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Bolin is an earthbender from a multicultural family. He grew up on the streets of Republic City under the protection of his older brother, Mako, after their parents were killed by a firebender. Eventually, he and his brother founded a pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, that would later include Avatar Korra. After the Pro-bending Tournament ended, Bolin joined Team Avatar in an attempt to stop the Equalist organization.

In the following months, Bolin quickly became close friends with the Southern Water Tribe industrialist Varrick and starred in The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, a propaganda film series created by Varrick in an attempt to drum up support for the Southern Tribe within Republic City during the Water Tribe Civil War. After reuniting with Team Avatar, Bolin attempted to help his friends stop Chief Unalaq from merging with Vaatu, the spirit of darkness, during Harmonic Convergence.[7]

A few weeks after Harmonic Convergence, Bolin and his friends traveled around the Earth Kingdom to search for airbenders. At one point, the group had to flee from Ba Sing Se and split up from Tenzin. They continued their search until the Red Lotus attacked Zaofu, at which point they instead worked to combat the anarchist organization.

After bringing down the Red Lotus, Bolin began a relationship with Opal[8] and joined Kuvira in her goal of reuniting the divided Earth Kingdom with military force with the rank of corporal,[6] believing it gave him the opportunity to help others. He eventually realized, however, that there was a darker side to the army's actions, which prompted him to desert, though he was apprehended.[9] However, he managed to escape with Varrick, leaving the army to believe they were dead for a while,[10] and rejoined Team Avatar in Republic City to help them defeat Kuvira, while rebuilding his relationship with Opal.[11][12]


Early life

Bolin was born to a multicultural family in Republic City two years after Mako; his father, San, was from the Earth Kingdom, and his mother, Naoki,[13] was from the Fire Nation.[2] Sometime after learning earthbending, Bolin attempted to learn metalbending, inspired by its creator Toph Beifong, but never succeeded.[14] At the young age of six, he lost his parents to a firebending mugger, leaving Mako as his only immediate family. To survive, Bolin was heavily dependent upon his brother who, as the oldest, took on a parental role. To generate some form of income, the brothers initially ran small-time scams on the streets of Republic City during their youth[15] and, for a time, also consorted with the Triple Threat Triad.[16]

Bolin returning the purse

Bolin returned the purse to the elderly woman, faking an injury.

One day in 167 AG,[17] during Bolin's involvement with the Triple Threat Triad, the fourteen-year-old earthbender[3] and his brother attempted to pull off a scam on an elderly woman. After Mako snatched the lady's purse, Bolin posed as a rescuer and retrieved the item after pretending to fight for it with his brother. The woman gave him only two yuans, infuriating Bolin and prompting him to steal a loaf of bread from her as well. He returned to Mako with the bread and gave some to him, attesting that it tasted better than what they had consumed the day before, even though they had not eaten anything that day.

Later that evening, Bolin went to the Triple Threat Triad headquarters with his brother and saw Shady Shin bribe Toza, a pro-bender. When Bolin expressed his disappointment about seeing Toza act this way, Mako became upset, believing Toza should be happy about receiving the bribe. Afterward, Shin told them that if they did not acquire enough bets to recover the ten thousand yuans given to Toza, he would abandon Bolin and Mako on the streets, after which the two brothers speedily departed.[18]

As the brothers collected bets for the match at a local pet shop, they found that a fire ferret was trying to escape. It ran onto Bolin's head but was quickly reeled in by its owner, Mr. Feng, who thanked the earthbender for catching him. The owner told Bolin that the ferret would be fed to his pythonaconda, much to Bolin's dismay. He asked Mako if they could buy him for five yuans, but the firebender denied the request because they could not afford to feed him, and that Bolin needed to realize that larger animals consumed those smaller than them. While his older brother collected the owner's bet, Bolin noticed Toza signing autographs. He walked up to the pro-bender, who quickly recognized him as one of the Triple Threat's workers. Bolin tried to tell Toza that he did not need to throw the match because "he [was] the best", but Toza brushed him off, remarking that he was no longer an apt competitor, and that he needed the money. The earthbender sadly watched his idol walk away before Mako chastised him. Bolin angrily responded that he was not as mean as his brother and could not turn his back on those who were down.

Bolin strangled

Bolin was strangled by a pythonaconda while trying to save Pabu.

That night, Bolin broke into the pet store in an attempt to rescue the fire ferret. He opened his cage and it appeared as if the two would get away easily. However, the pythonaconda came out from the cage and wrapped itself around Bolin. Just as the snake was about to choke him, Mako arrived and unwrapped the serpent, stuffing it back into the cage, while Bolin spun around and stumbled over a few boxes. When Mako told him that he had a knack for getting into stupid situations, Bolin agreed and thanked his brother for saving him. Still, the earthbender refused to leave the pet shop without the ferret. Mako agreed to keep it, but the money to take care of it would come from Bolin's half. A happy Bolin left the shop with his brother and the ferret, whom he named Pabu, saying that he got the idea for the name while the pythonaconda was strangling him.[1] Soon, the pair became close friends, constantly playing practical jokes on Mako.[19]

Toza saving young Mako and Bolin

Bolin and Mako were saved from the Triple Threat Triad by Toza.

