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Penga was one of the first students of the Beifong Metalbending Academy and the third metalbender in history.[2][3] As the daughter of a wealthy noble family, she was irresponsible and greedy in her childhood, while suffering from low self-esteem. Penga overcame these traits under the tutelage of Toph Beifong, eventually becoming a talented bender and instructor at the Metalbending Academy.[1]

History

Early life

Penga was born into a wealthy noble family in the Fire Nation colony of Yu Dao[3][4] in 92 AG.[2] Accustomed at getting every wish fulfilled, she became very spoiled and greedy.[5] Penga found joy in buying shoes and frequently ordered her servants to take her to the marketplace.[2]

101 AG

Training

Penga's temper tantrum inadvertently caused Toph's bracelet to vibrate, drawing the metalbender's attention.

During a shopping trip in 101 AG, Penga had a large tantrum and inadvertently moved Toph's bracelet ever so slightly with her latent bending abilities. The earthbending master thus recruited her for her academy, assuming she had the potential to become a metalbender. However, progress was slow, as she had yet to move a single coin by the time that Sokka visited the academy.

When the Water Tribe warrior visited the school, Penga developed an immediate crush on him, claiming him to be her boyfriend. As Toph caught her pupils leaving the academy, they explained to her that the school had been taken over by firebender students of the Master Kunyo's Firebending Dojo, and Penga complained that they had not even let her pack her shoes. Toph negotiated with Master Kunyo for ownership of the building, and it was mutually decided that a competition would be held between the students to decide which group would be able to use it.

Having managed to buy the students three extra days to practice, Toph and Sokka tried many different methods to teach Penga and her two peers to bend metal. During one of these attempts, Sokka decided that since the students had originally moved Toph's bracelet unintentionally while in extremely emotional states, all they needed to do was recreate that state. To achieve this, Sokka scared Penga with a big metal monster who had supposedly stolen and eaten all her shoes. However, instead of being able to metalbend, she broke down in complete shock.

The evening prior to the battle, Penga and the other students prepared to entirely quit the academy when they overheard Toph admitting to Sokka that she had been expecting them to be something they were not. Inspired by the fact that someone expected her to be more than "a spoiled brat", she and the other students discovered the key to metalbending and were able to bend metal coins, thus defeating the rival firebending school. Afterward, Penga declared that she was over Sokka and that Ho Tun was the one for her. She and her peers subsequently returned to training.[2]

Battle for Yu Dao

Penga and the rest of Team Beifong fought the Fire Nation soldiers.

When Toph and Sokka briefly departed the Metalbending Academy with Suki, Penga and the other students were told to stay behind and continue practicing their metalbending. Penga tried to convince her teacher to let her go along by showing Toph her "spinny helmet trick", but Toph dismissed her firmly and expressed her lack of confidence in her student's abilities. Later, however, Penga and her peers came to fight in the battle for Yu Dao. Their timely appearance saved Toph and Suki, and spurred Toph to compliment Penga on her metalbending skills.[4]

102 AG

Saving Sifu Toph

When Sokka came to pick Team Beifong up, Penga immediately clung to his arm, asking if he was trying to reignite their romance.

After Toph departed from the academy to see her friends, Penga, Ho Tun, and The Dark One became its temporary instructors. During a lesson, Sokka arrived, telling them they needed to come with him. Penga clung to his arm, asking if he was trying to reignite their romance as she was over him, but was told by Ho Tun to stop because the situation looked serious.

The students arrived to the town where the Earthen Fire Refinery was located, where they met up with Aang, who explained the situation to them: Toph and several others were trapped underground and he could not dig them out due to the iron ore deposits in the ground; he thus needed their metalbending to do so. Katara added that Toph stated it to be like spider ants stomping beneath their feet, which Penga explained to them was an exercise where, while standing blindfolded in a sand pit, they needed to bend giant metal plates back and forth over their heads, plates even bigger than Ho Tun. Upon Ho Tun asking if they were ready, Penga noted that there was a lot of iron beneath them and began bending on her fellow student's call. They soon revealed a giant iron mask before continuing, telling the other metalbenders to stay focused on the mission. Soon enough, she could feel the space where the group was and, with one last heave and Aang's help, they freed them. Toph complemented them on their job, but after she collapsed into her father's arms, Penga grew worried, though Lao assured them that she was just exhausted and would be fine. When Ho Tun commented she looked small and almost fragile, Penga warned him that such comments could get him pummeled by their sifu. Learning that Lao was Toph's father, Penga was surprised and, when asked as such by Ho Tun, believed that Toph popping out of a rock would make sense.[6]

Defending the Earthen Fire Refinery

After removing General Old Iron's armor using metalbending, Penga and her comrades were left to face the spirit's wrath.

