The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

 

Katniss Everdeen survived the Quarter Quell. She was taken by District 13 to head the revolution. To be the Mockingjay.

Just one problem. Peeta was taken by the Capitol. And without Peeta, Katniss is nothing.

But too many people are counting on her. Prim. Gale. Rue. The whole of Panem, is looking to her to end their suffering. To strike a death blow against the Capitol.

As Panem descends into anarchy, Katniss will be forced to make a choice between her own personal needs and the needs of the whole of Panem. And if she chooses wrong...the entire nation will face the consequences.

She was the spark. Now she must lead the raging inferno that is the revolution. Can Katniss Everdeen bring down the Capitol that has caused her so much pain?

 

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

This book starts back in District 12, just like the first two. But the meaning is much more significant. D12 was destroyed. Obliterated. Left to burn by the Capitol. Katniss's home is no more. Only 900 of 10000 people survived. But Katniss had to see it for herself. And I have to commend her on that. She's heavily concussed, probably suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder, has who knows what else going on, and yet she still had to see her home. Or what was left of it. Most people would have left it and not gone to visit the horror themselves. But Katniss does. And it gives her something to fight for throughout the book. She constantly goes back to the destruction of her home by the capitol as a rallying point when she thinks she not up to be the Mockingjay. And for good reason. Because the bombing of a whole district because of the actions of a single tribute is unjust and excessive. Would they have done the same thing to D2 if Katniss was from there? Or D3 if Beetee's plan to destroy the force field with a spear had worked? Or did they just want to punish Katniss? That the most probably right answer. Theres only one problem; that punishment didn't quite work in their favor.

But that rose. That definitely worked in their favor. Katniss finds that rose and she essentially has a freaking panic attack on spot. I personally think she is overreacting to the Rose because, really, what does it symbolize? Nothing really. It was simply meant to scare her. And I don't see anything scary about it. Can the smell of a rose really evoke such fear and terror in Katniss that she has a freaking panic attack over it. And its not just this time. Roses are concistently used throughout the book to scare Katniss. Or district her. Or whatever else Snow feels needs to be done. Its kind of an odd weakness for Katniss.

 

But lets talk about District 13. Where the majority of this book takes place. So it turns out, when the Capitol "destroyed" D13 seventy-five years ago, they actually just signed a treaty ensuring no nuclear warfare between the two sides. D13 went into hiding below ground and the capitol destroyed the above ground portion of the district. For the last 75 years, D13 was growing in population and power, looking for another opportunity to strike against the Capitol. Now, the whole district lives underground in, essentially, a bunker. It is extremely strict, down to the portions of food you receive at meals. Its also very drab. Gray clothing. That’s it. It’s the opposite of the Capitol in turns of fashion. Sorry Capitolites. I personally liked the setting of District 13. It was dark and gloomy like the book. And their President, Alma Coin, was very cold and calculating, just like Katniss. In fact, had their end games been aligned, I think they may have made a very terrifying duet of power against the Capitol.

 

So, for the first couple of chapters, Katniss struggle with making a single choice. Whether to become the embodiment of the Mockingjay, the face of the revolution, or just sit back and let D13 fight the war for her. I honestly can see her want to not be the Mockingjay. Katniss has already suffered more than any girl in Panem should have by her age. She has had to participate in two Hunger Games. She watched her stylist get beaten by peacekeepers. And her "boyfriend", Peeta is as good as dead in the Capitol. I can see how sitting back can letting someone else fight the battle would be appealing. But this is Katniss Everdeen. And so long as there is something to fight for…fight she will.

 

And that "something to fight for" comes in the form of Peeta Mellark. The boy she thought was dead. The boy everyone thought was dead. When he was captured by the Capitol, it was assumed that he would be tortured to death by Snow looking for information about Katniss or the revolution. Information he didn't have. But then he just pops up on television talking to Caesar Flickerman. And I actually liked what he had to say. He said that everyone needed to stop fighting or else the human populations would fight itself into extinction. That's pretty grim, and not all together factual, but it incites such rage in the people of D13 that it makes the next part of the book interesting. I also LOVED Katniss's reaction to this. It wasn't a "OMG YOUR ALIVE!!" kind of thing, it was more like a "How are you still alive?" kind of thing. But that pretty quickly transitions into a "It would be better if you had died" kind of thing.

 

So now, Katniss has the "something" to fight for. And so she becomes the Mockingjay. But, with every political decision comes conditions. And Katniss some very…we call them interesting…conditions. 1) all the victors get immunity for anything they say or do that’s against the revolution. And of course, that pretty much turns Coin into a rampaging monster. I don't understand why that was such a big deal for her. She could have easily tried to stipulate it with a killing clause, so that should a victor kill a personal member of 13 or a leader of the rebellion their immunity is forfeit. Instead she simply agrees and makes it a little bit less dramatic. 2) Prim gets to keep her cat, Buttercup. Yah that furball survived the bombing at twelve and is now at 13. But 13 doesn't allow animals. This is a pretty small request and its agreed to as well, after much deliberation. 3) Hunting with Gale. This, I actually thought Coin should have vetoed that and said no. Hunting would be extremely dangerous for the two of them together. Everything from wild animal attacks, to Capitol attacks, to kidnappings, to other injuries could happen. Things that could destroy the revolution. Plus, they could just run off should they want to. I'm sure they could figure out how to remove their trackers. And then finally 4) I KILL SNOW! Finally!! Katniss finally gets to what she actually wants. She wants to have the honor of killing the person that had caused her so much pain in her short life. This was the condition that I was sure Coin would agree to, because, in the end, the Mockingjay, face of the rebellion, killing Snow, leader of the tyrannical government, would have been better than just simply executing him. But I was more proud that Katniss finally came to the conclusion that she actually WANTED to kill Snow. That she finally came to the realization that he was the source of all her problems, and that his death would mean the end of all of her problems.

