How does bending work?
Regarding a previous anonymous question, how can you you be sure that genetics is not at all involved in bending? It seems kinda unrealistic to say that it’s completely based in spirituality. I know that there is a blogger who creates a very interesting genetics theory for bending that would explain how non-benders could produce benders and how benders could produce non-benders. What makes you so sure that genetics aren’t at all involved?
One more time:
A) Bending is not based on real world science, it works how the creators say it works. It is not gravity.
B) It is genetic as in that humans can do it, just like badgermoles and dragons and sky-bisons can, but rabbaroos cannot.
The creators point out multiple times that it is linked to spirituality and learning/developing it. Everyone has the spark, it is up to ‘you’ to develop it. It is important to them that it cannot be lineage.
BK: Mike and I just got new puppies. They’re brothers. They have the same mother and father. Same litter. Mike’s dog can just sit in a crate and be happy as a clam. My dog just loses all control…everything. Who knows why these things happen? They’re beyond our full understanding.
MDD: Yeah, Katara’s mom and dad weren’t benders. Maybe it’s a recessive gene. I’ve always seen it as more spiritual connections, though. A little bit mysterious…
BK: I mean we’ve definitely talked about it. I think, again, sometimes we might not know…it’s more of what we don’t want it to be. We didn’t want it to be like there is a lineage…a royal family or something…and these people can bend and then there’s everyone else as non-bending, people who never will. Some sort of caste system. Mike and I are more attracted to more of the flux type universe. The only constant is change, variation, that sorta thing. I’m sure it’s a bunch of factors.
***Interviewers note: About 20 mins after the interview, Bryan came back to me and we spoke a little more about the basis of bending off recorder. He described bending as more of a talent. You have some genetic basis for potential, but you could go your whole life without developing the talent into ability. Some people have more inherent talent than others, while others with minimal inherent talent can still develop it through hard work and practice. He reiterated a connection to the spiritual energies is the underlying basis. How it manifests is based on upbringing and experience.
So, bending is related to spirituality i.e. anyone can theoretically learn how to bend. And yes, I think this is important and will potentially be the solution to the Amon issue.
Avataraang has a nice little list:
HOW DOES BENDING WORK? — Three important things to know about bending, first it’s not genetic, second spirituality is key and third you must have parents from the nation that element is native to. Also only the Avatar can bend 4 elements, and no, Aang’s children can’t inherit that.
1) Bending is not genetic as it is shown in 1x14 that two identical twins (i.e. share the same genetic code) do not both bend. One can Earthbend, the other cannot. This eliminates the genetic factor.
2) The key factor is spirituality. The Air Nomads had a 100% bending rate because their culture was so steeped in spirituality.
3) You must have parents from that nation. While I said it’s not genetic, you must obviously have the parents from a particular nation to be able to bend the element. Aang and Katara could never have a firebending kid because neither of them are from the Firenation.
4) Children from a multicultural family can bend different elements. Aang and Katara’s children could be Airbenders, Waterbenders or non-benders. Mako and Bolin are brothers, but bend different elements.