Yakone was a powerful crime lord who threatened Republic City for many years. A corrupt and ruthless individual, Yakone longed for more power and used his unique psychic bloodbending abilities to control the United Republic capital through his criminal empire. For a long time, he was able to hide his forbidden ability and evade the law, until a final trial determined his sentence to life imprisonment. Upon this judgment, Yakone attempted escape, but following a brief scuffle with AvatarAang, his bending was permanently removed.
Prior to becoming a criminal mastermind, Yakone found a way to bloodbend without a full moon or even hand movements.
Yakone used his bloodbending ability to become the head of his own criminal empire in Republic City and had a history of arrests; somehow, he was always acquitted of all charges.
In 128 ASC, Yakone was accused of bloodbending after the testimony of several witnesses. ChiefToph Beifong, accompanied by some metalbending officers and Avatar Aang, arrested him while he was eating at Kuang's Cuisine. The criminal proudly claimed he would beat this charge as he had done with the previous ones.
Yakone was then taken to City Hall to be judged before the United Republic Council, where he was defended by a lawyer who appealed to the impossibility of bloodbending without a full moon. As witnesses had claimed, Yakone had performed the feat "at every other time except during a full moon", making the crime seemingly impossible to commit and their testimony to be suspect. Before announcing the Council's final verdict, Councilman Sokka stated the evidence was enough to convince the Council that Yakone was a "unique bender" and had used his ability to commit the crimes of which he had been accused. For this reason, the bloodbender was considered guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, Yakone stood up, grinning, and responded by bloodbending Sokka and the other Council members. Toph attempted to halt him with a metal cable, though he quickly overpowered her. He subdued all the people in the room, and used his bending to force Toph to unlock his handcuffs. Though Aang was able to withstand Yakone's hold the longest, the crime lord levitated him in the air effortlessly. He announced that Republic City belonged to him and promised to one day return and claim it. Yakone threw Aang violently on the ground before making his escape via an ostrich horse-drawn carriage. Much to his surprise, he saw the Avatar chasing him down and wrecking his carriage with an air blast. Returning the favor, he managed to surprise Aang by popping out of the wreckage and using his bloodbending, intending to kill him. However, his attempt was thwarted when Aang entered the Avatar State once again, breaking the criminal's bloodbending hold and trapping him within an earth shell. Helpless, Yakone could only squirm and scream as Aang removed his bending.
Sometime after his trial, with the help of his gang, Yakone escaped prison, underwent surgery to change his facial appearance, and left Republic City. He headed to the Northern Water Tribe and met a woman whom he would later marry. Eventually, his wife gave birth to two sons: Noatak and Tarrlok, who were born three years apart. Tarrlok and Noatak soon discovered they possessed waterbending abilities. Yakone made them practice waterbending every night, and eventually revealed to his sons that he was once Republic City's most notorious crime boss and that his bending abilities were "stolen" from him by Avatar Aang. He then explained to his sons that it was their duty to avenge him by one day killing the Avatar and claiming Republic City for him.
During the full moon, Yakone introduced his sons to the art of bloodbending, beginning their training on animals such as ox goats. Yakone eventually succeeded in teaching his sons how to bloodbend without a full moon; he was especially impressed with Noatak's skill. Sometime later, he forced Noatak and Tarrlok to bloodbend each other. When it came time to bloodbend Noatak, Tarrlok refused, causing Yakone to become furious, call him weak, and make a threatening advance toward him. He was halted by his elder son, however, as Noatak quickly bloodbent him and threw his own words back at him, stating that it was he who was weak, because the Avatar had stripped him of his bending. The shocked and enraged Yakone reprimanded his son for using bloodbending against him and reminded him that they were supposed to avenge him. Refusing to accept this, Noatak flung his father into the snow and quickly ran away, prompting Yakone and Tarrlok to search for him for days. Much to their dismay, they could not find him and concluded that he must have perished in the snowstorm. Thereafter, Yakone gave up on exacting his revenge against the Avatar, ceased teaching his remaining son any form of bending, and died a few years later.
