Catching Fire Important Characters

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is now one of the victors from District 12 and hating it. She feels cut off from her previous life as a teenage girl trying to support her family and attending school. She no longer attends school and is too rich to need to hunt for her family. Her friend, Gale Hawthorne, and her have a new relationship, instead of being close and sharing all aspects of their life together, Gale works in the mines and is embarrassed by Katniss' efforts to help him and his family. Katniss hunts for Gale's family and brings the game to his mother, while he is working.

Katniss is a target of the government, especially President Snow, who knows he must keep her alive, but wants to be rid of her. She is the symbol of the rebellion, which is now beginning to plague his districts. District 8 is already in revolt and the government knows it is just a matter of time before others join in rebellion. Katniss is unaware of what is happening throughout the districts, all she knows is she wants to have her old life back.

President Snow threatens to kill Gale, if she doesn't prove to him and the country she and Peeta are truly in love. But after she accepts Peeta's marriage proposal, the President lets her know it is not enough to save Gale or anyone else close to her. She decides it might be best if she and her loved ones escape District 12. Then after witnessing Gale being publicly whipped by Head Peacekeeper Thread, she realizes this is not what she needs to do. She wants to fight the government, but knows it is not the right time.

She and Peeta are sent back into the arena during the Quarter Quell. She is determined to save Peeta, just as he is determined to save her. She eventually realizes she is not fighting the other tributes, but instead the government. She causes an explosion, which is an embarrassment for the Gamemakers and President Snow.

She is rescued by Haymitch and the Head Gamemaker to be taken to District 13, after the explosion. She is devastated to learns Peeta is in the hands of the government and District 12 has been destroyed. Katniss recognizes she has strong feelings for both Peeta and Gale. It is Gale who assures her her sister and mother are safe, but she realizes most of her friends are gone.

Katniss is a young woman of strong will, cunning, and courage who is willing to risk her own life to save the lives of those she loves. She is also a force to be reckoned with, because she is the very symbol of the rebellion as the mockingjay. Her defiance of the Gamemakers and therefore the government, has sparked a rebellious streak in the people of Panem. This is the reason she had to be kept alive during the Quarter Quell.

Peeta Mellark

Peeta is settling into his new life, after being named co-victor with Katniss in the Hunger Games. He is living alone in Victory Village, because his parents live in the building which houses their bakery.

Peeta and Katniss' relationship has changed since they returned to District 12. He knows her behavior towards him in the arena was an act, to help them survive the Games and her real love is Gale. They have barely spoken since they returned and when they do talk it is with a definite chill in the air. This changes after they realize they are returning to the arena to fight.

This time Peeta knows Katniss is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he survives. But he is working to make sure she survives, because she has more to live for in his eyes. If he doesn't return his family will be fine, because they have the bakery to sustain them, but Katniss is the sole support of her family. He also tells her he could not go on living if she was dead.

Peeta shows more tenacity during the days leading up to the Games, as he makes Katniss and Haymitch join him in a rigorous training regimen. Peeta has the ability to communicate his ideas in such a way as to garner support from the masses. He is not above lying to bring support to himself and Katniss. He does this during his televised interview, when he informs the host he and Katniss are married and expecting a baby. This is a total fabrication on his part, but it garners the sympathy they need to receive gifts during the Games.

Peeta, even after knowing Katniss does not love him as he loves her, is still compelled to comfort, and ensure her safety. He is willing and wants to give his life to ensure she will live.

Haymitch Abernathy

Haymitch has gone back to his hard-drinking ways, after Katniss and Peeta are named co-victors of the Hunger Games. He feels his job is done, because they can mentor future Hunger Games tributes from District 12. He doesn't know what lies ahead for all of them.

He does advise Katniss, after he finds out President Snow has threatened her. He tells her it will not be enough to convince the population she and Peeta are truly in love, she will have to marry him. She is saddened by this news, which means her desire to live her life as she chooses is gone.

Haymitch goes through some rough times, after he is cut off from his alcohol source by new restrictions placed on District 12, by the new Head Peacekeeper. He is also not wild about Peeta's training regimen. He goes along with it to make sure Peeta strengthens himself, so he has a better chance of winning the Quarter Quell.

