Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 9

In the ninth chapter of Mockingjay, Gale and Katniss return to District 12 to film another propos and be reminded how awful their lives are. Then: PEETA WTF. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Mockingjay.

These chapters are getting much, much longer, right? And there’s also no hope in sight, right? Because man, this shit is getting dark. I cannot begin to feel remotely prepared for what Collins has planned for the remaining two-thirds of this novel; if she’s sowing the seeds for her endgame, aside from Peeta’s speech, I can’t seem to pick up what might happen in Mockingjay.

I wouldn’t have expected that Finnick and Katniss would end up so close. This chapter opens with the two of them taking the opportunity to head out to the woods. (Gale was busy working for Beetee, so Finnick took his place.) There, Katniss gets the chance to speak openly about seeing Peeta’s broadcast the night before. The scary thing is that no one is talking about it. Katniss isn’t naïve; she knows everyone else had to see it, so why has no one decided to talk to her about it? Why are people purposely avoiding the topic?

This chapter helps solidify the way those in charge here in District 13 treat Katniss as if she’s a child or if she’s too “fragile” to handle what’s going on. I know that she’s been through a lot of trauma, but it’s kind of awful how little credit these people give her. She just survived TWO Hunger Games and blew up a hovercraft with an arrow. Trust her for HALF A SECOND.

It’s unfortunate that Finnick is the only one to give her this sort of respect. The next day, things are tense between Gale and Katniss; Gale has also been ignoring the topic as well. At breakfast, she finally confronts him about this reality.

Our eyes lock, and I realize how furious I am with Gale. That I don’t believe for a second that he didn’t see Peeta’s propo. That I feel completely betrayed that he didn’t tell me about it. We know each other too well for him not to read my mood and guess what has caused it.

“Katniss—“ he begins. Already the admission of guilt is in his tone.

I grab my tray, cross to the deposit area, and slam the dishes onto the rack.

Is it weird that my first thought was, I HOPE YOU ATE ALL YOUR FOOD, KATNISS, PLEASE DON’T WASTE IT.

But this is an argument on which I side entirely on the side of Katniss, despite that maybe her reaction is a bit much.

“I’m sorry. All right? I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to tell you, but everyone was afraid that seeing Peeta’s propo would make you sick,” he says.

“They were right. It did. But not quite as sick as you lying to me for Coin.” At that moment, his communicuff starts beeping. “There she is. Better run. You have things to tell her.”

For a moment, real hurt registers on his face. Then cold anger replaces it. He turns on his heel and goes. Maybe I haven been too spiteful, not given him enough time to explain. Maybe everyone is just trying to protect me by lying to me. I don’t care. I’m sick of people lying to me for my own good.

Good for you, Katniss. She expects this from everyone but Gale, so I’m glad she calls him out. Harshly, yes, but it needed to be done.

Then it’s time for AWKWARD CITY. Because right after this, Katniss finds out she is traveling with Gale back to District 12 to shoot more footage. You know, I get that the need to do this to win the war, but surely District 12 is the most uniquely triggering place they could possibly take them to, right? It makes me wonder what they’ll do with them after the war is over. There is some good news, though, as Plutarch informs them that the rebels have actually taken Districts 3 and 11. But it’s not enough hope to mop up the rainstorm of sad and depressing that falls down on us.

It’s not until we land in the Meadow that I realize Haymitch isn’t among our company. When I ask Plutarch about his absence, he just shakes his head and says, “He couldn’t face it.”

“Haymitch? Not able to face something? Wanted a day off, more likely,” I say.

“I think his actual words were ‘I couldn’t face it without a bottle,’” says Plutarch.

Well, shit. I know Katniss is being mean to him (COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED, DUDE IS A DICK TO HER), but I think it is pretty sad that Haymitch can’t even return to his home anymore.

Of course, the first place the TV crew takes Katniss is to her DESTROYED HOME. Cressida tells her to do “whatever you feel like” and Katniss simply zones out. It’s a short moment, but it’s one full of a lot of pain. It irritates me that the rebels in District 13 are using her for all of this. Yes, Katniss has consented to it, but what other choice does she have?

It seems even worse for Gale, who is also asked to visit the remains of his house as well. But instead of standing in silence, Cressida begins to interrogate him about what happened on the night of the bombing and even asks him to reenact it. THEN. THEN. To make matters work, they take them to the house by the lake, which, to Katniss, is about the only sacred, meaningful place left in her district. It’s there that they decide to take a break, the heat overwhelming them, and Katniss begins to communicate with Pollux, an Avox on the crew who escaped the Capitol.

I’m not a big fan of singing in novels because I can’t hear the song, but this scene is FANTASTIC. It’s cheesy, sure, but it’s such an understated moment of peace for these characters. It’s also great to be reminded what the mockingjay means to the people in Panem and especially to Katniss.

We hadn’t had a flashback in a long time either, and we get small pieces of Katniss’s past with her father when he was still live. She chooses to sing a song called “The Hanging Tree” for Pollux, as an example of how the mockingjays can repeat melodies back to people. This song is one her mother was upset over when she sang it as a child and her father had to console her. For Katniss, this song represents her positive feelings towards her father, someone she lost long ago. I found it evocative that it was here in the woods, out by the lake, her life torn apart by the Capitol, that she takes the opportunity to pull out a positive memory and share it in her own way with Pollux.

As I glance sideways, I see Castor has been taping me. Everyone is watching me intently. And Pollux has tears running down his cheeks because no doubt my freaky song has dredged up some terrible incident in his life. Great. I sigh and lean back against the trunk. That’s when the mockingjays begin their rendition of “The Hanging Tree.” In their mouths, it’s quite beautiful. Conscious of being filmed, I stand quietly until I hear Cressida call, “Cut!”


They head to Gale and Katniss’s old hunting rendezvous and it’s there that Katniss chooses to do something incredibly mature, something deserving of all the high fives.

There’s no District 12 to escape from now, no Peacekeepers to trick, no hungry mouths to feed. The Capitol took away all of that, and I’m on the verge of losing Gale as well. The glue of mutual need that bonded us so tightly together for all those years is melting away. Dark patches, not light, show in the spaces between us. How can it be that today, in the face of 12’s horrible demise, we are too angry to even speak to each other?

Thus, Katniss decides, even though she’s entirely in the right, to make sure that she keeps Gale on her side.

My fingers encircle a blackberry and pluck it from its stem. I roll it gently between my thumb and forefinger. Suddenly, I turn to him and toss it in his direction. “And may the odds—“ I say. I throw it high so he has plenty of time to decide whether to knock it aside or accept it.

Gale’s eyes train on me, not the berry, but at the last moment, he opens his mouth and catches it. He chews, swallows, and there’s a long pause before he says “—be ever in your favor.” But he does say it.

It’s a small sign, but it’s there. They have to stick together. (I still expect Gale to apologize.) Speaking of sticking together, Katniss records a particularly heartbreaking message for Peeta:

“Peeta, this is your home. None of your family has been heard of since the bombing. Twelve is gone. And you’re calling for a cease-fire?” I look across the emptiness. “There’s no one left to hear you.”


Ok, I totally understand why Katniss then decides to go to the Victor’s Village alone, but why does her team let her? It seems a bit too risky given what’s going on. Anyway, she goes to her old house she lived in before the second Hunger Games and starts to pack objects they left behind. Gale surprises her inside and then it’s back to AWKWARD TOWN again.

“Remember?” he asks. “This is where you kissed me.”

Oh, boy. So we’re going to talk about this right now?

“Maybe I’ll be like that man in ‘The Hanging Tree.’ Still waiting for an answer.” Gale, who I have never seen cry, has tears in his eyes.


To keep them from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his. We taste of heat, ashes, and misery. It’s a surprising flavor for such a gentle kiss. He pulls away first and gives a wry smile. “I knew you’d kiss me.”

“How?” I say. Because I didn’t know myself.

“Because I’m in pain,” he says. That’s the only way I get your attention.” He picks up the box. “Don’t worry, Katniss. It’ll pass.”

The burn. IT BURNS.

Man, JUST WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO BE OK. I guess that there’s a part of me that understands Gale, to an extent. He is kind of right. Not entirely. I don’t think it’s fair at all to expect Katniss to do much of anything beyond what she’s doing to help District 13. I mean, she is CLEARLY occupied with other matters, right?


