Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 13

In the thirteenth chapter of Mockingjay, it becomes apparent that the Capitol is more interested in psychological warfare than violence. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

What? What? Peeta, why are you so upset?

The cold collar chafes my neck and makes the shivering even harder to control. At least I am no longer in the claustrophobic tube, while the machines click and whir around me, listening to a disembodied voice telling me to hold still while I try to convince myself I can still breathe. Even now, when I’ve been assured there will be no permanent damage, I hunger for air.


It was Boggs who knocked out Peeta with one blow before any permanent damage could be done. I know Haymitch would have come to my defense if he hadn’t been utterly unprepared. To catch both Haymitch and myself off guard is a rare thing. But we have been so consumed with saving Peeta, so tortured by having him in the Capitol’s hands, that the elation at having him back blinded us. If I’d had a private reunion with Peeta, he would have killed me.


Hijacked. That’s what Katniss tells us. That’s what she was told. He’s been “hijacked.” By whom? By what? What does that mean?

Prim comforts Katniss while she is busy attempting to heal and it leads to one fantastic set of lines of hers when Plutarch tries to make her leave so he can talk to Katniss about what happened.

Plutarch ushers the doctors out and tries to order Prim to go as well, but she says, “No. If you force me to leave, I’ll go directly to surgery and tell my mother everything that’s happened. And I warn you, she doesn’t think much of a Gamemaker calling the shots on Katniss’s life. Especially when you’ve taken such poor care of her.”

I’ll allow you, my fellow commenters, to find the best slow clap GIF to fit here. FINALLY someone calls Plutarch and those running things in District 13 on their UNENDING SHITTERY towards Katniss.

Now, let’s get down to business.

“So, Katniss, Peeta’s condition has come as a shock to all of us,” says Plutarch. “We couldn’t help but notice his deterioration in the last two interviews. Obviously, he’d been abused, and we put his psychological state down to that. Now we believe something more was going on. That the Capitol has been subjecting him to a rather uncommon technique known as hijacking. Beetee?”

“I’m sorry,” Beetee says, “but I can’t tell you all the specifics of it, Katniss. The Capitol’s very secretive about this form of torture, and I believe the results are inconsistent. This we do know. It’s a type of fear conditioning. The term hijack comes from an old English word that means ‘to capture,’ or even better, ‘seize.’ We believe it was chosen because the technique involves the use of tracker jacker venom, and the jack suggested hijack. You were stung in your first Hunger Games, so unlike most of us, you have firsthand knowledge of the effects of the venom.”

Is it bad that I think killing Peeta would have been better? The Capitol has used tracker jacker venom to literally alter Peeta’s memories so that he believes Katniss is going to harm him. There’s a part of me that now wonders if Snow made it easy for the rescuers to get Peeta back, if everything he did was merely bait to get those in District 13 to bring Peeta to Katniss, so she would know that even if she had him in her physical presence, he wasn’t going to be hers.

The Capitol wants to break people’s spirits. While it’s not necessary to ignore the violence they perpetrate through their Peacekeepers or the Hunger Games, I think it’s important to acknowledge that what they do best is inflict emotional and psychological damage. There’s some more everlasting about that sort of pain, too, and that’s something I can speak to on some level. I will always remember the emotional abuse I suffered more than any of the physical abuse I experienced. At least for me, that’s how my mind works.

“But you can reverse it, right?” asks Prim.

“Um…very little data on that,” says Plutarch. “None, really. If hijacking rehabilitation has been attempting before, we have no access to those records.”

FUCK. What the fuck is this. Ok, I didn’t even expect to get Peeta back until much, much later in the book and now he’s here, but he truly believes that Katniss is actually life-threatening to him.


“At least he’s alive,” says Plutarch, as if he’s losing patience with the lot of us. “Snow executed Peeta’s stylist and his prep team on live television tonight. We’ve no idea what happened to Effie Trinket. Peeta’s damaged, but he’s here. With us. And that’s a definite improvement over his situation twelve hours ago. Let’s keep that in mind, all right?”

PORTIA. PORTIA!!! Oh my fucking god, if Effie is dead, I may burst into tears. Fucking hell, Collins, you are so brutal.

It’s strange how exhausting this book is. I’m just coming up on being halfway through it and I’m tired. This is bleak and depressing and OF COURSE I LOVE ALL OF THAT, but I just want something to go right. For like…one chapter. Is that so much to ask?

People come in periodically to give me updates on Peeta’s condition. The high levels of tracker jacker venom are working their way out of his body. He’s being treated only by strangers, natives of 13—no one from home or the Capitol has been allowed to see him—to keep any dangerous memories from triggering. A team of specialists works long hours designing a strategy for his recovery.

I wonder how disorienting that has to be for Peeta, though. How are they going to tell him where he is without triggering him? How do you not mention District 12 or the Capitol or Katniss?

I read a few comments this past week regarding Prim’s characterization and how’s she…too perfect? I get that. I’m starting to see why some of you said that. Of course, we are seeing this all through Katniss’s eyes. She’s going to look upon her sister in a specific way, especially since there’s not much time we spend with her anyway. But Collins does appear to use her in instances where Katniss needs a pick-me-up of sorts. Here, she gives Katniss advice regarding how upset she is over Peeta.

“Katniss, I know this whole thing with Peeta is terrible for you. But remember, Snow worked on him for weeks, and we’ve only had him for a few days. There’s a chance that the old Peeta, the one who loves you, is still inside. Trying to get back to you. Don’t give up on him.”

It’s a great point and fantastic advice. But it is kind of strange that she only seems to pop up to offer bits of sage wisdom like this.

The story moves on to Gale and Beetee and one of the inevitable things these people were going to have to address begins to be dealt with. The rebels are at war with the Capitol and, aside from what happened in District 8, there’s been very little talk about fighting about, about the sort of violence that these people are eventually going to have to act out. Down in the research rooms, Katniss finds Gale and Beetee working on plans for weapons:

Taking the fundamental ideas behind Gale’s traps and adapting them into weapons against humans. Bombs mostly. It’s less about the mechanics of the traps than the psychology behind them. Booby-trapping an area that provides something essential to survival. A water or food supply. Frightening prey so that a large number flee into a greater destruction. Endangering off-spring in order to draw in the actual desired target, the parent. Luring the victim into what appears to be a safe haven—where death awaits it. At some point, Gale and Beetee left the wilderness behind and focused on more human impulses. Like compassion. A bomb explodes. Time is allowed for people to rush to the aid of the wounded. Then a second, more powerful bomb kills them as well.

While I will wait to find out what sort of context these could be used in against the Capitol, I have to say I’m impressed. It’s nice to see Gale work on something he’s good at and contribute what he can to the rebellion. BUT. Yes, there’s a but.

“That seems to be crossing some kind of line,” I say. “So anything goes?” They both stare at me—Beetee without a doubt, Gale with hostility. “I guess there isn’t a rule book for what might be unacceptable to do to another human being.”

“Sure there is. Beetee and I have been following the same rule book Presiden Snow used when he hijacked Peeta,” says Gale.

Well…ok. So I guess anything goes for them. I’m pretty sure I’d be truly terrible in this rebellion because I’m not a violent person and I’d try to find an excuse every five minutes not to hurt another person. Seriously, Dad, did you really want me to be in the army. I can barely do ten pushups. America would get wasted if I had to defend it.

We know that Peeta and Katniss can kill if they need to. But can they kill entire groups of people? Why are they focusing on killing (possibly) innocent citizens in their war against the Capitol? Shouldn’t they go after those in power?

I can’t answer those questions yet and I don’t know if anyone else in the book can yet either. But that’s ok because OH MY GOD THEY’RE GOING TO TRY SOMETHING NEW ON PEETA.

Remember Delly Cartwright? No, of course you don’t. I didn’t! She was the girl from 12 who Peeta lied about when Katniss recognized the Avox in the Capitol, all the way back in the first book. Apparently, she’s got a PMA attitude because she might be the nicest person in this whole series.

“How are you doing?” I ask.

“Oh, it’s been a lot of changes all at once.” Her eyes fill with tears. “But everyone’s really nice here in Thirteen, don’t you think?”

Bless your heart, Delly. They’re like giant clouds of fluffy unicorn rainbows in District Thirteen! LET’S GIVE EACH OTHER HUGS ALL THE TIME.

OK, I shouldn’t be so hard on her. At least SOMEONE in this book isn’t full to the brim with sadness. It’s kind of perfect that they use her to talk to Peeta, both because her temperament is so positive and because it’s probably best to ease Peeta into his new environment.

Instructed to avoid mentions of Katniss or the Capitol, Delly tries her best to keep the conversation directed at District Twelve. That doesn’t work very well, since pretty much the first thing he says is, WHERE ARE WE?

“Well…we’re in District Thirteen. We live here now,” says Delly.

“That’s what those people have been saying. But it makes no sense. Why aren’t we home?” asks Peeta.

