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This article refers to the innkeeper of a Fire Nation inn. For the innkeeper of the Misty Palms Inn, see Innkeeper.

Hama was a waterbending master from the Southern Water Tribe. She was captured and imprisoned by the Fire Nation during the Southern Water Tribe raids, but she escaped through the use of bloodbending, a waterbending technique she developed while incarcerated. Upon her escape, she fled to a small town in the Fire Nation, where she became an innkeeper. Every full moon, Hama exacted her revenge on the Fire Nation by imprisoning villagers from her town in a mountain.[1]

History

Early life

Young Hama

Hama initially lived in the Southern Water Tribe.

In her youth, Hama was close friends with Kanna, the grandmother of Sokka and Katara.[2] For years, Hama was one of many waterbenders residing in the Southern Water Tribe; however, when she was a young adult, the Fire Nation began raiding the Southern Water Tribe, and systematically weakened its defenses by capturing waterbenders through hit-and-run attacks. Hama and her fellow waterbenders did everything they could to resist the firebending army, and they even managed to freeze at least one ship by suspending it on ice. However, as the raids continued, more and more waterbenders were captured, until Hama was the last remaining waterbender in the Southern Tribe. Finally, she too was captured and led away in chains, while Kanna watched in tears.[1]

Discovering bloodbending

Hama bloodbends an elephant rat

Hama developed bloodbending by practicing on elephant rats.

While imprisoned, she and the other waterbenders were caged and separated from each other. The Fire Nation ensured that the waterbenders could not use water to escape; the prison kept humidity to a minimum so no water could be pulled from the air, and the waterbenders' limbs were chained whenever they were given water. However, each month Hama could feel the power of the full moon and knew there had to be a way to escape. She eventually realized that because water exists within all living things, she could control them by bending the water inside their bodies, and escape. Only during full moons, when her bending was at its peak, could Hama manipulate the water in the bodies of the rats in her cell, and after many years of practice, she mastered this ability, which she named bloodbending. On the next full moon, Hama used bloodbending to control one of the prison guards and force him to unlock her cage, allowing her to escape her imprisonment, freed by one of the guards assigned to keep her locked in.[3]

Hama later moved into a small Fire Nation village, becoming the keeper of a modest inn. Consumed by a desire for revenge over the harsh treatment she and her fellow waterbenders had to endure in the waterbender prison, she began using her bloodbending abilities to abduct the Fire Nation villagers every full moon, forcing them to walk up a mountain where she imprisoned them in a cave. On one of these nights, Hama bloodbent Ding and forced him to walk toward her mountain prison. Before she could lock him in the cave, however, the sun began to rise, breaking her grip on the man, and he escaped.[1]

Meeting a fellow waterbender

Decades after her escape from the Fire Nation prison, Hama discovered Team Avatar camping in the woods near the village where she lived. She overheard Katara tell a story about Nini, a Southern Water Tribe girl, and made herself known to the team. The innkeeper invited them to stay at her inn, warning them that the woods they were camping in were unsafe, because people had been mysteriously disappearing during full moons. The group gratefully accepted her invitation.

The next morning, Hama and the rest of the Team Avatar went to get some supplies in a nearby town; while Katara and Hama got along well, Sokka began to question Hama's strange demeanor. Soon after, Hama found the group snooping around her home, and to tame their suspicions, she showed them a Water Tribe comb, revealing to the group that she was a waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe, but that she had been captured during a raid and put in a prison which she eventually escaped from. However, she did not reveal the exact nature of the escape, claiming it to be too painful. She offered to teach Katara everything she knew in order to carry on the tradition of southern waterbending, to which Katara eagerly agreed.

Hama demonstrates her skills

Hama trained Katara in Southern style waterbending.

The next day, Hama taught Katara a series of techniques in order to obtain water in places devoid of any obvious water sources. She first demonstrated the ability to pull water out of thin air, and she advised Katara to keep an open mind and realize that there was water in unexpected places. She subsequently led Katara to a field of fire lilies and told her that water could even be drawn from living things, and she demonstrated this by harvesting the water from the flowers around the two and using it to slice through a rock. While Katara was amazed by the demonstration, she regretted that the fire lilies were destroyed in the process. Hama dismissed her concerns quickly by telling her that they were simply flowers, and that a waterbender in a foreign country had to do what they must to survive. Following her demonstration, Hama offered to teach Katara a powerful technique that was only possible during the full moon. When Katara expressed hesitance due to the rumors of disappearances, Hama reassured her that two master waterbenders under a full moon should be able to handle anything.

Hama bloodbends Aang and Sokka

Hama bloodbent Aang and Sokka under a full moon.

