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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 18

By the Book Chapter 18

It’s time for our Chapter 18 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’ interview dress burns away to reveal her as a “mockingjay”, it’s Peeta’s turn to be interviewed. He tells Caesar that he and Katniss have already gotten married and that Katniss is now pregnant. The audience explodes into chaos and Caesar is unable to quiet them. As the national anthem is played, Katniss and Peeta and the rest of the Victors join hands on stage until the room is plunged into darkness. Back in the apartment, they talk briefly with Haymitch before going to bed. The next morning, Cinna helps Katniss dress for the Arena, but when the glass cylinder closes around her, Peacekeepers storm into the room and beat Cinna senseless right before her eyes. Then the tube takes her to the surface, and she sees nothing but water, the only thought she’s able to clearly comprehend being “This is no place for a girl on fire.”


This chapter is, for me, very important to prepare the Mockingjay movies. First, the end of Katniss’ interview and Peeta’s interview will probably be short, but they may not delete the baby announcement. It’s not really important but it’s another big annoucement during Peeta’s interview, just like in the first book and movie. I also hope that Caesar’s reaction to the mockingjay dress will show us how dangerous Cinna’s act was. Second, I think the victord holding hands will probably be in the movie : it won’t take much screen time but is an important symbol. We will be able to see the difference with the first movie when all the tributes were not looking at each other. Third, I hope Katniss’ and Peeta’s goodbye to Haymitch will be there, because it really is a scene with many feels ! It’s also the first hint that the arena with the other victors will not quite be as Katniss is anticipating it. Last, of course Cinna’s last scene will be in the movie. There’s just no way they can leave this out. But, I don’t think we will seem him being beaten by the peacekeepers, maybe only one or two hits, so that the younger viewers will be able to see the movie.

Line I Hope Makes It
Haymitch: ʺYou just remember who the enemy is.ʺ


One of the things I want the most from this chapter in the movie, is to see a flicker (no pun intended) of Caesar Flickerman’s understanding of the mockingjay significance during the interview (I think we already did see some of that in the first film, so it wouldn’t be out of the blue).

Peeta’s interview will be in the film in its entirety I’d wager, at least paraphrased if not word-by-word, as will the ʺbabyʺ bomb– I’m fairly certain implied (pretend) underage sex wouldn’t affect a PG-13 rating, and they’re also implied to be married after all, so I see no reason to leave that out. I hope we get to see how different Katniss’s reaction is to this than it was to Peeta’s first surprise reveal in THG, though I don’t think they’ll go into the aftermath– maybe he’ll try to apologize and she’ll tell him there’s no need, but nothing more than that. I certainly hope they make it clear how much this fake baby will affect public opinion, even in the Capitol; it’s the whole point of Peeta’s strategy to save Katniss this time.

I’m not too sure that the Victors holding hands will be in the movie. I’ve always thought it’s too good a visual to pass up, but now that I think about it further, they might just do Finnick, or just do Team Mockingjay, as a way to foreshadow that they’re rebels while they others aren’t. I hope they stick to the original version, just to show that being a Victor sucks and they hate the Capitol no matter how bloodthirsty they are, but I’m not holding my breath for it.

One thing I’m sad to have lost is Haymitch’s ʺStay alive.ʺ It would’ve been a nice parallel with the first movie. I hope they can find a way to have a throwback there, that would be awesome. Also, I should mention Peeta giving Katniss one last kiss before the arena gave me unexpected feels; I don’t think that’ll be included, but I may just DIE if it is! Hopefully they’ll add a little moment there just to emphasize that they really think this may be the last time they get to be together.I hope the moment Katniss is lifted onto the platform is as amazingly tense as it was in the first movie. And of course Cinna’s last moments will definitely be there. Better start getting your box of tissues ready.

Line I Hope Makes It
Haymitch: ʺYou just remember who the enemy is.ʺ


I’m not sure how the unrest in the Capitol after Katniss’ symbolic dress and Peeta’s interview is going to play out in the film (looking forward to how they do that), but Haymitch’s line about ʺthe enemyʺ afterwards is almost a cert to be included. It just has to be. Or at the very least some inkling to what is really at stake here. The most perfectly executed scenes in The Hunger Games was the lead up to the arena. From the elevator with Haymitch to the Cornucopia, Gary Ross created a poweful sense of expectation and dread. You could feel the atmosphere in the audience and I hope that the same can be constructed again in Catching Fire.

The real lynchpin of this chapter is the brutal attack on Cinna. It simutaneously achieves retribution for Snow and unsettles Katniss, making it clear to her that the odds really won’t be in her favour this time. But it should also be one of the more emotional moments in the series. This is one of the scenes where I hope they stick religiously to the book. Their last moments – Katniss cut off in the tube, in a state of utter desperation to try and help Cinna – was perfectly composed by Collins followed by the realisation that ‘this is no place for a girl on fire.’ If Flawrence sticks to Suzanne Collins’ template here, they can’t go far wrong.