The following night, Bolin attended Toza's match with his brother, Shady Shin and Lightning Bolt Zolt. Initially the young earthbender disheartened witnessed the match, seeing his favorite pro-bender beaten and pushed around without resistance. However, when Toza suddenly turned the tide and defeated his opponents single-handedly, Bolin was overjoyed, loudly telling his brother that he had told Toza not to give up. However, Shady Shin overheard the conversation, enraged about its content. Bolin briefly tried to calm Shin down by saying that "there [were surely] other factors", but he escaped with his brother, causing the mobster to chase after them. The siblings eventually escaped into a gym, but soon Shin and two other gangsters found them. During the following fierce fight, Shin almost overcame Bolin's defenses, before he was interrupted by Toza. The pro-bender came to help the siblings, effectively bringing the battle to a standstill. However, Zolt entered the gym and brought the duel to an end. After a short conversation between the criminals and Toza, the pro-bender, having witnessed their skill, offered Mako and Bolin a home in the arena and to train them in pro-bending. The young earthbender enthusiastically asked his brother if they could accept the offer, and after some initial insecurity, he agreed. Bolin suggested celebrating the fact that they were no longer criminals, prompting Mako to remind his brother that they had to save their money. Bolin, however, revealed that he had bet everything they had on the Boar-q-pines, because he had a "good feeling" about it, thus winning lots of money.[20]

Sometime later, Bolin, along with Mako and Hasook, formed a pro-bending team called the Fire Ferrets, which competed in Republic City's Pro-bending Tournament.

170 AG

Main article: History of Bolin (154 AG - 170 AG)
Bolin kidnapped

Bolin and Shady Shin were kidnapped by Equalists.

At the age of sixteen, Bolin became infatuated with Avatar Korra from the first moment he saw her at the Pro-bending Arena. He immediately befriended her and showed her some pro-bending tricks. He was thrilled when she helped the Fire Ferrets to reach the Championship Tournament and join the team on a more permanent base.[21] When the team needed to come up with the thirty thousand yuans to enter the Championship, Bolin accepted Shady Shin's offer to do some muscle work for the Triple Threat Triad. He was kidnapped along with four other triad members and taken before Amon to have his bending removed. Before that could happen, though, he was rescued by Mako and Korra.[16]

Grateful for his rescue, Bolin decided to make a move on Korra and took her on a date, although the Avatar did not share his romantic feelings. The romantic tensions were tampering with the Fire Ferrets' effectiveness during the Tournament,[22] though they managed to reach the finale regardless. However, after their match against the White Falls Wolfbats ended with their defeat due to cheating of the other team, Amon and his Equalists attacked the Pro-bending Arena, effectively destroying the building and leaving Bolin and Mako homeless.[23] Asami offered them a place to stay, but after Hiroshi Sato was outed as an Equalist, both the bending brothers and Asami moved to live at Air Temple Island with Korra.[24]

Bolin and Asami

Bolin accidentally told Asami Sato that Mako and Korra had shared a kiss.

To make an insecure Avatar feel better about herself, Mako formed a team with her and the others to actively do something about the Equalists in the city. They were successful, though the team was broken up when an angered Tarrlok arrested Asami, and subsequently Bolin and his brother as they came to the girl's defense.[25] He was broken out of jail by Lin Beifong soon after, who alerted them that Korra had been kidnapped. Together with Tenzin, they all set out on a search for the Avatar, during which Bolin accidentally let slip to Asami that Mako and Korra had shared a kiss.[26]

In the aftermath of finding Korra, Amon launched his grand attack on the city. Mako and his friends fought back for a while, but the sheer number and power of the Equalists forced them on the run. The foursome retreated into the tunnel system of the city, where they would await the arrival of reinforcements in the form of General Iroh and his United Forces.[27]

Bolin attacking Hiroshi

Bolin launched rocks at Hiroshi Sato's mecha tank.

However, after General Iroh too proved to be no match for the Equalists biplanes, the team split up, and Bolin accompanied Asami and Iroh to the Equalist airfield in order to stop more planes from taking off.[28] Their attempt was cut short as they were captured quickly, though with the help of Naga, they managed to escape and destroy the airfield nonetheless, as well as capture Hiroshi Sato.[29]

171 AG

Unalaq Crisis

Main article: History of Bolin (171 AG - Harmonic Convergence)
Eska engaging herself to Bolin

Bolin found himself trapped in a suffocating relationship with the intimidating Eska, who engaged herself with him.

After the Anti-bending Revolution, Bolin became the captain of the Fire Ferrets after Mako and Korra quit, and moved to a more decent apartment with his brother. The team was not any good, however, and they were easily thrown out of the tournament, ending their season. As such, Bolin had the time to accompany Team Avatar to the Southern Water Tribe to attend the Glacier Spirits Festival. He helped Asami save her company by striking a deal with Varrick, who quickly hit it off with him, and became romantically involved with Eska.[30] He soon found the relationship to be too oppressing and wanted to break up with the girl. However, when he tried to do so, she ended up engaging herself to him and Bolin was more than happy to leave the Southern Water Tribe for Republic City, sneaking away without saying goodbye to Eska.[31][32][33]

The Adventures of Nuktuk

Bolin started his acting career as "Nuktuk, hero of the South".

While spending time with Varrick as everyone else had their own business to take care off, Bolin was cast to play Nuktuk, the male lead in Varrick's propaganda mover The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South with which he hoped to sway the public's opinion and force President Raiko to send the United Forces to the South.[34] The mover was a hit and Bolin earned himself fame and fortune throughout the city, though he grew saddened upon the realization that Team Avatar was falling apart. On the night of the final screening of The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, Bolin went out to get some air and spotted a speedboat docked near the Pro-bending Arena. Mindful of Mako's words that he needed to be careful as something was not right with Varrick, Bolin set out to investigate and discovered there was a kidnapping attempt on President Raiko in progress. Freeing the president and his wife, Bolin moved the fight to the arena, where he used his pro-bending knowledge to overcome his opponents, although he was outnumbered. He managed to force the last waterbender to reveal who his employer was, thus exposing Varrick's scheming.[35]

Defending the spirit portal

In an attempt to prevent Unalaq from merging with Vaatu, Bolin and Mako fought him outside the Northern spirit portal.