But Coin still has a trick up her sleeve. When she pledges to grant the victors immunity she puts a very nicely worded stipulation in there. If Katniss fails in her duties as the Mockingjay, all terms will be forfeited. That some pretty brutal repercussions if she fails. Plus, I don't think its right to hinge the lives of four tributes/victors on Katniss's success's or failures as the Mockingjay.

 

Lets move on to Cinna. Oh Cinna. You died valiantly. But, what precisely were you doing before you were killed. You were obviously in league with the rebellion because you designed Katniss some pretty awesome Mockingjay suits. Ones armored over vital organs. Ones with convenient pouches for suicide drugs. What type of fore-thought did you have Cinna? What were you expecting of Katniss? So many questions and so few answers Cinna.

 

So, why exactly were her Prep Team kept in a jail cell? I'm not completely sure, but it apparently stemmed from them attempting to steal bread. Isn't that a little but harsh D13? Just a touch? Its just bread? Is bread going to bring down the rebellion like berries brought down the Capitol? I don't really think so. I think there was some anti-capitol bias going on there. I of course have no proof of that, but I can't think of another reason they were sent to prison.

 

After that fun little ordeal we get to go view some weapons. Some very explosive weapons. We're talking explosive and incendiary arrows. What was Beetee doing!?!?! How did he make incendiary arrows? Or explosive arrows for that matter? And didn't he have better things to be doing? Like hacking into the Capitol through the computer system he designed. I like the new weapons, but I think other people could have engineered those and left Beetee to doing something more productive.

 

Now that Katniss is the Mockingjay, we actually get to see some Mockingjay work get done. Well, not really. Because that first propo is of absolutely no use to the rebellion. I found it to be a humorous scene since it seems to prove that D13 should have rescued Peeta instead of Katniss, but, I don't think that anything except actual footage would have rallied the districts. And we know Peeta isn't it going to travel into a war zone to get footage. That's Katniss's realm of expertise. Because, while Peeta can say anything that needed on queue, Katniss's words are filled with actual emotions. Emotions of a girl who knows the threat the capitol poses, who knows the horrors they can inflict. And that’s what makes the real life footage that is shot at District 8 so powerful. So influential.

 

We get our first, and one of the our only, true action scene of the book next. Apparently, District 8 had been attacked and bombed by the Capitol because of rebellion. Now, the majority of the population is in a hospital. And that’s where Katniss goes to get inspiration and footage for the first propo. That propo turns out to be pretty good too. But first, lets talk about some pre-attack things.

First, that hospital. I agree with Gale that it was not the greatest of things to do; packing everyone in the district into a single building. It just let the Capitol take out more people in less time. But, I also attribute the coming attack to Katniss's arrival in the district. I'm at least partially certain that the hover craft came back around because the Capitol somehow got wind that Katniss was in the district. Whether they wanted to kill the Mockingjay, or just leave an impression on her, is unclear; but if I am correct, the second wave was caused by Katniss. Just so we all have that to thing about.

Second point; why is Katniss's arrival more inspirational to the people of D8 than actual medical help for them? I believe that this scene is what solidified Katniss's belief in herself as the Mockingjay. The still surviving citizens of D8 reacted as if the now had some reason to continue to fight the Capitol when they saw Katniss. They stopped worrying about all those who had died resisting the tyranny of the Capitol. Katniss, in that moment, came to symbolize hope for the rebellion. For if a young girl from District 12 could defy the Capitol not once, but twice, and walk away with her life, why could the whole of a district not do the same. Katniss is so inspirational in this moment, and to the rest of the rebellion, because she shows to the rebels that you can walk away from the capitol unscathed. She represents that there is a fighting chance to stop the Capitol. She shows that those who died, may not have died in vain, because she will stop at nothing to bring the Capitol to its knees and watch it burn and die.

Now onto those bombings. Firstly, as I had previously stated, I do believe they may have been caused by Katniss presence in D8. And so, I feel that she was justified in attacking the bombers; even though she was unaware of the fact that she was the cause of their appearance. Although, I do think Boggs should have at least tried to stop her a lot more than he did, because, whether or not she caused the bombings, if she gets shot, or bombed, the rebellion is finished. She could have very easily gotten herself killed with that act. Instead though, she manages to film the greatest propaganda short of all time.

