Chapter 12 Summary

Katniss’s foot will take time to heal. Although her wedding shoot was supposed to happen soon, Haymitch pushed back the date so Katniss’s face could heal after she received a lash protecting Gale from the Peacekeepers. It is rare that Katniss has time to recover, but she finally gets it. Unfortunately, with District 8 having recently rebelled and recent news that District 13 could be a stronghold that defies the Capitol, Katniss is frustrated that she cannot start an uprising in District 12. For now, she has to make do eating Peeta’s baking and healing under her mother’s watchful eye.

One morning, Katniss wakes up to find that her stylists have arrived. It is time for her to start trying on her wedding gowns. As always, the stylists take possession of Katniss’s body, though they only shave her hair rather than waxing her body this time. Although Katniss has little use for these beauty sessions, she tries to pry information about the other districts from her Capitol stylists. She infers that other districts are rebelling because there has been no seafood in the Capitol for months—ostensibly because of bad weather. Katniss knows that bad weather is just the cover-up story the Capitol is spreading. Before long, the wedding gown session ends. Prim returns home the next day with news that there will be an evening broadcast that all of Panem’s citizens are required to watch. It turns out that the Capitol is being treated to all of Katniss’s wedding plans.

Before the show ends, President Snow takes the stage to share information about the 75th annual Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell. The Hunger Games are meant to remind the districts of the Capitol’s authority while punishing them for rebelling against the Capitol—an apt message given that many of the districts appear to be in rebellion as Snow speaks. The first Quell required each district to vote on the children they would send to the Games. The second Quell, which Haymitch won, required each district to send twice the normal number of tributes. President Snow reaches into a box of envelopes, pulls out a sheet of paper, and reads what is in store for the third Quarter Quell. This year, to show that even the strongest people from the outlying districts are unable to stand up against the might of the Capitol, the tributes will be drawn from each district’s victors.

District 12 has three victors: two males and one female. As Katniss’s mother and sister cry out, Katniss realizes that she will have to go back to the arena.