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This article is about Katara and Sokka's mother. For Katara in the unaired pilot, see Kya (pilot). For Aang and Katara's daughter, see Kya.

Kya was the mother of Sokka and Katara and the wife of Hakoda, the chief of their village at the Southern Water Tribe.[2] She was killed during a raid on her home, and her death had a profound impact upon both her children. Katara wore her mother's necklace as a memento of her affection.


Early life and adulthood

According to Southern Water Tribe lore, Kya once had a childhood friend, Nini, who was trapped and killed by a snowstorm while the two were young. Katara told the story in order to scare her friends, making it unclear whether the events occurred or not.[3]

In her later life, Kya married Hakoda and gave birth to two children: Sokka and Katara. Whenever her daughter, Katara, became ill with a cold, Kya made a special paste out of blubber and pepper berries and rubbed it on her little girl's chest, which was always effective.[4]


Kya, Yon Rha and young Katara

Yon Rha's confrontation of Kya was interrupted by a worried eight-year-old Katara.

When the Southern Raiders attacked her village, Kya was found in her home by the Raiders' leader, Yon Rha, who interrogated her about the identity of the last Southern waterbender. When an eight-year-old Katara walked in on the interrogation, drawing the attention of Yon Rha to herself, Kya looked the Raiders' leader in the eyes and told him to leave her daughter alone in exchange for the information that he wanted. She told a scared Katara to not worry and find Hakoda.

As Yon Rha demanded to know the identity of the waterbender who lived in the village, Kya at first denied that there were any waterbenders left, declaring that the Fire Nation had taken them all away in prior raids. However, Yon Rha told her that they were not leaving until they had found the waterbender, whose existence had been confirmed by a reliable source. Desperate to protect her daughter, the last waterbender he was after, Kya told him that she was the one they were looking for. When she declared that she was ready to be taken as their prisoner, Yon Rha told her that he was not to take any prisoners, and she was killed by him instead.[1]


Kya's death had a severe effect on her whole family. Both Katara and Sokka developed a strong distrust of anybody from the Fire Nation, and Hakoda went off to war with his warriors in order to ensure the Water Tribe's survival. Katara frequently expressed grief over her mother's death, which she often referred to as an example of the Fire Nation's ruthlessness.[5]

Kya hallucination

Katara had a vision of Kya in the Foggy Swamp.

Kya was mentioned on several occasions by her children, such as by Katara to explain the importance of her necklace to Haru[6] and why she hated the Fire Nation so much to Zuko .[7] While wandering the Foggy Swamp in search of her friends, Katara believed she saw her mother, though it turned out to be a tree stump made to look like her mother by the swamp's spiritual properties.[8]

Six years after Kya's death, Sokka admitted to Toph that he was unable to remember what his mother looked like, going as far as to say that whenever he tried to picture her, Katara's face was the only thing he could see.[9] Kya's death initially instilled a deep hatred toward the Fire Nation in Sokka, though that grudge slowly faded as he grew older, to the point where he opposed the idea of his sister exacting revenge on Yon Rha.


Katara and Aang later named their daughter after Kya.[10]


Kya was a caring and loving wife and mother, who established a strong bond with her husband and both their children, notably Katara. A courageous woman, she willingly sacrificed her life to save her daughter, suggesting that she harbored deep maternal instincts and felt highly obligated to protect her family at any cost.[1]




Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Graphic novels


  • In the unaired pilot for the original series, Katara's name was originally "Kya", but was changed once the actual show began production. This name was later used for her mother instead. This was because there was a video game character named Kya, and the creators changed the name to Katara to avoid a potential lawsuit.
  •'s Avatar Index and Avatar Extras use the spelling "Kaya", and also uses a Southern Raider's picture instead of Kya's when her name is clicked.
  • In Katara's vision of her in the swamp, Kya did not have the same hairstyle nor was she wearing her heavy coat. As such, she looked different to how she appeared in Katara's flashback.
  • Kya's name was only mentioned once by Hakoda, when Katara told him about the man in their house during the raid.[1]
  • Kya shares a similar past to that of Yasuko, the mother of Asami Sato. Both women were killed by firebenders that entered their homes, albeit for different reasons, when their children were very young, and the death of each woman caused their respective spouse to take action: Hakoda led the Southern Water Tribe to fight in the Hundred Year War, while Hiroshi joined Amon.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated.
  3. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  4. Wilgus, Alison (writer), Garagarza, Elsa (artist), Dzioba, Wes (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Don't Blow It!" (2009), Nickelodeon Comics Club.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  6. Hubbard, Matthew (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (March 25, 2005). "Imprisoned". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  8. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  9. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 2, 2007). "The Runaway". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  10. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Kya (nonbender)

  • Should Katara give Kya her necklace?

    3 messages
    • Kya already has one, and has none of her own children to pass it down to. Probably not
    • if i remember correctly for katara's case it was passed down to katara after her mothers death as we did not see her were it during ...

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