He is killed during a mission to assassinate President Snow in the Capitol by muttations. After his death, his wife gives birth to a son.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games trilogy
The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.
The book received mostly positive feedback from major reviewers and authors, including authors Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer. It was praised for its storyline and character development, though some reviewers have noted similarities between Collins' book and Koushun Takami's Battle Royale (1999). In writing The Hunger Games, Collins drew upon Greek mythology, Roman gladiatorial games, and contemporary reality television for thematic content. The novel won many awards, including the California Young Reader Medal, and was named one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of the Year" in 2008.
The Hunger Games was first published in hardcover on September 14, 2008 by Scholastic, featuring a cover designed by Tim O'Brien. It has since been released in paperback and also as an audiobook and ebook. After an initial print of 200,000, the book had sold 800,000 copies by February 2010. Since its release, The Hunger Games has been translated into 26 languages, and publishing rights have been sold in 38 territories. The novel is the first in trilogyThe Hunger Games, followed by Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010). A film adaptation, directed by Gary Ross and co-written and co-produced by Collins herself, was released in 2012.
Collins has said that the inspiration for The Hunger Games came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw footage of the invasion of Iraq. The two "began to blur in this very unsettling way" and the idea for the book was formed. The Greek myth of Theseus served as a major basis for the story, with Collins describing Katniss as a futuristic Theseus, and Roman gladiatorial games provided the framework. The sense of loss that Collins developed through her father's service in the Vietnam War was also an influence on the story, with Katniss having lost her father at age 11, five years before the story begins. Collins stated that the deaths of young characters and other "dark passages" were the most difficult parts of the book to write, but that she had accepted that passages such as these were necessary to the story. She considered the moments where Katniss reflects on happier moments in her past to be more enjoyable.
The Hunger Games takes place in a nation known as Panem, established in North America after the destruction of the continent's civilization by an unknown apocalyptic event. The nation consists of the wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts united under the Capitol's control. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly known as Appalachia.
As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol, in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by an annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, an event in which the participants (or "tributes") must fight to the death in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one individual remains. The story is narrated by 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose. The male tribute chosen from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a former schoolmate of Katniss who once gave her bread from his family's bakery when her family was starving.
Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol, where their drunken mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, victor of the 50th Hunger Games, instructs them to watch and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the other tributes. "Stylists" are employed to make each tribute look his or her best; Katniss's stylist, Cinna, is the only person at the Capitol with whom she feels a degree of understanding. The tributes are publicly displayed to the Capitol audience in an interview with television host Caesar Flickerman, and have to attempt to appeal to the television audience in order to obtain "sponsors". During this time, Peeta reveals on-air his longtime unrequited love for Katniss. Katniss believes this to be a ploy to gain sponsors, who can be critical to survival because of their ability to send gifts such as food, medicine, and tools to favored tributes during the Games.
While nearly half the tributes are killed in the first day of the Games, Katniss relies on her well-practiced hunting and survival skills to remain unharmed and concealed from the other tributes. A few days into the Games, Katniss develops an alliance with Rue, a 12-year-old girl from the agricultural District 11 who reminds Katniss of her own sister. In the meantime, Peeta appears to have joined forces with the tributes from the richer districts. However, when he has the opportunity to kill Katniss, he instead saves her from the others. Katniss's alliance with Rue is brought to an abrupt end when Rue is killed by another tribute, whom Katniss then kills with an arrow. Katniss sings to Rue until she dies, and spreads flowers over her body as a sign of respect for Rue and disgust towards the Capitol.
Apparently because of Katniss and Peeta's image in the minds of the audience as "star-crossed lovers", a rule change is announced midway through the Games, allowing two tributes from the same district to win the Hunger Games as a couple. Upon hearing this, Katniss begins searching for Peeta. She eventually finds him, wounded and in hiding. As she nurses him back to health, she acts the part of a young girl falling in love to gain more favor with the audience and, consequently, gifts from her sponsors. When the couple remains as the last two surviving tributes, the Gamemakers reverse the rule change in an attempt to force them into a dramatic finale, in which one must kill the other to win. Katniss, knowing that the Gamemakers would rather have two victors than none, retrieves highly poisonous berries known as "nightlock" from her pouch and offers some to Peeta. Realizing that Katniss and Peeta intend to commit suicide, the Gamemakers announce that both will be the victors of the 74th Hunger Games.
Although she survives the ordeal in the arena and is treated to a hero's welcome in the Capitol, Katniss is warned by Haymitch that she has now become a political target after defying her society's authoritarian leaders so publicly. Afterwards, Peeta is heartbroken when he learns that Katniss's actions in the arena were part of a calculated ploy to earn sympathy from the audience. However, Katniss is unsure of her own feelings and realizes that she is dreading the moment when she and Peeta will go their separate ways.
In an interview with Collins, it was noted that the novel "tackles issues like severe poverty, starvation, oppression, and the effects of war among others." The novel deals with the struggle for self-preservation that the people of Panem face in their districts and the Hunger Games in which they must participate. The citizens' starvation and their need for resources, both in and outside of the arena, create an atmosphere of helplessness that the main characters try to overcome in their fight for survival. Katniss needs to hunt to provide food for her family, resulting in the development of skills that are useful to her in the Games (such as her proficiency with the bow and arrow), and represents her rejection of the Capitol's rules in the face of life-threatening situations. On the subject of the Games' parallels with popular culture, Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly writes that the book "is an incisive satire of reality television shows", and that the character of Cinna "almost seems like a contestant on a fascist version of Project Runway, using Katniss' outfits as a vehicle to express potentially dangerous ideas."
The choices the characters make and the strategies they use are often morally complex. The tributes build a personality they want the audience to see throughout the Games. Library journal Voice of Youth Advocates names the major themes of The Hunger Games as "government control, 'big brother', and personal independence." The trilogy's theme of power and downfall, similar to that of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, was pointed out by its publisher Scholastic. Laura Miller of The New Yorker finds the author's stated premise of the Games — an exercise in propaganda and a "humiliating as well as torturous .... punishment" for a failed uprising against the Capitol many years earlier — to be unconvincing. "You don't demoralize and dehumanize a subject people by turning them into celebrities and coaching them on how to craft an appealing persona for a mass audience." But the story works much better if the theme is vicissitudes of high school and "the adolescent social experience". Miller writes:
"The rules are arbitrary, unfathomable, and subject to sudden change. A brutal social hierarchy prevails, with the rich, the good-looking, and the athletic lording their advantages over everyone else. To survive you have to be totally fake. Adults don't seem to understand how high the stakes are; your whole life could be over, and they act like it's just some "phase"! Everyone's always watching you, scrutinizing your clothes or your friends and obsessing over whether you're having sex or taking drugs or getting good enough grades, but no one cares who you really are or how you really feel about anything."
Donald Brake from The Washington Times and pastor Andy Langford state that the story has Christian themes, such as that of self-sacrifice, which is found in Katniss' substitution for her younger sister, analogous to the sacrifice of Jesus as a substitute for the atonement of sins. Brake, as well as another reviewer, Amy Simpson, both find that the story also revolves around the theme of hope, which is exemplified in the "incorruptible goodness of Katniss' sister, Primrose." Simpson also points to events similar to the Passion of Jesus; in the Games, "Christ figure" Peeta Mellark is stabbed after warning Katniss to flee for her life, and is then buried in the ground and placed in a cave for three days before emerging with a new lease on life. Further, she finds that the Christian image of the Bread of Life is used throughout The Hunger Games; in the story, Peeta gives Katniss a loaf of bread, saving the girl and her family from starvation.
After writing the novel, Collins signed a six-figure deal for three books with Scholastic in 2006. First published as a hardcover in the United States on September 14, 2008, The Hunger Games had a first printing of 50,000 copies, which was bumped up twice to 200,000 copies. By February 2010, the book had sold 800,000 copies, and rights to the novel had been sold in 38 territories worldwide. A few months later, in July, the book was released in paperback. The Hunger Games entered the Best Seller listNew York Times in November 2008, where it would feature for over 100 consecutive weeks. By the time the film adaptation of The Hunger Games was released in March 2012, the book had been on USA Todays best-sellers list for 135 consecutive weeks.
The novel is the first in trilogyThe Hunger Games; it is followed by sequels Catching Fire (2009) and Mockingjay (2010). In March 2012, during the time of The Hunger Games film's release, Scholastic reported 26 million Hunger Games trilogy books in print, including movie tie-in books. The Hunger Games (and also its sequels) have sold exceptionally well in ebook format. Suzanne Collins is the first children's or young adult author to sell over one million Amazon Kindle ebooks, making her the sixth author to join the "Kindle Million Club". In March 2012, Amazon announced that Collins had become the best-selling Kindle ebook author of all time.
An audiobook version of The Hunger Games was released in December 2008. Read by actress Carolyn McCormick, it has a total running time of eleven hours and fourteen minutes. The magazine AudioFile said: "Carolyn McCormick gives a detailed and attentive narration. However, she may rely too much on the strength of the prose without providing the drama young adult listeners often enjoy." School Library Journal also praised the audiobook, stating that "McCormick ably voices the action-packed sequences and Katniss's every fear and strength shines through, along with her doomed growing attraction to one of her fellow Tributes."
The Tim O'Brien-designed cover features a gold "mockingjay" — a fictional bird in The Hunger Games born by crossbreeding female mockingbirds and genetically engineered male "jabberjays" — with an arrow engraved in a circle. This is a depiction of the pin worn by Katniss into the arena, given to her by the District 12 mayor's daughter, Madge Undersee. The image matches the description of the pin that is given in the novel, except for the arrow: "It's as if someone fashioned a small golden bird and then attached a ring around it. The bird is connected to the ring only by its wing tips."
The Hunger Games has received critical acclaim by critics. In a review for The New York Times, John Green wrote that the novel was "brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced", and that "the considerable strength of the novel comes in Collins's convincingly detailed world-building and her memorably complex and fascinating heroine." However, he also noted that, while allegorically rich, the book sometimes does not realize the allegorical potential that the plot has to offer and that the writing "described the action and little else." Time magazine's review was also positive, stating that it "is a chilling, bloody and thoroughly horrifying book" and praising what it called the "hypnotic" quality of the violence. In Stephen King's review for Entertainment Weekly, he compared it to "shoot-it-if-it-moves videogames in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it's not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway." However, he stated that there were "displays of authorial laziness that kids will accept more readily than adults" and that the love triangle was standard for the genre. He gave the book an overall B grade. Elizabeth Bird of School Library Journal praised the novel, saying it is "exciting, poignant, thoughtful, and breathtaking by turns", and called it one of the best books of 2008. Booklist also gave a positive review, praising the character violence and romance involved in the book. Kirkus Reviews gave a positive review, praising the action and world-building, but pointed out that "poor copyediting in the first printing will distract careful readers—a crying shame". Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, claims it is the "closest thing to a perfect adventure novel" he has ever read. Stephenie Meyer (author of the seriesTwilight) endorsed the book on her website, saying, "I was so obsessed with this book … The Hunger Games is amazing."
The novel has been criticized for its similarities to the 1999 novel Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami. Collins has stated, "I had never heard of that book or that author until my book was turned in. At that point, it was mentioned to me, and I asked my editor if I should read it. He said: 'No, I don't want that world in your head. Just continue with what you're doing'." Susan Dominus of The New York Times reports that "the parallels are striking enough that Collins's work has been savaged on the blogosphere as a baldfaced ripoff," but argued that "there are enough possible sources for the plot line that the two authors might well have hit on the same basic setup independently." King noted that the reality TV "badlands" were similar to Battle Royale, as well as his own The Running Man and The Long Walk. Eric Eisenberg wrote that The Hunger Games was "not a rip off [of Battle Royale], but simply a different usage of a similar idea", pointing out various differences in both story and themes. Robert Nishimura wrote that "The Hunger Games has an entirely different set of cultural baggage ... Collins just happened to tap in to the creative collective consciousness, drawing on ideas that have played out many times before, in addition to her intentional reference to Greek mythology." The novel has also been controversial with parents; it ranked in fifth place on the American Library Association's list of frequently challenged books for 2010, with "unsuited to age group" and "violence" being among the reasons cited.
The Hunger Games received many awards and honors. It was named one of Publishers Weeklys "Best Books of the Year" in 2008 and a The New York Times "Notable Children's Book of 2008". It was the 2009 winner of the Golden Duck Award in the Young Adult Fiction Category. The Hunger Games was also a "2008 Cybil Winner" for fantasy and science-fiction books along with The Graveyard Book. It is also one of School Library Journal's "Best Books 2008" and a "Booklist Editors' Choice" in 2008. In 2011, the book won the California Young Reader Medal. In the 2012 edition of Scholastic's Parent and Child magazine, The Hunger Games was listed as the 33rd-best book for children, with the award for "Most Exciting Ending". The novel is one of the top 5 best selling Kindle books of all time.
In March 2009, Lions Gate Entertainment entered into a co-production agreement for The Hunger Games with Nina Jacobson's production company Color Force, which had acquired worldwide distribution rights to the novel a few weeks earlier. The studio, which had not made a profit for five years, raided the budgets of other productions and sold assets to secure a budget of $88,000,000 — one of its largest ever — for the film. Collins' agent Jason Dravis remarked that "they [Lionsgate] had everyone but the valet call us" to help secure the franchise. Intending the film to have a PG-13 rating, Collins adapted the novel for film herself, in collaboration with screenwriter Billy Ray and director Gary Ross. The screenplay remains extremely faithful to the original novel, with Ross saying he "felt the only way to make the film really successful was to be totally subjective" in its presentation of events, echoing Collins' use of first person present in the novel.
Twenty-year-old actress Jennifer Lawrence was chosen to play Katniss Everdeen. Though Lawrence was four years older than the character when filming began, Collins felt the role demanded "a certain maturity and power" and said she would rather the actress be older than younger. She added that Lawrence was the "only one who truly captured the character I wrote in the book" and that she had "every essential quality necessary to play Katniss." Lawrence, a fan of the books, took three days to accept the role, initially intimidated by the size of the production. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth were later added to the cast, in the roles of Peeta and Gale, respectively. Production began in late spring 2011 and the film was released on March 23, 2012. The film's opening weekend brought in a non-sequel record $152.5 million (USD) in North America. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, based on the second novel in the series, is due to be released in 2013.
