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Rafa and Misu were two siblings, originally from the Northern Water Tribe, who journeyed to the Forgetful Valley located in the Fire Nation, in search of the Mother of Faces. The two hoped that the spirit would be able to restore Rafa's face, which had been stolen by Koh following one of his antics in the Northern Water Tribe.[1]


Rafa and Misu's background

After finding that Rafa's face had gone missing, Misu restlessly searched for a way to help her brother.

While the two were growing up, Misu was usually quiet and studious, while Rafa was bold and brash. As young adults, Rafa enjoyed stealing items from the tribe's most powerful people, not because he needed the items, but to prove that he could. However, he was ordered by his sister to return his plunder each time, something with which he always complied. The people from whom he stole were usually so embarrassed that he never got into any real trouble. However, one day this backfired on him, when Koh, the Face Stealer, punished him for his misdemeanor by removing his face and debilitating him, with Misu later finding him laid out on the ice.

Misu took him to their tribe's most experienced healers, but there was nothing that could be done. Refusing to give up, Misu did what she knew best and began researching ways to help her brother at the library. While reading an ancient Fire Nation scroll, she discovered that a powerful spirit with the ability to heal Rafa visited a forest in the Fire Nation from time to time. To keep the two of them safe in enemy territory, she spent years learning waterbending in secret, and then took her brother and herself to the Forgetful Valley, finally reaching it after many failed attempts, in hopes of meeting the face-giving spirit.

By 102 AG, Misu and Rafa had been living in the forest for many seasons, having repeatedly missed encountering the Mother of Faces at one of her four sacred pools. After hearing Team Avatar scrounging around the forest, Misu initially attacked them using plantbending. When Katara countered the attacks and called the waterbender out, Misu, with Rafa at her side, emerged from the brush. The team later befriended the brother and sister, and Aang entered the Spirit World in hopes of locating the Mother of Faces for them. However, Azula, under the paranoid impression that the elderly Water Tribe siblings were sent by her mother to impede her progress, aimed a bolt of lightning at them.[1]

Zuko successfully stopped Azula's attack and called on Sokka and Katara to attack her despite Misu's warnings to not cause a disturbance. In the meanwhile, Aang was able to summon the Mother of Faces, who would grant them only one request. Zuko gave up his chance to find information on Ursa so Misu could request a new face for Rafa. Before the waterbender could complete her request, Azula interrupted and used the favor to get information on Ursa, much to Misu's chagrin. After seeing that Ursa was Noriko, whom Team Avatar had met in Hira'a the day prior, Azula fled toward the town to confront her, while Misu guided Zuko and Sokka to a shortcut back to the village. She proceeded to waterbend at the Mother of Faces, who chastised her for bending the water of her sacred pool, and dove back underwater.

Rafa's face restored

After the Mother of Faces restored Rafa's face, an overjoyed Misu embraced her brother tightly.

Misu and Katara waited while Aang tried to pursue the spirit, though he was ejected from the pool by the Mother of Faces. Unhappy at Aang's demands, she ordered the group to leave the forest, sending her animals to attack them. Katara defended Misu against a spirit, saying "waterbenders have to look out for each other". Aang suggested that they leave, but Misu refused, holding out hope to gain a face for Rafa. The Avatar inadvertently blew Rafa's mask away, exposing his blank face, which he recognized as being similar to the work of Koh, the Face Stealer, and prompting the Mother of Faces to stop her animals upon hearing this. After Aang explained his knowledge of Koh, the Mother of Faces revealed to the group that he was her son and on examining Rafa, could feel Koh's mark on him. She promptly restored his face, causing an overjoyed Misu to embrace him tightly. The two left Forgetful Valley in a boat the next morning.[2]



Misu never received formal training in waterbending, save for healing lessons, due to the Northern Water Tribe's staunch gender-related customs. As such, she taught herself combative waterbending, eventually becoming skilled enough to manipulate the plant life in the Forgetful Valley. Misu preferred to freeze the water in flowers with pointed petals and use them as throwing stars, but if her opponent was persistent, she could move up to bending vines to act like mobile spears, pining people to the ground or trees by their clothing.


Graphic novels[]


  • Misu figured out a way to make an equivalent to Northern Water Tribe seaweed stew from the local ingredients in the Forgetful Valley.[1]
  • Gene Luen Yang's frame of reference for Rafa and Misu was the relationship between Katara and Sokka, "only with more years and more tragedy."[3]
  • Rafa's mask is similar to the one that Huu donned as the swamp monster.
  • Misu is similar to mizu (水, みず),[4] which means "water" in Japanese.
  • Rafa and Misu are the second known brother-sister pairing hailing from the Water Tribes, the others being Sokka and Katara, Maliq and Malina, and Desna and Eska.
  • Rafa's story is similar to that of Avatar Kuruk's; both were arrogant and brash in their youth and subsequently punished by Koh for their actions, though Rafa had his own face stolen rather than that of someone he loved.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part Two (July 10, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part Three (October 30, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Library Edition (February 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  4. Jisho (Web). Jisho.org. Retrieved on December 24, 2017.