Entitled, If we Burn , You Burn With Us, the propo depicted Katniss's brief excursion inside the hospital as well as her shooting down the Capitol bombers; concluding with Katniss's famous words, "If we burn, you burn with us!!". If I had to call a best propo ever, this would be the one. It has some action in it, depicting Katniss's destruction of the Capitol bombers, it has an emotional touch with the destruction of the hospital, and it has the inspiring catch phrase at the end, If we Burn You Burn With Us! All in all, It was pretty good excursion to District 8.

 

With the return to D13, Peeta returns to television. But there's a problem. He appears sickly. Katniss asks why? But isn't it obvious, the Capitol is torturing him. That the only way to explain it. We don't know what type of torture it was, but it appears to have been normal up until this point. Of course, that'll change later. But the question here is why? Why did Snow choose this point to start torturing Peeta? What was wrong with doing it before the first interview? My best bet is that he wanted to give Katniss hope that Peeta was both alive and well, and then show him deteriorating before her eyes on television. It’s a pretty gruesome punishment, but that's what we have come to expect form Snow. Also, was it okay for Gale and the rest D13 to not discuss Peeta for fear of upsetting Katniss? As much as it shows their care for her, I don't think It did any good. It only made her angry. So it actually did the opposite of what they hoped.

 

Now, with the first Propo shot, its time to shoot a second one. This time, at District 12. The ruins of District 12. But honestly, this was kind of a dumb Propo. It featured Gale more than Katniss and didn't really further the efforts of the rebellion in any way. It just recounted the night of 12's destruction. Not very inspiring if you ask me. But Katniss's song, The Hanging Tree; that was very inspiring. It pretty much becomes the theme song of the rebellion. And I, after I heard it during the movie, found that the song, while peculiar, did fit a rebellion. It was dark ad gloomy, just like this portion of the book, but also spoke of small amounts of life and hope, as was seen in the rebellion in this time.

 

And then, Peeta pretty much brings hell down on himself. This time, he looked worse than before, just as I had predicted. They were very obviously torturing him at this point. But he does a lot more than just call for a cease-fire. He saves half of D13. Its fairly obvious that the fear conditioning had not started yet because he was still able to speak Katniss's name without foaming at the mouth, and that’s probably what saved the rebellion. If they started the fear conditioning earlier, Katniss would probably either be dead, or in some mental state that was similar. Because Peeta's warning essentially saved both Gale and Prim from being bombed to death. But what's curious is the visual attack on Peeta right before the broadcast cut out. They were very obviously beating him, and I would like to know why Snow let that get onto television. I would have assumed the second the warning was issued that the broadcast would have cut; and then they would have beaten him to death. Instead, they beat him ON LIVE TELEVISION. My best guess is that, once again, Snow is trying to send a message to Katniss. That he will kill Peeta if he has too. That he still has no remorse.

 

Thanks to Peeta's warning though, everyone get to D13's bunker alive. But it’s a close call. Prim goes back to get Buttercup and barely makes it in before they close the doors. And Gale follows her up there. They both very nearly, by a matter of seconds, almost get trapped outside of the bunker. Peeta saved their lives. And, as Katniss noted, that's another she has to pay. Peeta saved her sister and her only friend at 13. The rebellion also owes Peeta a debt here, because, had Prim and or Gale died, Katniss would have been done. She would have quit. She would have just stopped her commitment to the rebellion and just lay in 13 to die. The rebellion would have failed had Peeta not said anything.

Were those bombs meant to kill? Or were they meant to damage and trap? I think the latter. Nothing important was targeted, and we can be fairly sure that the Capitol knew where the "important things" were. They could have targeted them fairly easily I'm sure. But they didn't they just decided to drop bombs at seemingly random and at intervals to try to bait or stop people from exiting the bunker. It was pretty smart plan if you look at it, since it stopped any Mockingjay footage or D13 propaganda from being exported to the districts or rebellion. They just had to lie low for several days. It also gave Katniss far too much time too think. To think about what Snow was doing. To anguish over what was surely Peeta's death at this point. And think and anguish she did.

After days in that bunker, Katniss finally came to a revelation. That Snow would never kill Peeta. That was too fast. Too easy. He would simply keep him to taunt her with. Holding him ever so far out of reach. Maybe on the verge of death. But he would be alive. For if he died, Katniss could stop fighting for him. Sure, it would hurt, but she could get over it because there was no hope of ever seeing him again. But keeping alive, imprisoned in the Capitol, was the ultimate torture. For, while he survive, Katniss could harbor hope that she could get him back. That, however small the chance was, she could still have the boy with the bread. She figures out, or Prim figures out, that Snow will go as far as it take breaks her. Not break her heart. Or her spirit. But completely, physically and mentally, break her. Katniss comes to this epic conclusion while stuck in that concrete box below 13.

But what's interesting, is that Finnick came to conclusion weeks ago. When his love, Annie Cresta, was taken by Capitol as bait for Finnick. He figured out the Capitol's game long ago. The Capitol only kills if it suits their purpose; but when their purpose is to make a person go insane, death is too easy. I found it interesting that Finnick, beautiful trident-happy Finnick, figures this out before Katniss. Because, to me, that is something Katniss would do herself, if she had the power and means.