Line I Hope Makes It
Haymitch: ʺYou just remember who the enemy is.ʺ


I really want there to be a concerned look on Caesar’s face as he realizes Katniss’ dress has turned her into a mockingjay. I also want to see President Snow’s reaction, his face calm but his eyes ablaze with fury as Cinna stands up to take a bow. Gary set a precedent of the Tributes standing out in the hall, but maybe they’ll change things up, seeing as this is a Quarter Quell, and have all the Victors out on stage. I’d love to see them sitting in the hard wooden chairs they sat in for the Capitol Portraits. I’m also really looking forward to Peeta’s interview, and the mass explosion from the audience when he says Katniss is pregnant. (I do not, however, want a cut back to District 12 so we can see Gale’s reaction, the way we did when Katniss kissed Peeta in the cave.) If they have the Victors on stage, I have high hopes for them joining hands. If they’re backstage, oh well, we’re missing what would have been a stunning visual, but it’s not all that important to the story.

I think they’ll probably have a short scene of them back at the apartment with Haymitch, but I think Effie will be there, just to give her a little more screentime since this is the last time we’ll see her. I’d love to see Katniss and Peeta say good-bye to her, especially if this whole time we’ve been seeing Effie’s mask slowly crack, and I’d love to see her make some sort of anti-Capitol exclamation and then run from the room, near tears.

And then Cinna in the Launch Room. I really want to see him fasten her mockingjay pin to her clothes and tell her that he’s still betting on her. And then she steps into the tube and it closes around her. They look at each other, just like before, and then the Peacekeepers charge into the room and beat the crap out of him. Not too bloody, but just enough so we know he’s really hurt as they drag his limp body from the room. I want to feel Katniss’ panic and helplessness as the platform raises her out of the room and I hope we’re all blinded by the reflection of the sun off the water as we get our first glimpse of the Arena.

Lines I Hope Make It
Peeta: “If it weren’t for the baby.”
Cinna: “I’m still betting on you.”


I wanted the reveal moment to include a cut to Cinna and Snow’s reactions, so I think this would be a perfect way to bring Caesar Flickerman back to focus. Stanley Tucci has amazing acting chops, so I am confident the look on his face at this moment will be very telling as Katniss says its ʺa Mockingjay, I thinkʺ. I don’t imagine they will, but I think this is one of the few moments that a potential voice over quote could work. Just think of the feels if the camera shows Cinna again and his line ʺDon’t worry. I always channel my emotions into my work. That way I don’t hurt anyone but myselfʺ is replayed. Then it’s over to Peeta and his own version of the ʺbombshellʺ. I think this moment will play out as it does in the book, with a bit of friendly banter between Caesar and Peeta before the conversation turns to his relationship with Katniss and the ‘baby’. The inner fan in me would love to hear Peeta describe the toasting and I think this will be woven in as part of the speech. I hope to see the crowd in utter confusion and chaos right after Peeta finishes saying the word ʺbabyʺ. This would be a great way to depart from the book, rather than showing all of the Victor’s upfront (assuming Catching Fire sticks with ‘The Hunger Games’ and has the Victor’s backstage after their interviews), the crowd starts revolting at this point as Peeta is ushered off the stage, then back to the D12 floor with Katniss.

If Haymitch isn’t waiting for both Peeta and Katniss here I tip he will say goodbye to Katniss in the morning to give her a reassuring nod and his last piece of vital advice before the games, to ʺremember who the enemy isʺ. I think that Peeta staying with Katniss again the night before will make it into the film and I’m with Carla about their parting kiss, the movie needs to make it clear that for either of them this could be the last time they see each other, which is a heartbreaking thought. Finally, Cinna, our dear D12 stylist. Last time there was no food and drink, so I imagine Cinna will put Katniss’ jacket on for her again, give her a gentle kiss on the forehead and a kind word (please, let the ʺI’m still betting on youʺ make it!), then watch her enter the tube. Then, just as in the book, Peacekeepers will burst through the doors, pummel him to a pulp and drag him out the doors as Katniss screams in the tube. One thing I am really hoping the movie pulls off is that moment stepping into the arena. As a movie goer I want, and expect, to feel exactly the same way Katniss does upon seeing it first – ʺthis is no place for a girl on fireʺ.

Line I Hope Makes It
Haymitch: ʺRemember who the enemy is.ʺ


Mockingjay Scavenger Hunt

Fourth clue: “The House of Dior was founded in 1946 by the eponymous designer Christian Dior, and nowadays retails not only haute-couture, but also fashion, accessories, fragrances and cosmetics for women, and incorporates a division for men and childrenswear as well.”

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