The Hunger Games Wiki
Katniss hunting in the woods with a bow and arrow.

Katniss hunting in the woods with a bow and arrow.

The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures. Archery is the art, practice, or skill of using the weapon. Katniss Everdeen learned her archery skills from her father and used a bow to hunt for food in the woods outside of District 12. The bow also became her weapon of choice in the arena during the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. Gale Hawthorne is also a skilled archer, who learned his skills from Katniss.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes[]

A bow and arrow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

A bow and arrow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

In The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Otto grabbed a crossbow from the middle of the Capitol Arena during the 10th Hunger Games and used it to kill Sheaf. Later, when Coriolanus Snow entered the arena to retrieve Sejanus Plinth, a bow and arrows could be seen lying unused out in the open.[1]

The Hunger Games[]

Some time after her father's death, Katniss worked up the courage to go under the fence and retrieve the small bow and arrows her father had made her. Within a few hours, she managed to shoot a rabbit.[2] Katniss later met Gale in the woods and taught him how to shoot, eventually giving him one of her bows.[3] She used her bow to supply food for her family over the next four years and was able to shoot each animal directly in the eye.[4] Katniss also made several attempts to copy her father's bows, but with poor results.[5]

Katniss stored the bow that her father made for her in a hollowed-out log just outside the boundary of District 12. Due to the extreme restrictions on owning weapons, it would have been too risky to keep in her house or anywhere else that unsympathetic Peacekeepers might have found it.[6]

Katniss with her bow and arrows in the 74th Hunger Games arena.

Katniss with her bow and arrows in the 74th Hunger Games arena.

During her private training session, Katniss put on an impressive display of her archery skills, but the Gamemakers were too focused on their food and drink to pay her any attention. Enraged, Katniss used the bow to shoot an apple out of the mouth of a roasted pig on the buffet table, shocking the Gamemakers back to attention[4] and earning a training score of 11 (the highest of any tribute).[3]

Glimmer initially claimed the bow and arrow from the Cornucopia during the opening bloodbath.[7] While trapped in a tree by the Career pack, Katniss dropped a tracker jacker nest on the Careers, including Glimmer, who was stung to death. Katniss was able to recover the bow and arrows despite the hallucinations she was experiencing due to the tracker jacker venom.[8] Katniss then proceeded to use her new bow as her main weapon, hunting for food,[9] destroying the Careers' supplies,[10] and killing Marvel[11] and Cato.[12]

Catching Fire[]

After Katniss became a victor, she continued to hunt daily despite her wealth in order to provide for Gale's family, because he had begun to work in the mines and refused to accept any money from her. The only time they were able to hunt together was on Sundays.[13]

Katniss using a bow in the Training Center.

Katniss using a bow in the Training Center.

When Katniss was in the Training Center, she decided to go to the archery range for "some sanity." The trainer Tax tossed fake birds high into the air for her to hit. When she shot down five in one round, she realized that she had gained the attention of most of the victors, who were regarding her with "everything from envy to hatred to admiration."[14]

In the 75th Hunger Games, numerous bows and quivers were supplied at the Cornucopia. When Katniss obtained her bow, she briefly faced off against Finnick Odair, who was poised to attack her with his trident, before they quickly became allies. Katniss fired and missed at Enobaria, but hit Gloss in the calf. Brutus deflected her first arrow with his flotation belt and submerged himself before she could fire a second shot.[15]

Katniss later aimed at Finnick, but realized that he was not her enemy and instead fired an arrow with Beetee's wire wrapped around it into the force field, causing lighting to travel along the wire into the field and destroy it.[16]


District 13 had an entire wall of archery weapons in their Special Weaponry arsenal. In particular, Katniss took note of a militarized bow that was weighed down with scopes and gadgetry; this was the one Gale picked out for his personal use throughout the novel.[17] The Mockingjay films adapted this as a crossbow.[18][19]

Katniss's Mockingjay bow was designed by Beetee and programmed to only recognize her voice. If she wanted to use it as an ordinary bow, she could turn off its special features by saying "Good night" until the sound of her voice woke it again. Beetee designed a variety of color-coded arrows to go along with it as well: razor sharp, incendiary, and explosive.[17] She and Gale used their bows during the District 8 hospital bombing[20] and throughout the Battle of the Capitol.[21] Katniss later used her bow to assassinate President Alma Coin.[22]

