by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire Chapter 18 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Caesar, the emcee, tries to downplay Katniss' costume change, but Katniss calls out the allusion to the mockingjay and knows the message has been conveyed.
- Caesar puts the spotlight on Cinna. Katniss realizes that Cinna could be in terrible danger for designing such a dress for her.
- Next it's Peeta's turn to be interviewed. He's comfortable talking in front of the cameras.
- During the interview, Peeta reveals a fake secret, saying that he and Katniss already had a private wedding ceremony.
- It's a masterful manipulative stroke, and Katniss has to go along with it.
- Then Peeta goes one further, saying that Katniss is pregnant with his baby.
- The whole room goes bananas.
- The tributes achieve success, just for a moment, as the public is overcome with the injustice of it all.
- Everyone cries.
- Things are beginning to get out of hand, so the ceremony ends.
- All the tributes hold hands and show themselves to be a team. This is a rarity before the Games. The point of the Hunger Games is that the tributes are supposed to be competing against each other, not standing together against the Capitol.
- Then the tributes are rushed back to their rooms.
- Peeta asks Katniss if he was wrong to tell those lies, and she says no.
- It looks like people might be rioting.
- Peeta and Katniss find Haymitch, who tells them that change might have happened during the interviews, but it wasn't enough. The Games will begin tomorrow.
- Haymitch bids them farewell. He has one last piece of advice for Katniss: "You just remember who the enemy is" (18.53).
- Then Katniss and Peeta have their one last night of rest. It goes by too quickly.
- Peeta and Katniss have to go to the arena separately. Their stylists prepare them.
- Cinna and Katniss go to the vehicle that will take them to the preliminary rooms at the arena. There he helps her get ready and they talk a last bit of strategy. He helps her with her mockingjay pin and she thanks him for her interview costume. He says his money is always on her.
- Cinna walks her to a tube made of glass, which will take her to the arena. She steps inside.
- Trapped in the tube, Katniss has to watch in helpless horror as armed men come in and brutally beat Cinna, then take him away.
- Then the tube starts to move. Katniss is dumped in the arena, finding herself on a small circle of land surrounded by water.
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