The Hunger Games trilogy is a series of young adult science-fiction adventure novels by Suzanne Collins. The trilogy consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. The first two books in the series were both best sellersNew York Times, and Mockingjay topped all US bestseller lists upon its release. By the time the film adaptation of The Hunger Games was released in 2012, the publisher had reported over 26 million Hunger Games trilogy books in print, including movie tie-in books. The series recently ranked second, bettered only by Harry Potter, in NPR's poll of the top 100 teen novels, which asked voters to choose their favorite young adult books. On August 17, 2012, Amazon announced The Hunger Games Trilogy as its top seller, surpassing the record previously held by the Harry Potter series.
The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in an unspecified future time, in the totalitarian nation of Panem. The country consists of the wealthy Capitol, located in the Rocky Mountains, and twelve (formerly thirteen) poorer districts ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol is lavishly rich and technologically advanced, but the twelve districts are in varying states of poverty – the trilogy's narrator and protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, lives in District 12, the poorest region of Panem, formerly known as Appalachia, where people regularly die of starvation. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol wherein twelve of the districts were defeated and the thirteenth purportedly destroyed, one boy and one girl from each of the remaining twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, is selected by lottery and forced to participate in the "Hunger Games" on an annual basis. The Games are a televised event, with the participants, called "tributes", being forced to fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena. The winning tribute and his/her home district is then rewarded with food and supplies. The purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to serve as a warning to the Districts to remind them of the Capitol's power and lack of remorse.
Each book in The Hunger Games trilogy has three sections of nine chapters each. Collins says that this format comes from her playwriting background, which taught her to write in a three-act structure. Her previous series, The Underland Chronicles, was written in the same way, as Collins is familiar with this structure. She sees each group of nine chapters as a separate part of the story, and comments that she still calls those divisions "act breaks."
The Hunger Games follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her younger sister Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy who has developed a secret crush on Katniss. They are mentored by District 12's only living victor, Haymitch Abernathy, who won the Games 24 years earlier and has since assumed a solitary life of alcoholism. Peeta confesses his love for Katniss in a television interview prior to the Games, leading the Capitol to portray Katniss and Peeta as "star-crossed lovers." This revelation surprises Katniss, who harbors feelings for Gale Hawthorne her friend and hunting partner. Haymitch advises Katniss to play along and feign feelings for Peeta, in order to gain wealthy sponsors who can gift them supplies during the Games. In the arena, Katniss develops an alliance with Rue, a young tribute from District 11, and is emotionally scarred when she is killed. Katniss devises a memorial for Rue as an act of defiance toward the Capitol. More than halfway through the Games, the remaining tributes are alerted to a rule change that allows both tributes from the same district to be declared victors if they are the final two standing. After learning of the change, Katniss and Peeta begin to work as a team. When all of the other tributes are dead and they appear to win the Games together, the rule change is revoked. Katniss leads Peeta in a suicide attempt, hoping that the change will be reinstated and that they will both be victorious. Their ruse is successful, and both tributes return home victorious. During and after the Games, Katniss develops genuine feelings for Peeta and struggles to balance them with the connection she feels with Gale. When it becomes clear that the Capitol is upset with her defiance, Haymitch encourages Katniss to maintain the "star-crossed lovers" act, without telling Peeta.
In Catching Fire, which begins nine months after the conclusion of The Hunger Games, Katniss learns that her defiance in the previous novel has started a chain reaction that has inspired rebellion in the districts. President Snow threatens to harm her family and friends if she does not help to quell the rebellion by marrying Peeta. Meanwhile, Peeta has become aware of Katniss' disingenuous love of him, but has also been informed of Snow's threats, and promises to help keep up the act to spare the citizens of District 12. They tour the districts as victors and plan a public wedding. While they follow Snow's orders and keep up the ruse, Katniss inadvertently fuels the rebellion, and the mockingjay pin she wears becomes its symbol. District by district, the citizens of Panem begin to stage uprisings against the Capitol. Snow announces a special 75th edition of the Hunger Games—known as the Quarter Quell—in which Katniss and Peeta are forced into competing a second time with other past victors, effectively canceling the wedding. At Haymitch's urging, the pair team up with several other tributes, managing to destroy the arena and escape the Games. Katniss is rescued by the rebel forces from District 13, and Gale informs her that the Capitol has destroyed District 12 and captured Peeta.
Mockingjay centres around the districts' rebellion against the Capitol. It is revealed that District 13 did survive The Dark Days by living underground and it is lead by President Alma Coin. Katniss, after being brought to 13, agrees to become the 'Mockingjay' in attempt to recruit more rebels from the districts. However, she makes conditions that Peeta, Johanna Mason, Annie Cresta and Enobaria, victims captured by the Capitol would not be seen as traitors and a condition where Katniss would be able to kill Snow if the rebels won as an act of vengeance. In the novel, it is revealed that Peeta has been 'hijacked' (a form of brainwashing using Tracker Jacker venom) to hate Katniss and even tries to choke her to death upon their reunion. After her healing, Katniss and a team known as the Squad, consisting of Gale, Peeta, Finnick, camera crew and various other soliders, embark on a mission to go to the Capitol to kill Snow, thus winning the rebellion. Throughout their mission, many members of the Squad in various ways, including just-married Finnick. Towards the end of the book as Katniss approaches Snow's mansion, she sees a group of Capitol children protecting the entrance to the mansion as a shield and suddenly a Capitol hovercraft drops bombs, killing the children. However, due to the mercy of the rebels, they send in medics, including Katniss' younger sister Prim. An unexploded bomb goes off killing Prim instantly as soon as she notices her sister. Katniss, also injured, wakes up after being in a coma due to the bombs to hear that the Rebels have won and Snow is awaited execution, which Katniss needs to do. After a meeting between Snow and Katniss, she finds out that it was in fact the rebels, lead by Coin who killed Prim as they hijacked a Capitol hovercraft. At Snow's execution, Katniss instead shoots Coin as an act of vengance for her sister and Snow dies mysteriously. This leads to Katniss' prosecution but she is deemed innocent as the jury believed she was not in a fit mental state. In the end, Katniss' mother and Gale both take jobs in different districts. Katniss and Peeta eventually marry and have a son and a daughter which both resemble their parents: their son has blond hair and their daughter has brown hair. However, the old Peeta would never return.
Collins says that she drew inspiration for the series from both classical and contemporary sources. The main classical source of inspiration came from the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. As a punishment for past crimes, Minos forces Athens to sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens to the Minotaur, by whom they are killed in a vast labyrinth. Collins says that even as a child the idea stunned her since "it was just so cruel", as Athens was forced to sacrifice its own children.
Collins also cites the Roman gladiator games. She feels that there are three key elements to create a good game; an all powerful and ruthless government, people forced to fight to the death, and it being a source of popular entertainment.
A contemporary source of inspiration was Collins's recent fascination with reality television programmes. She relates this to the Hunger Games in how they are not just entertainment, but also a reminder to the districts of their rebellion. On a tired night, Collins says that while she was channel-surfing the television where she saw people competing for some prize, and then saw footage of the Iraq war. She described how the two combined in an "unsettling way" to create the first ideas for the series.
The first novel in the trilogy was first published on September 14, 2008. On March 17, 2009, Lionsgate announced that it had acquired worldwide distribution rights of the film version of The Hunger Games from the film company Color Force. Soon after the acquisition, Collins began to adapt the screenplay and the two companies later went on to co-produce the film.
Catching Fire was published by Scholastic on September 1, 2009. The film version of the story – also co-produced by Color Force and Lionsgate – is scheduled for release in November 2013.
Mockingjay was first published in hardcover by Scholastic on August 24, 2010.
All three books have received positive reception. Praise has focused on the addictive quality of especially the first book, and the action. John Green of The New York Times compared The Hunger Games with Scott Westerfeld's seriesUglies. Catching Fire was praised for improving upon the first book. Mockingjay was praised for its portrayal of violence, world building, and romantic intrigue.
Criticism has come from the reality TV "death game" theme, which is also present in Battle Royale, Das Millionenspiel, The Running Man, and The Long Walk. Also, the "romantic dithering" and poor love triangle of the second installment was under criticism. The last book, Mockingjay, was criticized by fans of the book and critics for not tying up loose ends. There have also been alleged elements from real-life such as the modern Olympic Games and Joan of Arc in the trilogy.
Lionsgate Entertainment acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of The Hunger Games, which is produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force production company. Collins adapted the novel for film herself, along with Gary Ross. The film began production in spring 2011 and ended summer 2011. It was released March 23, 2012, with a PG-13 rating. Gary Ross directed; the cast includes Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Liam Hemsworth as Gale. Catching Fire will be released on November 22, 2013, with the main cast signed on to return but director Gary Ross will not return. In April 2012, the director's position was offered to Francis Lawrence. Lawrence will also be directing Mockingjay, which has been split into two parts.
Mockingjay is a 2010 science fiction novel by American author Suzanne Collins. It is the final installment of trilogyThe Hunger Games, following 2008's The Hunger Games and 2009's Catching Fire. The book continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, who agrees to lead the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical Capitol. The hardcover and audiobook editions of Mockingjay were published by Scholastic on August 24, 2010, six days after the ebook edition went on sale. The book sold 450,000 copies in the first week of release, exceeding the publisher's expectations. It received a generally positive reaction from critics, while the reception by the general public and fans has been less enthusiastic than that to the trilogy's first two books, with some expressing displeasure at the series' ending.
Collins has said that the main inspiration for trilogyThe Hunger Games came from the classical account of Theseus and the Minotaur. In Greek mythology, as a punishment for the killing of King Minos's son Androgeos, Athens was forced to sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens to Crete, who were then put in the Labyrinth and killed by the Minotaur. After a while, Theseus, the son of the Athenian king, decided to put an end to the Minotaur and Minos's terror, so he volunteered to join the third group of victims, ultimately killing the Minotaur and leading his companions out of the monster's Labyrinth.
Collins has said that there are also many parallels between the Roman Empire and the fictional nation of Panem. She describes the Hunger Games as "an updated version of the Roman gladiator games, which entails a ruthless government forcing people to fight to the death as popular entertainment." Collins also explains that the name "Panem" came from the Latin phrase "Panem et Circenses", which means "Bread and Circuses" and refers to the strategy used by Roman emperors to appease the masses by providing them with food and entertainment.
As with the previous books in the trilogy, Mockingjay contains 27 chapters, with nine chapters in each of the three parts. This structure, which Collins had previously used in her series The Underland Chronicles, came from Collins's playwriting background. This "three-act" structure is also apparent in the trilogy as a whole; Collins stated that she "knew from the beginning" that she was going to write a trilogy.
The cover and title information was revealed by Scholastic on February 11, 2010. The cover continues the previous books' theme on the symbol of peace. The novel's title comes from the hybrid birds of the same name that feature in the novels' storyline. As Publishers Weekly has stated, "the hybrid birds that are an important symbol—of hope and rebellion—throughout the books". Collins likens Katniss to a Mockingjay because both "should never have existed".
After being rescued by the rebels of District 13, Katniss is convinced to become "the Mockingjay": a symbol of the rebellion against the tyrannical Capitol. As part of the agreement, she demands that the leader of District 13, President Coin, grant immunity to all of the Quarter Quell participants, including Peeta, and that Katniss reserves the right to kill President Snow, the dictator of Panem. Much to her displeasure, she is kept away from the battles, and is instead tasked with starring in rebel propaganda films. Katniss is unable to cope with the guilt as she watches a mentally ill Peeta on television, as he is forced to speak out against her and the rebels on behalf of the Capitol. Finally, District 13 leaders decide to rescue Peeta, realizing that Katniss's guilt is impeding her role as "the Mockingjay." After the rescue, it is discovered that Peeta has been brainwashed into believing Katniss is the enemy, and he attempts to strangle her during their reunion. Peeta's brainwashing deeply disturbs Katniss, but he gradually improves after much treatment and therapy. His childhood friend Delly Cartwright helps with his recovery by recounting happy events from their past. Soon, Peeta recovers fully enough to train. Katniss and her propaganda unit are sent off on a mission to the Capitol, and President Coin later sends Peeta with them in replacement of another soldier, although his many scarred memories fuel his rage.
The rebels, including Katniss, gain control of the districts and begin an assault on the Capitol. A propaganda shoot in a purportedly safe Capitol neighborhood goes wrong, and Katniss and her team flee further into the city with the intent of finding and killing President Snow. Many members of Katniss's team are killed during intense urban warfare, including Hunger Games victor Finnick Odair. Eventually, Katniss presses on alone towards Snow's mansion, which has supposedly been opened to shelter Capitol children, but is actually intended to trap them and use them as human shields for President Snow. As she reaches the mansion, a hover plane with Capitol markings drops supply parachutes to the children which then explode, killing many of them. When medical teams move in to help the children, second round of the supply parachutes explode to kill the medical team, including Katniss' sister, Prim. The death of her sister traumatizes the already mentally exhausted Katniss, and she falls into a deep depression.
After the rebels' victory, President Coin and her inner circle decide to punish the Capitol just as the Capitol once punished the Districts, by holding a final edition of the Hunger Games with children from the Capitol as tributes. While recovering from the same explosion that killed her sister, Katniss happens to run across President Snow, who is under house arrest and awaiting execution. Snow tells her that he did not order the assault that killed Prim, and that he would have escaped if he had had access to a hover plane. Instead, he accuses Coin of being behind the bombing. When Katniss expresses her doubts about his innocence, Snow reminds her that they had agreed not to lie to each other following the 74th Hunger Games. He also explains that the bombing of the children would have served no purpose for him, as it turned the remaining Capitol citizens against him.
Shortly thereafter, Katniss recalls that the bombing resembled a trap originally developed by Gale Hawthorne. Gale denies being involved, but Katniss cannot repress her suspicions. At Snow's execution, Katniss thinks back to her conversation with him, and realizes that someone high up would have had to have given permission for Prim to be on the front lines despite her young age. Making it look like the Capitol killed Prim would push Katniss's loyalty to Coin and would also drive a wedge between the Capitol and President Snow. When she is given the opportunity to execute Snow, Katniss makes her decision, raises her bow and shoots Coin instead, killing her. A riot ensues and Snow is found dead. Katniss attempts to consume the suicide pill on her uniform, but Peeta stops her. Katniss is acquitted of Coin's murder due to her apparent insanity and sent home to the ruins of District 12, along with others who are attempting to rebuild. Peeta returns months later, having largely recovered from his brainwashing. Katniss again falls in love with Peeta, recognizing she needs his hope and strength, in contrast to Gale who has the same fire she already finds in herself. Together with Haymitch, they write a book filled with the stories of previous tributes of the Hunger Games and those who died in the war to preserve their memory.
