|"The era of bending is over! A new era of equality has begun!"|
|— Amon giving a speech during the "Revelation" rally.|
Amon, born as Noatak, was the charismatic and mysterious leader of an anti-bender revolutionary group known as the Equalists. Their ultimate goal was to introduce equality for all by permanently ridding the world of benders. A nimble, agile, and stealthy fighter, Amon was fearless in facing his opponents, regardless of their powerful bending skills and abilities.
Claiming to be an innocent nonbender to whom the spirits granted the ability to remove a person's bending permanently, a power previously demonstrated only by the Avatar, Amon gained the confidence and support of many people with the same ideals. However, when the complete conquest of Republic City by the Equalists became imminent, Amon's true identity was exposed to the public by Avatar Korra. In actuality, he was a prodigious Northern Water Tribe bloodbender, son of the escaped crime boss, Yakone. Alongside his younger brother, the former councilman, Tarrlok, Amon was unknowingly shaped by Yakone to be a tool for his revenge against the Avatar. With his identity exposed and his followers deserting him, Amon fled the city with Tarrlok, but the latter ignited the fuel tank of their speedboat, killing them both.
Noatak was born in the Northern Water Tribe to Yakone and his wife, as the older brother of Tarrlok by three years. Growing up, he was a good-natured child who always looked out for his younger brother and wanted everyone to be treated fairly and equally.
When Noatak and Tarrlok both discovered they were waterbenders, Yakone trained them ruthlessly to develop their skills. While Noatak was a natural, Tarrlok struggled to progress as quickly and was often verbally abused by Yakone as a result. Noatak initially stood up for his brother, but stopped when Yakone ordered him to never talk back.
When Noatak was ten, Yakone took his sons on a supposed hunting trip far from their home, where he revealed his true identity as a Republic City criminal and explained to them the power of bloodbending. Claiming that their family had the strongest line of bloodbenders in history, he expressed his intent to make his sons bloodbenders of the highest caliber in order to exact his revenge against Aang for stripping him of his bending. Yakone trained the boys secretly during every full moon to use their bloodbending on animals, such as yaks and wolves. Noatak reveled in his newfound power, eventually mastering Yakone's unique psychic bloodbending technique by the time he was fourteen. As a prodigy, he carried the burden of all his father's expectations and demands. Over the years, he became cold and detached.
Eventually, Yakone ordered his sons to bloodbend each other, which Noatak did with great ease, ignoring his brother's screams of pain until Yakone ordered him to stop. When Tarrlok refused to bloodbend Noatak, Yakone became angry and called him weak. However, as he started to lash out at Tarrlok as punishment, Noatak halted the attack by bloodbending his own father. He then called Yakone weak for being stripped of his waterbending by the Avatar and reminded his father that they were his children, not his "tools of vengeance". He subsequently urged his brother to start a new life with him away from Yakone, but Tarrlok declined out of worry for their mother. This prompted Noatak to agree with their father's assertion that Tarrlok was weak. After flinging Yakone in the snow, Noatak ran off into the blizzard, prompting Yakone and Tarrlok to search for him in the following days; they eventually assumed that he had perished in the storm.
At some point in his life, Noatak figured out how to use bloodbending to disrupt a bender's chi making it impossible for them to bend. He assumed the alias of "Amon" and became the leader of the Equalists, an organization striving to rid the world of bending. To garner sympathy and hide that he was a bender himself, Amon claimed that he was born on a small farm to a poor family of nonbenders that was being extorted by a firebender. When his father had supposedly confronted the bender, he and the rest of his family were murdered and Amon's face was left scarred from the attack, forcing him to hide behind a mask ever since. He also claimed that he had been granted the power to remove bending by the spirits because they believed the Avatar had failed the world and wanted him to usher in an era of equality.
After Avatar Korra announced her official relocation to Republic City during a press conference at City Hall, Amon told his second-in-command that the Avatar's arrival would force them to accelerate their plans.