THIS IS NOT GOING TO GO WELL. How do you explain this without ending up on Katniss?

Delly bites her lip. “There was…an accident. I miss home badly, too. I was only just thinking about those chalk drawings we used to do on the paving stones. Yours were so wonderful. Remember when you made each one a different animal?”

“Yeah. Pigs and cats and things,” says Peeta. “You said…about an accident?”

I can see the sheen of sweat on Delly’s forehead as she tries to work around the question. “It was bad. No one…could stay,” she says haltingly.


“What hasn’t my family come to see me?” Peeta asks.


“They can’t.” Delly’s tearing up again. “A lot of people didn’t get out of Twelve. So we’ll need to make a new life here. I’m sure they could use a good baker. Do you remember when your father used to let us make dough girls and boys?”

“There was a fire,” Peeta says suddenly.

“Yes,” she whispers.

“Twelve burned down, didn’t it? Because of her,” says Peeta angrily. “Because of Katniss!” He begins to pull on the restraints.

WELL. It was a nice try.

“Because she’s lying! She’s a liar! You can’t believe anything she says! She’s some kind of mutt the Capitol created to use against the rest of us!” Peeta shouts.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?! THAT’S THE LIE THEY TOLD HIM? Holy shit, this is so much worse than I thought.

“Don’t trust her, Delly,” says Peeta in a frantic voice. “I did, and she tried to kill me. She killed my friends. My family. Don’t even go near her! She’s a mutt!”

My god. I don’t even know what to say. This seems completely hopeless. How are they going to convince him that Katniss is not A MUTT DESIGNED IN THE CAPITOL? Fucking hell.

Prim was wrong. Peeta is irretrievable. “I can’t stay here anymore,” I say numbly. “If you want me to be the Mockingjay, you’ll have to send me away.”

Ugh, Katniss, I’m sorry. I wish she didn’t have to deal with this. It’s time for something, just ONE THING to go right for her. In the meantime, Katniss asks to get sent to the Capitol.

“Can’t do it,” Plutarch says. “Not until all the districts are secure. Good news is, the fighting’s almost over in all of them but Two. It’s a tough nut to crack, though.”

That’s right. First the districts. Next the Capitol. And then I hunt down Snow.

“Fine,” I say. “Send me Two.”

Good lord. This is going to get fucked up.

About Mark Oshiro

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

234 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 13

  1. bell_erin_a says:

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    This is the absolute worst thing the Capitol could have done to Peeta, the boy who all the way in the first book was worried about losing his core self. They erased who he is by fucking with his memories. AND WITH TRACKER JACKER VENOM. The first time I read this, I was shocked (and trust me, even going back and reading it again doesn't make it any less painful). You'd think I would have learned by then, but I hadn't. Collins brought back the venom from the first book. In the worst way possible. Fucking hell.

    Oh yeah, and then there's Portia! :'( Also: “That seems to be crossing some kind of line,” I say. “So anything goes?” They both stare at me—Beetee without a doubt, Gale with hostility.
    Non-confrontational me most definitely agrees with Katniss.

    I just want something to go right. For like…one chapter. Is that so much to ask?
    Yes, yes it is. You want to know why, Mark? Here, let me demonstrate with a gif from that montage in the first 10 minutes of Up that still makes me cry no matter how many times I watch it:
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    It's because there are no Nice Things in Mockingjay.

    • monkeybutter says:

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      Oh, come on now! Up gifs are not fair game! Have you been collaborating with Beetee and Gale?!

        • Ohmygiddyaunt you win, he looks just like my golden Scooter. 🙁

          • bell_erin_a says:

            Honestly, I think Dug is a huge part of the reason why Up is one my favorite movie oh god I'm turning 19 in two days. Is it less acceptable for 19-year-olds to say that than it is for 18-year-olds??. There have been golden retrievers in my house for my entire life (one of our previous dogs was actually born 3 weeks before I was, so we kind of grew up together), so I'm a bit biased because I'll probably like anything with a golden retriever, especially if it's a cute, animated one!

            • FlameRaven says:

              Considering Up is probably Pixar's best movie and totally deserved the nomination it got for Best Picture, it is totally okay for a 19-year-old to like Up.

              I don't even like dogs much and Dug is such a quintessential DOG that I love him. Cone of Shame! ):

            • Dude – I'm 27. Toy Story is in my top five, along with Jurassic Park. I'll easily spend a day watching Aladdin/The Lion King/The Little Mermaid. And Up kicks all of those to the curb. Happy Birthday for two days time! 😀

        • knut_knut says:

          NOOOOO! Sad dog!

        • thatonegirl says:

          Is it awful that this is the mental image I had at the beginning of the chapter when Katniss describes the collar around her neck? I'm sure she's wearing a neck brace, not the cone of shame, but still….

          • bell_erin_a says:

            Haha, no. I just put that gif there to go with the other Up one, but then I realized it works on so many levels, cone of shame/collar included!

      • Gillyweed says:

        Up has all the sads but I just can't stop staring at this one… I think teardrops are filled with hypnotoads.

    • Shanella says:

      That seems to be crossing some kind of line,” I say. “So anything goes?” They both stare at me—Beetee without a doubt, Gale with hostility.
      Non-confrontational me most definitely agrees with Katniss.

      While I can understand why Gale and Beetee would feel the way they do, I completely agree with Katniss. Lowering yourself to the underhanded ways of the enemy is not making you any better. Unfortunately this is the point where Gale – whom I never cared for to begin with – has lost all my attention.

      • notemily says:

        I agree. There's a reason why there's such a thing as a war crime. Some things are unacceptable even in war.

        • Annalebanana says:

          The problem is that what is a war crime is basically decided by the winners. It is deemed acceptable if, say, the US drops two nuclear bombs killing tons of civilians and even resorts to torture in some instances, but if Japan or Iraq or other random countries did that, then they would be charged for it. I have just decided I hate war in general. It freaking never has a good purpose, and innocent people (even soldiers are innocent! It's the leaders of the country that are not) are killed in horrible ways. Can't we just vote on world peace???

          • notemily says:

            Yeah, I agree that the US is a bit selective when it comes to who has to follow the rules, but I don't think that makes killing civilians or torture less wrong.

            War is really, really awful. I understand the urge to fight back if someone attacks you/your country, but it never ends well.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Oh no. Not the Up! Gif. Heart, slowly breaking. :'(.

      Non-confrontational me most definitely agrees with Katniss.
      I do too. And it's weird because yesterday the only thing in my head was "FUCK THE CAPITOL I HOPE THEY DIE IN A MILLION FIRES FOR HURTING CINNA AND JOHANNA AND ANNIE AND FINNICK AND EVERYONE IN THIS FREAKING BOOK." But the "everything goes" doesn't make them sound better than the Capitol does it? It makes them sound heartless, which at some point I think they all are.


      • tethysdust says:

        What bothered me the most was that Gale/Beetee seem to be working on strategies to kill civilians and refugees, primarily. Why aren't they studying ways to kill soldiers? I want the Capitol to burn as much as anyone, but not by murdering every man, woman, and child.

        • monkeybutter says:

          They're probably using the line of thinking that if you break civilian support, your opposition will crumble. It's akin to firebombing German cities and nuking Nagasaki and Hiroshima. To kill soldiers, they would most likely have to go into battle, which would cost the rebellion lives and money. Beetee and Gale's plans aren't totally out there, but it makes Katniss and the reader wonder what you're willing to do to win a war. Thumbs up to Collins.

          • tethysdust says:

            Hm, yes, but I am also morally opposed to the nuclear attack (and bombing of civilian areas) of Japan and the firebombing of civilians in Germany. I don't think murdering countless innocent people is an acceptable alternative to having deaths of combatants on both sides. I agree that Gale/Beetee aren't coming up with barbaric new ways to wage war, but barbaric old ways are bad enough, aren't they?

            • monkeybutter says:

              Oh, definitely. I don't like what they're doing, but I like that Collins is approaching this realistically and showing how ugly war is.

        • andreah1234 says:

          THIS. THIS SO HARD.

          And the fact that they are thinking the same way The Capitol does, not caring about killing those who are inocent. And it fits so well to something I said about Gale before: He really doesn't care who dies as long as he gets revenge. Because I really don't think he's doing it for the good cause of it, but because well "this were the assholes that had a better way than I did so they must die!" even if they had no hand in the oppresion of the districts (my mind goes to the prep team, (OMG I HAVEN'T MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, BUT PORTIAAAAAAAAAA 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 )). And it also makes me wonder, in what kind of people war makes you become, and how long does it takes for someone to just don't give a damn about killing inocents (or killing anyone at all). Good Job Collins, for making everything awful and oh so real.

