Yakone is probably the scariest Avatar villain, even though his presence on the show may only be limited to flashbacks. He was still able to leave his mark on the show. He was one of the few enemies who was able to affect Aang. He was a ruthless criminal who
almost succeeded in taking Team Avatar down on his own. Using his forbidden bloodbending abilities which were cruel, he was able to hold a lot of power in the Republic City. He was so powerful that Aang had to use his Avatar state to finally put an end to
his sinister plans.
But his influence still lurks around decades later as his son Noatak who under the alias Amon has led an Equalist revolution to ensure chaos and devastation on Republic City. He almost achieved his evil goals before Avatar Korra, and her brother Tarrlok came
in his way. Korra’s brother killed Noatak along with himself to finally end the circle of terror and destruction started decades ago by Yakone.
The story of Yakone’s power and abilities makes for a gripping tale in Book One of The Legend of Korra. Still, it clashes with the narrative of bloodbending that was established in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Book 3: “The Puppet Master”, introduces a waterbender
named Hama, who has escaped from prison. She was captured by the Fire Nation and kept in jail for decades. In prison, after years of practice, she was able to develop her unreal ability to bend blood. She was able to do it because of her spiritual connection
with the full moon when her bending skills were at their best. Hama’s ability of bloodbending developed under very intense conditions during her imprisonment.
Hama’s story was not the only one, in Book 2 when Toph was also imprisoned and left in a metal box she too, like Hama, developed bending abilities. Her newly developed metalbending helped her escape the metal box. She also had a spiritual connection, but unlike
Hama, it was rooted in her bending. Toph was unusual in other ways as well, since she learnt earthbending at a very young age from the very first earthbender which puts her in a league of her own.
The practice of sub-styles like lightning-bending, metalbending and bloodbending is not something that people are born with. But these are skills that can only be developed by great benders by practice and persistence. But these theories fall flat when Yakone
claims that her bloodbending abilities have been something that has descended to him from a long line of bloodbenders. Although Tarrlok and Noatak have to practice their sub-styles in the full moon, they too have inherited their abilities from their fathers.
The Last Airbender does not explore the story of bloodbending beyond “The Puppet Master”, therefore it left a lot of room for the Legend of Korra to fill in the gaps with more depth. But by portraying sub-styles as something that can be inherited rather than
learnt in harsh conditions and years of practice, raises a conflict with the narrative that the Last Airbender has set. The benders are only born with the ability to bend their respective elements. So, going by this narrative, it should be impossible to be
born with sub-styles in the first place. The control of the sub-styles requires a different understanding of one’s bending abilities. Even though it is rare, there is no doubt that sub-styles can be learnt. So, going by Last Airbender’s storyline, a toddler
won’t be able to develop a sub-style since it would be too early to have the required unorthodox bending understanding and practice. So, when Yakone claims that he was born with the sub-style, it is really something unconventional and unprecedented.
What’s even weirder is the fact the Yakone not only inherited his sub-styles, but he passed it on to his son. It is not uncommon for a storyline to change as it progresses but to introduce something that completely contradicts the basic understanding that was
established before, seems illogical. Yakone’s character has created contradictions for the Legend of Korra as the narrative set by the Last Airbender is completely disregarded while explaining Yakone’s bloodbending abilities.