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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 12

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at our Chapter 12 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!

While Katniss’ prep team is preparing her for her wedding dress photoshoot, she overhears them talking about shortages and she realizes that Districts 4, 3, and 8 might be rebelling. The next morning, she goes to visit Haymitch. He says he’s heard rumors of trouble in 7 and 11 as well, but also tries to convince her that there is no District 13 anymore. That night, there’s a special TV presentation from the Capitol, where Katniss’ wedding dresses are shown for the citizens to vote on. Afterward, President Snow reads the card of special rules for the Third Quarter Quell, stating that this year’s male and female tributes will be reaped from each districts existing pool of victors. Katniss realizes that, as the only female victor in District 12, she will be going back in to the Arena.


I think most of the part with the photoshoot will be left out; we might get a glimpse of Katniss in her wedding gown, but I don’t think they’ll take the time to design several dresses. I’m fairly sure there will be at least a snippet of a conversation where Haymitch confirms that several districts have rebelled, it’s important foreshadowing for the alliance in the arena AND for the reveal of District 13. And of course, the reading of the card will definitely be there.

Lines I Hope Make It
I hope all three Quell rules are included with Snow’s speech, but at least the current one has to be there, verbatim: “On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.”


There’s only one scene from this I can see definitely making the cut and it’s President Snow reading the card for the 3rd Quarter Quell. But just before that, it would be best to reiterate Katniss’ intentions for the future – to coax District 12 in to rebellion. Therefore, it would be a good opportunity to keep the conversation with Haymitch about the status in other districts and include either his denial of the existence of District 13 or some hint that he knows more than he’s telling. Something that would cause viewers to return to the scene on repeat viewings to see Haymitch’s opinion, now knowing that 13 does exist. But I wouldn’t be completely sure of it’s inclusion.

I highly doubt we’ll see Katniss and her wedding dresses. Which is a shame, because I like the idea of people in the Capitol voting for their favourite with everything going on outside their borders. But truthfully, the reading of the card seems to be the only moment from this chapter which I’m sure will make the adaptation, it’s far too important a plot point to delete.

Line I Hope Makes It
Snow: ʺOn the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest amongst them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.ʺ


While I’d like to see the prep team unknowingly deliver news about the districts to Katniss, I’m not enthusiastic this will make it in. I think it’s more likely that Haymitch will simply tell Katniss during a conversation. We do know that the reading of the card scene is intact along with the boy in the white suit due to set photos, but what I’m really hoping they preserve or even enhance dramatically will be Katniss’ mom at home during the broadcast. It’s always been such a powerful scene to me when Mrs. Everdeen stares blankly ahead and says, ʺIt must be the reading of the card.ʺ I know Paula Malcomson could pull this off amazingly, so I just hope they give her that opportunity. Given the backstory she was given in THG, I think the chances are good!

Lines I Hope Make It
Everyone is saying the same thing, so I’ll go with: “I had a friend who went that year,” says my mother quietly. “Maysilee Donner. Her parents owned the sweetshop. They gave me her songbird after. A canary.


I’d like to see Katniss and Haymitch have a discussion, her telling him her suspicions about District 13 and him shooting it down as something only ʺdesperate peopleʺ would believe in. He’ll tell her about the rumors he’s heard of shortages in other districts, but I don’t think we’ll hear anything from the prep team and I would guess that they’ll be cutting the wedding dress shoot completely. Katniss will go home, just in time to watch the special Capitol broadcast, which will be just President Snow announcing the special rule change for the Third Quarter Quell.

I’d like to hear Mrs. Everdeen give a short explanation of what the other rule changes were, or maybe we’ll see Flickerman give a recap before going live to the President. Then, word for word from the book, I want President Snow to proclaim that tributes will be reaped from the existing pool of victors from each district… so, somewhere in the movie before this, they’ll need to talk about Katniss being the only female so that the audience will realize right away that Katniss is going back in to the Arena.

Line I Hope Makes It
President Snow: ʺAnd now we honor our third Quarter Quell. On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors.ʺ


I can see the photo shoot getting cut entirely, especially if we do get ‘the candy scene’ from Chapter 11. Although it could be another vehicle for Katniss to find out just how widespread the rebellion is, but given there was barely a glimpse of the stylists in ‘The Hunger Games’ I doubt they will get any lines in here. It would be nice to hear about it from Cinna though, strengthening his friendship with Katniss and making later events even more heartbreaking for the viewer. The scene could perhaps be shifted, and occur instead when Cinna puts Katniss in the wedding dress before the tribute parade.

I’d love to see Haymitch and Katniss talking but I think this will make way too, particularly if we get Bonnie and Twill. Or, the alternative line of thinking where Haymitch breaks the news of District 13 could work around this timeline. So after being negative nancy for this chapter (and keeping my fingers crossed everything from the previous chapter is included!) I’m going to make the call that the only thing to be included in full from this chapter is the reading of the card, which I’m sure will send chills up my spine just like President Snow’s scene in the rose garden in ‘The Hunger Games’. I want my jaw to hit the floor (even though I know what’s coming) and to feel as angry as I did when I read the book and I know Jen will pull off the emotions on Katniss’ face perfectly in this moment, the initial confusion and then realisation of her return to the horror of the arena setting in. It will definitely be one of the most pivotal moments of the film and I can’t wait to see it all play out (plus it leads to another of my fave moments in the next chapter!)

Lines I Hope Make It
Absolutely the reading of the card in its entirety, like Carla I hope President Snow reads out the rules for the two previous Quells and then drops the bombshell of the rules for the Third Quarter Quell, exactly as it is in the book. There’s no excuse for line tampering here!

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