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Customer Discussions > Mockingjay (The Hunger Games) forum

Did Katniss really want the Hunger Games to continue or did she have ulterior motives when she agreed?

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 3, 2010 9:14:11 AM PDT
Tim says:
When Katniss agreed to continue the Hunger Games using Capitol children (as a tribute to Prim), I thought that she was lying, tricking Coin into believing that she supported her and her ways and didn't believe that Coin was in any way guilty of Prim's death.

However, I think that Katniss had just been given the final proof that Coin was just as bad as Snow and that she was willing to sacrifice innocent children in order to gain control of their world.

In other words, Snow had told the truth about Prim's death and it was Coin who was responsible. I believe that this epiphany is important because it shows that Katniss wasn't just vengeful but still thinking in a strategic way about how to make their world better.
I believe this epiphany and her previous conversations about how she should trust no-one, and that she needed to prove her loyalty to Coin if she wanted to live etc. convinced her to lie and say that she wanted the games to continue.
This meant that she would earn a little bit of trust from Coin, which would giver her the chance to get close to Coin and kill her, which she does.

However, no-one else I've talked to sees it my way. Everyone else thinks she was just reacting from hopelessness, anger, revenge etc.

What does everyone else think?

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 2:56:00 PM PDT
I think Katniss had several motivations when she said "Yes" to a new Hunger Games. Your points are all valid, but I also think that she realized that Coin was just another President Snow. In fact, it was like one evil regime being replaced by another. To get out of that room, she had to say "yes." Coin would not have let her live if she did not support her. By saying yes, Katniss was able to make it out onto the balcony and end the viscous cycle once and for all. Eliminating Coin meant that no one district would rule over and punish another. All of Coin's actions were leading us toward a continuation of all the things Katniss despised most.

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 8:34:01 AM PST
A. Duke says:
I agree with both Lea and Miller. Katniss was still "playing the game" as evidenced by her hope that Haymitch was lucid enough to "still be able to speak their unspoken language" and vote yes on her queue as well, proving to her that he was still her mentor and she still had work to do: Kill Coin. The eventual quasi-democracy via "election" the replacement provides the reasonable implication that there would be no more Hunger Games.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2011 6:57:43 PM PDT
I think you're absolutely right. It's what I thought, but I wanted to make sure. As soon as I read this, it became quite clear that Katniss was using her agreement to the continued Hunger Games to position herself to removed Coin. Also, her mentor, Haymitch understood this and followed Katniss' lead.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011 9:28:52 PM PDT
Kristin says:
"Haymitch understood this and followed Katniss' lead."


Katniss wonders if he knows her well enough to follow what she's doing. And then his statement, "I'm with the Mockingjay," has layers and layers of meaning. He knows.

Posted on May 5, 2011 5:01:36 PM PDT
Karin says:
Im so happy you people discussed this cause this was making me confused, I feel the subject was talked about so little, and the reader had to put a lot of meaning into it..
But I was thinking the same thing as you are, so thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2011 9:46:23 PM PDT
Angela says:
So the hunger games wont actually continue will they?

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2011 1:34:23 AM PDT
Karin says:
That's why I think at least. Because it never left that room and Coin was shot. And I'm guessing if the other people hold Katniss to it, he would just pull her vote and so would Haymitch!

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2011 1:16:48 PM PDT
Sarah's says:
I think when Katniss vote 'yes' then said 'for Prim' and exchange a look with Haymicht who said 'I'm with the Mockingjay' to me that was a signal/an understanding between them. I think at that point everything was clear for Katniss, she always wonder about Coin from Prim's death to who Coin really was. Therefore I don't believe Katniss was going to let the Hunger Game continue, she had to stop it.

Posted on May 19, 2011 1:12:06 PM PDT
There are no more Hunger Games after Coin is killed. That is made completely clear--though it's easy to read past it! Some people have complained that Collins didn't make the "she's faking" thing more obvious. Have you been reading these books, folks, or just skimming? Her interaction with Haymitch in this scene tells us everything we need to know... though, yeah, when I first read it, I was so shocked, all I could think was "What? NO! AND NOT HAYMITCH TOO!"

This was brilliant writing, people. When Katniss goes out and shoots Coin, the reversal of feeling... Oh man. Wish I'd written that!

It blows me away, the readers who don't appreciate the writing in these last couple of pages.

