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The Promise Part 2 - Speculation About Toph's Story Arc

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ASN: "(. . .) And how about Toph, will she have any closure with her parents? Will we get a hint in the comics as to who will be her future husband, the father of Chief Bei Fong? "

Gene: "When I was watching the show, I really liked Toph. After writing her, though, I now love her. She's such an awesome character! The second volume of The Promise will focus on Toph and her new role as a metalbending teacher. (. . .) "

My bet is that the reason Sokka, Katara, and Aang had not seen Toph for a while by the time she returns to the story after the time-skip, is because she most likely went back home to see how well her letter to her parents from “The Runaway” was received (or, alternatively, in response to a positive return letter from Lao & Poppy Bei Fong). It could not have been that she started up her Metalbending Academy immediately after the War, and hence could not actively join the Harmony Restoration Movement with the others, or otherwise Sokka would not have heard of it just recently (and Toph probably would have had more students by that time also).

They probably would receive her letter positively, I should think, out of a sense of relief that their daughter was still alive after the bounty hunters were mysteriously thwarted in their attempts to bring her home, the fact that she took the time to apologize for hurting them by running away from them affecting them in this direction even more so in such a situation. Even so, they probably would still have difficulty seeing why Earthbending/Metalbending was so important to their daughter, having a hard time seeing her desires to have the freedom to excel in the bending style as much more than the simple rebellious/selfish desire to shirk the restraints of her home life (by continuing to shirk the limits on what they allowed her to learn through Master Yu) and as nothing more productive for her. I believe the reason Toph started up the Metalbending Academy recently in the Avatar-verse was to prove to her (somewhat reconciled) parents that she was able to do something productive for larger society with her bending (so that she could have a continued reason to be allowed to do so in their eyes), by moving beyond simple Earth Rumble tournaments and teaching others the skills she had obtained during her travels – and perhaps bring further wealth and prestige to the family name in the process. This might explain why her school was given the name “The Bei Fong Metalbending Academy” (rather than something like “Toph’s Metalbending Academy” or “The Blind Bandit’s Metalbending Academy”), in order to emphasize the family’s connection to the place rather than de-emphasize it (as would the resemblance of Toph’s uniform to the Bei Fong family colors, as perceived on their official family document); at the very least, the name would indicate that Toph made up with her parents to a certain degree, as a building with their name attached to it would be a prime target for located their daughter if they did not know where she was, and yet she seems to be moving about with relative freedom. Also, if she’s trying to prove that she can be more mature and productive to her parents (she is now a teenager, after all), that may explain why she’s been putting up with the “lily livers” as long as she has.

If true, something along these lines will probably be reviewed during the plot of The Promise Part 2, which Gene Yang has said would focus on Toph and her new role as a Metalbending teacher. If the main aim of The Promise is to tie up the loose ends of “The Legend of Aang” and somehow connect them to the known developments in plot of “The Legend of Korra”, this would be a superb way to connect the unfinished story arc of Toph and her parents (who she’s long been trying to prove her worth to) to what we know of her exploits by the time of ‘’Korra’’ (as a wandering Metalbending teacher, and probably as the first Chief of the Metalbending cops before her daughter), in a way which is relevant to both. So, I’m just going to assume that this line of speculation is true, until concrete evidence comes along which shows it to be invalid for one reason or another.

Agree or disagree, please express your opinions in the most open-minded way possible in the "Comments"' section below.

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