Katniss and Peeta find out Haymitch is more like them then they ever suspected, after viewing the tape of his victory during his Quarter Quell. They find out he used a force field, he was not supposed to know existed, to eliminate the last tribute who opposed him. This made him the victor, but also incurred the ire of the government, because they didn't want the general population to know they used a force field. So, like Katniss and Peeta, Haymitch also went up against the government and he too used cunning to win his Games. This earned him new respect in the eyes of Katniss, who until learning of this incident in his life, thought he was not very intelligent.

Haymitch is not only intelligent, he is also one of the masterminds behind rescuing Katniss from the arena. He bargained everything dear to him, to make sure the symbol of the rebellion survived.

Finnick Odair

Finnick Odair is the victor tribute from District 4. He not only was a Career tribute, but he was the youngest person, at the age of 14 years-old, to win the Games. At first Katniss has a bad impression of the self-important Finnick, but she begins to view him differently in the arena.

He has been told by Haymitch to make sure she and Peeta survive the Games. Katniss knows Haymitch made sure the three of them formed an alliance, but she thinks it is to save Peeta, not her.

She also sees Finnick's sweet side as he carries Mags, an old woman who volunteered to take the place of Annie Cresta, in the Games. Annie is the woman Finnick is in love with, but the Games she participated in made her go mad. As a way of thanking Mags, for taking Annie's place, Finnick carries her on his back through the jungle in the arena. Mags for her part, sacrifices herself when Finnick must make the decision of whether to save her or Peeta.

Finnick is part of the plot to make sure Katniss survives the Quarter Quell, because he knows she, as the mockingjay, is the life of the rebellion. He is a man who seems superficial to the casual observer, but is in actuality a man of deep convictions.

Gale Hawthorne

Gale is now working in the mines to support his mother and siblings. He doesn't have much time to spend with Katniss, but they do meet up on Sundays to spend time together in the woods. He is proud and doesn't want to accept the game Katniss brings to his family every day. He refuses to allow her to give him money, so Katniss gives them only game, which she brings to his home while he is at work in the mines.

Gale is publicly whipped for poaching by the new Head Peacekeeper, but Katniss throws herself in front of the whip to take the blow meant for him. Then she along with Peeta and others take Gale to her mother for medical help. During his recovery, the two of them become even closer. Gale eventually tells Katniss he loves her, but she is unable to return the sentiment. This is because she is thinking about the threat President Snow leveled against Gale. He threatened to kill Gale if Katniss doesn't convince the President and the country she and Peeta are truly in love.

Gale must deal with his feelings about Katniss and Peeta's fake engagement and the show of love they put on for the public. In the end, after Katniss is rescued by Haymitch, it is Gale who finally breaks through to a despondent Katniss. He tells her he rescued her family and he is the one to break the news of the destruction of District 12 to her.

Gale is steadfast and loving towards Katniss, even after he is whipped and his life is threatened.

President Snow

President Snow is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep Katniss under his control. He threatens to kill Gale, if she doesn't show him and the country she and Peeta are in love. He is hoping this display of affection will quell the uprisings beginning in some of the districts. They are uprising because Katniss defied the government, during the Hunger Games, and lived, so they think there is a chance they too will be successful in their rebellion.

President Snow cannot have the public thinking they can revolt against him, so after Katniss and Peeta's engagement does not suppress the uprisings, he throws them and the other victors back into the arena. He is sure this is one way to be rid of Katniss finally, but he is thwarted by Haymitch and others, as they rescue Katniss from the arena.

President Snow does have Peeta, who he will torture for information. He also gave the order to destroy District 12, which means Katniss has no home. President Snow is a desperate man who will do anything to stay in power.


Katniss' mother is a woman of surprising strength. She is fragile and unable to work after the death of her husband in a mining accident, but she comes into her own after Head Peacekeeper Thread comes down on the citizens of District 12. She sees more and more people pass through her home, as she does all she can, with the small amount of supplies she has on hand, to provide medical help. She is also a source of courage and information for Katniss during her time in the arena during the Quell. Katniss remembers what her mother has done for her patients and uses similar techniques to help Peeta and Beetee. Katniss' mother is a caring woman who wants to protect her daughters and help stop the suffering of the people in District 12.

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Catching Fire Chapters 8 - 9 Summary
Catching Fire Chapters 10 - 13 Summary
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Catching Fire Chapters 22 - 24 Summary
Catching Fire Chapters 25 - 27 Summary
Literature Summaries

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