"That's all I got. It's pretty much my whole identity. Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy."
- Sokka to the universe after getting trapped in a small fissure.
Sokka is the tritagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as an minor supporting character in The Legend of Korra. He was a Water Tribe warrior, raised by his grandmother Kanna along with his younger sister Katara in the Southern Water Tribe. Sokka was the son of Kya and Chief Hakoda. Hakoda left along with all of the other men in his tribe to fight the Fire Nation when Sokka was a young boy. As there were no other teenage boys in the tribe, Sokka was the oldest male in the South Pole, and left leader of the tribe. He assumed responsibility for the tribe, until his sister discovered an Air Nomad named Aang frozen in a block of ice. When he learned that Aang was the Avatar, he was at first skeptical that a child could really save the world. As he and his sister helped Aang on his quest, he began to believe that Aang really was the only hope for peace in the world.
According to his sister Katara, Sokka was initially skeptical, abrasive, sexist and immature and was always sharp-witted. Detached from Katara's and Aang's pursuit of the bending arts, he openly expressed his "bender envy". Sokka thought bending was what got the world in trouble in the first place, so he believed only the skill and strength of ordinary men like himself could ultimately defeat the Fire Nation. Not having bending abilities himself, Sokka instead preferred the ways of the warrior and the scientist. He took his responsibility as protector seriously. Initially, he did not seem to believe in the bending arts, calling Katara's bending "magic water". The appearance of the Avatar seemed to change his mind. However, he never seemed to fully accept the fact that as the Avatar, Aang must learn firebending. He was the least eager for Aang to start learning firebending under Jeong Jeong. Later on, when Aang accidentally burned Katara, Sokka threw him to the ground and yelled how he knew that Aang learning firebending was a mistake. This antagonism toward firebending seemed to persist, evidenced when he jokingly referred to Zuko's training of Aang as, "jerkbending". Apparently, Sokka only accepted the mastering of the last element because it would help Aang defeat the Fire Lord.
He could become serious when he desired to or when the need arose and was protective of his sister, Katara. This was shown when he violently tackled Aang to the ground after Aang accidentally burned Katara's hands. Sokka was also protective of Aang, and when Aang surrendered himself to Zuko, Sokka immediately prepared to rescue him. Later, he decided that getting Aang to the North Pole was more important than seeing his father again after years of separation. Sokka also proved to be intelligent, creative, and good at coming up with ideas, even if said ideas were not always good. He was also generally the one who was counted on for determining the strategy of attack.
Sokka was clearly loyal to his friends, family, and allies. Many times over, he had helped them when he could and when he was needed. However, Sokka also seemed to realize the importance - and sometimes necessity - of one having to fight their own battles. When Master Piandao attacked Sokka, Aang, Katara, and Toph rushed in to help him, but he told his friends to stay back as it was his battle to fight alone. He had to prove himself as a swordsman, although it turned out Piandao simply attacked his pupil just to test him. Later, he held a similar view during Aang's battle with Ozai when Sozin's Comet arrived. When Suki suggested she, Toph, and Sokka should help Aang, Sokka pointed out that "the Fire Lord is Aang's fight". He understood it was Aang's destiny to face Ozai alone, while he, Suki, and Toph focused their energies on stopping the Fire Nation airship fleet.Patriotic and long to hold a grudge, he strongly desired and eventually meted out vengeance for the Fire Nation's decimation of the Water Tribe and the death of his mother. He held little interest in the mysticism surrounding bending and preferred to solve problems using his strength and his wits. He tended to be rash, however, and his pride often led to embarrassment. When Sokka had been humiliated, his versatility made for a heartfelt apology and changing of his ways. A good example of this was when he apologized to Suki and the Kyoshi Warriors for saying that boys were better than girls.
Sokka learned to be flexible. He may have been closed-minded at first, but that was because he wanted to protect himself and those he loved. Not long after he started traveling with the Avatar, Sokka began to change, even to the extent that he humbly apologized to Suki. As the series progressed, he became more optimistic. He liked to keep smiles on his friends' faces using his wit, sarcastic humor, and overall eccentricity. Sokka was an underdog. He was constantly the one who got beaten upon. Most of his plans failed miserably; however, he bravely kept fighting.
From the start, Sokka was willing to die defending his tribe, even though he never stood the smallest chance. Despite his obvious cleverness, Sokka sometimes acted silly, if not outright stupid. He occasionally created ridiculous plans that were nearly impossible to carry out. He was also a general victim of slapstick, often being sent flying or getting struck by things. Aunt Wu even stated, "Your future is full of struggle and anguish. Most of it, self-inflicted". When Sokka protested that she did not even read his palm, she remarked "I don't need to. It's written all over your face". His sarcastic and strange behavior could sometimes carry over into important decisions.
