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This article is about Katara and Sokka's mother. For other similar uses, see Kaya (disambiguation).

Kya was the mother of Sokka and Katara and the wife of Hakoda, the chief of their village at the Southern Water Tribe.[3] She was killed during a raid on her home, and her death had a profound impact upon both her children. Katara wore her mother's necklace as a memento of her affection.


Early life and adulthood

According to Southern Water Tribe lore, Kya once had a childhood friend, Nini, who was trapped and killed by a snowstorm while the two were young. Katara told the story in order to scare her friends, making it unclear whether the events occurred or not.[4]

In her later life, Kya married Hakoda and gave birth to two children: Sokka and Katara. Whenever her daughter, Katara, became ill with a cold, Kya made a special paste out of blubber and pepper berries and rubbed it on her little girl's chest, which was always effective.[5]


Yon Rha's confrontation of Kya was interrupted by a worried eight-year-old Katara.

In 94 AG, when the Southern Raiders attacked her village, Kya was found in her home by the Raiders' leader, Yon Rha, who interrogated her about the identity of the last Southern waterbender. When an eight-year-old Katara walked in on the interrogation, drawing the attention of Yon Rha to herself, Kya looked the Raiders' leader in the eyes and told him to leave her daughter alone in exchange for the information that he wanted. She told a scared Katara to not worry and find Hakoda.

As Yon Rha demanded to know the identity of the waterbender who lived in the village, Kya at first denied that there were any waterbenders left, declaring that the Fire Nation had taken them all away in prior raids. However, Yon Rha told her that they were not leaving until they had found the waterbender, whose existence had been confirmed by a reliable source. Desperate to protect her daughter, the last waterbender he was looking for, Kya lied and claimed that she was his target. When she declared that she was ready to be taken as their prisoner, Yon Rha told her that he was not to take any prisoners, and she was killed by him instead.[1]


Kya's death had a severe effect on her whole family. Both Katara and Sokka developed a strong distrust of anybody from the Fire Nation, and Hakoda went off to war with his warriors in order to ensure the Water Tribe's survival. Katara frequently expressed grief over her mother's death, which she often referred to as an example of the Fire Nation's ruthlessness.[6]

Katara had a vision of Kya in the Foggy Swamp.

Kya was mentioned on several occasions by her children, such as by Katara to explain the importance of her necklace to Haru[7] and why she hated the Fire Nation so much to Zuko.[8] While wandering the Foggy Swamp in search of her friends, Katara believed she saw her mother, though it turned out to be a tree stump made to look like her mother by the swamp's spiritual properties.[9]

Six years after Kya's death, in 100 AG, Sokka admitted to Toph that he was unable to remember what his mother looked like, going as far as to say that whenever he tried to picture her, Katara's face was the only thing he could see.[10] Kya's death initially instilled a deep hatred toward the Fire Nation in Sokka, though that grudge slowly faded as he grew older, to the point where he opposed the idea of his sister exacting revenge on Yon Rha.

Katara dreamed about her mother showing her around their village after a snowstorm.

In 102 AG, when Sokka and Katara were on their way back to the Southern Water Tribe for the first time since the conclusion of the Hundred Year War, Katara had a dream about her mother. In the dream, Kya woke a young Katara, announcing that the sun dispersed the stormclouds and that their village looked brand new, coated with a fresh layer of snow. Kya pointed out the beauty of the frozen scene before them, a sentiment the young Katara easily agreed with. At that moment, however, the dream ended as Sokka woke his sister. Upon noticing the distant expression on Katara's face, he inquired if she was all right. Smiling softly, Katara recalled her dream, mentioning it was happy and sad at once though concluded it was mostly happy.[11]

Sokka and Katara visited Kya's grave.

After their encounter with Gilak and his army, Sokka and Katara visited Kya's grave. Katara admitted there that she had hoped to come to the Southern Water Tribe after the war and find a home where everything was how it was supposed to be. However, she had come to realize that such a notion was impossible to achieve as that would include Kya. She recounted her actions of the previous day when she saved Malina from certain death and had felt a familiar sort of courage while doing so. She admitted to also having felt it when she fought Azula during the Comet-Enhanced Agni Kai, when she had saved Aang from Azula and the Dai Li in the Crystal Catacombs, and when Admiral Zhao had killed the Moon Spirit and they had to bring it back to life and concluded that it was the courage Kya had passed on to her. She ended by noting that she was no longer hoping for what was "supposed to be", having realized that Kya had been with her all along.

Katara turned to Siku and Sura, who had been spectating from a distance, and introduced them to Kya. She told the young waterbenders that her mother had wanted her to be safe, just like their mother wanted the same for them, and made the ultimate sacrifice to do so. Katara told them that Kya had died in order to not only keep her daughter alive but also what Katara represented, namely the Southern-style waterbending. This finally convinced Siku and Sura to come out of hiding with their own waterbending abilities, so they could be part of a tradition that Kya helped to save.[12]


Katara and Aang later named their daughter after Kya.[13]


Kya was a caring and loving wife and mother, who established a strong bond with her husband and both their children, notably Katara. A courageous woman, she willingly sacrificed her life to save her daughter, suggesting that she harbored deep maternal instincts and felt highly obligated to protect her family at any cost.[1]




Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Graphic novels


  • In the unaired pilot for the original series, Katara's name was originally Kya; however, due to the existence of a video game character named Kya and to avoid a potential lawsuit, the creators changed the name to Katara once the actual show began production.
  • Nick.com's Avatar Index and Avatar Extras use the spelling "Kaya" and also uses a Southern Raider's picture instead of Kya's when her name is clicked.
  • In Katara's vision of her in the swamp, Kya did not have the same hairstyle nor was she wearing her heavy coat. As such, she looked different to how she appeared in Katara's flashback.
  • Kya's name was only mentioned once by Hakoda when Katara told him about the man in their house during the raid.[1]
  • Kya shares a similar past to that of Yasuko, the mother of Asami Sato. Both women were killed by firebenders that entered their homes, albeit for different reasons, when their children were very young, and the death of each woman caused their respective spouse to take action: Hakoda led the Southern Water Tribe to fight in the Hundred Year War, while Hiroshi joined Amon.
  • Kya's grave was modeled after a real Inuit grave.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Ultimate Pocket Guide, page 21.
  3. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Chapter Sixteen: The Southern Raiders.
  4. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  5. Wilgus, Alison (writer), Garagarza, Elsa (artist), Dzioba, Wes (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Don't Blow It!" (2009), Nickelodeon Comics Club.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  7. Hubbard, Matthew (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (March 25, 2005). "Imprisoned". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  8. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  9. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  10. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 2, 2007). "The Runaway". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part One (September 27, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part Three (April 26, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Library Edition (November 7, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.