This Women in Fiction is a combination of two sisters who are great on their own, but become so much more together.
*spoilers, of course*
If the name hasn’t already told you, Lin and Suyin are the daughters of Toph Beifong (technically half sisters.) When I found out Toph had kids I immediately wanted to know who the father’s were. Alas we were only told Lin’s, but one day Suyin’s will be brought up (and I do not know if it is Sokka, but many people believe so.)
The way I see them is two parts of Toph. Lin, being the oldest, is tough and independent. Suyin, the youngest is more of a free-spirit. Both have the ability to earth and metal bend and are equally a match. I always felt Lin was more of an earth bender and Suyin was the better metal bender.
Growing up the sisters had their problems, like any siblings. They were close at first, but as they got older started to grow a part. Lin became more serious about her future and Suyin wanted to goof off and cause some trouble. After Lin joined the police force she went after some thugs, finding out Suyin was the get away driver. An argument erupted and ended in Lin getting her infamous scars.
After this they stopped talking for thirty years, thirty years!
During their time a part they became their own person. Starting with Lin she never really changed. Lin is hard, she gets done what needs to be done. After Toph stepped down as chief of police Lin took over. We meet Lin when Korra is taken into custody. Lin is well aware of who Korra is but it doesn’t sway her opinion. Despite being friends with Avatar Aang and even dating his son Tenzin for a while, Lin was hard on Korra for some time. They are both strong people and those personalities can clash over time. Lin isn’t one to mess around.
Give it some time though, Lin grew to like Korra and even got herself captured and bending taken away (for a while) to protect her. Throughout the seasons Lin did whatever she could to protect Korra, saying it’s her responsibility, although there is a part there that really cares about Korra.
Lin really starts to grow on you. She doesn’t need anybody and it’s never brought up that she’s single (we do hear about her and Tenzin’s relationship, but they’re both over it.) Lin doesn’t have time to worry about men (or women) she has a job to do and that’s her main focus.
Suyin grew up very differently. After the incident with Lin she was taken away from the city. Suyin spent some time traveling, joined a circus for some time, and eventually settled down to have a family and create her own city made out of metal.
Still, Suyin is more relaxed than Lin with a gentle touch. She believes everyone has potential they should reach and embraces people’s interests in her city. But there’s still that little bit of sass and urge to speak her mind that reminds you she and Lin are related.
We don’t meet Suyin until the third season of Korra, but she instantly became a fan favorite. Being a daughter of Toph we didn’t know about probably has something to do with it as well. Thankfully she wasn’t a one time character pushed off to the side. Along with Lin, the two helped the Avatar whenever she needed it and became one hell of a team.
Finally the two sisters are reunited and Lin isn’t happy with it. She still can’t get over Suyin’s life decisions and they end up having a fight to settle their differences. Lin comes to realize she shouldn’t keep her sister out of her life any longer and they make up.
If only they remained in contact throughout all those years, because they became one hell of a team. Just a look and the other knows what to do. When Suyin was captured Lin never hesitated to go and save her. Hell, even Toph came along, which led to her and Lin making up and hopefully allowing the family to be a family again.
I also love that Toph taught them earthbending the way she learned: through vibrations in the ground. Despite the two being such great benders, Toph still has an edge over them, even at old age. She was the original metal bender, but Lin and Suyin can hold their own.
On a different note, people can come to the assumption that earthbenders are these big, tough people. They have to be hard (hence, bending earth,) but Suyin seemed to be a big exception. She is nice, caring, and “soft” to Lin’s “hard.” She proves that not all earthbenders have to look/act a certain way to be one.
On their own the sister’s kick ass. We never even knew Suyin existed for some time, but like Lin, she was easy to like. Even with Lin not liking Korra, you could still like her. She does remind you of Toph.
The series didn’t end with them moving on in life, but just being together. They put the past behind them and became sisters again.