|"I did what I had to do to survive and protect my little brother."|
|— Mako explaining his past to Korra.|
Mako is a firebender from a multicultural family who grew up on the streets of Republic City as an orphan with his younger brother, Bolin. Mako always wore his signature red scarf that was once his father's, who was murdered along with his mother when he was a boy. He formed a pro-bending team with his brother and Hasook and aspired for his new career to bring him fame and fortune. His aspirations changed, however, when he met Avatar Korra, who joined the team to replace Hasook and became a loyal friend. Mako, with the help of his teammates, was able to lead the team to second place in the championship. After the tournament's conclusion, Mako joined Korra in her efforts to stop the Equalists.
In the following months, Mako joined the Republic City Police Force, where he steadily rose up from being a beat cop to a detective. He joined his friends in an effort to stop Unalaq and Vaatu from merging. A few weeks after Harmonic Convergence, he rejoined Team Avatar in their search for new airbenders. However, they stopped when the Red Lotus attempted to kidnap Korra in Zaofu, instead working to bring down the anarchist organization.
After taking down the Red Lotus, Mako returned to his work as a police officer and was later appointed as Prince Wu's bodyguard, a position he continued in after the latter's coronation as Earth King.
Mako was born the son of an Earth Kingdom man named San and Naoki, a Fire Nation woman, two years before Bolin. When he was eight, Mako witnessed his parents being killed by a firebender, leaving Bolin, his younger brother, as his only immediate family and his treasured red scarf as the sole memento of his father. Being the elder brother, with no knowledge of his relatives, he was forced to take on adult responsibilities from that point on, depriving him of the majority of his childhood.
As an orphan, Mako did whatever was necessary in order to survive along with his brother. He often resorted to his firebending to protect himself and Bolin on the streets. Both of them also ran small-time scams during much of their youth. This attitude brought him in contact with the criminal organization known as the Triple Threat Triad, for whom he collected money for bets and ran numbers. Mako even came into close contact with the leader of the triad, Lightning Bolt Zolt, and was able to learn the techniques of lightning generation and redirection from him.
One day in 167 AG, during Mako's involvement with the Triple Threat Triad, the young firebender and his brother attempted to pull off a scam on an elderly woman. Posing as a thief, he ran toward the woman from behind and grabbed her purse, before leaving her sight by entering a side alley. When Bolin pretended to chase after him and fight, Mako willingly gave the purse to his brother, deceiving the woman into thinking that the young earthbender had stopped a thief. Bolin returned to Mako with a reward of two yuans and a loaf of bread he had stolen from the old woman; after Bolin gave a piece of the loaf to his brother, Mako reminded him that they had not eaten anything the day before.
Later that day, Mako 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 – Toza should be happy about being paid, Mako opined; after all, there had been no one to mourn for their losses when their parents died and had left them to fend for themselves, and that one must "hustle or be hustled". Afterward, Shin told them that if they did not acquire enough bets to recover the ten thousand yuans given to Toza, he would abandon Mako and Bolin on the streets, after which the two brothers speedily departed.
While the brothers were collecting bets at a pet shop, a fire ferret escaped and was restrained by its owner, Mr. Feng, because it was to be fed to a pythonaconda. Mako stopped Bolin from buying it as they could not afford to feed it, and felt his younger brother needed to toughen up and realize that bigger animals consumed those smaller than them. Mako collected the owner's bet while Bolin talked to Toza about that night's match; the firebender chastised him because he believed that doing so would get them in trouble with Shady Shin. Bolin angrily responded that Mako was being mean and walked away, leaving Mako to sigh.
That night, after Bolin broke into the pet shop to steal the fire ferret, he was strangled by the pythonaconda, but Mako arrived and yanked the snake away. After again criticizing his brother for getting into stupid situations, the two left, but, at Bolin's urging, with the fire ferret whom the earthbender named Pabu. Mako warned Bolin that Pabu's food would come out of half of his money.
Later that night, Mako and Bolin attended Toza's match, sitting in the same booth as Zolt and Shady Shin. However, when Toza won and Bolin revealed that he had encouraged the pro-bender to not to throw the match, Mako urged his brother to run from an irritated Shin. The brothers were eventually cornered by Shady Shin and two other gangsters and forced into the defensive until Toza helped bring the fight to a standstill and Zolt eventually broke it off completely. Impressed with the brothers' abilities, Mako and Bolin were offered the chance by Toza to live at the gym and train under him to become pro-benders. While Bolin was immediately won over by the idea, Mako doubted and Shady Shin used this to appeal to the young firebender's pragmatic nature and point out that he needed to protect his younger brother. Mako agreed with that assessment and used it as reasoning to take Toza's offer for a chance at a more honest life. When Bolin wanted to celebrate the abandonment of their criminal lives, Mako reminded him they had to save what little money they had at that point, though due to Bolin betting on a Boar-q-pine victory, they had more than enough to celebrate with.