Twenty years later, Katniss and Peeta are married and have two children. The Hunger Games are over, but Katniss dreads the day her children learn about their parents' involvement in both the Games and the war. When she feels distressed, Katniss plays a comforting but repetitive "game," reminding herself of every good thing she has ever seen someone do. The series ends with Katniss' somber reflection that "there are much worse games to play."
Reviews have noted many themes in the previous books that are also explored in "Mockingjay". A review from The Baltimore Sun noted that "the themes of the series, including physical hardships, loyalty in extreme circumstances and traversing morally ambiguous terrain, are continued at an even larger scale." In the book, Katniss must deal with betrayal and violence against people. At the same time, while she was symbolically touching thousands of lives, she must also lead those people into war. Finally, Katniss realizes she cannot even trust President Coin, leader of District 13.
In an interview with Collins, it was noted that the series "tackles issues like severe poverty, starvation, oppression, and the effects of war." Collins replied that this inspiration was from her father, who, when going to war in Vietnam, made sure that his children understood the consequences and effects of war. Yvonne Zipp of The Christian Science Monitor noted that it was "the most brutal of the trilogy" and that "Collins doesn't take war lightly – her characters debate the morality involved in tactics used to try to overthrow the rotting, immoral government, and they pay a high cost for those tactics." Katie Roiphe of The New York Times wrote that "it is the perfect teenage story with its exquisitely refined rage against the cruel and arbitrary power of the adult world." In a review for USA Today, Bob Minzesheimer pointed out that the novel contained optimism: "Hope emerges from despair. Even in a dystopian future, there's a better future."
Minzesheimer also noted a central question of "Real or not real?" which was asked throughout the novel by Peeta. Susan Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times also pointed this out, writing, "Mockingjay takes readers into new territories and an even more brutal and confusing world: one where it's unclear what sides the characters are on, one where presumed loyalties are repeatedly stood on their head".
Mockingjay was first released in the US and Canada on August 24, 2010. The UK, New Zealand and Australia received the book one day later, on August 25, 2010. The audiobook was released simultaneously on August 24, 2010 by Scholastic Audio.
The book had a 1.2 million-copy first printing that was bumped up from 750,000. In its first week of release, the book sold over 450,000 copies. Following this, Scholastic printed an additional 400,000 copies, bringing the initial print run up to 1.6 million. Scholastic Trade president Ellie Berger said that sales "have exceeded all expectations". The book has also been released in e-book format and topped sales in the week ending with August 29, 2010, beating out The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which had held the top spot since April. The other Hunger Games books have also made it in the top ten, with the first book at fifth and the second book taking eighth.
To promote the release of Mockingjay, many bookstores held midnight release parties. The official event in New York City was attended by Collins, and included many activities such as a tarot card reader, a magician, jugglers and face-painters. Prizes such as signed copies of Catching Fire and Hunger Games-themed cups were raffled. Once Collins arrived, she read the first chapter of the novel, explaining that she would read with an accent since Katniss, the narrator, is from Appalachia. By midnight, copies were being sold with a signature stamp since Collins had a hand injury and was unable to sign.
Before the release, Scholastic also released a trailer for the book, launched a Facebook page that gained over 22,000 fans in 10 days, and held a contest for booksellers to win a visit from Collins and an online countdown clock to the release date. There were also advertisements for the book on websites such as Entertainment Weekly and Romantic Times. National Entertainment Collectibles Association also sold other goods such as t-shirts, posters, games and bracelets. Collins also held a "13-District Blog Tour" where 13 winners received a free copy of Mockingjay on August 24, 2010. A tour was also scheduled, starting at Books of Wonder in New York where the official party took place. The tour ended on November 6, 2010, in the Third Place Books store in Lake Forest Park, Washington.
Mockingjay has received generally positive reviews from critics, while reception by the public and fans has been mixed. Some noted that there was a suspense drop between Catching Fire and the start of Mockingjay. Nicole Sperling of Entertainment Weekly gave the book a B+ and said, "Collins has kicked the brutal violence up a notch in an edge-of-your-seat plot". Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, calling it "the best yet, a beautifully orchestrated and intelligent novel that succeeds on every level". The review went on to praise the "sharp social commentary and the nifty world building". Kirkus Reviews gave Mockingjay a starred review, saying that the book is exactly what its fans are looking for and that "it will grab them and not let go". Susan Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times compared the battlefield to Iraq and said that the book is every bit as original as the first in the series, ending the review with "Wow".
The Baltimore Suns Nancy Knight commented that the book "ends on an ostensibly happy note, but the heartbreaking effects of war and loss aren't sugar-coated" and that it will have readers thinking about the effects of war on society. Katie Roiphe of The New York Times said it is "the perfect teenage story with its exquisitely refined rage against the cruel and arbitrary power of the adult world". However, she criticized that it was not as "impeccably plotted" as The Hunger Games. Bob Minzesheimer of USA Today gave the book three out of four stars. The Christian Science Monitor reviewer Yvonne Zipp described it as "an entirely gripping read".
While a review from The Sacramento Bee praised the action scenes and the battle in the Capitol, the reviewer also criticized Collins for not giving enough time to finish all the loose ends, writing that "the disappointment with Mockingjay hits primarily as Collins starts her home stretch. It's almost as if she didn't allocate enough time or chapters to handle all her threads".
The Hunger Games trilogy is being adapted into a series of films, with the stars of the 2012 film The Hunger Games having signed on for a total of four movies. On July 10, 2012, it was announced that Mockingjay will be split into two parts, with Part 1 set to be released on November 21, 2014, and Part 2 on November 20, 2015. On November 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Francis Lawrence, director of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will return to direct the two final movies in the series.
Catching Fire is a 2009 science fiction novel by American novelist Suzanne Collins, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. As the sequel to the 2008 bestseller The Hunger Games, it continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. Following the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the oppressive Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta Mellark are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of the Hunger Games.
The book was first published on September 1, 2009, by Scholastic, in hardcover, and was later released in ebook and audiobook format. A film adaptation of the novel is set to be released on November 22, 2013. Catching Fire has received mostly positive reviews, with reviewers praising Collins' prose, the book's ending, and the development of Katniss's character. According to critics, major themes of the novel include survival, government control, rebellion, and interdependence vs. independence.
After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12, the poorest sector in the country of Panem. On the day that Katniss and Peeta are to start a "Victory Tour" of the country, she is visited by President Snow, who explains that he is angry with her for breaking the rules at the end of the last Hunger Games, which permitted both Peeta and Katniss to win. Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she inspired rebellion in the districts.
The first stop on the Victory Tour is District 11, the home of Katniss's deceased friend and ally in the Hunger Games, Rue. During the ceremony, Katniss delivers a brief speech to the people of District 11, thanking them for their participants in the Games. When she is done, an old man whistles the tune that Katniss used in the arena to tell Rue that she was safe. The song acts as a signal and everyone salutes Katniss, using the same gesture that she used to say farewell to Rue. Leaving District 11, Katniss and Peeta proceed to travel to all of the twelve districts and the Capitol. During an interview, Peeta proposes to Katniss publicly, hoping to settle the dispute between Katniss and President Snow and placate the growing rebellion. Despite this, Katniss learns that their attempts of subduing revolt in the districts have failed.
Shortly after returning to District 12, Katniss encounters two runaways from District 8. They explain their theory that District 13 was not wiped out by the Capitol, contrary to what the other districts have been led to believe, and that many of its residents survive in underground shelters. Later, it is announced that, for the 75th Hunger Games, 24 victors from previous years will be forced to compete once again. This is the third occurrence of the "Quarter Quell": an event that occurs every 25th year of the Games and allows the Capitol to introduce a twist. Knowing that she and Peeta will both be competing in the Games a second time, Katniss decides that she will devote herself to ensuring that Peeta becomes the Quarter Quell's victor. However, Peeta is devoted to protecting her.
During the Games, set in a jungle with a saltwater lake, Katniss and Peeta join up with two other previous victors: Finnick Odair, a 24-year-old man who survived the Games at the age of 14, and Mags, Finnick's 80-year-old mentor, both from District 4. After Mags's death, Katniss, Peeta and Finnick join forces with Johanna Mason, a sarcastic and often cruel victor from District 7, and Beetee and Wiress, an older couple from District 3 who are said to be "exceptionally smart". Wiress soon proves her genius by revealing to Katniss that the arena is arranged like a clock, with all of the arena's disasters occurring on a timed chart. After Wiress is killed, Katniss learns of Beetee's plan to harness lightning in order to electrocute two other contenders. In the final chapters, Katniss directs the lightning at the force field that contains the arena, thereby destroying the arena and resulting in her temporary paralysis.
When Katniss wakes up, she is being transported to District 13, joined by Finnick, Beetee, and her mentor, Haymitch Abernathy. She learns that Peeta and Johanna have been captured by the Capitol, and is informed that there had been a plan among most of the contestants to break out of the arena—Beetee had been attempting to destroy the force field in the same way that she did. The book ends when Katniss's best friend, Gale, comes to visit her and informs her that, though he got her family out in time, District 12 has been bombed and destroyed.
The main themes of Catching Fire include survival, and the conflict between interdependence and independence. As reviewer Margo Dill noted, "In [Catching Fire], Katniss and Peeta are definitely interdependent. They are both helping each other to survive. As a matter of fact, they want the other one to survive more than they do themselves." Dill goes on to explain how this likely increases the chances of each character dying.
Government control is another important theme, both within the book and throughout the entire trilogy. After suppressing the first rebellion, the Capitol establishes rules in order to restrict and control the citizens' lives. Examples noted by Dill include that, "the 75th annual Hunger Games have 'new' rules that cause Katniss and Peeta to be in danger once again. More 'Peacekeepers' are placed in districts to diminish any hope that the citizens started to have after the last Hunger Games." Another major theme throughout the trilogy is the media and the influence or power that popular culture has over the emotions, wishes and views of society. Other themes in the book include morality, obedience, sacrifice, redemption, love, and law.
Catching Fire had a preliminary hardcover release date of September 8, 2009, which was moved up to September 1 in response to requests by retailers to move the release to before Labor Day and the start of school for many readers. It was also published as an audiobook on the same day. Advance reading copies were available at BookExpo America in New York City, and were sent out to some booksellers, and offered as prizes in Scholastic's "How Would You Survive" writing contest in May 2009. An eBook version was also published on June 3, 2010. Catching Fire had an initial print of 350,000 copies, a number which had grown to over 750,000 by February 2010. The release of Mockingjay, the third novel of the series, followed on August 24, 2010.
Catching Fire received mainly positive reviews from critics. Publishers Weekly wrote, "If this second installment spends too much time recapping events from book one, it doesn't disappoint when it segues into the pulse-pounding action readers have come to expect." Booklist commented on how the "unadorned prose provides an open window to perfect pacing and electrifying world building". The New York Times also gave a positive review, writing, "Collins has done that rare thing. She has written a sequel that improves upon the first book. As a reader, I felt excited and even hopeful: could it be that this series and its characters were actually going somewhere?" The review also praised Collins' development of the character of Katniss. The Plain Dealer wrote, "The very last sentence of Catching Fire will leave readers gasping. Not to mention primed for part three."
However, not all reviews were positive. The same review from The Plain Dealer expressed displeasure at how, "after 150 pages of romantic dithering, I was tapping my foot to move on." A review from Entertainment Weekly opined that the book was weaker than the first and wrote, "Katniss pretends to be in love with her sweet-natured Games teammate Peeta Mellark, but she secretly pines for brooding Gale, a childhood friend. Except — why? There's little distinction between the two thinly imagined guys, other than the fact that Peeta has a dopier name. Collins conjures none of the erotic energy that makes Twilight, for instance, so creepily alluring."
In addition, Time magazine placed Catching Fire at number four on its list of the top 100 fiction books of 2009, while People magazine rated it the eighth Best Book of 2009. It also won the Publishers Weeklys 2009 award for Best Book of the Year.
Lionsgate has announced that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released on November 22, 2013, as a sequel to the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. In April 2012, it was announced that Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, would not return due to a "tight" and "fitted" schedule. Francis Lawrence was officially announced as the director for Catching Fire on May 3, 2012. The film's cast is slated to include Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Lynn Cohen as Mags, Alan Ritchson as Gloss, Sam Claflin as Finnick, and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee. Production officially began on September 10, 2012 and concluded on December 21, 2012. Shooting first took place in and around metropolitan Atlanta. Several District 11 scenes were also filmed in the rural areas of Macon County, Georgia, and the rest of production took place in Hawaii.
The Hunger Games universe
Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character and the protagonist of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games trilogy. Her name comes from an edible plant called katniss. Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence portrayed Katniss in the movie The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross. She will reprise her role as Katniss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which will be released on November 22, 2013.
Katniss and her family come from District 12, a coal-mining district that is the poorest and least populated district in the dystopian fictional autocratic nation of Panem. In the course of the first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to replace her sister, Primrose "Prim" Everdeen, after she is called forth during Reaping Day, a day in which, annually, one male and one female tribute between the ages of 12 to 18 are called forth from each district to fight to the death in an arena and only one person can come out alive from all 24 people in what are known as the Hunger Games. Katniss, after an alliance with Rue from District 11 (who reminded Katniss of her own sister), a 12 year old who had a very touching death, she joins up with fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark, and the pair compete in the Games together. She uses her knowledge of hunting and archery to survive, and the two become the victors after defying the Capitol's attempt to force one to kill the other. Throughout the next two novels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, Katniss becomes the symbol of a rebellion for the twelve districts against the Capitol's oppression.
The idea for the trilogy was based in part on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, in which twelve boys and eight girls from Athens are sent every nine years against their will to be devoured by the Minotaur, a cycle that doesn't stop until Theseus kills the Minotaur. Collins, who heard the story when she was eight years old, was unsettled by its ruthlessness and cruelty. Collins said, "In her own way, Katniss is a futuristic Theseus." Collins also characterized the novels with the fearful sensations she experienced when her father was fighting in the Vietnam War.
