25 September 2015 @ 01:21 am
NAME: spoon
CONTACT: [plurk.com profile] whysofork/PM

NAME: Bolin
CANON: The Legend of Korra
AGE: 17
CANON POINT: Book 3, Episode 12

BACKGROUND: Wiki link!

By nature, earthbenders are generally described as stubborn and steadfast, bearing the brunt of all that comes toward them head on, like the earth itself that does not flinch from rain or wind.

Bolin, as highly skilled as he is as an earthbender, isn't quite like this. In contrast, Bolin is free spirited—adaptable. Throughout the course of the series, he moves from being a pro-bender to a movie (or mover, as they're called in the Korra universe) star, to eventually enlisting in Kuvira's military. And this adaptability is absolutely necessary. Orphaned at a young age, Bolin had to adopt different roles and jobs in order to survive, ranging from acting as a young hero to having his fire ferret perform tricks for money.

He does it all, no matter how degrading or embarrassing. What sets Bolin apart from his brother, is that Bolin doesn't begrudgingly bear the burdens set on his shoulders following the death of his parents. Instead, he approaches every new challenge with enthusiasm and optimism, because, despite the loss of his family, Bolin has grown up incredibly sheltered. His entire youth involved his older brother taking care of him, reassuring him, and protecting him from those that might take advantage of them. So, of course, he would grow up lighthearted. It would be impossible not to, after how hard Mako has worked for him, and how much he believes in the brother that would undertake so much to protect him.

To Bolin, this is what people are like. He's grown up on the streets, and he's made friends with men from the underworld, men that have helped the brothers, though not without benefit to themselves. It doesn't diminish Bolin's perspective of them however, and it's still allowed him to grow up sympathetic, and forgiving. He's seen people that commit crimes—has committed many himself—but he understands that it's not always out of malice, but out of desperation: to survive and protect loved ones. This is the reality that he's lived, and it lays the foundation for his unrelenting optimism, and his understanding that no one is purely evil. To Bolin, actions are usually underlain by good intention, though they might appear wrong to others.

And if there is one thing that Bolin is stubborn about, it's this belief. His positive attitude and the hope that he possesses hinges on this belief; it's how he swallows trauma and difficult situations, and he is unwilling to see things any other way. Generally, Bolin avoids conflict. He doesn't address issues or grievances that he has with others head on, and instead skirts the problem or tries to run away from it entirely. Or, depending on how close he is with the person, he might respond passive aggressively. But on this issue, he's absolutely unwilling to budge, going so far as to lament the absence of a man that had his brother framed and sent to prison. Everyone has some redeeming qualities, and this is the belief that causes him to butt heads with others the most, as it often leads to Bolin being taken advantage of.

In a world as rife with political tension as Legend of Korra, Bolin's naïveté makes him an extremely desirable pawn, especially given his close relationship to the Avatar. And Bolin, alongside being naïve, is also not naturally a leader, nor does he enjoy being independent. Unlike the other members of Team Avatar, Bolin lacks a specific purpose or passion. He's spent his entire life following his brother and trying to survive, and that's always been enough. Therefore, when the two of them manage to find some semblance of stability, and Mako moves onto other pursuits, Bolin remains somewhat lost. When someone offers him a part to play, like Varrick does when he offers Bolin the leading role in his propaganda film, he can't resist. He enjoys having a purpose, and being made to feel as though he's contributing to something.

Because Bolin, as comfortable as he seems with himself, lacks confidence in many aspects. Though he loves Mako deeply, subconsciously he also feels less important than his brother. Mako's problems are always more profound (and they were as children, as the Mako was to take on the responsibility of their survival after their parents were killed); his bending skills always better as he could also lightningbend. Mako is smarter, has more passion and focus—he just seems so much bigger. Bolin, both admiring and being envious of these qualities, wants to be all of those things, without realizing it himself. But he isn't, and he doesn't know how to be, so he gladly accepts direction when others hand it to him, though sometimes he is blind to the true repercussions of his actions.

In addition to his aversion of direct conflict, Bolin is a people pleaser. Having been robbed of his parents, he desires the unconditional love and companionship that comes with a family, and as such is drawn to groups: pro-bending teams, Team Avatar, Varrick's crew. When he moves to Air Temple Island, Bolin immediately rejoices at being part of the family there (referring to Tenzin's family, the airbenders that live on the island). Unfortunately, while Bolin functions fantastically in a team, he is also vulnerable when he's left alone, unable to discern what's best for him and those he cares about due to his sheer optimism.

