Most people may not have heard of the plant called katniss until reading the book, The Hunger Games. In fact, many people may even wonder what is katniss and is it a real plant? Katniss plant is not only a real plant but you have likely seen it many times before and growing katniss in your garden is easy.
What is Katniss?
Katniss plant (Sagittaria sagittifolia) actually goes by many names such as arrowhead, duck potato, swan potato, tule potato, and wapato. The botanical name is Sagittaria. Most katniss species have arrow-shaped leaves but in a few species the leaf is long and ribbon like. Katniss has white three-petaled flowers that will grow on a long, upright stalk.
There are about 30 species of katniss. Several species are considered invasive in some areas so when planting katniss in your garden, make sure that you double check that the variety you have selected is not invasive.
The tubers of katniss are edible and have been used by Native Americans for generations as a food source. They are eaten much like potatoes.
Where Do Katniss Plants Grow?
Different forms of katniss can be found in most parts of the United States and are native to North America. Most katniss plants are also considered marginal or bog plants. This means that while they can survive in a non-swampy area, they prefer to grow in wet and boggy areas. It is not uncommon to see these striking plants growing in ditches, ponds, marshes, or the edge of streams.
In your own garden, katniss is an excellent choice for a rain garden, a bog garden, a water garden, and for low lying areas of your yard that may get flooded from time to time.
How to Grow Katniss
As mentioned above, katniss should be planted in areas where its roots will be in standing water at least some part of the year. They prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade; however, if you grow it in a shady location, the plant will flower less. Once its roots have taken hold, katniss plant needs little other care, provided they get sufficiently wet soil occasionally.
Once established, katniss will naturalize in your garden. They spread by either self-seeding or rhizomes. If you wish to keep katniss from spreading too far, be sure to remove the flower stalks as soon as flowering has faded and divide the plant every few years to keep it a manageable size. If you choose to try growing a potentially invasive variety of katniss, consider planting it in a container that can then be submerged into the water or buried in the soil.
You can plant katniss in your garden with either divisions or seeds. Divisions are best planted in spring or early fall. Seeds can be sown in spring or fall. They can be direct seeded to the location you wish for the plant to grow or can be started in a pan that has dirt and standing water.
If you wish to harvest the tubers of the plant, this can be done at any time, though your harvest may be better midsummer through fall. Katniss tubers can be harvested by simply pulling the plants up from where they are planted. The tubers will float to the surface of the water and can be collected.
Whether you are a fan of the plucky heroine of The Hunger Games or just looking for a nice plant for your water garden, now that you know a little more about just how easy growing katniss is, you can add it to your garden.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Learn how to maximize the potential of your garden plantings with tips on everying from bed prep to design to maintenance.
Most of us probably remember this popular nursery rhyme Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? While we aren't likely to be growing silver bells, cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row, we are interested in how our gardens grow. Gardening tends to be a skill that is learned best by doing. This isn't to say that reading isn't a great way to learn about gardening, but going out and applying what you've read to your own garden is the only way to learn what works best for you. Each and every garden is unique and it will take time to learn the ins and outs and secrets of your own little plot of land. Remember, don't consider a dead plant a failure, look at it as a learning experience. I am currently having a learning experience or three of my own! Every great gardener has killed his or her fair share of plants.
As different as each garden is, there are topics that will need to be addressed in every garden. Below are some tips on the main areas that need to be addressed to garden successfully. This article will deal with in-ground plantings, for container garden specific tips and tricks, click here.
The base for any garden is the soil. Good soil makes gardening MUCH easier. Unfortunately, good soil can be frustratingly difficult to find. If you've tried to garden and have had little luck, the most likely issue is your soil. Undisturbed soil is composed of several layers. The top layer is topsoil (tricky name, I know) and under that is subsoil. Topsoil is the best soil and is what plants grow in. Subsoil isn't nearly as good for growing plants. Often when a home is constructed the builder pays no attention to topsoil versus subsoil. Thus the soil at the surface of your yard and garden is just as likely to be subsoil as it is to be topsoil. Subsoil is difficult to grow plants in, if you don't improve it. If you have tried and failed to garden, don't blame a black thumb, take a closer look at your soil conditions.
Getting into the nitty gritty details of soil can be really intimidating for many gardeners. However, understanding a few basics will really improve your ability to garden effectively. Soil is composed of rock, gravel, sand, clay and organic matter. How these components combine to create your specific soil will tell you a lot about your garden. A soil test, which can be conducted by your county cooperative extension agent, is a great way to get basic information on your soil and recommendations to improve it.
Soil will fall into a few major categories sand, clay, silt and loam are the four big ones. If you have silt or loam soil, you are sitting pretty. If you have sand or clay soils, then you may want to improve your soil prior to planting. If you learn nothing else about improving soil, know that adding organic matter, such as compost, will improve ANY soil. Understanding and improving your soil, may be the best thing you can do for your garden.
Organic matter is a critical component of any soil for growing plants, because it improves drainage and adds nutrients to your soil. Compost is a great way to add organic matter. There are several ways to get compost for your garden. You can buy bagged compost at a garden center, but I would first check with your local municipality to see if they have compost available. This material can be very low cost or even free and is usually available in bulk rather than bagged. However, better than buying compost is creating your own. Don't worry compost is one of those things that sounds harder than it actually is. Compost is simply plant material breaking down over time to create a soil-like substance and truthfully, compost happens by letting Mother Nature do her job. You can make it happen faster by mixing together different types of plant matter and kitchen waste (brown and green) in specific ratios, but if you leave a pile of plants lie long enough it will become compost. We have an article that covers the basics of creating your own compost (the lazy way of composting) and another one that goes into more details on the process (the fast way to get compost).
When designing your garden it is good to know a few basic design principles. There are two basic types of garden beds, island beds and borders. Island beds are garden spaces that you can walk completely around and have an anchor in the middle of the bed. The anchor can be a shrub, tree, large perennial, fountain or garden statuary. Island beds are meant to be viewed from all angles. Borders are viewed from one side and are anchored by a backdrop such as a wall, fence or hedgerow.
There are also two styles of gardens, formal and informal. Geometric shapes and limited, controlled plant palettes charactherize formal gardens. Informal gardens, tend to have free flowing shapes, utilize more colors and with less rigid planting concepts. This article covers both garden types and styles.
Color is one of the most important considerations when it comes to your garden. The most crucial aspect of color is that YOU like it. However, it can be helpful to understand some color basics.
After you've considered your soil and basic garden design, it is time to create your garden beds. If you are starting from scratch, you first need to create the outline of your bed. Using a garden hose is a great way to see how your bed will be shaped and it allows you to tweak the layout until you have the right size and shape. After determining the shape of the bed, you need to kill the existing vegetation, turn the soil over, add compost, and then top dress with more compost or mulch. This article explains this topic further.
Rather than starting from scratch, you may be planting an existing garden bed. If that bed has no existing plants, then the first step is to top dress with compost and then turn it into the soil before planting. Once again, you will want to top dress with more compost or mulch to preserve moisture and prevent weeds.
You also might be planting an existing bed that includes perennials or shrubs. These beds are a bit trickier than the previous types. You do still want to add organic matter if possible. Put a couple of inches of compost around existing plants, being careful to keep the compost from getting up against the stems of the plants as this can cause issues. If possible, work the compost into the top layer of soil, but not so deeply that you harm the roots of the plants. You can also leave the compost sitting on top of the soil. Over time, it will still add nutrients and will be naturally incorporated into your soil. Any areas without existing plants, add compost into the soil as before.
