Disclaimer: The following neither supports "Tokka" or "Sukka" nor denies "Tokka" or "Sukka". Please keep an open mind while reading this article. This article is merely a compilation of moments from within Avatar: The Last Airbender which may be viewed as "evidence", and the object of this article is to provide a complete list of such "evidence" as well as to stoke healthy discussion of "Tokka". This article is divided into three sections, each of which is more "speculative" than the last - Toph's Evidence, Sokka's Evidence, and Tokka in the Future. The following does not support a mutual "Tokka" romance but merely provides "evidence" for Toph's generally agreed upon infatuation, to some degree, with Sokka.
Notes on Toph's Infatuation With Sokka
- Toph making fun of Sokka during the fight with Azula in The Chase shows that she has singled him out as the "non-bender" and least helpful member in the team when it comes to fighting, and that she finds his inability to see this as funny for some reason. That being said, nothing really supports the idea that she had a crush on him at this point.
- When all current members of Team Avatar reject Toph because of her apparent selfishness in The Chase, Sokka tries to prevent her from leaving (but fails, because she Earthbends him to the side and walks off anyways). It is probable that she appreciated him standing up for her against the others' wishes after the fact, when her anger had cooled down enough for her to return to the group.
- When Toph loudly proclaims to Aang that it is time for the two of them to start Earthbending training in Bitter Work, Sokka wakes up annoyed at the noise. Toph tells him they will Earthbend as quietly as possible, and then sends Sokka (still in his sleeping bag) flying into the air with her Earthbending. When he grumpily leaves the campsite, Toph turns to watch him leave, this done despite her having no actual sensible reason for doing so (line of sight not mattering for her), meaning this was probably an unconscious reaction to him leaving on her part. The whole interaction is evidence that Toph's probable appreciation for Sokka's actions in the episode immediately preceding this one had by this point turned into a crush on her part, though she is probably not fully conscious of it yet herself.
- In The Desert, Toph launches a rock up in the air at a Buzzard Wasp which was next to Sokka at one point, and then causes it to land (the Buzzard Wasp having flitted away by the time she did so), accidentally almost crushing him (since she can't see where her own projectiles are in the air). Rather than turning it into a joke, Toph apologizes and turns away from him. Since this little movement wasn't needed from an animation standpoint, this little movement & her apology are mostly likely meant to portray her embarrassment at almost killing him when she was attempting to help him against the attacking creature.
- In The Serpent's Pass, Sokka rashly saves Suki's life from falling rocks while completely ignoring the consequences for himself. Toph saves his life by creating an Earth barrier which they slide down into the one of the lakes on the side of the pass. Sokka completely ignores this act, and pays only attention to Suki's safety, which annoys Toph enough for her to comment on it to herself. Interestingly, the DVD commentary for this episode makes mention of "Tokka" shipping here, rather than at the misplaced kiss scene which happens later on, though they do seem to pass over it as quickly as could easily be done while obviously affirming that it existed in the scene.
- In The Serpent's Pass, the titular Serpent broke up the ice bridge Toph was slowly moving across to get to solid ground. Having had no experience swimming, she begins to sink, Sokka shouting out to her that he is coming to save her. When Suki instead saves her, she (being unable to see in the water) is under the impression that he had come after her, and gives "Sokka" a kiss (her face showing romantic feelings were plainly behind it) on the cheek in response to "his" actions, seeming quite happy that he specifically had come to save her. It is probably at this point, while death by drowning quickly rushed towards her with Sokka's words the last thing she heard before sinking, that Toph herself realized the extent of her feelings.
- In Lake Laogai, when Katara sarcastically says that Sokka should kiss Jet to bring his memories back, Toph's mouth opens as if she is about to laugh or is holding back laughter, and it seems as if she is amused at the idea of Sokka kissing. It is simple to connect exactly which part of that amused her.
