Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 7

In the seventh chapter of Catching Fire, Katniss panics at the site of the riot on Mayor Undersee’s television and meets Gale out at the lake to discuss how they are going to escape. Predictably (and unfortunately, because it’s so frustrating), things do not go as planned. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Catching Fire.

I have a sinking feeling that this isn’t going to end well. Maybe I’ll be forever tained by the Star Wars saga, because the middle part of the trilogy is always the most bleak and depressing. And actually, when I think about it….it’s sort of that way for most trilogies and series. Things invariably are worse in the middle because the characters need to move towards redemption and understanding, to resolve the epic struggle they’re fighting.

The way this is moving, I’m dreading what’s in the coming pages. Because this is all happening so fast, I now feel completely unsure what this book is going to focus on. I expected the Victory Tour to comprise a large chunk of the book, with hints of a larger rebellion saved for the end of the novel. NOPE. WE’RE ON CHAPTER SEVEN.

So, let me first give Katniss some credit for putting the pieces together on Plutarch Heavensbee:

“It’s a funny choice, a mockingjay,” I said. “I mean, because of what happened in the rebellion. With the jabberjays backfiring on the Capitol and all.”

Precisely. I’m still unsure why it took her all this time to figure this out, considering how much time she spent in The Hunger Games talking about them and their meaning. Why didn’t she think of them when she saw the image on Plutarch’s pocket watch?
Whatever, she could have easily been distracted or overwhelmed with disgust, so I’m done focusing on it. This chapter focuses almost entirely on Katniss’s and Gale’s meeting near the lake her father would take her to when he was still alive. At first, I was glad everything didn’t seem to be working out perfectly, as Gale was visibly angry at Katniss for her engagement to Peeta. Gale, moody and irritable, is being unfair about all of this, especially not trusting Katniss. I don’t know, something bothers me about the fact that Katniss has gone through all this shit and yet he still wants to be super angry with her for trying to keep herself alive. NO JUDGING ALLOWED, DUDE, so LOSE THE ‘TUDE.

After some back-and-forth bickering between them, Gale finally gives Katniss the chance to explain herself. She tells him everything that’s happened since the beginning of the novel, and this is his first response:

“Well, you really made a mess of things,” he says.


I take a deep breath. “We run away.”

“What?” he asks. This has actually caught him off guard.

“We take to the woods and make a run for it,” I say. His face is impossible to read. Will he laugh at me, dismiss this as foolishness? I rise in agitation, preparing for an argument. “You said yourself you thought we could do it! That morning of the reaping. You said—“

He steps in and I feel myself lifted on the ground. The room spins, and I have to lock my arms around Gale’s neck to brace myself. He’s laughing, happy.

FINALLY. I wasn’t into this whole parade of moping on his part. So, just like that, he agrees to go. He agrees without a single word of hesitation to Katniss.

“I’m sure. I’m completely, entirely, one hundred percent sure.” He tilts his forehead down to rest against mine and pulls me closer. His skin, his whole being, radiates heat from being so near the fire, and I close my eyes, soaking in his warmth. I breathe in the smell of snow-dampened leather and smoke and apples, the smell of all those wintry days we shared before the Games. I don’t try to move away. Why should I, anyway? His voice drops to a whisper. “I love you.”

That’s why.

OH GOOD LORD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No no no no no no. For the first time, I can totally believe that Katniss wouldn’t see this coming at all. Everything prior to this is her planning and plotting her escape. She’s not trying to tell Gale this because she’s announcing her unending love for him. And yet, that’s how he is going to interpret it.

I never see these things coming. They happen too fast. One second you’re proposing an escape plan and the next…you’re expected to deal with something like this. I come up with what must be the worst possible response. “I know.”

HAHAHA OH MY GOD. Katniss, bless your heart. That is seriously pretty bad.

It sounds terrible. Like I assume he couldn’t help loving me but that I don’t feel anything in return. Gale starts to draw away, but I grab hold of him. “I know! And you…you know what you are to me.” It’s not enough. He breaks my grip. “Gale, I can’t think about anyone that way now. All I can think about, every day, every waking minute since they drew Prim’s name at the reaping, is how afraid I am. And there doesn’t seem to be room for anything else. If we could get somewhere safe, maybe I could be different. I don’t know.”

Best response or best response? How fantastic is this? It’s smart, mature, and believably genuine. Katniss you are becoming an adult.

Gale buys it (and why shouldn’t he?) and the begin to discuss the logistics of telling their families. Things seem to be going smoothly until Katniss mentions that she wants to take Haymitch and Peeta with her. Gale counters that Peeta’s family most likely won’t be trustworthy, and Katniss actually says she would leave Peeta behind if he chose to stay.

Well, sort of.

“To save Prim and my mother, yes,” I answer. “I mean, no! I’ll get him to come.”

Oops. This isn’t going to work. Gale picks up on it and asks if she would leave him behind if he decided to stay. Ugh, dude, grow up PLEASE. We are talking about your own government (possibly) murdering you and your families. Can you talk a moment to think about that way more important thing instead?

“Maybe the president’s just manipulating you. I mean, he’s throwing your wedding. You saw how the Capitol crowd reacted. I don’t think he can afford to kill you. Or Peeta. How’s he going to get out of that one?” says Gale.

“Well, with an uprising in District Eight, I doubt he’s spending much time choosing my wedding cake!” I shout.

Well, there goes that. Oh, now there’s no hope of this conversation ending well. Gale, predictably, latches on to this. Katniss was right about his characterization and was right to observe his behavior towards the Capitol. If there was anyone who shouldn’t know this, it’s him.

Suddenly, it’s now incredibly important for Gale to stay in District 12. Running away is no longer a good idea. Staying to fight a rebellion is.

“You were happy enough to go before. I don’t see how an uprising in District Eight does anything but make it more important that we leave. You’re just mad about—“ No, I can’t throw Peeta in his face. “What about your family?”

“What about the other families, Katniss? The ones who can’t run away? Don’t you see? It can’t be about just saving us anymore. Not if the rebellion’s begun!” Gale shakes his head, not hiding his disgust with me. “You could do so much.” He throws Cinna’s gloves at my feet. “I changed my mind. I don’t want anything they made in the Capitol.” And he’s gone.

The thing is, he’s right in a way, but he’s being a total asshole about it. I think part of his anger is at Katniss being with Peeta and he’s taking this argument to the extreme.

Anything they made in the Capitol? Was that directed at me? Does he think I am now just another product of the Capitol and therefore something untouchable The unfairness of it all fills me with rage. But it’s mixed up with fear over what kind of crazy thing he might do next.

Man, Gale sucks. Sorry to say it. I really wanted to like him, but the guy is kind of full of himself. OK, TEAM PEETA IT IS. Or wait, fuck it, TEAM CINNA. FUCK EVERYONE ELSE.

Dejected and still afraid of what’s going to happen, Katniss heads back into town, running into Peeta right before she gets home. I expected her to keep things to herself, but almost immediately she asks him if he would run away with her and briefly explains why.