 

And so, with Katniss's revelation, she pretty much goes into some type of depressed shock. And so, Coin makes a desperate gamble; the rebellion needs their Mockingjay, and their Mockingjay needs Peeta Mellark. Thus begins a harrowing journey into the Capitol to rescue Peeta from the Capitol. But why Gale? Why did he go? What was the motive? I asked myself this question countless times and came to some portion of an answer. My guess is that Gale, who we can assume still wants Katniss, went after Peeta so that Katniss would see him as a hero. That sounds pretty selfish, but I view Gale's character as selfish for the most part. He wants Katniss at all costs, and he wants to win this war at all costs. I know he doesn’t do it for Peeta. And I'm pretty confident he doesn't do it for the rebellion. That leaves the only possible answer being that he does it for Katniss. To both heal her and increase his own worth to her.

 

So, with the threat of having both Gale and Peeta killed that night, Katniss does some interviews in hopes of keeping Snow's eyes off of Peeta. And finally, after two years, Katniss tells her story; starting with Peeta giving her the bread. We already knew that information so it was terribly interesting. Finnick's story is different though. He spins a tale of sexual trafficking by Snow of the victors. But even more importantly, he tells of Snow's rise to power. How he poisoned both his enemies and his allies in order to remain in power. How the roses he wears mask the smell of blood from unhealed sored inside his mouth. How he killed without mercy simply to retain his position of power. Should we really be surprised? Not at all. Poison sounds just like Snow's game. Hard to trace. Easy to administer. Easier to cover up. Fits Snow perfectly.

 

And finally, Peeta has returned to the story. The Boy with the Bread that has meant so much to Katniss over the last year is back. Just one problem. He's changed. The Capitol has turned him into something else. Something dangerous. A weapon. Katniss's first experience with her friend and ally is cut quite short after Peeta attempts to strangler he to death after a few seconds. So it turns out, Coin's decision to go get the other victors might not have been the best choice. And in the case of Peeta, it definitely wasn't. He could have killed the rebellion right then and there had he had just a few more seconds. Sure, he would have been killed on sight, but I don't think anyone, Snow, Coin, Haymitch, Prim, or anyone else would have cared.

This change in behavior is attributed to a form of torture known as hijacking. The Capitol apparently injected him with trackerjacker venom and used it to alter his memories of Katniss into nightmares. They fundamentally changed his perception of his long time love interest. And then, according to Gale, may have let him escape hoping he would kill Katniss on sight. Which almost happened had Boggs not knocked him unconscious. But, is what the Capitol did to Peeta, altering his memories, fundamentally wrong. They easy answer here is yes. But, really look at it. They are altering his memories into something they can use to, somewhat, control him…yah that’s pretty messed up. But kind of cool that they figured out how to do it; their knowledge of the human brain and neurology must be a lot more advanced than ours is.

 

So, with Peeta stuck on solitary confinement, and Katniss having nothing better to do, she finds Gale working on war traps. Apparently, they were a lot like the traps and snared he made for hunting, but they were adapted to work on humans. Firstly, good work Gale. You figured out how to trap and kill humans as if they were animals. Second, WHY WAS KATNISS SO AGAINST THIS!?! The Capitol just altered Peeta's memories of her into something twisted. In all essence, they destroyed Peeta. They removed everything that he was and made him into something different. Something dangerous. Aren't Gale's traps just the same thing on a larger scale? Instead of doing it to one person, its being simultaneously done to hundreds of people. People who would kill them if they could. Isn't at a fundamental level, the same thing? I think that it is. Gale has taken the rules that Snow is plyaing by and is using them against the Capitol. Sometimes, that's what war takes. Playing by your enemies rules. If they don't care about your sides lives, why should you care for theirs? War is about winning. And in this case, winning means everything. Because, to lose, means certain death. To Katniss. To Peeta. To Gale. To Coin. To Prim. To everyone who partook in the rebellion. Losing would destroy everything.

 

By this point, pretty much everyone had figured out that Peeta's return in his current state didn't really help Katniss any. The only way to help her would be to return Peeta to his original, non-violent, condition. So they decide to try Delly, some random girl from D12. This was actually kind of an interesting scene, since it actually allows us to see what the Capitol did to his mind. He actually thinks that Katniss is some sort of dangerous "mutt" (a mutated animal species used by the Capitol during Hunger Games and during both the first and second wars). Which, when you combine with some of his thoughts later, actually makes some amount of sense. All it takes to convert the Katniss we see, into the mutt he sees, is context. Remove the context, and Katniss is a killing machine. Cold and deadly. Put in back into context, her kills were to protect loved ones and friends, as well as herself from imminent and certain death. I can see how his thoughts of her.

This is also the point where Katniss gives up on Peeta completely. She deems that he is completely gone; or at least the part of him that she wants back is gone. So she does the only sensible thing; she goes to District 2. Which was not one of Coin's better moves.

 

At this point in the revolution, District 2 is the only Capitol controlled district left. Everyone else has turned. And I guess that D2 being the last one makes sense, since its where they train all the Peacekeepers and where the Capitol military weapons are stationed. But, it wasn't really a great idea for the Capitol to keep all of their military in an underground bunker. One with only a couple entry and exit points. And when those exit points can be covered by avalanches, that makes it a death trap. And that pretty much what Gale wants to do, "The Nut".

