|“||When I was younger, all I wanted to do was please my mother. I became a police chief because I thought it would make her happy ... but it didn't. You need to make decisions based on what you want. Don't make the same mistakes I did.||„|
|~ Lin to Opal.|
Lin Beifong is one of the primary supporting characters of the TV show The Legend of Korra. She is the Chief of Police for Republic City's Police Department. Lin is the daughter of Toph Beifong, one of the central characters for the previous series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Although Toph is famous for having helped the previous avatar, Aang, Lin and her half-sister Suyin needed to carve out their own identities is the shadow of their mother's fame. Lin holds no sentimentality to Avatar Korra - reincarnation of Aang and is initially somewhat antagonistic towards Korra when she causes commotion in Republic City, however Lin is quickly established as still an honest and competent officer when with the emergence of the terrorist Amon and his Equalists when they arise in the city and begin targeting the elemental benders, with a focus on Korra.
She was voiced by Mindy Sterling.
Lin would be born twenty years after Avatar Aang brought peace to the land by ending the century old war caused by the power-obsessed Fire Nation, or rather their ruling family at the time.
Both Lin and her half-sister were born as Earthbenders, having inherited the ability from their mother. Toph had over the course of her time fighting the Fire Nation revolutionized a new form of earth bending, Metalbending, which allowed an Earthbender to move around minerals even after they had been refined into metal. Toph had taught Metalbending to the police force of the newly forming Republic City, built on the site of Aang's final battle with the Fire Lord, and naturally also passed this technique down to her daughters as well both of which proved to be prodigious Earthbenders on their own. But outside of her time instructing the two as benders, Toph was far too lackadaisical to be a parent to her girls. This would lead to Lin and Suyin competing constantly to get their mother's attention. Lin never met her biological father and would often question Toph about him but never got any legitimate response over the matter.
Lin tried to be a model daughter by following her steps as a police officer but eventually noticed her half-sister was engaging in wilder and wilder behavior. Lin would enroll as an officer in Republic City but by then noticed Suyin was not just a delinquent but a criminal, allying with thugs and even gangsters. Though Lin raised concerns as to he half-sister's activities, Suyin remained flippant about them. Eventually things came to a head when Suyin was actually used as a get-away driver while Lin was assigned to stop the same robbery. Suyin accidentally scarred Lin while trying to get away and in the moment of delay to express sorrow at her, Lin arrested Suyin. Toph, the head of police at the time, burned Suyin's police record and sent her to live with her grand-parents but shortly afterwards retired as an act of contrition for having to cover-up criminal activities for her daughter. Toph would appoint Lin as her replacement. Lin always resented Suyin for the incident, as she felt Toph's real reason for retiring was over the guilt of her own daughter being a criminal, likewise she also held a grudge over Suyin never suffering any punishment after the incident and as a result she never spoke to her sister again in over 30 years.
Book One: Air
At age 49 Lin would meet Avatar Korra, reincarnation of Avatar Aang and as such something of a celebrity. Korra had just come to Republic City to train with Aang's son and Tenzin, who also happened to be Lin's ex-boyfriend. Korra was unaccustomed to city life and had caused minor property damages while chasing down some gangsters. The commotion had caught the attention of the R.C.P.D. and Lin herself would be the one to arrest Korra. Tenzin managed to convince Lin to let Korra off with a warning but Lin makes it clear it is solely because she was new in town and had Tenzin to speak-up for her and repair the damages and that Korra would receive no special exemptions from breaking laws in the future just because she was The Avatar. With Korra being invited to events such as press-conferences as photo-ops and even deciding to hone her bending by competing in a pro-bending tournament, Republic City's favorite sport, Lin's maintained a distrust of Korra as a spoiled celebrity and Lin kept an eye on her to make sure she never abused her fame.
With benders having a clear advantage over non-benders and even being treated differently a movement began to form in Republic City, The Equalists. Amon the head of the Equalists eventually pushed his people into acts of terrorism in the name of equality eventually he announced they would unleash an attack on the pro-bending arena. Lin and her police stepped-up security. Korra and her new pro-bending team-mates, Mako and Bolin were competing, but to confront Amon. Lin agrees with Korra, backing up her notion of keeping the arena open, claiming they could not show they were willing to give into terrorist demands. Though Lin still had little love for Korra, Korra still offered to help if Amon showed up however Lin was far more concerned with getting her men set for the security needed around the games at that point.
