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|"For the South to grow strong again, all foreign presence must be eradicated, especially the North."|
|— Gilak about the Southern Reconstruction Project |
During the Hundred Year War, Gilak fought under Hakoda's command against the Fire Nation and came to greatly respect the then de facto chief of the South. Having become aware of the structures of power that exist in the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation, Gilak deemed the lack thereof as the reason for why the Southern Water Tribe fell so easily to the latter. Upon his return home after the war, he was informed that Hakoda was to be made head chief of the Southern Water Tribe as a whole, much to his delight.
Katara and Sokka met Gilak after chasing down the two thieves of Maliq's briefcase of documents, running into a group of Southerners hidden in a cave under the shipwreck. Gilak quickly explained to the siblings that he already knew of them and that he considered both them and Hakoda himself to be heroes. He also showed them what he referred to as "a gathering of patriots", which were all people who felt like the presence of Northerners in the Southern Water Tribe was unwanted. Becoming overly zealous in trying to convince Sokka and Katara to join their initiative, Gilak went as far as to put a knife to Sokka's throat in order to make them stay and keep the group's secrecy from the chief. However, he was quickly overpowered by Katara's waterbending, allowing the two to escape. Using a horn, Gilak rallied several warriors, ordering them to stop the siblings at all costs.
Gilak is a proud man, evidenced by his support of his own nation. He appears to be loyal to his tribe, exhibited by his engagement in the war with Hakoda and the fact that he will do what he thinks is best for the Southern Water Tribe. This also results in a fear of change instigated by foreign entities, such as the Northern Water Tribe.