Later, at an Equalist assembly called "The Revelation", Amon revealed his plan to eradicate the world of benders, as they "had only brought suffering" and "were the cause of every war in every era". Amon rallied the sympathy of his followers with a false backstory, in which his family, all nonbenders, was extorted by a firebender and his face was left horribly scarred. He also claimed to have been chosen by the spirits to usher in a new era of balance to the world by permanently removing people's bending in order to make equality a reality.
As a demonstration of his abilities, Amon had his Equalist henchmen bring forward several captured Triple Threat Triad members, along with Bolin, and proceeded to remove their bending one by one, starting with the firebending of the notorious crime boss Lightning Bolt Zolt, whom he was able to defeat without the use of any offensive attacks. However, before he could finally purge Bolin of his earthbending, Korra orchestrated a distraction by releasing a cloud of steam into the room, allowing Mako to rescue Bolin in the resulting confusion and escape. As the brothers and Korra were riding away on Naga, tailed by several Equalists, Amon allowed them to escape, remarking that the Avatar would be the perfect individual to spread the word about his powerful new ability.
Meeting Avatar Korra
Before officially meeting Korra, Amon had made a severe impression on her with his actions during the Revelation rally by unknowingly plaguing her with nightmares in which he removed her bending. After being proclaimed public enemy number one by the United Republic Council, he spread a message over the radio to his fellow Equalists, using the actions of the Council as proof of benders' oppressive nature.
After Councilman Tarrlok and Avatar Korra led a task force that successfully raided an Equalist training facility, Amon was publicly challenged by the Avatar to a midnight duel on Aang Memorial Island without the involvement of the task force or chi-blockers. However, Amon did not arrive on time, nor did he come alone. Just as Korra began to leave the island, several hidden Equalists reeled her inside the island's museum, where she was quickly overpowered and incapacitated by chi-blocking. Amon emerged from the shadows and revealed that he would allow her to keep her bending for the time being, stating that she would otherwise become a martyr and cause benders from every nation to rally behind her "untimely demise". However, he warned a terrified Korra that he would "save her for last" and finally "destroy her" in their inevitable showdown. With that final statement, he proceeded to knock her out and flee with his group.
Attacking the Pro-bending Arena
On the eve of the Pro-bending Championship match, Amon demanded that the Council end the hero-worship of bending athletes by shutting down the Pro-bending Arena and canceling the tournament, threatening "severe consequences" should they refuse. The Council voted to keep the arena open, which Amon revealed to be in line with his plans for the situation. At the conclusion of the championship match, he entered the arena and stripped the victors, Tahno and the rest of the White Falls Wolfbats, of their bending powers.
While his Equalists overpowered members of the Metalbending Police Force in the stands with electrified gloves, the revolutionary leader gave a speech in which he condemned benders, using the cheating of the Wolfbats as an example of their typical abusive behavior toward their fellow nonbending citizens. Furthermore, he stated that the fate of the same pro-bending team served as a warning to all benders who dared to oppose his goals.
Later in his monologue, Amon mentioned that the current tyrannical bending regime would soon be replaced with "a fair minded, Equalist" government. To this end, he planned on disposing of the bending arts in Republic City, his idealized start to eventually equalize the entire world. Declaring the revolution to have begun, he devastated the central playing field with a timed explosion before leaving the arena through the roof on an airship. Boarding the zeppelin, he narrowly escaped Korra's firebending attack and disappeared altogether.
A family reunion
Days later, Amon, accompanied by the Lieutenant and a group of Equalists, found Tarrlok in his cabin deep in the mountains surrounding Republic City. Upon being warned that it was his time to be "equalized", the Councilman defended himself by bloodbending his attackers. Although his henchmen were easily subdued by Tarrlok, Amon's skill in the practice allowed him to resist, much to the Councilman's shock. When asked what he was, referring to his ability to overcome the effects of bloodbending, Amon simply responded that he was "the solution" and proceeded to take Tarrlok's bending. He chose to handle the defeated Tarrlok on his own, as he was worried that people would find out that they were brothers.
