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Chapter 10

How It All Goes Down

Peeta admits to Caesar that Katniss, his crush, didn't know about his feelings until
now! Caesar says this is all a bit of bad luck. (No kidding.) As the interview concludes,
the crowd goes nuts for Peeta.

Peeta has wiped the floor with his competition, painting himself as the tragic lover.
Still, Katniss thinks she knows better.

Back at the Training Center, Katniss is furious and pushes Peeta into an urn, bloodying
his hands. She yells at him that he had no right to make her look like a fool.

Haymitch, who apparently was in on the whole thing, intervenes and explains to
Katniss that Peeta has done her a huge favor: he has made her seem desirable.
"You're all they're talking about. The star-crossed lovers from District Twelve!" (10.22).

After a little more arguing (in which Peeta says she's only mad because of Gale),
Katniss comes around to the idea of being a heartbreaker. Before she was only a silly
girl spinning in a dress. Now she is an "object of love" (10.33).

Katniss worries that she didn't respond properly when the cameras were on her, but
everyone assures her that she did.

Everyone watches the replay of the interviews, and then it's time to say goodbye and
goodnight: the Hunger Games are tomorrow. Only Cinna and Portia, the stylists, will be
accompanying the tributes to the arena.

Haymitch gives some final advice: Don't try to fight for supplies or weapons at the
Cornucopia. Just get away from the other competitors and find a water source.

Bedtime arrives and Katniss can't sleep. All she can think about is the Games: the
possible terrain she'll see, the traps the Gamemakers will set, and so forth.

Too restless to sleep, Katniss goes up to the roof where she finds: guess who? Yup.

The two watch the festivities down on the ground. The celebrations mark the beginning
of the Hunger Games.

Katniss apologizes for pushing him and cutting up his hands. Peeta says he was never
a contender anyway. He just doesn't want to disgrace himself.

Peeta then gives a speech about wanting to die as himself. "I don't want them to
change me in there," he says. "Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not"

Katniss feels guilty that all she can think about is the competition while here Peeta is
contemplating his true identity.

Katniss tells Peeta to just focus on staying alive. Peeta mimics Haymitch, saying
"Thanks for the tip, sweetheart" (10.71). Katniss feels like it's a slap in the face. A few
barbs are exchanged and she returns to her room.

In the morning, Cinna dresses Katniss in a simple shift and a hovercraft comes to fetch
her and take her to the arena. On board, a metal tracking device is inserted into her.

Arriving at the arena, Katniss is taking to the Launch Room (or the "Stockyard" as it's
referred to in the districts). The room is new, as Katniss tells us, and will never be used
again. The arenas become historic sites once the Games are over where tourists come
to visit.

Cinna equips Katniss with the outfit and gear that all the tributes have, including a
hooded black jacket designed to reflect body heat. He pins on her gold mockingjay pin.
He had to fight to get it through the review board since they thought it might be used
as a weapon.

Cinna repeats Haymitch's final advice as Katniss steps onto her platform: run, find
water. He tells her his money is on her and wishes her luck.

With that, Katniss is launched into the stadium. The Hunger Games have begun.

Chapter 11

How It All Goes Down

Katniss finds herself on a metal circle in the arena. She wonders if she should stay at
the Cornucopia (the central statue in the arena) to fight for supplies (a tent, food,
weapons, medicine), or head for water, as Haymitch commanded her to do.

Katniss sees a bow and arrow. Maybe if she sprints she can grab some of the loot? She
sees Peeta and he shakes his head no. Then the gong sounds, and she's missed her
chance for the bow and arrow.

Grabbing a nearby sheet of plastic and loaf of bread, Katniss sprints for an orange
backpack. She sees another tribute get a knife in the back and then runs for it
getting a knife thrown at her backpack in the process.

Walking and jogging, Katniss heads for the forested area and begins to descend into a

By late afternoon, Katniss hears the cannons, which are shot every time a tribute is
killed. The fighting at the Cornucopia must have stopped. The cannon fires eleven
times; that means eleven are dead. Thirteen candidates are left.

