Peeta's Games - Chapter 8 - igsygrace - Hunger Games Trilogy (2023)

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven

When I get upstairs, I wearily greet the grown-ups, who - by the way they jump tensely up when I enter - have been waiting anxiously for our return. Portia looks at me expectantly and I give her a faint smile as I go to the dining room and get myself a glass of water. I join the others in waiting for Katniss, refusing to speak, and really feeling nothing but relief that this portion of the Hunger Games is over.

After fifteen minutes, we hear the elevator, and then the doors to the suite open - and rapidly close - on Katniss. I can just see her red, furious face before she bolts down the hall toward the bedrooms and disappears.

"Oh, shit, now what," says Haymitch and he and Effie both hurry after her. Portia, Cinna and I sit in awkward silence listening to them demand, beg and plead for Katniss to leave her room. To no avail. They come back without her and Effie says, "Well, we'll let her relax until dinner. It's been a stressful … day."

I glance down the hallway, trying to read the situation. It's not much of a stretch - I know it probably has something to do with the Gamemakers' lack of attention.

"I'm going to go up to the roof until dinner," I announce, and take off myself. I know I'm leaving behind a roomful of anxiety, but I've decided to indulge my own for the moment.

I've got two hours until dinner and I need every bit of it to sort through my thoughts. It's time - really time - to start thinking about what is going to happen in just a couple of days, and to synthesize what I've learned so far.

I've learned what weapon I'm most comfortable with, so if I do want to defend myself, I need to look for a large knife.

Alternatively, I've also learned that I'm good at concealing myself, and that's a tempting strategy - to find some water, cover myself with mud and grass and wait for starvation to take me. The arena might not fit this design, but more than likely it will. There's a specific window for the length of time the Games considered the "best ones" run - somewhere between two and three weeks. Between a quarter and a third of the tributes die in the bloodbath at the opening, and then if there's a death every one or two days from there on out, it keeps the Capitol viewers entertained. Barren arenas without water sources or hiding places tend to lead to Games that end too quickly.

I'm good at starting fires, but if I'm by myself, that will be a mixed bag. Fires in the arena draw predators of all kinds.

That's it for my useful skills, which is depressing. And none of them seem adequate to keeping Katniss safe, unless she wanted to team up and hide out with me. That would be an unusual strategy, but it would keep me alive a little while longer, and her, too, possibly. The problem is, she doesn't trust me and she'd always be thinking of when to pull the trigger and kill me. And - even though she doesn't trust me, and doesn't really seem to like me too much, either - I think that she would hate to be put in that spot.

What will her strategy be? Get a bow if she can? Get away from the cornucopia, otherwise - run as fast she can away from the Careers and the bloodbath. Find water, sleep in trees, snare or shoot her food. If she HAD a bow, she'd be a formidable opponent for the Careers. But that could be 4, 5 or 6 on 1 - bad odds, even for Katniss. She'd want to wait out the fighting until there are fewer tributes left, hopefully fewer careers. If I have any hope of being useful to her, this is what I must do. Help thin out the Careers.

Well, that should be easy.

When I go back inside, Effie is in the hallway exhorting Katniss to come out for dinner. There's a bit of desperation in her voice, so, this ought to be fun.

I sit down at the table and start on rolls and soup. After a few minutes, Katniss finally makes an appearance, but she looks like she has spent the last two hours crying her eyes out. She's feigning calm as she sits down and accepts a bowl of soup.

Maybe she senses me looking at her, but she eventually looks up the table and right at me. I raise my eyebrows - what? She shakes her head. I'm uneasy. Clearly, her session went badly. So badly that it will make a difference? Scores posted after the training session don't really make much of a difference; even very high or very low ones can be deceptive. It's just to help get the betting started. And yet - it's hard not to care that my own score is guaranteed to be pathetic. That must go double for her.

So, as the main course is served and Haymitch finally turns to us and asks us how badly it went, I jump in first. "I don't know that it mattered. By the time I showed up, no one even bothered to look at me. They even started singing some kind of drinking song, I think. I just threw around some heavy objects until they told me I could go."

Katniss smiles at me gratefully.

"And you, sweetheart?" asks Haymitch.