Tenzin came to help out in the security department, despite the awkwardness of having to work with her ex-boyfriend Lin accepts the extra help. While following Lin, Tenzin and Lin manage to come to an understanding of how and why they had broken-up. With the pro-bending continuing and obvious cheating going with Korra, Mako and Bolin's rivals the team refused to cheat as well and just adapt, however the continued antics and obviously bribed referees only hardened Korra's resolve and observing her, Lin notes Korra was "tough as nails" and steadily built-up an admiration of her attitude as the match progressed. However at the height of the match, the Equalists attacked, not from outside of the arena but from the inside. Many spectators dawned the newly crafted shock-gloves, with their electrified weapons and the elements of surprise, the Equalists took over the arena, stunning the police bother figuratively and literally. Though Lin tried to organize a counter-strike, the cutting-edge weapons and ability to hide in a crowd until zero-hour made it a fruitless endeavor. The height of Lin's troubles came when she needed to decide between saving The Avatar or letting Amon get away, Lin chooses to save Korra and Amon escapes, but with the attack still having been a success.
The Sato conncetion
After the attack Lin faced repercussions for insisting the police could handle the Equalists and still letting Amon get away. Councilman Tarrlok even proposed that Lin be replaced as the Chief of Police. With everything to prove Lin began looking for the Equalists anywhere she could. A tip had reached the police that the head of Cabbage Corp. had Equalist sympathies and had developed the electrified weapons for the Equalists. Lin had the company shut down and the owner brought in for questioning. However Korra suspected Cabbage Corp.'s rival Future Industries, or rather it's head Hiroshi Sato, despite the fact their were no solid connections and the awkwardness of Hiroshi's daughter Asami dating Mako. Lin was far too busy with what she considered a solid investigation, dismissing Korra at first. However when it became clear Sato had both the resources and blamed benders for his wife's death, Lin changed her tune. Lin's official investigation found nothing, but the search had scared someone into sending Korra some information they wished to speak with her about in private.
The meeting turned out to be a trap by Sato himself and he attempted to kill Korra with several Equalists, all now piloting newly created robotic construction-suits. Mako and Bolin would sneak in and rescue Korra, Tenzin and Lin but not the officers and they were taken away to Amon. Though Bolin and Mako would be caught they were saved by Asami, who as it turned out, was not with her father's criminal intents.
Thouh Hiroshi would be brought in to justice, Lin was mostly concerned with her officers whom Bolin and Mako had not been able to sneak in to get on their own. With the main enemy clear now, and the Equalists literally armed with electricity and now massive bipedal tanks, Lin steps up her campaign to capture Amon at all costs. From that point on, Lin became a close friend with Korra, Mako, Bolin and Asami. And though less seen than the main cast, Lin became a representation of the forces of law and order on the side of Team Avatar.
Naturally being the bender daughter of the renowned Toph Beifong, Lin is an experienced Earthbender. She can levitate massive boulders in the air or reconstruct large swaths of ground with ease. Toph perfected a seismic sense, in order to locate those around her, as Toph was born blind, and it seems to have been passed on to Lin. While Lin has not mastered it as much as her mother to the point where she can tell when others are lying, she can use it to detect everyone and everything touching the ground in an area. One of her investigation techniques is to use this to detect hidden door-ways.
Lin's most noted skill is her Metalbending, few outside of the police-force of Republic City have this ability and as a member of the woman who invented it, Lin has had a life-time to master it. Lin uses this technique to restrain others in cabal she wears, which restrains benders, quickly preventing them from using their abilities by binding them. While there are various bending techniques that can be used with minimal movement suddenly going from a high-stress fight to being locked down gives the police a chance to restrain them completely. Metalbend has it's limits though, and ultra-refined metal are immune to it due to the earth in it being so far removed from the original earth. However the additional time refining metal is long and expensive and there are few types of metal that Lin can not manipulate.
In addition to her bending, Lin is simply very fit. Even in her middle-age, Lin is extremely agile from years of leading her swat teams. She has expert aim as demonstrated through her continued accuracy with her cables. Lin is also a skilled driver, able to easily keep pace with an airship while avoiding causing property damages during high pursuit chases.