Hearing that Korra needed to get into the Spirit World in order to stop Unalaq from freeing Vaatu, Bolin readily joined Team Avatar on the mission. Together with Asami and Mako, he played a decoy for the Northern Water Tribe military stationed at the Southern spirit portal and although they managed to inflict some damage, they ended up captured. After Bumi managed to free them all, Bolin and Mako faced Unalaq in an attempt to hold him off while Korra closed the Southern portal before Harmonic Convergence started.[36] Although she was unsuccessful and Vaatu managed to escape, the brothers continued to fight off Unalaq, now hoping to stop him from merging with Vaatu to become the Dark Avatar. They eventually met their defeat when Desna and Eska came to their father's help, but Bolin, apologizing for his earlier actions and declaring his love for her, managed to persuade the twins to let them go from their icy prison. Bolin and Mako rushed to Korra's aid when they noticed that Unalaq, now merged with Vaatu, had managed to extract Raava from within her, though to no avail as they were rendered unconscious by a powerful ice attack.[37]

Desna, Bolin, and Eska

Bolin, having been saved by Desna and Eska, fought against alongside the twins and Team Avatar in an attempt to stop dark spirits from reaching Korra inside the Tree of Time.

The trio was found and healed by Kya and while Korra meditated in the Tree of Time to connect with the cosmic universe in order to fight off the Dark Avatar, Bolin and the others battled numerous dark spirits who were trying to get to her. In the midst of the fighting, Bolin was snagged by the leg but was saved by Desna and Eska. He professed his love for her, kissing her on the cheek, and resumed his fight, now with the twins backing him up. However, they were no match for the numbers of the dark spirits and were slowly pressed back into the hollow of the Tree of Time. Before they were completely overrun, however, they were all saved by Korra's returning spirit. After Korra addressed her cousins over Unalaq's demise, Bolin suggested to Eska that she moved back with him to Republic City. However, Eska declined, saying that she and Desna had to return home and confessed that she was only caught up in the moment when she kissed him, but promised that he would have a special place "in the organ that pumps [her] blood".[38]

Red Lotus insurrection

Main article: History of Bolin (late 171 AG)

Shortly after Harmonic Convergence, Bolin rejoined the Fire Ferrets and took part in a charity championship organized to help rebuild the city following the damages caused by the Unalaq Crisis. They were ultimately able to win the event by beating the White Falls Wolfbats in the finale.[39]

Team Avatar holds an airbending show

Bolin hosted an airbending show featuring the members of Team Avatar in an attempt to recruit airbenders.

With his apartment in ruins, Bolin accepted Tenzin's invitation to live on Air Temple Island, where he learned first hand of Bumi's newly developed airbending abilities over dinner.[40] When Korra decided not long after to scour the Earth Kingdom in search of more new airbenders, Bolin joined her and the rest of the team, even convincing his brother to come along as well. When initial attempts to persuade some new benders to move to the Northern Air Temple in order to learn the ways of the Air Nomads, Bolin hosted an "air show" to excite the new benders about their new abilities, which attracted Kai to join them.[41]

Mako, Bolin, and Yin

Bolin and Mako hugged their grandmother.

The team journeyed to Ba Sing Se, much to the excitement of Bolin, as his father came from that city. Not long after their arrival, Kai ran away from the group, returning to his thieving ways, which prompted Bolin and Mako to give chase, though Kai managed to get them stranded in the Lower Ring by stealing their money. Spending the night on the streets, the brothers tried to find their way back to the Upper Ring, though they ended up finding their paternal family instead. When they inquired after new airbenders in the city, Chow and Tu told them there was a rumor that Earth Queen Hou-Ting was retaining them for experimental purposes.[2] With passports produced by Tu, the brothers managed to Return to the palace and explained to Korra and Asami what happened to them and that the Earth Queen was harboring airbenders for her army.

Team Avatar ambushes guards

Bolin and the other members of Team Avatar ambushed two Royal Earthbender Guards to infiltrate the Earth Queen's Temple.

Bolin and the others soon decided that they would not leave Ba Sing Se before having freed the airbenders, even though the Queen had ordered them to leave. Eventually discovering that the airbenders were held captive underneath the Earth Queen's Temple, the team infiltrated the building that night. While Korra and Tenzin freed the several airbenders, Bolin, Mako, and Jinora searched for Kai. When they found him, Jinora gave Kai a kiss on the cheek, amusing Bolin, who had a feeling that Tenzin would not be happy. Fighting off Dai Li agents, they made it to the surface, and spotting Korra and Tenzin coming to them on Oogi, Bolin earthbent them onto the flying bison and they fled the city. While the airbenders headed for the Northern Air Temple, Bolin joined his friends and Lin to continue the search for other airbenders in Lin's airship.[42]

The group made their way to Zaofu, home to the Metal Clan, where they met Suyin Beifong and her family, including Opal, whom Bolin instantly liked.[43] Residing at the metal city for a few days, Bolin used the opportunity to try his hand at metalbending under Suyin's tutelage, though he did not get the hang of the art.[14]

Bolin fires at P'Li

Bolin launched a pebble at P'Li to temporarily stun her bending long enough for Lin and Suyin to rescue Korra.

Some time later, Bolin was stirred from his sleep by Pabu and noticed that Korra was being kidnapped by the Red Lotus. Alerting the rest of the team as well as the guards to the danger, Bolin and the others manage to surrounded the foursome, only for Ghazan to separate the groups with a pool of lava, leaving Bolin impressed with his lavabending skills. As the Beifong sisters drop down from the ceiling to reach Korra, Bolin temporarily stunned P'Li's combustionbending by hitting her on her third eye with a small pebble. Despite managing to save Korra, they failed to apprehend the group.

The following morning, Bolin and the others set out to investigate how the breach in security could have occurred, a search that eventually led them to suspect the city's resident truth seer, Aiwei, as he was the only one who could tell a lie and be believed. Searching his home, the team discovered a secret room, though before they could investigate, Aiwei returned home and deduced Team Avatar's intentions; he managed to escape the city and nearly blew Team Avatar up in the process. With Suyin's help, Bolin and the others were given a jeep so they could continue to track Aiwei down outside the city.[44]

Ming-Hua subdues Bolin and Mako

Bolin and Mako were subdued by Ming-Hua.

