Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 12

In the twelfth chapter of Mockingjay, well, that was unexpected. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

Today I might lose both of them.

I try to imagine a world where both Gale’s and Peeta’s voices have ceased. Hands stilled. Eyes unblinking. I’m standing over their bodies, having a last look, leaving the room where they lie. But when I open the door to step out into the world, there’s only a tremendous void. A pale gray nothingness that is all my future holds.

I mean…Collins can’t be that ruthless, right? Killing BOTH Gale and Peeta? Well…ok, I would probably high five her for doing it. NOT BECAUSE I WANT THEM DEAD, MIND YOU. I would just find it surprising because who does that sort of thing.

Sooooooooooooo she won’t do it. Right? Right???

“Do you want me to have them sedate you until it’s over?” asks Haymitch.

Well, at least someone asked her first this time around.

He’s not joking. This is a man who spent his adult life at the bottom of a bottle, trying to anesthetize himself against the Capitol’s crimes.

While we don’t know all the details of what happened to Haymitch, I feel much more confident that we understand what’s made him the way he is, why he’s so bitter and cynical and FULL OF HATRED and probably just listens to Nine Inch Nails really loud in his room and stuff.

“I want to go to the Capitol. I want to be part of the rescue mission.”

BOOYAH. ON THE VERY NEXT PAGE. I knew she’d do this.

“How long ago did they leave? I could catch up. I could—“ What? What could I do?

Haymitch shakes his head. “It’ll never happen. You’re too valuable and too vulnerable. There was talk of sending you to another district to divert the Capitol’s attention while the rescue takes place. But no one felt you could handle it.”

Again, thanks for asking Katniss first. These people are so respectful of her desires! But Katniss then begs Haymitch to at least let her help with something while the mission is going on and HE AGRESS. So….she’s not going? OK, I MAY HAVE TO ADMIT MY PREDICTION WAS WRONG.

While Haymitch is off to find something for Katniss to do to help out, Katniss heads next door to speak with Finnick. (HOW DARE YOU WAKE THE SLUMBERING FINNICK. HOW DARE YOU.)

As I explain our situation, his initial agitation mysteriously ebbs. “Don’t you see, Katniss, this will decide things. One way or the other. By the end of the day, they’ll either be dead or with us. It’s…it’s more than we could hope for!”

Oh, Finnick. You are the best. I mean…shit, he’s got a great point. I don’t think Collins is going to kill either Gale or Peeta or Annie, but still, it might end the dread and terror these two experience because of that. (A side note: This mission will only take half a day? Man, these people move quick.)

Haymitch arrives to tell Katniss and Haymitch that there is something they can do to help the rescue efforts. If they can film some footage for District 13, Beetee can attempt to air it and distract the Capitol while the rescuers are attempting to get Peeta and Annie.

“What we really need is something so riveting that even President Snow won’t be able to tear himself away. Got anything like that?” asks Haymitch.

Oh, this is gonna be good, isn’t it? But what does Katniss have that we don’t already know? It’s not like she’s hiding something from the general public.


Her interview on camera, led by the gentle questioning of Cressida, is focused entirely on Peeta. I completely forgot that Katniss never once shared how she actually met Peeta, how so many years ago he was beat by his mother so that he could give her loaves of bread.

I don’t know how true it is, but Katniss surprised me by saying that what Snow has done to Peeta has actually backfired. She’s actually even more motivated to destroy the Capitol.

“President Snow once admitted to me that the Capitol was fragile. At the time, I didn’t know what he meant. It was hard to see clearly because I was so afraid. Now I’m not. The Capitol’s fragile because it depends on the districts for everything. Food, energy, even the Peacekeepers that police us. If we declare our freedom, the Capitol collapses. President Snow, thanks to you, I’m officially declaring mine today.”

BAM. THERE IT IS. Poetic and thoughtful AND BADASS. I don’t know if Snow is going to believe it, but it’s a good message to send to Panem.

As Finnick moves to take my seat before the camera, Haymitch tells him, “You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes, I do. If it will help her.” Finnick balls up his rope in his hand. “I’m ready.”

FINNICK. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO. Were we prepared? We were never prepared at all.

“President Snow used to…sell me…my body, that is,” Finnick begins in a flat, removed tone. “I wasn’t the only one. If a victor is considered desirable, the president gives them as a reward or allows people to buy them for an exorbitant amount of money. If you refuse, he kills someone you love. So you do it.”

………………..I CANNOT EVEN. I CANNOT. Oh my god, Finnick. Oh, holy shit. It explains so much. THIS IS SO AWFUL.

But this isn’t what Finnick wants to share. He decides to share what his companions and lovers paid him with: secrets.

Finnick begins to weave a tapestry so rich in detail that you can’t doubt its authenticity. Tales of strange sexual appetites, betrayals of the heart, bottomless greed, and bloody power plays. Drunken secrets whispered over damp pillow-cases in the dead of the night.


If a bad haircut can lead to hours of gossip, what will charges of incest, back-stabbing, blackmail, and arson produce? Even as the waves of shock recrimination roll over the Capitol, the people there will be waiting, as I am now, to hear about the president.


“And now, on to our good President Coriolanus Snow,” says Finnick. “Such a young man when he rose to power. Such a clever one to keep it. How, you must ask yourself, did he do it? One word. That’s all you really need to know. Poison.”


Finnick goes back to Snow’s political ascension, which I know nothing of, and works his way up to the present, pointing out case after case of the mysterious deaths of Snow’s adversaries or, even worse, his allies who had the potential to become threats. People dropping dead at a feast or slowly, inexplicably declining into shadows over a period of months. Blamed on bad shellfish, elusive viruses, or an overlooked weakness in the aorta. Snow drinking from the poisoned cup himself to deflect suspicion. But antidotes don’t always work. They say that’s why he wears the roses that reek of perfume. They say it’s to cover the scent of blood from the mouth sores that will never heal. They say, they say, they say…Snow has a list and no one knows who will be next.

ASKLD;FJAD A;KSLDF A;SKLDF;LAKSFJ. Ok, it’s not vampirism, BUT THIS IS A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE. Mouth sores from POISONING HIS COMPETITORS. I would have never guessed that.

“Is that what happened to you?” I ask Haymitch.

“No. My mother and younger brother. My girl. They were all dead two weeks after I was crowned victor. Because of that stunt I pulled with the force field,” he answers. “Snow had no one to use against me.”

Oh, Haymitch. My gosh, this whole chapter is full of so much institutionalized tragedy. The things these characters have been forced to go through because of the Capitol is terrifying and inhuman and, frankly, inconceivable. My own privilege as an American citizen means that this kind of horror is inconceivable to me. It’s not that I haven’t been the victim of oppression in my lifetime, because I have. But what Collins has created here is so much more systematic and violent and terrifying than pretty much anything I have ever experienced, and I never really thought about that until now.

Unfortunately for Katniss, after all of this activity and revelation, her and Finnick are left with nothing to do except wait. It’s the most unbearable wait I could imagine: Did they succeed in their mission? Were there any casualties? At three in the afternoon, they wait in Special Defense and watch Beetee as he takes over the Capitol airwaves. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the footage used is that of Finnick’s tell-all confession and, truthfully, it’s probably the best idea if they want to create a distraction, at least one large enough to help the rescue mission.

Beetee takes the time to explain the mission as best as he can to Finnick and Katniss.

It seems to have involved knockout gas distributed by the ventilation system, a power failure, the detonation of a bomb in a government building several miles from the prison, and now the disruption of the broadcast. Beetee’s glad we find the plan hard to follow, because then our enemies will, too.

How are they pulling all of this off so quickly? I suppose we know that District 13 has the know-how and the technical skill to do this, but the rate at which they do it is surprising to me. I think it’s interesting that Collins doesn’t give us a perspective on the events in the Capitol, though, especially since I expected Katniss to tag along.

It’s just around midnight or so when Haymitch calmly arrives and announces that the rescue party has arrived. It’s one of the more powerful scenes in the entire book; Finnick simply cannot even comprehend the possibility that Annie has returned to him.

We’re sideswiped by a gurney bearing an unconscious, emaciated young woman with a shaved head. Her flesh shows bruises and oozing scabs. Johanna Mason. Who actually knew rebel secrets. At least the one about me. And this is how she has paid for it.

THEY SAVED JOHANNA. Oh my god my heart is going to explode.

Through a doorway, I catch a glimpse of Gale, stripped to the waist, perspiration streaming down his face as a doctor removes something from under his shoulder blade with a long pair of tweezers. Wounded, but alive.


“Finnick!” Something between a shriek and cry of joy. A lovely if somewhat bedraggled young woman—dark tangled hair, sea green eyes—runs toward us in nothing but a sheet. “Finnick!” And suddenly, it’s as if there’s no one in the world but these two, crashing through space to reach other. They collide, enfold, lose their balance, and slam against a wall, where they stay. Clinging into one being. Indivisble.

Simply stunning. I am so happy for him.

Boggs, looking a little worse for wear but uninjured, finds Haymitch and me. “We got them all out. Except Enobaria. But since she’s from Two, we doubt she’s being held anyway. Peeta’s at the end of the hall. The effects of the gas are just wearing off. You should be there when he wakes.”


Peeta’s awake alredy, sitting on the side of the bed, looking bewildered as a trio of doctors reassure him, flash lights in his eyes, check his pulse. I’m disappointed that mine was not the first face he saw when he woke, but he sees it now. His features register disbelief and something more intense that I can’t quite place. Desire? Desperation? Surely both, for he sweeps the doctors aside, leaps to his feet, and moves towards me. I run to meet him, my arms extended to embrace him. His hands are reaching for me, too, to caress my face, I think.

My lips are just forming his name when his fingers lock around my throat.

About Mark Oshiro

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

277 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 12

  1. monkeybutter says:

    Happy Valentine's Day, Finnick and Annie.

    As for the rest of the chapter, everything is awful. Things absolutely cannot go back the way they were, so while I don't particularly like District 13, I'm more than willing to accept them as the lesser of two evils. At least Katniss and Finnick got to declare their independence.

  2. lily says:

    finally. you don’t know how long i’ve waited for you to get to these few pages.

    i feel as if i’m a parent watching my kid grow up. 🙁

  3. Karen says:

    This chaaaapteeeer. SO SAD AND FULL OF WTF.

    I'm lightheaded with giddiness. What will I say. Oh, who cares what I say? Peeta will be ecstatic to matter what I do. He'll probably be kissing me anyway. I wonder if it will feel like those last disses on the beach in the arena, the ones I haven't dared to let myself consider until this moment.

