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Katara (卡塔拉)

Voiced by: Mae Whitman (English)Click to see other languages , Eva Marie Saint (The Legend of Korra)

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/avatar___katara_001.png
"I will never, EVER turn my back on people who need me!"
Click here to see her in her Season 1-2 garb.

A compassionate girl who is the last Waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, Katara has accepted the responsibility of looking after her brother Sokka after their mother died and their father left to fight in the war. Despite her many hardships, she never lost faith that the Avatar would one day return to save the world. After finding Aang in the iceberg, Katara acts as the Team Mom while also being Aang's Waterbending teacher and love interest.


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    A-F 
  • Achilles' Heel: Katara, while being one of the most powerful benders in the show, is extremely reliant on her waterbending, to the point of being helpless without it. This is mostly due to her Crippling Overspecialization, which makes her sole form of combat waterbending.
  • Action Survivor: At the start of the series, when she's only just growing into her bending and lacks Sokka's fighting skills to compensate. She starts to improve a lot after acquiring the waterbending scrolls; by the midpoint of season one she's regularly participating in the team's battles, and by the time the story reaches the North Pole she's evolved into a bonafide Action Hero.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Katara begins the series as the Team Mom, dressed practically in a parka, but as the series progresses and the seasons/latitude/climates change, she literally lets down her hair, and she goes from the frumpy parka to more action-oriented clothes with a slimmer fit and waterskins for ease of waterbending.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Katara liked Jet for his Robin Hood persona (though his bad boy-esque roguish aloofness seemed to help), but was very put off after learning of his "KILL ALL THE FIRE NATION AT ALL COSTS" attitude.
  • All-Loving Hero: Downplayed. While Katara is an extremely compassionate person, willing to help anyone in need, and is against Jet's "everyone in the Fire Nation should die" attitude, she herself holds grudges longer than any of her friends, can be petty when significantly angered, and has come very close to the She Who Fights Monsters ideology.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: She can be this to Sokka, but not without good reason. Sokka admits this in The Search, but says that at least she's not as crazy as Azula.
  • Badass Adorable: A cute 14-year-old. And an extremely skilled waterbender, naturally talented healer, one of the few strong enough to use Bloodbending.
  • Badass Pacifist: In "The Desert" as Aang has become emotional and harsh after Appa's kidnapping, Sokka hallucinating over cactus juice, and Toph unable to see clearly in the sand, Katara uses all of her patience and sheer will to get them out of the desert and to safety.
  • Badass Teacher: Katara becomes Aang's Waterbending teacher after season 1.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Bloodbending is a real bad thing, but Katara is on the side of the good guys.
  • Battle Couple: With Aang in the comics that continue on from the series (since they don't hook up until the end).
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her Fire Nation disguise. Along with her swimming attire.
  • Berserk Button: She will attack you - or threaten to kill you, depending on the situation - on sight if you betray her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Katara is the most reasonable and mature member of the team, always holding everybody together by managing their feelings, and is willing to give just about anybody they meet a chance. But if you hurt her friends, or god forbid betray her trust, she will hold a grudge that would rival all the hatred in the entire Fire Nation. While the rest of the gang may be wary around traitors like Jet and Zuko, Katara is the only one who will threaten to kill any of them before getting to "Hello." You can also skip the "threaten" part and go straight into the "killing" if Katara thinks she's dealing with the man who killed her mother.
  • Blood Magic: During a full moon she can manipulate the water in peoples' blood to turn them into People Puppets, but those who use it are known to develop homicidal tendencies. Thankfully, she doesn't let bloodbending corrupt her, as seen by her being a loving and gentle grandmother in the sequel series.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: Katara bonds emotionally with Haru and Zuko by sharing the experience of her mother's death.
  • Braids of Action: In the first two seasons, Katara has her hair in a long braid and gradually becomes a fierce waterbending master.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • The death of her mother haunted Katara for the rest of her life, as detailed in "The Southern Raiders."
    • Jet's betrayal in "Jet" greatly reduced Katara's naivete.
    • "The Puppetmaster" ends with Katara sobbing under the full moon, because she's given in to Hama and become a Bloodbender.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Does this to her own father, who asks for forgiveness and gets it.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: A mixed example. She has some of the best snarky one liners in the show, but couldn't spontaneously come up with a joke to save her or Aang and Toph's life in "Sokka's Master".
  • Character Development: Katara turned from an eternally optimistic and sweet girl into someone much much more pragmatic and hardened by the difficulties of war, though she still maintained her positive and compassionate outlook.
