Mockingjay by author Suzanne Collins is the third installment in The Hunger Games series. This young adult novel follows protagonist Katniss Everdeen as she fights in a futuristic rebellion against a sadistic dictatorship run by President Snow. Mockingjay largely explores the psychological and emotional costs of war.
Panem is a dictatorship that maintained its power after a failed rebellion. After the war ended, the country was divided into the Capitol and twelve outlying districts (the thirteenth district was supposedly destroyed in the failed rebellion), each of which is responsible for producing a specific good for the Capitol. The Capitol is relentless in its effort to suppress further rebellion in the outlying districts. To maintain power, it relies on military might, resource control, and especially televised propaganda. The crowning achievement of this propaganda program is the Hunger Games, an annual event in which each of the districts must send two “tributes” to fight in a hellish arena full of booby traps, extreme environments, and merciless opponents. The Hunger Games are meant to remind the outlying districts of the cost of rebelling against the Capitol. The “victors” of these games survive to endure both fame and psychological trauma.
When Mockingjay opens, nearly all of the outlying districts are at some stage of rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss Everdeen has already fought in the Hunger Games twice and has now become a symbol of the resistance against President Snow. Katniss’s partner in both previous games, Peeta, is held captive in the Capitol. The rebels, in turn, have kidnapped Katniss and seek to use her to launch their own propaganda campaign against President Snow. Meanwhile, Katniss’s home in District 12 has been firebombed. Led by President Coin, the rebels operate in an underground bunker in District 13, which was actually spared during the failed rebellion because of its nuclear arsenal. Life in District 13 is so utilitarian and heavily regimented that people are tortured simply for stealing bread.
Although the rebellion is well under way, Katniss is in shock. Having endured two bouts of Hunger Games, she is traumatized by her experiences and wears a bracelet proclaiming her mental instability. For Katniss, there are many unanswered questions that she must face now that she has the time to consider them. Although Katniss is highly responsible and...
(The entire section is 1656 words.)
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Chapter 1 Summary
Mockingjay is the third book in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy. The title of the series is taken from an annual event known as the “Hunger Games.” The purpose of these games is to cement the authority of the ruling Capitol over the twelve districts of Panem, particularly in response to the “Dark Days,” a rebellion against the Capitol that took place 75 years ago. In the games, two children from each district are sent to an arena and are required to fight to the death for the entertainment of the Capitol and the intimidation of the districts. The hero of the series, Katniss Everdeen, has been forced to fight in Hunger Games twice. After winning her first games by undermining the Capitol’s authority, Katniss inadvertently became a symbol of rebellion against the Capitol. When Katniss escaped from the arena at the end of the previous novel, Catching Fire, the Capitol retaliated by firebombing District 12. Now, Katniss has returned to her home, but she finds nothing but ashes.
In the sky above Katniss floats an invisible hovercraft. It is the property of District 13. For decades, the people of Panem thought that the Capitol wiped out District 13. However, the people there survived and hid underground. They are led by President Alma Coin, a woman with eyes “the color of slush that you wish would melt away.” Katniss is in shock at her experiences and in emotional distress because Peeta, her partner in the games and possibly her lover, is held captive in the Capitol. It should not come as a surprise that Katniss hates everyone.
Katniss is uncertain about her feelings about District 13 and the rebellion that it is leading. Should she feel grateful to Coin and District 13? During the firebombing of District 12, Gale managed to save a group of survivors by escaping to the woods. They were rescued by hovercrafts from District 13 and have since been given three meals a day and jobs to do. On the other hand, Coin did not act out of compassion, but rather as part of a series of calculations. Katniss has learned that District 13 lost a lot of its population to a pox epidemic, and they now need “new breeding stock.” There is a role for Katniss to play as well. She is to become the “Mockingjay,” the symbol of the revolution. She reflects that she must now “become the actual leader, the face, the voice, the embodiment of the...
(The entire section is 525 words.)
Chapter 2 Summary
District 13 managed to survive the Dark Days because it was a nuclear power. Consequently, they were able to negotiate a peace agreement with the Capitol, which had additional nuclear reserves in the west. Katniss wonders whether the Capitol gambled that District 13 would be unable to survive without the resources of the other districts. If so, the gamble would have paid off if not for District 13’s reliance on rationing. Resources are carefully monitored, as are the actions of District 13’s people.
Each morning in District 13, everyone’s arm is tattooed with a schedule of locations and jobs. At the end of the day, the ink washes away, and the next morning, a new schedule is given. Katniss, who now shares quarters with her mother, Prim, and Buttercup, agrees to receive a schedule, but she never follows it. Instead, she spends most of her time sleeping in hidden areas. On her arm, Katniss wears a medical bracelet that informs the reader that she is “mentally disoriented.” Gale also wears a bracelet, but his is a “communicuff.” For leading District 12’s survivors, Gale has been given a position of leadership within the rebellion. He informs Katniss that they have both been summoned to “Command.” There, they see a screen. On it, Caesar Flickerman is interviewing Peeta.
Peeta does not appear to have been tortured. The interview begins with an acknowledgment that no one would have expected Caesar to be interviewing Peeta again. The last time Peeta was on television, he was about to enter the Hunger Games with the intention of sacrificing himself so that Katniss could survive. Peeta carefully explains that he and Katniss had no idea that there were rebels that had their own plans for the games. As Peeta describes what life was like in the arena, Katniss reflects on how naturally Peeta speaks to an audience. Before the interview ends, Peeta explains that the rebellion must stop because Panem no longer has a population large enough to survive war.
Katniss knows that Peeta’s calls for a cease-fire will be interpreted as treachery by the rebels. Unable to bear hearing others speak out against Peeta, Katniss leaves the room. President Coin tells Katniss that she has not been dismissed, but Katniss leaves anyway. Katniss hides in a closet and is quickly joined by Gale. Gale explains that he fought one of Coin’s men so that Katniss could leave Command and has been demoted because of it. He also...
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Chapter 3 Summary
Katniss has decided that she will become the Mockingjay. That night, she struggles to sleep and begins pacing. Prim wakes up. She is no longer an innocent little girl; she has now matured beyond her age and is able to comfort Katniss. Prim explains that as the Mockingjay, Katniss will be an important person within the rebellion. In other words, she can ask for whatever she wants. That means that she could ask for Peeta to be pardoned, though Prim points out that there is no guarantee that Coin will keep her word. The next morning, she talks with Gale over a carefully rationed breakfast, and they come up with a longer list of demands.
When Katniss arrives at Command, she begins negotiations with President Coin and her committee. Plutarch Havensbee, the former Head Gamesmaker, is one of the advisers. Katniss’s first request, that they be allowed to keep Buttercup, seems like a small detail, but the District 13 advisers point out that it is logistically difficult in an underground facility that is monitored so closely. However, they agree to move Katniss’s family closer to the surface, which will make it easier to keep the cat. They also agree to let Gale and Katniss spend time hunting every day. It seems like things are going well.