    See, I think that Katniss is finally coming to terms with her feelings for Peeta. His abduction by the Capitol forced her to confront how she felt about him, and from that passage it seems like she's pretty clearly in love with him. So Collins builds all of this up, making you think that there will be a happy reunion scene.


  4. SusanBones says:

    It was really horrible to hear what happened to Finnick. There was always the thought that Victors led a peaceful and privileged life after their game was over. I bet that the people who lived in the Capital, outside of a select few, ever realized their heroes were people treated this way. I would think that they needed to believe that their heroes were treated well in order to justify the Hunger Games. I would love to have heard the dinner table conversations around the Capital after Finnick's interview aired.

  5. PatR says:

    I have nothing but **tears**

  6. Quirrelmort says:

    This chapter has endless sadness 🙁
    Then happiness. Yay Finnick and Annie!!!!
    Then confusion. Peeta?? WHAT????
    Also, I love that last gif. Just wanted to let you know.

  7. iolchos says:

    I have been waiting so long for you to get here! Not because of the ending but because of Finnick's past and being sold, which makes me sadder everytime I reread it and the more I think about it because he's obviously nervous and hurt and shaking and they're all slaves but his special punishment is to be repeatedly raped and smile about it? WHAT?

    I can't even.

    And then Katniss wondering if this would happen to her in the future, and I'm guessing Peeta too, and I can't even imagine if they were like, married with children like the Capitol wanted, and Snow still forced this upon them. No one warned them this could happen. Were they going to, or they figure there's no use torturing kids with the knowledge of things to come if they can't help it now?

    Also, there was something else Haymitch said that frightened me, "I was the example. The person to hold up to the young Finnicks and Johannas and Cashmeres."

    WHAT. And BACKSTORY GUESSING TIME, since Johanna says she has "no one left she loves" and Cashmere still had her brother, whom she obviously loved…ok, my NON-SPOILERY GUESS at this point is that Snow ordered Johanna to sleep with someone, she refused, and he killed her family. Cashmere did not refuse.

    the only good thing about this chapter was Finnick reuniting with Annie, jeez.

    (and, ok, Beetee trying to tell Katniss to relax and her stunning sense of black humor, "Like your electricity trap in the arena?" "Exactly! And see how well that turned out?" Well…not really. Team Katniss 4eva)

    thank you again for another thoughtful review!

    • Puel says:

      That's what I've always thought happened to Johanna, too, because she would tell President Snow to fuck off if he, er, made her that offer. And President Snow does not take kindly to that.

      And yeah, a lot of stuff in this chapter is UTTERLY AWFUL but Finnick's story is the one that sticks with me. Ow. Ow. Way to make your readers feel bad for objectifying him, Collins. ;_;

      • iolchos says:

        IT'S SO TRUE. I have been waiting all this long to tell Mark, "NO, FINNICK IS THE SHINIEST MOST PERFECT AND HURT LITTLE BIRD EVER DON'T JUDGE HIM LIKE I DID" but spoilers~. I just want to wrap him in bubble-wrap and put him and Annie on a tropical island and guard that island with destroyers. Or something.

        Also, when Beetee said, earlier, "If you had any idea what Finnick's been through in the past few years, you'd be surprised he's still with us at all," WTF DOES THAT MEAN. BEETEE.

        • liliaeth says:

          I can't' begin to say how happy I am that no one spoiled Mark about how truly tragic Finnick's backstory really is.

          I know that there have been a few times that I had to stop myself from saying something, when someone was judging Finnick about something. So I can imagine how hard it was for anyone who'd already read this chapter.

          • iolchos says:

            I can't' begin to say how happy I am that no one spoiled Mark about how truly tragic Finnick's backstory really is.
            truth. hi-fives around, everyone.

            I've read this book about four times already (haha what) and so waiting for this chapter was excruciating because it was so important to understanding him as a character, and Haymitch

          • Puel says:

            Me too. It's such a perfect gutpunch, and it's so much better when you don't see it coming. (I totally had to bite my tongue when I saw a few comments about Finnick during Mark's readthrough of CF, though, because "there's something coming up that completely recontextualizes this character, JUST WAIT" is kind of a big old spoiler.)

    • RainaWeather says:

      I don't think he would have done that to Johanna and Cashmere. I think the reason he did that to Finnick was because Finnick was so good looking and that was the strategy he used to win the games. Just like with Katniss, her strategy was to be in love with Peeta. So he made them convince the whole world they were in love. I think Snow's thing is to make the victors forever be the people they pretended to be in the games. Finnick has to forever be everyone's lover boy, Katniss has to forever be a girl in love. But Johanna was just being herself in the Games so there's no way to hurt her except to kill people she loves.

      • t09yavorski says:

        Actually Johanna was the one who pretended to be a weakling in the arena and then owned everybody left over so she wasn't really being herself either.

        • RainaWeather says:

          What I mean is that even though she pretended to be weak in front of the other tributes, the audience eventually realized she really wasn't. Whereas the audience genuinely thinks Katniss loves Peeta and they genuinely think Finnick is just a pretty boy sex maniac.

    • RainaWeather says:

      on second thought, after rereading, that does seem to be what Finnick says. My reading skills suck.

    • MeasuringInLove says:

      What's even worse is that all the victors are children. And that this isn't some messed up concept of Collins, child sex slaves actually exist.

      • iolchos says:

        the horrible thing is, very few of the things in this trilogy are things she's imagined.

      • LoonyLu says:

        I think it said that Finnick was 14 when he won the Games. Who knows when the prostitution started?

        Now if you will excuse me, I'm just going to cry my eyes out now.

  8. stellaaaaakris says:

    I didn't get the chance to read most of the comments for the last chapter until yesterday and I'd just like to say this to all the commenters: You are all amazing and I'm sending you *hugs* through the astral plane.

    Do you know who else I want to hug? Finnick. I love him and just want him to be happy. And he was abused so badly by his government. But at least he and Annie are back together now. That is fantastic.

    The Capitol's government really sucks. They force children to murder to survive and then, after they return home, the kids think that they're going to be left alone now as a reward for doing so well, other than acting as mentors. But they are forced to always be the Capitol's puppets. I was all kinds of pissed on Katniss' behalf already, but at least the guy she was being forced to marry is a decent guy she cares about. But Finnick was 16 when they started selling his body. We know the more attractive tributes have the best chance of sponsorship and thus survival, but now they use it against them, selling them off again. Oh, Finnick. *hugs*

    Hugs for Haymitch, too. He did everything he could to return to his family and girlfriend and then the Capitol killed them in moments. I wonder if he realized that District 12 Tributes rarely had a chance in the arena (only one person won before he did) and just didn't make the effort to help them in a kind of self-defense. Maybe he thought death in the arena was preferable to life after for most of them. Not until Katpee showed up and were clearly determined to fight. Just a thought.

    So the theme for this Valentine's Day is hugs for everybody, even Peeta, whose hug I will have to send through the astral plane because I don't want him to hurt me. Katniss' mom, Prim, Beetee, please make him better.

    • ldwy says:

      Maybe he thought death in the arena was preferable to life after for most of them. Not until Katpee showed up and were clearly determined to fight. Just a thought.
      What a good, sad thought.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Yay gif party! And again, how do you handle doing this chapter by chapter?! I was going to try to keep at your pace, but I don't think I would've been able to, especially at the end of this chapter.


  10. Shanella says:

    What!? appropriate gifs are appropriate.

    Mark, what you say about privilege … I agree with you. 100%.

  11. herpestidae says:

    The ending of this chapter was the first time I audibly gasped at a book in a long time. And I continued to gasp audibly at the end of almost every subsequent chapter.

  12. anamardoll says:

    I love this chapter, but it is easily one of the most depressing things ever written, and it definitely changes the way you read the series on the second time through. Throughout "Catching Fire", we felt all of Katniss' rage and helplessness at being forced into a marriage with Peeta. Sure, he was a sweet, loving, wonderful young man; sure, he'd give his life to protect her; but the fact that she was being left without a CHOICE just made it so odious. As Haymitch said, she'd never be able to do anything but live happily ever after with that boy.

    And now… and now. We know what Snow had planned for her. Bad enough that she had to be a perfect young lover, bad enough that she would have had to be a perfect wife for the cameras every year, bad enough that she would have been forced to bear children and give them to the arena. In private, away from the cameras, she also would have been forced to be a prostitute – how many men would have paid to have the girl who was on fire?

    Reading through the series again, it's impossible not to feel the pain of the victors. Who can blame the morphlings for turning to drugs? Who can blame Joanna for being so bitter, and is it because of all this exploitation that she's such an aggressive nudist? (Maybe she hopes that if they get to see her for free, they won't bother to pay for her company and she won't have to go through it with someone she hates.) Enobaria – the woman so fierce that she has her teeth specially fitted with fangs? Is that because she's crazy, or an attention-getter, or is it to scare off her would-be suitors?

    And think back to how they wanted to augment Katniss' breasts… they've been doing this to the victors for YEARS.

    It's in "Mockingjay" that your soul really dies and you start to suspect that the children who die in the arena are the luckiest citizens of Panem. Even victors are slaves for life, but the dead tributes are at least… free. Sadder than the saddest thing ever.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      And think back to how they wanted to augment Katniss' breasts… they've been doing this to the victors for YEARS.

      Oh god, I didn't even think of that. I wonder if that's why Haymitch was freaking out about it. He must've known. And Cinna with the little girl dresses, did he know too?

      • anamardoll says:

        And even though they were trying to protect her, there's no guarantee they weren't just type casting her for a different group of buyers. Dress her up as a sexy woman, dress her up as an innocent little girl, dress her up as a fierce warrior, it doesn't *matter*. The decadent, easily-bored, desperate-for-amusement citizens of the Capitol WILL buy her. It's just a question of who the buyers are and what they expect her to do, say, and be in their company.

        The entire capitol society revolves around trying to connect to the games and live vicariously through them. A common vacation is going to the sites of the games and watching film clip reruns on site. Peeta's talent – painting the games – was phenomenally popular because his paintings do for people what the citizens were ALREADY doing: the paintings immortalize the games, and serve as a way to live vicariously and inject the intensity of the arena into their dull lives.

        The worst part is, I don't get the impression that all of Finnick's buyers where horrible, mustache-twirling villains. Some of them – maybe most of them – probably treated him quite "nicely" in their own minds. We've seen that many of his "lovers" fantasize that they are his true love. I don't think the majority of the Capitol citizens WANT to hurt or brutalize the tributes that they rent/buy – they probably fantasize that they're doing them favors, being their friends, lifting them from the poverty of the districts, serving them a nice meal, being a gentle lover. I have no doubt that the tributes are informed by their handlers that they WILL play along with this fantasy and be polite, gracious, grateful, smitten.

