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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 9

It’s time for our Chapter 9 installment of By the Book, where the staff predicts what parts of ‘Catching Fire’ will make it from the book and into the film, what scenes we’re afraid might get cut, and what quotes we hope to hear included in the script.

By the Book contains spoilers for Catching Fire, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to ruin any surprises, stop reading right now!

Chapter 9 starts with Peeta finding Katniss sleeping at the table beside an unconscious Gale and sends her up to bed. She thinks about being part of a rebellion, and what it would mean to her and her loved ones. After being stuck in the house for several days due to a blizzard, Katniss walks into town with Peeta and Haymitch and tries to talk to them about starting an uprising in District 12. When they reach the square, they find that the Peacekeepers have been hard at work constructing machine-gun nests, whipping posts, stockades, and gallows… and then they see that the Hob has been set on fire. Katniss realizes that District 12 is not ready to be part of the rebellion. Over the following weeks, the mines are shut down and food shortages get much worse. One day, a crate of wedding dresses, pre-approved by President Snow, arrives at Katniss’ house, and Katniss risks going out into the woods just to get away from looking at them. When she gets to the lake, and is surprised by a woman who shows her a white circle of flat bread with a mockingjay stamped on it.


I think Chapter 9 will be condensed down to one montage scene of District 12 in misery. We need to see the Peacekeeper clampdown on any notion of a rebellion. Scenes of torture assembled in the square, the burning of the Hob, the closing of the mines, food shortages and parcels arriving spoiled and rotten. I hope we see Katniss and Peeta as witnesses to some of these acts and how they have become pariahs and, in the eyes of District 12, are to blame and are exempt from the degradation because of their wealth and status. And amongst all this horror there is the vulgar beauty of the Capitol in the dresses Snow approves. I think that’s a powerful image, while people are starving, being stripped of their livelihood and dignity; in the Capitol, they are looking forward to two people they have never met getting married. Katniss bolts for the woods in escape, where (I’m guessing) in the film, she will remain alone.

Lines I Hope Make It
I’m not sure when it will appear but Haymitch, at some point, in reference to the idea of a District 12 rebellion: ʺKatniss. It won’t work.ʺ


This was a tough chapter to analyze for transition to the movie because so much happens in regards to Katniss’ feelings about the rebellion and it all goes on inside of her head. It’s a great chance for them to play up the love triangle more with the scene where Peeta wakes her up while she’s holding Gale’s hand. I’d like to see the conversation between Katniss, Haymitch, and Peeta in the snow remain, but with stronger dialogue to reference her thoughts earlier in the chapter. If Haymitch were to end their conversation in the transformed square with something like, ʺBelieve me, this is just the beginningʺ which would make a nice transition into a montage of the suffering that is poured onto the district. I think Bonnie and Twill will make it in, but only very briefly. I don’t think Katniss will spend a whole day with them.

Lines I Hope Make It
Although it’s a disturbing part, I would like to see the conversation between Katniss and Mrs. Everdeen make it in about the snow: ʺWhat did you do in warm months?ʺ ʺTried to keep the flies away.ʺ I think this is a great scene to build Mrs. Everdeen’s past character.


There is a lot of internal thought going on in this chapter, so I’m not sure how much of it we will actually see. I’d like to see Peeta come into the kitchen and see Katniss asleep at the table, holding Gale’s hand. I would also like to see her apologizing to her mother for yelling at her the night before and her mother saying, ʺI’ve heard worse. You’ve seen how people are, when someone they love is in pain.ʺ I think the conversation with Peeta and Haymitch about starting an uprising, and Haymitch laughing at her, are important, and that she keeps arguing until they arrive at the square and see the gallows and stockades and the Hob on fire.

It would be great if they kept the scene with Katniss visiting Hazelle, but I’m pretty sure that will be cut. They’ll probably be a 10-15 second montage of how things are getting worse in District 12: the closed mines, hungry children, stuff like that, along with the increased number of Peacekeepers patrolling the empty streets. I still haven’t decided if I think they’ll keep Bonnie and Twill in the movie. I think it’s more likely that she’ll just get fed up with Gale’s family starving and go out hunting, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see her come face-to-face with Twill and the piece of bread with the mockingjay stamped in it.

Lines I Hope Make It

Mrs. Everdeen: ʺYou’ve seen how people are, when someone they love is in pain.ʺ
Haymitch: ʺWell, I better go see how much rubbing alcohol the apothecary can spare.ʺ


Chapter 9 is mostly filler, with Katniss thinking more about an uprising. I do hope they include Peeta’s sad look when he sees Katniss has sat all night with Gale, as this also shows later on that even though Katniss’ affections may not be reciprocal (at least not yet) Peeta still loves her. There may be a slight interaction between Katniss and Mrs Everdeen here and this would present an opportunity to use Mrs Everdeen’s dialogue to hint at Katniss’ feelings for Gale. The main event of the chapter though is The Hob going up in flames as well as the discovery of Thread’s various installations and I’m tipping that Francis Lawrence will show these details and events. It doesn’t necessarily have to be The Hob itself that is on fire, multiple buildings and homes would still produce the desired effect and show viewers just how barbaric The Capitol are. Given the casting calls for thin framed extras (assuming they are not just for the reapings) I believe we will also see the starving child opening rotting food parcels as well. I am hopeful that Katniss will be ‘forced’ out into the woods also as a means of momentary escape for her where she may or may not meet someone.. But that’s for next time 🙂

What parts of Chapter 9 do you think will make it?

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