Acknowledging the dangerous nature and moral ambiguity of their past, Mako was determined never to return to that life and explicitly forbade Bolin from associating with the Triple Threats in any way. Under Toza's tutelage, Mako and his brother began competing in the Pro-bending Tournament and they were also offered the chance to work odd jobs to pay rent which allowed them to focus on the sport. Mako eventually became the captain of a pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, which included his brother and his friend Hasook.
- Main article: History of Mako (152 AG - 170 AG)
At age eighteen, Mako was trying to qualify with the Fire Ferrets for the Pro-bending Championship. However, when Hasook was a no-show on the last match, he was forced to allow Korra, a green player, to take the waterbender's place. She eventually managed to help them win the match, and as such, a lasting partnership was formed. When Bolin was kidnapped some time later, Mako set out with Korra to find him. They tracked the earthbender down to an abandoned warehouse, where they witnessed, first hand, Amon's ability to strip a bender of their bending abilities. However, with Korra's help, Mako was able to rescue his brother before Amon reached him.
Heading for the championship, the team needed funding to play, thus Mako got a job at Republic City Power Plant. When he returned home from work one day, Asami Sato nearly ran him over. To make it up to him, she took him to dinner at Kwong's Cuisine, marking the start of their relationship. Due to this connection, Future Industries took care of the Fire Ferrets' monetary issues by sponsoring the team. The team started to train hard for the Pro-bending Championship, and although they had some hard matches due to internal romantic struggles, they managed to reach the finale. 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 Mako and Bolin homeless. 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.
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 Mako and his brother as they came to the girl's defense. He was broken out of jail by Lin Beifong soon after, who alerted them, much to Mako's shock, that Korra had been kidnapped. Together with Tenzin, they all set out on a frantic search for the Avatar, and when they found her again, Mako tenderly took care of her, despite being in a relationship with Asami.
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. Mako and Asami's relationship grew tenser and tenser as he spent more time with Korra doing reconnaissance work by spying on the Equalists. However, after General Iroh too proved to be no match for the Equalists machines, Mako set out with Korra to confront Amon. After having learned that he truly was a waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe, they eventually found him at the Pro-bending Arena, where he was holding a victory speech. They freed Tenzin and his children, though when they were faced by Amon, the Equalist leader managed to take away Korra's bending. When Amon moved to do the same to Mako, the firebender managed to temporarily overpower Amon, and run away with Korra. However, he was stopped by Amon and was on the verge of losing his bending, when Korra saved him with her newly unlocked airbending.
After the Equalists' defeat, Mako traveled to the Southern Water Tribe, hoping that Katara could restore Korra's bending. When it became clear that the old healer was unable to and a heartbroken Korra ran off to grieve on her own, Mako confessed his love to her, though was shot down. Unsure what to do, he followed her and witnessed how she got her bending back, after which she confessed her love for him too and they began their relationship.
- Main article: History of Mako (171 AG - Harmonic Convergence)
After the Anti-bending Revolution, Mako started as a beat-cop for the Republic City Police Force. As Korra traveled south to attend the Glacier Spirits Festival, he accompanied his girlfriend, though as tensions rose between Korra and her father, Mako found that being the Avatar's boyfriend was not always that easy. After she broke with Tenzin and started her spiritual training under Unalaq, Mako accompanied her on her journey toward the South Pole, where she opened the Southern spirit portal. Returning to the Southern Water Tribe to find it overrun with Northern Water Tribe soldiers, Mako was forced to sit by helplessly as he watched Tonraq and several other Southerners be sentenced to life imprisonment for their attempt to kidnap Unalaq. Although he cautioned Korra that freeing her father from prison would mean the start of a Water Tribe Civil War, he helped her do it nonetheless.
Upon returning to Republic City, Mako resumed his duties as a police officer and when everyone was quick to blame the Northern Water Tribe for the bombing of the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center, he had his doubts and he started an investigation on his own. Due to maintaining a more distanced view on the brewing conflict between the Water Tribes, Mako soon found himself having relationship troubles with Korra and after he revealed her plans to ask the United Forces fleet for help behind President Raiko's back to the president, they broke up.
Determined to arrest the true culprits of the bombing and help Asami's company the same time, Mako set up a sting operation with the help of the Triple Threat Triad. However, the gangsters ended up double-crossing them and Asami's warehouse was robbed clean while they were being kept busy. While he consoled her, Mako was surprised when Asami kissed him. Mako continued his investigation and eventually grew suspicious of Varrick, though before he could do something about it, Mako was arrested in his apartment for the bombing of the cultural center, incriminating evidence present all over the place. When Bolin came to visit him in jail, he warned him to stay vigilant during the finale of The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South as Varrick was not whom he seemed. After the businessman was arrested for the attempted kidnapping of President Raiko, Mako was released from prison.