However, when Katniss demands that Peeta and the other captive victors be granted immunity, Coin refuses. Katniss argues that it is Coin’s fault that Peeta is being held captive and that he is being interviewed calling for cease-fires. She demands that Coin not only grant immunity, but that she do so publicly. Coin’s advisers, including Plutarch Havensbee, suddenly speak up, pointing out how passionate Katniss is. When she speaks like this, she is indeed the Mockingjay that they need. Coin relents, and she agrees to flip a coin with Katniss over the last demand: that Katniss be allowed to kill President Snow.
Katniss and Gale are now escorted away by Plutarch and Fulvia, who have defected from the Capitol. They show Katniss designs for her new uniform, which were drawn up by Cinna before he was killed by the Capitol. They also inform Katniss that she will be in featured in “propos,” or propaganda shows. Finally, they decide to take her to room 3908, which is far below the surface. However, when they get there, a guard denies them access. Katniss can hear the sound of people whimpering, and she and Gale outmaneuver the guard. Inside a cell, they find Katniss’s Hunger Games...
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Chapter 4 Summary
Katniss and Gale, accompanied by Plutarch and his assistant Flavius, have just discovered Katniss’s beaten prep team. The three stylists have been beaten mercilessly. They force the guard to release Katniss’s prep team from the Capitol. The crime? The guard explains that the stylists were caught stealing a slice of bread. After depositing the prep team with her mother, Katniss realizes that there is more to this beating than what appears at first. President Coin is sending Katniss a message, though Plutarch and his assistant think that she is overstating things.
Thankfully, Katniss and Gale are now allowed to hunt. Gale asks Katniss why she is so concerned for her Capitol prep team. After all, they only make Katniss look good so that she can be killed during the Hunger Games. At first, Katniss explains that the prep team are like children, but Gale points out that the real children to worry about are the ones that are sent to the games as tributes. Katniss finally explains that the prep team cares for her and explains how they cried when Katniss was sent back into the games during the Quarter Quell. Still, Gale seems unconvinced and would gladly kill everyone in the Capitol if he could, especially after what they did to District 12.
Katniss’s agreement also required President Coin to announce their arrangement publicly. That night, Katniss and everyone else in District 13 goes to attend the announcement. There, Katniss sees Finnick, her ally during the Quarter Quell. The only person that Finnick cares about in the world is Anna, a mad girl from his home district, and she is being held captive in the Capitol. Distraught at her captivity, Finnick is now distracted and he is only able to function by tying knots in a length of rope that is too short to turn into a noose. Katniss approaches President Coin to make sure that she remembers to include Anna’s name in the list of captives that will be granted immunity after the rebellion. Coin agrees after Katniss pushes her case.
The announcement is not what Katniss expected. Coin explains that Katniss was reluctant to join the cause of the rebellion and that she had to make a deal to get something in return in order to contribute. Katniss realizes that many in District 13 disapprove of her now. Coin goes on to explain that District 13 has made a bargain with Katniss, who will now contribute whole-heartedly to the rebellion. However, if Katniss breaks the deal,...
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Chapter 5 Summary
After listening to President Coin’s announcement, Katniss immediately categorizes District 13’s leader alongside President Snow as “another power player who has decided to use me as a piece in her games.” In retrospect, this has never worked as well as the power player intended. Katniss undermined the Capitol’s authority by winning the 74th Hunger Games. When President Snow sent Katniss out to quell rebellion, she instead seemed to bolster it. Still, Coin seems to have realized that Katniss is a threat faster than her peers did. Gale disagrees with Katniss’s analysis, arguing that Coin, in her capacity as a leader, cannot allow the public to see her as being manipulated by Katniss.
Regardless, before Katniss can become the Mockingjay, she will have to undergo rigorous preparation with her prep team. Venia and Octavia have been instructed to take Katniss to “beauty base zero,” which means that she will look stunningly beautiful but not artificial. From there, they begin to prepare her to wear the costume that Cinna designed. However, there are problems. The first is Katniss’s scars. When she was in the Quarter Quell, Johanna Mason attacked Katniss in order to cut the Capitol’s tracking device out of her arm. The resulting scar is so hideous that the preps call upon Fulvia and Plutarch for their advice. The sight of the scar is enough to make Fulvia gag, but Plutarch says that they will probably just end up putting a bandage over it.
Katniss does not enjoy the prodding attentions of her prep team. However, she does enjoy her visit to the armory. There, she meets Beetee again, a fellow victor who won his Hunger Games by electrocuting his fellow tributes. Beetee shows Katniss a sleek black bow that responds to her voice. It comes with special arrows that are incendiary and even explosive. Katniss can arm the bow or disarm it by saying “good night.” Beetee has also prepared an impressive bow for Gale. When Katniss comments that their new bows might not be fair to deer, Gale points out that they will not be shooting deer, which strikes Katniss as rather cold-blooded. However, Gale argues that he would have used a bow like this to defend District 12 against the firebombing. Katniss is forced to agree, though she does not point out that the people she has killed have stayed with her.
Ultimately, the bow and the prep team’s attentions work surprisingly well. When Katniss sees footage of herself...
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Chapter 6 Summary
After Katniss’s underwhelming performance, Haymitch calls a meeting. Even President Coin is invited. Haymitch shows Katniss’s performance and points out that it will not work. However, he goes on to ask everyone to share a moment when Katniss’s actions were moving. After a moment, the people in the room share their memories, such as when Katniss sang to Rue after she died. Haymitch points out that the common theme of these moments is that they were unscripted. Haymitch proposes that they begin sending Katniss into combat situations with camera crews, and President Coin reluctantly agrees. The public thinks that Katniss is pregnant, but they will say that she lost the child in her escape from the previous Hunger Games.
After the meeting, Katniss and Haymitch talk to each other. Katniss expresses her anger that Haymitch did not save Peeta. He expresses his shock that Katniss ever left Peeta’s side during the Quarter Quell. With that out of the way, Haymitch explains that they will have to work together once again. He will accompany Katniss on her missions and will send her instructions from the hovercraft.
Katniss’s first mission will take her to District 8, which has just been raided. Along the way, she talks to Boggs, whom Katniss at first took as one of Coin’s lackeys. However, she finds herself liking him as he explains some of the history of District 13. When Katniss asks why District 13 never came to the aid of the other districts, he points out that they have only recently recovered the strength to launch attacks. They did not build the underground complex, and so even now they struggle to keep things running. Given their population problems, it seems that things have not been easy for the hidden district.
Before she can leave, Katniss meets with Finnick, who wants to go into combat with her. However, Finnick is still in his hospital gown. Katniss tells him to go see Beetee in the armory to see a trident that Beetee has designed for him. Before he leaves, Finnick rips off his hospital gown and teases Katniss that the sight of him in his underpants is “distracting.” When they reach the Hangar, Flavius complains that Katniss is not wearing as much makeup. Sadly, few people are born camera ready, though she points out that Gale is quite handsome in his uniform. Katniss and Gale feel uncomfortable until Boggs jokes that she should not expect anyone to be too impressed with Gale since they just...