He doesn’t really believe her at first and I think he was thinking that she was just testing him or running him along in her own way. Angrily, she jerks away from him and he sees that she’s serious; that’s when he makes a good point. They should probably talk to Haymitch first before they make things even worse. Given that they did that once already, I think this is a fine plan.

They head to the square in town and there’s some huge commotion. A large crowd has gathered and what they find is not pretty.

Gale’s wrists are bound to a wooden post. The wild turkey he shot earlier hangs above him, the nail driven through its neck. His jacket’s been cast aside on the ground, his shirt torn away. He slumps unconscious on his knees, held up only by the ropes at his wrists. What used to be his back is a raw, bloody slab of meat.

OH JESUS CHRIST. Why???? Were they spying on him and Katniss out by the lake? How could they have known? Oh no, oh no, NOOOOOOOOOOO.

Standing behind him is a man I’ve never seen, but I recognize his uniform. It’s the one designated for our Head Peacekeeper. This isn’t old Cray, though. This is a tall, muscular man with sharp creases in his pants.

The pieces of the picture do not quite come together until I see his arm raise the whip.

PUBLIC WHIPPINGS. What time period are we in that this sort of public punishment is necessary? It has to be related to what just happened.

Man, now I feel bad about complaining about Gale. This sucks.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Catching Fire, The Hunger Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

263 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Catching Fire’: Chapter 7

  1. Randomcheeses says:

    Poor Gale!

    But still, TEAM PEETA FOREVER!

    • Shanella says:

      yeah I agree, Team Peeta forever! I was willing to give Gale a chance, but this chapter turned me against him. Life is at stake and all he seems to think about was his own self.

  2. Semalina says:

    Oooh no comments yet xD
    This chapter makes me like gale less. A lot less.

  3. LadyLately says:

    Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks Gale is kind of an ass. NOW WE KNOW WHERE KATNISS GETS IT FROM (because they've known each other for so long, not genetics).

    NOT THAT THAT WAS NECESSARY. Whipping is pretty much skinning a person with cuts! DO NOT WANT.

  4. Karen says:

    I am Not a Fan of Gale (for a lot of reasons that you touched on here as well as other reasons), but no one deserves to be whipped like that. Poor Gale. 🙁

  5. Pan says:

    "PUBLIC WHIPPINGS. What time period are we in that this sort of public punishment is necessary?"

    Erm, the last book was about kids killing each other. Broadcasted live. Nationwide.
    I think, this fits very well in this world. It is cruel and degrading and it shows the people of the districts, that their lives and health depends completely on the mercy of their masters.
    (And public floggings aren't abolished in our world either. Some countries still beat their criminals. And sometimes, the crime is mainly being female.)

  6. Sophie says:


    Sorry, someone had to play devil's advocate. For all his flaws, I still root Team Gale.

    • Multiplicitous says:

      Me too. For me it’s more about thinking that Peeta is the worst kind of Nice Guy. Oh, you were pining after her all those years and you didn’t bring it up until she was preparing to die on national television, then you have the audacity to be upset that she felt manipulated and doesn’t quite feel the same? Fuck you, Peeta.

      • LadyLately says:

        I'm def. Team Peeta, but yeah. Katniss pushing him into a vase was the very least he deserved for that.

      • bookling says:

        YESSS. I mean, there are times when I really like Peeta, but sometimes the way he feels entitled to Katniss pisses me off.

      • liliaeth says:

        actually I don't think from the look of it in the first book that that was Peeta's plan. It was Haymitch' plan.

        I'm thinking Peeta told him, he just wanted to keep Katniss alive, and then Haymitch advised him to use the star-crossed lovers thing to get them sponsors and make Katniss more desirable to the audience.

      • bendemolena says:

        OH MY GOD YES, I’m so glad I’m not the only one.


      • Jay says:

        Finally! I've been waiting for someone to pick up on that. It's like… relationship rape or something. She's put in this "relationship" without her consent, and forced to play along to save both their lives. I felt like throwing up a little every time she was forcing herself to be intimate with him in the last book. Why do people think this is the "nice guy"?

    • 1foxi says:

      So do I, I am soo team Gale. He has his flaws but he is passionate and I like that.

    • DTDRC says:

      I'm still Team Peeta, but I do think he's had a real shit time of it. While Katniss was at the games he took over responsibility for providing for Prim and Katniss's mom. It went from the two feeding their families of 8, to only him feeding 7. He had the stress of watching her in the games and being relegated to cousin status, when she was really his best friend and he maybe loved her. Then he started working down in the mines (where his father also died) where he could die any day, and now he's exposed to all the older workers who are probably speaking of rebellion.

      Obviously he's acting like a brat about it, being selfish and taking it out on Katniss, but he also has had to mature very quickly. Katniss has 100% had it worse than him. Being IN the Hunger Games is definitely worse than watching someone in it. Having to hunt extra game alone is not as bad as to having to hunt humans and kill them (or be killed). But just because her trauma have been greater doesn't mean he hasn't had his own to deal with, so I still feel for him.

    • carolinesayer says:

      Team Gale!!! 😀 I wondered where we were all hiding…

  7. Kristin says:

    You’re up early Mark! Now to read =)

  8. Ali says:

    Yeah, Gale is kind of a douche in this chapter, isn't he? Though I do sort of see where he's coming from – he's wanted a rebellion to happen for so long, and from his point of view, Katniss is throwing away a perfect oppertunity (that he could never have) to change things, just to save her own skin. That's gotta be frustrating.
    Maybe I just feel a little more sorry for him because of the whipping thing though. Ouch. 🙁

    Right now I'm leaning towards TEAM HAYMITCH. Just because. 😉

  9. Trapp says:

    I am a terrible, terrible person because the only thing I was thinking about when I read the whipping scene is OMG GALE SHIRTLESS.
    Dont judge.

    and Happy New Year if that's your thing because personally I don't care. Whatever makes people happy.

  10. Puel says:

    I am hesitant to use the word "love" to describe how I feel about how everything in this series keeps getting worse, but well. Every time I think I can't get punched in the teeth more, Collins finds some way to do it.

    I feel bad for Gale here — yeah, he's an ass, but he's fed up with the system and he doesn't have any kind of outlet for it except anger, and he finds that in and of itself frustrating. I don't think his kind of destructive response is the best, necessarily, and I'm glad Katniss is backing away from it, but I see where he's coming from. And the public whipping is OW. In so many ways.

    Also, the "I love you" — "I know" exchange cracks me up. Oh, Katniss. That line only works if you're Harrison Ford.

    • Jeb says:

      "I know" still beats "Thank you" as a response. Just ask Ryan Atwood.

      • amandajane5 says:

        Hey, I have a worse one from my personal life! Me: I love you. Him: Uh oh.

        • rosepug says:

          Ouch. Yes, that is worse. And I hope he lived to regret that response.

          • amandajane5 says:

            We dated for two years after that – the transition from fuckbuddy to boyfriend was a bit difficult, but we did work it out, and he's actually the only one of my ex-es that's a "friend" on facebook, which is really meaningful and everything, of course, but I still have cute notes from him that say "I love you Pinchy!" and a lot of fond memories, but wow was that a sucky moment!

      • Booksinbulk says:

        Ahahhahahahahahah Ryan Atwood and his sideways glances. True love.