- After a bareback Appa returns to Team Avatar after being freed by Zuko, Toph is no longer able to clutch his saddle in order to feel secure, and specifically mentions her fear of this state of affairs in The Earth King when Appa is rushing towards the Earth King's palace with great speed. So, it is without question that Toph needs to hold onto Sokka's arm in subsequent episodes while Appa still lacks a saddle, and that should in no way be directly used as an example of "Tokka" shipping in and of itself. However, this leads one to wonder why Toph has seemingly no problem with sitting up and clinging on to nothing in particular while half-way through the flight the group took with the Earth King to go and show him the evidence provided by the drill of Long Feng's deceit. Seemingly, since she was clinging to Appa's fur earlier on in the flight and the beast was probably flying slower at this time (not being part of a head-on attack and all), her fear eventually drifted away and she sat up as boredom set in. Given what we know about Toph, her crush playing a part in her reasoning while holding onto Sokka's arm later on cannot be entirely ruled out of the question, though her sitting on Appa's head in the first link probably plays a big role because of the increased instability of sitting there.
- In Sokka's Master after the group shows their inability to plan out their path through the Fire Nation with Sokka, Toph derides them for this and then informs them that she misses Sokka. Katara then makes light of the idea of Toph marrying Sokka, to which Toph reacts by turning on her side away from the group, clearly not liking this being joked about.
- In Sokka's Master, when Sokka returns to the group in order to get their help moving the meteorite back to Piandao's mansion, Toph smiles widely as she informs the group of his approach (funnily enough, her smile is still not as exaggerated as Katara's or Aang's, despite her crush on him). When they rush over to him to hug him, Toph is clearly the one running fastest in the beginning (though she slows up and they all eventually reach him at about the same time), and can be seen upon close observation pushing her way past Katara so no one would be in the way of her hugging him. Unlike the cases of Katara and Aang, it is not seen when she breaks away from him, though judging from the fact of her standing closer to him than any other member of the group after the hug she was probably the last. Courtesy of Bassmasta2012, the details of the hugging scene are best interpreted to portray Toph's desire to get the most out of that particular hug that she possibly could without being obvious about it, especially when one takes into account the scenes which follow immediately afterward.
- After everyone is done hugging Sokka in Sokka's Master, Aang and Katara begin acting really goofy, and Sokka asks Toph what everyone else's deal is. Toph turns away as she tells him, "I don't know." (rubs her neck uncomfortably) "They missed you or something. I didn't care," and blushes as she hides the truth from him. This is clear evidence on Toph's part that she has a crush on Sokka.
- In The Runaway, Sokka brings back a "Wanted" poster of Toph as "The Runaway". Toph asks him if the picture of her on the poster looked good, causing him to glance back and forth between the picture and her before answering that it actually did. Toph initially stashes it away in the folds of her Fire Nation clothing, but apparently places it with the rest of her things later on before she went off to scam with Sokka again, which is where Katara finds it later. The question comes to mind why Toph didn't simply just rip it up when she decided to remove it from her person, indicating that it may have had value to her because Sokka had said it had a good picture of her on it.
- In The Puppetmaster, Toph blushes yet again while opening Hama's "treasure" chest. Probably remembering back to the circumstances which first made her appreciate Sokka in that way, she would therefore blush because she is now doing the same for him by helping him unlock the chest even though the other two disapprove, and is hoping he will appreciate her actions as much as she did his. As evidence, she seems to hardly care when Sokka rushes over and pushes against her to look inside the chest, but she stops blushing and switches to a bored look when the other two return and shove her out of the way to look in it as well, because she now thinks her actions probably won't be appreciated.
- Later on in the same episode, when the group is about to descend into the cave in which Hama has trapped the missing villagers, Sokka complains that he can't see anything in the cave. Toph tells him, "That's why you have me, let's go," and briefly grabs his hand. This would mean almost nothing, except she fails to render the same service of her more developed Seismic Sense to Aang as well, and also lets go of Sokka's hand soon afterwards (before they are even finished jumping into the cave), indicating that she was holding onto his hand for other reasons which she thought would become too obvious if she did so for very long.