It’s all too complicated for Katniss too. She sleeps upon returning to her home, wakes up for breakfast, and goes back to sleep in a supply closet. I suppose for her, it’s how she copes with how overwhelming this all is. Boggs manages to catch after her closet nap to tell her that there’s an urgent meeting in Command.

There, we get to see Beetee’s work: he is going to attempt to interrupt a live Capitol broadcast. President Snow himself leads the transmission, with Peeta off to the side, who begins to speak about his desire to see a cease-fire. That’s when Beetee’s first clip makes it through and the reaction is electric.

I didn’t think Beetee would be alive post-Catching Fire and it’s great to see him doing work like this now. He continues to assault and hijack the airwaves with the propos they had filmed the day before.

Plutarch’s in spasms of delight and most everybody is cheering Beetee on, but Finnick remains still and speechless beside me. I meet Haymitch’s eyes from across the room and see my own dread mirrored back. The recognition that with every cheer, Peeta slips even farther from our grasp.

Another sign that for those in charge, victory is essentially, even if it means losing Peeta. The chaos builds on screen and while many in Command are celebrating, Peeta guarantees that shit has gotten so real:

“Katniss…how do you think this will end? What will be left? No one is safe. Not in the Capitol. Not in the districts. And you…in Thirteen…” He inhales sharply, as if fighting for air; his eyes look insane. “Dead by morning!”


Off camera, Snow orders, “End it!” Beetee throws the whole thing into chaos by flashing a still shot of me standing in front of the hospital at three-second intervals. But between the images, we are privy to the real-life action being played out on the set. Peeta’s attempt to continue speaking. The camera knocked down to record the white tiled floor. The scuffle of boots. The impact of the blow that’s inseparable from Peeta’s cry of pain.

And his blood as it spatters the tiles.

About Mark Oshiro

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

230 Responses to Mark Reads ‘Mockingjay’: Chapter 9

  1. bell_erin_a says:

    I’m sick of people lying to me for my own good. Because really it’s mostly for their own good. Lie to Katniss about the rebellion so she doesn’t do anything crazy. Send her into the arena without a clue so we can fish her out. Don’t tell her about Peeta’s propo because it might make her sick, and it’s hard enough to get a decent performance out of her as it is.
    Yeah, really shitty situation is shitty. It always feels like I'm saying the same thing here: "give Katniss some credit, she can do this herself, how about just a tiny bit of free will here??" but it doesn't look like I'll be able to say anything else anytime soon. So: copy, paste, copy, paste, copy, paste…

    Also, there are still decomposing bodies in D12. (Can Snow control the weather somehow? The first time she went back, I think she said something about lack of rain. Is Snow deliberately keeping conditions where the bodies won't disappear as fast? Also, ew.) THIS BOOK BRINGS ALL THE HAPPY, BUT ACTUALLY MORE LIKE ALL THE SADS AND THE WHHHYYYYYYYYS.

    You can hear the regret of a Head Gamemaker who can only dream of such toys, who must make do with hovercraft and land-to-land missiles and plain old guns.
    Gah, that and Gale’s “long overdue” comment just really freak me out. D13 is already worried about fertility rates. What would you do with those “toys”? Kill everyone and then hope to start a new country with only the people from D13? Because you can't already do enough damage with land-to-land missiles and plain old guns?!?

    Re: hiding in the supply closet. What was that about being annoyed at Haymitch’s inability to face things again? Let’s face it, none of you guys from any of the Games are in great mental condition, so how about we stop pointing fingers.


    • monkeybutter says:

      I never really thought too hard about it, but it's only been a few months since the bombing, right? They bodies wouldn't be completely decayed by then. Snow probably would do whatever he could to preserve the miserable end of District 12, but maybe it was just a drought? The climate in their world did go to crap, after all. This is something I'm going to wonder about, now!

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Oh, you're probably right. I always fail with the timeline of these books. And I suppose a drought is totally in the realm of possibility, but the way the line was thrown out there like, "hmmmm, there hasn't been any rain, it's a ~conspiracy~," (okay, that last part is just me) made me wonder if Katniss was pointing it out because it wasn't normal.

        • monkeybutter says:

          It totally could be a conspiracy! But I don't know what the Capitol's capabilities are, and I think it's enough that you have to wonder if they can control the weather. It makes them seem even more formidable.

  2. stellaaaaakris says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Stop hurting Peeta! Please stop hurting him!

    I can't take this anymore, I just can't. I'm forming a fictional rescue mission. Who's with me? Goal: get Peeta, Johanna, Annie, and anybody else I like out and safe. Effie. Where's Effie? Let's put her on the list. And Portia. I have positive connotations about her. And if Madge was evacuated to the Capitol, let's get her back too. Anybody else I feel particularly strongly about? If there was, YOU PROBABLY KILLED THEM ALL.

    This chapter just makes me sad. Katniss talking about Peeta's family. Rue's four note song. Gale's pain making Katniss kiss him. Pollux having his first conversation in years. PEETA.

    The one bit I like about this chapter in a pure happy, non-"sad is happy for deep people" way: Finnick and Katniss are clearly on their way to becoming besties. No romance to mess things up, just relying on one another. Also, when they went hunting together, I can't get rid of the image that Finnick is still in his hospital gown, hunkered down under a tree or something.

  3. monkeybutter says:


    <img src=""&gt;

    You're right, this chapter does seem exceptionally long. Still, it's one of Collins' best non-action chapters. Katniss's interactions with Finnick and Gale are great, and I like how Collins is showing where her (confused) mind is now. My favorite part is "The Hanging Tree," and while I like the flashback, the in-depth analysis is anti-climactic, and I think Gale's line later on would've been better without it. You have to trust that your readers know what you're talking about!

    • Lynn says:

      For me the in depth analysis was unnecessary but I think Collins is making sure that her younger readers get the connection. Actually it feels more like something an editor made her add for it being a YA book. But yeah, it made a long chapter longer.

      But I liked this chapter too.

      • greenbean says:

        totally agree. I remember reading that part thinking "is that really necessary?" but then remembering, "oh yeah, this exceptionally dark and disturbing book was written for children in the pre-rhetoric stage of school."

      • monkeybutter says:

        Haha, yeah, I figure it was done at editorial insistence, but it still irks me. When I was a kid, I never liked recap chapters or when authors take a break from the story to explain what you just read; it felt patronizing. I don't think that the lyrics to "The Hanging Tree" are so obscure that the younger part of her audience wouldn't get it, but the explanation can annoy older readers who do. It's like if Billie Holiday finished singing "Strange Fruit" and said "See, this is a song about lynching, and the fruit are actually dead black men, and there's a really poignant contrast between the beauty of the region and the hideousness of its crimes."

        Ah well, it's just a personal reaction. And I think I have "Strange Fruit" on my mind after reading this chapter…

        • Lynn says:

          Yeah, I didn't care for it either. But I try and remind myself I am not technically the target audience for the books. But you make a great point about treating your audience with respect. I guess, though, that I have seen some middle schoolers who are not very good at abstract thinking. And if they don't have someone to talk with them about the books it might go right past them. But then again like you say, I have read books that at different times in my life mean different things. I like books like that. So maybe it shouldn't have been such a big deal if they had just let it be self explanatory.

          So yeah, I guess what I am saying is that I just edit/skim those annoying parts and try not to let it annoy me.

        • attack_womb says:

          the song made me think of Strange Fruit as well. and as much as i would like to think that these things don't require explanations, not everyone is gifted with intelligence and/or insight….. there are people who entirely missed the point of Strange Fruit – "At times, Holiday's listeners failed to grasp the concept of the song. In one incident in Los Angeles, a woman asked her to sing 'that sexy song she's so famous for. The one about the naked bodies swinging.'" (wikipedia)

          yep. if adult audiences can miss the point, so can youth audiences. sometimes, clarity is a good thing.

    • nanodragora says:

      I was extremely bothered by the explanation. I feel like it could have been done better, even if it was required by an editor. It didn't have to be so long, and spell every little detail out for you. She could have made a vague reference to how chilling she thought it was that the dead man was singing or something, and let her readers go back and read the song again with this point in mind.

