Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender the world's most powerful benders often turn out to be members of the world's most powerful bending families. Whether it's nature or nurture, for one reason or another, there are just certain groupings of benders that stand out above all the rest, wielding immense natural power with incredible skill like nobody else. While some benders like Jeong Jeong, Bumi and the members of the Red Lotus were singular prodigies, it seems far more common for the greatest benders to have other relatives that also stand out.
But which family stands out the most? Over the course of the original series and its sequel, there are several families that rise to the top. But only one can claim to be the most powerful bending family in all of Avatar.
5. Yakone's Family
Any discussion of inborn bending ability needs to include the trifecta of Yakone and his two sons, Tarrlok and Noatak. All three held the rare genetic ability to bloodbend at any time regardless of whether the moon was full or even present. Yakone was so powerful that he paralyzed an entire courtroom of benders when they tried to convict him after he became a crime boss of Republic City. His sons wielded similar influence, with Tarrlok becoming a city councilman and performing similar feats of group-paralysis and Noatak growing into the revolutionary leader Amon who could even use his abilities to remove others' bending altogether.
Very little is known about the origin of the powers or if Yakone bears any relation to the inventor of bloodbending, Hama. Yakone did instruct his children in the bloodbending arts from an early age, and it's so rare that their family bears coming up in discussion. Still, when it comes to actual bending, none of the trio showcased any particularly impressive waterbending and they mostly rank on the list for the sake of being one-trick ponies with a particularly useful trick.
4. Korra's Family
Showcasing far more versatile skill in waterbending is Korra's own family, with the Avatar herself proving to be one of the most powerful Waterbenders seen in either series. Korra could ascend on massive columns of water, create colossal spikes and structures of ice, and interwove her waterbending with that of the other elements seamlessly. All of that could be chalked up as usual fare for an Avatar, but what demonstrates that it might be a family trait is the bending of Korra's father, her uncle and her two cousins.
While Tonraq himself has a lackluster fight record he still displays impressive enough waterbending to take out several soldiers in a matter of moments. Far more impressive is his brother Unalaq, the most powerful Spiritbender in the world and a fighter extremely proficient in releasing powerful water blasts. Unalaq's twin children, Eska and Desna, proved to be some of the most unique Waterbenders in the franchise as they utilized their skills in tandem to split apart planes and speed boats alike. Most unique was the twin's ability to bend with minimal motion on their part, and it's clear that there was plenty of power in the family separate from Korra's.
3. Toph's Family
Any discussion of the most powerful benders of all time is sure to include Toph, but she's bound to qualify for the same discussion of bending families given that she heads one of the largest bending families seen in the franchise. Toph cemented her position as possibly the greatest Earthbender of all time by briefly holding up Wan Shi Tong's Library, defeating droves of other Earthbenders in combat and even inventing the art of metalbending. Her children, Lin and Suyin, then went on to become master Metalbenders in their own right.
Lin brought down entire airships and was one of her time period's fiercest combatants, while Suyin utilized a more artful dance-like approach to combat in dazzling ways. Suyin had several children of her own, with Wing and Wei being another example of talented bending twins who used their powers in combination with Suyin to create an effective team. Still, Toph herself felt that Lin and Suyin never really "got the hang" of metalbending and the family's prestigious position may be more based on Toph's reputation alone than anything else.
2. Aang & Katara's Family
Of course, there's really no bringing up powerful bending families without bringing up one of the largest and most prominent one of all. Separately Aang and Katara were two of the most powerful benders in the world, but together they started a family that would go on to keep their reputation robust for generations to come. Their waterbending child Kya went toe-to-toe with members of the Red Lotus while their Airbender son Tenzin held off the entirety of the group all at once. Tenzin went on to father four more children, with his daughter Jinora replacing Aang as the youngest Airbender to receive their mastery tattoos in the history of the world.
While power was certainly potent in their family, it's notable that not every member was born a bender. Katara's own parents, grandmother and brother were nonbenders, and her son Bumi was born a nonbender as well. Tenzin's child Rohan has yet to be confirmed as a bender or a nonbender, but if genetics are anything to go by, there's certainly no predicting it. The family has quite a lot of power, but apparently, not everybody ends up with it.
1. The Fire Nation's Royal Family
The bending strength of bloodlines is perhaps nowhere more important than in the royal lineage of the Fire Nation's leadership. For more generations than any other family in the franchise, the Fire Nation royal bloodline has more powerful benders standing out as prominent among their generations. Sozin wielded a volcano-level technique no other Bender in history has demonstrated while his child Azulon was noted to be a prodigy. Both Ozai and Iroh were among the greatest Firebenders of their time and commanded more destructive power than almost anyone else.
Ozai's children Zuko and Azula similarly fought it out as some of the greatest Firebenders of their time, with Azula, in particular, claiming some of the greatest feats in the series after establishing herself as a prodigy similar to Azulon. While little is known about Zuko's child Izumi, it's clear from his grandson Iroh II's ability to fly through the air and singlehandedly take out multiple jet planes that greatness is in their blood. Throw in the fact that Avatar Roku's blood is also mixed into Zuko's heritage through his mother and there's just not even a question: This is the most powerful family of Benders the world has ever seen.