- Toph goes to great lengths to support Sokka against Azula's trickery in The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse, saving his life twice (once by binding Azula's armed hand, and another time by throwing herself onto him to push him out of the way of the Fire Princess's fireblasts), and then claiming that the ruining of their mission was not his fault .This is true despite Sokka's infatuation with Suki being the immediate cause of their loss, which may have otherwise been avoided. This is different than the case where she also supports Aang in that in the larger scheme of things they really had accidentally set themselves up for a loss (as she explained to Aang), where as in the immediate case at hand Sokka alone was clearly at fault. With Aang, she isn't rude but still straightforwardly speaks the truth (which would be normal in her general interactions with her friends), but she un-straightforwardly supports him anyways despite his infatuation with Suki being the main problem. Such actions hardly indicate that she dropped her crush at this point, as some people are wont to say.
- In The Western Air Temple, Toph gets her feet burned, and is carried around for most of the rest of the episode either by the team of both Sokka and Aang or just by Sokka. This is a valid excuse, but it is later shown that she can still walk around if she really wants to (perhaps because Katara had already started the healing of her feet by this point, and probably not without some remaining pain). Yet she still lets Sokka pick her up and carry her around by the end of the episode (and after the scene just mentioned); most likely, certain considerations are overcoming her usual dislike of being cared for as if a weakling enough for her to use her burnt feet as an excuse.
- During Team Avatar's beach party at the beginning of Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King, Sokka proclaimed that the unrecognizable sand-scuplture he had created was of Suki, and Aang (after an initial surprised reaction) laughs immediately about how horrible it is. On the other hand, Toph keeps an annoyed look on her face for several more seconds, and then begins to laugh in a forced-seeming manner. She then sarcastically comments to Suki that, "We'll all understand if you break up with him over this," but the look on her face and the exact tone of her voice belie her nominal sarcasm. If nothing else, this provides evidence that Toph's crush on Sokka has lasted to this point in the series, and that she is not entirely at home with the idea of Suki being Sokka's girlfriend.
- When Sokka says joyfully "Did I ever tell you how sweet it is that you invented Metalbending?" in Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang and smiles at Toph, she gets a gigantic pleased smile on her face at (her amazing bending prowess) being appreciated by the Southern Water Tribe warrior, and tells him he could stand to mention it more. This is not exactly the reaction one might expect from Toph when talking to "just a friend" when the vehicle she is standing upon (basically blinded, I might add) is unstable and is crashing into several other vehicles, indicating that her crush lasted to at least this point in the finale.
- Given the above evidence which indicates that Toph Bei Fong's crush on Sokka lasted after the "Day of Black Sun" and on until the final episode of the series finale, the time has come to see if a speculative link between the DoBS episode and the "Sozin's Comet" finale can account for the general lack of relevant information in between the two TV movies (the "Western Air Temple" information being uncertain and therefore of little value) while still remaining reasonable. Most likely, Sokka's obvious desire for Suki in the first of the two TV movies mentioned was off-putting to Toph, causing her to react by expressing her independent streak in an attempt to ignore her own crush (thereby causing the general lack of information) . However, she did not completely put it off at this point for two reasons: firstly, she would have hoped that Suki's imprisonment problems could be solved without her meeting back up with Sokka (the way the series would later handle this obviously not known to Toph at this point) and in that way avoid all the problems contained therein, and secondly, she was unable to mentally seperate her crush on Sokka from her close friendship with him because of her newness at relationships in general & the fact that both had existed alongside one another since near the beginning of her stay with the earlier members of Team Avatar.
- Following up the previous discussion, the status of Toph's level of infatuation by the end of the series ought to speculated on in accordance with the body of evidence already given to see if it basically disappeared after the end of the finale, or if it can reasonably said to have an on-going existence at the end of the series. By the end of the "Sozin's Comet" movie, it does appear that Toph was finally able to relate to Suki in a more amicable fashion, most likely because Suki's brief departure from the group during the Battle of Wulong Forest enabled her to see that Sokka did still care specifically for her as a friend (something the presence of his girlfriend obscured, due to his great infatuation with her, the lack of such concern calling whatever sort of relationship Toph thought they might otherwise have into doubt) and because Suki's saving of both of their lives combined with this so that she could no longer harbor any resentment about Suki's presence in the group. This does not necessarily mean that Toph's crush completely disappeared, something we do not have clear evidence of and which the body of evidence weighs against happening easily and with the lack of effects on Toph's mindset as potrayed in the series; it only means that she was now willing to wait and see what happened to the "Sukka" relationship in the future from a basically good-natured, independent, and optimistic point of view (with what happens to her crush later on as life proceeds being completely unclear to an unbiased audience).
