The science behind the elements is one of the hardest things in Ninjago to figure out and discuss. Why is it so confusing? What happened to the Elemental Masters’ parents? What element does Lloyd have? How does elemental power even work, and how do people get an element?
This post will explore both known canon material and fan theories. I will specify if something is not canon or if it is a theory. Unless otherwise stated, everything here should be canon.
We will be talking about Lloyd’s element, Vengestone, Elemental Crystal and Chronosteel, Spinjitzu and Airjitzu, the Ninja’s parents, Fusion Dragons, and much more.
So, let’s get some things cleared up first, so everybody’s on the same page.
- Garmadon stated in The Invitation that the Elemental Masters were the “First Spinjitzu Master’s guardians, each endowed with an elemental power that has been passed down through generations.
- Elements can skip a generation. They can also remain dormant in a descendant until awoken.
- It is not canon for a descendant of two Elemental Masters to have both elements. For example, Ray and Maya, respectively the Masters of Fire and Water, had Kai and Nya, but Kai and Nya do not possess both Fire and Water. It has not been disproven, so it is still possible. It is unknown if Kai secretly possesses the genes for Water and Nya secretly the genes for Fire, and if they could have chosen to unlock the other power instead.
Elemental Power definition: (according to Ninjago) Hereditary power to control an element of nature and use abilities granted by the particular power.
Here is a list of regular elements:
- Energy (debatable)
- Amber (absorption)
- Golden Power (debatable)
- Darkness/Evil (debatable)
- Destruction (debatable)
- Creation (debatable)
- Magic (debatable)
These are the “regular” elements that have been used. The four elements that the Ninja possess (excluding Lloyd) are seen as the “main elements” that were used to create Ninjago. These are the four elements that the Golden Weapons allow them to access. They can be seen as the first elements that the secondary elements derive from, or created through a combination of the secondary elements. I like to believe the secondary elements derive from them.
The reason that Golden Power, Darkness/Evil, Destruction, Creation, and Energy are listed as debatable is because these are considered by some to be “super elements” that are more powerful than the others.
Golden Power was used by the First Spinjitzu Master and Lloyd, and Evil/Darkness used by the Overlord. These are supposed to be opposites.
According to Lego’s Ninjago website, Creation and Destruction are respectively possessed by Wu and Garmadon. Creation is all four elements combined in harmony, while Destruction is all four elements combined in disharmony. Throughout the series, we see few examples of Wu or Garmadon having an element. During Battle Between Brothers, they use just the Golden Weapons to fight. But, in The Green Ninja, we see Garmadon use dark lightning! And Wu, in the 5th season, creates an elemental dragon! This supports the idea that Garmadon possesses Destruction and Wu Creation. Therefore, both have all four elements.
Lloyd’s element can be viewed as a separate element itself, or as a combination of the four main elements. What is his element even? When creating his dragon, Lloyd yells, “Energy!” But Master Chen, who appears to be an element expert, calls him the “Master of Power.” So what is he the Master of? Bad pirate accents? Chen may have mislabeled him, or Energy happens to be an extremely powerful element, prompting Chen to call him the Master of Power. Even with just his Energy element, he can give an Anacondrai Buggy a green makeover and create a motorcycle out of thin air!
In the season two intro, Lloyd uses all four elements. He also uses the four elements throughout most of season two after he ages to a teenager.
Some fans believe that Lloyd can access the Golden Power because he has all four elements, along with his green Energy element. In other words, Golden Power is made up of those elements. Because Lloyd has energy, this is why he, and not Wu, can use the Golden Power.
After re-watching many Ninjago episodes, I discovered a quote supporting this. In Codename: Arcturus, after Lloyd splits his power among the Ninja, the Overlord says to Pythor, “With news of Lloyd giving up his Golden Power…” The Overlord already knew that he himself had stolen most of the Golden Power, so this wouldn’t be ‘news’. The news he was talking about was the news of Lloyd giving the Ninja power. By giving the Ninja four of the ingredients for Golden Power, Lloyd gave up his ability to use it.
Another example is the Tornado of Creation.
When the four elements are combined perfectly, the Ninja can gain the power to create ‘something out of nothing’. If they don’t do it correctly, ‘disastrous consequences result’. What Sensei means by ‘disastrous consequences’ could be a Tornado of Destruction, when the four elements are combined in disharmony!