With Naga's tracking abilities, the team followed Aiwei's trail to just outside the Misty Palms Oasis. While Korra and Asami searched Aiwei's abandoned vehicle and discovered he was set to meet Zaheer at Xai Bau's Grove, Bolin and Mako investigated the town, finding Aiwei resided at the local inn. Due to his status as a mover star, Bolin managed to procure a room at the inn from which they could stake out Aiwei's. In order to kill time, he and Asami engaged in what he liked to call a "Pai Sho-down", though he ended up losing the entire time they played. When they eventually grew tired of waiting and barged into Aiwei's room, they discovered that he had meditated into the Spirit World. While Korra did the same, Bolin and the others looked after her physical body, though when they noticed Ming-Hua and Ghazan had arrived at the inn as well, Asami left with Korra's body while the brothers stalled the two criminals. Despite his best efforts, however, Bolin could not fend off Ghazan, and the two brothers eventually ended up being captured and loaded onto a truck to Ba Sing Se.[45]

Team Avatar reunites

Bolin happily reunited with Asami and Korra.

Upon arriving at Ba Sing Se, the brothers were gagged and subsequently presented before the Earth Queen, who ordered the Dai Li to send them to the palace dungeon. Bolin tried to metalbend them out of there, though despite his brother and the other prisoners' encouragement, he failed. They were eventually freed by Zaheer himself, however, as he needed them to relay a message to Korra.[46] As the brothers left the prison, the chaos brought forth by Hou-Ting's assassination became apparent; procuring themselves an airship, they saved their family from the flames that consumed the lower ring and headed toward the Misty Palm Oasis, where they reunited with Korra and Asami, relaying the message that Zaheer was threatened to kill the airbenders at the Northern Air Temple unless Korra surrendered. With no suitable radio nearby, the group returned to Zaofu to seek solid communication and warn the airbenders of the imminent threat.[47]

Bolin lavabends

Trapped and desperate, Bolin discovered his ability to lavabend and stopped the incoming lava.

Having warned Tenzin and being reinforced with a security detail from Zaofu, Team Avatar set course to the temple as well. Along the way, they decided that Bolin, Mako, and Asami would check on the airbenders who were used as leverage, while Korra gave herself up to Zaheer, although Lin, Suyin, Tonraq, and the security detail would back her up. Bolin, Mako, and Asami ended up being fooled into believing the airbenders were at the temple, however, which led to them being cornered by Ghazan, who used his lavabending to bring down the entire temple. With Tenzin's help, the threesome managed to navigate their way to lower parts of the building, though their escape routes were soon blocked by the advancing lava. In a last attempt to save their lives, Bolin charged the lava and was shocked to learn he could lavabend. Saved from their precarious situation by Kai, they reunited with the others and learned that Korra and the airbenders had been taken to a nearby cave.[48]

Bolin silenced Zaheer

Tired of Zaheer's ranting, Bolin silenced the anarchist with his sock.

Quickly ambushing the Red Lotus sentries, the group released the airbenders from the chains in which they were held, and Bolin was excited to reunite with Opal. With Korra still missing, however, Bolin and Mako promptly joined Tonraq to find her, being tipped off to her exact location by Jinora. When they found her, however, she was in the Avatar State due to the effects of her mercury poisoning and battling Zaheer, leaving Bolin and Mako to deal with Ghazan and Ming-Hua, respectively. Trading earth- and lava-based attacks, Bolin held off Ghazan until Mako, having disposed of Ming-Hua, came to his aid. Overwhelming Ghazan, the criminal collapsed the entire cave, though Bolin managed to bend himself and Mako to safety. They emerged to the conclusion of Korra's battle with Zaheer. After Suyin managed to save Korra, Bolin silenced the captured Zaheer by stuffing a sock in his mouth.

Bolin giving Korra a letter

As Bolin said goodbye to Korra, he gave her the first of many letters he intended to write to her.

Two weeks later, Bolin attended Jinora's airbending master ceremony[49] before joining Asami, Mako, Tenzin, and Jinora on the ferry dock to say goodbye to Korra, who was set to return to the Southern Water Tribe in order to recover from her physical and mental trauma. Vowing to become pen pals, he handed her a letter and proceeded to write her more in the years to come, detailing in one of which how he had found employment with Varrick and Kuvira and had left Republic City to bring balance to the Earth Kingdom.[50]

174 AG

Reuniting the Earth Kingdom

Main article: History of Bolin (174 AG)
Officer Bolin

Bolin joined Kuvira's army in order to help her reunite the Earth Kingdom.

In the three years following the insurrection of the Red Lotus, Bolin joined up with Kuvira and her army to help reunite the Earth Kingdom under her control. He also became romantically involved with Opal, though the long distance between them and his support of Kuvira put a strain on their relationship. In 174 AG, Bolin and the army arrived at the State of Yi, where Kuvira eventually managed to convince the governor to join the areas under her control. However, the annexation came with a personal cost for Bolin, as it placed even more strain on his relationship with Opal.[8]

Mako and Bolin argue

Bolin grew angry with Mako upon his continuous opposition of Kuvira, who was a better leader in Bolin's opinion than Earth King Wu.

When Bolin arrived at Republic City for Wu's coronation as the fifty-fourth earth monarch, he was reluctant to follow his fellow officers in the standing ovation for their leader when Kuvira denounced Wu's authority and dissolved the Earth Kingdom in favor of the Earth Empire under her leadership. After the ceremony, he was approached by Kuvira, who had noticed his worried expression, and she eventually managed to convince him to reaffirm his loyalty to her. He later sought out Mako in an attempt to sway him to stop being Wu's bodyguard and join him and the army instead, explaining to his brother that he had a wrong view of Kuvira, stating that the metalbender was truly helping all the poor people of the empire. When Mako continued to voice his skepticism about Kuvira's good intentions, labeling her to be a dictator taking over the Earth Kingdom by force, Bolin blamed him for wasting his time as Wu's glorified butler while he was making history and left.[51]

Bolin starts to doubt

Learning that Opal had told the truth, Bolin's loyalty to Kuvira began to waver.

