Study Guide

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Summary

Part 1: The Tributes

In the first third of the book, we are introduced to our protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. Though she's only a teenager, she's a tough hunter who puts food on her family's table. Her father is dead and she lives with her mother and sister Prim in District 12 in the country of Panem. She hunts with a guy named Gale who is cute and might even have a thing for her, but who knows? Katniss is not very in touch with her mushy side.

Every year the Capitol of Panem hosts an event called the Hunger Games where two "tributes" – a boy and a girl – are drafted from each of the twelve districts to be brought to an arena and fight to the death. (BTW, back in the day the word "tribute" referred to a payment to a ruler.) Only one person can win. This is to remind the country not to rebel – and for entertainment, of course. This year, unfortunately, Katniss's little sister is selected for the Hunger Games, so Katniss volunteers to take her place. Also selected is Peeta Mellark, the baker's son, who maybe has a teensy tiny crush on Katniss. Maybe.

After the reaping (that's the tribute selection process), Katniss and Peeta are whisked away to the Capitol to prepare for the Games (and primped for live TV). We meet their support team, which is primarily comprised of Haymitch (a former Hunger Games winner and also a drunk), Effie (their wrangler), and Cinna and Portia (their stylists).

During the opening ceremonies, Cinna and Portia dress Katniss and Peeta in flames and they draw much attention to themselves. During training, Katniss reveals her archery skills to the Gamemakers and scores an amazing 11 out of 12. Peeta gets a lower score and asks to be coached separately. Peeta also announces in an interview that he has a mega crush on Katniss. Is this all just a strategy to gain audience support and sponsors? Katniss thinks so, but it works well for her too, so she plays along.

Part 2: The Games

At last: Let the Games begin!

All 24 of the tributes are transported to the arena to fight it out. Katniss is on her own at first, but then she discovers that Peeta has teamed up with the Career Tributes – the strong kids from the rich districts in Panem who actually want to go to the Hunger Games. They eventually corner her in a tree, but she drops a tracker jacker nest on them (that's like a genetically mutated killer wasp) and scores a bow and arrow in the process.

After this, Katniss teams up with Rue, a tiny girl from District 11 who reminds her of her sister Prim. The two are able to take out the Career Tributes' food supply, which totally infuriates their leader, Cato. Also, Peeta doesn't appear to be teamed up with them anymore. Where is he? Wounded? Unfortunately, Rue is killed around this time by one of the Career Tributes. Katniss honors her body by covering it in flowers.

After Rue's death, the announcer, wanting to bring back the romance story between Peeta and Katniss, changes the rules of the game: two people from a single district can now win. Before she can stop herself, Katniss calls out Peeta's name.

Part 3: The Victor

Katniss goes hunting for Peeta and eventually finds him. He is wounded and camouflaged in the muddy bank of a stream. She nurses him back to health and realizes that by playing up the romance angle, they can get gifts from sponsors.

Eventually, Katniss and Peeta must face off with Cato, the only other surviving tribute, but before that they are all pursued by wild dogs which are actually genetically mutated killing machines. Finally, Katniss shoots Cato and he falls into the pack. They've won, right? Wrong. An announcer comes back on and says the rules have changed back: only one winner allowed.

Katniss and Peeta can't kill each other, so they make a show of taking poisonous berries in an act of double suicide. Fortunately, the announcer comes back on before they can kill themselves, and says that they win. Woo-hoo! They defeated the Hunger Games! Or wait…did they?

Katniss and Peeta keep up the star-crossed lovers routine for the post-games reunion and interview, knowing that this is the only way to keep from being punished by the Capitol for the rebellious trick with the poisonous berries. Eventually Katniss figures out that Peeta really is in love with her – he wasn't acting at all – and he figures out that she wasn't ever in love with him. Oops. As the train pulls into District 12, they put on a happy face for the camera, take each other's hands and step onto the platform.

  • Chapter 1

    • The narrator wakes up in a cold bed, and we learn that today is the day of the reaping. What is the reaping, you ask? In a daring act of suspense-building, the narrator decides not to tell us.
    • In the meantime we're introduced to the other people asleep in the bedroom. There's Primrose (or Prim for short), the narrator's sister; the narrator's mother, who was once very beautiful; and Buttercup, a mouser of a cat who the narrator originally tried to drown. (Not an animal lover, this one.)
    • Awake, the narrator dresses herself in hunting gear, grabs a goat cheese, and heads to the woods.
    • We learn that the narrator lives in a place called District 12, nicknamed the Seam, that is home primarily to poor coal miners. The narrator's father was a coalminer, but he died in an explosion five years ago, when the narrator was only eleven.
    • District 12 is enclosed by a sometimes electrified fence that's supposed to keep out the predators from the woods. Trespassing in the woods is illegal, but that doesn't stop our narrator. The narrator hunts there for food with her bow, a weapon with which she's nearly an expert.
    • District 12 is located in the country of Panem and ruled by people in the far away Capitol.
    • In the woods, the narrator meets with Gale, her hunting partner. The narrator reveals that her name is Katniss, though Gale sometimes calls her Catnip.
    • Gale surprises Katniss with a fresh loaf of bread. Katniss pulls out the goat cheese made by Prim. The two begin to gather blackberries for their feast and begin cracking jokes about the Hunger Games. (What are the Hunger Games? We're still not sure.)
    • Katniss offers more information about her family: her mother came from a family of merchants that ran an apothecary shop. She fell in love with Katniss' father, though, and left her comfortable life to live in the Seam.
    • Katniss' mother was depressed after the death of her husband. Katniss blames her for being "blank and unreachable" (1.21).
    • Over their meal Gale suggests running away together and living in the woods. Katniss finds the idea ridiculous. They have to provide for their families. She mentions that she never wants to have children of her own.
    • The conversation ends awkwardly, and Katniss is confused. She and Gale (who we find out is pretty hunky) aren't romantically involved, but they are friends and hunting partners.
    • Gale and Katniss move to the lake to fish. By the end of the day, they have a huge haul of food: fish, greens, and strawberries.
    • The two go to the Hob, the black market, to sell or trade some of their goods. Half the strawberries are taken to the mayor's house to sell.
    • There they meet Madge, the mayor's daughter, done up in a pretty dress for the reaping. Gale compliments her, and she responds by saying that, if she gets sent to the Capitol, she wants to look nice. Gale coolly dismisses this idea, considering she only has "five entries" (1.44).
    • What does it all mean, you ask? Katniss explains that, once citizens reach the age of twelve, their name is put in the pool for the reaping. At age thirteen, the name is entered twice. An additional entry is given to each person until they reach the age of eighteen – at which point they are no longer eligible for the reaping.
    • Sounds fair, right? Not quite. The poor get the worst of it because if you happen to be starving or living in poverty, you can get a year's supply of grain and oil (what is called a "tessera") by adding your name into the pool another time.
    • This means that once Katniss reached the age of twelve, she had her name entered once because of her age, but then three more times so that she, Prim, and her mother would have grain and oil for the year.
    • Richer families do not have to play the game this way, obviously – which explains why Gale was so miffed by Madge even suggesting that she would be the one selected to go to the Capitol. Her chances are miniscule compared to Katniss and Gale.
    • Gale has been known to rage about this kind of thing, especially about the unfairness of the system and the way it keeps the classes divided against each other.
    • Back at home, Prim is dressed in a reaping outfit formerly belonging to Katniss. Katniss washes and puts on a blue dress formerly belonging to her mother.
    • This is Prim's first reaping and Katniss, who normally protects her younger sister, feels powerless to do anything for her.
    • The family eats dinner (fish and greens) and then heads for the reaping in the square. There are bright banners and cameras everywhere (the proceedings are televised by the state), but still there is "an air of grimness" (1.68).
    • People in the crowd are taking bets on whose names will be picked.
    • Katniss stares at the stage where there are two glass balls with slips of paper in them. Katniss has her name in the lottery twenty times.
    • On the stage are Mayor Undersee (Madge's father), and Effie Trinket – the district's pink-haired escort from the Capitol.
    • As the clock strikes two, the proceedings begin: the mayor tells the history of Panem, a country that emerged from the ashes of a place once known as North America.
    • The country of Panem used to have thirteen districts, but the Dark Days came and the districts rose up against the Capitol. Twelve of the districts were defeated, but the thirteenth was destroyed.
    • The Treaty of Treason was established to bring peace after the uprising. As a reminder of the Dark Days, the Hunger Games were instituted.
    • What are the Hunger Games, you ask again for the umpteenth time? We finally find out: as a punishment for the uprising of the districts, a lottery is held each year in which a boy and girl from each district is chosen to be a "tribute" (1.75).
    • Each tribute is taken to the Capitol, where they are imprisoned in a gigantic arena and must, over a long period of time, FIGHT TO THE DEATH. Sound intense? Yeah, we thought so. "The last tribute standing wins" (1.75).
    • The winning tribute wins food for their district. It's supposed to a festivity, but really, it all sounds pretty terrible.
    • Back to the reaping at hand: the mayor reads a list of past victors. There have been few from District 12 and only one is still alive. His name is Haymitch Abernathy, a middle-aged drunk. He stumbles on stage, which the cameras, of course, are sure to get on film.
    • The bubbly Effie Trinket is on hand to pull the names out of the hat. First up? The ladies. The name she reads out? GASP. It's little Primrose Everdeen, Katniss's younger sister – who only had her name in the hat ONCE.
  • Chapter 2