He thought that the rebels should bomb the upper slopes of the mountain where the Nut was located and let the ensuing avalanches cover up the escape points. Effectively sealing everyone inside. Where they would die in a matter of days. He also says that, if he was a rebel inside the Nut, which there are some, he would be calling for just that to happen. And this is the point in which, I think, Katniss pulls her self away from Gale. While she doesn’t doubt his statement, that one single suggestion, suggested that Gale has very little value for human life, if it doesn't suit his purpose. He would kill everyone in District 2 and the Capitol with little thought if that would mean winning the war. Unfortunately for him, that's not Katniss's way. She would rather have no one die. She would rather have the rebellion sneak and politically destroy the Capitol with as little life lost as possible, because, for whatever reason, I think she view every life lost in this rebellion, as a life lost because of her actions. I feel that she believes that, had she not blown out the force field in the Quarter Quell; had she not revealed the berries in her first games; none of the people who have died in the rebellion would have died. And, while that not quite right, she can't help but be repelled by the idea of killing off so many potentially innocent people at once; as Gale suggests.

Eventually though, the plan does go down. With one minor difference, they would give the people inside the Nut one chance to escape into the main town of D2, where they would be forced to surrender of die. Just one problem, the "surrender" part, appears to have been a clause meant to placate Katniss. Because the people of the Nut get out, they're shot dead by the rebels. Except one. One makes it out. And finds himself in the perfect position to end the war once and for all. He finds himself, gun in hand, just feet away from Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay. A weaponless Katniss Everdeen.

But Katniss finally does something I have been waiting for. She admits to everything she's ever done. She admits that she is no better than the Capitol. That she has killed just as easily as they did, and that she deserves to live no more than they do. She openly claims that she has been blind to the plans of the both the Capitol and D13 to use her as a pawn, and she done with it. She admits that there is no reason the mean shouldn't shoot her. It was the greatest speech in the history of the Mockingjay. And they got it on camera thankfully because someone decides to shoot her right there, just as she suggested they should.

But her getting shot was the best thing that could have happened for the rebellion. Because the people of D2, inspired and rallied by her speech, turn on the Capitol loyalists and bring D2 under control of the rebellion. The rebellion has succeeded. They now control every district. They can now begin their assault on the Capitol. They just need their Mockingjay. They Mockingjay who was shot.

 

Thankfully, Cinna's armor beneath the Mockingjay suit kept her alive with nothing more than bruised ribs. Pretty amazing. She's wakes up some day(s) later back in D13. Alive and well.

 

And, with all districts under their control, D13 and the rest of the rebellion decide to take some time off. And D13 chooses to do that in the form of a wedding. Between Finnick and Annie. I wasn't surprised this happen. Not at all. The rebellion needed some happy Propo to air, and Finnick and Annie's marriage seemed to easily fit. Plus, it gave everyone some time to relax. And Katniss some time to rile up President Snow. And some time for Peeta to frost some cakes.

Speaking of that, I don't understand Katniss's reaction to the frosting. Peeta probably could have easily done the flowers without having any treatments at all. Just because he figured out how to frost some cakes without trying to kill them doesn’t mean he's been healed.

 

But, Katniss ends up seeing him anyway. And she got some interesting perspective. Peeta comments about her not being very nice. About how easily she lies, to herself and everyone else. How easily she kills. Everything that Peeta had never before cared about, was now laid out for her to see. And what’s odd, is that Katniss had already admitted to several of those faults in D2, and yet she acted as if they were all lies. Made up by his twisted, Capitol infused mind. But they weren't. She had admitted them to herself. So why the anger and resentment? I can only relate to the fact that she now thinks that Peeta no longer sees her as someone to love. As someone to care for. At a time when she needs those things the most. She claims to hate him for it. But that's how a lot of people end up. The truth hurts, as they say.

 

WHY THE HELL IS KATNISS NOT GOING TO THE CAPITOL!?!?!?! She is the best shot they have. Plus, she's the Mockingjay. She spent all that time and energy rallying the districts together, she HAS to go to the Capitol. If not to attack, than at least for support. Besides, what good is she sitting in D13 doing nothing, when she could be shooting up Peacekeepers in the Capitol? I know she didn't complete or even attend any military training but, she is the best shot they have in the rebellion, she would be inspiring to anyone already there, and, above all, she deserves to go after all of the work she put into the rebellion. Besides, they still have to fly her into the Capitol so that she can kill Snow as she demanded; why not let her help the siege? I didn’t at all understand Coin's point in disallowing Katniss from joining the attack in the Capitol. It was just plain stupid. Eventually she consents though, and Katniss is permitted to attend the Capitol siege. IF she completes training first.

 

Of course, not wanting to be left back, Katniss goes into training; along with a morphling addicted Johanna Mason. How those two managed to complete training together? I'm not completely sure. Those two don't exactly have cohesive personalities. Especially when it comes to war and killing people. They somehow manage to do it though. At least, until the final stage of training; where Johanna gets stuck on a room filling with water and Katniss finally has to confront a character flaw.