The students continued to stand near their instructor as she rested. However, when they learned that Aang was about to destroy the Earthen Fire Refinery and Toph awoke, she called on them to help her stop him. They raised an earthen wall to stop his attacks. They were blown off the wall by Aang's air rings but landed softly on their feet before returning to the battle. Toph called on them to metalbend, but their attacks were dodged. Penga soon noticed the giant spirit, General Old Iron, approaching them, asking if that was the same one Aang mentioned earlier as to why he had to destroy the refinery. With an intense battle between the spirit and Avatar, Toph again called on the three, but this time to help Aang. This confused the younger metalbender as they were just trying to fight him off. Nonetheless, Toph continued by saying they needed to use their bending to peel off the armor, just like the forest bowing to the east wind exercise, something Penga hated almost as much as the spider ants stomping beneath feet technique. They were able to do so and thus give Aang an open shot to the spirit's chest, but General Old Iron soon noticed that the four metalbenders were destroying his armor, thus turning his attention them. Toph told them to run while she held him off, though Penga did not want to abandon her. They soon watched as Aang delivered a severe blow to General Old Iron and the vanquished spirit gave a speech about how humans were more powerful than him before walking away.

Three months later, Penga participated in the parade for the new Spirits' Friendship Festival, playing an Air Nomad flute as the procession made its way down the town's main street.[6]

Growth of the academy

When Penga attempted to explain her progress at teaching new metalbenders, Toph rudely cut her off.

The success of Earthen Fire Industries meant that the academy gained a new sponsor. New facilities were built, and the academy began offering tuition for free. Toph also deemed Penga, Ho Tun, and The Dark One skilled enough to lead the beginner classes. Penga proved to be a very enthusiastic teacher at the academy. When Toph asked her students for a weekly report, Penga was excited to tell her about the forms she was practicing with the beginner metalbenders, but Toph cut her off and ended the meeting. Toph explained that the problem was that everything was so respectable and perfect, before leaving.

Penga was curious what Toph meant by her statement, and Ho Tun speculated that it might have been because the academy was different to how she learned metalbending. They also reflected on their own personal growth since they came to the academy, such as Penga becoming slightly less materialistic. She was also pleased to hear that The Dark One now tolerated things instead of hating them. Ho Tun, confident that he no longer saw doom everywhere, raised that they could prove themselves by participating in an underground bending tournament.

Penga expressed disgust when they entered a derelict part of Yu Dao, but Ho Tun hushed his friends, encouraging them to prove themselves to Toph. Penga explained that Toph probably would not dismiss them from the academy, but was just being impatient. However, she still agreed to help Ho Tun prove himself, as she did not want to leave her friend behind. They found the abandoned warehouse where the tournaments were taking blace, though Penga and The Dark One started to be weirded out by the atmosphere.

Penga was very satisfied after having stabilized the building's roof.

The trio got in line to register for the bending fights. As they were waiting, Sun damaged the warehouse's metal support beams with his lavabending in a duel against a waterbender, causing it to start collapsing. Penga used her metalbending to keep the beam in place, although the building continued to crumble. Penga and her friends helped bend scraps of metal away from the crowd, though headed outside when the warehouse finally did collapse. She also introduced herself to Sun when Toph convinced him to enrol the academy, expressing her love for her students at the academy.

On the following day, Penga and her friends officially welcomed Sun as well as his comrades at the academy.[1]

Work at the South Pole

Penga and her friends help out by working on a construction site associated with the Southern Reconstruction Project.

Some months later, Toph ordered Penga, Ho Tun and The Dark One to come to the South Pole to assist in the Southern Reconstruction Project. The old work force which had built factories, including those owned by the Earthen Fire Industries, had been forced to leave the Southern Water Tribe due to political tensions. The three metalbenders were consequently drafted by Toph to act as replacement construction force, although they had no experience in this kind of work. One day, Penga and The Dark One were using their bending to assemble a forklift, as Ho Tun asked for their help in moving some snow. After the three moved a large metal shovel to throw the snow onto a large snow pile, Penga commented that it was a truly huge amount of snow they had already removed from the construction site.