    • MadarFoxfire says:

      The solution is to have Harrison Ford play her in the movies.

  11. monkeybutter says:


    The thing is, he’s right in a way, but he’s being a total asshole about it. I think part of his anger is at Katniss being with Peeta and he’s taking this argument to the extreme."

    I thought that was a quote from the book at first, and I was like "wow, I don't remember Katniss calling him an asshole…oh, wait." I totally agree. And given Peeta's behavior in the last chapter, I just feel bad for Katniss. She doesn't want either of these boys and they're making her miserable. Katniss x Milton x tropical paradise.

    • bookling says:

      She doesn't want either of these boys and they're making her miserable.

      Actually, this is kind of a nice reversal. Usually the girl in a love triangle wants both boys but has to choose, but Katniss doesn't want to be with anybody right now and is confronted with both boys' feelings for her. I just love that in this series, the boys are the pining, lovesick ones and the girl gets to be the aloof one.

    • Kripa says:

      Actually, I thought she was developing real feelings for Peeta. The problem is that the Capitol has taken away her agency in that too so now she no longer knows what's real and what's forced.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Great comment. I would also add that the Capitol has taken away everyone's agency, and made Peeta and Gale so intolerable. It's pretty much now or never when you're living under a death sentence.

        I really meant that she doesn't want to be wooed or fought over because her feelings for them both are complicated and unclear. She can't make decisions like "which one of us would you leave to die?" and it's unfair for either of them to ask it of her. She has more important things to think about than which boy she likes best, and it's both shitty and understandable for them to push her about it.

        <img src=""&gt;

    • Amy says:

      I don’t think she doesn’t want either of them. She does have feelings for Peeta underneath this RAWR CAPITOL CONTROLLING MY LIFE. What she feels for Gale, on the other hand… I’ve never thought it was real, more being aware of his feelings and not wanting to hurt them.

    • knut says:

      Katniss placed so much emphasis in the first book on how Gale was JUST her best friend that I have trouble believing she has feelings for Gale. Especially since he hasn't really been there for her since the Games (I guess you could say it's because he's working all the time but I think he's just being a brat) while Peeta has. That's not really best friend behavior, and unless Katniss is Bella Swan it's not in the least bit romantic either. Even though Peeta is overly sappy and awkward, I think Katniss does actually have feelings for him, as Kripa said.

      Anyway, TEAM CINNA AND HAYMITCH! (not together though, I don't think I could handle that)

      • Gabbie says:

        Too much awesome, you're right.

      • flootzavut says:

        I don't for a second believe that a 16 year old's protests of "just being best friends" mean squat. Sorry, this is a girl who is unaware of her own feelings as well as those of others and is focusing on surviving.

        I'm not saying she's secretly been in lurve with him since the get go, but her saying they were just friends just doesn't carry any weight IMO.

    • lebeaumonde says:

      I thought the same thing.

    • Will says:

      I thought the same exact thing! I was like "Damn, Katniss, way to go…oh wait a second."

      Team Peeta/Team Cinna/Team Haymitch. I don't like Gale.

  12. lily says:

    team cinna. (:
    'nuff said.

    and i literally laughed out loud when i read the whole "i love you" "i know" conversation.
    oh, katniss. i don't blame you. i probably would've said that too.

  13. bookling says:

    I just fucking love that Katniss said "I know." She's like Han Solo, bitches!

    <img src=""&gt;

    But nooooo Gale! I know he was kind of being a jerk this chapter, but I still love Gale. I mean, he's wrong to take out his anger on Katniss, but on the other hand, you can't really blame him for being angry and wanting to take part in the rebellion.

  14. celestineangel1 says:

    TEAM CINNA! I agree. I wish these books were about Cinna. :/

  15. I'll admit I want to drop-kick Gale at this point, though I'm not too fond of the public whipping. I might want to whallop him with a turkey if he was my friend, which probably proves I'm an evil person and stuff.

    Again, Team Haymitch.

    Also: Why is Katniss running through the woods talking to Gale? Hello, Pressie Shnow knew about the first snog, how does she think that he won't notice them talking about running away? Logic, why don't they teach logic in these schools?

  16. 1foxi says:


    LOL Perfect. But yeah this isn't really a good chapter for Gale, he does come of as a bit of a douche.

    Both these guys just need to back off with all the love talk. You are in the middle of an uprising, you could all be killed at any minute and the conversation keeps coming back to 'I love you' Seriously just keep yourselves alive for the next few months and then talk about love when it's all over.

  17. andreah1234 says:

    Oh, and also:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I burn you "año viejo" with joy. 😀

  18. Cally_Black says:

    I loved Katniss in this chapter (all though I usually do). Her reasons for not being able to love Gale were valid, and the 'I know' cracked me up.

    '"You’re just mad about—“ No, I can’t throw Peeta in his face.'

    I thought that this also showed maturity on Katniss's part, not shoving Peeta all in Gale's face when he is already upset.

    Gale is by far not my most favorite person, but it made me sick when I reached the end of this chapter. WTF Collins?!

    Also, TEAM PEETA!

  19. mugglemomof2 says:

    Every chapter just proceeds to get more fucked up! Team Cinna all the way too by the way…

  20. FantasyFan5 says:


    What I don’t understand is if Gale wants Katniss to choose him so badly, why act like such an ass?

  21. So now Jacob Black—-oops, I meant Gale. Or did I? Shoot, the lines between the two are kind of blurring at this point…

    • lebeaumonde says:

      I can't believe I'm saying this…
      But I find Jacob Black to be a much more likable character than Gale.
      And that's with my complete hatred of anything by smeyer in mind.

  22. shortstack930 says:

    I love how you brought up Star Wars Mark, because the first thing I thought of when Gale said "I love you" and Katniss replied "I know" was OKAY HAN SOLO.

    On another note, I think the reason Peeta agreed to run away with Katniss right away is BECAUSE he knows her so well. He knows that she will never abandon her district, and he knows that deep down she knows that too. But he knows that she has to come to this realization on her own. So even though Gale has known her longer, I feel like Peeta knows her better.

    • liliaeth says:

      It's like he says in the chapter:
      “Yeah. But I don't think for a minute you will,”

      He'll go, make it easy on her if she really wanted to. But he already knows she won't do it.

    • Amy says:

      I was just about to say this.

      That’s how I’ve always saw it. He would go with her, but he knows she won’t. I think it’s interesting that Peeta can pick that up and Gale can’t. As long as her and Gale have been friends, The Hunger Games changed her like he cannot imagine. He doesn’t know this “new” girl. Old Katniss would have run.

  23. Ghita says:

    Back in the first book, when Gale was pulled out of the room before Katniss got sent off to the Games, he was shouting "Remember, I" and she never heard the last part. I bet he was saying he loves her.

  24. theupsides says:

    The end of the chapter is awful. Nevertheless, Gale acted like such an ass in this chapter. Throwing the gloves back at Katniss because he thinks they belong to Peeta, telling her how much of a mess she's made, getting all upset when she wants to bring Peeta along. He acts so selfish and bitter. I generally liked him before this chapter, but man, he really let his jealousy get the best of him.

