- This article is about the character in The Last Airbender. For other similar uses, see Katara (disambiguation).
|"My name is Katara. And I'm the only waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe."|
|— Katara to Zuko in The Last Airbender.|
Katara is a fifteen-year-old waterbender who, like her older brother Sokka, was born and raised in the Southern Water Tribe by her grandmother, Kanna, prior to the life of her mother being taken during a Fire Nation raid. Katara was the last waterbender in her tribe. She and her brother Sokka found an airbender named Aang who later is revealed as the Avatar. She and Sokka accompany him on his journey to master the remaining three elements: water, earth, and fire.
When Katara and Sokka were young, an attack on the Southern Water Tribe took the life of their mother. When Katara was thirteen, her father went with the men of the Southern Tribe toward the southern tip of the Earth Kingdom to defend it from the Fire Nation. As the two years passed, Katara practiced her waterbending by herself, as there was no other waterbender in the Southern Tribe since her grandmother's friend, Hama, was taken away.
Discovering the Avatar
When Katara and her brother went on a hunting expedition for their village, she practiced waterbending near their boat at an iceberg but lost control of the water, but accidentally got Sokka soaked. Katara told Sokka that her bending had improved and she had thought about their mom that time, but Sokka told her to stop bending water around him because he always gets wet. They both followed Tiger-Seal tracks leading them to an empty field of flat ice. Katara noticed a glowing patch of ice beneath her feet. Sokka knelt down and struck the ice three times with his boomerang. Suddenly there was a sound of ice cracking and huge cracks began to appear in the ice. They ran away and avoided the cracks. They turned around just in time to see a huge sphere of ice burst out of the ground and the first thing Katara noticed about the ice sphere was that there seemed to be a person frozen inside. Sokka prepared to leave thinking it was a "Fire Nation trick" but Katara grabbed his boomerang and struck the sphere of ice causing a huge crack to appear in it. She hit it a second time and the crack burst open. A blast of air shot out of it and Katara was blown across the ice and slammed into Sokka, knocking him down. A beam of white-blue light shot into the sky as it cracked open. Inside this iceberg Katara and Sokka discovered a sleeping boy and decided to carry him to their village with his "bison creature" following them along the icy shoreline. When the boy awakens Katara had a conversation with him, finding out that he ran away from home but now needed to go back.
The Southern Air Temple
At the Southern Air Temple on the high mountains, Katara asked for his name and the boy told her the monks called him Aang. Katara immediately realized that Aang has been in the ice for a hundred years, not just gone for a few days as Aang had thought. As Aang entered the Avatar State after realizing his mentor was killed, Katara attempts to console Aang by imparting how she felt when she lost her mother, and even goes on to state that even though his people are gone, both she and Sokka are now his family. The words seem to reach Aang, who falls out of the Avatar State and slowly descends back onto the ground. When Aang came back to the human world, he collapsed into Katara's waiting arms.
As Katara, Sokka, and Aang set up camp, Katara told Aang that many villages in the Earth Kingdom had fallen under Fire Nation control, but yet to conquer big cities like Ba Sing Se. So she was wondering whether Aang, the last surviving airbender, might be the Avatar. Before Aang could respond, a young boy burst out of the woods and sought refuge with the trio from the Fire Nation soldiers chasing him. He was being arrested for earthbending, as it was forbidden in his village. Katara and Sokka refused to turn the young boy over to the soldiers. Katara popped open her water pouch and bent the water at the soldiers, but the water trapped Sokka's arms and chest in ice instead, much to his frustration.
The soldiers arrested Sokka, Katara, Aang and the young earthbending boy, and they were taken to the prison camp just outside a village. When Aang revealed to everyone that he was the Avatar, a soldier sneered at Aang, as the Avatar would have to be an airbender and all airbenders were killed a long time ago. Katara pushes the soldier away, telling him to leave Aang alone. Aang promptly used his airbending to counter an attack on Katara. After the imprisoned villagers are finally broken free, they broke open a shed, where all tools related to bending taken by the Fire Nation were kept. Momo went into the shed and knocked over a waterbending scroll. A villager picked up the scroll and gave it to Katara. Katara revealed that these scrolls were rare and her mother told her about the scrolls.