Maybe even having all five elements doesn’t work, and Lloyd just inherited Golden Power. That would mean:
Golden Power=Golden Power
So why do the Ninja rely on Lloyd for their powers if they are descended from Elemental Masters themselves?
Some say that maybe he kept some of their power and gave back his four elements, so he possesses a little of theirs and the Ninja his. Make sense? This could be why the Ninja rely on him and why the Ninja lost their powers when Lloyd was possessed by Morro.
Or maybe they couldn’t access their elemental power on their own. When they received the Elemental Blades, they used the Blades to harness their internal, inherited element and transfer that to Lloyd. The Temple of Light compensated for that loss by giving them the Blades, which used external power separate from them, like the Golden Weapons. So the Golden Weapons and the Elemental Blades are external power than anyone, whether with a particular element or not, can access. This can be supported with Misako’s saying, “The true power of the Green Ninja can only be unlocked when the Four Protectors find their own true elemental power.” The Blades helped the Ninja to give their inner element to Lloyd.
Finally, after they were left without the Golden Weapons or Elemental Blades, Lloyd gave them back their internal element. But they still rely on Lloyd because he held it for an extended time, or even donated excess power, thus, he does not have any elemental power besides Energy.
Here is a picture of the Ninja in The Island of Darkness using their elemental blades to transfer power to Lloyd.
Why did the Ninja give Lloyd the four main elements in the first place? I theorize it’s perhaps to reinforce what he already possessed of the main elements.
Why couldn’t the Ninja unlock their powers on their own? Since they’re descended from Elemental Masters, they should have their own elements, or at least have unlocked them on their own! Well, first of all, the Ninja had no idea they had elements until Sensei Wu told them. At first, in order to access them, they used the Golden Weapons, then the Elemental Blades. Perhaps this was so they could take shortcuts and access their true potential faster, and they never learned to cope with the loss of these weapons and unlock their true potential by themselves. Or the Ninja could have genetically weak powers.
Anther theory that I made myself is that the FSM purposely made the four main elements so that they wouldn’t be able to access their powers without the Golden Weapons and Elemental Blades because he INTENDED the Ninja to rely on these weapons. He did this so that only the people that the Guardians of the Four Weapons (Wu and Garmadon) handpicked would have these powers, to prevent an evil Master of Lightning, Ice, Fire, or Earth from getting power, since these main elements could be stronger than regular elements. But, with the Temple of Light, he made it possible, so that, if the Green Ninja wanted, he could give the Ninja power to use their elements without an elemental weapon.
If the secondary elements come from the main elements, then can elements, like Fire and Water, combine to make Smoke? I think not. I think that each Elemental Master possesses a unique dominant gene code used to pass down elements. So only a person descended from a Master of Smoke will have Smoke, and a descendant of Fire and Water can’t have Smoke.
Another good question: Why do Kai and Nya need a “Dragon Blade” to create a Fusion Dragon, while Nya and Jay can just make one out of thin air? (Seen in Skybound)
Maybe only compatible elements can fuse, while elements that clearly clash need a Dragon Blade to help. Lightning and Water are compatible, because water conducts electricity very well. On the other hand, water puts out fire, and fire can boil water and turn it into steam. If this is true, other elements that are compatible can be combined, like Smoke and Fire, Water and Ice, or Nature and Earth.
Can there be two Masters of the same power? The Ninjago Wiki states that Kai’s father lost his when Kai inherited it. Of course, the Wiki is not always reliable, and this information is not canon, however, it could be possible. After all, it is possible for three, sometime four generations in the same family to be alive at the same time. If this rumor were true than this would prevent a whole family with multiple generations from becoming corrupt together and using their power against others. Assuming this is true, Ray and Maya should have felt their power becoming dormant and inaccessible when Kai and Nya were born and known that Kai and Nya had the potential to access their elemental power. They were very surprised to see Kai as the Fire Ninja and Nya as the Water Ninja. Maybe they just thought Kai and Nya would never unlock them on their own.
The Wiki also states that if twins are born to an Elemental Master, the element will be split between them. I don’t believe this, because of Aronix and Krux. It’s hard enough to fight a Master of just two parts of the Time element, let alone a Master of all four! Each color is a different time-changing ability. Acronix can send himself forwards (green) in time and slow (blue) time, while Krux can reverse (yellow) and pause (red) time.
