Chapter 12 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 542

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.

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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 not. For making the Capitol look stupid by using their forcefield against them in the games, his loved ones were immediately killed. Haymitch was the example that Snow used to keep younger victors in line. This is why Haymitch became an alcoholic. He offers to have Katniss sedated until the mission is completed, but Katniss declines.

When the mission does return, Katniss finds that Gale is wounded. Johanna Mason, who was tortured for rebel secrets, has been rescued as well. Finnick and Annie have been reunited. Peeta has also been rescued. Katniss and Peeta rush to embrace each other. However, when she reaches him, he begins to strangle her.

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