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Chapter 7 Summary
Katniss has arrived in District 8 with her escort. Boggs is in charge of her bodyguards. Cressida and Messala are in charge of filming Katniss’s actions. Their crew wear strange cameras that encase their bodies and make them look like insects. Haymitch is watching from above in the hovercraft. On the ground, District 8 looks like it has been devastated by the Capitol’s recent air attack. Buildings have been destroyed and the wounded are being brought into one central location, which Gale finds alarming.
Katniss meets Paylor, the Commander of District 8’s rebellion. Paylor does not seem very friendly, but Boggs begins spreading the word of Katniss’s “miscarriage.” He also explains that Katniss insisted on coming to see the wounded. Actually, Katniss’s mother is the healer of the family; Katniss has never been able to stand the sight of blood. When they enter the hospital, Katniss is overwhelmed with questions about her health and about Peeta. It seems like every survivor of the attack wants to touch or talk to Katniss. By the time she gets through the hospital, she is mentally exhausted, but Boggs and Gale assure her that she has done a great job.
Haymitch now communicates with Katniss from the hovercraft through an earpiece that she is wearing. He explains that the Capitol bombers are returning. It is too risky for the hovercraft to reveal its presence, so Katniss and her escort will have to find a place of safety nearby. The attack does not seem to be targeting the Mockingjay. Instead, it is targeting the wounded. Katniss realizes that Gale, who always tries to think like his enemy, has anticipated the ruthlessness of President Snow and his troops.
Although Boggs tries to take Katniss away to safety, she instead does her best to escape her escort. She and Gale climb a ladder and join rebels that are returning fire on the incoming bombers. Armed with their incendiary and explosive arrows, Katniss and Gale soon begin targeting the bombers as though they were hunting geese back in District 12. They manage to destroy several bombers, but they fail to save the hospital. It is destroyed, and everyone inside is killed.
The camera crew rush up to Katniss. They say that this attack was a message from President Snow. Katniss knows that the cameras are rolling, but the emotion of the moment allows her to respond with her characteristic fire. She answers that if President Snow wants to send a...
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Chapter 8 Summary
After her spontaneous message to President Snow, the cameras stop rolling and Katniss’s adrenaline levels drop. Now, she feels injuries. When Boggs grabs her arm, she makes out that Gale broke the security guard’s nose. She proceeds to vomit on his bulletproof vest while he escorts her to a hovercraft that will return Katniss and her escort to District 13.
When Katniss wakes up, she is in a hospital in District 13. Her mother, who is caring for her, informs Katniss that no one told her that Katniss was being sent into action. Katniss feels a moment of guilt and promises to ask permission next time. When her mother says that no one asks her for permission to do anything, Katniss argues that someone will notify her next time. Also, she was not meant to go into battle.
District 13 has already begun hacking into Panem’s broadcasting. Their first propo powerfully expresses Katniss’s message that if “we burn, you burn with us.” Now, Coin is recommending that they send Katniss into battle again, though only in carefully calculated scenarios. Fulvia has a “we remember” idea that will highlight the tributes that died during the Hunger Games. It seems like things are going well for Plutarch’s propaganda team. Katniss notices that Plutarch is reserving his right to take credit for when the Capitol is defeated. Then he will ask for his reward.
Katniss now returns to the hospital. When she wakes up, Haymitch is waiting. He explains that Katniss needs to listen to instructions to the future, and that he is prepared to have a device surgically implanted into her ear so that he will be able to speak to Katniss any time of the day. Katniss is also joined by Finnick, who is glad that Katniss’s propo explained what happened in District 8. However, he does not take pleasure in them.
Their conversation is interrupted when a Capitol propo is aired. Caesar Flickerman is once again interviewing Peeta, who now looks shockingly haggard. Katniss is distraught over what the Capitol might be doing to Peeta. His message is also disconcerting: he speaks directly into the camera, challenging Katniss to consider whether she can trust her new allies in District 13. Katniss knows that she does not trust Coin. However, when the propo finishes airing, Finnick tells Katniss to pretend like she did not see Peeta’s message. When Plutarch and Fulvia rush in to comfort Katniss, they are happy to see Katniss acting as...
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Chapter 9 Summary
Katniss and Finnick are pretending that they did not see the Capitol propo of Peeta. However, she cannot help but consider Peeta’s suggestion that her allies in District 13 are untrustworthy. After all, no one has come to tell her about the Capitol propo. Even Gale has kept quiet. When Katniss sees that Gale’s communicuff has been returned to him, she challenges him over how accessible he has become to President Coin. When Gale admits that he only kept the propo a secret to protect Katniss’s health, Katniss refuses to accept his apology.
Still, the propos continue. Katniss returns to production. The next propo will return Gale and Katniss to District 13, and this time Katniss takes care to notify her mother that she will be leaving. At first, there is too much pain for Katniss to “perform” for the camera. However, when the camera crew escort Katniss to the woods, Cressala calls for a break. Katniss finds herself sitting beside one of the cameramen, Pollux, an avox whom the Capitol has punished by removing his tongue. When a mockingjay lands on a nearby tree, Katniss teaches the avox to whistle to the bird, which proceeds to sing along. When Pollux asks Katniss to sing, she cannot deny him his request. She begins to sing “The Hanging Tree,” a song about a hanged man singing to his still living lover to join him on the gallows. It is a forbidden but haunting song, and when the mockingjays begin to sing along it makes for powerful footage. Plutarch is beaming at Katniss’s spontaneous material.
Before they leave, Katniss returns to the Victor’s Village, which remains unscathed in spite of the firebombing. As she packs things for her mother, Gale comes to see her. He explains that he can still remember when Katniss kissed him after he was publicly whipped. When Katniss sees that Gale is about to cry, she kisses him. He explains that he knew she would kiss him because she will respond to the pain of others. In fact, it is the only way he can get her attention.
After returning to District 13, Katniss is called into a meeting. Although Katniss thinks this will just be another airing of her propos, it turns out that they are going to watch a live Capitol broadcast that stars President Snow. Beetee is going to try to hack in to the live feed. When the broadcast begins, Peeta is on screen as well, once again calling for a cease-fire. It is clear that he is under great stress and in pain. Beetee begins...
(The entire section is 509 words.)
Chapter 10 Summary
After Peeta’s sudden warning, District 13’s commanders break into argument. Katniss and Haymitch seem to be the only ones that are worried about Peeta. Haymitch finally cuts through the argument and explains that Peeta would not have made up an attack. Coin remains unconvinced and points out that an attack on District 13 would invite retaliation, risk nuclear war, and damage their military compound in such a way that the Capitol would never be able to use it. However, she decides to issue an alert anyway because if nothing else, it will be good to have a drill. The alert begins and the population of District 13 calmly enters elevators that take them deep below ground.
When Katniss reaches the shelter, she is still worried over what has happened to Peeta. Plutarch approaches Katniss, but not to comfort her. He explains that Katniss needs to model responsible behavior for others to follow and characterizes Peeta’s situation as a “setback.” Katniss is furious but, as usual, she responds well under pressure. She finds her assigned sleeping area and reads instructions. The first order of business is to pick up supplies. The line is short when Katniss arrives, but after she turns around, she sees that the line has grown long. It seems that people are indeed following her lead. Katniss returns to her bunk and begins preparing it for herself, her mother, and Prim. However, even when Katniss’s mother arrives, Prim is still missing. Katniss realizes that Prim must have risked her safety to save Buttercup, their ornery cat. Katniss rushes to the doors of the shelter and forces the guards to wait an extra minute so that Prim will not be locked out during the attack.