Another option for gardeners are raised beds, which can improve drainage and make garden chores less taxing.
Once the bed is ready for plants, I usually start by placing each plant, while in it's pot, in the right place in the bed. This allows me to see if I like the arrangement and to make changes, if needed. I then dig holes for each container, trying to make the hole twice as large as the pot to encourage good root growth. Add a bit of water in the bottom of the hole, place the plant in the hole, then fill in around the plant with the loose soil, tapping it lightly to settle it around the plant. If possible, use some of the garden soil to cover the top of the root ball of the plant. This will help keep the plants from drying out too quickly. As I am planting, I often give each a light trim, to encourage branching. This isn't necessary, but often results in even better growth. After initial planting, extra care should be taken for a bit, while the plants get established. For more in-depth information on planting and caring for newly planted items, click here.
Watering is one of the keys to keeping plants looking good long term. When it comes to watering landscapes the basic thing to remember is that it is better to water deeply less often than it is to water a little bit more often. Deep watering encourages deep root growth, which means that you will have to water less often. In general, garden beds need about an inch of water each week. This article will cover how much and when to water in further detail. There are also many different options when it comes to dispensing water. Learn more about your irrigation options here.
We have already touched briefly on fertilizing when we covered compost. However, there are certainly other ways to deliver nutrition to your plants. In general, we suggest using a well-balanced fertilizer in both your garden and containers. While it may be enticing to choose a "bloom booster" fertilizer, we firmly believe that if you take care of the plant, then the blooms will follow. A well-balanced fertilizer will not only provide what the plant needs, but what is needed for great blooming. For suggestions on which fertilizer to use and what to look for in a good fertilizer click here. If your garden has a tendency to fade as the summer progresses, regular fertilization can be just the thing to boost energy and keep the plants looking their best.
One of the guiding principles when Proven Winners ® is choosing plants is that they will perform all summer while being easy-to-grow. To that end, almost all of our annuals will bloom all summer without deadheading. We know you, like us, are most likely time starved and you would probably prefer that what little time you have for your garden is spent enjoying it, rather than performing chores. However, most perennials and some shrubs will still bloom more if deadheaded.
As the summer goes on, annuals will sometimes begin to look leggy or open. In most cases, when this happens the best thing to do is to give the plants a trim. Using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut off up to 1/3 of the plant. I realize that this will likely mean that you are removing all of the blooms. It is often best to sacrifice the blooms for a week or two, to get more blooms the rest of the season. Trimming will encourage additional branching and additional branching will equal more flowers. After trimming back plants, I will usually give them an application of water soluble fertilizer to give them an energy boost, which helps jumpstart new growth.
Sometimes plants will go out of flower and you won't know why. When this happens the cause is most likely soil, light, water, temperature, nutrition or a combination of two or more of these factors, although, insects can also affect blooming. For more complete information on why plants go out of flower and, more importantly, how to get them back into flower click here.
A beautiful garden is wonderful thing, but even a gorgeous garden isn't perfect. Remember whatever issues you had this year (and there are bound to be issues), there's always next season to try again. I think that hope for next season is one of the things that makes gardening such a wonderful activity. Here's to a great garden season!
Make A Date To Visit
See the daily lineup of activities, exhibits, events and classes at the Garden.
Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond Studio make public garden debut with Wind, Water and Earth at Desert Botanical Garden.
Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond Studio make public garden debut with Wind, Water and Earth at Desert Botanical Garden.
Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond Studio make public garden debut with Wind, Water and Earth at Desert Botanical Garden.
Music in the Garden Spring Concert Series is back. Safely listen to toe-tapping tunes while taking in breathtaking desert sunset views.
Katniss's father was a miner and illegal hunter who traded on the black market in District 12. Her mother is a healer, the daughter of the town Apothecary owners. Katniss's younger sister is Primrose, who is four years younger than she is.
When Katniss was a child her father would bring her out into the woods beyond District 12 to teach her how to hunt with a bow and arrow, as well as how to forage for edible plants. He would sometimes bring her to a lake far into the woods where she learned how to swim. It was on one of these lake visits that Mr. Everdeen introduced Katniss to the edible plant she was named after, and told her, "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve."
Katniss was close to her father as a child and shared his appreciation for music when she was a child. He was a good singer, so good that the mockingjays in the woods would stop to listen to him and copy his tunes. At some point, he taught her a song called "The Hanging Tree", a song about a man calling for his lover to meet him in death. When Katniss's mother heard her singing it, she banned the song from their home and forbade Katniss to sing it again outside the home.
When Katniss was 11, her father died in a mining accident, causing her mother to fall into a deep depression and sadness. Unable to stir her mother from her bed, Katniss became the head and primary breadwinner of the family. In order to be resourceful, Katniss made their rations last as long as possible. When they ran out she attempted to sell some old clothes to make some money, to no avail. She tried to look in the garbage bins of the houses in the town square but was rebuked by the baker's wife for snooping. Peeta Mellark, the baker's son, gave Katniss some burnt bread that he'd been told to give to the pig. It is implied that Peeta burnt the bread specifically so he could give it to Katniss to save her life.
Katniss begins to remember the knowledge her father taught her about the woods and about feeding herself. As she gains the courage to move deeper into the forest, she finds more game and is better able to feed her family. Katniss's mother begins to come back out of her depression, but Katniss can no longer trust her or rely on her. When she turned 12, Katniss signed up for Tesserae, causing her name to be entered four times in her first reaping. Despite this, Katniss is not chosen as tribute.
In the woods, Katniss meets Gale Hawthorne, an older boy whose father died in the same mining accident that killed her father. Gale has provided for his family by setting traps and snares to catch game. The two eventually become a team and Katniss provides Gale with one of the bows her father made she teaches him how to shoot and he teaches her about snares. Katniss is not very interested in politics but Gale is a political radical who dreams of an uprising against the oppressive Capitol. Katniss lets him vent to her but is otherwise unmoved. The two agree to protect each other's families if one of them is reaped.
Katniss, like all children in Panem, is required to attend school except on certain holidays, including the Reaping. Unsure of her social skills and uninterested in making friends, Katniss's only school friend is Madge Undersee, though Katniss feels they are more like acquaintances than friends as they rarely talk and mostly just sit together at mealtimes and in classes. It is clear that Madge thinks well of Katniss and cares about her safety.
74th Hunger Games
Katniss during The Hunger Games.
The Mockingjay Pin
In the book, Madge Undersee gave Katniss the pin during their final goodbyes. Madge asked her to use the pin as her District token for the hunger games.
In the movie, Katniss goes to some shop, presumably The Hob, and some old lady (maybe Greasy Sae) gave her the pin for free. Before the reaping, Katniss gave the pin to Prim, to help her feel safer. During the final goodbyes, Prim gives the pin back to Katniss.
When she was 16 years old, Katniss volunteered to take her sister, Primrose Everdeen's place in the 74th Hunger Games after Prim's name was called during the reaping. Originally, she had no intention of going into the games, hoping she wouldn't be picked before the female tribute was chosen. It had not even crossed her mind, but, when her sister was picked, she volunteered to save her, in hopes that she could actually win. In the book and film, Prim was actually worried about being picked, but Katniss thought that was impossible since she hadn't taken any tesserae and her name was only entered once. The impossible happened whether Prim had taken any or not. The male tribute was from the town bakery, Peeta Mellark, who had once risked a beating to save Katniss and her family from starvation by gifting them some burnt bread.
