The fight cannot be avoided.
The damage cannot be contained.
The revolution is here.
Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. Now a revolution is unfolding - one that she has long been a part of, without ever knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.
This is the final book in Suzanne Collins's worldwide bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.
Part I: "The Ashes"
Katniss takes stock of her new position as a rebel in District 13. Only three victors were saved from the arena: Beetee (A previous tribute from District 3, who was one of Katniss' allies), Finnick (The handsome victor from District 4 and Katniss' first ally) and Katniss herself, but Peeta Mellark, along with other victors Enobaria (the female tribute from District 2), Johanna Mason (tribute from District 7), and Annie Cresta (who wasn't in the Quarter Quell but was arrested when the arena blew up) were all captured and taken to the Capitol and held captive by President Coriolanus Snow. Katniss is still haunted by Snow and fears for Peeta's life. The book starts with Katniss in District 12, which has been reduced to ashes. Katniss alone wanted to see the district herself. While she is there, she takes back Buttercup (Prim's cat), her father's old hunting jacket, a photo of her mother's wedding, and a book of plants. Before she leaves, she notices one of Snow's white roses on her dresser.
A hovercraft takes her to District 13 where the survivors of District 12 now reside. When she returns, she watches an interview between Caesar and Peeta. She is relieved when she finds that Peeta looks unharmed, healthy even, but during the interview, Peeta calls for a cease-fire and is accused by many people of being a traitor. This is why later on when she decides to become the Mockingjay, she asks for the immunity of Peeta and the other tributes as well as hunting rights for her and Gale, the right to keep Buttercup for Prim, and permission to kill Snow. President Coin, the leader of District 13, agrees to these conditions and Katniss officially becomes the Mockingjay.
Katniss has to star in commercials for the rebel side, called propos (a shortened version of propaganda). For one propo, she and a team that includes her old friend Gale are sent into District 8, where they see a hospital get destroyed. This inspires Katniss to call for justice. During the airing of an interview with Peeta in the Capitol, Beetee is able to gain control of the broadcast and air the propos for a short time before a battle for control of the broadcast breaks out. During the back-and-forth, Peeta manages to send out a coded message to the rebels warning them of an attack. The Capitol then breaks into chaos, the camera tilts to the floor, screams can be heard and Peeta's blood splatters the ground.
Part II: "The Assault"
Peeta Mellark warns Katniss of the impending bombing of District 13, after briefly fighting off the tracker jacker venom, which leads to him being tortured. He does this during an interview with Caesar Flickerman, when he is asked what he desires to say to Katniss.
A shrilling alarm sounds, to evacuate the upper levels into the bunkers. As Katniss is viewed as the symbol of the uprising by the people, she composes herself and is one of the first to reach the bunkers, coming to ensure that her mother and Prim should still be relocating the hospital patients. As she waits, disturbed by the flecks of blood on the bunker sign, she grabs three packs of the instructions.
As time passes, her mother arrives, and they become wary of why Prim hasn't arrived yet. She imagines herself as Prim, and suddenly grasps the situation. Prim, being herself, had rushed back to their compartment to get her beloved cat, Buttercup.
After much panicking, Prim, along with Gale, arrives back to safety with Buttercup. Everyone waits in the bunker for several days until the bombing has stopped. Katniss finds out during the bombing that the Capitol is using Peeta and every time she says something against them, they hurt him. When she is looking above ground at all the wreckage after the bombing, she sees that President Snow has planted more roses. Katniss starts crying when her camera crew tells her to say a short line for the camera, to show that she is alive and still fighting. Finnick explains to the perplexed camera crew that Katniss knows the Capitol will hurt Peeta if she does so. Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss' mentor in both her Hunger Games, tells a broken Katniss that a rescue mission was sent to save the captured victors in the Capitol, and that Gale was the first soldier to volunteer on the mission. Katniss worries that both Gale and Peeta might die, and she would be helpless against it. The rescue mission was a success, bringing all the victors (except Enobaria, but being from District 2, the Capitol had not harmed her) back to District 13. When arriving at Peeta's hospital room, she comes to embrace him, but in Katniss' shock, he almost strangles her to death.