  • The Chick: She's The Heart, the Healer, and an incredibly skilled fighter who will go to war for her friends, and champions justice and freedom for the downtrodden. She's the hero's love interest, and other girls even admire her for her beauty. As one of the founding members of the team, she's also capable in a leadership role, either on her own missions or Number Two on someone else's.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Zigzagged with Aang. They met when he was 12 and she was 14, but Aang is technically older than her, as he was born 100 years earlier than her and only kept his youth because he was frozen in ice. Even so, they would later become an Official Couple, marry, and have three children.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: To the point where she sabotaged the mission to defeat Ozai by pretending Appa was sick so she could stay and help a village on a polluted river. States as much in that episode, "The Painted Lady":
    "No! I will never, ever turn my back on people who need me... I'm going down to the village. And I'm going to do whatever I can!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Downplayed. Katara may not be ridiculously jealous, but she shows a constant mild irritation at girls showing an interest in Aang.
  • Combat Medic: A very capable healer in addition to her combat skills.
  • Combat Tentacles: Used this fighting style with water a few time in Season 3 and in the Season 2 finale. She also taught Aang the "Octopus Form", which is basically a ring of multiple water tentacles situated around the user to allow maximum coverage.
  • Commonality Connection: First starts to trust Zuko when they bond over their Missing Moms in Season 2, and they forge a proper friendship when he takes her to confront Kya's murderer in Season 3.
  • Compressed Hair: Nowhere near as bad as some, but she keeps an elbow-length mane in that braid. It comes down as part of her Fire Nation disguise.
  • Contralto of Danger: Her voice drops into a deep and dangerous tone whenever she confronts an enemy. Notably with Zuko and Yon Rha.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Toph when she's not trying to be maternal. It worked in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se", but not so much in "The Runaway".
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A bit too reliant on waterbending when it comes to fighting, to the point of almost never actually physically dodging incoming attacks and instead using water walls to neutralize them. Justified both in that her homeland didn't teach women to fight and that she spent the entirety of the show mastering and polishing her waterbending skills, and as such didn't have time to learn unarmed combat and weaponry.
  • Cuddle Bug: Katara is usually the first member to offer hugs and other forms of reassuring gestures to those in need.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Katara manages to hold her own and impresses Master Pakku with her waterbending and fighting abilities, but she still has no real chance of defeating a true Master of the craft.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Along with Sokka — mother killed in a Fire Nation raid when they were little, and their father and all the men of the tribe left two years prior to the show's start. This left Katara with abandonment issues, and Sokka feeling that he wasn't good enough as a warrior. It catches up to them later on (Sokka risks his ass breaking into a Fire Nation prison, Katara has her dark night of the soul tracking down her mother's killer).
  • Dark Shepherd: Threatens to kill Zuko should he ever have doubts about his loyalties again. Fortunately, for friendship's sake, the Fire Prince gains back her trust in "The Southern Raiders", and even when Zuko attacks Aang at the beginning of the finale, she never even considers that he's betraying them when she'd threatened him for it only a few episodes ago.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Katara's normally The Comically Serious, but she's almost as witty as Sokka when she's pushed to it. For instance, when she was sleep-deprived and exhausted in "The Chase", she gets a few good ones at Toph, when she almost never does that for the rest of the series. In "The Waterbending Scroll", she snaps at Aang of all people out of sheer frustration and jealousy. And when she's still intensely angry at Zuko, she snarks at him several times in "The Firebending Masters". The only person she seems to be able to freely mouth off to any day, any time, is Sokka.
  • Demoted to Satellite Love Interest: In the comics, she is really nothing but Aang's arm candy. The 'North and South' trilogy attempts to remedy this.
  • Deuteragonist: Shares this role with Zuko. Katara gives the opening narration in every episode, is the anchor to the main protagonist, and goes through a character arc just as significant, if more subdued, as Zuko.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Katara once stated that she hates papaya.
  • Dude Magnet: Within two seasons, Aang and Jet have openly romanced Katara, while she's been ship teased with Zuko and Haru.
  • Easily Forgiven: When she gets angry, she tends to be very cruel in her remarks, mocking Toph's blindness, telling Sokka he didn't love their mother as much as she did for not wanting to go on a suicide mission into the heart of the Fire Nation, shouting at Aang when he tried to help her with her waterbending, and taking advantage of Zuko's guilt-induced silence as an opportunity to repeatedly scorn him. Aside from the initial reactions of her target, these instances are never mentioned again and the characters continue on as if it hadn't happened.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Katara starts wearing her hair down from her trademark "hair loopies" as part of the Fire Nation and (probably because Aang said he liked it) kept it down after dropping the disguise. Though she DOES go back to the "hair loopies" style; she merely wears her hair down instead of in her massive braid.
  • Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones: It’s true that Katara is an incredibly sweet girl who'll lend a hand to anyone in need, but she’ll hold a nasty grudge against you should you wrong her. Look at Jet, who almost wiped out an entire village of innocent people and manipulated Katara into believing him over her brother. The next time she saw him, the normally patient Katara switched into attack mode before he got a single word out. Better yet, look at Zuko, who Katara watched almost make a Heel–Face Turn promptly afterwards assist in the near-assassination of Aang. When Zuko joined Team Avatar, she made it crystal clear that should he make a switch back to villainy, she’ll kill him.
