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Sokka's sword

Sokka first used his sword in a duel against Piandao.

Sokka's sword was a weapon crafted by the young Water Tribe warrior during his swordsmanship training with Piandao. It was forged using ore from a recently fallen meteorite,[1] and Sokka later referred to it as his "space sword" due to the origin of its material. The weapon is able to cut through various metals with little to moderate effort and has a distinctive dark hue that can be attributed to the material from which it was forged. Sokka bonded with it in a similar fashion as had taken place with his boomerang.[2]

History

Sokka shoveling

Sokka forged his sword from a fallen meteorite.

At the start of his training under Piandao, Sokka hardly knew the proper way to hold a sword. However, he had a great natural talent and progressed quickly, being able to beat the butler, Fat, after a single day. Three days into his apprenticeship, Sokka and Piandao began working on making his sword. Sokka decided to make it out of a meteorite he and his friends had encountered earlier, and spent days forging the sword. After receiving this, he blew his Fire Nation cover deliberately, prompting Piandao to instigate a duel to the death, albeit fake, as a final test to make sure that Sokka had learned the necessary skills. During this fight, Sokka showed how much he had learned about the way of the sword in just a few days, showing great resourcefulness and the ability to recognize and exploit every advantage. Piandao eventually beat him, but was greatly impressed by his progress and said that Sokka had the potential to one day be an even greater master than him.[1]

Sokka left Piandao's tutelage to help Aang on his quest to save the world from Ozai and started putting his new skills to use shortly thereafter. Sokka had no qualms about using his sword in untraditional ways, such as to haul supplies on the end of it,[3] or poke people with the scabbard.[4] However, he prized the sword very much, second probably only to his boomerang, his oldest weapon, given to him by his father Hakoda. He grew fearful when Toph used it as collateral in one of her scams without his permission.[5] The warrior later used the sword in combat during the invasion of the Fire Nation,[6][7] as well as in a friendly "swordbending" duel against Prince Zuko, which he lost.[8]

When Sozin's Comet arrived, Sokka, along with Toph and Suki, went to stop the Fire Nation airship fleet from burning the Earth Kingdom to the ground. After commandeering and crashing one of the airships into the rest of the fleet, Sokka and Toph were thrown off during their attempted escape, but the former managed to halt their fall by burying his sword into the airship's outer hull as a grapple hook. Stranded and about to be attacked by firebenders, Sokka sacrificed both his boomerang and his sword, throwing them at the planks supporting their opponents. This prevented their deaths just long enough for Suki to rescue them with the last airship, but neither the sword nor the boomerang came back, plummeting to the ground of the Wulong Forest.[9]

Design

Piandao and Sokka

Piandao agreed to forge a unique sword from meteorite ore.

Sokka's sword is a jian, or straight sword. The blades of such swords are approximately seventy centimeters long and four centimeters wide, with the grip measuring about twenty centimeters long. The black blade of the weapon originated with the sword's composition of meteoric iron, while the sheath is simple, dark brown and straight, adorned with a gold-plate inlay about midway down its length. The sheath's tip is rectangular and adorned with a stylized white lotus symbol made of gold filigree, while another is etched into the end of the grip; these marks identify the sword as the work of a member of the Order of the White Lotus.

Since the sword was made specifically for Sokka, who also took part in its construction, the sword is "attuned" to him, suggesting a affinity between the two rather than any kind of mystical connection. Finally, the unusual material, according to Piandao, gives the sword unique properties, namely its exceptional durability and keenness; it is able to cut through thick layers of steel and other materials.

Real life connections

Swords and other tools forged from meteorite iron have a long history, both in the real world and in fiction. It is believed that meteorite iron was the first iron ore used by humans, before the development of mining to retrieve terrestrial iron. King Tutankhamun was entombed with a meteorite-iron dagger on his breast,[10] and fragments from the Cape York meteorite were used by the Greenland Inuit people to fashion knife blades and harpoon heads.[11] In more contemporary times, Japanese master swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshiwara made a katana called tentetsutou or "Sword of Heaven", the blade of which was forged from a fragment of the massive Gibeon iron meteorite that landed in Namibia in prehistoric times.[12]

Trivia

Sokka and Piandao's sword concept art

The concept art of Sokka's jian (left) and Master Piandao's blade (right) highlights several aspects of both swords.

  • Sokka's sword and sheath, as well as Piandao's sword and sheath, are designed based upon real swords owned by Sifu Kisu. Kisu is the martial arts consultant for the show's creators and was also the character reference for Piandao.
  • Sokka's sword is made of the same material as Toph's bracelet.[1]
  • Sokka's sword was seen cutting through over a foot of solid steel.
  • The concept of a sword being made out of a meteorite was derived from the ancient Mongolian legend of Timur.
  • A real life replica of Sokka's sword, made from real meteorite, was created by Tony Swatton of Man At Arms on the AWE Me YouTube channel.[13]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 12, 2007). "Sokka's Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  3. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  4. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 15, 2008). "The Firebending Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  5. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 2, 2007). "The Runaway". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  8. Wilgus, Alison (writer), Ridge, Justin (artist), Dzioba, Wes (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Swordbending" (2009), Nickelodeon Comics Club.
  9. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  10. A Brief History of Steel. tf.uni-kiel.com.
  11. Woman (Cape York) - exhibition text. American Museum of National History.
  12. THE SWORD OF HEAVEN (“TENTETSUTOU”). Tokyo Skytree Town campus.
  13. AWE Me (September 23, 2013). Sokka's Meteor Sword (Avatar: The Last Airbender) - MAN AT ARMS. YouTube. Retrieved on November 16, 2018.

See also

External links

Start a Discussion Discussions about Sokka's sword

  • Return of Sokka's Sword

    10 messages
    • He already had a boomerang in The Promise. As for a new sword, that'd be really hard to replace, not only because of its distinct...
    • There's official art of the Gaang as adults, & Sokka has the same model of sword, but no word on whether or not it's the exact same one.