Notes on Sokka's Friendship With Toph
- The following is an explanation of why this blog is unbiased and takes its shipping seriously enough to be able to see what evidence is not evidence. The following should be considered an introduction to understanding the difference between true evidence and "false evidence", the latter of which is either not included at all or immediately labeled as such. The confirmation that there is such a thing as serious canonical "Tokka" information (albeit as an as-of-yet unfulfilled and unrequited ship) emphatically does not mean that all "Tokka" references in the series ae meant seriously: the borderline here seeming to be constructed on the idea of it being a requited ship during the series' time constraints. An example of a "Tokka" reference which is clearly meant only as a subliminal joke would be the interaction between Toph and Katara in "The Runaway" where Katara asks Toph and her brother have been "out scamming again" with Toph replying shortly that they were. The subliminal message is that the two of them were "making out", as "out scamming" can be used as slang for the type of actions just mentioned. In case someone has any doubts about the unlikeliness of this being a reference to some intended off-screen interaction, "making out" was not what Katara and Toph were immediately referring to in the show's narrative as the supplies that Toph and Sokka had brought back to the base indicate that they were clearly "out scamming" in the literal sense, with everything else in the series indicating that that was all that really happened, the two of them making out merely being a joke on the part of the show's creators and an example of their poking fun at the idea that it would be requited during the series (Sokka's present concentration on appearances and their three-years age difference obviously weighing against the idea).
- Another example of "Tokka" information which serves solely as a joke and ought not be taken seriously is the fact that Sokka's "heat blush" (stoned on cactus juice) randomly returns in "The Desert" after it has disappeared from everyone else's faces: once, when while looking at Toph, another while speaking of Yue, and a third when looking in Toph's general direction. Most likely, this was another subliminal joke on the creator's part on the subliminal presence of two girls who liked Sokka in that scene (Yue as the moon, Toph in her own person), which would probably have the capacity to make him embarrassed while he was stoned. The fact that the "heat blush" returns only in (and closely around) these scenes may work as evidence that the idea of the unrequited "Tokka" ship was present in the series's creator's minds at that point (though even that is unclear), but certainly may not be used as supposed evidence that Sokka has any capacity to like Toph back during the year that the series is suppose to take place in.
- Starting off the more serious information about Sokka's friendship with Toph, the look on Sokka's faceas Toph finishes denying that she missed him in Sokka's Master does not correspond to the words she just used, but seem thoughtful and as if he has some knowledge that she would be uncomfortable with telling him that she missed him (if only from the standpoint of missing a friend in Sokka's eyes). The remark he makes afterwards about that warming his heart seems only semi-sarcastic in tone, also indicating that he probably knows Toph also missed him (if not the particular reason she is uncomfortable with telling him).
- Also, despite Toph's words in that same scene, and despite the fact that she was the only one not seen watching him build his sword, Sokka has it in his mind that she might like to bend part of the meteorite his space sword was made from, a rather kind and thoughtful gift to someone who nominally did not miss him. This only proves that Sokka thinks well of her as a friend, but does show he has more insight into the way she thinks than may otherwise be thought.
- In The Runaway, Sokka attempts to bring Toph and Katara's argument to an end by speaking to the blind Earthbender, and, taking Toph's viewpoint into account, he reveals a secret: Whenever he tries to remember his mother's face, all he can see is Katara's due to his sister being the maternal figure in his life. Toph also reveals she appreciates Katara's motherliness and that Katara is there for her in ways her mother never was. Sokka and Toph seem to understand and trust each other with previously untold secrets, showing that their bond with each other is stronger than the bonds with other members of the Gaang.
