How Amon Used Bloodbending to Take Another Person’s Bending Away

We all know the effects of bloodbending. We know how it can be used to manipulate the human body into doing terrible things. But one thing that might not be so clear is how it can be used to take away bending.

The series didn’t do the best job of explaining the process, but nonetheless, the process does make a lot of sense. Bloodbending is extremely dynamic, so it only makes sense that it can be used to take away bending.

In order to fully grasp this concept, you need to understand the idea of Chi and how it works in the Avatar World.

Chi is essentially the energy that allows characters from the Avatar World to bend. Its pathways are actually marked by an airbender’s tattoos, so you’ll notice that the pathways pretty much extend throughout the entire human body – for the most part.

If you still recall Ty Lee’s character from The Last Airbender, you’ll remember that she was famous for her Chi blocking capability. Ty Lee was essentially able to block the flow of Chi in one’s body so he or she would not be able to bend for an extended period of time.

Amon pretty much did the same thing, accept it was permanent. He used his bloodbending capability to take control of the human body and close up the Chi Pathways so that Chi could no longer flow throughout the body. When Chi can no longer flow throughout one’s body, he or she loses the ability to bend. And that’s exactly what happened to all of Amon’s victims: they were Chi blocked – permanently. But of course we are all well aware that Korra was able to use her majestic Avatar abilities to unblock the Chi Pathways and give bending back to all those who fell to Amon.

But based on this, one can only wonder: what if Korra can unblock the Chi Pathways of non-benders and give them the ability to bend?

Just something to think about, I suppose.

Pre-order a DVD copy of Book 2: Spirits:


List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $14.96 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

This title will be released on July 1, 2014.

  • Ashes

    Excellent post but what do you think Of the final episode of Korra being avatar Korra because the last episode of avatar was avatar aang?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      That's a really good theory! It makes sense too, thanks for sharing it!

  • http://mrmathers.wordpress.com tillman1

    I think that was a great article, i relly liked your theory on giving non-benders, bending powers. However to further this theory would it be possible for a non bender to gain bending powers through advancing spiritually and opening their chi pathways. The airbenders were extremely spiritual people and as a result every one of them were born with bending abilities. however if spirituality and unlocking the chi pathways r key to bending, then could a non bender not become a bender through much meditation and training? something to think about

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      That's in interesting theory! Would be cool of it turned out true :)

  • Nico

    Amon was an epic villain

  • Amon

    Well, let me explain myself, if I, :P, was able to take bending away using bloodbending, coudn't the processor reversed with bloodbending as well? You might ask, how does this relates to the post, and it's that, I think that bloodbending could be used to give a non-bender, bending powers without the need of the avatar state, what do you think?

  • tim

    first question how does energybending remove bending and give bending, does it open up the chi paths? so is it similar to bloodbending?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      I'm not really sure since we don't have a definite answer, but this is my theory: Energy bending is able to remove another unknown factor that allows bending to take place. That way, bloodbending could not reverse the effect.

      Bloodbending stops bending from taking place, while energy bending removes bending altogether, so there must be that unknown factor.

  • Ult11

    One thing baffles me. If Amon could permanently block Chi paths, you'd think that Korra wouldn't have been able to unlock her airbending as well. After all, all the elements flow along the same Chi paths, right? So how is it possible that the paths could be blocked for some elements but not another? The only explanation that I can think of is that airbending flows along a different Chi path. After all, Amon never got the chance to ever take a way the bending of an Airbender. If this isn't the case, I'm just not sure how airbending can flow along the same Chi paths while the three other elements couldn't.

    This also brings me to the theory that Korra can possibly grant bending to non-benders. I am doubtful of this, because think of the way benders are born. All benders aside from the Avatar are born with the ability to only bend ONE element. Who decides which element that is? I don't think the Avatar would be able to pick and choose. If she could, then you could extend that theory to say that she could grant others the ability to bend all four elements. Just seems to me that bending is more of a genetic thing rather than simply opening up chi paths.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      You make a really good point. This is what I think: All bending is probably unique in some form in terms of Chi flow, so since Korra didn't know Airbending, there was no Chi flow for Airbending. As a result, the bloodbending blocked the only Chi flow present which was for the other three elements.

