Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 443
Katniss tries to eat the nightlock pill on her shoulder after she assassinates President Coin. However, she only bites down on flesh, looking up to see that Peeta has his hand firmly on her shoulder. Snow is laughing, blood draining from his mouth, and guards are rushing in. Katniss fights but they capture and subdue her. The next thing she knows, she is in a cell. Katniss hopes that they will allow her to die, but as the days go on she worries about what might happen.
Instead, Katniss learns from Plutarch that they held a trial. Katniss has been found not guilty because of her mental state. Now, Paylor is President of Panem and Plutarch is the head of communications. In fact, his first televised event was Katniss’s trial. Plutarch says that the fighting is over for now, though he admits that “we’re fickle stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction.” Then again, he admits, perhaps this time the peace will last.
Katniss and Haymitch are both released to return to District 12. It seems that no one in the Capitol can think of a use for either of them. At first, Katniss is too traumatized to do anything, but Greasy Sae, whom Katniss used to trade with in the Hob, has returned as well. She checks in on Katniss periodically and encourages her to hunt. When Katniss finally does go hunting, she learns that others have returned and that they are now burying the dead before they can begin to rebuild. Gale has taken on a high-level job in District 2.
Peeta returns as well, and he begins to help Katniss recover. He suggests that they plant evening primrose bushes around the house in memory of Prim. One day, Katniss notices that even Buttercup has returned. He is searching for Prim, and the two of them mourn together before they become united in their grief. Over time, Katniss and Peeta create a book of memories and it seems that Katniss truly does begin to heal. However, much of her healing is simply learning to occupy her time again. It seems that Peeta is the one without whom Katniss cannot survive. Katniss does not need Gale’s fire; she needs Peeta’s warmth.
In the epilogue, Katniss reveals that she and Peeta have had two children. The Hunger Games no longer happen, though children learn about them in school. Katniss worries for her children, particularly the questions that they will ask about her. For Katniss, the things that she does every day are a game, but she she reflects that “there are much worse games to play.”
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