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Suzanne Collins was born in Connecticut in 1962. In the 1990’s, she wrote from some children’s television shows on the Nickelodeon network. While working on a kids’ show called “Generation O!” she met writer James Proimos who inspired her to begin writing children’s novels. Her first novel, “Gregor the Overlander” was the first in a series of critically acclaimed books known as the Underland Chronicles and was inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

The Underland Chronicles were published between 2003 and 2007 and earned Collins notoriety in the literary world. In 2008 “The Hunger Games” was published as the first book in a trilogy that was followed up by “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010); the trilogy has been wildly successful.

Collins’ idea for the books of the Hunger Games series came from watching reality television, reading war coverage, and influencing from the times of gladiator battles. The world of Panem, where the novels take place, is a dystopian society in the future where all of the “districts” in which people are dictated by the President who lives in the Capitol; a place far different from the poor districts which exist solely to provide goods for those who live in the Capitol. Every year the Capitol takes two teenagers from each district as tributes to compete in the Hunger Games, a gladiator-type reality show where only one tribute comes back alive. Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the series, begins a battle against the Capitol that propels itself to a catastrophic degree in an effort to live a life of freedom.

After being rescued from the Quarter Quell by a District 13 hovercraft Katniss has learned that District 12 has been destroyed and Peeta has been taken by the Capitol. Katniss is taken to District 13 where she is amazed to learn of the underground world that has existed in District 13 ever since the district was supposedly destroyed and is being led by its own president, President Coin.

District 13 Katniss finds it hard to focus on the strict schedule she is given and her task as the Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion, because she is too worried about Peeta. As the Capitol begins airing interviews with an increasingly lifeless Peeta, Katniss becomes even more worried about him, and it fuels her desire to contribute to the rebellion.

Katniss, Finnick, and Gale film television spots that Beetee manages to interrupt Capitol broadcasts with and they visit the other districts that are in various stages of rebellion so Katniss, the Mockingjay, can give them hope. After Peeta tips Katniss off about an attack on television District 13 decides to rescue him and to hide further underground. To Katniss’ dismay Peeta has been brainwashed by the Capitol and not only distrusts her when arrives in 13, he tries to kill her more than once.

A group of rebels from 13 including Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Johanna, and others decides to enter the Capitol so Katniss can kill President Snow herself. They face many obstacles along the way, and most of the rebel party is killed. Once in the Capitol Katniss suffers the loss of her sister, Prim, at the hands of District 13 and rather than killing President Snow publically, as she is set to do, she turns her bow and arrow on President Coin.

After the Capitol and Coin are both taken down Katniss is free to return to her home in Victor’s Village of District 12 though neither Gale nor Mrs. Everdeen join her; but Peeta does.

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss has survived the 74th Hunger Games and was rescued from the Quarter Quell.  Now she is brought to the very strict District 13 where she is told that a rebellion has formed, and she is the face of the rebellion, the Mockingjay. Katniss does not want to lead the rebellion until she realizes that Peeta is being tortured in the Capitol and she makes it her mission to save him, and then to kill President Snow. Katniss works with the rebellion until she realizes that President Coin is not her ally, but her enemy. Katniss suffers great losses in this final installment and finally gains an understanding of her feelings for Peeta and Gale.

Peeta Mellark

Peeta has been taken from the Quarter Quell and taken to the Capitol where he is tortured and forced to record interviews that air all over Panem. Peeta is brainwashed into believing that Katniss is the enemy and when he is finally reunited with her he tries to kill her. Peeta joins the rebel group that is to take down the Capitol and along the way the rebels try to help him remember who he was, especially Katniss and Gale as they knew him the best out of everyone. Peeta wants to die because he feels he is a hindrance to everyone but Katniss will not allow it and eventually realizes she loves him.

Gale Hawthorne

Gale becomes a very important and active member of the rebellion while he resides in District 13 and forms a close relationship with President Coin. Katniss remains good friends with Gale though it seems obvious that things will never be the same between them ever since Peeta has come into the picture. Gale works with Beetee to formulate a set of snares for humans that they feel will be beneficial to the rebellion, but when one of those snares kills Prim Katniss can no longer trust Gale or look at him in the same way. After the rebellion is over, Gale does not return to District 12.

Prim Everdeen

Prim is the younger sister of Katniss, and, in District 13, she begins to be trained as a doctor. Prim works with Mrs. Everdeen in the hospital and is on hand to treat anyone with injuries or illness, and also to comfort Katniss when she is feeling lost without Peeta. Prim has grown up tremendously throughout the series, and Katniss develops a great deal of respect and pride for her. Prim is killed while tending to sick children in the Capitol and Katniss finds out that District 13, not the Capitol, is responsible for her death.

Haymitch Abernathy

Haymitch is an integral part of the rebellion and Katniss is at first very upset with him for not telling her about District 13 or the plan to rescue her from the Quarter Quell, and also with the fact that they did not rescue Peeta. Katniss is forced to listen to Haymitch, however, if the rebellion is to go on smoothly. It is learned that Haymitch’s entire family and also his girlfriend were killed by the Capitol after his turn in the Hunger Games because he had used the force field as a weapon, which was considered a slap in the face to the Capitol.

President Coin

President Coin is the leader of District 13 and makes all decisions when it comes to the rebellion, despite Katniss’ obvious distrust of her. She runs 13 with a very strict precision and perfection, which alerts Katniss to her hunger for the same power she is trying to take down in the Capitol. President Coin’s willingness to lie to those who trust her and her determination to achieve the power she so desperately seeks ultimately lead to her demise at Katniss’ hands.