    • Katniss is stunned. Likewise, the crowd is displeased to have a twelve-year-old girl chosen as the tribute.
    • Prim approaches the stage, but as she does, Katniss darts in front of her and volunteers to take her sister's place. Volunteers are allowed, but they don't usually come forward – seeing as how most District 12 tributes bite the dust in the Games.
    • Prim freaks out. Gale grabs her, allowing Katniss to take the stage.
    • The people of District 12 do not clap; instead, they are silent. They then give Katniss the three fingered salute of the district, a gesture rarely used, meaning thanks, admiration, and good-bye to a loved one.
    • Haymitch stumbles drunkenly onto the stage, yelling about the scene, and then falls off. The whole thing is caught on camera, of course.
    • Next up is the selection of the boy tribute, which turns out to be Peeta Mellark.
    • Katniss is shocked, though doesn't exactly explain why. Though he has two older brothers, no one volunteers for Peeta.
    • Flashback: Katniss then relates the story of her only encounter with Peeta. It was after her father died, when her mother was suffering from depression. Katniss was – as she is now – the sole bread winner, but was not old enough yet for the tesserae.
    • The family was starving – a not uncommon fate in District 12.
    • One evening Katniss is in the Hob to trade some baby clothes for food. Unsuccessful, she is wandering behind the shops when she smells the bread of the bakers'. Delicious.
    • Katniss lifts the trash can lid to scavenge, when the baker's wife appears out of nowhere to scream at her and shoo her away. She sees a little blond boy peering at her from behind his mother.
    • Hiding behind the pig pen, Katniss, sick and weak, slumps down defeated. Soon, though, the blond boy appears with two loaves of burned bread. Katniss notices a red welt on his face, probably from his mother. He throws a loaf of bread in her direction and returns inside.
    • Katniss runs home with the bread and eats the loaf with her family.
    • The next morning she realizes that the boy probably burned the loaves on purposes – so he could give them to her.
    • That day at school the boy does not acknowledge Katniss. She does, though, see in the schoolyard a dandelion and remembers her time in the woods with her father – and that there she can find food for her family.
    • End of flashback. Katniss tells us that Peeta has always reminded her of hope, and that she is thankful for what he did – but how can she thank him now that he is her enemy?
  • Chapter 3

    • Katniss and the other candidates are taken into custody. They are divided and taken into fancy rooms with plush carpets and velvet chairs where each are allowed to say their farewells.
    • Prim and Mother visit Katniss. She gives them instructions for her absence. They are not to accept tesserae for Prim, but instead get by selling goat milk and Mother's apothecary business. Gale is to supply the herbs.
    • Katniss warns her mother that she can't become depressed again and "clock out," leaving Prim on her own (3.8).
    • Prim makes Katniss promise to try to win; despite Katniss's doubts about her ability in the competition, she agrees.
    • The next visitor is, to Katniss's surprise, Peeta Mellark's father, the baker. Without his witchy wife around, he's much nicer. He offers Katniss a white paper package of cookies and promises to keep an eye of Prim.
    • After the baker leaves, Madge, the mayor's daughter enters the room. She offers Katniss a circular gold pin to wear as a token of District 12. On the pin is a small bird. Katniss agrees.
    • The last visitor is Gale, who hugs Katniss in his arms. He advises Katniss to get her hands most immediately on a bow during the Games – even if she has to make one. It's her best shot.
    • Katniss wonders if there will even be wood. She and Gale recall previous Hunger Games: in one, the tributes froze to death at night because of lack of wood. It was boring, so there probably will be wood this time.
    • The peacekeepers arrive and force Gale to leave, but before he does, he says "Katniss, remember I –," but isn't allowed to finish that thought. Suspense!
    • At the train station, cameras are everywhere and Katniss is grateful that she knows how to mask her emotions. Peeta, on the other hand, has clearly been crying. Katniss wonders if this is a strategy.
    • The train whisks the tributes away and Katniss tells us more about her country: the Capitol was constructed in a place once known as the Rockies. District 12 was a region formerly called Appalachia, a coal-mining region.
    • Katniss showers in her own private car and dresses in a dark green shirt for dinner. She puts on Madge's gold pin with the mockingjay.
    • Katniss tells us that mockingjays are hybrid animals, a cross between a jabberjay and a mockingbird.
    • The jabberjays were genetically mutated animals engineered by the Capitol during the rebellion. The birds could spy on people and memorize whole conversations. People eventually realized what was going on and fed lies to the birds, so in the end, the whole plan backfired.
    • The mockingjay species were created when the abandoned species started mating with female mockingbirds. Now they repeat not words, but human melodies and can recreate songs.
    • Katniss's father, a great singer, would always sing to the birds. She finds the pin of the bird comforting, like having a piece of her father with her.
    • At dinner, Katniss and Peeta eat course after course of rich food. Effie Trinket comments on their polite manners, different from past Seam tributes, which only infuriates Katniss. She then eats the rest of the meal with her fingers.
    • The party watches on television the rest of the reapings in the rest of the districts. A few tributes stand out: a "monstrous boy" from District 2, a "fox-faced girl" form District 5, a crippled boy from District 10, and a small girl with "dark brown skin and eyes" from District 11 (3.67). She reminds Katniss of Prim.
    • They also watch the recap of the reaping in District 12. They broadcast the silent salute. Effie is agitated by the spectacle of Haymitch falling drunk off the stage.
    • Peeta and Katniss make a few jokes at Haymitch's expense when he staggers through the door. And vomits!
  • Chapter 4

    • A very drunk Haymitch, the former champion who is supposed to be mentoring Katniss and Peeta, slips around in his own vomit.
    • Peeta offers to clean Haymitch up, which Katniss wonders about until she realizes that Peeta is being kind. Kind?! This could be bad for the Games since kind people have a way of "working their way inside" Katniss and "rooting there" (4.10).
    • Alarmed at her tender feelings, Katniss throws Peeta's father's cookies out of the train window, but wouldn't you know it, they bust open right beside of a patch of dandelions. Which of course just remind her again of Peeta's kindness back in the schoolyard. Sigh.
    • Flashback alert: Katniss tells us what happened those many years ago after Peeta gave her the bread and she saw the dandelion.
    • She and Prim go to the Meadow where they gather enough dandelion greens for a huge salad. Katniss realizes she could scavenge for even more food with her mother's book from the apothecary.
    • Katniss also begins going under the fence surrounding District 12 and out into the woods to hunt. She uses the small bow and arrow that her father had made for her and hidden in a hollow tree. Katniss kills a rabbit on her first day and the family has meat for the first time in months.
    • Over the course of time, Katniss is able to use the woods as the family's main food source: eggs, fish, rabbits, squirrels, and plants.
    • Eventually Katniss is old enough to sign up for tesserae. She doesn't stop hunting though, but begins to trade the bounty from her hunting and gathering at the Hob (the city's black market).
    • Later that summer, she finds potato-like bluish tubers growing around a pond. She remembers that they're called "Katniss." And that her father had said: "As long you can find yourself, you'll never starve" (4.22). (Double meaning alert! Remember this for later!)
    • With the food and the hope, Katniss's mother begins to come out of her depression. Katniss, though, can't ever completely trust her.
    • Flashback over. Now we're on the train with Katniss who is staring out of the window thinking of her home and family. All of that seems so long ago. She decides to sleep and even though she decides to allow herself to cry: she can't.
    • Katniss wakes and dresses (green outfit, gold mockingjay pin). Breakfast is huge: "eggs, ham, piles of fried potatoes" and delicious hot chocolate (4.34).
    • Also at breakfast? Haymitch, the drunkard. Katniss realizes that she kind of hates Haymitch because he's apparently not very good at supporting his tributes – or getting them sponsors (the people who give aid and supplies to the tributes during the game).
    • Katniss asks Haymitch for advice, and he says "stay alive" (4.40) and then laughs. Ha?
    • Peeta is ticked off by this and knocks Haymitch's glass out of his hand. Haymitch punches Peeta. Katniss stabs a knife into the table.
    • A little surprised, Haymitch wonders aloud if he has fighters on his hands this year. Katniss throws a knife into the wall to prove that he does.
    • A deal is made: If no one interferes with Haymitch's drinking, he'll stay sober enough to help. But! Peeta and Katniss must do exactly as he says. All are agreed.
    • The train pulls into the Capitol and people are on hand to gawk. Katniss backs away from the window, but Peeta smiles and waves. "Who knows?" he says. "One of them may be rich" (4.61).
    • Katniss realizes that maybe she has underestimated Peeta. Maybe he does have a plan – and that plan probably involves killing her.
  • Chapter 5