That character flaw is a rather odd one. The inability to follow orders. Apparently, Katniss does not have the ability to follow commands from an overall leader and instead just does whatever she thinks should be done, or whatever she wants to do. And I completely agree. She disobeyed orders in both D8 and D2 and actually saw combat in both districts; both of which nearly resulted in her death. She was already making plans of getting into the Capitol and then breaking off to find and kill Snow alone; AGAINST ORDERS. She really is bad at following directions. She only does so if they suit her. Otherwise, they're just words spoken. And that not usually a good thing. Most time, situations where that comes up don't turn out badly, but, the majority of them easily could have.

 

Now, we officially get into the capitol. The epic siege we have all been waiting for.

 

But what's the point of Star Squad? Why is Coin wasting her best talent on useless parts of the Capitol. If she wants to film them, go ahead, but at least have them doing some productive things. There's no point in sending them there if they are going to attack and clear pointless parts of the city. While it may make for easy footage, if the attack somehow failed, everyone would be wondering what Star Squad was actually doing. And shouldn't look odd that SS hasn't met a single peacekeeper yet? This is the capitol! Peacekeepers should be swarming. Especially to places where Katniss is. They should want to kill her at all costs.

 

Speaking of killing Katniss, should we discuss Peeta's arrival in the Capitol and his subsequent assignment to Star Squad? Lets.

I have to agree with Katniss here; the only reason that Coin would have sent Peeta in as a member of SS was in hopes that he would kill her. That’s the only possible explanation. Its not like Peeta's a crack shot with a gun or bow. He's hasn't supported this war from the very beginning so he's not going for inspiration. He's also in who know what mental state, making giving him any sort of weapon dangerous. And not to mention the fact that he's being returned TO THE CAPITOL!! Where he was tortured. That's guaranteed to bring up some amount of emotional response in him. And that response could become very violent very fast. And it could easily be directed at Katniss. In this situation, I can't think of any reason other than the "Hope he Kills Katniss Scenario" for Peeta to be returned to the Capitol. Also, this tells us a lot about Coin. She obviously doesn't like Katniss for some reason or another. And, she hopes that she will die in this war for reasons unknown but suspected.

Those suspected reason involve the presidency of Panem after the revolution. Its clear that Snow will be executed, but who will become President afterwards. Coin obviously wants the position, but, as with all politics, there are those who oppose her. And Coin apparently believes that Katniss is in opposition. I don't think Katniss cares at all. I doubt she would even vote she had too. She doesn't care who rules Panem after this war is over because she plans on disappearing from the world after its all done. She's done with wars, governments, torture, and everything tied to it. She will spend the remainder of her life in the woods. Away from all of the pain that goes along with living in civilization.

Boggs does bring up a good point here though. Would Katniss dying suit the revolution more than her living? Would becoming a martyr be the best thing she could do? I don't think so. While it would guarantee a rebel victory in the Capitol, it would leave those who actually care about her; Gale, Prim, her mother, Finnick, etc; broken beyond belief. And at this point, I don't think Katniss even cares how the war goes, just as long she gets to kill Snow. If she can kill him, but the rebels lose the war, I don't think it makes any difference to her. So, in some ways, her death would benefit the revolution as a whole, but I don't think that it is the course of action she should of taken. And she doesn't thankfully.

 

Now with a dangerous Peeta in Star Squad, SS finally gets a real mission: to clear a strategic Capitol block of pods (capitol defenses). Just one problem. With Peeta a psychopath and everyone concerned with him, as well as a mislabeled or un-updated holo, Boggs ends up stepping on a bomb and getting his legs blown off. Meanwhile, Peeta shoves another member of SS into a net pod, getting him captured, presumably for execution. All that goes down in the span of a couple of seconds. And that’s not mentioning the giant wave of black who-knows-what fountaining from the street. Yah, it wasn't a good footage shoot that time. Two people dead, one insane, and a wave of black substance hurtling at them.

But what's curious to me, is Bogg's final act. To transfer command of the holo to Katniss. And his command to kill Peeta. We'll discuss the latter in a minute. But I am curious to learn whether or not Boggs knew about Katniss's side plans of going after Snow alone. And to make things easier he gave her the holo. Or, did he think that Katniss should lead the group back to the rebel camp? I'm leaning towards the first statement because, had we wanted the latter, he could have passed command to anyone, but he specifically gives Katniss the holo. That means that he wanted her specifically to do something with it. Which means he had to have known her plan. Which means he was disobeying Coin. What?? Is there any allegiance in the book? Or is everyone just following there own wishes? Or are there people out there who ally themselves with the best interests of the rebellion? If there are, I think Boggs may have been one of them. But is Katniss killing Snow what's best for the rebellion? I think it might be. Snow's death would mean the end of the war definitively. But, assassinating him may have caused some problems with his loyalists. And with the Capitol citizens. But I think that, at this point, even they would be okay with his death.

But, what's more pressing is the situation with Peeta. He just killed a member of the Star Squad. And he apparently does not have control over himself. At least not then. I think they should have killed him. We knew he was only going to be a burden the second he arrived, and now that a member of the SS is dead because of him, he will definitely be tried in D13 when the war is over (especially since Ms. Mockingjay goes tangent and try's to break into the Capitol alone. That would have definitely negated the immunity of the victors.). So killing him now is the most logical choice right? I thought so. Who knows how many other times this is going to happen? Who else is going to end up dead? It could be Katniss next. Or Gale. Or Finnick. Someone critical to the mission. His living is far too dangerous. And leaving him behind is not an option because of the threat of a Capitol party finding him and torturing him for more information.