        If anything, this makes it more sad and barbaric and cruel, to my mind. The tributes aren't just forced to sell their bodies, they're forced to pretend that they love their "sponsors".

        • Neiha says:

          just…A+ on everything.

        • StargazerLilies says:

          Late response to your excellent post, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on whether most of Finnick’s buyers knew he was being forced into prostitution. Some of them must have known and some of them probably got off on it, but I got the impression that most of his buyers were typical rich Capitol citizens, and I figured they just assumed he was doing this voluntarily and didn’t give it too much thought or ask too many questions. I can definitely imagine how even someone who knew Finnick was doing this against his will could find a way to justify it with the kind of reasoning you described, but I think they could also convince themselves that the money and perks would be enough to lead someone from the districts to actually agree to it, and of course the victors would have to do whatever they could to support that belief because that’s Snow’s thing. Either way I'm impressed with Collins for not making them mustache-twirling villains, but I give people a lot of credit when they manage to show that things as mundane as willful ignorance are enough to make average people complicit in terrible acts.

          It occurred to me that most of this seems to happen during the one time of year that victors can least afford to alienate the richest people in the Capitol, and I wonder now if that’s why it’s only the mentors who can get sponsors. I remember thinking in the first book that it was odd Effie couldn’t, but that would be a pretty clever way to force the victors to keep sucking up to these people for the rest of their lives if they want their tributes to have a shot at surviving.

          • anamardoll says:

            Those are some really great points, and I hadn't even thought of the "only mentors can get sponsors" angle. I do think you're right that it's another way of brutalizing the victors – if you want your "kids" to win each year, you have to get cracking at sucking up to the Capitol citizens. Maybe there's a reason why some of the victors (i.e., the Careers) get so tight with the Capitol – a cross between Stockholm syndrome and "if you can't beat them, join them"?

            I do think you're spot on that many of Finnick's buyers probably don't realize the extent of the situation – it fits with the "I am not a bad person" mentality that a lot of the Capitol citizens seem desperate to maintain despite the fact that their entire economy is based around slavery and murder. It's entirely possible that Snow instructs victors to "seduce" certain rich patrons, ask for gifts, and then funnel those gifts to Snow – why not? It fits with the systematic brutalization of the victors. There could be an entire "date box" for victors, where "fans" can place their names, and Snow picks out the wealthiest to be "chosen" by the victors for a seduction.

            As you say, willful ignorance is terrible, and Collins seems bent on showing that.

            • Hanh says:

              Yes I was just wondering this. I highly doubt the victors are getting any money from it (aside from gifts and secrets). But judging from Finnick's stories, I think the Capitol buyers knew they were doing wrong. That's why they tried bribing him with things to lessen their own guilt.

    • RainaWeather says:

      I've never thought about Johanna's nudism or Katniss's almost breast augmentation that way. :S

      • iolchos says:

        I don't know about Johanna's nudism (as far as we know she only did that once, in the elevator, to piss off Katniss – but that's just me), but I definitely see Katniss's surgeries that way :/

        thank heavens for Haymitch

    • anamardoll says:

      I can't seem to edit at this late stage, but I would like to re-write this:

      "Is that because she's crazy, or an attention-getter, or is it to scare off her would-be suitors?"

      To this:

      "Is that because she's obsessed with violence, or an attention-getter, or is it to scare off her would-be suitors?"

      I apologize for the inappropriate use of the word "crazy" there and I thank Mark (and the readers of this blog) for making me sensitive to the fact that there are better ways to express myself clearly. I just wish I'd noticed my poor choice of phrasing when the edit function was still an option. I apologize.

    • bookling says:

      It's so disturbing to re-read the series with this knowledge. It makes everything that much more insidious. And it makes you wonder… do they even wait until the victors are adults before they start pimping them out? Do they sell all of the victors this way, or just the especially attractive ones? Or are Tributes selected because of their looks and personality in the first place, like casting for a reality TV show?

      Sure, he was a sweet, loving, wonderful young man; sure, he'd give his life to protect her; but the fact that she was being left without a CHOICE just made it so odious. As Haymitch said, she'd never be able to do anything but live happily ever after with that boy.

      This is exactly why I always had a really hard time shipping Katpee. Yeah, Peeta loves her, truly. And yeah, Katniss sort of loves him too. But I always wanted Katniss to be able to choose for herself, which she hasn't been able to do. Even if she has feelings for Peeta, it's only because of the situations the Capitol engineered. How can he ever be her choice?

      • castlejune says:

        I'll bet that the recent victors are more "in demand" than old ones, no matter what age they are. The price to be the first in bed with a new victor would be enormous. I think the only reason Katpee didn't have to deal with this yet was because they were supposed to be in love (and all of the Capital supported that), and they were busy with the victory tour.

        • anamardoll says:

          This is a great point, and I hadn't thought of that, but you're right that whoever is the current "flavor of the month" (er, year) is most likely going to be the object of a major bidding war.

          Really, the Victors probably aren't just sold for sex – think how much their mere company would be worth to a lot of people! Fans would want to converse with the Victors, ask them about their experiences, what about all the stuff that wasn't mentioned in the Caesar interviews?? Imagine how popular you'd be among your friends if you scored a Victor as a guest at your birthday party!

          Some of that is probably done behind the scenes on the Victory Tours – it's mentioned that KatPee go to a lot of parties in the Capitol, I think, and those parties must be hosted by SOMEONE. Sure, the government could pay to throw a party, but wouldn't it be easier to let someone ELSE throw the party AND pay for the privilege of hosting a Victor celebration? One wonders if this is how they "ease" the tributes into prostitution… Make it clear that their company is being purchased at these parties, and then as time goes on make it clear that their "company" is being purchased for the after-party.

          And, really, what choice do they have? Finnick mentions that family members get killed if you refuse, but even if you don't have family members, you have friends. You have your yearly tribute children. You have your own self to be tortured. Shoot, you have random Avoxes that can be tortured in front of you. And even if NONE of that makes you capitulate, the Capitol can just take what they want anyway. There's no resistance. And that makes "Catching Fire" so different, because remember how astonished we were that so many Victors were so willing to die for their cause? They've got nothing to live for, in many cases.

          Really, there's REAMS of fanfic material there, for people – like me – who enjoy writing sad fanfic. 🙁

          • iolchos says:

            omg, this…this makes so much sense. All of this. I mean in my stupid head I was just thinking, "OH YOU COULD BUY AN INVITATION TO KATNISS AND PEETA'S WEDDING" because I deserve to burn in hell but really, that's the kind of status-centric thinking that her prep team had for a long time as well.

            I wonder how they felt about killing victors outside the arena. WHY DOES MY MIND GO THERE. GOSH.

            But yeah, it does make more sense out of some of their willingness to die in the Quell, or for the cause of the resistance, if they thought there were a way to further it.

            • kellythered says:

              "I wonder how they felt about killing victors outside the arena."

              Now THERE'S a thought. I'm sure if someone wanted to get the chance to kill a victor, if they paid a high enough price they just might be able to, and could cover it up as an accident. You know, they wrestled, and the Victor's neck just HAPPENED to get snapped, or they went hunting together and the Victor just HAPPENED to get shot…

          • fnoodles says:

            i have read a couple of finnick backstory fic that is all SADTEARS and one particular good one that explores what happens to katniss havd she killed peeta in the first book. 🙁

          • Hanh says:

            This is a great point, and I hadn't thought of that, but you're right that whoever is the current "flavor of the month" (er, year) is most likely going to be the object of a major bidding war.

            Can you imagine how much they'd fetch for virgins, too? Puts Peeta's comment about Katniss being pure in a whole new light. How many would pay to be able to say they were the first?

    • monkeybutter says:

      Great comment. I agree that this chapter affects the way I read a lot of characters the second time through. For instance, I liked Haymitch before for his snarkiness, but after this I can accept his more dickish behavior because of what he's shielding Katniss and Peeta from. He knows exactly what's in store for them, and how they can be used by the Capitol and District 13 (and notice how he tells Finnick that he doesn't have to give everything away and recount a painful aspect of his life for national consumption). He knows how important it is that the victors have some say in how they are being used.

      I think that explains a lot about Johanna and Enobaria, too — if it was even wholly Enobaria's choice to have the fangs put in. They have little control over their lives, so why not go nude or modify their bodies? They assert themselves as much as they can within the confines of the Capitol.

  13. Kaci says:

    I have been waiting for you to get to this since Finnick was first introduced. What happened to him hits so close to home for me and I cry just thinking of he and Annie finding happiness together.

    And I agree with your comment about this being inconceivable to many of us due to privilege. 100%

  14. Clare says:

    This was probably my favorite chapter of this whole book, even though it's so sad- because of the development of the characters.
    Katniss realizes how the districts are weakening the capitol, Finnik reveals his part of the oppression the capitol inflicts on even the "best loved" tribute victors, and we begin to understand what began Haymitch's descent into alcoholism. And then of course, there is the explanation of Snow's creepy creepiness.

    And oh god your gifs are so appropriate!!!!!

  15. Haymitch arrives to tell Katniss and Haymitch


    But this chapter caught me off guard. When they mentioned they had Peeta I was like "well there goes all the drama and suspense" AND THEN HE CHOKES HER. JUST FULL ON GRABS HER BY THE THROAT

  16. Frianna says:

    I don't know how you can do this one chapter at a time. As I got to this chapter I just couldn't stop reading even if it was 2 am and I had school the next day. But I'm happy Peeta is finally back! And Finnick and Annie are so cute 8)
    The backstory time in this chapter made me really sad. It's so horrifying how the victors' lifes have been changed after the games by the Capitol. It makes me hate them even more!

    I'd have even more to say, but I should already be reading for my history test tomorrow.

  17. shortstack930 says:

    This chapter was such an emotional roller coaster. The awful depressing truth of Finnick and Haymitch's past, the anxiety of waiting for everyone to return, the happiness for Finnick and Annie, the sadness for Johanna, and then the confusion surrounding Peeta. Overall an extremely powerful chapter.

    On a sidenote, I went on last night and noticed that they have cast Peeta for the Hunger Games movie!!! They picked a relatively unknown actor: Gabriel Liotta. It's also rumored that Chloe Moretz got the role of Katniss. Not sure how I feel about either yet…

    • iolchos says:

      wrt: casting – until there's an official annoucement, I'm holding my breath. IMDB can be hacked and edited.

    • bookling says:

      IMDb is not official. And if Chloe Moretz gets Katniss I will eat my hat. (Not that she's a bad actress, but she's just not right for Katniss.)

    • Kripa says:

      They're five years apart, which wouldn't be a big deal if KatPee were supposed to be grownups, but it would be 15 and 20 in this case. No bueno.

