30 Days of Avatar: Toph, Never Change

Finishing the week off with a bang, like the bang of a burning boulder landing inches from your foot after a cry of, “I AM NOT TOPH! I AM MELON LORD! MUAH HA HA HA!” is our appreciation of Toph Beifong, the greatest earth bender in the world.

Week 1: Friends of the Avatar

Day 1: Katara
Day 2: Sokka, Bolin, and Mako
Day 3: Toph

Day 3 is for Toph being unmovable, like a rock.

All screenshots from Avatar Spirit.


We’ve said before (and we’ll say again) that we love watching women go on power trips. Toph is the ultimate woman on a power trip. Always on a power trip, all the time.

(^^^ a nice compilation to that effect)

You might assume that Toph was a spirited kid who eventually had to grow out of her in-your-face personality. Right?


(^^^ have we perfected the astral plane marriage thing so that we can each marry this 2D animated old lady yet or what)

(OK maybe one of us can marry the elbow leech)

In the cameo-to-end-all-cameos, Toph shows up in Korra as a very grumpy, very irresponsible, very talented old woman living in a swamp because obviously she would live in a mystical swamp by herself. She has literally not changed even a little bit, despite having a couple of kids and starting a metal bending academy/police force.

Her version of motherly affection? How about this speech to Lin in “Operation Beifong:” “Look, I know I wasn’t a great mother, but one way or another, I ended up with two great kids. Good enough to risk my bony old butt for, anyway. If you can just find some way not to hate me, maybe that’s enough, at least for me.”

This was a bold move for the writers of Avatar (but… no one should be surprised by that). Allowing your female character to be perpetually brash and angry and not-nurturing and basically the antithesis of rigid femininity is something that we don’t get to see very often, especially in a protagonist role. Or in any role.

Never change, Toph.

toph su and lin

2 thoughts on “30 Days of Avatar: Toph, Never Change

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