That night, Prim and Katniss sleep next to each other. Katniss realizes that she has not been a very attentive older sister to Prim and asks how she likes life in District 13. It seems that Prim is adapting well. Though she admits that she misses District 12, there is nothing left there. Further, District 13 has already begun to train her to become a doctor. Katniss is surprised by how quickly Prim has begun to grow up.
When Prim inquires how Katniss is doing, District 13’s mockingjay admits that she is not doing well. She explains what has happened to Peeta and outlines her concerns for Peeta’s health. After careful thought, Prim argues that the Capitol will likely not murder Peeta. If they did that, they would not have any leverage or influence...
(The entire section is 438 words.)
Chapter 11 Summary
Katniss has begun to think about what it will mean to be broken. What is Snow trying to do? The answer comes to Katniss when least expected. She is playing a game with Buttercup and a flashlight. Buttercup tries to catch the light as it moves on the floor, which is serving as a distraction for the others who are locked away in the dull bomb shelter. However, when Katniss moves the light to the wall, she realizes that Buttercup becomes paralyzed: he still wants to catch the light, but cannot. So he does nothing. Katniss realizes that she is like Buttercup and that President Snow is using Peeta like an unobtainable flashlight.
Katniss finds Finnick and explains that she has come to realize how President Snow is using Peeta. Finnick, who still tries to occupy his mind by making knots in a length of rope, explains that Snow is doing the same thing to him with Annie. Finnick apologizes for not preparing Katniss properly and offers her his rope in tie knots with in the meantime. Katniss returns to her area and begins to occupy her hands with the rope. She notices that Gale is looking at her and Finnick with jealousy.
The bombing finally ends and Katniss is immediately taken away to make a propo. They return to the surface and Katniss looks at the debris. Oddly, there are also two dozen long stem roses, the same that Snow had given her and Peeta before the Quarter Quell. Katniss explains that the roses are a message from Snow.
Now, Katniss must perform the propo, but she finds that she has nothing to say. When Cressala tries doing a “Q & A” session with Katniss, Katniss seems to respond. However, before she is able to finish her first sentence explaining that District 13 and the Mockingjay have survived, Katniss’s voice breaks. She can no longer be the Mockingjay if it means that Peeta will be tortured as punishment. Finnick explains to the others that Katniss has figured out how Snow is using Peeta and Katniss bursts into tears.
It seems like good news when Haymitch explains that Plutarch has authorized a rescue mission. It is a costly mission, which is why they have not rescued Peeta before. However, it now seems that Peeta’s rescue is worth the cost. There are only seven soldiers sent and Boggs is in charge. The only problem is that the first person to volunteer was Gale. Now, Katniss realizes with dread, she could lose both Peeta and Gale if the mission fails.
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Chapter 12 Summary
When Katniss learns that Gale is taking part in a mission to rescue Peeta, her first thought is that she could lose them both. Her next thought is that she must join the mission. However, Haymitch explains that the team has already left and that Katniss is both too vulnerable and too valuable to risk. They will not even let her go to another district to fight, though it might create a distraction. However, if Katniss could bring herself to create one more propo, they might be able to hack into the Capitol’s broadcast system, distracting Snow and his security from the rescue mission.
Katniss sits before the camera and explains about the time that she first met Peeta. She had been starving and was unable to feed her family after her father’s death and her mother’s depression. One night, Peeta saw her, purposefully burned a loaf of bread at his father’s bakery, and threw the burnt loaf to Katniss. He did this even though it meant that his mother would scold and cuff him. Katniss explains that Peeta loved her even then.
Katniss goes on to explain that she had once talked to President Snow, who had said that the Capitol was fragile. Katniss explains that the Capitol truly is fragile because it relies on the outlying districts for everything, even their Peacekeeper army. The districts have only to declare their independence to cause the Capitol to fall. She explains that because Snow is holding Peeta now, she has decided to set herself free from all restraints in her mission to defeat Snow and the Capitol. She is declaring her independence.
It is a good propo, but when Finnick comes on screen, he has more shocking details to share. He explains that after he became a victor, Snow sold Finnick’s body to people in the Capitol. He became a sex slave and although the people that bought him tried to win Finnick with gifts, he asked them to give up their secrets. Now, Finnick will share some of those secrets. Perhaps the most salacious ones are those that detail President Snow’s rise to power. Snow had his opponents, and even his allies that might become potential enemies, poisoned. One time, he drank from the poisoned cup to show his enemy that it was safe. Snow had taken the antidote beforehand, but it did not work perfectly. Now, Snow suffers from constant mouth sores, which is why his breath smells like blood.
When Finnick finishes his story, Katniss asks Haymitch whether he was ever sold. He was...
(The entire section is 542 words.)
Chapter 13 Summary
Katniss is back in the hospital. Now, her neck is being treated. Fortunately, her spine and voice box have not been ruined by Peeta’s attempts to strangle her. She reflects that if she had been alone in the room with Peeta, she would have died. Even Haymitch is shocked by what has happened to Peeta.
Plutarch and Beetee explain that they think that Peeta’s mind has been “hijacked” with tracker jacker venom. Katniss herself was stung by tracker jackers during her first Hunger Games, and even now she can remember the hallucinations and disorientation that she felt. Beetee explains that the Capitol has used these hallucinations to manipulate Peeta’s emotions and psychology. They will try their best to repair his mind, though no one has ever attempted to do so before. Haymitch admits that it could work, though he doubts that the Peeta they knew will ever return. Katniss begins to break down again, to the point that it aggravates the injuries in her neck and she has to be sedated. When Katniss is released from the hospital, she is still distraught.
Although Prim does her best to comfort Katniss, the latter is unable to keep still and begins wandering around the compound. She makes her way to Special Defense. It turns out that Beetee has been working with Gale to develop new weapons. Relying on Gale’s talent with snares and Beetee’s understanding of munitions, they have been creating traps that take advantage of human nature. For example, they show Katniss a bomb that produces a small explosion, which is followed by a delay and then a larger explosion. The initial explosion is designed to wound people, and when others come to help, the second bomb goes off. Katniss suggests that these strategies cross a line, but Gale argues that “Beetee and I have been following the same rule book President Snow used when he hijacked Peeta.”
Katniss leaves and learns that the doctors are going to try to expose Peeta to someone from District 12. Up to this point, they have only allowed him to interact with doctors from District 13 so that his hijacked memories will not trouble him further. They have chosen Delly, who seems like a good choice. Delly likes everyone. However, when she enters the room, Peeta begins asking questions about why they are not in District 12. Suddenly, he begins yelling that it is Katniss’s fault that everyone in District 12 is dead. He starts calling her a “mutt” whose purpose is to...
