One major scoop in the entire Avatar world, spanning both the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra shows is on who the fathers of Toph Beifong’s daughters are. While many have theorized that Suyin’s father is indeed Sokka; that door has been left wide open. In Lin’s case, we finally get a name: Kanto. Unfortunately, Toph is still adamant on not revealing the identities, so who exactly is Kanto from Avatar?
Kanto (Avatar): Who Is He?
For Lin Beifong, most of The Legend of Korra has her grappling with the terms of her parenthood, especially strained relationship with her mother. Many of the issues arising had to do with Toph’s parenting style, and her blatant refusal to tell Lin the identity of her father.
Anyone would be mad at that, so we don’t really blame Lin for cutting her mother off. However the shocker comes in season 4, when in a bid to foster some good will; Lin finally gets a name. Toph casually mentions that Lin’s father was a fellow who went by the name of Kanto avatar.
Toph’s daughters were fathered by two very different men, and her refusal to name drop or identify them really affected how they related. But why would she? What is so special thatToph would risk losing her kids over that would make her not identify their fathers?
The question of the identity of Lin Beifong’s father hangs over the air of The Legend of Korra’s first three seasons. We are introduced to Toph’s rather strange parenting style; Toph’s daughters were raised with a hands-off parenting style, and they got very little supervision from their mother.
Toph sought to give them the opposite of her strict upbringing under her parents; the prestigious Beifongs. Interestingly, both daughters had different reactions to not being privy to their fathers’ identities. On one hand, Suyin builds a large family and a legacy that is meant to replace the one she did not have growing up.
Lin on the other hand worked very hard to compensate for the distance between her and her mother by becoming the police chief of Republic City, following in her mother’s footsteps.
Kanto (Avatar) Is Revealed
In the The Legend of Korra episode “Operation Beifong,” appearing in season 4 as episode 10, Toph finally breaks her silence, and reveals that Lin’s father is a man named Kanto avatar. She does this in a conversation with Lin, Bolin, and Opal. However, she refuses to go into any more detail about Kanto Avatar’s identity. She only added that Kanto was a “nice man” but things between them in their relationship didn’t work out so they called it quits.
After Toph reveals Kanto Avatar’s name, she notices Lin’s breathing has changed, and asks why this is so. An infuriated Lin snaps back at her and states that her growing up without a father or never ever discussing him has affected her all along, weighing on her heavily. She also mentions that she has considered reaching out to her mother many times over the years but seeing her now reminded her instantly why she didn’t.
How Kanto Absence Created Conflict For The Beifongs
Lin’s primary conflict throughout The Legend of Korra is based around her relationship with her mother Toph. Lin and Suyin had difficult childhoods, thanks to uncertainties about their fathers and how Toph left them to their devices. Both of them subsequently rejected their mother and left the family.
As mentioned earlier, Suyin was a wild one because she had no supervision and ended up being arrested. However, she managed to turn her life around, devoting herself to building a family and a metal bending city for outsiders. Lin continued to try her tactics of impressing Toph to gain her attention and while doing so, she became the police chief of Republic City just like her mother before her.
Although she learns that her father’s name is Kanto Avatar; something that her sister Suyin never gets, knowing his identity doesn’t resolve Lin’s conflicted feelings about him, or even mend her relationship with her mother. Toph’s adamant and constant refusal to identify Kanto Avatar turns him into an enigma; one that will haunt Lin for the duration of her life.
She couldn’t understand why her mother kept him away, even more so when Toph reveals Kanto Avatar is just a man. She can’t understand why her mother kept him a secret. Eventually, Lin, Suyin and Toph patch up and reconcile, after Toph admits that she was not the best of mothers to her children. She also admitted that she was nonetheless proud of the women that they had both become.
Additional Information On Kanto from Avatar
Unfortunately, The Legend of Korra does not reveal any other information on Kanto. The tie-in materials do not even talk about that part of Toph’s life. At the end of the day, even though Lin learns about her father, she had one much bigger hurdle to get over; working on her relationship with her mother on her own.
She also had to come to terms with a lifetime of unanswered questions. She may have learnt about her father’s name, but Lin Beifong needed to resolve her inner conflict to truly get over her rather tough childhood. Only then was she able to settle differences and reunite with Toph as well as her sister Suyin once again.