  • Fatal Flaw: Katara is known to hold grudges to the point where she could kill someone, especially if she was betrayed or if her loved ones are put in danger. When she runs into Jet after he had betrayed her trust, she immediately attacks him. She flat out tells Zuko that if he gives her one reason to think he might try to hurt Aang, she will personally kill him. And when she confronted the man whom she believed killed her mother, she uses bloodbending on him, something she had previously refused to do and that would eventually come to violate international law. In short, mercy to the cruel is not one of her virtues.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Gets a long, blue pair in Season 3. They also have a protective covering on them.
  • First Girl Wins: She's the first person Aang sees when he wakes up after being freed from the iceberg, and though their relationship has its ups and downs, they do fall in love by the end of the series. The Legend of Korra reveals that they later married and had three children before Aang died twenty years prior to the beginning of that series.
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Katara narrates the intro despite Aang being the protagonist. Downplayed in that Katara takes an active role in the story as one of the deuteragonists.
  • Flanderization: A little. Season 3 paints her as The Comically Serious despite the fact that she gets several of the wittiest remarks throughout Seasons 1 and 2. It could be that she's only capable of making fun of Sokka.
    Sokka: How do we put a lid on hot air?
    Katara: If only we knew...
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: After Azula shoots Aang with lightning and is falling to the ground, Katara rides a gigantic wave over a swarm of Mooks to catch him.
  • Foil:
    • To Azula. They're both 14-year old bending prodigies who lost their mothers at a young age, but the different environments in which they were raised put them on very different paths. Their relationships with their families highlight this note , as does their final battle in the series being against each other.
    • With Zuko. They're masters of opposing elements, have been raised on opposite sides of the war, initially, Katara is Aang's main protector while Zuko's trying to capture him, and are each other's main opponents in combat. However, they're both shaped by losing their beloved mothers at a young age, are impulsive and driven by their emotions, have Chronic Hero Syndrome when it comes to protecting the vulnerable, become the Designated Parents of the Gaang and it's revealed Zuko's outward aggression hides a kind-hearted nature, while the normally caring Katara has a violent and ruthless side. They end the series fighting the Final Battle side by side and helping to end the war together.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Her attitude towards Zuko after she acknowledges his Heel–Face Turn. She later forgives him completely. That said, Katara is the most unforgiving of the Gaang should she feel betrayed, to the point of being petty.
  • Friend to All Children: She had a soft spot for children. When aiding in baby Hope's birth, she stated that she helped her grandmother deliver many babies in their tribe, and in Jang Hui, she gave a portion of her food to a little boy. She even went as far as to care for and defend Tom-Tom, Mai's little brother, despite the fact that he was from the Fire Nation and that everyone else, with the exception of Aang, was distrustful of him for it.
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    G-L 
  • Genocide Survivor: After wiping out the Air Nomads, the Fire Nation launched a campaign to get rid of all the waterbenders in the Southern Water Tribe because the Avatar was expected to reincarnate as a waterbender. As a result, Katara is the only waterbender left in the entire South Pole. Throughout the first book, she struggles to learn waterbending on her own until she reaches the Northern Water Tribe and finds a teacher. In Book 3, she meets Hama, another waterbender from her tribe who had been captured many years ago, but managed to escape and start a new life in the Fire Nation. They bond over their shared culture and Katara is excited to learn the traditional southern style of waterbending from Hama. That is, until she learns that Hama has been using bloodbending to kidnap and imprison random Fire Nation citizens as revenge for what happened to her.
  • The Gift: Katara is a naturally gifted Waterbender and, despite having no one to teach her for most of her life, was able to slowly learn how to use her bending on her own. After learning from Master Pakku at the Northern Water Tribe she quickly became his best student, with him even remarking that she has learned his techniques faster then any other student he has ever taught. Her talent is to good that, once she learns some formal techniques from a master, she quickly surpasses Aang as a Waterbender and is given the responsibility of being his permanent Waterbending teacher.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Becomes the first combat-trained female water bender in centuries among the Northern Water Tribe and levels up to Bending Master in just a few weeks.
  • God Guise: Disguises herself as the Painted Lady, in order to attack a Fire Nation outpost and inspire the locals who used to look to the spirit as a patron and guardian. Though she's eventually exposed, the villagers forgive her. Unusually for this trope, she didn't need to fake any powers and just needed an outfit.
  • Godiva Hair: Has this during her bathing scene in 3x7, "The Runaway", used in conjunction with just staying underwater.
  • Good Is Not Soft: While Katara is normally quite trusting towards others upon first impressions and will try to help them in any way she can, she doesn't extend this out to those she knows are a threat to her friends, and the worst possible outcome for anyone on the receiving end of her wrath is that she will either go as far as killing or bloodbending you or hold a grudge against you for seemingly forever. The only ones who got lucky enough to get her trust back were her father and Zuko.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • A pretty big case in "The Waterbending Scroll", where she gets jealous of Aang learning Waterbending faster than her. It soon causes her to steal the titular scroll of the episode, but it lands her in trouble with Zuko and some pirates.
