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, The Hunger Games, chapter 7
It’s interesting that Collins gives Rue such a similar skill set to Katniss, and that Katniss remarks on it. Anyone have any thoughts on why? From the first mention of Rue in chapter 3 (when Katniss sees the footage from the reapings), K notes Rue’s similarities to Prim. When Rue makes her first appearance in chapter 7, Katniss mentions this again:
“I… see the little girl from District 11 standing back a bit, watching us. She’s the twelve-year-old, the one who reminds me so of Prim in stature. Up close she looks about ten. She has bright, dark eyes and satiny brown skin and stands tilted up on her toes with her arms slightly extended to her sides, as if ready to take wing at the slightest sound. It’s impossible not to think of a bird…. Rue is a small yellow flower that grows in the Meadow. Rue. Primrose. Neither of them could tip the scale at 70 pounds soaking wet.”
In demeanor, stature, and age, Rue resembles Prim. But in abilities, Rue is remarkably similar to Katniss. In a way, Rue is a bit like the best of both of the Everdeen sisters. K is drawn to Rue by her resemblance to Prim, which also makes her feel protective of the younger girl. Perhaps their skill sets are similar so the reader realizes later that Katniss doesn’t take the obvious approach when it comes to choosing allies (e.g., a big, strong guy who’s deadly with weapons) and people she trusts. In the arena, Rue turns out to be clever and resourceful — a valuable ally to Katniss despite the initial impression that Rue might be one of the weakest and most vulnerable tributes.
“Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously.
“Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.”
“Or what?” I ask.
“Or…or…” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.”
“What’s the problem?” I say with a grin.
“The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta.
“I did do the right thing,” I say.
“No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?
I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. "Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who…who worries about…what it would be like if…”
I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread.
“If what, Katniss?” he says softly.
I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine.
“That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it.
“Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says and moves into me.
This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another.
The Hunger Games
I couldn’t stop quoting this section because it’s just that good. This whole thing is swoon-worthy and such an important moment for Katniss and Peeta.
“You brought me breakfast?” Katniss asked as she peaked over the covers of the bed. Haymitch sat the tray on the bed and climbed in beside her. “Uh yes it appears so.” Katniss smirked a little bit and snuggled into him. She picked up one of the rolls from off the tray and nibbled on it. “Peeta made these didn’t he?” Haymitch nodded and laughed. “I didn’t say I cooked it I just brought it to you. I figured you wouldn’t want to leave the bed today considering you’ve been sick.” She couldn’t help but smile at him. “Thanks. I like it.”
The car’s been making an ominous kind of noise for a hundred miles or so, but I’ve been ignoring it, hoping I’d make it to my destination before the old thing died.
But it seems the odds are never in Katniss Everdeen’s favour.
Clouds of black smoke belch from under the hood of my ancient Corolla as it comes to a lurching, shuddering halt on the side of a desolate road, three hundred miles from where I’m heading. Just the latest misfortune in a seemingly endless series. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
The Odds are Never in Our Favor [Haymitch/Katniss]
Katniss’s heart pounded wildly against her chest as she stood in the gathering of children near the back. Her nerves were always a mess on reaping day, but particularly these past two years ever since Prim’s name had been entered into the drawing of eligible children to participate in the Hunger Games. They had been lucky last year, no one they cared about had been reaped – one of the Mellark boys and a girl Katniss didn’t know. And now Gale was off of the chopping block all together. Katniss would have said that next year would have been a relief for her but she knew that wasn’t true. She wouldn’t get a lick of rest until Prim was out of the running.
She may not have been all that worried for herself, but Katniss knew her odds weren’t all that good this year. Her name was in there just under 40 times and it was a quarter quell this year. Like the last, there would be 4 tributes from each district, two boys and two girls. The only comforting thought she had was that Prim’s name was only in there twice and that if she did get pulled, Gale would no doubt take care of her sister and mom.
The voice of Effie Trinket cut through the quiet din of the gathered crowd and Katniss looked up blearily. The bright blond hair and orange butterflies were garish and off putting but it’d be a good laugh for them later. When the annual film about the Capitol’s greatness started, Katniss tuned out completely.
Now – Effie’s voice broke through Katniss’s haze. The time has come for us to select two courageous young men and women for the honor of representing district 12 in the 75th annual Hunger Games. As is tradition, ladiesfirst.
The woman stepped up to the large fish bowl full of tiny slip of paper. Katniss watched as if mesmerized as her hand swirled above them before finally reaching down and plucking up one. Moving back to the mic, she unfolded the paper. “Primrose Everdeen.” she called in a clear, strong voice.
White noise rushed Katniss’s ears and her face paled. No, no, no, that wasn’t right. It couldn’t be. Not moving, not reacting, she watched as her sister slowly started to move as her name was called again. Something in her snapped. Pushing her way through the crowd, Katniss stumbled out onto the main road that separated the boys and the girls. “Prim!” she shouted. A peace keeper rushed as if to stop, hands coming up to her middle, forcing her to slam into him. “No! No!” She shouted, struggling against the man – Darrius, she recognized him vaguely in her haze of desperation. “I volunteer!” Her voice cracked and broke as she struggled not to lose her mind on camera. “I volunteer as tribute.” Stunned, the two peace keepers backed off, letting the little girl rush at Katniss. Her arms snapped around her, hugging Prim fiercely against her chest, hands clutching at her head as she started to panic.
“No Katniss, no.” she sobbed. But Katniss wouldn’t hear it. She pulled back and grabbed her face. “It’s gonna be okay. Go find mom. Gale. Go on.” But she wouldn’t. Rory, on the other side of the isle was quick to step in and help. He was no Gale, he couldn’t lift Prim up and cart her away but he dragged her out of the middle isle toward the boys, holding her tight against his chest as Katniss finally made her way up to the stage.
“Well.” Effie started, clearly shaken. “It seems district 12 is making history. We have a volunteer, the first ever.” She said with a smile. Moving to the steps, she took Katniss’s hand as she came up and led her over to the side where Haymitch, the drunk victor from 12 stood. “What’s your name dear?”
“Katniss Everdeen.” The young woman mumbled numbly.
“Well, I’ll bet my hat that was your sister, wasn’t it?” At the nod, she smiled and looked back to the crowd. “Lets give a round of applause for our very first volunteer.” No one applauded though, one by one each hand of the gathered citizens of district twelve, raising their index, middle, and ring finger in salute.
Shaken, Effie clapped her hands together. “Yes, yes. Now, for our second female tribute!” Moving to the bowl she plucked out a second card and went to open it. Normally there was no hesitation as she read out the name, clear and booming but something was clearly wrong this time. She hesitated and as her voice wavered. “K-Katniss Everdeen.” Forcing a bright smile, she laughed rigidly and glanced back at the tribute on the stage. “Well this is certainly unprecedented. “I do believe the rules state that in such a case the… tribute that was called originally is to take the place of the volunteer.” She glanced at Katniss again, swallowing. “That means… our second tribute is… Primrose Everdeen!” She said as brightly as she could manage.
“No. No!” Katniss said almost wildly from behind Effie. She glanced around, eyes locking with Haymitch, as if he could do something to help her.