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Mako: Jerkbender, or Misunderstood?

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Last week nearly everyone was in a buzz over what would happen in the finale. Everything I heard was “Amon this” “Korra that” yada yada yada…

But now, all anyone wants to talk about is the “jerkbender” himself, Mako.

Why do so many people hate Mako? How could anyone like Mako? I was curious, so I decided to look at little closer at his character.

Side One: The Hate

#1. "Mako's a Jerk"

This is more of a character trait than an argument. Mako's personality is cold and aloof. He's as mean as Bolin is nice, and that's done on purpose. Bolin and Mako are brothers, so, naturally, they are opposites. This is apparent from the first time they meet Korra. When Bolin meets Korra, he immediately helps her out, covering for her and sneaking her into the arena before he even knows her name. Mako, on the other hand, barely speaks to Korra, instead he lectures Bolin about not bring girls in off the street. Mako only starts talking to Korra after he realizes she is the Avatar, and even then he remains aloof.

#2. "Asami"

Asami helping Mako up
There's a lot to hate about Mako and Asami's relationship, starting with their first meeting. When Asami hit's Mako with her bike, he is angry at first but then immediatley goes out of character and becomes dazed with love for her feminine beauty (very unlike how he behaved toward Korra, and this was before he knew Asami was Sato's daughter).

Their relationship seems to go well, until Mako realizes he is in love with more than one girl. And thus the dreaded love triangle begins. Mako can't choose a girl, but he doesn't want to let either get away, just in case.

Eventually, this relationship turns into a disaster. The exact moment of breakup is unclear, but it's safe to assume that they were broken up by the time Mako and Korra kissed.

#3. "His Firebending Stinks."

Mako shoots lightning
When compared to The Dragon of the West, Prince Zuko, Jeong Jeong, Avatar Roku, Avatar Aang, and not to mention Fire Lord Ozai, Mako's firebending is not so hot (pun intended). Now, don't forget that these afore mentioned firebenders are all masters, while Mako had to learn firebending on his own, probably as a method of defending himself. As a result, his technique is a little sloppy and unprofessional. However, Amon thought Mako was pretty beast of a firebender. He even said it would be a pity to take away Mako's bending.

Side Two: The Love

#1. "He Had a Rough Childhood"

Bolin crushed
When Mako was a nothing but a tiny little boy his parents were killed right in front of him. A traumatic event to say the least. As a result, he had to raise his little brother Bolin on his own. They had to live on the streets with little money. Times were rough. You wouldn't be so pleasent if you had to experience childhood like that.

#2. "He Cares About Bolin"

Some of you might doubt this, as Mako did try to keep Bolin from dating Korra, and he then hurt Bolin by kissing Korra. Despite these mistakes, Mako truly cares about Bolin. While they were growing up, Mako was the serious one. Mako was probably the one getting jobs, making money and keeping them alive while Bolin was off goofing around with Pabu.

#3. "He's a Good Firebender"

Amon says so. And Amon hasn't lied about anything else so far, right? Seriously though, Mako is a skilled firebender. Don't forget about his thrilling hat trick in the second episode.

The Verdict

So is Mako good or bad? A jerk, misunderstood?

I
Mako and Korra kiss
would say 98% of the arguments over Mako's character are started because of shipping wars (I myself don't get involved in shipping of any kind, unless you count sailing). As far as I see it, the creators put Mako and Korra together and that's how it is, no matter how cute she looks with anyone else.

But for the 2% of us who are intested in discussing Mako as a character, I would say that most of the bashing he gets is well deserved. He screws up constantly and doesn't do anything really cool to make up for it.

However, I think something must be said about Mako's character. Yes, he isn't perfect. Yes, he's a jerk. But at least he's human. Not every character can be a bad ass like General Iroh or a sweet heart like Bolin. Otherwise, the series would be boring!

So what do you think of Mako? Let me know in the comments.

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