While taking care of Tarrlok, he ordered his fellow Equalists to retrieve Korra, who was trapped inside a metal box in the basement. He warned his men not to underestimate her and ordered them to electrify the box, which would leave her knocked out when they opened it. However, as he was putting Tarrlok in the truck in which they had arrived, Korra stormed out of the cabin, having overpowered the other Equalists. Noticing Amon, she shot several ice spears in his direction; the Equalist leader evaded them all and briefly gave chase, but stopped when Korra made her escape by swiftly gliding down the snowy slopes of the mountain. When the Lieutenant and the other Equalists joined him in watching the Avatar leave, he scolded them for having underestimated her.
Attacking Republic City
Amon observed the start of the battle for Republic City from an airship floating above the metropolis. Eventually, his airship was in the vicinity of the police headquarters as Tenzin and Team Avatar were fighting the Equalists' mecha tanks. After Hiroshi Sato, who was present aboard the airship with Amon, expressed his disgust while watching his daughter fighting alongside benders, the revolutionary leader promised him that he would have his daughter back soon.
That evening, after the entire city had fallen, Amon arrived on Air Temple Island, where his followers brought a captured Lin Beifong to him. He offered her the chance to keep her bending in exchange for information regarding Korra's whereabouts, but at her defiant refusal, Amon proceeded to take away her bending.
After the original inhabitants had fled, Amon re-purposed Air Temple Island into his base of operations and had his followers bring forth all captured benders in order to strip them of their powers. He had taken residence in the tower on the island and also used it as a makeshift prison for the captured Tarrlok. As he left the island in an airship for the Equalist victory rally at the Pro-bending Arena, Mako and Korra, disguised as Equalists, infiltrated the island and learned his backstory and true identity as Noatak.
With the city under his control, Amon held a victory rally at the Pro-bending Arena. As he retold his fabricated story from the Revelation rally, he was interrupted by Korra, who addresses him by his true name and outed him as a waterbender who used bloodbending to take people's bending away rather than the alleged gift given to him by the spirits. Korra continued by revealing Amon was the son of former crime boss Yakone and Tarrlok's brother, much to the audience's shock. Though his family tree was revealed by the Avatar, Amon remained calm and confident and refuted Korra's accusations by taking off his mask, revealing the supposed scar on his face that was bestowed upon him by a firebender. Using convincing makeup to fool the audience, Amon managed to turn the tables and make Korra out to be the liar in the eyes of his supporters. When the Avatar and Mako were about to leave, Amon urged them to stay, directing their attention to Tenzin and his children whom he had captured. Aiming to "rid the world of airbending", he invited them to come down to the stage to try and stop him. Arrogantly turning his back to the duo to face Tenzin, he was forced to jump out of the path of Mako's lightning attack. Although he was able to easily avoid Mako's fire blasts, the air swipes that the freed Tenzin threw at him proved to be too much, and he was flung off the stage.
Amon recovered quickly and went after Korra and Mako, who were acting as a diversion to let Tenzin and his family escape. He found them in one of the arena's storage rooms and subdued them easily with his bloodbending, believing that they were alone with no witnesses. However, after taking away Korra's bending, Amon realized his distraught lieutenant had witnessed the whole thing. Being denounced as a traitor by his second-in-command, Amon was forced to defend himself, using his bloodbending to easily stop the attack and send his lieutenant flying into a pile of wooden boards. The distraction provided Mako with the time that he needed to charge a lightning attack, enabling him to immobilize Amon so he could grab a severely weakened Korra to escape. However, Amon caught up with them quickly and again used his bloodbending to effectively halt them.
