Mike DiMartino Appears at Barns & Noble Panel, Says Asami was Planned as a Villain

The past few weeks, both Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino were advertising a Barns & Noble panel that took place in Los Angeles yesterday at 7 PM. Mike DiMartino, along with other television show producers and authors, made an appearance to talk about “spoilers, shippers, and storytelling.” Many fans saw “spoilers” and immediately connected that with Book 2.

The reason I didn’t advertise this panel at all is because I knew that the likelihood of Book 2 being a topic was very slim. I wasn’t even sure that The Legend of Korra would be a topic – I thought they’d talk about story telling and television production in general.

Just to be safe, I was able to find some Twitter followers in the LA area who promised to inform me about what would take place at the panel. I woke up this morning to check my Twitter feed, and it turns out that Mike did discuss The Legend of Korra last night.

The first thing Mike said was that Asami was originally intended to turn out evil, just as her father did. The reason this changed was because as Asami’s character developed, Mike and Bryan realized that she’d make for a much better ‘good’ character. Needless to say, Book 1 and the rest of the series would have turned out a lot different if Asami turned evil.

For anyone wondering who Toph’s husband is, you’re out of luck. Mike explained that he doesn’t see the need to tell us. In fact, he said he doesn’t see the need to know himself. Does that mean Mike and Bryan don’t know who Toph’s husband is themselves? Or does it mean that they know who Toph’s husband is, but they don’t really see the point of knowing in the first place? I suppose it could be interpreted either way. I’d assume Mike meant the latter.

Lastly, Mike said that he was surprised with the fandom’s reaction to Mako. Apparently he had no idea that the fandom would be angry with Mako for effectively cheating on Asami with Korra. Hopefully the development of Mako’s character during the course of Book 2 will iron out the wrinkles in his character.

Even though the panel didn’t really cover Book 2, it certainty had a lot of interesting information about The Legend of Korra in general. What are your thoughts on the topics covered at the panel?

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  • J.R

    What do they mean “it doesn’t matter who toph’s husband is?” This is actually pretty important, if you are going to make a new character and one of its parents be a previous character, they should at least know who the other parent is. We want a release date by the way, is a simple date too much to ask for?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      That part kind of confused me too. It definitely should matter. Maybe they’re just trying to make it like one of those questions that will always be unanswered. Not completely sure to be honest with you.

      • MitchGunner

        Unless they have a good reason to include that sort of information, I just don’t see it as necessary. I mean… it’s obviously important to know who Tenzin’s parents are because he and his family are the last of the airbenders and his dad was the freakin Avatar, but Lin seems to be more of a standalone character in this world, where her parents (even though it was Toph) don’t have a real effect on her current life. Also, I figured some fans would complain about Mako’s behavior, but I still don’t think that deviates from his success as a character. In fact, of all the characters in Book 1, I think Mako has the most interesting back story (parents killed by firebender=must protect/take care of Bolin).

        • Stella

          While Mako’s backstory was interesting his character was not. I found him both dull and annoying as he was stuck in the love triangle mess the entire season. He had nothing else. He was the biggest flop considering the hate.

          Thank god they didn’t make Asami evil. I loved her growth throughtout the show. She shows that you don’t have to be a tomboy to be badass and gave us a much needed human element to the show.

          • MitchGunner

            I didn’t find Mako to be dull and annoying. I think, at least until he has more time to develop, he is just a good character to root for. I enjoy seeing his big brother relationship with Bolin and how he cherishes something as simple as a scarf because it means a lot more to him than anyone knows. I have a feeling that once we get to dig into more of what shapes who he is, he’ll begin to grow on a lot of fans. And, yes, he happened to be at the center of the love triangle fiasco, thus taking the majority of the heat for it, but in all honesty – and I DID like Asami’s character more than Mako’s this season – Asami was sort of the cause of the triangle in the first place.

          • Stella

            Asami was not the cause of the drama, Mako was. Knowing his feelings for Korra he should not have began a relationship with Asami. He should have been honest with her from early on and we would not have had this drawn out love triangle. I don’t find nothing rootable about a cheater.