Katniss thinks of Peeta and wonders if he is dead. Maybe it's better if he's out of the

Exhausted, Katniss breaks to examine her backpack. It's orange, which means
camouflage is a must. Inside? A sleeping bag, crackers, beef strips, iodine, matches,
wire, sunglasses, and an empty water bottle. EMPTY? Dang.

Water becomes Katniss's top priority. She saw a lake back at the Cornucopia, but
headed in the opposite direction. She's a day's journey away by now. No point in going

Katniss chews pine to quell her hunger and then looks for a place to camp. She sets
two snares and then climbs up into a willow tree where she settles in with her sleeping
bag and loops herself in with a belt.

Night falls and with it the death recap. The faces of the dead are projected into the
sky: no Peeta. Katniss is filled with relief, but her emotions remained mixed.

Who else is left? Five of the Career Tributes, Foxface, Thresh, and Rue, as well as three
others Katniss can't remember.

In the morning, Katniss hears a snap and realizes that someone only a few hundred
yards to her right is BUILDING A FIRE. Idiot! Sure it's cold, but don't they know it will
attract the stronger Career Tributes?
Katniss watches concealed in the tree as, sure enough, a pack of tributes come along
and kill the girl who lit the fire. The hotshot tributes must have teamed up and are now
hunting in a pack.

She eavesdrops on their conversation when all of a sudden she realizes that one of the
voices belongs to none other than Peeta.

Chapter 12

How It All Goes Down

Peeta?! Yes, Peeta has teamed up with the Career Tributes. Katniss catches a glimpse
of him and he's bloody and bruised and bandaged. Still.

Why would he join them? Career Tributes are the Capitol's lapdogs hated by all of the
audience. What was all that talk on the rooftop about being true to himself? Dude.

Peeta leaves the group for a moment to make sure the girl they've just killed is
actually dead. That's when Katniss overhears the others say that they're basically using
Peeta to find her.

They also can't seem to figure out how she got that eleven in training. Katniss wonders
why Peeta hasn't told them about her skills. Is he saving the information? What is he
up to?

Peeta returns, the cannon fires, and the Career Tributes take off. Katniss makes herself
move too.

Knowing she'll get a close-up from the camera when she hits the ground, she hops to
the ground and puts a knowing smile on her face. She has to look like she's one step
ahead of the game.

Before she goes, she checks her snares and finds a rabbit. She roasts it on the dying
embers of the dead tribute's fire (maybe the sponsors will see that and bet on her) and
then heads out.

Katniss walks along considering what's up with Peeta, but is careful to mask her
emotions. Cameras are, of course, likely to be on her all the time.

With no water yesterday or today, Katniss is becoming dehydrated. She's headed in

the valley still, so she figures water must be somewhere. It runs downhill after all.

Parched, Katniss sees some berries, but just as she's about to suck the juice out she
notices they're not blueberries. She puts them back. The plant instructor at the
Training Center advised candidates not to eat berries unless they were completely sure
they weren't poisonous.

Night falls and the face of the dead girl from District 8 is projected into the sky. Katniss
is totally parched at this point, but sleeps up in a tree all the same.

The next morning is worse: still no water. Katniss wonders why Haymitch won't send
help in one of those little silver parachutes the sponsors use. Why won't he? Maybe it
means she's close to water. Maybe Haymitch is sending her a message.

Yes, that must be it. She keeps looking. On the verge of collapse, she finds herself in
mud. And mud? Mud means WATER.

Crawling through the mud, Katniss finds a pond filled with water lilies. She exercises
massive restraint as she takes out her flask, fills it, drops in the iodine to purify it, and
then waits half an hour. Then she drinks.
Sweet relief! Fully refreshed, Katniss hears the anthem, but sees no faces projected
into the sky. She snuggles into her sleeping bag for the night.

A few hours later, however, she wakes up to the sound of a stampede. It's a wall of fire
descending on her.

Chapter 13

How It All Goes Down

Fire?! Yes, FIRE. Katniss unbuckles herself from the perch in the tree and high-tails it
out of there. She runs from the heat and smoke along with the rest of the fleeing
woodland creatures.