President Snow

President Snow has been a symbol of everything that Katniss is against since the beginning of the series, but, in this final installment, she realizes that while she hates him, she can trust him. She hates everything he stands for and especially despises him for torturing Peeta, but she knows that Snow will always stick to his word, and tell her exactly what he thinks, even if she does not agree with it. Snow is the one who tells Katniss that it was a District 13 trap that killed Prim, not one set by the Capitol, and she realizes that Coin is her true enemy.

Plutarch Heavensbee

Plutarch was the head gamemaker during the Quarter Quell and orchestrated the rescue of Katniss and the other rebels. Plutarch has the idea to create propaganda videos featuring Katniss and the other rebels that will air throughout the districts and interrupt Capitol broadcasts. He is an important figure in the rebellion and one who Katniss trusts because he does not seem to have a thirst for power so much as a thirst for freedom. He does not brag about his accomplishments and when the rebellion is over he becomes the Secretary of Communications for Panem.

Beetee

Beetee was rescued from the Quarter Quell arena with Katniss and Finnick and becomes instrumental in the rebellion because of his knowledge of electronics and weaponry. He creates special bow and arrows for Katniss and Gale and even a special trident for Finnick. Beetee and Gale work together to create a series of snares that will trap humans and hopefully aid them in the rebellion, though one of those snares is used to kill rebels, like Prim.

Finnick Odair

Finnick is a good friend of Katniss in “Mockingjay” and they film propaganda spots together to encourage the rebels. It is revealed that Finnick was used as a prostitute by President Snow after he won the Hunger Games and he vows to get his revenge. When Peeta is rescued from the Capito,l so is Finnick’s girlfriend, Annie Cresta and soon Finnick and Annie are married. When the group of rebels including Finnick and Katniss heads to the Capitol Finnick is unable to escape some mutant lizards and is killed. At the end of the novel, we learn that Annie was pregnant when Finnick died.

Johanna Mason

Johanna was in the Quarter Quell and Katniss thought Johanna tried to kill her, though she was just digging the tracking device out of Katniss’ arm. Johanna and Katniss never really got along, but when Johanna was rescued from the Capitol and brought to District 13 she and Katniss trained together so they could join the rebel troops and became friends. Johanna reveals that President Snow had nothing to torture her with mentally because he already killed her family so he tortured her physically instead, with electric shocks.

Boggs

Boggs is introduced as one of President Coin’s guards in District 13, but he quickly becomes important to the rebellion and important to Katniss. Katniss likes Boggs because he is very friendly and has a decent sense of humor. Boggs serves as a bodyguard for Katniss when they go out to visit the districts, but when the group gets into the Capitol Boggs is killed by land mine when the Holo he is wearing, which detects traps fails to spot it.

Cressida

Cressida is the filmmaker in charge of taping the propaganda spots. At first Cressida thinks that it will be a good idea to have Katniss all done up for the cameras though she soon realizes that Katniss cannot give a genuine performance if she does not feel like herself. Cressida joins the rebels in their journey to the Capitol and is the one responsible for finding safety in Tigris’ shop. Cressida manages to survive through the rebellion becomes someone that Katniss appreciates.

Pollux

Pollux and his brother, Castor, are two members of Cressida’s camera crew though Katniss forms a closer relationship with Pollux. Pollux is an Avox and it is probable that Katniss likes him so much because he cannot speak, and also because he reminds her of Darius and Lavinia, two other Avox that Katniss knew and were killed. Pollux used to work in the Capitol so he serves as a guide through the underground. When Castor is killed Pollux is devastated, though he manages to survive.

Annie Cresta

Annie Cresta is a Hunger Games victor from District 4 who was chosen for the Quarter Quell but was replaced by Mags. We find out in Mockingjay that Mags replaced Annie because Annie and Finnick are a couple and she did not want them to go against one another. Annie was captured by the Capitol and rescued by District 13 along with Peeta and Johanna. Annie does not seem to be all-there mentally, but Finnick has a way of calming her down and bringing her into reality. Annie and Finnick are married and at the end of the novel we learn that Annie had been pregnant with Finnick’s baby when he died.

Rebellion

Katniss has become the Mockingjay, the face of the rebellion of Panem. After the Quarter Quell, nearly every district of Panem is rising against the Capitol, and there are many casualties of both people and entire districts. Katniss does not have a desire to participate further in the rebellion until she sees that Peeta is being tortured by the Capitol and she launches herself into bringing them down and getting Peeta back. The rebellion, for Katniss, turns out to be not just against the Capitol but against President Coin as well after Prim is killed.

Sacrifice

Many members of the rebels were willing to put themselves in danger and sacrifice their lives for the cause, including Finnick and Prim. Sacrifice within this novel is sacrifice for a specific cause, to create a better life for those who are left behind, free from the control of a totalitarian government. There are so many players in the rebellion who act as spies and risk their own lives for the chance of bringing down President Snow and without the sacrifice of each of them individually and as a group the uprising would never have been successful.

Love

Love is an ongoing theme throughout the series but in this final installment Katniss finally understands love for the first time and knows who it is that she truly loves. As Katniss tries to remind Peeta, who he is after, he returns from the Capitol she has one moment when she is telling him about his little quirks and she has to stop because she is about to cry; this seems to be when Katniss realizes that she really does love Peeta. She refuses to allow Peeta to sacrifice himself, she refuses to leave him behind, and she is happy when he becomes the one person who follows her back to District 12.

