Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 21

In the twenty-first chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss heads to the Cornucopia to retrieve the much-needed backpack with Peeta’s medical supplies. Once she’s there, though, the Games become even more brutal than before. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.


I debate leaving the knife with Peeta so he’ll have some protection while I’m gone, but there’s really no point. He was right about camouflage being his final defense. But I still might have use for the knife. Who knows what I’ll encounter?

Well, who knows what Peeta might encounter? Leave him SOMETHING so maybe he can like…stab someone’s leg? I mean, you’re basically giving up on him while simultaneously not giving up on him. Right? Though…he is asleep. And he’ll be asleep for close to a full day, so perhaps not giving him the knife is actually a good idea.

So cold, so bitterly cold tonight. As if the Gamemakers have sent an infusion of frozen air across the arena, which may be exactly what they’ve done. I lie next to Peeta in the bag, trying absorb every bit of his fever heat.

I wonder if it’s ever explained exactly how the arena does this. It’s like my question about the cameras: what’s the apparatus that makes it so cold? So hot? That shoots fireballs? Where does all this come from?

Just wondering aloud. DO NOT ANSWER.

…but I can’t help thinking of my mother and Prim, wondering if they’ll sleep a wink tonight. At this late stage in the Games, with an important event like the feast, school will probably be canceled.

Holy shit, really??? Does that inevitably mean that there is some kid in District 12 who is way stoked that the feast is happening because they won’t have to go to school??? WHY ARE THESE THE THOUGHTS THAT GO THROUGH MY HEAD.

And Gale. I know him. He won’t be shouting and cheering. But he’ll be watching, every moment, every twist and turn, and willing me to come home. I wonder if he’s hoping that Peeta makes it as well. Gale’s not my boyfriend, but would he be, if I opened that door? He talked about us running away together. Was that just a practical calculation of our chances of survival away from the district? Or something more?

I wonder what he makes of all this kissing.

Yawn. Don’t care. Whether Peeta survives or not is irrelevant to the foreshadowing here: I bet Gale will be mad/jealous that Katniss made out with Peeta. CALLING IT NOW.

It’s as cold as a November night at home. One where I’ve slipped into the woods, lantern in hand, to join Gale at some prearranged place where we’ll sit bundled together, sipping herb tea from metal flasks wrapped in quilting, hoping game will pass our way as the morning comes on. Oh, Gale, I think. If only you had my back now….

I admit that in a story as grandiose as this, subtlety is hard to come by. Still, I can’t help but wish things were a bit more nuanced. This sort of foreshadowing and reflection is blunt and direct, which is definitely in style for the novel, but it’s getting to be a bit tiring.

Also, this sentence is written very strangely. Are the flasks wrapped in quilting or the two of them? Strange sentence is strange.

I will take a moment to stop complaining to say that, however brief it may be, the scene before the action happens is pretty slow and suspenseful. I like the idea that Katniss is sitting at the edge of the clearing and just waiting for any sort of activity. It makes every opportunity seem sinister.

Just as the first ray of sun glints off the gold Cornucopia, there’s a disturbance on the plain.

Why did I think this sentence would end, “…there’s a disturbance in the force”? Thanks, Lucas.

The ground before the mouth of the horn splits in two and a round table with a snowy white cloth rises into the arena. On the table sit four backpacks, two large ones with the humbers 2 and 11, a medium-size green one with the number 5, and a tiny orange one—really I could carry it around my wrist—that must be marked with a 12.

I swear I am not one of those Americans who demands that all strange things be explained to me, but I seriously want to know how the mechanics of this arena work. So did they plan on this feast and plant a table underground in the beginning? Do they just set up all kinds of shit around the arena and just use what they need? WHY DO I WANT TO KNOW ALL OF THIS?

The table has just clicked into place when a figure darts out of the Cornucopia, snags the green backpack, and speeds off. Foxface! Leave it to her to come up with such a clever and risky idea!

No, seriously, FOXFACE FOR 2012. I honestly hope it comes down to the two of them in the end and Foxface wins and the other two novels are about her. I’d rather enjoy that.

She’s cost me time, too, because by now it’s clear that I must get to the table next. Anyone who beats me to it will easily scoop up my pack and be gone. Without hesitation, I sprint for the table. I can sense the emergence of danger before I see it. Fortunately, the first knife comes whizzing in on my right side so I can hear it and I’m able to deflect it with my bow. I turn, drawing back the bowstring and send an arrow straight at Clove’s heart. She turns just enough to avoid a fatal hit, but the point punctures her upper left arm.

You know what Collins does really well? Write action scenes. And maybe it’s her history as a television writer, but goddamn, this shit is pretty exciting.

My hand slips between the straps and I yank it up on my arm, it’s really too small to fit on any other part of my anatomy, and I’m turning to fire again when the second knife catches me in the forehead. It slices above my right eyebrow, opening a gash that sends a gush running down my face, blinding my eye, filling my mouth with the sharp, metallic taste of my own blood. I stagger backward but still manage to send my readied arrow in the general direction of my assailant. I know as it leaves my hands it will miss. And then Clove slams into me, knocking me flat on my back, pinning my shoulders to the ground with her knees.

Well, fuck. FUCK. Holy shit, what the fuck just happened??? Oh god, WHAT IS GOING ON how the shit fuck what

“Where’s your boyfriend, District Twelve? Still hanging on?” she asks.

Well, as long as we’re talking I’m alive. “He’s out there now. Hunting Cato,” I snarl at her. Then I scream at the top of my lungs. “Peeta!”

Clove jams her fist into my windpipe, very effectively cutting off my voice.


Clove opens her jacket. It’s lined with an impressive array of knives. She carefully selects an almost dainty-looking number with a cruel, curved blade. “I promised Cato if he let me have you, I’d give the audience a good show.”

This. Is. Horrifying. Legitimately frightening to me.

“I think…” she almost purrs. “I think we’ll start with your mouth.” I clamp my teeth together as she teasingly traces the outline of my lips with the tip of the blood.

Maybe the creepiest thing in the whole book? I wonder what Clove was like before the Games. Did she develop this sort of savage attitude during the Games or did the Games bring it out of her?

“Yes, I don’t think you’ll have much use for your lips anymore. Want to blow Lover Boy one last kiss?” she asks. I work up a mouthful of blood and saliva and spit it in her face. She flushes with rage.

Katniss: A (Kind of Disgusting) Badass In The Face Of Imminent Death.

But as I feel the tip open the first cut at my lip, some great force yanks Clove from my body and then she’s screaming. I’m too stunned at first, unable to process what has happened. Has Peeta somehow come to my rescue? Have the Gamemakers sent in some wild animal to add to the fun? Has a hovercraft inexplicably plucked her into the air?

Wait, I’m sorry, HOW DOES THAT LAST THING HAPPEN. Like, in what situation would a hovercraft show up and do that?

Clove is dangling a foot off the ground, imprisoned in Tresh’s arms. I let out a gasp, seeing him like that, towering over me, holding Clove like a rag doll. I remember him as big, but he seems more massive, more powerful than I even recall. If anything, he seems to have gained weight in the arena. He flips Clove around and flings her onto the ground.

Oh. My. God. THIS IS WILD. Has Thresh been busy becoming a TOTAL BEEFCAKE during the Games???

He brutally interrogates Clove about Rue and I remember they were from the same district. Clove denies it (and is actually telling the truth, but that doesn’t really matter), and then JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK.

Thresh brings the rock down hard against Clove’s temple. It’s not bleeding, but I can see the dent in her skull and I know that she’s a goner. There’s still life in her now though, in the rapid rise and fall of her chest, the low moan escaping her lips.

Thresh just bashed Clove’s skull in. I simply cannot believe this is happening, guys. THIS IS MADNESS.

Thresh turns on Katniss to ask her what Clove meant about being Rue’s “ally.” Katniss is honest about teaming up with her and surprisingly manages to explain as much of what happened at the end as possible.

“I tried to save her, I did. But he got there first. District One,” I say. Maybe if he knows I helped Rue, he won’t choose some slow, sadistic end for me.

“And you killed him?” he demands.

“Yes. I killed him. And buried her in flowers,” I say. “And I sang her to sleep.”

Tears spring in my eyes. The tension, the fight goes out of me at the memory. And I’m overwhelmed by Rue, and the pain in my head, and my fear of Thresh, and the moaning of the dying girl a few feet away.

Ok, now I believe Katniss. I mean…it’s one of the few moments that Katniss expresses a powerful emotion and I genuinely feel for her. I suppose this is all beginning to dawn on me; it really is overwhelming to think about what has happened since the beginning. District 12 seems so far away.