Mako accompanied Korra and the rest of Team Avatar toward the Southern Water Tribe in an attempt to break through the Northern forces guarding the Southern spirit portal and get into the Spirit World. Together with Asami and Bolin, he served as a decoy, though they were eventually captured. Saved by Bumi, Mako and Bolin engaged Unalaq, though they could not prevent him from merging with Vaatu and become the Dark Avatar. After Vaatu had ripped Raava out of Korra and destroyed the Light Spirit, Mako and Bolin tried to stop him, though they were easily defeated. Healed by Kya, Mako helped in the efforts to keep a multitude of dark spirits away from Korra's meditating body in the Tree of Time while she defeated the Dark Avatar.
Red Lotus insurrection
- Main article: History of Mako (late 171 AG)
Shortly after Harmonic Convergence, Mako 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.
Although his apartment was in ruins, Mako declined Tenzin's offer to stay at Air Temple Island and resided at the police headquarters instead. As such, he was the first to respond to a call about Daw, a new airbender, roaming the city and broke the news of the resurfacing airbenders to Tenzin. When Korra and Tenzin decided to scour the Earth Kingdom for those new benders, it was only when Bolin convinced Mako to come along that the firebender relented and joined the rest of Team Avatar on their quest. 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, Mako reluctantly participated in an "air show" to excite the new benders about their new abilities, which attracted Kai to join them.
Not long after the team's arrival in Ba Sing Se, Kai ran away from the group, returning to his thieving ways, which prompted Mako and Bolin 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 ended up finding their paternal family instead. When they inquired about 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. 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.
Mako 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. After finding him, they fought off several Dai Li agents and making it to the surface, they spotting Korra and Tenzin coming to them on Oogi. Safely escaping the city, the airbenders headed for the Northern Air Temple, while Mako joined his friends and Lin to continue the search for other airbenders in Lin's airship.
The group made their way to Zaofu, home to the Metal Clan, where they met Suyin Beifong and her family. Spending several days at the city, Mako was alerted by Bolin one night that Korra was being kidnapped by the Red Lotus. Facing the four criminals with Zaofu's guard and the rest of Team Avatar, he managed to surround the foursome, only for Ghazan to separate the groups with a pool of lava. As the Beifong sisters drop down from the ceiling to reach Korra, Mako provided cover fire in order to give Bolin the opportunity to stun P'Li's combustionbending by hitting her on her third eye with a small pebble. Despite managing to save Korra, however, they failed to apprehend the group.
The following morning, Mako 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, however, Mako and the others were given a jeep so they could continue to track Aiwei down outside the city.
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, Mako and Bolin investigated the town, finding Aiwei resided at the local inn. Due to Bolin's status as a mover star, they managed to procure a room at the inn from which they could stake out Aiwei's. 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, Mako 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, Mako could not fend off Ming-Hua, and the two brothers eventually ended up being captured and loaded onto a truck to Ba Sing Se.
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. Mako encouraged his brother to metalbend them out of there, though Bolin failed. They were eventually freed by Zaheer himself, however, as he needed them to relay a message to Korra. 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.
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 Mako, Bolin, 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. Mako, Bolin, 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 discovered that he could lavabend, which bought them all enough time for Kai to save them from their precarious situation. Reuniting with the others, Mako learned that Korra and the airbenders had been taken to a nearby cave.
Quickly ambushing the Red Lotus sentries, the group released the airbenders from the chains in which they were held. With Korra still missing, however, Mako and Bolin 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 Mako and Bolin to deal with Ming-Hua and Ghazan, respectively. Trading blows, Mako eventually managed to kill Ming-Hua by electrocuting her with his lightning. Helping Bolin overwhelm Ghazan, Mako and Bolin emerged to the conclusion of Korra's battle with Zaheer.
Two weeks later, Mako attended Jinora's airbending master ceremony before joining Asami, Bolin, 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.
- Main article: History of Mako (174 AG)
Following the insurrection of the Red Lotus, Mako was handpicked by Wu to be his personal bodyguard until his coronation as the new Earth King. Wu appreciated his services to the extent of requesting Raiko that Mako be allowed to return to Ba Sing Se with him after the coronation, much to the firebender's annoyance. When Korra did not show up when she was scheduled to arrive back at Republic City after three years of absence, he was left to wonder where the Avatar could be.
