|“||Republic City is mine, Avatar. I'll be back one day to claim it!||„|
Yakone is the posthumous overarching antagonist of Book One: Air in The Legend of Korra. He was an infamous crime lord who had the unique ability to use bloodbending without needing a full moon which he used to terrorize Republic City until he was defeated by Avatar Aang and had his bending permanently removed.
Bent on revenge, Yakone escaped to the northern water tribe, changed his appearance with surgery and had two sons, Tarrlok and Noatak. He raised the boys as bloodbenders, hoping that they would one day destroy the Avatar and conquer Republic City on his behalf.
Yakone was a sinister crime lord accused of Bloodbending, a dangerous form of Waterbending that had been declared illegal by the efforts of Katara, because of the incident with Hama, after the testimony of several witnesses. Chief Toph Beifong, accompanied by some metalbending officers and Avatar Aang, arrested him while he was eating at a restaurant. The criminal sarcastically claimed he would beat this charge again as he had done with the previous ones.
Yakone was then taken to City Hall to be judged before the United Republic Council, where he was defended by a lawyer who appealed to the impossibility to bloodbend when there is no full moon, as witnesses had claimed that his client had performed the feat "at every other time except during a full moon", making the crime impossible to commit. Before the council announced the veredict, Chief Sokka pointed out that there had been multiple accounts of "unique benders" who accomplished bending feats previously thought to be impossible, highlighting the discovery of Metalbending by Toph Beifong as an example of such feats, and that the evidence presented was enough to convince them that Yakone was an unique bender who discovered how to bloodbend without the full moon, and used this ability to commit the crimes for which he had been accused. For this reason, the bloodbender was declared guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
However, Yakone, stood up, grinning, and proceeded to bloodbend Sokka. Toph attempted to halt him with a metal cable, but Yakone was able to overpower her as well. Soon everyone in the room fell victim of his bloodbending, including Avatar Aang, who unsuccessfully tried to stop him from fleeing, only to be knocked to the floor. Aang then entered the Avatar State and pursued Yakone, destroying his escaping cart. Climbing out of the wreckage, the bloodbender used his technique again, planning to kill Aang by snapping his neck, but was thwarted when Aang entered the Avatar State, breaking the bloodbending hold and trapping Yakone within an earth shell. Unable to fight back, Yakone had his bending removed by Aang and was promptly arrested.
After Republic City
|“||Yakone: I made you what you are! You're mine!
Noatak: We're your sons! Not your tools of revenge!
|~ Noatak standing up to his father by bloodbending him.|
With the aid of his former gang, Yakone managed to escape prison and underwent plastic surgery, then fled to the Northern Water Tribe, where he met a warm, kindhearted woman, who later became his wife and birthed two children, Noatak and Tarrlok.
Overtime, the brothers' waterbending capabilities became more and more relevant and Yakone, having carried a grudge against Avatar Aang throughout the years, taught his children to bloodbend in secret, whilst revealing his criminal past to them, claiming that they were destined to avenge him and take down the Avatar when the time was right.
Eventually, he taught his sons on how to bloodbend without using the full moon and was pleased at their progress, notably Noatak who appeared to be his favorite with his successful growth at training. However, his training took a turn for the worst when he ordered the two to bloodbend each other, and while Noatak, his eldest, showed little restraint, Tarrlok hesitated and declared that he wouldn't ever bloodbend again, angering Yakone and causing him to lash out on his son. Noatak, however, defended his brother and disagreed with his father, by bloodbending Yakone and declaring they were his sons not tools for revenge. After failing to convince his brother to leave with him, Noatak then flung Yakone into the snow. Noatak then escaped, leaving his father and brother, which sent Yakone into depression when he was unable to find him and believed he died, now feeling guilt of how his urges of vengeance indirectly caused the death of his son. With his son gone, Yakone ceased training Tarrlok and his dreams of revenge withered away with his final years until he eventually died as a sad and broken man.
Though Noatak and Tarrlok turned against Yakone, both of them would unknowingly follow his steps when they began their own campaigns to take over Republic City about fourty years later. Tarrlok had become a member of the Republic City council aiming to "win" Republic City and discredit the Avatar through political power rather than through the criminal underworld. Noatak on the other hand developed a method of bending-removal using bloodbending and took the alias "Amon" to form the Equalist anti-bending movement with the ultimate goal to depower the Avatar and make all bending across the world illegal.
During the Equalist revolution Tarrlok mentioned Aang's battle with Yakone in order to persuade other council members in the United Republic Council to allow his task force to face Amon head-on, just as Aang had done to Yakone. Shortly after, Avatar Korra started seeing cryptic flashbacks of Yakone's conflict with Aang for several days. When Korra was held hostage by Tarrlok, she meditated about the flashbacks she was receiving from Aang and saw them more clearly, making her realize that Tarrlok was Yakone's son as Tarrlok had used bloodbending without the full moon to incapacitate Korra the previous night just like Yakone had done before. When confronted about this Tarrlok admitted to being Yakone's son but insisted that his attempts to conquer Republic City were not to avenge his father but to surpass him.
|“||Our father sent us down this path. Fate caused us to collide.||„|
|~ Tarrlok to Noatak.|
Both Tarrlok and Noatak would eventually be exposed as Bloodbenders and Yakone's sons through the efforts of Avatar Korra. With nowhere to go Noatak and Tarrlok fled on a speedboat across the Mo Ce Sea. Noatak intended to "start over", but Tarrlok, realizing that the two brothers had followed Yakone's steps after all, used an Equalist glove to ignite the boat's fuel tank, causing an explosion that killed the brothers and ended Yakone's legacy for good.
- Yakone is the last villain to be defeated by Aang and was directly responsible for creating the first villain that Korra faced.
- Yakone is very much the Fire Lord Sozin of Legend of Korra, as he died before the events of the series, yet was ultimately the catalyst for its beginning.
- Yakone is similar to Ozai and Unalaq in that he is an abusive parent. In his case, he puts his desire for revenge above that of his children (Particularry Tarrlok). However, he did not commit acts that were as evil as their actions were. Also, he showed immense guilt and remorse after the supposed death of his elder son (Even if it was only because Noatuk was his favorite child), causing him to abandon his goal of revenge, unlike Ozai and Unalaq who showed no concern for their children whatsoever and focused only on their own selfish goals.
- In a cruel twist of irony, though, while Ozai's children eventually followed their own paths and Unalaq's children eventually turned on him, Yakone's sons ended up following the exact path he had set them on to the end.