In a moment of supreme mercy, Thresh actually lets Katniss go, as a way to thank her for taking care of Rue. It’s not that surprising, but I’m ok with that because this chapter has already been one giant clusterfuck of action.

As Katniss takes off, backpack in hand, and turns at the end of the forest to see Thresh stumbling off with BOTH remaining backpacks. IN YOUR FACE, CATO. I hope whatever you needed in your bag CAUSES YOU TO DIE BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE IT. Muahahahahaaha what has this book turned me into

Katniss, still bleeding profusely (WHICH CANNOT BE GOOD, RIGHT???), heads up the stream towards the rocks where Peeta is being hidden. Her blood loss doesn’t stop and even though she surmises that Cato will probably go after his backpack, I was still beginning to get worried about Katniss’s condition. She makes it back to the cave, still struggling to keep herself from bleeding to death, and manages to give Peeta the injection of the medicine to cure his blood infection.

My hands go to my head and then drop to my lap, slick with blood.

The last thing I remember is an exquisitely beautiful green-and-silver moth landing on the curve of my wrist.

Man, only five left. Shit is so goddamn real.

About Mark Oshiro

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

325 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hunger Games’: Chapter 21

  1. Maddi says:

    FOXFACE FOR 2012. I honestly hope it comes down to the two of them in the end and Foxface wins and the other two novels are about her. I’d rather enjoy that.

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I wish we'd at least get her real name, IMO she's the most interesting character in the book so far (with the possible exception of Cinna).

  2. Kate Monster says:

    SO. REAL. So unbelievably real! I remember just being so utterly terrified by Clove– this is what the Careers are raised to be like. While Katniss, Peeta, Foxface, Rue, Thresh, etc., clearly avoid the kill whenever they can, Careers like Clove and Cato plan them in advance. They use murders of their peers as bargaining chips with one another. Do they laugh about kills they've already had? Is this their "pillow talk", so to speak? I get chills just thinking about it. ughughugh.

  3. Booksinbulk says:

    Ahhhh first comment? Woooh! Mark I totally agree with all your questions about the arena. What makes it cold/hot, brings the fire, etc? I’ve settled for “it’s the future” and they simply can do this without being detected, but I wish Collins would tell us more!

    Clove was also super scary to me, with her knives and creepy discussion of mutilating katniss. Wonder how this will play out, if they include it, on screen.

  4. Shanella says:

    Hey Mark, I guess you weren't as prepared as you thought …

    I agree, Collins has a gift for writing action scenes, it was refreshing, considering that action scenes are difficult to write and the book I read before this had something along the lines of, "and the dude punched him in the face." ……

  5. paulineparadise says:

    I actually have no fanart for this chapter, except from an old one – the Cornucopia in the beginning of the games.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Oh, and a Tresh one.
    <img src=""&gt;

    Also, Tresh is awesome- probably since the day he was born.
    <img src=""&gt;

  6. Patrick says:

    I always cringe a little when in these kinds of stories, people who will be forced to kill each other let someone go while they have the upper hand. I mean, what if it ends up being between Katniss and Thresh? I bet Thresh is cursing himself for letting her out of his reach while she peppers him with arrows, right?

    Then again, it's Peeta: don't become someone else, keep our integrity, and I guess that's what Thresh is doing here.

  7. barnswallowkate says:

    "Thresh just bashed Clove’s skull in. I simply cannot believe this is happening, guys. THIS IS MADNESS."


    (I'm sorry, I had to.)

  8. monkeybutter says:

    Since there isn't a comma separating it from the rest of the dependent clause, I'd say "wrapped in quilting" refers to flask cozies that they got from District 12 etsy.

    Yeah, the action scenes are intense. I don't want to say that I look forward to them, but the vividness and pacing are what made the book so fun to read. Collins definitely has the advantage over Rowling and Meyer in this area.

    I really like this chapter because it's the first time that Katniss doesn't seem like she has everything under control and that the pressure is taking its toll on her psyche. “Yes. I killed him. And buried her in flowers,” I say. “And I sang her to sleep.” sounds bizarre and disjointed if you didn't see it happen. She isn't as strong as she pretends to be.

  9. Kylie says:

    This series is full of badasses. It's like Collins said "I want to make a book series that is full of awesome badassery. I know! I'll take Neville Longbottom and split him up into dozens of characters! Genius!"

    • bendemolena says:


    • blessthechildren says:

      Awesome! I the crossover potential – can you imagine a Potter Hunger Games? the Slytherins would be so District 1 and 2 – the bastards.

      • TheRedQueen says:

        Haha over in the spoiler forum, the topic of a crossover cropped up. I've been contemplating writing "Harry Potter and the Hunger Games" ever since.

        I'm a writer, but I've never written fanfic….but this just might have to happen now. Heh.

        My thoughts are it'd follow the story of characters living in an alternate HP universe where Voldemort has won the war and uses the Hunger Games as punishment to his enemies/muggle-borns.

        The prospect of adding magic to the Hunger Games is kind of terrifyingly amazing.

    • Openattheclose says:

      <img src=>

  10. mugglemomof2 says:

    Is there really only 5 chapters left at this point. I haven't been rereading along.

    I loved this chapter. One crazy action packed section!
    I was almost yelling out loud when Thresh showed up!

  11. bell_erin_a says:

    Hey aklhglwA;SLKDGHAakgaskldh must. keep. mouth. shut. Mark, you make this hard on me!

    Well, we thought Katniss was a badass. Hiding in the Cornucopia until light so you can grab the backpack and get the hell out of there? Foxface, you win for life.

    Thresh is awesome. Looks like he lost his invisibility cloak because all of a sudden it's like OH HEY I DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE YOU JUST KILLED CLOVE OH SHIT. It's very touching that although he and Rue weren't friends, district ties are strong enough so that Thresh saves Katniss's life for being a friend to Rue. *sniffle*

    FYI, you're still not prepared.

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      Thresh IS awesome. He's stealth. Like a ninja. Where did he come from? He's a giant beefcake, as Mark pointed out. Shouldn't we have heard him approaching? And what's Cato doing, staring in the other direction? Thresh had to come out of the plains to get to the Cornucopia, Cato should have at least been watching the Cornucopia table then he would have seen Giant Zen Master Thresh appear and maybe he wouldn't be begging Clove to live and why do I care? I don't want Cato to win. My point: Thresh has stolen a piece of my heart, just like he stole Cato's backpack.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        I bet you didn't even see it coming. He just snuck up behind you and then BAM! that piece of your heart was gone! He's such a ninja.

    • MadarFoxfire says:

      What, what?

      …Okay, wow. First time I read through, I thought Foxface just ran out first thing because nobody was expecting a sudden dash, but IN the Cornucopia? Okay yes Foxface for 2012.

  12. cait0716 says:

    I'm sad you find the romance so boring because at this point in the book I was all tangled up in knots about it. I had the following scenarios flying through my head about what might happen:

    1) Peeta dies, Katniss wins and goes on to live a life with Gale
    2) Katniss dies, Peeta wins, and Katniss at least doesn't have to decide between the two
    3) Katniss and Peeta both win and get to live happily ever after
    4) Katniss and Peeta both win, but Katniss rejects both guys and takes off into the woods
    5) Katniss and Peeta both win, but Peeta acknowledges Katniss' greater connection with Gale and gives them his blessing and goes on to marry Prim
    6) Katniss and Peeta both win, Peeta and Gale work out their differences and the three of them manage to work out a polyamorous relationship that keeps them all happy and satisfied for many years

    I think (6) was my favorite solution, but I really doubted something like that would pop up in popular literature.

    I agree with you about Collins' master ability to write action scenes.

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Yeah, this was about the point where I was like "okay. Let the Gale/Katniss, Peeta/Katniss (Peeniss lol) shipping wars begin!"

      I am going to keep my eyes peeled for an option 6 in books now. It seriously needs more love, lol.

      • cait0716 says:

        Let me know if you ever find a book where the main character *doesn't* have to choose between two love interests. It'd be an interesting read.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:


          The Stranger
          Mercy Among The Children
          Heart of Darkness
          The Great Gatsby
          The Plague
          The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

          • cait0716 says:

            Sorry I guess I should have more specifically a book where the main character gets to live happily ever after with two lovers. S/he doesn't have to choose because s/he gets both. It'd be interesting to see a portrayal of polyamory that doesn't come to the conclusion that it can never work.

            Not say that might not happen in The Hunger Games! All three of them could live happily ever after in a YA book, right?

