Hakoda was the father of Sokka and Katara, the husband of the late Kya, the son of Kanna, and the chieftain of a minor tribe at the South Pole that was part of the Southern Water Tribe's tribal confederation. Even though Hakoda was not the formal chief of the Southern Water Tribe, he was one of its most prominent leaders at the end of the Hundred Year War, skilled as talented ship captain, igloo builder, and weapons maker. Much of Sokka's ingenuity and craftiness was learned from his father. He went off to fight the Fire Nation two years before the end of the Hundred Year War, leaving his children to be raised by his mother Kanna.
Hakoda grew up in the Southern Water Tribe and, like all Water Tribe boys, was taught to be a warrior. He was a good friend of Bato, and the two of them had many famous and hilarious adventures. Hakoda eventually married Kya and fathered two children: Sokka and Katara. Hakoda recognized Katara's waterbending abilities when she was young and encouraged her to develop them, knowing that her skills would be key to helping to rebuild the Southern Water Tribe; he even traveled around the entire South Pole, looking for a waterbender to train his daughter, but could not find one.
When Sokka was nine and Katara was eight, the Fire Nation's Southern Raiders were charged by Fire LordAzulon to find and dispose of the last remaining waterbender, Katara. Hakoda's wife, Kya, was killed by the leader of the Southern Raiders, Yon Rha, when she lied about being the last waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe to save her daughter. Hakoda had been busy fighting when Katara warned him that a stranger was in the house. When they both rushed back, Kya was already gone.
In 97 AG, Hakoda made a difficult choice to leave his children behind and lead the Water Tribe men to fight in the Hundred Year War, setting up camp in the Eastern Sea. While sailing three years later, Hakoda gazed upon Appa as he flew above the Southern Water Tribe fleet.
After receiving word of his location from Ba Sing Se, Sokka reunited with Hakoda. The chief was often spoken of, particularly by Sokka, who showed great respect and admiration for him. During their reunion, Hakoda and his son helped make tangle mines, and when Fire Nation Navy ships were spotted, Hakoda instructed Sokka to help ward off the attack.
His reunion with Sokka was cut short when Aang arrived to gain Sokka's help in rescuing Katara from the clutches of Azula; Hakoda gave his son a confident smile as he proceeded to launch the attack against the Fire Navy vessels. When he reunited with his family again, though, it was far from a happy reunion — a comatose Aang and his battle-worn friends arrived bearing news of the fall of Ba Sing Se and the entire Earth Kingdom. Battered by their battle with the Fire Nation ships, the Water Tribe was in no condition to fight off the reinforcements. Sokka, however, shared Hakoda's trait of not giving up.
Disguised on the ship
Hakoda and Sokka led the Water Tribe in a raid upon a Fire Navy ship after sinking their own vessels. Taking it without too much trouble, they proceeded to sail west through the Fire Nation Navy gate, recently constructed in the Serpent's Pass. During this time, Hakoda found his daughter strangely distant from him and resentful.
When he warmly greeted the revived Avatar, Katara bluntly asked him to leave (though she unconvincingly denied being mad at him). Hakoda later proved his skills as a leader and an actor by managing to convince a Fire Navy officer that they were from the Eastern Fleet and heading out to join the main group — despite their best effort, their ruse was seen through quite quickly due to a lack of critical information.
After barely escaping the enemy vessel, Hakoda found himself faced with an even greater conflict — his daughter. After Aang left the ship to fight alone, Katara rushed to her father and angrily emptied her feelings to him until she was sobbing. Hakoda realized that she was upset because of him as she tearfully asked him how he could have left them after their mother died. He explained that he shared the same grief, but knew that he had to take that course, no matter how much it hurt. Katara seemed to have forgiven her father at that point, though she and the rest of the gang left him to find and help Aang.
Hakoda arrived at the Black Cliffs on the Day of Black Sun, just as they had planned. Sokka had asked him to recruit some special people that would be good assets to the battle, and though Hakoda followed through on this favor and returned with all the people Sokka asked for, he admitted a slight concern over their fighting capabilities. Sokka had planned to give a speech explaining the invasion plan, but was extremely nervous and froze up. Hakoda stepped in for his son and proved to be a very good inspirational speaker. After getting the warriors excited for battle, they proceeded to the Fire Nation Capital.