    • Katniss is in the Remake Center getting her legs waxed (yowch!) by Venia, "a woman with aqua hair and gold tattoos about her eyebrows" (5.1). She's also been scrubbed clean and had her nails done. The only thing they've left the same is the braid her mother had arranged.
    • The last remaining hairs are plucked clean by her prep team (Octavia, Flavius, and the aforementioned Venia – all decked out with crazy hair and dyed skin), and they call in her head stylist, Cinna.
    • Cinna arrives and Katniss is impressed with how normal and attractive he looks. His voice lacks the affected accent most people have in the Capitol.
    • Cinna compliments Katniss's braid, and she realizes that Cinna is a new stylist for the Hunger Games. He reveals that he asked specifically for District 12.
    • Cinna and Katniss have lunch, an exorbitant spread that would never be seen back in District 12. Katniss wonders what it would be like to live in such a place.
    • Cinna reads Katniss's thoughts and comments that they must all seem despicable to her.
    • The two discuss Katniss's outfit for the opening ceremony. Usually the get-up has to do with the industry of the district. This means coal-mining. Katniss expects a coal miner outfit, but Cinna says no, this year, they're focusing instead on coal.
    • He asks Katniss if she is afraid of fire.
    • We jump forward a few hours and Katniss is dressed in a black unitard and a streaming orange, yellow, and red cape – that Cinna plans to set ON FIRE during her chariot ride to the stadium.
    • Peeta shows up, and he is dressed identically. The two soon find themselves in the chariot, making jokes about extinguishing one another. Then the opening music begins.
    • The chariot from each district starts moving along in the parade until it's time for District 12 – that's when Cinna lights both Katniss and Peeta on fire. Fortunately, the plan works and no one burns to death.
    • Before they pull out, Cinna motions that Peeta and Katniss hold hands. The chariot then enters the city.
    • The crowd loves the outfits – and they cheer accordingly. Katniss starts to feel a little hope. Someone throws her a rose, and she catches it. She blows kisses.
    • The chariots arrive at President Snow's mansion for his speech. Katniss can see on the jumbo-tron that she and Peeta are getting lots of screen time.
    • The national anthem plays, the chariots make a final circle around parade route, and then back to the Training Center.
    • Katniss and Peeta are still gripping hands, and they joke about it. He tells her that she should wear flames more often (flirty flirty!) and he smiles.
    • Warning bells go off in Katniss's head: do not flirt with this boy because you might start to like him and then HE IS GOING TO KILL YOU.
    • Then, she realizes that two can play this game. She reaches on tiptoe and kisses his cheek.
  • Chapter 6

    • Katniss and company ride an amazing crystal elevator to the twelfth floor of the Training Center where the District 12 team will be staying.
    • Effie Trinket, the pink-haired escort, is on hand and is impressed with how well Peeta and Katniss did in the ceremonies. She's never had a team do well, apparently. She tells them she's been talking them up as best she can, but she's not the one responsible for getting sponsors. That's Haymitch.
    • Though lacking in other areas, Katniss admires Effie's determination.
    • Katniss's quarters are plush with an elaborate shower that instantly untangles your hair, a programmable closet, and a giant menu with food that appears on command.
    • After showering and dressing, Katniss is called to dinner where the whole team (Effie, Haymitch, Cinna, the stylists, and the candidates) assembles. Servers in white tunics bring them roast beef and noodles in green sauce.
    • Katniss drinks wine and her head is a bit groggy. A cake is brought in and set ablaze when Katniss recognizes the serving girl who is setting it on fire.
    • She exclaims "I know you!" but as soon as she does, feels anxiety and guilt. The girl looks terrified. Effie tells Katniss there is no way she could know the girl, who is an Avox.
    • What's an Avox? Someone who has committed a crime, like treason, and has had their TONGUE cut out. Wowzers.
    • Effie informs Katniss that Avoxes are not to be spoken to unless it's an order that they're being given.
    • Peeta swoops in to save the day, claiming that the reason Katniss must have recognized the girl is because she looks a lot like someone back from the Seam – Delly Cartwright.
    • Katniss knows this is not true (the girls look nothing alike) but she plays along anyhow.
    • The team watches the replay of the opening ceremonies and Haymitch comments that the hand holding was just the "perfect touch of rebellion" (6.35).
    • With dinner over, Peeta and Katniss walk to their rooms, but instead decide to head to the roof. Why? Because Peeta wants to know why he was covering for Katniss. Who is the Avox girl and why did Katniss recognize her?
    • On the roof Katniss wonders if anyone has ever tried to escape by jumping off. Peeta says that the whole place is electrified so that it's not possible.
    • The two retire to the roof garden, with its twinkling wind chimes, to speak in whispers.
    • Katniss then relates the story of the Avox girl. Ready? Here we go:
    • Gale and Katniss were hunting one day in the forest around District 12 when they saw a girl and a boy with tattered clothes running like crazy. The two were from the Capitol, Katniss could tell.
    • Katniss also knew they were in trouble, but did not help. She could only watch from her hiding place.
    • A hovercraft appeared and hauled the boy up by shooting a spear through him. More than likely, he died. The girl was caught in a net and hauled up. She called for help, but Katniss didn't give it to her.
    • Peeta asks if they saw Katniss and she says she doesn't know, but really she does know. She and the girl locked eyes.
    • Peeta wonders where they were going, then says aloud that he'd leave the Capitol too. He would go home, if they let him.
    • As they go in, Peeta plumbs for information about Gale. Are he and Katniss related? Did Gale come to see her on the last day in District 12?
    • Changing the subject, Katniss mentions that his father had brought her cookies on that day. Peeta seems surprised, but is he just acting? Katniss can't tell.
    • Peeta tells Katniss that his father knew her mother when they were children. Interesting.
    • The two part ways for the night. Inside Katniss' room, the redheaded Avox girl is collecting the outfit from the opening ceremony.
    • Katniss wants to apologize for everything, but she doesn't. Instead she gets under the covers and pulls the covers over her head.
    • She wonders if the Avox girl will enjoy watching her die.
  • Chapter 7

    • Katniss wakes the next morning from terrible nightmares. She hops into the shower she hasn't figured out yet how to use and then heads to breakfast. She's the first one up, but the Avox servant allows her to serve herself from the generous buffet.
    • Haymitch and Peeta arrive, and Peeta is yet again wearing an outfit identical to hers. Katniss is annoyed.
    • Training is set to start today, so Haymitch talks strategy. After Peeta and Katniss decide to be coached together, Haymitch asks them what their strengths are. Peeta? Baking bread. Katniss? Hunting with a bow and arrow.
    • When Katniss underrates herself at hunting, Peeta is sure to chime in and say how great she is. He has been eating the squirrels she sold to his father, after all. Katniss is surprised that he's even noticed something like that.
    • Katniss feels irritated, so she's sure to tell Haymitch how strong Peeta is – and how he can lift big bags of flour and wrestle people, like he does at high school.
    • Peeta snaps back that his mother thinks Katniss is going to win. She even said that Katniss was a survivor.
    • Katniss comments that she only survived because someone (Peeta) helped her so long ago. Peeta then makes some exasperated remarks about how the sponsors will all want to help her. And then things boil over as Peeta rolls his eyes and makes a comment about how Katniss doesn't know the effect she has on people. (Like Peeta, maybe?)
    • Haymitch advises Katniss to keep her bow skills a secret during the general training sessions and only to reveal them during her private session with the Gamemakers. He tells them to pick up useful skills during group training – not show off.
    • The other piece of advice? They have to stay by each other's side.
    • Totally peeved, Katniss stalks back to her room and contemplates the breakfast convo. She's angry that she and Peeta have to pretend to be friends. And what did Peeta mean when he said she had an effect on people?
    • Time for training: all the tributes gather together, but Katniss and Peeta are the only two dressed alike. Katniss notices that most of the tributes are bigger than her, but many are less well fed. That gives her an edge. The rich kid tributes, of course, are fed and trained and ready to go.
    • Practice time starts. They can either go to combat stations or learn some survival skills. Sticking together, Peeta and Katniss decide (since this is a group session) to learn some skills. First up? Knot tying. Then camouflage. (Peeta likes this skill since it's like decorating a cake. This in turn annoys Katniss further.)
    • Training lasts over three days and it's more of the same: Katniss and Peeta learn more survival skills – like how to start a fire and make a shelter. They steer clear of weightlifting and archery so as not to give away their skill sets.
    • Peeta and Katniss eat together during meals, as do the Career Tributes (the rich kids). The rest sit alone.
    • Katniss and Peeta attempt to make conversation (like Peeta's remarks about all the different kinds of bread in the basket) to keep up their image of a friendship.
    • During the second day of training, Peeta and Katniss notice that they have a shadow: Rue, the little dark-skinned girl from District 11, who is tiny and reminds Katniss of Prim. Katniss watches her and realizes that she's good with plants, climbs fast, and can aim with a slingshot.
    • On the evening of the second night, Peeta and Katniss start joking around. Katniss laughs, but then is confused. Are they friends or not? She tells Peeta that they shouldn't pretend to be friends when not around the others.
    • The third day of training is the private session with the Gamemakers. Katniss goes into hers and sees what she's been waiting for: a bow and arrow.
    • She's clumsy with the weapon at first, but after getting familiar with it, she skewers the practice dummy through the heart and hits multiple targets around the gymnasium.
    • Not many of the Gamemakers notice. Most are too concerned with the free buffet in the gym – especially the huge roast pig that's been brought in for them.
    • Infuriated, Katniss shoots an arrow straight into the apple in the pig's mouth. She thanks them for their consideration – and then storms out of the gym. Drama!
  • Chapter 8