        • bell_erin_a says:

          Yeah, that's what really bothers me, too. I get that you're mad about the Capitol and everything Panem stands for. And while the people of the Capitol are complicit in their part of the inhumanity by enjoying the Games, hosting parties with so much food people have to throw up to eat all of it, etc, they've been brainwashed in a way to act that way. It's a part of their society. Perhaps Snow has even made that lifestyle a condition of their ongoing safety and/or immunity from having to actually participate in the Games. We've seen that Finnick and most of the other Victors are not who we thought they were because of the government of the Capitol, so it's very likely the same goes for the citizens of the Capitol. Katniss was guilty of thinking this same way at one point, until she remembered that the other tributes weren't the source of her problems: it was the Capitol and the system that put her in those situations. Go after Snow, that's great. In fact, I would live for this to happen. Go after those who are responsible for creating the system, for creating the way lives in the various districts are led. But Gale and Beetee would do well to remember Haymitch's advice to remember who the true enemy is.

    • Lynn says:

      I agree completely that doing this to Peeta is a fate worse than death. And you are correct that in the first book he says he would rather die than loose his core self and the capitol did it to him anyway. I had prepared for his death but not this. This is just so much worse. Tears forever!

      And I am with you in the going to far in what Beetee and Gale or doing. I won't pretend to have the *only* moral answer, but for myself I could not live with myself if I followed down such a road. At least Beetee seemed to have some doubts in his mind but Gale is letting himself become so consumed with anger that is really concerns me.

      • Lady X says:

        I didn’t even think about that! Z’Oh my goodness! *epic tear faces forever *

      • Lynn says:

        Please ignore the ridiculous amounts of typos and ridiculously misspellings in the previous post. I promise I really can talk and write correctly correctly when I am not distracted.

    • paulineparadise says:

      I really need to see Up.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


  2. 4and6forever says:

    Well, at least one good thing came out of this. It’s… Well, they… Hmmmm- oh! I know! We- oh, no, that doesn’t work… Um…..
    Okay, so maybe there wasn’t any good things to come out of this.

  3. Shanella says:

    yay PRIM!

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    Thats all …. because this chapter is just full of sadness and I don't want to read it. *hides*

  4. L_Swann says:

    I remember back in The Hunger Games & Catching Fire when Mark (and many, many commenters) criticized Peeta and Katniss's relationship because it didn't seem like Peeta had ANY REASON to like Katniss besides the ideal of her that he'd built up in his head (since he loved her before they ever had any sort of meaningful personal relationship). It was all I could do to prevent spoiling this part. Now that Peeta's been hijacked, his personal memories of Katniss have disappeared. Who knows if he'll ever get the right ones back, and if he does, who knows if he'll ever be able to believe with certainty whether his true memories or the trackerjacker memories are right? I think it's an interesting way for Collins to sort of restart Katniss and Peeta's relationship dynamic.

  5. Karen says:

    There’s a part of me that now wonders if Snow made it easy for the rescuers to get Peeta back, if everything he did was merely bait to get those in District 13 to bring Peeta to Katniss, so she would know that even if she had him in her physical presence, he wasn’t going to be hers.
    I think that's a pretty fair assessment. I also think that Snow made it easy to get Peeta back because he basically was turned into a weapon focused on killing Katniss.

    For me the worst thing about all of this is that the ONE thing that Peeta thought he could keep from the Capitol was who he was as a person. He wasn't going to let the Games change him. He was going to retain his purity of self. But then the Capitol hijacked him and fucked with his memories, changing who he is as a person. FUCK YOU, CAPITOL. This was the one thing Peeta thought he could keep from you, and you took it away.

    Aaaand this is another chapter that demonstrates why I can't like Gale. I really hate war. I HATE it. I get that some wars need to be fought or whatever, but it goes against my personal system of belief to take part in that, so I just cannot relate to a character who seems to be really skilled at (and enjoys) thinking of creative ways to kill people. WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO BECOME A GAMESMAKER, GALE? YOU'D BE GOOD AT THAT. Ugh.

  6. monkeybutter says:

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    Anywho, lol yes, Mark, it is pretty awful that you think Peeta would be better off dead. He doesn't know that he's been turned into the Panemian Candidate! He's utterly convinced that Katniss is a mutt and that she is a danger to everyone. It's sad and pathetic, but you (and 13) can't give up on him. Katniss is wise to focus her attention elsewhere, though, because there's really no need for her to make herself miserable worrying about Peeta.

    As for Gale, I want to shake him and ask why how he can think it's morally right for him to use the same tactics that the Capitol does when their treatment of people is his entire justification for the rebellion. Hypocrite.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Oh god, the Manchurian Candidate. That movie haunted me for at least a good week after we watched it in Psychology last year!

      • monkeybutter says:

        I was going to say that's such an odd movie to watch in Psych class, but then I remembered that we watched The Sixth Sense at the end of the year in AP Psych, so it's not that weird. I think they might have watched The Princess Diaries, too, but I wasn't around for it.

    • As I recall, this was the chapter that finally made me a firm Team Peeta fan. Throughout the books I had been waffling between the two because I just honestly couldn't make up my mind and I don't normally get involved in the whole team thing in books (accept for Harry Potter where I was a firm Ron/Hermione supporter from Book 3 on). After this I just couldn't get behind Gale anymore because of his attitude and hypocrisy.

  7. herpestidae says:

    I totally expected Peeta to get brainwashed, since the second I read that he got captured. I thought I was prepared. I mean, what would break Katniss more than having Peeta brainwashed into forgetting about her entirely? So, when Peeta obviously recognized her, I was like "Hey, did something actually go right? Awesome!" Then Peeta choked Katniss and I was like WAT. Then I read about hijacking and I was like WAAAAAAAAAAAT!? And then I read the scene with Delly and I was like WHYYYYYYYY!?

    So basically, Well played Collins.

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  8. stellaaaaakris says:

    So many things to talk about, but, first thing's first:

    What the hell, Plutarch? Are you serious? Can you really be that insensitive? You "couldn't help but notice" that Peeta was in distress in his last two interviews? Really? I'm sure you were trying to ignore the tremors in his hands and the tortured look in his eyes, I'm sorry Peeta's screams of pain and his blood pooling on the ground managed to make an impression on you, however passing the sensation was. And your attempt to cheer up Katniss was just made of fail. First of all, you do not get to lose patience with Katniss at this time. Other times, sure, she probably needs help seeing the bigger picture. However, this guy that she deeply cares about, without whom she cannot properly function if she thinks her actions will be taken out against him, this guy just tried to kill her. He hates her, he's terrified of her, and he doesn't think she's human. She deserves a little support right now. Second of all, don't just drop the news of the deaths of people Katniss has known like that. You saw how she reacted to how her prep team was treated; you know how she felt about Cinna. Portia was a female, slightly less badass version of Cinna. You don't just throw this information at her, especially when she can't truly react without injuring herself. I have more, but this is already too long.

    I just want to smack him or sic Buttercup on him or something.

    I'm not really sure exactly why, but I kinda want to give Delly a hug. If she can help make Peeta better, I am so on her Team. Peeta, you are breaking my heart.

    I'm presuming we are headed to District 2 now. Hopefully more District info will be available as to how this place produces people such as Cato, Clove, Brutus, and Enobaria.

    • shortstack930 says:

      I'm glad Prim told Plutarch off, he's completely insensitive and concerned only with his own agenda.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Oh god, now I want Prim to train Buttercup in some Day of the Dolphin set up.

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      Yeah, Plutarch is the guy who lamented the loss of bombers and bioweapons a few chapters ago. He's a creep and a Gamemaker through and through. Prim nailed him to the wall.

    • ldwy says:

      Oh man, thanks for that first paragraph. I wrote a huge tl;dr comment of my own, and didn't address it. I'm so glad you did. Plutarch is another person who isn't evil, who isn't even wrong, who may be doing things for all the right reasons, but at this moment? Bahhhhh, I kind of really really dislike him. He treats Katniss like a thing that he wants to use that's malfunctioning slightly right now.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Thumbs up until the end of time.

      But I kinda like how many characters Collins puts in the "grey area". Plutarch is not a bad guy, he would be even consider "good", but at the same time he acts like that because he really doesn't care that much for Katniss. She's the mockingjay, the simbol of the rebellion, and nothing more. He (or at least I don't think) doesn't have any strong emotion towards her, she's just that girl the rebellion sort of needs. And he didn't knew Portia ( 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 ) so at some point he really doesn't care about what happened to her (or even Cinna), he's a soldier and he wants to win the war, no matter the cost. Yeah, he's an insensitive asshole, but at least he's a real insensitive asshole.

      We really should have Buttercup poop on his bed though. For offending everything that's right in the world (Peeta, Cinna, Portia…). And hugs for Delly (I'm really hugable this few chapters :P), I kinda feel sorry for her, mostly because I do have friends like that, who like everything and everyone, and I like them even if I sometimes want to hit them.