(The entire section is 478 words.)
Chapter 14 Summary
Katniss has been in District 2 for two weeks. Worried over Peeta, Katniss has been filming propos as much as she can. She has been moved from one site to another throughout her stay in District 2, but she much prefers being aboveground to life in the subterranean military complex in District 13. Although Katniss has not been invited to fight, she has been invited to strategy meetings. Unfortunately, Plutarch’s words are proving true: District 2 is proving to be a “tough nut to crack.”
The Capitol forces are secure inside their mountain fortress, which the rebels now refer to as the Nut. The Capitol stronghold used to be a mine. However, when District 13 seized control of the Capitol’s subterranean military complex, the Capitol was forced to create a new stronghold for their military forces, not to mention their nuclear weapons. Buried deep within a mountain network of abandoned tunnels and train tracks, the Capitol forces appear to be unreachable and perhaps invincible. The rebels have tried to storm the entrances several times, but each attack has been beaten back.
Now, the rebels are sending their “brains.” Beetee and Gale arrive and they begin to consider alternative strategies. While others are still focused on finding a more successful way to storm the entrances, Gale suddenly realizes that they can ensnare the fortress as though it was a wolf den. Gale explains that a hunter cannot enter a wolf den, but there are other options. He proposes using explosives to create an avalanche that would trap the Capitol forces inside. Beetee suggests that it would be all but impossible to control the avalanches. Gale suggests that if they are willing to sacrifice the fortress and the lives within, the plan would work. However, it would mean killing everyone inside.
Meanwhile, things have not been going well for Peeta back in District 13. Katniss now learns that Peeta’s rescue may have been allowed to happen. In fact, if they had not rescued Peeta, they would likely have found him wrapped in ribbons to be returned to Katniss. Katniss receives word from Plutarch, who always tries to put a positive spin on things, that advances are being made. However, Haymitch admits that the progress is insignificant. Still, Prim has come up with a new treatment. They will again force Peeta to endure the tracker jacker hallucinations, but this time they will expose him to positive memories of Katniss. So far, the treatment...
(The entire section is 413 words.)
Chapter 15 Summary
Gale has proposed a strategy that would kill everyone inside the Nut—all workers, rebel spies, and Capitol soldiers. Katniss and others are surprised by Gale’s ruthless strategy, but Gale stands by it, arguing that no one in District 12 was given the option to escape from the firebombing. However, the council suggests that they try to leave the train track that leads into the mountain open so that the Capitol forces can surrender. Beetee points out that Panem’s population has begun to drop so much that it could pose a threat to their survival. At the least, he suggests, it is worth a conversation. However, Katniss and Gale are not invited to attend it.
Gale’s plan works better than expected. Up to now, District 13’s hovercraft have not been a factor in the firefights. Now, when they assemble around the Nut, they manage to release two rounds of bombs before the Capitol forces begin to return fire. The avalanche is launched and it is an uncontrollable force. Watching the attack, Katniss recalls her father’s death.
Katniss’s father was a miner. She was in school when she heard about the mining explosion. Katniss rushed to find Prim and take her home, and when she got there she found her mother shocked by what had happened. Soon, a grieving miner came to inform them that Katniss’s father had died. Katniss reflects that she has never felt as helpless as she did while hoping that her father, buried underground, was alive. Now they have inflicted this same pain on the people of District 2.
Transmitting his instructions from District 13 through Katniss’s earpiece, Haymitch attempts to comfort Katniss. He explains that they have begun making progress with Peeta. During one of her propo productions, Katniss was filmed singing “The Hanging Tree.” The clip was never aired, so District 13’s doctors showed it to Peeta. He said that he recognized the song, though Katniss never sang it to him. Haymitch explains that it was Peeta’s father that sang it in Peeta’s bakery. This song could be easily connected to Katniss in Peeta’s mind, but did not cause a “meltdown.” It seems like good news.
However, before long, Cressida comes with bad news for Katniss. It looks like the Capitol forces have been defeated, but everyone is hoping that Katniss will give a speech that will convince the survivors inside the Nut to surrender. Katniss is not a strong speaker, but she agrees to try in the hope...
(The entire section is 512 words.)
Chapter 16 Summary
When Katniss wakes up, she is in the hospital again. Johanna Mason is nearby, and she comes to sit aggressively on Katniss’s bed so that her injuries will hurt. Johanna takes Katniss’s morphling for herself, admitting that it would not be so bad if she could escape into a life of morphling addiction. Katniss is in pain, but she will not complain since Johanna saved her life during the Quarter Quell, only to be captured by the Capitol and tortured. Johanna also explains that Katniss was shot, but Cinna’s outfit managed to stop the bullet. Katniss only has bruised ribs.
Most people are afraid of Johanna, but not Gale. When he comes to visit Katniss, Johanna leaves. Katniss and Gale agree to disagree on Gale’s tactics. Gale points out that defeating District 2 was the same as fighting against the bombers in District 8. When Katniss points out that they and a hospital were under attack in District 8, Gale reminds her that the bombers were from District 2: “by taking them out, we prevented further attacks.” However, Katniss maintains that Gale’s logic could be used to justify the Hunger Games because it would “prevent the districts from getting out of line.” Gale remains unconvinced.
Katniss is also visited by Plutarch. He explains that, with District 2 taken, the Capitol is now cut off from the outlying districts. They have supplies, but the Capitol is not used to living under deprivations in the same way that District 13 is. Instead, they are used to Panem et Circenes, which means “Bread and Circuses.” The saying is an allusion to Rome, which “in return for full bellies and entertainment...had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power.” Not only does District 13 have food, but Plutarch is about to organize an entertainment propo.
He explains that he is organizing a wedding—a wedding for Finnick and Annie, not for Peeta and Katniss. The wedding plans are difficult, given that Plutarch is used to the Captiol’s extravagence and District 13 is used to sober rituals. However, the event is an overwhelming success. The people from District 12 start some spontaneous dances, which more than make up for the otherwise stark decorations. One decoration that catches Katniss’s eye is the wedding cake, which she can tell was frosted by Peeta.
Peeta seems to be making progress, though not steadily. He has now asked to meet with Katniss, and she agrees...
(The entire section is 475 words.)
Chapter 17 Summary
This chapter opens with Katniss “blindsided” as she learns that the rebels are about to launch an attack on the Capitol. Katniss, who has been fantasizing about exacting her revenge on President Snow for so long, has not been selected to participate in the invasion. Katniss rushes to confront Coin, who explains that the role of the Mockingjay was to unite the districts against the Capitol. If things go well in the Capitol, Katniss might be shipped in. Katniss continues, undaunted, arguing that Gale is allowed to go, but Coin points out that Katniss never trains as a soldier, whereas Gale never misses a training session if he can help it. However, Katniss manages to make a deal that her case will be reviewed if she attends basic training.
