Moving along with 30 Days of Avatar…
Week 1: Friends of the Avatar.
Day 1: Katara
Day 2: Sokka, Bolin, and Mako
Day 3: Toph
Day 2 is for Sokka, Bolin, and Mako being variations on the same person.
All screenshots from Avatar Spirit.
Pretend for a moment that Sokka has two split personalities.
Goofy, fun-loving Sokka,
and straightforward, cynical, man-with-the-plan older brother Sokka.
(there are no videos of this because this version of Sokka is less entertaining, but he does exist.)
And now you see our point: Sokka is basically a mash-up of Bolin and Mako. Or maybe more accurately, Mako and Bolin’s personalities are just Sokka deconstructed.
Why we decided to comment on this phenomenon is that we like how, if you allow that Bolin and Mako can be seen as two separate sides of Sokka’s personality, you’ll note that they didn’t make Sokka’s goofier side less competent. You could argue that Mako is the more driven, ambitious one, but Bolin achieves quite a bit of success by following his heart rather than his logic, and both of these dudes are very useful in a fight.
Not to mention that they’re both capable of extra-element bending.
Characters like Sokka, who challenge the culturally-sanctioned definition of proper masculinity, are always welcome. We really appreciate that when Korra took to creating a cool-headed, logical older brother version of Sokka, they didn’t misuse it as an opportunity to deride the emotional, funny, goofy side to Sokka’s personality by making Bolin a perpetual (but lovable) screw-up. Instead he’s just as capable as his big brother, just, you know, way more fun to be around.
Not that they always got this right, of course. We were probably supposed to be laughing at Bolin, at least a little bit, when he walked in on Korra kissing Mako after what he believed was a successful date. And his entire relationship with Eska, also played for laughs, was somewhat horrifying.
But there are plenty of times we’re asked to laugh at Mako (usually he definitely deserves it), and overall, Bolin is much more than a laughingstock, and Mako is much more than a cool, logical powerhouse.