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 4:53:12 PM PDT
RBW says:
i was happy to see this point brought up for discussion. it is easy to feel that Katniss' vote was entirely out of character, so it is very important to know that she was not seeking revenge against the Capitol when she voted 'yes' to a Hunger Games with the Capitol's children as tributes. her goal, with the help of Haymitch, was to get Coin to believe she was committed to the rebellion and to Coin as their leader. she needed to get herself out on that bacony and stop Coin from continuing a viscous cycle of violence.

the events of this book that are most important are often very subtle and are what makes the series powerful, endears the characters to you and makes you feel how you feel at the end. i think it is easy to rush when reading because the story just has a tight hold on you and you may miss some things. i tried to read slower and even reread some parts.

some may not like the ending, but it was a war and the characters were all pushed to places most of us cannot imagine. Katniss' life after the Games was the best we could have all hoped for her.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 11:32:07 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 1:07:06 PM PDT
Tim says:
Yes in fact Coin's name is symbolic. She's just the other side of the coin to Snow. Another Snow in fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2011 8:58:45 PM PDT
Lit Teacher says:
Your reasoning was the only way it could make sense; I've been thinking about this for 2 days since finishing the books. Katniss was so opposed to the manipulation of children for the advancement of agendas, that she had to be using this as a strategy to actually prevent it. Thanks for a well-written response!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 6:22:28 AM PDT
jean says:
I agree completely. Suggesting to continue the Hunger Games is the proof that Coin was just as bad and responsible for the death of Prim.

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 7:30:33 PM PDT
scrappy says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 1:14:23 PM PDT
Molly says:
But Coin was just going with the will of the people, and Coin's suggestion for the Capitol Huger Games was actually the lesser of two evils, the other option being a genocide of all Capitol citizens.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 1:51:53 PM PDT
I 100% agree with you. I had to read the ending twice to really see it. My first first response was that she was angry and vengeful but as you read it agree I could almost hear her wheels turning in her head. Katniss was NEVER going to stop being a piece of their games and Coin proved she was just as horrible as Snow and she had to die. Her agreeing to the the Hunger Games was the last thing she needed to do to let Coin think she was on her side. I don't thing Cion would have let her shot the final arrow if she had not shown her that she was "a good little soldier".

Posted on Apr 10, 2012 1:13:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2012 1:13:46 PM PDT
I'm glad you mentioned this because it completely flew over my head. I didn't understand why Katniss said yes, and I didn't understand why she decided to kill Coin.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 12:52:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2012 6:16:48 PM PDT
I think a big part of why I like the entire series is that some of the answers to questions like this are sprinkled throughout all three books. In this case, one can gather a few clues from the second book, after Peeta and Katniss are done watching the tape of Haymitch's Hunger games.

After watching it Katniss says that she thinks she finally knows who Haymitch is. And is beginning to "know who I am". So first one must read the parts about Haymitch's time in the arena to figure out who he is.

1. In his interview with Caesar Haymitch says the games will still be "one hundred percent as stupid as usual." So he hates the Hunger Games. Thinks they are stupid.

2. When he first enters the arena he, like the other tributes are awed by the beauty of the place. But he scowls and quickly takes off for the Cornucopia before the other tributes even move. He's not fooled by first appearances. He distrusts first appearances - especially when they come from the Capitol (i.e. from Authority).

3. He keeps going deeper into the woods because he's convinced the arena can't go on forever. And when he gets to the cliff he's not convinced that its the end. And he skirts the edge of the cliff "as if trying to figure something out".
So he's not content to play by the rules, he doesn't want to play the game the way its meant to be played, he's just trying to find a way out.

So if Katniss knows this, and if in the last book she wants to find out just how alike they are, she's basically saying she

1. Hates the Hunger Games. Knows Haymitch must hate the Hunger Games too. But he can't vote "No" because it isn't about first appearances, is it?

2. What first appearance is it then? That this will be the final end-all be-all of the Hunger Games? It can't be that easy. If Coin is willing to sacrifice kids now, who's to say she won't sacrifice kids again. And again. And again. It goes back to distrusting first appearances from Authority, i.e. Coin. Who at this point hasn't really shown a lot of mercy if you think about it. She was willing to kill the tributes captured by the Capitol (i.e. Peeta and Annie) just because they happened to be captured by the wrong side.

3. It can't just be about voting "yes" or "no" and that's it. Those can't be the only rules. There must be some other way to play the game. There must be another way out.

Hence, if she knows Haymitch and she knows herself then she is sure he will vote "YES" if he also feels the same way about Coin. Haymitch voting "No" would mean that he doesn't think she deserves to be killed - based on whatever information he has that he can't tell her right there. At that moment.