- A little while earlier in the same episode, when Sokka brings back a "Wanted" poster of Toph nicknaming her "The Runaway", she asks him if the picture of her on the poster looked good, causing him to glance back and forth between her and her picture. Sokka gets a confused look on his face, as if the issue of her appearance had never crossed his mind before, and seems to be pondering the question out of respect for his best friend's feelings on the subject - instead of simply being up front and rude about its bad likeness, as he may have done towards Katara or Aang - before answering. Taking the time first to consider how Toph looked and judging the appearance of his best friend to look "pretty good" for that of a twelve-year old girl, it would then make sense to believe that Sokka judged her printed "likeness" against this and thought that it captured something about Toph and could therefore say it looked pretty good based on this without having lied in his own view of things. This cannot solely be a joke on Sokka's poor art-judging skills (like many other scenes in the series are for his poor art-creating skills), as he spends too much time trying to figure it out and snaps the conversation back to its original more serious subject (the danger posed to the group by the fact that Toph was now "Wanted") to quickly for humor to serve as the only explanation.
- In The Western Air Temple when Toph finally returns to the group after Zuko burns her feet, Sokka exhibits great concern when he hears that she went to Zuko's camp to talk to him the night before, making a surprised noise bordering on disgust. It is clear from this reaction that he cares greatly about his friend Toph's safety.
- In Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno, Sokka shows himself to be more consistently concerned with the safety of his best friend Toph than for his girlfriend Suki. For instance, once the hijacked Airship began crashing into the rest of the Fire Lord's fleet, Sokka ensures that Toph is safe by dragging her out of the room by the hand, even though her blindness strictly would not be an issue until they reached the outside of the Airship, but fails to do the same for Suki in order to rush her out of the room as well; Suki has to run after him, and then precious time is wasted by his stopping to kiss her in the doorway (though that is of course understandable, considering their mutual infatuation with each other). When they do reach the outside of the Airship, the now-blinded Toph has be lead by the hand once again, a service Sokka initially provides for her so she won't fall off the surface of the Airship (which she otherwise promptly would have done judging by the direction she was walking). After this point, he could have grasped Suki's hand as well to ensure his girlfriend's safety as well; if dragging two girls at once would have been too hard, he could have passed Toph off to Suki and then could have dragged both of them forward by pulling on Suki's arm. He failed utterly to do so, however, requiring her to run a ways behind them and eventually causing her to be seperated from them, Sokka clearly regretting not having held on to her earlier. All this works as evidence that the platonic bond between Sokka and Toph has a more lasting presence in Sokka's mind than the bond of romantic infatuation between him and Suki, at least when "the going gets rough", whatever that means for the future of the three characters.
- In Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang , Sokka (with an injured leg) shows himself willing to give up both his treasured space sword and his boomerang in order to save Toph's and his lives. It is clear that pre-mediated thought had went into him doing this, as he can be seen dramatically looking back and forth at their enemies lining up to execute them before taking them out from his prone position (which would necessarily require him to surmount the difficulty of throwing of the boomerang while lying down, and which would require some creativity for the use of the sword.)
In the Future, Part 1: In General
- The following is purely speculation and does not necessarily state the canonical beliefs of either writer or publisher of this blog.
- Unlike Aang in the case of "Kataang" (giving up his romantic obsession with Katara for the larger good of the world, only stopped by Azula's lightening), and both Mai and Zuko in the case of "Maiko" (turning against the Fire Nation in both cases, and attempting to giving up the relationship for the larger good in Zuko's), Sokka can never been seen making an act of pre-mediated self-sacrifice concerning the "Sukka" relationship. On the contrary, more than once he rashly gets himself into danger because he is blinded by his infatuation for her, as happened in "The Serpent's Pass","The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse", and almost in Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang, and most likely would have died or at least seriously injured himself in all cases if it had not been for the timely interventions of Toph in each case. This being so, everything seems to point to the idea that Sokka has not progressed beyond the point of mere reciprocated infatuation in his relationship with Suki during the course of the series.