In the novels, Katniss is extensively knowledgeable in foraging, wildlife, hunting, and survival techniques. Collins knew some of this background from her father, who grew up in the Great Depression and was forced to hunt to augment an extremely low food supply, although Collins saw her father bring home food from the wild during her own childhood as well. In addition, Collins researched the subject using a large stack of wilderness survival guidebooks.
Katniss and the other tributes are, in their time before participating in their Hunger Games, compelled to compete for the hearts of sponsors who donate money that can be used to buy vital supplies for them when they are in the arena. The concept of how the audiences carry nearly as much force as actual characters is based on how, in reality television and in the Roman games, the audience can both "respond with great enthusiasm or play a role in your elimination," as Collins said.
Katniss's first name comes from a plant that is more commonly known as Sagittaria or arrowhead, which is a tuber plant usually found in water. The root of this plant can be eaten, as Katniss does in the book. Her father once said: "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve." The plant also shares its name with a constellation in the Zodiac called Sagittarius, or "The Archer", which may also reference Katniss's skills in archery.
Her last name comes from Bathsheba Everdene, the central character in Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. According to Collins, "The two are very different, but both struggle with knowing their hearts".
The Hunger Games takes place in the ruins of North America: a country called Panem, containing 12 known districts, District 13 which had been thought to be destroyed 75 years prior, and the shining but cruel Capitol at the center. Katniss Everdeen and her sister, Primrose (Prim) Everdeen, go to the reaping where they are both eligible for the Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. The Hunger Games was created by the cruel Capitol, a punishment for the uprising the districts had against the Capitol. The twelve districts were given the Hunger Games; the thirteenth thought to be destroyed.
Children are eligible to participate in the Hunger Games once they turn twelve years old, and are no longer eligible after they turn eighteen or have already been in the Hunger Games. When they turn twelve, their name is entered into the reaping once, when they're thirteen they get entered twice, and so on. People who are poor and starving are allowed to enter their name extra times in exchange for a yearly supply of grain and oil for one person. Katniss does this each year, and the number of entries is cumulative; so by the age of sixteen her name is in the reaping twenty times. Prim's name is entered once.
During the reaping, Prim's name is picked by Effie Trinket, District Twelve's escort. As Prim walks slowly up to the stage, Katniss quickly runs up, pushes Prim behind her and volunteers to enter the Games in her place. Katniss is the first to do so in her district and results in Prim screaming and crying, so Gale Hawthorne, Katniss' hunting partner and close friend, carries Prim away to her mother. Katniss goes to take her place on the stage. As Effie asks for a round of applause for Katniss, everyone is silent. After a few minutes, most of the crowd presses their three fingers against their mouths and holds it out to her. Katniss describes this as an ancient sign for saying "admiration," and "goodbye to someone you love."
After Katniss is selected, Effie selects the male tribute for the Games. Peeta Mellark is picked, and Katniss remembers something he did to help her when they were just eleven. During the time after Katniss' father died, Katniss's family was slowly starving to death. One day, Katniss took some of Prim's baby clothes on the streets to sell to any willing people. No one bought them. Katniss was sad and very weak, since she was unable to take any food home for her family. On the way home, she passed the bakery, where Peeta and his family work. Katniss felt dizzy when she inhaled the smell of baking bread. Then, she had the idea of looking for something, anything, in the trashcans of the wealthier people in District Twelve. As she was checking Peeta's bakery's trash bins, Peeta's mother caught her and yelled at her. Peeta saw this, and purposely burned some bread in the bakery. This got his mother's attention, and she started screaming at him. She hit him on the cheek, bruising him. She told him to throw the burned bread to their pig outside, but when he went outside, he discreetly threw the bread to Katniss. Katniss returned home with the bread, and somehow the day after that, had the courage to venture out into the woods, where she met Gale, and continued to hunt for food for her family with him by her side.
After Katniss and Peeta have been selected and said goodbyes to their families, they are whisked away by Haymitch Abernathy (a previous District Twelve Victor, extreme drunkard, and their mentor) and Effie Trinket to the high-speed train that awaits them. Riding the train, they are stunned by how fast it moves.
When they arrive in the Capitol, Katniss and Peeta can't help but gawk at all the amazing sights District Twelve wasn't able to show. Katniss is then met by her prep team, Flavius, Octavia, and Venia, and her stylist, Cinna, who prepare Katniss for the Opening Ceremonies. All the tributes wear something that represents their district's industry. Coming from District Twelve, she and Peeta will have to represent something about coal, or mining. Cinna decides to dress them in a plain black unitard and shiny laced up boots. But there is a catch to this costume: when lit, it burns. Katniss and Peeta are initially apprehensive at this arrangement, but their worries bring them closer together. Just before the parade, Cinna lights their headdresses and to Katniss and Peeta's surprise, it doesn't burn. In addition, Cinna also suggests that they hold hands to present them as "together and a team." This distinguishes Katniss and Peeta from the rest of the tributes not only because they have better costumes, but also that they are warm and relatively friendly to each other in comparison to the other tributes, who have remained cold and stiff with each other. With this new development, both gain the attention (and attraction) of sponsors in the Capitol, and both are unforgettable. From that moment on, Katniss is known as "The Girl On Fire".
During the Games Katniss forms an alliance with Rue, the female tribute from District 11, until Rue is killed by the male tribute from District 1, Marvel. Later, the rules are changed so that if the remaining two tributes come from the same district, they will both win. Katniss hurries to find Peeta and they resume their "star-crossed lovers" reputation, gaining sympathy from sponsors. They outlast the other tributes and the rule change is revoked, meaning there can only be one victor of the Hunger Games. Assuming the Gamemakers would rather have two victors than none, she suggests that they both commit suicide by eating poisonous nightlock berries. The ploy works and Katniss and Peeta are both declared victors of the 74th Hunger Games.
Katniss and Peeta go on the Victory Tour, which is a visit to each district by the winners, strategically placed between each Hunger Games. Katniss becomes aware that uprisings are erupting. In addition, the nation's leader, President Snow, is making Katniss to convince the nation that she is really in love with Peeta and that her suicide pact was an act of love rather than defiance, in order to quell dissent. Gale has been presented to the nation as her cousin, but President Snow implies his knowledge that Katniss has feelings for him and threatens to have him killed to gain leverage over Katniss.
In order to save her family and friends, Katniss agrees to follow the Capitol's agenda. Peeta does the same when he realizes what is at stake. Peeta even proposes marriage to her, and she accepts, but even at that point President Snow conveys to her that her actions are insufficient. Katniss comes to realize that the rebellion in the districts is not within her power to suppress, making it impossible for her to satisfy President Snow's demands. Katniss is also confused as to the nature of her feelings for both Gale and Peeta, both of which are complicated by her fears for the future and her unwillingness to have children who themselves could be subjected to the Hunger Games. When the Quarter Quell—a special Hunger Games that takes place every 25 years and has a special set of rules—is announced, it is proclaimed that all of the current year's tributes will be selected from the pool of previous Hunger Games victors. District 12 has only three living victors: Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Abernathy, who won the 50th Games and successfully mentored Katniss the year before. As Katniss is the only living female victor in District 12, she is the only possible female tribute, and Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch's place when Haymitch is selected. Katniss and Peeta return to the arena, working closely to survive and forming alliances and close friendships in the process.
Katniss is taken from the arena and discovers that the tributes of many districts had coordinated an escape plan and used a stolen hovercraft to fly to District 13, which was not destroyed as the Capitol had claimed. However, during the escape, Peeta is captured by the Capitol and afterwards, Gale informs Katniss that District 12 was bombed and destroyed but that her family is safe.
In Mockingjay, Katniss visits the subterranean civilization of District 13 and meets with the people and their leader, President Alma Coin, after being taken to see the remains of District 12. A love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale slowly unfolds, forcing Katniss to decide whom she really wants to be with—a situation complicated by the fact that Peeta is currently being tortured in the Capitol while Gale is at Katniss's side.
Katniss agrees to be the symbolic leader of their rebellion: "the Mockingjay", the face of the rebels. She discovers that Cinna has been killed by the Capitol, but the rest of her prep team survived in District 13's captivity; they prep Katniss for the cameras when she agrees to start doing propaganda pieces for the rebels. Katniss becomes increasingly emotionally unstable by the horrors she witnesses—mass slaughter, the destruction of the only home she has ever known with 90% of the citizens of District 12 dead, many friends killed due to their association with her, and Peeta being beaten on live television. After a rescue mission in which a team from District 13 brings Peeta back, she finds out his memories have been distorted by tracker jacker venom, a mind-control torturing method referred to as "hijacking". He now hates and wants to kill Katniss, believing she is a muttation created by the Capitol. Katniss becomes even more determined to kill Snow after this.
She, along with a group of sharpshooters that include Gale, Finnick Odair (from the Quarter Quell in the previous book), and later joined by Peeta (much to Katniss's dismay) sneak into the Capitol at the cost of several of their own lives in an attempt to kill Snow. As they get close to the presidential mansion, an array of bombs are dropped from a Hovercraft, with only some exploding, killing the refugee Capitol children on whom they were dropped. Rebel medics, including Prim, rush to help the children, but as they arrive, the rest of the bombs explode. Prim is killed in front of Katniss, while Katniss's body is severely burned. Although she makes a remarkable physical recovery, Katniss temporarily loses the ability to speak, traumatized by the death of her sister. It is believed that Gale was involved in the making of the bombs that killed Prim.
Meanwhile, President Snow is arrested, found guilty of his crimes against the people of Panem, and sentenced to death. Per Katniss' request, she is designated as his executioner. Before the execution, Snow tells Katniss that the bombs weren't his but the rebels' way of gaining sympathy in the Capitol for their cause, making it look like the work of Snow. Although she initially refuses to believe Snow, Katniss realizes that the attack method was identical to a trap Gale and fellow Quarter Quell tribute Beetee had designed. Eventually, Katniss realises that someone high up in the ranks of the Rebels would have had to order to have Prim on the front line, despite her age, and comes to suspect that Coin ordered the attack on the children in order to trick the Capitol citizens into thinking that the government had killed their children, therefore winning the loyalty of the Capitol's citizens and that Prim was there solely to subdue and unhinge Katniss.
Furthermore, Coin suggests that there will be one last Hunger Games where the children from the Capitol will be reaped. She seeks the approval of the surviving victors before making these games official, and Katniss votes yes as a means of gaining Coin's trust. Just before Snow's execution, Katniss concludes that Snow was telling her the truth and that President Coin will be no better or different a President than Snow had ever been. Making her decision, she raises her bow and shoots Coin instead, killing her. She then attempts to kill herself with the suicide pill attached to her uniform, but Peeta stops her, and she is arrested and placed in solitary confinement, where she attempts to commit suicide by starving herself and overdosing. However, she is ultimately released on the grounds that she wasn't mentally well at the time of the assassination and is sent back to District 12. Katniss, accompanied by Haymitch, goes back to her home in Victor's Village (a house victors get when they win the Games in their District) and is put under care.
Driven into a deep depression, Katniss refuses to leave her house until Peeta (who by then has largely recovered from his brainwashing) returns to District 12 to plant primroses outside, in memory of her sister. Katniss begins to regain her mental health, and she and Peeta deal with their feelings by creating a book composed of information about deceased tributes, friends, and family (eventually Haymitch joins them in this project). Katniss's mother, who chose not to return to District 12 because of all the painful memories of her deceased husband and daughter, decides to work in District 4 as medical personnel. Gale got a "fancy job" in District 2 and is seen regularly on television. A few hundred District 12 survivors return home and rebuild it, where they no longer mine coal, producing food and manufacturing medicine instead.
In the epilogue, Katniss and Peeta are married and have two children. She talks of how Peeta begged her for them. Their first child, a girl, has Katniss' dark hair and Peeta's blue eyes; their second child, a boy, has Katniss' grey eyes and Peeta's blond curls. Katniss still wakes up screaming in the night and is worried about telling her children about the nightmares involving their parents' contribution in the Games and the rebellion. She finds no pleasure in life at times because she knows it could all be taken away at once. To soothe her traumatized psyche, Katniss makes lists in her mind of every act of kindness she has ever seen, an obsession that she realizes is simply a "repetitive game" to keep darker thoughts at bay. In the series' last words, Katniss offers one final observation: "But there are much worse games to play."
Katniss and her family live in the futuristic nation of Panem, located on the continent once known as North America, which was destroyed in a global catastrophe. Panem is run by an all-powerful city called the Capitol, located in the Rocky Mountains, which is surrounded by 12 districts, each having a specific purpose in supplying something to the Capitol. The story starts in District 12, Katniss's home, the coal-mining district. District 12 is the poorest of the districts, and Katniss lives with her mother and sister in the poorest part of town, known as the Seam.
Katniss's father, a coal miner, was killed in a mine explosion when Katniss was 11. After his death, Katniss's mother went into a deep depression and was unable to take care of her children. On the brink of starvation a few weeks before her twelfth birthday on May 8 Katniss wandered into the richer part of town, hoping to steal some scraps from the garbage bins of rich merchants. The baker's son, Peeta, whom she did not know, took a beating from his mother for intentionally burning two loaves of bread, knowing that he would be told to throw them out. He was told to give the two loaves of bread to the pig, but instead gave them to Katniss. Katniss took them home to her family, who had not eaten in days. The bread gave them hope and kept them motivated, leaving Katniss feeling resentfully indebted to Peeta.
A few days after the incident with the bread, Katniss decided to go into the woods surrounding her district to hunt illegally and gather plants to eat, which was how her father had gotten most of the family's food before he died. There she met a boy named Gale Hawthorne. Together, they provide for both their families and develop a strong friendship.
Katniss's mother slowly surfaces from her depression and is able to return to her job as an apothecary, and Katniss makes an effort to forgive her. However, despite her mending relationship with her mother, strong friendship with Gale, and the increasingly strong affections she gains for Peeta, Katniss remains adamant that Prim, her younger sister, is "the only person she's certain she loves".