      • iolchos says:

        yeah, those cast listings were probably posted by a troll :/
        (and that Gabriel kid looks more like a young Haymitch or a Gale, to me, too, rather than a Peeta)

        am about to chew off my leg for some official casting news at this point

  18. We got Johanna, Finnick, and Annie. CUE MY HAPPYDANCE OF UNENDING JOY!!!
    :: flails ::

    Okay, Finnick's story… way worse than I ever imagined, and I completely lost any and all street cred by crying like the time my dog ate my favourite "My Little Pony".


    As for Peeta… I bet he's in a snit because he found out that Snow keeps sending Katniss flowers.

  19. Ishii_Era says:

    Every scene here was so powerful.

    Especially Finnick and Annie. Oh my.

    And oh, look, another awful cliffhanger. Surprised? 😉

  20. barnswallowkate says:

    I just want to hug everyone in this chapter. It's all so sad 🙁

    But also VDay hugs to the whole Mark Does Stuff community 😀 <3

  21. QuoteMyFoot says:

    All the things the Capitol has forced on Finnick and Haymitch makes me draw really uncomfortable parallels, fyi. And when I say uncomfortable I mean because they are absolutely awful events, the parallels themselves are interesting. But kinda inevitable I guess.

    Haymitch is the example. Oh god what. This totally didn't click with me on my first read, but am I the only one imagining Haymitch being forced to attend Victor celebrations and Capitol dos, year after year, just so they can rub it in his (and the other Victors' faces) exactly what he lost? No wonder the poor man drinks, ffs. If he's the example he's got to be paraded around a bit to have an effect, right?

    Team Sadfaces for Victors 🙁


    • Gabbie says:

      When I first read how he was the example, I somehow got this imagine in my head of the new victor (whoever was "desirable" enough for the Capitol. Ugh.) being invited to Snow's mansion, and Haymitch having to go as well. Said victor will sit in front of Snow's big presidential desk while Snow explains how she/he will be forced into prostitution. And then, with Haymitch present, he'll tell the new victor about the example of what will happen if a victor causes problems. (What's weird is that I never even put thought into that, just quickly assumed that's what happened.)

  22. I feel much more confident that we understand what’s made him the way he is, why he’s so bitter and cynical and FULL OF HATRED and probably just listens to Nine Inch Nails really loud in his room and stuff.
    Terrible lie!

    But Katniss then begs Haymitch to at least let her help with something while the mission is going on and HE AGRESS.
    He what now? You're making up verbs again.

    PEETA!!!!!!! HE MADE IT!
    Well. Kinda.

    My lips are just forming his name when his fingers lock around my throat.
    This could be how Paneminians express their affection for each other, you never know.

    (P.S. Hey, everyone! If you would like to donate to 826 Valencia/the pirate store and help me raise more money than a law firm to cheat at a spelling bee against Michael Chabon and Lemony Snicket, now is the time! Let's crowdsource this fundraising shit. If you donate, I will write you a limerick. I write awesome limericks. Like so:

    Crap, Katniss is now choked by Peeta!
    Why, that is no nice way to greet a
    Girl with a bow
    And deadly arrow
    Who'd shoot you faster than a cheetah.)

    • iolchos says:

      This could be how Paneminians express their affection for each other, you never know.
      you have all the win

  23. StargazerLilies says:

    If you go back and reread when Finnick and Katniss first met, knowing what you know now, it will absolutely break your heart.

    The citizens of the Capitol have been drooling over him ever since. Because of his youth, they couldn't really touch him for the first year or two. But ever since he turned sixteen, he's spent his time at the Games being dogged by those desperately in love with him. No one retains his favor for long. He can go through four or five in his annual visit. Old or young, lovely or plain, rich or very rich, he'll keep them company and take their extravagant gifts, but he never stays, and once he's gone he never comes back.

    • iolchos says:


    • Puel says:

      Sixteen. He was sixteen. It's pretty much the most awful thing ever. Poor bb.

      • iolchos says:


        so that means, if he were at the Games as a mentor, then they'd be all over him while his kids were in the arena

        and maybe that's part of how he tried to get them sponsors


        • Puel says:

          I — I can totally see that. God.

          The more I think about what happened to Finnick, the more I want to bundle him up in lots of blankets and feed him soup and let him cuddle with Annie forever. OH GOD HONEY. :'(

          • iolchos says:

            but can you just imagine if he were Annie's mentor?

            tears. forever.

            {grabs a bundle of blankets and starts helping you with the soup}

            the sheer amount of tragic WHUT he has to put up with is nigh ridiculous.

        • StargazerLilies says:

          That's a really good point. If anyone would take a horrifying situation like that and try to use it to help someone else, it would probably be Finnick.

        • syntheticjesso says:

          He got them sponsors…. so they could survive and then be subjected to the exact same thing D: D: D:

      • liliaeth says:

        And keep in mind, that's when they publicly went after him. Who's to know if Snow really waited that long before selling him to someone.

        • Puel says:


          I wouldn't put it past Snow. There is, admittedly, very little I'd put past Snow.

          I really want him and Annie to have lots of deliriously happy healthy fully-consensual funtimes in District 13 now. Seriously, he deserves that much.

          • iolchos says:

            seconded and thirded and fourthed and, shit, can we just have a referendum on this?

            Finnick and Annie are allowed to just have a level in district 13 JUST TO THEMSELVES and it will include a meadow, and they are not to be disturbed, indefinitely, unless they request company or are hosting a tea party. They are granted free access to roam and first place in the food line at the cafeteria.

            Also, I mean SHIT.

    • StargazerLilies says:

      Finnick recites a poem he wrote to his one true love in the Capitol, and about a hundred people faint because they're sure he means them.

      Oh Finnick, there aren't enough hugs in the world. If it weren't for his reunion with Annie, this chapter would be pure tragedy. It almost seems obvious now; how else would he get a reputation like that when he's so deeply devoted to her? And it's so consistent with everything else the Capitol has done. I guess that supports Mark's point about privilege though, that it didn't occur to so many of us when it makes so much sense in hindsight. It's also a YA series that has avoided the topic of sex like the plague up to now, so I think that's part of why I was so surprised when she went there.

    • Clare says:

      This is heartbreaking. Can you imagine how he felt after realizing that this is what "winning" the Hunger Games means for him? Oh God….

  24. jennywildcat says:

    Mark – you've asked about Snow and Finnick and Haymitch now you have answers! Granted, they're pretty sucky answers. For all the humor surrounding Finnick, when you finally find out what happened to him – *HEARTBREAK* </3

    And Haymitch… *ULTIMATE HEARTBREAK* </3 </3 </3

    And Snow… well, we already knew that he's a bastard.


    And then that thing with Peeta happens and… WAY TO BE A BUZZKILL. DX

  25. pooslie says:


  26. bell_erin_a says:

    “Do you want me to have them sedate you until it’s over?” asks Haymitch. He’s not joking.
    WOAH WOAH WOAH BACK UP A SECOND. Is someone asking Katniss if she wants to be sedated instead of just jamming the needle into her?!? I can’t even believe this. First they go rescue Peeta and now this. Mockingjay, you are full of wonders. I suppose you’re going to tell me next that D13 so far has been a trial run to see if the citizens of D12 are ready for the real D13, which is actually a great place full of puppies and rainbows? Please don’t: I don’t think I could handle it. < /smartass >

    President Coriolanus Snow?? Dude’s got terrible luck with names! You’re the president! Can’t you change your name to something more awe- and fear-inspiring? Failing to do that makes you a terrible villain, Snow.

    Finnick, it’s all going to be okay because I love you. Also, Annie's back. Yay!

    How, you must ask yourself, did he do it? One word. That’s all you really need to know. Poison.
    I totally stand by my theory (actually formed when I read the books) that he poisoned the guy who was president before him. Erin’s not quite so ridiculous conspiracy theories as the ones in recent reviews: confirmed, at least in part. Haha, I am a ~seer~.

    “No. My mother and younger brother. My girl. They were all dead two weeks after I was crowned victor. Because of that stunt I pulled with the force field.”
    Aw, Haymitch. This chapter is all the sads of backstories. 🙁 I’m surprised Snow actually killed everyone he cared about (and repeated that with Johanna?) instead of keeping one person hostage in the Capitol, much like Peeta. Haymitch said Snow then had no leverage, which seems like a dumb idea, because what would have stopped Haymitch from doing something to undermine Snow? What if he hadn’t become an alcoholic?


    I search my heart, but at the moment the only person I can feel creeping up on me is Snow.
    Aaawwww, it must have been the flowers! Happy Valentine’s Day, Katniss!


    ALSO. I love the juxtaposition of all the happy gifs there that get your heart beating faster like YES YES YES THEY DID IT, THIS IS GOING TO BE GOOD and then… it's totally not.

    • tchemgrrl says:

      See, I like the creepiness of all the Latin names, but maybe that's just the fact that the one episode of "Rome" that I watched gave me nightmares.

    • Clare says:

      Haymitch said Snow then had no leverage, which seems like a dumb idea, because what would have stopped Haymitch from doing something to undermine Snow? What if he hadn’t become an alcoholic?

      I think the idea was to break him. And I think in the beginning of the series he looked pretty well broken. 🙁

      • iolchos says:

        truth. Didn't Katniss say she thought he didn't even try to help his tributes?

      • Gabbie says:

        But it was shortsighted of Snow, since he could have used Haymitch for prostitution like the other victors.

        • iolchos says:

          yeah, but what Haymitch says is also still true: having someone as an example is useful because it means you don't have to waste time/resources making your point to everyone else you want to tow the line, he's a living reminder of this is what happens when you cross me

          which is kind of a good investment on its own, in an evil way

    • iolchos says:

      I search my heart, but at the moment the only person I can feel creeping up on me is Snow.
      NGL this made me LOL so much. Oh Katniss <3

    • monkeybutter says:

      Aw, I like his name!

      I think Snow needed to make an example of someone, and Haymitch was it. He was pretty young during the 2nd Quarter Quell, so perhaps he was still putting his stamp on the Games. I think targeting a kid from the poorest area of the poorest District was the ideal choice for example-making, because who would he turn to? How would he make trouble? Maybe build ties with an underground resistance movement and do his best over the years to prevent this from happening to anyone else, using his reputation as an inept drunk as a cover?

      • thatonegirl says:

        How do you even say his name? I saw it and immediately went into vowel overload.