    The whipping makes it clear that the enemy here is the Capitol. Hopefully Gale remembers that. I know it's gotta suck to be in his position, but it's not Katniss or Peeta's fault, either.

    • andreah1234 says:

      You know the thing about Gale is that , IMO, he KNOWS the Capitol is the real enemy, and that he knows that so much he does not care who gets jusrt in the process of beating that enemy down. Deep down his intentions are good, but it's just not the way to go.

      And that he is a jealous ass.

  25. momigrator says:

    I agree that Gale was being severely immature in this chapter, but I'm still not team Peeta… The thing that gets me with Peeta is that he has absolutely no reason to "love" Katniss. I mean why? Okay, he obviously had a crush on her for years, but come on, that's not love. He doesn't really KNOW Katniss. Seriously, how can you love someone you've barely had any serious conversations with. I get that they provide comfort to each other, and they share a bond now, but honestly I don't think Peeta even knows what love is. Katniss and Gale have known each other for years, they've looked out for one another and conspired together for a very long time. They accept each others faults and flaws, and have only really lacked on physical intimacy together. Whereas Peeta and Katniss have plenty physical intimacy but don't really know each other (And, much of that "intimacy" was faked for the cameras). I'm not saying Peeta is a bad guy, or they can't fall in love, but to me it's silly that he thinks he loves her when he doesn't really know her.

    Alright, feel free to flame, I get that a lot of people will probably hate this comment. 😀 I'll be a good sport about it, promise. :p

    • theupsides says:

      I can see what you're saying about Peeta not really "loving" Katniss at first, like when he said he did before the Games. But at this point in the story, they HAVE spent time together. They have had serious conversations. I mean, they spend the night together. They spend a lot of time together. They've shared a lot of things, just the two of them. I don't know how long it takes you to fall in love, but in my opinion, they've known each other long enough at this point.

      • shortstack930 says:

        I agree, and I don't think it's fair to say Peeta didn't know her AT ALL before the games because they were in school together for what, more than 10 years? There have been people I went to school with for less than that and even though I didn't know them very well, I could still say I knew them at least a little. I think he probably admired her for so long and when he finally got to know her in the games and after is when his feelings were more "love".

    • 1foxi says:

      I agree with everything you have just said.

    • Erica says:

      No flames from me. I buy that Peeta was deeply infatuated w/ Katniss during THG, but it wasn't love. I found that to be realistic, though…when you're that age, there's hardly a way to tell the difference. I was pleasantly surprised when Peeta proposed just being friends a couple chapters ago b/c in a better world, that should have been the aim anyway.

    • Lynn says:

      No flames, you are always free to like who you want! I just happen to see it differently. I don't for a second think that Peeta did love Katniss before the games. I think it was a crush from afar. But he did know somethings about her and liked what he knew, but didn't know her deep enough for anything deeper than a crush. I think he would concede that too. He never announced a love for Katniss before the games, but that he liked her in a crush type of fashion. I am not sure where people got the idea that he truly loved her at that point, as I always saw it as more of a crush/fascination.

      Then the games happened and he connected with Katniss on a whole new level. They shared some pretty intense experiences which can be very bonding. It changed them both. I think somewhere through the caves scenes are where he started to fall "in love" with her. And she began to develop *some* kind of feelings for him through that time too, even if it was undefined.

      And while Gale annoyed me in this chapter I felt bad that he had to go through what he had, watching the girl he loves develop feelings for another guy. I kind of think that he has never had to work at attracting girls, they just flocked to him and he doesn't know how to get Katniss' attention. And I think he kind of just assumed Katniss was his until the games happened. But he needs to work on his anger management. That is his flaw as Peeta's is sometimes being too free with his feelings (which is debatable as a flaw but can be in these sucky situations).

    • Annalebanana says:

      Absolutely agreed! I got a ton of flames two days ago for saying the same thing, but really Peeta STILL doesn't know her to me. Everybody says that now they really know each other, but the problem is that the only real conversation they have had-I mean not controlled by Katniss trying to get sponsors and then the districts to believe her-is the one outside the train, the favorite color one. They have the beginnings of a nice friendship, but love I cannot see. Sorry. Maybe later Peeta. I just think it is unrealistic at the current moment.

      • Ella says:

        At this point, I find that exactly right. After all the years Peeta's spent watching Katniss and the like, he's picked up some things, but he doesn't actually know her. Just watching her hasn't told him everything there is to know. I guess my point is that he decided at a young age he "loved her" which for a kid varies in sincerity, and after that just watched for reason that made her a better person. Like that she's amazing with her bow and arrows, that birds stop to hear her sing. But has he seen the worse side of her yet? Because he only knows a little about her, I think he was always seeing a distorted, "perfect" Katniss, not the person she really is.

  26. JessicaR says:

    When I first read The Hunger Games I thought Katniss was gonna end up with Gale and not Peeta and although I prefer Peeta, Gale seems kind of okay. When I read Catching Fire and we got to know Gale more, I was like: TEAM PEETA 4EVER!!!! <3

  27. Kripa says:

    I have a love hate relationship with Gale, because on the one hand, HE'S EFFING HOT, but OTOH, he's a douche. Him and many other ridic hot guys.
    This chapter turned me off to Gale though.
    Also, the ending OMG public whipping, DNW.

    • booksinbulk says:

      It's funny to me that people call Gale HOTT. Hahaha, we don't necessarily know what he looks like. I guess people are talking about their own mental images of what they think he looks like. Funny. The connections we form with fictional characters.

      • theupsides says:

        I feel the same way. He's just Gale, to me. Who I know is good looking, with gray eyes and dark hair and all, but…I don't really have a mental Gale, so.

  28. 4and6forever says:

    …and this is why I don’t like Gale.
    But don’t get me wrong; I still feel awful that he’s being whipped. Publicly. Nobody deserves that.

  29. stellaaaaakris says:

    This chapter upset me in many ways. Let's make a list, shall we?

    1. The whipping of Gale. Not cool.

    2. Gale. Why must you frustrate me so? First, I'm not so fond of you but I understand your feelings. Then you make Katniss laugh. Good one, Gale. Next, you don't understand why she wants to take Haymitch and Peeta into the woods with you? They saved her life! Then you insult Cinna's gloves – how dare you! He is awesome sauce. Next, you make Katniss question herself. Stop being a bully. She's scared. She knows what the Capitol is capable of. Finally, you are being whipped. I have my issues with you but I don't want you hurt.

    3. Peeta's family. Small thing, but do they ever come visit him in Victor's Village? Peeta's living all by himself with his nightmares in an isolated giant house. He has 2 neighbors. Katniss (awkward) and Haymitch, who, while awesome, is drunk a lot of the time and not all that pleasant to be around. Obviously I don't know if they do ever spend time with him there, but he's 16 and traumatized. Let's show him a little familial support, please.