Katniss wakes up in a hospital room with a collar around her neck, along with severe injuries in her vocal chords and other parts of her neck. While meeting with Plutarch, Haymitch, and Beetee, with Prim by her hospital bedside, she learns that the Capitol had used an uncommonly used technique known as hijacking in order to control and influence Peeta. The hijacking was done by giving him a dose of tracker jacker venom and sequentially showing him clips of Katniss, therefore tricking him into hating her. Katniss spends a significant period of time recovering and weeping from the attack. While Katniss recovers, Peeta's treatment begins with strangers (who are doctors) from District 13, but a close friend of his named Delly Cartwright tries to help Peeta remember his real memories, but their first meeting results in him screaming and calling Katniss a "mutt" (short for 'mutation', which are creatures the Capitol had created). After a short recovery, Katniss asks Plutarch if she can be placed into combat in the Capitol. Plutarch reminds Katniss that all the Districts have to first ally with the rebellion, and only District 2 is left, and allows Katniss to go there.
The rebels fly out to District 2 in order to take control of The Nut, a huge mountain containing the Capitol's principal military facility. Commander Lyme agrees to aid the rebels in the plan and they discuss how to take over the mountain. Gale suggests that they use special bombs that he and Beetee designed to blow up the Nut. Katniss is shocked by Gale's mercilessness, as he doesn't care if any innocent civilians or workers are killed. The rebels decide to take the risk and blow up the mountain; the plan works and the remaining survivors retreat to the center of District 2, where the rebels are waiting. Katniss gives an inspiring speech, asking District 2 to join the fight, but an unknown man shoots Katniss from the crowd. She awakens back in 13, suffering from a broken spleen and badly bruised ribs. She is informed that District 2 has joined the rebel cause and is beginning to fight back. Katniss and Johanna Mason become good friends whilst training as they recover. Plutarch has an idea for a propo and allows Finnick and Annie to get married. The wedding is a success and Katniss finally has fun for the first time in a while. Peeta soon asks to see Katniss, and she reluctantly agrees to visit him. However, she only stays with him for a short time before leaving in a panic.
Katniss is angered when she finds that she hasn't been signed down for the assault on the Capitol as she wants to be the one who kills President Snow. A special rebel team named Star Squad 451 is created to be the main rebel team that invades the Capitol. Katniss completes her SSC (simulated street combat) training, and is assigned onto the Squad. However, Johanna is not permitted to join, as the hydrophobia that the Capitol instilled in her through their torture still lingers in her mind. Angered, Johanna tells Katniss to kill Snow for her.
Squad 451 has 14 assigned members including Katniss, Gale, Finnick, Homes, Jackson, Mitchell, Leeg 1, Leeg 2, and Boggs, and the camera crew Cressida, Pollux, and Castor. Plutarch shows the rebels a holographic map of the Capitol showing thousands of traps called Pods, deadly lethal weapons designed by the Capitol. The pods are strewn throughout the entire city and the team refers to it as the 76th Hunger Games, because of the Pods' Hunger Games-inspired design. Hundreds of soldiers prepare for the final battle, and Boggs is given a Holo, a device which shows where the pods are located. As Squad 451 advances through a safe Capitol neighborhood, they accidentally trigger a pod which sends a dart straight through Leeg 2's head, killing her. To the Squad's surprise, Peeta is sent as a replacement as he has recovered quite a bit from the hijacking, but is still unstable, which leads Katniss to the conclusion that President Coin thinks that she's "of more used to her [President Coin] dead than alive".