Johanna Mason is just as angry. The two victors forge an alliance that they will complete their training and take part in the assault on the Capitol. Katniss still has bruised ribs, and Johanna is now suffering from morphling withdrawal. Katniss can only run a mile before her ribs hurt too much for her to go on. Her commanding officer, York, suggests that Katniss take a painful injection that will speed the healing process of her ribs. Katniss endures the pain and soon she is running again. Meanwhile, Johanna seems to be making it through her withdrawal and before long her hands are no longer shaking as much. When Johanna sees that it is raining one day, she looks like she is full of dread.
Johanna suggests that they leave the hospital so that others will no longer see them as patients. At first, the guards are reluctant to agree because Johanna has not been assigned a compartment. Katniss volunteers to share a room with Johanna. Soon, they are sharing quarters and joking about whether or not Katniss is worried that Johanna will kill her in her sleep. However, Katniss knows that both of them are too tired from their training to do anything but sleep at night. The biggest surprise for Katniss is that Johanna never seems to shower; she only pats herself off with a damp cloth.
Now that the districts have unified, District 13 is receiving more food. One night while enjoying a beef stew with Johanna, Gale, Delly, Finnick, and Annie, Katniss looks up to see Peeta. He asks if he can join them for supper. There are times when Peeta seems like his old self, such as when Annie thanks him for decorating her wedding cake. At other times, Peeta is cold and threatening. When he jokes that...
(The entire section is 491 words.)
Chapter 18 Summary
Katniss and Johanna progress through the training. Before long, they are scheduled for exams. Katniss makes it through the first three sections without issue. The last exam is apparently designed to test a soldier’s individual weakness. Katniss has no idea what hers may be. However, when she enters the simulation, she finds that her training takes over. Just as she is about to reach the end, a team of Peacekeepers enter the street. Katniss sees a can of gasoline. If she could explode it, she could kill the Peacekeepers. However, her commanding officer orders her to hit the ground. Katniss realizes that her independence, or her defiance of orders, must be what the others consider to be her weakness. Katinss throws herself on the ground, another soldier kills the Peacekeepers, and Katniss is congratulated for passing the exam.
Katniss is sent to join Squad 451. It is Boggs’s team, and Finnick and Gale are also on it. Boggs explains that it is supposed to be a team of sharpshooters. However, when Plutarch enters to tell the team about their mission, he explains that they are to be a Star Squad—a publicity team. Every member of the team is disappointed. However, Katniss says nothing because she is already thinking of ways to elude her teammates so that she can hunt down President Snow in the Capitol.
Finnick and Katniss have made the team, but Johanna did not. Katniss learns that Johanna was tortured with water during her captivity in the Capitol. Katniss recalls the way that Johanna struggled to run during their training and her reluctance to shower. Finnick and Katniss are Johanna’s only friends, so Finnick goes to see her. Katniss goes outside with some bandages and collects pine needles. When she presents them to Johanna, the District 7 victor smells them and is reminded of her home, a lumber providing district. Johanna is thankful, but it does not stop her from seizing Katniss’s wrist and making her promise to kill Snow. Katniss promises.
However, the star team is not sent into significant combat operations. Instead, they are sent to take out pods. The Capitol is littered with pods, each of which is a deadly trap. Katniss and Finnick view the Capitol as a new arena. Although they feel like they are perfectly suited for special operations in the Capitol, they are limited to taking out pods. Before long, Peeta is sent to join the team. Peeta explains that Coin is disappointed in the propos because they...
(The entire section is 433 words.)
Chapter 19 Summary
Peeta has just joined Squad 451, and Katniss thinks that Coin wants her dead. Boggs complains, but President Snow overrides his concerns. He tells Katniss that Coin probably does want Katniss dead, but that he will do his best to keep her alive anyway. Coin has never liked Katniss, and Katniss’s demands for immunity have not helped her case. Now, with the districts unified, Katniss is primed to become a threat. After the rebels seize power, would Katniss support Coin’s ascendancy to power? Katniss explains that she would have to consider. Boggs points out that the fact that Katniss has to think makes her a threat. For Coin, Katniss would be most useful as a martyr.
Peeta is having trouble adjusting to life in the squad. It is clear that no one trusts him, especially Katniss. However, she is surprised to find that others around her are disapproving of the way she has been treating Peeta. Haymitch explains that if it were Katniss that was tortured in the Capitol, Peeta would never give up on her. So one night while on duty, Katniss decides to reach out to Peeta while he ties knots in a length of rope. Peeta explains that he can no longer tell what is real. So the Squad offer to help him figure things out. Peeta can share a memory and the squad will do their best to tell him whether or not his memories are real.
However, it is a slow process, and one that is often painful. Katniss, Finnick, and Gale are all experts in some part of Peeta’s life, but some of his questions are still unnerving. For example, after describing the way that the Capitol tortured an Avox only so that Peeta would be forced to watch, he asks whether it happened. Boggs explains that it probably did happen. Peeta admits that he thought it would be because the memory was not “shiny.”
It does seem like the propos require some more “heat.” The tame attacks on pods have not been very interesting, though one of the sharp shooters has already died. Now, they will be sent after a more aggressive pod. At first, the attack goes well, and the Squad even laughs at some of the soldiers as they try to act well in front of the cameras. Just as Boggs tells the Squad to focus, he steps on a trap and the explosion costs him his legs.
(The entire section is 409 words.)
Chapter 20 Summary
Boggs is dying, and the streets around Katniss are exploding into violence as more pods go off. Boggs asks Katniss to bring him his Holo, a sophisticated device that contains maps and other strategic information. Boggs commands the device to give Katniss prime security clearance, in other words, making her the leader of the Squad. Before he dies, Boggs tells Katniss “not to trust them. Don’t go back. Kill Peeta. Do what you came to do.” A wave of black goo is pouring through the street and the rebels quickly flee. Peeta, maddened by the chaos and his hijacked memories, tries to kill Katniss, but she evades him. Another rebel tries to contain Peeta, but Peeta kicks him into another pod, killing him. The rebels flee into a nearby building, but they leave Boggs behind. Katniss knows that after a body has lost a certain amount of blood, it cannot be saved.
Up to this point, Jackson has been the second in command. However, now that she demands Katniss to pass her the Holo, Katniss explains that she is in charge. Jackson cannot believe that Boggs has passed command to Katniss. However, Katniss claims that Coin has assigned her to assassinate President Snow to end the war before the population of Panem reaches critical levels. Cressida helps fill in other details, namely that Peeta is present because he has knowledge of President Snow’s home. They resolve to continue under Katniss’s leadership, though they leave the building the way that they came in.
They march through the black goo and enter a nearby building. They can hear bombs going off at their previous location. Inside, a television turns on, which, Cressida explains, happens in the Capitol during emergency broadcasts. The emergency broadcast shows footage of Katniss’s squad struggling against the pods. It declares that they are all dead, an announcement followed by a polished montage of Katniss’s violent life. The commentators point out how fitting it is that the Mockingjay’s life has come to such a violent end. In some respects, Katniss feels that she has been liberated. However, she also knows that this news will be difficult for the rebels, especially their families back in District 13.
Now, they must decide what to do next. After Peeta tried to kill Katniss, another member of the Squad knocked Peeta unconscious and has carried him this far. Now, Peeta has awakened without anyone realizing it. What they should do now, Peeta suggests while...