      I hate when things get dumbed down for the audience. :/ Even a twelve year old me would have been annoyed.

  4. AngryAsian says:

    i think i may be the only person reading this who dislikes Katniss. i really cannot stand her.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      I guess you have to preface that comment with "UNPOPULAR OPINION TIME" so that people don't downvote you, which is ridiculous. To me, downvoting should be reserved for spoilers or super rude comments, and while it would be nice to know why you can't stand Katniss, opinions from the minority don't fall under either category.

      • AngryAsian says:

        it's ok. i'm still trying to figure out why i dislike her so, myself. i mean, she has good qualities, yes but i just don't like her.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I don't blame you– she's not a very sympathetic character. But I think she's a realistic character in the way she reacts and is treated by these people as the symbol of the revolution. Since the whole series is tackling things realistically, I appreciate why Katniss is the way she is, even if I probably wouldn't want to actually meet her.

    • Treasure Cat says:

      I actually agree with you, but I said my piece about her and got it out of my system during HG. But, yeah, you're not the only one.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Definitely not the only person.

      I'm still trying to conceptualize why exactly I don't like her. It probably helps that I never really liked Ron Weasley, for instance, but I don't think that that's the root of it. And it probably doesn't help that I see her as being rather similar to a certain character who has the excuse of being a somewhat spoiled, somewhat neglected twelve-year-old who eventually grows out of it.

    • lyric says:

      i cant fathom why you follow this blog or read the books if you dont like the protagonist? if i dont like the protagonist i dont bother continuing their journey

      • AngryAsian says:

        i follow this blog because i think Mark is hilarious and his posts make me smile.
        i read the books because the STORY itself is a good one, i'm a fan of apocalyptic sci-fi books, and slowly getting into young adult fiction which i used to ignore.

        i don't have to love something to follow it whole heartedly. it's nice to read other perspectives, even if i don't agree and sometimes, i do agree but i take the opposite stance to further a discussion, and/or get another perspective

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        There are tons of counterarguments to this POV that I could state here, but instead I'll just say…

        You do realize that you're saying this on a blog that started out with chapter-by-agonizing-chapter review and analysis of the Twilight books, right?

      • RainaWeather says:

        Well as much as I LOVE Katniss, I often greatly disliked Harry during the HP reads. And I didn't like Peeta for all the Hunger Games and most of Catching Fire

    • Annalebanana says:

      From what I've heard, it seems like Katniss is a pretty difficult person to understand and like unless you share a lot of the same traits as her… which i do. I actually probably hate Peeta for that same reason-because I don't really get him, and everything he does annoys me and his character annoys me and I feel annoyed for being annoyed with him because he has a tragic life. Anyway, when you figure out why you hate her, I would love to know!

      Side note: You are not the only person who hates main characters… I really kind of detest Harry Potter. *Shields herself from flying fruit and fish*

    • I just can't believe that you're getting down-arrowed for stating your opinion. It's incredible to me, since you weren't insulting or anything.
      Come on, everyone, surely we can do better than this!

  5. aurorabora says:

    Ahhhhh I am so conflicted because the end of this chapter is SO MUCH DREAD and then that GIF IS SO FANTASTIC.

  6. cait0716 says:

    I really didn't like Katniss' analysis of the song. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a YA novel and the intended audience might not get all the nuance Collins was going for. But it really jerked me out of the book. I mean, that song got more page real estate than districts 1-10 on the victory tour. This just felt like Collins smacking me over the head with the symbolism and ugh. Didn't like.

    That said, I enjoyed the rest of the chapter. The song itself is cool. And the scene with Pollux and the Mockingjays is pretty sweet. And my heart is breaking for Peeta all over again. And because the love triangle was a big part of the book for me, I just wanted to mention that at this point I was pretty much resigned to a Katniss/Gale pairing (with no commentary on whether or not that actually happens). I wanted Katniss/Peeta, but couldn't see Peeta surviving long enough for that to work out. Heart broken into a million pieces.

    • Lynn says:

      I said this in another comment but the overly detailed explanation almost felt like something an editor made her go back and add for a younger audience. Because really, most of the readers I would think would have gotten it without an explanation.

      • cait0716 says:

        That makes sense. Though it still feels like one of those things that young readers would have developed a deeper understanding of on re-reads. And that could have been more fun.

        I guess I can't complain too much, since this is basically the only thing I had a problem with in this book. (I mean, that I wasn't supposed to have a problem with)

        • Lynn says:

          I answered up above to a post meaning to also answer you too and accidentally combined the two answers in my head. But yeah, I have found books that have meant different things to me a different ages/stages of my life. I like books like that.

          Also, I try to just let those kind of things roll right past me. But I can be really good at skimming so I guess that is how I have learned to deal with things like that. I also skim for overly descriptive books, because I like to fill in things and don't want every detail mapped out for me. But I can tell that a lot of people loves the details and I can understand that. I guess we just each have our own preferences.

    • erin says:

      I'm probably one of the few who appreciated the analysis, because I never really read songs in books. I just don't. It's like the story is trucking right along and then it's AND HERE WE DEVOTE TWO PAGES TO AN EVENT THAT LASTED A MINUTE AND A HALF. OH, AND YOU CAN'T HEAR THE MUSIC, SO JUST USE YOUR ~*IMAGINATION*~, K? IT'S SYMBOLIC, WE PROMISE.

      So in my head, this part went: "Aww, poor Pollux. Hey look, mockingjays! Aww, Rue's song. Yaddah yaddah, hanging tree, rope necklace, something about a lover, oh, here's the story again! Oooh, is THAT what it was about? That's cool!"

      If Katniss hadn't explained it in the actual narrative, everyone's ~*profound*~ reaction to the lyrics would have just annoyed me. Personal preference, I suppose.

      • noxcuses says:

        I am am the same way about songs! It's good to know I'm not the only one. 🙂

      • Lynn says:

        As I said above, everyone has their own preferences and likes. So I am glad that the descriptions worked for you and was to your liking.

      • cait0716 says:

        Fair enough. I'll echo Lynn here with the sentiment "to each his/her own". I'm glad the analysis wasn't universally disliked.

    • Saber says:

      I'm going to go right out here and say I wouldn't have read that far into the song without the explanation. So it does help some people

      • cait0716 says:

        Thanks for the feedback. I think I felt a bit cheated out of coming to some of the conclusions by myself that Katniss came to. Man that's an awful sentence. But I'm glad it worked for you even if it didn't work for me.

  7. Karen says:


    lol. I actually really hate how Gale emotionally manipulated Katniss into kissing him. STOP BEING SO GROSS, GALE. THIS IS WHY I DON'T LIKE YOU. He knows that she'll kiss him if she thinks that he is in pain, so Gale makes Katniss feel sorry for him so that she'll kiss him. GROSS. STOP IT. I'm totally Team Katniss in all of this. She's gone through so much. It's not fair of Gale to add the whole relationship drama on top of this, especially since Peeta is in the Capitol's clutches.



  8. Integrity1584 says:

    Excellent use of gifage (all we talked about in nutrition this morning was -ages now it's stuck in my head… silage, haylage, spoilage, wastage…)
    I was so freaked out by this chapter ending. Yes, prior to this point we suspect Peeta has been tortured and yes we can see that he is in pain the the second interview but OH MY GOD BLOOD ON TILES. WHAT. How much blood? Like gushing wounds or drops? Does it even matter because OH MY GOD PEETA IS BLEEDING AND WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. This book is pure torture. Never prepared.

    • theanagrace says:

      What are silage and haylage? I am interested to know. I know I could go look it up, but this will give you a chance to use your newfound knowledge! 😀

      And also, agreed with you on OMGWTFPEETA!

  9. embers says:

    This chapter just makes me feel (again) how unfair all this is for Katniss: she is still very young and immature. At her age (in our society) the most she should be worried about is getting her driver's license and studying for SATs, but instead people expect her to lead a revolution and Gale expects her to fulfill all his romantic dreams. It is ridiculous, she has never and the leisure time to even think about romance.

    Collins has a lot to say about pain, and it makes for great books.

