Rue was the 12-year-old female tribute from District 11 who was selected to participate in the 74th Hunger Games. Rue formed an alliance with Katniss after warning her about a nest of tracker jackers. Rue decided to trust Katniss partly because of the pin she wore over her heart: the famous mockingjay pin. Katniss avenged Rue when Marvel killed her. As a memorial to Rue's death, Katniss covered her in flowers and sang to her until she died, indicating to the Capitol that Rue was not just a piece in their games.
- "I'm usually up highest, so I'm the first to see the flag that signals quitting time. There's a special little song I do. And the mockingjays spread it around the orchard. That's how everyone knows to knock off."
Rue lived in District 11 prior to the 74th Hunger Games. She was the eldest child in her family, with five younger siblings. She worked from sunrise to sunset in the orchards in District 11, alongside the other citizens of her district. Despite her size, she was able to jump from tree to tree in the orchards, even on the most slender branches. She could scale the tallest trees in District 11, allowing her to see the flag that signaled quitting time, after which she would sing her four-note song. The tune would be picked up by the mockingjays in the area, which would spread the message through the orchards that the working day was over. Rue claimed that these mockingjays were her special friends.
Rue was chosen during the reaping at the age of 12 for the 74th Hunger Games along with Thresh, District 11's male tribute. When Rue was chosen, her district escort asked if anyone would like to volunteer for Rue's place, but the district answered with silence, and the only sound that could be heard was the wind. Katniss was deeply disturbed by this, as she was the same age and size as Primrose, her sister.
Training and Interview
Rue, along with her tribute partner, dressed up as a farmer to represent their district's industry, which is agriculture, during the tribute parade. During the training sessions in the film, Rue showed her swift and silent abilities by swiping Cato's knife while he wasn't looking causing him to attack another tribute, much to the amusement of her district partner, Thresh.
While all the tributes are training, Rue observed them closely, to see their strength and weaknesses, Katniss and Peeta in particular. Peeta informs Katniss they have "a shadow", Rue peeks out of a corner and, in response, Katniss and Peeta smile at her. She managed to get a seven out of twelve in her private session with the Gamemakers. It is likely she showed them her skill to move about along treetops swiftly and unnoticed, although this belief was never confirmed.
During her interview with Caesar Flickerman, she told him not to count her out because she's fast, and if they can't catch her, they can't kill her. Caesar replies by saying he wouldn't count her out in a million years. He then concludes Rue's interview.
In the arena, Rue managed to stay alive by staying off the ground, much like Katniss did. She used her extensive knowledge of plants to collect food. She also got a backpack from the Cornucopia in the beginning of the Games, but it contained little because she 'had to get away from the Cornucopia fast' and she likely retrieved it at the edge of the clearing. She found a sharp shard of rock she used as a knife. She made a slingshot for herself as well. Her pack contained a small water skin and an extra pair of socks she used to keep her hands warm during the cold nights. Her following of Katniss in the training center continued in the arena. It is implied that she had followed Katniss even before the tracker jacker incident.
After the forest fire (in which many of the tributes, including Rue and Katniss, suffer burns) Rue climbs a tree to avoid the approaching Career pack. Noticing Katniss treed nearby, she alerts her to a tracker jacker nest on a higher branch. In the morning, Katniss alerts Rue that she is about to drop the nest; Rue nods, and leaps from tree to tree, to get out of range once the wasps are unleashed.
After the tracker jacker attack, Rue continues following Katniss. While Katniss is attempting to make a fire, she hears a branch crack, and she knows it's Rue because she sees her boots sticking around the tree. She tells Rue the careers aren't the only ones who can make an alliance. Rue comes out from behind the tree and says she can heal Katniss's tracker jacker wounds with leaves. Katniss is relieved by her wounds being fixed and offers Rue treatment for her burns. Rue says Katniss has good sponsors, for that is where she got the burn ointment, and Katniss asks her if she had gotten anything yet, to which Rue replies no. Katniss tells Rue not to worry because the more she advances in the Games the more sponsors will recognize her for her survival skills. Katniss offers her a groosling leg which surprises Rue, who has never had a whole leg to herself. Katniss and Rue talk about their life in their district. After the conversation, Rue explains to Katniss about the career's camp and the strategy they have for protecting food and supplies. This gives Katniss the idea of evening the playing field between them and the careers by destroying their supplies.
