Chapter 8 Summary
Although Katniss may have looked impressive firing an arrow at the Gamemakers, she does not feel so confident inside. Kat leaves her interview and storms back to her quarters before she starts to cry. She worries that the Gamemasters will punish her or, worse, that her family will be punished. Although she cries herself to sleep, by the next morning nothing has happened. While eating with her team, she explains to Haymitch what happened. He and Effie actually find her story amusing and reassure her that she likely will not be punished. After all, for the Capitol, the Hunger Games have become a show, and they need fighters with “heat.”
Now that the tributes have all gone through training and an evaluation, they await their scores. Each contestant is rated a score between one and twelve. A high score can be useful because it will attract sponsors during the games. As the scores are released, the Careers all receive scores between eight and ten. Rue is rated a seven and Peeta an eight. Katniss’s score, eleven, is the highest of all the tributes. Cinna congratulates Kat on her score and enthuses about her interview dress before everyone goes to bed.
Alone, Kat finds herself recalling the first time she met Gale. She had been hunting alone with mixed success. However, one day she came across a snared rabbit. Before she could touch it, a voice warned her that hunting is illegal. It was Gale. At first, the two hunters did not trust each other, but they agreed to start sharing their knowledge. Kat helped Gale hunt with a bow, and he taught her to trap more effectively. Before long, they began sharing more secrets and became a team dedicated to feeding their families. Kat reflects that they are more than friends, and she feels a pang in her heart at his absence.
Now Kat and Peeta are publically pretending to be a couple. Kat reflects on how incongruent the two relationships are. She notes that
Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other’s survival means our own death.
Perhaps this is why Kat feels conflicted about her feelings.
Kat’s reflection is interrupted when Effie comes knocking at her door. This is to be yet another busy day for the tributes because their interviews are rapidly approaching. When Kat reaches Haymitch to be coached on her interviews, she is surprised that he does not immediately start giving her advice. He explains that Peeta has asked for them to be coached separately from now on.