        • iolchos says:


          I'm thinking like this:
          "Cohr" (like apple "core" or "core" in "corey") EEE-oh-LAWN-oos

          • monkeybutter says:

            I think you're close with something like Cor-ee-oh-lah-noos for the Latin, but I say Cor-ee-oh-LAY-nuhs (or maybe even -uh-LAY-nuhs), because I like the way it sounds. 🙂

          • Integrity1584 says:

            I took Latin for like 7 years, and while there are variations in pronunciation that's how I would say it.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        I think I took one look at his first name, went "woah, what," and then immediately discounted it as evil dictator name because if I can't say it, then I obviously can't inspire the fear of god in anyone by saying it, now can I? Unless it's a situation where he goes by "He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named" and/or Snow. I accept it in that case, then. Also, I somehow managed to go through high school English with only reading Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar. Don't ask me how, but yeah, I'm a bit behind on the Shakespeare thing here.

        Actually, that makes sense. Haymitch would probably have been one of the first Victors under Snow, and the force field thing would have marked him as a candidate for the KILL EVERYONE HE LOVES AND MAKE SURE HE'S BROKEN treatment. I keep forgetting that Haymitch's Quell was that long ago and that while Snow is definitely working on the ruling forever thing, he hasn't quite gotten there. I still like the idea of Haymitch cultivating the image of a powerless drunk to wreak havoc on the Capitol, though. :p

        • iolchos says:

          was he one of the first victors under Snow? I thought Snow's been around since much longer…(can't find the evidence in the text, though, to say when exactly his reign/presidency began…)

          I still like the idea of Haymitch cultivating the image of a powerless drunk to wreak havoc on the Capitol, though.
          ditto. Although the image of him at the beginning of the first book, railing at the cameras as Katniss takes the stage, "MORE THAN YOU," still fills me with despair.

          • bell_erin_a says:

            Maybe not one of the first, but I don't think Snow was around for the first Quell? I dunno. It's probably somewhere in CF.

          • monkeybutter says:

            Oh, I was just speculating because he looked young during Haymitch's Games and he rose to power young. It's a big moment, and possibly his first Quell, so it was a good time to manipulate the situation to remind the victors what he and the Capitol are capable of. But he could have been in power for years before that, because you're right, there's nothing in the text.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Haha, that's okay, I can't blame you. I wasn't a fan of Shakespeare in high school because it just seemed like SRS BSNS no matter how many times our teachers told us that Shakespeare was popular and funny, especially the bawdy stuff they weren't allowed to teach us!

          The guy has to have fun somehow!

  27. doesntsparkle says:

    It's Valentine's Day and Peeta's back. How Romantic. Wait, Peeeta, what are you doing? Don't choke Katniss.

    I feel horrible for everyone. Poor Finnkick and Haymitch, until this point I was dying to know their backstories, now that I do I want to reach into the book and hug them.

  28. S.L.O.E. Buttercup issued threats that he would poop in Collins's bed if she killed Johanna.

  29. lilygirl says:

    Yeah, this chapter. I like how Collins sucker punches us. Of course, the Capitol abuses the victors, of course, but we only see that in hindsight. It is so true to Snow's rule that we should have already figured this out, it should have been a prediction, it is so obvious. But here we are on the mat, crying and broken.


  30. Puel says:

    This chapter + Valentine's Day = Finnick/Annie picspam. THEY ARE MY FAVORITES FOREVER, YOU GUYS, I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH. (I will probably comment on the substance of the chapter later, but damn, I have to get this out of the way first.)

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    And links to comics that are too big to actually embed (SPOILER WARNINGS for the comments):

    Indivisible by timetofrolic

    Finnick and Annie by the incomparable burdge-bug

    Seriously, I can't even begin to describe how much I love these two. &hearts;

    • iolchos says:

      I adore so many of these pictures, especially the second. The COLORING, WOW.

    • t09yavorski says:

      I love the first one because of the look on Finnicks face. 🙂 it makes me happy to see him happy.

      the third one is pretty awesome too though.

  31. easilyentranced says:

    God, I'd been waiting for you to get to this chapter only because of Finnick's big reveal. I never in a million years would have been prepared for that, which made it all the more shocking and depressing. But then him and Annie get the most beautiful reunion ever. This chapter seriously fucked with my emotions. Also, PEETA WHAT ARE YOU DOING????

  32. momigrator says:

    The Finnick and Annie reunion made me cry!

    As for Peeta, I've been thinking something is up with him since he had to struggle so hard to get the words out to warn them of the bombings. I dunno. I think they inserted some sort of electrical controlling device in his brain or something so that they can control him and he has to put in extreme effort to override the system in order to control his own body. Just a thought, I'm probably way off base here but the capitol did SOMETHING to him, amiright!?

  33. erin says:

    Catching Fire: "The way Finnick acts doesn’t help, either, and it makes me like Katniss more because she’s so revolted by who he has become since he won the games."


    Oh, Finnick. :'( Oh, Haymitch! T.T But yay for happy reunio- OH WAIT we can't have happy things can we.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Those gifs nailed my reactions perfectly.

  35. RainaWeather says:

    If Johanna had not been rescued, me and Collins would have had words.

  36. HanLin says:

    Johanna the badass is saved! HELLZ YEAH.
    So is Crazy Annie! Happy V-Day, Finnick.
    And Peeta! Who wants to KILL KATNISS?! WHERE IS THE LOVE, PEETA?

  37. Puel says:

    So I love how Collins sets us up to objectify Finnick from the start and then makes us feel completely awful for doing so. To quote a dear friend of mine: "It's the narrative equivalent of rattling off a string of perfect "your mom" jokes at someone only to discover moments later that their mother has terminal cancer."


    Also, this makes Finnick one of the only male characters I can think of to, technically, be a hooker with a heart of gold. It's really unusual for men to be treated as objects rather than subjects of desire in cultural narratives in this country — think of the different discourses around male and female beauty, how men are supposed to be desirous and women desirable — and the way Finnick's treated completely inverts that. It's interesting and a little subversive. And COMPLETELY AWFUL, but well, that's this series in a nutshell for you.

    Finnick and Annie get all the hearts forever. All of them.


    <img src=""&gt;

    • Clare says:


      I have to love you for this line!

      Also I agree with everything you said and especially about the objectifying and feeling awful, if I could upvote you a million times I would. As it is I had to be content with the one.

  38. theresa1128429 says:

    Finally, we have arrived at chapter 12. Business first.
    I love Finnick's story. Yes, it is tragic, but it is also being used as a big kick in Snow's face, so I like it. And of course, Yay Annie!
    Poor Haymitch. It must be hard for him to talk about it, especially sober.
    Peeta, WTF? How about just one happy ending to a chapter?
    Beetee, keep kicking some Captiol frequency ass.
    Pretty soon, MsImpertinence shall be joining me for our standard wedding discussions

    • You know me so well.
      The only reason Johanna said she had no one left that she loved was because you hadn't read the book yet. Gospel truth, yo.


      • theresa1128429 says:

        Well, we had met a couple of times, but she was trying to protect me from Snow by keeping us a secret. And yes, break out the bandaids so we can get on with the wedding. Tell Katniss and Peeta they can only come if they leave the drama outside.

  39. bookling says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Augh, this chapter! Mostly Finnick. Oh, Finnick. Who had any idea that he'd been through anything like that? That all his posturing, his sexual confidence – none of that was by choice. It was a necessity, because how else could be cope with being used like that? And he did it all to protect Annie. BUT NOW THEY'RE TOGETHER AGAIN YAY.


    <img src=""&gt;

    Collins is an evil mastermind. You're expecting this grand reunion like Finnick and Annie had, and even if it's less romantic, you expect a hug at least! BUT NO, INSTEAD PEETA IS CHOKING KATNISS FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON.

  40. RainaWeather says:

    My Johanna is back, she's alive. I can rest easy.


    Alright, mouth close for fear of spoiler release. byby

  41. tchemgrrl says:

    "“President Snow used to…sell me…my body, that is,” Finnick begins in a flat, removed tone."

    Children's book lolololol

    And Peeta! This is so, so much worse than killing him. Someone who places such a high value on not losing the core of their being, their mental compass, and ruining that? There are not enough fires for Snow to die in.

  42. HungryLikeLupin says:

    Oh my god this chapter. T____T

    The truly terrible thing about Finnick's revelation is how much sense it makes. It's not enough for the Capitol to only pull its victors in once a year for a reminder of how little control they have over their own lives. The Hunger Games were designed, after all, to serve as a constant reminder that the Districts and their citizens are hopeless in the face of the Capitol's power. They live at the sufferance of those in power. The victors, then, have a potentially dangerous sort of power. They have been through the worst life possibly has to throw at them and emerged victorious; they have defied the odds and come out alive and mostly whole; they are beloved by Panem's citizens, revered, adored. Of course the Capitol can't let them believe that any scrap of power they've found is actually real. They've lived through the most horrifying thing they can possibly imagine; the Capitol finds something worse. Something that, unlike their time in the arena, might never end.

    It explains a great deal about the victors we met in Catching Fire, especially Finnick and Johanna's detached hypersexualization. It makes me wonder, too, about people like the morphlings. (Not to mention the possibility of the woman who had her teeth turned into fangs gaining a horrifying new subtext.) Up until this point I had assumed that all of these people were just trying their best to deal with their memories of the arena and the horror of having to send other children there every year afterward. Now we find out that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    It also makes me wonder about Haymitch, and his endorsement of the pretend romance between Peeta and Katniss. On the one hand, with both of them making it out alive, their very public relationship might have saved both of them from a fate like Finnick's. On the other hand, though, I doubt he anticipated that as a possibility back during the first Hunger Games, and it seems as if establishing Katniss as such a desirable person might not have been the smartest move in this context. What was going on in your head, Haymitch?? YOU ANSWER ME oh god I'm yelling at a fictional character again. >_<

    The conspiracy theorist part of me is also wondering how many people know that this goes on. Are sponsors more willing to back attractive contestants because they know how President Snow will use them if they win? Do the sponsors of winning tributes get a cut of their sales? WHY IS EVERY NEW THING WE LEARN ABOUT THIS PLACE MORE HORRIBLE THAN THE LAST?

    (I can't even talk about that last line. Can't do it. I'll just wait for the next chapter, and sob quietly here in the corner.)

    • StargazerLilies says:

      It also makes me wonder about Haymitch, and his endorsement of the pretend romance between Peeta and Katniss. On the one hand, with both of them making it out alive, their very public relationship might have saved both of them from a fate like Finnick's. On the other hand, though, I doubt he anticipated that as a possibility back during the first Hunger Games, and it seems as if establishing Katniss as such a desirable person might not have been the smartest move in this context. What was going on in your head, Haymitch??