    • A mild case of this in "The Headband" and "The Warriors of Kyoshi", where she gets a little annoyed at a couple of girls flirting with Aang.
  • Harmful to Minors: When she was little, she witnessed a man threatening her mother (and the implication of finding her corpse afterward).
  • Heal It with Water: She spontaneously manifests the ability when she dips her burned hands in a stream and later trains up to become such a Combat Medic that she can use water from a sacred spring to basically bring someone Back from the Dead.
  • Healing Hands: She has healing powers. Something to do with chi and the water in the body...let's just say "magic" and leave it at that.
  • The Heart: A medic with Healing Hands and Love Interest of The Hero, she begins as this. Her natural tendency is to help people ("Imprisoned", "The Painted Lady", "Crossroads Of Destiny"), but just like her role as an All-Loving Hero, it's debatable that the role is given to Aang by the end of the series.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Not quite to Sherlock Holmes levels, but Katara can be very observant. When Aang once invents an Unpronounceable Alias on the spot, she picks it up immediately and has no trouble seamlessly going along with it.
    Aang: (in disguise) Name's Bonzu Pipinpadalopsicopolis... the Third, and these (Sokka and Katara) are my grandkids.
    Katara:
    [Hesitates for just an instant, then smiles sweetly]'' Hi! June Pipinpadalopsicopolis. Nice to meet you.
  • An Ice Person: Since she's a waterbender, Katara can turn liquid water into solid ice.
  • Identical Granddaughter: She looks almost exactly like her grandmother, Kanna, did as a teenager.
  • If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him: Says this to Zuko when he first joins the Gaang, with Aang being the hypothetical victim in question.
    "...then you won't have to worry about your 'destiny' anymore, because I'll make sure your destiny ends. Right then and there. Permanently."
  • I'll Kill You!: Look at the quote above when she threatens Zuko.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: She keeps up a pretty high-maintenance-looking hairstyle throughout all kinds of trials (although it does fall out of place during one duel).
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: She has deep blue eyes, signifying her Water Tribe heritage and the general air of innocence and naïveté she has at the beginning of the story.
  • Instant Expert: Katara goes from being so poor at waterbending that she accidentally freezes her brother to being one of the world's greatest waterbenders in one season to the point where she is entrusted with training the Avatar. She did this in under 4 months note , while Waterbending is described as something that can take years to master. Further, she and Aang spent the same amount of time training with Pakku, and by the end she was qualified to complete Aang's training on the go as his master rather than just a training partner. It's implied that she has always had a lot of innate talent as a waterbender, but since she was the only one left in her tribe, there was no one to teach her how to use her skills properly.
  • Irony: Despite being one of the more compassionate members of the group, Katara was one of the least willing to let go of a grudge, especially against those who she felt had betrayed her trust.
  • It's All About Me: Rarely, but when she gets angry she tends to dip into this. Most notably at the North Pole when she challenged Pakku to a fight after he insulted her and in "The Southern Raiders".
  • Jerkass Ball: Katara was not a stranger to this trope in the earlier Books, but she holds it most often in Book 3. She has a meaner disposition at times and lets her emotions get the best of her, culminating in her telling Sokka that he didn't love their mother as much as she did when he tries convincing her not to go after their mother's murderer. Her treatment of Zuko, while slightly justified due to his initial failure to pull a Heel–Face Turn in the second season finale, is still rather nasty and blatantly mean-spirited. She begins to recover after confronting her mother's murderer, including forgiving Zuko.
  • Jerkass Realization: In 'The Waterbending Scroll', she jealously snaps at Aang when he bests he at waterbending, driving him to tears. Thankfully, she quickly realizes her mistake and apologizes.
  • Kid with the Leash: Aang's Avatar State is essentially a natural disaster. But as it retains Aang's heart, she can walk right up to him during one of his panic attacks and administer a Cooldown Hug to shut it down. Notable in that she hates the damn thing, as it's essentially an outpouring of all the pain and loss he's suffered over the course of his life.
  • Lady of War: While she's not on the same level as Mai or Suki, Katara is a formidable fighter that tries to maintain an air of grace and poise both on and off the battlefield.
  • The Lancer: Shared this position with Sokka towards Aang in the first season. She later becomes The Lancer to Zuko after Aang disappears in the finale.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: In Season 3, she unbinds her nearly-unnoticeable elbow-length braid into an elbow-length mane as part of her Fire Nation disguise. Even after dropping the disguise, she leaves it down.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Katara and Azula respectively. Wheras Katara displays the compassionate and soft side of femininity, Azula displays the more deceptive and pragmatic side.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: She's the quadratic wizard, Sokka is the linear warrior. Except Sokka is also The Strategist...