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              OH OK. Then you definitely have me stumped, because I can't think of one. :p

              • Jennifer says:

                I'm going to pull out an utterly terrible book, but in Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, the main girl marries one dude, breaking the heart of the other dude, then the first dude dies, leaving her to get it on with second dude…At least I think that is how it happens…

              • lossthief says:

                That is because polyamory and polygamy are evil and of the devil. Clearly we are each meant to love only one person and that person must be of the opposite sex or else it is all terrible again.

                Now that I think of it, I can only remember a single YA book that's ever had a gay relationship work out.

                • Elise says:

                  You really need to read more David LEVITHAN! He is a YA editor at Scholastic and has written dozens of books with all types of relationships (not sure about polyamory, though).

                  I really like Wide Awake which is about a United States in the not so distant future where the president is gay and his election is under question. It explores the insecurities and joys that are present in any relationship, but in the context of the gay relationship of the narrator.

                  Boy Meets Boy is also great. Everything he writes encompasses a wide range of identities and sexual expressions.

                  • Anseflans says:

                    Mark NEEDS to read Will Grayson Will Grayson!

                    • RedFish says:

                      Oh that book was AGGRAVATING, I so preferred Nick and Norah's. It would be nice to see him comment on two authors at once though, like because if one of them drives him batty and he enjoys the other or something.

                • Book_worm14 says:

                  Well, The Mortal Instruments series has a gay character in it, but there really isn't any relationship except for one at the end of the series.

            • LadyLately says:

              I know one, but unfortunately I can't say right now.

            • LoonyLu says:

              I'm only halfway through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but at least in the beginning one girl is married to another and still sleeps with one guy on the side and the husband is fine with it. But, like I said I haven't finished it so I don't know how it ends. So basically I hope this helps but DON'T SPOIL ME!

            • MadarFoxfire says:

              Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff. Heroine has both a torrid forbidden affair with a duke and a non-forbidden one with a female coworker. Neither of them object to the other aside from the latter disliking the potential risk for execution the former comes along with.

              Also by Huff is The Fire's Stone which has a little more drama due to the fact that the main characters are all chin-deep in Issues, but they're a clear trio, emotion-wise. Also it is implied that the one lady in the threesome is asexual but not necessarily aromantic, which is pretty rare and therefore awesome.

            • TyBlack says:

              It isnt a book and it isnt the main character but I believe Alan Ricaman's character in the movie The Duchess ends that way.

              • TyBlack says:

                Now i must apologize to anyone who planned to watch this movie because I did not realize this was a spoiler until i hit the stupid mouse.


              • koharu says:

                I'm pretty sure you meant Ralph Fiennes not Alan Rickman

              • cait0716 says:

                Thanks for the suggestion. And I'm not too worried about spoilers. Even if I've seen a movie once or twice before I can never remember how it ends while I'm watching it.

            • rainbowsinside says:

              So, not a book, but possibly the only example I can think of where a character lives happily ever after with both would be Bandits with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton.

            • iolchos says:

              BANDITS (y/y?) well it's not a book.

              (also: your 3-way wish is my wish, and that is why: Fanfiction. The Last Resort.)

          • elusivebreath says:

            The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books ~of all time.~

    • residentgamer says:

      Number 6 FTW!!

      Now that would be interesting to read, cause I'm really not feeling the sort of love triangle romance angle that seems to be happening.

    • LadyLately says:

      I am generally monogamous myself, but I am ALL ABOUT the OT3s. It would solve so many problems.

    • cogsandcurls says:

      I've been gunning for option 6 for a few chapters now. I like both Peeta and what little we've seen of Gale, and I don't believe I've ever seen love triangle resolve into a working polyamorous relationship in fiction, ever. It would be a nice change.

    • bendemolena says:

      I'll take a number six plus Cinna please~

      • simply_shipping says:

        I'll take Cinna/Katniss with a side of Gale/Peeta please.

        But really, I'd be just as happy with an OT4.

    • xkcdhobbes says:

      You forgot 7) Katniss dies and Peeta falls in love with Gale and everybody is (almost) happy.

      • cait0716 says:

        I did forget that! I was so worried about Katniss finding happiness. I suppose they could bond over their grief of her.

        I think I may have launched far too much fanfiction with this comment string

    • amythis says:

      GaPeeNiss? 🙂

  13. kohlrabi says:

    This chapter had me on the edge of my seat, besides the boring romance stuff. I was so terrified of Clove and then Thresh. Though it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that he's going to let Katniss go. Oh man, only one district pair left. Sucks they're both near death at this point. :S

  14. jsh357 says:

    This chapter was a refreshing change from the pace of the last two; I'm genuinely anticipating what's going to happen next.

    Yeah, Foxface seems like an interesting character but the way this has been going I'm guestimating she'll be killed off the page or something. I wish it were her and Katniss teamed up instead of Peeta, since I kind of want to know more about her. Thresh is sort of one-dimensional, but it was nice to see that he's not a TOTAL douchebag like some of the other tributes.

    I guess on the one hand it bothers me that all the higher-class tributes are insufferable pricks and the lower-class ones are basically good people in a bad situation, but that's not wholly unexpected in a story like this.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      And Katniss thinks that "maybe Foxface is the real opponent here" and is implied to have actually thought of shooting her, which really bothers me. She even mentions earlier in the chapter that Foxface never fights anyone and probably doesn't even have any weapons, yet Katniss still takes mental note of when Foxface leaves the shooting range of her bow and arrow?

      She's a detritivore, Katniss. Please don't kill the freegan.

      • Lynn says:

        I think that on the one hand it is supposed to bother us. She shows the potential to play the capitol's game the way they want it played. It is what the games are designed to turn you into- a kill or be killed mentality without thinking of the ethics of it. Sadly, I think it would at least pop into most people's heads in this situation, not that they would then act on it. But in dire situations our brains and survival instincts can kick up some pretty sick instincts. But I was glad she didn't act on it.

        I also liked that these games show that even in the most sick and dire situations some people will choose mercy like Thresh's free pass to Katniss. There are just all kinds of shades of twisted gray to this!

    • castlejune says:

      Well, the upper class tributes are all volunteers, right? I mean, not everyone in their districts are necessarily pricks, but those who voluntarily go into an arena to kill other people for glory would DEFINITELY be psychotic dastards. In comparison, the people in the lower districts nearly never volunteer, and therefore they ARE your average joes forced into bad situations.

      • No, it's the other way around. The volunteers are all upper class tributes, or at least from wealthier districts. The reaping system is skewed to ensure the disparities between the rich and the poor are further exacerbated, but don't forget that while Madge in District 12 is of a higher class than Katniss (is, in fact, likely of the highest class within the district, since her father is the mayor), her name still went into the reaping ball the same as everyone else's, and she didn't volunteer. It's just that the wealthier districts like One, Two, and Four can afford to train their children for the Games.

        It's even arguable that Cato and Clove aren't psychotic, but children raised in environments that specifically breed them to be cruel and devoid of empathy. In that sense, they're victims just as much as Katniss is, though in a much different way. Katniss at least was able to develop and hold on to her moral integrity.

  15. Stephalopolis says:

    This is just a crazy crazy chapter. Like, the past chapters were calm and "romanticy" just to give us a break before another action packed intense chapter.I'm also curious what the other tributes needed. Every single person went to get their pack (except Peeta- he wasn't planning on it anyway) so it must have been important. Though, Foxface and Thresh are so awesome, I doubt they need anything.Must go read next chapter now so I can see how Katniss is handling all that blood running down her face 😛

    • Kate Monster says:

      I want to know why there were two District 2 packs and only one for District 12! Seems rather unfair. But I suspect that Clove and Cato were sent food, since it's been established that they don't know how to hunt etc like Katniss. I bet that's why Thresh takes them. He's stone-cold like that.

  16. shortstack930 says:

    I always thought of the arena as being like a big dome and that all of the trees/lake/etc. was manufactured or planted by the gamemakers. I could be wrong though. But I guess if it was like a big dome, they could probably just crank up the AC or the heat whenever they wanted? Not sure, just a guess.

    • hpfish13 says:

      I imagine it to be akin to the giant dome that Truman lives in in the movie The Truman Show, with its hidden cameras everywhere and artificial weather.

      • shortstack930 says:

        yes!! my thoughts exactly!!

      • TheRedQueen says:

        That's always how I pictured it. Also, since it's in the future, I always figured there were just spillions of micro-cameras floating around (or….you know….just around and not floating. I don't know).

        The Truman Show scarred me as a small child. I have ever since had a fear that my life is secretly being documented D:

  17. exbestfriend says:

    Does that inevitably mean that there is some kid in District 12 who is way stoked that the feast is happening because they won’t have to go to school??? WHY ARE THESE THE THOUGHTS THAT GO THROUGH MY HEAD.