Rue said she trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss was wearing a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help Katniss with her plan to destroy the career alliance's food. Katniss devises a plan with Rue; Rue must act as a decoy and light up three fires to distract the careers away from the camp site, while she destroys the food somehow. Rue manages to light the first fire, but soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who speared her through the stomach with his spear just before Katniss reached her. In the movie, Katniss reaches her and cuts her down before Marvel throws a spear through her stomach. After Katniss killed Marvel, Rue's dying wish was for Katniss to sing to her. Katniss honored her wish and sang until she died. Furious with the Capitol for allowing an innocent child to die, Katniss covers Rue's body with beautiful white colored flowers. Before she leaves, she makes District 12's gesture of farewell to Rue. After Rue dies in the film, a rebellion starts in District 11, where the citizens have a small uprising to avenge Rue's death, her being from their district and being so young to be forced into the Games.
- "I'm hard to catch. If they can't catch me they can't kill me. So don't count me out."
- ―Rue to Caesar in the interview[src]
Rue's main tactic in the Games was to stay off the ground. Her ability to move swiftly and silently through the trees allowed her to stalk the other tributes and gain information about them without being noticed.
Since most of the tributes could not climb trees, they would have extreme difficulty in killing her, which gave Rue a massive advantage. Also, most of the other tributes are too big to climb as high as she can.
Rue was not able to hunt, but this was not a problem, as she used her wide knowledge of plants and berries to find food. She also did not need as much food as the Careers, as she was used to poverty.
In a way, Rue's tactic slightly mimicked that of Scavengers by following stronger predators and preying on the information she got from spying on them.
Rue reminded Katniss of her sister, Prim. Like Prim, Rue sometimes stood on her toes with her arms slightly extended. Katniss describes her as "birdlike" and after the Games can barely look at Prim without noticing Rue in her and being reminded of her death. Small, quick, intelligent, and young, the two had many similarities, which led Katniss to make Rue her ally. Katniss has remarked that Rue is very observant. Quite soon after Katniss asked Rue for an alliance, Rue agreed, saying she had already made the decision to trust Katniss because of her mockingjay pin.
The two worked together to survive, and learned much about each other and their districts. They shared stories together and became close, although their alliance was short lived. Like Katniss, Rue was able to find edible and medicinal plants in the arena. Among the edible plants she found were some berries and roots. She was also able to pick out the leaves of a plant that could help extract tracker jacker venom out of Katniss' wounds. When it came time to eat, Rue was shy in taking such a large quantity in food, saying that she had never had a whole leg of groosling to herself. However, Katniss insisted that she take it along with the other leg, feeling pity for the younger girl.
The first and only night that the two spent together, Rue was surprised by the sleeping bag that Katniss had gotten in the beginning of the Games. When Katniss asked how she had kept warm every night, she said that she would pull out her extra socks and put them on her hands. Rue examined the contents of Katniss' pack and explained what some of the things were. Rue told Katniss about the night vision glasses that Katniss had gotten, which Katniss mistook for sunglasses at first, and how important the glasses were in Rue's district. Rue was very comfortable with Katniss, which was indicated by the fact that she immediately snuggled up close to her in the sleeping bag. When Rue told Katniss about the mockingjays in her district, Katniss offered her the gold mockingjay pin that Madge had given her, but Rue told her to keep it because it was how she knew that she could trust Katniss. Rue's district token was a small hand woven necklace that was her lucky charm.
Katniss and Rue knew that the Careers needed to be eliminated, and the only way they could possibly make that happen was to take away their ample food and other supplies. At first, the feat seemed nearly impossible, but Katniss and Rue concocted a plan with the intention of destroying or even stealing the supplies. Rue, being the smaller of the two, was in charge of setting three fires in various areas in the forest. This would distract the Careers and get them moving as Katniss would try to figure out a way to get their precious supplies. Katniss and Rue decided to communicate by fires and the mockingjays. Rue would sing her four-note melody to let Katniss know that all was going well. The four-note melody was also the tune that Rue sang to the mockingjays in District 11 to signal the end of the work day; because she worked so high in the trees, she was the first of the workers in the orchard to know when it was time to go home.
- "Can you sing?"