      • S.L.O.E. Buttercup has taken multiple poopings, and is now seeking out shoes to fill with his fecal dislike. This message is endorsed by the Continue to Support Buttercup as Supreme Lord of Everything.

  9. SusanBones says:

    I was not expecting the Capitol to do something like this to Peeta. It completely blew me away that they would have altered his memories in a way that makes him believe so many lies about Katniss. This is just another one of those things that reminds me of the mind control used in the book 1984. I suppose that it is a staple of dystopia literature, but it completely blindsided me. And as depressing as it is, I find it a brilliant move by the author.

    • ldwy says:

      I agree. I hate it inside the story. But when I retreat to my perch outside the story, I comment Collins on it.

      • SusanBones says:

        Somehow, when Mark reviews the book, it seems to be a better book then how I felt about it while I was reading it. All I could think about was how depressing the story was and how much I disliked the book. But Mark points out the good things about it. I've been tempted to try and read this book again, with a new perspective.

  10. Lynn says:

    I had the same reaction as you did Mark in thinking that Peeta would have been better off dead. I guess we'll know for sure depending on how things play out, but that is truly awful. Many people have already expressed in their comments why this is the most evil thing they could have done to Peeta in the capitol so I won't recap.

    As for Prim, I think sometimes terrible times bring out the best in some and the worst in others. I think we are kind of seeing this with both Prim and Gale. Prim must realizes that Katniss is in many ways alone and so is giving her her best. We may not see her loosing her patience or taking out her anger/stress on others because she sure wouldn't be putting that off on Katniss at the moment. So that is why I don't have a problem with Prim beings saintly here. It is what loved ones do for someone who is going through terrible crap.

    And then there is Gale who seems to be heading in the other direction. He is letting everything he is seeing get to him. He is being driven by his anger. It is very sad but soooo realistic. I think a lot of people would react like him to the situation. But I feel like Katniss in that is disturbs me and I want to shake Gale a little and tell him to rethink his choices.

  11. I just want something to go right. For like…one chapter. Is that so much to ask?
    Yes. In fact, Collins finds it funny that you're even asking. She points at you and laughs. Collins is putting the MOCK back in Mockingjay.

    • Lynn says:

      Perhaps she lurks around forums like these to get in a good laugh. I can picture her now with her Buttercup like cat curled around her shoulders reading and laughing at all our tears. I keep picturing the evil stepmother in Cinderella with the cat Lucifer wrapped around her shoulders.

      Or perhaps the whole series was really written by Collins' cat Buttercream who changed his name slightly to provide an alias. Hmmmmm.

      • Now I'm picturing a hairless cat like Dr. Evil's.

        • thecheapshot says:

          That's all the time we've got for this week on 'World of the Psychic'. Next week though . . . hairless pets.*holds up a hairless cat* Weird

      • paulineparadise says:

        Someone (Mark or another '-reads Twilight' blogger) made Stephenie Meyer into one of those cat-petting, evil laughing and mainly evil world dominators.

        • scribblecraft says:

          It was Dan Bergstein on SparkLife, with his chapter-by-chapter reviews of the Twilight books. He is not quite done with Breaking Dawn, but he's close.

          Hi! Long time lurker, first time commenter (I think). And this is what I come out for. :S But if you have not read his reviews yet, they are a riot. And he does an illustration for each review.

          • scribblecraft says:

            Also forgot to add that it was not only a cat, but a snake, a giraffe, and all sorts of other crazy animals that Smeyer was stroking. Heh.

            • paulineparadise says:

              Ah, it was Dan! I've been reading his blog since chapter 5 of Twilight, but I've also been reading Mark reads Twilight and listening to Alex reads Twilight, so it all turns into one lovely twilight-hating soup in my head. With extra cream.

              Mmmmm soup.

          • Julia says:

            YAYAYAYAYAYAY someone else reads that series! It is interesting to read mark's and dan's take on the same chapter.
            optimus beyonce!

          • erin says:

            I fucking love Dan Bergstein. He's hysterical.

            HEY. "Mark Reads Dan Blogs Twilight" anyone??!? 😀

  12. cait0716 says:

    This is around the time I pretty much stopped being on Team Gale. Personally, I think killing civilians is taking it too far.

    At the same time, and mostly from a devil's advocate standpoint, you can't deny that it's an effective strategy. An army that is willing to kill their enemies indiscriminately, be they soldiers or civilians, is scarier and more powerful than one treading a moral line. The more people you kill, the less people they have. And the less morale. The idea that soldiers shouldn't kill civilians is a fairly modern one – a policy that's only been in place since the end of WWII.

    • monkeybutter says:

      More of a suggestion than a policy, really. There's a lot of hand-wringing about killing innocent bystanders, but civilians always bear the brunt of war.

    • QuoteMyFoot says:

      I mentioned this in another post up above, but the reason I really started to dislike Gale at this point was because of his motives, and not the tactics themselves. I think there's a lot of room for personal interpretation in this area, though, so have an upvote for devil's advocating!

    • Lynn says:

      I am sure that there are many effective strategies if we keep morality out of it, you are correct. But then you have to look at how horrible it is when people think they have the right to win a war at any cost. Everyone has their own personal line and I can't dictate that for anyone but myself.

      But bravo to Collins for making us think about and ask these questions. What is "too far"? How do we feel about these issues? What is fair and not fair in war? We won't all come to a consensus but it is a discussion worth having and questions worth thinking about.

  13. HungryLikeLupin says:


    (I get the feeling that's going to be how every single one of my comments start for the rest of the book. :lol:)

    I have to admit that Gale and Beetee probably do have to think this way. The people in charge of the Capitol have already shown that they won't hesitate to use their citizens in any way necessary, and I think this would be doubly true if what they did could wreak psychological havoc among the rebellion. I absolutely wouldn't put it past them to use regular citizens as shields, or a barrier, for Snow to be moving around in a crowd of people so that you have to kill them all to get to him. If there's one thing that the Capitol seems to understand, it's the moral impulses of decent people. I think they're fully prepared to used that to their advantage, and the rebellion has to be prepared to deal with that.

    Nevertheless, I can't help but find these plans . . . well, a bit disturbing. (Seriously? Are you actually saying that you're using Snow as your measure of what's morally acceptable, guys?) There's a line between being prepared for the fact that you're going to have to kill people who may be relatively innocent, and designing traps designed to appeal to some of people's better instincts. That whole scene strikes me as rather ominous, and I don't think I like it.

    I also don't like what's happening with Peeta and Katniss. I mean . . . come on, Collins, really? (This is not a complaint about the writing, btw, so much as me whining that it's not faaaaaaair.) The thing is, I've always been Team Peeta. Frankly, I've always been more Team Peeta than Team Katniss, and a few times during the first two books I've found myself wishing that Peeta would drop Katniss and find someone better. o.o This book, however, has made me like Katniss much more than I had during the first two. I feel like she's grown up a lot; she's demanded an active role, she's displayed more maturity, she's stood up for things that are important to her and continued being badass even when her life isn't actively at risk. And now, when I'm finally liking Katniss and want her to be happy and all that, now is when Collins takes away the person who has always loved her, not because he couldn't see her flaws, but in spite of them. Not only that, but the things he's been conditioned to believe are just exaggerated versions of what she already feels guilty about.


    • ldwy says:

      Not only that, but the things he's been conditioned to believe are just exaggerated versions of what she already feels guilty about.
      Oh man. That just makes it worse-it hadn't really jumped out at me yet. Well done, Snow and Collins.
      Great comment.

  14. Lady X says:

    Ughh this chapter is so brutal. Also May 23 2012 official date of HG movie announced! Woo woo!

  15. I have a feeling that the Gale situation will be as divisive as his other decisions. Don't get me wrong, I like Collins writing such a flawed, realistic character, but in reality, I would find the bloke's decisions utterly repulsive.
    This is just who I am as a priviliged American, and I'm not going to apologize for being unable to wrap my mind around his inability to second-guess the impact of these weapons. I'm saying this as someone who isn't a pacifist (don'teatmeguysiloveyouall!), but hates war just the same. I can understand defending your home, or taking on an evil government, I can imagine being driven to do take up arms. I just can't imagine being okay with the fact that these inventions WILL kill countless innocents. If you design a trap that targets a place that looks safe, odds are that when a District or city is under attack that civilians will head there too.
    I don't know how this will all play out, but I has BAD feelings, gize!

    • cait0716 says:

      While studying physics I was made to watch "The Day After Trinity" three times (it's the documentary about the aftermath of the atomic bomb). My professors really wanted to drive home the idea that everything you do has repercussions and consequences you can't anticipate and ideas, once out of your head, take on a life of their own. Unfortunately, science education, for the most part, doesn't focus on the ethical side of things.

      It's so easy to get caught up in "this is so cool!" and "look what we can do!" and not even think about "this could will kill innocent people" or "I won't be the only person with access to this technology"

      Basically, the ethics are actually really murky and it's a whole lot easier to go through your day-to-day routines if you just don't think about it. It doesn't make it right, it just means we're all human.