    It's the same reason I used to hope for hurricanes to hit Florida so I could miss school. If that is the only reason you can miss school, even if that thing is really truly terrible, you hope for it.

  18. Kripa says:

    Clove is/was a young Bellatrix Lestrange. Discuss.

  19. lossthief says:

    The following message is brought to you early, due to a snow day (fuckyeah) in North Carolina:
    p.273: Well I'm glad Katniss is being so thoughtful of Peeta…after she fucking drugged him. 😛
    p.274: Does this mean Thresh will do something finally?
    p.274: "I've never felt lonelier since the games began." Sorry, I find it virtually impossible to feel sympathetic towards Katniss right now.
    p.275: And now even Kat realizes she's destined to be embroiled in a love triangle. bleh.
    p.276: "if only you had my back now…" *cough* gagmewithaspoon. *cough*
    p.276: Kat's gonna need a cochlear implant.
    p.277: So we're finally getting to some murderin' again!
    p.277: "Everyone has distinguished themselves…" except for Thresh, who's done precisely jack shit as far as we know.
    p.278: "Foxface" is my favorite currently-conscious tribute. I shall nickname her Lyra.
    p.279: Kat, you could have just shot anyone who went out. As far as I know, you've got the weapon with the longest range.
    p.280: I hate Clove, but probably not for the reason Collins wants. I guess it was too much to ask to get a career who wasn't a raging asshole, and was just trying to win the games and get home to their family. Sympathetic villains? What's that?
    p.280: Could clove be anymore of a cartoon villain? She's even got the stupid speech that will inevitably stall long enough for her to be killed.
    p.280: Told you to cut your hair Kat. Hell, even the fire tried to tell you.
    p.281: Oh hai, Thresh!
    p.282: See Clove, this is why giving villainous speeches aren't smart. They bite you in the ass if you're not the protagonist.
    p.282: Wow, BradSmith was a fucking prophet with his "Skull-crusher" line!
    p.282: Now that Kat says it out-loud, all that stuff just sounds kind of silly.
    p.283: "Fire Girl" pffft.
    p.284: How the hell can Kat be bleeding that much?
    p.284: "…green-and-silver moth…" what? is that supposed to be symbolic?
    Overall, this was a very mixed chapter. I admit I'm still rather seething about Kat's whole drugging peeta action, and I swear if Peeta isn't at least pissed when he wakes up, I give up on the both of them. Moving on though…I'm finding I like Lyra now because she's actually showing a lot of "thinking outside the box" and I imagine if anyone tries to talk to her, she'll be like "What's that? I can't hear you all the way over here; outside the box."
    Clove was just such an annoyance, and it felt like Collins was trying way too hard to make her a villain. Thresh was cool, and it was nice to see Cato actually upset over Clove dying, even if it turns out he's angry to have lost a partner.
    Grade: "C"

    • Treasure Cat says:

      It is important for you to know that I now walk around in my everyday life thinking about whether people are playing the game. And yes indeed I think it in italics. I rly hope this is ok with you D:

    • lossthief says:

      A little addendum: did anyone else find Thresh's manner of speech strange? Like he's meant to be a little…slow? It struck me as really weird.

      • calimie says:

        It was weird yes. I don't think is a dialect from 11 since Rue talked normally. Maybe his "I won't answer the interview questions except in grunts" wasn't because of sheer bad-assery but because of some other reason like that one.

        There was a boy who had a problem with a leg, I think, so I don't think the Capitol excludes anyone from the Games because of disabilities. (As if they were not awful enought).

      • monkeybutter says:

        Well, he's pissed off and about to kill someone, so I can understand not being expansive. I think the only odd thing is that he dropped the "did" in front of his questions, but I do that all of the time so it seems normal to me. He doesn't waste words which jibes with his serious, straightforward interview; he's quiet, not dumb.

        • Mauve_Avenger says:

          He also says "just this one time, I let you go."

          Maybe I'm just jaded about this kind of thing, but when a book or movie has guy who's dark-skinned (as dark as Rue, I think it's said), physically imposing, and quiet/sullen, and he talks like that and acts like a deadly but kindhearted brute, it does seem like a walking stereotype.

          Probably a case of Unfortunate Implications, but still.

          • Ken says:

            I totally overlooked that. Partly because I lost track of who was supposed to be dark-skinned to begin with.

          • Tabbyclaw says:

            Yes, I found that problematic as well.

          • Ronni says:

            I hear Thresh's voice in an accent whenever I read his part. Not sure why. Probably the "I let you go" instead if "Imma let you finish, I mean go."

          • monkeybutter says:

            Nope, you're right. I missed that line and it changes the way I read the rest. And you're right about Thresh's demeanor being stereotypical, and it bugs the hell out of me, but I just wanted to give Collins the benefit of the doubt here. My mistake. I'll just add his speech to the things that are wrong with his characterization. I hope they make some revisions in the film version, or it will be really grating to watch.

          • calimie says:

            You are right, it has a weird feeling. On the other hand, Rue was fantastic so maybe Collins wanted someone to be an foil to Cato and didn't realize how everything would look together. Unfortunate, indeed.

          • Depends on how you look at it. I actually saw it as a positive employment of non-standard dialect usage.

            • IsabelArcher2 says:

              I think this is a valid point. I'm not sure it would have been any less offensive if she would have made all of her characters use "standardized English" regardless of their cultural background. Perhaps the problem is that we don't know enough about these people and their dialects/history to really understand what Collins is attempting to do. Of course, it's nearly impossible to do this in a book written in first person present.

              • Very true. Dialect variation is rarely handled with much depth in a lot of fiction, which I'm always a little disappointed by. Especially considering how dialect rich America is, and this series is set in a future dystopian North America.

                • Anna says:

                  Actually, I would say that Collins is making a statement against racial stereotypes and prejudices with this book. Notice how District 11 works in agriculture and the people who live their are black (Slavery, anyone?), the people who work in manufacturing are asian (or at least that was the impression I got.), the upper class in D-12 are white, with blond hair and blue eyes, etc. So yes, I would agree that Collins perhaps made Thresh a racial stereotype, but that it is to make a point about race and the capitol suppression.

      • flootzavut says:

        Yes, definitely. Whether he's supposed to be slow I'm not sure but there's definitely something going on.

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. Oh man, now I see why that guy thought I was spoiling. When I saw his comment the other day I was like, "I just typed up the most outrageous thing I could think of and he thinks it's for real? I guess he's new."

      I think I agree with more of your observations than Mark's today, too. Katniss listing all of those things she did for Rue just sounded pathetic. "And then I tucked her in! And told her a bedtime story! Please see that these things are pitiful, O Cruncher of Skulls!"

      Although Mark DID catch that horrible "flasks wrapped in quilting" sentence. Man. I guess I'll just give you both an "A+" today! Good job! 😉

      • Sizzlelucid says:

        BradSmith5, FYI I am FEMALE! lol

        And I completely thought you were spoiling! Most people don't just come up with the name "skull crusher" but now I have realized that you are a True Seer!


        • BradSmith5 says:

          Yeah, I fear Mark's earth-shattering ban quakes too much to ever spoil for real. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any spoilers on here––or any good clues! I think someone mentioned Peeta's blood poisoning before it happened, but that's nothing big.

          And I'm sorry about getting your gender wrong. Perhaps I can hone my seeing powers to be able to tell the difference some day. ^_^

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Completely off topic but:
      Oh, hey there, fellow North Carolinian! (Well, I go to college in DC, but I was born and raised in NC!) Do y'all actually have snow? Because it started out like that this morning but now we've been getting rain/ice and it's just slush and nasty. 🙁

      • lossthief says:

        We had snow at like 5 in the morning, but now it's just ice and sleet, so yeah it's pretty nasty here. It's probably too early in the season to have a decent snow down here yet. =/

        • bell_erin_a says:

          My father emailed me like 2 weeks ago and said they were actually having a) snow b) in December, c) it wasn't ice or anything, and d) he sent me pictures. Of the dog frolicking in it. Okay, I see you, snowpocalypse. It never does ANYTHING of any frozen sort at home before January plus they got pretty snow. And I was stuck studying for finals. Needless to say, I was pissed. :p

          • monkeybutter says:

            And now you're in NC and it's snowing in DC? Well, it's kinda stopped, but still. Bad luck. I'll make a snowball in your honor.

            • bell_erin_a says:

              Yeah, that's pretty much the way my life works. Maybe DC will get some more snow after I come back from break… Yay! Thanks for the snowball!

        • IsabelArcher2 says:

          I just moved to Michigan. It never stops snowing. Ever.