He prepared to take away Mako's bending, musing over the fact that no one else had been able to get the better of him, and that it was almost a shame to take bending away from one so talented. With his attention drawn away from the downed and seemingly powerless Korra, Amon was completely caught off-guard when she, seeing Mako in danger, suddenly unlocked her airbending and used it to knock him away from the firebender. As she unleashed a barrage of air attacks upon him, flinging him through the hallway, he briefly regained the upper hand with bloodbending. Korra, however, managed to break his hold on her, blasting him out of a window into the harbor below with an air kick, where he began sinking rapidly into the sea after losing consciousness.
Unaware that the water had washed his fake scar away, he regained consciousness underwater and instinctively used his waterbending to emerge from the sea on a gigantic water spout to avoid drowning, exposing his waterbending abilities to his followers that were outside. Realizing he had lost all of his leverage and followers, Amon quickly made his escape, dropping back into the water to avoid Mako's barrage of fire blasts. He managed to make his way back to Air Temple Island, where he released Tarrlok, expressing regret for what he had done to him and once more offering his younger brother a chance to leave with him so they could start a new life together, as he was all he had left in the world.
The two brothers acquired a speedboat and made their way out of Republic City, journeying across the Mo Ce Sea. Amon expressed his joy of being together with family again, though admitted he had almost forgotten the sound of the name he was born with and knew when he still had a loving family. As he drove the boat, the defeated revolutionary shed a tear upon hearing his brother assure him it would be like the old days, right before Tarrlok used one of the many electrified gloves kept in the boat to ignite its fuel tank, wanting to bring an end to what he referred to as their sad story. The resulting explosion formed a large cloud of smoke, visible from afar, killing them both.
When Korra was administered a poison by the Red Lotus that would force her to enter the Avatar State, Amon appeared to her in a hallucination, telling her that the world did not need her anymore. Emphasizing the futility of her resistance, he urged her, together with hallucinations of Unalaq and Vaatu, to let go and enter the Avatar State. He appeared to Korra again in a swamp-induced vision, in which she witnessed the Equalist leader removing her bending.
Amon was later used by Varrick in his story of Bolin, Hero of the World, in which he was described as a zombie. He was added to the conference call Zaheer was having with Vaatu and although he expressed his willingness to help take out their common nemesis, Bolin, deeming him to be "way too powerful and awesome", he wanted to leave Unalaq out of the team, though soon found out the Chief of the North had been listening in on their conversation. Amon and his two other companions tried to get rid of Unalaq and eventually just hung up on him. Amon's plot line was ignored in the rest of the mover script.
As a child, Noatak was caring and fair-minded. He strove to treat everyone equally and protected his younger brother, Tarrlok, from their father's verbal abuse. However, after being corrupted by bloodbending and enduring the burden of Yakone's expectations for several years, Noatak grew cold and distant. He assumed a more detached persona and showed disregard for the suffering of his bloodbending victims, including his own brother. Eventually, Noatak fully embraced both his power and his independence by forcibly halting his father's abuse of Tarrlok, flaunting his power over him, and denouncing him as weak.
Unlike Tarrlok, Amon reveled in his bloodbending abilities. He idolized Avatar Aang's ability to remove an individual's bending, believing such a skill to be even more powerful than bloodbending. In time, Amon devised his own technique to sever a bender's connection to their element through bloodbending, an action only known to be reversible with energybending.
Amon harbored a severe abhorrence of benders and regarded bending as an "impurity" to be "cleansed". This stemmed from his belief that bending only caused suffering and that benders possessed an unnatural advantage over nonbenders. He was a staunch believer in what he viewed as equality, affectionately referring to his followers as "brothers and sisters". Despite being a bender himself, Amon sincerely believed his anti-bending rhetoric, having striven to be fair and treat everyone equally since he was a child. Ultimately, it was a misguided desire for justice that led him to start the Anti-bending Revolution.