During Wu's coronation, Mako was shocked to see Kuvira denounce Wu's authority and dissolve the Earth Kingdom in favor of the Earth Empire under her leadership. After the ceremony, he was found by Bolin, who tried to sway him to stop being Wu's bodyguard and join him and Kuvira's army instead. Mako opposed Bolin's view of Kuvira, however, not believing that the metalbender was truly helping all the poor people of the empire. Instead, he labeled her to be a dictator taking over the Earth Kingdom by force, which angered Bolin, who blamed him for wasting his time as Wu's glorified butler while he was making history and left.
In order to distract him from the argument, Mako was taken to the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall, where he ended up saving Wu from a mob of enraged Kuvira supporters. Upon learning Korra was back in Republic City, Mako met up with her and Asami, though Wu ended up accompanying him. The reunion soon became tense among the old friends, when the three years of separation caught up with them. However, when Wu ended up kidnapped, the team rallied together and were reminded of their old adventures. Successfully saving Wu, the team reconciled, and while Asami and Korra returned to Air Temple Island, Mako retreated to the Sato estate with Wu, where they would reside with the rest of Mako's family. At the estate, Mako taught Wu some self-defense moves while catching the royal up to his history with Korra and Asami.
Attending a meeting with the other world leaders, Mako learned of Kuvira's super weapon when Bolin and Varrick returned to the city. After forgiving his brother for their past argument, he explored the Spirit Wilds with Korra after Jinora's spiritual projection called for help. They discovered her soul and those of several others trapped inside a vegetative pod that had transported their souls to the Spirit World. When Korra failed to meditate into the Spirit World, Mako was surprised to learn that Zaheer's memory was still haunting her, though reassured her that he was there for her, offering his help in any way she needed it. As such, he accompanied her to Zaheer's prison, where she faced the airbender by herself, hoping it would give her peace of mind.
With Kuvira's attack on Republic City imminent, Mako, Korra, Bolin, 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 into United Republic territory. Returning to the city, they reported on Kuvira's progress, and Mako witnessed in shock how Kuvira destroyed the United Forces battleships in a matter of seconds, before blowing up the factory they were all hiding in. However, he survived the explosion and when Tenzin warned them that Kuvira was heading their way with a battalion of mecha suits, he refused to leave the city, fearing that Kuvira would discover and attack Wu. Since Korra refused to let the city fall, Mako 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, Mako managed to dive inside the hole together with Suyin, Lin, Bolin, and Korra.
Inside, Mako and Bolin 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 nothing happened. When Bolin noted that the only thing he knew about spirit vines was that they easily exploded, Mako ordered him to take all the engineers to safety while he zapped the spirit vine core with his lightning. Promising to get out as soon as he could, he fired a continuous bolt of lightning, causing the power core to overload and explode. Despite having his arm burned by the strain the lightning put on it, Mako kept up his attack and started to move out. Before he could escape, however, he was rendered unconscious by the backlash of the spirit core energy though was saved by Bolin, who had returned for him and carried him to the lower parts of the suit to be protected from the devastating explosion of the power core that blasted the suit in half.
When Mako and Bolin 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, Mako 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, Mako joined in a group hug to rejoice with Korra, with the rest of Team Avatar soon joining in. Some time later, Mako attended Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding and learned of Wu's plan to abolish the monarchy in favor of democratically governed individual states. After the royal left for dance floor, Mako was thanked by Korra for his help with Kuvira, and he told her that he would always follow her into battle, emphasizing that he was there for her and always would be.
Investigating the triads
In the chaotic aftermath of Kuvira's failed invasion, Mako, despite his injury, returned to duty as a detective in Lin's triad task force, where he was partnered with Bolin, much to his displeasure. 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, Mako was among the officers who interfered. While he did not waste time to attack a fleeing triad member with his firebending, he chided Bolin for being distracted with shouting catchphrases as opposed to taking down the triads.
Having both arrested a triad member and loaded them into their vehicle, Mako and Bolin 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, much to Mako's annoyance, who gruffly corrected his brother by placing emphasis on the temporary nature of their partnership.
After arriving back at the station and finishing booking their prisoners, Mako walked in on Lin interrogation of Two Toed Ping about the identity of the Triple Threats' new leader, which was leading nowhere. He pulled her aside and suggested to trick Ping into believing that he had been identified by another triad member as the mastermind of the earlier attack on the Creeping Crystals in order to get Ping to talk. The ruse worked, and the two learned that the true mastermind had been Tokuga, a dangerous criminal whom they quickly bumped to the top of their most wanted list.
Sometime later, Mako and Bolin 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. When Bolin asked how Korra and Asami's vacation had been, Mako noticed how the women turned to each other, conversing in hushed tones, and called them out on their strange behavior. Before the women could say anything, however, Jinora's spiritual projection appeared to warn Team Avatar about the ongoing attack of the Triple Threat Triad on the spirit portal. Mako asked her if a man fitting Tokuga's description was there, which Jinora confirmed. As Team Avatar made their way over to the portal on a flying bison, Mako informed the others that Tokuga was the Triple Threats' new leader and tried to contact the rest of the police force for assistance. He failed to connect, however, as the radio frequencies had been fickle ever since the creation of the portal, and warned his friends that they were on their own for the battle.
