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This article is about the character in the series. For the character in Netflix's live-action series, see Pakku. For other similar uses, see Pakku (disambiguation).

Pakku was a Northern-style waterbending master and instructor who possessed immense skill and power, and was once regarded as the best waterbender in the world.[3] Dryly sarcastic and very serious about his art, he was a harsh, but nonetheless effective teacher, as well as an outwardly acerbic yet inwardly caring old man. For most of his life, he strictly adhered to the Northern Water Tribe traditions, and exclusively taught waterbending to male students; however, after meeting Katara, his ex-fiancée's granddaughter, he agreed to be her waterbending master when he realized that his stubborn beliefs were what drove the woman he loved away.[2] After reuniting with and marrying Kanna,[1] Pakku opened a school in the Southern Water Tribe, accepting both male and female students.[4] Due to his great waterbending skills and wisdom, Pakku was also a member of the Order of the White Lotus, taking part in the liberation of Ba Sing Se.[5]


Early life[]

Born to a long line of waterbending masters, Pakku began training as a waterbender "before he could stand", quickly advancing to become a master himself.[3]

In his youth, Pakku was a talented waterbender, and, by way of arranged marriage, became engaged to Kanna, a Northern Water Tribe girl of similar age. Even though it was an arranged marriage, Pakku genuinely loved Kanna; however, she did not reciprocate his feelings, mostly due to his support of the tribe's patriarchal traditions. Unable to face her fate, Kanna fled to the Southern Water Tribe.[2] Pakku was devastated by this turn of events; however, he refused to admit that it was his stubborn insistence on customs that caused him to lose the love of his life. He soon became malcontent and cranky, converting the pain of his loss into callousness toward others, thus denying himself the hurt of Kanna's betrayal. Over the years, Pakku became the leader of his tribe's waterbenders and led them to serve as the Northern Tribe's first line of defense against the Fire Nation.[3]

Meeting Aang and Katara[]

Katara vs Master Pakku

Master Pakku fought Katara.

Years later, when Avatar Aang and Katara arrived at the Northern Water Tribe capital of Agna Qel'a in search of a master from whom they could learn waterbending, Pakku consented to instruct him. However, as per the tradition of the Northern Water Tribe that only men were to be allowed to learn combative waterbending, he rejected Katara as a pupil and sent her to learn healing instead. One night, Pakku caught Aang trying to pass the lessons onto Katara, and barred the Avatar from further learning under him. Knowing that Aang could not afford to waste the opportunity to learn from Pakku for her own sake, Katara pleaded with the Chief of the Northern Water Tribe, Arnook, to persuade Pakku to take Aang back as his student. By suggestion of Arnook, Katara was about to apologize to Pakku, but changed her mind at the last minute, unable to submit to Pakku's sour chauvinism. Katara, in defiance, challenged Pakku to a duel. Though he initially had no intention of accepting, Pakku eventually fought Katara. She was easily outmatched by the master, but refused to give up. Pakku ended the duel by trapping Katara among spikes of ice. Though he acknowledged her apparent skill, Pakku still would not consent to teach her.[2]

During his fight with Katara, Pakku knocked her grandmother's necklace to the ground. Picking it up after the duel was finished, he recognized its pendant as the betrothal necklace he had carved sixty years before for "the love of [his] life", his fiancée, Kanna. Realizing that his stubborn adherence to custom had cost him a wife, Pakku consented to teach both Aang and Katara,[2] the latter learning and improving faster than any of his students.[6] After this, Pakku played a critical role in defending Agna Qel'a in the Siege of the North. Following the battle, Pakku tasked Katara with instructing the slower-learning Aang, and also decided to travel to the Southern Tribe to help them rebuild their nation.[7]

Pakku holds vial with spirit water

Master Pakku gave Katara a vial of spirit water.