- Suki is not indicated to be incapable of "comfort talk" because of her infatuation with Sokka (like Ty Lee might be, for example); rather she lets her infatuation draw out her sense of compassion when Sokka needed it. However, even in the moment where Suki comforts Sokka in "The Serpent's Pass", she immediately references her infatuation with him and desire to find him again, which does not really correlate to his permanent loss (of Yue). In other words, her understanding of Sokka remains on the level of the infatuated (though sympathetic girlfriend), which by itself hardly ever lasts in the real world unless the relationship moves into a deeper field at some point. When her romantic attentions are spurned by Sokka because he was in front of Yue at that moment, she seems quite ready to back away from him and separate herself from him completely (as she shows no indication of returning to him after she decided "get back to the other Kyoshi Warriors), reversed just in time by Sokka's good-bye kiss (an obvious return of her earlier romantic advances).
- Toph's infatuation with Sokka may legitimately deemed to have existed until the last episode of the series finale, if the evidence already presented means anything. Given this probability, Toph herself may be seen as making an on-going act of self-sacrifice by allowing Suki to stay in a relationship with Sokka at the end of the series and relegating herself to remaining in the position of being only Sokka's best friend in her own eyes (despite her obvious desires), out of respect for the fact of Suki's saving of her life and what for Sokka seems to require at the moment.
- Taking into account Suki's more serious demeanor relative to Sokka's, nothing inspires confience that she (as well as Sokka) has progressed beyond mere reciprocated infatuation in their romantic relationship during the course of the series, and therefore that her affection for Sokka would last through the pressures of life any better than it would have had Sokka not given her that good-bye kiss at the end of "The Serpent's Pass". However, a point during the series finale is made of making Toph try, and fail, at forming some sort of romantic relationship with Zuko, Zuko not really caring for her as a person who defines herself in the way she does (probably because the similarity of their self-definitions makes them more like siblings in Zuko's eyes than anything else). When this fails, she puts it out of her mind rather quickly (as far as can be seen from the later interactions between the two), and her long-term crush on Sokka resurfaces throughout the finale (as the information in the first section of this blog is supposed to show), despite the fact of Suki's presence blocking anything from really happening. This indicates that she will think of him in a romantic way to some degree as long as he continues to care for her specifically as a person who defines herself in the way she does (even if it is just friendship, as far as he is concerned). This, being the ultimate source of her crush on her best friend and what started the crush in the first place, works as reciprocation as far as her crush is concerned, meaning it will probably last as long as their close friendship does. If we wish to stick to the canonical material on the character's relationships that we have in front of us at the moment instead of basing our theories on evidence we simply don't have access to, it seems that one specific result will be more likely in the long term despite obviously not being shipped at the end of the series. (Only if Suki and Sokka strike a tighter and more enduring bond in the graphic novels, beginning to sever the platonic bond which exists between Toph and Sokka, would the opposite result realistically happen.)
- The fact that the "Tokka" ship was introduced with a joke cannot be used as evidence which disproves its worth as a ship, as the series's creators were entirely willing to also poke fun at the "Sukka" ship by having Zuko interrupt the boyfriend and girlfriend's "secret romantic tryst" (as it was called in the DVD's commentary). Where the "Tokka" joke in The Serpent's Pass was meant to be a jab at Toph's hidden unrequited crush on her best friend (the basic dynamic of that ship), the joke just mentioned from The Southern Raiders pokes fun at the fact that Suki's and Sokka's relationship is based on their mutual infatuation with each other (with their existing more personal connections using this as their point of departure; the relationship is not totally incapable of them, as "Ty Lokka" probably would be). As far as "jokes as a form of disproof" go, both sides ought to remain neutral on this subject if they wish to remain logical.
- It may be noted that the creators of the show themselves asked what Suki sees in Sokka in the DVD commentary for "The Ember Island Players" without really giving a clear answer. Jack DeSena and Jessie Flower (Jessie herself adding to the creator's aforementioned comment "Yeah, what happened?" ) were also commentators for this episode, but the possible ship between their two characters vs. the "Sukka" ship was not commented on, despite a shipping conversation being brought up. (The shipping conversation stayed on Zutara vs. Kataang, and was apparently sparked by the Kataangst scene in this episode.) Interpretations of this may vary.