    • stellaaaaakris says:


      4. Me. This is the chapter where I finally pinpointed why Katniss frustrated me so much in the past. She's too much like me and I don't particularly enjoy seeing my flaws. I'm not as badass as she is (I have yet to shoot a squirrel through the eyeball) and I like to think I have a sunnier disposition than her (but I'm also not responsible for the safety of my entire world). I'm ridiculously oblivious to everything. I've been called cold and stone-hearted. I'm not; I just keep my emotions in check. Plus her reaction to Gale's declaration of love, well…let me take you on a flashback, Katniss style. The first time a guy told me he loved me, my reaction was to scramble away, gasping, "Wha-what? Nonononono…." Yeah, I'm mature. Too many similarities. Oh, boy. I think I've gotten a little bit better though!

    • LadyLately says:

      I think his father and siblings probably visit a lot. His mother……not so much.

      • markiscool says:

        I always thought that Peeta's family lived with him… I mean Katniss's mum and sister live with her? so why wouldn't Peeta's family want to live in the Victors Village, I'm sure the house there is much nicer than the one they previously owned

        • pennylane27 says:

          They have the bakery, so I don't think they can go to the Victor's Village.

          • stellaaaaakris says:

            Yeah, I assumed they probably had to stay near the bakery. When I lived in France, the bakeries were always the first thing open and I assume it's easier if you live above it or nearby. So I was okay with them not living with Peeta. But we know nothing about them. What do they do? What are their names? Is his mother proud of her son for surviving the Games or does she feel the way he did so wasn't the "right" way?

            Basically, I just want MOAR backstory on everybody we ever met. Is that too much to ask?

    • 1foxi says:

      Then you insult Cinna's gloves – how dare you!

      I love this 😉

    • drippingmercury says:

      It upset me that Peeta instantly recognized the sound of a whipping. 🙁

  30. pooslie says:

    OT but whatevs

    back before my husband and I were officially dating (but had been "not dating" as i call it for over a year) i wrote him the long heartfelt letter about how i loved him but if he just wanted to be friends that would be OK because i want him to be happy etc.

    he calls me up that night when he gets home and is like yeah i know you love me and you have for a long time, thanks. and i am like well it would be nice if all these people who KNEW for a LONG TIME that i loved you would have told me about it a couple of months ago so i could stop agonizing about it thanks.

    like we are talking my best friends, the people at our job, my mom who i hadn't even talked about him that much to. were all like yeah we knew that a long time ago.



  31. thatonegirl says:

    So someone needs to sit both Gale and Peeta down and explain what to do when a girl doesn't like them they way they'd hoped. I know I was hard on Katniss a couple chapters ago, but now she seems to be the most mature of the three.

    But then the chapter ended and I had a Cato moment all over again, where I didn't like Gale, but he ends up with something really horrible happening to him. Nobody deserves that. So I guess I'll wait a little longer to form my opinion of him.

  32. FlameRaven says:

    I think the other important question at the end of this chapter is "what happened to the OTHER peacekeepers?" You know, the ones that were at the Hob buying contraband meat from Katniss and Gale with everyone else? If the head peacekeeper has been replaced, that's just another sign that Shit Just Got Real. D:

  33. Penquin47 says:

    Eh, Gale's being an ass, but I don't think it's because at this point he's fundamentally an ass. He's 18 (maybe 19? I don't know when his birthday was). Lots of people are asses when they're 18/19. Especially when they've had a life they were comfortable with that he probably figured would last for a lot longer not only end with Katniss going to the Games, but then get taken out behind the barn, shot, mutilated, and buried. Once his hunting partner/best friend/love interest left for the Games, she became someone else entirely. He got to see the girl he loved get involved in a showmance, kill people, and come back almost completely broken. It's immature and he's proving that Katniss is much more of an adult than he is, but he blames Peeta for breaking Katniss, and he blames the Capitol for everything else that's gone wrong with his life. And like many 18-year-olds on the verge of war when they've never seen it in their lifetimes, he's all gung-ho about fighting. Peeta, this broken version of Katniss, the Capitol, Haymitch, whoever gets in his way and upsets his apple cart, he'll gladly fight.

    Lots of 18-year-olds are stupid. Once he gets an actual taste of war, I bet he'll grow up as quickly as Katniss did in her tastes of it.

    I have to say I'm Team Katniss goes with her original plan and never gets married. It's what she wants, it's a well-thought-out plan with good, solid reasons behind it, and it just makes sense for her.

  34. shelly says:

    See even though peeta has known katniss intimately for less time then Gale, I still feel like most of the time he knows her mind better. Like here he knows she is saying she will leave but probably won’t so he just goes with the flow instead of flying off the handle.

    • theupsides says:

      I think, what it is, is that Katniss and Gale are more alike. Peeta tends to balance Katniss out, whereas Gale tends to fuel her fire.

  35. NopeJustMe says:

    OH SHIT. Is Collins going to kill off Gale so Katniss and Peeta can get together?!

    …that seems like a bit of a cop out. Buttttttt it fits into this kind of world (where nearly everyone seems to die)

  36. CINNAmon says:

    I know Gale is being an ass right now, but I do agree with him. Katniss only thinks for herself and the people she loves, but Gale sees the bigger picture. He thinks of all the other people who will be left behind. He actually thinks about the future of the districts. With that said, it’s still no excuse to treat Katniss like that.

  37. Ash says:

    I don’t like Gale as a person. I don’t quite like Peeta either, well I like Peeta and he rules sometimes but I don’t like his relationship with Katniss. She’s someone he’s watched from a distance and maybe to an extent idolised for many years, he does not love Katniss, he loves the image he built up of her in his head. An image that was probably fuelled during the games where she probably becomes idolized as person more when she saved him and through leading him on and building up the fake relationship with him so they could survive. They have spent a lot of time with each other so it might not be as bad as I think but I’m not convinced Peeta really knows Katniss. Also Katniss feelings for Peeta are oming from an unhealthy place to; the time in the games they spent together is in part responsible for Katniss current feelings for him. You know, two teens thrust together into a dangerous situation where they inevitably become attached and dependant on each other. I’m not saying they are doomed just that it’s got a lot of reality checks to go through, some of which are already underway.

    I don’t like Gale but I think his and Katniss’ relationship as of right now would be a much healthier one than Katpee.

    • dumbgirlwithnoname says:

      i completely agree with everything you said.
      i think i had a hard time accepting any type of loving relationship towards/with katniss because she had gone through so much. can it be believable that she could ever truly love someone back or even start a relationship with that person? i'm not even sure she can have a healthy relationship with anybody at this point. this was one of the reasons why i really didn't like the love triangle setup.

    • Amy says:

      I don’t think Gale/Katniss would be healthy, simply because he doesn’t get it. It isn’t his fault, but he wasn’t in the Games. He’ll never be able to relate to her like he used to because she’s changed.

      That’s why I think a relationship with Peeta works. They’re both fucked up, but they can help each other get through it. And I don’t think his feelings are unbelievable at this point. They’ve had plenty of conversations. But even if he doesn’t know her favorite type of tea, he knows who she is as a person. And she knows him just as well. At this point, I don’t believe you could get one without the other because they’re so dependant on each other. Which isn’t a bad thing, because like I said, it helps them.

      …I feel like I just repeated myself like fifty times. I hope I sound coherent enough.