      This just occurred to me too, and the more I think about it, the more I think he knew exactly what he was setting Katniss up for when he made her being "desirable" a big part of their strategy. I guess he figured it was worth it if it got her out alive. I don't really know what to think of him now. It's so sick and awful that anyone would even have to make a choice like that. It would help explain why apparently no one ever goes with the romance angle; maybe you'd have to go 24 years without a kid surviving before you're desperate enough to resort to that, knowing what the consequences would be if they won.

      • erin says:

        That's a fair point, but you have to wonder if a prep team/stylist is even allowed to make a tribute look "undesirable." I mean, their entire purpose is to make them look good, yes? I don't remember Haymitch ever making the decision to have them turn Katniss pretty.

        • liliaeth says:

          And remember, Haymitch isn't the only one who tells his Tribute to go with the desirable angle.

          Most of the girls are told to go with desirable for at least some part of their interview, because it's more likely to get you sponsors. Think about that girl from District 1, Glimmer, who went with sexy and who was apparently really pretty. If she'd won, she'd probably be next in line to be sold.

  43. Inessa says:

    Thank you for saying what you said about privelege. We take this for granted so often. Often, when I read an article or commentary critisizing our government or another country’s actions, it is so blatant that it is from a position of privilege. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do it, by any means, but we often forget to be thankful for the presumed right to express an opinion, the worst reprecussion being people disagreeing, and also voicing their opinions. It’s also interesting to note that our right of freedom of speech, of criticising oppression, discrimination, is spun to present us as immoral, debaucherous, disloyal, morally weak West, to the people of the countries whose regimes we critisize.
    Haymitch – all my tears. Finnick – heartbreak. What is wonderful is the comraderie the victors share, as Haymitch and Johanna and Beetee were obviously aware of Finnick’s fate. And now we see the horrible fate of the victors having to relive the trauma and go through another hell, as mentors. Haymitch obviously decided to sacrifice the respect of even his own district, since letting tributes die may be kinder than helping them become victors. As to district 13, what an interesting situation. They have declared freedom from the Capitol, they don’t send children to die at the hunger games. They raise their people to appreciate how lucky they are to be free of the Capitol’s oppression. We can see that they are in turn oppressed – self expression and individuality stomped out, clogs in a machine, joyless, even food, all same and rationed. But this is how privelege works, we judge them through Katniss’ eyes, but they don’t think they’re oppressed; they are not rebelling against any of their regimented rules, not fighting their government. So then, what if the rebellion succeeds, will all of Panem districts be expected to take on this model since they lead the revolution? Will Coin govern the whole country like 13? Ugh, no thanks.
    Finally, my plea. Could you please read the next chapter, please, please?

    • Inessa says:

      I just realised something very sad. Despite the comraderie the victors share, with their knowedge of each others trauma, their understanding of the depths of evil of the Capitol, they still killed each other off right off the bat at the Quarter Quell. It seems that most victors would have a tale of horror. How strong is the self preservation instinct that someone killed a mother of 3?

  44. ldwy says:

    I understand Katniss' need to do something. I hate that feeling of helplessness, when you know there's really nothing, or not much, you can do. And yet you feel awful and useless just standing by. I've felt that way so many times. Sometimes a little thing can make you feel that way-like visiting a friend and they're cleaning up the two dinner plates you ate on, and really, there's only room at the sink for one, and it's a quick job so you just stand there and wait and feel useless. For me it's often a medium sized something-like when a family member is feeling down, in a funk, nothing super concrete, just a mood. And you want so desperately to cheer them up, but all they need is time and the funk will pass, so you just have to wait. I get that helpless useless feeling then. And then sometimes it's big things. Like for Katniss and Finnick, and me too, occasionally. Anyway, Katniss' feelings at the beginning of this chapter really rang true to me. I think we've all experienced them to some degree, I know I have.

    I like that Katniss finally told her story about Peeta. I'm not sure if it will be a huge distraction to the Capitol, like they're hoping, but it will certainly be a good "cause building" personal piece that would resonate with the districts.

    Okay, OMG on to Finnick's horrible story. The poor man. The Capitol made him a sex slave. And he's not the only one? How horrible. When I stop to think for a second, I realize that given all we've seen so far – the way the Capitol is marked by extreme consumerism, and the way that Capitol citizens who aren't even that bad still have been conditioned to not really think of District citizens as people – I'm not actually that surprised. But that doesn't make me any less horrified.

    Secrets, I think. That’s what Finnick told me his lovers paid him in, only I thought the whole arrangement was by his choice.
    “Secrets,” he says, echoing my thoughts. “And this is where you’re going to want to stay tuned, President Snow, because so very many of them were about you. But let’s begin with some of the others.”

    I love how a seemingly throwaway line from Catching Fire has come back again. (Collins is pretty good at this, making my brain dart back and go ahhhhhaaa!) And as soon as I read it I thought: YES FINNICK KNOWS WHY SNOW SMELLS LIKE BLOOD WE ARE FINALLY GOING TO FIND OUT!!!

    Poison didn't surprise me at all. As Katniss says, it matches his personality. But mouth sores from drinking it himself? That's creepy and awful and good job, Collins, I am grossed out. If I recall correctly, in Catching Fire when he came to talk to Katniss in her house, didn't she notice the smell even more when he whispered to her? I assumed it was because he got closer, but (assuming I am remembering correctly) it's actually because his mouth in particular got closer. Good continuity. Anyway, overall reaction: ewwwww. Good job, Finnick, that must have been hard, but spreading secrets can do way more damage than just bombs.

    So it seemed like they were late getting back, right? AWFUL poor Katniss and Finnick waiting again.


    Okay. So coming up on the ending, the way Katniss was narrating her imaginings about her reunion with Peeta? It made me expect the opposite. This hasn't been happening much anymore, but back in The Hunger Games, Katniss was portrayed as so clueless, that the way she was written, whenever she went on and on about expecting something, I came to assume that meant it was definitely NOT going to turn out that way, and mostly I was right. Here, that sensation came back. It would seem too neat, and Katniss' brain musings were going on about it too much, for me to think it was all going to be jolly and good and lovely with their reunion. So although I am still SUPER SUPER SAD I am not really surprised that it wasn't all love and hugs. Strangulation? Wasn't quite expecting that.

    So now I am musing. Does Peeta think that Katniss really was in on the rebellion (Even though he said no in his interviews)? It wouldn't surprise me, given how he was left out of the loop of Katniss' and Haymitch's secret plans to keep him alive during the first hunger games. If he thought he'd been left out of the loop again, and then also left behind, that could make someone seriously angry. And the only other time we've seen Peeta really angry was when he finally told Haymitch and Katniss off for leaving him out of the loop the first time. So this is my prediction about what is going on. We'll have to see how it turns out-all my other predictions tend to be dead wrong, hehe.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think you're right that it's not all that surprising that the Capitol would force the victors into prostitution, I just never expected Collins to come out with it so directly. The make-overs and interviews, where the tributes' lives depend on the audience loving them, are so much worse in retrospect. The Capitol is packaging them for later exploitation. It's disgusting.

      I agree about the ending, too; Collins never lets us have nice things, certainly not 12 chapters into the book. I thought Peeta would be angry or bitter, but not violent. That was definitely an unexpected twist.

      • ldwy says:

        Yes. While I was not suprised that it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies, I was definitely surprised by Peeta's violence. I mean, we know horrible things happened to him in the Capitol, but this seems like such a drastic shift in personality, it makes me scared!

  45. Joanie says:

    Finnick and Annie reunited!
    Sweetest little paragraph ever.<3


  46. With my eyes wide open was pretty much how I read this entire chapter. I mean, I knew the Capitol was messed up but I don't think anyone suspected it was THIS messed up. It just sort of makes you wish you could reach in and give all the characters hugs because wow.

  47. monkeybutter says:

    a Shakespearean reference, yay!

    <img src=""&gt;

    Thanks for explaining exactly why I like it!

  48. paulineparadise says:

    "If a victor is considered desirable, the president gives them as a reward or allows people to buy them for an exorbitant amount of money. If you refuse, he kills someone you love. So you do it."

    Wait wait wait wait WAIT WAIT WAIT

    Johanna has no loved ones left, right? Soooooo she refused to be bought by people from the Capitol. JOHANNA IS BADASS

    And if Katniss won the games in a 'normal', berry-free way, would this have happened to her? And Peeta?

  49. ldwy says:

    Oh, and Mark? You have all the perfect gifs EVER.

  50. thatonegirl says:

    Is this Collins' idea of a Valentine's episode? Yikes.
    Holy cow now I feel like the biggest perv ever for enjoying undapants Finnick a few chapters back. His story is so horrible but makes so much sense that I don't know how I didn't see something like that being the reason why he acted the way he did in Catching Fire. Wow.
    And it changes the way I look at Johanna too. I see her nakedness as giving the finger to Snow. He killed all the people she loved, probably because she wouldn't be sold, and now she can rub in the fact that he's got no hold on her by showing off her body and knowing that no one can take it from her.
    I don't know if I can even talk about Peeta. My spidey senses were tingling as soon as Katniss basically admitted her feelings. I knew there was no way this was going to end good. But I thought she was going to see Peeta drop dead, not try to kill her. It never crossed my mind until that moment that he might be mad at her. At least, that's the only reason I can come up with for him trying to choke her.

  51. RachelHs says:

    That Haymitch quote. No. My mother and younger brother. My girl. They were all dead two weeks after I was crowned victor. Is in my opinion, the absolute SADDEST quote in all three books. I don't know why. I think it's because I love Haymitch so much but just the way he said it, "my girl." My heart has shattered into dust that is impossible to put back together.

  52. Depths_of_Sea says:

    why he’s so bitter and cynical and FULL OF HATRED and probably just listens to Nine Inch Nails really loud in his room and stuff.

    I Lol-ed. I'm terrible.

    THIS CHAPTER. ALL THE MOOD WHIPLASH OF SADNESS AND JOY. IT MADE ME DIZZY. First I was OMGSADZ for Finnick's epically crappy backstory, then it turned into OMGYAY for the successful rescue of Johanna and Annie and Peeta, and then it was OMGSQUEE for the Finnick/Annie reunion and Katniss's adorably love-sappy thoughts as she's running to see Peeta, and then I had no more strong feelings left for the final twist, which made my reaction a rather understated, "……well crap."

  53. Sarah says:

    'My lips are just forming his name when his fingers lock around my throat.'

    LOL PEETA YOU'RE SO FUNNY WHY ARE YOU HUGGING HER NECK? – and i believe this is verbatim – was my actual reaction when reading this line. idek….

    also: finnick! <img src=""/&gt;
    this is so messed up….

  54. Lolua says:

    Actually, I'm not positive that a book being inside a computer would really stop me from flinging it against the wall, given the right levels of rage at the text. This is one of several reasons I can't see myself using an e-reader.