As the army arrived at Zaofu, Bolin was invited by Kuvira and Baatar Jr. to accompany them on their talk with Suyin in an attempt to sway the Metal Clan's matriarch into giving up her city. The encounter did not go as planned, however, and while he attempted to make the Beifong family understand that Kuvira was providing a brighter future for the citizens of the Earth Kingdom, Opal countered him by noting that after the army left, the citizens were forced into slave labor and dissenters were sent away, something Bolin refused to believe. However, after Kuvira had issued a twenty-four-hour ultimatum to surrender Zaofu peacefully and retreated to their army camp, Bolin grew wary about her using "other ways" to convince people to join if they refused to cooperate and was told that the citizens of the annexed states were Kuvira's loyal subjects, whom she could order around as she saw fit. When he suggested to just leave Zaofu, he was blamed to love Opal more than he was loyal to Kuvira and threatened to be shipped off to a reeducation camp. Despite quickly reaffirming his belief in her to avoid such a fate, Bolin visited Varrick afterward, and they declared simultaneously that "Kuvira [was] crazy". Agreeing that they needed to get away from there, Varrick and Zhu Li escaped via the hatch with Bolin close behind.

Bolin defending

Bolin was forced to defend himself when Baatar Jr. attacked him with the flamethrower from a mecha suit.

The three each secured a mecha suit and made their escape to the nearby forest, where Bolin proposed to sneak into Zaofu from the rear in order to help the Metal Clan fight off Kuvira's army. Before they could decide on what to do, they were ambushed by Baatar Jr. and two sergeants. Although Bolin and Zhu Li managed to hold their own, they were forced to surrender when Baatar Jr. threatened to kill Varrick if they would not comply with his wishes. They were escorted back to camp, where Kuvira ordered for Bolin to be sent to the reeducation camp for their most severe dissenters.[9]

Varrick with remote control

Bolin grew fearful upon realizing that Varrick intended to blow up the train with them on it.

Bolin and Varrick were placed on a train that took them away from Zaofu, and after Varrick spooked the guard that was assigned to be his assistant, Bolin was assigned to help him instead, much to his displeasure. He eventually grew alarmed when Varrick powered up his machine and revealed that it had been converted into a bomb that was set to detonate five minutes later. Varrick's threat made all the guards and train mechanics abandon the wagon they were on, causing Bolin to congratulate Varrick on his plan and urge the inventor to shut his bomb down. When he learned that Varrick had not been bluffing, however, he started looking for a way out. Spotting a hatch leading toward the tracks, he grabbed the inventor by the shoulders and exited the train moments before it exploded. After Bolin tunneled a way for them through the earth and exited at the bottom of the crater, he glared at Varrick and told him that he could not believe Zhu Li had worked for him as long as she had after the inventor had excitedly thanked him for "doing the thing".[10]

Earth Empire fugitives

After a standoff, Bolin and Varrick forged an alliance with Baraz, Ahnah, and other Earth Empire fugitives.

Bolin and Varrick started their journey toward Republic City on foot to warn the world about Kuvira's plan, though they were soon caught in a trap set by other escaped Earth Empire prisoners. Both parties eventually agreed to work together to cross a border checkpoint, though a guard post soldier recognized them as traitors to the empire and were prevented from making a clean escape. In the ensuing battle, Bolin defended himself with earth and lava against three mecha suits, though despite his relentless attacks, he failed to permanently take down the suits and ended up being cornered by them, trapped behind his earth shield by their flamethrowers. As one of the mecha suits was on the verge of taking him out, he was saved by Varrick, who had created an electromagnetic pulse device which shut down all the machines. Although the inventor urged him to leave with him, Bolin noticed that the fugitives were being pressed back by the remaining guards and created a large stream of lava with which he forced the soldiers to retreat and prevent them from following afterward. As they reached the shore where the escapees boarded a small boat, Baraz and Ahnah offered to give them a lift on their boat, as they were heading north as well, something the two friends accepted.[52] As they made it back to Republic City, Bolin and Varrick immediately headed for City Hall, where they warned the world leaders that Kuvira was building a super weapon. After the meeting, Bolin apologized to Mako for not listening to his warnings and joined a group hug with him and Korra.

Bolin wants to save Zhu Li

Learning of Zhu Li's fate, Bolin promptly announced that the Beifong family should leave without him, while he rescued the assistant.

In an attempt to make amends with Opal, Bolin joined her and Lin on a secret mission to free their family from prison.[11] As they arrived on the outskirts of Zaofu, he became overwhelmed when they were joined by Toph Beifong, as she was his hero. During a preliminary scouting of the factory, Toph and Lin deduced with their seismic sense that the Beifong family was being detained in an underground cavern, and Bolin was delighted to learn that Zhu Li was lying when she said that she was doing everything she could to help fix the spirit energy cannon. They came back the following day when Kuvira was demonstrating her new weapon, leaving the factory largely deserted. With Opal on the lookout, Bolin helped Lin and Toph to free the other Beifongs. Upon reuniting with Opal, he learned that Zhu Li had been captured and sentenced to die in the abandoned town that was to be blown up by the cannon and promptly left to save her, a mission for which he was joined by Opal. After getting everyone to safety, Bolin was forgiven by Opal, though was shocked when Zhu Li revealed that Kuvira planned to attack Republic City two weeks later.[53]

Inside the enormous mecha suit

Due to Hiroshi's sacrifice, Bolin was able to make it inside Kuvira's enormous mecha suit together with Korra, Mako, Lin, and Suyin.

