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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 17

By the Book Chapter 17

It’s time for our Chapter 17 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!

After Katniss’ session with the Gamemakers, the Tributes receive their official scores and Katniss and Peeta tie with the a score of 12, the highest score possible. Peeta tells Katniss he wants to spend “every possible minute of the rest” of his life with her, so he sleeps in her room, neither one of them having nightmares, and they then spend the entire next day together, having a picnic on the roof. The following morning, Katniss’ prep team finds them in bed together. Cinna brings her the wedding dress President Snow has selected as her interview dress, but he says he’s made some alterations to it. Then it’s time for the Interviews with Caesar, and when it’s Katniss’ turn, she spins so everyone can admire her dress. But, as she spins, her gowns catches fire and burns away, leaving her in a winged black dress, the perfect reflection of a mockingjay.


I hope we get to see the Gamemakers react to Katniss hanging the dummy; PSH would kill this scene, I know it. On the other hand, as I said for the last chapter, I don’t think there’ll be an extensive discussion on what they did during their private sessions with the Gamemakers– I think it’s more likely we’ll be shown. I would like to hear Peeta say that he wanted to hold them accountable for killing Rue, but I think they’ll probably skip that scene altogether, especially since it’s very similar to the one they had in the first movie where Effie keeps freaking out that Katniss will get in trouble, so I guess they’ll just go straight to the scores reveal.

I hope they keep every single Peeta/Katniss interaction in this chapter because… well, I’ll just die if they don’t. 😛 In all seriousness, though, their day at the roof definitely has to make it. As much as I love everything Peeta says, I fear some of his lines in this scene are probably too cheesy for the big screen, but I hope they keep the scene in even if it’s just some sort of montage that’s mostly without dialogue. Not only because they have to develop the relationship before the arena, but also because the two of them know this might be their last day alive. That needs to be very clear, the fact that they both know they’re going to their deaths and this is the last chance they may have to be somewhat content. It’s what really makes this moment poignant.

I don’t think we’ll see much of the prep team except as background, but I would like to see them sniffling around as they get Katniss ready. I think a lot of the conversation with Cinna will probably be visual instead– a shared glance here, a nod there– but I hope he still says he had to make ʺslight alterationsʺ because it’s just such a good hint as to what’s to come.

The interviews will most likely be a montage-type thing like they were in the first film, but this time the tributes will be the ones speaking more instead of Caesar, I hope. And of course Katniss’s interview, which I hope will be a lot more comfortable than her first interview was, since she’s more used to the cameras now and more invested in making the Capitol look bad for ʺkilling her and Peeta’s happiness.ʺ The wedding gown we’ve already seen, and I’m sure it’ll look fantastic when she twirls, but mostly I can’t wait to see it transform into a mockingjay. I hope it blows my mind.

Lines I Hope Make It
Peeta: ʺI just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you.ʺ (ugh, my poor HEART!)
Cinna: ʺI had to make some slight alterations…ʺ (Cinna, you tragic genius, you.)


Before they step foot in this arena, there is one thing I want them to make clear about this year’s Games and the added effect of what Peeta and Katniss did in their training sessions: this time, Katniss truly believes she will not make it back. Make it clear that there is an impending death sentence upon her head by Snow himself. Not only is there no hope of returning to District 12 but Katniss has accepted this fate, hoping that her death will give the rebels watching a symbol to fight for. She will make sure Peeta, the better man, will be the victor and will fight for this until her very last breath… It’s not too much to ask for! And it’s easily acheived in limited time, judging by the template of The Hunger Games, by cutting to the Gamemakers, diplaying the reasoning for their training scores and even a scene with President Snow could nicely sew that up. Hopefully the lead up to this arena doesn’t feel like a retread of the pre-74th Games and remind the audience that it isn’t just their own lives at stake but the future of Panem up for grabs too, that should change things up a little.