            Asami and Korra don’t get as much hate as Mako cause at least they had other storylines going on for you to connect to. While Korra annoyed me a lot at least I enjoyed her journey. And Asami went from a rather dull character to a kick ass fighter. Asami without a doubt is my fav character.

          • kidv

            Yeah… except in Book 2 Mako stopped caring about Bolin. I mean wtf?! He only cares about Korra now? What happened to him? What about his backstory? I hope we find out about it in book 3.

        • Derrick

          I’m with Mitchgunner on this. I mean it would be nice to know who Toph married but its’ not essential to the story at all. In Book 1, Lin hardly even mentions her parents, unlike Tenzin, who constantly was talking about his father and mother. Even Iroh II mentioned his grandfather, Zuko, once. But in ep 1, when Korra got arrested by the metal bending police and met Lin, she proclaimed, “Your Toph’s daughter!” And Lin casually replied, “Yeah, what of it?” I just get this vibe from her that while she loved her parents, they don’t play a huge role in her life right now(especially considering they’re probably both dead). I personally prefer characters who play a role in a story and if Lin’s father won’t help advance the plot or help the character’s grow in anyway, then what’s the point of introducing him? For fanservice? We already saw what happens when we get fan service, cough cough Makorra(nothing more then fanservice to Zutarians IMHO). Now if Lin’s father DOES play a pretty important role in the upcoming books,then by all means introduce him. But if not, and LIn’s father will be shown just so we can put a face on who Toph married, then I don’t see the point of him being shown in LOK. Sorry for being so legnthy by the way. lol

          • kidv

            Good grief people. Atleast a flashback of Toph with her husband would be nice. We don’t need to know him, just show what he looked like. It’s not that hard. Toph was a lovable character who never got a guy. It’s not real life it’s a show! I wanna know!!!

      • HaZardous

        Maybe it’s because Mike and Bryan haven’t really thought about it yet. When they created Lin, all they were looking for is a badass descendant of Toph and leave it at that. They didn’t really bother with the other side of her family (and maybe still doesn’t since it has nothing to do with Korra).

      • Tenmashi

        I think some unknown character is the father and they see no point in trying to introduce and develop that character in an attempt to please the fans. Maybe they much rather have the fans fill in the blanks the way they like rather than destroying all that by introducing some character we don’t know and might not like. I imagine it’s kinda hard to create a new character the fans will accept as being good enough for Toph.

  • Michelle M.

    I suspected that Asami was supposed to be evil ._. I don’t know why but she seemed really suspicious at first. When she joined them I was a bit surprised but at the same time I sort of expected it. But honestly at first it seemed like it could go either way.

    On the topic of Toph’s husband I don’t see why we shouldn’t know. I just hope it means that he doesn’t see the point in knowing but in book 2 we’ll find out anyway. Even though I don’t obsess over it I would like to know.

    Finally on Mako, yeah, I was surprised to -__- I really didn’t think anything of the “cheating” I mean I don’t really see a kiss that Korra initiated as cheating. They didn’t do anything after that so… Plus, I just went along with the story because even if it did bother me, what am I supposed to do? I can’t change anything.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      I’ll be honest here. I’m a guy, and I don’t give two f*cks that Mako “cheated” on Asami. I just don’t care. Give me a good plot, awesome characters and some nice music and I’ll be happy..

      • Kai

        You’re a guy?!? Why did I think you were a girl this whole time (0o) mind blown .

      • Kai

        You’re a guy?!? Why did I think you were a girl this whole time (0o) mind blown .

        • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

          Haha probably because my picture is of Korra. But yes, I’m a guy. 17 years old. Now you know me :)

      • krossoverking

        If only the plot was good and the characters were awesome…

  • MitchGunner

    I like that Asami was with team avatar because it represented a non-bender population and, overall, I think she’s a fairly interesting character. However, if she turned out to be “evil,” then the trouble with the love triangle/square may have panned out much more smoothly and Mako’s apparent cheating on Asami by choosing Korra would have made more sense. They could have gone either way with it and I would have liked it all the same. Also, why do people want to know the identity of Toph’s husband so badly? I agree with Mike and Bryan, it doesn’t seem necessary.

  • Katie

    I like what MitchGunner said about her representing a population of non-benders in Team Avatar. Much like Sokka, she’s the sole non-bender of our gang and represents about 70% of the worlds population may I note that fact that bending actually isn’t THAT common in the world, not many people have the ability.

