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. Here’s chapter 26; if you haven’t read our predictions for chapter 25 (which we published a couple days ago) be sure to check them out!
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!
After her conversation with Snow, Katniss goes back to her room and thinks about what his words implied. She believes there’s no proof to make anyone think District 12 were the ones behind the bombing at the City Circle, but at the same time some things nag at her: the double-exploding bombs (which she knows for a fact were something Gale and Beetee had thought up), and the fact that Prim was sent to the Capitol, which someone so young wouldn’t have been authorized to do unless someone very high up gave the go-ahead.
She goes to Haymitch, who is the only person she thinks she can trust to help her with this information, but finds him passed out, drunk. She wakes him up by dumping a pitcher of water on his head, but he only snaps at her, so she leaves. She hides out in a wardrobe and tries to sleep, but she has nightmares. Eventually, guards are sent to pull her out of there and take her to her prep team, who have to get her ready for Snow’s execution. Effie arrives to escort her, and the prep team reveal she had been imprisoned after the invasion of the Capitol.
As Katniss is getting ready, Gale arrives to bring Katniss a sheath with just one symbolic arrow. Katniss asks him if it was his bomb that killed Prim; he replies that he doesn’t know, but it doesn’t matter, because either way Katniss will always be thinking it might have been. Katniss’ silence is confirmation.
Effie escorts her to a room where a group of six other Victors, including Peeta, are waiting. Beetee explains that they’re the only ones left, and then Coin comes in, adding that all seven of them are now protected under the “Mockingjay Deal.” Coin explains that to the people in the Districts who suffered so much at the hands of the Capitol, punishing Snow’s accomplices doesn’t seem like enough, but they can’t kill every Capitol citizen, so they’ve decided to have the Victors vote on whether or not to hold a last, symbolic Hunger Games with Capitol children instead.
Peeta immediately votes no, and is joined by Annie and Beetee. Johanna and Enobaria vote yes. Katniss thinks back on the origin of the Hunger Games 75 years previous, and wonders if it had been similar to this, feeling despair at the idea. Then she votes yes, “for Prim.” Haymitch echoes her vote. The issue decided, Katniss gives Coin the white rose so she can have Snow wearing it over his heart at the execution.
She’s taken to the City Circle, where Coin stands on a balcony and Snow is brought in, with everyone else watching around them. Katniss expects Snow to look afraid, but he only looks amused, like he did when they had their conversation at the rose garden. This makes Katniss come to a decision: she shifts her aim to a higher point, shoots, and Coin falls off the balcony, dead.
With the new burden of facts President Snow unloads on Katniss, it will be interesting watching her, especially when no one else knows what Snow has told her about D13 dropping the bombs on innocent civilians.
Katniss’ inner dialogue pieces together important ideas for readers as well, which most likely will have to already have been established in the film. It’s too important to go with out. One of the most compelling thoughts she has against D13 is when she says, “…it’s been a long time since I’ve been considered a child in this war.
Katniss wonders who was behind putting Prim in the heat of battle. She guesses at Coin, which I believe will be what ultimately leads Katniss to shift her aim towards wanting Coin dead. The worst part is Katniss has no one left to confide in. She needs to piece together what happened, and Peeta can’t help her because he could only speculate with Katniss, and Gale could have been the one who set off the bomb, so she can’t directly ask him, and Haymitch has turned back to the bottle, resulting in him trivializing Katniss’ concerns.
Her traumatic dreams return, which will inevitably make us long for Peeta again to comfort her, setting us up to realize he is the only one who can bring her the peace she desperately needs. Interestingly enough, Effie makes her book re-appearance in this chapter, so no big shock of her return in the movie. Katniss says , “[Effie] stands and kisses me on the cheek as if nothing has occurred since our last meeting.” Thankfully her character arc in the movies has taken a more dynamic arc.
Katniss gets made over by her prep team for the day of Snow’s execution, and Gale comes to see her. Inwardly, Katniss wonders what it would have been like if none of this had happened. If she had just married Gale, had kids, and run away from District 12 into the woods. Gale and Katniss’ conversation reveals that she may never manage to forgive him because it could have been his bomb, but they are having so many more conversations in what is not said out loud, which I hope is somehow turned into dialogue.
Katniss is ushered to a meeting of the previous Victors where Coin announces her idea to hold “a final, symbolic Hunger Games, using the children directly related to those who held the most power.” Everyone’s initial reaction is shock, as will the audience’s response most likely. Johanna and Enobaria vote” Yes.” Peeta, Beetee, and Annie vote “No.” Katniss and Haymitch, vote yes, but in the book we can feel their “Yes” was strategic, and not a true vote for the Hunger Games Coin proposes. Hopefully the audience will know Katniss’ character, and see she clearly is trying to falsely appease Coin.
The first time I read the book, I totally missed the fact that she shoots Coin. I was so sure it would be Snow that my mind read it that way. So I know the audience will be stunned. I hope Coin’s dramatic fall from the balcony is just as brutal as I’m imagining it in my head. Even though we don’t get’s Snow’s reaction in this chapter, I also can’t wait to see Snow’s “gurgling cackle accompanied by a n eruption of foamy blood,” which happens at the beginning of Chapter 26.
Lines I hope make it:
“Don’t look so smug. We’ll kill you anyways.” Johanna Mason to Enobaria
This is the chapter that really stands out in my mind when I think of the second half of Mockingjay. I remember just feeling so awful for Katniss as I read this–she literally has no one to turn to. No Peeta, no Gale, no Finnick, no Haymitch, no Prim…so what does she do? She hides in a wardrobe and gets tangled up in the coats, like her mourning is suffocating her. I couldn’t stop pitying her.