Imagine if just one person had all four of those abilities. That’s way too much power for one person! I’m sure the FSM would not have allowed this. I think that maybe Masters of Time can only inherit a combination of two of the four parts of Time. So it could be mixed up any way, but they can only have two time-manipulating abilities.
As for other elements, another reason why I don’t believe it is because of the weaker elements, like Smoke and Light. Imagine if Paleman, Ash or Camille had twins. One twin can turn into smoke at will, and the other can create a smokescreen? That’s about all Smoke can do. That’s not fair, because if an Elemental Master possessed a weaker element like that and had twins, the twins would be seriously debilitated. I think that if there are twins, each twin inherits the entire element just like one child would.
Is Spinjitzu and Airjitzu reserved only for Elementals? I do not think so, because in the show, we see Misako use Spinjitzu, and it has never been revealed that she has an element. And, in Winds of Change, the Ninja, who have lost their elements, use Spinjitzu against Morro. I believe that, depending on a person’s element, their tornado color may change, but anyone can perform Spinjitzu, because it is like a martial art. The same goes for Airjitzu.
Can anything take away elemental powers or stop them? Yes, there’s Elemental Crystal, Chronosteel, and Vengestone. Elemental Crystal was used in Master Chen’s staff to steal other’s elements.
Vengestone stopped the Ninja’s powers in All or Nothing, and in the Hands of Time season, it is revealed that a special metal called Chronosteel is the only metal that can absorb elemental power. It is said to be extremely hard to forge. Garmadon and Wu used Time Blades made of Chronosteel to absorb the Time Twin’s powers and defeat them.
The Ninja’s Parents
As we already know, Lloyd is the son of Misako and Garmadon.
Garmadon is the firstborn son of the FSM, and Misako’s lineage is unknown. Could it be that Misako knew Lloyd was the Green Ninja all along because he was the only successor between Wu and Garmadon? A fan theorized that Wu knew all along Lloyd was the Green Ninja and that he purposefully put the scroll in the bag to motivate the Ninja to reach their true potential and to prove they were the Green Ninja. This could explain why he was so frantic to get Lloyd back that he retrieved the Lord of Darkness himself to help save Lloyd.
Kai and Nya’s parents are Ray and Maya, and they passed on their elements to their children.
Thought to be dead, they were actually captured by Acronix and Krux and forced to forge Vermillion armor. I think they chose not to tell Kai and Nya about their elements in order to spare them from the same fate.
Cole’s only known parent is Lou, and I don’t believe Lou is a Master of Earth. After all, in Hands of Time, while being held captive, he sings a song with the Royal Blacksmiths! He even sings with his acapella group while driving a car in Ninjaball Run!
That’s really weird, and Cole’s father is old enough to have used his element in the Serpentine War. If he were really the Master of Earth, he probably would have found a way out instead. It’s much more likely that Lou’s wife was the Earth Master, but died while Cole as young. Maybe she even died in the Serpentine War! After all, we never see her in the flashbacks. Then, Lou, for the same reasons as Ray and Maya, chose not to raise Cole as an Elemental Master.
However, in the flashbacks to the Serpentine War, we see a man use what looks suspiciously like the element of Earth.
Is this Cole’s father? I think not. But it’s definitely not Cole’s mother. Who is he? Kai, Nya, and Jay’s parents all lived in this time too, so he should be Cole’s father. Is Cole adopted too? Or is this his grandfather? The world will never know…
Jay’s lineage is also hard. But, thanks to Hands of Time, we know exactly who his mom is!
In season 6, Nadakhan reveals that Jay is actually the son of the Fritz Donegan actor, Cliff Gordon. Fritz is a movie star and a comic book character in the comic Starfarer, which Lloyd reads. He was the one who introduced Starfarer to Jay.
Of course, you can’t trust a djinn. Especially a djinn who is trying to steal Nya. When the Time Twins travel back in the past, the Master of Lightning says, “Aww, I thought I was gonna finally go on my honeymoon! Really cute guy, too. Cliff is an actor, and when I look into his eyes…”
She says Cliff’s name! Jay is adopted! No wonder Ed and Edna never seemed fit to be an Elemental Master of Lightning! They aren’t! So perhaps something happened to the Master of Lightning, and Cliff dropped Jay at Ed and Edna’s doorstep. This is unfortunate, because his adoptive parents are really endearing. And now his name is not Jay Walker. So sad! But at least we know where Jay got his humor and energy.