    • Katniss rushes back to her room and starts sobbing. She's really done it now. Will the Gamemakers punish her? Her family? She keeps beating herself up.
    • Katniss decides the Gamemakers will probably give her a low score so that she'll get no sponsors.
    • Defeated, she goes down to dinner. Everyone is there. Eventually Haymitch asks Katniss and Peeta just how bad they were today. Peeta says he got ignored. Katniss tells the company she shot an arrow at the Gamemakers. D'oh!
    • Katniss wants to know what will happen to her. Haymitch says that it wouldn't make sense to arrest her or punish her family. They'll probably just make her life hell in the arena. This cheers Katniss up a bit, and they all laugh and joke a bit at Katniss's description of the shocked Gamemakers.
    • Time to watch the announcement of the scores: the Career Tributes are in the eight-to-ten range, little Rue pulls a seven (whoa!), and Peeta gets an eight. Not bad!
    • And Katniss? Well. Katniss gets an ELEVEN. That's right. She's through the roof. Everyone is super-excited and kind of shocked. They must have liked her temper, Haymitch says.
    • The next day Katniss wakes with Gale on her mind. She relates the story of their first meeting in the woods. (That's right, everyone. It's flashback time again!)
    • Katniss was collecting tubers in the forest when she saw rabbits strung up in two snares: traps to catch more animals. Never having been able to make snares work herself, she moved closer to examine them.
    • That's when a boy appeared: he was fourteen years old and over six feet tall. He warned her that touching his snares would be dangerous, and that stealing is punishable by law.
    • The two bantered a bit and then Katniss showed him her bow. They talked hunting. Eventually they started swapping knowledge and, over time, they became hunting partners – and friends. And even something more than that.
    • Back in the present, Katniss feels pangs of longing and compares what she had with Gale to the fake friendship she now has with Peeta.
    • Breaking her reverie, Effie calls her down to breakfast.
    • Katniss enters the dining room and heaps her plate with delicious lamb and asks when they'll start prepping for the interviews. That's when Haymitch drops a bombshell: Peeta has asked to be coached separately.
  • Chapter 9

    • Katniss feels betrayed by Peeta's decision, but she guesses that the sooner they acknowledge that they're enemies, the better.
    • On to the interview preparation: Katniss has a four-hour-long session with Effie where Effie puts her in a gown and heels, and teaches her how to walk in them. Effie teaches her about eye contact, gesture, smiling, and so forth.
    • Katniss has a hard time with all of this, and Effie has to emphasize that Katniss needs the audience to like her – which is hard if Katniss is scowling the whole time. She must pretend.
    • In the session with Haymitch, Katniss is coached on her interview skills with little to no luck. Katniss is hostile, angry, and has trouble talking about herself or her family. Haymitch says she has about as much charm "as a dead slug" (9.27).
    • Haymitch coaches her to act humble. That doesn't work. She tries to play it cocky. No dice. Witty, funny, sexy, and mysterious are also failures.
    • Katniss eats dinner alone in her room that night and smashes around some of the dishes in anger. When the redheaded Avox girl comes to clear them away, Katniss yells at her to leave them.
    • The girl, though, doesn't leave. She gets a damp cloth and washes off Katniss's face and bloody hand.
    • Katniss apologizes for the incident in the forest so long ago. She tells her she should have tried to save her. The girl taps her lips, as if to say "No, they would have cut your tongue out too." The two clean the room together. Then the girl turns down the bed and tucks Katniss in. She sleeps.
    • The next day, Katniss is set to spend some time with Cinna, the stylist, before her big interview. Her dress is super-heavy, but totally gorgeous: it glimmers and flashes with jeweled cloth, giving the impression that Katniss is engulfed in flames.
    • Katniss is radiant and she thanks Cinna. Cinna asks if Katniss is ready for the interview. Katniss says she will be awful. Cinna says to just be herself, that she's only sullen and hostile around Haymitch, and that people will admire her spirit.
    • This is all good news. Cinna says that she should pretend she's answering the question to him – find him in the audience and answer to him. Finally, a plan that might work!
    • Everyone heads off to the stage constructed in front of the Training Center for the interview. Haymitch instructs Katniss to keep up the act that she's friends with Peeta.
    • The set-up for the interviews is pretty elaborate, with cameras everywhere. Then there's Caesar Flickerman, the long-time host with powder blue hair who never seems to age. He's wearing a midnight blue suit with electric bulbs that twinkle like stars.
    • The tributes are interviewed in order, all with their own shticks: District 1's girl tribute is playing up the sex appeal. District 2's boy is a "ruthless killer" (9.78). And so forth.
    • Rue, the tiny girl from District 11, is wearing a gown with wings. She says she is hard to catch. Thresher is the boy tribute from that district. He's huge and solitary and speaks very little.
    • Next up? Katniss. Caesar is a helpful and warm host. He asks Katniss what has most impressed her about the Capitol. She says the lamb stew. He laughs. Then audience joins in.
    • Caesar asks about her costume for the opening ceremonies. Deciding to be honest, she gushes about Cinna's brilliance. Then she says she loves the dress she is wearing tonight. Caesar has her twirl for him – and she does.
    • The interview continues and things turn personal. Caesar asks about the sacrifice she made by taking her sister Prim's place. Katniss tries to be warm, but can feel ice in her veins. She tells him that Prim asked her to win, and that she said she would.
    • The interview is over and Cinna gives her the thumbs up.
    • Peeta's interview is next and goes off without a hitch: he plays up the fact that he's a baker's son and is winning and funny with the host.
    • And then? Time for a showstopper. Ready? Peeta tells the host that he has a crush on a girl, but that it's not going to work out. Why? Because she came to the Games with him.
    • That's right, it's Katniss.
  • Chapter 10

    • Peeta admits to Caesar that Katniss, his crush, didn't know about his feelings – until now! Caesar says this is all a bit of bad luck. (No kidding.) As the interview concludes, the crowd goes nuts for Peeta.
    • Peeta has wiped the floor with his competition, painting himself as the tragic lover. Still, Katniss thinks she knows better.
    • Back at the Training Center, Katniss is furious and pushes Peeta into an urn, bloodying his hands. She yells at him that he had no right to make her look like a fool.
    • Haymitch, who apparently was in on the whole thing, intervenes and explains to Katniss that Peeta has done her a huge favor: he has made her seem desirable. "You're all they're talking about. The star-crossed lovers from District Twelve!" (10.22).
    • After a little more arguing (in which Peeta says she's only mad because of Gale), Katniss comes around to the idea of being a heartbreaker. Before she was only a silly girl spinning in a dress. Now she is an "object of love" (10.33).
    • Katniss worries that she didn't respond properly when the cameras were on her, but everyone assures her that she did.
    • Everyone watches the replay of the interviews, and then it's time to say goodbye and goodnight: the Hunger Games are tomorrow. Only Cinna and Portia, the stylists, will be accompanying the tributes to the arena.
    • Haymitch gives some final advice: Don't try to fight for supplies or weapons at the Cornucopia. Just get away from the other competitors – and find a water source.
    • Bedtime arrives and Katniss can't sleep. All she can think about is the Games: the possible terrain she'll see, the traps the Gamemakers will set, and so forth.
    • Too restless to sleep, Katniss goes up to the roof where she finds: guess who? Yup. Peeta.
    • The two watch the festivities down on the ground. The celebrations mark the beginning of the Hunger Games.
    • Katniss apologizes for pushing him and cutting up his hands. Peeta says he was never a contender anyway. He just doesn't want to disgrace himself.
    • Peeta then gives a speech about wanting to die as himself. "I don't want them to change me in there," he says. "Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not" (10.70).
    • Katniss feels guilty that all she can think about is the competition while here Peeta is contemplating his true identity.
    • Katniss tells Peeta to just focus on staying alive. Peeta mimics Haymitch, saying "Thanks for the tip, sweetheart" (10.71). Katniss feels like it's a slap in the face. A few barbs are exchanged and she returns to her room.
    • In the morning, Cinna dresses Katniss in a simple shift and a hovercraft comes to fetch her and take her to the arena. On board, a metal tracking device is inserted into her.
    • Arriving at the arena, Katniss is taking to the Launch Room (or the "Stockyard" as it's referred to in the districts). The room is new, as Katniss tells us, and will never be used again. The arenas become historic sites once the Games are over where tourists come to visit.
    • Cinna equips Katniss with the outfit and gear that all the tributes have, including a hooded black jacket designed to reflect body heat. He pins on her gold mockingjay pin. He had to fight to get it through the review board since they thought it might be used as a weapon.
    • Cinna repeats Haymitch's final advice as Katniss steps onto her platform: run, find water. He tells her his money is on her and wishes her luck.
    • With that, Katniss is launched into the stadium. The Hunger Games have begun.
  • Chapter 11