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Shares this role with Appa for Aang. In regard to the latter, she gives him hope for the future.
    • "The Runaway" has Katara also being this to Sokka, and, to an extent, Toph.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: She has the longest hair of Team Avatar down to her waist when let down. She is also the most motherly, nurturing and feminine of the cast — in addition to being the Love Interest.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: An indirect example. Aunt Wu mentions Katara's future husband would be a "powerful bender". After Aang saves Makapu Village, Sokka states how much of a powerful bender the young Avatar is. At the mention of this, Katara has some sort of realization that Aang could be her future husband in Aunt Wu's prophecy. She turns out to be right.
  • Lunacy: Like all waterbenders, her powers are fueled by the moon.

    M-Y 
  • Mage Born of Muggles: Katara is the only waterbender in her non-bending family.
  • Making a Splash: She's a waterbender, so she can telekinetically control water, and even turn it back and forth into ice and mist/fog, and it grants her Healing Hands. She joins every battle against the enemies once she mastered her bending skills.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Wow. Ship Tease to the max, mixed with an equal amount of Team Mom. This confusion and ambiguity probably stems from the original plans in the I.P. Bible; Aang and Katara's relationship was never part of the initial proposal, but evolved as the series was produced. Notably, Aang approved of (and perhaps even shared) Katara's infatuation with Jet, as opposed to his later jealousy of Zuko.
    • She suggested kissing as a way to escape "The Cave of Two Lovers", but both are too embarrassed to discuss it afterwards.
    • She and Aang have a sweaty Mating Dance (complete with bedroom eyes and ending in a dip) in "The Headband", but again, both Cannot Spit It Out.
    • She passively accepts a Now or Never Kiss from Aang (and is left with a Luminescent Blush) in "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion", but she avoids the topic when he brings it up in the "Love is a Battlefield" comic.
    • She tells him she's confused in "The Ember Island Players", but then at the very end of "Sozin's Comet, Part: Avatar Aang" Katara initiates a passionate kiss on Aang with no explanation since the last conversation they had before this was an argument.
  • Mature Younger Sibling: She's generally a lot more serious, motherly and authoritative compared to Sokka, who starts off the series as a childish goof. Sokka even comments that her Team Mom role in his life since their mother died has gotten to such a point that he can only recall Katara's face in place of his mother's.
  • The McCoy: The most willing to go out of her way to help people, even at the expense of the primary mission at hand, contrast to Sokka's more grounded view of the matter.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • In Arabic, Katara means "water droplet."
    • A cataract is a section of river.
    • The alias she uses in the Fire Nation, Sapphire Fire, makes sense, since one imagines her parents could easily have given her that name for her sapphire-like blue eyes (which are rare in that country). It might also be a case of Refuge in Audacity, since it deliberately draws attention to her unusual (for the Fire Nation) racial type.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: She has shades of this. While she doesn't have the raw power of Aang, and she and Zuko are equals in terms of bending power, she can be downright terrifying when angry. Most notable when she's on the receiving end of chauvinistic comments (things tend to break around her) and when hunting for her mother's killer (where she used bloodbending).
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • In "The Waterbending Scroll", after she yells at Aang for being better at Waterbending, she sees him start to cry and immediately apologizes.
    • This happens again in "The Southern Raiders" when she and Zuko are looking for her mother's murderer. When they look on a Fire Nation vessel, she eventually comes to the assumption that the captain is the one who killed her mother, and when she confronts him, she BLOODBENDS him — something she would have outright refused to do to anyone else no matter how much she hated them.
  • Nepotism: Essentially why Pakku eventually agreed to teach her waterbending. She performed admirably after she challenged him to a duel, but Pakku still refused to teach her until he found out her grandmother was Kanna.
  • Nice Girl: Even with her low points (e.g. occasional hot temper and a tendency to act self-righteous), Katara is generally a warm, kind, mature, caring, compassionate, nurturing and encouraging person with a fierce determination to aid others and a great sense of morality.
  • Oblivious to Love: Aang had a crush on her from the word "Go", but she didn't notice it for awhile. Not even after she had something of a Love Revelation Epiphany in "The Fortuneteller" did she seem to catch on that Aang had eyes for her. When she does find out thanks to a Now or Never Kiss, it leaves her super-confused for (almost) the rest of the series.
  • Only Sane Woman: For most of the series, Aang is learning to embrace his responsibilities as the Avatar and on occasions lets his more childish tendencies get the better of him, while Toph is a rude, rebellious and snarky Boisterous Bruiser, and Zuko spends most of his time being ill-tempered and angsting over his problems. Even Sokka, who usually falls into this role whenever he has to come up with a good strategy for how to deal with any conflict they go up against, has a few visible vices of his own — at his worst, he can slip into Insufferable Genius territory, and due to being the Plucky Comic Relief of the group, he also has a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander side, and not to mention the fact that he starts off early on in Book 1 as a somewhat bigheaded chauvinist. While Katara isn't perfect herself, she's usually a fairly sensible and levelheaded girl who tries to take things into account before making a decision. Her status as the Team Mom of the group often involves her trying to keep her friends grounded and preventing them from coming to blows with one another.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Since they first met, Katara has been Aang's main defender and very loyal to him. But, when the young Avatar revealed he kept the message of where her and Sokka's father was, she leaves Aang to go with Sokka to find their father. Really shows how hurt and disappointed she was of Aang's betrayal.