Forty-two years after Yakone's trial, Tarrlok brought up Yakone during a Council meeting, hoping that he would be able to convince the Council to vote for the creation of his task force. Later on, Korra's visions of Aang's showdown with Yakone made the young Avatar realize that Tarrlok was Yakone's son.
During a mission to find and confront Amon, Korra and Mako encountered Tarrlok once more, who told them about his and Amon's childhood experiences and the hardships their father had put them through. After Amon's defeat and unmasking by Korra, he fled the city with Tarrlok at his side, hoping that they could start anew elsewhere. However Tarrlok, filled with shame that he and his brother had become the people their father had intended them to become, instead killed himself and Amon by blowing up the boat on which they fled, silencing Yakone's legacy at last.
Yakone was a corrupt and ruthless individual, as demonstrated during his trial for committing various crimes and atrocities with his bloodbending. After being found guilty, he wasted no time in using his ability by bloodbending everyone present, including Aang, Sokka, Toph, and even his own attorney, rendering them all unconscious before escaping.
After escaping prison and Republic City, Yakone began a new life in the Northern Water Tribe, where he married a local woman and fathered two sons. At first, Yakone appeared to have moved on from his past, finding a new happiness with his family. However, upon realizing that his children were waterbenders, he began training them in the art of bloodbending, hoping that they would eventually be skilled enough to avenge him by killing the Avatar. During his son's training, Yakone forced the boys to bloodbend animals and eventually each other, against Tarrlok's wishes. Yakone constantly told Tarrlok that he was weak and that he needed to "toughen up". When Tarrlok refused to bloodbend his brother and was about to receive punishment from his father, Yakone was bloodbent by Noatak who called him out to be the true weakling.
After Noatak ran away, Yakone's personality changed dramatically. Heartbroken from Noatak's betrayal, he stopped training Tarrlok and was no longer focused on getting revenge on the Avatar.
Yakone was a powerful waterbending master who was capable of using the rare technique of bloodbending to an unprecedented level. He was able to bend the liquids inside a living creature and manipulate the target like a puppetmaster; he could injure them by painfully twisting different body parts, levitate and hurl his targets around, and even knock them unconscious. These feats were made even more impressive by his ability to do so whenever he pleased and without a full moon present. Yakone also possessed the rare skill of psychic bending, which allowed him to execute his high level bending with just mere focus. He displayed great command of this ability, as he was able to bloodbend a whole courtroom with only mental effort, not requiring any form of physical movements.
Despite his undeniable might in the outlawed skill, Yakone's blooding prowess proved ineffective against Avatar Aang in the Avatar State. However, even after Aang removed Yakone's bending, the former crime lord was still a highly capable teacher, having personally taught both his sons to master waterbending and effectively use bloodbending at any time, even teaching Noatak how to perform psychic bending without any hands-on or visual aid from Yakone.
Yakone's name means "Red Aurora" in the AhtnaAthabascan language spoken by the Athna group of Alaskan Natives. When Yakone is used as a metaphor, it can mean "blood spray on the snow".
Yakone was the first person known to be able to bloodbend without the help of a full moon, and also the first male bloodbender. His two sons, Noatak and Tarrlok, inherited this ability.
He was also the first person known to be able to bloodbend without requiring the use of his hands.
Sokka compared Yakone's psychic bloodbending abilities to Combustion Man's ability to firebend with his mind, and Toph's creation of metalbending.
Yakone was the second known person to have had his bending abilities removed by Aang.
Yakone shared many similarities with Long Feng, as both attempted to rule a city, Yakone through his criminal empire and Long Feng through his control of the Dai Li. Both leaders were defeated by Avatar Aang, and both tried and failed to reclaim their position and take revenge. Both were voiced by Clancy Brown.
Yakone was the first character in the entire Avatar series to have plastic surgery.
Before his plastic surgery, Yakone had light skin, unlike most waterbenders.
Despite being called a waterbending master, Yakone was only seen bloodbending, never seen performing regular waterbending.
Yakone is the earliest known leader of an organized crime syndicate.