    • Katniss finds herself on a metal circle in the arena. She wonders if she should stay at the Cornucopia (the central statue in the arena) to fight for supplies (a tent, food, weapons, medicine), or head for water, as Haymitch commanded her to do.
    • Katniss sees a bow and arrow. Maybe if she sprints she can grab some of the loot? She sees Peeta and he shakes his head no. Then the gong sounds, and she's missed her chance for the bow and arrow.
    • Grabbing a nearby sheet of plastic and loaf of bread, Katniss sprints for an orange backpack. She sees another tribute get a knife in the back and then runs for it – getting a knife thrown at her backpack in the process.
    • Walking and jogging, Katniss heads for the forested area and begins to descend into a valley.
    • By late afternoon, Katniss hears the cannons, which are shot every time a tribute is killed. The fighting at the Cornucopia must have stopped. The cannon fires eleven times; that means eleven are dead. Thirteen candidates are left.
    • Katniss thinks of Peeta and wonders if he is dead. Maybe it's better if he's out of the game.
    • Exhausted, Katniss breaks to examine her backpack. It's orange, which means camouflage is a must. Inside? A sleeping bag, crackers, beef strips, iodine, matches, wire, sunglasses, and an empty water bottle. EMPTY? Dang.
    • Water becomes Katniss's top priority. She saw a lake back at the Cornucopia, but headed in the opposite direction. She's a day's journey away by now. No point in going back.
    • Katniss chews pine to quell her hunger and then looks for a place to camp. She sets two snares and then climbs up into a willow tree where she settles in with her sleeping bag and loops herself in with a belt.
    • Night falls and with it the death recap. The faces of the dead are projected into the sky: no Peeta. Katniss is filled with relief, but her emotions remained mixed.
    • Who else is left? Five of the Career Tributes, Foxface, Thresh, and Rue, as well as three others Katniss can't remember.
    • In the morning, Katniss hears a snap and realizes that someone only a few hundred yards to her right is BUILDING A FIRE. Idiot! Sure it's cold, but don't they know it will attract the stronger Career Tributes?
    • Katniss watches concealed in the tree as, sure enough, a pack of tributes come along and kill the girl who lit the fire. The hotshot tributes must have teamed up and are now hunting in a pack.
    • She eavesdrops on their conversation when all of a sudden she realizes that one of the voices belongs to none other than Peeta.
  • Chapter 12

    • Peeta?! Yes, Peeta has teamed up with the Career Tributes. Katniss catches a glimpse of him and he's bloody and bruised and bandaged. Still.
    • Why would he join them? Career Tributes are the Capitol's lapdogs – hated by all of the audience. What was all that talk on the rooftop about being true to himself? Dude.
    • Peeta leaves the group for a moment to make sure the girl they've just killed is actually dead. That's when Katniss overhears the others say that they're basically using Peeta to find her.
    • They also can't seem to figure out how she got that eleven in training. Katniss wonders why Peeta hasn't told them about her skills. Is he saving the information? What is he up to?
    • Peeta returns, the cannon fires, and the Career Tributes take off. Katniss makes herself move too.
    • Knowing she'll get a close-up from the camera when she hits the ground, she hops to the ground and puts a knowing smile on her face. She has to look like she's one step ahead of the game.
    • Before she goes, she checks her snares and finds a rabbit. She roasts it on the dying embers of the dead tribute's fire (maybe the sponsors will see that and bet on her) and then heads out.
    • Katniss walks along considering what's up with Peeta, but is careful to mask her emotions. Cameras are, of course, likely to be on her all the time.
    • With no water yesterday or today, Katniss is becoming dehydrated. She's headed in the valley still, so she figures water must be somewhere. It runs downhill after all.
    • Parched, Katniss sees some berries, but just as she's about to suck the juice out she notices they're not blueberries. She puts them back. The plant instructor at the Training Center advised candidates not to eat berries unless they were completely sure they weren't poisonous.
    • Night falls and the face of the dead girl from District 8 is projected into the sky. Katniss is totally parched at this point, but sleeps up in a tree all the same.
    • The next morning is worse: still no water. Katniss wonders why Haymitch won't send help in one of those little silver parachutes the sponsors use. Why won't he? Maybe it means she's close to water. Maybe Haymitch is sending her a message.
    • Yes, that must be it. She keeps looking. On the verge of collapse, she finds herself in mud. And mud? Mud means WATER.
    • Crawling through the mud, Katniss finds a pond filled with water lilies. She exercises massive restraint as she takes out her flask, fills it, drops in the iodine to purify it, and then waits half an hour. Then she drinks.
    • Sweet relief! Fully refreshed, Katniss hears the anthem, but sees no faces projected into the sky. She snuggles into her sleeping bag for the night.
    • A few hours later, however, she wakes up to the sound of a stampede. It's a wall of fire descending on her.
  • Chapter 13

    • Fire?! Yes, FIRE. Katniss unbuckles herself from the perch in the tree and high-tails it out of there. She runs from the heat and smoke along with the rest of the fleeing woodland creatures.
    • Katniss realizes that the fire is no accident: it must be a ploy by the Gamemakers to flush out the scattered tributes and bring them all together. Why? For action, of course. There's an audience watching at home, after all.
    • Katniss's jacket catches half on fire (she stomps it out), then her throat starts burning, and the next thing you know, she's puking her guts up. She gives herself a minute to rest.
    • Katniss's head gets hazy as she decides what to do next. She's putting together a plan to return to the pond when BOOM! A fireball crashes into a rock right beside her. Yup, you read that right: A FIREBALL.
    • Katniss dodges the FIREBALLS that are probably being shot by a Gamemaker in a control room somewhere. Abandoning her plan, she just runs for her life.
    • Katniss pukes again, more fireballs, and then her right calf gets scorched. She figures the Gamemakers are having a nice big laugh about "the girl who was on fire" (13.15).
    • The attack over, Katniss stumbles across the pond and gets some instant relief from her burns. Katniss hates burns. She remembers her mother and Prim treating burn victims from the mine back in the Seam.
    • She examines her injury (reluctantly), and it's not completely terrible. (You can't see the bone, after all.) She soaks it in the pool.
    • Katniss arranges her gear, her leg still in the water. She knows she should get up and move on, but drowsiness hits her. She eats and then falls asleep by the pool.
    • Katniss hears feet and wakes instantly. She runs and climbs up a tree. The pack of Career Tributes (including Peeta!) has her cornered.
    • One of the big boys, Cato, comes up the tree after her, but she climbs far up away from him, and he's too big to pursue her. The big doofus falls to the ground.
    • One of the girls, Glimmer, tries next. She gets up in the tree and tries to shoot Katniss with the bow and arrow. She's a horrible shot and misses. Katniss grabs one of the arrows stuck in the tree, hoping she'll get her hands on the bow soon enough.
    • Stuck in the tree and totally in pain, Katniss settles down for the night. That's when she notices a pair of eyes in a neighboring tree. A possum? No. Katniss realizes it's the little girl from District 11: Rue.
  • Chapter 14

    • Katniss sees Rue pointing to something above Katniss's head: a tracker jacker nest!
    • What are tracker jackers? Why, mutant killer wasps engineered by the Capitol, of course. A few stings make you hallucinate like crazy; more than a few stings and you're dead. Even if you run, these things will track you down.
    • Katniss realizes she can cut the branch holding the nest and drop it on the pack of Career Tributes. During the nightly anthem, she climbs up to the limb with the nest and does just that.
    • Before she can get the branch totally sawed off, though, the anthem ends. She decides to finish the branch off, and drop the nest, in the morning.
    • Returning back to her spot in the tree, she sees a pot with a silver parachute. A present from a sponsor! At last, Haymitch has come through. It's a good gift: high-tech ointment for her burn. She spreads it on her calf and hands, and they magically improve.
    • Katniss whispers Rue's name to give her a heads up about the nest. They lock eyes, and Katniss holds up her knife. Rue nods and disappears, leaping from tree to tree. So that's why she got such a high score in training.
    • Dawn breaks, and Katniss saws off the remaining branch. The nest crashes to the ground, and immediately Katniss gets three stings. She takes out the stingers.
    • On the ground, there is chaos. Most of the Tributes run for the lake, but the girl Glimmer gets stung and goes berserk. Eventually she falls to the ground, twitching hysterically.
    • With everyone cleared out, Katniss runs in the opposite direction of the lake. She feels the effects of the stingers: swelling and pain. She still has enough sense, though, to grab Glimmer's bow and arrows.
    • Struggling with Glimmer's body for the bow, Katniss starts hallucinating big time. The Career Tributes return, and she sees Peeta. He is shimmering. He screams at her to run – so she does.
    • More hallucinations: ants crawling all over Katniss. She trips and falls into a small pit and can only think: "Peeta Mellark just saved my life" (14.31). Then everything goes black.
  • Chapter 15