    • Katara is normally a compassionate and friendly young woman who would never harm someone unless provoked. So, her giving a cold death threat to a newly reformed Zuko shows how much she's hurt over his betrayal in the season 2 finale and that she doesn't trust him.
    • If you see her bloodbending, she's far more vengeful than she usually is.
  • The Paragon: She is considered one in giving others hope and inspiration. In one instance, she inspires earthbender prisoners to stand up against their Fire Nation oppressors. In another instance, she helps a fishing village in the Fire Nation that suffers pollution and abuse from military officers in order to encourage them to fend for themselves.
  • Parental Substitute: To Aang, who lost his people and father-figure in the Air Nomad genocide. Toph admits that she views Katara, only a few years older than her, as a mother figure, as Toph's own parents weren't particularly good. Even Katara's older brother Sokka expresses the same emotions.
  • Parenting the Boyfriend: Alternates between a Ship Tease with Aang and mothering him.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: By the end of the series, she and Zuko have this in spades, to the point where some, such as June, accuse them of being romantically involved. Both of them typically back each other up on two-man missions (such as Katara's hunt for her mother's killer and the plan to defeat Azula) and fully trust each other with their lives.
  • Plucky Girl: Oh so much, especially in Season 1. She does take a level in cynic as the story progresses, but Katara retains her determination and optimistic outlook throughout the series.
  • Princess for a Day: In one of the later second-season episodes, she poses as an Earth Kingdom noblewoman so she can attend the royal ball and (hopefully) speak to the Earth King.
  • Promotion to Parent: After her mother died, Katara took on this sort of role in looking after her family. It's also gotten to the point where Sokka has trouble remembering his actual mother, since Katara has replaced his mental picture of motherhood.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Downplayed. Her father and mother were present in her life but both were gone due to different reasons by the time she was still a litle girl. Her mother was killed and her father went to fight against the Fire Nation. As such, Katara and her brother were left in the care of their paternal grandmother.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Katara's hair, either in a braid or not, reaches all the way to her waist.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Sokka's blue, while being soothing and more sensitive, she is a great deal more emotional which is also the main fuel for her actions, whereas Sokka is more logical and calculating.
    • She's also the gentler, more optimistic waterbending blue to Zuko's grumpier, cynical firebending red.
  • Rejected Apology: No matter how sorry her mother's killer was, she brutally tells him that she will never forgive him for that, leaving him living with his guilt forever.
  • The Resenter: To Aang's talent in waterbending before learning from Pakku.
  • Revenge: Wants revenge towards her mother's killer. She gets a chance at it, but decides he's not worth it.
  • Sarashi: Part of her swimwear.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Not that she isn't unattractive or not groomed normally but anytime she dresses up (like "City of Walls and Secrets") or even dons a simple fish line necklace, you can expect Love Bubbles and a Luminescent Blush from Aang.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: She show early signs of this through her treatment of Zuko in mid-Season 3 when he joins her and her friends, from threatening to personally execute him for betraying them again in the future once he first joins to using him as an outlet to vent out her heated anger towards the Fire Nation, who caused her so much pain in her life. This comes to a head when she confronts the man who murdered her mother, and considers skewering him with a rain of icicles.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Averted. Katara and Sokka have one of the most consistent relationships in the series due to years of growing up with each other and coping with the same losses. As such, while they'll occasionally butt heads (as most siblings do), they never seem to be in a competition with one another. Compare this to to Zuko and Azula's violent, dysfunctional power struggle.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In season 1 and 2, Katara wears typical Water Tribe clothing that also represent her naivete to the outside world. By the third season, she's now wearing pants and boots, to symbolize her growing skill and knowledge.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While there was an episode in Season 1 in which Katara was attracted to the thuggish Jet, she quickly realized her mistake at the end of the episode. The rest of the series then proceeds to develop her relationship with Aang. Naturally, they end up together in the end.
  • Sole Survivor: At the start of the series she was the only Waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe as everyone else had either been captured or killed during various Fire Nation raids over the years.
  • Sour Supporter: Mid Book 3.She's really not very happy with Zuko when he tries to join the Gaang. Justified by Zuko's past in the Avatar hunting business and his betrayal at the end of Book 2.
  • Species Surname: Used for an alias. When infiltrating the Fire Nation, Sokka and Katara pose as the native-born citizen Wang Fire and his wife Sapphire.