Subsequent to passing the Great Gates of Azulon, it was a straight shot to the Fire Nation Capital. After landing on the beach, Hakoda led the charge to the palace. The warriors were being bombarded by the battlements, and Hakoda quickly learned that they needed to be destroyed. Sokka came up with a plan to destroy them. Hakoda, Katara, and Sokka boarded Appa and proceeded to destroy the battlements. They landed between two battlements and Hakoda told Sokka and Katara to take out one while he took out the other. Sokka and Katara successfully destroyed their target only to see an explosion in the other one. Hakoda stumbled out of the battlement, groaning, and fell over. Katara used waterbending to heal his wounds, but he still was not completely cured. With his father unable to continue leading the invasion, Sokka assumed command, making Hakoda proud. After Aang failed to defeat Fire Lord Ozai, Hakoda decided to send the younger warriors away on Appa. The younger ones, including Katara and Sokka, were taken by Aang to the Western Air Temple for a place to hide. The remaining warriors were imprisoned.
At first, the members of the invasion force were taken to the prison tower close to the Fire Nation Capital. Because he was the leader, Hakoda was separated from them and sent as a war prisoner to the Boiling Rock, a high security Fire Nation prison. Hakoda was lined up with the other prisoners to meet with the warden. The warden walked across the line and told the prisoners that prison did not have to be as bad as the rumors were, so long as they behaved. He came across Hakoda, who refused to look him in the eye. The amused warden forced Hakoda to his knees until he looked him in the eye. As the satisfied warden tried to walk away, Hakoda tripped him with his cuffs. Hakoda and the other prisoners were subsequently taken to their cells.
While in his cell, Hakoda was visited by Sokka, who had infiltrated the prison a day earlier, dressed as a guard. Hakoda was ready to fight Sokka until he removed his helmet and revealed his identity. The two hugged, and Sokka explained that he had come to break his father out of prison. He also told him that he had found Suki in the prison and that he had arrived with PrinceZuko, who had joined their side, and they all planned to escape. It was a sign of how much Hakoda trusted his son that he immediately accepted his word for Zuko's change of heart, although he had misgivings at first. Hakoda and Sokka began formulating an escape plan. They planned to start a prison riot as a distraction for the guards, take the warden as a hostage, and commandeer the gondola.
Hakoda, Sokka, and Suki met in the yard. Wondering how they could start a prison riot, Hakoda unsuccessfully tried to start one by shoving another prisoner, who was "working on controlling his anger". They were joined by Chit Sang, who had refused to rat out Sokka to the warden, though at the cost of being allowed to be part of their new escape attempt. Sokka told him they needed a prison riot as a distraction, and Chit Sang started one easily. The group was joined shortly by Zuko. Suki took the warden hostage, and Hakoda and the others went to the gondola to make their escape. After several tense moments, including a furious battle on top of the gondola and the warden almost having the line cut, the group escaped. They took Azula's airship and made their way back to the Western Air Temple. Hakoda reunited with Katara, and he, Katara, and Sokka shared a hug.
Attack on the Western Air Temple
A few days after being reunited with his son and daughter, the Western Air Temple was attacked by a fleet of airships led by Azula. Because Appa would not go through an earthbending-made tunnel, the group decided to split up. While Katara initially objected to splitting up their family again so soon, Hakoda promised they would meet again and went with Teo, The Duke, Haru, and Chit Sang to the captured airship.
After the Hundred-Year War
When Aang and his friends finally defeated Fire Lord Ozai, Hakoda arrived in the Fire Nation to celebrate the War's end and the coronation of Prince Zuko as Fire Lord. Upon reuniting with his two children, he proclaimed that he was "the proudest father in the world" and that their mother would have been proud of them as well. He returned to the South Pole shortly thereafter to help the rebuilding efforts in his wartorn homeland.
Hakoda was a caring husband to his late wife, Kya, and loving father to Sokka and Katara. He fought to save the ones he loved and avenge Kya's death. He led a strong and brave battle against the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun, persistent with the siege efforts despite his injuries from attacking a battlement. Hakoda was also comical and known to create inventions just like his son Sokka. According to the warden, he was also very strong-willed and determined.
Although not a waterbender, Hakoda was a very skilled warrior, possibly the best in his tribe. He was shown fighting off multiple firebenders when his tribe was attacked by the Southern Raiders. He was skilled with many weapons and hand-to-hand combat. Hakoda was also very intelligent and a brilliant strategist, which enabled him to defeat large numbers of firebenders despite being outnumbered, a trait he passed down to his son, Sokka.
Hakoda's skills in strategy and combat were fully witnessed during the invasion of the Fire Nation, where he flawlessly explained the entire invasion plan and bravely led the invasion force. He fought off many Fire Nation soldiers while in the capital city. He was unable to continue fighting after he was injured while successfully taking out a battlement. Hakoda's intelligence was shown once more while he was imprisoned at the Boiling Rock, where he devised a successful escape plan with the help of Sokka.