At the shore of a sparkling lake beside a forest, Katara and Aang practiced waterbending while Sokka tended to a campfire nearby. Katara asked Aang why he seemed distracted, and he replied that they were near the Northern Air Temple and wanted to visit there and return, all within a day. He believed that at another spiritual place, he may be able to communicate with the Dragon Spirit again. Katara filled Sokka in on Aang's plan but Sokka was against it, and urged Katara to talk him out of it. However, it does not seem to work out as Aang immediately departed at night. She assured Sokka that Aang will back in a day.
The Siege of the North
Katara and Aang became students in Master Pakku's waterbending class in the Northern Water Tribe city. They were practicing their waterbending forms when the black ashes were falling all over the city. Katara was led by Princess Yue together with Aang and Sokka to find the most spiritual place in the city so that Aang can communicate with the spirits. Once there, she stood by Aang's side as he started meditating.
As Aang meditated into a trance, Katara told Aang that she knew the Avatar was real and would return someday. Zuko voiced his agreement - Katara turned surprised to see him there. Zuko set his torch down to set the grass on fire, as Katara took a defensive stance. Zuko sent out a fire blast, which she took out with two large streams of water from the pond. With the second blast, Katara took it out with a single stream. Impressed with her waterbending ability, Zuko asked who she was. Katara told him her name and revealed she was the last waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe. Zuko subsequently firebent a curved blast and a straight blast. Overwhelmed with the complexity of Zuko's attack, she deflected the curved blast but was knocked hard against the tree with the other blast.
Sokka found her lying unconscious near the tree and woke her up. She told him that Zuko was in the city and had taken Aang. While on her way to find Aang, she saw the flames illuminating from the window of the storage room from the city below. She found Aang fighting with Zuko, so she shook the water in the barrels, and spiraled the water to Zuko, encasing him in ice. Aang told Katara that the Dragon Spirit told him what to do. Katara subsequently left the room with Sokka and Yue.
She was later present in the Spirit Oasis, along with Sokka,Yue and Iroh, when Commander Zhao killed the Moon Spirit. When Iroh pleaded with Yue to give her life back to the spirits, Katara had a concerned, yet amazed, look on her face and watched Yue sacrifice herself to save the Northern Water Tribe. After Iroh carried her out of the water, Katara assisted with setting Yue's lifeless body on the ground and appeared sad and teary-eyed, showing she had grown close to Yue.
Katara hugged Aang as he was cheered from the city below after he successfully defeated the Fire Nation armada. She and Sokka helped an exhausted Aang down the stairs into the courtyard. Katara said, "They want you to be their Avatar, Aang. We all do", before she and Sokka bowed alongside the entire Northern Water Tribe.
An insecure, brave girl who speaks and stands up for what she believes in, Katara has suffered through much sadness in her life, but still manages to hold on to hope. Raised in a small Southern Water Tribe with her older brother Sokka, they were mostly taken care of by their grandmother, Gran Gran. Katara was cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry. She is protective of Sokka, even though she does not admit it. Things have not been easy, but she never lost hope that it would get better and that the Avatar would return. Katara largely prevented their family from falling apart and took many responsibilities, to the point where she largely filled the void left by their mother (to the point where he pictures her in place of his mother). As such, Katara has a maternal personality, and often acts as a motherly figure to Aang and Sokka.
Katara was identified as a waterbender when she was a small child. There were no other waterbenders in The Southern Water Tribe, and thus no one to teach her. So, for many years, Katara taught herself a few basic moves. She was able to push and pull water, pull some of it out of a source and manipulate it, and freeze water into ice. However, she had little control over her power, and she occasionally had better control when she thought about her mother. On their travels in the Earth Kingdom, Katara was given a waterbending scroll from which she and Aang practiced different waterbending forms. Reaching The Northern Water Tribe, Katara and Aang find waterbending Master, Pakku. They both studied until his tutelage and both gained better form and execution. During the siege and after Aang was in the Spirit World, Katara protected his body from Zuko. She uses water in waves and streams to deflect most of Zuko's attacks but was knocked out after Zuko caught her off guard with a sneak attack. After Sokka wakes her up, she finds Zuko and Aang fighting in a Northern Water Tribe storage room, she performs a waterbending move that encases Zuko's entire body in ice. When Katara, Aang, and Sokka travel to warmer places, such as in the Earth Kingdom, Katara carries an animal skin case filled with water in case there is not enough water ready in the environment for her to bend.