Loss

Katniss loses a lot of people she cares about during this finale novel. She finds that Madge has died in the destruction of District 12, she loses Peeta to the Capitol at first, she loses Prim to a bomb that she thinks Gale may have created, and thus she loses Gale as well because she can no longer look at him in the same way. Katniss also loses Finnick who had become a great friend and source of comfort to her, and who also had just been married which makes his death a huge loss to Annie, as well.Finally, upon the death of Prim Mrs. Everdeen cannot bring herself to return to District 12 so Katniss loses her in a sense, as well.

Numbness

Most of the deaths in Mockingjay happen off the pages – Cinna, Madge, Peeta’s family, Effie, Portia, and Peeta’s prep team, to name a few. Many of the deaths that do happen within the scope of the story, like Prim’s and Finnick’s, seem anticlimactic and emotionless, as if they do not even matter, but that may be on purpose; in Katniss’ eyes, the deaths did come out of nowhere and she has become so numb to loss at this point in her life that the audience is meant to feel her numbness, as well. There is an overall lack of emotion, as though Katniss has nothing left to give.

Success

While the rebels are absolutely successful in their mission – the presidents from both the Capitol and District 13 are taken down – it is a bittersweet success. Katniss has survived and she has managed to save both Peeta and Gale in the process, but her life will never be the same again and she has lost both Prim, the only person she is sure she ever loved, and her best friend because she feels Gale may be responsible for Prim’s death. Many lives were lost in the struggle for independence so by the time it is all said and done Katniss is relieved but feels empty.

Power

While the rebel forces aim to take the power away from President Snow and to take down the Capitol they are under the power of another president, President Coin. Katniss distrusts President Coin from the very beginning and seems to understand that there is something off about the woman who controls the rebellion. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, and many others wish to be free from the control of a totalitarian government, but it seems that while in District 13 they are under the same sort of government, though on a smaller scale.

Control

The rebels have risen up out of the districts to end the control of President Snow and to be able to have freedom though they are more controlled than ever before in District 13. Katniss recognizes that 13 is quite strict as give every daily schedules, they ration food very specifically depending on who it is for, and they dictate when and where people are allowed to go, especially if it involves leaving the underground community. Katniss immediately rebels against the control in District 13, just as she does with the Capitol.

Loyalty

Despite outside influences everyone who is close to Katniss remains loyal to her rather than the Capitol or even President Coin. Katniss is the person that everyone pledges their lives to protecting and following as they feel that her determination and passion for freedom will inspire others. While Katniss seems loyal to the rebels her main goal is to kill President Snow, not to lead the rebellion. Once Katniss learns that President Coin was not loyal to her, as it was a rebel bomb which killed Prim, Katniss decides killing Coin is more important than killing Snow.

Freedom

A theme throughout the series has been freedom because it is always what Katniss is struggling to achieve. Katniss looks for freedom from starvation, freedom from the Capitol, freedom from the Hunger Games, freedom from her own confusion, and freedom from her responsibilities as the Mockingjay. While Katniss vows to kill President Snow to achieve freedom for everyone in the districts, she realizes that it is also important to kill President Coin because Katniss is sure that President Coin would have simply taken Snow’s place as head of the totalitarian government.

Katniss has just been rescued from the arena of the Quarter Quell by a hovercraft belonging to District 13, which was thought to have been destroyed. She finds out that the people of District 13 lived and created a community underground which is led by President Alma Coin. Katniss is in extreme shock over what she has just gone through, the new information she is being presented with, and the fact that Peeta has been taken hostage by the Capitol.

Katniss does not know how to feel about President Coin and District 13 or the rebellion. Katniss learns that Gale managed to lead a group of District 12 residents into the woods to avoid the bombing, and they made their way to District 13. The people of District 13, including the refugees from other districts, follow strict schedules, are given three meals a day, and are given jobs. Katniss is informed that Coin is only helping them because much of the population of 13 was wiped out with small pox and they need new people to breed. Katniss is informed that she is the Mockingjay, the face of the revolution, but she does not know how she feels about that responsibility.

Katniss visits District 12 and finds her home in Victor’s Village still standing. She retrieves some thinks she thinks that her mother and Prim will want, including Prim’s cat Buttercup. She also finds a white rose in her room that she know is left there by President Snow, and she feels his message loud and clear – he will always be watching her.

Katniss learns that the Capitol knows of District 13’s existence and the district probably would not survive if it were not for their extreme rationing of food and supplies. Each morning every person in 13 has a schedule for the day printed on their arm, which is washed off each night.

Katniss does not follow her schedule but spends her days exploring and hiding, which she gets away with because she has a medical bracelet that says she is “mentally disoriented”. Gale has become an important figure in the rebellion and tells Katniss that they are being summoned to the command center. Once they arrive they see the television screen turn on and see Peeta sitting with Caesar Flickerman. Peeta seems to be in good health as he explains that he and Katniss had no knowledge of the rebellion and makes the announcement that the rebellion must stop because Panem is not strong or populated enough to handle it. Katniss worries that Peeta will be seen as treacherous, but she knows he is just saying what President Snow wants him to.

Katniss runs from command against Coin’s orders because she does not want to hear anything negative about Peeta. Gale finds Katniss in her hiding place and tells her that he has been demoted for hitting one of Coin’s men as Katniss ran from the room and also tells that Peeta was just trying to protect her by saying she did not know anything about the rebellion. Katniss realizes she must be the Mockingjay to get revenge for the destruction of District 12.