Before she leaves for the Capitol, Katniss goes to the Justice Building to say her final goodbyes to her mother, Gale, Prim, Madge Undersee, and Mr. Mellark. When she says goodbye to her mother and Prim, Prim makes her promise to try to win, so Katniss complies and tells her mother to make a promise that she won't leave Prim alone to take care of herself. Her mother tries to explain to Katniss that she was ill, but Katniss still makes her promise to take care of Prim, and she finally complies. Madge Undersee comes in to say her final goodbye to her by giving her the mockingjay pin. The baker, Peeta's father, comes in and gives her cookies, a luxury, and tells her he will not let her family starve. Gale tries to give her a final piece of advice but is dragged out before he can finish, leaving Katniss to wonder about the thing Gale wanted to say so badly. The district escort, Effie Trinket, then takes Peeta and Katniss aboard the train to The Capitol. On their way, Katniss and Peeta meet their drunken mentor, Haymitch Abernathy.
When Katniss arrives at the Capitol, she gets prepared for the parade through the city streets. She is fussed over by her prep team, which consists of Octavia, Flavius and Venia. She then meets her stylist, Cinna, who comes up with an idea that would amaze all of Panem and make Katniss and Peeta unforgettable. Cinna dresses her up in a black unitard to represent coal and lights her and Peeta with synthetic fire that does not burn them. After the parade, they are escorted to their residence. At dinner time, Katniss meets a haunting face from the past, a girl who she didn't get to save, who has now become an Avox.
The next morning, Katniss goes down to the Training Center to prepare for the games. Haymitch advises her not to show her all of her skills until the private sessions with the Gamemakers. During training, Katniss and Peeta notice they are being followed by a little girl named Rue, from District 11.
During the private session, Katniss shows the Gamemakers her skills with a bow and arrow. Katniss shoots at the practice dummy but misses. She is angered because the first shot went wrong as she was not accustomed to the bow she was using. The Gamemakers start ignoring her and pay more attention to a roast pig since she is from District 12, a district that is not known for producing many victors. Along with that, she was the last person who got to show their skills. Out of frustration, Katniss targets the apple in the roasted pig's mouth, successfully hitting it, causing reactions of shock and amazement among the Gamemakers. Katniss is, at first, outraged at her own behavior, later thinking she shouldn't have shot the pig, crying in her bed. However, Katniss scores an 11 for her fiery temper and attitude, and is surprised later on.
While preparing for interview night, Katniss is stressed out by Haymitch and Effie trying to prepare her. Cinna dresses her in a dress covered in jewels that make her look like she is being engulfed by flames whenever she moves. He gives her advice before she does her interview, being the only one she truly likes and respects. She is interviewed by Caesar Flickerman and she talks about her stay in the Capitol. She becomes something of a celebrity in Panem and is given the advantage of sympathy after Peeta admits to all of Panem that he loves her, making Katniss blush at first, then get extremely angry and shoving Peeta before calming down and apologizing.
Into the arena
Katniss with Caesar Flickerman.
The night before the Games, she is terrified of the horrors that await her in the arena. She goes to the rooftop and talks with Peeta. Peeta tells her that he wants to die as himself and show that he is more than just a piece in the Capitol's Games. Katniss is enraged and leaves when he doubts he will win.
On the day of the Games, Cinna dresses Katniss in her uniform for the games. While waiting to launch, Katniss and Cinna talk to each other. He tells Katniss that he can't bet on any tributes due to his part in the preparation of the Games, but if he could, he would bet on her. Katniss finds some confidence in this and the speaker announces the tributes to launch.
When the Games begin, Katniss gets away from the Cornucopia quickly, trying to follow the advice of her mentor, but getting into a minor tussle with the District 9 male over an orange backpack which ends when the boy is cleaved in the back by Clove, the girl from District 2. The backpack contains a sleeping bag, a bottle of iodine along with a dropper (a chemical that purifies water), a water bottle, crackers, dried beef strips, wire, and a pair of night glasses that she first mistakes for sunglasses.
Katniss is almost killed in the bloodbath when Clove aims a knife at her head. She blocks it with her backpack and earns a knife as a result. Clove does not pursue her, and she heads back to the Cornucopia before all the good stuff is taken. Katniss runs into Foxface in the forest and they part ways in a panic. She also has a brief encounter with the District 10 Male, but runs in the opposite direction and he does not pursue her. Over the next few days, Katniss moves further and further away from the Cornucopia, though she is slowed down by dehydration. She nearly dies of thirst before she finds a small pond to drink from, stumbling onto it while she camouflages her bright orange backpack with mud so that it wouldn't draw too much attention.
Hunted by the Career Tributes
The next morning, she is awoken by a forest fire created by the Gamemakers, including fireballs that are flung at her. She survives the attack but suffers minor burns and cuts on her hands and a severe burn on her calf. She goes to sleep and is woken by the sound of footsteps. Katniss is briefly chased by the Career pack, consisting of Glimmer, Marvel, Cato, Clove, the female from District 4, and Peeta, and escapes up a tree. Cato tries to climb up after Katniss, but crashes to the ground because he is too heavy for the branches to hold. The Careers realize that they are all too heavy to climb the tree, so they decide to wait for her to come down.
Alliance with Rue
Suddenly, Rue appears high up in a neighboring tree and points to the tracker jacker nest above Katniss, showing her what to do with it.
The next morning before Katniss does anything, she warns Rue she is about to cut the nest down. Katniss cuts it down with the knife she got from Clove and the tracker jackers attack the Careers, killing Glimmer and the girl tribute from District 4. The Careers run to the lake after being stung by the tracker jackers. Katniss is also stung and starts to run in the other direction. Katniss remembers that Glimmer had a silver bow when the Careers attacked her (the only bow in the entire arena), so she goes back for it. She retrieves it from Glimmer's bloated body, but as she's about to run away, her hallucinations start occurring. A delusional Katniss is saved by Peeta when she's unable to coordinate herself to run from Cato, who is quickly approaching. After she runs away, she blacks out from the tracker jacker venom.
Katniss alliance with Rue.
When Katniss wakes up, she finds out that she's being watched by Rue, the female tribute from District 11. She then proposes an alliance with Rue. She says Rue reminds her of Prim, in both size and demeanor. She tries to give Rue her pin, but Rue says no, saying that that was how she came to trust Katniss in the first place, seeing the mockingjay on her pin. Katniss and Rue then plan to destroy the Careers' food and supply pile, with Katniss figuring that the Careers have had plenty of food their whole lives and that they would struggle if a direct food supply was taken away from them. Rue provides a distraction while Katniss checks out the Career camp. She discovers that the food is protected by landmines (with the help of Foxface, the District 5 tribute), and shoots a sack that spills apples onto the ground, setting off all of the landmines. Nearly everything is destroyed and due to the explosion and her relative proximity, Katniss becomes deaf in her left ear, though this injury is later surgically repaired.
Death of Rue
Katniss goes to the woods, listening for Rue. Her four note melody rings out through the woods from Mockingjays, but she suddenly cries out for Katniss. Katniss runs through the trees to find Rue entangled in a mesh net, one arm sticking out before a spear is thrown into her abdomen by the boy from District 1, whose name is later revealed to be Marvel. Katniss shoots an arrow at Marvel's neck, killing him. Katniss then goes over to comfort Rue, Katniss promises she'll win for the both of them and sings the valley song, ‘Deep in the Meadow’, that she sang to comfort Prim the morning of the reaping.