        • Silverilly says:

          Poor North Carolinians. I'm from Ontario, Canada, and I've had six snow days in two weeks. XD

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        You go to college in DC? I went to college in DC! *squeal* Look, don't judge me, I get easily excited, okay? Were you there for Snowpocalypse last February? I pretty much got two spring breaks last year, it was sweet.

        • bell_erin_a says:

          Um, no judging because I am also easily excited. Hold on, I am about to ask you ~personal~ questions!
          Sadly, no. I'm a freshman, so I missed the huge Snowpocalypse. But we had one of our own here last year, which included three and a half days off of school in a row. The crazy thing was, we actually had snow and it wasn't just the higher up people getting freaked out! I am kinda hoping for another DC one this year so I can experience it…

        • bell_erin_a says:

          Okay, I don't know how to message you. NEVER MIND THEN.

          • stellaaaaakris says:

            Hmm, I wish I understood how this website worked. Maybe you could ask your questions on the spoiler page since there are only a handful of us. Or I could post my email on here and then delete it quick because they tell a bit about who I am and if I ever run for office or am looking for a job and they google me, they might find this site and use the fact that I love underage fictional characters and think drugging someone against their will can be justifiable against me. They just don't ~understand~.

            Oh, I was a senior last year, graduated in May. Classes got canceled Friday afternoon and didn't come back until the next Friday. And since I was a senior and had first pick in all my classes, I refused to take classes on Fridays, which means I had a 10 day weekend! Which I used for very mature things. Like taco parties and sledding and snowball fights. I swear, I'm actually an adult every once in a while.

            • bell_erin_a says:

              Just put your email as a comment and then delete it. I should still get an email about the comment? That way it'll be between the 2 of us, since the spoiler page is still public. I was just going to ask you where you went/what you studied. Because I am ~nosy~.

              I somehow managed to schedule classes so that I don't have any on Fridays next semester (thank you, AP credits and phantom Honors credits for earlier scheduling purposes!). I AM EXCITE.

              Heh, supposedly I'm an adult but Peeniss will never stop being funny to me, and my favorite movie is Up. Yeah, I'm a six-year-old.

    • flootzavut says:

      The nature of a career – we're talking about kids who train for years and then volunteer for the opportunity to go and attempt to kill 23 other kids… are you really surprised they're generally arseholes?

    • Moonie says:

      Lyra would kick ASS as a tribute. omg. They'd be all "LOL JUST A 12 YEAR OLD" and then she wins and they will be like "OH…. NOW WE'RE DEAD."
      I totally agree with that nickname though.

  20. stellaaaaakris says:

    Mark, you are still not prepared.

    And, yes, what the hell goes on in District 2 that makes its tributes so sadistic? That can't be normal, right? Clove, you could have just killed Katniss. I'm glad you didn't because that means Thresh had the chance to come and stomp your ass, but why are you being such a pawn? You District 2 kids are cold.

    Which might be why I find it so hard to believe that Cato actually begged Clove to stay with him. Sure, I get that he understands the advantages of having a partner, but to beg? Even if she lived, she'd have a dented head (I have no idea how to phrase that so it doesn't sound ridiculous), which would make her a burden. I can't see Cato wanting her around. Plus, the word "beg" brings me connotations of people sobbing over a body and crying magical healing tears that raises people into the air and transforms them into healthy, better versions of themselves. Why, yes, I do like Beauty and the Beast. What makes you ask?

    Also I'd like to give Thresh some medals or something. He clearly understands how awesome Rue is and would have been her Patronus had the Gamemakers changed the rules earlier. He probably would have shed his invisibility cloak in a second, charged out from his zen place in the plains and she'd have flown to him from a tree and…this is getting strange. WHY ARE YOU DEAD, RUE????

    Also, what's with the moth? Are the eagles coming? Is Gandalf hidden somewhere?

    • exbestfriend says:

      Clove's actions make me want to take back every defensive statement I have made about the other tributes. Clearly they are sadistic war machines and look forward to this every year.

    • pennylane27 says:

      I just up-voted this for mentioning Beauty and the Beast AND LOTR in the same comment. 😉

    • bell_erin_a says:

      Uh, yeah. Confusing moth is confusing. Although I bet if the Gamemakers had seen LOTR they would have sent in eagles just to fuck with the remaining tributes a just a little bit more. Hovercrafts? Not exciting enough.

      Lol you win with bringing in Harry Potter AND Beauty and the Beast, although I was thinking more like Tangled myself (sorry if I just spoiled it for those of you that haven't seen it!). Also, your zen Thresh will never stop cracking me up.

    • calimie says:

      Maybe Cato and Clover were the real Star-Crossed Lovers(tm) of these Games and he was really upset at her death. *sniffs*

      Or maybe he's not right in the head, let's face it.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I don't know about that "better" part. Everyone I know agrees that the prince was seriously underwhelming and creepy after his transformation. THE EYES.

      I can only see him begging because he wants the extra help against the rest of tributes, because as the remaining Career, he has a huge target on his back.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        I haven't seen Beauty and the Beast in years, I don't remember the eyes. I'm kind of worried now. All I remember is that guy had serious flowing locks. And by "better" I meant not such a douche. Like maybe he stopped to think about throwing people into the dungeon. Little things like that.

      • IsabelArcher2 says:

        Yes!!! His eyes still haunt me. *shivers*

      • flootzavut says:

        So true – kinda cute fugly beast turns into creepy ugly prince…

    • hpfish13 says:

      This may be the best comment ever

    • bibliotrek says:

      Maybe Katniss needs to follow the moth out of the cave so that she can kick her heroin addiction.

    • Openattheclose says:

      The moth is green and silver. It is totally Snape. He brought the potion to fix Peeta the Hufflepuff.

  21. rissreader says:

    Now I want Foxface to win. And, I want that to be her real name. I wish I knew what they specialized in, in district 5. (Except I want Thresh to survive too.) I think Collins is doing a good job in sketching out these other tributes. She doesn't tell us much about them, but in a few words she hints at their essential selves and has us (me) sympathizing with them.

    Peeta is a nice boy, but I don't like his focus on his romantic obsession. It's sad and creepy to me. I mean, He Never Talked To Katniss, for eleven years of love from afar. What that tells me is that he preferred his romantic imaginary Katniss to the possibility of being disillusioned by a real acquaintanceship. It reminds me of a throwback to the Age of Chivalry, except he's the damsel in distress.

    And now, I'm hoping for a scene where he says, I loved my image of you, but now that I know you I love you even more (or I loved my image of you, but now that I know you I find you kind of frightening/disturbing/disappointing). But, so far, he seems to not think there's any difference between the image he loves and the real person. His feelings are disturbingly undisturbed. I hope it's just his reaction to the stress. It certainly isn't a kind of love I would trust in normal circumstances. Also, it may be age appropriate to have him think that he could never love anyone else, or ever be happy again if Katniss died, but as an adult I say, bleh and yuck, I hate this kind of romantic propaganda.

    One of the things I'm mulling over — from an audience's point of view; both us as readers and the Capitol viewing audience, some of the most interesting parts of The Games is when tributes do something that shows them "thinking outside the box", like Foxface's actions or Katniss and Rue destroying the Career's food cache. So, one subtext of The Games is that original thinking pays off. That's an odd oversight on the part of the Capitol control machine. Hubris?

  22. Garth says:

    Thresh, you have to be kidding me, the whole “Me, retard with heart of gold. You fire girl, run away now”, stupid.

    Also, Katniss’s relationship with Gale is going to be shot to hell if she gets out alive, especially if Peeta survives too. The Capitol isn’t going to forget the romance for a while. She/they are going to have to keep on pretending all through the follow up interviews, next hunger games when she return to coach the new district 12 tributes it’ll be trotted out again. This love triangle thing, while I’m not too fussed on it at the moment, could go somewhere very interesting indeed…

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      Totally agree. Thresh should have killed her- what relationship did he have with Rue that he would let Katniss go?

    • Let's just clarify one thing: nonstandard dialect usage does not mean someone is of less than average intelligence.

      • Garth says:

        I agree, but the “Me Tarzan, you Jane” speech pattern has been used in so many books and films as an indicator of below average intelligence, I generally assume that any character who speaks like that is an idiot until proven otherwise. Plus, Rue could speak proper English, so it’s not just a district thing.

        • Firstly, while it is the author's job to play tropes–especially ones that have the potential to be culturally insensitive–in a thoughtful, intelligent manner, it is the readers' duty to interpret those tropes just as thoughtfull. This is why when most sane people read Twilight, they take one look at the supposed passionate, tragic romance and say, "Buh?"