So leading from this in to the scene between Katniss and Peeta on the roof, I pray it feels like two condemned people sharing the last moments they have left in (relative) freedom together before death and not something that will make me curl up in a ball of cringe! There needs to be a moment before the arena to establish the trust and dependancy between the two of them going into this horror. And I don’t know whether it will be lifted from this Chapter or merged with scenes after the interviews but I’m hoping the dialogue translates well to screen. Jen and Josh are more than capable! I love how Katniss talks about counting the number of sunsets she has left to witness, it’s such a poetic thought. We know Francis Lawrence is all about the visuals so I can’t see him passing up such a nice shot at Golden Hour.

But of course the real importance of this chapter is Cinna and his artwork. Now that’s a relationship that has to be re-established before THAT moment at the end of the next Chapter and why THAT moment occurs. ʺNot the flickery stuff I wore last year in the chariot, but something much more real that devours my dress.ʺ — well if that isn’t an insentive for the special effects to be improved in Catching Fire, I don’t know what is. I think it’s safe to assume that this is the one moment in Chapter 17 which will most definitely be included. Panem is in such a fragile state, I love this duality of attempting to calm the Capitol and punish the Districts simultaneously. Katniss becoming a Mockingjay against this backdrop is such an inflammatory message to the rebels (pun intended!) and if the tension leading up to this in entact the symbolism should be unmistakeable. As for the other tribute interviews (leaving Peeta’s aside for now of course) I’m sure they’ll be montaged or alluded to in the same vein of the first film.

Lines I Hope Make It
Haymitch: ʺSo that the others will have no choice but to target you.ʺ
I’m not sure if the exact wording will be used verbatim but Cinna informing Katniss that Snow has forced her to be dressed this way but that he has made some alterations.


I do hope that as Ciara said the fact that Katniss has essentially written her life off is clear and that she is doing all she can to save Peeta. Given the prior conversations with Haymitch, this should translate to screen. I want the full effect of the game makers reactions after she hangs the dummy (or similar), a wine glass falling to the floor and Plutarch staring her down, and I think it’s important in this moment to still view Plutarch with suspicion. I hope that the dinner conversation remains, or that the conversation is moved to the couch before they wait for a score reveal, just as it was in ‘The Hunger Games’, so that we can have Effie and Haymitch react and get another another subtle smile between Katniss and Peeta. The conversation afterwards between Katniss and Peeta is important as Katniss comes to realise Peeta’s meaning behind not wanting to ʺbe another piece in their gamesʺ, but this could be shifted elsewhere, such as when they share a picnic on the roof later on. I do hope they show them spending the nights together to help ward off each other’s nightmares but I can see this being cut or being shown fleetingly.

My inner fangirl dictates that the picnic on the roof absolutely must be there and I see no reasons as to why it won’t make it, it is such a poignant moment and does show that Katniss has resigned herself to the fact that she will not be returning home to District 12. To this end I am being ruthless again and cutting the time with the prep team to allow more time with Cinna as he helps Katniss into the wedding dress. I hope that here there is a subtle nod to the pending rebellion as he explains that President Snow has personally ordered Katniss wear the dress, but that he has ʺmade alterationsʺ. I cannot wait for the Victor-Tribute interviews and I think the comments before they go on stage will make it, such as Cashmere’s remark, Finnick questioning the outfit and Johanna telling Katniss to make Snow pay. I do think though that we will only see a few snippets of Caesar interviewing others, exactly like ‘The Hunger Games’, before it is Katniss’ turn. I’ve no idea how the Mockingjay dress will turn out but I adore the wedding dress, so I have high hopes that it will be amazing. It’s such a symbolic and powerful moment and I think Caesar’s face will be a great way to show just how dangerous a move it was. A cut to a nervous look from Cinna, confused looks in the crowd and a seething look from Snow would also complete the moment.

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: ʺIs it a secret? President Snow didn’t act like it was. In fact, he seemed eager for me to know.ʺ
I’m not sure the direct lines from the book will make it, but I do love Katniss’ response of ʺokayʺ when Peeta wishes he could freeze their moment on the roof, so I hope something nice shared between them will make it.

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