Mockingjay Summary

Suzanne Collins


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Mockingjay Summary

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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and follows Katniss Everdeen. In book one, readers learned about the hunger games and how the Capitol–and President Snow–uses the brutal annual tradition to oppress the people living in the twelve districts of Panem. In book two, Katniss and Peeta must return to the arena, but though they destroy it, Peeta is taken by the Capitol. Katniss and other surviving tributes are rescued by the resistance, which is run by the thirteenth district, previously thought to have been destroyed. It is here that Mockingjay picks up the story.

Part one opens with Katniss observing the remains of District Twelve. It has been razed to the ground, burned, and ninety percent of its inhabitants killed. Katniss stands before her sister Prim’s shoes, watched over by her friend, Gale, who is in an invisible hovercraft above. Katniss has been medicating herself because, while she wants freedom for the districts, she also feels guilt because her actions toward the Capitol were subversive throughout the first two books. The resistance wants her to become the Mockingjay, a symbol and mascot for their revolution, but she wants nothing to do with it.

She decides she will have to take on the role despite her reticence and returns to District Thirteen, where the survivors of District Twelve, are living underground. These include her mother and Prim. She and Gale are called to watch a feed from the Capitol, where Caesar is interviewing Peeta. Peeta says that Katniss didn’t know what she was doing when she blew up the arena and that no one should try to fight the Capitol because it would destroy everyone. A fight breaks out over whether Peeta is a traitor and Katniss escapes and hides, but is followed by Gale. They talk about how they’re all still part of a game being played by the Capitol–and the resistance from District Thirteen. When it’s announced she will be the Mockingjay, she is given a new uniform, weapon, and sleeping quarters.

Katniss goes on a mission to District Eight, where there had been an uprising that resulted in most of the people there being killed or injured. The resistance is there to film a commercial with the Mockingjay at a hospital, but the Capitol sends bombers to attack the hospital. Katniss makes a televised threat to the Capitol. She then is secretly shown another interview with Peeta, who looks much worse than before. He tells Caesar that Katniss should be aware of what’s happening and take care in whom she trusts. The resistance shoots more promos with Katniss, which they put into a feed of President Snow’s. He orders the feed cancelled but before that can happen, Peeta is shown, beaten and bloodied.

Part two begins with Peeta announcing that the Capitol is planning an attack that night. After the attack, Katniss and others are sent above ground to prove that District Thirteen is still alive. Katniss becomes ill though, and is sedated. When she wakes, Haymitch tells her that there will be a rescue mission to save Peeta and Annie, Finnick’s girlfriend. Haymitch was Katniss’ trainer in the Hunger Games, and Finnick was another tribute in book two.

The rescue mission is a success in that Peeta and Annie are brought back alive, but when Katniss goes to see Peeta, he tries to kill her. Peeta has been conditioned to fear and hate Katniss to the point that he wants her dead. Katniss and the others go to District Two to try to drum up some support, but she gets shot. Finnick and Annie marry, and President Snow televises the wedding. Then, Peeta says he would like to speak to Katniss and, though he doesn’t try to kill her, he is not kind to her either. The resistance is planning to attack the Capitol, but first Katniss is told she must be trained and is sent to train with Johanna, another tribute. Katniss is placed in a group of sharpshooters, with Gale and Finnick. They travel to the Capitol. Peeta arrives, and Katniss realizes that the leader of District Thirteen, President Coin, wants her dead.

Part three opens with Katniss planning to leave once Boggs confirms that Coin wants her dead and never wanted her saved to begin with. Peeta begins to recover his memory and heal, with Finnick’s help, and their squad must shoot more promotions, acting out battle, which Katniss finds ridiculous. They are attacked. Boggs loses his legs and turns command over to Katniss. Peeta loses control, but Katniss manages to get the team back on track to assassinate President Snow. Despite being urged by some–including Boggs–to kill Peeta, Katniss refuses. From the televised blast, the Capitol thinks that Katniss is dead.

The squad goes underground, but the Capitol realizes they are alive and sends muttations–half dog, half human–to kill them. Much of the squad, including Finnick, dies. Only Katniss, Peeta, Cressida, and Gale survive, though Gale is injured. They go above ground and disguise themselves. Katniss overhears Gale and Peeta talking about whom she loves most, and decide they will make her choose after the war, if all three survive.

President Snow announces that he will open his mansion to refugees of the Capitol who have been left homeless after the resistance’s attacks. Katniss decides this is their way to get close to Snow. The resistance attacks and Gale is captured by the Capitol. Prim dies. Katniss goes after Snow certain that killing him is the only way to save Gale. Katniss doesn’t get there though and instead catches on fire and is brought to the hospital. President Coin promises that she will let her kill Snow. Instead, she kills President Coin.

Ultimately, Snow dies as well. The Hunger Games will be no more, and Katniss ends up raising a family with Peeta, back where District Twelve was.