Clove is the secondary antagonist of The Hunger Games. She was the female tribute from District 2 in the 74th Hunger Games. A ruthless, sadistic, and highly-skilled Career tribute, Clove became one of Katniss Everdeen's main adversaries in the arena. She was incredibly skilled with knives and could throw them with deadly accuracy.
74th Hunger Games
Clove was a highly feared tribute, both because of her knife-throwing techniques and her ruthlessness; she pursued the Hunger Games with a sadistic personality, never upset at the prospect of another death on her hands. In the film, Clove and her district partner, Cato, were suited up in golden Roman-themed armor for the tribute parade.
The Career pack stuck together during the training sessions and Clove was usually one of the first to flaunt her skills, along with her fellow Careers, Cato, Marvel, and Glimmer. During her private session with the Gamemakers, Clove most likely showed them her knife-throwing skills, and received a score of 10. At this point, Clove and her fellow Careers develop a particular hatred for Katniss, who outscored them with an 11. This hatred evolves into attempts at vengeance later throughout the Games, with varying success.
During her interview, Clove was described as sweet, but also arrogant and sarcastic. In the film, she was shown wearing an orange dress and claiming that she could kill someone from halfway across a vast chamber.
Clove earned the first kill in the Games during the bloodbath when she threw a knife at the boy from 9 and struck him in the back. Next, she targeted Katniss's head but was thwarted when Katniss shielded herself with her backpack. After Katniss fled into the woods, Clove returned to the massacre at the Cornucopia. In the film, she rammed the girl from 7 to the ground. Although the Careers usually team up, at the beginning of the 74th Hunger Games, they were also joined by Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12, as well as the District 3 male later in the Games. He helped them reactivate the mines which guarded the tall pyramid containing the careers supplies.
The night of the bloodbath, the Careers ventured out to hunt for tributes and came across the female from District 8. It is implied that they killed her, however her cannon does not sound, so Peeta left the group to finish her off. In his absence, Clove and the other Careers made the decision to keep Peeta alive in the hopes that he would eventually lead them to Katniss.
When the Careers found Katniss, they chased her, and she climbed up a tree to safety.
Although the Careers tried, they were unable to climb the tree due to the branches breaking under their weight, and instead set up camp below. That night, Rue appeared in the tree below Katniss by way of climbing through the trees. Rue motioned to Katniss about the tracker jacker nest above her, after which Katniss gets the idea to drop the nest on the Careers. She sawed through the branch holding the nest while the anthem plays, to make sure the tracker jackers wouldn't notice a disturbance and come after her, and the Careers wouldn't hear. The nest dropped down from the tree and Clove, along with the others, was stung multiple times. In the movie, Clove was first to flee the Career's campsite, making her one of the fastest Careers. Glimmer, the female tribute from District 1, received enough stings from the tracker jackers that she died, along with the girl from District 4 in the book. Katniss then jumped down from the tree after all the other tributes had run away and took Glimmer's bow and arrows.
Katniss and Rue formed an alliance and planned to destroy the supplies that the Careers had back at the Cornucopia. Rue had to light fires to make the Careers leave the Cornucopia and when the Careers saw the smoke, Clove, Cato, Marvel, and the male from District 3 started hunting down Rue while Katniss successfully destroyed all of the remaining Careers' supplies, after which Cato snapped the District 3 male's neck out of anger, because he did his job with placing the explosives too well. Clove and Marvel calmed Cato down long enough to explain to him that the tribute that destroyed their supplies must have died, so they waited for nightfall. Only then did they realize that the "bomber" was still alive, so Clove, Marvel, and Cato went hunting for Katniss.
The feast was Clove's biggest scene. Clove and Cato formed a plan, which involved Clove going in for their District 2 backpack with Cato covering her by scouting the area for hiding tributes. When Katniss came to get the medicine for Peeta, Clove threw a knife at Katniss, which slices her above the eye, and tackles her to the ground, pinning her down. Katniss gave an attempt to bite her hand, but she held Katniss' head down by her hair. Clove asked her what was in her bag and expressed her hate towards Katniss.
At that point, Clove could have easily killed Katniss, but she made two fatal errors that cost her life: first, she taunted Katniss about Rue's death; second, instead of killing Katniss quickly, she wanted to savor the moment, saying that she would give Katniss a slow, painful death - "I promised Cato if he let me have you, I'd give the audience a good show."
She reached into her jacket to select a knife to cut up Katniss' face, after much debate, she decided to start with her lips as she would no longer need them to kiss "Lover Boy." Katniss spat blood into Clove's face, making her flush with rage.
In the book, Thresh heard Clove mention Rue's death, quickly yanked her off of Katniss, and held her a foot above the ground. Thresh accused her of killing Rue, which Clove truthfully denied. When Clove saw Thresh holding a large rock, she screamed for Cato. Thresh smashed the rock into her temple, cracking and denting her skull. Cato ran to her after hearing her cries, but Clove later died in Cato's arms as he begged Clove to stay with him.
In the film, Thresh heard Clove mention Rue's death and quickly grabbed her, pinning her against the Cornucopia. Thresh accused her of killing Rue, which Clove truthfully denied. Clove screams for Cato; however, this caused Thresh to believe that Clove did kill Rue. Thresh violently slammed her headfirst against the Cornucopia twice, and the second time, the impact cracked her skull. She dropped to the ground with her eyes wide and her mouth slightly open. Her fingers could be seen slightly closing after she collapses. Clove didn't die immediately, but soon after due to her head trauma.
During the 74th Hunger Games, Clove stabbed the male tribute from District 9 while he was grappling over an orange backpack with Katniss during the bloodbath. She targeted Katniss next, aiming a knife at her head, but Katniss blocked it with her pack and escaped. Later, she killed a lizard for target practice in the film. This lone confirmable kill makes Clove the Career with the lowest amount of confirmed kills.