  16. herpestidae says:

    "If that pearl is seriously a Chekov’s Gun and it saves Katniss and she falls in love with Peeta because of it, I will seriously throw this book in the trash. That would be one of the most foolish and inane storylines of all time.

    [humorous gif/macro of a prancing penguin]"

    Not saying that this happens, not saying it doesn't, but I feel bad enough that if, hypothetically, that pearl somehow had the power to fix Peeta, totally and completely, I'd be 100% OK with it.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Pf, I'd never forgive that! It would be like Collins doing Kirby's "HIIIIII!" taunt over and over in my brain, while I hide in the cardboard box as Solid Snake!

      Say, what's your friend code? You wanna play sometime? Forget all this 'reading' nonsense. 😉

      • herpestidae says:

        Alas, I do not have a Wii. I only make do with the N64 version and random youtube videos. My cousin has a Wii though, so I plan to buy Brawl "for him" when I have the cash.

  17. thatonegirl says:

    This breaks my heart so much. How sad that the Capitol told Peeta some of the truth (that there really was a fire, that his family is dead) but mixed it all up in lies about Katniss. How are they supposed to fix that when some of what Peeta was told was true?

    Prim feels like a new character in this book. Is this really the same girl that was all excited for Katniss to try on wedding dresses? I like new Prim. And Delly. But Gale is officially the scariest person in the chapter. Somehow I have a hard time believing that he cares so much about Peeta's well being. Sounds like he's looking for an excuse.

    RIP Portia and Peeta's nameless prep team. :'(

  18. L_Swann says:

    I've already posted above, but I wanted to comment a little further about Gale's actions in this chapter after reading some interesting comments concerning him! I feel like I should preface this with an UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME GUISE just to avoid the downvotes. :/

    I think Gale's actions aren't quite ALL bad. For me, it goes back to when I defended Gale for being surprised that Katniss cared so much about her prep team. To Gale, he has limited experience with the Capitol. He doesn't view any Capitol citizens as being innocent. He views them as the people who are the audience for The Hunger Games: the ones who bet on the outcome, the ones who buy into the system by "sponsoring" tributes (and no doubt funding Snow's regime), "paying" for Finnick's services, etc, etc, etc. To Gale, none of these people are innocent. To Gale, these people perpetuate the brutality imposed on the districts every day. They believe in it, understand it, accept it, and all agree with what the Capitol's doing. To Gale, they've chosen their side. To him, they're just as much perpetrators of the Capitol's regimes as the actual Peacekeepers/soldiers are, because they tolerated it and funded it and enjoy it and demand it for their own selfish gain.

    We can talk about whether or not it's okay to treat the enemy as the enemy is treating you, but I don't think we can argue that Gale views them as innocent civilians. I think that's the division between Katniss and Gale. Katniss has experience with the Capitol (the people at the party where Plutarch showed her his Mockingjay watch; her prep team), so she knows (and we know) that they really are just innocent, brainwashed citizens who are cultured to accept their environment as normal and acceptable. Gale, who hasn't had ANY experience with Capitol citizens beyond pompous Plutarch and Fulvia, doesn't understand how anyone can watch The Hunger Games or see the oppression in the districts and not be appalled. He doesn't understand how they could possibly be innocent, like Katniss has witnessed firsthand. So, he views them as complicit with the Capitol, and probably views them all as soldiers.

    I'm not condoning violence in general, but I think there's always a disconnect between the reader's/Katniss's viewpoint and Gale's viewpoint, so I just thought I'd try to explain the way I see it.

    • QuoteMyFoot says:

      Upvote for such a well-phrased comment and a well-made point, even if I still personally dislike Gale.

    • ldwy says:

      Thanks for bothering to explain the way you see it, despite it being perhaps an unpopular opinion.
      This is a fantastically thought out and written analysis. And I pretty much agree with you. Gale's comment makes me dislike him, but like you, I can understand it. I can agree that he views them as complicit with the capitol, but I can't agree that this means he essentially views them as soldiers. They shouldn't be his targets, despite that they are, for lack of any better way to phrase it, "guilty by association and by lack of action against it. And I think Gale isn't seeing that right now because he's being driven totally by his anger. I think on some level, part of his plan is revenge-motivated. The Capitol has been terrorizing District citizens for 75 years, the rebels should give them a dose of their own medicine. I think this is wrong. But I do understand how it could develop, and I think Gale's characterization is very real.

    • Lynn says:

      And the sad thing is that Gale's reactions are very realistic. It is part of a cycle of dehumanization and hate that perpetuates violence and revenge. We see it all the time in the world. So I find him very realistic, but also very scary. I understand why he is reacting like this but I just get an uneasy feeling about where this is going. How will Gale react if he ever has to face the consequences of seeing these kinds of tactics play out? If he sees it up close will he change his ways or is his hatred too ingrained?

      • ldwy says:

        It is part of a cycle of dehumanization and hate that perpetuates violence and revenge.
        Well said. It is so realistic, which is what makes it all the more uncomfortable and scary to read.

        • Pk9 says:

          Yeah, it's entirely consistent with Gale. Remember when he pep talked Katniss when she first volunteered for HG74?

          "Katniss, it's just hunting. You're the best hunter I know," says Gale.
          "It's not just hunting. They're armed. They think," I say.
          "So do you. And you've had more practice. Real practice," he says. "You know how to kill."
          "Not people," I say.
          "How different can it be, really?" says Gale grimly.
          The awful thing is that if I can forget they're people, it will be no different at all

    • I definately respect your comment, though I'll disagree on one small count, which is that there are infants and young children there, and there's no way that even Gale can think that they partake in the Craptiol's crimes.

      Other than that, Bravo! (And yes, you still get the upvote for the articulate and thoughtful comment.) 🙂

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      Very nicely worded comment. I agree that Gale's reactions, based on his own experiences, are completely realistic. I just don't like how he sees the world in black and white. I think he should know by now that there are shades of gray. Look at the Peacekeepers who were in District 12. We had Thread and Craw who were pretty terrible, but we also had Darius and Purnia, who seemed pretty awesome. I have decided that Darius chipped in the pot in the first Games to help sponsor Katniss, not for entertainment but because he liked her and wanted her to return. Even those on the "other side" have decent people. There are Plutarch's spies and the Avoxes, who did speak out against the Capitol and were punished and humiliated. And, as MsImpertinence says, children and babies live there too.

      I understand Gale's point of view and I cannot say how I would react if I were in his position. But, from my comfy place outside of this story, I cannot agree with his actions. He leaves no room for wiggle or exceptions to the rule.

      • Hanh says:

        I think Gale does know about the grey areas. It's just that his anger is allowing him to ignore it. Rage is a very effective maker of tunnel vision. I'm just really sad for Gale right now because if he goes through with it, it's one of those lines that once you cross, a part of you dies with it.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think it's good to point out that Gale's reaction is realistic and logical, so I appreciate this comment. I honestly think that there are readers who agree with him. I would never argue that Gale thinks of the residents of the Capitol as innocent civilians. They are guilty by birth. His attitude, while reasonable to have about your enemy, is based on and initial prejudice that is simply wrong. His philosophy disgusts me, especially in view of its real world consequences. I like that Collins is presenting multiple viewpoints about war, but Gale's black and white, self-righteous approach to the Capitol is one that does not appeal to me.

      He's a good character, but I find him repellent. Sorta like Snape.

    • Saber says:

      This a hundered times

      I of of the opinion that as flawed humans ourselves, if we truely understand a someone it would be nearly impossible to hate them.

  19. andreah1234 says:

    Shit, WHERE IS MY COMMENT?!?!?

    I had an accurate answer to this chapter and now is gone :'(.

    So I instead I will say: WE (and I say we because I'm pretty sure I'm not either) prepared, Shit will get real and Buttercup will rule the world forever. Oh, and PEEEETAAAAAAAAAAAAA D: D: D: D: D: D:

    Also, I kinda hate intensedebate. (Or maybe it hates me, I'm not really sure).

  20. mugglemomof2 says:

    this exactly! I was devastated after this chapter.

  21. Lurker Dee says:

    This chapter was pretty central in my understanding of Gale, and a part of the bigger picture that lead me to respecting him even though I most definitely agree with the sentiment that he's being rash and cruel in his sentiments. It also weirdly helped me understand why he is, from Katniss's point of view, so 'chummy' with Coin, and why 13 works for him so well while it horrifies Katniss and the majority of the audience here.