Katniss giving the silent salute in the arena.
Rue dies after Katniss finishes the song. Seeing Rue dead angers her because of the fact that the Capitol enjoys watching innocent children die. To make Rue an example, Katniss picks white flowers and decorates Rue's body with them, hiding the wound and weaving them into her hair. When she finishes, Katniss realizes how peaceful Rue looks and does the signature District 12 farewell gesture to Rue. Later, this is seen as an act of defiance to the Capitol. She then takes Rue and Marvel's backpacks, knowing that she would have wanted Katniss to have them.
By the time of the announcement that two tributes from the same district can win, Katniss's left ear is completely deafened. She cries out for Peeta, but then suddenly regrets it, realizing the potential danger. She seeks out Peeta and finds him hiding in the mud of a riverbank, totally camouflaged. He's suffering from a severe cut on his leg that Cato gave him, tracker jacker stings, and multiple burns. She washes him off at the river, treats the burns and stings, but cannot do anything for his leg but stuff leaves into it, drawing out infection and pus. Katniss does everything she can to care for him, but he eventually gets blood poisoning. Once Katniss and Peeta hear the news about the Feast Peeta makes Katniss promise that she will not risk her life for him saying that he wouldn't be doing him a favor either.
Katniss kisses Peeta in the cave to gain the support of sponsors
A feast is then announced by the Gamemakers near the Cornucopia, where Katniss will find the item she needs most, as do all of the other tributes as well: the medicine needed to cure Peeta's blood poisoning. Katniss, knowing that going to the feast will be dangerous, insists on going, though Peeta refuses to let her. Immediately afterward, Katniss receives sleeping syrup from their sponsors and tricks Peeta into consuming it by mixing the sleep syrup with berries, telling him it's "sugar berries." Precisely after eating the berries, he passes out for 24 hours, giving Katniss enough time to go to the feast and get the medicine for his leg.
At the feast, Katniss's forehead gets cut by a knife that Clove threw at her. She taunts Katniss about Rue's death and Peeta's predicament. Clove tells her that Cato let her "have Katniss," but made her promise to give the audience a "good show". Just as she is about to make the first cut at Katniss' lip, Clove is hurled away from her by Thresh, the boy from Rue's district, who slams a large rock into her head after accusing her of "cutting up" Rue. Katniss is surely afraid of what Thresh will do to her, but because of her alliance with Rue, he allows her to escape. He does not want to owe Katniss anymore and states that they are now even. She flees the feast with her life, and returns to the cave to heal both Peeta and her own wounds.
While they are both recovering, they see that Thresh has been presumably killed at the hands of Cato. During one night of rain, Katniss asks Peeta when he started loving her. Peeta tells her it was their first day of school when he heard Katniss sing the Valley Song. After the storm ended, the two went hunting. When Katniss whistled for Peeta and he did not answer, she ran towards him and the two argue for a bit until a cannon fires. Peeta had gathered deadly nightlock berries, that he didn't know were poisonous. Katniss expects Peeta to die, but it appears he hasn't eaten any yet. They see the body of the girl from District 5, whom Katniss nicknamed "Foxface", being taken away. A few days later, the river is found empty, as well as the ponds. They figure out that the Gamemakers want them to go to the lake.
The Death of Cato
When they make it there, they wait a few hours for Cato, the only other remaining tribute, to arrive. They are almost going to give up when he runs towards them. When Katniss sees that he is running away from a pack of wolf muttations, she and Peeta immediately ran away with him toward the Cornucopia. They reach the Cornucopia and scale it, though one of the mutts manages to injure Peeta. Once at the top of the horn, Cato finally gets back to his senses and fights Katniss. He overpowers the duo and strangles Peeta to the edge. Katniss shoots Cato on the back of his hand and he releases Peeta. Peeta then pushes him off so he wouldn't attack them again. Cato is later disarmed by the mutts and gnawed at, being left to suffer. After some time, Katniss decides to kill him out of pity, not vengeance. It is then announced that the rule of two tributes winning if they are from the same district has been revoked and so she and Peeta must fight to the death.
Winners Katniss and Peeta watch as a hovercraft descends to pick them up.
They pitifully realize that the former was just a ruse. Katniss aims her bow at Peeta when she sees he has picked up a weapon, but immediately drops it when he proceeds to throw it into the lake. Feeling guilty, she then takes out some of the nightlock berries and gives a handful to Peeta, and the two of them threaten to commit double suicide so there will be no winner.
They later discover the Capitol sees this as an act of rebellion. The plan works and both her and Peeta are crowned victors of the 74th Hunger Games.
Katniss is crowned victor.
After their final interviews and dinner, they board a train that takes them home. Katniss is confused about her feelings for Peeta and becomes even more confused the closer they get to home.
In Catching Fire, Katniss is back in District 12 living in the Victors' Village with her mother, Prim, and Buttercup, and neighbors Peeta and Haymitch. Soon, she and Peeta will have to leave again for the Victory Tour where the winners of the previous Hunger Games travel to each district and make various appearances and public speeches. During much of the day, Katniss is bored with her new life, because now she has everything: money, a good home, and a constant supply of food. One day after Katniss returns
Katniss' conversation with President Snow.
home from hunting game outside of the district, she is visited by President Snow, the president of Panem. He explains to Katniss that during the last Hunger Games when she tried to commit double suicide with Peeta by eating poisonous nightlock, she ignited a possible uprising in the districts. President Snow and Katniss have a lengthy conversation about the fact that if she doesn't convince the districts that she made the decision out of temporary lovesickness, then he will personally make sure she suffers.
Katniss, now convinced she has started a fire she cannot control, tries her best to convince everyone that she and Peeta are madly in love. When she and Peeta finally set off for the Victory Tour, everything is going smoothly and Peeta has agreed with Katniss that outside of being star-crossed lovers, they should try to be friends. When the tour arrives at their first destination, District 11, Katniss tells everyone the story of how Thresh spared her life, and how Rue became a
Katniss and Peeta giving a speech to District 11.
valued ally during the Games. After her speech, an old man whistles her and Rue's four-note tune that meant they were safe, and that signals the end of the workday in District 11, the crowd simultaneously does a traditional District 12 gesture to show their thanks to Katniss. Soon after Katniss finishes her speech, a Peacekeeper shoots the man who whistled in the head, along with two others.
Near the end of the Tour, they visit the Capitol and when she and Peeta are being interviewed by Caesar, Peeta performs a fake proposal to Katniss, which she accepts. President Snow makes a surprise visit to congratulate Katniss and Peeta. He motions to Katniss that she was unsuccessful in convincing their love. President Snow decides to hold their wedding in the Capitol. There is a party held in the banquet room of his mansion. Katniss there learns that in order to taste each and every dish the people of Capitol drink a clear liquid which causes them to vomit and empty their stomachs in order to continue eating and do this again and again. This disturbs her since she had seen her mother treating emaciated children whose parents didn't have anything to afford for them, not even their medicine, and she was also poor before winning the games and had almost starved to death once. She is introduced to Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker by Portia. They then travel to District 12. Katniss suffers from nightmares throughout the night on the train, so Peeta sleeps in her bed to calm her and keeps her company. Finally, they get back to District 12 and a huge party is thrown for them at Mayor Undersee's house. While in the mayor's home, Katniss sees on his television that there is an uprising going on in District 8. Katniss arranges a secret meeting with Gale, during which he confesses his love for her. Gale gets angry and disappointed but before he leaves, Katniss accidentally tells him there was a rebellion in District 8. Gale then says that they could have a rebellion in District 12 as well, and he runs off to spread the news.
