Chapter 3 Summary
After President Snow leaves, Katniss considers her options. Gale’s life and the lives of her mother and sister are at stake if Katniss cannot convince Panem and its president that her love for Peeta is true. Although Katniss finds herself in a difficult position, she has few people upon whom she can rely. She will not ask Peeta to pretend to love her so she can save Gale. She will not tell Gale or her mother, nor can she tell her friend Cinna, who already does so much on her behalf. So she decides to tell Haymitch.
Although Haymitch is drunk more often than he is sober, he is crafty. He understands the publicity of the Hunger Games and the politics of Panem. Haymitch may not look very impressive now, but like Katniss, he is a victor. In fact, Haymitch won the previous Quarter Quell (the 50th annual Hunger Games), and though Katniss has never seen a taping of his performance, she knows that Haymitch defeated twice as many contestants as other victors because the Quarter Quell games involved twice the participants. Unfortunately, Katniss will have to wait to ask her former mentor for advice.
Katniss’s time is now primarily occupied with preparations for the Victory Tour. Once again, Katniss endures the effervescent cheer of Effie Trinket, her public relations liaison. She also endures her stylists, Octavia, Flavius, and Venia. The superficial group frets over Katniss’s hair and fingernails while Octavia shares stories about how a party failed because she asked everyone to wear feathers.
Katniss’s favorite stylist is Cinna, a fashion designer. All victors are supposed to develop a talent during their spare time. Peeta has taken up painting, but Katniss’s hunting is inappropriate, so she feigns and interest in designing. Cinna has designed clothes that Katniss can claim she worked on. Cinna has a keen understanding of Katniss, and he has even prepared cards with comments on the clothes for Katniss to read.
When Katniss has endured the attentions of her team of stylists, she is ready to meet Peeta in front of the press. After the Hunger Games, Katniss’s mother stated publicly that Katniss was too young to have a boyfriend, which allowed her to get away with fewer public kisses. However, now she must do her best to put on a loving show for the audience. Peeta, as always, does his best to provide for and protect Katniss. When Katniss finally gets a chance to talk to Haymitch in private, he warns Katniss that although she is trying, she does not realize that President Snow will demand a lifelong commitment to this charade because victors are public figures. Katniss realizes that she will have to marry Peeta.