Having warned Raiko about the imminent attack, Bolin, Korra, Mako, and Asami decided that they would try to take out the spirit energy cannon. Much to their shock, however, they learned that the canon was mounted on an enormous mecha suit and had already crossed onto United Republic territory. Returning to the city, Bolin witnessed in shock how Kuvira destroyed the United Forces battleships in a matter of seconds, before Kuvira blew up the factory they were all hiding in.[12] However, he survived the explosion and lifted an enormous piece of concrete by himself, allowing everyone to emerge from the rubble as well. When Tenzin warned them that Kuvira was heading their way with a battalion of mecha suits, Bolin opted to leave the city to Kuvira in order to live and fight another day. Since Korra refused to let the city fall, however, he joined her and the other benders to distract Kuvira while Asami and Hiroshi, and Varrick and Zhu Li, used a hummingbird mecha suit to cut a hole in Kuvira's suit. Although baffled to see Kuvira crush Hiroshi to death in his hummingbird suit, Bolin managed to dive inside the hole together with Suyin, Lin, Mako, and Korra.[54]

Mako and Bolin shake hands

Bolin shook hands with Mako, making him promise to flee to safety as soon as he could after blowing up the spirit vine-charged power core of the mecha suit.

Inside, Bolin and Mako headed to the power core of the machine, where they took battle with the present guards. After overpowering them and with Baatar Jr.'s instructions in mind to simultaneously pull the levers to power down the suit, the two brothers counted to coordinate their actions, though after nothing happened, Bolin deduced that Kuvira must have installed an override in the system. When Mako ordered him to take all the engineers to safety, he tried to dissuade Mako from going through with zapping the spirit vine core with his lightning, emphasizing the dangers. As his brother remained adamant, Bolin relented, though made him promise to get out as soon as he could. After telling Mako he loved him, Bolin left, though when the power core started to explode and Mako was rendered unconscious, half-draped over the hatch, Bolin came back for him and carried him off to safety. When Bolin and Mako exited the ruined mecha suit, they were shocked to find that the Spirit Wilds had been blasted open and housed a new spirit portal in its center. Realizing Korra and Kuvira were nowhere to be found, Bolin and the rest of Team Avatar set out to search the area for the Avatar. When the two women emerged from the portal and a handcuffed Kuvira was escorted away, he hugged Korra, with the rest of Team Avatar soon joining in. Some time later, Bolin acted as the official during Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding.[55]

Investigating the triads

Bolin arresting Two Toed Ping

Bolin arrested Two Toed Ping after the police broke up a triad turf war.

In the chaotic aftermath of Kuvira's failed invasion of the United Republic of Nations, Bolin became a police officer and was partnered with Mako. The police force had their hands full investigating the triads ravaging the city, as the different factions engaged each other in turf wars over the land that was not destroyed during the invasion. When the Triple Threat Triad attacked the Creeping Crystals, Bolin was among the officers who interfered. As he jumped out of his vehicle, he yelled out "Freeze! Police!", amusingly noting that he had always wanted to say that. Mako urged him to focus, and Bolin promptly launched a rock at a fleeing Triple Triad member, knocking him down; he was surprised to discover that he had arrested Two Toed Ping.

Having both loaded their prisoners into their vehicle, Bolin and Mako headed back to the temporarily police headquarters to start processing the criminals. During the ride back, Bolin engaged in small talk with Two Toed Ping, telling him that he had been busy saving the city from Kuvira before joining Lin's triad task force as Mako's partner. When Ping expressed his pride that Bolin and Mako had become "bigtime cops", Bolin thanked him.

Sometime later, Bolin and Mako met up with Korra and Asami on Air Temple Island for the first time since the women had returned from their vacation to the Spirit World. Being asked by Korra how the police force was treating him, Bolin happily told her he was doing great, having made his first arrest and looking, according to Opal, more handsome in his police uniform than his Earth Empire attire. In turn, he asked how Korra and Asami's vacation had been, noting that he wanted to hear all about it. As the women turned to each other, discussing whether or not they should tell the brothers about their relationship, Bolin picked up on their hesitation and excitedly wondered if they had any good gossip for them. Before the couple could say anything, however, Bolin became startled by Jinora's spiritual projection, who had appeared to warn Team Avatar about the ongoing attack of the Triple Threat Triad on the spirit portal.

Tokuga fighting Mako and Bolin

Bolin forced Tokuga to retreat by using his lavabending.

The team rushed over to the city on a flying bison, where the brothers went after Tokuga. As the gang leader threatened to hurt Mako, Bolin came to the defense of his brother, twirling three little rocks in his hand. Tokuga mocked him, noting that he would need bigger rocks if he hoped to defeat him, but Bolin promptly phased those rocks into lava and cut through Tokuga's hook swords, mocking him in turn that he would need some new swords. Before he could move to arrest Tokuga, the gangster threw two smoke canisters at the brothers and made his escape. Helping his brother to his feet, a downcast Bolin admitted to having been given the slip by Tokuga but instantly brightened when Mako thanked him for saving him and formally acknowledged their partnership.

When the Triple Threats retreated with their wounded leader after the dragon eel spirit had deformed him, Bolin was stunned to silence upon witnessing Korra kissing Asami. He asked them if they were a couple and, when they confirmed they were, excitedly drew Opal close to him and claimed the first double date the new couple could go on, instantly suggesting the following Tuesday. Moving away from the exciting revelation, he asked if they knew why the Triple Threats had been near the portal, as he had been under the impression that they were after the Creeping Crystals' turf, to which Korra replied that she believed Wonyong Keum had sent them to intimidate the airbenders into leaving the portal.[56]

Gaoling crisis

Following Zhu Li's election to President of the United Republic, Bolin left the police force and became her personal assistant. Bolin was taking charge of Zhu Li's upcoming appointments shortly before he joined the rest of Team Avatar in observing Wu's speech announcing the first democratic elections in the Earth Kingdom scheduled to take place in the State of Gaoling. He later watched as Kuvira was brought before a tribunal to answer for her crimes as ruler of the Earth Empire, and witnessed Suyin confront Kuvira after she plead not guilty.