Arriving, Mako sought out and challenged Tokuga, attacking him with his firebending in an attempt to arrest him. The nimble gang leader easily evaded the blast, however, and used his hook swords to launch Mako through the air. As he was about to finish Mako, Bolin came to the defense of his brother, forcing Tokuga to flee. Being helped to his feet, Mako comforted a downcast Bolin, who admitted to having been given the slip by Tokuga, by formally acknowledging their partnership.
When the Triple Threats retreated with their wounded leader after the dragon eel spirit had deformed him, Mako was stunned to silence upon witnessing Korra kissing Asami. Upon being asked by Korra if he was all right, he, still in a stupor, reiterated that they were dating each other now and said he was cool with that.
Following the attack at the spirit portal, Mako and Bolin filed a report which they brought into Lin Beifong. As Lin finished reading, she read aloud Bolin's description of Korra and Asami kissing, to which Mako remarked to Bolin that he had asked his brother to write a report, not a romance novel. Mako added to Lin that he believed that the Triple Threats had been bought, and that Korra had a hunch it was Wonyong Keum.
Lin listened to Mako and when he was finished asked if he bought her "cockamamie" theory. He said he thought it was possible, and suggested that they bring Wonyong in for questioning. Lin sternly responded that they would not be, because Wonyong was powerful and well connected, making him difficult to get to. Lin told Mako he was not to bring Wonyong in unless he had hard evidence that the Triple Threats and the businessman were connected. As they left Lin's office, Bolin remarked to Mako that he guessed that the lead on Wonyong had been a dead end, but Mako remarked that he did not think so, and that the two should pay a visit to Two-Toed Ping.
The two went to visit Ping in his jail cell, and Mako asked Ping if he had any idea of where the Triple Threats' new hideout was. Ping responded that they changed hideouts every few days, and that he had no idea where they were right now. Mako said that if he cooperated, they had be willing to get him some better accommodations for his jail cell. Ping responded that he was being honest, and that Tokuga had no way of sending him messages through prison, so he had no idea where they were. Bolin remembered how, when they were kids, the Triple Threats had used them to move messages between Triad members, and remarked that maybe Tokuga was doing the same thing. Mako questioned Ping about the manner, and Ping nervously responded that maybe that was the truth, which Mako took as a yes. As the two walked away from Ping's cell, Mako remarked that Bolin had displayed some good thinking, and would make a fine cop one day, to which Bolin responded that he had learned from the best.
As the two drove around Republic City, Bolin narrated the two driving around, featuring themselves saving Republic City from a shadowy evil force. Mako told Bolin to stop, because they were not filming a mover. Bolin responded that maybe they should be, and proposed some titles, including "Good Cop, Bad Cop," and Mako said that he was assuming he was the bad cop in the scenario. Bolin haughtily remarked that he was naturally a charmer, and Mako was not talented enough to play off-type. Mako smugly remarked that Bolin was not either, and that Nuktuk was not far off from who Bolin was in real life, causing Bolin to defensively reply that Nuktuk had a lot of range, and question if Mako was cranky because his exes were dating each other. Mako defensively responded that he was fine, and that he thought it was great that the two were dating. Bolin said it did not seem like he was doing fine, but Mako interrupted him saying that it was Skoochy, the child they were looking for. Bolin said Mako should not change the subject, but Mako insisted that he had found Skoochy, as Skoochy noticed them and darted away.
Bolin jumped out of the car and began following Skoochy through one of the alleyways, as Mako turned around and went through the other side. As Bolin attempted to trap him through a rock wall, but Skoochy climbed over, only to run into Mako who grabbed him by his shirt and said it had been a while, and asked how he had been. Skoochy said he had been fine until the two of them had showed up, and asked what they wanted. Mako told the young triad member that he had heard that he might know where the Triple Threats' hideout was, but Skoochy responded that he would not know because these days he was "living on the straight and narrow". Mako responded that he doubted that, and questioned where Skoochy's clothes had come from, to which Skoochy replied that he had "found them". Bolin angrily grabbed Skoochy and demanded he stop lying and answer Mako's questions, to both Skoochy and Mako's surprise. Mako told Bolin to go easy, and told Skoochy that he had been in his shoes once, and understood where he was coming from, but that at the end of the day he had a responsibility to the other people in Republic City, and that people could die if they did not find Tokuga. Skoochy mentioned that last he had heard the Triple Threats were in an abandoned warehouse by the docks but ran away saying that the two had not heard it from him. As Skoochy left, Bolin remarked to Mako that he would not have guessed it, but he was the bad cop after all. Mako ignored Bolin, saying that they had need to find Tokuga and to radio Beifong for backup.
