Plot hole (?) that I can't get past In the climactic scene at the cornucopia, it seems that Katniss had at least one opportunity to kill Cato. I recall when she first reached the top of the cornucopia, she saw him doubled over. Why didn't she just kill him? If she had killed him, wouldn't the games have been over? I know she had to focus on staying alive and fending off the creatures, but really, if she had just killed Cato it would have all been over. Right? Is this a plot hole?
I just finished the book, and she did consider it, but was distracted by Peeta who was in danger. She ended up picking off some mutants chasing Peeta, because it seemed the more critical thing to do at that moment. Cato was too vulnerable to launch an offense at that moment, so she tried to save Peeta instead.
She was probably more focused on getting away and being killed. It's been a few months since I've read this one. Plus, if Cato fell over - the mutations would have munched on him, giving her more time to get away. And if you remember correctly, when Cato died that didn't end it. Or maybe she was tired of killing?
R. Jensen is correct. I literally just read that part and Katniss had an arrow pointed at Cato when Peeta was attacked by one of the creatures, so she chose instead to save Peeta. And yes, they still thought they could both win at this point.
R Jensen's reply is very spot on. I just want to add my own opinion on this though. Katnis did thought of killing Cato but was hesitant. Here you see that even in the HG, Katnis still has some humanity left in her just like what Peeta was saying up on the roof of the Training Center. By hesitating in killing Cato, she has shown that the Games did not change their humanity. This is what she meant when she was talking to Gale about hunting, if she acts like she is hunting, then she is treating these people as animals.
This is not a plot hole. Up to this point, Katniss did not intentionally kill anybody. It is against her nature. Furthermore, it would not be the end of the games because she was not the only one left. (Hence the berry scene right after).
I think this is what a few of the previous posts were also saying. I totally get that Cato needed to remain in the story. I think the "plot hole" or whatever label you want to put on it, is that Katniss had the opportunity to kill Cato, but did not, AND that this wasn't explained. At that point in the story, we did still think that Katniss and Peeta could win together. And yes, she was focused on staying alive, but IMHO the best way for her to stay alive would have been to have killed Cato, thus ending the games. The part that I can't get past is that she had the opportunity to kill him while the three of them were on top of the cornucopia, and she didn't even consider it.
After enduring so much, I'm not sure Katniss had it in her to kill one of the only other survivors. I think the point of not doing it was the remorse she felt when he fell prey to the creatures and having to suffer those long agonizing hours herself. I believe the question is less whether it was a "plot hole" than "if she could have a do-over, would she have ended Cato's life when she had the chance?" A very interesting, moral dilemma certainly.
The real hole comes before that, in my opinion. You can see it coming from the very beginning of the novel, as soon as Katniss's archery expertise is revealed. It's just a question of if/when the situation will turn up... and it does.
Katniss has a huge advantage in swift, precise, ranged attacks from her bow. Even the other two tributes known to be proficient with ranged weapons -- Cato (spears) and Clove (knives) -- can't match that. We're told Cato's range with a spear is almost as good as hers with a bow, but a spear's guaranteed to be much slower through the air (i.e. very easy to dodge at long range if you know it's coming), plus it's a one-shot deal. Cloves knives are no doubt faster through the air than a spear, and multiple knives can be thrown in quick succession, but they would lack a bow's range. Long story short: Katniss has clear ranged superiority.
So, after seeing Foxface retrieve her backpack and flee from the Cornucopia "feast", why does Katniss purposefully commit such an obvious tactical faux-pas as to leave cover and run across open ground to grab her own backpack, thereby revealing herself and leaving herself utterly exposed to attack?
It's the perfect time for an ambush. It's the exact situation at which the book has set her up to excel since the first chapter, yet -- despite years of doing *exactly* that outside the fence of District 12, hunting game -- she inexplicably flubs it. She knows everyone will come. She knows exactly where they have to go, to the square-foot. All she had to do was wait until the others went for their backpacks and then take them out with arrows. Thresh wouldn't risk allowing Cato and Clove to walk off with his backpack, and Cato/Clove wouldn't miss the opportunity for an easy kill if Thresh stepped forward first. She could have one dead before they knew what happened, the second before they had time to react, and the third as they fled.
Even a throwaway line about "not wanting to waste time siting and waiting when Peeta could die at any moment" would have helped but, as it stands, Katniss's decision and action in that scene are completely contrary to her character through the rest of the book.