      That's just my theory. A lot of this is really unclear, but maybe we'll learn more about it in book 2.

      • Vroomvroom

        Since bending is inherited through genetic means, she would've still had the Chi pathways for Airbending, she just didn't know how to access them. Also, blood is physical, while Chi is spiritual, so I find it unlikely that it would be able to effectively block it. If that were the case, other external forces might be able to have the same effect.

      • Nico

        Which they do. Lightening to the back of aang disrupted his ability to go into the avatar state. And it was only after getting a rock slammed into his back that his chi was unblocked and he was able to enter the avatar state. So i would say that external forces can block certain chi

  • MoonMan

    Since blood bending can close the chi, can it reopen again using blood bending? I'm just curious because if Katara would of known, couldn't she too also been able to open Korra's chi back?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      I don't think so; Katara said she tried everything to help Korra so she must have not been able to open the Chi pathways even through bloodbending.

      Logically, bloodbending should be able to reopen pathways, but I guess it can't. Weird.

  • tim

    i forgot katara knew bloodbending, thus the damage must be permant, cause katara must had tried bloodbending herself. thus only engerybending could heal them. still just a theory.

  • Ashes

    Great as usual

  • Vroomvroom

    I don't think this is correct at all. Not only does Katara say that Korra's connection with the elements is completely severed, but Korra also is still able to bend air. If her Chi was blocked, she wouldn't be able to bend at all, rather than just losing the ability to bend what she had already learned at that point. If her Chi was simply blocked, Korra would still be connected to the elements, she just wouldn't be able to channel them.

  • Matthew

    Do different elements use different chi paths? If not, how was Korra still able to Air Bend after being blocked by Amon?

  • chinaboytag

    Wasn't this disproved by the fact that Korra used energy bending to bring people's bending back? Because energy bending would not correct a physical block, she would have to bloodbend to do that, which she didn't.

  • Neo

    Keval, wonderful article on how amon was able to take people bending away with blood bending. I understand that it is just a theory as it was not clearly explained in the book one. Thank you for writing this article and inviting for a discussing. I read others comments and most of them had pretty interesting and varied views. Keep up the good work. I am a huge Avatar fan. But getting old :)

  • Zachary

    I am sorry but this can’t be true, and I will explain why. First off, Katara was also a blood bender. Therefore, when she diagnosed Korra after her bending was taken away then she could have fixed it but she couldn’t. Secondly, in The Last Airbender, Guru Pathik showed Aang how to unblock his chi pathways. Korra would have been able to do the same thing with a Guru or other spiritual leader, which means it wouldn’t be permanent. I believe (that means it is a THEORY) that part of bending is connected to the brain, like how fire-bending is pyrokinetic. If this is true, then bending might be a special part of the brain that has its own blood flow, which, could also effect how it can make people tired and how it is used with the body. If it is connected to the brain then that means he could stop the flow of blood to that part of the brain or completely cut it off in a way that Katara couldn’t have brought it back. We do know that it is brought back with energy bending which is connected to the mind, which is shown by the Lion Turtle. Notice how energybending is used at the center of the forehead and the center of the chest from the front, whereas when Amon took it away he did it from behind them. There is a connection although I don’t know what. Sorry for how long it is. Hope this helps!

    • Ben

      BUT, Katara refused to use it, if you can remember from episode 9, Yukone said ‘It was declared illegal thanks to that coward Katara’. She would never have done it to Korra…
      I think it’s a possibility, I hope Korra gives Bumi bending, so that all of Katara + Aang’s children can be benders, I have no idea why they didn’t make Bumi an Earthbender!!

      • Noatak

        bumi cant be an earthbender. first bumi’s parents are airbender and a waterbender. second bumi’s grandparents are not earthbender. so please think lol

    • fefehieuhihip

      Katara can only do blood bending during a full moon… She is not a specialist in blood bending like Amon.

  • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

    This theory was CONFIRMED by Mike and Bryan in the Book 1 DVD commentary.