    A lot of the characterization in THG trilogy seems to focus on the idea (one that I agree with, so I understand this is a personal perspective thing) that a person's greatest strength is also their greatest weakness – and those strengths and weaknesses are brought out in extremes during times of high stress. Gale's strengths in THG are presented as being fairly similar to Katniss's – he cares about his family, he'll do ANYTHING for them, so in that sense he shares Katniss's love. But where Katniss loves people with compassion and protectiveness, Gale loves them with loyalty and the sense of someone defending his territory. He's outright angry at the Capitol and isn't afraid to show his anger, even though it might endanger him and even those he loves, because he sees the threat against himself and loved ones and simply isn't willing to tolerate it. Katniss, on the other hand, sees the threat and doesn't worry about being angry at it – she's too busy making sure it isn't a threat for her and her's.

    Gale understands people – another strength that is hinted at in THG when his gift at traps and snares is mentioned but is really highlighted in Mockingjay by this scene and previous arguments he and Katniss have had. Gale's always wanted to be a part of a rebellion – Katniss has only begrudgingly accepted the idea because she's been pushed to her limit and given, from her perspective, no other choice. Gale won't tolerate cruelty, even though cruelty is one of his gifts, because he's always used it minimally and for necessary reasons (to feed his family), and when he sees people using similar strategies for evil, he sees it as only fair that those people die. I don't think, when he said that line about wanting to kill everyone who worked for the capitol, that he was talking about Capitol citizens… In a way, I think Gale has more respect for most people than Katniss does, because he expects everyone to understand the full implications of their own actions. That's why he doesn't get Katniss's concern for her prep team. Where Katniss looks at the places where these people are ignorant to understand them, Gale looks at the places where they are guilty – and as much as Katniss might protest, her prep team is made up of three adults. She doesn't always look at them as capable human beings, and while that enables her to care for them, it's something Gale can't abide by.

    Gale might be harsh and fueled by his rage, which makes him harder to swallow and a little less relateable, but he's found a place to understand his part in the war that he believes will aid in the eventual destruction of an evil regime. Plus, because of his mindset of seeing the forest but not the trees, Coin likes him. And I think Gale might be a little blinded to Coin's darker sides because of the fact that they can relate on the level of looking at their enemies as just as capable of understanding their choices as the rebels are, and thus fully deserving of their own tactics being used against them to shut them down.

    So while I may not always like Gale, I do respect him. I respect the fact that, unlike Coin, I don't think he would ever seek the power he has with his understanding of the human psyche. Gale does not look to be in control or to manipulate people who don't use manipulation as a tool themselves. The closest Gale came was that kiss he prompted out of Katniss a few chapters back, and honestly I think that was the only reaction he knew how to have to his own grief. He wasn't doing it for kicks.

    Katniss hides in closets and Gale lashes out. Each of their reactions to grief and stress reflect their strengths, even though they're the very traits that cause them both so much grief.

    …I know that's not a perfect defense of Gale, but it's sort of been my thoughts on his (and Coin's, and to some degree Beetee's and even Plutarch's) characters. Out of the four of them, I dislike Plutarch the most. I CAN'T FREAKING STAND HIM. >_> At least Gale and Beetee have some sympathy and at least Coin, from the impression I get, is able to understand what Katniss is going through – she just doesn't care. Plutarch just flat out can't seem to look outside his games.

  22. Bree says:

    I love the fact that this changed the game in the Katniss/Peeta relationship. For two books, it was always Peeta chasing Katniss. Peeta telling the world he loves her and really not getting anything back, Peeta keeping the nightmares away, Peeta supporting her. AND THEN COLLINS RIPS THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER THAT RELATIONSHIP.

    But you know what? I think it needed to happen. Mockingjay is interesting in the relationship aspect, because no longer is Peeta chasing Katniss. There's been a reversal. Now she's chasing him. Peeta's been hijacked. So Katniss no longer has someone chasing after her. He's calling her a mutt and trying to kill her, and goodness knows he won't be keeping any nightmares away any time soon. He's got enough of his own to deal with it seems.

    Peeta kind of acted as Katniss's support structure for books 1 and 2 when she didn't even realize he was doing it. Sure, she was usually having to save his butt on a physical level, but I think in a way, he was saving her on a mental and emotional level. And we all saw what happened when she didn't have that support structure during the first 12 chapters. She fell to pieces.

    Now Peeta's back, but Katniss is being forced to stand on her own two feet emotionally and mentally. And that -really- sucks considering all the crap she's already been through. It's like, "Present festering wound. Insert salt." NO JOKE.

    I mean, in a way, Peeta's hijacking is good for her character development, because it opens up a new role for her to potentially step into (protecting someone else on a mental/emotional level instead of being protected herself), but we'll have to wait to see if she decides to become what Peeta was for her in Catching Fire. THE DYNAMICS HAVE CHANGED. BUT IT HAS CAUSED ALL THE SAD THINGS EVER. D8

  23. tchemgrrl says:

    Everything that can be said about Peeta has been said. So terrible.

    I have to grudgingly accept here that there was a good reason for all those interminable passages about the prep team–they are a good example of people that have all of the Capitol privileges, and are annoying as all getout but I still don't want people like them *dead*. If it weren't for them the Capitol residents really would be a faceless mass of oppression (LOOKING AT YOU PLUTARCH).

    What's worse is that Beetee and Gale are attempting to prey on the people who, it seems, would be most likely to be valuable to building a new world–the people who would run towards a bombed-out area to help the injured. Newsflash: people like that are not your enemy! Dude! They might be sympathizers to your cause!

    • RainaWeather says:

      That's exactly why I hate Gale in this book. I could understand if he wanted to make bombs that would kill shitloads of people at once or something. But to make a bomb that specifically targets innocent people and specifically targets those who wouldn't hesitate to run to his aid?! That's just immoral.

      • SableFlag says:

        That's how terrorists NOW work too, like putting bombers in ambulances that go to bomb sites (I think that happens in the movie The Kingdom) I love how Collins puts human nature and current events, &c. in these books.

  24. ackroyd says:

    Did Peeta's brainwashed Avatar remind anyone else of a certain Jet?

    • hpfish13 says:

      Okay, now I am picturing Jet from the Ember Island Players episode and trying not to laugh……

    • zuzu says:

      I've been making connections too. A while back I thought:
      Gale: We kissed at the fence and I thought we were going to be together but we're not.
      Katniss: I don't know. I'm confused. We're in the middle of a war and we have other things to worry about.

      paraphrasing but still. it's fun to try to make connections.

    • canadadian says:

      Wow… there are actually a lot of ATLA parallels now that I think about it…
      Katniss = Katara (Katara from the later seasons, especially the bloodbending one in the 3rd season)
      Peeta = Aang
      Gale = Zuko (more like Zuko from the second season)
      And Sokka's probably Finnick or something.
      "The Earth King invites you to Lake Laogai." "I would be honoured to accept his invitation…" Now that was creepy.

    • //()()7' says:

      Holy Flying mother-of-mercy YES! This is totally and completely what I thought. Someone needs to make a fan-art/poster of the many parallels vetween THG and ATLA. (P.S. Mark watches ATLA anyone?)

  25. RachelHs says:

    I am broken. Fucking Peeta man. The nicest, kindest, most adorable guy ever and they fucked him up beyond belief. How fucking heartbreaking.

    I agree about Prim. She's only there when Katniss needs her to be. Otherwise, she offers no substance.

  26. Karen says:

    IA. I also think that this is the way that Gale has always been. Now he just has a platform to express his hatred for the Capitol in a bloody way.

    And yeah the "how different can killing people be from hunting?" from THG was the first moment where I gave Gale the side eye.

  27. t09yavorski says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Collins: "Oh, I'm sorry. You didn't need that did you?"

  28. tethysdust says:

    I'm not saying I agree with D13's treatment of Katniss, but if there was a time to keep things from her, THAT WAS IT. They'll sedate her against her will every time she sheds a tear, but they're all totally okay with letting her watch the first major attempt to treat her brainwashed-into-assassin fiance. It kind of seems like refusing to let a child walk down a staircase alone, but then letting them frolic in a minefield. I disagree with D13 trying to control Katniss' psychological state, but why are they doing it so badly?

    Beyond that, I can only echo the other comments. I did not see this coming, and this is horribly sad. I think this was a really effective chapter.

  29. ldwy says:

    There’s a part of me that now wonders if Snow made it easy for the rescuers to get Peeta back, if everything he did was merely bait to get those in District 13 to bring Peeta to Katniss, so she would know that even if she had him in her physical presence, he wasn’t going to be hers.
    I agree, and I think you might be right. Also, in addition to Snow ruining Peeta's self by turning his memories into nightmares, I wonder if he was specifically programmed, condidtioned throught the memory alteration, to try to Kill Katniss. From Snow's perspective, wouldn't that be pretty much the means of killing Katniss that would be most disheartening to the rebellion?

  30. Emily says:

    So much to say, so I'll keep it simple and inane.
    I laughed when you mentioned PMA

  31. anamardoll says:

    One of the reasons I love this series so much is how the characters are so deep and how they grow over the series. I had to smile a little when Mark mentioned his worry that Effie at least be okay after all this – remember when we first met Effie in THG and we hated her for her privilege and snotty attitude? To me, at least, she hasn't changed one bit, but my UNDERSTANDING of her motivations and intentions have changed dramatically.