Her eyes darken at the endearment and the smile abruptly vanishes. "I shot an arrow at the Gamemakers," she says.

The pause in the room is even more intense than the night Katniss mentioned the Avox. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. My mind staggers between admiration and horror.

"You what?" exclaims Effie, echoing everyone's thoughts.

"I shot an arrow at them," continues Katniss - trying to act cool about it, but not entirely able to hide the panic in her eyes. "Not exactly at them, but in their direction. It's like Peeta said, I was shooting and they were ignoring me, and I just … lost my head, so I shot an apple out of their stupid roast pig's mouth!"

I put my hand to my mouth to hide an unexpected grin. Damn, would I have loved to have seen that. There's no way - no way - that has ever happened before. She really is something else.

"What did they say?" asks Cinna.

"Nothing. Or - I don't know. I walked out after that."

"Without being dismissed?" Effie gasps.

"I dismissed myself," she replies, and her eyes search out Haymitch's for his reaction.

"Well, that's that," he says, buttering a roll. I'm not sure whether it's a good or bad sign, but he seems a lot more relaxed than he did when he was berating us for our training day behaviors.

"Do you think they'll arrest me?"

"Doubt it. Be a pain to replace you at this stage," he answers coolly.

"What about my family?" she gets out, finally revealing the heart of her fears. "Will they punish them?"

"Don't think so - wouldn't make sense. Remember, they can't reveal what happens in the Training Center, because it's secret, but they'd have to, to use what you did to punish anyone. More likely they'll make your life hell in the arena."

"Well, they've already promised to do that to us anyway," I add.

"Very true," says Haymitch lightly.

Katniss looks from him to me and her expression is lighter. There is real gratitude in her face, and for a moment the three of us - we mismatched tributes from District 12 and our alcoholic mentor - are all on the same page.

Haymitch continues eating and actually starts to laugh. "What were their faces like?"

"Shocked," she says, grinning. "Terrified. Uh, ridiculous, some of them. One of them tripped backward into a bowl of punch."

We're all laughing now, except for Effie, of course, but even she has the capacity to surprise us today. "Well, it serves them right. It's their job to pay attention to you. And just because you come from District 12 is no excuse to ignore you. I'm sorry," she adds, looking around, "but that's what I think."

"I'll get a very bad score," says Katniss, sobering again.

"Scores only matter if they're very good," says Portia. "No one pays attention to the bad or mediocre ones. For all they know, you could be hiding your talents to get a low score on purpose. People use that strategy."

"That's good news for me," I say. "Hopefully that's how people interpret the four I'll probably get. If that. Really, is anything less impressive than watching a person pick up a heavy ball and throw it a couple of yards? One almost landed on my foot."

Katniss grins at me, which makes my unimpressive day today - indeed the last three days - all completely worth it. That's when I realize that - if it weren't for this whole Game thing - she and I really could have been friends. Hardly anyone I know appreciates my sense of humor like she seems to.

Her mood remains good for the rest of dinner, then we move into the sitting room to watch the scores announced. The Careers are mostly 8s out of 12, though both District 2 tributes, Cato and Clove, score 10s. This isn't a surprise to me. They're both not only quick and skilled with weapons, they are the leaders of the career pack. After District 4, the scores drop down to 4s, 5s and 6s. Although the District 11 tributes, Thresh and Rue are both above average, with Thresh getting a 10 and Rue a 7. I don't have time to ponder that surprising turn, because it's me, next and, despite my indifference to it, it's still awful waiting for my low score to be broadcast throughout the country. What will my brothers think? Or my friends?

But my score is an 8, surprisingly - well above average, and within the Career range.

"I guess someone was watching," says Katniss, and Portia squeezes my arm.

But I shake my head. That's weird. But even more surprising, Katniss scores an 11.

She gasps, Effie squeals in delight and Haymitch claps her on the back. Katniss turns to him, shock all over her face. "There must be a mistake. How - how could that happen?"

"Guess they liked your temper," says Haymitch heartily. Too heartily. I look at him closely; something about this is making me uneasy. "They've got a show to put on. They need some players with heat."

"Katniss, the girl who was on fire," says Cinna. He hugs her. "Oh, wait until you see your interview dress."

