• Bloodbending, a forbidden skill that manipulates blood and organs, was first mastered by Hama, leading to ethical issues and dangers.
  • Katara learned Bloodbending easily from Hama but refused to teach it, keeping the skill from spreading to others.
  • Amon, using Bloodbending to block chi permanently, became a threat to benders until Avatar Korra’s Spiritbending restored their abilities.

The whole premise of Avatar: The Last Airbender is the balance between the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. However, other than these primary elements, secondary bending also exists, and viewers see it at various moments in the show. One of the first ones audiences discovered during The Last Airbender, and the most chilling and dangerous one, is Bloodbending.


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After Toph Beifong invented Metalbending, many other benders picked up the skillset, with some becoming the most powerful Metalbenders in the world.

All Bloodbenders start with Waterbending, but that doesn’t mean that any Waterbender can master it. Bloodbending has serious ethical implications because it’s used to manipulate the target’s blood and organs, which contain copious amounts of water. That’s why it was banned, and anyone practicing it would be charged, possibly jailed, or even exiled.

5 Hama

The Inventor Of Bloodbending

Avatar Best Waterbenders Hama The Last Airbender Bloodbender

It’s possible the art existed before Hama, but according to official lore, she was the first Bloodbender who perfected various techniques specific to the skill. She was a former member of the Southern Water Tribe, captured and taken captive as a prisoner of war, and even though she and her fellow prisoners were deprived of water in captivity, she managed to find another source.

In the episode, “The Puppet Master,” Hama describes how she practiced her bending technique on elephant rats before trying it on the guards. She discovers, among other things, that the skill has the most devastating effect during a full moon and that a strong bender can resist the technique even if they don’t know it themselves. Hama is enthusiastic about teaching Katara how to Bloodbend, and despite resisting on moral grounds, she eventually learns the technique.

4 Katara

A Natural Skill Worthy Of A Waterbending Master

Katara preparing to fight the Dai Li in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Bloodbending was easy for Katara to learn, and bonding so strongly with Hama contributed to her deep understanding of the skill. Hama first taught Katara how to draw moisture from plants, a useful skill and part of a larger lesson about being able to find water to bend in every environment. Katara wasn’t aware of it at the time, but this was her first Bloodbending lesson.

With the help of her partner, Aang, Katara saw to it that Bloodbending was outlawed in both teaching and practice throughout the four nations. When Hama passed away, Katara remained as the only person who knew the technique, and she refused to teach it to anyone else. However, such a powerful skill could be discovered by a skilled Waterbender, just as Hama had done, and the next generation of Bloodbenders was taught by Yakone. Neither Hama nor Katara ever had any contact with him, but he developed the art on his own.

3 Yakone

The Leader Of A Notorious Crime Family Who Taught Bloodbending To His Sons

Yakone using his Bloodbending on Avatar Aang in The Legend of Korra

Yakone not only became a master Bloodbender using skills that he developed on his own, but he ignored the rules that Hama had observed about the skill’s effectiveness depending on the moon phases. He used his bending skills to further the interests of his criminal organization as they ravaged Republic City, and he even attacked both Avatar Aang and Police Chief Toph Bei-Fong before getting caught.


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After escaping prison, Yakone had surgery to alter his appearance and returned to the Water Tribe with a new identity. Aang had permanently removed Yakone’s abilities using Spiritbending, but that didn’t stop him from teaching the techniques to his two sons. He was just as ruthless with them as he had been with his gang, and when his sons grew up and returned to Republic City, the consequences were dire.

2 Amon

The Ultimate Equalizer

Avatar Best Waterbenders Amon Legends of Korra Bloodbender

Energybending (or Spiritbending) was introduced at the end of the TLA series as Aang’s alternative to killing Fire Lord Ozai, but this technique isn’t the only way to remove a person’s bending powers. Amon, the leader of the anti-bending organization known as the Equalists and Yakone’s oldest son, discovered that he could use Bloodbending to block a person’s chi and do the same thing.

Amon’s identity remained a secret for years, and since he had run away from home at an early age, even his brother Tarrlok didn’t recognize him at first. Like his father, Amon could Bloodbend without the full moon. What made this all the more terrifying was its permanence. Even the best healers among the Waterbenders couldn’t heal this blockage, and many of the benders who had been attacked by Amon never got their skills back. Spiritbending was the only way to restore the blocked chi, and Avatar Korra was one of the few people who knew how to do it.

1 Tarrlok

Socially Powerful & Secretly A Bloodbender

Tarrlok in The Legend of Korra

Tarrlok was a member of the Republic City Council, and initially, it seemed that his worst crime was opposing everything Councilman Tenzin tried to do based on spite instead of principle. As the story progressed and his backstory unfolded, it was revealed that he was Amon’s younger brother and the second child of Yakone.

Not even his family ties could save him from the wrath of the Equalists, however, and his own brother removed his bending powers. This seemed to break something in the former Councilor, and when Korra and her companions found him imprisoned, they offered to free him, but he refused to make sure Amon didn’t know they had been in contact. At this point, with Tarlokk’s power going, there were two living Bloodbenders in the world of the Avatar: Amon and Katara. While fleeing the city on a speedboat, Tarlokk used an electrified glove to destroy the boat, killing both him and his brother and returning the title of Last Living Bloodbender to Katara.


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