(The entire section is 422 words.)
Chapter 21 Summary
Peeta has suggested that he should be killed before the squad goes on with their mission to assassinate President Snow. He has just killed another squad member, but the others disagree. They cannot leave him behind, Peeta argues, because he might risk being captured by the Capitol, which is unthinkable. At the very least, he asks, they should give him a suicide pill. However, Katniss points out that this situation is not about Peeta; it is about the mission. They need him.
They see another emergency Capitol broadcast. President Snow is attempting to explain what Katniss’s death means for the rebellion. As Katniss is the face of the rebellion, her death means that the tides are about to turn in this war. However, Beetee manages to interrupt the broadcast, and President Coin is now on the screen. She introduces herself as the leader of the rebellion and encourages the rebels to remember Katniss’s legacy. As she says this, an image of the Mockingjay is shown. Katniss reflects that this is all that she need be for the rebellion now: an image without speech. When President Snow returns to the screen, he ends the transmission quickly and Katniss wonders whether someone will die as punishment for allowing the rebels to hack into the broadcast.
The squad considers their route to Snow using the Holo. There are many pods between them and their goal. They look at the underground map, and there appear to be fewer pods. Pollux, the Avox cameraman, was assigned to work in the sewers for years, so he will be an asset to them. Before they leave, they try to remove all trace of their presence.
Below ground, they begin to make their way through the tunnels. When they stop for rest, Katniss and Peeta talk briefly. Katniss asks Peeta about his “shiny” memories. He explains that he has begun to be able to tell the difference between his real memories and the hijacked ones because the hijacked memories seem too vivid. Katniss recalls her own experiences with tracker jacker venom and suddenly realizes that some of the details do seem shiny in her mind. Peeta asks whether Katniss is trying to protect him and she explains that she is. After all, that is what they have always done for each other.
Katniss and Pollux begin waking the squad up. Amidst the groans and yawns of a squad of soldiers waking, Katniss suddenly makes out another sound. It is a hissing sound coming through the sewers. When she silences the others,...
(The entire section is 440 words.)
Chapter 22 Summary
Katniss can hear the mutts hissing her name long before she can see them. She is surprised to find that Peeta has begun to hiss her name as well. It seems as though the Capitol programming is taking over his mind again. However, just as Katniss has trained an arrow on his heart, Peeta comes back to his senses. Now, he is urging Katniss to flee. These mutts are programmed to kill everything in their path until they kill her. Katniss offers to leave the others, but her squad is determined to stand by her. Katniss gives up her plan to abandon the others and ensures that everyone is armed, even the cameramen.
Now, they begin to flee as quickly as they can. They continue to face pods, and the hissing mutts seem to be coming from their planned route. At other intersections, Katniss can smell President Snow’s roses. Soon, they are in a firefight with Peacekeepers. However, Katniss and her sharpshooters make short work of them, until a second squad arrives to relieve them. However, before Katniss and her squad can fire on the next round of Peacekeepers, the mutts overtake them. They ruthlessly kill the Peacekeepers. The mutts are a hybrid of human and lizard, with naked skin and long tails.
Throughout the first part of the flight, Peeta seems more stable than anyone else. The others are making mistakes in their hurry to evade the mutts, and it is Peeta that is urging them along. However, before long, Peeta begins to feel himself losing control. He asks to be left behind. Katniss kisses him to bring him back to his senses, and she asks him whether he will be there for her. Peeta, the old Peeta it seems, replies “always.”
Katniss decides to return to the surface. They continue on, but Katniss notices that they are slowly losing members of the squad, each one remaining behind to ensure that Katniss can escape. Finally, they are about to reach the surface when Katniss looks down to see Finnick’s last stand. He is fighting off three mutts when he finally falls and Katniss notices that it is as though she sees his life flashing before her eyes. Katniss takes the Holo out, whispers “nightlock” three times, and drops it into the mass of mutts. The Holo explodes as Katniss, Peeta, and Gale reach the surface. A Capitol woman is nearby. She looks to be about to call for help, and Katniss kills her.
(The entire section is 416 words.)
Chapter 23 Summary
Katniss has just killed an unarmed woman in the Capitol, and it turns out that there was no one nearby that she could have been calling on for help. However, Katniss has little time to worry over her actions. The Peacekeepers could find them at any minute. Outside the dead woman’s home is a crowd of people and a screen that is calling upon the people of the Capitol to search for Katniss and her squad. They search the woman’s closets and find disguises before leaving. Cressida is still with Katniss, and looking out the window she is able to figure out where they are in the Capitol. It turns out that they are not far from Snow’s mansion.
Cressida leads Katniss and the others into the city. At first, she is not sure where they should go. She eventually settles on a crowded shop that sells fur undergarments. Inside, she approaches the owner of the shop, Tigris. At first, Katniss thinks that Tigris looks like a Capitol woman who has had one surgery too many. However, she then realizes that this woman used to have Effie Trinket’s job in the Games, though she never worked with District 12. Cressida says that Plutarch had vouched for her, and Tigris takes them into a back room.
Katniss is worried because as much as she does not want President Snow to know where she is, she would prefer that Coin and Plutarch remain unaware of her whereabouts as well. After all, it would reveal that she has lied about the entire assassination mission, which is now starting to sound very ridiculous, especially since so many people have died. Finally, she admits to the others that she lied about the mission, and they explain that everyone knew all along. Katniss is still worried that she has failed everyone with her ridiculous plan, but Gale argues that the mission has been quite successful in exposing weaknesses in the Capitol’s defense. They reaffirm their commitment to assassinate President Snow.
That night while everyone is asleep, Katniss overhears Peeta and Gale talking to each other. They are explaining to each other that Katniss loves the other. Peeta argues that Katniss loves Gale because she has known him for so long. Gale argues that Katniss never kissed him the way that she kissed Peeta during the Quarter Quell. It is clear that Peeta has won her. Neither seems convinced. When Peeta asks who Gale thinks she will choose, Gale replies that Katniss will choose the one without whom she cannot survive.
(The entire section is 428 words.)
Chapter 24 Summary
Katniss is irritated that Gale has said that she will end up with a man without whom she cannot survive. It makes her sound cold and calculating, and right now she thinks that she could survive perfectly well without Gale or Peeta. She is about to find out if that is true, since the battle for the Capitol is escalating very quickly. Now, many refugees are making their way into the center of the Capitol and the Peacekeepers are sheltering them in local houses, apartments, and shops. Gale, Katniss, and Peeta decide that it is time to leave Tigris’s shop, though not before she does her best to disguise them. Gale and Katniss advance together and Peeta trails behind them in the hopes of creating a diversion if necessary. Gale gives Peeta his nightlock pill, arguing that Katniss can shoot him if necessary.
However, there may not be much need for diversions since the war is about to reach the President’s mansion. Katniss and Gale, along with the Capitol refugees, are caught up in firefights between the Peacekeepers and the rebels. They are also forced to survive pods, including one in which the street they are standing on slowly opens downward, dropping the people into a pit where shadowy creatures end their screams. Katniss makes it to the edge of the street, but Gale chooses to run into the doorway of a nearby building. Katniss shoots the lock, but there are Peacekeepers inside. As they capture Gale, he mouths something to Katniss, but she cannot make out what it was so she continues on. Only after she has left does she realize that Gale was asking her to shoot him.
