Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 429
When Katniss arrives at the Capitol, her stylists seem even more insensitive than before. They weep as they tend to Katniss’s beauty, and it falls on Katniss to cheer them up. It seems that the people of the Capitol are not very enthusiastic about the idea of victors returning to the arena. Although they gladly watch children killed every year, the victors are like close friends to them. Katniss is sure, however, that everyone in the Capitol will be just fine once the Games begin.
Cinna is the only stylist Katniss can stand. Last year, Katniss was “the girl on fire.” This year, Cinna has designed impressive suits that glow like embers for Katniss and Peeta to wear. They are to stand straight and proud during their chariot ride through the Capitol, as if the people of the Capitol are beneath their notice.
Before they leave, Finnick Odair, the tribute from District 4, approaches Katniss. District 4 is responsible for seafood production, so Finnick is wearing only a net—loosely knotted at his waist for the sake of modesty. Finnick is a famous victor who won at the age of 14 after his sponsors sent him a trident. Since then, he has become a celebrity who is continually sought after by the women of the Capitol. In fact, Finnick explains as he flirts with Katniss, he no longer deals in money or goods. He is only interested in secrets. Finnick leaves as Peeta arrives, and the two victors from District 12 ride through the Capitol.
Afterward, several other victors approach Katniss. Seeder, from District 11, shares that Rue’s and Thresh’s families are still alive. Chaff kisses Katniss, which shocks her. Then Johanna Mason arrives, dressed as a tree. She strips naked as she criticizes her stylist, and together they ride up the elevator. When Peeta and Katniss are alone, he explains that everyone in the Capitol thinks of Katniss as being pure, and they act sexually provocative around her to get under her skin. Still, Katniss wonders what would have happened to them if they had been given time to be victors.
As the chapter closes, Katniss discovers that she will be served by the same Avox as last year. An Avox is a political prisoner whose tongue has been altered, rendering the person mute. Effie comments that both Avoxes have red hair this year—they match. Katniss looks at the male and realizes that it is Darius, a former Peacekeeper from District 12. Darius had tried to stop the new Head Peacekeeper from whipping Gale, and this must be his punishment.