The night Katniss decides to be the Mockingjay she has trouble sleeping. Prim wakes her and Katniss realizes that Prim has grown so much and is now able to comfort Katniss and talk sense to her. Prim tells Katniss that, as the Mockingjay, her role in the rebellion will be very important, and thus she will be probably be given anything she asks for, like immunity for Peeta. Katniss discusses this idea with Gale at breakfast, and they think of a few more demands.

At command, Katniss says she will be the Mockingjay, but certain demands need to be met, such as immunity for Peeta and the rest of the victors, hunting time for herself and Gale, and they be allowed to keep Buttercup. Coin agrees to all but the immunity until Katniss tells her it’s her fault that Peeta was captured and not only should she grant Peeta immunity, but she should announce it publically. Plutarch and Coin’s other advisors point out that Katniss has a passion that they need in their Mockingjay, and they should meet whatever demands she has because they need her, so Coin agrees.

Katniss’ final demand is that when Snow is captured she can kill him herself, but Coin tells her they will have to flip a coin on that one. Plutarch and Fulvia bring Katniss and Gale to see the designs for her Mockingjay uniform, designed by Cinna before he died, tell her she will participate in propos (propaganda videos for the rebels), and bring her to a very deep level in the community where Katniss hears whimpering behind door 3908; when she gets into the room she sees her prep team.

Katniss finds her prep team have been horribly beaten over stealing a piece of bread, but Katniss thinks that there is more to it, that Coin is somehow sending her a message that she is in control. Katniss and Gale are now allowed to hunt, much to Katniss’ relief. Gale asks Katniss why she cares about her prep team because they are from the Capitol, and their job is to make her look nice when she heads into the bloodbath of the Hunger Games.

Katniss tells Gale they care about her and they have minds like children, though Gale does not understand because he hates everyone from the Capitol. District 13 gathers that night to hear President Coin’s announcement, which will be of immunity for Peeta and other captured victors. Finnick is there, but he is still barely functioning out of sadness for his love, Annie, being held in the Capitol.

Coin explains to District 13 that Katniss did not want to join the rebellion until her demands were met, which makes some people dislike her, and immunity will only be granted as long as Katniss keeps up with her end of the deal. Katniss realizes the lives of Peeta and the others depend on her.

Katniss realizes that Coin is a lot like President Snow and is just using Katniss to get what she wants.Gale thinks that this is not true, and Coin just needs to make sure the public knows that she is not allowing Katniss to manipulate her.

As the Mockingjay Katniss must be made over by her prep team who have been instructed to take her down to “beauty base zero”, which means she should be naturally and flawlessly beautiful. She is dressed in the suit Cinna designed for her, but the horrific scar on her arm from where Johanna dug the tracking device out of her arm cannot be hidden, which is unfortunate because it makes people nauseous. After she is made up, she visits Beetee in the armory where he presents her with her new bow and arrows which are voice activated and can shoot fire or explosives.

Katniss thinks the new arrows may not be fair to deer, but Gale tells her that they will not be using them to shoot deer, and Katniss sees him as cold-blooded. Katniss thinks she looks very impressive in uniform, and Finnick tells her that people will either want to kill her, kiss her, or be her. When it comes time for Katniss to deliver her line, Haymitch cracks up laughing because Katniss is less than convincing. He tells her that her performance would end a revolution.

Haymitch calls a meeting in the command center and tells everyone that Katniss’ performance is not going to work. He says that Katniss must be thrown into an actual combat situation so her words and actions can be real. Coin agrees, though not whole-heartedly, and decides they must tell the public that Katniss lost the baby she is supposed to be carrying in her escape from the Games.

Katniss speaks to Haymitch alone and tells him she is upset that he did not save Peeta; Haymitch tells her he cannot believe she ever left Peeta’s side. Katniss learns her first mission will be in District 8 and in preparation for the mission Katniss is dressed in her suit and make-up free, to Fulvia’s disappointment. Finnick wants to come, but Katniss knows he is not ready so she sends him to see Beetee for his new trident.Katniss meets with Plutarch who tells her that most of the districts are in revolt except District 2 from which many people have volunteered as peacekeepers.

Plutarch tells Katniss the purpose of the rebellion is to form a democracy which, Haymitch jokes, has only worked in books. Finally, Katniss is given a pill called “nightlock” which will kill her instantly and is only to be taken if she is captured.

Katniss arrives in District 8 accompanied by Boggs, Gale, Cressida, the cameramen, and the bodyguards; and Haymitch will be giving instructions from the hovercraft via earpiece. They find that many people are injured due to Capitol bombs and have all been herded into a single location, which Gale finds unsettling. The group meets Paylor, who is the head of the District 8 rebellion.

Katniss is brought in to see the wounded and spends time talking to them, though most just want to ask how she and Peeta are or just hold her hand for a second. Haymitch tells Katniss that the bombers are coming back, and they do not have time to get her out so the group will have to hide; he does not think the bombers know the Mockingjay is there.

The bombers go straight for the wounded and Katniss realizes that Gale had already figured out the plan, as soon as he had seen that the wounded had all been grouped together. Despite the urging that they stay hidden Katniss rips out her earpiece and she and Gale begin shooting at the Capitol hovercrafts; they take down a couple bombers but cannot save the hospital which is housing the wounded. Katniss is furious as she knows President Snow has sent a message so she looks into the camera and sends him one back, “the fire is catching”

After Katniss’ adrenaline rush is over she begins to feel her injuries and throws up on Boggs’ vest as he carries her to the hovercraft. Katniss awakens in the hospital of District 13 to her mother caring for her.  Mrs. Everdeen is very upset that no one told her Katniss was going into a combat zone, and Katniss feels guilty.