That night, Mako and many other police officers raided the abandoned warehouse. Lin Beifong lead the charge, checking to make sure it was full of people before invading, and said she had detected at least twelve, before commanding her men to head in. They headed down the stairs, and Lin kicked the door open; however, they realized the people were dummies, and Mako ripped his cast off and yelled at everybody to leave. Just as Mako finished speaking, the factory blew up and Mako used the best of his firebending ability to hold off the flames from the explosion, as Lin, Bolin, and the other officers fled the scene.
They all left the building, as it collapsed behind them, all managing to survive without any major injuries. Mako apologized to Lin, and she said it was alright, Tokuga had simply been one step ahead of them. She commanded her officers to sweep the area for clues of where he was going, and Mako told Bolin they would not find anything, but that he needed to follow up on the lead on Wonyong. When Bolin reminded Mako of Lin's orders, Mako remarked that he did not care, Tokuga had just nearly killed them and he needed to be brought down using any lead.
Mako and Bolin went to Keum Enterprises' headquarters to try and meet with Wonyong Keum. They went up to a receptionist's desk and requested to speak to Mr. Keum, but she turned them away, saying they would need an appointment. The two insisted that it was important police business, but two security guards appeared and begun to escort them out of the building. As they were leaving, one of the security guards asked if Wonyong was in any trouble, and mentioned that he had not been at work or at home in days. Mako questioned why they had not contacted the police since he had been missing, and they responded that Wonyong did not like the police being involved in his private affairs. Bolin and Mako came to the conclusion that Tokuga had been involved in his disappearance and left.
Mako later got a phone call from a distressed Korra, who told him she had reason to believe Asami Sato had been kidnapped. The three of them met up at Asami's mobile office, only to discover it had been nearly destroyed by earthbenders. Inside were some bodyguards, who were only just regaining consciousness. Upon Mako's questioning, one of Asami's bodyguards said that he had been ambushed and did not know who the team's attackers were. Korra told Mako that she believed it was the Creeping Crystal Triad who were responsible for the kidnapping, and asked if Mako knew where they were located. Mako questioned why she thought it had been them, and she responded she would tell him how she knew on the drive there. As the trio arrived at the Creeping Crystals' hideout, Mako unsuccessfully attempted to stop Korra from breaking in, and Korra kicked the door down and attacked multiple members, before standing with Mako and Bolin and demanded Jargala tell her where Asami was. Jargala told the group to search for any trace of Asami Sato, because she did not have the businesswoman at the hideout. The group searched everywhere in the building, but had no success, and left as they were mocked by Jargala.
Korra almost confronted the triad leader, but Mako told Korra it was not worth it because they had searched the building and Asami Sato had not been there, and it was unlikely the Creeping Crystals had her. As they sat in the car, Mako told Korra that Wonyong Keum had been kidnapped as well, and he and Bolin told Korra the details they knew of his disappearance, as Korra suspected that perhaps it had been the Triple Threat Triad that had been involved with both kidnappings. As they discussed the details, Mako got a call from Lin Beifong calling for all police members to head to the police depot, because it was under attack by the Triple Threats.
The members of Team Avatar arrived, and approached Tokuga and his men as they stole the Earth Empire's confiscated weapons. Tokuga told Korra she would learn to answer for her actions, causing Mako to angrily react that it was instead Tokuga who needed to answer questions. He asked Tokuga if he was stealing the weapons for Wonyong, and if he was the one who sent the Triple Threats to attack the portal. Tokuga remarked that Wonyong worked for him now, and as Mako questioned where he was, revealed that he was a hostage on an airship flying above them. Mako demanded Tokuga release Keum immediately, to which Tokuga questioned why he would take such an action, as he had the advantage. Mako replied that he was outmatched, as he and Bolin had defeated his men at the portal, causing Bolin to remark that he was dealing with Team Avatar now.
Tokuga mentioned that their team was missing a member, causing Korra to spring into a rage and yelled at Tokuga to reveal Asami's location. She angrily attacked Tokuga, but was grabbed by his tentacle arm and flipped over. Mako and Bolin were attacked by a mecha suit as they attempted to run to Korra's aid, and Tokuga demanded the group back off and let them leave. As Korra entered the Avatar State, preparing to engage him in a fight, he revealed that they had captured Asami Sato, causing Korra to retreat and watch as The Triple Threats took the rest of the weapons.
Mako was present for Wu's speech where he announced the impending democratic elections 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.
Mako, Korra and Asami were welcomed by Bolin to the president's office, as the earthbender had found a new job as Zhu Li's assistant. Mako and Bolin discussed the latter's long career history, and the younger brother was somewhat insulted at the idea he was fickle. He listened to Wu's suggestion for Team Avatar to come to Gaoling to stand up to Commander Guan's Earth Empire holdout.