In the 74th Hunger Games, Clove was the only Career tribute who came close to killing Katniss twice — at the Bloodbath and at the Feast, and certainly seemed to have a deep hatred for her, perhaps because Katniss received a higher score than her.
In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta went to District 2 on their victory tour where they see Clove's grieving family, and tried to avoid eye contact. Katniss stated that the appearance in District 2 was awful, and that both the tributes Cato and Clove could have made it home if it hadn't been for her and Peeta.
Clove appeared in one of Katniss' nightmares before the 75th Hunger Games. She stabbed Katniss in the cheek and then turned into a mutt and began to lick Katniss' wound, causing Katniss great pain. Clove reminded her that she couldn't run away from her fears and the Hunger Games themselves, thereafter turning into a mutt and chasing Katniss.
In the Games, Clove, being a Career Tribute, had medicine, food, water, weapons and other supplies from the Cornucopia. The supplies were destroyed from the mines set by the District 3 male. When Katniss blew up the supplies, she was left with her knives and whatever she had left in her pack. In the movie, after killing all the vulnerable tributes in the Bloodbath, they claimed all the supplies, and Clove retrieved a small array of knives on a black vest, which she wore until she died. She also had a large pocket full of big knives that held to her belt. The smallest knife pointing to her neck was the one she pulled out to try and kill Katniss while retrieving her pack at the Feast.
Clove had a large selection of knives, which were attached to the inside of her jacket. The weapons gave Clove a big advantage because of her skill with knives. In both the training center and during the Games, she proved herself to be able to both throw them accurately and use them in close combat, as shown when she forced Katniss into submission in front of the Cornucopia.
She, along with the other Careers, had her choice of weapons to use, until Katniss blew the supplies up.
In the book, Cato and Clove were district partners and allies. During the feast, Cato showed concern for Clove and distress at her death. As Cato ran toward a mortally wounded Clove, calling her name, Katniss noted that his voice sounds pained, and despite its futility, he begged Clove to stay with him as she died. Though both characters are known to be very cruel people, this means they weren't completely incapable of caring.
In the film, Cato and Clove seemed to have no relationship with each other beyond that of allies. Cato wasn't shown coming to Clove's aid during the feast, though she screamed his name twice.
Due to being a Career, Clove naturally had a extremely negative relationship with Katniss, as both considered each other enemies. Clove envied Katniss's training score (an 11 vs. her 10) and hated her for it, more so than her fellow Careers did. In fact, Clove had purposely targeted and almost killed Katniss twice, while the other tributes, including the other Careers, couldn't at all. At the feast, Clove seemed very joyful after finally subduing Katniss, and reveled sadistically at the prospect of torturing her to death.
Clove was strong, sadistic, arrogant, violent, dangerous, and powerful, characteristics of a typical Career. Clove was also slightly unhinged, which made her a feared opponent. She had a strong hatred for Katniss, particularly due to her score of 11 from the Gamemakers, which was higher than her own score of 10. When she captures Katniss at the Feast, she boasts about how her team killed Rue and joyfully states she was going to make her death a slow and painful one, exemplifying her psychotic and sadistic nature. Clove was also intelligent, supporting Marvel in his idea to keep Peeta alive to get to Katniss, and was smart enough to go to the lake to heal her tracker jacker wounds, and was also instinctive enough to go back to the Cornucopia instead of chasing Katniss. While Clove was confident in her abilities to hold her own and take on other tributes, particularly Katniss, this facade collapses when faced with overwhelming force, which came in the form of Thresh. Completely terrified of him, Clove was too cowardly to own up to her mockery of Rue when at his mercy and ultimately was only able to scream for Cato's help in her final moments.
Clove, like most Careers, was strong, healthy, brawny and fit. In the book, she was about 150-200 pounds, as she was described as being at least 50-100 pounds heavier than 100-pound Katniss. It was heavily implied that Clove was at least 15 and overall larger than Katniss.
In the nightmare Katniss had before the 75th Hunger Games, Clove turned into a wolf mutt with dark fur sprouting from her skin. With the wolf mutts fur resembling the tributes hair it is likely that Clove herself had dark hair.
In the movie, Clove was smaller and younger than Katniss, being only 14-15 and weighing just at 100 pounds. She was described as being 5'4" and had dark hair, usually in a ponytail or braid (while her mutt had dark fur), dark eyes, and some freckles.
- Clove's name means to cleave, which means to split with a sharp instrument (which makes sense since Clove is very skilled with knives), as seen the night before Glimmer's death when she throws three knives at a lizard.
- In the film, it is shown that she weighs 100 pounds.
- It is stated that Clove was made unhinged and slightly psychotic to supplement her high combat skills in the film. This is due to the fact that Isabelle Fuhrman, the actress who portrayed Clove, was smaller than the other actors who played the Career Tributes. As the Career Tributes were supposed to be bigger than most of the other tributes to make them more feared, Clove expertise with knives and mental instability was played up to make her just as intimidating.
- In the film, her betting odds of winning were 5-1, the same as Marvel, the District 7 boy, and the District 8 girl.
- According to Linda Flowers, the film's hair stylist, Clove's arena hairstyle was inspired by the "bad girls" in Japanese action movies, who had high ponytails with knives in them. To make it look more original, they made it like little balls coming down her head.
- In deleted scenes, Caeser reveals that Clove was a volunteer.
- In an interview, Isabelle Fuhrman revealed that she made up a backstory for Clove. The backstory is as follows: Clove had a terrible relationship with her parents, who pressured her into volunteering for the Hunger Games. Clove's goal was to win the Games in order to prove to her parents that she could win on her own.
- Catching Fire, Chapter 9