  38. Phoebe says:

    NOOOO GALE! That was so sad! Also, team Gale. He's been there for her all his life, and now some random guy shows up who Katniss has never talked to and starts making out with her. He obviously is going to get mad at her. He feels betrayed.

  39. markiscool says:

    usually I agree that the middle book of a triology is the most boring and depressing, but I would have to disagree with this, because Catching Fire gets sooooooooo much better.

  40. Phoebe says:

    Oh and when Mark said Gale should trop the attitude I totally thought: "Drop the attitude Gale! You are acting like Garfeild on a Monday!"
    oh, AVPM, good times…

  41. dumbgirlwithnoname says:

    "Or wait, fuck it, TEAM CINNA. FUCK EVERYONE ELSE."


  42. demented says:

    Yay , for Cinna.I really enjoyed Gale as well, though.

  43. bendemolena says:


  44. thirty2flavors says:

    "The thing is, he’s right in a way, but he’s being a total asshole about it. "

    LOL you had italics around this, and I haven't read this book so for a second I thought it was a direct quote and I was like LOL KATNISS, TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

    • Gabbie says:

      Yeah, right? xD I thought so, too! I was like, "Whoa there, Catnip… Keep your arrows in the quiver there." ( I KID YOU NOT, THIS CAME TO MY MIND. Then I giggled.)

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      I thnk these books would be more enjoyable if Katniss actually talked like that instead of in Collins' usual stiff and overwrought style.

      Tangenting from that: While I won't pretend to speak for everyone who dislikes Katniss — Lord knows there are many and varied reasons — I think a good amount of my disdain for her comes from the writing. We're in her head at every turn, so she's the one who has to shoulder the burden of every stupid thing Collins says.

    • 1foxi says:

      LOL I know, I was like I don't remember Katniss saying asshole 😀

  45. Saber says:

    I like Gale. He's a revolutionary, much more then Katniss. Where she's just thinking about saving a few people who she loves, he's willing to stay and fight to save other families if possible.

    And NOOOO the whipping! This is the part of the book where I started screaming at Collins. Like, actually out loud.

  46. thefbm says:

    TEAM CINNA FOREVER!!!! ANd It feels great to comment again….parents and their lack for internet…

    This chapter began my dilike on Gale. He was okay in the first one but even then I didn't like his temper but I figured he would grow outof being full of himself after Katniss came back from the games…but I was wrong! So I'm Team Peeta from here on and out.

    However, the whip is just a great ball of suck. Go die Capitol and you too Peacekeeper. 😛

  47. Gembird says:


    Something that I really like about this series so far is that, much like Harry Potter, we see the good and bad side of everyone and we also see the consequences of their mistakes. In short: teenagers do dumb shit and everything is horrible.

    In Twilight, Bella did stupid shit all the time and Edward made the most ridiculous decisions like watching her sleep, and yet I couldn't identify with that at all because it was shown as being totally acceptable and without any negative outcomes. In Harry Potter and in The Hunger Games, we're seeing young people trying to deal with everyday stuff on top of all the terrifying stuff that's happening in their world (and which directly affects them). These characters are so much more believable because it's not melodramatic TWU LUV, it's just the ordinary stuff that you have to deal with as a young adult but made harder due to other circumstances.

    Plus, there's the whole thing that I found with HP where I want to punch somebody in the face and give them all the hugs at the same time. Oh Gale, don't you dare turn out like those Slytherin boys.

    Okay, I don't think this made much sense because my brain goes faster than my fingers, but whatever.


    P.S. Katniss didn't react quite as badly as I did when my current partner first told me he loved me. My reaction was to freeze, then say "Um… thanks?" and have a mental freak-out.

    • Warmouh says:

      Agreed. I couldn't help but think how much I hated love triangles but if there must be one this made sense. All parties involved are pretty decent people overall. You can see why Katniss could go with either boy but why she hasn't chosen. It's not like in Twilight where Bella is being a manipulative cocktease and anyone with half a brain would have chosen Jacob in his pre-asshat days.

      Also, Gale could totally be slytherin. He's pretty ambitious. Katniss is Gryffindor and Peeta is Hufflepuff because he is A STORM OF MOTHERFUCKIN LOYALTY.

      • Katherine says:

        Funny, I would have said Katniss is a Slytherin (she leans towards the "ruthless pragmatism" side of things, and her default position is self-interest [except when it comes to Prim] and she expects others to think the same way which is why it took her so long to figure out that Peeta's love for her was genuine) and Gale is a Gryffindor (reckless bravery in wanting to start a revolution).

        Peeta's definitely a Hufflepuff, though.

        • LadyLately says:

          The Hufflepuff common room is next to the kitchens. IT'S A SIGN.

        • Warmouh says:

          Huh, I guess that is a good point and once again shows that Gryffindors and Slytherins are really not that far off from eachother.

        • Gembird says:

          Yeah, I would agree with you, Katherine. Gale is like OMG REBELLION TIME and seems kind of impulsive- we know he just decided to kiss Katniss out of the blue, or at least it was out of the blue for her since she's basically oblivious to that sort of thing. Katniss is a Slytherin in much the same was Severus Snape was- the bravery and loyalty that would suggest other houses are there, but the badassery and self-preservation instinct have had to be their most important traits or they would have died a long time ago.

          And yes, Peeta is definitely a Hufflepuff. There is something very Cedric Diggory about him, although I might be seeing that just because both characters have chosen to work alongside somebody in competition instead of working against them.

          tl;dr- I now classify every fictional character according to which Hogwarts house they would be in… actually, I do it for real people too :/

        • Inessa says:

          I think Katniss is more Gryffindor. She does have some ruthless badassery, but she is not particularly ambitious, wanting to keep her head down and save those she loves. Also, she did risk her life to go to Cornucucpia to get medicine for Peeta in HG, rather than choosing self preservation. She has some of Harry's "saving thing" going on.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      The first time someone told me they loved me (I did not love him), I literally said, "Already?"

      I am also an asshole. 🙁

      • Gembird says:

        Oh Mark, we are so awkward.

        Also I am way too excited about getting a comment from you, I feel so ~speshul~

    • Melissa says:

      I think that your HP/Twilight comparison was spot-on.
      Personally, I think that Katniss and Gale would both be in Gryffindor, but they both have some very Slytherin traits. I agree with everyone else on one thing though, Peeta is definitely the Hufflepuffiest.

      "Plus, there's the whole thing that I found with HP where I want to punch somebody in the face and give them all the hugs at the same time. Oh Gale, don't you dare turn out like those Slytherin boys. "
      I believe that the term you might be looking for is Jerkass Woobie. Warning: TV Tropes will ruin your life.

      • Gembird says:

        Katniss reminds me very much of Harry, really. I think the house I put her in depends on what I've read most recently- it does go between Slytherin and Gryffindor, whereas the others are more obvious. I think it's good though, it means Katniss can't be defined by just one aspect of who she is. It's great to see a female character written that way, because as we all know, a lot of authors can't write a female protagonist without making her a Mary-Sue *cough*Meyer*cough*

        Oh and TV Tropes ate up about half my day yesterday. Can't get any worse by clicking one link right? Right? (wrong)

  48. Keen says:

    I think we should make a CinnaXHaymatch group. They're the most interesting characters anyway.

