Korra's bending really was taken away, instead of being saved/saving herself at the last minute. I would love to see Korra struggle with keeping peace and saving Republic City without the aid of bending. It would be especially interesting if Korra led all the other former benders into defeating Amon, but I doubt this will happen. I'm sure Korra will go into the Avatar State or something and fight Amon one on one in a beautifully animated battle. Honestly, I won't be dissapointed either way.
Y'all come back now
Thanks for reading my random thoughts! Tell me what you think in the comments please.