  10. herpestidae says:

    I was originally very annoyed with explaining the whole thing about The Hanging Tree. I mean, is this not a series for Young Adults? Doesn't Collins think we have two brain cells to rub together? Then I realized what was going on. That's one of the parts that she showed the editor, sort of like how TV writers put in over-the-top dirty jokes so the Censors will leave the less noticeable dirty jokes alone.

    "Look at how much time I spend explaining this simple song! It's not like there's anything deep or thought-provoking about it! Nope. This is exactly the kind of crap you guys expect Young Adult readers to like. No extreme violence and shit getting real, or anything remotely interesting."

    And the whole time, she's all trollface.

  11. andreah1234 says:

    I'm pretty sure my only coherent response to all of this chapters is: HOLY SHIT HOLY FUCK WHAT!.

    • andreah1234 says:

      Tried to edit. Didn't work. *facepalm until the end of time*

      so why has no one decided to talk to her about it? Why are people purposely avoiding the topic?
      Because they're a bunch of HIPOCRITICAL ASSHOLES. I mean, they want to present Kat as a strong, capable figure because they think (and are probably right. Damn it.) that it will give a little more strength to the districts and a little more courage to keep fighing. And yet they trate her like she's a porcelain doll. Which of course she's not. SHE SURVIVE 2 HUNGER GAMES AND BLEW UP A HOVERCRAFT WITH AN ARROW AND IS OVERALL BADASS I THINK SHE CAN HANDLE TALKING ABOUT IT. Damn 13 you just keep getting better and better /headdesk.

      FIIIIIIINIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 I apologice for my constant fangirling squee over Finnick, BUT I JUST LOVE HIM OK? Plus he's the only one that seems to get it and actually trates Katniss like someone capable. That's awesome. And he's really dreamy.

      • andreah1234 says:

        This commenting system HATES ME.

        The song was actually cool. I liked it. Not as much as the Rue one (it had more feeling, ok I don't know I just liked it better), but it was cool.

        Gale. GALE. What are you doing dude. Really. I just want to slap his pretty face a bit. He's the only one (besides now Finnick {<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 I REALLY LOVE YOU FINNICK} Ahem) Katniss trust and he does THAT to her? naw not cool dude. NOT COOL. I think the mature here is still Katniss and I think it's a huge progress from the girl we saw in Catching Fire, though the kiss was a bit random and INCREDIBLY awkward. Gawd my brain. IT HURTS.

        And now for the end of my (really long) rant here's my cry of pain and terror:

      • zuzu says:

        There is no reason to apologize for loving Finnick. He is the best and deserves ALL THE SQUEES. Hmm… that's weird, like I'm saying squeeze. Well, whatever- I don't think any fangirls would object to squeezing him.

        • liliaeth says:

          I love that the hottest character in the book, is one of the only ones she's close to, whom she isn't remotely attracted to and has no romantic interest in. 😉

          • Saber says:

            And he's not interested in her either
            Yay for non-romantic friendships in novels!

          • Annalebanana says:

            Agreed! I would love to point this relationship out to the person who commented in the last book that it is annoying how Katniss is only friends with guys and they are all her love interests. HA TAKE THAT.

            Finnick FOREVA! Now if we could only get Annie back for him….

            • I believe I made said comment, and it was true for how things stood at that point in the novel. At the time, she was only truly close with male characters who were potential love interests. In the first book she only had much to do with Peeta and Gale.

  12. Shanella says:

    so hard to read! *holding breath until next chapter*

  13. zuzu says:




  14. kevin mcalliseterc says:

    this is it. don't get scared now.

  15. He inhales sharply, as if fighting for air; his eyes look insane. “Dead by morning!”
    Whew, at least he didn't say, "Dead by dawn." That would have released the Deadites!

  16. mugglemomof2 says:

    I don't have time to post much thoughts todays- but man, what a chapter!

    I just want my Peeta back! He can be my birthday and Christmas present rolled all into one! Please!

  17. Puel says:

    [youtube 54_LE1YuMRc youtube]

    This is my favorite rendition of The Hanging Tree — it really feels like an Appalachian folk song, I think.


    • Lurker Dee says:

      I was totally about to look for this video and post it – this rendition is perfect. I want to go back and reread the chapter just so I can fully imagine what it sounds like now I've heard a version I love so much.

      I haven't found a version of Rue's Lullaby I like even half as much.

    • ohheyitsalliek says:

      Wow, this is really beautiful. I hope if (when) they make this into a movie they use a version like this.

    • ldwy says:

      Wow, how beautiful. I love the folk music that comes out of that region (I don't know where this artist is from particularly, but it certainly has that feel).

    • blessthechildren says:

      Good this is an amazing song. Thanks for sharing!

    • Andrew says:

      This is incredible. I think you've just made my life.

    • lolwat says:

      I'm getting ~tingles~

    • paulineparadise says:

      When my hyperactive friend is like SUPAR-SUGAR-HIGH-AND-CAN'T-STOP-TALKING-OR-RUNNING I sing exactly this song and she calms down like, immediately.

      ( ASGSAHSFHSDDF –&gt; …. 🙂 )

    • calimie says:

      That was so beautiful, thank you for posting it.

    • Clare says:

      Wow, This is awesome. I can't imagine this song any other way now…

    • Saber says:

      That's probably the closest to how I sing it. I like to slow it down, make it more haunting, because that's how I see Katniss singing it now. This more fit my idea of what the orriginal sounded like

    • Arione says:

      This song, this rendition, gah!

      It reminds me of a movie called Songcatcher, about a music professor who studies appalacian folk music in the early 1900s. If I could go back in time to cast actors, I’d want Emmy Rossum, at the age she was in that film, to play Katniss.

    • syntheticjesso says:

      I'm pretty sure this is the same melody they used in the audiobook reading of the song. Very neat. Thank you for posting it!

    • Enigmaticrose4 says:

      This person did a version of Rue's Lullaby also, I think it's as good a version as this one.

      <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

      I hope this embed works, not done it before.

    • notemily says:

      This is amazing. I said in an earlier comment that I almost didn't want to hear anyone's version of it because it would ruin the one in my head, but this one is BASICALLY THE ONE I HAVE IN MY HEAD except written by people who can actually write songs. Seriously, it's amazing. HAVE I SAID IT'S AMAZING?

  18. Fuchsia says:

    You have definitely entered the part of Mockingjay where, from here on out, every chapter ends with a major cliffhanger. Welcome to shit just getting more and more real. Have fun trying to not read the rest of the book in one sitting.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      • fuchsia says:

        I know, and I’m very impressed! Even on my reread, I couldn’t help but read it all in 24 hours.

        [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

      • RainaWeather says:

        Oh, silly silly Mark. I laugh at your inevitable defeat!

      • syntheticjesso says:


        When I was listening to the audiobooks, I would sit in my car because I wanted to KEEP LISTENING FOREVER. I spent a lot of time playing solitaire on my computer while listening, too. And oh man, twice my iPod did this weird thing where the first files in my "Book" playlist would just NOT BE THERE after synching, so I had to wait ALL DAY until I could get home from work to listen to the next part and basically both times I turned green and hulked out in my rage, then panicked and tried to re-download the book to my computer at work, then hulked out again because our network security was TOO SECURE and wouldn't let me. The second time it happened, I thought long and hard about suddenly "being sick" so I could go home early. These books were CRACK to me.

        tl;dr version: Man, props to you for being able to read this a chapter at a time.

  19. RachelHs says:

    Oh gosh my heart is broken! I SCREAMED and cried so hard at that end part. I called my friend up panicking. Such intense reactions. Poor Peeta. He's being tortured beyond belief and he is still doing everything he can to fight for Katniss and help her survive even though he knows it just means more pain for him.

    Btw, Mark you should do a video review! Like, of you reading the chapter and your initial reactions.

  20. tethysdust says:

    And you…in Thirteen…” He inhales sharply, as if fighting for air; his eyes look insane. “Dead by morning!
    Off camera, Snow orders, “End it!”

    I get the distinct impression that Peeta knows something we don't know. The fact that Snow cuts the cameras immediately after his outburst only strengthens that impression. What is the Capitol going to do tonight, that will leave Katniss dead by morning? And why _on Earth_ would they tell Peeta about it before putting him on the air? (I don't actually know anything, this is all conjecture.)

