Katara is a water tribe girl from the Southern water tribe. She is the last water bender in the south pole that existed in the Last Airbender series. She was present during the hundred-year war and helped the Avatar Aang bring back balance to the world by being his water-bending and helping him defeat Fire Lord Ozai.
Katara is a waterbending master. She was born in the Southern Water Tribe to Chief Hakoda and his wife, Kya. During her childhood, she was the only water bender living in the Southern Water Tribe. After losing her mother in a Fire Nation raid and her father left to battle against the Fire Nation in the Hundred Year War, she was raised by her paternal grandmother Kanna alongside her older brother Sokka.
As a young girl, Katara and Sokka went fishing in the icy south pole seas when a minor outburst from Katara caused a glowing iceberg to float up to the surface. She heads over to the little island that had been created, much to Sokka’s constant warnings saying they should go home, and she didn’t know what was in there.
Katara and her brother Sokka discovered the young Air Nomad Avatar, who was stuck in the frozen Iceberg. His name was Aang, and he had been frozen in the Iceberg with his bison, Appa, for one hundred years. In need of a waterbending master, the two of them left with Aang for the South Pole on a journey toward the Northern Water Tribe. This was to teach him the first element as the Avatar and get Katara a master as well.
Katara’s Early Life
Katara was born into the then dwindled Southern Water Tribe. She was born to Kya and Chief Hakoda of the southern water tribe. Katara faced the reality of her tribe getting raided. At the time of her birth, fifty years of repeated Fire Nation raids intended to capture and imprison the tribe’s water benders had left them devoid of benders.
She grew up in a time when the Southern Water Tribe’s defenses would have crumbled under the might of the Fire Nation. The tribe’s general inaccessibility and where they were situated which is the South Pole, and the Fire Nation’s perception that they were a non-threat meant that they were mostly left alone. Katara grew up within a loving, close family and community in her tribe, as Iroh stated. The water tribe people have a great sense of love and community binding them together, which Katara witnessed first hand.
When she was six years old, she broke a tooth on some seal jerky made by Ashuna.
When she was eight years old, her mother gave herself up to be taken and killed in her place. She was protecting the last water bender, which was Katara at that time.
Katara was having a snowball fight with her brother Sokka shortly before the raid that killed their mother.
Katara was eight when the Fire Nation raided the village again. They had been charged by Fire Lord Azulon to find and dispose of the last remaining water bender in the tribe.
During the battle, the leader of the raid Yon Rha, confronted Katara’s mother, who was taking refuge in the family’s igloo.
Sokka had told her to go back to the igloo. Seeking shelter with her mother, Katara ran back to her home and interrupted their exchange.
When Kya realized the intentions of Yon Rha, who had demanded that Kya tell him the identity of the water bender, Kya repeatedly denied the existence of that information until she eventually gave herself up as the last water bender. She had lied to protect her daughter, the last water bender in the Southern water tribe. Yon Rha would later find out that he killed the wrong person some years later as Katara came for his life.
Katara ran to get her father, but by the time they returned, Yon Rha had left, and her mother had been killed. The death of their mother had a deep impact on both Katara and Sokka. They both began to feel deep hatred and resentment toward the Fire Nation as a result of what had been done to their family.
Becoming a WaterBending Master
Katara was a fair water bender before she met Aang. The trio was to travel to the north pole to get a master for both Aang and Katara.
After their long and hard journey, the trio team finally reached the Northern Water Tribe. Here, Sokka and Katara were celebrated as kin from the Southern Tribe, and Aang was honored as a special guest, being the long and lost Avatar. It was decided that Aang would be taught waterbending by Master Pakku, but Katara was prohibited from learning combative bending on account of her gender.
This infuriated Katara so much, and just like her Gran, who was originally from the northern water tribe, she would not let their I’ll custom hold her down.
Katara and Aang decided on a plan where Aang would learn and teach Katara whatever he had learned by nightfall.
After Pakku had found out that Aang was secretly teaching his techniques to Katara at night, the master dismissed Aang as a student.
Resilience of Katara
At the palace, Katara pleaded with Chief Arnook for Pakku to take Aang back as his student. The master agreed to do so if Katara apologized. While Katara conceded at first, she renounced her apology and challenged the master to a duel after being patronized.
Although Katara was defeated, Pakku picked up her necklace, revealing that he had made it for Kanna sixty years prior. After a walk down memory lane, he decided to accept Katara as a student.
When the fire nation brought the war to the North Pole, Yue took Aang and Katara to the spirit oasis, where he was to meditate and cross over.
After Zuko unexpectedly arrived, Katara dueled him and was able to restrain him by freezing him in ice, but the banished prince overpowered her when the sun rose, taking her by surprise and kidnapped the Avatar. After winning the war, by defending the north pole, Katara became Aang’s master.
Katara and the Team Avatar continued to grow, even adding Zuko to its membership list.
What Did Katara Bring to The Team
Katara was the glue for team Avatar because she was like the mother bear of the team. Sokka was all about strategy, Aang was a small boy, Toph was rough around the endges and Katara held it all together. The kids were travelling all over the world and had no parents around them. Katara would often fill that role.
There is an episode in Season 3 Where Sokka says that when he tries to think of his mom, all he can see is the face of his sister Katara. It just goes to show that when there mom died Katara became like his mother even though she is his younger sister.
Katara is what made the group have a soft heart when they needed to have one. Her heart was used against her when the gang met Jet and the Freedom Fighters. Katara always had the largest heart on the team, but in the final season, you saw a woman who had been burned too many times.
The compassion that Katara had was often made fun of, but she allowed the group to operate in a way where they were always trying to do what was right. When someone would mess up she was always there to forgive because she could understand where they were coming from.
It’s easy to forget that Katara was an amazing bender. Her skills were out of this world and we saw some of the coolest water bending in the series come from here. She fought to be able to learn to become a master in the first place. If it were not for her, then Aang would not have become a fully realized Avatar.