- The creators of the show also indirectly commented on the "Tokka" nature of the scene in Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang (in the DVD commentary for that episode) where Sokka holds Toph's hand as they run down the airship to get to its tail-fin, with the following interaction, "They're holding hands again . . . (hesitant pause) . . . uh, not that it means anything." (pregnant pause) "That means she won't fall off." The type of humor of the show's creators may have aside, it seems unlikely that they would comment on the nature of the scene in such an indirect way if in that episode they were trying to crush the ship between the two characters; the fact that they commented on this scene in that way is especially interesting, considering the speculations earlier made on the endurance & constancy of the differing bonds Sokka has with the two girl characters. That they commented on this is of course not the same as actually supporting the "Tokka" ship (they have never clearly done that as of yet), but at the very least it support the idea that the end of series was meant to be ambiguous relative to the eventual turn-outs of the "Sukka" (with the popular Suki as Sokka's permanent girlfriend) and "Tokka" ships.
- The series finale contained at least two scenes which could be misinterpreted by those who support ships not canonically confirmed by the end of the series: the "Zutara"-interpreted scene where Zuko takes Azula's lightening for Katara, and the "Tokka"-interpreted scene where Sokka saves Toph's life by grabbing a hold on her fingertips with his. The "Zutara" scene is plainly eliminated as valid evidence by the well-portrayed "Kataang" kiss at the very end of the finale (as well as by the "Maiko" scene somewhat before hand), and obviously ought to only be interpreted as a sign of the friendship which now exists between Katara and Zuko (which took a long time to come into existence). The "Tokka" scene, however, has no such eliminating scenes; though Suki and Sokka are clearly together at the end of the series, no effort is expended to eliminate the idea that the "Tokka"-interpreted scene may actually mean something (there is not even a single "Sukka" kiss shown afterwards, which hardly helps the creator's supposed desire to eliminate and completely crush the "Tokka" ship at the series's ending). When combined with the evidence explained throughout this blog (it carries precious little weight otherwise), this is yet another sign that the creators were ambiguous about the ending of the ship during the finale, allowing (though certainly not proving) a reversal of the stance of "Tokka" sometime in the future of the Avatar world.
- Given all the information on Toph's side within the series, the length of time they made her crush last for, and the close bond of friendship between her and Sokka (evident on both sides), the ship clearly was meant to be taken seriously as the series' detailed canonical unfulfilled ship, even if it can't be taken seriously as a fulfilled ship. If Bryke had planned to given us plain confirmation of that the ship had completely run aground, then the way they have otherwise written the series would lead us to expect that they would have clearly established the permanence of the "Sukka" relationship and the temporary nature of Toph's crush. This is something they clearly did not do, given the body of evidence at hand, and so we are left with the choice of either questioning their narrative-writing ability or with the belief that they had left the relative stances of the two ships ambiguous for a reason.
- As affirmation of the belief that the series purposefully left the matter ambiguous, it seems valid to mention that the shows creator's failed to mention anything about Sokka or Suki at "The Legend of Korra" panel during the 2011 SDCC and purposefully left the fandom in the dark about the identity of the father of Toph's daughter ((most likely, knowing full well what individual would therefore would come to the fandom's minds) continuing the earlier ambiguity. The show's creators have dealt with the matter of canonical "Tokka" ambiguously and indirectly from the very beginning: avoidance of telling the fans very much clear information about their stance on it when the subject had to be brought up in "The Serpent's Pass", mostly indirect mentioning of the subject whenever they decided to bring the matter back up again (which never seems to be the most obvious times) in the DVD commentary, and making ambiguous statements on the nature of the Toph-kissing-Suki joke in between the two halves of the third season. The most difficult to interpret ambiguous sign of their stance on the subject was the brief inclusion of the ship in the "Zutara" mocking "Forbidden Love" fan-art using short video in such a way that it could be taken as bashing the "Tokka" ship as a whole, but perhaps instead simply as a quick reference to the fact that it was doomed to not take place in the first series because of the character's ages (placed in the video where it would otherwise have no place so that Bryke could totally mock the Zutaraians as having "doomed relationships" while still coming across as good-natured). All this points to the idea that the pattern of ambiguity was purposefully written in the series that way for an as yet-unknown reason - a belatedly-fulfilled version of the unfulfilled "Tokka" ship simply being the most obvious possibility.
