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Yon Rha was the commander of the Southern Raiders who served during the final stages of the Southern Water Tribe raids. He killed Kya in an unsuccessful attempt to eliminate the last of the Southern Water Tribe's waterbender population and retired two years after this event.[1]


Yon Rha interrogating Kya.

Yon Rha became the commander of the Southern Raiders around 86 AG.[2] In 94 AG, he was tasked by Fire Lord Azulon to find and dispose of the final remaining waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe. He and his men executed a raid on the tribe during which Yon Rha interrogated Kya to find the last waterbender's whereabouts. Kya tricked him into believing that she was the one they were looking for in order to protect the real waterbender, her daughter Katara. Yon Rha killed Kya on the spot, explaining that he did not intend to take any prisoners.[1]

In 96 AG, Yon Rha honorably retired, going home to live quietly with his ill-tempered mother in a peaceful Fire Nation village. Mostly due to the time he spent with her, he was reduced to a shadow of the proud commander he used to be.[3]

Four years after his retirement, whilst he was walking back to his mother's house from the local market, he was ambushed by Katara and Zuko, who had left the Western Air Temple to confront him, seeking vengeance for Kya's murder. He recognized Katara as the little Water Tribe girl he encountered during his last raid on the Southern Water Tribe when he killed the alleged last waterbender. However, he was proven wrong in his belief when Katara revealed that her mother had lied to protect the true last waterbender, herself. Seeing the pain and rage displayed in Katara's bending, Yon Rha cowered back from her fierce attack, raising his arms to protect himself from the icicles she shot in his direction to end his life.

Katara decides not to kill Yon Rha.

However, she halted her attack at the last moment, deciding to spare him.

He begged for his life, even offering the life of his own mother to even the score, though Katara refrained from executing her revenge, proclaiming that as much as she hated him, she could not bring herself to kill such a miserable target. Yon Rha was left crying and cowering in the dirt of the road.[1]


During his time as the commander of the Southern Raiders, Yon Rha was cruel, merciless, and violent, taking pleasure in killing people. After his retirement and subsequent move to live again with his mother, he became submissive to her domineering persona. When confronted by Katara about Kya's murder, Yon Rha was quick to offer his own mother's life to save his own, displaying his cowardice.[1]


Yon Rha was a capable commander during his time in the Southern Raiders, effectively using his men in a frontal assault against the Southern Water Tribe as a diversion to allow him to enter into the settlement undetected. He was also a skilled firebender, able to react to a perceived threat within a short time. Yon Rha was also alert, as even four years after his retirement, he was still able to perceive his surroundings, knowing full well someone had been following him from the market place on his way home.[1]



Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Three: Fire (火)

Preceded by
Commander of the Southern Raiders
c. 86 - 96 AG
Succeeded by
Southern Raiders commander