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In the show, Season 1, after

Amon lost to Korra, he released Tarrlok and took him to a boat so they could escape to a new city and start a new life. Tarrlok then grabbed an electric glove used it to blow up the boat, killing them both. But why did he do it?

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    This is an easy to research question able to be found on the Avatar wiki using the Tarrlok entry: avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Tarrlok. "He was seeking to atone for his and his brother's recent crimes against Republic City." Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 23:22
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    Vote to not close, because the wiki does not have any proof for this. It just states that they are both dead, without citing any sources. Personally, I believe that at least one of them would be alive.
    – apoorv020
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 10:43
  • So, the Avatar wiki article on Tarrlok now has the following citation: "↑ Robert Conkey recalled an answer Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko gave to a friend of his to the question, 'Why did Amon and Tarrlok have to die?'" But of course... that citation itself lacks it's own citation.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 0:25

8 Answers 8

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Some episodes earlier Tarrlok learns/realizes that Amon is his long thought lost brother. In Episode 11, "Skeletons in the closet", Tarrlok tells Korra the story of his family, with his father (Yakone) being a blood-bender who has been punished by Avatar Aang by taking away his bending abilities.

Tarrlok tells this tale and realizes that their father trained them both for one purpose only: To take revenge on Republic City and Aang on his behalf. Later Tarrlok tells Korra that he regrets that in the end he and his brother just became what his father had intended them to be, a weapon for destroying Republic City and giving Yakone his revenge.

When the two flee together, Tarrlok most likely realized that it will never be like back then and that Amon/Noatak will never give up. They just grew up to what their father wanted them to be, and the only way to stop Noatak would be to kill him. It could very well be that Tarrlok felt ashamed and/or guilty for what he had done and that after all these years (he also said he never really was close to his father) he just had become what his father wanted, without finding his own way and outgrowing the "guilt" of his family.

I'm not sure, but for a complete psychological background you could go to Cognitive Science. But I'm not sure if such a question "why did character x in series y do action z from a psychological standpoint" is on-topic there, so don't forget to check their help center and maybe ask on the meta first.

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I believe his last words "It will be just like old times" were referring to his father. When Yakone escaped, he went to start a new life but he was obsessed with revenge and forced his sons to be weapons in pursuit of this goal. This obsession had put Tarrlok and Amon/Noatak on the path to where they were now.

Tarrlok saw the same obsession in his brother that had been in his father. He did not want the past to repeat itself and he believed that he was part of the problem, so he took what he saw as necessary measures.

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I think that it was partially because he realized that they had become exactly what they didn't want to become, like their father, so this would be better. i also think he saw how bloodbending had destroyed their family, and wanted to wipe the legacy of mega-powerful water-bending off the face of the earth.

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I would say that Tarrlok did what he did for two reasons: One, he recognizes that Amon/Noatak is still dangerous and wanted and he doesn’t want to risk another violent revolution. And two, Amon/Noatak took Tarrlok’s bending away and we’ve all seen how that takes a toll on the character. It’s essentially over for Tarrlok at this point. What else does he have to live for? The ending was very tragic and surprising but to summarize, Tarrlok ultimately ended his father, Yakone’s, evil legacy. I also agree with the theory that his actions were to completely eradicate bloodbending knowledge from the world, leaving Katara the only one who holds that dark knowledge.

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Even though it was really hard for him to do that he knew what a monster his brother was because his brother had kidnapped him to so he knew what he could do. He blew up the boat so his brother couldn't hurt any one else.

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I think he just did it cause his brother was a monster and he didn’t want people getting hurt any longer. He knew he had to be stopped even if he was his brother. It shows that even people like Tarrlok could make heroic sacrifices

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I know I'm a bit late in this thread, whoops, sorry.

Anyway, Tarrlok does see his brother as evil and dangerous. The power appears to have gone to Noatak's head, and so Tarrlok seems to have come to the conclusion that killing his brother was the right course of action to prevent further bad guy actions or to punish himself and his brother for all that's happened.

If you ask me however, his ending was very sad and disappointing. I would have liked a happy ending for Noatak, he was a kindhearted soul as a child and still held remnants of his just values despite them being twisted as Amon. It's simple to me what to could have transpired though. Noatak, once a good person just needs some help by someone, preferably someone close (like his brother!), to help him get on the right track. And this seemed very possible by the inference Noatak made that he wanted to go back to their old life. He could have even become a hero in another area utilising his and his brothers talent in bending to fight crime and upholding values of equality, a very genuine evil in the avatar world.

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  • Welcome, this seems like a pretty good answer (for someone without much knowledge about the series), although I can see that it is quite speculative. Feel free to edit in any sources you can reference to strengthen your answer.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 22:24
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i just re-watched it and it could be me but i would swear i would see tarrlok's lips moving when everyone thinks Amon sais ''it will be just like the good old days''. i think Amon bloodbended Tarrlok to blow up the boat and Tarrlok just sort of agreed that it was better that way?

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