Catching Fire Chapters 14 - 15 Summary

Katniss is miserable, because she has been denied the opportunity to say good-bye to her family and friends. Peeta tries to help her cope by telling her they can write letters which Haymitch will deliver to their loved ones back home. She knows she will not write the letters, because they are not the same as talking to them.

On the train, no one is in a good mood, Haymitch feels responsible for Peeta, because he took Haymitch's place in the Quell. He also knows he probably can't keep Peeta alive long enough to win the Quell. Katniss just feels hallow inside, she can't afford to feel for her family because she needs to focus on keeping Peeta alive.

They, along with Effie Trinket, watch the reaping in the other districts to see who they will be competing against. Some victor tributes are in very good physical shape and others are a shell of their former selves. It is clear a many of the victors will fall early in the competition. Peeta keeps track of who is competing and tears out of his notebook the pages on the noncompeting victors.

Katniss tries to sleep on the train, but nightmares wake her. She orders some warm milk and finds Peeta in the television room on the train. He is watching tapes of the victors they will be fighting in the arena. He sees her and for the first time since Gale's whipping, offers comfort to Katniss. She walks into his arms, welcoming the closeness she thought had been gone forever. She rationalizes she might as well give into her feelings for Peeta, because she is never going to return to Gale.

They decide to watch the Quarter Quell Haymitch won. They had not watched it previously, because Haymitch didn't want to relive that part of his life. They see a young, intelligent, handsome Haymitch, not at all like the man he is now. They also see Maysilee Donner the female tribute from District 12. She had been Katniss' mother's best friend, who is also the twin of Madge's mother. It now makes sense that Madge brought pain killers for Gale and the mockingjay pin she gave Katniss takes on new meaning. Katniss realizes it had belonged to Maysilee.

As the Quell progressed Maysilee and Haymitch became a team, just like Katniss and Peeta. They fought together until the number of tributes left was reduced to five. Haymitch insisted on traveling beyond the arena area and Maysilee wanted to stay within the arena.

Haymitch discovered the outer edge of the arena led to an area which was dry barren land edged by a cliff. He also discovered if something was thrown off the cliff it came back up. The cliff had some sort of force field around it. Haymitch made use of this in the end of the Quell, when it was down to him and a girl from District 1. She had the advantage over Haymitch, but he lured her toward the cliff and she threw an ax at him, which went over the cliff. The ax flew back up and sunk into her skull, making Haymitch the winner of the Quell.

Haymitch had made a fool of the Capitol, by finding out about their secret force field, just like Katniss and Peeta had. Katniss realizes she didn't know Haymitch before, but now she sees him in a new light. He is intelligent and can be ruthless, she is feeling confident about the chances of Peeta winning for the first time.

It is time for Katniss to dress for the opening ceremonies. Cinna has designed an outfit which is a black jumpsuit that lights up to mimic burning coal. He places a black replica of the half-crown she was presented with after she and Peeta won the Hunger Games. The crown glows red as if on fire. Peeta wears an identical jumpsuit, but instead of waving to the crowd like last year, the two of them are to act as if they are above all the rest of the people. They hold hands and stare straight ahead. This makes them seem unforgiving and cold to the rest of the competitors.

While Katniss waits for Peeta to join her at their chariot in the Remake Center, she is approached by Finnick Odair. He is the victor from District 4, he won the Games at the age of 14, making him the youngest victor ever. He is a flirt and he tries to make Katniss reveal any inside information she might have, which is to no avail, as she has no secrets to tell.

After the ceremonies Peeta and Katniss meet Johanna Mason, who strips down to nothing as she talks to them. Her actions make Katniss jealous, but Peeta tells her Johanna and Finnick are having some fun at her expense. He explains Katniss seems so pure to the Capitol people and other victors, that they think it is fun to try to embarrass her.

Haymitch introduces them to Chaff and Seeder, the victors from District 11 who are friends of his. They let Katniss know Rue and Thresh's families are alive. Then it is time to go back to their floor of the Training Center. Katniss sees the Avox who she had last year, but she is joined by a male Avox. Katniss recognizes him, he is Darius the Peacekeeper she used to joke with in the Hob. He was unconscious the last time she saw him, when Thread had taken District 12 over and now he has no tounge, red hair, and is a servant. It is shocking to her.

Katniss and Peeta have been torn away from their families, without even the ability to say good-bye. They have learned much on their train ride to the Capitol. They know who their competitors are and they learned how Haymitch won his Quell.

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