That night, Hama led Katara into the nearby forest and told her about bloodbending and its ability to control another living organism. Horrified by the idea of controlling another person's body, Katara refused to learn bloodbending. Hama argued with her, stating that it did not matter whether she wanted to learn it or not, because the power to use it existed either way. For trying to wipe out their entire culture, Hama extolled that they must have vengeance upon the Fire Nation. This outburst led Katara to realize that Hama had been causing the villagers to disappear, but the innkeeper angrily said that the people of the Fire Nation deserved the same treatment that they had given to her and the other southern waterbenders. Hearing this caused Katara to adamantly refuse to learn bloodbending, and to try to stop Hama from further terrorizing the town. Hama used bloodbending against Katara to temporarily force her into submission. However, Katara quickly regained control of her body after calming down and told Hama that since she was the more powerful waterbender, Hama's bloodbending was useless on her. The two began to battle, each drawing water from the grass, the trees, and the air. While Katara was poised to win the duel, Aang and Sokka arrived, having discovered Hama's true identity. Hama used bloodbending to force them to attack Katara and, after Katara managed to evade their attacks, forced Sokka to raise his sword to stab Aang. Before she could pit the two against each other, Katara used bloodbending to subdue Hama in order to protect her friend. Toph Beifong arrived with the villagers she had freed from Hama's mountain prison, who handcuffed Hama and took her away, vowing to imprison her forever. Hama remarked that her work was done, as Katara had already used and mastered bloodbending. She laughed maniacally as she was dragged off, leaving Katara in tears.[1]

Personality

Hama

Hama regularly concealed her deep-rooted anger behind a kind smile.

To those around her, Hama presented herself as a gentle, kind old woman, possessing a caring, maternal personality, which eventually won Katara's trust. Determined and strong-willed, Hama fought persistently to ward off the Fire Nation during the Southern Water Tribe raids. However, her imprisonment and subsequent bad treatment at the hands of the Fire Nation brought out a much darker and unstable side of Hama, fueling her belief that she had to do everything to survive, no matter the cost. Her discovery of bloodbending led her to become power-hungry and radically driven to exact revenge on the Fire Nation whenever possible, even if them meant harming innocent villagers. Long to hold a grudge, she actively retaliated against the Fire Nation by imprisoning local villagers as a way to punish the Fire Nation for the devastation they brought upon the Southern Water Tribe. She revealed a cruel side to her, showing no mercy toward random Fire Nation citizens or even Katara, who she willingly used bloodbending on.

When she met Katara, she wanted to pass on the Southern Water Style so it would not die along with her, as well as her own invention of bloodbending, stating Katara "must carry on [her] work". She was an encouraging teacher, if not a little immersed in instructing Katara. However, her real goal was to ensure bloodbending would not die with her, and that Katara would use it for the same reason Hama did: to get revenge on the Fire Nation in the name of the Southern Water Tribe.[1]

Abilities

Waterbending

Ice claws

Hama was able to pull water from thin air.

Hama was a powerful waterbender and, along with Katara, was one of few living waterbenders from the Southern Water Tribe during the Hundred Year War. She was also the only remaining master of the Southern Style until she passed her knowledge on to Katara. Her prowess was of such a standard that she was able to resist Fire Nation captivity during the Southern Water Tribe raids longer than any other of her fellow waterbenders.

Hama was proficient, creative, and resourceful enough to manipulate and extract water from grass, flowers, and even trees to fuel her bending in combat or for other purposes. She could even pull water out of the air, making her a formidable opponent. This resourcefulness allowed her to use her waterbending even when deprived of an obvious and significant water source.

Bloodbending

Having spent years with the single-minded goal of perfecting this art, Hama became highly skilled at bloodbending, a technique that allowed her to manipulate the water in other creatures' bodies during the full moon, effectively giving her control over her target's actions. Hama was skilled enough in its use that she could simultaneously control Aang and Sokka with great finesse.

Other skills

Hama was a capable teacher, passing on all knowledge of Southern Style Waterbending to Katara in a short time, though Katara was already a master in her own right. Hama also proved to be a skilled actress, hiding her grudge against her Fire Nation neighbors as she enacted her revenge on them one by one, even disguising her grim intentions from Toph, who is capable of detecting lies. After escaping prison, she concealed herself and successfully shook off suspicion, taking up residence in a small town as an innkeeper. She also knew how to make traditional Southern Water Tribe cuisine such as five-flavor soup and stewed sea prunes.

Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Three: Fire (火)

Trivia

  • The name "Hama" is similar to the Greek word haima (αίμα), meaning "blood", which is appropriate as Hama was the inventor of bloodbending.
  • Hama was one of the few Water Tribe members not to have blue eyes, as hers were gray.
  • Hama appeared to have a light skin tone, which is unusual, since most people from the Water Tribe have a bronzed-olive skin tone.
  • Hama was briefly mentioned by Kanna in the movie adaptation, The Last Airbender, as being the last waterbender in the South Pole until the Fire Nation came and took her.
  • Hama was the first villain in either series to hail from the Water Tribe, but was the only one known to hail from the Southern Water Tribe.
  • Hama was the first known waterbender that bloodbent in either series, the second was Katara in Book Three, and the other three were Amon, Tarrlok, and Yakone in The Legend of Korra.
  • The puppets that Sokka found when he was snooping around Hama's inn were made by her to look like her prisoners.
  • Hama is the first known waterbender to disguise herself as a simple Fire Nation citizen. However, unlike Katara, the second known waterbender to do so, Hama did not change her hair style to a top-knot, but merely added a Fire Nation headpiece.
  • The Fire Nation ship that Hama froze is the same one that Aang and Katara would board later after going penguin sledding.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  2. Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 147
  3. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.

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