    The whole thing about filming Katniss and Gale in D12 made it seem like their propaganda strategy is: "People like Katniss when she's in pain! Let's make her do the most emotionally painful things we can imagine!"

    • Hanh says:

      What is the Capitol going to do tonight, that will leave Katniss dead by morning?
      I interpreted that to be a message that Peeta would be dead by morning, but now that you mention it, maybe they plan on nuking District 13. It's not like their location is a secret to the Capitol.

      The whole thing about filming Katniss and Gale in D12 made it seem like their propaganda strategy is: "People like Katniss when she's in pain! Let's make her do the most emotionally painful things we can imagine!"
      Again I interpreted that not as them liking Katniss in pain, it's just that the only time she ever displays real emotion is when she's in pain.

  21. Ishii_Era says:


  22. theupsides says:

    “Because I’m in pain,” he says. That’s the only way I get your attention.”

    And this is one of the reasons I really cannot stand Gale anymore. That is so manipulative. And I feel like he's just become selfish, in general. Or well, he's stopped being a very good friend to Katniss.

    The last bit with Peeta is so frightening, I want to curl up in a ball and cry forever. But it's also interesting. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?? What is going on in The Capitol?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Yeah, I agree with you guys. It's fucked up and awful and KATNISS HAS ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH.

    • hermy0209 says:

      i totaly agree with this! i really like Gale in the beginning and i thought he was perfect for Katniss, but now in the third book, we get to know him more and he turns out to be a selfish, manipulative asshole to Katniss! Peeta is such a better guy!!

  23. HanLin says:

    This has got to be one of my favorite chapters so far. No rainbows or smiling, but it covers a lot of ground and really makes you think about the implications that the rebellion is having on Katniss and her relationships.

    "And there’s also no hope in sight, right? Because man, this shit is getting dark." I agree that shit is getting dark, but aren't the successful uprisings in 3 and 11 kind of hopeful?

    "Is it weird that my first thought was, I HOPE YOU ATE ALL YOUR FOOD, KATNISS, PLEASE DON’T WASTE IT." LOLZ. Mine too. She might get a time out or something for it.

    "President Snow himself leads the transmission, with Peeta off to the side, who begins to speak about his desire to see a cease-fire. That’s when Beetee’s first clip makes it through and the reaction is electric."
    Good job, Beetee. Snow is totally your bitch.

  24. stefb says:

    I am sad by your comments on Haymitch (I really didn't get the creepy factor from him last chapter since I think he knew it was obvious what Katniss would choose) but I am glad you like FINNICK MOAR FINNICK!!!

    The only response I can do when it comes to Finnick is to flail.

    • RachelHs says:

      I agree about Haymitch. He is perfect.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Haymitch is pretty fantastic, but waiting by someone's bed while they're sleeping so you can see them wake up so you can threaten them to obey you or risk implants installed against your will and then, after it all, eating the food of someone who is perpetually hungry…

        Yeah, sorry, that's super fucked.

        • exbestfriend says:

          <img src=""&gt;
          This is my response to people watching me sleep.

        • stefb says:

          Of course Haymitch isn't perfect, but I find the characters with the most flaws like that to be the best characters (Sirius anyone? Yes?)

          I really think Collins meant that whole scene for humor, though. I guess if I didn't love Haymitch so much, I'd think the same thing lol…say, if he was, I dunno, named Edward Cullen.

          Haymitch is probably just nastier in the beginning stages of sobriety.

          • Lindsey says:

            Wow. I never thought about the similarities between Haymitch and Siruis, but there are a bunch. Interesting.

        • duckrebel says:

          When I read this chapter, I didn't find the bit with Haymitch threatening her with the head shackle and the implant creepy at all. Yes, Katniss was a complete badass in D8, but that all could have gone to shit so easily. She was on street level, only seeing what was going on in her immediate vicinity. Haymitch and the others in the hovercraft had more of a bird's eye view, not to mention equipment and such giving him more information than she has. When she ripped out her earpiece, she cut herself off from all of that extra intelligence about what's going on. I think that probably scared the crap out of Haymitch. I think he really cares about Katniss and wants to keep her safe, doubly so since he was unable to do the same for Peeta at the end of the last Hunger Games. Problem is, I'm not sure how good he is at showing he cares. This man has apparently spent most of his adult life in the bottle, not to mention the shit he went through as a teenager in the Hunger Games. So instead of saying, "Katniss, I care about you and want you to survive, so when you're on the ground like that you need to stay connected to those in command so you have enough information to stay alive," he turns it into this weird kind of control thing. Granted, he also seems to have control issues, but I didn't see the threats of the head shackle and implant as "I MUST CONTROL YOU" so much as "These are the lengths I will go to to ensure you have enough information to survive any future battles."

          Maybe being that extreme wasn't the best way to go about it, but I feel like Haymitch just wants to keep her safe, and not just because she's the mockingjay.

          Oh, and about the whole "waiting by her bedside while she's sleeping" thing… That didn't even register as creepy to me, but maybe that's just because she was still in the medical wing sleeping off painkillers and such, and when I was in the hospital with a broken back I woke up plenty of times to find visitors who had been there for a while already.

          Eating her food, on the other hand, was entirely unnecessary and a total dick move.

        • liliaeth says:

          it's kind of a fatherly thing to do. Sit by your kid's side to watch over them and then rant at them what will happen if they ever scare you that badly ever again.

      • rizz0 says:

        I think Haymitch feels more responsibility for the bombing in 12. He knew (and helped plan) the rescue from the arena knowing the capitol would most likely kill everyone in 12. That's got to be rough for him. I love you, Haymitch!!!

  25. hermy0209 says:

    ive always like Gale throughout the whole series but in the thrid book, i just lost my respect for him. sure he did have some BAMF moments but especially the way he treats Katniss in this chapter, i do not want to see him and her together at the end…Katpee shipping all the way for me!

    also the end of the chapter!!! iefhfbhsjdfnajnhpiuhjfkjanugfrgrunalakfjalksjalkjlaksjfakl!!!!!!!! I LOVE PEETA!!!!!!! DONT HURT PLEASEEEEEEEEEE!!!! :'(

    • Simone says:

      I was the same way. I loved Gale and hated Peeta in the first book. But then, either at the end of the second or the beginning of the third, I began to love Peeta and hate Gale.

      • Lindsey says:

        Same. It took me a bit longer to like Peeta. . . but Gale is just way out of line. WOAH I just accidentally started to type a really huge spoiler. . . I guess I don't really have to tell you all, but I feel the need to apologize for what ALMOST just happened. *phew*

  26. AngelinaOllon says:

    I really liked this version, it sounds so natural.
    Just in case: some of the comments to this video contain major spoilers, so be careful.

  27. FlameRaven says:

    Peeta. ;___;

    I kind of wish for some happy in this book– little moments, but I know it's just not going to happen. Collins may be even better at crushing souls than Joss Whedon.

    But oh man, Peeta. D13, I hate you guys forever for not getting him out of that arena initially.

  28. ohheyitsalliek says:

    What. The. Fuck. They can't possibly have killed Peeta ON LIVE TELEVISION COULD THEY? oh god please no.

    • MadarFoxfire says:

      People dying on live television in the nation that brought you the Hunger Games? Perish the thought!

      (I am just here to make things worse)

    • ldwy says:

      I'm so scared. I really want for him to be alive.
      And for Katniss and gang to stage an awesome rescue mission.
      But I can't see Coin letting her. So much risk for one person, etc etc etc.
      Maybe something like this will be the last straw between Katniss and Coin? I don't know. Coin's not wrong exactly, but she's coming at this conflict from a totally different place than Katniss and some others, like Finnick.

      • ohheyitsalliek says:

        Coin seems to have a completely different idea about what human life is worth. Unless they are useful to her cause it doesn't seem like she cares at all. I have a feeling that if Katniss was not the Mockingjay or hadn't agreed to it, Coin would have no problem getting rid of her. (Actually she kinda already said that, didn't she?)

        I'm liking District 13 and Coin less with each chapter.

  29. cait0716 says:

    I think they all have different coping methods. Some are just healthier than others. Beetee throws himself into his work; he takes his mind off the games by putting it to use on something else. Meanwhile, Haymitch drinks, Finnick ties knots, Peeta paints and Katniss hides. The morphlings from the last book used morphling.

