I just read the question: "Why is knowledge of energy bending so rare?"

It made me wonder: Is Amon energy bending when he takes away someone's bending abilities?

From what I've read, energy bending is very difficult and seems to require some sort of pureness of the heart. That leads me to believe he is not.

Amon's process of taking away someone's bending abilities also looks very different from Aang's when he takes away Ozai's bending.

I have to think energy bending will play some part in this series as it did in its predecessor. Will this be the link?

  • 1
    Given the existence of qi-blockers, it seems possible he's simply perfected those techniques.
    – user1027
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 3:26
  • 2
    Also the series hasn't addressed whether or not it's really permanent - Amon just claims it is. If it turns out it's not actually permanent, this is less likely to be energy bending.
    – Tacroy
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 19:01
  • 1
    Today's episode makes it pretty clear that it's permanent. It'd be interesting to see if energybending could restore bending abilities that Amon's disabled.
    – user1027
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 18:01
  • Excellent point. It'd be a great tie-in for the Avatar-using-energybending-to-save-the-world bit from the end of The Last Airbender.
    – magzalez
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 20:02
  • A similar question has been asked on Movies and TV after this one has been asked: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/3005/… Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 13:23

7 Answers 7


No, Amon is not energy-bending when he takes away someones Bending abilities.


Amon, born Noatok was the son of the crime-boss Yakone, was a highly skilled Blood-bender and brother to the city councilman, Tarrlok. His ability to remove the ability of others to Bend, appeared to be related to his ability to blood-Bend.

As near as we can see, Amon was able to disrupt the chi pathways, perhaps by causing the person to be unable to access the connection to the bending regions of their brain. This use of bending with near surgical skill was unable to be undone by Katara, considered to be the most powerful healer known.

Korra, having lost her ability to Bend to Amon, was unable to access her known abilities of fire-bending, water-bending or earth-bending, but when she was able to, under extreme duress, air-bend, her ability to do so was unaffected by Amon's block. So whatever he is doing, it blocks the known memory of bending or the access to practiced bending in the brain. Her previously untapped airbending ability was unaffected.

Korra was told she would not have access to her previous bending powers and that nothing known could be done to repair her powers.

In a moment of quiet desperation, she had a vision from Aang who suggested that at her lowest point she would be able to be open to the Avatar state and the ability to reach her previous incarnations. Aang shares the knowledge of energy bending and reaches past the block placed by Amon by activating her Avatar State. This restores her bending powers. This also gives her the ability to undo all the damage done to benders by Amon.

  • 4
    It's worth noting that since Tenzin and his family are the only airbenders in the world, Amon would've been unable to study how Airbending affects the brain in the same way he would have for Fire, Water and Earth. So, rather than Korra breaking through the block, the block was never there in the first place Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 0:11
  • True, he might have never had the experience and may have not had the skill to easily destroy the air-bending ability. But seeing his skill at destroying other abilities, he would probably not need much to make the transition to the air-bending ability. Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 0:14
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    Another note, to further support the theory that this is blood bending, and not energy bending, is the when Aang energy bends, he places a hand over both the head and the heart. Amon, on the other hand, only places his hand over their head. Using the classical notions of the roles of the heart and mind, this could be seen as taking away their control over bending, but not their spiritual connection to the element. Consider it similar to having an arm paralysed, as opposed to amputated. Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 0:14
  • +1. It's also worth mentioning that, if we take this theory (as I do) that Amon is blocking bending in a neurological or chakra-based way, it would also tie in nicely with his chi-blocking followers, who he presumably taught enough about nerve points and/or chakras to create a similar, though temporary, effect. The chi-blockers clearly aren't energy-bending, and it seems likely that their methods aren't totally separate from their leader's.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 19:08

The theory of Amon being born into the line of avatars (when Aang died at the end of book 2) is not possible. The line of avatars goes Fire - Air - Water - Earth, in that order. Since the White Lotus was only searching water tribes, and Korra was born into one, Amon cannot be a reincarnation of the avatar in any form otherwise the new avatar (after Aang's real death) would have been born into the earth kingdom, due to Amon having been born into the water tribe. Since this obviously did not happen it is safe to assume that no Amon can not be in any form spiritually connected to the avatars. His energy bending (if thats what it really was) is learned from some other source. Could the lion-turtle have taught him after Amon explained that bending is the cause of imbalance in the world (he would have had to run into the lion-turtle at some point though).