 

And so begins the secret, Katniss lead expedition.

But first, both Coin and Snow declare the party dead. Definitively. They're both pretty confident don't you think. Especially since there are no bodies for proof. I'm more surprised that Snow declared their death because he has a lot hinging on their deaths. If they aren't dead he just put everyone in a relaxes state while a Mockingjay lead assassination party is navigating the Capitol looking for a way into his mansion. Coin meanwhile, can only benefit if she calls them dead and they turn out to be alive. Katniss's death will make her a martyr, leading to swift retribution by the rebellion on the Capitol. And if she turns out to be alive, she will revitalize any rebellion efforts already going down in the Capitol. Honestly, Coin should have had their deaths staged, for just that purpose. Plus, it would make Capitol Peacekeepers stop looking for them.

I thought it was pretty clever to go below ground into the sewers. It would be much harder to track them down there. There wouldn't be many peacekeepers (presumably). And there wouldn't be many people to spot them should they actually run into someone. Plus, the sewers could probably get them right up to or even inside the Presidential Mansion. Where Snow is waiting. It was good plan, especially since they could navigate it with relative ease since one of the avoxes on SS had worked it for years.

But those Mutts. I'm interested to see how they are portrayed in the final movie, since never could quite picture them. I think they were some cross between a human and walking lizard. It sounded pretty cool honestly. But, how exactly did Peeta know they were coming? Its not like he was even awake when the sounds started. And yet he jumped up at a moments notice yelling for Katniss to run. He's lucky he woke up when he did too, because Katniss was getting ready to send an arrow through his skull. Also, I think this may have been another instance where Snow is preying on Katniss's fear of him. Because those Mutts, so Katniss's claims, had the same smell as Snow's roses. Deadly sweet. I think this was another subliminal message from Snow. Another, "I know you fear me, so now I'm going to come hunt you and your friends down in a scarier form". And then poor Finnick. He had just gotten married. SS was never supposed see any real action. And yet, he ends up dead at the hands of Snow. Some people claim that they should have spent more time on Finnick's death, but I appreciated the utter conclusion to his life. He gave his life to allow Katniss to survive and get to Snow. He gave his life to bring down the Games that had caused he and his wife so much pain. And its not liked he died slowly. He was being clawed to death by Mutts, and then as caught in the holo explosion that Katniss initiated. Its wasn't long. And it didn't need to be.

And then we meet Tigris. These few days are not actually important except for a single statement made by Gale. A statement that forecasts the bigger decision of the book. Who will Katniss choose? Gale or Peeta? Gale claims, "Katniss will choose who ever she can't live with out". That simple. And that heartbreaking. As Katniss said, it doesn't make her sound loving at all. It makes it sound like she will just run a test on the two of them and then pick the winner. But I don't think that was what it was intended to mean. I think Gale meant it like, whoever's absence would leave her broken beyond repair. I think there is real feeling in there. I don't thonk Katniss is that cold. But I do agree with Gale. At this point, I was still expecting Peeta to die, forcing her to choose Gale; but, assuming they both survive, Katniss would need a partner who would complement her own personality. How exactly Gale came to that gripping conclusion? I am not entirely sure. But it is correct.

Now, begins the epic siege of the Presidential Mansion that we've been waiting for.

I think Collins made the right choice in separating the group before the finale, otherwise things might have gotten odd. The trapdoor trap was a work of brilliance. And Katniss almost falls for it. Literally falls. Then Gale gets captured. Which was exciting. I was kind of hoping that Katniss would be forced to shoot him. But she didn't quite get the chance. And Gale nearly paid for it with his life. Because we all know that his attackers were planning on killing him. He somehow managed to escape before that happened, but Katniss should have shot him. Was supposed to shoot him. He even asked for it. But she never got the chance. And even if she did. I don't think she would have been able to pull the trigger.

And then Prim. Poor Prim. Katniss's inspiration in this series. Every act against the Capitol has been for Prim. But not even bringing down the Capitol can save her. Coin put her on the front lines of a medical team. Right as bombs began raining from the sky. Katniss watched it happen. Watched the bomb explode. Watched as Prim was engulfed in flames. Watched as she herself was engulfed in flames. She watched her sister, the one she had volunteered for just a year and a half ago for, die at the hands of the Capitol. They were so close. Katniss had nearly freed her from the oppression of the Capitol. But, before she could claim victory, The Capitol had to claim has much as they could from her. They destroyed Peeta. They obliterated District 12. And just to top it all off, they loose the bomb that kills Prim. And to Katniss, that's the same as killing her.

 

But the war is over. The Capitol has fallen. The revolution was successful. The Mockingjay won. Put for Katniss, the price of victory, the price of ending the oppression that enslaved Panem, was far too great. It didn't just take her sister from her, it took everything. Her family. Her heart. Her friends. Her innocence. Her life. Katniss Everdeen is nothing after the war. Nothing.