Part III: "The Assassin"
After Peeta's arrival, Boggs makes a call to Coin about his being in the squad. When he returns, he says that he believes Coin sent Peeta personally to kill Katniss since after the war, a new leader will be chosen and Katniss, having a lot of influence as the Mockingjay, will be a threat if her vote doesn't go to Coin. To make sure she is still all powerful and a much larger influence than Katniss, Coin sends Peeta to the Squad, hoping he would kill her. Katniss starts to treat Peeta very rudely, but most of the squad shoots looks at her, telling Katniss that treating him that way was wrong. But only after a call from Haymitch, who tells her to reverse the situation in her head (as in Katniss was the one hijacked, and she knew that the normal Peeta would do anything to get her back), Katniss realizes that she was wrong to be hostile and rude to Peeta. Katniss starts trying to help Peeta remember his former memories. The Squad creates a game, "Real or Not Real," to help him separate the hijacked memories from the real ones. During this, Peeta reveals that when he was held in the Capitol, they forced him to watch the execution of two Avoxes, Darius (a former Peacekeeper guarding District 12 and a friend of Katniss and Gale) and Lavinia (a girl who Katniss and Gale saw trying to escape before the reaping of the 74th Hunger Games), under the guise of trying to get information about the rebellion.
As the Squad move a little further into the Capitol, they decide to film a propo. They set two pods off safely and take a break from filming. During the next propo shoot, Boggs hits a mislabeled pod that blows off his legs. At the same time, another pod is activated, creating a black wave that begins to advance onto the squad. While trying to move Boggs to an apartment to escape the wave, Peeta has an episode and nearly kills Katniss with his gun. When a member of the squad, Mitchell, tries to pin him down, Peeta accidentally kills him by throwing him off of him, causing him to land in a mislabeled pod that encases Mitchell in a net of barbed wire. Inside the apartment, Boggs transfers the Holo to Katniss and dies after telling her four orders: "Don't trust them, don't go back. Kill Peeta. Do what you came to do." Katniss tells the team that she is on a secret mission to kill President Snow on Coin's order. She admits that she thinks that only Boggs knew. Cressida backs up Katniss' story, saying that Plutarch wants the assassination of Snow to be televised, thinking that it would end the war. Jackson doesn't believe Katniss and demands for the holo to handed over to her, although Katniss refuses.
They walk to an abandoned apartment and find couches strewn across the room. They all sit down, with Jackson still pointing her gun at an unconscious Peeta. The TV soon turns on to inform Panem that Katniss, and the rest of Squad 451 are dead. Katniss doesn't realize that Peeta had regained consciousness and saw himself attacking Katniss and killing Mitchell on the TV. Peeta suggests that they kill him, but Katniss won't allow it - saying that he is too important to the mission to lose. After they find food to eat, Snow comes on the TV and informs the nation that Katniss Everdeen was just a girl, not a leader, and that the odds are in the Capitol's favor in this brutal war. Back in District 13, Beetee hijacks the signal and broadcasts President Coin instead of Snow, and gives a speech of her own, saying that she believes in what the Mockingjay stands for and that the rebels will find the strength they need to get rid of their oppressors.
The grace period of the Capitol thinking that the Squad is dead gives a head start for Katniss, now leading the team. The Squad has a limited period of time before the Capitol realizes that they are still alive. They start looking for a way out, as the streets are not a possibility and the roof is just as bad. The team then decides to head into the sewers with the help of Pollux, who used to work there as an Avox. He navigates the Squad underground, and Peeta remarks that Pollux has become their most valuable asset. While they sleep, Katniss can hear strange voices calling her name. The team awakens and Peeta shouts a warning to Katniss, telling her to run as mutts are approaching. They run through an area called "The Transfer", avoiding the pods strewn about, but Messalla sets one off, causing him to get caught in a cage and having his flesh melt off like candle wax. The team members force themselves to move on, but they are attacked by lizard mutts, and are forced to fight. Peacekeepers come to try and kill the squad, but they are killed by the lizard mutts. Katniss sets the meat grinder pod off deliberately in an attempt to kill most of the mutts whilst they retreat to the surface. Jackson and Leeg 1 stay behind at the meat grinder pod, sacrificing themselves so that the others can escape. Castor and Homes are also killed by the Lizard mutts. The squad makes it to the surface, but Katniss sees Finnick get decapitated by the lizard mutts. Katniss uses the holo as an explosive by yelling "NIGHTLOCK!" three times, activating its destruct system. She throws the holo into the sewers, killing the mutts but destroying the holo.
