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Why did Amon take Tarrlok's bending?

This was one of the things that baffled me in book 1. When Amon releases Tarrlok from prison, he shows regret and apologises for taking Tarrlok's bending. He clearly still cares for his brother at this point. Why did he take his bending, Considering how powerful he was, he could have just knocked him out. I don't get it.

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  • Personal opinion: plot. It makes Amon seem that much more dangerous to Korra and to the viewer. As for in-universe, I don't know a decent reason. Convenience in keeping him prisoner, maybe?
    – Taejang
    Aug 27, 2014 at 13:40
  • @Taejang convenience? more like necessity. tarrlok is a danger is the prison guards as long as tarrlok still has h bending?!?!
    – BCLC
    Aug 31 at 22:15

2 Answers 2

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Tarlok was Amon's brother, so he didn't want to kill him; he couldn't release him, because then Tarlok could reveal that he was a bloodbender; since Tarlok was a bloodbender, the only one who could prevent him from escaping would be Amon himself, and that would run the risk of revealing himself as a bloodbender. Since he was the head of an anti-bender movement, being outed as a bloodbender would be rather bad (indeed, the revelation that he was a waterbender seemed to kill the Equalist movement pretty quickly).

So it seems that his only choice was to remove Tarlok's bending.

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    Presumably, taking away his bending would also make him easier to hold in a cell. No bloodbending the guards into freeing him or using an ice axe to hack his way out. Oct 20, 2014 at 17:27
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Insurgency

Tarrlok was a long-time opponent of the Equalist Movement. Removing his bending was advantageous for Amon and his insurgency group. It would prevent Tarrlok from effectively leading the – or any – counter-Equalist force in the future.

Secrecy

As soon as Amon resisted Tarrlok's bloodbending, it would be apparent that Amon was in fact Noatak. Tarrlok would at least have suspicions. Keeping Tarrlok as prisoner was, at this point, essential, in order to keep his identity secret from the People, most imperatively Equalists who followed him.

Practicality

As a waterbender, Tarrlok was too dangerous to keep, even in a metal or wooden prison. As a bloodbender, it was completely unthinkable. In keeping with Amon's cautious and pragmatic personality, taking away Tarrlok's waterbending away altogether was the only way to ensure that Tarrlok was ultimately zero threat to Amon's followers or to the privacy of his identity.

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