Katniss realizes that the fire is no accident: it must be a ploy by the Gamemakers to
flush out the scattered tributes and bring them all together. Why? For action, of
course. There's an audience watching at home, after all.

Katniss's jacket catches half on fire (she stomps it out), then her throat starts burning,
and the next thing you know, she's puking her guts up. She gives herself a minute to

Katniss's head gets hazy as she decides what to do next. She's putting together a plan
to return to the pond when BOOM! A fireball crashes into a rock right beside her. Yup,
you read that right: A FIREBALL.

Katniss dodges the FIREBALLS that are probably being shot by a Gamemaker in a
control room somewhere. Abandoning her plan, she just runs for her life.

Katniss pukes again, more fireballs, and then her right calf gets scorched. She figures
the Gamemakers are having a nice big laugh about "the girl who was on fire" (13.15).

The attack over, Katniss stumbles across the pond and gets some instant relief from
her burns. Katniss hates burns. She remembers her mother and Prim treating burn
victims from the mine back in the Seam.

She examines her injury (reluctantly), and it's not completely terrible. (You can't see
the bone, after all.) She soaks it in the pool.

Katniss arranges her gear, her leg still in the water. She knows she should get up and
move on, but drowsiness hits her. She eats and then falls asleep by the pool.

Katniss hears feet and wakes instantly. She runs and climbs up a tree. The pack of
Career Tributes (including Peeta!) has her cornered.

One of the big boys, Cato, comes up the tree after her, but she climbs far up away
from him, and he's too big to pursue her. The big doofus falls to the ground.

One of the girls, Glimmer, tries next. She gets up in the tree and tries to shoot Katniss
with the bow and arrow. She's a horrible shot and misses. Katniss grabs one of the
arrows stuck in the tree, hoping she'll get her hands on the bow soon enough.

Stuck in the tree and totally in pain, Katniss settles down for the night. That's when
she notices a pair of eyes in a neighboring tree. A possum? No. Katniss realizes it's the
little girl from District 11: Rue.

Chapter 14

How It All Goes Down

Katniss sees Rue pointing to something above Katniss's head: a tracker jacker nest!
What are tracker jackers? Why, mutant killer wasps engineered by the Capitol, of
course. A few stings make you hallucinate like crazy; more than a few stings and
you're dead. Even if you run, these things will track you down.

Katniss realizes she can cut the branch holding the nest and drop it on the pack of
Career Tributes. During the nightly anthem, she climbs up to the limb with the nest
and does just that.

Before she can get the branch totally sawed off, though, the anthem ends. She decides
to finish the branch off, and drop the nest, in the morning.

Returning back to her spot in the tree, she sees a pot with a silver parachute. A
present from a sponsor! At last, Haymitch has come through. It's a good gift: high-tech
ointment for her burn. She spreads it on her calf and hands, and they magically

Katniss whispers Rue's name to give her a heads up about the nest. They lock eyes,
and Katniss holds up her knife. Rue nods and disappears, leaping from tree to tree. So
that's why she got such a high score in training.

Dawn breaks, and Katniss saws off the remaining branch. The nest crashes to the
ground, and immediately Katniss gets three stings. She takes out the stingers.

On the ground, there is chaos. Most of the Tributes run for the lake, but the girl
Glimmer gets stung and goes berserk. Eventually she falls to the ground, twitching

With everyone cleared out, Katniss runs in the opposite direction of the lake. She feels
the effects of the stingers: swelling and pain. She still has enough sense, though, to
grab Glimmer's bow and arrows.

Struggling with Glimmer's body for the bow, Katniss starts hallucinating big time. The
Career Tributes return, and she sees Peeta. He is shimmering. He screams at her to
run so she does.

More hallucinations: ants crawling all over Katniss. She trips and falls into a small pit
and can only think: "Peeta Mellark just saved my life" (14.31). Then everything goes

Chapter 15

How It All Goes Down

Katniss is wracked with fearful nightmares: Prim dying, her father too. When she at
last wakes, she is damp, in a hole filled with leaves.