To me it is just advanced chi blocking, think back to when Aang couldn't go into the avatar state, it was because his chakra was blocked off, which is what I believe Amon is doing. Simply put Amon is only mudding up the chakra paths within the benders and blocking their ability to bend, not removing it, and the only way for them to gain their abilities back would be to attune themselves spiritually the way Aang did with the guru.

  • What if when the Avatar dies, the next element has someone born into it based purely on the dead Avatar's element? So each time Aang died, a Waterbender was born as an Avatar, simply due to Aang's element.
    – user1027
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:36

No. It's only temporary. It might blocking of the Chakra which can be unblocked. If people find out that it's actually temporary, that will only defeat the purpose of the Equalist Movement.

Remember when Ty Lee hit Katara with chi blocking. She lost her ability to bend for a while. Amon found a way for it to be unblocked, probably going after the Chakra of Light that is concentrated in the head and the one blocking that Chakra is The Illusion of Separation. This is just a mental game that Amon made complicated.

It would probably take a Guru to guide those who were victimized by Amon.


I do believe Amon is energy-bending, but I do not believe he is taking away an individual's bending ability permenantly. The Lion Turtle explained to Aang that people did bend energy prior to the Avatar. It is a rare art form, but just as Katara needing those Waterbending Scrolls to teach her maybe Amon found energy bending scrolls.

Further more, the ability to take one's bending away can only be done by a fully recognized Avatar. Given that Korra is the current Avatar and she has yet to master airbending (which would make her a fully recognized Avatar) I am inclined to believe that Amon is using an advanced form of chi blocking or energy bending. The split avatar cycle seems unlikely. If this were the case the current Avatar would not be from the Water tribe (and Korra is) if another had been born during that time when Aang went down in the Earth Kingdom.

Lastly, Amon's method of taking the bending away is nothing like when Aang took the Ozai's or Yancome's. Aang's tattoos lit up as did his eyes as if he tapped into the Avatar state. He did not twist his thumb on the forhead, and it was not done in seconds.

  • 1
    "Further more, the ability to take ones bending can only be done by a fully recognized Avatar." [Citation needed]? I remember only something that the bending person's soul must be unbendable. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 6:36

I believe that Amon is using his blood bending to make a big "road block" in your brain and the "road block" is blocking the ability to bend,you still have it but take it like it is a broken limb which is still apart of you and meditating will probably enable yourself to bend.


My knowledge of the Avatar series isn't great, but here's a really wild thought:

Blood bending controls blood. Our brain controls our movements and our thoughts. Tarlock said something about taking away power by blood bending. Maybe Amon gives everyone a stroke?

Well, sort of a stroke. He causes a severe clot to the brain which controls their bending abilities. Hence why they are still able to talk and move normally. However, Korra was able to restore bending through 'energy'. But perhaps a blood clot to the brain? Just a thought.

  • Although this answer isn't great, I think it's a valid thought that Amon was using his blood bending somehow to achieve the results.
    – magzalez
    Commented Aug 7, 2012 at 18:42

When Azula struck down Aang with a bolt of lightning in the first series, Aang died. Not completely, but if only for a moment, he lost his life energy. He was in the Avatar State when this happened, and if you die in the Avatar State, the chain of Avatars in is broken and cannot continue.

I believe that when Aang was defeated that day in the crystal cave, some part of him died and was separated from his body and sent to the spirit world. Because Katara saved Aang with the spirit water he came back to life and the cycle of Avatars was able to continue, however with part of Aang's spirit left in the spirit world, it found its way into reincarnation and was born into Amon. Is it not possible that Aang's spirit was divided into 2 and now Amon has the ability to energy bend?

There are obvious flaws to this theory, but to some extent it may be true. Aang and the gang use to talk about friendships lasting throughout lifetimes and reincarnation. I believe it may be true.

  • Do you have any sources you can cite to back up your theory?
    – user1027
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 0:34
  • Seems like a kind of reasonable theory, for a question where there seems to intentionally not be a canonical answer yet. Commented May 8, 2012 at 3:55

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