Primrose "Prim" Everdeen was Katniss Everdeen's younger sister. Unlike her sister in many ways, Prim was the opposite of Katniss in both looks and character; having blonde hair like their mother, a gentle personality (unlike Katniss' prickly one) and a talent for healing, as opposed to Katniss' talent for hunting. Despite this, they are very devoted to each other. She also had a cat named Buttercup, and a goat named Lady. Katniss cares about Prim above anything else in the world, and when Prim is killed in Mockingjay she is devastated to the point that she loses her voice temporarily. Several months later, Peeta Mellark plants primroses in front of Katniss' house in memory of Prim.
WorkPrim has a goat named Lady who provided milk and cheese. Katniss, her older sister, bought the goat and gave it to Prim on her tenth birthday after having shot and sold a young buck in the woods with Gale Hawthorne. Having so much money, they first thought to get Prim a hairbrush or cloth for a dress, but decided instead to buy a goat that had been injured. The goat could easily have died, making the spent money a waste, but Prim and her mother healed it with home remedies.
Although Katniss was unsure if the goat would survive, Prim loved animals and was soon able to heal Lady with her mother's help. The sustenance provided by the goat helped Prim and her family to survive in the poor region of District 12 called the Seam.
Other than her animals, Prim also had household chores and helped to take care of patients that people brought to her mother, the local healer. Later, after Katniss escaped from the Quarter Quell, she turned out to be a very skilled doctor while living in District 13. During the war, she would work with her mother in the hospital and then go out to help the injured in the midst of battle.
Not much is known about Prim's early life, but she is described as a compassionate young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes.
She was born on May 11th, and it is obvious from the beginning that Prim loves all living creatures. She saved a stray cat (whom Katniss tried to drown the second Prim brought him home) and named him Buttercup, insisting his muddy yellow coat matched the bright flower. Because of her love for animals, when Katniss once took her out in the woods beyond District 12 to teach her how to hunt and after successfully shooting a creature, Prim broke down in tears and wanted to help the dying animal.
Prim was also a good healer at an early age, often helping her mother with patients. Katniss noted that she never appeared to be fazed by wounds or nudity, even though she was "scared of her own shadow".
During Catching Fire, Katniss describes the day of her father's death. She explains that when alarms sounded in their school after the mining incident occurred, she went to Prim's classroom and found her waiting for her. The only other known event of her early life was mentioned in Mockingjay, as Katniss recalls when her father was singing "The Hanging Tree" in their house when Prim was only a toddler as she watched Katniss make rope necklaces.
The Hunger Games
At the reaping in The Hunger Games, it was Prim's name that was originally pulled out of the girls' reaping bowl, but Katniss volunteered to take Prim's place, to Prim's horror. She had not allowed Prim to take any tesserae and did everything she could to prevent Prim being thrown into the 74th Hunger Games, as she knew her little sister would not have lasted long in the competition, but in the end she was reaped. Prim tried to stop Katniss, but Gale Hawthorne held her back and carried her away as she yelled "No, Katniss! No! You can't go!" In the hour of farewells before traveling to the Capitol, Prim makes Katniss promise to win the Games and return home safely. Prim watched the Games with her mother and hoped Katniss would survive. With some help from Peeta Mellark, her fellow District 12 tribute, and Rue, a twelve year old District 11 female tribute, she accomplishes this goal. In the film Katniss gives Prim the mockingjay pin she got from Madge, the mayor's daughter, but when Katniss volunteers for the Games Prim gives it back to her for good luck. She is seen sitting on Gale's shoulders when Katniss comes back to District 12 with Peeta, happy to see her sister safely returned.
Catching FirePrim is a more prominent character in the sequel, helping her mother with patients and keeping off the Capitol's toes. Prim continued to go to school and lived in her new house in the Victor's Village with her mother and Katniss. Prim was one of the people President Snow threatened to kill if Katniss didn't prove that she was insanely in love with Peeta and that the suicide threat was an act of love, and not rebellion. Katniss kept her mother and Prim out of her issues between her and Snow. When Katniss is about to give up and let things happen with Snow in control, she thinks of Prim which gives her the strength to go on. When Gale is whipped, along with Katniss having an injury from blocking a lash of it, Prim and her mother treat Gale and Katniss' injuries. When Katniss was stuck in the woods due to the electricity being on all the time, the Peacekeepers went to her house to arrest Prim and her mother to take in for questioning, but Katniss made it there after being forced to jump over the Fence. The Capitol had arranged for a showy wedding to Peeta, complete with a contest to decide her wedding dress, decided by voting residents of the Capitol. Prim makes Katniss promise not to try on any dresses until she gets home from school. When she arrived home she helped Katniss with her dresses and kept Katniss calm since she doesn't like this type of thing.