Rue died soon after Katniss' successful attempt to destroy the Careers' stash of supplies, while she was creating her diversion. After lighting the first two fires, she stumbled upon a net on her way to start the third and final fire. After following the sound of the mockingjays, Katniss found Rue trapped in a net. But the moment she heard her name escape Rue's lips, Marvel speared Rue in the abdomen, earning him an arrow through the neck (through the heart in the film ), as Katniss tried in vain to save her. Katniss rushed over to Rue and cut her out of the net and put Rue's head on her lap. Katniss held Rue's hand as a lifeline as if it were she who were dying and Rue holding her. Rue asked if she blew up the food and Katniss confirmed that she destroyed everything. Rue pleaded for Katniss to win and Katniss promised she'd win for the both of them. When Marvel's cannon fired, Rue told Katniss to stay with her and Katniss lingered right by her side. As a last wish, Rue asked Katniss to sing to her, and Katniss sang a lullaby that she used to sing to Prim, until Rue's eyes fluttered shut and she died. The mockingjays soon picked up Katniss's song and sang it through the entire arena.
To show the Capitol that Rue was more than a piece in the Games, Katniss covered her corpse in brightly colored flowers she found nearby to cover up her wounds and her body. As a final goodbye, Katniss gave her the same farewell salute that the entire District 12 gave Katniss when she left for the Games, placing the three middle fingers of the left hand to her lips, then lifting her arm out toward Rue. The gesture was often used by the residents of District 12 at funerals, signifying respect and admiration. District 11 then sends Katniss a loaf of bread as a gift of appreciation. This would end up leaving a lot of people in District 11 going hungry that night and it was unheard of to send a gift to a tribute that was not from your own district but they felt they owed Katniss something. It was later speculated that the loaf of bread was in fact meant for Rue but as she died they thought they would give it to Katniss as a sign of respect and appreciation.
In the film, Katniss pulled Rue out of the net and hugged her, and Marvel threw the spear at Katniss but hit Rue instead; Marvel was shot in the chest by Katniss, who turned to Rue as she pulled the spear out of her body and fell to the ground. Katniss then began to sing to her and she died, and decorated her body with flowers after her death. She then saluted District 11, where a riot ensued. Rue placed 7th out of the 24 tributes.
At the end of The Hunger Games, it was mentioned by Katniss that when the Capitol showed Katniss and Peeta the video of the 74th Hunger Games, they did not show the part where Katniss puts the flowers on her body as the flimmakers thought that smacks of rebellion.
In Catching Fire, when Katniss and Peeta are on their victory tour, she thanks Rue for everything she has done for her. Katniss says that she feels Rue is still with her and that everything beautiful brings Rue to mind. Katniss then thanks District 11 for their tributes, Rue and Thresh. Katniss tells Thresh's family that she admired him for being solitary, and even when the Career tributes wanted him, he turned them down. This made them smile.
Later, when asked by the Gamemakers to show his skill for the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta painted Rue covered with flowers on the floor, earning a 12 from the Gamemakers. Also adding on to the rebellion that Katniss was trying to keep him out of.
And later, Katniss describes to Peeta her only "good" dream since the Games, explaining how she followed Rue as a mockingjay, singing and "talking". Peeta asks where Rue was taking her, to which Katniss replies, "they never arrived, but they felt happy".
In the arena, Katniss remembers Rue's vast knowledge about plants and realizes that a distinct disadvantage to being a District 12 tribute is that they don't get to learn their district's main purpose and skills until they are 18, while the other tributes from other districts learn it at a young age. While watching Haymitch's Hunger Games video tape, and after watching Maysilee Donner's death on the tape, she remembers how Katniss as well was "too late to save Rue".
Further in the book Katniss thinks a lot about Rue (also when she saw Prim being interviewed standing, like ready to take a flight) and she is also mentioned.
- "And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she's very like Prim in size and demeanor."
- ―Katniss Everdeen, while watching Rue's reaping.[src]
Being the youngest of the tributes at the age of 12, Rue was naturally the smallest - but this still gave her a massive advantage for being light on her feet and agile. Suzanne Collins has stated that Rue is African-American, with thick dark hair, dark satiny brown skin and "golden eyes."
She always stood leaning forward, on her toes, with both arms slightly extended as though she was about to take off flying. This is how Prim, Katniss' sister, also stood, which brings back memories of Rue whenever Katniss sees her own sister. This stance made her look like a bird, ready to take flight. Her swift and almost invisible movements through the treetops added to the bird-like description. Rue says that what she enjoys most in life is music, something which greatly confuses Katniss when she considers the hardship Rue has endured on the fields in District 11. She is described as 4' 8."
