1 The sad detail of the avatar highlights the biggest tragedy of Sokka and Katara


Sokka and Katara’s relationship in Avatar: The Legend of Aang” are the key to Aang’s success, but there is one common tragedy that is the basis of their strength. These two siblings are the first characters introduced in the Nickelodeon movie Avatar: The Last Airbender, where most of the action takes place in the Southern Water Tribe, where Sokka and Katara come from. Apart from the divisions into four nations in the world of The Last Airbender, the Water Tribes have more disagreements between their peoples, with most water magicians coming from the Northern or Southern Water Tribes, while a small minority belong to the Misty Swamp Tribe.

Despite the fact that the Water Tribes have some differences among themselves, they share most of the common customs and beliefs, such as their high ideals of family and hospitality. However, there are some instances of tension between the tribes, the most notable of which is the attempt of Korra’s Avatar uncle Unalak to capture the Southern Water Tribe in the Legend of Korra. Despite this, Sokka and Katara’s visit to the Northern Water Tribe in “The Last Air Magician” generally testifies to the mutual respect of the two tribes who consider themselves relatives.

Yi’s new novel “The Dawn of Yangchen”, which tells about the Avatar of the Air Nomad do Aang, hints at one custom of the Water Tribe, which is mostly absent in “The Last Magician of the Elements”. Having met each other, two water magicians named Kavik and Tayagum introduce themselves in a special way: “Tayagum. From the Orca Islands, in honor of my cousin. My parents are Angtan and Taganak.” Since Kavik reciprocates the acquaintance equally, it is safe to assume that this is a standard protocol between water magicians, wherever they were born. However, in Avatar: The Last Airbender, there is no point when Katara or Sokka use such an introduction. The closest is when Sokka introduces herself to Princess Yue of the Northern Water Tribe as “Sokka, the Southern Water Tribe”. The omission is glaring, but Sokka and Katara don’t use the full intro because it requires telling about their biggest tragedies in life: their father goes to war, and their mother dies.

Why do Sokka and Katara rarely mention their mother

Sokka and Katara get a happy ending with their father Hakoda as they reunite and team up to help Aang defeat the Fire Nation. Since Hakoda only left them to go to war, Sokka and Katara still hoped that they would be with their father again, so they talk about him extensively with Bato. However, the same cannot be said about their mother, Kiya. There are several cases when Katara and Sokka directly mention the Cue, for example, when meeting with Hama or in the Northern Water Tribe, but they often do not. Korra also never uses this way of representation, but this is solely because she is an Avatar and belongs to the Water Tribes and does not need to be introduced.

The reason Katara and Sokka don’t mention their mother is obvious: they are haunted by Kii’s death at the hands of the Fire Nation. Especially Katara, who sees her mother in the swamp and tracks down Kii’s killer before eventually sparing him. This grief is the reason that Sokka and Katara only mention their mother in response to a relevant event, such as when Haru tells her how the Fire Nation attacked and stole his father. It is also noteworthy that the Cue was last mentioned in Hakoda’s “Led by the Elements”. After defeating the Fire Nation, after Hakoda reunites with her children, and after Katara commits suicide after encountering Kiya’s killer, all three can look back at Kiya with love and believe that she is proud of them. And finally, Sokka and Katara had a parent again.


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