  30. Lurker Dee says:


    I think that's pretty much my reaction to this trilogy as a whole.

    I want sooo much to talk about my concept of Gale's characterization but I think we need to wait a few more chapters else I be spoiling things… but still I don't hate Gale. I love him – I may not always like him because he can be manipulative and cruel, but he's not all bad.

    The propaganda strategy seems to be more along the lines of, put Katniss in a situation where she expresses pain and strength together, because the way she shows her pain and determination to end that pain for everyone is so open that everyone can recognize it. they need to find an actress who wears her emotions on her sleeves, who is the opposite of manipulative because she feels too intensely and isn't willing to manipulate her own emotions (like Gale – he really WAS crying there, I think, dredging up real emotions he DOES have in order to provoke a reaction in Katniss, although I think it was more about proving a point to her than just getting a kiss). because she is so honest, without even realizing it all the time, about how she feels, people in general can see their own pain and rage and anger reflected in her when they see her reacting to horrible situations. Coin and Plutarch are using that to their ends, but what they seem to not understand is that their use of Katniss stands against everything that Katniss herself is actually supposed to represent.

    I don't know if that was worded very well, but the point is – Katniss in pain is recognizable to anyone who's felt the pain of all the destruction the Capitol is causing, because she doesn't hide it or try to use it for war games.

    oh, hey, games. there is so much more to analyze here… I freaking love Suzanne Collins. she may not be the perfect writer, but she knows hella well how to make her readers think.

  31. adev0tchka says:

    Now you have to read the next chapter and find out what the hell just happened.

    …and of course, post another review today!

    <img src=""&gt;

  32. HungryLikeLupin says:

    My first thought when I started to read this review: APPALACHIAN MURDER BALLAD!

    Well, it is.

    I thought that it was an impressive inclusion, actually, because while on the surface it does seem like your garden-variety Appalachian murder ballad, it also serves as a little bit of commentary on the situation going on with D13/the Capitol/Peeta. Taken at face-value, the song is fairly straightforward, but looking any closer starts to raise questions. They hanged the man that "they say murdered three" (emphasis mine, obviously). So . . . did he? Was the wrong person punished? Why did he tell his love to run? What was so bad that death seemed like a preferable escape?

    Does Peeta really believe the things that he's saying, or is he only going along with the Capitol's line to save Katniss? He seems to struggle before he shouts out the last part of his message, and he's immediately punished for it. Just like in the song, things probably aren't quite as simple as they seem with Peeta.

    I also think it's worth noting that this chapter makes another very neat parallel between Peeta and Katniss. They're both being used by competing forces for propaganda shots, and while D13 tried to write Katniss's lines for her before letting her speak for herself, the Capitol has essentially flipped that. Peeta's first broadcast seemed sincere; seemed like it was his own voice speaking. When that didn't work, they started giving him a script. Flipping things like that makes the similarities more subtle, but in the end, whether for noble purposes or evil, they're both being used.

    And finally, am I the only one who found Gale's words to be . . . sort of creepy? :erm: I'm not saying that his pain isn't genuine, but the fact that he knows full well that it will get Katniss's attention, that he cried in front of her for the first time after reminding her of the last time she kissed him, all taken together strikes me as rather manipulative. That, plus Katniss's line, "To keep [his tears] from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his." She's not kissing Gale because she wants to; she's kissing him to keep him from crying. Not because it's what she needs, but because it's what he does.

    Gale knew that when she saw him cry, she'd kiss him to make him feel better, even though under normal circumstances she wouldn't kiss him at all. I don't want to suggest that he could have–or even should have tried to–stop the tears. But he could have stopped that kiss.

  33. blessthechildren says:

    The Hanging Tree is such an intense metaphor for the relationships that Katniss has with everyone – but Peeta especially. Maybe even her father, but he probably would have wanted her to live no matter what becuase she is his child. There are worse things than dying, as we have well seen in this book, and living in constant fear and abject torment is not always something people are willing to fight for when death is another option. Oh death, where is your sting?

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

  34. blessthechildren says:

    O frick, I give up on posting images today, it is clearly not working for me.

  35. warmouth says:

    This chapter just makes me angry and have a headache. All you politicans stop using them kids!

    Emma punch for the Capitol:

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src=""&gt;

    A kick for Coin and District 13:

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src=""&gt;

    God, way to ruin the moment Cressida, whole day's shot:

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src=""&gt;

    And a menacing Firefly themed gif for everytime Peeta is threatened:

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src=""&gt;

  36. theresa1128429 says:

    Have I mentioned how much i love your ideas lately?

  37. theresa1128429 says:

    I love Katniss singing for Pollux. Annnnddd… of course they have to turn it into another little propo. Damn it!!!

    Gale is becoming a tiny girl bitch. GET OVER IT THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS GOING ON!!!!

    And of course, OMFG PEETA!!! Can we get a rescue mission soon?

    • Any rescue mission we make-believe embark on is mainly for Johanna's sake, but I'm in. (The Supreme Lord Buttercup gave us permission, after we throw his stuffed mouse for him.)

      • theresa1128429 says:

        Better than a stuffed mouse, I'll throw him one of the really bouncy foam balls. Best cat (and toddler) toy ever!
        And while my main objective is to bring my wifey home, I feel bad for Peeta. He's a sweet kid and doesn't deserve any torture. Plus, he's in charge of the cake…

        • Cake is more important than anything, other than Johanna. I just realized that Buttercup Supreme Lord of Everything should give you away when you walk down the aisle. xD I can picture this with such clarity it scares me!
          I think it's safe to say that neither of you want roses in the wedding flowers… ugh, Snow, you ruin everything.

          • theresa1128429 says:

            Gotta love cake!
            I say demote Haymitch to the traditional drunken uncle, let Lord Buttercup do the ceremony, and stick with Beetee walking me down the aisle. I'm an electronics major so he is one of my favorites in the series. After ass-kicking Johanna of course.

            • This plan is utter genius. I do hope you'll let me take pictures, give long somewhat rambling toasts (An' here's to the time we stuck Gale headfirst in that hollow stump!), and of course help with wedding security. I'd make a good bouncer, for a hairdresser/makeup artist, that is.

  38. thewhowhatwhats says:

    A++ for the Community gif. You always have great taste in gifs!

  39. Simone says:

    I seriously read The Hanging Tree about 5 times in a row when I first read this chapter, trying to interpret every possible meaning it had. Then a page later it was all explained by Katniss. Then I went back and read the song twice more. Then I finished the chapter. Then I went back and read it some more. I don't know why, but that song really got to me. They better not mess it up in the movie.

    Also, I love that gif. So much.

  40. Marina says:

    Everything is too sad and depressing so I'm gonna focus on cheerful things in this review….so…A+ usage of Community gifs. Despite why your using it seeing Troy jump around makes me happy.

    And secondly, this…
    then it’s back to AWKWARD TOWN again.

    “Remember?” he asks. “This is where you kissed me.”

    I laughed so hard at this just cos, really? I mean, I love Gale just as much as the next person but really?

  41. andreah1234 says:

    Team Run Away With Johanna and Start a Band.

    You have no idea how much I love you for this.


  42. inzhuna says:

    Man, this chapter was all kinds of uncomfortable and I LOVED it. Chapter 9 is SUPERB, I'm really happy after being kind of disappointed with Chapter 8. That moment in the beginning between Katniss and Gale was so painful, especially since Katniss/Gale is practically my OTP, but it was done so well. And the scene at the lake house… So sad and beautiful.

    After this chapter I somehow stopped seeing any hope for Peeta. 🙁

    Oh, and after this bit of your review: "I wouldn’t have expected that Finnick and Katniss would end up so close."…. I felt an urge to start shipping Katniss/Finnick! What's the portmanteau? Katnick? Finniss? Hehe, that's hilarious.

  43. inzhuna says:

    "I’m not a big fan of singing in novels" – Oh, Mark, how are you ever going to cope with Lord of the Rings? 😀

    • luzzleanne says:

      Not gonna lie, this is exactly why I've never read Lord of the Rings.

      "Whee! I can see why people read Tolkien for his languange, his prose is really good, and his characters are fun, and we're starting to get into the good part of the adventure, too, and…another elf song!? And this one goes on for, like, five pages!"