 

And by nothing, I mean she is a mental state of depression that is the same thing. And this is right where I start to argue with people about Mockingjay. Because everyone comments about how bad the end of the book is. They say that Collins "ran out of words". But I disagree. I think the lack of detail and subdued plot were intentional. I think they were meant to symbolize Katniss after the war. Katniss was broken beyond repair. Her beloved sister was dead. And her love, Peeta, was as good as. But she, against all odds, had survived. She didn't want to live anymore. She was done. With everything. Had she had a rope, she probably would be dead. And Collins portrays this very well with how the end is written. The lack of detail, and the dulled descriptions, show how Katniss saw the world then. The book is written from first-person, so everything is from Katniss's perspective. So, if she was depressed, on the brink of suicidal, the world would have been dulled. Collins showed Katniss's mental state in the way she wrote the last several chapters.

And the most important of those chapters is the one where she talks to Snow. The one where everything is revealed. The one where we figure out who killed Prim. Because it wasn't Snow. He would have been suing any hovercrafts to get away from the Capitol, not dropping bombs on his own citizens. It was D13 who dropped those bombs. They commandeered a Capitol hovercraft and used one of Gale's trap to win the war. And winning the war, meant killing Prim. Coin and Gale killed Prim. Not the Capitol. Not Snow. But Coin. The new President of Panem. And Gale. Her best friend. They had destroyed her world.

And, now that the war had been won, Katniss still has her wish left. To kill Snow. But does that even matter anymore. Really. Does it.

But first, she had a vote. Coin wants a final Hunger Games. One of Capitol children. And the victors get to vote on it. Peeta and Annie's votes did not surprise me. They both went against it. Johanna and Enobaria's didn't surprise me either. Those two I'm sure wanted to hand select the tributes. But Katniss and Haymitch were different. I expected Katniss to vote no. She had never liked the Hunger Games. She was against unnecessary murder. She didn't even want people to risk their lives for her in the war. But she votes for it. She claims its for Prim? But I don't think so. Prim wouldn't have wanted another Hunger Games. So what was the motivation? I have thought about, and I have never found one. Or at least a good one. It could have been so that the people of the Capitol had feel her pain at least once. It may have been I hopes that Snow's granddaughter would get selected and she would be killed just as Prim was. But even those aren't good reasons. I can't find a good reason for Katniss's decision. And I can find an even lesser one for Haymitch. And what I find peculiar was how Haymitch voted. He didn't say or yes or no, he said "I side with the Mockingjay". That implies that he was going to choose whatever she chose regardless of the actual choice. I don't know what that means. Or what that shows about Haymitch. But its significant in some way. I just can figure out how.

And then the execution of Snow. Or should we rename it the execution of Coin. Because she's the one who is actually murdered. Apparently, Katniss did believe that Coin had dropped the bombs that killed Prim, even though she denied it to Snow. Because, Coin was the one who fell dead to Katniss's arrow. Not Snow. He died by choking on his own blood. But I didn't find that significant. I found her attempted suicide much more important. I had been waiting for her to try it for sometime now. And I really wanted to see her die on her own terms. Because, at this point, what is left for her to live for. The rebellion she helped killed her sister. The best friend designed the trap that ended in her death. Her lover was mentally unstable and wanted to kill her. What was there left? I think, at this point, she was well and truly done. She no longer had a will to live. And she went for the quickest way out. The nightlock sewn into her Mockingjay suit. The revolution could have started and ended with night lock…had Peeta's hand not stopped it at the end. I think Katniss would have gladly killed him if meant she could die. I don't think she cared anymore. Nothing mattered. All she wanted was to be dead. She wanted out.

And out she almost got. She tried to overdose when they had her in solitary confinement, but she never got enough morphling to do it. She looked for a way to hang herself. I'm surprised she didn't try to drown herself in a shower honestly. She was pretty desperate at this point. But what I don't understand, is why she was sent back to D12. What is that going to do? What is that going to accomplish, other than getting her killed or making go insane? What was it going to accomplish?

 

And Katniss proves me right. Because she just sits in an armchair for several months. She does nothing. I'm surprised she didn't seek out some rope and a tree and hang herself. Or drown herself in a lake in the woods. I'm surprised she got to the point where Buttercup returned and she finally gave in to the grief of Prim's death. I'm surprised she got to the point where Peeta returned to plant Primrose in their garden.

Speaking of Peeta…what precisely happened to him? How did he recover? Did he just need to time to work the venom out of his system? Or did he find some other way to cope? Or did they fix him? I guess we'll never know.

 

And that leaves the book. The Book. The Book of the dead. A book of memories. A book of lives lost at the hand of the Capitol. Rue. Prim. Cato. Clove. Finnick. Boggs. Everyone they knew who died. They put them in a book. A book of memories. A tribute to all the tributes. A final memorial to those touched by the Hunger Games.

 

I'm not going to discuss the epilogue because, other than ending the saga of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, it didn't tell us much. Only that the scars left by the two Hunger Games and the revolution left scars too deep to be healed. Wounds that would never close. Lives that would never be lived.

 

With that, the Hunger Games Trilogy comes to a conclusion. And, unlike most books, there will be no next series. And I am glad. Because a return to Panem without Katniss would be wrong. It wouldn't work. Because, to the readers, Katniss is Panem. Panem is nothing without Katniss.