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I have a crazy theory, and it all stems from the fact that Book 2 has felt...off, at least story-wise, to me. I think the reason is because we're in for the reveal that Unalaq has been the villain since Book 1.

Let me explain.

In Book 1, both Tarrlok and Noatak (Amon) wanted power. Specifically, they wanted to control Republic City, but through different means. Tarrlok wanted to gain ultimate political power, possibly as President (before the council disbanded, and the first election was held).

In contrast, Noatak decided to use his perfect style of bloodbending to raise an army and overtake Republic City by force. But why would he want to do this in the first place? He clearly doesn't have an agenda against bending, since he is a bender himself. You could argue that the seeds for an anti-bending revolution would work best in a mixed city, but he had to know that he was rising against an unstoppable army (The United Forces) when it would make more strategic sense to slowly build an army all over the world. It's not unreasonable, but it does seem weird to me.

Remember how Amon claimed that he gained his powers from the spirits? We're then told that he takes bending away with bloodbending. Wouldn't it make more sense, then, if someone who is a master of spirits...like Unalaq...actually taught Amon to do this? What if Noatak never disappeared as a child. What if he went to Unalaq after being disgusted by his father? What if, in order to seek real balance in the world, Unalaq employed Noatak to help him free Vaatu and create a new Avatar that would balance out the old one?

After all, we learned in "Beginnings" that Wan and Raava only won against Vaatu because the match was uneven. It was 2 versus 1. If Vaatu had his own master bender, like Noatak, to bond with, there would be two Avatars, which would allegedly create real balance and prevent wars. What if the Civil War is just evidence Unalaq wants to use in order to prove that Korra is not fit to be the Avatar, since she can't be neutral? And no Avatar in existence has ever been able to achieve real peace, so Unalaq's goal may be to create a perfect world.

Why Republic City? If Unalaq has control of the North Pole, and he acquires the South Pole, then the tree where everything started is the key to freeing Vaatu. This is the tree from A:TLA in Book 2, when Aang learns that "everything is connected." I believe this ancient tree is where Vaatu was sealed, and Republic City must not be far away.

(Side note: the Spirit Oasis in the North Pole is the oasis from "Beginnings," in my opinion.)

This would also explain why Amon decided to "accelerate his plans" when Korra showed up in Republic City. To do all this, they needed Korra to open the portals, but she can only do that if she unlocks the Avatar State. Amon had to spare her in their first encounter and force her to her breaking point in order for this to happen. Maybe he never really robbed her of her bending, hence she was still able to airbend. He may have done that intentionally in order to keep her spirit intact and allow her to use the Avatar State to restore her bending. It was all Unalaq's plan.

What Unalaq didn't count on was Tarrlok, who was ultimately Noatak's demise, though Noatak seemed ready to just escape forever right before this happened. He might have been more enslaved by Unalaq than anything else.

That's all I got. I think this revelation would salvage Book 2, giving us a series villain akin to Avatar: The Last Airbender's Fire Lord Ozai, and this development would provide Korra with the opportunity to fail at the end of this book, giving us a Dark Avatar via Unalaq or even Noatak if he secretly survived. Book 3 could then be about the world ending and ultimately being saved in Book 4.

What do you think?

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It seems more likely that the spirit oasis that heals Wan is also the spirit oasis being used to heal Korra. Theoretically, the oasis is in the Fire Nation (because that was the original location of the fire Lion Turtle); also, it would give the episode a nice reflective aspect if both Wan and Korra used the same oasis.
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This would be amazing, but you're probably giving the writers too much credit. Then again, I said the same thing with my friends when I called Varrick being the mastermind behind the attacks on the Water Tribe Cultural Center so maybe!
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Yeah, I agree. This is a cool & well thought out theory, but I'd be very surprised to say the least...
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I'm all for the dark avatar tho. I feel like that's a thing that could happen
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I don't think Unalaq is going to be connected to Tarrlok or Amon because he is already connected to Tonraq, his brother. Unalaq and Tonraq are the brother rivalry for this season with Desna and Eska as his Azula. Amon could be revealed to be under the influence of Vaatu or something like that. I do not believe the balance to be broken though because the world is still at war and the people are corrupt and being evil in general. While the Avatar has grown stronger, the scale of the wars and general evilness of people has grown comparatively.