    • warmouth says:

      Why I prefer the movies. Also, no Tom Bombadil *dodges rocks*

    • I adore the music in Tolkien's books, but then I grew up with my father reading to me out loud and singing every song in every book (especially in the Redwall series). Good memories, and now I sing every book song to myself. But seriously, I love poetry in general, so reading it in Tolkien takes me to my happy place.

      • inzhuna says:

        I agree, I love all the songs and poems in LotR, but I know a lot of people can get annoyed by that. To each their own, I guess.
        I loved that in the extended editions of the movies they added some of the songs!

      • warmouth says:

        That actually sounds really nice, you having your dad read it. See, I don't like songs in books because I'm always like, "How the hell should I know what that sounds like?"

        • I was a lucky kid that way. It's hard to not get nostalgic, since the poor guy worked really long hours then read to me until his voice went hoarse! I think some of the song Tolkien wrote had music to them in his notes, but I'm not sure.

    • LOTRjunkie says:

      I'm not a fan of singing in novels either, but LOTR breaks my rules on that. Because I will love LOTR forever and ever and EVER.

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      I just flat out skip the songs, pretty much in any book. Didn't read any of Tolkein's songs, the Sorting Hat songs or the Golden Egg clue. If there's a large bit of italicized text that isn't a letter, I don't read it. I did skim Rue's song and I read this one since it's so short. But I've found that, usually, if there's any important information to be gathered from a song, the characters talk about it later.

  44. Bread says:

    I can't stand Gale. He is so selfish and justifies his actions by thinking that he is on the right side. Why is it impossible for him to think outside of the confines of his situation? So shortsighted and just as bad as the delusional Capitol citizens. Katniss deserves way better than that jerkwad.

  45. exbestfriend says:

    I'm going to be really shallow and only comment on the fact that Mark used my current favorite GIF. Donald Glover and the rest of the Community cast are my favorites

    Also– PEETA! WTF?!?! How does he know where Katniss is and what the hell is that "Dead by morning" statement about? and the blood. DEAR GOD THE BLOOD!

  46. fast speed says:

    That last gif, it is love.

  47. erin says:

    I feel like every new chapter I wind up defending some character's actions, but here goes…

    I don't see Gale's actions as manipulative, and I sure as hell don't understand why people are calling him creepy. Is it really so hard to believe that, as he's spending the day revisiting the burned shell of his childhood home, he might genuinely tear up a little? That maybe it might be a little difficult walking around looking at the corpses of thousands of people, plenty of which he probably knew?

    I mean, shit, I don't particularly like Gale, but I still feel compelled to stick up for him when everyone is accusing him of *pretending* to be sad just so Katniss will kiss him. Maybe he knew it would happen, but that doesn't mean he sat around calculating the best way to trick her into doing it. If that was the case, why would he then point it out to Katniss? Why not keep quiet and continue playing with her emotions? Because that's not the way he wants it to be. I saw his "being in pain is the only way i get your attention" remark as being really bitter and wry, not smug and creepy. Feel free to disagree, though.

    • I kind of like seeing someone stick up for a character they don't like, because it's not coming from anger or emotional connections to the character.
      For myself, the big problem I had was that he allowed the kiss even though he knew that Katniss would do it, and that it wouldn't be out of romantic love. I don't believe he's an evil character, or that he deserves the crap he gets, but allowing the kiss then calling her out on it seemed a little off.
      Note: this makes him more human as a character, so I praise the writing even if I'd find him annoying in real life. I wouldn't be friends with Katniss in real life either, even though I enjoy reading about her as a protagonist.
      Again, Katniss and Gale being irritating at times only further promotes the awesomeness of Johanna, Finnick, and S.L.O.E. Buttercup. I really have to praise Collins for writing realistic characters, even if I find them irksome.

  48. bendemolena says:

    UNPOPULAR OPINION HERE but I don't really see how what Gale did there was much different from everything Peeta's been doing all along, separate from the fact that he tried to keep Katniss alive.

    Personally I consider Peeta not a very nice guy. Or, yes, a Nice Guy, in the kind of skeezy way, in the fact that to me a lot of his actions come off as being entitled to Katniss.

    I'm in class and my laptop battery is having THE DEADS but I seriously like the idea of Katniss being single because I don't think Gale NOR Peeta are good for her, at all.

  49. bendemolena says:

    UNPOPULAR OPINION HERE but I don't really see how what Gale did there was much different from everything Peeta's been doing all along with their romance for the Capital, separate from the fact that he tried to keep Katniss alive.

    Personally I consider Peeta not a very nice guy. Or, yes, a Nice Guy, in the kind of skeezy way, in the fact that to me a lot of his actions come off as being entitled to Katniss.

    I'm in class and my laptop battery is having THE DEADS but I seriously like the idea of Katniss being single because I don't think Gale NOR Peeta are good for her, at all, even though she obviously cares for both of them deeply.

    (fffffffuuuuuu– how do i delete my original comment? dp by accident nooo)

    • theupsides says:

      In my opinion, the difference is that Katniss and Peeta were both forced into a public relationship. Peeta thought it was more, and he was hurt by the whole thing. He apologized, and said he'd like to be friends. I don't really recall a time where he tried to get more from her. I don't think it's really fair to count the times when they were in the arena/in front of a Capitol audience, because neither of them were able to act freely.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      The word "Delete" should be at the bottom right of your comment in blue, between "Edit" and "Report."

  50. Rebecca says:

    "Is it weird that my first thought was, I HOPE YOU ATE ALL YOUR FOOD, KATNISS, PLEASE DON’T WASTE IT."

    Basically what I thought too.

    I don't know how you can do it, reading it like this. I'm reading it for a second time now and can't stop and wait for this review xD You are unhuman!!

    First time I read this I was really shocked about the blood that I wanted to yell "LET IT BE SNOW'S BLOOD PLEASE!"

  51. notemily says:

    I love the hanging tree song. Unlike the song in the first book that she sang to Rue, I could totally hear this one in my head. Something about the rhythm of the words just lends itself so well to melody. I'm almost afraid to hear anyone else's version of it because it might destroy my own.

    I don't want to bust Pollux's bubble here, but I'm pretty sure you can't whistle without a tongue. ? I could buy humming, because presumably his vocal chords still work, but I don't know about whistling.

    And the "dead by morning!!" bit is just FUCKING SCARY. The way Peeta's eyes look all disoriented and stuff. WHAT IS GOING ON IN HIS BRAIN.

    • banabou says:

      Maybe he could whistle through his teeth and shift the tone by changing the shape of his mouth? I 'unno. I think you're right re: regular whistling, though.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      I would tend to think that tongueless whistling is impossible, but I don't know for sure. Certainly, the shape/size of the mouth cavity changes the tone of the whistle, and the tongue plays a very big part in that, so at the very least Pollux would only have a small range of notes and it'd be hard for him to achieve even those.

      So even if he could whistle, it's probably not something he could master on his first try, as Katniss seems to think.

    • ldwy says:

      Oh, and the "dead by morning!" has me on edge. SO NERVOUS.

    • t09yavorski says:

      I think it depends on how you learned to whistle. I tried biting my tongue with my molars and I was still able to whistle. I wasn't able to do a whole scale like I usually can but I was able to get a couple different tones. Lower notes especially.

    • RainaWeather says:

      I hate everyone's version of the Hanging Tree because the one in my head is perfect. It's sung in the voice of my grandmother because she's fond of songs like that and has a country accent and was born closer to Appalachia than any other person in my family.

    • Inessa says:

      I think you could develop more strength in your cheek muscles and be able to do it. I think eating would pose a bigger problem and they can't taste anything – the horror!

  52. Depths_of_Sea says:

    De-lurking at long last so I can comment that THAT LAST GIF WAS THE MOST PERFECT THING EVER and pretty accurately described my mood after I'd finished that chapter.

    I just wanted to wail, "NOOOOO PEETA! PEEEEETTAAAAAAA!" over and over again as though that could somehow make Collins stop the narrative and reach through the pages to reassure me that everything would be okay, which is a ridiculous notion as Collins has entirely too much fun reveling in our despair to give us nice things.