Katniss then goes to Peeta to ask him if he would run away with her and he agrees to go with her, but while they are discussing the plans, they see that Gale is being violently whipped in the square by an unfamiliar man.
Katniss steps in to stop the man, whose name is Romulus Thread, the Head Peacekeeper but he gives her a lash across the face. Katniss gets severely hurt. Eventually, the people of District 12, including many who frequent the Hob, convince Thread to stop whipping Gale. Haymitch steps in and holds her up and shouts at Romulus since she has a photo-shoot next week. In the movie, Haymitch and Peeta step in to save her.
Purnia, a female Peacekeeper, steps in, saying the proper amount of lashes has been given. Romulus warns all of them and leaves with the Peacekeepers including Darius, a male Peacekeeper who had been hit on the head by Thread and was lying unconscious. They manage to pick up Gale on a countertop provided by an old woman in her clothing stall. Katniss tells Leevy, a former neighbor, to call Hazelle, Gale's mother. Bristel and Thorn, Gale's crewmembers from the mine told everyone the situation. Gale had killed a wild turkey and went to Cray, the previous Head Peacekeeper to bid for it. Cray was lenient, alcoholic, and overlooked such crimes. But he was replaced by Romulus Thread and Gale didn't have any idea about it. Expecting Cray to pay him, he went to his house and found Thread there. Gale could not say much in his defense and was punished with whiplashes.
Darius, a Peacekeeper who was unconscious had stepped in first after 20 lashes saying that it was enough but didn't do it as smartly and officially as Purnia did and grabbed Thread's arm. In return, Thread hit him on his head with the butt of the whip forming a large purple lump on his head, making him unconscious.
Gale received forty lashes until Katniss showed up and he passed out at around thirty. Katniss and the others take Gale to her mother. Katniss's mother tries to soothe the pain by giving him medicine. Hazelle also comes there and sits beside her son. Madge brings her mother's box of vials containing Morphling, a kind of medicine. Mrs. Everdeen injects it into Gale. Later on that night, Katniss says she picks Gale but is still torn between him and Peeta. Katniss has a nightmare in which Clove turns into a mutt. She wakes up with a start, shivering. The conditions in District 12 worsen. People are punished for their crimes, mines are shut down for two weeks, etc.
Bonnie and Twill
Katniss realizes that she cannot stand to be at home, so she goes into the woods and heads to the lake. There, she meets two women named Bonnie and Twill who have run away from District 8. They say things like they are headed to District 13 since they believe that the district was not actually destroyed and there are people living there underground, the uprising in District 8 was a planned one. Their evidence was the fact that the Capitol always shows the same footage of a destroyed and demolished District 13 from 75 years ago, she realizes that what they said was the truth.
Katniss teaches them the essentials of surviving in a forest and gives them food to eat. When the evening comes, they leave and Katniss returns to District 12. However, she realizes that the fence to the district is now electrified and so she must climb a tree and jump from 25 feet in the air. She lands and hurts her tailbone and heel. She returns home to tell her mother how she fell after slipping on a patch of ice, but there are two Peacekeepers there waiting for her. They are surprised to see her because they knew she was in the forest and believed she would be trapped on the other side of the fence. They were waiting for her not to show up so they can bring her family in for questioning. Luckily, Haymitch, Peeta, and Prim were able to go along with a story to cover for her.
The Third Quarter Quell
Once she is healed, her prep team comes to help with her wedding fashion shoot, along with Cinna. She listens to them speak of how they have not had shrimp in the Capitol for weeks and realizes that other districts are rebelling. The next night, there is a view of the photo-shoot and a voting on which was the best dress and later there is an important announcement made by President Snow: in honor of the third Quarter Quell, for the 75th Hunger Games the tributes will be reaped from the existing pool of victors. Since District 12 has only three living winners, Peeta, Haymitch, and Katniss, and being the only female victor, she knows that she is now going to be forced to go back into the arena. She runs out of the house and into a basement of an empty one to scream, cry, and proceeds to shatter a window of the kitchen. This makes her hand bleed. She makes her way to Haymitch, where he already tells her Peeta has come to visit him, and told him that Peeta wants to go back into the arena to protect Katniss. She tells Haymitch that whatever they do, she wants Haymitch to make sure Peeta comes back alive. She and Haymitch get drunk. She returns in an inebriated state to her house and sees Gale at the doorway and Katniss passes out in his arms. She has a horrible hangover the next day and in the afternoon, she goes back to Haymitch's house, where Peeta has emptied all of his liquor and has threatened to turn them or anyone who gives them alcohol in. He tells them that they will be training for the Quarter Quell because two people will come back alive, and they begin to work out and study footage of past winners to see their competition.
Peeta and Katniss at District 12 before heading to the train.
On the day of the reaping, Katniss is the only choice for the female competitor, and the chosen male competitor is Haymitch. Peeta, however, volunteers to take his place. Instead of being able to tell their families goodbye, they are brought directly to the train and leave for the Capitol.
Once at the Capitol, they eat and meet their competitors. During training, Katniss befriends Wiress and Beetee Latier from District 3, who point out the force field used to separate the Gamemakers from the tributes. In her solo performance for the Gamemakers, Katniss sees Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker, and decides to tie a noose around a dummy's neck. With berry juice, she writes the name "Seneca Crane," the former Head Gamemaker who was hanged by orders of President Snow. She and Peeta both receive perfect 12s, which Haymitch explains was done to make sure the other tributes are gunning for both of them.
Katniss in her mockingjay outfit.
On the day of the interview, the prep team comes into Katniss' room and they start to cry they leave one by one. Then, only Venia is left. She does the job of the whole team. At last, Cinna comes in with her wedding gown from the photoshoot, specifically chosen by President Snow. She notes to Cinna that it's heavier than before, but he explains that he had to do some alterations and tells her not to lift her arms until she twirls on television. The interview atmosphere is different from the previous year. The tributes are speaking out against the Capitol, asking why President Snow is not stopping this if he is great and powerful. When Katniss comes on stage with the dress on, apologizing to the crowd for not letting them see her get married. She twirls and raises her arms and the wedding dress burns away to reveal a different dress underneath. When she looks towards a television, she realizes that Cinna has turned her into a mockingjay.
Although Caesar knows what the dress represents, they play it off as the bird on Katniss' token. When it comes to Peeta's turn to speak, he lies and tells the audience that he and Katniss are already married and that Katniss is pregnant. This drives the audience to madness and hysteria.
Right before the Games are to begin, Katniss is with Cinna and steps on the plate to be taken to the arena, where she is frozen in place. Suddenly three Peacekeepers enter the room, beat Cinna, and drag him out of the room. A frozen Katniss watches in horror but is then transported into the arena. In Mockingjay, it is revealed that Cinna was actually killed as a result of his injuries. The plate leaves her in the middle of blue water, which she realizes "is no place for a girl on fire." While retrieving a bow and arrows, she sees that Finnick is wearing a gold bracelet that once belonged to Haymitch and realizes that this was his way of telling her to form an alliance with Finnick. She and Peeta run into the jungle with Finnick, who carries his 80-year-old district partner, Mags.