Aang and his comrades accompanied Pakku at the beginning of his journey to the Southern Tribe before separating to travel to Omashu. When the groups split, Pakku gave Katara a vial of water from the Spirit Oasis in the Northern City and gave Aang a box containing scrolls of waterbending techniques. As for Sokka, Pakku gave him only words of good luck, to Sokka's disappointment.[8] Pakku and the other Northern healers and waterbenders worked to restore the war-torn Southern Water Tribe, where he reunited with Kanna and successfully proposed to her, even making her a new betrothal necklace.[1]

Liberation of Ba Sing Se[]

When he and the other Order of the White Lotus members received a message from Iroh, Pakku joined the effort to liberate Ba Sing Se. Shortly before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, the Avatar's group reunited with Pakku and their other teachers who were in the Order of the White Lotus. When Katara and Sokka saw him, he told them that he was their new grandfather, as he made Kanna a new betrothal necklace. The two children were thrilled with this development. Sokka tried to find a nickname of his liking, considering "Gramp-Gramp" and "Grampakku", much to Pakku's annoyance, but was unable to create a good one. Pakku told his step-grandson to "just call [him] Pakku", and Sokka's face fell as he was again dismissed by his step-grandfather.[1]

Pakku and Piandao

Masters Pakku and Piandao fought the Fire Nation to free Ba Sing Se.

Pakku and the Order of the White Lotus launched an attack on Ba Sing Se, working to liberate the city during the arrival of Sozin's Comet. Pakku created a large water slide over one of Ba Sing Se's walls, distracting Fire Nation soldiers. He subsequently froze the slide, trapping the soldiers and allowing himself and Piandao to slide into the city. He initially blocked a large fire blast, but the flames evaporated the water, leaving him unable to defend himself from a second blast. He was saved by the arrival of Jeong Jeong, who created a large wall of fire to dissipate the attack.[5]

Life in the Southern Water Tribe[]

After the end of the Hundred Year War, Pakku eloped with Kanna to the Misty Palms Oasis, where they got married. Although Pakku felt that the settlement failed to live up to its name, the couple did enjoy their stay.

Kanna and Pakku announce their marriage

Pakku and Kanna announced their marriage to Sokka and Katara.

After their return to the Southern Water Tribe and three weeks before Sokka and Katara returned home to the South Pole, Pakku and Kanna discovered the sisters Siku and Sura, a pair of very young waterbenders, in a tiny, remote inland village east of the capital. Having sought out their mother, Pakku demonstrated his own waterbending and after much persuasion, convinced her to allow the elderly couple to bring the sisters with them to the capital, where they would become the first students of Pakku's new waterbending school.[9] However, even though their mother had given her consent to be taught, the girls remained steadfast to her number one safety rule of not revealing their waterbending and refused to follow Pakku's lessons, insisting they were not waterbenders at all, though they would bend together when they believed no one was looking. Having the opportunity to at least observe them during these times, Pakku determined that they were very talented for their age, and persisted in trying to train his young students.

Three weeks later, Pakku and Kanna welcomed back Katara and Sokka. Pakku invited Katara to visit his school, hoping she could help him with an "interesting situation" he was having. Sokka offered to provide his "motivational bending" with his students, despite Pakku's reminder that he was not a bender. After showering their grandchildren with praise over their accomplishments during the war, Pakku informed them that Hakoda was in his office at the moment but got annoyed when Sokka became confused by the mention of an "office".[4]

The next night, Pakku attended a festival being held in the capital, accompanying Siku and Sura, where they run into Katara. After introducing his students and showering praise to his prodigy, Katara asked the young girls how their lessons were going, but they nervously denied being waterbenders and ran off. Pakku explained to Katara how he and Kanna found the sisters and that they only practiced waterbending when they thought that neither he nor anyone else was looking. As they watched the sisters bend snow, he explained his previous observations of their talent.

Later that night, Pakku sat across from Kanna, dropping leaves in his wife's pot, as their family waited in silence as Hakoda recovered from the wound caused by Gilak. Pakku remained silent while Kanna remarked that the unrest in the South was due to misguided beliefs and Sokka and Katara argued over who was in the wrong: Gilak or Malina and Maliq.[10]

Pakku trains Siku and Sura

Pakku attempted to teach Siku and Sura waterbending.