"More flames?"

"Of a sort."

Katniss then turns to me. "Congratulations," I say, trying to sound pleased.

"You, too," she says, but her smile is already fading.

She heads to bed and Portia takes her place next to me on the sofa. "Good job, Peeta. So for tomorrow …."

"More flames for me, too?" I ask.

"Not literally. You'll spend most of the day with Effie and Haymitch, preparing for your interview. If you finish with your prep early enough, I'll stop by with my sketchbook, as promised."

I blink at Portia - suddenly and unexpectedly the final friend I'll ever make in my life - then give her an impulsive hug. "Thank you," I manage to choke out.

She and Cinna take their leave, and Effie goes to bed, and then it's just me and Haymitch. Haymitch pours himself another drink. I think I'm actually going to miss this sight. "You and me - we need to talk," I tell him.

He turns to me with a pained expression that is hard to interpret. "Yes," he says. "We do."

"How bad is that 11 - or how good is it?"

He shakes his head. "If I could read the Gamemakers' minds, this mentoring would be a lot easier."

"Is it going to put a target on her back?"

He sits down on a chair opposite me, and frowns at his glass of clear alcohol. "It could. It will help her attract some sponsors at the outset, too, though. It's always hard to tell, in balance, which is better. Here's what you should know. You both made a splash on the first night, but Katniss is who everyone's talking about. They've dissected her upbringing, her motivations for volunteering. They are used to thinking of only Careers as volunteers, so they're wondering if she is more prepared, more eager for the fight, than most District 12 tributes. Some of the Career mentors have actually approached me about her joining them."

"Really? Is it really that hard for them to comprehend volunteering for your little sister? When she -."

Haymitch puts up his hand and I swallow my words. "Let's stick to subjects we can resolve. I've tried to keep you together so you can both benefit from her popularity, but there's only so far that can go. Sorry."

I smile at this. "You don't need to apologize. I get it. So, now what? Is there a way we can mitigate this situation at the interviews tomorrow? Take the target off her back, or - something?"

He transfers his frowns to me. "You need to worry about yourself, boy."

I shake my head. "That's what we need to talk about. I'm not going home - if I didn't realize it before tonight, I do now. There's no way I'll be able to fight off the Careers. If I try to stay out of their way, I'll just starve to death - and that's the best case scenario."

"That's no way to go in," he replies. Not that he can contradict what I'm saying.

"There's no other way for me. But what I want - what I really want - is for Katniss to get out."

"Look, that's very chivalrous of you, but -."

"It's more than that," I object. "She's Twelve - she's one of us - she's -."

"-but, as your mentor, I can't actively choose one of you over the other. Impossible task though it is, I need to try to keep both of you alive."

I frown through this for a moment. What he's saying can't be true; there's no reasonable way he could do it. "Well - that's … what if I put it this way? Can you figure out a way to keep me alive long enough to help keep her alive?"

"Did you have something in mind?"

"Yeah - get me in with the Careers."

The next morning, my sense of calm self-assurance has returned, but with it a feeling of anxiety. Katniss is not going to be happy with me today. I will likely die with her loathing me. But my strategy will hopefully be evident to the watching audience, and that will be preserved on tape - my own shot at immortality. Eventually, she'll understand.

Over breakfast, Haymitch murmurs instructions to Effie and I pretend to doodle on the top of the table. Katniss joins in much later. She looks relaxed and she's hungry. The girl can eat, there's no question. This morning, she piles a plate high with rice and lamb stew, and she's wolfing it down as soon as her butt hits her chair. We're silent. Effie is looking at a clipboard, absently tapping a pencil against it. Haymitch is drawing circles around the rim of his empty glass. I stare down at the table.

"So what's going on?" asks Katniss, suddenly stopping and, as if sensing something wrong, eyeing us. "You're coaching us on interviews today, right?"

"That's right," says Haymitch.

"You don't have to wait until I'm done. I can listen and eat at the same time."

"Well, there's been a change of plans. About our current approach." Haymitch glances at me and I brace myself. He shrugs. "Peeta has asked to be coached separately."


