Catching Fire Chapters 4 - 7 Summary

Katniss realizes Haymitch is right, she will have to marry Peeta if she wants to keep her family and Gale safe. She also wonders if President Snow will force them to have children, so their children can compete in the Hunger Games. The thought makes her try to devise a way to escape from District 12 and the control of President Snow.

She learns the first stop on the Victory Tour is District 11, the district Thresh and Rue represented during the Games. The thought of seeing Rue's family is distressing to Katniss. Katniss and Peeta see District 11 for the first time. They realize it is more strictly guarded and has worse living conditions than District 12.

After being presented to the public and giving their scripted comments, Peeta talks about Thresh and Rue. He ends his comments by pledging one month of his and Katniss' winnings each year to their families. This prompts Katniss to speak, telling Thresh's family she admired his courage and Rue's family she will never forget her.

Then one old man whistles the mockingjay tune Rue used to whistle. After this the crowd gives the signal for good-by in District 12, which is a sign of rebellion by District 11. This horrifies Katniss, because she feels President Snow will interpret it as her leading them into rebellion.

As Katniss walks back to some forgotten flowers, she sees Peacekeepers executing the old man who whistled Rue's song. Effie and the others hear the gunshot, but Peeta tells them it is a truck backfiring. Then they hear two more gunshots and Katniss realizes members of Thresh and Rue's families have been killed.

Haymitch takes Peeta and Katniss to a secluded room to talk privately with them. It is here Haymitch and Katniss tell Peeta the truth of President Snow's visit and the danger surrounding all of them. Peeta is angry for being kept in the dark, he demands full discloser from now on and they agree to give it to him. He also tells Haymitch he knows he tried to make sure Katniss won the Games.

After they leave District 11, Katniss and Peeta no longer give extemporaneous speeches. The rest of the Victory Tour is one long blur to them. They do notice Districts 8,4, and 3 seem genuinely happy to see Katniss.

At the Capitol, Katniss suggests to Peeta he should propose to her during their interview with Caesar Flickerman. He agrees, but it is not the way he had hoped to propose to her. After she accepts his proposal in front of the cameras, President Snow congratulates them. Katniss looks at him asking if she has done enough to free her friends and family from danger. He gives a negative shake of his head.

Katniss now knows there is no hope for her or her family and friends. She feels relieved by knowing she has failed, because now she can do whatever she wants. The consequences will be the same no matter what she does. She, for the first time in a long while, feels confident and her appetite has returned. Peeta, that night at the party, notices she is different than before, but she cannot tell him why, due to the cameras and people surrounding them.

Peeta, after watching the Capitol people overindulge themselves, wonders if maybe he and Katniss should promote rebellion amongst the districts. She tells him he should keep such thoughts to himself for the time being.

During the party, Katniss dances with Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker. He has a watch that displays an image of the mockingjay, which he tries to keep secret. He also tells Katniss he has a secret meeting at midnight, which he says is for planning the Games, but she doesn't accept his explanation.

Back at District 12, the pair are being readied for a celebration at the mayor's house. While there Katniss sees a television report she knows is meant for only the mayor. It tells of riots in District 8 and shows a picture of the rioters beneath banners with her picture on them. She sees people being killed by Peacekeepers and for the first time understands this is what the President calls an uprising.

That Sunday, Katniss leaves a trail for Gale, to guide him to a pond she and her father used to frequent. She asks him if he will run away with her from District 12. She has already explained to him about the fake engagement, the President's threats, and her need to protect those she loves and feels an obligation towards.

Gale tells her he will go with her because he loves her, but she cannot return the sentiment. She is too stressed by her current circumstance to deal with her emotions. This upsets Gale and he is even more upset by her plan to bring Haymitch and Peeta's family with them. The group including his and her families will be too large to conceal from the Peacekeepers. After telling him about the television newscast, she explains she feels responsible for what is happening in District 8. He replies they should rebel like the people of District 8, then he leaves the pond.

She returns to town and asks Peeta if he will escape with her. He responds he will go with her, but he doesn't think she will leave.

As they reach town Peeta and her hear a commotion, she sees Gale tied to a post with a bird he poached nailed above him. A new Head Peacekeeper stands behind him as he prepares to strike him again with a whip.

Katniss finds herself trying to keep everyone who is important to her safe from President Snow. She is unable to do this and so feels responsible for their lives. The guilt she suffers from is intensified as rioting breaks out in District 8 and Gale is whipped in the town square.

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