How long has she been out? Who survived the attack? No way to tell.

Katniss plucks the nectar from a honeysuckle to get the foul taste from her mouth and
is reminded of her talk with Gale on the last morning. You know, the one where he
suggested running away together

Then she thinks of Peeta. Did he really save her life? Does that mean he
actually does love her? Nothing makes sense.

Confused by all the boy stuff, Katniss focuses on the positive: she now has bow and
arrows! This makes her a predator instead of prey.

After treating her wounds with the ointment, Katniss heads out for water and food. She
kills a rabbit and then finds a stream. After washing, Katniss kills a bird and follows the
stream for a bit and then cooks her food.
That's when she hears a twig snap. Who is it? Rue.

Katniss gives Rue some food and Rue treats Katniss's burns with some leaves she's
carrying. Rue is from an agricultural district, so she knows all about treating tracker
jacker stings.

The two form an alliance. Katniss knows this would probably make Haymitch groan,
but in all honesty the little girl reminds her of Prim.

The two eat groosling the bird Katniss killed. Rue is stoked to have so much to eat
because, as Katniss learns, food is scarce in her district. The two talk about the
differences in their districts and Katniss wonders if the Gamemakers are censoring their

The two combine food supplies and Rue has collected quite a few berries. Score!

Rue also sees the sunglasses that Katniss had in her pack and shows her how to use
them: they're actually night vision glasses. Sweet.

The two settle in a tree for the night and Katniss shares her sleeping bag with Rue. She
also finds out that she was knocked out by the tracker jacker venom for two days.

Katniss also tells Rue about Peeta saving her life. Rue says she's been spying on the
Career Tributes and that Peeta is no longer with them.

Katniss tries out her snazzy night vision glasses and Rue tells her that the Career
Tributes have two pairs of their own.

Rue is worried that the Career Tributes are too strong, but Katniss tells her that she
and Rue are strong too. Just in a different way. She and Katniss are strong because
they know how to be hungry.

Rue points out that the Career Tributes aren't hungry because they have so many
supplies. This leads Katniss to start formulating a plan.

Chapter 16

How It All Goes Down

Katniss is contemplative: she's happy to be teaming up with Rue, but knows in the
back of her mind that both can't survive. She's also excited about the plan they're
forming to take the Career Tribute's food.

Katniss falls asleep, but is jolted awake by the shot of the cannon. Another tribute

The two eat breakfast (raw eggs! yum) and then devise a strategy as they hunt. Rue
tells Katniss that the Career Tributes have their base down by the lake and that the
food stash is right out in the open and guarded by only one person: the boy from
District 3.

This is all very interesting to Katniss. They must have it rigged somehow.

As the girls forage for food, Katniss learns more about Rue: she is the oldest of six kids
and loves music more than anything else in the world.

Rue sings with the mockingjays in her district, who carry musical messages for her and
spread them around the orchard. Like when it's quitting time for the workers.

Katniss tries to give Rue her mockingjay pin, but Rue says no. She has her own token,
a grass necklace with a charm.
The two eventually come up with a plan and Rue teaches Katniss the mockingjay
signal. If she hears it from the birds, she'll know that Rue is OK. Rue hugs Katniss and
the two part ways to execute the plan.

What's the plan, you ask? OK, OK, fine. The first part: Katniss is going to spy on the
Career Tributes at their base from a copse at the edge of the woods.

She does this. There are four tributes at the base: a boy from District 1, Cato, a girl
from District 2, and a guy from District 3. The supplies have been put in a pyramid far
away from the camp.

Katniss finds this all kind of puzzling. What is protecting the pyramid of supplies? Must
be booby-trapped.

Now, the second part of the plan gets underway (you knew there was a second part,
right?): Rue sets a fire some distance off to lure the Career Tributes away from the

They take the bait and head for the smoke, leaving the camp empty. As they head out,
Katniss hears Cato say that Peeta, a.k.a. "Lover Boy" (16.60), is probably hiding in the
woods somewhere but is too wounded to be a threat to the supplies.