The propaganda team has managed to hack into the Capitol’s broadcasting to air their first propo and thinks that they need to film more battle scenes, though more calculated ones. Fulvia has an idea to do propos called “we remember” that showcase those who have died in the Games. Katniss returns to the hospital and is visited by Haymitch who tells her that he will have an earpiece surgically implanted if she tries to ignore him again.

A Capitol propo flickers on the television and Katniss sees Peeta being interviewed by Caesar Flickerman again, though Peeta now looks awful. Peeta urges Katniss not to trust the people in District 13, but Finnick tells her to pretend she never saw it, which is exactly what she does when Fulvia and Plutarch come in to check on her.

Katniss and Finnick pretend they did not see Peeta’s message, but Katniss does wonder if she can trust the people in 13, as none of them including Gale, told her about the propo. When Katniss confronts Gale he tells her he did not mention it because he was worried about Katniss’ health. For the next rebel, propo Katniss and Gale will be taken back to District 12, though Katniss has a hard time performing for the cameras because she is so hurt by the wreckage she sees.

Katniss wants to go into the woods, and the camera crew follows her. Cressida decides to take a break from filming, and Katniss begins to sing to the mockingjays in the trees, at Pollux’s request, a song called “The Hanging Tree”; which her father taught her, but her mother forbade her to sing because it is about a man who has been hung requesting for his lover to join him on the gallows.

As Katniss sings the mockingjays sing back, which the cameramen are sure to get footage of much to Plutarch’s joy. Katniss stops at her house in Victor’s Village to grab a few things and Gale reminds her of the time she kissed him while he was sick.  As Gale gets emotional Katniss kisses him again, as Gale knew she would because she always responds when others are in pain. Gale feels that his pain is the only thing that grabs Katniss’ attention. Back at command the rebels set in to watch a Capitol propo, and find that President Snow is on the screen with an awful looking Peeta.

Beetee tries to hack into the signal and just before he does Katniss hears the warning from Peeta that she and District 13 will be dead by the morning. The cameras around Peeta are sent to the ground, and all Katniss can see is Peeta’s blood on the floor as she hears him screaming.

Haymitch and Katniss are the only people worried about Peeta; everyone else wonders if Peeta’s warning is true. Haymitch tells Coin that he would not make up something like that though Coin is skeptical. Coin issues an alert, just in case, that sends all of the inhabitants of District 13 to a bunker very deep in the ground.

Once in the shelter Plutarch tells Katniss that she must remain strong for the others and though she is furious that he referred to Peeta’s warning as a “setback” she maintains her calm. Katniss reads the instructions in her sleeping area and heads over to get her supplies; she realizes that she is the first one to get supplies and everyone else follows her lead.

As Katniss sets up the bunk and Mrs. Everdeen arrives she realizes that Prim is not there, nor is Buttercup so Katniss thinks Prim must have gone back for the cat. At the last moment, Prim, Gale, and Buttercup arrive and then the bombing begins. In the bunker, they can feel shaking from the bombs but are perfectly safe. Katniss ask Prim how she likes life in 13 and Prim admits that they are training her to be a doctor.

Katniss tells Prim that she is worried about Peeta, though Prim believes that they will not kill Peeta or they will have nothing to use against Katniss.

As Katniss is playing a game with Buttercup, in which he chases a flashlight beam along the floor and wall, she realizes how President Snow is using her and Peeta. Katniss is the cat and Peeta is the beam of light; she will chase him all over, and when she cannot catch him she will sit and wait until she can because she cannot leave him alone. Katniss goes to see Finnick and tells him that she has finally figured it out; Finnick is sorry he did not explain it to her earlier but tells her that Snow is doing the same thing with Annie.

Katniss and Finnick sit there together aimlessly knotting pieces of rope and Gale eyes them with jealousy. After the bombing, Katniss heads to the surface to film another propo; she finds two dozen roses and knows they are a message from Snow. Katniss does not know what to say so Cressida tries doing a Q&A session with her; Katniss is only able to answer one question before her voice breaks. Katniss does not know if she can be the Mockingjay if Peeta keeps being tortured.

Later Haymitch tells Katniss that a rescue mission has been planned to get Peeta out of the Capitol; the only reason it was not attempted before is because of the risk factor. Katniss learns that Gale was the first to volunteer for the mission and fearfully realizes she could lose Gale and Peeta both at the same time.

Katniss wants to join the mission to rescue Peeta, but Haymitch tells her they have already left.Haymitch says that if Katniss can bring herself to film another propo then they can probably break into the Capitol’s broadcast system and use the propo as a means of distracting President Snow during the rescue. Katniss and Finnick both decide to film propos; Katniss starts talking to the camera about the first time she ever met Peeta, the night he gave her the burned bread.

Katniss realized that Peeta had loved her even then. Katniss explains that all the districts have to do to defeat the Capitol is to declare their independence because the Capitol cannot survive without support from the districts. When it is Finnick’s turn he tells the camera about how President Snow sold him as a prostitute after he won the games and many of the rich people he slept with told him secrets. Many of the secrets detail Snow’s rise to power, and the fact that he poisoned his opponents so he would always win; Snow even ingested some of the poison himself, which is why his mouth is always bleeding, from open blisters.