Now, Katniss’s best chance to help Gale is to reach the President’s mansion. When she gets there, Katniss sees that the President has chosen an unusual defense. He has filled the grounds around the mansion with children. A hovercraft appears overhead, one that has a Capitol seal on it, and it drops parachutes down on the children. The children, thinking that the parachutes contain food and medicine, rush to grab them. However, they contain explosives. Two new groups enter the square to help the children: the Capitol’s Peacekeepers and the rebels’ medics. Katniss sees that Prim is among the medics. Just as the two sisters make eye contact, the parachutes explode again. The use of a small explosion, followed by a second explosion after a delay, recalls Gale’s snare that preys on humanity’s compassion.
(The entire section is 421 words.)
Chapter 25 Summary
Katniss rushes into the bombed Capitol square to save Prim, but she catches fire. Now, Katniss describes herself as a fire-mutt and although she tries to reach Prim, she is horribly burned instead. When she wakes up, she is again in a hospital. Her doctors are concerned that she has lost her voice, but there is no indication that she is physically unable to speak. Instead, it seems that she has become a “mental Avox.” In time, she will speak again.
The parachute bombs ended the war. Coin is now president of all of Panem. Peeta is recovering from burn wounds. Gale, who was shot twice during his escape, is already back in the field defeating what remains of the Capitol forces. Snow has been tried and is sentenced for execution, and Katniss is supposed to once again take on her role as Mockingjay and execute him. Now that Prim is dead, Katniss can only console herself with the thought of exacting revenge on Snow.
One day while walking around the President’s mansion, Katniss comes upon the smell of Snow’s roses. There is a guard posted outside the door and Coin has decreed that no one will be allowed inside. Commander Paylor of District 8 overrides Coin’s orders and allows Katniss inside. Katniss looks for a beautiful rose to put in President Snow’s lapel before she executes him. However, just as she is about to take one of the roses, Snow’s voice interrupts her.
Snow apologizes for the wasteful death of Katniss’s sister. He explains that there was no reason for him to kill the Capitol’s children, but it was a brilliant strategy for Coin to take. Whoever still remained loyal to Snow at that point switched their allegiance to the rebels. However, make no mistake, it was Coin that ordered the bombs be dropped on children. In spite of herself, Katniss remembers Gale and Beetee’s plans to use bombs in the same way that the Capitol did. Snow continues to explain that Coin’s plan all along was to take over Panem and she did so by allowing Snow and Katniss to distract each other while she slowly took control of the outlying districts and eventually the Capitol. It was District 13 that started the last rebellion against the Capitol, and they abandoned the other districts when the Capitol seemed to be gaining the upper hand.
Katniss speaks for the first time since her burning, accusing Snow of lying to her. However, Snow reminds her that the two of them agreed long ago not to lie to each...
(The entire section is 436 words.)
Chapter 26 Summary
President Snow has told Katniss that he did not order the attack that killed Prim. However, now Katniss cannot decide what really happened. The Capitol forces did not fire on the hovercraft. On the other hand, surely Snow would have used a remaining hovercraft to escape Panem. The Capitol might have had double exploding bombs, but Katniss knows that the rebels certainly did. Why would Prim, a thirteen year old, be sent to the Capitol, unless she was specially authorized to go? Katniss tries to ask Haymitch what happened, but her former mentor is too drunk to help. When she asks Gale, he admits that neither he nor Beetee knows whether their bombs were used on the children. Regardless, Gale knows that they will never be able to fall in love now because Katniss will always associate him with Prim’s death.
Before long Katniss is required to prepare for Snow’s execution. Her prep team returns, admitting that they are now the only prep team from the Hunger Games that has survived. Although they do their best to return Katniss to “beauty base zero,” she is now so scarred and burned that it is all but impossible. Katniss has been given one more arrow—the execution is to be the “last shot of the war”—and it seems that everything is in place. However, there is one more thing that Katniss must do.
President Coin calls the seven remaining victors together. Beetee explains that both sides targeted the victors during the war, which is why only seven now survive. Coin explains that their meeting has a specific purpose. In the aftermath of the rebellion, the outlying districts are demanding further vengeance, some even going so far as to ask for every citizen of the Capitol to be executed. In order to maintain a sustainable population, Coin and her advisers are considering one last Hunger Games, this time with the children of the Capitol’s leaders. Johanna and Enobaria both vote for the Hunger Games to happen. Peeta, Beetee, and Annie all vote against the games. Katniss votes that the games should be allowed to happen, “for Prim,” and Haymitch carries the vote when he says “I’m with the Mockingjay.” President Coin seems pleased that there will be a final Hunger Games and leaves to tell Snow before the execution.
Katniss is brought into a room to execute Snow. He is wearing the same look of amusement that he did during their last meeting. Katniss recalls his claim that they agreed not to lie to each...
(The entire section is 448 words.)
Chapter 27 Summary
Katniss tries to eat the nightlock pill on her shoulder after she assassinates President Coin. However, she only bites down on flesh, looking up to see that Peeta has his hand firmly on her shoulder. Snow is laughing, blood draining from his mouth, and guards are rushing in. Katniss fights but they capture and subdue her. The next thing she knows, she is in a cell. Katniss hopes that they will allow her to die, but as the days go on she worries about what might happen.
Instead, Katniss learns from Plutarch that they held a trial. Katniss has been found not guilty because of her mental state. Now, Paylor is President of Panem and Plutarch is the head of communications. In fact, his first televised event was Katniss’s trial. Plutarch says that the fighting is over for now, though he admits that “we’re fickle stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction.” Then again, he admits, perhaps this time the peace will last.
Katniss and Haymitch are both released to return to District 12. It seems that no one in the Capitol can think of a use for either of them. At first, Katniss is too traumatized to do anything, but Greasy Sae, whom Katniss used to trade with in the Hob, has returned as well. She checks in on Katniss periodically and encourages her to hunt. When Katniss finally does go hunting, she learns that others have returned and that they are now burying the dead before they can begin to rebuild. Gale has taken on a high-level job in District 2.
Peeta returns as well, and he begins to help Katniss recover. He suggests that they plant evening primrose bushes around the house in memory of Prim. One day, Katniss notices that even Buttercup has returned. He is searching for Prim, and the two of them mourn together before they become united in their grief. Over time, Katniss and Peeta create a book of memories and it seems that Katniss truly does begin to heal. However, much of her healing is simply learning to occupy her time again. It seems that Peeta is the one without whom Katniss cannot survive. Katniss does not need Gale’s fire; she needs Peeta’s warmth.
In the epilogue, Katniss reveals that she and Peeta have had two children. The Hunger Games no longer happen, though children learn about them in school. Katniss worries for her children, particularly the questions that they will ask about her. For Katniss, the things that she does every day are a game, but she she...
(The entire section is 443 words.)