    In the same vein, I feel that our feelings for Gale have changed not because HE has changed, but because our understanding of him has changed. Collins sucker punches you with this chapter: Gale is working on weapons designed to maximize civilian casualties. The boy who lost his father in the death-trap coal mine designed by the Capitol has all grown up and is designing death traps of his own. It's not forced, it's not out of character. It fits with his rages in the forest in THG, it fits with his intense desire for rebellion in CF, it fits with his almost seamless transition to being a District 13 citizen – perfectly militarized, a perfectly mindless soldier following the orders tattooed daily on his arm.

  32. FlameRaven says:

    I think this is about where I took my first break in the book. I literally had to set it down and go concentrate on something else for a few hours because it hurt too much. It's just so overwhelming and emotionally intense that it's hard to handle. It's especially tough because Catching Fire sets you up to get so excited about the rebellion– by the end you're all "YES! You overthrow the Capitol! Fuck yes! Go go go!" and then you actually see D13 in Mockingjay and it's just "Oh god why is everything awful?!" Pretty much nonstop.

    I think the book is great at what it does. It paints a pretty realistic picture of war and rebellion and unsurprisingly, it's grim and painful and there are no clear sides when it comes to morality. The book is making its point, but it really, really hurts.

    You may wish to pick out a happy, fluff book full of fun and rainbows to read after you're done with Mockingjay. I know I needed one.

  33. ldwy says:

    Nooooo, Peeta what is going on!!?? All the horror.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Prim, you go girl 🙂
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    With the slow clap, of course.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Hermione,excited,clap">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Snape,clap,excited">

    Overall, chapter 13. SO MUCH SADNESS.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Lupin,Harry,sad,hug,devastation">
    <img src="; border="0">

  34. theresa1128429 says:

    Hijacking.. I don't even know what to say about it. It is just so horrible, especially when Collins decides to make it happen to the character most concerned with his sense of self.
    Delly is the dose of rainbows & sunshine that we all needed at this point in the book. YaY!
    And of course, the bomb. I say that it is a great idea in theory, but I too am opposed to killing the innocent citizens. Beetee at least sees the immorality of what they are doing. Gale just keeps dreaming of spilling any and all Capitol blood.
    And where is my Johanna?! They brought her home, so she should be back in the story now!!

    • We need moar Johanna, Finnick, and S.L.O.E. Buttercup to make our brains hurt less.

      At least I can respect Beetee, because he seems to have privately understood his decision, if that makes any sense. I don't understand doing it, but if you're going to make a deal with the devil, at least be real about it, and don't make moral excuses.

      • theresa1128429 says:

        I like to think that maybe Beetee never really thought about it until Katniss said something, probably because he was too wrapped up in the science behind it and not what it would eventually be used for, Unfortunately, Collins doesn't give us enough Beetee time so we may never know what he really thought.

        And, of course I agree to bring back the sexy badasses and SLOE Buttercup. It would make me very happy.

  35. paulineparadise says:

    So sad my life is so busy D:

  36. Kaci says:

    Nothing will ever be quite as poetically heartbreaking as Peeta, the boy who promised himself he wouldn;t lose his identity to the Games, losing himself to the Capitol in this way. Their psychological warfare is so specific and so targeted–they don;t just want to fuck with your head, they want to destroy you completely.

  37. plausible.theories says:

    I think it's totally crazy how hijack is "an old English word." Makes me wonder how far in the future these books take place. Collins said it was triple-digits in the future but holy crap.

    • FlameRaven says:

      They're approximately 100-200 years in the future, I think, but it's not at all unusual for vocabulary to change drastically in that span of time. I mean, in the 1950's and 60's people spoke and wrote in a rather different tone, and probably wouldn't recognize a lot of slang today (and that's not even counting all the new words that have been created and added as more technology comes along.) That was only 60 years ago. In the 1800's or turn of the century the differences were even greater.

      Language is one of the things that changes fastest, and it changes more the more isolated communities are. I am actually more surprised that there aren't a greater range of dialects between different districts, given that they have no contact with anyone except the Capitol, and then other Districts once a year via the Games.

      • ALynnJ42 says:

        I actually had a semi-ridiculous theory the other day in regards to language in Panem. I was thinking, maybe they speak Latin there? I mean the country is named after a Latin phrase and there are a bunch of Roman names in the Capitol and it seems like the government was based on the Roman empire. Weirdly enough this theory came about when I was at Church and I was wondering if priests need to be fluent in Latin since some parts of the mass are in Latin, which got me thinking of how Latin is a dead language, which then lead to me thinking about what if it got revived…

  38. Ali says:

    Noooooo! Why is this book full of UNENDING TRAGEDY??? :'(

    I really hope Effie is ok too…the idea that the Capitol killed Peeta's prep team and Portia just for having the slightest contact with the rebels – that is BRUTAL.

  39. JessicaVavrinec says:

    I made the mistake of reading this book through in one sitting. SADNESS FOREVER. I'm enjoying watching you go along and encounter ALL THE SAD, but I probably won't read it myself ever again.

  40. BradSmith5 says:

    Okay, this part of the story is getting me to sit up and take notice. I was prepared to yawn my way through zillions of character killings, but psychological effects!? I agree with Mark in saying that I can relate to mental obstacles far better than physical ones. Peeta and Delly's dialog was also amazing; I'm so glad that Collins took the time to write it all out.

    What was up with that last bit, though: "Send me to Two?" Tutu? I don't like reading words next to each other that have the same sound. Ah! And I see that Mark hates it as well, ha,ha,ha. 😉 😉 😉

    • Saber says:

      I agree with this. It's sad when a character dies, yah, but it's the mental stuff that strike me the hardest. And Collins did that beautifully

  41. MikeMagpuyo says:

    "It’s strange how exhausting this book is. I’m just coming up on being halfway through it and I’m tired. This is bleak and depressing and OF COURSE I LOVE ALL OF THAT, but I just want something to go right. For like…one chapter. Is that so much to ask?"

    Oh no.

  42. potlid007 says:

    Bravo, Prim, bravo.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Joker Clap Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Clap Rach/Finn Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    oh, and also? I don't think this is going to happen butttttt….WOULDN'T IT BE AWESOME IF PEETA WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT???? THAT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST WTF MOMENT EVER. WANT THIS PLEASE.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="shire fireworks gif Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    why do i take pleasure in these characters' pain???

  43. embers says:

    This is a painful book (they have all been painful books in this series) but I have to say how much I love it (I loved them all) and how quickly I read it! I think it is easier to take when read really quickly (lol).

    Collins has a lot to say about tyrants and war; there is a lot going on here below the surface, and I really think it is worth reading/discussing. Thank you so much for your insightful reviews!

  44. Phoebe says:

    Last Line= Oh Snap!

  45. valely199 says:

    So ditzy question time – how do you add a gif to a comment? I figured it out for buzznet, but can't seem to do it here…

  46. Pk9 says:

    I wrote these down right after I read this chapter so it in no way represents a spoiler:
    Poor broken mind-controlled Peeta. Poor Portia.

    Now that they got Peeta out, though… If Peeta was allowed to escape by design, I’m guessing Cinna’s alive. Snow always has an ace up his sleeve.

  47. Joanie says:

    Not on topic but is that a Rabbit Hole gif? Underrated movie.<3
    Nothing seems to go right, EVER, does it? I don't think anyone saw the Peeta 'hijacking' coming at all!

  48. eeshannon says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    But here are some claps for Prim.
    <img src=""&gt;
    And when Brangelina claps for you, you know it's legit.

  49. Not_Prepared says:

    PEETA :'(
    PORTIA :'(
    EFFIE :'(
    DELLY <3

    Eye feel soe sahd right nao 🙁

  50. Pelleloguin says:

    Prim does seem strange for a girl her age, but when you look at how her life has been until now, she's dealt with things most adults have not gone through. I think the reason she seems so saintly is because we never got to see her directly after the aftermath of 12's destruction. She's just a kid but she watched her home burn to the ground and I know she had to have seen people die as well. The calm she has around Katniss probably comes from Prim knowing some of what Katniss has gone through.

    Gale….Yeah, he's starting to lose his scene of justice that he's held since the start of the series. He knows the other side does not care about fair play, and he's starting to think that they have the right idea. (That fair play doesn't win wars.) And that worries me. It makes me feel like he's just a few disasters away before he looks at the Big Red Button like it's a good idea. And nukes never are.

  51. Depths_of_Sea says:


    Am I the only one who thought that bit about how she would pretend Peeta was her brother was the most freaking adorable and heartwarming thing ever?!

    Team Delly.

  52. finnickodair says:

    As horrifying as it is, I have to applaud Suzanne Collins for the concept of hijacking.