  49. empath_eia says:

    Or wait, fuck it, TEAM CINNA. FUCK EVERYONE ELSE.


    I love Katniss so much that I kind of suffered my way through her whole love triangle nonsense because while both Gale and Peeta are pretty decent guys, neither of them actually seem to get her the way Cinna does. And I felt like she deserved someone who actually made an effort to understand who she was. Buuut that's just me.

    On the non-romantic front, when I was at this point in the books my thought process was similar to yours: wait, where is this going? I had a vague idea of where things should probably go next (which proved to be pretty accurate), but things just moved so, so fast that I couldn't keep up. Reading these books fast is really an experience — eventually I just had to give up trying to see ahead and take the punches as they came. I hope you have time to give them a quick readthrough after you're done going through them chapter by chapter.

  50. albusseverus says:

    Wait! it's cool when Hans Solo says " I know" but not Katniss? thats unfair.

    • Tabbyclaw says:

      Han knows exactly what he's saying. By the time that scene happens, you already know he's an arrogant little sod and that's supposed to be part of his charm. When Katniss says it, it's a fumble.

      Edited to correct 'Hank' to 'Han.' I have apparently been watching far too much Corner Gas.

    • flootzavut says:

      life ain't fair

  51. lossthief says:

    – “There are things he has to know…” Well duh. Telling somebody that their life and family aare in mortal danger seems a pretty natural thing to do.
    – “But I think it's been in the family a long time.” Calling it now, the Undersees are part of the underground rebellion that has been gathering inside Panem for years. Also, I'm still certain that District 13 is the home of the resistance.
    – I remember what Mockingjays are, tyvm.
    – “They hadn't counted on the highly controlled jabberjay having the brains to adapt to the wild…” SYMBOLISM!!!!!!
    – “He was conspicuously absent from the dinner…” I'm guessing this is to do with the whole proposal that was less than a day old.
    – “Didn't I do the same thing to my mother?” Oh hai, character growth. Nice to see you again. Will you be staying for a bit?
    – “At least I'll die in comfort.” Can Gale please talk more? I really think this is the most we've heard directly from his mouth since the first chapter of HG
    – All this talk of hands makes me wonder if Kat has some weird fetish…
    – “We run away.” And the winner for Lamest Plan Evar goes to…
    – “He steps in and I feel myself lifted off the ground.” Gale, stop being creepy. Peeta's already acting all eerily clingy, and now you're getting all stranger danger in here.
    – “I love you.” “I know.” Oooooooh, where's that XKCD strip that was posted yesterday. It applies here too.
    – “I never see these things coming.” I do. From an entire BOOK away. Katniss, this is my CLUESTICK and I am preparing to thwack you with it.
    – Oh good Gaia. Gale, please stop being such a piss-ant. Your FAMILY is in MORTAL DANGER, yet you are getting angry over YOUR CRUSH NOT LIKE-LIKING YOU.
    – Can this conversation please end? It'd be one thing if Gale was worried about his family, but he's more insulted that Katniss doesn't reciprocate his affections.
    – Hey Kat, could you go ahead and STOP WITHHOLDING VITAL INFORMATION FROM THOSE IT EFFECTS? By Thor's beard, what is your problem with letting people into the loop?
    – This seems reminiscent of the talk between Luffy and Vivi in the Alabasta Arc in One Piece. Am I the only one seeing this?
    – “Make sure we won't be making things worse for everyone.” Exactly. You know TALKING TO PEOPLE usually has better results than covering your ears and going “LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!”
    – Oh Hai, cliffhanger ending. It's been like, 11 pages since I last saw you.
    Overall, this was just an irksome chapter, I don't know if we're meant to like Gale, what with his whole "Running won't solve anything" ideals, or hate him because of his immature way of acting regarding Peeta, but I just found him irritating. He seems to have a practical streak, seeing as he decided to start hunting in order to provide for his family, but here he comes off feeling like Jacob Black, acting completely irrational and nonsensical because of a teenage crush. PERSPECTIVE, BRO. The bit at the end, with Gale's public maiming, was a nice little twist, and I'm expecting this will plant the seeds in Katniss' mind that rebellion might be the only answer.

    • pennylane27 says:

      No grade? 😉

    • lossthief says:

      Hup, totally forgot the grade.

      Grade: "C+"

    • Heehee, I got all kinds of hate for referring to Gale as Jacob Black. Hats off to you, fellow Snarky One.

      • lossthief says:

        I'm not saying Gale has done anything anywhere near as heinous as what Jacob did throughout the latter "Twilight" books, but I do see the similarities betwixt them. I mean, Gale really seems more upset about Katniss not "like-liking" him than the fact that his family may very well be murdered by the government, the same way Jacob was more upset over Bella choosing Edward than he was about the dangers his pack was facing in the battle during "Eclipse"

    • BradSmith5 says:

      What part of the conversation sounds like Vivi from One Piece? It's times like this that I'm thankful Luffy never gets crushes on any of the female crew members….

    • bendemolena says:

      I am personally all for this talk of sexy man hands.

  52. zuzu says:

    It hurts, knowing how unprepared you are.

  53. Hotaru-hime says:

    Couldn't help myself.

  54. BradSmith5 says:

    Well, I am on Suzanne's side today. Caring, jealous, hot, or weird––at least Gale is APPEARING in the freakin' story! I mean, geez, he hasn't even spoken since the first chapters of the first book has he!? It is so nice to be able to see people discuss Gale based on dialog and actions instead of: "Hm, well, he helped her set traps, and he might be cute?"

    As for my own opinion on Gale, I will copy and paste everything Penguin said on page two. Only I will cut out the part about being stupid when you are a teenager; being a moron has no age restriction.

  55. Shanella says:

    eh, forgetting about team whoever — TEAM SNOW muahaha .. kidding.

  56. kajacana says:

    Gale was totes a jerkface in this chapter, yeah. Except I cut him some slack because he's 17(ish?) and the world is basically crumbling around him. Not exactly the Perfect Storm of Level-Headed Empathy. Not making excuses for his awful behavior, just letting it slide because I think there's a good chance I would act the same way in this situation. Nobody's perfect (I GOTTA WORK IT, AGAIN AND AGAIN TIL I GET IT RIGHT okay I'm done).

  57. Liberty says:

    Am I the only one here who is TEAM KATNISS?

    I mean, I love Peeta and Haymitch and Cinna. I don't hate Gale, though he is a very flawed individual. (Well, they all are, but his flaws bother me more for some reason.) But the reason I love these books is because Katniss is such an awesome, badass heroine. I never thought of it as I want her to be with Peeta or with Gale. I just thought of it as I want her to survive and be awesome and live to see a world where she can make her own choices about who to love and feel safe to do so. Because she's so awesome.

    Or maybe I'm just feeling reactive, because Twilight was this terrible series where everyone knows the heroine is useless and groups themselves according to which of the men they think is hotter. Hunger Games is a story about a heroine who is the complete antithesis of Bella Swan, and she should be celebrated, not wrapped up and given to whichever guy you like the most.