  • Squishy Wizard: Katara is a waterbending master, but she's defenseless without her waterbending and very easy to physically overpower.
  • Stone Wall: Waterbending is mainly a defensive art, so she is mostly this. That said, she has taken some pointers from watching Toph and Aang earthbend, and has adopted earthbending poses in conjunction with her waterbending for more offensive techniques.
  • Tareme Eyes: She has round eyes.
  • Team Mom: Acts as a nurturing, soothing figure for all of Team Avatar - even towards Zuko, though to a far lesser extent than the others.
  • Tears of Joy: At the end of "The Serpent's Pass" after Hope is born, Aang goes out of Heroic Safe Mode and tells her that seeing so much love between Hope and her parents reminded him of how great his love for both Appa and Katara is. Upon hearing this, Katara is so happy that she cries.
  • Teen Genius: When it comes to waterbending, she can master, in a year, techniques that take others years to learn. This ends up making her Aang's Waterbending Master by the time Book 2 comes around.
  • To Be a Master: Her goal throughout the first book is to master Waterbending, in which she succeeds.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Katara's role as the Team Mom and Lady of War fighting tactics mean that she often clashes with Toph's more laid-back, One of the Guys mannerisms.
    • Earlier, in season one, Katara is eager to learn how to fight, frustrated that only men are expected to be warriors. Yue, on the other hand, is the well-mannered and refined princess of the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After she gets some training from Pakku, she becomes good enough in a fight to hold off multiple Dai Li agents, Azula, and many others. Her (forced) training by Hama to bloodbend only makes her even more lethal (although she tries to avoid going for the kill unless she can't avoid it or she thinks the person she's targeting is deserving).
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Katara spends the first two seasons giving inspirational speeches about hope and love. After "The Crossroads of Destiny," Katara loses a lot of her initial naiveté and becomes more pragmatic with strangers, and when Zuko is finally accepted onto Team Avatar after being initially rejected, she gives him a rather unsettling death threat.
  • Town Girls: After Suki joins the team, she becomes the Femme (Lady of War, and Team Mom), for Toph's Butch (The Lad-ette, and One Ofthe Boys) and Suki's Neither (a Nice Girl, but not stop being a Kyoshi warrior).
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her necklace is her only memento of her deceased mother.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Is a firm believer in this, and is the one member of the Gaang most likely to take any form of betrayal the hardest. She attacked Jet on sight when they met again in "Lake Laogai," and is the last of Team Avatar to accept Zuko's Heel–Face Turn.
  • True Blue Femininity: Wears blue Water Tribe clothing throughout the first two seasons and can manipulate the very blue force of water. As noted throughout this trope page, Katara is an extermely girly and maternal character.
  • Tsundere: She acts as a Type B (deredere). Oddly enough she acts like a typical type A to Zuko (hatred followed by friendship) but he's not her love interest. It's downplayed in the third season when her real love interest, Aang, wants to start a relationship.
  • Undying Loyalty: Katara is always going to be by Aang's side, even threatening a newly reformed Zuko that she will kill him if she thinks he'll hurt Aang.
  • Uptown Girl: Zigzagged. She's from the Water Tribe which hasn't been doing well and are considered peasants while Aang is the Avatar, a position possibly beyond royalty. However, since Katara is the daughter of the Southern Water Tribe Chief, that makes her a princess.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: If you try to hurt Aang, she'll do whatever it takes to stop you. If she even thinks you might hurt Aang, that's enough to get you a menacing death threat.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Toph.
  • Water Is Womanly: The only waterbender in Team Avatar as well as the most feminine member, using her waterbending to heal as well as being the caring Team Mom.
  • We Help the Helpless: She stands strong by this belief. She will never leave behind those in need, as shown in The Painted Lady.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Particularly during the first season. She becomes more prone to anger and violence as the series goes on but retains quite a lot of her natural idealism.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: From a very young age, she has had to act as a mother to her family and her brother, and her actions and reactions throughout the series reflect this very strongly. Though she occasionally has "childish" instances (half the time just to make a point), the series treats her as the group's mother figure and caretaker. Take this dialogue from the very first episode (and considering Katara's background, that line becomes particularly poignant and bittersweet):
    Katara: (while penguin sledding) I haven't done this since I was a kid!
    Aang: You still are a kid!
  • Woman Scorned: Katara does not take any kindly to being betrayed by her love interests. Just ask Jet who got an ass whooping and ended up frozen in ice against a tree and abandoned for lying to her.
  • You Go, Girl!: Of the second variety. Sort of. While she lost to Pakku in their duel, she managed to impress him...just not enough to make him change his mind...until he learns that Katara's grandmother is actually his long-lost love.
  • You Killed My Mother: To the retired Fire Nation commander that killed her mother ten years previous under the impression that she was a Waterbender. Though she elects not to kill him.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Hama complimented her use of Bloodbending in "The Puppetmaster".