What happened in Chapter 8 of The Hunger Games? ›

Summary: Chapter 8

The Gamemakers score the tributes from one to twelve based on their performance, and Katniss is certain her score will be very low. That could make it difficult to get sponsors, and their gifts are critical for survival in the arena.

Who wrote Peetas games? ›

Peeta's Games (Peeta's Games, #1) by igsygrace | Goodreads.

What did Peeta do to get an 8? ›

(She also had some skills with a slingshot.) Peeta Mellark - 8, for physical strength. Katniss Everdeen - 11, for her skill with a bow and arrow and her fierce temper. (Highest training score in the 74th Hunger Games).

What is surprising to Katniss at the end of Chapter 8? ›

Katniss, who believes the Gamemakers will punish her by giving her a low score, is surprised to see that she's earned an 11. Haymitch explains that the Gamemakers must have liked her temper.

Why is he called Peeta? ›

Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson: Katniss' fellow District 12 tribute comes from a family of bread bakers, and his name is an alternate—or dystopic, if you will—spelling of pita. The humble Peeta stands in contrast to the grandiose Panem, which, as noted above, is Latin for bread.

Did Peeta always love Katniss? ›

Peeta fell in love inside the arena, not before. So Peeta stands on stage and tells the truth: that he's had a crush on Katniss for years. Peeta doesn't confuse a crush for the four-letter word, and neither should we. Peeta is many things, but he's never stupid.

Did Peeta win Hunger Games? ›

Book Summary

Though only one tribute can win, a change in the rules allowed Peeta and Katniss to both win. Their victory was partly secured because of Peeta's declaration of love for Katniss before the Games.

How old is Peeta? ›

Josh Hutcherson played 16-year-old Peeta Mellark, from District 12. Peeta, the son of a baker, had a childhood crush on Katniss but the two never spoke to each other until the reaping, when he was selected as the male tribute for the Hunger Games.

When did Peeta lose his leg? ›

He is "broad-shouldered and strong." Part of Peeta's left leg was amputated following the 74th Hunger Games, forcing him to walk with the aid of a prosthetic leg for the rest of his life.

How many kills did Peeta get? ›

Peeta has two kills to his name in the 74th Hunger Games. His victims include the District 8 female, whom he kills as a part of the Career Pack, and Foxface, whom he kills accidentally with nightlock berries.

What did Katniss name her kids? ›

  • Cinna.
  • Primrose Everdeen.
May 15, 2020

Who does Katniss end up with? ›

Katniss Everdeen was in the middle of a love triangle with Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark throughout The Hunger Games franchise, but in the end, she ended up with the latter.

Did Gale and Prim kiss? ›

She realizes she has been a coward, and that it is time to face the Capitol in order to truly save Panem. Consumed by the rush of emotion, she leans in to kiss Gale. He wakes, and she tells him she isn't running away anymore, and he says he is staying, too.

Who is Katniss pregnant by? ›

Peeta tells Caesar that he and Katniss are already married. According to Peeta, the two married in secret and Katniss is now pregnant.

Who is the girl that Peeta has a crush on? ›

Ever since he was five years old, Peeta had a huge crush on Katniss Everdeen. On the first day of school, Peeta's father pointed her out, saying that he wanted to marry her mother but ultimately didn't as she married a coal miner.

Is Peeta a real name? ›

The name Peeta is primarily a male name of American origin that means Rock. Variation on the name PETER.

Do Peeta and Katniss sleep together in the book? ›

Even though the third part Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, was split in two, one scene was omitted from the films - the infamous sex scene between Peeta and Katniss at the end of the novel.

Who does Katniss truly love? ›

Yes, Katniss loves Peeta. Her love, however, develops slowly and painfully. One interesting aspect of Peeta and Katniss' relationship is the evolution. The two start off as virtual strangers, then they enter into an uneasy friendship that finally progresses into love.

Why did Peeta lie about Katniss being pregnant? ›

Biography. During the interviews for the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta lied about Katniss being pregnant to try to protect her from the Games, and Katniss later stated that she miscarried due to an electric shock in the arena to avoid further questioning.

Who won the 1st Hunger Games? ›

Haymitch is pronounced the victor, and he believes the worst will then be over, his life now a tale of riches and glory.