  55. Yusra says:

    By the way Mark, Haymitch didn't tell Haymitch and Katniss something, since that would be slightly strange…

    [Haymitch arrives to tell Katniss and Haymitch that there is something they can do to help the rescue efforts.]

  56. Robin says:

    Ok. I cannot even deal with what's going on with Peeta. So I'm going to be pedantic and nit-picky instead.

    CORIOLANUS Snow. Seriously? WTF. That name is so completely not fitting for him. At all. Collins has been pretty interesting with the allusions her Roman/Latin names make up to this point, so maybe I'm missing something but… Coriolanus is basically a tank with the diplomatic know-how of a spoon. Kind of actually the opposite of Snow, who never directly uses physical violence against someone and instead relies on his ability to mobilize folks. Like. The tragedy of Coriolanus is caused by his inability to be subtle or manipulate people.

    Unless Snow's mom is gonna sell him out to the rebellion by the end of the story?

    Any other Shakespeare geeks see something in this allusion that I'm missing? Because I find it really baffling…

  57. BradSmith5 says:

    Mmm, Collins, this Valentine's Day is perfect now; you make my heart race with chapters like this. Keeping Katniss awake in horrible anticipation is just what I wanted today––you're so sweet. Chocolates and flowers? No way, baby. You know what it takes to satisfy me: plot-relevant backstories with minimal adverbs.

    Oooooh yeeeaah. 😉

  58. potlid007 says:

    The solution for this chapter:
    1. PLENTY of chocolate
    <img src="; border="0" alt="avpm-giantbarofchocolate Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    2. A best friend
    <img src="; border="0" alt="avpm – ron hugging harry from behind. Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    3. Just let all of the tears out. there's nothing you can do.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="avpm – harry bite fist uncertainly. Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  59. Pk9 says:

    I'm going to go slightly against the grain here. I was with everyone with the Peeta thing being completely unexpected and shocking, and Haymitch's story being worlds of sad, and YAY Johanna's alive and Finnick and Annie are so beautiful together, but…

    I'm not so pleased with Suzanne Collins' decision to seemingly develop Snow into the ultimate villain. Yeah, Finnick's revelations make sense and seem in character for the President, but we are set up from the first book to see the CAPITOL as a whole as the evil. The Capitol won the war. The Capitol forced the Hunger Games on the districts. The Capitol is entertained by the deaths of children. Etc, etc. But now it seems that Snow is no longer just a representative of the Capitol, he's the evil behind the Capitol. Not even Capitol politicians are safe from Snow's ambition and thirst for control. Yeah, it makes him a good villain, but it also makes the story way more stereotypical. He could be Voldemort, or Sauron, or Dr. Evil…. Of course, Suzanne Collins may surprise us again, but it just seems like this is where the story is now headed.

  60. korat97 says:

    and I thought I could hold a grudge.

  61. andreah1234 says:


    My mind can not handle what has just happened. JUST. I CAN'T EVEN.


  62. stephanie says:


  63. Saber says:

    My thoughts for this chapter:

    Yay, going to rescue Peeta! Why isn't Katniss going? Aw, FINE COLLINS, FINE. It would be more fun if you let her go.

    Going to do a propo? this will not end well.

    Hey, yah! You stick it to Snow Katniss! Own it!

    Uh oh, why is Finnick talking to Plutarch and Haymitch? I have a bad feeling about this.

    He's going to tell us about how he met Annie? All smiles!


    Collins new the exact moment I started to fall asleep. She knew. And she did the only thing that would keep me reading another half hour even though I had to get up the next day.


    • Saber says:

      On how this relates the other Victors: This is likely why Haymitch was pushing the "Star-crossed-lovers" angle, to protect them both. Katniss mentions in THG that some Victors are allowed to marry and have children (And their children are often reaped, but that's another thing entirely) and Collins gives us the example of Cecelia from 8.

      This puts an entirely new context to everything. To why none of the victors have any family. All Finnick had was Mags and Annie, both victors are (as far as we know) protected by their celebrity. Did Snow just keep killing people until he said yes? Leaving just Annie, so he'd have a hostage? ugh. I hope Johanna kills you Snow.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Oh man, so that's what Haymitch did!? I didn't even think about that! He was considering their post-game survival, even back then? Amazing.

        Anyway, what part did you play in the Lion King musical? Were you Zazu?

        • Saber says:

          Adult Simba, so it was kind of important I be there. They left me alone when I wasn't on stage, because I was on 5 hours of sleep and still reading.

          I really think so, partly because of a quote at the beginning of the Hunger Games. Haymitch tell them not to resist their stylists, no matter what. Though it might just be my need for a conspiracy, because Peeta hadn't told Haymitch of his <3undying love<3 at that point.

      • Saber says:

        Found the quote!

        (Talking about stylists and perhaps the capitol?)

        "You're not going to like what they do to you. But no matter what it is, don't resist." Says Haymitch.

        "But–" I begin

        "Not buts. Don't resist.' Says Haymitch.

  64. Not_Prepared says:

    I just… I just… I just can't. I was never prepared.

  65. andreah1234 says:

    Gosh, This chapter killed me. After I did the "WTF?!?!?!" and the "OH NOES" and the "D: fuck everything" (see above) I was blindside by the awesome of it.

    First we have Katniss, who by the way can not be any more badass, being well badass. Yeah accurate me is accurate but whatever, she IS. Then we have Finnick, who HAS ALL MY LOVE, and we finally see some of his past and how tragi his life has being, and who even after all of that, HE'S STILL THE SUNSHINE IN THIS FUCKING HORRIBLE WORLD. And then his and Annie's reunion, warmed my heart and had me seeing stars and rainbows and fucking unicorns. And Haymitch, I WANT TO HUG YOU HAYMITCH, FUCKING CAPITOL AND SNOW, I HOPE YOU DIE HORRIBLY. And Johanna, JOHANNA!!!! I love Johanna and I'm glad she's back I really hope we see more of her. Also, Gale came back, Meh.


  66. Saber says:

    My brother ate my barbies, do I get a hug?

    • Wow, and brothers are less adorable than dogs, too! (I jest, I jest…)

      ~Astral Hugs~

    • andreah1234 says:

      Sure! I've got hugs for everyone.

      I'm friendly like that 😉


      Also, What? YOUR BROTHER ATE YOUR BARBIES. That's a lot worse that the dog. At least the dog looked cute while doing it :/

  67. Quizzical says:

    YES! i am so excited that you have finally gotten to these backstories.

    HAYMITCH!!! and FINNICK!!! omg. i think this was brilliant. it explains the way haymitch’s response to katniss and her emotional quandaries and loyalties and angst is by turns dryly pragmatic and then bitter and jealous. because she HAD these people to angst over. his were GONE! DDD:

    • iolchos says:

      you know the irony? now that Haymitch has Katniss and Peeta, he actually DOES have people to angst over, once again (though he won't let himself get too close to them but like, hot damn, I love Collins for that)

  68. vampira2468 says:

    I really like that Collins gave Finnick a characterization other than being a hot guy like a lot of author's do

    • liliaeth says:

      I like that there's actually a point to his being hot.

      She doesn't just bother describing him as hot and sensual and so on, because it gives us something to drool over. There's actually a hugely negative side to his hotness that we don't find out until this chapter.

  69. Gabbie says:

    This chapter is my favorite. We found out all the dirty secrets of the Capitol and how it operates. And it solidified Haymitch and Finnick as my favorite characters OF ALL TIME. (Well, they can't beat my peeps from HP, but they're a close second!)

  70. Cally says:

    Mark, I have been waiting for you to get to this chapter and have been afraid to post because I might spoil. BUT NOW YOU KNOW! Now for some fanart for the BEST COUPLE OF ALL TIME! I love you Katpee, but Finnick and Annie just pwn all couples EVER!

    Indivisible by muchacha10
    <img src=>

    Finnick and Annie by burdge-bug
    <img src=>

    I mean just…
    <img src=>

    Then freakout because PEETA IS ALIVE! HE'S ALIVE AND EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL! Peeta I love you!
    <img src=>

    Then Collin destroys everything with that last sentence…I mean wha?
    <img src=>

    OH! And Finnick's story about Snow…
    <img src=>

    No, but really it was horrific and I feel so bad for all of them! Can't everything be nice for like 2 seconds?

    • Phoebe says:

      your gif usage is very comparable to marks. BIG compliment, seeing as mark is the master of gifs

    • iolchos says:

      No, but really it was horrific and I feel so bad for all of them! Can't everything be nice for like 2 seconds?
      but that would contravene the Law of Collins.

      (also your gif usage is amazing A++)

  71. monkeybutter says:

    This comment is so OT, but Mark, I think you've mentioned that you like The Great Gatsby, and it's sorta related to books, so have you seen And if so, why are you reading this comment instead of playing it RIGHT NOW?

  72. Robin says:

    Ok, so I said a few posts down that I don't really like the name since Coriolanus is basically defined by his political ineptitude and it doesn't really fit for the whole "sneaky schemer" angel that Snows got going.

    BUT. Thinking about the play again, I think I've realized what Collins was going for with the name. There's a scene where in order to become a tribute, Coriolanus needs to get the voice of the people by asking them for their support. The citizens talk about whether or not they'll give him their voices saying:
    First Citizen

    Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him.

    Second Citizen

    We may, sir, if we will.

    Third Citizen

    We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a
    power that we have no power to do;
    (Act 2, Scene 3)

    They end up giving Coriolanus their voices but are troubled by it. Later on he enrages the people and they send him into exile.

    Considering the importance that speaking has in the Hunger Games (the Avoxes, the constant need for Katniss to speak/Katniss's lack of public speaking skills, Peeta's presence of public speaking skills, etc), figuring Snow as the man who tricked the people out of their voices is actually really cool.

  73. attack_womb says:

    did i miss something?

    there was a rescue mission, and no mention of Cinna. also, no mention of him when the rest of her prep team was captured/liberated by D13. in fact, i think the last thing i remember reading of him was when he was dragged off … are we to assume he is dead? WTF? TEAM CINNA FOREVER.

    DON'T ANSWER IF SPOILER-Y. only answer if i somehow totally missed resolution to that…..