In order to "correct" perceived inequalities, Amon employed fear tactics; he openly threatened benders and relished his enemies' powerlessness and terror. He stoked hatred against benders and sowed division between benders and nonbenders, both to garner sympathy for his cause and to turn the populace against the bending establishment. He was merciless and unwavering in his anti-bending convictions, even being willing to kidnap and de-bend helpless children.
Amon was clever and composed, as well as a convincing orator. He was a gifted public speaker who knew how to mystify and terrify his allies and enemies alike. The cult of personality he built around himself was a major factor in the widespread following he attracted, as well as the terror he spread throughout the bending community, including the United Republic Council. Despite his great power, Amon often took defensive or strategic positions, such as when he allowed Korra to escape his rally and spread word of his abilities to the city. Later, Amon refused to take up Korra's offer for a one-on-one fight and spared her bending, foreseeing that it would make her a martyr for benders and thus unite them globally against his cause. His proactive and logical thinking typically put him "one step ahead" of his enemies.
Amon was a calculating and manipulative individual who executed his schemes with great foresight and efficiency. He took extra steps to ensure the success of his plans, even going so far as to create a fake scar to support his pseudo backstory. Unlike Korra, who often attempted to engage him openly, Amon was cautious and avoided direct conflict unless he was making a statement, such as his organization's show of power at the pro-bending arena.
Amon's unwavering strength of will and high level of self-control made him a charismatic leader and a formidable opponent. Even in the midst of conflict, Amon retained a calm composure and recovered swiftly from any blows to his plans. He demonstrated a similar command of self-discipline in his dealings with his allies, always delivering orders calmly and succinctly, and only scolding lightly when they did not heed his warnings. Only mortal danger could slip up Amon, whose survival instincts led him to waterbend in front of his followers. However, even in a distraught state, he briskly regained his composure and used his strength and skill to escape.
Amon was a highly powerful waterbending master. His brother, Tarrlok, noted that he had never encountered a bender as strong as Amon. From a young age, Amon was a waterbending prodigy and excelled under the tutelage of his father Yakone, who continually praised Amon for his abilities and skill, especially in comparison to the less talented Tarrlok. Amon was capable of launching himself out of a body of water on a gigantic water spout and propelling himself over the surface at a speed exceeding that of Mako's fire blasts.
Amon just as quickly mastered the rare and outlawed art of bloodbending, becoming exceptionally proficient and powerful at a young age. Under Yakone's tutelage, he mastered the technique to such an extent that he could perform it at any time, without the aid of a full moon, by the age of fourteen. At the same time, he mastered his father's unique ability to psychically bloodbend, which allowed him to bend not only through physical movement, but through sheer focus and strength of will. He was able to use more common bloodbending techniques, such as body manipulation and torture, on multiple targets without exerting much energy. He could levitate his targets, throw them around, subdue them, and knock them unconscious. With his skill in psychic bending, he was able to minimally alter the movements of his opponents and give himself the advantage without revealing that he was a bender. He also exhibited the ability to resist bloodbending with little effort, even against Tarrlok, who had mastered the skill to a similar level.
Despite growing fascinated by this skill, he ultimately desired more, wanting to have the power to remove people's bending, just as Avatar Aang had done to his father with the use of energybending. He eventually succeeded in this goal by using his mastery of bloodbending to "sever" an individual's bending connection by blocking their active chi paths, effectively achieving the same result as energybending. No medical intervention was effective in reversing this effect, and even Katara, a world-renowned healer and bloodbending expert in her own right, was unable to reverse its effects. The only known way to reverse Amon's bending block is through the use of energybending, as demonstrated by Avatars Aang and Korra.
Amon epitomized versatility in many ways. He concealed his bending abilities through masterful hand-to-hand combat skills and the art of chi-blocking. His prowess proved great enough to defeat even the most powerful of benders. He also demonstrated his agility as a nimble fighter, allowing him to maneuver gracefully and evade bending assaults with ease, even at close-range. He also supplemented his hand-to-hand skills with minor applications of his bloodbending in order to better defend and redirect enemy assaults. Apart from his combat skills, Amon had extreme physical resilience that allowed him to recover from a point-blank lightning bolt shot by Mako in mere seconds and subdue him with bloodbending.