The Squad are shaken by the many deaths from the team as now only Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Cressida and Pollux are alive. The squad keeps climbing further and further towards the surface until they reach an apartment where they take shelter. Once inside they find a woman, but before she can alert any Capitol forces, Katniss kills her. Now, in the heart of the Capitol, they need to hide until the rebels advance further. As they move through the streets of the Capitol, they find themselves right in the heart of the Capitol streets and are at a risk of being seen. Cressida leads them to a shop owned by an old friend of hers, Tigris. She agrees to keep them safe and feed them. The team manages to stay in the cellar of Tigris' shop, where they stay for a couple of days and watch the rebels advance. The Capitol and the rebels are now engaged in a full scale war. One night, while everyone sleeps, Katniss hears Peeta and Gale having a conversation about her in which Gale says that Katniss will choose who she thinks she can't live without. This upsets her but keeps it to herself. The next morning, Tigris heads out to try and gather information. Tigris returns in the evening with meat and roast potatoes for the squad, and informs them that the Capitol citizens have been forced out onto the streets while the war carries on. She then shows them a television broadcast in which President Snow announces that he is opening the mansion to all Capitol refugees. Katniss realizes they need to make use of the flood of refugees in the center of the Capitol. At first, the others are wary of the plan, but they decide to go forward with it. The squad plans out their course of action over the course of the following day and night. While waiting, Capitol citizens are sent further into the city. With the help of Tigris, Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Cressida, and Pollux dress in Capitol clothing to blend in with the crowd.
They thank Tigris for her help and leave the shop and walk into the streets. They become split up in the process, leaving Gale and Katniss together, but a riot ensures and the rebels start attacking the two, causing the Capitol to fight back. Countless civilians are killed in the crossfire, and Katniss witnesses a young girl get shot. Gale and Katniss know they must keep moving, otherwise they'll be killed or identified, so they keep moving, running through the streets avoiding gunfire. Gale manages to get a gun from a Peacekeeper, and Katniss keeps her bow hidden beneath her coat. They see a pod activate, which sends a purple beam of light down a street, causing everyone caught in it to bleed to death from every orifice. Another pod activates, causing another street to split down the middle into a crevice below. Many people, civilian and fighter alike, fall into the pit and Katniss and Gale become separated. He almost escapes, but he is captured by Peacekeepers and orders Katniss to shoot him, but she can't bring herself to do so.
As Katniss flees further into the Capitol with the intent of finding and killing President Snow, she finds herself pressing on alone towards Snow's mansion, which has supposedly been opened to shelter Capitol children (but is actually intended to provide human shields for Snow). A huge crowd of young children are huddled behind the barricade as Katniss watches a hovercraft marked with the Capitol seal drop dozens of parachutes down on the children, containing medical supplies such as food and water. As the children collect the parachutes, bombs placed in the supply packages explode and kill many of them. As Katniss and the crowd watch in horror, rebel medics arrive and start to break through the barricade in order to help the children. Then, Katniss notices her sister Prim in the crowd of children helping. She rushes towards the barricades, shouting her sisters name. Prim hears Katniss and turns to see her running towards her. As Katniss gets nearer to the barricade, a second wave of bombs go off, sending Katniss hurtling through the air and killing many more children, including Prim. The last word from Prim in the novel before she died was "Katniss".
Katniss is transferred to President Snow's mansion, now that the rebels have finally taken control over the Capitol, but Katniss is severely burned and has been diagnosed with depression, verging on the edge on insanity. Katniss doesn't speak and wanders around the mansion alone, eating very little and consuming large amounts of morphling. While on the drug, the dead visit Katniss, including her sister. Her mother takes care of her, but neither of them speak and both are drained emotionally and psychologically, especially Katniss.