          Secondly, not all features of a dialect manifest in all of its speakers. Rue's speech contained no nonstandard grammatical features (at least, not that I recall. I'd need to reread and specifically look for them to be sure), but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her dialect's accent, and there's no real way to convey that in text. Furthermore, considering District 11 is the breadbasket of Panem (pun not intended), it is probably vast in size. Greater size, and therefore distance between settlements, allows for greater dialect variation, unlike District 12, which is a single mining town.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Thresh, you have to be kidding me, the whole “Me, retard with heart of gold. You fire girl, run away now”, stupid.

      Where the hell do you get that impression? Here are Thresh's lines:

      "What'd you do to that little girl? You kill her?"
      "You said her name. I heard you. You kill her?" … "You cut her up like you were going to cut up this girl here?"
      "What'd she mean? About Rue being your ally?"
      "And you killed him?"
      Then Katniss says that she sang Rue to sleep.
      "To sleep?"
      "Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl. You and me, we're even then. No more owed. You understand?"
      "You better run now, Fire Girl."

      How does ANY of that add up to "retard with heart of gold," and why the hell would you use an offensive term like "retard" anyway?

  23. xpanasonicyouthx says:


    • lossthief says:



    • Kate Monster says:

      i literally could not figure it out at first; I was like "WHY IS THAT POOR MAN ABOUT TO GET RUN DOWN BY A SUBWAY TRAIN".

    • ldwy says:


      • ldwy says:

        But secretly I have a question about it. Is he actually SLEEPING PROPPED UP ON THAT RAILING? Because the way he falls like a ragdoll without any reflex to try to catch himself makes me think he was really sleeping.
        And, man…

        • calimie says:

          I thought it was an actual doll for one of those prank tv programmes. Wouldn't it be really unconfortable to sleep there?

          • ldwy says:

            Hmm, but who would be pranked…the subway riders? If that's a doll, it's really lifelike. But maybe?

            • pennylane27 says:

              I think it's a real person. The way his arm hit the rail makes me think he's just a poor guy who dozed for a second and then… hahaha I shouldn't still be laughing!

            • calimie says:

              I don't know, I would freaked out if I saw that happening and I would see if I could help. I'm not sure if asking "Are you okay?" is prank-worthy though.

              • xpanasonicyouthx says:

                I don't think it's a prank at all. Looks like he just fell asleep.

                • ldwy says:

                  Yeah, that's what I think, too. But ugh, to sleep and then THAT? How awful. And I'm pretty sure I couldn't sleep that upright if I tried. But then, I'm a total clutz.

                  • stellaaaaakris says:

                    I think he's leaning against the plastic wall thingy which is why he moves with it when it opens, so he has some support. But he's got AMAZING posture while asleep.

                    • paulineparadise says:

                      He wasn't asleep – at least, I heard he's drunk. Like, reeeaaalllyyyyy drunk. This vid was on RayWilliamJohnson and he thinks the guy was drunk, too.

                  • jessimuhka says:

                    Falling asleep on or waiting for public transportation blows. It always made me feel so vulnerable. I could see myself doing something like this back when I was working three jobs though. You think "I'm just going to close my eyes. I'll lean against this moving door so that I'll know when to stand up and get on the train." And then, disaster.

                • blessthechildren says:

                  I could see that happening. At least he didn't fall onto the rails or anything. :/

            • theanagrace says:

              It's a real guy, I've seen the full video on YouTube. His friends are filming and snickering in the background. And someone does go help him up, lol.
              Search "guy falls asleep on bus stop" bc my YouTube app wont give my the URL.

    • rissreader says:

      I watched it several times and thought it reflected my feelings much more succinctly than my long comments. I also enjoyed paulineparadise's gif of the toddler acrobatics.

    • pennylane27 says:

      HAHAHAHAHA I watched that gif for like two solid minutes, and I'm still laughing.

    • bell_erin_a says:


      /sucking up

    • thatonegirl says:

      amazing gif is amazing.
      I love the random person coming off the train at the end.

    • mugglemomof2 says:

      I snorted at this gif too! I assumed he was butt ass drunk. I could only imagine my screams of laughter had I been there to see it in person (Oh why can't I witness these things in real life)

    • Silverilly says:

      XD I saw that video on RayWilliamJohnson and all I can think now is . . . what's with the yellow socks? I mean, those are just BRIGHT.

    • iolchos says:

      but that gif made me sad! 🙁

  24. spiffy says:

    "Oh god, WHAT IS GOING ON how the shit fuck what"

    mark is eloquent.

  25. lossthief says:

    So I think I found a song that fits with Peeta and Kat's whole relationship/play to the crowd/whatever you call it:

  26. ilram says:

    I think the hoovercraft left the table? Or since it's close to the "entrance" they could just wait until no one was around to set it up since they have cameras on everyone.

    Shit is about to get so real in the next chapters. You are not prepared.

    • lossthief says:

      I hope you know I am now imagining President Snow as the distant descendant of J. Edgar Hoover now.

      • ldwy says:

        This is perfect. Now I am too.
        At first I was imagining a craft, that instead of beaming things down, sucks things up like a vacuum.
        But now it's J. Edgar all the way.

      • paulineparadise says:

        … spoiler. I haven't read books 2&3 and I have no idea who president snow is.

        • lossthief says:

          I remember he was mentioned in one of the earlier chapters, because I made a note about his silly name. You don' t have to worry about spoilers from me, since I've only read through chapter 21 atm. 🙂

    • calimie says:

      I think that all those things are prepared beforehand, particuarly the feast area: Katniss explained that in previous Games it was common to have a feast to get them all together.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      The sentence where the table appears says it says that the ground splits in two and the table "rises into the arena." So it was underground and somehow got winched up to the surface when they needed it.

      My guess is house-elves.

      • lossthief says:

        I figured it was like the tubes the had set up when the Tributes entered the Arena. It seems like they'd have a bunch of stuff set up underground to keep things interesting.

      • Silverilly says:

        This is an educated guess with little opposing evidence.

    • Kate Monster says:


      Personally, I imagined Mary Sanderson getting stuck with flying on the vacuum cleaner in Hocus Pocus.


    • monkeybutter says:

      Katniss mentioned that they've had feasts in other games, so it was probably part of the arena design. They've made a point of minimizing interaction between tributes and hovercrafts during body pick-up, so they probably made sure they have other ways of screwing with the tributes simply built into the arena.

  27. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Perhaps this is way off, but I interpreted Katniss's many mentions of how hot/cold in the past few chapters to mean that Katniss is getting sick with fever and chills. She has been kissing the immuno-compromised boy while under a lot of stress herself, so it's not too unlikely that she'd catch something from him without necessarily realizing it. Though I think there's a mention of the condensation that forms when she breathes outside in this chapter, so a the very least it's probably not all due to illness.

    I think illness plus blood loss might go a long way in explaining the (possible) hallucination at the end of the chapter. That, or Katniss has somehow been tripping out on Lunesta:

    <img src=""&gt;

  28. Kim says:

    Oh Mark, I have to ask – do you still feel prepared?

  29. spiffy says:

    i think the hunger games are controlled by the gamekeepers in ways we'll never understand, showing how they've always got the upper hand.

  30. SarBear says:

    how does it work

    Rue and Thresh would have been so awesome if they were allowed to team up. ;A;
    Rue could have led them away by ~~treejumping or whatever, and then Threah would jump out and SMASH THEIR SKULL IN oh god


    Foxface is def the smart one here. If I were in the Hunger Games, that’s what I would try to do: let everyone else kill eachother and just jump in LIKE A NINJA OR OMETHING when need be
    although I would definitely fail pfff

    lol hi clove your two-dimensionality is showing

    ps why are all my comments just rambling, shaaaame

    • Eilonwy_Llyr says:

      Thresh's invisibility cloak <333

    • paulineparadise says:


      how does it work"

      reminded me of Dan Bergstein's ever-lasting question:

      ALICE CULLEN'S GIFT – how does it work?

      (He, so far, had 3 answers to all things that don't make sense in twilight:
      – Because Edward and Bella love each other
      – Because Vampires have two extra chromosomes
      – Magic)

  31. Lily says:

    For me, I always pictured Thresh to be like the dude in the Green Mile…huge, a little slow, really scary on the outside, but cuddley as a bunny on the inside.

    I imagine Katniss is bleeding heavly because head wounds often bleed like mad making them look far worse then they are

  32. Yusra says:

    Mark, you're not prepared. And I think Clove at least deserves to be named on your table. 🙂

    Disclaimer: Clicking on my name will take you to a spoiler page. Do so at your own risk. You have been warned.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      OOOH I will link to your spoiler page until the forums are done!

