Hello everybody and welcome to the next installment of our Through the Pages series! We’re in the final stretch before the movie comes out so we’re going to start cranking these out faster. You’re not getting two chapters today, but chapter 26 should come soon-ish. So stay tuned for it in the next couple of days!
In anticipation for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, we will break down the second half of Mockingjay with our predictions on what will make it to the big screen and what will be left behind on the cutting room floor. Don’t forget to comment with your own predictions and speculation so that we can come back and examine who got what right or wrong!
Spoiler warning! Through the Pages involves a lot of book discussion, so if you haven’t yet read Mockingjay then proceed with caution, particularly now that we’re entering the true climax of the story. Or, better yet, go read the book and then come back and join in!
Katniss is hit by a fire ball from the exploding parachutes and spends what appears to be weeks in the burn unit of a Capitol hospital, since things have changed enough so that Coin is running Panem, Gale has gone to District 2, and Cressida and Pollux are out covering the war. She slowly recovers, though she doesn’t speak, and the head doctor, Dr. Aurelius, states that she’s emotionally traumatized and advises people simply leave her alone. Living in Snow’s mansion, Katniss hides in odd places, wanders around aimlessly, and does as Haymitch instructs her and eats her food and takes her meds. One day, while wandering around, she comes across Snow’s rose greenhouse, and after some fuss at the entrance, Paylor grants her entrance. Katniss goes in to harvest a white rose to pin to Snow before she executes him, and just as she’s about to pick the one she wants, Snow speaks up from within the greenhouse.
He tells Katniss that Coin was responsible for the parachutes, that framing him for the deed is what broke the last of the support Snow had. Katniss thinks back to Beetee and Gale in Special Weaponry and the special bomb that Gale came up with. Eventually, Katniss speaks her first words since Prim’s death, and tells Snow she doesn’t believe him.
I haven’t done one of these in so long I’ve got some rust to shake off. We were just talking about this chapter on JabberCast, about how I originally breezed through it so fast that I hadn’t realized what just happened in the last one. And while I don’t think we’ll have as extensive a healing session as described in the books, we’ve already seen in screenshots that Katniss is burned, and her hair is short in another trailer, as if still growing back from being singed, so I think we’ll see at least something. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of Katniss’ wandering around and hiding, as it can be done quickly to show what she’s going through without being too long.
We have also already seen the greenhouse scene, along with Snow sitting in it with his regal Santa suit, so we know this scene does take place. They even have lines taken almost word for word from the chapter (Book: “I was watching you, Mockingjay. And you were watching me.” Teaser: “I’ve been watching you. And you watching me.”), which is seriously cool. Even the “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen” line that people were getting sick of is in this chapter. I don’t think Paylor will be in this scene, but I’m really looking forward to seeing this one. Also, I had to laugh when I read that Katniss picks up a pair of pruning shears to pick the rose because I’d brought up how much it bugged me that she just magically plucks the rose out of the bushes in the teaser. At least Suzanne Collins and I are on the same page when it comes to the reality of picking roses!
Lines I hope make it:
Basically all the lines in this chapter belong to Snow, and so I mainly am looking forward to the delivery of:
“I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am about your sister.”
“I don’t believe you.”
In her agony, Katniss imagines “a small white bird tinged in pink [diving] down,” which is Prim, who Katniss finally is forced to lets go of, even when she is the one thing Katniss was trying to protect. There’s so much cerebral and supernatural emotion here I can’t even begin to imagine how they will translate this on screen. Many of her descriptions are very much like scenes from the arena, which makes me wonder if she will take herself back there as her subconscious mind sorts through all her past and present horrors in an attempt to “float” in in the metaphorical sea she describes herself nearly being swallowed in.
Katniss has been trying to avoid this moment with every fiber of her being. Her enormous effort at numbness finally gives way to every emotion she hasn’t allowed herself feel. In her agonizing recovery she says, “the morphling opens the door to the dead and alive alike,” which I hope isn’t an opportunity to tear at our hearts by tricking us that Prim is still alive. The silver lining in all of this is we might get to see Jennifer Lawrence emoting, as brilliantly as she always does, and say so much with her expressions that we don’t even need dialogue.
The story seems to wrap up so quickly that we only get brief details like Gale’s been shot twice, Peeta’s burned and in the hospital too, Katniss’ mom is busying herself with work to escape reality, and Cressida and Pollux are out covering the post-war destruction. While Katniss is recovering in the hospital, Snow is sentenced to execution, which seems appropriate for Haymitch to be the one who tells her.