President Snow is tried of crimes against humanity and various war crimes, and is found guilty. One day, Katniss ventures into the rose garden surprised to find that it is where Snow is being kept. She picks a rose for Snow to wear at his execution. They sit down to talk, although Katniss says few words. He apologizes for the death of her sister, but he tells Katniss that the final assault that killed Primrose Everdeen was ordered by President Coin, not the Capitol. Katniss realizes that if this is true, the bombing may have been the result of a plan originally developed by her friend Gale; however, Gale almost denied his involvement. Katniss doesn't know what to believe or who to trust.
President Coin holds a meeting with all the remaining victors: Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Beetee, Annie, Johanna and Enobaria. Coin decides they should hold a vote to see if they should hold a 76th Hunger Games consisting with the children from those who had most power in the Capitol. Peeta votes no, saying that it would be wrong to do so. Beetee votes no, saying that the rebels fought to end the Hunger Games, not allow more. Annie votes no, and says Finnick would say no too. Enobaria and Johanna vote yes. Katniss vote yes, saying that it would be for Prim. Haymitch agrees with her. Katniss gives Coin the rose to give to Snow.
On the day of Snow's execution, everyone in the mansion prepares. Katniss is surprised by her old prep team, including Effie Trinket, who dress her into her Mockingjay outfit, telling her that all other stylists were killed after the Quarter Quell. Katniss makes a note to herself to give Effie and the team political immunity from being charged with any crime. Everyone leaves to go to the execution, and thousands of people stand and watch. Katniss sees Snow wearing the rose tied to a post, Coin announces the execution and the crimes that have led to Snow's execution. Katniss loads her arrow.
Katniss remembers a conversation with Snow in which they promised not to lie to each other. She realizes that Snow was telling the truth about Coin ordering the children to be killed, knowing that by sending Prim into battle she would be killed by the bombings, making Katniss unstable and Coin the next suitable candidate for President. When she is supposed to execute Snow, she kills Coin instead. A riot ensues and Snow begins laughing, choking up blood. He is found mysteriously dead, having possibly choked on his own blood or trampled by the crowd. Katniss is acquitted due to her apparent insanity along with Gale and Beetee's testimony of their involvement of the fire bombs at Snow's mansion to justify Katniss's action in killing Coin, which helped reclaim her reputation as a hero to Panem. She and Haymitch return to their home in District 12. Her mother moves to District 4 as 12 has too many sad memories for her. Cressida and Pollux are sent out into the Districts to help people affected by the war and film for documentaries. Annie gives birth to Finnick's son. Peeta returns months after Katniss and Haymitch arrived, having recovered immensely from his brainwashing. Finally, Katniss understands that falling in love with Peeta was inevitable, as he had always represented the promise of a better future, rather than the destruction she now associates with Gale. She says that she did not need Gale's fire, as she already had it herself; she needed Peeta, who symbolized the hope she needed to survive. Together with Haymitch, they create a book filled with the stories of the previous tributes and others who died in the war so that they will not be forgotten. At the end, Katniss and Peeta play a last game of "Real or not real". Peeta asks Katniss, "You love me? Real or not real?" Katniss replies without hesitation, "Real."
In the epilogue, Katniss speaks as an adult, more than fifteen years later. She and Peeta "grow back together", and though it is not indicated if they are married. They do have two children together, a boy and a girl. The Hunger Games are over, but she dreads the day her children's innocent world will be shattered by learning the details of their parents' involvement in both the Games and the war. When she feels upset, Katniss takes to reminding herself of every good thing that she has ever seen someone do, "It's like a game. Repetitive, even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play."
- Katniss Everdeen — Symbolizes the Mockingjay for the rebels. Katniss provides hope and suffering. She fought her way into the Capitol and ended the Rebellion. She killed President Coin and then went to live in District 12. She became the symbol of rebellion against the Capitol. She returned to District 12 after the war and she and Peeta "grow back together." It is unclear if she is married to Peeta but it is revealed that she loves him in a final game of "Real or Not Real" which is also how Part III of the final book ends. In the Epilogue, it is revealed that Katniss and Peeta have two children together, a boy and a girl.
