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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 26

By the Book Chapter 26

Today is the Chapter 26 installment of our By the Book editorial, 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!

Beetee attaches the copper wire to the tree and then says he wants Johanna and Katniss to run with the coil down to the beach and into the water. Katniss says good-bye to Peeta and tells him not to worry, and she and Johanna take off for the beach. Part way there, someone cuts the wire, but before Katniss can react, Johanna smashes the metal cylinder of wire into her head, jumps on her, and cuts the tracker out of her arm. She is so badly injured that Brutus and Enobaria don’t even pause to finish her, saying she’s good as dead. Katniss eventually forces herself to her feet so she can go find Peeta. A cannon goes off, indicating a Tribute has died, and then Katniss trips on the cut copper wire. She finds a nearly unconscious Beetee and hears Peeta calling to her. She yells for him, but it’s Enobaria and Finnick that appear. Katniss raises her arrow to aim at Enobaria’s neck and another cannon goes off. She hears Peeta calling for her again, but remembering Haymitch’s words about remembering who the real enemy is, she connects the wire to her arrow and shoots at the chink in the force field. Lightning strikes the tree as the force field explodes….


This is another chapter that has a lot of stuff happening but not really many explanations as to what is REALLY going on– not for Katniss and not for us as readers either. In my head, this has always been the point where things go a little crazy and disjointed, and we don’t really piece things together until the aftermath when we realize that basically everything has changed from this point on, and I expect to get that feeling from the movie as well.

I think this chapter will play out on-screen very similarly than it did in the book, no significant cuts or additions. I hope they keep the bit with Peeta wanting to go with Johanna and Katniss in, because it’s a very defining moment for him in my opinion, and I always felt in Mockingjay that it was that particular moment he saw as the moment he “failed” to protect Katniss, be there for her, which I think is important for his character once the real Peeta starts showing up again in the last book. After that, Johanna and Katniss will definitely go off together; Johanna stabbing Katniss’ arm must definitely be included because that’s the moment you have the audience doubting: was she trying to kill Katniss from the beginning? Was the alliance just pretend or is there something more going on?

Katniss looking for Peeta amidst all the chaos MUST be included– this is the moment when SHE feels she failed him– and it’s reminiscent of the scene in THG when Katniss finds the berries and thinks Peeta’s dead. Jennifer and Josh played that scene out so well, I’d love to see their desperation for each other’s safety in this second film, too. I hope we get to see Peeta kill Brutus, I know that’s one scene many of us are curious about and if Francis Lawrence wants to show Peeta’s strength, it’ll be included. Then Katniss reaching Beetee, aiming at Enobaria, realizing that’s not what Haymitch meant, and then shooting the force field; all of this must happen really fast, lots of flashes from side to side and no focus. It’s supposed to be dizzying, and I hope Francis gives us that.

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: “Don’t worry. I’ll see you at midnight.”
Johanna: “Stay down!”


This chapter is such a whirlwind. First of all, I hope we will have an adequate description from Beetee on what he plans to do with the wire, either beforehand or while they’re winding the wire around the tree. I’m not sure how they’ll divide Katniss and Peeta, since saying he’s “too slow” doesn’t seem to make sense since he still has both his legs and he seems to be in the lead in the random clips of running through the jungle we’ve seen so far. But they’d better the nail the whole good-bye and kiss between Katniss and Peeta before she goes off with Johanna. And I am very excited to see Johanna attack Katniss and cut the tracker out of her arm.

After that, her desperate search for Peeta better to desperate, and I hope we see the fear and panic on her face when she hears the first cannon go off until she hears Peeta callign for her. We all know that Peeta kills Brutus, but I hope they cut away from Katniss just long enough to show the two of them coming upon each other. We don’t need to actually see Peeta kill Brutus… I’d like to cut back to Katniss just as the second cannon goes off, but let it stay ambiguous on who it was that died. Katniss comes upon an unconscious Beetee, who’s tracker has also been cut out, and then takes aim at Enobaria and Finnick. I want to see her take aim at them, then pause, realize what Beetee’s plan is, and fire the arrow with the wire attached into the force field, and then BOOM and fireworks as the whole shield explodes.

In the newest trailer, we see Katniss calmly climbing a tree, looking around, and then curiously firing an arrow into the sky. They way they have it edited, with Snow’s expression, leads one to believe that this is the ending. But why is Katniss so calm? Why does she look so clean and why is her arm not cut? Why is there no wire attached to her arrow? I believe that this is really two scenes melded together for purposes of the trailer, and Katniss shooting her arrow is from the beginning of the Arena sequence, where she’s just exploring. There’s no urgency in this scene, and I need urgency when she fires the arrow that destroys the force field.

Line I Hope Makes It
Johanna: “Stay down!”


Chapter 26 is another one that’s full of Katniss’ thoughts, from Johanna and Finnick breaking the alliance, to saving Peeta and then to remembering “who the enemy is”. I think the audience will have to wait until Haymitch explains the final moments in the arena alongside the alliance plan to fully piece it together like Katniss does. That leaves us with one frantic, tense set of scenes and I imagine the film will be ‘choppy’ in the same sense the book is, rushing us through the action and amping up the tension. I hope they include Katniss’ last reassuring line to Peeta, as that makes it even more harrowing later when he howls for her in the jungle and she calls back, thinking that it is the end for her.

I’m sure the second half of the chapter will all be included on screen, as Johanna knocks Katniss down and cuts her arm open whilst telling her to stay down. I think this is also the last we’ll see of Johanna in ‘Catching Fire’ as she runs off into the jungle. One area where I’d like to see the film expand on the book is the exchange between Brutus and Peeta. There is the most fleeting mention later on that Peeta kills Brutus in these final moments and I’d really like to see how that plays out. They did a good job in ‘The Hunger Games’ when Katniss staggered around after being affected by tracker jackers so I’m sure they will come up with something here as she works her way back up the hill, heavily injured. I can’t wait to see the special effects when the arena force field blows up, especially in IMAX! I have no doubt this sequence will be exactly like the book, as Katniss finds Beetee who just manages to groan and point at the force field, before she sees the others returning and then shifts her aim towards the force field and KABOOM!

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: “Don’t worry. I’ll see you at midnight.”
Johanna: “Stay down!”


This chapter is what I would call “Intense”! From the moment it starts with Beetee telling Katniss and Johanna that they have to be the ones to run the wire down to the water and Peeta can’t come with them to Johanna knocking Katniss out and then cutting her arm open to the careers finding Katniss “Good as Dead” and then taking off, and then on to Katniss making it back up to the tree to find Beetee just laying there with only one small wound and Peeta calling for her in the distance. But the most exciting scenario for me would be when Katniss shot the arrow up into the window in the force field. I can’t WAIT to see how that plays out on screen, I have a feeling that they HAVE to keep that in for the movie. Other than that scene, the one’s I think should stay in the movie would be the one where Johanna cuts Katniss’ arm and the scene where Katniss is with Beetee and she hears Peeta in the distance and it fires her inside to do something quickly to save his life! I am excited for this chapter in the book.

Lines I Hope Make It
Katniss: “Don’t worry. I’ll see you at midnight.”
Brutus: “She’s as good as dead, come on Enobaria.”

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