Katniss as Haymitch if he was sold to people as well, but Haymitch says President Snow made an example of him by killing off his family and his girlfriend. When the rescue mission comes back Gale is injured, Annie is reunited with Finnick, Johanna is with them, and when Katniss runs into to see Peeta he strangles her.

Katniss is back in the hospital while her throat heals and both she and Haymitch are shocked by Peeta’s actions. Plutarch and Beetee believe that in the Capitol Peeta’s mind was “hijacked” with the venom of trackerjackers, which means he was conditioned and brainwashed into believing that Katniss is the enemy.

They are going to try their best to bring Peeta back to normal, but they warn Katniss that they can make no promises and he will have a hard time knowing what of his memories are real, and what has been implanted by the Capitol. Katniss breaks down and has to be sedated. Once Katniss is released from the hospital she is again wearing a “mentally disoriented” bracelet.

Katniss learns that Gale and Beetee have been forming a series of snares that will be used to play on human emotions, which Katniss thinks is unfair. The doctors decide to bring Delly Cartwright from District 12 in to see Peeta because they want to awaken some of his memories without triggering any of Katniss. Peeta starts to ask Delly questions about District 12 and goes off about how it is Katniss’ fault everyone is dead, and she is a mutt created by the government to destroy him. Delly tries to stand up for Katniss but is taken from the room.

Katniss asks to be sent somewhere else because she cannot stand being around Peeta; she is sent to District 2 where the rebels are starting to take over but are having a hard time.

It has been two weeks since Katniss has been sent to District 2 and she finds herself filming propos whenever she can to keep her mind off Peeta. She has not been involved with any fighting but is allowed in on strategy meetings. In District two, there is a fortress buried inside the mountains where the Capitol people stay; it is referred to as “The Nut”. The Nut is comprised of many tunnels and train tracks that has proven, thus far, to be impenetrable making it difficult for the rebels to get a stronghold.

Beetee and Gale begin to develop a strategy to break into The Nut and decide that they must block the entrances and trap everyone inside, killing them; Katniss does not like the plan because it means they have to be willing to kill everyone who is inside The Nut.

In District 13, the doctors are working on Peeta and Plutarch tells Katniss that he is improving, though Haymitch admits that his improvements are not significant. Prim has the idea to subject Peeta to the venom of the trackerjackers again but to expose him to positive memories of Katniss while he is hallucinating; a sort of reverse “hijacking” that thus far has only left Peeta confused.

Gale argues in favor of his strategy to bring down The Nut despite the mixed feelings people are having about it, making the point that the Capitol was not trying to spare the lives of anyone in District 12 when they destroyed it. The council decides to use Gale’s plan but to leave the train track opening at the bottom of the mountain open so give some of the people a chance to surrender.

The District 13 hovercraft launches its bombs, which causes the avalanche that will trap everyone inside. As Katniss watches The Nut crumble, she is horrified and remembers the day her father died in the mine explosion. Haymitch tries to comfort Katniss through her earpiece by telling her that Peeta is making progress; they showed Peeta the video of Katniss singing to the mockingjays and he remembered hearing Katniss’ father sing it in his parents’ bakery.

The connection to Katniss should have caused a meltdown in Peeta but did not. Cressida tells Katniss that she is expected to make a speech urging people to join with the rebels, but just as she is about to she sees the survivors coming out of The Nut,and they are armed. Katniss pleads with them to join forces in the rebellion; just as Katniss thinks her speech may be working she sees herself being shot on live television.

Katniss wakes up in the hospital of District 13 and sees Johanna Mason next to her. Johanna takes Katniss’ morphling drip and puts it in her own arm, explaining to Katniss that she does it often, and life would be much easier if she could just live in a morphling haze all the time. Katniss does not complain because Johanna saved her in the Games only to be captured and tortured by the Capitol.

Johanna tells Katniss that she was shot, but the bullet did not penetrate her skin because her mockingjay suit stopped it; she ended up with just badly bruised ribs. Johanna leaves the room when Gale comes and he and Katniss discuss their difference of opinion in District 2; Katniss thinks Gale’s plan was no better than the Capitol bombing the hospital in District 8 and Gale thinks that because the bombers came from District 2 he was preventing more bombings from happening.

Katniss meets with Plutarch, and he tells her that the Capitol is officially cut off from the districts now that 2 has been taken down; they are going to film some entertainment propos to rub their livelihood in the face of President Snow. The entertainment will take place in the form of a wedding – for Finnick and Annie, not Peeta and Katniss. Katniss sees the wedding cake and recognizes the frosting as Peeta’s work; she realizes that he is making more progress than she thought. He asks to see her, and she goes to him though she is not prepared for all the mean things he says to her; he says she is not very pretty or nice ,and criticizes her for kisses both him and Gale. Katniss leaves the room and hides, very upset that Peeta has finally seen her the way she sees herself.

Katniss finds out that the rebels are set to attack the Capitol, and she has not been invited though Gale has. Coin explains to her that Gale has attended all of his training sessions and Katniss has not ever attended one but perhaps Katniss will be flown in after the hard part is done.

Katniss makes a deal with Coin that her participation will be considered again before the trip if she attends all of her training sessions from then on. Johanna is angry that she was not invited either so the two girls decide they are going to work together to push through training in the hopes that they will be allowed to go, though both girls are in rough shape at first. Katniss gets a painful injection that works to speed up her healing process and Johanna deals with morphling withdrawals. Katniss and Johanna move out of the hospital so they are not seen as patients and become roommates in a room across the hall from Mrs. Everdeen and Prim. Johanna never showers but only washes off with a damp cloth, which Katniss does not understand.

