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That's what I admire about you, Korra. Your willingness to go to extremes in order to get what you want. It is a quality we both share.
~ Tarrlok
Go. Amon can't know anyone spoke with me. Defeat him. Put an end to this sad story.
~ Tarrlok encouraging Korra to stop Amon.

Tarrlok was the secondary antagonist in the first season of The Legend of Korra, the youngest member of the United Republic Council and the son of the notorious crime lord Yakone. Though he's considered fair-minded and well-liked by the general public, he is really an extremely manipulative politician, serving as a representative for the Northern Water Tribe and a chairman for the council, whose goal was to establish a task force to end all Equalist activity within Republic City.

Tarrlok's real goal was to conquer Republic City through political power and discredit the Avatar in order to prove that he was superior than his father Yakone.

He was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.

History

Childhood

Tarrlok was born in the Northern Water Tribe to the former crime boss, Yakone, and was the second and youngest son in his family. He and his older brother, Noatak, formed a strong brotherly bond between each other unaware of their father's real nature, until they both discovered they had the ability to waterbend. Soon after, Yakone revealed his past life and how his bending had been severed by Avatar Aang and introduced them to the art of bloodbending, a sadistic form of waterbending used to manipulate others by bending the body fluids within their bodies which had been declared illegal.

Whenever there was a full moon, Yakone would take the boys on nightly "hunting" trips in order to keep their secret hidden from their mother, training them in the art of bloodbending. Tarrlok showed restraint, harboring no desire to harm the helpless animals his father had them practice on, but his brother progressed in his newfound abilities, overriding Tarrlok and being favored by Yakone. Despite this, however, Noatak soon became detached, as Tarrlok described, and became increasingly depressed. Tarrlok felt that Noatak wanted equal treatment for everyone and their father's treatment towards them affected his views on what "equality" meant.

Yakone eventually forced the brothers to bloodbend each other and, while Noatak showed no restraint, he later defended Tarrlok when he hesitated to do the same. Noatak declared that Yakone was weak seeing as how his bending was removed, that bloodbending was not the most powerful form of bending, and flung him into the snow, urging Tarrlok to join him in his escape. Tarrlok refused however, concerned of the effect this would have on their mother, and Noatak who stated he was indeed a weakling escaped without him.

Tarrlok and Yakone spent several days searching the tundra, but they eventually came to the conclusion that Noatak had perished in the harsh snow and returned home without him, sending the family into a state of depression. Unknown to them, Noatak survived the tundra and had secretely begun a new life as "Amon".

Yakone passed away soon after and Tarrlok later moved to Republic City in order to start life anew, making his way into political power and presenting himself as a "savior" to the common people. He was then established as Councilman Tarrlok and became a representative for the Northern Water Tribe. Tarrlok secretly planned to ascend through the rankings of Republic City and eventually take control of Republic City.

Avatar Korra's arrival

Shortly after Avatar Korra's arrival in Republic City, Tarrlok convinced the council (except Tenzin) to unanimously agree with his plans to organize a special task force in order to put an end to the Equalist movement through brute force. Upon its approval, he then attempted to persuade Korra to join his task force. Korra refused his offer, much to the surprise of Tenzin and Tarrlok. After several failed attempts involving bribery through lavish gifts, Tarrlok decided to hold a gala in her honor in City Hall, hiring several journalists to question her refusal to join the task force. Under pressure, Korra announced that she would finally agree to join the task force, despite her reluctance.

Tarrlok's task force

Tarrlok presented with captured Equalists.

Tarrlok later orchestrated a nighttime raid on a secret Equalist training facility beneath a bookstore located in the Dragon Flats district of Republic City. With the help of Avatar Korra, Tarrlok and his task force managed to capture and arrest several Equalist members. At a conference meeting, Tarrlok announced the success of the raid and stated that Republic City had nothing to fear with himself and the Avatar leading the charge. Korra then publicly challenged Amon to a duel on Avatar Aang Memorial Island via radio broadcast and by witness of city journalists.

Tarrlok encouraged and organized the duel later that night, stationing several authoritative zeppelins throughout the area, and assuring Tenzin that if anything went wrong under circumstance, city officials would arrive accordingly to keep the Equalists at bay.

Later, when Amon theatended to shut down the pro-bending arena, Tarrlok, Tenzin, and the rest of the council agreed to shut down the arena and cancel the championship tournament, despite the Fire Ferrets' dismay. Chief Lin Beifong, however, disrupted the meeting and offered to provide the arena with extra security during the match, with Tarrlok, along with the council, agreeing to the proposal.

Following a successful Equalist attack on the arena, however, Tarrlok called a press conference, in which he boldly placed the blame on Chief Beifong, stating the police force needed new leadership in order to meet amends during the dire situation. The former chief's resignation allowed Tarrlok to increase his influence and power, through Saikhan's appoinment as the new chief. When Korra and Tenzin confronted Tarrlok after the conference, he offered Korra another opportunity to rejoin his task force, considering the conclusion of the pro-bending tournament, but when Korra refused his "vanity project", Tarrlok insulted her by stating she had not yet mastered airbending and ordered her to avoid interference with the law.