During the reaping, Katniss was chosen since she is the only living female victor of District 12. After she was reaped, Katniss wasn't able to say goodbye to Prim because of a new procedure. When District 12 is bombed, Gale saves Prim and her mother.
Prim is an even larger character in Mockingjay than in either of the preceding books. She lived in District 13 with her mother, sister, and Buttercup in Compartment E for most of the book. Like before, Katniss was always trying to protect her. Prim surprised Katniss with how mature and strong-willed she had grown. When Katniss is challenged by the idea of being the Mockingjay, Prim wakes up from her sleep and asked her what she will do, and telling her that she knows how much her mother can hear. Prim told her what she would do if Katniss had to become the Mockingjay, and promises to keep this a secret from their mother before going back to sleep with Buttercup. At this moment, Katniss realized that the little girl who she had volunteered for at the reaping was gone. Prim dreamed of becoming a doctor and showed her proficiency at healing as she helped the injured during her time in District 13.
When District 13 is attacked by the Capitol, Prim nearly gets trapped out of the safe quarters because she went back to rescue Buttercup, but makes it back with Gale just in time. Gale went to check the Everdeen family compartment to make sure it was clear and found Prim with Buttercup. After Mrs. Everdeen leaves to the first aid station, Prim and Katniss bond together. Prim relays to Katniss the information she was taught during orientation for new citizens and surmises that it was probably just a bunker missile. She visits Katniss in the Hospital after Peeta strangled her.
Before Katniss goes to the Capitol with her squad, Katniss says her final goodbye to her family. Prim says, "Next time we see each other, we'll be free."
Although she is not yet 14, Prim is allowed to go to the Capitol during the final battle as a nurse, which Katniss is unaware of until she sees Prim in the barricade in front of Snow's mansion. Katniss only notices Prim when she sees her plait down her back and her untucked shirt at the back, just as it was on the day of the reaping. Katniss also notices Prim giving her coat to a small child.
After the Capitol children barricaded at President Snow's mansion were injured by explosions caused by a hovercraft dropping parachutes (identical to the ones used by tributes' sponsors during the Games) carrying bombs that the Rebels made, Prim runs in with other District Thirteen medics, to help injured children and hears Katniss calling her name. Before Katniss can reach her and bring her to safety, the second wave of bombs explodes, killing Prim and other medics and badly burning Katniss. Prim's last word ever in the book is Katniss. Katniss becomes so unhinged after Prim's death that she loses her voice for several days. It is easy to see that Katniss deeply cared for her sister.
Katniss wondered why Prim was sent in, due to her young age. She later realizes, after a conversation with the imprisoned President Snow, that President Alma Coin sent Prim to her death (which was caused by a hovercraft by the rebels) both to sway the Capitol citizens to Coin's side by making them think Snow was bombing the children, and to swing Katniss to her side through the death of her sister, as Katniss disliked Coin and was a threat to her power base. Katniss also realizes that, even though Gale had nothing directly to do with Prim's death, the bombing trap that killed her was based on one of his designs, which makes both him and Katniss feel he is somewhat responsible. She avenges her sister by shooting President Coin when she is supposed to publicly execute President Snow. Later, after the execution, Katniss asks Gale if it was his bomb that killed Prim. He responds with "I don't know."
After the war, Peeta brings a series of evening primrose bushes to Katniss and they plant them around their home in District 12 as a memorial to Prim. When Prim's cat Buttercup comes back to District 12 looking for her, Katniss finally lets out her grief for her sister and starts to recover. She and Peeta write about Prim in their book on those who died in the Hunger Games and the second rebellion.
She has been described to have a merchant's child look, much like her mother. Prim had fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes (however, in the film, they are hazel), unlike the majority of the residents of the Seam in District 12. She had a small stature, partly due to being underfed for the majority of her life. Nevertheless, Katniss remarks in "Catching Fire", that Primrose is nearly her height. Katniss describes her as having a face "as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named." When she wore clothing, from her reaping outfit to her medic uniform, Prim continuously had a "duck tail," one that earned her "little duck" as a nickname. This duck tail was how Katniss could identify her while she was assisting the injured Capitol children. In the book "The Hunger Games" she was also described to weigh less than 70 pounds, but this probably changed as did her height.
- "I look at my little sister and think how she has inherited the best qualities our family has to offer: my mother’s healing hands, my father’s level head, and my fight. There’s something else there as well, something entirely her own. An ability to look into the confusing mess of life and see things for what they are."
- ―Katniss, on Prim
Prim's goat, Lady, was first adopted into her family when Katniss was browsing and trading in the Hob on Prim's birthday. An old goat herder had a sick nanny goat, mauled by a dog, the wound swollen with infections, and after much haggling and bargaining, Katniss bought the goat and a pink ribbon for her neck. Upon presenting the weak, near-dead nanny to Prim, medical attention was given to her immediately. Eventually, Lady healed well. Though purchasing the goat on a whim, Katniss does not regret her decision, for Lady pays her stay well with goat's milk and cheese to eat and to sell. Lady died in the bombings of District 12, but Buttercup managed to survive, much to Katniss's disappointment.