Rue's pre-games interview costume is described as a sheer dress with shimmering gossamer wings.
She usually gave her food rations to her younger siblings, and foraged in the fields to provide more food for them. District 11 has very strict laws and Rue could be punished for helping her family in this way. On the Victory Tour (in Catching Fire), Katniss sees Rue's family and her siblings look just like Rue. Her parents were also seen weeping. A man in the back whistles her four note tune, and started a small uprising. The man was shot shortly after. After Katniss sees the man get shot, she hears two more shots, which could possibly mean someone in the family was killed or wounded. At the Quarter Quell, Seeder assures Katniss that Rue's family is safe.
- "I’m going to. Going to win for both of us now."
- ―Katniss, to Rue[src]
Rue and Katniss had a loving relationship. Katniss formed an alliance with her and took care of her as well. She was deeply cared for by Katniss. Rue told her everything about her, like her favorite thing in the world is music. Katniss felt empathy and pity for her. Katniss demonstrated her love for Rue by crying and mourning her death and covering her body in flowers at the time of her death to show that she was 'more than just a piece in their games'.
Katniss trusts Rue because of her similarities to Prim and her gentle demeanor. Katniss also felt pity and empathy for Rue, being forced into the arena at such a young age. She also realized she could trust Rue because she watched over her while she was asleep from the Tracker Jacker venom. One of the reasons Rue said she trusted Katniss, was because of her mockingjay pin.
Rue and her bonded the night Katniss awakened from her tracker jacker injuries. Rue received a groosling leg from Katniss, after she refused the first few times. Katniss and Rue tell each other about their life and district. Rue told her about the Career's camp and this helps her with her plan.
Rue trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss had on a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help her with a plan to destroy the career alliance. But soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who stabbed her through the abdomen with his spear while Katniss ran to save her. After dispatching Marvel, Rue begged Katniss win and to sing to her as she died. As an act of defiance and a way to honor Rue's death, Katniss covers Rue's corpse with brightly colored flowers and gives her District 12's farewell gesture, of the three middle fingers pressed to the lips and held up.
- "For the little girl."
- ―Thresh, on Rue[src]
Thresh liked Rue and took pity on her since she was so young and nice and felt she did not deserve to be forced into the games. They seemed to have a fairly close friendship, as Thresh was infuriated and saddened by her death. During training in the film when Rue stole Cato's knife (which caused him to attack another tribute), Thresh looked up and smiled at Rue knowing it was her. During the feast, Thresh overheard Clove taunting Katniss about Rue and taking credit for her death, and was enraged by this, Thresh pushed Clove off Katniss and held her above the ground by her throat, yelling accusations at her. Terrified, Clove insisted she didn't kill Rue (this is true, as it was Marvel who killed her), but Thresh didn't believe her, and crushed her skull with a large rock (although in the film he bangs Clove against the Cornucopia until her neck breaks), avenging Rue's death. Due to Katniss' alliance with Rue, Thresh spared her life, suggesting that he cared for her.
Personality and traits
Rue had a gentle and kind nature. Her greatest joy in life was music, and she loved singing with the mockingjays at home. The mockingjays liked her and were used to her; a few were even her special friends because she was the one who sang a four-note melody that signaled the end of a work day out in the fields.
While in the arena, Rue showed excitement at the prospect of adventure - one character trait that Katniss noted differed her from Prim. Rue was clever and quite observant of her surroundings, noticing every piece of information she saw when spying on the Careers.
Being the eldest child in her family, Rue was a caretaker and always made sure her younger siblings were tended to. Similarly, she helped heal Katniss in the arena and willingly shared her supplies and knowledge. Once allied with Katniss, Rue put a great deal of trust in her, falling asleep quickly that night and agreeing to Katniss's schemes.
"Like me, she's clever with plants, climbs swiftly, and has good aim. She can hit the target every time with a slingshot."
- Katniss on Rue's skills in the Training Center.
Rue had a talent for singing; her greatest joy was music. During work she would sing to the mockingjays and they would sing back. She was also able to whistle a four note song which had meaning in her district that the day of work was over.