      • Yusra says:

        YAY! Mark's read this comment! 😀 I've been trying to catch your attention vainly ever since I created them. Now I have, I am over the moon!

        In retrospect, I probably should have just e-mailed you.

      • bell_erin_a says:

        Can you mention that there are spoilers for all three books? We've said it there, but sometimes if you're not paying attention and you haven't read them all… I'd just hate for that to be my experience if it were me.

  33. corporatecake says:

    Yesss I love this chapter! Mostly for Foxface and Thresh. Because damn, they are both such badasses, in such different ways. Though I guess you don't get to this point in the games without being some kind of badass.

    Your questions about the arena made me think of something else that I've been considering a lot since I read these books. How much fucking money does the Capitol spend on these things every year? These arenas cannot be cheap to build, they would have to cost millions and millions of dollars! Then there's the parade, the costumes, the trainers, all the expensive food for all these people… When you think about how they're diverting so many resources that could be used helping District citizens to the Games, they're probably responsible for a lot more deaths than just the kids who get murdered in the arena.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Yeah, but feeding the poor and investing in education and infrastructure isn't nearly as fun or unifying as bacchanalia and must-watch tv. If the poor had better resources and the wealthy weren't entertained, they might start getting ideas.

  34. Warmouh says:

    I would love to see a book with Tresh and Rue. I don't know why but those characters just stuck with me.

    Also, Clove you are an idiot. When you know other people who want to kill you are hanging around, you don't make yourself an easy target.

  35. Tabbyclaw says:

    The flasks are wrapped in quilting. Metal flask + hot liquid = total lack of insulation, leading to both burned hands and your tea getting cold within minutes.

  36. Anahera says:

    Green and silver moth?
    Oh, Slytherin…

  37. spectralbovine says:



    I honestly hope it comes down to the two of them in the end and Foxface wins and the other two novels are about her. I’d rather enjoy that.
    Foxface IS pretty badass. Now that I think about it, even though she's not as murderous, she's kind of the Mitsuko of the Hunger Games, the girl who's going around being totally awesome while Our Heroes are just trying to survive. Yeah, I watched Battle Royale last night. It was fun times.

    This. Is. Horrifying. Legitimately frightening to me.
    Nevermind, possibly Clove is the Mitsuko of the Hunger Games.

    Wait, I’m sorry, HOW DOES THAT LAST THING HAPPEN. Like, in what situation would a hovercraft show up and do that?
    Well, they pluck corpses into the air.


    Shit is so goddamn real.
    I am sure you're aware of this by now, but it gets realer.

  38. thatonegirl says:

    Is anyone else suspicious of the stuff they're getting from the gamemakers – like that it might end up hurting them instead of helping them? Who knows what stuff Katniss just gave Peeta. I'll be mad if it ends up killing him.

    • Ken says:

      It can't make things worse, so she might as well give it to him.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Since I assumed that Katniss was getting sick as well, I was thinking that the medicine might actually be meant for her (or perhaps for both of them), but she gave it all to Peeta instead because she didn't bother to check what it was.

      I don't think they'd give them fake medicine/poison. The Gamemakers have an interest in keeping Katniss and Peeta alive and together at this point, since they're more interesting when they're *in love* and trying to save each other than when they're apart (or dead).

    • Silverilly says:

      Personally, I just thought that it might not be what Katniss and Peeta REALLY needed. The Gamemakers announced that they had things that all the tributes needed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's medicine for Peeta. It could have been like food or a weapon or something.
      So what if the medicine wasn't meant for Peeta? Katniss hasn't been doing too well lately; what if she just shot Peeta with drugs meant for her? Then they're BOTH screwed and the Gamemakers have a nice laugh over how stupid Katniss is.

  39. taratheninja says:

    Just gonna say, in response to "this is madness"…THIS IS SPARTA!

  40. Penquin47 says:

    This chapter ruled.

    Katniss does something she knows better than to do? Check.
    A tribute dies and Katniss's ability to Make People Love Her works in her favor to keep her alive? Check.
    The other tributes mess up Katniss's strategy? Check.
    Something incredibly awesome happens that nobody expected? Oh hi Foxface. Check.
    One more name dribbles out, but Foxface is still Foxface? Yay, my prediction remains intact.

    How terrified must Prim and Gale and … um… Mom be watching Katniss and Peeta? They're both weakened, badly, and the other three are all playing for themselves. If they realize that and work together to take down the Lovebirds…

    Also, Katniss is a moron. She has range and stealth. Kat, you could have shot Thresh and whichever of Clove and Cato went in for their pack. Then it becomes avoiding the other one long enough to GTFO.

    • But by shooting, she would have given away her position.

      • Penquin47 says:

        So she gets up in a tree so she can shoot Cato/Clove when they come for her. They *know* she has the bow, don't they? Cato's spear is going to be more messed up by the tree than her arrow, being a bigger projectile.

    • Hieronymus Graubart says:

      I'm not fully aware of the situation. How far is the table from Katniss' hiding place at the rim of the woods? Could somebody coming from the opposite direction reach the backpacks while never being in shooting range or at least being so far away that Katniss could not be sure her arrow wouldn't miss them?

  41. mag11 says:

    Clove! Shouldn't her name be in the chart?

  42. dumbxblonde07 says:

    This is my favorite chapter so far, hands down…

    Also, I keep seeing pictures of Rue and Thresh that people have drawn and they're white… why did I think they were black? I think it's because Kat described them as having dark skin, but idk, I always pictures them as black…

    • castlejune says:

      Me too. To me, they were always black. I think they were described as dark skinned at some point.

    • Eilonwy_Llyr says:

      Me too. She describes them as dark skinned. Kinda drives me nuts when they show up in fan art as super white and blonde.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Yeah, I thought Collins made it pretty clear that they were black.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      It's a bit ambiguous, since Katniss describes Rue as having "satiny brown skin" and later says that Thresh has the same skin tone. I'm guessing, though, that they are actually meant to be black.

    • amandajane5 says:

      I think of Rue as looking like my friend Randi, who I always called the Cheshire Cat, because she inevitably ended up being almost completely washed out in photos and had these beautiful white teeth, so all you could see was her smile. But she's small, and beautiful, and very dark-skinned, and very Rue-like. I can totally see her flying through the trees. And she's tiny, I always felt huge and clumsy next to her, and maybe I should ask her if I can post her picture, because to me she is perfectly Rue.

  43. xkcdhobbes says:

    Why did Thresh seem like the typical fantasy giant? Something like this: I not like you! You hurt Rue friend. Fire Girl. You understand? It felt weird, dunno if it's just me or if anybody else felt that. Anyways, this chapter seemed very short. Maybe, once again, it's just me and my fast reading.

    And by the way, when Katniss runs away, she describes Cato's voice:"Cato's voice is much nearer now. I can tell by the pain in it that he sees [Clove] on the ground." Made me wonder why he was pained. Maybe it's me again, but Cato doesn't seem like the guy who would be pained because his partner died, more angry that his chances of winning are lowered.

    I liked that Katniss once again got bashed up pretty badly. But I dislike that Cato is now alone. Makes me wonder how the games will play out.
    Mark, I wish you would read more! (Don't do it because I asked, same kind of statement as your questions :P)

  44. In defense of Thresh's speech patterns: Having a nonstandard dialect doesn't make somebody dumb! All it means is that they have a nonstandard dialect.

    • Kira says:

      Not to mention, we don't know how large District 11 is. Maybe depending on where you live, people speak differently.

      • Exactly. For all intents and purposes, District 12 is a single, self-contained coal town. It's less likely to have extremely noticable dialectal patterns within the whole district than Eleven is, assuming Eleven is larger than Twelve.

        Not to mention the fact that he's made it to the final five, which means he has to have more than just brute strength going for him.

        Also I feel like I should note: Katniss speaks Appalachian English, not SAE. This was confirmed by a live reading Suzanne Collins did, where she put on a fake Southern-like accent, and is supported by District 12's geographical location. But there aren't any implications tied to Katniss's speech, although real world Appalachian English is a stigmatized dialect.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Yeah, and for everyone who thinks "You kill her?" is Tarzan-speak, have none of you ever said, "You wanna grab some dinner?" or "You ready?" or "You got a light?" or any other variation on a question in which you drop the initial verb?

  45. 4and6forever says:

    Well, obviously the entire arena is actually a giant air conditioner and that’s how they control the temperature. And all that grass and trees? Yeah, that’s mildew. Mildew and dust.

  46. anamardoll says:

    Dunno if this has already been said, but the other reason why Katniss runs out to get the pack (instead of safely waiting in the trees with her bow), is that she's racing the clock – she thinks Peeta is literally going to kick it soon if he doesn't get the medicine asap. She doesn't have time to set up a duck blind and wait for possibly days, and she doesn't know how "urgently" the other tributes need THEIR packs.

