|“||The way I had it figured, toruk is the baddest cat in the sky. Nothing attacks him. So why would he ever look up?
- Jake Sully
A Toruk Makto is a Na'vi individual who successfully manages to ride a great leonopteryx (Na'vi name: toruk). There had only been five Toruk Maktos prior to Jake Sully, and they are spoken of with great respect and honour. Using the prestige of the position, Jake unified the Na'vi against the RDA and led them to victory in the Assault on the Tree of Souls. Toruk Makto translates as "Rider of the Last Shadow."
The First Toruk Makto
In around 837 BC, Entu was the first Na'vi to ride a great leonopteryx. He did so during a volcanic event that threatened the Tree of Souls. His life and adventures are played out in the theatre production: Toruk - The First Flight.
The Fifth Toruk Makto
The fifth Toruk Makto was Neytiri's great-great-grandfather, who had used the great respect given to such riders to unite the Na'vi clans of five generations ago in what was described as a "time of great sorrow."
In 2152, Able Ryder managed to ride a great leonopteryx during his travels through Tantalus. He needed to reach the Well of Souls before Commander Falco did, and a great leonopteryx offered itself to him for the journey. He was able to reach the tree in time, and the tree released some sort of energy wave that destroyed the aircraft. With Falco's Dragon Assault Ship crashing out of the sky and the remaining humans in disarray, the sacred grove was saved.
The Sixth Toruk Makto
Events leading up to the Sixth Coming
The Na'vi were in a time of great sorrow, the Omaticaya clan in particular, due to the RDA's actions on Pandora. Jake Sully, an avatar driver who became initiated into the Omaticaya clan, was thought to be a traitor after he revealed his initial mission, which involved gathering information about the Na'vi for the RDA. The Omaticaya took both him and Dr. Grace Augustine captive and prepared to defend their Hometree against the RDA. However, the clan soon realized that they stood no chance against the weaponry of the RDA fleet and ran into the woods. Mo'at, the Tsahìk of the clan, released Jake and Grace, begging them to help the clan. Jake came across his mate, Neytiri, following the destruction of Hometree where he found her mourning the death of her father and Olo'eyktan, Eytukan. Jake tried to comfort her, but she angrily rejected him and told him to never come back. He was then forced back into his human body, and was put under arrest for treason along with Grace and Norm Spellman. However, Trudy Chacon, another renegade RDA member, saved them. They made their way to the hangar and boarded Trudy's Samson, but Colonel Quaritch was alerted to their escape attempt and unsuccessfully tried to stop them by shooting at the Samson. While the rebels made their escape, Dr. Augustine was mortally wounded by Quaritch's gunfire. In order to regain his honor in the eyes of Neytiri and the rest of the Omaticaya, and save Grace's life, Jake re-entered his avatar body and came across his mountain banshee. They flew until they found a great leonopteryx. Assuming that it never looks up, because it has no natural predators to attack it from above, Jake flew his banshee above it, then jumped onto the back of the great leonopteryx and bonded with it, becoming the sixth Toruk Makto.
Reuniting with the Omaticaya and the Final Battle
Jake steered his new mount to the Omaticaya at the Tree of Souls. The Omaticaya, especially Neytiri, were amazed by his accomplishment and forgave him completely, for this meant not only that he truly had sided with the Na'vi, but that he was destined to lead them to victory over the source of the great sorrow like the five others before him. This, and the Na'vi reverence for Toruk Makto in general, is most likely because the temerity required to successfully set out to become a Toruk Makto can only be accomplished by one with a strong heart and a deep love for the Na'vi, to the point of being willing to do absolutely anything for them. Neytiri had noted Jake's strong heart months earlier when they first met, with it being one of the reasons why she bothered to rescue him in the first place. Such a person with a strong and loving heart would be the ideal leader for The People, especially in such a time of hardship.
Jake asked Mo'at for help to save Grace, following which the Omaticaya tried to perform a consciousness transfer on her. She got as close as actually seeing Eywa, but ultimately the transfer failed as her wounds were too great. Filled with anger against the RDA, Jake gave a speech to the Omaticaya which resulted in the gathering of other Na'vi clans to fight off the RDA. He commanded the clans of the Na'vi in the defense of the Tree of Souls, flying his great leonopteryx with the Ikran Maktos of the Na'vi clans in an aerial strike against the RDA fleet.
After successfully defeating the RDA in the Assault on the Tree of Souls, all humans, with the exception of a few, were banished from Pandora and were sent back to their dying planet. Jake released his toruk, as Toruk Makto was no longer needed. Tsu'tey, mortally wounded in the battle, passed on his leadership to Jake since he proved to be a worthy successor. Jake returned to the Tree of Souls where the Omaticaya successfully performed the consciousness transfer on him.
Failed Toruk Maktos
Seyvaro told Nok of a legend he had heard once. It was about a Na'vi boy who wanted to raise his own Great Leonopteryx. Against his father's wishes, he snuck into the mountains to steal an egg. He spent days climbing and searching, making friends and enemies along the way. He eventually came upon a nest, and carefully took the egg down the mountain with him. The Great Leonopteryx discovered the thievery, swept down from the mountain and ate the boy before retrieving the egg.
Ralu also attempted to ride Toruk, but fell off and was injured in doing so.
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game NDS
- Na'vi and Avatars seemingly lacked queues in the game, merely hopping on to direhorses and banshees without connection. This may have simply been a physics/animation constraint. The event is a video-game only occurance, and is dependent on the player choosing to align with the Na'vi.
- In 2154, Neytiri states that the fifth was generations ago, despite Ryder becoming one in 2152.