Chapter 19 Summary

Katniss is in anguish over Cinna’s punishment, but she does not have time to dwell on it; she is already in the arena with very little time to decide what to do. She forces herself to take stock of her surroundings. She is above a body of water; as some splashes onto her pedestal, she learns that it is salty. There is a sort of wheel with the Cornucopia in the middle and spokes that extend out between the victors. Claudius Templesmith’s voice can be heard announcing the start of the Games. After a minute has passed, a gong sounds. The Hunger Games have begun again.

In the first Games, Katniss ran from the Cornucopia. This time, she dives into the water, cuts through the waves, and makes it to the Cornucopia, where she finds a bow and arrows. She turns around to find Finnick, armed with a trident and net, behind her. She is about to kill him when Finnick flashes a bangle with a pattern of flames at her. Katniss recognizes it as the bangle Haymitch was wearing at the Training Center. Although Katniss and Peeta did not want allies, it appears that Haymitch made an alliance anyway.

Together, they begin defending themselves. There is nothing at the Cornucopia but weapons, so after a few shots at the allied Careers from Districts 1 and 2 (Brutus, Enobaria, Gloss, and Cashmere), Finnick and Katniss prepare to leave. Peeta cannot swim and is stuck on his pedestal. Finnick swims out to get him. Meanwhile, Mags, the eighty-year-old woman from District 4, realizes that her belt can work as a flotation device and swims to Katniss. Together, Finnick throws his net and Mags over his shoulders, and the foursome escapes down one of the spokes away from the Cornucopia.

They enter a forest that Katniss finds unfamiliar. It is a jungle. As the foursome climbs uphill, Katniss reflects that she ought to kill Finnick now, while he is unsuspecting. However, Finnick can guess her intentions and always has his tridents ready. Peeta stands between them to stop them from fighting each other. Katniss reflects that everyone in the arena but Peeta is a killer. Only Peeta is made from something better. In spite of their show of unity during Caesar Flickerman’s broadcast, the victors are now fighting to the death.

They continue their march, and eventually Katniss looks up and sees a chink in the armor of a force field. No one else knows how to see a force field. Peeta swings at some vines with a knife but hits the force field by accident and is thrown backward. His hair is singed. When Katniss puts her head to his chest, she hears only silence.