Avatar Facts About Energy Bending:
Energy Bending was what stopped the legendary Hundred Year War in Avatar: The Last Airbender. A lost art with roost as ancient as time itself, there is a lot to Energy Bending that many fans of the Avatar Universe are still not aware of. It is time to unlock some of the deepest and darkest secrets regarding the most powerful form of bending to ever exist.
1. The First-Ever Bending Style
Before there were the four elemental styles, there was Energy Bending. It was the most ancient form of bending known to any sentient being. The ability of Energy Bending entailed bending not the external forces but the forces that lay within. It is molding and manipulating one’s life force. Energy Bending is the one that eventually gave rise to all the other bending forms. The ability to Energy Bend grants some cool abilities like spiritual energy manipulation and the ability to remove one’s bending abilities. It has been used to great effect by Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra, two of the greatest Avatars who became masters of the art of Energy Bending.
2. Amazing defensive capabilities
The power of Energy Bending does grant the Avatar some incredible defensive powers. Kuvira, one of the greatest metal benders of the Avatar Universe, used the Spirit Energy Cannon developed by Varrick to attack Republic City’s, Spirit Wilds. Her purpose was to eliminate the spirit wilds and bring peace to the City. But the Spirit Energy Cannon had some major power control and modulation flaws. The spirit energy stream that could punch a hole within a massive hill strayed towards Kuvira, who was now facing almost certain death. Korra jumped in between the beam and Kuvira. She unlocked her Avatar State and bent the energy beam using her Energy Bending. Both Korra and Kuvira survived.
3. Is a Double-Edged Sword
The power of Energy Bending has a massive drawback. If the user has a weak will or a meek spirit, it will end up corrupting the user’s soul. That is why only a few people have managed to understand and master this art. Aang and Korra are neither weak-willed nor do they have meeker spirits. If a person with a weaker spirit uses Energy Bending, it will backfire and consume the user’s soul. The person or spirit whose energy is being bent will end up leeching onto the Energy Bender and corrupting his or her soul instead. That is a dangerous proposition. Thank God Korra and Aang did not end up getting corrupted by the souls of the people they energy bent.
4. Developed by the Lion Turtles
Lion Turtles are referred to as the Ancient Ones by the residents of the Spirit World. They are one of the oldest known spirits, dating back to the Age of Raava. The Lion Turtles are massive creatures. They once used to house entire cities on their backs where humans lived safely, protected by the Lion Turtles from rogue spirits that once freely roamed the lands. The Lion Turtles had symbols on their foreheads showing an affinity for a specific element. They could also grant the human that lived on their backs the ability to bend their specific element via the power of energy bending. The Lion Turtles were the first ones to figure out the process and it was the last surviving Lion Turtle that passed on his knowledge of Energy Bending to Avatar Aang.
5. Korra once used it to become a God
When Unalaq, Korra’s Uncle, was the one who was behind the coming of Vaatu into the Physical Realm and the onset of the Age of the Dark Avatar, Korra was taken aback by the revelation. The Dark Avatar used Vaatu’s abilities to suck Raava, the ancient spirit fused with the soul of the Avatar and the one responsible for starting the Avatar Cycle, out of Korra. Without her Avatar powers, Korra was helpless against Unalaq. Tenzin recommended she enter the Tree of Time and use Energy Bending to mold her soul force. Korra unleashed a massive astral form of her spiritual energy. The astral form was strong enough to not only take massive damage but also inflict the same on the Dark Avatar. This was all possible due to Energy bending.
6. For Avatars, Energy Bending is Optional
The one true necessity for someone to become an Avatar is the mastery of all four elements. All the thousands of Avatars that came before Aang and Korra have had the power to do that. But not many could boast the power of Energy Bending. Many believe that well-known Avatars like Avatar Roku and Avatar Kyoshi could not Energy Bend. It is an optional skill. Although it turned out to be quite useful in battle, many Avatars believed that they do not need Energy Bending to fulfill the role of instilling peace and harmony.
7. Aang has used it twice
Avatar Aang showed the world the power of Energy Bending when he used the knowledge bestowed upon him by the ancient Lion Turtle to take down Fire Lord Ozai. Ozai had vowed to take over the entire world and he was not going to stop as long as he was alive. Aang was a pacifist and his training as an Airt Nomad monk forbade him from killing anyone. So Aang decided the only way to stop Ozai was by using Energy Bending to take away his Fire Bending. The second time Aang has used it on someone was during his time in the Republic City. A notorious criminal called Yakone proved to be more than a match for the authorities. Using his blood bending, he took down everyone including Aang. Yakone used Blood Bending to take away Aang’s bending. Aang was forced to enter the Avatar State, undo Yakone’s blood bending, and take away his bending for good measure using Energy Bending.
8. Can be used to release captured souls
After Kuvira harvested the spirit energy from the spirit vines of the Banyan-Grove Tree, the spirit world was in turmoil. The vines had turned hostile. Korra tracked down the spirits of Ryu, Jinora, and the rest of the spirits of the Spirit World to a containment capsule under Kuvira’s possession. Raava instructed her to use Energy Bending to dissipate the energy of the capsule, which could have burst at any point of time and unleashed massive chaos. Korra entered her Avatar State and slowly and carefully dissipated the energy from the sphere, soothing the spirits and releasing them from captivity.
9. Can Grant a Non-Bender Bending Powers
Initially, during the times of the Old, all humans were born with no bending skills. They could not control the elements. It was only after the Lion Turtles used Energy Bending to bestow humans with bending skills that mankind learned the art. The art of bending then proliferated to others and that is how the Avatar Universe came into being. Within all this, we forget that it was an Energy Bender that granted the non-benders the ability to control the elements. Since Aang and Korra know it, theoretically speaking, they too could do the same. With the last surviving Lion Turtle nearing its end in the Avatar Universe, there has to be someone who can carry forward the true legacy of the Lion Turtles and tell the story of their gift to the world. Only Energy Benders can do that.
10. Aang’s Spirit taught the style to Korra
In the legend of Korra, Aamon – a disciple of Yakone, used his Blood Bending to take away Korra’s bending skills. Korra would then travel with Tenzin and Lin Beifong to the Southern Water Tribe Compound. Katara, who was another blood bender, was thought to be capable enough to restore Korra’s bending. Katara was unable to do so. Korra then encountered Avatar Aang, who came to visit his successor in his Spirit Form. Aang would use Energy Bending to not only restore Avatar Korra’s bending but also pass on to her the ancient art of life force manipulation itself.