Much of this chapter, I feel, will stay the same. Katniss must have time to ponder over Snow’s words, and I really hope they show Haymitch rebuffing her. This will then continue that feeling of loneliness that was so prevalent in this chapter of the book. The vote will go down the same as well; we know this from stills. And the final plot twist of the series is being kept in as we well know, so what will they leave out?
I’ve got a feeling that they will leave out Katniss hiding in the wardrobe. I hope they don’t. It was such a powerful moment for me while reading the book (in fact, I remember the first time I read this part–that’s how powerful it was for me). I don’t know why it stuck me so much, but it is the image I was go back to: Katniss wandering around Snow’s cold mansion and then finding a wardrobe to hide in. If they keep it, I will be delighted, but I’m not really expecting them to because they only have so much time.
Lines I hope make it:
“Was it your bomb?” –Katniss to Gale
(Predictions submitted before seeing the movie, so there are no spoilers whatsoever!).
I love Paylor’s line at the beginning of this scene but again I have no idea if Paylor is even present outside the greenhouse in the film, so I might as well count this one as cut.
Now, here is the thing. Do we need the summarising debate going on in Katniss’ mind? I think so because it produces a simple clarity as to the opposing theories of why Snow would have done this and how Coin could have done this. Will we have Rebel Command scenes coming to the decision to use this cruelty to end the war and sending Prim in to secure Katniss’ allegiance? I think before Prim’s death we may see her being assigned to the front line. It’s not needed. The film may not throw up the debate of why she was there in the first place despite her young age. Rebel medics of her talent are thin on the ground. But for clarity, seeing someone order her to the Capitol under Coin’s direct command may cement for the audience why Katniss was justified to kill the president. Well, on top of ordering such an act and floating the idea of another Games. Either way the audience needs to know, either by clues hinted before Prim’s death. Or by having Katniss’ inner thoughts spoken to a confidant. Most likely Haymitch. Which would require him to be somewhat sober. If they go the Haymitch route I doubt Katniss will storm before finishing her discussion with him. And it would be the perfect time to lay some “For Prim” hints, so we can see get a better sense of Haymitch sharing the decision to kill Coin in the voting scene. But, with confidence, we may just see all of this play out exactly like the book and trust in Jennifer Lawrence’s abilities and Julianne Moore in the voting room.
It doesn’t worry me too much. I have complete faith Danny Strong and Peter Craig have this one sussed. Whichever way they adapted this, I believe the audience will see Coin’s cruel approach to bring the war to a swift end.
As I said in Through the Pages 25, there is a possibility that we could return to the same kind of visceral nightmare world of the tracker jacker venom in The Hunger Games. But I don’t think it will happen after Snow talks with Katniss. If we get a scene like this, it’ll be once and most likely straight after Prim dies.
No stylists to remake Katniss. Just her and Effie could bring a touch more emotion. I think Katniss dressed as the Mockingjay for the final time in her living quarters will come after the voting scene. It’s not for certain but I think Katniss standing in front of the mirror will be the moment she already knows what she has to do. It’s coming to the end of Through the Pages and I’m getting risky but I think we’ll see Snow, a discussion with Haymitch, voting and then her dressed as the Mockingjay, ready to go.
I hope Gale enters the room. I love this final moment between them. It’s filled with such hurt. Two best friends united and then divided by terrible circumstance. We need this look at their broken relationship and it’s also, of course, the best source of evidence she has that is was the Rebels that killed Prim. One omission though, I can’t see the “That was the one thing I had going for me line included.”
As for the voting scene. I believe Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Johanna, Beetee, Enobaria and Annie will all be there. Peeta’s desperate indignation is what I’m really looking forward to here. It’s so important for his true character. He is the true moral compass in this scene for the audience. Even considering a final Hunger Games as punishment is wrong, wrong, wrong!
I am sure we will see Katniss weighing her options. I hope she looks up to Haymitch while saying “For Prim.” We need that recognition between mentor and tribute. We need to know Haymitch is following her lead to create a final justification for bringing down Coin. That’s why I think they might discuss it earlier. Not explicitly mind you. But enough well plotted clues to patch together their thought processes.
Some worry about the ambiguity here. It’s not ambiguous. It is at the time. But after Coin’s shocking death, you ponder why and like all well plotted novels – you rethink, retrace your steps and see the scene again in different eyes with better knowledge. This is Part 2’s pondering and rewatch moment. All becomes clear at the end. We don’t need hand holding. Don’t talk down to the audience. Let them think through and conclude why Katniss votes “Yes” after the execution. And if needs be she can always explain to a character later. But I say best to give something for an audience to mull over. Stick to Collins, that’s what I say. I’m fairly confident that Katniss handing Coin the rose for Snow’s lapel will also be included.
As for the defining moment of the series, we’ve seen much of the walk to the execution in trailers and slight glimpses of the aftermath. This has always been my favourite moment of the series and so far they seem to be doing it perfect justice. The weight of the scene isn’t lost on Jennifer, who has said that this scene was always the one she pictured while shooting arrows in archery training for the first film. So I cannot wait to see the definitive moment on film when Katniss tilts her bow upwards and kills Coin.
Lines I hope make it:
Katniss: “What if I miss?”
Gale: “You won’t miss.”
Katniss: “Was it your bomb?”
Katniss: “I vote yes… for Prim.”
Coin: “Haymitch, it’s up to you.”
Haymitch: “I’m with the Mockingjay.”