Exceptionally talented at climbing, she could silently jump from one tree to another without being noticed; Katniss compared her skill to that of the birds. Rue was able to stalk and track Katniss and other tributes during the Games to gain information and no one picked up that they were being followed or watched by her. Also, she climbed to the top of the rafters during training after stealing a knife from Cato in the film.
Rue was also intelligent. She was able to survive by herself before she formed her alliance with Katniss. She survived mostly on roots and berries that she found and discovered could be eaten. She was expected to have survived by staying off the ground and hiding in trees. She was very observant as well, picking up every small and important detail about the career's camp and some useful information about other tributes.
Rue's tribute token was a grass necklace with a wooden star, used as a good luck charm in the Games. She received a water skin and an extra pair of socks from the Cornucopia that she used to keep her hands warm. She also made herself a slingshot, which seemed to be of good quality, and a knife that she made from a sharp shard of rock.
Rue's mutt was one of the creatures that appeared at the end of the 74th Hunger Games. It was described as the smallest of the wolf-mutts with a curly dark brown coat. It also wore a woven collar made of plant fibers and straw. Rue's district number, 11, was woven into the collar as well. Her mutt seemed to have no connection to Katniss whatsoever, as it tried to kill her like the rest of the Mutts.
Rue is named after a small mountain flower called ruta graveolens. Considering the flower is also known as "herb-of-grace", it may explain Rue's delicate touch and gentleness.
- Rue received her name from a small mountain flower (Ruta graveolens), just as Katniss received her name from a waterside plant, and Prim received her name from a bush (Primrose bush). Symbolically, both Ruta graveolens and primrose blossoms close at night.
- 'Rue' is also a word meaning repentance or regret.
- There was some backlash from the public at the casting of Amandla Stenberg, an African American actress, when it was first announced, but Stenberg merely responded that she was glad to be a part of the film.
- In the promotional posters, almost every character is looking left, with the exception of Katniss (who is looking right) and Rue (who faces left but is looking down).
- Rue foraged for food in the Meadows before the Games, which is a very serious offense in District 11.
- If Katniss had not volunteered for her sister, Prim, there would have been at least two 12 year old girls participating in the 74th Hunger Games from the poorer districts.
- She was the shortest female tribute in her Games.
- In the film, she received the lowest number of odds to win the games, 60-1, possibly due to her height.
- Her odds of winning are shown to change from 60-1 to 7-1 in the film.
- Rue received a training score of 7, which was a very high score for her age and size.
- At the start of the Games, Rue runs away from the Cornucopia, as she tells Katniss while looking at Rue's supplies.
- Rue was the only 12 year old in the 74th Hunger Games that survived after the bloodbath, despite being the tribute with the lowest odds.
- Rue trusted Katniss because of her mockingjay pin.
- In the book, Rue is the one to show Katniss the mockingjay signal, but in the film, it is Katniss that shows Rue.
- Rue reminds Katniss of Prim. Both Rue's and Prim's deaths heavily affected Katniss.
- Rue's cannon is never heard in the film.
- Rue survived for 9 days in the book and for 6 days in the film.
- Rue, Thresh and Marvel are the only named deceased tributes from The Hunger Games to appear in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
- In a deleted scene from the film, Rue confesses to Katniss that she has a crush on a boy in her district.
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 15
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 16
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 3
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 13
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 14
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 18
- Catching Fire, Chapter 4
- Catching Fire, Chapter 3
- The Hunger Games
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 7
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 8
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 9
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 11
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 17
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 12
-  Peeta's Mural of Rue Featured In HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Concept Art
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 27
- Catching Fire, Chapter 17
- Catching Fire, Chapter 6
- Catching Fire, Chapter 23
- Catching Fire, Chapter 14
- Mockingjay, Chapter 27
- Karen Valby (2011-04-07). Team 'Hunger Games' talks: Author Suzanne Collins and director Gary Ross on their allegiance to each other, and their actors -- Exclusive. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2011-04-13.
- Catching Fire, Chapter 5
- Catching Fire, Chapter 15
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 21
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 25
- Catching Fire, Chapter 16
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 22
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 23
- Catching Fire, Chapter 9
- Catching Fire, Chapter 10
- Catching Fire, Chapter 18
- Catching Fire, Chapter 22
- Catching Fire
- Mockingjay, Chapter 2
- Mockingjay, Chapter 9
- Mockingjay, Chapter 20
- Mockingjay, Chapter 25
- Mockingjay, Chapter 26