Collins has described Katniss as being an independent survivalist, lethal, but good at thinking outside the box. Katniss's past hardships (her father's death, mother's depression, and near starvation) have made her a survivor, and she will endure hardship and hard work to preserve her own life and the life of her family. She states herself that nice people are the most dangerous because they get inside of her and that they could hurt her badly when she least expected it. She has shown she will protect those she loves, no matter the cost to herself, as shown when she volunteers for the Games to save her little sister Prim, when she shields Gale to keep him from being whipped, even when it means a lash for herself, and when she stoically decides during her second Games to die to save Peeta. Because the majority of her time before the Games was spent keeping herself and her family alive, she does not understand many social cues and is often ignorant of other people's emotions, such as when she doesn't recognize Gale's hints at his growing affection for her. She has no experience with romance or love other than that of her family, and doesn't believe she wants it. She never actually understands that Peeta was telling the truth when he declared his love for her in the pre-game interview until after the games itself. She also has large trust issues, and does not trust anyone. She plans never to be married nor have children that would grow up subject to the reaping.
She quickly adapts to the "kill or be killed" philosophy of the games and coldly considers how she will kill her fellow competitors during the first game, at one point rationalizing that she is already a killer due to her hunting experience, though she is briefly disturbed after her first direct kill, Marvel. By the end of the first game, she is prepared to shoot Cato , and attempts to do so only to be interrupted by Peeta being attacked by the muttations. Despite her cold-bloodedness, she is nonetheless extremely relieved at not having to kill her allies Rue and Peeta. As the series progresses, however, her cold-bloodedness increases, to the point where she objectively discusses how to kill everyone (but Peeta) involved in her second Hunger Games in Catching Fire (though she ultimately has to kill only one combatant), and by the third novel is depicted killing an unarmed female civilian during a mission, with apparent remorse.
In Catching Fire, Katniss struggles to understand Panem political issues as she has had very little education or experience of politics. She also gradually realizes that there are more important things than survival and decides she is willing to die for Peeta and the rebellion.
Katniss is a highly skilled archer, hunter, and trapper, having learned these from her father and Gale, honed to keep her family from starving. She uses her archery and her daring to score an 11 (out of a possible 12) during the pre-games judging. She has been well educated on edible, medicinal, and poisonous plant life of District 12. Additionally, she has a singing voice that is so beautiful birds stay quiet to listen, also from her father, although she has been reluctant to sing since his death (she claims that it's because music is useless if practical survival, but she suspects it's actually because music reminds her too much of him). Katniss is a skilled tree-climber, which has benefited her in hunting and the Games. She is usually very logical except for times when her emotions get in the way. Peeta mentions that she has an effect on people around her, the image she projects, and he admires her for it. She also demonstrates that she is a good swimmer at the start of the 75th Hunger Games.
Katniss is described as having "straight black hair, olive skin, and grey eyes", which are typical characteristics of the Seam; the poorest area of District 12. Katniss normally wears her hair in a long braid down her back. She is thin and not very tall, but is strong for her size from hunting to feed her family in the woods outside of District 12. Katniss is sixteen years old during the 74th Hunger Games and seventeen during the Quarter Quell.
Katniss has received mostly positive reviews. In a review for The Hunger Games, Stephen King said she was a "cool kid" with a "lame name," before adding, "once I got over [her] name...I got to like her a lot." Francisca Goldsmith in Booklist said, "Although Katniss may be skilled with a bow and arrow and adept at analyzing her opponents’ next moves, she has much to learn about personal sentiments, especially her own." Publishers Weekly says, "It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likeable." The Cleveland Plain Dealer stated in a review for Catching Fire that "Katniss in a pensive mood seems out of step with the kick-butt assassin," before adding that her loyalty and kindheartedness were enjoyed. John Green, in the New York Times, called Katniss a "memorably complex and fascinating heroine". Also in The New York Times, Katie Roiphe said that Katniss in Mockingjay was "a great character without being exactly likeable. [She] is bossy, moody, bratty, demanding, prickly", and commented that this is what makes many recent literature heroines likeable. Entertainment Weekly compared Katniss to Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga and said that "unlike Twilight's passive, angsty Bella, Katniss is a self-possessed young woman who demonstrates equal parts compassion and fearlessness."
Laura Miller of Salon.com finds Katniss too virtuous and without motivation, negatively contrasting Katniss to Bella of Twilight, saying, "In some ways, Katniss is more passive than Bella, allowed to have all kinds of goodies but only if she demonstrates her virtue by not really wanting them in the first place," and, "For all her irritating flaws, Bella, at least, has the courage of her desire. For what, besides a well-earned vengeance, does Katniss Everdeen truly hunger?" However, Miller did think that she was "in many respects an improvement on...Bella". However, The Daily Telegraphs David Gritten labelled her "a great role model for girls" who "has love interests, but doesn’t mope passively over boys".
Actresses Lyndsy Fonseca and Kaya Scodelario expressed interest in the film and received scripts in October 2010, while Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld met with director Gary Ross. Chloë Grace Moretz, Malese Jow and Jodelle Ferland publicly expressed interest in playing Katniss. Lionsgate confirmed in March 2011 that about 30 actresses either met with them or read for the role, including Jennifer Lawrence, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Emily Browning, and Shailene Woodley, as well as Steinfeld, Moretz, Fonseca, and Scodelario. On March 16, 2011 it was announced that Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone landed the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence was 20 at the time, a bit older than the character. However, author Suzanne Collins said that the actress who plays Katniss has to have "a certain maturity and power" and said she would rather the actress be older than younger. Collins states that Lawrence was the "only one who truly captured the character I wrote in the book" and that she had "every essential quality necessary to play Katniss."
The Hunger Games universe is a fictional dystopian society in which the The Hunger Games trilogy, a series of young adult novels by American television writer and novelist Suzanne Collins, is set. The novel The Hunger Games, the first in the series, was adapted into a film released in 2012, with adaptations of the following novels planned.
In the novel The Hunger Games, at an unspecified time in the future, the nation of "Panem" has risen from the ashes of a post-apocalyptic North America. Panem's seat of power is a utopian city, called "The Capitol," located in the Rocky Mountains. Outside of the Capitol, the nation is divided into twelve districts under the hegemony of an authoritarian, totalitarian dictatorship, headed by the tyrannical and cruel dictator President Coriolanus Snow. A pre-novel thirteenth district once existed but was destroyed by the Capitol 75 years before the beginning of The Hunger Games narrative during a national rebellion called the Dark Days. However, in Mockingjay, it is revealed that the thirteenth district retreated underground after a brutal rebellion that ultimately failed. This was the main source of the rebellion that happened in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The Capitol developed the Hunger Games as an annual event to punish the citizens of Panem for their rebellion and to remind citizens of consequences for rebelling against the absolute power of the Capitol.
As revealed in the novel Mockingjay, the name Panem comes from the Latin phrase "Panem et Circenses" which means "bread and circuses."
The Capitol is the seat of Panem's brutal, totalitarian government and is located in the western Rocky Mountains of the former United States and Canada. The Capitol is surrounded by twelve outlying districts over which it rules absolutely. The Capitol is the home of the dictatorial President Coriolanus Snow and several major characters.
Citizens of the Capitol are far removed from the deprivation and open oppression of the twelve Districts, and are generally preoccupied with extravagant fashion, parties, and mass entertainment like the Hunger Games. Most Capitol citizens depicted in the novels appear either oblivious of, or totally unconcerned with, the poverty and desperation that prevails elsewhere in Panem. Compared with the Districts, the Capitol is extremely wealthy and technologically advanced, with citizens enjoying a very high standard of living. Visiting tributes, who have grown up with the constant threat of starvation, are shocked by what they consider wasteful decadence in the Capitol. For example, the selection of dishes served at parties is commonly far greater than one person could sample, so it is usual to provide emetic beverages to induce vomiting, allowing guests to continue eating. Due to this extravagant lifestyle, it is rare for Capitol citizens to join the Peacekeepers, as it requires its soldiers to avoid marriage for twenty years and is often considered a punishment to avoid spending time in jail. In addition, residents of other districts who are considered criminals or traitors may be forced into servitude in the Capitol and converted into Avoxes, which is a brutal form of punishment in which the offender's tongue is surgically removed and therefore can no longer speak.
Citizens of the Capitol are culturally distinct from those of the Districts, speaking with a characteristic accent and choosing first names of ancient Greco-Roman derivation, with the city itself having a distinctly modernized version of Roman architecture. In the books, the Capitol buildings are described as "candy-colored", rising in a rainbow of hues. The fashions of the Capitol are exotic and ostentatious, with citizens dyeing their skin and hair vivid colors, adopting tattoos, and undergoing extensive surgical alteration in the name of style. The Capitol accent is distinctive, said to sound "silly" and effete to people from the Districts; the accent is described as being "high-pitched with clipped tones and odd vowels". The letter 's' is a hiss and the tone rises at the end of every sentence, as if the speaker is asking a question.
Residents of the Capitol cannot be chosen as tributes for the Hunger Games, as the Games were instituted as a punishment for the twelve remaining districts of Panem for their failed rebellion. At one time there were thirteen districts, but District Thirteen was destroyed by the Capitol for possible use of weaponry (they were the nuclear weapons district for the country). The Games are an annual cause for celebration in the Capitol; citizens gamble on the tributes and sponsor their favorites in the arena, providing water, food, weapons, and other necessary provisions. Past victors are often able to cultivate celebrity status in the Capitol. Despite the bloodthirsty nature of the Games, the people of the Capitol are shown to be vulnerable to sentimentality and melodrama, becoming emotionally invested in the tributes, a fact ultimately manipulated by Katniss and Peeta.
To promote the release of the film, Lionsgate set up a fictional website for the Capitol. They also developed a virtual tour of the Capitol and a Panem-inspired Tumblr fashion blog called Capitol Couture. The studio also created a Capitol TV network on YouTube that showcases "official" Capitol productions as well as fan-made videos.
Peacekeepers are the combined military and police force in Panem. They wear black trimmed white uniforms consisting of a helmet, a standing collar, waist length tunic and trousers which are tucked into high black boots. In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, their appearance is different from the first movie with a full helmet, darker visor and heavier looking armor. Peacekeepers are usually residents of the Capitol and District 2 who sign up for 20 years during which they may not marry nor have children. Peacekeepers maintain order and suppress dissidence through coercion and brutality. They are led by a district Head Peacekeeper who is the commander of each garrison and they ensure that the Capitol's laws are obeyed and punish those who break them. Punishment by Peacekeepers normally consist of public whippings. Peacekeepers are usually equipped with automatic weapons such as machine guns to further discourage social disobedience among the Districts. Originally, the Peacekeepers in District 12 were lax, but in Catching Fire, the Head Peacekeeper, Cray, was replaced by the much stricter Romulus Thread.
District 1 specializes in producing luxury items such as jewelry. Children living there take pride in representing District 1 in the Games, and are often among the group of tributes nicknamed "Careers", who illegally train for the Games from a young age. Katniss calls them "the Capitol's lap dogs" in The Hunger Games book. Once the Games begin, the tributes from the Career-heavy districts (typically Districts 1, 2, and 4) tend to form an alliance until they are forced to fight among themselves to determine the winner. Along with District 2, District 1 is heavily favored by the Capitol and is fairly wealthy compared to the rest of the districts.
In The Hunger Games, both tributes from District 1 (Marvel and Glimmer) join the "Career" pack. Glimmer is eventually killed by tracker jackers (mutant wasps), which were dropped on the Careers by Katniss. Marvel is killed by Katniss after he kills Rue. In Catching Fire, the District 1 tributes are siblings Cashmere and Gloss, who are killed by Johanna Mason and Katniss respectively.
District 2 is in charge of masonry and weapon making, though it was revealed in Mockingjay that it is also a center of training for the Capitol's army of Peacekeepers. District 2 is a large district in the Rocky Mountains, not far from the Capitol itself. Its citizens have better living conditions than most other districts; support for Capitol control is stronger here than in any other district. Some citizens of District 2 give their children names of Ancient Roman or Greek style, like those common in the Capitol. District 2 tributes often volunteer for the Games even when not selected in the drawing (this is said to make the Reapings very difficult). As such, their tributes are among those referred to as "careers". Like Districts 1 and 4, these tributes train for the games. Usually, this is illegal but because of the support District 2 gave for the Capitol, they are let off, along with District 1 and District 4, the other richer districts.
In the 74th Hunger Games, District 2's tributes, Cato and Clove, were formidable opponents. Clove came the closest of anyone to killing Katniss, but was interrupted and killed by Thresh, after saying loudly that the careers killed Rue, the female tribute from Thresh's district. Cato avenged her death and was the final tribute to be killed when Katniss shot him with her bow through pity after he was shredded beyond repair by wolf-like muttations. In the 75th Games, District 2's tributes were Brutus and Enobaria. Brutus was killed by Peeta in the arena; Enobaria survived the Games and the rebellion to be one of the last seven victors left after the war.
The district is made up of many small villages, each based around a mine. In the midst of District 2 is a central mountain (referred to as "The Nut" by Katniss) which contains the command and control center for the Capitol's defenses. Originally, District 2 specialized only in mining and stone-cutting, but after the Dark Days it was also tasked with production of weapons.][ During the Dark Days, District 2 was the Capitol's staunchest ally and received preferential treatment from the Capitol after the rebellion, along with District 1. Katniss states that many of the other Districts loathe District 2, referring to them as "the Capitol's lap dogs". In the third book, during the second rebellion, District 2 is the last to fall to the rebels as District 2 had the strongest Capitol influence and had many peacekeepers. The rebels were loosing in the district until the fall of The Nut, and Katniss' speech to the people of District 2.
District 3 specializes in the production of electronics. Most of its inhabitants work in factories and are very adept in skills such as engineering, which its tributes have used to their advantage in the Games. In The Hunger Games, the male tribute from District 3 managed to reactivate the land-mines surrounding the Cornucopia so they could be used to protect the supplies of the Careers. One of the previous victors to come from District 3, Beetee, won his Games by setting a trap that electrocuted many of the other tributes. He also used his skills after being chosen to compete in the 75th Hunger Games in Catching Fire. The other Victor chosen to compete in the 75th Hunger Games was a woman named Wiress, who discovered that the arena operated like a clock and told Katniss how to detect force fields, after she pointed (or at least started to point) out the force field put up between the Game Makers and the victors.
Although District 3 seems to have technological advantages over other districts, it is actually very poor and typically doesn't do well in the Games.
District 4 is a coastal district that specializes in fishing. It is another wealthy district in which children often train to become Career tributes. It is said that District 4 has the most "decent-looking" people. The most popular bread baked in this District is a salty, fish-shaped loaf tinted green by seaweed.