    Never prepared.

  53. canadadian says:

    I must be weirdly twisted or something, because I actually sort of saw this one coming…
    When I was reading this book for the first time I remember thinking 'You know, if this was a different book, I'd make a prediction right now that the Capitol would put Peeta under some sort of mind control or something.' I guess my rationale was (similar to the Crazy Cat metaphor) that it would really be one of the only things that Snow could do to Katniss (psychologically) at this point to make things worse, short of killing Peeta (which, as expressed in the Crazy Cat metaphor – albeit awkwardly – would be horrible for Katniss initially, but she or at least some part of her would move on eventually. Also, Snow would lose his only influence over Katniss, so I couldn't really see him doing that). But then I second-guessed myself – I was like 'No, this is Collins. She wouldn't use something like mind control in this setting.' and dismissed the theory completely. Guess that teaches me to second-guess myself, because she used it (sort of) and it was HORRIBLE AND WELL DONE IN ITS AWFULNESS.

  54. Cally says:

    Ok first, PRIM!
    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    <img src=>

    Then PEETA!
    Collins, THIS is what should have happened (FYI, the artist drew this BEFORE reading MJ, this is just what she imagined/hoped would happen)
    Mockingjay Reunion by burdge-bug
    <img src=>

    NOT Peeta flipping out and trying to strangle Katniss!
    <img src=>

    Peeta's condition is absolutely heartbreaking. I agree with you Mark, Peeta dying would have been better than this. The Capitol did the thing Peeta feared most; taking his identity away from him and changing him.
    <img src=>

    The hijacking thing is SO terrifying to me, and just pure evil. The tracker jackers were bad enough…but this? I just…I can't even.
    <img src=>

    I think I'm done…oh wait, GALE!
    <img src=>
    Dude, I know you can't stand the Capitol and everything but being cold and indifferent to MURDERING innocent people is NOT THE WAY TO HANDLE THINGS!
    You better get a handle on yourself mister or Prim will sick Buttercup on you:
    <img src=>
    (imagine that is a cat)

    • Cally says:

      Whoops, I put the Preach one twice
      <img src=>
      SORRY! Was supposed to be this:
      <img src=>

      • Simone says:

        I love that drawing. I kind of wish burdge-bug had drawn another one though, after she(?) read what really happened. It'd be a nice little comparison to what all the fans wanted, and what Collins threw in their faces.

        Also, amazing gifs.

    • Brandi says:

      possibly the most excellent gifage i have ever seen, especially the ones of puck and genie. A+.

  55. canadadian says:

    Side note:
    But it is kind of strange that she only seems to pop up to offer bits of sage wisdom like this.
    Is it wrong that when you said that I pictured one of those videogame characters that pops up every so often to tell you something about the game?

  56. Laura says:

    I remember my reaction to this chapter so well. This is when I was horrified beyond fucking belief. This is when the bottom of my stomach dropped out and I realized that Suzanne Collins has absolutely no mercy. Oh jeez.

  57. accio doublestuff says:

    I know Haymitch would have come to my defense if he hadn’t been utterly unprepared.

    mark, you are no longer alone – even fictional characters are now unprepared.

  58. trash_addict says:

    ' I know Haymitch would have come to my defense if he hadn’t been utterly unprepared.'

    And just as Haymitch was unprepared, so are we all.

    PEETA 🙁 Sads. Nonetheless, for some sick, sadistic reason, I didn't want this to be an easy fix. I remembered how back in book 1, it always seemed the case that Katniss would Freak The Hell Out over the possibility of something bad happening, and it just never really occurred. I won't describe her as a hypochondriac because that is an actual condition, but she seemed to worry a lot unnecessarily (YES I AM SAYING THIS ABOUT A TEENAGE GIRL WHO WAS SENT OFF TO MURDER A BUNCH OF PEOPLE FOR ENTERTAINMENT). But reflecting on that, I can see how much both Collins and Katniss have developed since then (Katniss, mainly, because everything really IS horrible all the time).

  59. Sara says:

    <img src="; alt="funny gifs" />

    You have no idea how bad it's going to get.
    You can't even begin to prepare yourself for it.

  60. castlejune says:

    Yeah, this was the moment I was like "Gale, you have officially lost the running for Katniss's heart." I'm sorry, she does not need someone who is MORE violent and MORE vengeful than she. If they got together, they would both catch on fire, scream at each other, and then kill the world. That was why Peeta was so good for her. He made her stop, drop, and roll out the crazy vengeance fire. He calmed her down and reminded her of integrity. Gale would just goad her on into her worst impulses. Which is why this chapter was so SAD! Ah! She needs the calming influence of Peeta, and here he is hating her!

    I agree with you. This was the worst thing they could do to Peeta, way worse than killing him. The one thing he didn't want to lose in the first book was his integrity and individuality. He didn't want the Capital to change him. Well, great. Now he has been mind raped, which is worse than losing part of him self by choice in the Arena.

  61. daisysparrow says:

    Delly always reminded me of this chick: /Users/Torie/Desktop/tumblrl9itsck8zg1qzgqhi_thumb.jpg

    • iolchos says:

      can't see the picture. 🙁 Do you have an account with an image hosting service, like photobucket or imageshack? That's one easy way to get your pictures uploaded so you can share them.

  62. Dannie. says:

    I hate this chapter, I hate what happened to Peeta.

    But I love it all.

  63. Quizzical says:

    two examples of inhumanity. snow's via hijacking peeta and gale+beetee's with their bomb that preys on compassion.

    both are designed to take advantage of the better side of humanity.

    i really do love how collins brings these ideas of moral ambiguity to the fore. even beyond the loyalty issue and the decision of whether we can give gale a pass or not and how we feel about the prep teams etc, she is really showing that there's no 'good' or 'bad' side necessarily forgiving all wrongs. there is always the choice to do better, and to be less 'bad'.

  64. notemily says:

    Lossthief? Is lossthief in the house?

    I would like to direct everybody to this comment in chapter THREE of The Hunger Games, where lossthief says a gritty ending to the book would be if Katniss strangled Prim in the middle of a PTSD-induced flashback. And "I know, not very kid friendly, but I like my dystopia with a little grim psychosis as well."


    Sorry, I've been waiting months to post this 😀

  65. LOTRjunkie says:

    I can do five times the number of pushups Mark can do, and I'm a geeky, puny Asian girl. Mark, you have just given my self esteem a huge boost. :DDD Hellz to the yeah for stereotypes defiance.

  66. Jaria says:

    <img src=>

    • ALynnJ42 says:

      Oh my gawd! The Gentlemen scared the shit out of me! I literally had trouble sleeping the night after I saw this because I thought I was gonna get my heart ripped out! Great episode in general though…

  67. msfeasance says:

    For all two of you who watched Caprica, this chapter is where I started envisioning Beetee as Daniel Graystone.

  68. breesquared says:

    It is ridiculous how emotionally invested I am in this story, at this point, despite having never even touched the books themselves. Good lord.

  69. XPhile says:

    Aaaand there goes Gale, crossing the Moral Event Horizon. It's been real, buddy. Fare the well, but fare thee away from me.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  70. vampira2468 says:

    Anyone feel Collins over did the death? I really didnt felt the deaths were shocking and what goes on in this world

  71. Kelly L. says:


    I seriously almost threw the book across the room at this point. I've never, ever had the desire to do that before. Just sayin'.

  72. ALynnJ42 says:

    "It’s strange how exhausting this book is. I’m just coming up on being halfway through it and I’m tired."
    You're so right. I remember going through The Hunger Games in a day because I got so wrapped up in the story, but it was so much to handle that I took a weeklong break before reading Catching Fire. Now that I'm reading Mockingjay, I feel exactly how you do. It's so mentally exhausting that I'm actually only reading a chapter or two a day.

    PS Does anyone else get pissed off at how every chapter Katniss is sedated? I literally roll my eyes every time she mentions being sedated. Maybe they do it for her own safety so she doesn't hurt herself or others in a fit of emotions? But it mustn't be good for her health.

  73. Hanh says:

    Seeing Katniss' reaction to getting Peeta back really made me think that she finally made up her mind and picked someone…and then Collins throws a wrench into that. So I was kind of right that they brainwashed him but I actually thought they might have created muttations of Katniss and had them attack Peeta so now he associates anything with Katniss as being a fake made by the Capitol to kill him. I didn't think they'd alter his memories so that the real Katniss became the threat. Whatever I still have hope for his recovery even though that treatment session looked very bleak. He obviously remembered Katniss enough to warn her about the missiles.

  74. Bigstik says:

    At no point is the word civilian used. If one bomb goes off, the first to arrive would be other troops, not civilians. At no point is there any indication that what they are suggesting will be used against civilians. Seems that most people are forgetting failure is not an option for the rebels. It’s funny how people can judge someone when they’ve never been in that position and never will.

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