Sokka had a habit of over-explaining his plans, much to the annoyance of his friends. He also had a habit of missing the point in certain situations, again much to the annoyance of his friends.A passionate carnivore, Sokka had demonstrated his love of meat on multiple occasions and was the main hunter in the group. Sokka also had a habit of using sarcasm. However, when he got trapped at one point, Sokka shouted at "karma in the heavens", vowing to give up both meat and sarcasm for assistance. He would also consider himself no longer "Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy", but willing to be "Sokka, the veggies and straight-talk fellow". However, when he was freed eventually, he had given up neither meat nor sarcasm. He even asked "Aang, thank goodness, have you got any meat?" after being found less than a second after shouting to Karma. Despite his love of meat, he found it almost impossible to resist food, often gorging himself on various dishes when the group ate properly cooked meals. He showed contempt for Katara's cooking, however.
As much as Sokka loved meat, he grew close to every pet he received. He had a hilarious relationship with Momo. He also tried to adopt a messenger hawk, which he fondly named "Hawky".
Perhaps the biggest growth and change in Sokka during his participation in the Hundred Year War was his learning to accept people of the Fire Nation, learning that no nation was entirely good or bad, meaning that he should not blame the people of the nation, but rather its ruler.
Sokka also appeared to be unbiased once he stopped judging girls. Despite Hama having been from the Southern Water Tribe like himself and his sister, a victim of War and the last true waterbender of their tribe, Sokka still did not exempt her from his suspicions as the probable cause of the strange disappearances. He also made no effort to prove her innocence when faced with absolute proof that she was behind them.
Under the tutelage of the swordmaster Piandao, Sokka expressed various unorthodox procedures while undergoing his training. In one exercise, when told to stamp his identity onto a sheet of paper, rather than simply writing his name, Sokka smeared ink all over his face and pressed it onto the paper. As he presented Sokka with his blade, Piandao related that it was not his skills that impressed him, but his creativity, versatility and intelligence. All were traits that went beyond mere skills and what defined a great swordsman.
Sokka wrote with his right hand, but drew and ate with his left hand. He was possibly ambidextrous, because he was seen painting with his right as well as his left hand. His left-handed art was crude and rudimentary; however, this could just be due to a limited drawing ability.
Sokka had a great ability to adapt: He changed where change was needed, learned to love and respect others, embraced his own identity, accepted failure, and formed lasting loyalties. He was willing fight on, even when the cause seemed hopeless. Sokka became a master swordsman, and a great warrior like his father.
By the time he was forty-three, Sokka had mastered the art of public speaking; as chairman of the United Republic Council, he displayed an eloquence in speech and fluidity of presence he did not possess in his younger years.
Sokka had come to learn the art of swordsmanship, wielding a Jian sword, and had improved his contribution to the team. Under the tutelage of the Fire Nation swordmaster Piandao, Sokka underwent various activities, including sparring matches with the butler Fat to hone his swordwielding skills and arts such as painting, calligraphy, and rock gardening to sharpen his mind. Eventually, when instructed to make his own sword, he used fragments of a meteorite that fell the night before to collect the metal needed to forge his blade. Sokka's sword, like his master's, was patterned on a Qing Dynasty jian, but had the properties of the alien material used for its creation, making it unique. The blade retained an unusual all-black appearance and was able to slice through the toughest materials, such as steel. Although Sokka proved unable to defeat his master in a duel, Piandao stated that Sokka possessed the traits that one day could make him an even greater swordsman than he was. During the passing of Sozin's Comet, Sokka was once again able to prove his proficient skills in fighting. Even after breaking his leg from a fall and holding onto Toph who was about to fall to her death, he managed to take out two Firebenders that were about to finish him off. He defeated them by drawing his boomerang and throwing it at the first Firebender and knocking him out, then kicking his sword into the air, catching it, then throwing it to slice through the platform the other Firebender was standing on. He unfortunately lost both items in the process, only for a group of Firebenders to appear. Luckily, he and Toph survived when Suki crashed another airship into the one they were on and they managed to safely drop onto it.
Sokka showed his incredible intellectual potential, capacity to learn, and critical thinking skills throughout the series. He absorbed information quickly and completely and solved problems at an alarming rate. An example of this can be seen when he solved the dilemma of the hot air balloon, which stumped even an engineering genius, shortly after having the concept explained to him. More examples were present in his training with Piandao. Sokka became an advanced swordsman rapidly, besting Piandao's servant, Fat, in just a couple of days. He also managed to gain a firm grasp on blacksmithing in that short time, as he forged his own sword and later a suit of armor for Appa. His unique critical thinking ability came into play often through the training exercises of Piandao. He "stamped his identity" on a page by applying ink to his face and rolling it across the paper after he was informed that he got a little of it on him while thinking. During the rock gardening exercise, he "manipulated the terrain to his advantage" by rolling boulders and relocating moss to make a sort of lounge chair in the shade, thus appealing to his love of relaxation.