One night while Katniss is eating dinner with her group of friends Peeta asks to join them; Katniss is alarmed at how easily Peeta’s mood can change from kind to vindictive. Katniss tells Gale she thinks that Peeta sees her as she really is but Gale thinks she is crazy.

It is time for Katniss and Johanna to take their training exams to see if they are fit for combat. Katniss sails through the first three sections but is worried for the fourth section where she will be tested on her weaknesses. She finds herself in a situation where the commander tells her to get down when she thinks that she could solve the problem single-handedly, but she knows that is her weakness so she listens and drops to the ground; Katniss passes her test. Katniss becomes a member of Bogg’s team, Squad 451, along with Gale and Finnick.

The team is supposed to be sharpshooters, but Plutarch tells them they are the “star squad” which means they are to stay out of harm’s way and be the publicity team. Katniss immediately starts to form a plan that involves getting away from her squad and to President Snow. Johanna did not make a team because she failed her weakness test which involved water; Katniss learns that Johanna was tortured with electrical currents through water in the Capitol and that is why she never showers. To comfort Johanna Katniss wraps some pine needles in a bandage and brings it to Johanna to remind her of what her home smelled like. Johanna is comforted and makes Katniss swear she will kill Snow.

The job of Squad 451 is to take out pods in the Capitol that are traps to kill intruders. When Peeta joins the team he tells them that Coin has sent him to add heat to the propos, but Katniss thinks that he was sent to kill her.

Katniss tells Boggs that she thinks Peeta has been sent to kill her but Boggs disagrees, though he tells her he will do what he can to protect her just in case. Boggs explains to Katniss that she is a threat to Coin because she does not know if she would support Coin’s rise to power after Snow is taken down so Katniss may be best served as a martyr for the rebellion.

People are having a hard time trusting Peeta, and he feels uncomfortable though Katniss treats him worse than anyone else; Haymitch tells Katniss that if the tables were turned Peeta would never treat her the way she has been treating him. One night Peeta admits that he has a hard time knowing what is real in his head and what is not so the squad agrees to help him figure it out and lets him ask questions whenever he needs to.

Peeta shares painful memories from the Capitol sometimes, such as watching an Avox be tortured, and explains that the memories that are real are usually the ones that are not “shiny”. Katniss tries to help Peeta remember by telling him that his favorite color is orange, though not bright orange but the orange of a sunset. She also tells him “You’re a painter. You’re a baker. You like to sleep with the windows open. You never take sugar in your tea. And you always double-knot your shoe laces.” Then Katniss runs into her tent before she cries. When they continue on, Boggs checks his Holo, a device that shows where the pods are though it does not show all of them. One of the unseen pods takes out a sharpshooter and the other takes off Boggs’ legs.

As Boggs is dying he programs his Holo to give primary clearance to Katniss, though she does not understand why. Before Boggs dies he whispers to Katniss to not trust anyone, do what she came to do, and kill Peeta. As they escape the rapidly exploding pods a wave of black goo comes over the street and Peeta goes mad again, trying to smash Katniss in the head. As one of the squad tries to hold Peeta back Peeta kicks him, and he goes flying into another pod which burns him to death.

The group decides to leave Boggs because they know he cannot survive and Jackson, the second-in-command, demands the Holo, but Katniss tells her that it has been transferred to her command and she is in charge now.Katniss tells Jackson that Coin has sent her to kill Snow; though everyone knows that it not the truth they go along with it. The group trudges through the black goo and takes refuge in another nearby home when an emergency broadcast comes onto the television; the broadcast shows Katniss’ squad dodging pods and announces that they are all dead.

Katniss feels that the announcement is beneficial to the squad, but she knows that the people back in District 13 will not know the truth and be devastated.  Peeta has been knocked unconscious since he attacked Katniss and he starts to come to only to suggest to everyone that they should kill him.

Peeta tries to convince the squad that he will be a hindrance to them, and they should give him a suicide pill, but they tell him that he is going to stay alive and stay with them. Another emergency broadcast comes on, and President Snow announces that Katniss’ death means a change in the war and an impossibility of victory for the rebels. Snow is interrupted by a broadcast from District 13 in which President Coin urges the rebels to remember their Mockingjay and to fight in her memory.

The squad looks at the Holo to choose a route and finds that the underground tunnels have less pods than there are aboveground. Pollux was forced to work in the sewers for a few years so he knows his way around the underground and serves as their leader. Once down in the tunnels they stop to rest and Katniss talks to Peeta about his “shiny” memories because she remembers what the hallucinations from trackerjacker venom are like and thinks she knows what he means.

Peeta explains that the fake memories have a shiny quality to them while the real memories do not. Katniss admits to Peeta that she is still trying to protect him, as always. As Katniss and Pollux are waking everyone up to continue on, Katniss hears a sound hissing her name.

Katniss hears Peeta begin to hiss her name as well and realizes that he is reverting back to his Capitol thinking. Just as Katniss is about to kill Peeta with her bow and arrow he snaps back into reality and tells her to run. Capitol Mutts are running after the squad, and Katniss makes sure everyone is armed as they take off. Katniss can smell the scent of roses which sickens her as she associates it with President Snow.

The squad runs into some peacekeepers and manages to kill the first wave of them; the second wave of peacekeepers is taken down by the Mutts, hybrid lizard-humans with long tails. Peeta takes charge and holds everyone together through the Mutt attack, but he suddenly starts to lose control until Katniss calms him down. Katniss asks Peeta if he will be there for her, and he says “always”, just as the old Peeta would say. Katniss decides they must get to the surface and urges everyone to run with her though she realizes that one by one she is losing members of her squad who are staying behind to make sure Katniss survives.