Bolin welcomed Korra, Asami and Mako to the president's office, where he and Mako discussed his career history. Bolin was somewhat insulted at the idea he was fickle, but claimed that he had not "found himself" yet, as Mako had. He listened to Wu's suggestion for Team Avatar to come to Gaoling to stand up to Commander Guan's Earth Empire holdout. When he asked Zhu Li if he could go, she happily affirmed that he could. He quickly told Mako that he was not being fickle, and was simply taking a few days off. Bolin sighed after Zhu Li told him to file her paperwork after clearing the refreshments away.

Before leaving, Bolin and the rest of Team Avatar joined Wu and Zhu Li in a sauna as they discussed bringing Kuvira to Gaoling in an effort to stand up to Guan. Bolin looked on as Kuvira was imprisoned in a platinum pod aboard Asami's airship.

When Kuvira told Korra's friends that she was impressed by the loyalty they had to each other, Bolin told her that she had always pushed people away. He recounted Opal telling him that Kuvira never wanted anything to do with her when she grew up, and Kuvira responded by saying that she and Opal had very different experiences being raised by Suyin, and told him not to believe everything he heard. Bolin, Mako, Asami and Kuvira later left for Gaoling in a jeep when Korra asked them for help via radio.

Bolin witnessed Kuvira try to confront Guan, before she was applied with an electric shock. He and Mako made to escort Kuvira back to the airship, where she was locked up and would be brought to Zaofu before the election.[57] Korra and Wu subsequently left for the Foggy Swamp on Naga to recruit Toph as a candidate for the election who could oppose Guan.

Once aboard the airship, the party was ambushed by Guan and his army. Asami refused to let Kuvira out of confinement during the attack, and though Bolin managed to counter the Earth Empire soldiers with earthbending, he was overpowered and was kidnapped along with Asami, Mako and Kuvira.

The four were brought to Doctor Sheng, who brainwashed Bolin using a combination of the Dai Li's ancient indoctrination techniques and magnetic waves to alter the brain. Bolin was indoctrinated to obey Guan's orders, and was conscripted into the military of the Earth Empire once more.

Mako Bolin Asami brainwashed

Bolin, Mako, and Asami were conscripted into the military of the Earth Empire after being brainwashed.

Bolin was part of Guan's force leading the attack on her own airship. Korra tried to break him free of the brainwashing, but to no avail. Korra and Opal led an airbending attack against Asami, Mako, and Bolin, incapacitating them long enough for Suyin, Wei and Wing to try and retrieve them with metal cables. Guan broke them free, and Bolin tried to attack Opal before she could escape along with Korra, Kuvira, and Asami.[58]

Bolin and Mako rushed to Guan and Sheng's aid after Kuvira tried to use the brainwashing device against them after feigning her willing surrender. The brainwashed brothers demanded that Kuvira release them. The two brothers ran outside the camp while bending at Kuvira. However, Korra soon arrived at the camp, stunning both brothers with airbending attacks. At the end of the battle, Kuvira managed to force Guan to surrender, and the entire Earth Empire army stood down.

Bolin, Mako and Wu were taken to a tent, where Korra read aloud commands to reverse-engineer their brainwashing. Upon coming to his senses, Opal lovingly embraced her boyfriend. Bolin later gathered outside Gaoling City Hall when Wu gave his speech proclaiming that the Earth Empire would need more time to move to democracy, with each state setting its own timetable according to its citizens' wishes.

After Team Avatar returned to Republic City, Mako attended the rest of Kuvira's trial, and saw her take responsibility for her actions by pleading guilty. He informed his friends that he would have to leave soon, as President Moon had back-to-back meetings for the rest of the afternoon. Mako asked whether he was sticking with the job, and if being Guan's lackey had not turned him off politics. Bolin told his brother that it might not be his true calling, but he was fine with a boring office job after everything they went through. As White Lotus sentries escorted Kuvira out, Mako told her that even though he thought he would never say it, he was grateful for what she did for them, to which Bolin agreed.[59]


Mako and Bolin

Bolin's upbeat personality is a direct opposite to Mako's serious nature.

Despite his tough childhood on the street, Bolin is still a laid-back and fun-loving person and possesses a good sense of humor, in contrast to his older brother Mako.[60] He is also expressive, naive, high-spirited, enthusiastic, and comfortable in his own skin. At the same time, he is not without insecurities, having a degree of sensitivity over his inability to perform metalbending. According to Mako, he has a "knack" for getting himself into trouble.[16] He is typically an optimist and enjoys the attention he receives from his fangirls, though he is a novice in the world of dating. Bolin affirms that he is strong, fun, and attractive, though readily admits he is not good at reading other people. Bolin is also not the best at keeping secrets, as he accidentally blabbed to Asami about Mako and Korra's kiss while she was still dating his brother.[34]

His naive and immature personality is attributed to his past, as Mako attempted to shield him from the harsh realities of the world after their parents were murdered.[4] Despite differences between Mako's personality and his own, Bolin shares a close bond with his brother.[61] However, he lacks the firebender's confidence, which leaves him to often doubt his own abilities, needing to be reassured by others,[43][46] though throughout his travels in the Earth Kingdom, Bolin does develop a greater self-confidence.[44][49] He can also get starstruck when in the presence of powerful or famous figures, such as Korra, Lord Zuko, and Toph. Despite such nervousness, he is always respectful and deferential.[47]

Fighting the border patrol

While traveling through Earth Empire territory, Bolin refused to leave a group of escaped prisoners behind and readily engaged in combat on their behalf.

Although helpful and friendly, Bolin is also protective of the people about whom he cares and will spring to the defense of his friends and family. A prime example of this would be when he rode in on Naga to Asami's rescue at the Equalist airfield, employing ferocious and brutal earthbending attacks on Hiroshi Sato, who was about to kill her with his mecha tank. On the other hand, Bolin is generally forgiving of others, even if they have wronged him or those he cares about, such as Korra, Varrick, or Eska.

