Chapter 17 Summary
This chapter opens with Katniss “blindsided” as she learns that the rebels are about to launch an attack on the Capitol. Katniss, who has been fantasizing about exacting her revenge on President Snow for so long, has not been selected to participate in the invasion. Katniss rushes to confront Coin, who explains that the role of the Mockingjay was to unite the districts against the Capitol. If things go well in the Capitol, Katniss might be shipped in. Katniss continues, undaunted, arguing that Gale is allowed to go, but Coin points out that Katniss never trains as a soldier, whereas Gale never misses a training session if he can help it. However, Katniss manages to make a deal that her case will be reviewed if she attends basic training.
Johanna Mason is just as angry. The two victors forge an alliance that they will complete their training and take part in the assault on the Capitol. Katniss still has bruised ribs, and Johanna is now suffering from morphling withdrawal. Katniss can only run a mile before her ribs hurt too much for her to go on. Her commanding officer, York, suggests that Katniss take a painful injection that will speed the healing process of her ribs. Katniss endures the pain and soon she is running again. Meanwhile, Johanna seems to be making it through her withdrawal and before long her hands are no longer shaking as much. When Johanna sees that it is raining one day, she looks like she is full of dread.
Johanna suggests that they leave the hospital so that others will no longer see them as patients. At first, the guards are reluctant to agree because Johanna has not been assigned a compartment. Katniss volunteers to share a room with Johanna. Soon, they are sharing quarters and joking about whether or not Katniss is worried that Johanna will kill her in her sleep. However, Katniss knows that both of them are too tired from their training to do anything but sleep at night. The biggest surprise for Katniss is that Johanna never seems to shower; she only pats herself off with a damp cloth.
Now that the districts have unified, District 13 is receiving more food. One night while enjoying a beef stew with Johanna, Gale, Delly, Finnick, and Annie, Katniss looks up to see Peeta. He asks if he can join them for supper. There are times when Peeta seems like his old self, such as when Annie thanks him for decorating her wedding cake. At other times, Peeta is cold and threatening. When he jokes that he might steal Annie away from Finnick, his words sound more like a threat. Finnick retorts that Peeta should not make him sorry for restarting his heart. Gale and Katniss leave next and Katniss confesses that it may be that Peeta sees her as she really is. Gale disagrees. Still, that night, she hears nothing but screams in her dreams.