Toph’s Greatest Earthbending Ability May Just be a Ruse, Makes Her Infinitely More Powerful Than She Already Was

Toph's ability to sense her surrounding through her earthbending sight may have more to do with her spiritual connection

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SUMMARY

  • Toph learned to sense her surrounding when discovering badgermoles, who are blind earthbending creatures much like her.
  • While this skill is usually connected to her earthbending, that may not be the case.
  • Instead, that sense of her surrounding may have more to do with her spirituality.
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Avatar: The Last Airbender has some of the most vast and expressive means of power through the form of elemental bending. Users like Aang, Toph, Bumi, and many others portray exactly that. Toph in particular stands out more than others because of her unique usage of earthbending, making up for the limitation that she cannot see.

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Toph | Nickelodeon Avatar: The Last Airbender
Toph Beifong as the Blind Bandit in Avatar: The Last Airbender | Credit: Nickelodeon

Abilities such as that of earthbending, sandbending, and metalbending help her become stronger than many of her opponents. That, alongside her charming wit and sass, make her a formidable opponent for the enemies that try to cross her. Her unique insight into various situations and her strong senses apart from that of sight make up for her inability to actually see. However, one of her most interesting abilities may not even be part of earthbending.

Toph’s ‘Sight’ Has Nothing to Do with Earthbending

Being born blind, Toph was a target of people constantly looking down upon her because of her disability. She later began to resonate with badgermoles, Toph learned the ability to ‘see’ through vibrations present throughout her. Badermoles are earthbending animals who also happen to be blind. She learned to extend her earthbending ability and further be able to sense her surroundings.

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Toph Beifong
Toph Beifong from Avatar: The Last Airbender| Credit: Nickelodeon

A theory proposed by @RedSquidz on Reddit, her bending affinity may not be the only reason behind it. People in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender have one thing in common no matter what nation they may belong to. The stronger their Chi and spiritual connection, the better their elemental bending would be. People who can sense their surroundings at an extensive level like that of Toph may not be using their bending but their spirituality.

Spiritual growth isn’t uncommon in the series. With Jinora and perhaps even Ty Lee, spiritual connection to oneself increases their abilities in many ways and not just one. Toph may be able to see through greater distances because of her spiritual connection and not her earthbending.

Not All the Sight is Spiritual for Toph

Although her ability to see tree roots, vines, and anything related to nature to such an extent may be more related to her spiritual connection, that is not all that allows her to see through her blindness. Through the vibrations that she feels come directly from the earth, making it undoubtedly part of earthbending.

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Toph Beifong | Credit: Nickelodeon

Apart from her spiritual abilities, Toph could very well be concentrating on seismic waves and thus developing some sort of a seismic sense that helps her focus on and notice those around her. While none of these abilities make her indirectly see, they make her feel. Through heightening her other abilities, Toph makes up for the parts that aren’t in her control.

Spiritual connection can grow without bounds. Were it explored more, she could have become one of the strongest beings in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Adya Godboley

Written by Adya Godboley

Articles Published: 1478

An avid writer fluent in everything Marvel, Adya Godboley went from being a Senior Writer to an Assistant Anime Content Lead for FandomWire. She has rich experience in critically analyzing all that is said in between the lines. Hopelessly obsessed with Greek Mythology, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English. Adya has written over 1400 articles on various topics expressing her passion and love for all things entertainment, from superheroes to anime and the occasional gacha games.