- Peeta Mellark — Was in the arena with Katniss but got captured by the Capitol. He has loved Katniss since they were little kids. He was kidnapped by the Capitol after the 75th Games, and they hijacked him to make him hate Katniss. Peeta was rescued by soldiers from District 13 including Gale Hawthorne as way to stop him from being used as weapon of propaganda. Upon his arrival in District 13 Katniss, relieved by his rescue rushes to meet him. Due to his psychological conditioning from the hijacking by the Capitol he attempts to kill Katniss. He eventually cures himself and after the war he returns to District 12 months after Katniss. They do eventually marry and grow back together and they have two unnamed children, a boy and a girl.
- Primrose Everdeen — Katniss' little sister. She helps Katniss keep safe when Peeta is not there. Prim worked as a healer in District 13, and died during a bombing by Coin's soldiers when a hovercraft with parachute bombs dropped on a herd of Capitol children. Prim was working as a doctor in the explosion.
- Gale Hawthorne — Katniss' best friend and hunting partner. He is in love with Katniss, but eventually exiles himself from her life due to the fact that she blames him for Prim's death. He ends up a government official in District 2. The rest of his fate is unknown.
- Haymitch Abernathy — A drunken former victor from District 12 who used to be a mentor for the Hunger Games. He helped in the rebellion and then returned to District 12, where he remains a drunk. Victor of the 50th Hunger Games.
- Effie Trinket — The escort for Peeta and Katniss in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. She is a resident of the Capitol so she is noted for her odd clothes and distinct capitol accent. She is arrested at the end of the 75th Hunger Games but is released when the rebels win the war against the capitol. She witnesses Katniss kill President Coin and goes back home to the Capitol afterwards.
- Plutarch Heavensbee — Used to be the Head Gamemaker for the 75th Hunger Games, but was secretly working with the rebels to overthrow the Capitol.
- Finnick Odair — Victor of the 65th Hunger Games. President Snow forced him to sell his body to wealthy people of the Capitol after two years of becoming victor for his Hunger games by threatening to kill off people he loves if he didn't. Originally from District 4. Helped in the rebellion against the Capitol. He and Katniss help each other keep sane when Peeta and Annie aren't there. He marries Annie Cresta after she is rescued from the Capitol, but is killed by rose-scented lizard mutts during the mission to assassinate President Snow. He and Annie have a child.
- Annie Cresta — Victor of the 70th Hunger Games, she went mad when she witnessed her district partner get beheaded. She is arrested by the Capitol after the Quarter Quell. She is Finnick Odair's love interest and later becomes his wife. She is widowed when Finnick is killed by Snow's mutts during a mission, and later gives birth to their child.
- Johanna Mason — The female tribute from District 7. She participated in the 71st Hunger Games, and participated again in the third Quarter Quell.
- President Coriolanus Snow — The cruel President of Panem, who died from either choking on his own blood or being trampled. Katniss pointed out that no one cared and it didn't matter. He smells of roses and blood and poisoned people to come to power. He also drinks the poison when he poisons people as to not look suspicious. He takes an antidote after, but it does not stop open sores from forming in his mouth, which give off a bloody smell that he uses rose perfume to cover up.
- President Alma Coin — President of District 13. She authorized the final bombing of the Capitol's children, which killed Prim. Katniss kills her for vengeance during Snow's execution.
- Boggs — Katniss' bodyguard and army captain. He is killed in battle, but not before transferring command and the Holo to Katniss so she can continue her mission of killing President Snow. His last piece of advice is to kill Peeta, not trust anyone, and do what she came to the Capitol to do, kill Snow.
- Commander Paylor — The leader among the rebels in District 8, and later became the president of Panem after Katniss kills Alma Coin during Snow's execution.
- Keith Staskiewicz (2010-02-11). Final 'Hunger Games' novel has been given a title and a cover. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2010-02-11.
- The Hunger Games #3: Mockingjay. Scholastic.