  58. Dannie. says:

    Team Haymitch!

    and team Peeta 🙂
    Happy new year!

  59. lebeaumonde says:

    God Mark. I can't wait for you to get through the next couple of chapters.
    So much unpreparedness in this one.

  60. Enigmaticrose4 says:

    So, I was reading along with you, but shit gets so real that I couldn't put the book down….

    So…read faster! I must know your thoughts! 🙂

    But ya, Gale is not the best in this chapter.

  61. Celina says:

    Honestly, this is the point in the book where I just… don't want to read any fuirther. I got to this part and was like, "Oh, it's this kind of book."

    Like OotP and HBP for Harry. Seriously. NOTHING GOES RIGHT.

  62. celinagabrielle says:


  63. RainaWeather says:

    I can see Katniss's point about leaving Peeta behind. Sure she wants him to be safe, but she's not his mother and he can make his own choices.

    And yeah, Gale is an asshole. I want to like him so much. Under normal circumstances I'd probably like him way more than Peeta. But he's just so insensitive.

  64. Revolution64 says:

    I don't like most other characters. They irritate me to no end.
    Oh, and random bit of thought I had thoughout this series: I find it strange that there is no thought to religion in the slightest. I mean, in most religions, killing is the ultimate sin, and they advocate it. It's just odd.

    • lossthief says:

      I've actually seen several discussion in the comments about why Panem seems to be without any religion. My theory is that the Capitol wanted to take away anything that might bolster the people or unite them that wasn't strictly controlled by the government. Religion, throughout history, has been one of the biggest things to bring about unrest within empires, so they learned from the past and tried to squelch any religion or theology.

      • Revolution64 says:

        But you'd think that someone would wonder where it all came from. It seems like there's no science either.

        • Inessa says:

          Forced atheism.

        • lossthief says:

          Well, I'd imagine that what with all the oppression, starvation, and the hanging threat of Child Murder, there's relatively few moments to be existential. The Capitol citizens also seem to be kept rather sedated by their lives of privilege and extravagance. I guess the governments plan is to keep their rich cajoled with rich food and the like, while they work the District members to the grindstone to break down any sedition.

    • Inessa says:

      I always though that Panem and the capitol were loosely based on communist countries. In the former USSR, and I would think the communist Asian countries, the set up of having districts or republics was somewhat similar. They weren't as isolated, but there were restrictions. If that's the case, religion was considered against the law, so there would be no theological interpretations to oppose the communist ideology.

  65. Maddi says:


    I agree wholeheartedly.

  66. ddid says:

    Am I the only one who doesn't like Peeta much? He's alright, nothing special. I don't see where the love for him is coming from.

  67. rainbowsinside says:

    This is one of the very few books in which I actually enjoyed the love triangle. It's very realistic and doesn't eat up the whole storyline. Katniss is a strong-willed girl who is worried about staying alive, not just about the ~oh so terrible~ predicament of having two guys in love with her.

  68. bendemolena says:

    So how much does it suck that everyone in this book is so strongly defined by circumstance?


  69. Inessa says:

    I get the impression that Gale has been in love with Katniss for a long time, but never took it further because he had such a high chance of being selected in the Reaping. I think he essentially thought of Katniss as his partner, and he was waiting for the last Reaping to be over, to be together with her. I can understand his frustration at the engagement and seeing the giggly lovesick girl on the screens, being a completely different person to the one he loves. Although, it is very rough on Katniss.

  70. BradSmith5 says:

    Oh, that one, ha,ha,ha-ha. Too bad no one got punched in the face with scarred, delicate hands like in Luffy's conversation. Do you suppose this novel will end with Katniss atop a clock tower shouting "STOP FIGHTING!" for a whole chapter? 😉

  71. glitter says:


  72. SusanBones says:

    I really thought that Gale was being a total jerk to Katniss. Maybe he didn't realize that her life was going to be in danger forever. She couldn't just sit back like all the other victors, like Haymitch did, and live the life of luxury. I can understand the jealousy over Peeta, but that doesn't excuse his behavior.

    The public whipping is brutal. Once again the Capital shows how they are in charge.

    Harry Potter reference:
    Dumbledore knew that people who are oppressed like this will someday revolt. He knew that Voldemort would always have to watch his back, because someone would come along to try and take his power. I see this coming for the Capital, too.

  73. lilygirl says:

    couple of notes,
    Katness and others may have talked about the Mockingjay, but in the first few chapters of this book it is the Motif of the Capitol. Her handlers are all talking about the newest most important fashion statement, even have people attending parties in feathers. When Plutarch flashes the Mockingjay, why would Katness think it was anything more than another deviant Capitol Gamemaster's attempt on up to date fashion.

    Plutarch was a Greek historian and served as one of the priests responsible for interpreting the predictions of the oracle at Delphi. Knew I had seen that name somewhere.

  74. qwopisinthemailbox says:



  75. Synnie says:

    Team Cinna <33 Forevar. Srsly.

    Also, Mark, Silk and Steel loves you too.

  76. Saber says:

    Happy New Year Mark!
    Hope you have a wonderful year of NOT PREPARED AT ALL ahead of you, because we all know it's true.

    No really though, happy new year

  77. easilyentranced says:

    lol, all this Team Whoever talk is hilarious to me. I mean, with chapters like this I can see why people would be talking about it, because Gale was so obsessed with Katniss's love life before he started getting publicly whipped (endless sadness), but Katniss said herself, she doesn't give a fuck about romance right now. She's just trying to survive and doesn't have time to think about shit like that.

    Besides, Peeta sparkled during the Hunger Games and lots of people seem to be comparing Gale to Jacob. We all know how this is gonna end…

  78. Saber says:

    Katniss shot Bella, and told both Gale and Peeta to piss off and leave her alone
    The end

  79. katieeleanor says:

    I have been reading Mark Reads for a long time and loving it but not saying anything. But now I have this DESIRE and this DESIRE is OVERWHELMING AND I NEED TO ASK EVEN IF THIS ISN'T THE RIGHT TIME OR PLACE I CAN'T HOLD IT IN ANYMORE….

    …can you please read the Tomorrow When The War Began Series by John Marsden



  80. Quizzical says:

    as soon as you start liking someone they say something shitty, and as soon as you feel you can dislike someone, something shitty happens to them and they have your sympathy.

    i think she does that well, always keeping you slightly off balance, and not able to really box any of the characters in.

  81. Kelly L says:

    Gale's kind of emo. And he's kind of an ass. Yet, I can't really dislike him too much because even though he's being an ass, he's still Katniss's best friend (or at least, was? before he started being an ass) and he's still very obviously important to her. I dunno. Team Peeta, etc.

    Whippings = horrifying.

  82. lisra says:

    Must.. keep.. reading…

  83. Allie says:

    Gale is not an ass. Whoever said that is wrong. He loves katiniss. And he hates the capitol therefore he is going to try and protect her and do what he thinks is right. There is nothing wrong with that. I just wish katniss would really figure out who she loves. I like gale because he has always been there for her. But ever since the games so has peeta. Its like twilight one girls in the middle of two guys that love her. Its one of the many reasons I love this book.

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