11th Hunger Games
At the age of 16, Mags became the first victor of District 4. Her skill with fish hooks and other natural skills she likely acquired from living in District 4 probably played a role in her victory. She was the first victor to embark on a victory tour, as the victors before her were simply transported home after their victories such as with Lucy Gray. She was presumably the first victor to move to the Victor’s Village directly after their Games, as the idea was first implemented in the 11th Hunger Games.
Between the Games
As her District's first victor, Mags went on to serve as a mentor for scores of District 4 tributes in the years that followed her victory. It is possible that she might have had a role in starting District 4's version of training career tributes for the Hunger Games, similar to District 1 and 2. She would be successful in mentoring 3 more male victors from her district after the 11th hunger games.
At some point after her Games, she got married as she was seen wearing a wedding ring on her left hand. It’s unknown who her spouse is and whether or not she had children.
During the 65th Hunger Games, she served as mentor to Finnick Odair, who went on to become the youngest victor in the history of the Hunger Games at the age of 14. It is possible she also mentored Annie Cresta or at the very least played a role in her training/preparation as a possible career tribute for the 70th Hunger Games. Annie too would go on to become victor of her respective Games, but at a great psychological cost due to the nature of her district partner's death during the Games.
75th Hunger Games
Mags, an eighty-year-old woman, volunteered for the 75th Hunger Games in the place of Annie Cresta, becoming a tribute alongside Finnick Odair, whom she mentored in the 65th Hunger Games and (according to the book and film) practically raised. She is reputed to be a lovely woman. She mumbled every time she spoke; Katniss believes it is because of a possible stroke she may have had in the past. While in training for the third Quarter Quell, Katniss watched as Mags displayed her skill of being able to make fishhooks out of nearly anything. This skill, plus the fact that she volunteered to take Annie Cresta's place, made Katniss want Mags to be one of her allies in the arena. Described to be in her eighties, Mags was the oldest tribute in the 75th Hunger Games, while Woof was the second oldest.
While competing in the Quarter Quell, Mags joined an alliance with Katniss and Peeta. She was carried by Finnick most of the time as she wasn't able to walk very fast. Finnick and Mags are flung back when Peeta walks into the force field, due to the force in which Peeta is thrust back in. When Katniss throws some nuts at the force field to determine where it is, Mags eats a mouthful of them. Katniss is alarmed as they don't know if the nuts are poisonous, but Finnick allows her to since he believes she knows what she's doing. She and Finnick begin to weave objects with big sharp blades of grass while Katniss hunts for water and food. When she returns, they have made a hut and bowls. Mags is deeply saddened when the first day of the games is over and the faces of tributes who have died are shown at night, suggesting she was close to some of the bloodbath fatalities. When the spile is sent from the sponsors, she wonders what its use could be. Katniss asks if she can fish with it, but she could not, and is enlightened when they discover it gets water from trees. She and Peeta are not alarmed by the twelve bells rung during the night as they were asleep when the event occurred.
During the interviews in the film adaptation, she wore a sea blue dress which touched the floor. The top half of it was a lighter blue and had sparkles on it while the bottom half was a duller and darker blue, much like Finnick's. Mags joined hands with the other tributes after the final interview, displaying unity among the districts.
Mags died on the second day of the Quarter Quell. When the acid fog was emitted, Finnick carried her while she was sleeping. When the fog damaged Peeta's legs and rendered him unable to walk, Katniss carried Mags as she was unable to help Peeta, but Katniss was also affected by the fog, and Finnick was unable to carry both Peeta and Mags. Realizing that they would be killed by the fog if they could not move faster, Mags kissed Finnick and courageously sacrificed herself by walking straight into the fog so Finnick, Katniss, and Peeta could live. Katniss described Mags as "falling to the ground in a horrible dance" when she was dying and Katniss honored Mags for her bravery. Finnick spent several hours of the night grieving for her. Finnick did not even talk about Mags' death for the whole night.
When Johanna Mason states that Mags was half of Finnick's family because she was his mentor, Katniss feels great remorse. Later, it is discovered that Mags was part of an even bigger alliance (including at least 12 tributes) that was set on keeping Peeta and Katniss alive.
In the film, Mags dies in much the same manner, although Finnick at first doesn't realize what she's doing and tries frantically to call her back, staring after her in grief as her cannon sounds. She placed 15th.
Mags was noted by Haymitch to be a wonderful lady and showed herself to be kind, friendly, selfless, and very brave, as well as pragmatic. She volunteered to save Annie, clearly knowing she was not going to survive, and willingly walked to her death to allow Finnick, Katniss, and Peeta to escape the poison fog in the arena without being burdened by her, sacrificing herself without hesitation to protect them so that they would survive (and go on to help the rebellion).
She clearly loved Finnick and Annie, as it was noted she basically raised Finnick, having mentored him and likely Annie as well. She made easy friends with Katniss, who admired the old woman for her bravery and selflessness.
- Mags is one of the three characters to appear in the main trilogy who have been alive before the Hunger Games started, being five years old when they began. The other characters are President Snow and Tigris.
- Mags was so old when she volunteered, she "needed a cane to walk to the stage" as noted by Katniss. However, in the film, she isn't seen with a cane.
- Mags's actor, Lynn Cohen, died at age 86 on Feburary 14, 2020.
- A young Mags was portrayed by Grace Kull.
- Mags is the only known victor to be married before the 75th Hunger Games, as Annie, Finnick, Peeta and Katniss got married after.
- Mags is one year younger than Lucy Gray Baird, the deuteragonist of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
- Mags was the first victor to receive a house in the Victor's Village directly after her Games.
- Catching Fire, Chapter 14
- Catching Fire, Chapter 22
- Catching Fire, Chapter 15
- Catching Fire, Chapter 16
- Catching Fire, Chapter 20
- Catching Fire, Chapter 19
- Catching Fire, Chapter 18
- Catching Fire, Chapter 21
- Catching Fire, Chapter 27
- Catching Fire