    ALSO: hai there! loving this blog so much!

  47. Diane says:

    The problem of "where would a hovercraft even come from?" is freaking miniscule next to the great puzzlement of the arena: How the ever-loving hell did they wire that whole place for quality sound and video? Can you even imagine the number of motion-sensitive mikes and cameras this takes? All the wiring it takes for all those mikes and cameras to get power and send their data back to Arena Central or wherever?

    They need to have cameras for Tributes on the ground, up in trees, inside every cave and cranny of the entire arena. Those cameras need to be resistant to the elements or being stepped on, yet small and unobtrusive, and they need to somehow be wired up to a power source or else have super-crazy battery power. Do they run all the wires underground and in the trees and rocks or what?

    Same goes for all the mikes, which need to be sensitive enough to pick up whispers, but not too sensitive or they'll pick up a lot of background noise. And would they use directionals? Because how freaking hard would it be to cover every angle ever? Unless the Tributes themselves are miked up…did you mention that? In that case I'm sorry for being an idiot and forgetting. Anyway, if the Tributes are miked up, you'd once again have the battery life problem happening, not to mention the potential for signal loss with so many wireless transmissions happening in a confined space at once.

    Can you imagine the multitudes of ADs differentiating between shots of wildlife and shots of Tributes, finding the best angles, and doing all of this fast enough to broadcast it live? Even if they stick some kind of transmitter on the Tributes so the mikes and cameras only turn on and start recording/transmitting in their presence, it's still a madly complicated job. Are all the Tributes shown at once in some giant split screen, or does the "story" alternate between them when one of them is doing something boring like sleeping? NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.

    And so I try not to think about it too much. 🙂

  48. Phoebe says:

    why doesn't clove have a name?

  49. karadudz says:

    THAT GIF YOU USED MADE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT THAT PERSON. I watched it lots of times and I kept wondering how that person was gonna get out LOL

  50. Eilonwy_Llyr says:

    I am pretty much the hater of all things romantic. I, too, didn't start dating until I was 19 but I've never been into love stories. I don't -care-. That's why I generally avoid adult fiction and stick to YA- and why I love Lloyd Alexander so damn much. He was about the story, and if there was a love storyline involved in his books it was always in the background, never the focus.

    On Topic- I get that Katniss feels she has to fake a romance to get help, but it still feels wrong. Uncomfortable. Get on with the action already, damn it.

  51. potlid007 says:

    KAtniss took Peeta out
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    She snuck away from the cave
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    She thought a lot about Gale
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    …..Um, 'scuze me Katnizz, youz be tryin' to get some medicine fo Peeta…RIGHT?!

    Foxface hid in the Cornucopia
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

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

  52. Moonie says:


    I think everyone loves her. I totally agree with her being the new protagonist! IT WOULD BE EPIC.

  53. Arione says:

    One of the things I’ve loved about the story so far is the gender representations. It’s interesting how Collins has played with different.female characters, I know we haven’t really seen anyone fleshed out entirely but the actions we seen the female characters undertake have all shown believable ways in which women and girls can be strong, and not call down the wrath of fanmisogynist haters with their cries of “PSHAW! Womenfolk are not psychologically or physically capable of doing anything!” I love that Foxface has managed to be totally badass without having been engaged in hand-to-hand combat thus far, and that Rue had as much chance as anyone because of her skills and intelligence. I even enjoy the ruthlessness of Glimmer and Clove because it shows that Collins doesn’t believe that either gender has a corner in the market on cruelty. I guess Katniss is pretty ok too :). I also think that even Prim and Mother have shown awesome strengths despite Katniss’s “MUST PROTECT” mentality. The mother (I wish she had a name, manahed to pull herself out of near catatonic depression, and chose to keep living in a pretty crapsack world, and Prim may seem all sweetness and light, but it must take a lot of backbone to maintain a sunny diaposition in said crapsack.

    I love seeing women being strong in numerous ways rather than always being gun toting action girls (not that I don’t love them too.) It really scares me in action fiction how few roles women are given to play. Unless you have a traumatic de-humanising event or super powers, women are so rarely shown as anything other than damsels or baggage.

    For example the Walking Dead, I was really looking forward to watching it, I love love love zombie fiction, but there was almost no female dialogue and juat general passive irrational horribleness. Has anyone else seen it? Do you agree, or am I being too harsh.

    When I tried to bring this up on imdb discussion all I got was, they are reverting to “normal” gender roles because civilisation has fallen, the men folk can’t have women getting in thw way with their “affirmative action.” LADYRAGE!

    • bibliotrek says:

      I love everything about this comment. The many different female characters are a major reason why I like this book so much!

    • Oh wow, are you me? Seriously, I have so many problems with both sides of the fence: the side that claims women are all delicate flowers and are incapable of being strong, and the side that thinks that "strength" means "kick the crap out of everything!!!!" and any girl who doesn't is not a Strong Female Character.

      There are different kinds of strength, and the fact that so many people don't get it–or worse, refuse to accept it–drives me up the fucking wall.

      Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now.

  54. Revolution64 says:

    Love the gif, by the way. Perfectly mirrors my stupor in Algebra.

    Also, I would've died in the first five minutes. Mostly, because I'm a terrible aim, and I'm very slow. Katniss would've shot me immediately.

  55. crazyravenclaw says:

    I love everything about this review and everything about these comments.

  56. Phoebe says:

    Is it bad if i imagine cato as jim povolo?

  57. Julia_Vaughn says:

    One day, whilst being bored enough to watch Little Bear, I payed attention to the opening credits. When the name Suzanna Collins appeared, I immediately had a "WTF?!?" moment. After making sure it was really this author who wrote the episode and not someone else with the same name, I imagined Little Bear and all his friends in the Hunger Games. This chapter, specifically. Never before have I associated Little Bear with anything about a G rating, and now I watch and if I see her name it just seems so screwed up and terrible and I imagine Little Bear shooting people with arrows AND IT IS HORRIFYING.


  58. Paige says:

    So I was reading the reviews on the back of my copy of The Hunger Games, and most of you have probably already seen this, but it read:
    "I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it… Hunger Games is amazing."

    Now does that sound like someone we know?
    like Bella Fucking Swan aka Stephanie Fucking Meyer… yeah

    • Silverilly says:

      Yeah, it kind of turned me off when I read the review at the back because I was like, Meyer's idea of an exciting story involves building up to an epic battle scene that NEVER HAPPENS. Am I going to like this?
      Surprisingly, I did. For the most part.

  59. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I think in my case the complaint is mainly a manifestation of my disappointment that Katniss finally had her *this is nobody's fault but the Capitol's* revelation a few chapters ago courtesy of Rue's awful death, and yet she's still not doing/thinking much of anything about it.

  60. Mowgli3 says:

    The thing I do not like about this chapter is that fucking cornucopia. I mean…how does it work? Like…I don't even…I can't picture it at all. How does Foxface hide in it if it's just sitting on the ground like that? Wouldn't someone see her? SOMETIMES I NEED PICTURES BECAUSE I AM SLOW, OKAY?

    Fucking magnets, how do they work?

  61. Kelly L. says:

    OMG, that feast ("feast") was TERRIFYING.

  62. paulineparadise says:

    Oh! Sorry, I must've forgotten about him.

    • ldwy says:

      Oh, no need to be sorry. After all, better to be safe, right? But I just wanted to clarify so as not to cause a spoiler-scare if there was no need 🙂

  63. Rose Brazeale says:

    "THIS IS MADNESS." No. This. Is. SPARTA!

    *couldn't help self*

  64. PK9 says:

    "Strange sentence is very strange."

    I don't know if that's done intentionally as a part of Katniss' character (she misplaces pronouns occasionally) or if it's just a fault of Suzanne Collins, but it does happen on multiple occasions. Back in chapter 9 there's a line in there after Katniss has finished smashing up plates in her room where she talks about the Avox girl "wiping the blood from a broken plate" off her hands – as though broken plates bleed or something.

    Also I feel like Katniss screwed up tactically in this situation. Why does she need to be the second to the backpacks? She's Legolas. If anyone touches the District 12 backpack, she could shoot them through the eyes like she does with squirrels.

  65. CBG says:

    Just discovered your glorious site! You're cracking me up, Dude. My reactions to the book seem to be much like yours! I look forward to reading the other posts.

    Foxface is totally awesome.

  66. P.S. I just noticed this post is sorted under "Uncategorized" instead of "The Hunger Games."

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  68. Lesli Yandle says:

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