Just as they wanted to get back to their other tasks, the pile became unstable, causing Penga to scream that they should run. However, before they were able to move, an avalanche threatened to bury all three; luckily, Toph intervened and bent metal bars to contain the pile's collapse. Dazed by the near-death exerience, Penga weakly told Toph that they were fine as she rushed over to check on them. The three students quickly began to argue that they were unfit for this work, despite their sifu's declaration that they—as metalbenders—specialized in "the impossible". Regardless, Penga countered that trying to build factories at the South Pole without the help of waterbenders was "kinda crazy" to which Toph agreed, but noted how politics prevented them from getting any waterbenders as support.

Penga informs Gilak that they will easily defeat him as well as his rebels.

A few days later, Team Beifong was enlisted to help in a hostage rescue mission at the Bridge of No Return, where Southern Water Tribe nationalists under Gilak had ostensibly agreed to exchange a kidnapped Earth King Kuei for Head Chieftain Hakoda. The rebels showed their true colors when Kuei and Hakoda were both on the bridge, as Gilak attempted to burn its rope. Led by Malina, Penga, Ho Tun, and The Dark One intervened, with Penga confidently declaring that they would beat the rebels "senseless". The three metalbenders easily overwhelmed Gilak's compatriots, but the rebel stormed onto the bridge before they could incapacitate him. There, he attempted to kill himself as well as Hakoda, resulting in a struggle that destroyed the bridge and caused Hakoda, Gilak, Malina, Kuei and Zuko to fall into the abyss. Penga and her friends were shocked at the sight, but luckily all save for Gilak were subsequently saved by Zuko, Aang, and Katara.[7]

Personality

Penga completely freaked out upon witnessing her shoes being eaten.

Penga had a curious, clingy, and usually optimistic nature. She had a close relationship with her parents, fearing they would be harmed in the riots during the Harmony Restoration Movement.[2] She was very spoiled and loved to amass possessions,[5] most importantly shoes, eventually developing a near-obsession with these items. However, Penga was aware that most people considered her no more than a "spoiled brat", impacting her willingness to try to improve.[2] As a result of her training with Toph and Sokka, however, she gained new confidence and overcame her extreme materialism. As time went on, Penga became more level-headed, brave, and confident.[2][6][7] She noted that she had become less spoiled, as she was able to go a month without buying a new pair of shoes, instead of just a week. She was also very enthusiastic to teach new metalbending students once Toph let her take charge of some of the beginner classes.[1]

She had an odd infatuation with Sokka, and decided that he would be her new boyfriend, and became very clingy toward him, despite the fact that Sokka did not talk to her much or even give off hints that he liked her. However, after she found out Ho Tun could metalbend, she declared him her new boyfriend, and was done with Sokka.[2]

Abilities

Penga was the second female metalbender in history.

Penga was an earthbender enrolled by her parents in Toph's new metalbending academy, although Toph believed she needed substantial practice in order to learn metalbending.[3] She, like the other metalbending students, was chosen for the school because she caused Toph's bracelet to move when she grew very emotional. She eventually became the second metalbending pupil.[2] By 102 AG, she had become a competent metalbender, easily bending both large as well as small objects with precision.[1][7] In regards to her potential, Toph admitted that Penga was "almost" as strong as her.[1]

Appearances

Graphic novels

Trivia

  • Penga represents the vice of greed, a quality which is surmounted by the Beifong Metalbending Academy.[5]
  • In Norwegian, Penga's name is a slang word for "money". Considering her fancy robes, this fits the economic status of her wealthy family quite well.
  • At age nine, Penga was the youngest known earthbender to metalbend.[2]
  • Penga had cloud motifs on her clothing. In Chinese culture, clouds usually represent good luck and fortune.
  • Penga is the second character to be seen foaming at the mouth.[2]
  • Penga was voiced by Olivia Hack when she performed a Dark Horse live reading of Toph Beifong's Metalbending Academy.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Hicks, Faith Erin (writer), Wartman, Peter (artist), Matera, Adele (colorist). Toph Beifong's Metalbending Academy (February 16, 2021), Dark Horse Comics.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Two (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part One (January 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  4. 4.0 4.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Three (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Library Edition (February 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part Three (November 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part Three (April 26, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.
  8. Dark Horse Comics (May 19, 2021). Toph Beifong's Metabending Academy Live Reading. Twitch.com. Retrieved on May 19, 2021.
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