In The Hunger Games, the male tribute from District 4 was one of the eleven to die in the initial bloodbath at the Cornucopia; in the film he was depicted being killed by Cato after an attempt to flee. In the book, the girl was shown as a career and killed by the Tracker Jackers alongside Glimmer; however, she did not appear in the film and most likely died in the initial bloodbath. In Catching Fire, Katniss finds important allies in Mags and Finnick, the District 4 victors chosen for the Quarter Quell. Mags is an elderly victor who mentored Finnick in his first Games and could make a fishing hook "out of anything." She volunteered for the Quarter Quell, taking the place of Annie Cresta, an unstable past victor who won her games by being able to swim the longest after the arena was flooded. During the third Quarter Quell, Mags was killed by a mysterious neurotoxin. As for Finnick, Katniss describes him as "beautiful" and mentions that he won the games at the young age of 14. In Mockingjay, Finnick is killed by lizard/human mutations during the second rebellion.
District 5 specializes in electricity, which Caesar Flickerman referred as the 'Power Plant Workers' in the film.
The female tribute from District 5 in the 74th Hunger Games is nicknamed "Foxface" because she looks similar to a fox, with a slim face and sleek red hair. She was one of the last to die, due to her cleverness, avoiding any form of contact with other tributes. She also stole a small portion of food from the Careers' supplies, dodging the bombs set up by the Careers shortly before her death. She died by eating poisonous berries nightlock after watching Peeta harvest them, assuming they were safe to eat. No description or name was given to the boy from District 5, except that he was one of the 11 who died in the blood-bath the first day. In the movie it was shown he had a spear to kill Thresh, but Thresh easily blocked the spear with a pack he had picked up and hit him with a sickle. In the 75th Hunger Games, Finnick killed the male tribute with his trident at the Cornucopia on the first day. It is not told how the female tribute died. The "Power Plant Workers" do indeed work on power plants to create electricity, but also in factories creating machines and the like. The hours are long and pay is not very good. Conditions are harsh and unforgiving.
District 6 specializes in transportation, serving as a hub for the transport network. Not much else is known about this district other than that both tributes in the 75th Games protected Katniss and Peeta, enjoyed painting (as shown in pre-Games training, when the two would paint bright colors on each other][) and were both addicted to "morphling," a morphine-like pain relief medication, with the book suggesting that morphling addiction may have been a district-wide issue.][ During the 74th Hunger Games, both male and female tributes were killed during the first day. In the film the male was targeted by Cato, who accused him of taking his knife during a pre-Games training exercise (though it was actually stolen by Rue). The female tribute was killed by Marvel with a falcata (a blade weapon). In the Quarter Quell, the male tribute dies on the first day and the female tribute dies when a monkey muttation bites her on the chest and ruptures her internal organs as she blocks it from Peeta, who was its initial target. Peeta allows her to paint flowers on his face with her blood, and describes many colors to her as she dies.
District 7 specializes in lumber and paper. Apparently a large proportion of District 7's forest consists of pine, Johanna Mason comments that pine needles "smell like home."
District 7 victor Johanna Mason won her Games by feigning weakness early on in order to catch opponents off-guard. In the 75th Hunger Games, Johanna was one of Katniss's allies – and part of the conspiracy to break out of the arena. Her district partner, Blight, was also part of the conspiracy, but he died after he accidentally walked into the nearby force field during the blood rain hour of the Arena, which electrocuted him (this led to Wiress becoming mentally unstable). After watching Johanna throw an axe into the Cornucopia, Katniss speculated that Johanna had probably been throwing axes since she was a toddler. It is believed that President Snow killed all her loved ones when she wouldn't let herself be bought by rich Capitol citizens. During the end of the game, Johanna attacked Katniss to remove the tracking device from her arm, but was revealed in Mockingjay to have been one of the tributes captured in the escape. During captivity in the Capitol, she was tortured by being soaked in water and then electrocuted, but was later rescued and taken to District 13. After that, she became hydrophobic and during the tests conducted to assess the strength and weakness of the soldiers, Johanna loses control of herself when the lookalike Capitol streets are flooded with water. Johanna also steals some of Katniss's morphling to avoid dreaming about her imprisonment. She and Katniss became friends and roommates over the course of the rebellion.
District 8 specializes in textiles (including at least one factory in which Peacekeeper uniforms are made).
District 8 was one of the first districts to rebel, as Katniss saw on Mayor Undersee's television. Two people from District 8, Bonnie and Twill, escaped during one of the uprisings and informed Katniss of the theory that District 13 still existed. It is implied that security is strict in District 8 following the uprising, and the citizens are desperate for hope. In Mockingjay, Katniss visits a hospital in District 8, which is later bombed by the Capitol. The leader of District 8, Paylor, is able to command fierce loyalty from her soldiers who follow her orders in preference to those of Alma Coin, the president of District 13. Paylor later becomes President of Panem.
In the 74th Hunger Games, the male tribute from District 8 died at the Cornucopia at the hands of Marvel; the female tribute was attacked by the Careers on the first night and "finished off" by Peeta when her death did not occur immediately, as indicated by cannon blast. In the 75th Hunger Games, both tributes from District 8, Woof and Cecelia, died in the initial battle at the Cornucopia. Woof was an elderly, senile tribute in his 70's. Cecelia was a young mother of 3, and was noted to be about 30 years of age. It is later revealed that Cecelia was to be an original member of the arranged alliance to save Katniss and Peeta from the second arena; however, she did not survive the initial bloodbath. Woof also had knowledge of the plot.
District 9 specializes in grain. It is mentioned once that District 9 has many factories. The District 9 boy tribute in the 74th Hunger Games is described as having hazel eyes, but whether that is a common trait in his region is not stated. He and Katniss struggled over a backpack of supplies until he was knifed in the back by Clove, the District 2 female tribute. District 9 is the only district to lose both tributes in the initial bloodbath phase of both the 74th and 75th Games.
District 10 specializes in livestock. Katniss does not note any major tributes from District 10, except one boy with a crippled leg who is mentioned several times. In Mockingjay, Katniss meets Dalton, a male from District 10 who made it to District 13 on foot a few years ago. He reveals why District 13 is eager for new arrivals. He explains to Katniss that there was some sort of pox epidemic that killed many people and left a lot more infertile. He tells her that they need the refugees in order to expand their population. At the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss notes that the District 10 tributes, who are dressed as cows, have flaming belts on as if they are broiling themselves, a poor imitation of Cinna's techniques to showcase Katniss at the 74th Hunger Games.
District 11 specializes in agriculture. It is located somewhere in the South and is very large. The people are housed in small shacks and there is a harsh force of Peacekeepers. Common traits are dark skin and brown eyes. According to Rue, many tracker jacker nests were left there, leading the workers to keep medicinal leaves on hand. In the orchards, small children were sent into the branches to pick the highest fruit. Sometimes during the height of the harvest they were given night-vision goggles to allow them to work after dark. The district also contained fields of vegetables. The inhabitants apparently have extensive knowledge of herbs.
Thresh and Rue are the tributes from District 11 for the 74th Hunger Games and play important roles. Rue was Katniss's ally and her best friend in the arena. She was good at hopping from tree to tree, but was killed by District 1's Marvel. Thresh was a powerful contestant whom Katniss admired for his physical size, his pride and his refusal to join the Careers. Thresh saved Katniss from Clove, whose skull he smashed with a rock, and spared Katniss because of her friendship with Rue. While the novel is not clear as to the circumstances regarding his death, it is implied Thresh was killed by Cato. In the movie, Katniss and Peeta see Thresh's name up in the sky shortly after the wolf muttations are released into the arena, suggesting that the wolf mutts killed him. The District 11 tributes for the 75th Hunger Games are Chaff and Seeder, both of whom know of the rebellion. Chaff is an old friend of Haymitch's, and had an arm cut off during his Games. Although the Capitol offered an artificial one, he refused the offer. Seeder tells Katniss that Rue's and Thresh's families are safe. During the games, Seeder is killed during the initial bloodbath (it is not known who killed her), and Chaff is killed in the free for all on the last day. In Mockingjay, Peeta tells Caesar Flickerman that Brutus killed Chaff and he (Peeta) killed Brutus. It is implied that Chaff died attempting to help Peeta.
District 12 specializes in mining (mainly coal) and is the farthest from the capitol. They are at a disadvantage in the Hunger Games because they don't learn their district specialty until they are 18. Katniss, Peeta, and other major characters come from District 12. It is located in the Appalachian Mountains, and the district itself is split into two distinct housing areas and social classes. "The Seam" is a slum where those who work in the coal mines live, whereas the mercantile class lives in the town, centered around the "Square". Both classes are easy to distinguish physically and generally socialize amongst themselves. Those from the Seam generally have dark hair, grey eyes and olive skin, and those from merchant families typically have blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Katniss and Gale are from The Seam, whereas Peeta is a baker's son from town. It is unclear if this class divide exists in other Districts or is unique to District 12. On the victory tour in Catching Fire Katniss mentions that she cannot see where the well to do live in District 11; as it surely isn't the square where their speech is being held. She also notes that many members of the crowd during the Victory Tour seem even poorer than the Seam inhabitants in 12.
District 12 is very poor and starvation is a major issue for the citizens. Due to the lack of food, the local Capitol authority figures – the Mayor and Peacekeepers — often bend the extremely strict Panem laws. The electric fence surrounding the district to prevent access to the woods is usually turned off, and Katniss and her friend Gale often hunt there for food for their families or to raise money by selling their catches on the local black market. The black market, located at an old coal warehouse named the Hob, was where many of the citizens made their money. The Hob was destroyed by the Peacekeepers (whose local commander was replaced) in Catching Fire. This was followed by the bombing of the entire district after the escape of the tributes during the 75th Hunger Games. However, Gale managed to evacuate about 10% of the population—"a little under 900 people"—to District 13.
District 12 has won only two Hunger Games prior to the events of the first book; its only living victor, Haymitch Abernathy, survived the second Quarter Quell, where there were twice as many tributes as usual.
After the war, it is hinted in Mockingjay that District 12 will produce medicine and start growing some food for Panem instead of producing coal.
Before the Dark Days war, District 13 specialized in nuclear technology and mining graphite. During the Dark Days, they were one of the major forces of the rebellion. Near the end of the Dark Days they managed to take control of the nuclear arsenal. District 13 was supposedly bombed and destroyed before the first annual Hunger Games at the end of the Dark Days war, but it was hinted in Catching Fire that they had survived, and in Mockingjay it is confirmed that District 13 had become, literally, an underground district when the population retreated to bunkers. After the Capitol and District 13 agreed to leave each other alone under the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, the Capitol spread the story that District 13 had been destroyed; District 13 had control of the nuclear weapons stockpile and the Capitol did not want a nuclear war. This underground district has its own farms that it maintains in order to survive after the Capitol destroyed everything above ground so as not to arouse the suspicion of the other districts. This was a risk that, according to Katniss, the Capitol had underestimated. District 13 is a week away from District 12 on foot.
In Mockingjay, District 13 is the center of the new rebellion. The lifestyle in District 13 is very strict because of their circumstances. When a citizen wakes up, they are given a temporary tattoo of their personalized schedule for the day. They are very thrifty and ration food carefully — even a small thing wasted is heavily frowned upon and minor theft is punished by detention. Everyone over the age of 14 is addressed as "Soldier" because almost everyone in District 13 is being trained for a military rebellion against the Capitol. The leader of District 13 is President Alma Coin who aspires to succeed Snow as President of Panem and has orchestrated the events in books two and three to circumvent District 13's truce with the Capitol. Coin sends Peeta with some troops with orders to kill Katniss in case she supports someone else to be president. Katniss later kills Coin because she had the Capitol bombed, an event that killed Katniss's sister, Primrose Everdeen. It is also revealed that Coin wanted the Capitol to suffer just like the Districts did by continuing the Hunger Games, but only with the Capitol children being forced to play.
Every year since the Dark Days (which occurred 75 years before the events of The Hunger Games), the Capitol hosts an event called the Hunger Games. The Games consist of a gladiatorial combat fought amongst twenty-four children (tributes) aged 12–18, with one boy and one girl chosen by lottery from each district.
When a citizen turns 12 years old, his or her name is automatically entered in the "reaping," a lottery from which the tributes are drawn. For every year until they turn 18, they are entered an additional time. Since many families live in poverty, one may be able to receive additional tesserae (one person's meager supply of grain and oil for a year) in exchange for extra entries in the reaping. Therefore, for each tessera, one extra entry is placed in the reaping ball. For example, if a family has three members, a 12-year-old child could opt to take three extra tesserae: two for their family members and one for themselves; thus their name would be entered four times (one is the required entry, and the extra three are for each tessera). Since all entries are cumulative, if the citizen keeps taking the extra tesserae yearly, they would have their names entered 20 times by the age of 16, 24 by the age of 17, and finally 28 times by the time they are 18.
On the day of the reaping, one spokesperson from the Capitol, known to the Districts as an "escort", visits each district and chooses at random one name from each of the two reaping balls, one for male tributes and the other for females, selecting the two tributes who are to compete. However, any other citizen of the same gender aged 12 to 18 can volunteer to become a tribute, taking the place of the child originally reaped (as Katniss did for Prim in The Hunger Games). In Districts 1, 2, and 4, some children spend years training specifically for the Games and then volunteer to compete.
Following the reaping, the tributes are taken immediately to the Capitol, where they are given a makeover by a team of stylists in order to look appealing for a TV audience. Female tributes are usually waxed to remove all their body hair. One stylist in particular designs a costume for them to wear in the tribute parade, which reflects the resource their District provides for the Capitol. They are then put in horse-drawn chariots and attempt to impress Capitol citizens while they ride down the Avenue of the Tributes. Afterwards, they learn strategy with mentors drawn from their District's pool of past victors (for Katniss and Peeta, Haymitch, who is the only living victor from District Twelve) and train in combat and survival skills with the other tributes. On the last day of training, they demonstrate their skills before a team of judges, including the Gamemakers, who then score them on a scale of 1 to 12 according to their performance and skill. These scores are made public to show who has the best chances of surviving, which can attract Sponsors and influence the betting; tributes awarded the highest scores are often targeted first in the arena because they are considered to be the largest threats. Time in the Capitol is also spent courting the cameras; on the eve of the Games, each tribute dresses formally and appears on television for an interview, where they attempt to attract Sponsors by being charismatic.