  • Bayley

    Maybe they are going to show who Toph is going to marry in the comics.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Possible. As long as the plot has ties to the identity of Toph’s husband.

      • Jonas

        I seriously hope not :S how old is she in the comics, like 13 or 14? how many people meet their spouse when their that young. That’s why I kinda hate the shipping in TLA; i mean their just kids (who fight wars :p but thats something else)

        • jonas

          they’re not their :’(

        • Tenmashi

          Quite a lot possibly. In many cultures old and new it’s normal to be wedded young. Heck, isn’t it traditional in the Northern Water Tribe to get betrothed when turning 16? Don’t forget we’re dealing with a different culture here, one from a fantasy world at that.

          Though that all doesn’t matter since the comic(s) might very well be set several years later when Toph is older. ;) Personally I’d love to see more of what happened between ATLA and LOK.

  • AngryKorraFan(:

    I just want a freakin book 2 release date. -.- Whats taking so long!?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Comic-Con.

  • chewgum

    I love makorra, why not!!!!!!!!!!??????????

  • Llamika Li

    Nicktoons is now playing LoK. I’m taking that as a sign. Gut feeling was that Asami was to join the dark side with her father. Love triangle/love competition must have won the coin toss.

  • Tumas

    Interesting bit of insight there.

    I think I prefer how Asami turned out rather than going evil. I guess after seeing so many series where good guys turn bad, having Asami’s jealousy hint to that and not following through was refreshing (I loved that when it happened on Arrow recently). Moreover I think having a non-bender on Team Avatar does raise its credibility as a group of good people rather than just a group of benders (in contrast with the Equalists and their world view). Asami’s still an interesting character and I look forward to seeing her development.

    On the topic of Toph’s husband and Lin’s father, I think that we really don’t need to know. I don’t think it adds anything to our appreciation of Lin because she’s enugh of a badass on her own. It made sense to show us Tenzin’s parents because they we’ve already seen them together in the original series and both have an actual role: Katara sending off Korra (a poignant moment of letting go of a last peice of Aang, as his re-incarnation), and Aang as a spirit, whose previous actions have a direct link with present-day events. If Mike and Bryan eventually want to tell us who Lin’s father is (maybe through the graphic novels?), that’s ok, but if not, I’d be fine with it.

    When it comes to Mako, I was also a little uncomfortable with his ‘cheating’. I still loved the series’ plot, music and everything, but I thought the love-triangle was unnecessary and did not make me like Mako any better. I can understand that sometimes romantic feelings can be conflicting, and, as a guy, I can actually understand the feeling of choosing one girl over the other because you think it makes more ‘sense’, logic-wise. At the same time, though, after we see Mako apparently falling in love with Asami and us getting to know her better, I actually felt he really mistreated her by not being honest about his conflicting feelings. Maybe it’s just my experience that makes me feel that way.

  • Poet Tree

    Well i kinda agree with Mike with dont really need to know who impregnated toph…lol put like that it doesnt make me wanna know XD naaaw just kidding doesnt bother me at all to say it like that. Anyway back to what i was saying. So like i said it isnt important it’s like in The Last Of Us we dont know who is the mother of sarah …we only hear about her one time in the game and same for the parents of ellie and seriously it didnt affect the storyline so it really dont bother me at all. :] Also, they better make mako break up with korra and make him go back with asami like that i will be relieved to know that korra wont be harrassed by this jerk ..sorry

  • Ach123314

    >”Doesn’t see the need to know”
    >”Doesn’t see”
    >DOESN’T SEE
    IT’S ALL A FREAKING BLIND JOKE

  • Namita

    On the note of Mako “cheating” on Asami, I actually thought they broke up when Asami said, “Well there might not be any relationship to worry about later,” to Mako. Hmmm…..

  • prapp

    I’m glad Asami is good, she’s sooooooooooo awesome :D

  • Steven Lee

    UGH, are you freaking serious.
    must know:
    toph’s husband
    zuko’s wife
    zuko’s daughter and possible other children
    zuko’s mom… ?! still have no idea maybe i’m late and everyone knows but still i gotta know where she is!??