In the Future, Part 2: The Question of Chief Bei Fong's Paternity
- The following is purely speculation and is the result of comparing available images. Take it as a possible interpretation, not at face value.
- Chief Bei Fong's bony face is more reminiscent of Hakoda's - and seemingly Sokka's, though that's harder to judge - than either of Lao or Poppy Bei Fong.
- Her pointed chin is more reminiscent of the female side of Katara & Sokka's family (namely Katara and Kya) than Toph's own mother, whose chin is quite rounded (more like Toph's).
- Toph's daughter's nasal ridge is more sloping and less curved than Toph's mother's was, something which makes her more similar to Katara and most likely to Kya (since Kya's nasal ridge is at least as distictive as Chief Bei Fong's when seen turned partway to the side, if not more so). It is more difficult to judge the male members of the same family (since the cartooning style demands that female and male noses look different in order to make each gender's appearance relatively distinct), but it is clear that both Sokka and Hakoda have longer nose than either Lao Bei Fong or Toph herself does, something the female Water Tribe family members & Bei Fong have in common with them (though in a different shape, as mentioned earlier).
- The Duke has a slightly upturned nose, which Toph's daughter lacks. However, since this bit of information is arguing from an absence and not from positive evidence, such evidence is somewhat questionable (though I believe it still has a place in this debate); Toph also lacks the Duke's nose structure, and the daughter could simply be expressing the mother than the father's genes here.
- (Relevant to all the above points)- From a perspective attempting to be unbiased, we must admit that we have little knowledge of what the Duke's parents looked like (and therefore facial features he may develop later on), and even less about an unknown character that Mike and Bryan may have instead decided upon as Toph's daughter's father. All the above considerations may very well be hints of Bryke's future "Tokka" support (since they more obviously support Sokka's paternity than any one else's, the chin very convincingly), but we'll have to wait until the graphic novels (and, really, The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra series itself) come out in order to know for sure.
- Counter-evidence against Sokka being the potential father exists firstly in fact that Sokka is darker skinned, while Toph's daughter is just about as light-skinned as her mother. This could of course be countered by the fact that Aang's known child Tenzin is light in skin color, despite the definitely known skin color of his mother. It remains possible that Toph's daughter simply inherited more of her mother's genes than her father's in regards to skin color, as they did in the case of Aang's child Tenzin (and Aang's grandchildren, which show no sign of racial mixing either), and that the creators made this choice so that the mother would be more readily identifiable and so as not to give away the father too easily (similar to their reasoning on making Aang's children obviously Air Nomads despite their Water Tribe lineage) - considering the low-key nature of the "Tokka" ship in general, this is not as unlikely as one might think at first.
- Secondly, no younger women in the Water Tribe have visble cheekbones - just the men - although in older age, Kanna does clearly have them, so the exact age range of Toph's daughter is relevant to the discussion (something we unfortunately cannot really tell at this time) - if she's older than Kya was at the time of her death, it's quite possible her youth would have worn away somewhat to reveal her cheekbones more distinctively.
- Thirdly, Haru's motherhas a bony facial structure somewhat like Toph's daughter's - and she and Haru are lighter in skin color than Sokka's family - so this could very well could be relevant to this discussion. However, her face is more rounded & heart-shaped than Toph's daughter's, and her bony face (like her husband's) really isn't formed similarily to the Chief's, which is longer and more oval like Kya's and whose cheekbones are more similar to Hakoda's, which of course could also be important.
Namaste. ~The Avatar Demotivator