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|“||They threw me in prison to rot, along with my brothers and sisters! They deserve the same! You must carry on my work.||„|
|~ Hama to Katara.|
Hama is the hidden main antagonist in the Season 3 episode "The Puppetmaster" of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
She is voiced by Tress MacNeille.
Hama is a waterbender who comes from the Southern Water Tribe and was taken captive by the Fire Nation 75 years ago. She discovered her waterbending increased during a full moon and began to utilize this as a means to manipulate the blood within an individual's body, starting with the jail rats and later a Fire Nation man whom she forced to unlock her cage.
She initially posed as a harmless old woman to Katara and the others, but secretly used bloodbending on the village people, imprisoning them in the mountain as a means of revenge. When she finally confronted Katara and introduced her to bloodbending, she forced her to bloodbend by attempting to make Aang and Sokka kill each other. Katara reacts and bloodbends Hama herself. Toph later frees the imprisoned villagers, and promptly arrests Hama, who then proclaims her work to be done and congratulates Katara for having become a bloodbender. She is dragged out, whilst laughing maniacally, upon which Katara began to cry.
Hama initially appeared to be a gentle, kind old woman. She possessed a caring, maternal personality, which eventually won Katara's full trust. Determined and strong-willed, Hama fought persistently to ward off the Fire Nation during the Southern Water Tribe raids. However, later events brought out a much darker and unstable side of Hama. Her discovery of bloodbending led her to become power-hungry and radically driven to exact revenge on Fire Nation civilians whenever possible. Long to hold a grudge, she actively retaliated against the Fire Nation by odiously imprisoning local villagers as a way to punish the Fire Nation for the devastation they brought upon the Southern Water Tribe. She revealed a cruel side to her, showing no mercy toward random Fire Nation citizens or even Katara, as she willingly used bloodbending on her.
When she met Katara, she wanted to pass on the Southern Water Style so it would not die along with her, as well as her own invention of bloodbending, stating "[Katara] must carry on [her] work". She showed herself to be an encouraging teacher, if not a little immersed in instructing Katara. But her real goal was to ensure bloodbending would not die with her, and that Katara would use it for the same reason Hama did: to get revenge on the Fire Nation in the name of the Southern Water Tribe.
Hama was shaped by a tragic and unjust history, having spent her youth trying to protect her tribe alongside her fellow waterbenders. Her unjust and cruel imprisonment served to fester her hate towards the Fire Nation and strive to escape, despite her prison designed to hold waterbenders. She would soon realize that, with the full moon giving her strength, there had to be a way to escape, and that wherever there was life there was water. She concluded that bodies were like skins filled with liquid; with the power of the full moon, she discovered bloodbending, enabling her to manipulate living creatures, and spent years honing the technique, due to the short periods of the full moon. Once she mastered the rats, she targeted the guards, and forced one to release her, allowing her to walk free for the first time in years.
However, her long confinement having preserved her hate, and her new power had long since corrupted Hama, and instead of returning home she chose to take revenge against the people of the Fire Nation, wherever they were, however she could. She became no better than those who had stolen her freedom, when she imprisoned random Fire Nation citizens, with the intention of leaving them to rot as she and her fellow waterbenders had been, and expressed not a drop of remorse when she was a last foiled, instead satisfied that she had succeeded in forcibly passing on her technique to Katara, mockingly congratulating her successor as she was led away in chains, this time to spend the rest of her life locked up. By the time of The legend of Korra, she has passed away.
Hama was a very powerful and creative waterbender, and, along with Katara, one of the two known living waterbenders from the Southern Water Tribe. She was also the only remaining master of the Southern Style, until she passed her knowledge on to Katara. Hama was resourceful enough to draw water from plants, and even from thin air, to fuel her bending. She must also have been very skilled in combat, as she resisted capture the longest during the Southern Water Tribe raids.
Hama was such a proficient waterbender that she was able to manipulate the water from grass, flowers, and even trees and use it in combat or for other purposes. This contributed to her resourcefulness. She was able to pull water out of the air, making her a very formidable opponent.
Having spent years with the single-minded goal of perfecting this art, Hama became highly skilled at bloodbending, a technique that allowed her to manipulate the water in other creatures' bodies, effectively giving her control over her target's actions, could even be used it torture. The technique was powerful, and Hama was skilled enough in its use that she could simultaneously control Aang and Sokka with great finesse.
Hama was a capable teacher, passing on all knowledge of Southern Style Waterbending to Katara in a short time, though Katara was already a master in her own right. Hama also proved to be a skilled actress, hiding her grudge against her Fire Nation neighbors as she enacted her revenge on them one by one, even disguising her grim intentions from Toph, who had proven herself to be very capable of detecting lies. Hama was also very intellectual, as she managed to escape a prison designed to hold waterbenders, and was the only one to do so. Even before that, however, she proved to be a capable fighter, as she was able to evade the Fire Nation Army until she was the last waterbender left in her entire tribe. And after escaping prison, she concealed herself and successfully shook off suspicion, taking up residence in a small town as an innkeeper, and would have presumably been able to spend the rest of her life as a free woman, had she not seen passing on her skills as more crucial and revealed herself to Katara.