Katniss tries to figure out what to do shoot an arrow into the supplies when
another tribute appears: the fox faced girl. She runs an intricate path around and then
up to the pyramid, fills her pack, and then doing the same weird dance runs away.

That's when Katniss figures it out: there are landmines around the pyramid. The
tribute from District 3 is from a factory region and must know how to use explosives.
She guesses he got the mines from the ones that were used in the arena by the
Gamemakers on the first day. He must have reactivated them.

Katniss sees Rue's second fire and knows her time is running out. That's when she sees
a bag of apples and knows that if she shoots it, the whole thing will fall and set off the

Three arrows later, the apples are spilling, the mines are exploding, and Katniss is
blown back into the air.

Chapter 17

How It All Goes Down

The pyramid is blown to bits, but escape proves difficult: Katniss is dizzy and wobbly
and can't hear in her ears (one of which is bleeding).

With explosions still going off, Katniss manages to drag herself back into the bushes of
the copse when the Career Tributes return.

Cato throws a massive tantrum and snaps the neck of the boy from District 3.
Seriously. The other tributes are pointing to the sky when Katniss realizes that they
must think whoever set off the explosion is dead.

The sun goes down and the anthem plays: that's when the Career Tributes realizes
that the bomber must have survived. (Their picture, after all, was not projected into
the sky.)

The Career Tributes head out to hunt the bomber, but Katniss stays right where she is.
She puts on her night vision glasses and eats some food. She thinks about the eight
remaining players and drifts off to sleep freezing in the cold with no sleeping bag.
Katniss wakes to the sound of a laugh (she must be regaining at least a little hearing):
it's Foxface, who has managed to scavenge through the rubble of the pyramid for some

Katniss thinks about either enlisting her help or killing her, but before she can do either
Foxface runs away.

Katniss heads back to the meeting point, but Rue is not there. She scales a tree and
waits for her. Growing impatient, Katniss decides to head to the spot where Rue was to
set the third fire.

There's no Rue there, and the firewood has not been set. Something has gone wrong.

Where is she? If she had died there would have been a canon shot. Katniss decides to
find her. All of a sudden she hears Rue's signal from a mockingjay. That must mean
she's alive and OK!

Katniss starts to follow the bird when she hears a girl scream. It's Rue. Is it a trap?
Katniss breaks into the clearing where the scream came from and sees Rue caught in a

Rue calls Katniss's name and then suddenly, a spear is run through Rue. (Everybody:

Chapter 18

How It All Goes Down

Before Rue's attacker (the boy from District 1) can pull out the spear, Katniss shoots
him dead with an arrow.

The dying Rue takes Katniss's hand and tells her she has to win. She asks Katniss to
sing to her. Grab your hankies, 'cause Katniss sings a simple lullaby about meadows
and a willow tree from her district.

The mockingjays take up the song, Rue's cannon fires, and Katniss cries. She
remembers Gale's ranting about the Capitol and the injustice of what they do. She
remembers Peeta's words too about how he didn't want the Capitol to own him.

Katniss decides to do the only thing she can: she gathers lots of beautiful wildflowers
and decorates Rue's body with them to show the world Rue is not just there for their
entertainment. She is a person.

As Katniss walks away, she hears a mockingjay singing Rue's song. Now Rue really is
safe, Katniss thinks. A parachute lands in front of Katniss and it's a small loaf of bread.
It comes from District 11, Rue's home.

Katniss thanks the people of District 11 out loud. She climbs up a tree and eats the
bread and sleeps.

That night Katniss dreams of Rue. She teaches her songs.

The next day Katniss is a bit discombobulated. She re-arranges her supplies and heads
back to the stream. She lights Rue's fire to roast some kill but no one shows up. Why?
Where is everyone?

Katniss climbs a tree and settles in for the night. She realizes that Rue's attacker was
her actual first kill.

After the anthem, the Hunger Games announcer, Claudius Templesmith's voice booms
out, congratulating the six remaining players.
Then he drops a bombshell: a rule change! He declares that the last TWO tributes alive
will be the winners this year.

WHAT?! Before she can stop herself, Katniss yells out Peeta's name.