As they are walking, searching for drinkable water, Katniss notices a shimmering square and realizes that it is a force field surrounding the arena. Before she can stop him, Peeta walks into it and is repelled back, knocking Mags and Finnick to the ground. Peeta is not breathing. Panicked, Katniss begins to slap him but his heart has stopped. Finnick helps by performing CPR and Peeta is eventually resuscitated. Finnick asks Katniss how she recognized the force field. She does not want to let them know she can spot them visually, worried that the Gamemakers might do something to retaliate, so she tells them she heard it with her repaired ear.
Escaping the Fog
Later that day she notices an unnatural, and poisonous fog in the distance. The mist from the fog causes blisters where it touches. When Peeta stumbles, she notices it also attacks the nerves, as his face droops and his legs stop working. Finnick agrees to carry Peeta if Katniss can carry Mags, which she agrees to. But after a while, Katniss cannot carry Mags anymore as her legs become paralyzed. Finnick comes back and tells Katniss he cannot carry them both. Mags kisses Finnick and runs into the fog, convulsing and dying. Over time, Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick help each other as they meet different challenges in the arena.
Alliance with Johanna, Wiress, and Beetee
Later, they meet Johanna Mason, whom Finnick runs to, and they hug. As Katniss and Peeta figure out what to do, they realize they cannot leave Finnick after all he has done, and go to Johanna instead. She has Wiress and Beetee with her. Beetee has received a knife in the back, while Wiress is spinning in a circle saying "Tick tock, tick tock," repeatedly. Johanna explains that Haymitch told her to bring them to Katniss for an alliance. Later that night, when Wiress restates "tick tock," Katniss begins to realize the arena is in the shape of a clock. She also remembers Plutarch Heavensbee showing her his clock watch and saying, "It begins at midnight," as an image of a mockingjay flashed on the watch face.
They go to the Cornucopia to see if they are correct and are proven to be right. While drawing up the map of the clock, Katniss realizes that Wiress has stopped singing because Gloss slit her throat, and turns with an arrow ready and hits Gloss in the temple, while Johanna buries an axe in Cashmere's chest. Katniss starts to realize that everyone is protecting Peeta and wonders if they believe that he can be the leader of the rebellion.
Later, Peeta tries to give Katniss a gold locket and tells her he wants her to win, because if she dies he has nothing to live for. They kiss, and she realizes that she loves Peeta and wants to fulfill her plan of keeping him alive.
The next day, after telling Peeta that they need to leave the alliance, he tells her to wait because he believes Beetee has a plan. The plan is to tie Beetee's wire around a tree that is struck by lightning and run the wire into the ocean, making the beach a conductor to electrocute everything in its path. Katniss and Johanna are in charge of running the wire down to the beach because they are the fastest, however, they are attacked by Brutus and Enobaria of District 2. Katniss is knocked in the head and through her blurred vision sees Johanna on top of her stabbing her arm, and telling her to stay down.
Katniss hears Finnick running but stays quiet so as not to alert him to her whereabouts, since she believes that he and Johanna have betrayed them. Realizing that Beetee was trying to blow up the forcefield, she wraps his wire around her bow and shoots it straight into the flaw in the forcefield at the exact moment when the lightning strikes the tree, blowing up the arena. After she is carried out of the arena and transported into a hovercraft, she lays there realizing that the Capitol will not let anyone live after this, and sees Plutarch Heavensbee coming over to her as she passes out.
She awakes in a hospital bed next to Beetee. She searches for Peeta, believing that the Capitol has captured them, and planning to kill Peeta to save him from being tortured. She blames Haymitch because he promised that he would save Peeta instead of her.
She passes a room and hears Plutarch talking to Finnick and Haymitch about getting someone out of District 4. She enters the room and Haymitch tells her that there was a plan to break them out the minute the Quell was announced. The victors from districts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 had varying degrees of knowledge about it. Plutarch had been for several years part of a group planning to overthrow the Capitol. The hovercraft they are in is from District 13, which is where they are headed. She tells them that Johanna tried to kill her, but Finnick explains that she was removing Katniss' tracker, and that all of the victor tributes in those districts have pledged their lives to her and the rebellion that she is the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion.
She realizes that Haymitch had lied to both her and Peeta. He tells her that everyone kept Peeta alive because they knew that if he died she would never keep an alliance with the others. She asks where Peeta is, and Haymitch tells her he was picked up, along with Johanna and Enobaria, by the Capitol. In horror and anger, she attacks Haymitch, scratching his face. Finnick and others strap her down and drug her to keep her calm. Finnick tells her that the Capitol will at least keep Peeta alive to use as bait against Katniss.
Later, Gale visits her. He tells her that after the Games, the Capitol sent bombers to District 12. He explains that he was able to get her family out in time, but District 12 has been destroyed.
District 13 Rebellion
Visiting District 12
In Mockingjay, Katniss is in what's left of District 13 Underground. She goes to visit the ruins of District 12 after the firebombing from the Capitol. She finds that Buttercup (Prim's cat) somehow survived the destruction of District 12. She takes Buttercup and hides him in her hunting bag as a comforting present to Prim who is in District 13 with her mother and the other residents of District 12 that survived the bombing. While examining her old room, she finds a white rose that was left by President Snow as a sign meaning that he was watching her, possibly right then.
Katniss in her home, District 12.
Becoming the Mockingjay
Katniss is stressed by everything that is happening but is comforted by Gale's presence. She gets used to life in District 13 and starts to like it. Katniss watches Peeta's interview with Caesar Flickerman and is filled with joy that Peeta is still alive and healthy. She runs off to a supply closet and hides there alone until Gale enters. The two talk about the situation, and that is when she decides that she will be "the mockingjay," a symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. As part of the deal, she demands that the leader of District 13, President Alma Coin, grant immunity to all of the victors of the Hunger Games. She demands the right to kill President Snow herself and asks for her family to keep their cat, Buttercup, and to hunt with Gale. After the meeting, Plutarch takes her and Gale downstairs where they are stopped by a guard due to a secret room. Gale makes a distraction, and Katniss rushes in and sees her prep team being held prisoner.
Katniss helps them recover by taking them to her mother for treatment. During the meeting held by President Coin for the announcement of her role and conditions, Katniss sees Finnick distracted and in grief. She calls for him but he doesn't answer. She shakes him to get his attention, and the two embrace each other. When Katniss is reminded of Annie, she tells Coin to pencil in Annie as one of the victors to receive immunity. Katniss is surprised by Coin's message during the meeting that, if she doesn't meet all of her obligations as the mockingjay, she and her friends and family are dead.
Skirmish in District 8
Katniss and Gale go hunting together like the old times, and they both enjoy it until they get in an argument over the fact that she cares for her prep team. Katniss leaves and is angry with Gale. She is being fixed by her prep team to make her look beautiful for the propo she will film as the mockingjay. When they finish, she and Gale go downstairs to the weapons room where Beetee is making weapons for the rebels. After she receives her weapons, she goes to the room where she will shoot her first propaganda, or propo. After she finishes, Haymitch goes on the speaker and tells them, "That is how you end a revolution." After a brief meeting, they decide to let Katniss speak for herself and to do it in action. Katniss suits up in her mockingjay uniform and heads to District 8 to shoot her first propaganda.
Katniss in the District 8 hospital.
During her visit, the hospital is attacked by the Capitol. The rebel forces fight back and are able to defeat them, but the hospital is destroyed. Katniss speaks her own words after the attack. After viewing the finished propaganda, she sees that it is strong. The group decides to shoot more and to send her back into combat as soon she feels up to it.
