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The battle of the Southern Water Tribe was a battle between the two polar Water Tribes during the climax of the Water Tribe Civil War, in which the Southern Water Tribe rebels attempted to reclaim their tribe from Northern occupation. Although the rebel forces were initially able to overwhelm the Northern troops, they were eventually defeated and forced to retreat following intervention from Chief Unalaq, Desna and Eska, and a force of dark spirits.[1]


Conflict between the two Water Tribes had long been prevalent, but escalated shortly following Chief Unalaq's occupation of the Southern Water Tribe in 171 AG. During this time, Unalaq expunged the Southern Council of Elders from the Southern Water Tribe Royal Palace and mobilized his troops to patrol the harbor city. Resentment from the Southern tribesmen resulted in the formation of the Southern Water Tribe rebels by Varrick, who were later to be led by Tonraq.[2]


Having lost faith that reinforcements would arrive, the Southern Water Tribe rebels stormed the harbor city.

The Southern rebels sought refuge among the hills outside of the harbor city, where they patiently abode their time in anticipation of Avatar Korra's return with reinforcements. However, when it became apparent that the United Forces were not coming, Tonraq rallied his troops and launched an attack on the capital city, intending to reclaim it in the name of the South.

The rebel forces stormed the city on ice boards, attracting the attention of the guard posted on the watchtower and prompting him to ring the alarm bell to signal the Northern troops of an impending attack. Several soldiers made their way out of fortifications to face the rebels, and the two forces collided.

By nightfall, the Southern Water Tribe rebels were able to force the Northern troops to retreat. Their victory was short-lived, however, as Chief Unalaq arrived with Desna and Eska, along with a number of dark spirits. These Northern reinforcements proved to be too much for the rebels to deal with and they were forced in the defense, suffering considerable losses.

Tonraq attempted to land a blow against Unalaq.

Recognizing that it would be difficult to secure the city with dark spirits involved in the battle, Tonraq ordered his men to retreat, while he went in pursuit of his brother in an attempt to end the war once and for all. He was swiftly able to subdue Unalaq's four guards, and the two brothers collided in a fierce water duel. Tonraq eventually managed to get within striking distance of Unalaq, but before he could land his blow, Unalaq struck his unprotected stomach with an ice pillar. Trapped in a block of ice, Tonraq received a devastating blow which left him defeated.[1]


The healing hut in the Southern Water Tribe compound was filled to capacity with dozens of injured Southern Water Tribe rebels.

The failed siege of the Southern Water Tribe wiped out the Southern resistance. With many injured, they retreated to the Southern Water Tribe compound, where they sought healing from Katara and others. The healing hut found itself quickly filled to capacity, with the healers struggling to tend to all of the survivors, all of whom were severely wounded.[3]