Aside from his combat abilities, Amon also possessed great intellect and charisma, making him a master manipulator. He effectively masqueraded his bloodbending technique, which he used to sever people's bending, as a mystical weapon given to him by the spirits. He was able to maintain this facade consistently even under the heat of battle. A gifted political strategist, he accurately portended that if he removed the Avatar's bending too early in his revolution, it would only end in Korra becoming a martyr, ensuring that benders across the globe would unite against his anti-bending agenda. He took his charade to such heights that apart from wearing a mask, he even applied make-up to fake a large facial scar to legitimize his fabricated story of being mutilated by a firebender in order to further drive bending hate and sympathy for his cause.
As evidenced by the multiple attacks orchestrated by the Equalists, Amon was also a capable strategist and tactician, outmatching other organized forces such as the Metalbending Police Force and the United Forces armada on several occasions. He was also well-versed in terrorist tactics, subverting nonbenders by manipulating their hate and bestowing fear upon benders, always seeking a psychological edge against his opponents, and consistently using intimidation and threats against his numerous enemies.
- Main article: Amon's relationships
- Amon's ability is called in the art of , which is roughly translated into "the death hand", referring to an individual who is skilled in killing but not curing.
- The ideogram, present on his early character designs, has several meanings in Chinese, including "to equalize", matching the Equalists' name, and "peaceful", matching Amon's goals for a peaceful world that is rid of bending. In Urdu (امن) and Indonesian, "peaceful" translates to "Aman", pronounced as "Amon".
- The Chinese transliteration for Amon's name, , has several meanings, but the most appropriate is "to cover".
- The red disc featured on Amon's mask was also the symbol of the Egyptian sun god Amun, whose name can similarly be spelled as Amon.
- The mask that Amon wore was inspired by traditional Chinese and Korean designs.
- Amon was the only known person who was not an Avatar to have had the ability to remove someone's bending.
- Amon was one of three known characters to be both a bender and a chi-blocker, along with Hundun and Rioshon.
- He, along with Tarrlok, were the first two people to die on-screen in The Legend of Korra.
- As a child, Amon had a darker skin color that was similar to Katara's, but as an adult, his skin was noticeably lighter.
- The creators did not realize until the animation came back for "Skeletons in the Closet" that fourteen year old Amon had been drawn with the same hairstyle as Korra. They ultimately decided to leave the style as it was, as it showed that despite their differences during the Anti-bending Revolution, they came from similar cultural backgrounds.
- In Binsfeld's classification of demons, Amon is the name of one of the seven princes of Hell, who tempts people with the sin of wrath. This is similar to how Amon roused the frustration and hatred of the nonbending populace to further his goals.
- The Anonymous group, an internet movement or concept of anonymous activists who protest political injustice, often uses a Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol for the movement and as a disguise, which is similar to the mask Amon used. Amon sounds similar to "Anon", which is used as an abbreviation for "Anonymous".
- Amon bore similarities to the character "V" from the comic and movie V for Vendetta. Much like Amon, V was portrayed as a mysterious anarchist, vigilante, and freedom fighter who was easily recognizable by his Guy Fawkes mask and dark clothing. According to Alan Moore, one of the character's creators, V was designed to be morally ambiguous, similar to how Amon was perceived as a hero by some and a tyrant by others.
- Despite having been killed at the end of Book One: Air, Amon appeared to Korra in a vision in every subsequent book, making appearances in the final episodes of Books Two and Three and again in the fourth and eighth episode of Book Four; however, he only spoke in the Book Three finale and Book Four recap episode.
- Amon was the second known individual in the Avatar universe to die at the hands of a family member, the first being Azulon and the third Unalaq.