There is some confusion over Jay using the power of Wind in The Green Ninja. He even shouts, “Wind!” before he uses it.
Tommy Andreasen, co-creator of Ninjago, posted on Twitter that it was a mistake, because the makers of Ninjago did not plan to extend Ninjago all the way to the season with Morro. It is possible, but very unlikely, that Jay is related to Morro. I think they added it in because both lightning and wind are associated with storms, so they thought, “Why not?” Since both elements have to do with storms, perhaps a trace of one is in the other and vice-versa.
Morro, when possessing Lloyd, shot green lightning at Jay, but I am unsure if he used his own element to do so, or if he used Lloyd’s element.
Zane is the hardest to think about, because he is a Nindroid. There is absolutely no canon information at all about how he could have gotten his power. In the show, we do see the Elemental Master of Ice, but he is a human!
How did Zane inherit his power? Not from Dr. Julien, who is old enough to have lived through the Serpentine Wars, therefore meaning he is not the same person as the Master of Ice in the flashbacks. Even if he was, that would be a very drastic style change.
The best theory that I’ve seen is that Zane’s power came from his power source. It looks blue, and slightly resembles Chi from Chima. I think that the Master of Ice had no descendants, and placed his power in an Elemental Crystal, like the kind from Chen’s staff. They do look similar!
Well, then Dr. Julien input it into Zane, and here Zane is with an element. After Zane sacrifices himself and comes back, he STILL has an element! How? We have never seen inside Zane’s new body. The Elemental Crystal could have survived, and he put it inside himself, giving himself power and an element. Or, by using his element multiple times, his system, processors and memory recorded the info needed to give him an element, so when he exploded and his memory went into the system, the element went with him, as a part of him.
Though Skylor is not considered an official ninja, I will talk a little about her. She is the Master of Amber, which allows her to absorb and replicate other people’s powers. She must touch the person with the elemental power, and this results in a stream of power moving from Kai’s arm to hers.
If she can replicate other’s powers, than can she use Golden Power too, since she theoretically has all four elements plus energy? I don’t think so, because I believe her element allows her to access only one element at a time. This prevents her from becoming OP, or over-powerful. Chen states that he was born with nothing special about him at all, and that Skylor’s power comes from her mother.
Clouse is also not a Ninja, but his ability to use Magic is questionable.
Is he an Elemental Master? Some argue, “No, anyone in Ninjago can use Magic.” That appears true, because Garmadon cursed the Anacondrai Generals to the Cursed Realm, but was then in turn cursed by Wu and Lloyd. None of them were the Masters of Magic. But it can also be argued that Clouse is in fact, the Master of Magic. In The Invitation, Garmadon makes two comments that can be taken either way. He says first, “Don’t be fooled by his attire. He is a Master of Dark Arts and Chen’s number two,” to which Cole replies, “I thought Master Chen’s number two was an eggroll and fried rice.” Secondly, Garmadon says, “Everyone on this ship is a descendant of an original elemental master.” Garmadon is an elemental master, the Ninja are, Skylor is, the fighters are, unfortunately Bolobo is, but what about the Cultists and Clouse? Did Garmadon mean them too? The Ninja could probably easily tell the Cultists on the ship aren’t Elemental Masters, but what about Clouse? In the flashbacks of Garmadon training under Chen, we see Clouse use Magic to enchant some spinning sticks, but Garmadon does not, instead using Spinjitzu. If Magic can be taught to anyone, why did Chen not have Clouse teach it to Garmadon? And why couldn’t Chen himself perform the Spell of Transformation? I personally believe Magic is an element, but anyone can use the spells in Clouse’s spellbook. Some spells may require a Master of Magic to perform them, though.
And there you have it! An over-complicated post about Ninjago elements. This might have been a really confusing post for some, so feel free to comment and ask questions. I will answer them to the best of my ability!
Geeking out about Ninjago is so fun! And what started this all was me seeing an adorable Lloyd and Nelson fanart by Erraday, one of my favorite Ninjago artists.
I’m off now to the next fandom thing! It’s most likely all the Ninjago soundtracks by Jay Vincent, which I just discovered about 30 minutes ago. Must listen to them.