So when he votes "YES" she has her answer. And because she knows him and knows herself the answer is clear. She has to kill Coin to end the Games.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 1:11:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2012 1:25:31 PM PDT
I kind of had an epiphany about this from another blog section, see what you guys think:
Coin never expected Katniss to realize it wasn't the capitol that killed Prim. Coin's motivation was to have the most important thing to Katniss destroyed by the capital in hopes of drawing Katniss' support and approval to everything anti-capital. Coin was already questioning Katniss' loyalty, destroying Prim (and making it look like the Capital's fault) and then suggesting a hunger games with capital children was Coin's test to see if Katniss (and thus the mockingjay's loyalty) could be controlled via rage/vengence for the capital. Katniss agreeing to the last hunger games and even saying "for Prim" fooled Coin. Thus, Coin believes she can control/appease Katniss and "buy" her support and loyalty by being vengeful with the Capital. Coin was left exposed and unprotected and Katniss saw her moment and took the shot. This makes sense to me and makes Prim's death very deliberate on Coin's part. Katniss knew all along she was going to kill Coin, I think her voting for the capital hunger games was to fool Coin and allow Coin to believe she (Katniss) could be controlled through her rage at the Capital for killing Prim. Katniss knew this would lead to Coin taking her guard down, Snow's execution was the first opportunity.

Another thought is that if Katniss realized the capital children hunger games was Coin's test, and if Katniss didn't pass the test and voted against the hunger games, Coin would have had her killed. I think the book was very clear that if Coin didn't have Katniss' support, then Coin wanted her dead. Katniss' vote was a way for Coin to measure Katniss' loyalty and how it could be used/controlled. Her "yes" vote, left Coin very unsuspecting and unprotected. If Katniss had voted "no" Coin would have known her ruse with Prim didn't work, Katniss couldn't be controlled and would have been plotting a way to martyr her while keeping herself very protected.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 4:47:39 PM PDT
Something kept bothering me about Coin putting forth the proposal of a final Hunger Games to the remaining tributes. I think I finally figured out what it is. Here's the thing:

In Mockingjay, have you ever recalled a decision making process involving Coin that did not include her cabinet in the same room?

When Coin tries to convince Katniss to become the Mockingjay - Plutarch, Boggs, and others - "Coin's people" to use Katniss' words are present.
When Katniss presents her demands, Coin's people are present.
When watching Peeta's broadcasts, Coin's people are present.

Why then, when its something as cruel and abhorrent as a final Hunger Games, when her cabinet is supposedly deadlocked for and against it, is Coin the only one present in the room for the votes? Seriously, if she's the only one then she can leave that meeting saying anything, "Oh yes, they all voted for it".

Could it be that maybe this final Hunger Games isn't the will of the people at all? Its just the beginning of the consolidation of power under the new President - same as the old President?

Ever wonder why, if as Coin says "many people are clamoring for the complete annihilation of those who hold Capitol citizenship" that those same people weren't still clamoring for it after Coin died? Or why no one else proposes a final Hunger Games?

Because no one else wanted to propose it. Because no one else really wanted it. Because no one else wanted that kind of control over the people. Except Coin.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 10:17:37 PM PDT
Because, yes, I have fallen in love with a fictional character, I can't help but wonder what Peeta was thinking this whole time. He was in the room. He voted no.
And I'm sure that once again, Katniss wasn't thinking about Peeta at the moment, because it's not a romance novel and that's okay. She was considering what she needed to consider, the revolution, where her alliegance is, who she can trust, what her answer really means. I think we've seen Katniss respond to strong emotional situations (when she volunteers at tribute, shoots the pig, hangs Seneca, tries to shoot down the jets in district 2) but we don't really see her as spiteful or vindictive. Even when she pulls those berries out, it's not in spite of the Capitol, I don't think there was any anger attatched that choice.
And once again, Katniss and Haymitch have found a way to communicate even "in the games." Even though there wasn't a reaping in Mockingjay, I think we can all agree that it was the 76th Hunger Games, down to game makers, players, and an arena. Katniss and Haymitch both knew that and they responded as mentor and tribute.
And once again, Peeta is out of their loop, unaware of their secret language, and last to know. I wonder if Katniss told him before or after she shot Coin. I wonder how and when she explained it to him what really happened. I wonder how he responded and if he felt left out again. Not that this time around he was being played like before but he was still unaware of what was really giong on. But in her defense, Peeta did just see a bowl of soup as a bowl of soup without any messages of kissing attatched.
What do you think?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 5:48:53 AM PDT

There seems to be two discussion threads with the exact same topic. The other thread seems to have more discussion, and I also wrote a fairly long post on what may have been going through Peeta's mind during the vote for the final Hunger Games. And I also wrote another, longer post about what may have been communicated between Haymitch and Katniss for that final vote.

You might want to check out the other thread here:

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 1:40:55 PM PDT
SM Johnson says:
Katniss voting "yes" to one more Hunger Games was purely to appease Coin. Because remember this... how the hell could a 13 year old medic in training (Prim) land in the middle of a combat zone? Only by the highest orders. Coin. It didn't even matter who developed the silver parachute bombs or that the secondary explosion was Gale's idea. Coin put Prim in danger, and Coin killed the Capitol's children. Therefore Coin is not a trustworthy leader.
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Initial post:  Sep 3, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 20, 2013

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Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (Hardcover - Sept. 2010)
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