|Avatar: The Last Airbender character|
|First appearance||"The Boy in the Iceberg"|
|Created by||Michael Dante DiMartino|
|Portrayed by||Jackson Rathbone (The Last Airbender)|
|Voiced by||Jack DeSena (original series) |
Chris Hardwick (The Legend of Korra)
Snoozles (by Toph)
Master Swish (by Katara in book 2 episode 5)
Katara (younger sister)
|Significant other||Suki (girlfriend)|
Yue (love interest)
Kanna (paternal grandmother)
|Nationality||Southern Water Tribe|
|Age||15 (Avatar: The Last Airbender)|
16 (The Promise & The Search)
17 (The Rift)
Deceased (The Legend of Korra)
Sokka (Chinese: 索卡; pinyin: Suǒ Kǎ) is a fictional character in Nickelodeon's animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series The Legend of Korra. The character, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is voiced by Jack DeSena in the original series and by Chris Hardwick in the sequel series. In the live-action film adaptation The Last Airbender, he is portrayed by Jackson Rathbone.
In the original series, sixteen-year-old Sokka is a warrior of the Southern Water Tribe, a nation of people able to telekinetically manipulate, or "bend", water. He, along with his younger sister Katara, discovers an Airbender named Aang, the long-lost Avatar, and accompanies him to defeat the imperialistic Fire Nation and bring peace to the war-torn nations. Unlike his companions, Sokka doesn't have any bending abilities, but as the show progresses he masters swordplay and proves himself to be a worthy strategist.
Conception and creation
In the Avatar Nick Mag Presents: First Edition issue by co-creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, stated that Sokka was originally designed as a minor figure; but when his comedian voice actor Jack DeSena brought liveliness to his character, they began to emphasize this quality.
As a result of his design, Sokka's character is a source of comic relief throughout the series, often a victim of visual comedy. Among various running gags involving Sokka are his immersion in viscous substances, such as raw sewage, slurry, phlegm, or saliva; and forgetting that Toph is blind. Sokka also has a tendency to produce or at times laugh at jokes shared by no other character.
In "Tales of Ba Sing Se", Sokka's name was written as 索卡, whereof Sǔo (索) means to search, demand, ask, exact, or isolated and Kǎ (卡) means to check, block, or card. The character for Kǎ also appears in Katara's name. The name Sokka is defined as "loverboy" in Zulu.
Sokka, forced to mature quickly when his mother Kya was killed, cultivated his martial skills with a militant zeal, while his younger sister Katara did chores and practiced her waterbending abilities. When he was thirteen, his father and the other men left to fight alongside the Earth Kingdom against the Fire Nation, leaving him and his sister to look after their tribe, advised by their grandmother. As the oldest male present, Sokka came to assume a leader's role by the age of fifteen, fiercely protecting the village from external threats while trying to train children in defense.
In the initial episode, Katara and Sokka discovered Aang in suspended animation. Fire Prince Zuko attacks the village and Sokka fights him. However he loses and Zuko takes Aang away. Advised by their grandmother Sokka and his sister, Katara save Aang and embark with him to find a waterbending instructor while Sokka plans to improve his own skill en route. In the episode "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Sokka's male chauvinism is challenged when he and the gang are captured by the all female Kyoshi warriors led by fifteen year old Suki, who eventually host them graciously in honor of the avatar. Sokka learns to respect Suki's skill and soon after he apologizes for his behavior he trains with the warriors, even being forced to wear their female armor dresses. Sokka and Suki soon develop a romantic bond and later in the series they become a couple.
After arriving in the Earth Kingdom, Sokka and the group discover a secret underground library. Sokka and Aang learn of the Day of Black Sun where all firebenders are powerless. Sokka and the group attempt to give this information to the Earth King but are stopped by the Dai Li. The group finally exposes their leader's corruption and they tell the Earth King of their plan of invading the Fire Nation.
In the episode "Sokka's Master", Sokka seeks an instructor in swordsmanship, and receives training with Master Piandao, a Fire Nation swordmaster, in which creativity and lateral thought are the bases of his technique. In the episode "Day of Black Sun", Sokka invades the Fire Nation along with his allies. However, he discovers from Azula where his girlfriend Suki is and that she has known about the invasion for months. The invasion fails and Sokka, his friends, and the younger members of the group are forced to retreat. Before Zuko joins the group, Sokka manages to kill the assassin (whom he nicknamed Combustion Man) he sent after them by hitting his third eye with his boomerang. In the episode "The Boiling Rock", Sokka infiltrates a prison where his father might be being held with the help of Zuko. Sokka also discovers that his girlfriend, Suki is being held at the prison. However, his father is not there, he initially decides to escape the prison with Suki, Zuko and other inmates but decides to wait for his father to possibly arrive. Sokka's father, Hakoda, does arrive and Sokka formulates a plan of escape with him. The two along with Zuko, Suki and another inmate execute the plan and after a fight with Azula they escape the prison. However, Sokka is again separated from his father at the Western Air Temple due to a Fire Nation ambush. They are forced to split up with Sokka going with Aang, Katara, Toph, Zuko and Suki. In the four-part series finale, "Sozin's Comet", Sokka and Katara meet with Piandao and Katara's waterbending master, Pakku, who has now married their paternal grandmother, Kanna or "Gran-Gran". In the battle against antagonist Ozai, characters Sokka, Suki, and Toph hijack a Fire Nation airship and use it to destroy other airships while Aang duels with Ozai himself before the Earth Kingdom was burned down. With the battle over, the trio reunite with Aang. At Zuko's coronation, Suki is reunited with the Kyoshi Warriors, Sokka and Katara are reunited with their father, and the rest of the group is reunited with their friends. In the end, Sokka is seen in Ba Sing Se.