Although unlikely, my theory Unalaq is going to try to force Korra to fight Vaatu at the Harmonic Convergence and have both of them sealed inside the Spirit World's tree in eternal conflict. This is probably the only way "balance" can be achieved because one side winning will not matter. Even if one side wins, they will be trapped inside and unable to exert their influence on the rest of the world.

I believe that a Dark Avatar is not possible under the current conditions. The ability to bend is granted by the Lion Turtles, which Raava now has. However, Vaatu will have to do the same in order to obtain bending, which is unlikely considering the Lion Turtles worked to protect the humans. If Unalaq tries to do it, Vaatu will either betray him and take over his body, or Unalaq will just be killed by the sudden rush of power. Instead, I believe Vaatu will conquer the Spirit World with his new growth of power and his influence is leaking into the Human World as a result of his growth in power. Vaatu's power will probably come from infecting humans and taking over their bodies with spirits later in the season.

One thing I found interesting is that Airbenders will probably have the power to teleport and it will be revealed as the "advanced" form for them. The spirit that Wan first encounters in the Spirit Oasis knows about bending. When he disappeared and reappeared behind Wan, it greatly resembled airbending, which is why I think that will be the advanced form of airbending that Korra or Tenzin will most likely obtain later on in the season. With that we have bloodbending for Waterbenders, metalbending for Earthbenders, lightning for Firebenders, and teleportation for Airbenders.
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First of all, great theory on the story. I always felt disappointed with how shallow the villain Amon was when it was finally revealed on who he was. I always felt it was just a result of a rushed resolution from the writers. One of the best aspects of The Last Airbender was how things would always came back later in the story, and how things are like you said -- are connected. Where in season one did you hear about how Amon learned his bend-blocking powers from the spirits?

Before Amon was revealed to be Noatak I actually had a theory that Amon might've been just a spirit being disguised in a human shell (based on how he was immune to being blood-bent). I knew that Amon had to have learned the bend-blocking somehow, since Aang learned the ability from a spirit-animal. Your theory ties what I had hoped to be included into the story and characters quite well.
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In "The Revelation," Amon tells everyone at the equalist rally that spirits are the source of his power. Of course, we are led to believe this is a lie, and he's really bloodbending, but it's possible that both might be true. This type of bloodbending would have to be very powerful and could have been taught to him by a master of spirits and chi, hence Unalaq.
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interesting theory i think you are on the right path with Amon being connected to Vaatu. In book one air the Amon used blood bending to keep people from attacking him but to use blood bending to take bending away that always struck me as odd Vaatu being the one responsible for his ability to take bending away would be an interesting twist and that Korra and Ravva have to counter Amon/Unalaq and Vaatu.
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good theory. there is a problem though avatar wan received the four elements from the lion turtles(i hope its their names) which Noatak doesn't posses
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True, but the reason that Wan was able to bond with Raava was because he wasn't a "normal human." You could say that this had more to do with his mastery of bending, not just versatility of the elements. Amon, by comparison, is probably the strongest bender, other than the Avatar, and might have been capable of bonding with Vaatu. Alternatively, Amon might have been taking the bending away from others in order to make himself stronger. Case in point, the writers could find a way.
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There's far too much here for me to comment on at the moment, it being almost 6am, but I wanted to use the last part of your theory to ask a question of my own.
You say Book 3, and Book 4. But wasn't Korra supposed to be only 2 books? When did that change?
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AAAnnnnd I just read the wiki on Korra and answered my own question
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I do think the writers should connect Amon to Vaath. Amon journey is still shrouded in mystery I do think it is possible he could have traveled to the Spirit World on his own like Iroh and make contact with Vaath. We're never told how blood bending was used to take away bending, so it could be a power Vaath gave Amon.

I don't think Unalaq is connected to Amon to the extent of training him how to steal bending or taking him into fold. Vaath seems more like a presence that's manipulating characters subtly. Unalaq I'm not sold he's more than pawn or has been directly planning on unleashing Vaath. I can see Vaath manipulating Unalaq into freeing him by getting to open up the gates to the Spirit World, but I'm hoping it goes beyond Unalaq wants to free Vaath to become the Dark Avatar for power.
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