Bolin is an idealist, always motivated by a strong desire to help people and make their lives better. When the Earth Kingdom fell into chaos, he joined Kuvira and her army, believing she wanted to help others as much as he did. As a result, his idealism and naivete prevented him from second guessing the extreme lengths Kuvira would go to in order to achieve their goals, until they were pointed out to him.[9]

Bolin can be gullible at times and was taken advantage of by Desna and Eska due to his affection for the latter. He was grateful to Korra for starting a war just to get away from Eska, but his joy immediately turned into fear upon seeing Eska coming for him in a fit of rage.[33]



Bolin pro-bending

Bolin perfected his earthbending abilities competing in pro-bending matches.

As the earthbender for an official pro-bending team, Bolin has become highly skilled in the art of earthbending. Bolin describes his earthbending style as "light on his feet", which grants him greater maneuverability and evasiveness during matches. Bolin also employs pro-bending-like attacks along with more traditional earthbending outside of matches, as made evident by him sending rectangular blocks flying at the Lieutenant and defending himself with an earth wall.

Bolin also possesses a sharp aim, being able to direct an earth disc at the exact angle to make it ricochet off a guard rail and squarely strike an opposing player. His aim is so great that he can bend a tiny pebble and strike P'Li's third eye, thus making her combustion explode, which affected Ghazan and Ming-Hua. He can also fire small chunks of earth in rapid succession to take down a speeding motorcycle, thus demonstrating the ability to earthbend without touching the ground at all. He is also capable of subduing three waterbenders in tandem, using only the small discs available in the Pro-bending Arena. He is agile as he was able to dodge the Dai Li's attack in attempt to escape the Earth Queen's Temple. Bolin possesses considerable bending might, enabling him to lift an enormous piece of concrete, albeit with noticeable strain, and pushing over the top half of a building by working in tandem with Suyin and Lin Beifong.[54]


Lavabending Bolin

Bolin created a large stream of lava with ease.

Although Bolin discovered by accident that he had the rare ability to bend lava, he was able from the start to quickly stop an oncoming flow of the heated substance.[48] Shortly afterward, despite being an amateur, Bolin proved himself able to phase change the earth between both states and manipulate it in battle. During his second fight with Ghazan, Bolin was able to hold his own using this skill against the more experienced lavabender. At first, he used a range of pro-bending tactics in his combat against Ghazan. As the battle continued, he used more traditional earthbending tactics, incorporating them into his lavabending.[49] By 174 AG, his proficiency in lavabending had improved to the point that he could create larger streams of lava that stretched much further[9] and even use it while being handcuffed. He also demonstrated the ability to lavabend with his feet and is able to turn lava back into earth much quicker and with less effort, while also being able to create large waves of molten rock.[52] Bolin can also manipulate and maintain lava in a disc shape and rotated it at high speeds to cut through metal.[55]

Other skills

Bolin also has some skill in wrestling and grappling, which he utilized during his one-on-one tiebreaker match with an experienced Black Quarry Boar-q-pine earthbending opponent. He also has a degree of resilience to pain, as during his semifinal pro-bending match, he was able to continue fighting despite being hit in his right shoulder by an earth disk. Bolin has also proven himself to be a good swimmer, capable of holding his breath for a significant period of time while simultaneously dodging Ghazan's lavabending attacks.

Bolin has a strong business sense, as has been noted by both Asami and Varrick, and is a talented and charismatic public speaker, able to draw huge positive reactions from crowds. Varrick decided to exploit this ability by casting Bolin as the star of his propaganda films, making him the poster boy of the Southern rebellion.

Bolin was able to figure out how to pilot an airship, albeit with some difficulty,[47] and has a close relationship with his pet fire ferret, Pabu, to whom he could give various commands.[23]


Main article: Bolin's relationships


Chow Jr.


Republic City Hustle

The Legend of Korra

Book One: Air (气)

Book Two: Spirits (神靈)

Book Three: Change (易)

Book Four: Balance (平衡)

Graphic novels


  • Bolin's appearance was inspired by the early ideas of Toph, who was originally going to be male.[62][63]
  • According to Mako, Bolin apparently has a habit of bringing "crazy fangirls" to the Fire Ferrets' changing room.
  • Korra noted that his "light on your feet" style of earthbending is more useful than the traditional style.
  • Bolin is similar to Sokka, as they both:
    • Serve as comic relief from time to time.
    • Have a sibling who dated the Avatar.
    • Lost their mother to a firebender.
    • Came up with the name of their respective Team Avatar.
    • Have worn fake facial hair to disguise their appearance.
    • Had a romantic relationship with a Northern Water Tribe princess, as well as with a four lettered named, nonbender born, Earth Kingdom citizen.
  • Narook's Seaweed Noodlery and Central City Station are some of the places Bolin usually hangs out.[16][22]
  • Bolin is particularly bad at lying.[26]
  • Bolin's hairstyle resembles a "ducktail", a popular American hairstyle in the 1950s. "Greasers" often had their hair styled in a ducktail.
  • Bolin learned a street variation of Pai Sho from Shady Shin.[45]
  • Along with Ghazan, Bolin is the only other known non-Avatar earthbender with the ability to lavabend.
  • With the death of Ghazan, Bolin is the only known living lavabender.
  • Michael Dante DiMartino considers Bolin especially fun to write for, particularly "knowing PJ Byrne is going to add his own hilarious take on whatever [they] give him".[64]
  • Bolin's leather jacket outfit in Book Four: Balance was inspired by that of the comic book character Rocketeer, created by Dave Stevens, though it was given a sleeker appearance in the line of a design of Sarah Trost, because the original jacket had too many buttons, which is a burden for animators and would have led to too many retakes.[65]
Preceded by
Fire Ferrets' captain
170 AG - present
Succeeded by


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