On the morning of the Games, the tributes have a tracker chip inserted in their skin so the Gamemakers can track them. And then the tributes are flown to a dedicated location, called the Arena. A new Arena is built every year, while past arenas become popular tourist attractions for Capitol citizens. Each tribute is given a futuristic jacket to wear, which adapts to the temperature of the environment, and then confined to an underground room, referred to in the Capitol as the "Launch Room" and in the outer Districts as the "Stockyard," until game time. The tributes are then lifted into the arena by glass tubes, emerging onto metal plates surrounding a giant, supply-filled horn made of solid gold and referred to as the Cornucopia. A sixty-second countdown to the start of the Games begins, during which any tribute who steps off his or her plate will be killed immediately by land mines planted in the ground around the plates. The power of the landmines is immense, according to Katniss, when she mentions that one year, a girl from District 3 dropped her token, a little wooden ball, and 'they literally had to scrape bits of her off the ground.'
The Games begin with the sound of a loud gong. Most tributes make for the Cornucopia to find food, water, weapons, tools, or other useful items; the most valuable and useful items, including weapons, are often placed closest to the Cornucopia itself. The initial competition for supplies usually results in intense fighting, with a significant number of tributes killed in the first few minutes or hours of the Games. In most Games, a well-stocked, often well-trained group of tributes band together to hunt down other individuals, until they are the only ones left to fight each other. The alliance is generally agreed upon before the Games begin. These tributes are dubbed "Careers" because of the fact that they are often trained for an extensive portion of their childhood in combat and other survival skills. The "Careers" usually come from Districts 1, 2 and 4, and are generally disliked and considered brutally aggressive by many of the other Districts.
If one or more tributes does not move fast enough, avoids conflict for too long or is too close to the edge of the Arena, the Gamemakers will sometimes create hazards to make for more entertaining programming or to steer the remaining tributes toward each other. Another common occurrence is a "feast," where a boon of extra supplies or food is granted to the tributes at a particular place and time (usually the Cornucopia), though whether it is a lavish feast, carefully regulated supplies, or a single loaf of stale bread for the tributes to fight over is up to the Gamemakers. In the first novel, the Gamemakers told the tributes that the feast would provide them with something they direly needed.
The last living tribute is the victor. After the Games, the victor receives extreme medical treatment in the Capitol to recover from all the injuries during the Games, followed by a final celebration during which they are interviewed and crowned victor by the President of Panem. Once the festivities are over, the victor returns to live in his or her District in an area called the "Victor's Village", where houses are well-furnished and equipped with luxuries such as hot water and telephones. All families in the victor's District receive additional parcels of food and other goods for a year. Around six months after the Games, the victor tours the twelve Districts, starting with District 12 and going down the numbers to the Capitol. The tour ends in the victor's district, which has been skipped. In every District, the victor is given a celebration and ceremony, usually accompanied by a victory rally and dinner with senior district officials.
It is implied that there are no official rules for the Games except for not stepping off the plate until the conclusion of the sixty-second countdown. In the first novel, Katniss mentions that there is an unspoken rule against cannibalism in the Games. This rule came to be after the 71st Hunger Games, when a District 6 tribute named Titus resorted to cannibalism to survive in the arena. He was subsequently killed by an avalanche created by the gamemakers. There is some speculation that it was created specifically to kill him, to ensure that the victor was not a mad cannibal. During the 74th Hunger Games, the rules are altered during the Games to allow two tributes from the same district to win. However, when Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, both tributes from District 12, are the only two tributes remaining, the rule is revoked in an attempt to have them fight one another to the death. This ultimately fails when they attempt to poison themselves in unison, and at the last moment the rule is reinstated, allowing both of them to become victors. Though described as an act of love for one another in the publicity after the Games, the establishment in the Capitol saw it as an act of defiance. By refusing to respect the prescribed rules, the District 12 tributes were believed to have manipulated and outwitted the Capitol, and encouraged an uprising in the Districts in the process.
The Quarter Quell is a special Hunger Games that occurs every 25 years. Each Quarter Quell includes a new twist to the rules, supposedly prescribed at the end of the Dark Days when the Hunger Games were first created. The rule changes serve as a reminder of some aspect of the rebellion. Officially, whoever came up with new rules assumed the Hunger Games would go on for centuries and wrote rule changes for many Quarter Quells. It is hypothesized in the series that the rules are made up at the time to serve the Capitol's purposes. No one outside the government really knows. The President selects the year number from a box of envelopes and announces the rule change live on television.
In the first Quarter Quell (the 25th Hunger Games), the usual random selection did not take place. To remind the districts that they chose to rebel, each district had to vote to choose which boy and girl would compete in the Games.
In the second Quarter Quell (50th Hunger Games), two boys and two girls were reaped in each District, doubling the total number of tributes to 48. This was to remind the districts that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen during the rebellion. The victor was Haymitch Abernathy, who won by discovering the properties of the force field surrounding the arena and using them to his advantage during the final battle with a girl from District 1, causing his attacker's thrown axe to fly back and hit her in the head. The Capitol believed it had been humiliated by Haymitch's actions and retaliated by killing his family and girlfriend shortly after the Games. President Snow ruled Panem during that year's games.
In the third Quarter Quell (75th Hunger Games), described in the novel Catching Fire, the rule change determined that the tributes from each district were to be chosen from among its surviving victors. At the time of the third Quarter Quell, 59 victors are still alive. This Quell's message was that not even the strongest among the Districts could hope to defy the Capitol. The only living female victor from District 12 was Katniss Everdeen, which meant that she would automatically go back to the arena. She believed that this rule was made intentionally to ensure her death, as the Capitol was not happy with her actions in the 74th Games. Of the two male victors in District 12, Haymitch's name was drawn, but Peeta volunteered to replace him. The 75th Games had no winner: on the third day, with six tributes remaining, Katniss destroyed the force field surrounding the arena by taking advantage of a lightning strike with wires tied around her arrow.
Unbeknownst to Katniss and Peeta, half of the other tributes in the 75th Games were part of a conspiracy (which also involved some high-ranking officials from the Capitol) to escape from the Games and help initiate a new rebellion orchestrated by the survivors of District 13. Katniss was rescued from the arena as planned and taken to District 13, along with the surviving tributes from District 3 and 4, Beetee and Finnick. In the confusion of the force field explosion, the remaining tributes – Peeta, Enobaria from District 2 and Johanna from District 7 – were captured by the Capitol. Annie Cresta was also taken to the Capitol as an attempt to get at Finnick, who loved her. Annie had been a previous victor and was reaped for the 75th Hunger Games. But an elderly woman named Mags volunteered for her, not wanting Finnick to kill his lover.
The location of the arena varies from year to year. Past arenas have included volcanoes, avalanche zones, and dams; the terrain has included woods, meadows, scrubland, deserts and frozen tundra. One of the previous Games took place in the ruins of an abandoned city. Upon the conclusion of the game, the arena is preserved as a tourist attraction for Capitol citizens.
The arenas devised for the Quarter Quells appear to be especially spectacular. The second Quarter Quell took place in a beautiful meadow with flowers and a fruit-bearing forest and mountains, but everything was designed by the Gamemakers to be poisonous, including all of the food and water. In the third Quarter Quell, the Cornucopia was placed on an island in a saltwater lake, with the surrounding shore divided into 12 segments that resembled a clock, with every hour featuring its own deadly attack, limited only to that slice of the arena during that time of day. The only area where there was no attack was the Cornucopia and the saltwater lake. This proved to be an important location for Katniss' allies.
The Gamemakers have complete control of the arena environment and can create any hazard they wish. In The Hunger Games, they set the forest on fire and switched between day and night at will. In the 75th Hunger Games, the Gamemakers divided the arena into twelve segments, each containing a different terror which only activated at a certain hour. For example, at noon and midnight, an hour-long electrical storm would take place in the first segment. Other dangers encountered by the tributes included blood rain, carnivorous monkeys, insects, a tidal wave, a fog-like gas that caused chemical burns to the skin and nerve damage, and a section of the jungle in which tributes were trapped with jabberjays that imitated the screams of their loved ones. The center of the island could also rotate, disorienting those attempting to master the clock strategy.
After the rebellion, the arenas were destroyed and replaced by memorials.
The Victory Tour is a trip across all of the districts of Panem to honor the victor of each Hunger Games. The tour is usually held six months after the game to keep the horror of the games fresh in the minds of those living in the districts. The Victory Tour usually starts at District 12 and then goes in descending district order to District 1. The victor's district is skipped and saved for the very last. In Catching Fire the tour starts in District 11 because the victors live in District 12. After attending celebrations in the Capitol, the victor returns to their home district for celebrations paid for by The Capitol. In Catching Fire Katniss looked forward to the feast in District 12 during which everyone could eat their fill. Before the tour, the victor's prep team and stylist prepare the victor to show off for the crowds of people just as when they appeared in the Capitol before the games. After their victory in the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta try to convince President Coriolanus Snow that they are in love with each other in their Victory Tour.
A wild bird, the size of a wild turkey and known to be edible, as Katniss hunts it in the first book of the series. From the quantity of fat noted, grooslings may be related to geese ("gosling" is a young goose) but may also be related to grouse. Rue states that it is commonly found in District 11. They were also spotted and hunted frequently in the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss and Rue feasted on grooslings.
Jabberjays are small, crested black birds bred during the Dark Days by the Capitol. They were engineered to be able to remember human conversations and repeat them verbatim with human voices, and thus to be able to spy on the rebels with small likelihood of arousing suspicion. Upon discovering the birds' purpose, the rebels fed lies to the jabberjays, upsetting the Capitol's plans for espionage. The birds were promptly abandoned by the Capitol and left in the wilderness to die. Because the jabberjays were exclusively male, it was thought that they would die off in the wild. However, when released they bred with female mockingbirds and created the hybrid species of mockingjays, which no longer had the capability of reproducing human speech, but they could repeat back the tunes of songs that they heard humans sing.
During the third Quarter Quell, one of the hours in the clock-like arena featured jabberjays that voice screams. While Finnick hears the screams of Annie, the insane girl he loves, Katniss hears both Prim and Gale's screams. Katniss attempts to escape the sound by shooting all the screaming birds, but eventually gives up. To add to their torture, the Capitol temporarily puts up invisible force fields to keep them within screaming distance of the "horrible" birds.
The tracker jackers are genetically altered wasps created in the Capitol during the Dark Days. Tracker jackers are gold in color. Disturbing the nest causes them to chase or 'track' the offender, and the stings bring on extreme pain, hallucinations and often death. Katniss drops a tracker jacker nest on several tributes during her first Hunger Games, causing the death of two: Glimmer, the girl from District 1 and the unnamed female from District 4. Katniss and several other tributes are stung and hallucinate after the attack. Katniss later explains that the venom from the tracker jackers manifest all the things she dreads the most and she has trouble believing what is real. Tracker jacker venom is what was used on Peeta by the Capitol, in a technique known as 'hijacking'. The venom itself targets the part of the brain that controls fear and confusion. The Capitol used the venom to bring forward a memory Peeta held, administer the venom to infuse fear and doubt into the memory, and then save it in its revised form, which causes Peeta to feel threatened by Katniss and attempt to kill her and also to distort his memory of what is real and what is false.
Wolf mutts appeared at the end of the 74th Hunger Games to draw Katniss, Peeta, and Cato into a final fight. The wolf-like creatures mimicked the deceased tributes, particularly in fur and eye color, but also with collars which match the tributes' district numbers. One wolf Katniss identifies as Rue, and others as Glimmer, Foxface, the boy from District 9, and Thresh. They were created by the Gamemakers to draw the three remaining tributes together for the finale. Peeta later creates a painting of the wolf mutt supposed to be Glimmer. It took him three days to find the right shade for sunlight on white fur. He "kept thinking it was just yellow, but it was so much more than that." When he is shot in the hand with an arrow, Cato falls off of the Cornucopia; Cato's fight for survival against the mutts goes on for several hours before Katniss shoots him in the skull with an arrow out of pity. He would not have survived for so long without his suit of body armor and a hidden sword or knife. In the film adaptation, the mutts resemble rottweilers.
These mutts are seen in Mockingjay in the underground tunnels of the Capitol, supposedly created especially to hunt Katniss down as their voices hissed her name. They are human-sized and described as having tight, white skin, long sharp claws and teeth. They also smell of roses, thought to be so because Katniss hates the smell of the Capitol's altered roses, due to their association with President Snow. They can jump extremely far and are capable of decapitating their victims with a single bite. Katniss has a Holo device self-destruct by repeating 'nightlock' three times, and then throws it into the underground tunnel to kill the mutts. These mutts are responsible for the death of Finnick Odair, Jackson, Castor, Homes and Leeg 1 by decapitation.
There were also muttation monkeys with razor-sharp claws and orange fur that would attack during the 4th hour of the "clock" in the 75th Games. They attacked the tributes in packs when Peeta glanced up at them, but the woman victor from 6, or 'female morphling', as Katniss calls her, jumps in front of Peeta to save his life, as she was part of the alliance formed to defend Katniss and Peeta with their lives. On the clock, the monkeys are the 3:00–4:00 section.
Mockingjays are the result of the genetically created Capitol jabberjays mating with female mockingbirds and creating a unique species. After the emergence of mockingjays, their jabberjay progenitors became "as rare and tough as rocks," as Katniss stated in Catching Fire. Mockingjays lost the jabberjay's ability to enunciate words, but can copy perfectly, down to the last note, any human tune. If a singer with a voice the mockingjays respect sings, they will fall silent. Katniss, Peeta, and Peeta's father note this throughout the series. Katniss, her father, Pollux (avox), and Rue are singers that have caused mockingjays to fall silent as mentioned in Mockingjay and The Hunger Games. District 11 is known to have an especially large mockingjay population, as confirmed by District 11 tribute Rue who has special mockingjay friends.
Mockingjays acquire a symbolism throughout Panem following the 74th Hunger Games. For the rebels it is a symbol of rebellion. At the beginning of The Hunger Games, Katniss was given a mockingjay pin by Madge Undersee, the daughter of District 12's mayor. She recognized the bird not immediately but while she was waiting for guests to say their final goodbyes before the opening of the Games, and said that it was a huge "slap in the face" to the Capitol, because mockingjays were never intended to exist. The pin was thought to be a weapon by the Game Makers, but was accepted. Katniss wears the pin as her token in the Games, and by Catching Fire it becomes a symbol of rebellion. In Mockingjay, Katniss becomes the titular character, a person who speaks to the districts for the rebels, and she wears a mockingjay-inspired costume and the pin.