In the first season of the sequel series The Legend of Korra, which picks up 70 years after Ozai's defeat, Katara (now an elderly woman) states that Sokka is deceased. Flashbacks reveal that a middle-aged Sokka served as the representative of the Southern Water Tribe on the United Republic Council 40 years prior. He declared the bloodbending crime lord, Yakonne, guilty after lots of testimony and evidence convinced him that he is a unique bender like Combustion Man and Toph. In the third season, Tenzin (Katara and Aang's son) mentions that Sokka was present when a gang of criminals attempted to abduct Korra as a child.
According to his sister Katara, Sokka was initially skeptical, abrasive, sexist and immature and was always sharp-witted. Incapable of bending abilities himself, Sokka instead pursues martial arts, sciences, and engineering. He is intelligent, resourceful and at times he even proves to be quite scholarly. However, he is often clumsy and sometimes mistaken. Despite his flaws, he is loving, brotherly, and protective. He holds little interest in the mysticism of bending and prefers to rely on his strength and wits. He tends to be rash, and his arrogance often leads to embarrassment, as during a haiku contest when, in his last verse of his song, he included too many syllables. Even though Sokka finds himself victim to embarrassment, he has the capability to apologize and seek resolution to avoid preceding moments of embarrassment from recurring. This capability is evident from his sincere apology to the Kyoshi Warriors for his sexist remarks in the fourth episode of Book One: Water of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
As an advocate of human carnivorism, Sokka is the main hunter in the group; often makes dry-witted jokes or abrasive remarks; and accordingly once describes himself as "the meat and sarcasm guy".
Under the guidance of swordsmaster Piandao, Sokka displays various unorthodox procedures when undergoing his training; such that Piandao relates that though Sokka's skills were unimpressive, he displayed much creativity, versatility, and intelligence. As a rule, most or all of the foregoing characteristics appear as sources of comic relief.
After the failure of his Fire Nation invasion plan, Sokka attempted to restore his honor by risking his life in order to rescue his father from a highly secure prison known as 'the Boiling Rock'.
Innovations and abilities
Unusual for an inhabitant of a mystical world, Sokka prefers mechanistic science and is something of a jack-of-all-trades. He seems naturally adept at creating weapons from any available material  and adapting them to various purposes, as when he used explosives to simulate Firebending  or optical illusions to help his sister Katara imitate Earthbending. Alongside the Mechanist, Sokka devised a system of control for an experimental hot air balloon and partly began the design of waterbending-powered submarines. Sokka also demonstrated advanced mathematic skills and a talent for geometry towards the end of the series; but is whimsically depicted in the epilogue as a poor draughtsman.
In addition to his engineering skill, Sokka shows a remarkable talent for poetry in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se", wherein he competes with a local instructor in a haiku contest, and holds his own at length before mistakenly adding an extra syllable to the end of a haiku. Sokka writes with his right hand, but draws with his left hand, and may therefore be accounted ambidextrous.
As the only non-bender in Aang's group, Sokka is often overshadowed by the bending skills of his friends; but his skill in martial arts improves as the series progresses, and it is sometimes he who devises victorious strategy. Alongside his trademark boomerang, Sokka is shown wielding clubs, a machete, spears, and later a black jian  capable of cutting through solid metal, identified as his "space sword". Sokka also receives a white lotus Pai Sho piece from his master, the symbol of the secret 'White Lotus' Society notable for disregarding traditional rivalries and hatreds between the nations; although most of the series' protagonists have had in-depth interactions with members of the White Lotus, Sokka is the only one to receive this implied invitation.
Appearances in other media
Sokka's character has appeared in three THQ video games for the show, which are Avatar: The Last Airbender video game, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth and Avatar: The Last Airbender – Into the Inferno. Like Aang, Sokka also appears on some Avatar T-shirts sold by Nick, as well as in Tokyopop's films comic (sometimes referred to as cine-manga).
Jackson Rathbone stars as Sokka in the feature film The Last Airbender. Unlike the show, Sokka is serious, with most of his immature and humorous qualities either toned down or removed altogether. Significant criticism was pointed at the character difference. Rathbone received the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
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