    • Katniss is wracked with fearful nightmares: Prim dying, her father too. When she at last wakes, she is damp, in a hole filled with leaves.
    • How long has she been out? Who survived the attack? No way to tell.
    • Katniss plucks the nectar from a honeysuckle to get the foul taste from her mouth and is reminded of her talk with Gale on the last morning. You know, the one where he suggested running away together
    • Then she thinks of Peeta. Did he really save her life? Does that mean he actually does love her? Nothing makes sense.
    • Confused by all the boy stuff, Katniss focuses on the positive: she now has bow and arrows! This makes her a predator instead of prey.
    • After treating her wounds with the ointment, Katniss heads out for water and food. She kills a rabbit and then finds a stream. After washing, Katniss kills a bird and follows the stream for a bit and then cooks her food.
    • That's when she hears a twig snap. Who is it? Rue.
    • Katniss gives Rue some food and Rue treats Katniss's burns with some leaves she's carrying. Rue is from an agricultural district, so she knows all about treating tracker jacker stings.
    • The two form an alliance. Katniss knows this would probably make Haymitch groan, but in all honesty the little girl reminds her of Prim.
    • The two eat groosling – the bird Katniss killed. Rue is stoked to have so much to eat because, as Katniss learns, food is scarce in her district. The two talk about the differences in their districts and Katniss wonders if the Gamemakers are censoring their conversation.
    • The two combine food supplies and Rue has collected quite a few berries. Score!
    • Rue also sees the sunglasses that Katniss had in her pack and shows her how to use them: they're actually night vision glasses. Sweet.
    • The two settle in a tree for the night and Katniss shares her sleeping bag with Rue. She also finds out that she was knocked out by the tracker jacker venom for two days.
    • Katniss also tells Rue about Peeta saving her life. Rue says she's been spying on the Career Tributes and that Peeta is no longer with them.
    • Katniss tries out her snazzy night vision glasses and Rue tells her that the Career Tributes have two pairs of their own.
    • Rue is worried that the Career Tributes are too strong, but Katniss tells her that she and Rue are strong too. Just in a different way. She and Katniss are strong because they know how to be hungry.
    • Rue points out that the Career Tributes aren't hungry because they have so many supplies. This leads Katniss to start formulating a plan.
  • Chapter 16

    • Katniss is contemplative: she's happy to be teaming up with Rue, but knows in the back of her mind that both can't survive. She's also excited about the plan they're forming to take the Career Tribute's food.
    • Katniss falls asleep, but is jolted awake by the shot of the cannon. Another tribute down.
    • The two eat breakfast (raw eggs! yum) and then devise a strategy as they hunt. Rue tells Katniss that the Career Tributes have their base down by the lake and that the food stash is right out in the open and guarded by only one person: the boy from District 3.
    • This is all very interesting to Katniss. They must have it rigged somehow.
    • As the girls forage for food, Katniss learns more about Rue: she is the oldest of six kids and loves music more than anything else in the world.
    • Rue sings with the mockingjays in her district, who carry musical messages for her and spread them around the orchard. Like when it's quitting time for the workers.
    • Katniss tries to give Rue her mockingjay pin, but Rue says no. She has her own token, a grass necklace with a charm.
    • The two eventually come up with a plan and Rue teaches Katniss the mockingjay signal. If she hears it from the birds, she'll know that Rue is OK. Rue hugs Katniss and the two part ways to execute the plan.
    • What's the plan, you ask? OK, OK, fine. The first part: Katniss is going to spy on the Career Tributes at their base from a copse at the edge of the woods.
    • She does this. There are four tributes at the base: a boy from District 1, Cato, a girl from District 2, and a guy from District 3. The supplies have been put in a pyramid far away from the camp.
    • Katniss finds this all kind of puzzling. What is protecting the pyramid of supplies? Must be booby-trapped.
    • Now, the second part of the plan gets underway (you knew there was a second part, right?): Rue sets a fire some distance off to lure the Career Tributes away from the camp.
    • They take the bait and head for the smoke, leaving the camp empty. As they head out, Katniss hears Cato say that Peeta, a.k.a. "Lover Boy" (16.60), is probably hiding in the woods somewhere but is too wounded to be a threat to the supplies.
    • Katniss tries to figure out what to do – shoot an arrow into the supplies – when another tribute appears: the fox faced girl. She runs an intricate path around and then up to the pyramid, fills her pack, and then – doing the same weird dance – runs away.
    • That's when Katniss figures it out: there are landmines around the pyramid. The tribute from District 3 is from a factory region and must know how to use explosives. She guesses he got the mines from the ones that were used in the arena by the Gamemakers on the first day. He must have reactivated them.
    • Katniss sees Rue's second fire and knows her time is running out. That's when she sees a bag of apples and knows that if she shoots it, the whole thing will fall and set off the mines.
    • Three arrows later, the apples are spilling, the mines are exploding, and Katniss is blown back into the air.
  • Chapter 17

    • The pyramid is blown to bits, but escape proves difficult: Katniss is dizzy and wobbly and can't hear in her ears (one of which is bleeding).
    • With explosions still going off, Katniss manages to drag herself back into the bushes of the copse when the Career Tributes return.
    • Cato throws a massive tantrum and snaps the neck of the boy from District 3. Seriously. The other tributes are pointing to the sky when Katniss realizes that they must think whoever set off the explosion is dead.
    • The sun goes down and the anthem plays: that's when the Career Tributes realizes that the bomber must have survived. (Their picture, after all, was not projected into the sky.)
    • The Career Tributes head out to hunt the bomber, but Katniss stays right where she is. She puts on her night vision glasses and eats some food. She thinks about the eight remaining players and drifts off to sleep freezing in the cold with no sleeping bag.
    • Katniss wakes to the sound of a laugh (she must be regaining at least a little hearing): it's Foxface, who has managed to scavenge through the rubble of the pyramid for some supplies.
    • Katniss thinks about either enlisting her help or killing her, but before she can do either Foxface runs away.
    • Katniss heads back to the meeting point, but Rue is not there. She scales a tree and waits for her. Growing impatient, Katniss decides to head to the spot where Rue was to set the third fire.
    • There's no Rue there, and the firewood has not been set. Something has gone wrong.
    • Where is she? If she had died there would have been a canon shot. Katniss decides to find her. All of a sudden she hears Rue's signal from a mockingjay. That must mean she's alive and OK!
    • Katniss starts to follow the bird when she hears a girl scream. It's Rue. Is it a trap? Katniss breaks into the clearing where the scream came from and sees Rue caught in a net.
    • Rue calls Katniss's name and then suddenly, a spear is run through Rue. (Everybody: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!)
  • Chapter 18

    • Before Rue's attacker (the boy from District 1) can pull out the spear, Katniss shoots him dead with an arrow.
    • The dying Rue takes Katniss's hand and tells her she has to win. She asks Katniss to sing to her. Grab your hankies, 'cause Katniss sings a simple lullaby about meadows and a willow tree from her district.
    • The mockingjays take up the song, Rue's cannon fires, and Katniss cries. She remembers Gale's ranting about the Capitol and the injustice of what they do. She remembers Peeta's words too about how he didn't want the Capitol to own him.
    • Katniss decides to do the only thing she can: she gathers lots of beautiful wildflowers and decorates Rue's body with them – to show the world Rue is not just there for their entertainment. She is a person.
    • As Katniss walks away, she hears a mockingjay singing Rue's song. Now Rue really is safe, Katniss thinks. A parachute lands in front of Katniss and it's a small loaf of bread. It comes from District 11, Rue's home.
    • Katniss thanks the people of District 11 out loud. She climbs up a tree and eats the bread and sleeps.
    • That night Katniss dreams of Rue. She teaches her songs.
    • The next day Katniss is a bit discombobulated. She re-arranges her supplies and heads back to the stream. She lights Rue's fire to roast some kill but no one shows up. Why? Where is everyone?
    • Katniss climbs a tree and settles in for the night. She realizes that Rue's attacker was her actual first kill.
    • After the anthem, the Hunger Games announcer, Claudius Templesmith's voice booms out, congratulating the six remaining players.
    • Then he drops a bombshell: a rule change! He declares that the last TWO tributes alive will be the winners this year.
    • WHAT?! Before she can stop herself, Katniss yells out Peeta's name.
  • Chapter 19

    • Katniss claps her hand over her mouth, but realizes no one heard her. She realizes the Gamemakers must have changed the rules because they wanted to play up the star-crossed lovers thing. Peeta must have been working this angle all along, she decides.
    • She smiles so the camera can see.
    • OK, so who is left? Foxface, whose fellow tribute is dead. Thresh, who is from Rue's district. And then Cato and the girl from District 2. They'll be teaming up for sure.
    • In the morning Katniss sets out to find Peeta. Where would he be? Probably the stream.
    • Katniss follows the stream until she finds some bloodstains. She calls out Peeta's name and then suddenly she hears a voice: "You hear to finish me off, sweetheart?" (19.19).
    • It's Peeta and he's camouflaged like crazy in the mud and leaves of the stream bank. That must have been one of his skills. He's also wounded VERY badly.
    • Katniss starts to help him out of the mud when Peeta whispers to her that they're supposed to be in love so it's OK for her to kiss him. Katniss laughs.
    • Katniss washes Peeta off and then tends to his wounds. She digs out the tracker jacker stingers and applies the leaves like Rue did for her. Next, she applies the burn cream and then fever reducer.
    • Then? The wound Cato gave him in his legs. Oozing and festering, it looks terrible. What to do? She uses some of the leaves to draw the pus out, then ointment and bandages.
    • As Katniss washes Peeta's shorts in the stream, she learns that Peeta hasn't gotten anything from the sponsors. Peeta comments that Haymitch favors her – because they're just alike.
    • Realizing Peeta can't move very far, Katniss constructs a shelter from some of the cave-like rocks, which she camouflages.
    • Peeta is burning with fever and when he starts talking about not making it, Katniss gives him a kiss to shut him up. It works.
    • She steps out of the cave for a moment and what does she see? A pot of hot broth. The message from Haymitch: romance = sponsors. More kissing!
    • Katniss comes back to the cave ready for romance. She kisses the sleeping Peeta awake and shows him the broth.
  • Chapter 20