Tarrlok arresting Asami

At the following council meeting, Tarrlok proposed a law establishing a curfew for all non-benders and the illegalizing of Equalist association. The law went into effect with relative ease as Tenzin was the only dissenting vote. Tarrlok then went as far as to cut off the power of local non-benders, which sparked a non-bender protest (many of which were ordinary citizens) in the Dragon Flats district. Tarrlok ordered the police to capture the citizens by rounding them up, until each of them were proven innocent. When Team Avatar confronted Tarrlok during the protest and argued against him, Korra's friends were captured, along with the non-bending citizens.

Tarrlok bloodbending

Tarrlok bloodbending Korra.

Later that night, Korra confronted Tarrlok herself at his office in order to intimidate him into compliance to free her friends, along with the non-benders, from imprisonment. Tarrlok then offered to free her friends, as long as she obeyed his command, to Korra's refusal. When Korra stated he was just as bad as Amon, Tarrlok went into a rampage and began a duel. Korra managed to utilize her earthbending by releasing the wall behind Tarrlok and closing it in on him, leaving him without a source of water, pushing him down to the Council meeting room. As a last resort, Tarrlok bloodbent Korra into submission and captured her, recklessly driving her off in a police vehicle to the surrounding woodland of Republic City, holding her hostage in an old mountain lodge. Unknown to Tarrlok, his assitant witnessed the incident.

During the same night, he obtained an Equalist glove, shocked himself, and laid out fake evidence to claim that Korra had been kidnapped by the Equalists when asked about it by the press. When Tenzin, Lin, and, after having been freed, Korra's friends, investigated the matter by infiltrating an Equalist facility, they discovered that Tarrlok had abducted Korra, not the Equalists. When Tarrlok denied the act, his assistant, the council page, confirmed the incident and revealed Tarrlok's secret bloodbending abilities. Tarrlok, realising he was exposed, used bloodbending to knock everyone in the room unconscious in order to make an easy escape. He then confronted Korra at the lodge, who had discovered that he was Yakone's son through flashbacks provided by Aang's spirit, and blamed Korra for the devastation that had amassed. Tarrlok admitted that his goal was indeed to conquer Republic City, but not to avenge his father but to prove that he was better.

Tarrlok intended to keep Korra as a hostage and start his plans all over again, but he was ambushed by Amon and several Equalists. Tarrlok subdued the Equalists with bloodbending, except for Amon who somehow resisted his bloodbending and removed his bending, paralyzing him for a period of time, then throwing him into the back of a truck. Tarrlok realized that Amon's bending removal felt identical to that of Noatak's bloodbending, with that he figured out that Amon was his lost brother.

Tarrlok was placed in a private prison so he couldn't tell anyone about Amon's secret. During an Equalist Victory Rally, Korra and Mako ran into Tarrlok's prison, Tarrlok proceeded to tell them that Amon's real identity was his brother Noatak and explained their tragic backstory. With that knowledge, Korra and Mako planned to expose Amon as a fraud and a Bloodbender using the evidence they obtained from Tarrlok. Tarrlok offered a sincere apology over his actions and lamented on how he and his brother became no better than their father. He pleaded the two to take down Noatak and put an end to Yakone's vengeance campaign.

Death

Tarrlok sacrificing himself

"It'll be just like the good ol' days."

It'll be just like the good old days.
~ Tarrlok's last words.

Korra and Mako were able to prove that Amon was a waterbender, after which Noatak fled and freed Tarrlok, offering his brother a chance to escape with him. The brothers used a speedboat across the Mo Ce Sea, during which Amon proclaimed, now reunited with Tarrlok, that there was nothing they couldn't accomplish together. At the mention of Amon's birth name, "Noatak", Amon began to reminisce on their brotherhood, shedding a single tear before Tarrlok utilized a nearby Equalist glove to ignite the fuel tank behind him, killing them both in the resulting explosion. With both Amon and Tarrlok dead, Yakone's bloodline of bloodbenders was ended.

Trivia

  • The relationship between two brothers is similar of Lee Kang-To's relationship with his brother where Kang-san was masked hero and killed by his own brother unknowingly and become second Birdal Mask.
  • Tarrlok is the first antagonist in the franchise to commit suicide, followed by Ghazan.
  • His Polish voice actor also voiced Megamind from Megamind and Chester V from Despicable Me.

Navigation

           Avatar The Last Airbender logoVillains

Fire Nation
Fire Lord Ozai | Fire Lord Azulon | Fire Lord Sozin | Zuko | Azula | Ty Lee | Mai | Zhao | Ukano | Combustion Man | Yon Rha | Warden | Bujing | Mung

Earth Kingdom
Hou-Ting | Jet | Chin the Conqueror | General Fong | Xin Fu | Gow | Long Feng | Dai Li Sergeant

Water Tribe
Hama | Tahno | Tarrlok | Noatak | Yakone | Varrick | Zhu Li | Unalaq | Eska | Judge Hotah | Gilak | Thod | Thod's disciples

Equalists
Amon | Lieutenant | Hiroshi Sato

Red Lotus
Zaheer | Ghazan | Ming-Hua | P'Li | Aiwei

Earth Empire
Kuvira | Baatar Jr.

Spirits
Vaatu | Dark Spirits | Wan Shi Tong | Koh | Kemurikage | Old Iron

Other Groups
Dai Li | Rough Rhinos | Southern Raiders | Yuyan Archers | New Ozai Society | Triple Threat Triad | Royal Procession

Individuals
June | Lightning Bolt Zolt | Shady Shin | Tokuga | Wonyong Keum

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