What did Peeta lose? ›

Peeta's Leg Amputation

You wouldn't have guessed it from the way the film made it appear; however, Peeta's injury was much worse than you thought. It was so bad, the Capitol deemed his leg unsaleable, hacked it off and replaced it with an artificial one.

Who won the 76th Hunger Games? ›

The 76th Hunger Games happened during President Snow's last month ruling over Panem. It had barely been 3 months since the Quarter Quell and Panem was ,of course, furious he would do this. The Victors were Isolde Gelding and Fleur Dirgette.

What happened in Chapter 8 Mockingjay? ›

Summary: Chapter 8

Katniss is taken to the hospital, and her mother finally learns where Katniss has been. Later, Katniss is taken into Command. The cameraman, Castor, introduces himself and his brother Pollux, the other cameraman. Pollux had his tongue cut out by the Capitol.

What characters are in Chapter 8 of The Hunger Games? ›

  • Katniss Everdeen.
  • Peeta Mellark.
  • Gale.
  • Primrose Everdeen.
  • Katniss's mother.
  • Haymitch Abernathy.
  • Cinna.
  • Effie Trinket.

How does Katniss remember District 8? ›

The Uprising of District 8 was the first known uprising in Panem after the events of Dark Days were put to a rest. Katniss Everdeen learned of the uprising during a television propo in Mayor Undersee's office that she was not supposed to view, however in the film she learned this during her Victory Tour.

What news does Haymitch break to Katniss at the end of Chapter 8? ›

She realizes how much she cares for him and how much she misses him and compares her friendship with Gale to her fake friendship with Peeta. When she joins her team for breakfas, Haymitch tells her that they have changed the strategy and that Peeta has asked to be coached separately.

Did Peeta eat the berries? ›

Instead of battling against Peeta, however, Katniss pulled out the nightlock berries, which she and Peeta threatened to consume and leave the games with no victor at all. Before they could swallow them, Claudius Templesmith took back the change, and both were announced as victors of the 74th Hunger Games.

Who stopped Katniss and Peeta from eating the berries? ›

Then, realizing the Gamemakers won't allow both of them to die, she has an idea. She takes the poisonous berries from her pouch. As Katniss and Peeta pop the berries into their mouths, Claudius Templesmith shouts for them to stop and announces that they are the winners of the Seventy-Fourth Hunger Games.

Is Peeta alive in Mockingjay Part 1? ›

Answer and Explanation: No, Peeta does not die in Mockingjay. He survives the mission to kill President Snow, as well as the riot that Katniss unintentionally sparks off when she shoots President Coin. Eventually, he makes his way home to what is left of District 12.

Is Katniss a girl? ›

As Katniss is the only living female victor in District 12, she is the only possible female tribute, and Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch's place when Haymitch is selected.

Is Peeta a girl in The Hunger Games? ›

Peeta Mellark as portrayed by Josh Hutcherson in the series The Hunger Games. Peeta is the male tribute representing District 12 in the 74th annual Hunger Games, alongside female tribute Katniss Everdeen (portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence).

Is Katniss a girl in Hunger Games? ›

Katniss is first described in The Hunger Games as a thin young woman with dark hair, olive-toned skin, and gray eyes. In the first book, she is 16 years old. She is unremarkable in District 12, and some make fun of her for being scrawny and underfed.

Why did Finnick save Peeta? ›

Peeta Mellark

Finnick was willing to give up Mags to save Peeta because he needed to, to convince Katniss they were on the same side.

Why was everyone protecting Peeta? ›

There was a plan to break them out of the arena once Snow announced the Quell. The victor tributes from 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 all had knowledge of the plan, which explains why it seemed everyone was working to protect her and Peeta.

Why did that girl sacrifice herself for Peeta? ›

By sacrificing herself to save Peeta, she was potentially preventing another death and sending a message of hope and compassion to the remaining tributes. Morphling's decision to save Peeta is complex and multi-faceted.

Is Katniss a real name? ›

Katniss is a girl's name of Greek origin. It means "aquatic plant," which is fitting for your little water baby, who's bound to bloom and blossom like a beautiful plant.

How did Haymitch betray Katniss and Peeta? ›

He left her out of the whole plan to overthrow the capital and get the contestants out of the arena.


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