    • Katniss feeds Peeta, smooches a little more, and then settles down to keep watch for the night.
    • In the morning Peeta's fever is down. Katniss feeds him some berries she's collected, and then Peeta makes her rest while he keeps watch. He strokes her hair as she falls asleep.
    • Katniss wakes in the afternoon, a little ticked that she slept so long. She makes Peeta drink water (he still has a fever) and tends to his wounds. His leg looks just awful. Without medicine, it will surely give him blood poisoning and kill him.
    • With temperature blazing, Katniss uses some of the hot rocks outside to cook up a stew. She also sets some snares.
    • Back at the cave, Peeta asks Katniss to tell him a story. He asks her to tell him about the happiest day she can remember.
    • The first thing that comes to mind is hunting with Gale, but this won't go over well with the audience. She decides on the story of Prim's goat, Lady.
    • The story? Ahem: Katniss had a bunch of money from selling one of her mother's lockets.
    • Wait! Wait! Falsehood alert: The actual reason she had all the money? Gale and Katniss shot a buck in the woods and sold it to the butcher, Rooba. She, of course, couldn't say this on camera (poaching is illegal) so she has to change things up a bit.
    • Continuing with the story: Katniss saw the Goat Man at the market who had a goat that is wounded with a mauled shoulder. Knowing it would be good for milk and cheese, she wanted to buy it for Prim.
    • The Goat Man said that the butcher, Rooba, was buying her. Rooba showed up and let Katniss buy the goat instead of her.
    • Gale and Katniss brought home the goat. Katniss bought a pink ribbon for its neck and Prim was thrilled. She and Mother began brewing up concoctions to heal the goat.
    • Peeta says he understands why that day made Katniss happy and she says, yes, the goat was a goldmine. Peeta makes some jests at this. The two spar for a bit and then the trumpets blare.
    • Claudius Templesmith, the announcer, invites all tributes to a feast. He says that there will be something at the feast that each of the tributes need in a book bag marked with their district's number.
    • Peeta immediately says that Katniss is not going. Katniss objects and the two fight. Peeta says he'll follow her if she goes. Katniss knows he's stubborn enough to do it.
    • Katniss goes out to get the soup, which Peeta eats with gusto. As she's washing the pot out, a parachute floats down from the sponsors. What is it? Sleep syrup – to knock Peeta out while she goes to battle it out at the feast.
    • Katniss mashes up the sleep syrup with some berries and manages to get Peeta to take it. He realizes what's happening as the syrup knocks him out.
  • Chapter 21

    • Katniss camouflages the opening of the cave and thinks strategy: her ability to kill from afar will help, but she'll still have to jump into the fray to get the backpack.
    • Katniss settles down to sleep, though it's freezing. She thinks of her family, who will watch the feast back home tomorrow. School will probably be canceled. Everyone will be cheering and watching. Gale too.
    • Katniss wonders what Gale must think of the romance plot.
    • About three hours before dawn, Katniss begins to prepare to leave. Remembering to keep up the star-crossed lovers plot, she gives Peeta a big old kiss before she leaves.
    • Katniss heads to her old hiding place near the Cornucopia to see who shows up. As the sun rises, a round table raises out of the ground with the backpacks. Showtime!
    • Suddenly, someone darts out of the Cornucopia itself, grabs a backpack and speeds off. Foxface! Katniss kicks herself for not thinking of hiding in the Cornucopia.
    • Katniss sprints for the Cornucopia and a knife whizzes by, which she deflects. She turns and sends an arrow straight at the tribute who threw it (Clove), injuring her in the arm.
    • Grabbing the backpack, Katniss gets sliced by another knife right in the forehead. Yikes! Blinded with the blood, Clove knocks her to the ground.
    • The two exchange barbs: Katniss says Peeta is out hunting Cato (not true), and then yells his name. Clove silences her and calls her a liar. She says she'll kill her just like they killed Rue.
    • Clove starts to cut Katniss's mouth with one of her many knives, when all of a sudden Thresh appears and attacks Clove. He apparently heard her mention killing Rue, and he's back for revenge. He bludgeons Clove in the skull with a rock. WOW.
    • Thresh turns to Katniss with the rock. Katniss tells Thresh she was Rue's ally and that she killed Rue's attacker. Thresh lets her go, saying that now the two are even.
    • With Cato approaching the scene, Katniss takes off for the woods. She makes it back to the cave, takes out a hypodermic needle from the backpack (medicine for Peeta, duh), and gives him a shot.
    • Still bleeding from her head, Katniss blacks out.
  • Chapter 22

    • Katniss wakes up, weak and dizzy to find Peeta nursing her. He feeds her and tells her to rest. He doesn't appear mad at her for drugging him.
    • It's raining outside, which Katniss knows is probably aimed at Cato and Thresh. She tells Peeta about everything that happened at the Cornucopia, including Thresh letting her go because he owed her a debt.
    • Peeta doesn't seem to understand, but Katniss says it's like the bread he gave her as a child. Katniss feels tears in her eyes thinking about Thresh dying. She tells Peeta she wants to go home.
    • Katniss sleeps more and, when she wakes, the two eat what's left of the food. They're still famished.
    • Realizing that romance is the way to get more food, Katniss decides to play up the lovey-dovey thing some more. She takes his hand and apologizes for drugging him. Peeta warns her not to do it again.
    • The two spar a little and Katniss feels something – she's not sure what – and before you know it the two are lip-locked. For real! Katniss tells us that this is the first kiss she's had with him that makes her want another.
    • No more hanky-panky for Katniss, though. The two snuggle down in the sleeping bag and get some rest.
    • The next day, the rains continue, and Katniss and Peeta grow hungrier. Time for more romance!
    • Katniss asks Peeta when he got a crush on her. He tells her the first day of school. He also mentions that his own father wanted to marry her mother. (WHOA.)
    • Peeta said he knew he was a goner for her when in music class she stood up and sang the valley song. Of course, he could never work up the nerve to talk to her.
    • Katniss is happy but also super-confused. These details sound real. Is Peeta actually telling the truth? Is he actually in love with her?
    • Katniss stutters through some more words and then leans in to kiss him. That's when she hears a clunk outside: a tureen of lamb stew and rice! Looks like the romance plot worked.
  • Chapter 23

    • Katniss and Peeta eat a small portion of the stew, knowing if they gorge themselves, they'll get sick. Then it's more kissy face for the camera.
    • Katniss teases Peeta for liking a girl from the Seam, but he reminds her that if she wins, she'll be living in Victor's Village in a fancy new house. Their neighbor, of course, would be Haymitch. (HA.)
    • The two tease Haymitch a bit, which the audience probably enjoys. Katniss realizes that she might not get along with Haymitch very well in person, but the two have been able to communicate throughout the Games. She understands his messages through the gifts he sends.
    • Katniss asks Peeta how Haymitch won the Hunger Games. Peeta says by outsmarting the others. Maybe Katniss has been underestimated Haymitch.
    • The anthem plays and Katniss finds out Thresh is dead. She's pretty bummed. They realize Cato will be hunting them.
    • The two take turns sleeping and watching and eating. Katniss considers that they might actually win. What would she do? Who would she be?
    • Who will Peeta be, she wonders? Will they be friends? Something beyond that? She thinks of Gale.
    • In the morning the two eat the rest of the food and set out to hunt. As the two move through the forest, Peeta is, unfortunately, SUPER-loud. He stomps and clumps and scares off the game.
    • Katniss asks him to take his boots off and the two of them are a little quieter, but not much.
    • The two decide to split up: Peeta will gather roots and Katniss will hunt. She teaches him a whistle to use to say he's OK.
    • After having caught some game, Katniss realizes she hasn't heard the whistle in a bit. She whistles, no response. Back at their meeting point, she sees a bunch of berries that have been gathered, but no Peeta.
    • Suddenly, he appears and Katniss is relieved but still angry at him for not whistling. She also notices that some of their food is gone.
    • That's when the cannon fires. The hovercraft appears, and they see Foxface lifted out of the arena.
    • That's right: crafty old Foxface ate some of the berries Peeta collected. Apparently, they were poisonous!
  • Chapter 24

