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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 16

By the Book Chapter 16

It’s time for our Chapter 16 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!

At dinner, Katniss knocks a dish of peas to the floor so that she can grasp Darius’ hand under the table since she’s not allowed to talk to him because he’s an Avox. After dinner, they watch the Tribute parade and the next morning is the first training room session. She and Peeta meet Wiress and Beetee from District 3, who point out the force field surrounding those watching them. Katniss shows off her archery skills after lunch and when they go back to the apartment, Haymitch tells her that half the victors had requested her as an ally. When the time comes for the Tributes to be rated, Katniss hangs a dummy in front of the judges and writes the name ʺSeneca Craneʺ across it.


As I said for the previous chapter, I think the whole Darius subplot is not going to be included. I hope they do keep in the conversation about allies with Haymitch, because it would be a nice segue into the Training Center scenes (not to mention, it’d add more suspense if it’s mentioned that Peeta and Katniss are at a distinct disadvantage against people who have known each other for years). I also think the pre-training scene would be a good moment to add some Effie development, show how she does truly care and worry over Katniss and Peeta.

The Training Center sequence will probably be something of a montage to show us the Victors’ abilities, like it was in the first movie. We know from the stills released by Lionsgate that Finnick will probably be his flirty self, and Katniss will likely be shown interacting with Wiress and Beetee as something of an introduction to the characters and adding some foreshadowing about the rebellion. The part about the ʺchinkʺ in the force field definitely has to be included, as it’s crucial later on in the film. I also hope they’ll have some good shots of Katniss firing arrows and the rest of the tributes being suitably impressed, but it might not be necessary as the film will already be action-heavy.

Katniss ʺkillingʺ Seneca Crane’s dummy in her private session definitely has to be there, as they have to explain her Training score somehow. I’m not sure that she’ll hang the dummy, however; that might be too harsh a visual. I’m very curious as to whether Francis Lawrence will keep to Katniss in this moment or actually show us what Peeta did, as well. I think it could be doable even if they stick to Katniss’s PoV, like for example they could have Peeta’s painting still there when Katniss walks into the room.

The fangirl in me hopes they find little ways of showing us meaningful interaction between Peeta and Katniss– first off, to show that they’ve really come to be a team, a united front; and second, to subtly remind the viewer that Katniss is purely motivated by her desire to save Peeta, and viceversa. They probably won’t have time to give us most of the conversations we have between them in this chapter, but I’m sure they can say a lot with a glance, a smile or a nod of the head. I’d love to see them holding hands before they go in for their private sessions with the Gamemakers.

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: “But I don’t want Brutus. I want Mags and District Three.”
Haymitch: “Of course you do.” (I can absolutely imagine Woody Harrelson’s resigned tone as he says this)


There is a danger in Catching Fire that the scenes leading up to the arena may have an air of repetition. I hope Flawrence can keep it fresh by making it clear that during the training sessions alliances must be formed because currently District 12 are the first targets. So Haymitch explaining this situation is a good segue into the training centre. We need Wiress and Beetee to explain the force field, the ʺchink in the armour.ʺ I think their conversation will be given prominence even if the allusions to the rebellion are cut. I think most of these getting-to-know-you scenes will become part of a montage though, allowing us to see some of the tribute’s personalities and skills with the most important characters making a lasting impression. This was done very well in The Hunger Games, it was easy for the audience to establish a lot about the tributes before entering the arena.

It would be a nice way to round out this scene by contrasting Peeta’s ability to socialise and strike up alliances with Katniss giving up attempts to lose herself at the archery range, where she gets everyone’s attention under the watchful eye of Plutarch. Which would be a perfect transition to Haymitch talking about alliance offers. I love the exchange between Katniss and Haymitch: ʺ… I know it can’t be your sunny personality.ʺ … ʺ… I want District 3 and Mags.ʺ ʺOf course you do.ʺ I hope it stays in because Woody would ace those lines. I’m not sure if the interactions between Katniss and Peeta will stay intact or even if Peeta’s painting in his private session will stay. I really hope those moments do make the cut but I think I can safely bet that Katniss stringing up Seneca Crane will not be left on the cutting room floor.

Lines I Hope Make It
I’m not sure when this line will be uttered, but I’d love to hear Katniss say: ʺHow are we going to kill these people, Peeta?ʺ and Peeta say: ʺI don’t know.ʺ


Since Darius has been cut from the movie, the first part of this chapter will also be cut. I’m sure they will skip over the recap of the Tribute parade and Katniss’ nightmare, and go straight to breakfast the next morning, where Katniss will see the golden bracelet that Haymitch wears, and he’ll give them a lecture on the importance of making allies during training. I do hope they keep the little moment of Katniss and Peeta together on the elevator as he takes her hand before they enter the training room. I’m sure a lot of the training will be a montage, seeing Brutus’ gigantic biceps, Enobaria’s golden teeth, the various Victors showing off their skills at the different stations.

We’ve seen the still, so we know there’s a moment when Finnick comes up behind Katniss– if they stay true to the book, Finnick will put his arms around her while she’s at the knot-tying station. If they stray, maybe he’ll come up behind her after she’s been showing off with the aarows. I’m looking forward to seeing a scatterbrained Wiress while Beetee, the total nerd, while he completes Wiress’ sentences and explains the forecefield to Katniss. I also can’t wait to see Finnick’s and Brutus’ and the others faces when they watch Katniss practice her archery. When it comes to the private session, I’m not sure if Katniss will just hang a dummy and paint Seneca Crane on it… I think she’ll actually shoot the dummy, the arrow sticking just below his name.

Line I Hope Makes It
Haymitch (to Katniss): ʺI know it can’t be your sunny personality.ʺ


As mentioned in the last By the Book, we know that the Darius storyline has been cut, so that eliminates a large portion of the early part of Chapter 16. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing though, as Carla mentioned hopefully this affords us some more time with Effie as well as Haymitch. I’d like to see the dinner after the chariot ride and some commentary about the other tributes, similar to the scene in The Hunger Games, and this would provide a nice touch of continuity as the mentor and the escort try to give them some confidence before meeting them all in the training centre. I hope as Katniss and Peeta split up to meet the other Victors that we’ll still get some glimpses of Peeta as we follow Katniss around, similar to THG where the camera often cut away to reveal who Katniss was looking at. We have seen the fabulous photo of Finnick and Katniss, so I hope that he sidles up behind her and finishes the knot in her hands just as in the book. I think that the meeting with Mags might also happen at this point, when Katniss tries to break away from Finnick he will grab her again and introduce her to Mags before she wanders off to find Beetee and Wiress and make the all important forcefield discovery.

I can’t wait to see Amanda Plummer as crazy Wiress and I have high expectations as she trails off before excitedly pointing out the ‘chink’ in the forcefield. I absolutely love the bird scene when Katniss lets her arrows fly but I am prepared for this to be cut or for us to only see the most fleeting glimpse of it, which would be totally worth it for the look on the other Victors faces, especially Peeta’s (can you imagine the admiration/love?). I really like Carla’s touch of Peeta and Katniss holding hands and would dearly love for something like this to be included as they wait together before their training session, wondering what they will do and what will happen next. I don’t think we will see Peeta paint but I do hope to see the stains on the floor and spilt pots everywhere as Katniss walks in. We were pretty sure back in our Chapter 2 analysis that President Snow will tell Katniss about Seneca Crane’s demise, so I can’t wait to see Katniss’ demonstration with the dummy and then the looks on the game makers faces…

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: ʺHow are we going to kill these people, Peeta?ʺ
Peeta: ʺI don’t know.ʺ

What are your Chapter 16 predictions?

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