Chapter 18 Summary

Katniss has just seen a Career from District 1 capture Rue in a net and spear her belly. Katniss retaliates by firing an arrow into the Career’s neck. Rue is dying but is able to tell Kat that no one else is around. Kat returns to Rue’s side and Rue, whose favorite thing in the world is music, asks Kat to sing for her. Kat sings, and Rue dies by the final lines:

Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

The mockingjays take up the song around her. Knowing that she is supposed to move on so the Gamemakers can collect the bodies, Kat collects the supplies that the boy from District 1 was carrying and retrieves supplies from Rue as well. She leaves the spear in Rue’s body so it will be removed from the arena.

Kat finds herself hating the Capitol for all the rulers have done to her. Gale used to talk darkly of the Capitol. Although Kat has no love of Panem’s rulers, she now realizes that she never fully understood Gale’s arguments. She next recalls what Peeta said before the games about trying to find a way to assert his identity in defiance of the Capitol, even if only by holding on to his own humanity. With this in mind, Kat gathers some flowers growing nearby and arranges them around Rue. She kisses her three middle fingers in salute of Rue and leaves the bodies to be collected by the Gamemasters. Before long, the mockingjays take up Rue’s four-note song that was supposed to mean that she was safe. A parachute falls before Kat. Inside is a loaf of bread, which Kat can tell (thanks to Peeta’s lecture on bread) is from District 11. It is a gift of thanks from Rue’s district for her kindness, and Katniss acknowledges their generosity.

Alone, Kat takes stock of her supplies and her situation. There are six tributes still alive in the games. Looking through the bag of supplies left in the Career’s pack, Kat is disgusted to find that he only carried a pack of berries. This means the Careers were arrogant in their reliance on their supplies and Kat has struck a major blow to their chances of survival now that their supplies have been destroyed.

Kat finds herself waiting for evening. Now that there are only six tributes left, Kat suspects that there will be an announcement from Clauidus Templesmith to twist how the Hunger Games will close. Kat’s hunch is proven correct. Templesmith declares that there has been a rule change. For the first time in history, the Gamemakers will allow two tributes to win the games together—if they are both from the same district. As the chapter closes, Kat yells out Peeta’s name.