Following her return to District 12, Katniss attempted to hunt after being snapped out of her lethargy by Peeta's eventual return and planting of primrose bushes outside her house.[23]


Katniss's bows were handcrafted by her father and carefully wrapped in waterproof covers. She had multiple that she kept hidden in the woods outside District 12.[6] Her father had originally made her a smaller-sized bow to use when she was younger, but Katniss soon progressed to using the full-size bow.[3] In the films, the homemade bow that Katniss hunts with appears to be a version of a flatbow—a bow made from a single piece of wood, but shorter than a longbow and with flattened limbs.[24]

The archery station in the Training Center contains bows of many different materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. The arrows have perfectly-cut feathers that are uniform in shape. However, the bowstring and arrows were far more rigid than Katniss was used to.[4] In the 74th Hunger Games arena, the single bow in the Cornucopia is silver,[25] while the 75th Hunger Games arena had a golden bow that Katniss immediately spotted.[15]

Katniss's color-coded arrows.

Katniss's color-coded arrows.

Beetee was tasked with designing Katniss's black Mockingjay bow. Katniss described it as having "exquisite balance" and "elegant design"; to her, the curve of the limbs suggested the wings of a bird in flight. His assignment was to make it purely for aesthetics, but Beetee "left the outside simple, and left the inside to [his] imagination."[17] Beetee also designed three varieties of arrows: razor-sharp, incendiary and explosive, which were color-coded by their shafts. Armed with this, Katniss could accurately shoot targets over a hundred yards away.[17]

Known archers[]

Katniss tried to teach her sister, Prim, how to shoot, but the results were "disastrous".[5] She also considered giving Rory Hawthorne archery lessons.[27] Before the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss gave an hour of archery lessons to Finnick Odair in exchange for an hour of trident instruction.[14]


  • In a behind the scenes featurette, property master Trish Gallaher Glenn said Katniss's bows, arrows, and quivers were her favorite props in The Hunger Games film.[28]
    • Katniss's hunting bow in District 12, made by her father, was "kind of" modeled after a "Native American" bow, and the hand-tied arrows were also "Native American-inspired". However, no one specific tribe or nation is cited as the inspiration.[28]
    • The strap on her quiver was made from a belt, in order to suggest it had been made from one of Mr. Everdeen's old belts.[28]
    • The Capitol bows were made with aircraft aluminum to make them look like steel, and the accompanying arrows were all made by hand.[28]
  • In the same featurette, Jennifer Lawrence said she had a love-hate relationship with archery. She liked it, but a wrong move could result in "getting whipped [in the arm] with a guitar string at like over a hundred miles an hour", with repeated injuries to that same spot.[28]
    • Mockingjay costume designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller took this into account when designing the Mockingjay suit; they added in an arm guard to protect her from the bowstring.[29]


  1. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
  2. The Hunger Games, Chapter 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Hunger Games, Chapter 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Hunger Games, Chapter 7
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Hunger Games, Chapter 3
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Hunger Games, Chapter 1
  7. The Hunger Games, Chapter 13
  8. The Hunger Games, Chapter 14
  9. The Hunger Games, Chapter 15
  10. The Hunger Games, Chapter 16
  11. The Hunger Games, Chapter 18
  12. The Hunger Games, Chapter 25
  13. Catching Fire, Chapter 2
  14. 14.0 14.1 Catching Fire, Chapter 16
  15. 15.0 15.1 Catching Fire, Chapter 19
  16. Catching Fire, Chapter 26
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Mockingjay, Chapter 5
  18. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
  19. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
  20. Mockingjay, Chapter 7
  21. Mockingjay, Chapter 18
  22. Mockingjay, Chapter 26
  23. Mockingjay, Chapter 27
  24. The Hunger Games film
  25. The Hunger Games, Chapter 11
  26. Catching Fire, Chapter 6
  27. Catching Fire, Chapter 1
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 The Hunger Games: Weapons of the Arena (behind the scenes featurette)
  29. The Hunger Games: Cinna's Sketchbook - Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor (behind the scenes featurette)

External links[]