Prim is also very smart and supportive of her sister. In Mockingjay, she even gives Katniss the idea to require District 13 and President Coin to agree to some things Katniss wants, in order for Katniss to be the Mockingjay. She is very delicate, as Katniss said, "The community home would squash her like a bug." It said in The Hunger Games that every morning she would clean off the layer of coal dust on her dead father's shaving mirror, because he hated the dust. She also braided her motionless mother's hair every morning before she went to school.
Prim is the youngest of the Everdeen family; her sister is Katniss. Her father, Mr. Everdeen, died in a mine explosion four years before, leaving her mother, sister, and herself alone. The three of them lived in the Seam with Lady, Prim's goat, and Buttercup, Prim's cat.
- "I wish I looked like you."
"Oh, no. I wish I looked like you, little duck."
- ―Katniss and Primrose[src]
Gale and Prim seemed to have a good relationship, through Gale's best friend and Prim's sister, Katniss. Gale carried Prim away from the reaping after Katniss volunteered, and was shown to be comforting Mrs. Everdeen and Prim. Also, he promised Katniss that he would feed her family when she was in the arena, and he showed remorse at her death in Mockingjay. Of course, there was some debate over whether he made the bomb that killed her.
Prim had a strong, loving, relationship with her cat Buttercup. Buttercup had a smashed-in nose, and was the ugliest cat Katniss had ever seen. Katniss wanted to kill him, but Prim saved him. Prim found and healed Buttercup. Prim would always sleep with him and he would always watch over him during the night to make sure he would stay safe. In Catching Fire, though he did not like the new house he lives in with the Everdeens in the Victor Village, he would often leave and go back to their old house, but come back for Prim. In Mockingjay, the two were glad to be able to be with each other after Katniss made a request to keep Buttercup for Prim's sake. He continued to protect her over the night and slept by her. Prim was willing to be killed for Buttercup after she almost died during the bombing of District 13 by the Capitol. Prim realized he was still in her room and went there to retrieve him so he wouldn't be killed, but both of them would have died if not for Gale Hawthorne. At the very end of the series, Buttercup traveled all the way from District 13 to 12 just to find Prim but was sad when he did not find her. Katniss yells at him "She's dead", and the two mourn together for Prim. Katniss keeps Buttercup as he is the only thing left of Prim.
After Mr. Everdeen was killed, Mrs. Everdeen all but abandoned Katniss and Prim. Although Katniss held a grudge against her, Prim maintained her love for her mother, even brushing and plaiting her hair before leaving for school in the mornings as Mrs. Everdeen sat in stillness. This routine lasts until the incident with the bread, when Mrs. Everdeen comes 'back to life', figuratively speaking, and reclaims her role as mother figure.
In the film adaptation of The Hunger Games after Katniss volunteers, Mrs. Everdeen is seen comforting Prim by hugging her. Before Katniss leaves for the Capitol, Mrs. Everdeen promises to take care of Prim and watch out for her while Katniss is gone.
After Primrose is killed in Mockingjay, Mrs. Everdeen unexpectedly moves away from District 12 to District 4. Katniss Everdeen's hunting partner, Gale Hawthorne, also flees to District 2. As of Katniss' later years, she is the only Everdeen living in District 12. It is not known if Katniss lives in her old home, but she marries Peeta Mellark, her partner in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games.
- Primrose is named after the plant "Evening Primrose," which is a plant that grows yellow perennial flowers in the early spring. Where it grows wild it is often one of the very first flowers of spring, and is plucked before others even appear. Evening Primrose is a healing herb, and Prim is a healer.
- Katniss has said that Rue reminds her of Prim, that the two share alike traits such as their demeanor.
- She is the one of the few known characters in The Hunger Games to own her own animal. Her animals are Buttercup, a cat, as well as Lady, a goat.
- Although Katniss and Prim love one another the two are very different personality wise. Prim is very forgiving, unlike Katniss. Also Katniss tried taking Prim hunting once but she was afraid of the woods and also would talk about how they could heal a shot animal.
- In the book, it is said by Katniss that neither Prim nor Rue could "tip the scale at seventy pounds soaking wet", suggesting that she weighed less than seventy.
- While in District 13, Prim hoped to become a doctor, as she was skilled in the medical field.
- In a deleted scene, it shows a dream sequence of Prim in the Hunger Games wandering around in a jacket.
- Primrose is the only named District 12 citizen who was a part of the rebellion that died.
- In the film, it is Prim rather than Delly Cartwright who attempts to talk to the hijacked Peeta in District Thirteen.