The following day, Pakku attempted to teach Siku and Sura waterbending, trying to get them to pay attentively to his demonstration and imitate him. He paused his demonstration once he saw them doing nothing, and the girls denied being waterbenders once more. Frustrated with his lack of progress after three weeks of teaching, he introduced his students to their guests, Aang and Katara. The students were taken aback by the presence of the Avatar and his friend, and Katara managed to coax them into admitting they were waterbenders. Pakku interjected with annoyance when Siku and Sura referred to him as a "cranky old man." However, the sisters turned upset, proclaiming that even the Avatar and his friend could not make them do anything they did not want to.

Pakku's stepson arrived soon after his students departed, and the waterbending master formally welcomed the Head Chieftain to his school. Hakoda thanked Pakku for all he was doing for the South Pole, to which he unconfidently replied that he had built an empty school and frustrated a couple of children. Pakku thanked Aang and Katara for their help and advised them to accompany Hakoda back home, while he vowed to keep trying with the children.

After Gilak's death, Pakku and Kanna enjoyed a meal at their home with Hakoda, Sokka, Katara, Aang, Fire Lord Zuko, Earth King Kuei and Bosco. Kanna expressed her worries about having other people in her kitchen to Pakku, who advised her to simply relax and enjoy herself for one meal. Kanna watched him fondly as Pakku bent a stream of tea into his cup as everyone sat down to eat.[9]


Pakku was first and foremost a man of his nation, a staunch traditionalist rooted in his nation's patriarchal social structure.[2] He could be sarcastic, bordering on snide, though also had a caring side to him, as he bravely defended his tribe on the front lines, throwing himself into the thick of battle with little regard for his own life.[6] A proud man, Pakku took his customs and culture quite seriously, though could be placated if sufficiently shocked or forced to see another's point of view.[2] His greatest pride appeared to be his students, among whom he counted Katara as his shining achievement as an instructor based on her rapid mastery of the art of waterbending.[4]

Pakku left his patriarchal social views far behind him while teaching Katara. After relocating to the South Pole and meeting Siku and Sura alongside his wife, he persuaded the girls' mother to allow him to bring the sisters back to the capital as the first students of his new school.[9]



Pakku waterbends

Master Pakku was one of the best waterbenders in the world.

Pakku was a waterbending master, among the best in the world, and the top instructor at the Northern Water Tribe. During his duel with Katara, he created very large waves of water and ice, and eventually defeated the young waterbender by trapping her in ice spikes thrown down at her from the air, guiding each perfectly to trap her without hurting her.[2] During the Siege of the North, Pakku, empowered by the full moon, held his own against dozens of soldiers with his enhanced waterbending, creating an extremely large water spout.[7] His skill, and the methods through which he trained his students, played a large part in helping Katara to become a waterbending master.

During the liberation of Ba Sing Se, Pakku fought many comet enhanced Fire Nation soldiers alongside Piandao by creating a large wave and quickly freezing it, allowing the swordmaster to slide down on it and disable the soldiers.[5] Together with the rest of the Order of the White Lotus, he was successful in freeing Ba Sing Se from Fire Nation control.[11]

Other skills[]

Pakku also had some considerable skill in unarmed combat, easily shattering Katara's ice disk assault with barehanded chops. In addition, he was able to dodge most of her attacks, proving to be agile in combat, and he was able to counter-attack proficiently.[2]




Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book One: Water (水)

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar comics

Book Three: Fire (火)

Graphic novels

Avatar books

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game

Avatar games


  • Pakku was the shadowed waterbender in the opening sequence, making him the first person to both appear and bend in the series.
  • Pakku was the first waterbending master to be shown in the series.
  • Pakku has many nicknames, such as "Master Poophead" from Aang,[2] and "Gramp-Gramp" and "Grampakku" from Sokka.[1]
  • Pakku was portrayed by Francis Guinan in The Last Airbender.
Preceded by
Avatar's waterbending master
100 AG
Succeeded by


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Master Pakku.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  8. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 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.
  10. 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 Two (January 25, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.