    Tropes that apply to her in The Legend of Korra 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_nd8dafc5ua1rss05ao4_500_9988.png
"The mind can be a powerful ally, or your greatest enemy."

Widow to Avatar Aang, Katara is a master waterbender. She directly helped to win the Hundred Year War of the original series and maintained peace afterwards. A native to the Southern Water Tribe, she personally oversaw Korra's training, and developed a strong bond with her. She sees a lot of herself reflected in the young Avatar and encourages her to start her journey to Republic City.


  • Babies Ever After: Had three children with Aang in between the Time Skip.
  • Back for the Finale:
    • Katara comes back for the Book 1 finale to examine Korra after Korra was debended.
    • She comes back in the Book 2 finale to take care of Jinora while her spirit is trapped in the Spirit World.
    • Strangely, she doesn't appear in the Book 3 finale, even though her granddaughter's master airbender ceremony and Korra's terrible ordeal would be two very good reasons to have her show up. That is saved for Book 4, allowing them to dedicate more attention to it.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Wears the beaded bun and braids of her youth, and a large, patterned parka.
  • Chickification: She focuses her efforts on healing rather than fighting - a complete reversal from the original series where she used to only heal out of necessity and would light up any time someone offered to teach her combat. This is later explained by Toph as being because, like her, Katara's too old to really get involved in sustained fighting.
  • Cool Old Lady: The only member of the White Lotus who seems to respect Korra's wishes and needs.
  • Doting Grandparent: Katara has a loving relationship with her grandchildren Jinora, Ikki, Meelo, and Rohan, who refer to her as Gran-Gran. All of the children, sans an unborn Rohan, were happy and excited to visit their grandmother at the South Pole, especially Jinora, who stated that she had been reading all about Katara's old adventures. Katara was happy to see them too, smiling enthusiastically when they were talking to her. She is also this to Korra, having overseen her training for her entire life and understanding what she really needs (even if she is her late husband reincarnated).
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Toph mentions that like her, Katara's too old to get involved in the fighting too much - both have significant raw power (demonstrated by Toph, implied with Katara), but they lack the stamina. That's why she stayed out of the Water Tribe Civil War.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Katara wears her hair in the fashion of her youth, only slightly modified.
  • Iconic Item: Still wears her mother's necklace well into old age.
  • Identical Granddaughter: Katara looks much like her own grandmother in her advanced age.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: A bit of a variation in that she never says it, but we knew because we watched the original show. We also do see what she looked like when she was an adult through photographs that her family has.
  • The Medic: She's described as the best waterbender healer in the world, and thanks to her advanced age, this is her main contribution to the Water Tribe Civil War.
  • Mentor Archetype: She is Korra's Waterbending master. She also had a close personal relationship with Korra and didn't believe her student had to be locked away for her own good, unlike the other White Lotus members.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Has grown much shorter than in her youth.
  • Neutral Female: She never fights and instead sits on the sidelines. She doesn't get involved in the Water Tribe Civil War or even stop her children from arguing - though in the latter case, she encourages them to spend more time together and make up. They are, after all, all at least in their 50s at this point.
  • Older and Wiser: She was one of main characters from the first series, and she's gotten much more laid-back and less up-tight in her old age. She's a member of the White Lotus and was one of Korra's teachers before Korra left for Republic City.
  • Old Master: An ancient member of the Order of the White Lotus, she wears a pendant to mark her status as one of the most powerful benders in the world.
  • Passing the Torch: Katara knows full well Korra can never be and must not be who Aang was as an Avatar. Korra must become the Avatar of this era to help shape and guide the world through changing times.
    Katara: Aang's time has passed. My brother and many of my friends are gone. It's time for you and your generation to take on the responsibility of keeping peace and balance in the world. But I think you're going to be a great Avatar. Goodbye, Korra.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She is less stringent with Korra's training than the White Lotus, and sends Korra on her way with a farewell embrace when she tries to steal away in the night.
  • Refusal of the Second Call: Despite being The Heart of the original series, she is not involved in the dispute between the Water Tribes that took place in the city where she was living and ended up causing a civil war.
  • Retired Badass: One of the main reasons Katara didn't partake in the Water Tribe Civil War is because of her old age.
  • Seen It All: While everyone else was amazed at Korra's feat of re-bending Lin, Katara just smiled warmly like she knew better.
  • Stepford Smiler: She usually appears calm and happy but is still hurting badly from the loss of her brother and her family hardly seeing her anymore.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She doesn't appear at all in Book 3 which includes participating in her own granddaughter's mastery ceremony. The closest she got to appearing in there is by a brief mentioning by Bumi. She does, however, reappear in Book 4.
  • Widow Woman: And is now training Aang's successor.
  • World's Strongest Woman: Much like Toph below, Katara is all but explicitly the most powerful Waterbender alive, and is likely one of the most powerful benders in the world (alongside Zuko and Toph). The only thing stopping her and the rest of the original team from being more active is their advanced age.

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