Before leaving, Mako 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. Mako looked on as Kuvira was imprisoned in a platinum pod aboard Asami's airship.
Mako watched on as Asami and Bolin confronted Kuvira when she told them that she was impressed by the loyalty Team Avatar held for each other. Soon, Korra radioed Mako for help, and he left for the town in a jeep along with Asami, Bolin, and Kuvira.
Mako witnessed Kuvira try to confront Guan, before Asami applied and electric shock to her. He and Bolin made to escort Kuvira back to the airship, where she was locked up and would be brought to Zaofu before the election. Korra and Wu subsequently left for the Foggy Swamp on Naga to recruit Toph Beifong 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 Mako managed to overpower the Earth Empire soldiers with firebending, he was overpowered and was kidnapped along with Asami, Mako and Kuvira.
The four were brought to Doctor Sheng, who brainwashed Mako using a combination of the Dai Li's ancient indoctrination techniques and magnetic waves to alter the brain. Mako was indoctrinated to think that the Avatar was no longer his friend, and was conscripted into the military of the Earth Empire.
Mako 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. Mako ordered the military's mecha suits to burn down the earth wall Korra's allies had built to protect themselves, but the Avatar was able to take Asami onto the airship and flee, although Guan's army was able to kidnap Wu.
Mako and Bolin 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. Mako firebent at Kuvira, giving Guan and Sheng enough time to remove the brainwashing helmets, and the two brothers ran outside the camp while bending at Kuvira. However, Korra soon arrived at the camp, stunning the 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.
Mako, Bolin and Wu were taken to a tent, where Korra read aloud commands to reverse-engineer their brainwashing. Wu warmly embraced Mako after both realized that the brainwashing had been undone. Mako 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. Bolin told the rest of the group that he would have to leave, as Zhu Li had back-to-back meetings the rest of the day, and Mako noted with interest that Bolin had decided to stick to the job, his brother telling him that after what they went through, he was fine with filing office paperwork for a while. 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.
Characterized by his stoic and brooding personality, Mako is generally aloof and indifferent, though he is not incapable of genuine kindness and a protective demeanor. He tends to act in a critical and controlling manner, stemming from a life on the streets and a drive to protect his little brother, which forced him to take on adult responsibilities at a young age. In light of the brothers' pasts, he cares deeply for Bolin and is very protective of him. After Mako lost his parents, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to help him and his brother survive the rough environment of Republic City, even going as far as scamming and working for a notorious criminal organization. Eventually, Mako abandoned these immoral activities but refused to admit the criminality of his past actions to Korra, as he firmly believed he was doing what was necessary to survive. Mako always puts the interests of safety and survival ahead of other things, as exemplified by his reluctance to let Bolin keep a fire ferret as a pet, since that would strain their already small food supply. Living on the streets has given him a "hard-edge", though he seems to relax when he is with Bolin, Korra, or Asami, or when he achieves something important.
Although he never forgot his roots on the street, Mako lost some of his hard-edge and became more considerate of others over time, as well as more emotionally forthcoming, as evidenced when he gave his treasured scarf to his grandmother, Yin, reasoning that she needed the reminder of her son more than him. His friends, family, and sense of duty remained the main motivation for his actions, making him willing to do what was necessary, even make the ultimate sacrifice, if it meant keeping the people he cared for save.
Going with his hard edge, Mako has a wrathful side to him as well, having the capacity to kill or harm anyone who wrongs his brother and friends. This was particularly evident when he threatened an Equalist by raising a flaming fist when seeking information regarding Korra's whereabouts. His protective attitude toward his younger brother on the street in the years after their parents' death reflected this side of him as well.
Mako is very dutiful in his job as a cop, having arrested several triad members since joining the force, and was on the fast track to becoming detective. Despite his coworkers' constant belittlement, Mako promptly suggests his theories on open cases and refuses to take the easy way out to close a case, being adamant in following leads. His commitment and effectiveness on the streets was such that he earned himself praise from President Raiko. His sense of duty also caused him to divulge information that would strain his relationship with Korra, ultimately ending it.
Mako has demonstrated considerable skill in the art of firebending, implementing a modern style of fighting that he developed in his pro-bending days. Critics of the sport note his use of a distinct "cool under fire" technique, which primarily involves a series of defensive weaving and dodging patterns quickly followed by successive spurts of offense, rendering Mako capable of defeating an entire pro-bending team by himself. Outside of pro-bending, Mako demonstrated great skill in traditional firebending combat. He can maintain his fire streams for a period of time for feats such as propelling himself through the air. He can also perform more advanced techniques such as the breath of fire. The raw strength of his firebending is also considerable, able to offset a large and point-blank explosion unharmed. His control is also very fine, as he is able to form a sleek dagger for intimidation and the likes.