Nightlock is a wild and extremely toxic berry. The plant will kill almost as soon as it is ingested, and it becomes a major plot device in The Hunger Games, first appearing as the berries Peeta has gathered. Katniss doesn't know he has picked them but once she sees them she identifies them as nightlock. Luckily, he has not eaten any before one of the remaining tributes, District 5's "Foxface" (as Katniss calls her), steals them and eats them, dying immediately. Katniss and Peeta take some with them, hoping that Cato falls for the same trick as Foxface. The berries appear again at the climax of the novel, where the previously-instated rule of a District's two tributes being allowed to win together is revoked. Instead of battling each other, Katniss suggests that they eat the berries at the same time, hoping that the Gamemakers will change their minds and allow both of them to live. Their plan works, and both Katniss and Peeta are announced as winners before they swallow the berries, the Capitol having decided that the Hunger Games would be ruined if no one survived.
The plant nightlock likely takes its name from the real plants nightshade and hemlock, both of which are deadly poisons. These berries may refer back to Collins' previous allusions to the story of Romeo and Juliet, because of her use of the phrase "star-crossed lovers" and the suicidal nature of Romeo and Juliet's death.
In the last Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, District 13 makes a pill out of this mysterious plant and gives one to each person in the plan of rebellion. The participants in this plan are to swallow it immediately if they are captured so that the Capitol's guards cannot torture any information out of them.
In the 74th Hunger Games, Rue uses leaves to treat Katniss' tracker jacker stings. Katniss recognizes the leaves as something that her mother used; albeit in a different way than Rue. While Rue utilizes the leaves by chewing them into a pulp, then applying them directly to the tracker jacker stings, Katniss' mother stews the leaves to make an infusion which the patient then drinks.
Katniss later applies the leaves of the same plant to Peeta's leg wound, caused by Cato in the 74th Hunger Games, in the hope of warding off infection and causes pus to run out of his leg and swelling to go down temporarily.
United States Capitol
The Hunger Games universe
The Hunger Games
Peeta Mellark is a fictional character and one of the protagonists of trilogyThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. He is the male tribute from District 12 who competes alongside Katniss Everdeen in the 74th annual Hunger Games. In the second book of The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire, Peeta volunteers to be a tribute in the 75th Hunger Games.
Peeta is a baker's son, which is believed to make him wealthier and better fed than most people in District 12, but it is revealed that actually all the food he eats is stale (which Katniss believes is much more "depressing"). He has two older brothers and two parents, all of whom are killed in the fire bombing of District 12 by the Capitol after a rebellious act during the Quarter Quell and are assumed to be dead. Peeta attended school in the same class as Katniss Everdeen before he was chosen as a tribute. When Peeta is selected as a tribute for the Hunger Games, Katniss recalls that he once saved her life by giving her two loaves of bread when she was eleven. At that time, Katniss and her little sister were starving because her father had recently died in a mine explosion, and her mother had become incapacitated by depression. Peeta deliberately burned two loaves of bread, causing his mother to beat him, so that the loaves would have to be discarded. He then gave them to Katniss, saving her life and giving her hope that she would be able to feed her family. Katniss never talked to Peeta until the Games because even though they went to the same school, Katniss usually kept to herself. She also felt uncomfortable about the debt she owed Peeta for his kindness, which she had never acknowledged to him.
Peeta is introduced when he is chosen to be the male tribute for District 12 in the Games. When interviewed before the 74th Hunger Games, he confesses that he has secretly been in love with Katniss since he was 5, which she assumes is his strategy to gain popularity with sponsors watching the Hunger Games. It seems that view is justified when he teams up with the "Careers," a pack of tributes from the richer districts who actively hunt Katniss and the other tributes. He saves Katniss from a raging Cato, the male tribute from District 2, and suffers a serious leg wound inflicted by Cato's sword. Later, the Gamemakers announce a new rule: if the final two tributes are from the same district, they can both be crowned victors of the Games. Katniss then learns from Peeta that his alliance with the Careers was actually a strategy to protect her, knowing they would attack her first; he positioned himself to thwart their plans.
Katniss seeks out Peeta, who is injured and near death from blood poisoning. She cleans him up and takes him to safety, and realizes that if she pretends to be in love with him (as she believes he is pretending to be in love with her), she will gain viewers' sympathy and receive life-saving gifts from sponsors. Later Katniss risks her life to get medicine to cure Peeta's infection. Peeta did not want Katniss to go, but Katniss secretly gives him a sleeping syrup.
Finally, Katniss and Peeta are the last two alive, but instead of being crowned joint victors, the rule is revoked and there can be only one victor. Katniss readies to defend herself, but Peeta throws away his knife. Katniss then suggests they commit suicide by ingesting deadly nightlock berries. Remembering Peeta's earlier comment about showing the Capitol that they are "not just another piece in their games", but actual people, Katniss knows this will show up the Gamemakers and bets that the Gamemakers would rather have two victors than none. The ploy works, but the two learn later that President Snow finds it as an act of rebellion against the Capitol. After their last interview Peeta had come to find out that all through the Games, Katniss had staged her love for him thinking he was doing the same to her to get sympathy from the viewers giving them more sponsors. Peeta is heartbroken and Katniss has trouble trying to comprehend her feelings for him getting more worried about them going their separate ways.
Peeta and Katniss embark on the Victory Tour, an event strategically timed in-between each Hunger Games, where the victors visit the other 11 districts as a reminder about the Games and for the Capitol to reinforce its power over the Districts. Peeta and Katniss have barely interacted since the Games; Peeta is disappointed with Katniss for faking affection for him and Katniss is confused about her feelings and is uncomfortable to be with him because of her close friendship with Gale Hawthorne, who also has strong feelings for her. During the victory tour Peeta apologizes for his behavior and jokes that both would be willing to die for each other, but don't know each other's favorite color. Before the Victory Tour, President Snow visits Katniss and tells her he is aware that she was faking the affection towards Peeta, and that her actions in the arena have sparked a rebellion - one that can only be averted if she presents her and Peeta’s attempt at joined suicide in the arena as an act of love-crazed teenagers rather than as defiance.
Katniss and Peeta think they are going to become mentors for the Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games that occurs every 25 years and comes with a change in rules, usually to make them more gruesome than the normal Games. The new twist for the 75th Games is that the tributes will be chosen from living victors. District 12 has only 3 living victors: Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Abernathy. Haymitch is their constantly drunken mentor who won the 50th Hunger Games (the second Quarter Quell). It's clear Katniss will be the girl tribute, as she is the only living female District 12 victor. Peeta makes Haymitch promise to work to save Katniss, not him. He also vows that if Haymitch is chosen, he will volunteer in his place. Katniss makes Haymitch promise that if Peeta is the male tribute, she and Haymitch will work together to keep Peeta alive, even at the expense of Katniss's life. It is a torn alliance for Haymitch. When Haymitch is drawn as the male tribute, Peeta automatically volunteers to take his place. Many of the other returning tributes are friends with each other, but Katniss and Peeta have a disadvantage. They have met none of them, as they are the newest victors. Peeta hopes to play on their sympathies to gain protection from others in the arena, and support from sponsors for Katniss. To this end he lies to everybody on national television, saying Katniss and he had secretly got married before the Quell was announced, and that Katniss is pregnant. This shocks both Katniss and the whole of Panem.
During the Quell, Peeta comes in contact with a force field and his heart stops. Katniss and Peeta’s efficient ally, Finnick Odair, succeeds in reviving him with CPR. Finnick Odair is the District Four male victor tribute and a stunningly good-looking young man. The three soon band together with a few other tributes: Mags from District 4, Beetee and Wiress from District 3, and Johanna Mason from District 7. Eventually, they find out that the arena is shaped like a clock, with 12 sections, and each section is triggered at the same times each day. Different hours indicated different tortures such as, blood rain, acid fog, lightning storms, killer monkeys, big waves, and so on. As they formulate a plan to kill the remaining tributes, Wiress is killed and Katniss is attacked by Johanna. However, Katniss is completely unaware that Johanna is just following through with a rebellious plan. Once Katniss regains consciousness she realizes that Beetee had designed a way to destroy the force field surrounding the arena. She triggers it and destroys the field, setting off a chain of events. A rebel-controlled hovercraft arrives and rescues Katniss, Finnick, and Beetee. However, Peeta, Johanna and Enobaria have been captured by the Capitol. Finnick, Beetee, Haymitch, Johanna and a few other tributes were part of a plan to safely retrieve Katniss and Peeta from the arena with hopes that they would take on roles to start a revolution against the Capitol.
Peeta is captured by the Capitol and is tortured physically, emotionally, and mentally. His feelings and memories are distorted with hallucinogenic tracker jacker venom, a mind-control technique. The Capitol uses this method to turn Peeta against Katniss, making him believe that she is not only responsible for the death of his family, friends and the destruction of District 12, but also that she tried to kill him numerous times and that she is not even human, but rather an evil "mutt". This leads him to try and strangle Katniss when he is reunited with her in District 13. While imprisoned by the Capitol, he witnessed the torture and murder of Avoxes Darius and Lavinia. The doctors of District 13 try to undo his hijacking, but the process is slow and turns his terror into confusion, where he is unable to differentiate what is real and what is not, especially when it came to his relationship with Katniss.
When the rest of the victors journey to the Capitol to fight, Peeta is initially kept behind because he is considered too unstable to be sent into combat. However, President Coin then changes her mind and sends him not only into combat, but assigns him to Katniss's squadron named "Squad 451". Katniss theorizes that Coin has sent Peeta to remove her as an obstacle to her future as President. Despite the fact that the members of the squadron do not trust him, they help with his recovery by creating a game called "Real or Not Real" in which Peeta will ask them about something he believes is true, and the members will tell him if they are real or a hijacked memory. The squadron eventually comes to the conclusion that President Coin had deliberately sent Peeta to Katniss' squad in hopes he will go mad and kill her because Coin sees Katniss as a political rival, and unfortunately during a surprise attack of "pods"(deadly surprises such as flesh-melting light and mines triggered by people passing by), Peeta actually does lose his sanity temporarily in the midst of the chaos and tries to kill Katniss again but Katniss rolls out of the way of his gun descending to crush her skull. He becomes responsible at least in part for the death of one of their team members, who he accidentally throws into a barbed-wire net pod during the attack. The squadron repeatedly debate whether or not they should kill Peeta, and even Peeta himself asks to be killed to stop endangering them, but Katniss cannot bring herself to do it, She refuses and kisses him for a long period of time and it seems to make him stable, proving that Katniss really does love him. Katniss says "Stay with me." To which he replies "Always", which was his response to Katniss' plead for him to say in her room until she fell asleep in Catching Fire.
Realizing he cannot convince anyone to kill him or leave him to die, Peeta insists on remaining cuffed instead since the pain in his wrists helps him stay focused in reality instead of succumbing to madness. Further on in the Capitol, when the team is escaping from an army of "mutts" (animals genetically engineered by the Capitol), the nightmares in Peeta's mind become so intense that he is on the brink of losing his sanity, but Katniss manages to reach him. After the rebels win the war, Katniss is driven to depression and mental instability due to the death of her sister, Prim.
In the epilogue, Katniss and Peeta marry and have two children together. It is implied by Katniss that Peeta wanted to have children first and took around 15 years to persuade Katniss to start a family.
Peeta is 16 in the The Hunger Games and has bright blue eyes and blond hair. Katniss describes him as having a "stocky build and medium height with bright blue eyes and ashy blonde hair that falls in waves over his forehead". He had the lower part of his left leg amputated after the 74th Hunger Games because a mutt almost bit off his leg during the Games. Katniss tied a tourniquet around the leg so he didn't bleed to death, but he removed the tourniquet to end his own life to save Katniss. After he left the arena, he was immediately treated with medical care. He lost his leg and received a prosthetic limb, however shortly thereafter he began walking normally.
Peeta's main talents are baking, painting, camouflage,wrestling, and using knives. He is also very strong. His artistic talents developed from helping out at his parents' bakery by decorating the beautiful cakes that Katniss and Prim sometimes looked at in their bakery's window. His larger build and strength also give him an advantage during hand-to-hand combat and wrestling. In the Games, he usually carries a knife, although he rarely uses weapons in battle as he is not as violent as most tributes are. Peeta has a great amount of strength from working at the bakery, first mentioned by Katniss; Katniss says she's seen him lift bags of flour over 100 pounds "right over his head ". In Catching Fire Peeta reveals his artistic skills, first painting pictures of the Games, then painting a picture of Rue (district 11 tribute in the 74th Hunger Games) during his private training session, in order to "hold them responsible, just for one moment, for killing that little girl." Peeta has a talent for speaking to crowds for he can always pick the right words to say to win them over. Katniss mentions that Peeta is "able to turn his pain into words that will change people". Another ability that Katniss admires is how much of a convincing liar he is, used both in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to cover for her. He can also decorate pastries with skill. Peeta decorates a beautiful wedding cake for Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta's (both victors of the Hunger Games) big wedding in District 13, which, at the same time, served as a therapy for him when he temporarily lost his sanity in Mockingjay after being hijacked by the Capitol.
Peeta is a baker's son. He lives with his parents and two older brothers in the family bakery. He seems to be close to his father but less so with his mother, who beat him and his brothers. His relationships with his older siblings is unknown, but when he was chosen in the reaping, his brothers didn't volunteer for him. His family died during the bombing of District 12. Later, as revealed in the epilogue of Mockingjay, he married Katniss and they eventually had two children, a boy with blonde curls and grey eyes and a girl with black hair and blue eyes.
Entertainment Weekly said that Peeta, as well as Gale Hawthorne, were "thinly imagined". MTV listed five reasons why Peeta is "badass", and that "Peeta gives her [Katniss] a run for her money in the coolness category".
On March 23, 2011, Lionsgate began casting the role of Peeta for the upcoming The Hunger Gamesfilm of . According to The Hollywood Reporter, contenders for the role included Josh Hutcherson, Alexander Ludwig (later cast as Cato), Hunter Parrish, Lucas Till, and Evan Peters. On April 4, 2011, Lionsgate announced that Hutcherson would play the role.