Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra were both wildly popular series, and thus they inspired more than a little bit of chatter amongst fans. Naturally, this meant that plenty of fan theories popped up all over the internet. Some of these theories revolved around characters or plot. But other theories focused on bending itself, and that's hardly a surprise. The bending system within Avatar is shockingly well thought out, including a different style of martial arts for each bending type.
What is surprising is just how spot-on many of the fan theories out there ended up being. The fans of the series should feel proud of that. Here are ten of the bending focused theories that the fans got right.
10 Airbenders Forever
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, we saw the devastation of the airbenders. But fans were determined not to believe that this would mean the permanent disappearance of the airbenders as we know them. After all, Aang survived. Who's to say the airbender's can't return?
As it turns out, we had reason to hold onto that hope. The Legend of Korra confirmed that Aang did, in fact, have at least one airbender child, and he went on to have children of his own. So, with time, the airbenders became a powerful force of their own.
One of the earliest theories to pop up involved waterbending and it's specialties. Specifically, fans believed that we would be seeing some focuses within the waterbenders – the ability to heal. Likewise, this was one of the first theories to be confirmed.
We're all well aware of the fact that Katara herself became both a waterbender and a healer. Her healing ability was shown very on in the series, to much glee of fans everywhere. The only question left was how far the healing could be pushed.
8 Earthbenders Have Undiscovered Secondary Abilities
If you've spent any time watching Avatar, then you're well aware of the fact that waterbending has a ton of secondary focuses. Some fans believed that there was no way that waterbending was the only bending type to be capable of branching off.
Specifically, fans believed that earthbending would come second in a list of which elements would have secondary elements to bend. And they were spot on. As the series progressed, we learned that there were other things that earthbenders could do. It just took them a bit of time.
As mentioned above, fans were convinced that earthbenders would be able to do more than the obvious. After all, waterbenders can heal and bend plants. Why not branch out a bit more with the earthbenders? The theories about what earthbenders could move went all over the place, but some fans were focused on sand and the ability to bend this loose material.
And you know what? Once again, those fans were right. Sandbending seems to be somewhat uncommon, but that hasn't stopped these resourceful benders from using it whenever they could.
The other earthbending subtype that fans predicted was metalbending. Admittedly, this reveal was a lot more significant to the series, as it was Toph herself who invented the specialty. But there's no doubt that fans celebrated the reveal.
It makes sense that earthbenders would be able to affect other types of earth – including the metal within. It also makes sense that Toph, with her unique way of perceiving the world, would be the one to figure out how to manage the trick.
Waterbenders already have a ton of subtypes when it comes to bending, yet fans were convinced that there was one more type of bending lurking around the corner. One in particular is significantly darker than the others, and some would even say that it's the natural counterpoint to healing.
We're, of course, talking about bloodbending. Fans began predicting this eventual move as early as season one – as hard as that may be to believe. But it also makes quite a bit of sense, when you think about the other things that waterbenders can control. That, and when you think about the amount of water lying within a person's body.
4 Energy Bending
Thanks to the deep dive both series did on the Avatar cycle, fans have a pretty good idea that we'd eventually see something such as energy bending. The specifics tended to vary among fans and certain groups, but they all agreed that it was something that was bound to happen.
Energy bending allowed Aang to have a peaceful resolution to the big fight at the end, giving him the chance to to stop the war and also follow his beliefs. Perhaps that is the other reason why fans anticipated this move.
3 Pushing Metalbending To The Limits
As mentioned above, metalbending was a thing that most die-hard fans saw coming (not that it reduced the reveal's dramatic moment in any way). Once that moment happened, fans began theorizing about how far the series would push this newfound skill.
It wasn't until the graphic novels and The Legend of Korra that we really got to see it. But, amazingly, some fans were right. Fans believed that metalbending could be pushed towards the body, either for healing purposes (such as heavy metal poisoning and the like) or for damage.
2 Bending Is Not Genetic
From the earliest points in the series, a debate began. The debate focused on bending, and how it ran through populations. Was it genetic? Was it learned? How did it work? Some fans were convinced early on that it couldn't possibly be genetic. After all, the Avatar is never related to their incarnations, nor are they related to benders from all of the elements.
The series confirmed this theory when they showed us a set of identical twins. One was a bender, the other was not. If bending was purely genetic, both twins would have been the same, and least in theory.
1 Firebending Specialties?
The last theory on our list involves firebending. There have been a lot of fan theories surrounding firebending. After all, waterbending and earthbending have other subsets, so theoretically firebending does as well.
We all know that some firebenders can also work with lightning, which is both cool and terrifying. Fans also theorized that a firebender, if powerful enough, could manipulate lava, which was something confirmed in the series. However, it's something that only seems to occur with Avatars... which is probably for the best.