Katniss has dinner with Finnick in the hospital. Finnick comforts her, and they watch the propaganda again. Katniss tells him to shut the television off but stops him because Caesar is going to interview Peeta. She notes Peeta lost fifteen pounds and watches the interview. In the interview, Peeta asks Katniss why she joined the rebels, and if she didn't know, she should find out.
After watching it, she pretends to have not seen it because Plutarch walks in and makes sure she is well. She is overwhelmed by Peeta's interview. Katniss and Finnick go to the woods to hunt in District 13. Katniss talks about Peeta's broadcast from last night and questions why no one is talking about it. Katniss is thankful that Finnick is here to listen to her.
Katniss and Gale
The next day, Katniss and Gale have tension between them. Katniss is furious that Gale did not talk or say anything about Peeta's interview. Gale tells her it was to protect her and that he had to lie. Katniss, enraged by this, tells him to leave her alone and to stop lying to her. The next day, Katniss is informed she must go back to District 12 with Gale and the others to shoot more shots for the propaganda. Katniss goes to the remains of her home and feels pain inside of her. Katniss feels more pain when Gale asks to go to his house, but Cressida tells him to react to the night of the bombing.
Katniss goes and communicates with an Avox that escaped the Capitol, Pollux. She sings "The Hanging Tree" to him but is cut off by Cressida. Katniss begins to forgive Gale because the two must stay together. Katniss goes back to the Victor village and searches the area. Katniss and Gale kiss because they are both in pain, and the only way to escape it is by doing this.
A few days later, Katniss watches another interview with Peeta and becomes overwhelmed. When Peeta warns them of the attack, he is beaten, and his blood splatters across the screen. Katniss sees this and goes into shock. She backs up Haymitch's theory that it is a warning of a bombing, and the inhabitants of District 13 retreat to a safe bunker. When Mrs. Everdeen arrives and is not with Prim, Katniss deduces that she went back for Buttercup. She stops the doors from being closed and locked in time for Prim and Gale to enter. Katniss stays with her family in one area, and after the first bombing, Mrs. Everdeen leaves to the first aid station to help. Katniss is worried about Peeta, but Prim comforts her and tells her President Snow wouldn't kill him because he needs him. Katniss asks what she thinks will happen to Peeta, to which Prim replies, whatever it takes to break her. Katniss plays with Buttercup during the night with a flashlight and imagines how she can get Peeta back. She goes to Finnick and shares her ideas on Snow's plan. Finnick tells Katniss he is doing the same but with Annie. The two continue to talk about President Snow's plan.
Rescue of Peeta
Katniss in the remains of District 12.
Katniss, while shooting a propaganda, announces she can't take it anymore, then breaks down along with Finnick. President Coin assembles a rescue team to retrieve all victors in the Capitol, and Gale is the first person to volunteer. In a daring rescue, Peeta and other victors, apart from Enobaria, are rescued from the Capitol. Katniss feels helpless when she is left out of the rescue mission. When she goes to visit Finnick, the two talk about the mission and how if they die, it won't be bad because they won't have to feel any more pain. Haymitch informs them that they can help by shooting a propaganda. Katniss does an interview and tells them how she met Peeta and informs them of the time when President Snow told her the Capitol is fragile. She tells them it is because the Capitol depends on the districts, and without them, they would fall. Katniss is informed the rescue party had arrived home safe. She sees Johanna and Annie are alive and that Peeta has been saved. However, Peeta has been hijacked into hating Katniss, and tries to strangle her to death upon their reunion.
Katniss receives medical attention after the attempted strangulation. Prim comforts Katniss and they are informed by Plutarch that Peeta was brainwashed by the Capitol and is receiving all the treatment they can give him. Katniss is deeply depressed by this and goes to visit Gale and Beetee. She is sad that Gale and Beetee are building weapons to help their efforts but aren't thinking about the innocent people who may be injured in the process. Katniss meets Delly Cartwright and informs her of Peeta's condition. Katniss watches Delly talk to Peeta and his outburst to her, shouting that Katniss is a muttation and District 12's destruction is her fault. Katniss tells Plutarch if she is going to be the mockingjay, he must send her away from Peeta. She asks to be taken to the Capitol so she can end the war by killing Snow, but Plutarch tells her she can't until all the districts are on the rebels' side.
Going to District 2
Plutarch tells Katniss District 2 is the only district still with the Capitol because District 2 and the Capitol have a close relationship with each other. District 2 supplies the Capitol with Peacekeepers and Stone and the Capitol pays a lot in return, therefore being a wealthier district, and so she asks to be sent to District 2.
Katniss goes to District 2 with Haymitch, Boggs, Gale, and Beetee and meets Lyme at The Nut. While there, the group tries to think of a way to attack in, which would give them control over District 2. Gale suggests that they blow up the inside of The Nut, which upsets Katniss because Gale is willing to kill innocent people for the rebellion.
Battle of the Capitol
Katniss and Gale dressed as Capitol citizens.
The rebels take control of the districts and finally begin an assault on the Capitol itself, which Katniss is a part of. However, an assault on a "safe" Capitol neighborhood goes wrong, and Katniss and her team flee further into the Capitol with the intent of finding and killing President Snow. While he is hijacked, he is driven to kill Katniss, but fought it off by remembering memories of Katniss and his deep love for her. Peeta wanted to die because he had impulses to kill her on several occasions, he asks her to shoot him, give him nightlock, or just leave him to die. Peeta feared he would eventually overpower Katniss. Nonetheless, she stayed by him and comforted him. Eventually, they both became closer and their love became deeper. The squad goes further into the Capitol, dressed as Capitol citizens. Eventually, Katniss finds herself pressing on alone towards Snow's mansion which has supposedly been opened to shelter Capitol children (but is actually intended to provide human shields for Snow). Afterward, bombs placed in supply packages kill many of these children and a rebel medical team, including Katniss' sister, Prim.
Katniss is burned by the explosion but receives medical attention at the Capitol hospital. President Coin visits her and tells her the rebels have won and she has saved Snow for Katniss to kill. Though Snow is tried and found guilty, he tells Katniss the final assault that killed Prim was ordered by President Coin, not the Capitol. Katniss realizes that if that was true, the bombing may have been the result of a plan originally developed by Gale. Katniss doubts this, but still realizes that she will never be able to look at Gale the same way, regardless of whether he was directly involved in Prim's death.
Death of Alma Coin
Coin gathers the seven remaining victors who survived and proposes a final Hunger Games but with the children of the most powerful people in the Capitol. Peeta, Annie, and Beetee vote no, but Johanna, Enobaria, Haymitch, and Katniss all vote yes.
Katniss about to kill Snow.
Katniss remembers a conversation with Snow in which they promised not to lie to each other. When she is supposed to execute Snow, she realizes that he was telling the truth and kills Coin instead. A riot ensues and Snow is found mysteriously dead, having possibly choked on his own blood or trampled by the crowd. Katniss is admitted to a secure holding room but acquitted due to her apparent insanity and returns to her home in District 12, while Gale goes to District 2 to work in the military and Mrs. Everdeen begins practicing at a District 4 hospital, unable to go back to District 12 due to the pain. Still destroyed over the death of Prim, Katniss becomes depressed and suicidal.
Peeta returns soon after as well, having recovered immensely from his brainwashing. He plants primroses around Katniss' house as a memorial for her sister. Katniss begins to heal, and her relationships with Peeta and Haymitch recover as well. After a while, Katniss and Peeta put together a book of all of the characters that died at the end of the series. Katniss writes all of the facts about the victims, including Rue, Prim, Boggs, Finnick, and more. Peeta draws all of the pictures in the book, if they had not found a picture of them.