    • Katniss explains to Peeta that Foxface must have been watching him gather food and eaten his berries. They save a handful of the berries, just in case they can fool Cato in the same way.
    • Speaking of which, he probably knows where they are now, what with the canon, but instead of running, Katniss suggests they make a fire, roast their meat, and wait to see if he shows up.
    • He doesn't. Time to make camp for the night, but Peeta can't climb, so Katniss agrees (reluctantly) to head back to the cave. Then she gives him a smooch. (Gotta play up the romance.)
    • Back at the cave, the two eat and Peeta nods off. Katniss tucks him into bed and thinks about Cato and his crazed tantrum when he lost the supply pyramid. Maybe the guy is insane.
    • Her thoughts turn to Foxface: probably the smartest tribute out there. The only way they got her was through Peeta's mistake. Is Cato as smart? He definitely lacks control with that temper.
    • The next day the two eat and head out only to find the stream all dried up. The Gamemakers must be driving them to the lake for a "bloody fight to the death" – so that's where they head (24.46).
    • At the lake, there's no sign of Cato. Katniss makes Rue's mockingjay call and the trees come alive with the song. The song is cut off, though, when someone smashes through the trees: Cato – wearing body armor.
    • But wait. He's not running for them. He's running FROM something. But what?
    • Creatures. He's being pursued by creatures. Katniss stumbles after Cato. And runs.
  • Chapter 25

    • The creatures chasing them are big old wolves that are clearly genetic "muttations" engineered by the Capitol (25.1).
    • Cato, Katniss, and Peeta all scramble for the safety of the Cornucopia. Cato reaches the top first, and then Katniss. Just as she's about to draw an arrow to shoot him she hears Peeta cry out with the mutts on his heels. She helps him climb to the top.
    • That's when Katniss gets a closer look at the pack of wolves: their eyes are strangely human. That's when she realizes that they ARE humans. The Capitol has somehow engineered the dead tributes into KILLER WOLVES.
    • Katniss fires into one of the wolves' (Glimmer's) throat. Then she recognizes Foxface, the boy from District 9, and worst of all, RUE. Peeta recognizes them too.
    • Peeta and Katniss fight off the pack, but then Cato (who had been recovering from being chased) comes up behind Peeta and gets him in a headlock.
    • Katniss doesn't know what to do. Her arrows are useless. Plus, if she shoots him, he'll take Peeta down with him into the pack of snarling wolves. Stalemate.
    • Peeta signals for Katniss to shoot Cato's hand, which she does, and Cato releases Peeta while he knocks Cato back into the wolf pack. Unfortunately, Cato doesn't die right away. He is being torn to bits by the wolves.
    • Still, though, no cannon. They can hear Cato slowly dying and moaning. What's worse is that Peeta is losing blood from his leg.
    • Katniss cuts off a sleeve from her shirt and makes a tourniquet for Peeta with her arrow. He may lose his leg, but it could also save his life.
    • Listening to Cato die is a nightmare and Katniss just wants his suffering to end. The Gamemakers won't put him out of his misery though, because "this is the final word in entertainment" (25.44).
    • Katniss makes Peeta stay awake through the night so he won't lose consciousness. Peeta tells her to shoot Cato with the arrow she used for his tourniquet. Katniss does and the cannon fires.
    • They did it! Yeah! But wait. Nothing happens.
    • They move down to the lake where the announcer's voice booms out that there has been YET ANOTHER change in the rules. That's right! Now there can only be ONE winner.
    • Katniss draws her arrow but can't kill Peeta. She won't let him kill himself. So what do they decide to do?
    • Katniss grabs the red poisonous berries that killed old Foxface. Peeta gets her idea, and they both take some in their hand. It's tragic lover suicide time! Peeta kisses her and then they start to pop them in their mouth.
    • Then suddenly, the voice of the announcer:
    • "Stop! Stop! Ladies and gentlemen, I am leased to present the victors of the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark!" (25.94).
  • Chapter 26

    • Katniss and Peeta spit the berries out and flush their mouths with water. A hovercraft appears and zips them right up.
    • Doctors whisk Peeta away behind a glass door and Katniss pounds on it. They're working away, though his heart stops twice.
    • The hovercraft lands at the Training Center, and Katniss starts throwing herself against the glass. Then she's jabbed with a needle and all goes black.
    • When Katniss wakes, she's naked in a bed in what seems to be a kind of recovery area. Her body is totally healed, clean, and all her scars are nearly gone. Her hearing is back in her left ear too.
    • An Avox comes in and Katniss asks if Peeta made it. The Avox nods yes. She eats the clear broth the Avox brought in and realizes she will soon be home! She tries to get up but instead slips back into unconsciousness.
    • The waking, sleeping, and eating cycle continues for a bit. Then Katniss wakes one day and nothing is plugged into her arm. No restraints anywhere. All her scars are gone. Her skin feels like satin.
    • Katniss dresses and immediately finds Effie, Haymitch, and Cinna. Hugs all around. No Peeta, though, since their reunion is to be televised.
    • Katniss goes with Cinna to be readied for the reunion. She tries her best not to be annoyed by the prep team.
    • Cinna brings out a simple yellow dress that is padded with curves since Katniss has lost so much weight. Cinna tells Katniss that they did want to surgically change Katniss.
    • Katniss looks very unassuming and innocent in her outfit. She knows there's a reason for the simple dress, but Cinna doesn't fill her in. Or can't. He just says he thought Peeta would like it.
    • Before she is taken to the stage, Haymitch clues her in that she's kind of in trouble with the Capitol. They're furious at the whole suicide stunt thing. He tells her that her only defense is to be madly in love with Peeta.
    • Katniss asks Haymitch if he already told Peeta this, and Haymitch says that Peeta is "already there" (26.59).
    • Katniss knows she's in danger. So is Peeta, and possibly her family. She's got to pull this off. Now, there's so much more at stake.
    • What did Haymitch mean when he said that Peeta was "already there" (25.67)? Is he in love with her? Does Katniss have feelings for Peeta?
    • Katniss has no idea. It's all too complicated. And she has time to think about it now because "the most dangerous part of the Hunger Games is about to begin" (25.69).
  • Chapter 27

    • The reunion show, hosted by Caesar Flickerman, begins. The support team comes out and then Katniss and Peeta (supported by a cane) are transported to the stage. She runs to his arms and they kiss for quite some time.
    • The two sit in a love seat, and after a glance from Haymitch, Katniss kicks off her sandals and snuggles up to Peeta and puts her head on his shoulder.
    • Now it's time for the show: they have to watch a three hour re-cap of the entire games. This year the editors have made it into a love story.
    • Peeta carries the romance for the first part (staying awake under the tracker jacker tree, etc.), but Katniss's role picks up after Rue's death, when she shouts out Peeta's name.
    • The berry suicide moment is played and then it ends, thankfully, with Katniss pounding on the glass in the hovercraft, calling Peeta's name. Pretty compelling.
    • President Snow then appears on stage with a crown which he breaks in half and puts one on Peeta's head and the other's on Katniss's. He is smiling but his eyes are "as unforgiving as a snake's" (27.10).
    • The evening's festivities conclude and then it's time for the Victory Banquet. Afterwards, Peeta and Katniss are separated and sent to separate rooms to sleep and prepare for the final interview tomorrow.
    • Determined to talk to Peeta, Katniss slips out to the roof, but he's not there. She tries to leave her room again later that night, but she's locked in. Imprisoned! But by whom?
    • The next morning, it's interview time, and Katniss is prepped again by the stylists and then ushered into a sitting room with a love seat. Caesar Flickerman is there to ask questions.
    • Peeta and Katniss snuggle up again (per Caesar's suggestion) and the questions begin. Peeta does most of the talking as he has a great rapport with Caesar.
    • Finally Katniss has to talk. Caesar asks her when she knew she was falling for Peeta. Katniss fumbles but Caesar helps by reminding her of the night she called out his name when she heard that two tributes could win. Recovery!
    • Caesar changes the subject to all their injuries and he asks Peeta how his new leg is. Katniss blames herself because she used the tourniquet, but Caesar points out that she saved his life. Katniss gets upset and buries her head in Peeta's shirt.
    • Caesar then asks Katniss about the berries. She says she couldn't bear the thought of being without Peeta. Peeta agrees. Good job! The interview is over.
    • Katniss collects things from her room (the mockingjay pin) and then is whisked away to a train to be taken back to District 12. She'll see her support team again soon when she and Peeta go on the tour of the districts that the victors always go on.
    • Katniss changes into a plan shirt and pants. She starts feeling like herself and Peeta's arms around her shoulders starts feeling "alien" (27.58).
    • The train stops for fuel, and she and Peeta walk outside for air. She can only think of Gale. Haymitch appears and tells them to keep up the lovey-dovey stuff until they're back in the district and the cameras are gone.
    • Haymitch gone, Peeta asks Katniss what that was all about. It comes out that Peeta thought that love stuff back in the arena was real, but Katniss didn't. Well, not completely. She doesn't know what she feels. The closer she gets to home, the more confused she is.
    • Peeta asks her to let him know when she figures it out. He goes back to the train.
    • When the train pulls into the station, there are cameras everywhere. Peeta extends his hand to Katniss and says, "One more time? For the audience?" (25.82).
    • Katniss takes it as they step onto the platform.