by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire Chapter 17 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- The Gamemakers seem horrified. Even Plutarch has noticed. He tells Katniss she can leave.
- As she does, she throws more juice around the room.
- She knows she's in big trouble, but she doesn't care.
- She goes to clean up before the evening meal and tries to guess what's going to happen. Whatever it is, it's probably going to be bad.
- At dinner she sits with Haymitch, Peeta, and the other important team members, and they fill each other in on what's happened that day.
- Peeta explains what happened when he had time alone with the Gamemakers. The tributes have been practicing using camouflage paints, so he took the art supplies and painted something on the ground.
- Effie thinks Peeta painted Katniss, but Peeta says he painted Rue, as she looked after she died in the last Games.
- The others are worried and upset about this, but Katniss thinks it was wonderfully brave.
- Katniss tells them what she did. Effie is horrified and leaves.
- Peeta and Katniss both say they acted spontaneously and claim they want to work alone in the arena – no allies.
- Haymitch is angry with them.
- Cinna encourages them to go find out their scores. It turns out the Gamemakers have given both Katniss and Peeta 12s, on a scale of 0 (the weakest) to 12 (the most deadly). No one's ever gotten a 12 before.
- Haymitch says that now the two of them are in more danger than ever. All of the other tributes will now try to gang up on them and take them out.
- They all disperse for the night, and Peeta and Katniss have some alone time before they end up deciding to have a sleepover.
- As they talk, they apologize to each other and grow closer. They feel stronger for the events that are about to take place. Katniss secretly becomes even more confident in her decision to sacrifice herself for Peeta.
- They have their sleepover with no bad dreams.
- Then they have a day off, when they can just relax. They enjoy their much-needed time off.
- They have a moment of emotional closeness, but Katniss knows their time is running out.
- The next day, it's guns blazing again. Katniss' prep team is too sad, and they almost can't bear pretty her up for her interview session. Octavia and Flavius have to excuse themselves.
- Then Cinna comes in to dress Katniss, putting her in a wedding dress. The wedding dress was chosen by the public, back when it seemed like Katniss was going to get to marry Peeta after all.
- Apparently, Snow said Katniss had to wear it for this last public event before the Games.
- The dress seems odd somehow, heavier than when she tried it on a few months ago.
- Cinna gives Katniss specific instructions for wearing the dress: when she thinks the time is right, she should turn around in the dress and lift up her hands to the sky. He says she has to do this at a key moment, which he'll help her find.
- Then the two of them meet the other members of their team and head off to the event, which consists of televised interviews.
- Katniss sees Peeta's tux, which makes her think of what a real wedding would've been like, if they'd gotten married in District 12 like normal people.
- When they meet up with the other 22 competitors, everyone seems offended that Katniss had to wear her wedding dress.
- The interviews begin, and Katniss has a revelation. Many of the other tributes are taking digs at the Capitol, fighting back and trying to stir up unrest. They're subtle about it, but the effect is powerful.
- The tributes are interviewed in order of district number, so Katniss and Peeta are at the end. Katniss goes first, and the audience is overwhelmed seeing Katniss in her wedding dress.
- She knows this is the time Cinna told her about. She moves as he instructed her to do.
- Her dress catches on fire and burns off. In its place is an inverse version of the original, black instead of white. Katniss realizes that the dress makes her look like a mockingjay. President Snow is not going to like this.
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