Peeta plays one final round of Real or Not and says, "You love me, real or not real?" Katniss answers back, "Real."
In the epilogue, Katniss speaks as an adult, around twenty years later. Her and Peeta have two children together, a girl and a boy. By this point, the Hunger Games are over, the arenas were destroyed, and memorials were built for the tributes and other people who died in the wars. She and Peeta have settled in a meadow, where their children can play in peace and harmony. She dreads the day her children's innocent world is shattered by learning the details of their parents' involvement in both the Games and the war, though she is told by Peeta that they will be okay, that they have each other and the book. Katniss continued to be affected by post-traumatic stress disorder in the years following the Games and the war. When she feels upset, Katniss has taken to reminding herself of every good thing that she has ever seen someone do. She ruefully acknowledges that this routine is a bit of a tedious game for her, but that "there are much worse Games to play".
Botanic Notables: Plants of The Hunger Games
“Plants are tricky. Many are edible, but one false mouthful and you're dead.” —The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Whether or not you've seen the movies or read the books, you probably know that The Hunger Games is a dystopian story of competition and survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Much of the narrative takes place in the wilderness, a setting that comes with its own cast of characters: plants. The book (not so much the film) is a wonderful collection of ethnobotanical references. Flowers that heal, trees that feed, and berries that kill—plants are the ally and the enemy.
Author Suzanne Collins considered the significance of the wild plant when she scripted a food-insecure world, and her characters are often defined by a plant—some can identify them (they live), others can't (they die). Collins has even named several major characters for plants that symbolize them. And, in the months since The Hunger Games premiered on screen, there has been a renewed appetite for foraging and wild plant literacy. A high school in Texas was inspired to introduce a course on plant identification and foraging, and there have been a number of Hunger Games-inspired recipes, many of which include plants mentioned in the book.
Without further ado, a list of several significant plants in The Hunger Games. To readers who aren't familiar with the story, two warnings: first, [SPOILER ALERT] the list contains some spoilers. Second, beware the deadly nightlock berry!
Katniss plant. Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
KatnissKatniss Everdeen, the story's heroine and champion forager is named for a plant. Hardy, valuable, and sometimes sweet, the katniss plant is also an adaptable survivor, just like the character. Also known as duck potato and swan potato, the plant is sometimes called "arrowhead," derived from the Latin name for its genus: Sagittaria, which refers to the archer in the zodiac—a master with the bow and arrow, just like the young protagonist.
In the wild, the katniss plant is found in wetlands. Its leaves are edible, though it's most valued for its roots: large, nutritious tubers whose taste is comparable to a sweet potato. Katniss was once a staple food of Native Americans, especially in the Northwest (where they dug up the plant with their toes). Of the 30 katniss species, Sagittaria latifolia is most prevalent in North America.
Evening primrose (Oenothera lamarckiana). Photo by: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu.
PrimrosePrimrose Everdeen, Katniss's gentle sister, is most likely named for the evening primrose, Oenothera spp, a plant that Collins describes as beautiful and delicate. Like the character, primrose flowers are not all that hardy—they're not at the Games either. The evening primrose is a medicinal plant, called "king's-cure-all, and a softening agent, both of which reflect Primrose's character in the story. The flowers will thrive in forsaken land, just like the young girl—except in regions west of the Rockies, which is where the story's "Capitol" is likely located—and also where the character herself dies.
Rue plant (left) Rue listing in Tacuinum Sanitatis, a medieval handbook on wellness (right). Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
RueThe rue plant (Ruta) is an evergreen "herb-of-grace" that carries many metaphors. It's been called the plant of purity and it is featured in many cultural and religious ceremonies. In literature, it has been used as a symbol of both regret and freedom. And so it is an apt name for the young girl who befriends Katniss during the games, whose death serves as a turning point in the narrative. When Rue is killed, Katniss's regret becomes a sense of freedom, prompting her to launch the critical rebellion.
Nuphar luteum (left) Nymphaea mexicana, native to the southern United States (right). Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
Pond Lilies"Tomorrow I’ll stay here, resting, camouflaging my backpack with mud, catching some of those little fish I saw as I sipped, digging up the roots of the pond lilies to make a nice meal."
Katniss's survival plan sounds very pleasant—a picnic by the lily pond. Collins does not mention the species, so the lilies of The Hunger Games could be any species of the most common three genuses—Nuphar, Nymphaea, and Nelumbo, all of which have edible rhizomes. Pond lily roots are enormous, spongy, and sold in many street markets (think of the lotus root, which the Chinese call a "cooling" food, thought to restore balance in the body).
Edible pine bark. Photo by: woodcraftwanderings.org.
Pine Trees“I slowly chew the stuff as I walk along . it’s a little hard to choke down.”
With little else to eat, Katniss turns to a pine tree. Its soft inner bark can be a good meal and its needles are a good source of Vitamin C. Native Americans often chewed on pine tree bark during the winter months to conserve food reserves.
From Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen, 1897 (left) dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) (right). Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
Dandelions"I had just turned away from Peeta Mellark's bruised face when I saw the dandelion and I knew hope wasn't lost. I plucked it carefully and hurried home. I grabbed a bucket and Prim's hand and headed to the Meadow and yes, it was dotted with the golden-headed weeds. After we'd harvested those, we scrounged along inside the fence for probably a mile until we filled the bucket with the dandelion greens, stems and flowers."
In the story, the dandelion becomes a symbol of hope for Katniss, and evidence of her resourcefulness and expert foraging. When she sees the field of dandelions, she gains confidence in her ability to feed her family. Dandelions are entirely edible—to a forager, a dandelion field means something entirely different than what it means to the gardener. Dandelion leaves have more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach. The root can be applied as an herbal remedy for a number of ailments and the milky sap can soothe bee stings and blisters.
European Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum). Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
HoneysuckleWhen Katniss emerges from the tracker jacker (engineered wasp) hallucinations, she reaches for a honeysuckle to soothe her spirits and sweeten her tongue. The edible nectar can be eaten directly from the flower—remove the stamen from the bottom of the flower, and suck the nectar droplet.
Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
NightlockNightlock, the poison of the forest, doesn't actually exist, but its name is most likely derived from two living plants with similar toxicity: deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), and poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). Ancient Romans used the nighshade's berries and leaves as a poison, and hemlock was famously used in the death of Socrates. In The Hunger Games, Katniss accurately identifies some berries that Peeta collects to be deadly. A competitor who doesn't share Katniss's plant identification acumen later eats the nightlock's berries, with fatal consequences.
Calendula officinalis. Photo by: Wikimedia Commons.
UnidentifiedCollins writes about one plant whose identity eludes us. The leaves of an unnamed plant are used several times to heal various wounds and ailments: in one instance, Rue chews the leaves, then applies the pulpy salve to Katniss's tracker jacker wounds in another, Katniss's mother boils the leaves to make a medicinal elixir finally, Katniss uses the leaves to treat Peeta's leg wound. It's possible that the plant is Calendula officinalis, which herbalists often laud for its beneficial tinctures, tea, and oil. Calendula leaves and petals have been applied to reduce inflammation and as an antiseptic against infection. Calendula is a good candidate for this unnamed plant, but it's hard to be sure. Hunger Games fans, what do you think it could be?
Thanks to Peter Schafran, ethnobotanist at Old Dominion University, for consulting on this piece.