Unlike those around him, Bolin doesn't generally fear being hurt; it's not something that factors into his decisions because he so strongly believes that good intention and willpower can lead to success. And for the most part, it's worked. Him and his brother survived living on the streets because of the faith he'd put in someone who had lost faith in himself. They've survived by believing in one another, and even though they've struggled through so much—had been abandoned by the city and left to sleep in alleys—it's always led to something better. Bolin cares deeply, loves deeply, and he hurts openly. But he bounces back; he forgives, and is forgiven, and he believes, perhaps stupidly, that things will turn out all right. He's had so little for so long, yet he's not bitter about it, rather he's grateful because even what little he has is because of the love and struggles of his brother. And while his optimism often lands him in trouble, it still is, in many ways, an incredible thing.
EARTHBENDING. From pro-bending to fighting alongside the Avatar, Bolin has had much time to practice and refine his earthbending skills. Though earthbending is traditionally based on the Hung Gar style of martial arts, which is a style with strong stances that are rooted in the ground, pro-bending has forced Bolin to adopt a more mobile method. As such, Bolin is incredibly agile in battle, utilizing swift punches and midair kicks. That said, he doesn't lack the strength of a traditional earthbender, able to use his bending both to mount defensive walls, and carry large pieces of earth. Earthbending also allows for the manipulation of brick and concrete alongside plain dirt.

LAVABENDING. Bolin is one of only two lavabenders depicted in Legend of Korra. Lavabending involves manipulating the temperature of the earth, and allows the bender to phase the earth between the two states to create and manipulate flows of lava where there was previously dry earth, as well as to cool lava back to its solid form.

CLOSE COMBAT. Due to the nature of pro-bending, as well as the constant stream of conflicts that he has found himself in, Bolin is fairly adept at close combat and grappling, able to engage his opponents even without the use of his bending, such as when he's in the air and surrounded solely by metal, as he is unable to metalbend.

SHARP SHOOTING. While not necessarily a sniper, Bolin has demonstrated incredible accuracy during combat. He is able to calculate the trajectory of an object ricocheting off a surface to land hits, as well as hit small, precise targets with his bending.
1. His clothes
2. Wallet, containing some money and pictures
3. A handful of candy

[ A smile appears on the screen first, followed by a face and bright eyes. The young boy steps back, the shot from somewhere below his face. ]

Wow, this is so cool. I can't believe how easy it is to make movers here! Varrick would go insane— oh, right.

[ He sobers up, smile gone and looking seriously at the screen now. ]

Citizens of... this company. [ No hesitation, even after the slight fumble. ] It seems as though one of you has been forced to wander the caves without a shirt. I know this, because when one of the babies tried to light me on fire this morning, a shirt fell out of its mouth.

[ There's a slight shift then, glancing off to the side and a quiet: ] And it really hurt so I didn't notice at first...

[ The aside is only momentarily still, and he's back to business. ]

Thankfully, the baby was appeased after being offered sustenance, and I was able to retrieve the shirt. It's... pretty much ruined.

[ Whoops.

Eventually, he breaks out into a smile again, one that crinkles his eyes, soft and genuine. ]

Anyway, I'm Bolin, and if you want your shirt back, you can just find me to get it! I know a lot about fixing up clothing, so don't worry too much about it. [ He's nonchalant at this point, holding two fingers to his forehead and thinking that he's really cool. ] That's all for now. Bolin out!
Musebox link! NOTE: This thread takes place far ahead of the canon point I ended up taking Bolin from, and if that's an issue, please use this written sample instead!

[ As much as he'd tried, Bolin couldn't get the wyrmlings to warm up to him. (In the metaphorical sense. In the literal sense, they'd spit fire at him plenty of times.) The crew had settled down for the night by now, following the wrymlings' example of just collapsing after an exhausting day, and Bolin was no exception, leaning against a tree in the woods where they had managed to coax their young charges to venture into, trying to get them far from the village. The cave isn't safe, as winding as it is. The villagers still air poison through it, or break down the walls and cut off their food supply.

So they'd wandered out, slowly and with great difficulty, but they'd managed. Bolin isn't sure how useful he'd been, though he does think that getting the wrymlings to chase him around had helped move them along. Risking his life for the cause, really!

It's important. And Bolin sits there quietly, focusing on the ground beneath him and trying to figure out whether it feels similar or different from the earth at home; from the streets of Republic City and the cities of the Earth Kingdom.

(It does feel different, but maybe his judgment is clouded by the absolute absence of Mako, of Korra and Asami. Not like when they'd been separated before, but a real and complete absence.)

He'll probably get sad, thinking about it, wishing for the warmth of Pabu nuzzled around his neck, so he doesn't. Pulling his legs in toward himself, and gazing instead over at the wrymling's, so small and ferocious as they sleep. They're cute, fierce and so afraid, with distinct personalities and relationships with one another. It's not like he's oblivious to the dangers they pose; they're deadly creatures still, except.

It hurts when they bite him, but it also hurts when they cry. For their parents, and for their home.

When he starts to get sleepy, staring at the even breathing of the group in front of him, he smiles a little, warm though still longing for his friends because ]
I'm definitely gonna make sure you guys can stay together.