Wandering through President’s Snow’s mansion, Katniss stumbles upon where they are keeping him. Thankfully, Paylor lets her through, and Snow wastes no time before he begins his mind games, taunting Katniss in one of their iconic dialogues. He informs her “they [D13] released the parachutes,” and not the Capitol. Snow says, he would have used a hovercraft to escape if he’d had one, but whether the movie will present this as plausible or a bluff will be up to Donald Sutherland’s interpretation. Personally, I think Snow would rather die in one last grandiose performance to wear Katniss to her very core than to escape. Snow will fight to the bitter end until everything else is consumed, and then finally himself.
One of the most interesting pivots is when Snow uncovers Coin’s plot by saying, “After all, it was Thirteen that started the rebellion that led to the Dark Days, and then abandoned the rest of the districts when the tide turned against it.” Although he can’t blame all of that on Coin, since it happened 75 years go, he still pieces everything together for Katniss. Snow says, “I was watching you, Mockingjay. And you were watching me. I’m afraid we have both been played for fools.” Katniss cannot afford to believe Snow. It is beyond what emotional limit of facts she can swallow, but she knows it’s true. When she says, “I don’t believe you,” Snow drops his ice cold line of, “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other,” which is the climax of Snow’s mind games. This is what makes everything worth it for him. He gambled with everyone’s life in the Hunger Games, and now he is finally willing to gamble his own, just to get to this point with Katniss. For Snow, it always has been a game, which he, even after this disaster, still refuses to quit playing.
Lines I hope make it:
As I’ve said earlier. All of Jennifer’s lines will be non-verbal, but equally as compelling as Snow’s lines, which are a perfect culmination of his cruel genious.
“Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other.”
(Predictions submitted before seeing the movie).
I have no clue what’s going to happen after Katniss is engulfed in a ball of flame. It has always annoyed me that the most vocal Everlark fans state as though it were fact rather than a theory that Peeta pulls Katniss from the flames and puts her out. From the book, we know he got to the City Circle and was burnt. It’s an interesting theory and I’m all for it. But because many talk about it as though it were canon, I am petty enough to be happy if it isn’t in the film. Just to be a dick!
I love how this is written. The imagery Suzanne Collins composes is so simple and yet entirely powerful and conveys so much. It’s truly beautiful work. I have no idea if any of this imagery will be viscerally produced in the film. Instinct tells me no yet it’s possible and could echo the more surreal visionary elements that went in to Katniss’ experience with the tracker jackers in the first film. So don’t rule it out yet. The ghost of her father haunting her could return. Prim as a human torch could be revisited in nightmares just as the explosion in the mine that killed Mr. Everdeen was revisited. Either way, the transition from that shocking explosive moment to whatever scene follows was always going to be a difficult one. Something Danny Strong, Peter Craig, Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson would have discussed, sorted out and settled on a long time ago. Hopefully they found the perfect way to adapt this. Whatever it is, we can all agree Jennifer Lawrence will knock it out of the park!
I’m sure we’ll be back in a hospital bed with the best medics working on Katniss, sifting between emotional agony and detachment. Even thinking about how to show this is awful. Like Katniss, it’s actually admitting to myself that Prim is dead. The pain that it causes Katniss and the knowledge that we’ll see one of this generation’s greatest actors portray that grief and complete abandon is both intriguing and a little devastating to think about. I’m sure she’ll be doing it all in complete silence. Which is even worse.
It’s possible that the ‘steady stream of information’ visitors give to Katniss could be summed up in a how-the-war-came-to-a-close montage with characters in various places and their status in the new Panem. We may get a scene of a cloudy, emotionless Katniss hiding in various parts of the mansion having seen her habits in Part 1. Much of her diagnosis can be left to Dr. Aurelius.
I’m sure we won’t get a Snow trial but it could be glimpsed or explained in exposition by a visit from Haymitch. We know already the walk to Snow’s quarters is a little different in the film from the trailers. Instead Katniss will visit a greenhouse and perhaps she speaks of her plan to get a rose before she goes. I hope Paylor is somewhere around here. I’m a Paylor fan! But inside the greenhouse is something I have no fear about. Donald Sutherland and Jennifer Lawrence going toe to toe in a scene has been a highlight in all of the films. You can tell both of them really enjoy it and Donald won’t miss an opportunity to give another stunning, crisp Snow performance. He just gets it! I have no worries for this interaction and I can’t wait to see it. It’ll be A-grade material. My only hope is that he is indeed in manacles and the seeds have been sown earlier for Gale and Beetee’s cruel battle plans.
Lines I hope make it:
Snow: “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other.”