    …and now I'm picturing Suzanne Collins as an evil overlord laughing maniacally as one of her grandiose plots comes to fruition.

  53. finnickodair says:

    Excellent Community gif….

    It perfectly expresses my reaction as well. (Screaming and brain-crying)

  54. sabra_n says:

    YAY Community GIF!

    (Wait, was this post about something else? I was distracted by Donald Glover being HILARIOUS.)

  55. Pelleloguin says:

    Reading this chapter left me speechless. Well, after I cheered for Peeta warning the rebels. Then I read the last sentence of the chapter. It was probably one of the most heartbreaking ways to confirm that Peeta was only calling for a cease-fire under duress. Once again Collins breaks my heart while also making me happy.

  56. KellynotKatniss says:

    The audiobook narrator, Carolyn McCormick, does a really good job, too! Especially with Rue's song from THG. Of course, I can't find in anywhere on the interwebs or I would post a link!

  57. I was going to comment on the chapter, but I've noticed something in the comments that I felt a need to ask about…

    Why are we down-arrowing people for having opinions we don't agree with? I thought we were going to use down-arrows for spoilers or outrageous bigotry, not for having a different opinion on a character!
    Come on, Guys, let's discuss things in a lively, respectful way, but just down-arrowing strikes me as unkind and counter-productive.
    (This message is sponsored by the Partnership to Elect Buttercup Supreme Lord of Everything)

  58. Ashley says:

    I'd like to see Buttercup to be the one to take out Snow. Buttercup FTW.

    Poor Peeta 🙁

  59. Karen says:

    Shit is getting so real right now. I haven't been able to pick up Mockingjay since the first time in the like, SIX months that I read it last, and despite that, I'm still being emotionally effected just by reading this. BLAAARGH.

    Also, I approve of the Community gif.

  60. t09yavorski says:

    I just wanted to point out how far most of the people here have come. During The Hunger Games, Peeta wasn't very well liked, even hated by some. Mark even had issues with him. Now though almost everybody is panicking and concerned for his safety. Collins has somehow made y'all love him.

    I thought this was an important thing to point out. Especially because this is about the point of the trilogy where my little sister finally started to forgive Peeta for joining the Carriers in the first Games (she never saw it being a nobel act as a good enough excuse).

  61. Elise says:

    Hi! I haven't been able to comment recently because of, you know, life and stuff. I just thought the review for this chapter was brilliant, Mark.

    Also, I really liked this chapter a lot. It felt like there was a lot of character development that happened organically.

    Finally, I liked your Buttercup Review too! Although in this case it was an animal, I think it was indicative of how holistically you read the book. You never just view it from the main POV but consider all the other angles (even the cat!). Basically, I just want to say thanks, I appreciate your perspective and your thoughts 🙂

  62. Phoebe says:

    1. Based on the past two intros, I expect tomorrows to be something like "peeta whyyyyyyyyyy." But in caps.
    2. I think it makes total sense that Finnick is the one consoling her because he was the only one to be with her and peeta throughout the entire hunger games and see them interact first hand
    3. I totally agree about the song thing and not being able to hear them in my head. but i did enjoy it also
    4. i love katniss and gale's moment with the berry
    5. i also thought beetee would be dead at this point

    • notemily says:

      Re: your point #1: I seriously thought I had already read this review because the intro ended with another PEETA capslock. I had to go back and make sure it wasn't the same one as yesterday.

  63. Sophie says:

    Oh man, I remember reading this chapter late at night on a school night. I thought I would just finish the chapter and go to bed. I got to the end and spent a couple of minutes or so just staring at the last sentence. Meanwhile my thoughts were going: WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME I CAN'T STOP HERE BUT I HAVE TO GO TO BED FFFFFFUUUUUUUU

    Peeta. 🙁 'Nuff said.

  64. trash_addict says:

    Too depressing for coherent comment. Need gif….lack gif. Imagine Doctor crying below.

  65. lamuerta says:

    Oooh. Gives me goosebumps. Totally would not mind if they used this version for the movie.

  66. Arione says:

    Ok…. So um, mockingjay on the brain, but this morning I sort of created my own version of "The Hanging Tree," it's majorly poor quality, but enjoy.

    I apologise in advance.

    [youtube 1Z4SYs_1d6g youtube]

    P.s. twitch

  67. Dannie. says:

    All this is just so painful to read. 🙁

  68. jennreyn says:

    That Community .gif is SO APPRORPRIATE but it made me lol irl and then feel awful because EVERYTHING IS SO VERY HORRIBLE RIGHT NOW.

  69. Captain Anarchy says:

    <img src="missniss.png">

    And also, FINNICK! I am excite! Moar, plz.

  70. demented says:

    Everything is getting serious !!

  71. StargazerLilies says:

    Troy! <3

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

    I loved the very end of this chapter. That feels weird to say because it's when I really started to panic for Peeta. The first time they see him, it's worrisome, sure, but it was what I expected before I started the book. But the look in his eyes, the way he struggles putting together an unscripted sentence, you know whatever they're doing is really getting to him and that freaked me out more than anything. That last paragraph though, I could imagine it so perfectly clearly and it's so haunting. The sound of what's happening to Peeta off-camera partitioned by these beats of silence, Katniss watching in horror while her own image is flashing over bloodstained tiles, it's chilling stuff. TV writer moment.

    In other news, my copy has Gale saying "beever in your favor" and I honestly thought that was some inside joke from the first book that I forgot. Because I can't remember how to spell beaver, apparently.

  72. bradycardia says:

    Yeah, how they just use Katniss still bothers me. They don't talk about the Peeta propo in case they upset her, but then bring her to District 12. 'Cause she'll be fine there, no triggers at all /end sarcasm.
    But Peeta!

  73. Stephalopolis says:

    You know how Meyer tortured us all with her original 4 books, and then decided to write Midnight Sun, the companion piece from Ed's point of view? I really wish Collins would write a companion piece with Peeta's point of view during this time being tortured.

    • Stephalopolis says:

      Though, I guess it would just be page after page filled with "AHHHHHH!!! NO!!! IT BURNS, IT BUUUURRRNS!!!!! STOP! AH! THE PAIN, THE PAIN"

  74. Pk9 says:

    What? No love for Kimmy? [youtube Cc-91YiP7cM youtube]

  75. Pk9 says:

    Oh, I wrote down some comments after I first finished chapter 9. Here they are:

    Can I switch from Team Johanna to Team Beetee? Nerds ftw!

    Poor Peeta, Katniss was right. Dead would have been better. But that last message was really from him to Katniss, since previously he was just saying what Snow wanted him to say, and he didn’t even know if she was really still alive. He really seems to be losing it now, though.

    There’s something about war crimes trials that I find unfair. It always seems like the prosecutors are always saying “well you should have chosen to be tortured to death rather than following orders, so because you didn’t now we’re gonna execute you.” That’s the kind of thing that makes people on the wrong side keep fighting til the end. The only way out of that situation is to follow orders, do something morally reprehensible, and then hope your side (which you probably hate) wins so you’ll never be prosecuted for the crimes.

    The Hanging Tree song has me thinking there might be some basis for the “Katniss will die” theory =(. She’s starting to see death as freedom…

  76. Howlynn says:

    but I think it is pretty sad that Haymitch can’t even return to his home anymore.
    —- because he played no part in it being destroyed to save a girl who detests him?
    Because he's just mean for not holding her hand — but not the scratchy claw one.

  77. ALynnJ42 says:

    A. I'm really depressed that I didn't start reading the Hunger Games with you when this was originally posted. I feel out of the loop. 🙁
    B. I was reading this on my Kindle and I looked down at my progress bar and I noticed that I was nearing the end of the section. In my mind I said, "Oh shit that means there's gonna be another cliffhanger!" Then I read the part about Peeta and started shouting "Oh shit! No way! What the fuck??? Oh shit!" (Well, that's pretty much how I end ever chapter…)
    C. If you're reading the Kindle version I love how the last sentence "And his blood as it splatters on the tiles" is on a page of its own.

  78. Hanh says:

    I started cringing for Peeta at the moment when Beetee first hacked into their system. When it described him looking distracted I just thought, 'Oh god this can't end well. Beetee, you're a BAMF, but STOP. You're only making it worse.'

Comments are closed.