Mako is skilled enough to generate lightning and redirect it, having learned the skills from his former boss, Lightning Bolt Zolt. He is able to generate it from either hand quickly with little charging time and no arm movement and is also capable of maintaining the bolt for several seconds. He has used lightning for a job at a power plant in Republic City and can effectively use it in combat. He can also fire it with considerable aim, being able to hit speeding targets and controlling the charge of it to merely stun targets. While fighting several Equalist mecha tanks, Mako redirected the electricity channeled through their metal cables to disable them. When restrained by Amon's bloodbending, he was able to maintain enough focus and calmness of mind to generate lightning and score a direct hit against the Equalist leader. Amon admitted to Mako that he was impressed with his firebending skill, and that it was almost a shame that he would have to remove the bending of "someone so talented". When he was cornered by Ming-Hua's tendril attacks, he had the clarity of mind to aim lightning at her water tendrils, thus electrocuting her.
Mako has noticeable close-range and bare-handed combat skills, able to expertly perform a shoulder-throw. He has also displayed considerable agility, capable of both jumping long distances and performing flips, proving himself difficult to hit at a distance. He has considerable raw strength, as he could effortlessly launch an Equalist agent a great distance, casually carry Bolin over his shoulder or Korra in his arms, and hoist an Equalist into the air with one hand. While under the control of Amon's bloodbending, Mako was able to move his body slightly better than others caught under this technique and managed to aim a bolt of lightning at Amon, something that took the masked man by surprise. Mako is also shown to be quite level-headed in dire situations and has quick thinking, which was exhibited when he came up with a plan to save his brother from the Equalists during Amon's revelation.
Mako is also good at reading maps, as he figured out where the Equalist rally was located by looking at the maps he and Korra obtained from the Equalist protester. Mako demonstrated this ability again when he discovered where the Equalist airfield was hidden. He also appears to be an adequate cook, preparing meals for himself and Bolin.
As a police officer, Mako uses a motorcycle as his vehicle of choice, displaying great skill with maneuvering it over slick terrain and even incorporating his firebending as a booster to extend the distance of his jumps and to stabilize after a near crash. He is also capable of piloting an airship, though is still an amateur at landing the vehicle.
- Main article: Mako's relationships
- Mako is named after the late Mako Iwamatsu, the original voice of Iroh during Book One: Water and Book Two: Earth, as a homage.
- The creators commented that Mako reminded them of Zuko, but without the angst.
- Mako's "cool under fire" style of pro-bending bears similarities to the defensive styles of boxing, and the styles of iconic boxers such as Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali.
- Mako's dark childhood is similar to that of Sokka, Katara, Jet, Asami Sato, and Aang as all six of them have lost family members to firebenders. However, while Katara, Sokka, and Asami only lost their mothers, Mako and Jet's parents were murdered right in front of them, though on the other hand, Aang lost his entire people to firebenders while he was sealed in an iceberg. Jet and Mako also both lost their family at age eight.
- Mako learning pro-bending from Toza and lightning techniques from Lightning Bolt Zolt were both cut out of the show for time saving purposes.
- He is the first bender shown to stop Amon from taking someone's bending away.
- Mako is the fourth known person to break free of a bloodbender's hold by their own doing, and the first non-waterbender known to have done so.
- Mako is the only member of the new Team Avatar to have never been seen crying.
- Mako is similar to Katara in that both have mothers killed by firebenders, a memento of a parent (Mako's father's scarf and Katara's mother's necklace), both also raised their brothers as a parent would do, a personality contradictory to that of their brothers', and both were love interests of the Avatar of their time.
- Mako is the only named male love interest of an Avatar.
- According to his grandmother, Mako takes after his grandfather.
- Mako is the second known person to use both lightning generation and lightning redirection, the first being Iroh, and the third is Azula.
- Additionally, he is the only person to do so in The Legend of Korra.
- Mako is the fifth of seven people to be seen using firebending to propel themselves into the air, and the second person to do so in The Legend of Korra; the others were Azula, Jeong Jeong, Ozai, Iroh, Wan, and Korra.
- Mako has used lightning generation in the finale of each book of The Legend of Korra.
- Mako is the only core member of Team Avatar who remained single at the end of the series. However, the creators revealed that he was originally written to become romantically involved with Fire Lord Izumi's daughter, though they ultimately decided against it as there were already too many characters in the fourth book.
- After his breakup with Korra, Mako occupied himself by reading Jinora's books.
- By 174 AG, Mako had begun styling his hair to resemble General Iroh's but later returned to his usual spiky hairstyle.
|Fire Ferrets' captain|
Unknown - 170 AG
| Succeeded by|