Sokka is Katara's older brother, with an age difference of two years. The Water Tribe siblings are arguably the most dynamic family relationship. Sokka's sarcastic nature can, and often does, clash with Katara's more serious and caring one, leading to disagreements and "sibling spats". This usually results in them keeping the other in check with attitudes, whether in Sokka's goofiness and pessimism or Katara's temper and optimism. Sokka and Katara are close and love each other very much. They are frequently shown to defend and protect each other, and work well together: Katara's bending prowess accompanied by Sokka's mental creativity and weapons specialty create a powerful duo.
Kanna is Katara and Sokka's grandmother. Because their father had left to go fight in the war, and because their mother had been killed, Kanna was the only other relative they had at the time before they met Aang and found their father again. Katara and Sokka have a habit of calling her "Gran Gran". It was Kanna who convinced Katara and Sokka to go with Aang: "He will need you. And we all will need him".
Katara, who listened to her grandmother's stories regarding the Avatar, believed that he would one day return to save the world. When Aang was released from the Iceberg, Katara developed an immediate attachment to the young airbender, believing him to be special. He, on the other hand had a big crush on Katara. Upon learning that he was the long-lost Avatar, Katara spent no time to convince her brother to go after Zuko's ship to rescue him.
From that moment on she was Aang's staunch defender and protector, adopting motherly instincts toward Aang. Katara offered Aang emotional support, as she was also his closest friend. Aang revealed his past life at the Southern Air Temple to her, along with why he ran away and how he feels responsible for the War. Katara remains the only one to whom Aang has personally confided all of this information.
When Prince Zuko attacked Katara's village, Katara was about to take out her water, but was stopped by Sokka, leaving the village defenseless. Aang bravely stepped in front and reluctantly decided to go with Zuko for the safety of the tribe. When Katara finally persuaded Sokka to go after Aang, they rescued him from the ship and flew on Appa toward the Earth Kingdom. After convincing various towns to rebel against the Fire Nation they traveled closer to the Northern Water Tribe. When they reached the Northern Water Tribe, Katara trained with Master Pakku and advanced in waterbending.
Zuko snuck into the city while the Fire Nation sieged it, and when he reached the Water Tribe Oasis he found Katara protecting Aang's body. Katara, who recognized Zuko, fought him to protect Aang. After Katara successfully blocked his first two attacks, Zuko gained the upper hand and overpowered Katara. He took Aang's body and escaped, hiding them in a shed. After Aang recovered from the Spirit World and tried to escape from Zuko, Katara froze the banished prince head to toe. She left him behind but Aang unfroze Zuko's head leaving him able to breathe.
In The Last Airbender, Katara is played by Nicola Peltz. In an interview with People magazine, M. Night Shyamalan claimed that he did not want to make The Last Airbender without Nicola Peltz, "I said that only once before in my career, and that was when I met Haley in The Sixth Sense auditions." Peltz was familiar with the waterbending character before submitting for the part of Katara, having faithfully watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, the animated series on which the film is based, with her younger twin brothers. She describes her character as being a big role model with young girls and women, "She's really mentally and physically strong, strong-willed and -minded, but she's also caring and compassionate ... The movie has a lot of values, but it's also fun. It's fantasy, but it's also a really cool battle between good and evil." She explained that she initially did not know about Jackson Rathbone starring in the "Twilight" films until after she met him and said that working with Shyamalan was an amazing experience.
- Katara's name is similar to catarata, which is both Portuguese and Spanish for "waterfall", applicable given her status as a waterbender.
- Katara is the first person to bend in the film.
- Katara is the first to be heard in the movie as she narrates the prologue. She also narrates near the opening of each act in the movie: Act I, Act II(a), Act II(b) and Act III.
- Shyamalan's daughters Saleka and Ishana, at the time fourteen- and eleven-years-old respectively, were devoted to Avatar: The Last Airbender and especially to Katara. Nicola Peltz said, "They are my best friends. I have sleepovers with them. They did teach me a lot about Katara. They helped me. They're amazing kids. When we started shooting, they would come to set a lot and I got close with them."
- Unlike her animated counterpart whose hair is heavily braided, Katara's hair in the movie is lightly braided with most of her hair down.
- Katara's waterbending in the film develops much more slowly and is significantly slower and weaker than her waterbending in the animated series.
- Katara mentions that her and Sokka's mother was taken away by the Fire Nation in one of their raids, as compared in the series, when their mother was killed outright.