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      If you're reading the book and not just Mark's reviews (Mark didn't comment on it), it was mentioned in Chapter 1 that Plutarch's sources believe Cinna probably died during the interrogation that followed the being dragged off. :'(

      • attack_womb says:

        ah yes, you're right. i guess i was hoping for more fanfare, or something more definite…

        also, sometimes i think i am too consumed by finding out what happens next that i read too fast to take everything in……

  74. Amanda says:


  75. LoonyLu says:

    I think this chapter is best expressed in gifs from Chuck…

    So at first I was really happy they were going to rescue PEETA AND JOANNA YAY!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Chuck 3 Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Then, I went from happiness to sadness because I was like, “Crap, this is going to end badly!”
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Chuck 1 Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Then it didn’t, and I was super excited!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Chuck Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Please let Katniss and Peeta live happily ever after.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="it is real Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Then I felt Peeta’s hands go around my throat.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Chuck Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    <img src="; border="0" alt="jenny hates questions about her past Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Basically, I was COLLINSED!
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Chuck: Pistola Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    What’s going to happen next?
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Awesome Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Off to go wait for the next review
    <img src="; border="0" alt="chuck morgan silly Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  76. Captain Anarchy says:

    YAY for secrets.
    YAY for Finnick and Annie.
    YAY for Johanna.

    CoriolANUS Snow, how dare you? My poor Peets! Whatever is the matter? *sob*

    My mind is oficially blown.

  77. syntheticjesso says:

    Remember last week when I was flailing around because there was a Thing I was waiting for you to get to? THIS WAS THE THING.

    The whole part with Finnick and how the Victors are basically sold to the highest bidder if they are attractive absolutely HORRIFIED me. It's just real ultimate proof that once your name is drawn from the ball, you are considered property of the Capitol. They alter your body to make you pretty before the games, they make you act like trained monkeys to earn sponsors, they throw you in an arena full of horrors where you are expected to either kill or be killed, then IF you survive all of that, you don't get any respite. Your body is altered AGAIN by the Capitol, against your will, and then you immediately have to relive the whole arena experience while on camera. Six months later, you have to travel the country, giving speeches to the families of the ones who didn't survive, just to rub it in that the only reason you lived was that they died. You have mentoring to look forward to, being forced to not only watch but to actively participate in the Games year after year after year, into perpetuity. And then, just because your life isn't awful enough, the Capitol says "Haaayyyyy, by the way? These people are going to have sex with you whether you consent or not, or else we'll kill your family. Because we want a little extra money so we can buy some extra crepes or something."

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you, Capitol. Fuck you FOREVER. I hope you bastards die in ALL THE FIRES, while being eaten by a shark and stabbed in the eye and vented into outer space. ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

    Seriously, this revelation filled me (and still does) with so much rage. I KNOW that it's fictional, but I am filled with a very real rage. I never thought there would be a more hateable bad guy than Umbridge, but with this, the Capitol and President Snow launched past her and beyond into a whole new stratosphere of hateability.

    Also: Finnick gets ALL THE HIGH FIVES for going on the air with this and sharing all those secrets. I had forgotten that he revealed all of this on TV.

    • Saber says:

      This. It's so messed up. And if you notice he goes into second person after the first sentence? So he's talking about it as if it happened to someone else entirely. And can I blame him?


      • iolchos says:

        AND NOW I HAVE
        DEAR LORD

        why does this become sadder and sadder and sadder
        it's sad to the power of sad

    • Ellie says:

      Agree agree agreee ! This part totally freaked me out and also made me so sad…

      The Hunger Games: Even if you win, you lose.

  78. canyonoflight says:

    That last gif is so excellent. I really like this chapter.

    I just want to give you hugs, Mark, because it's so lovely to come home after a day of studying, therapy, and class and read these reviews. I may not always be impressed with Collins, but I'm always impressed with you. <3

  79. karadudz says:

    I think this chapter has all emotions you could possibly get.

    It's like a soap opera show crammed into one tiny (yet long) chapter BUT with genuine feelings that feel real and stab you in the heart and make you want to cry.

    Most specially the part where the people who were rescued are presented with Finnick and Annie with their love and Johanna all alone and beat and Katniss and Peeta… around her throat…. not in a good way…

    Oh and not to forget the "tell-all" scene with Finnick's back story, the revelation for Snow and a little bit more on Haymitch?


    Dear Collins,
    I can only take so much in one chapter.
    – a Hunger Games Trilogy reader/fan

  80. TreesaX says:

    I can't even comment on that last line because I was like ASDFADSKFHAKSDFHNOOOOOOOO!!! when I first read it. And I also can't comment on it too much because well.. SPOILERS ABOUND.

    I just came here to say that I CAN'T FREAKING WAIT to watch the scene in the Mockingjay movie *crosses fingers* when Finnick is sitting there saying these things on camera. CANNOT WAIT.

  81. Internet User 027 says:

    Mark, I drew an image of Haymitch sitting in his room, drinking something out of a bottle, flipping the bird and listening to "Wish" really loud. What does this mean?

  82. Silverilly says:

    Irrelevant note: I actually slipped and kind of lobbed this book across the room, even though I borrowed it from a friend (I remembered at the last minute that I wasn't supposed to be throwing it but it still moved). This is why I really don't think I should EVER get a Kindle.

  83. accio doublestuff says:

    While we don’t know all the details of what happened to Haymitch, I feel much more confident that we understand what’s made him the way he is, why he’s so bitter and cynical and FULL OF HATRED and probably just listens to Nine Inch Nails really loud in his room and stuff.

    Nine Inch Nails is not efficient or useful, Soldier Oshiro, and therefore not allowed in District 13.

    President Coin

  84. Alex says:

    Oh my gosh this chapter is so intense!
    I thought Katniss' life sucked but OMG FInnick and Haymitch i feel so sorry for them!
    So Finnick was like a sex slave…. ewww thats just sick


  85. angelllla24 says:

    For me, this might be the most unexpected reveal of any chapter in any book I've read. Now I wasn't expecting a perfectly healthy, beaming Peeta, but honestly, I was expecting a cheerful reunion. Part of the draw or me of YA novels is the general resolve of the books into something happy. Yes, they may be dark and characters you love may die along the way, but in the end good triumphs over evil, heroes exist, and there is something worth living for. (Before my YA obsession I read alot of book-club type literature… most of which are the opposite. They all make you think that the world is an awful, awful place and that nothing is ever going to work out EVER.) So having this crushing moment where Peeta does not tear up with joy at seeing Katniss broke my heart. And quite honestly, made me respect Collins about 500 times more, despite breaking my heart.

  86. Bookworm2829 says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the random Hermione.
    Also, this almost made me cry. Thanks, Suzanne Collins. Thanks so much.

  87. Howlynn says:

    To give some light to the poor Finnick alone bit, ask yourself how having one worker bee would actually work? (It wouldn’t. You need more than one attraction to have a funpark. The victors are adored and fawned over because they are expensive, but most definitely on the menu.)
    Did nobody catch Haymitch’s lie?(I know it is hard to see ) First hint, Haymitch, Finnick and Plutarch are having a discussion and only Haymitch is angry. It turns out they are discussing if Finnick should tell the world his secret job. Finnick and Plutarch are for it and Haymitch is against it. Why does it bother Haymitch? Next Finnick mentions two times (once looking at Haymitch) that he isn’t the only one. So he confesses and Katniss asks if this happened to her beloved mentor. Beloved Mentor says No. He explains that they took everything away to hurt him with, then he goes on to list Johanna among the sex slaves. He was the example to all the Finnicks and Johannas? (then he was sold –because they would not have held up an example of sucessful refusal!)
    Johanna – CF – jabberjays – It has been very noticeable that she had everything she loved taken from her as well. So, Haymitch is playing his card that the same situation that protected him, did not protect Johanna?
    Think about that. Haymitch was a looker once. He won a Quell, against twice as many tributes. He has never brought one home. He is capable of it when it matters. Haymitch knows all about this and was in fact consulted prior to the revelation and he was the one who was mad that they would ask this of poor Finnick? There were others. Haymitch is no longer a looker. Haymitch is a drunk who can magically be sober when he must save Katniss. He works at being drunk, unattractive, and as unfashionable as possible. He is single; immune to any female charms though the richest available man in District 12. He’s a seemingly celibate 40 year old man when in District 12. Even his great mansion is staged to make no companion of any kind be willing to put up with his revolting habits.
    There is more to that story then he hates mentoring. Haymitch lies. Haymitch was Finnick’s forerunner. It is just hidden well. Do we all still think Haymitch is just a drunken mean guy? He seems pretty close with Plutarch and Finnick. If they had no respect for him, wouldn’t he be just shuffled to the side?
    Now, think how sinister that is to the whole mess. I think Haymitch has been a very naughty boy. I think he refused to bring them home more than he was incapable of it. Needing to drink may be justified.

  88. ALynnJ42 says:

    When I read the part about Finnick getting sold I spazzed out and shouted "OH MAH GAWD!" and ended up accidentally pressing the page turner button and going forward 3 pages… oops. Then I spent the rest of his story with my eyes and mouth wide open.

    But on a serious note, I think it's disgusting how these CHILDREN are being forced into sex slavery. Even when people have sex for all the right reasons it can still screw them up. Now I know exactly where his flirtatiousness comes from, it's easy to hide behind that when you're so screwed up inside. Thank God, Katniss and Peeta played the love card and got out of that. Also, now I'm starting to wonder if Annie's "crazy" because of PTSD after watching her partner's head get cut off or because she was forced to be a sex slave. Or did Finnick protect her by being the sex slave for her… is that what he meant by protecting her? SOOOO many questions, Collins!

  89. Hanh says:

    How many people watching at home got off on seeing those things? Ugh.

  90. Hanh says:

    The sex slaves thing is horrible but I kind of cheered when I read it and thought 'Gender bending again, Collins. You rock!' You just never really hear of men being used as sex slaves. And OMG, those physical enhancements they wanted to do on Katniss in THG, maybe they weren't just to make her conform to their beauty standards.

    What I liked that Collins did (and most likely unintentional) is address negative aspects of physical attractiveness. Everyone likes to think that the beautiful people have no cares in the world and probably get everything they want but fail to see that beauty is a double-edged sword. Yes, you will be adored and will probably have doors opened for you on no other merit than just looking good. You will also be constantly objectified. People will use you to rise in social status by being your "friend" or sleeping with you. Douchebags will expect you to be grateful for how much desire you spring in them and the sexual assault that follows. I hate this type of thing never gets acknowledged because if the pretty person complained, they get yelled at to stop their whining.

    Poison. The perfect weapon for a snake.
    Uh, no, Katniss. Snakes use venom.

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    How are they [D13] pulling this off so quickly?
    Well they already have rebels in the Capitol who could've started setting things up while the rescue team was on its way. Maybe all that militant upbringing makes them super efficient. I still can't figure out how they've been communicating throughout the Districts without the Capitol tapping into it.

    ALOHGESHGNESLKIGN'AGIOR PEETA WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I'm wondering if the Capitol brainwashed him or used fake Katnisses to get him to talk. Maybe he thinks she's just another fake? I'm trying to look on the bright side here, but this is Collins. There are no bright sides.

    In short, this entire chapter is

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