As Katniss is about to break the surface she looks down and sees that Finnick is fighting off three mutts himself – and then he falls. Katniss cannot leave Finnick to suffer at the hands of the Mutts so she takes off her Holo, whispers “nightlock, nightlock, nightlock”, and throws it down to where she last saw Finnick, knowing that it will explode and take him out of his misery. As Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Pollux, and Cressida break the surface a woman spots them, but Katniss kills her before she can say anything.

Katniss feels bad for killing the woman, but she has no time to think about it because the crowd walking around outside is searching for Katniss and the others. The group searches the closets in the dead woman’s house and disguise themselves with clothing and makeup to look like they belong in the Capitol.

Cressida, being from the Capitol, knows exactly where they are and helps them navigate through the streets. Cressida leads the group to a fur undergarments shop in which Katniss sees Tigris, a woman who used to be a stylist in the Games and has had her face surgically altered to represent a tiger. Cressida tells Tigris that Plutarch sent them to her, and she leads them to a secret entrance to her basement, which the naked eye would never know existed. Katniss worries that their mission is failing, but Gale assures her everything is going fine, and they remember their plan to assassinate Snow.

While Katniss is trying to sleep that night she hears Gale and Peeta talking about her, and who they think she really loves. Peeta assumes she loves Gale because she has known him for so long and Gale says she definitely loves Peeta because she has never kissed him the way she kisses Peeta. Peeta asks who Gale thinks Katniss will choose, and Gale says that knowing Katniss she will choose whoever she knows she cannot survive without.

Katniss is insulted by Gale’s comment as she thinks that she would have no problem surviving without either of them. As many refugees are coming into the Capitol, those who live there or have shops are being asked to share them. The group knows they must leave the shop, well-disguised, because it is only a matter of time before Tigris is asked to take in refugees.

Tigris dresses the five of them in the best disguises she can and they head out; Pollux and Cressida first, the Katniss and Gale, and finally Peeta trailing to create a diversion if he needs to. Gale gives Peeta his nightlock pill just in case he is captured, insisting that if he is captured Katniss will be able to shoot him. As Katniss and Gale head toward the mansion, they have to steer clear of peacekeepers and avoid pods.

One pod causes the sidewalk to open underneath them, and Katniss barely pulls herself up onto the flat ground. She sees that Gale is still hanging, and she shoots open the door above him so he can swing up but there are peacekeepers inside and they capture Gale. Gale mouths to Katniss to shoot him but she does not understand him until it is too late and he is pulled inside. Katniss knows her only chance of saving Gale is to get to the mansion.

Once she arrives she sees that President Snow has gathered a large group of children at the front of his mansion, which she assumes is to offer protection to him. Parachutes are dropped down to the kids with what they assume are gifts, but they contain explosives. The rebels medics along go in to help the children and Katniss sees the long braid of Prim’s hair in the group right before the parachutes explode again but bigger this time, killing Prim.

As Katniss runs forward to try to save Prim, she catches fire. As Katniss burns, she thinks of Prim and drifts off to unconsciousness. Katniss wakes in a hospital hears the doctors saying that while she is not physically unable to speak she seems unwilling, as though she has become a “mental Avox”.

Katniss is filled in on what has happened; the war ended with the parachute bombs, Coin is now president, Peeta is also recovering from burns, and Gale has already gone back into the field after being shot twice by peacekeepers. Snow was put to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to execution though they are waiting for Katniss to carry it out. As Katniss is wandering around the mansion one day, where the rebels have now set up house, she smells President Snow’s roses. She sees guards posted outside of a room and asks if she can go inside despite the fact that Coin forbade it. Paylor, the leader from District 8, allows her in, and Katniss looks for a rose to pin in Snow’s lapel before she kills him.

As she picks out a rose, Katniss is startled by Snow’s voice, as he is in the room with her. Snow tells Katniss he is sorry about Prim and fills her in on the information that Coin ordered the bombing, not him. Katniss does not want to believe Snow, but she cannot help to remember the traps that Gale and Beetee had been forming that would prey on human emotions. Snow tells Katniss that it was Coin’s plan all along to take over control of Panem, and she used Snow and Katniss as her pawns. Katniss accuses him of lying, but he reminds her that long ago the two of them vowed never to lie to one another.

Katniss is confused and troubled by what Snow has told her and does not know whether to believe him.She tries to speak to Haymitch, but he is very drunk. When Katniss asks Gale whether it was his trap that killed Prim he admits that he does not know. Gale knows that the possibility that his trap killed Prim has taken away any chance that he and Katniss can ever be together because she will never look at him the same again.

Katniss has to get ready for Snow’s execution and her prep team is instructed to bring her to “beauty base zero” again though it is difficult because she is so badly burned and scarred.Katniss’ prep team is the only one that survived the war. Coin gathers the remaining Hunger Games victors together, there are only seven of them, and asks whether they should host one last Hunger Games with the children of the Capitol as tributes.

The vote is 4-3 in favor of the Games, with Johanna, Enobaria, Katniss, and Haymitch all voting in favor, “for Prim”. Coin is very pleased. Katniss is brought in to kill President Snow with her one, single arrow, and, as she faces him, she remembers their agreement not to lie to one another. Katniss takes aim and with her one last arrow shoots President Coin dead.

Katniss tries to get to her nightlock pill knowing she will be killed for her assassination of President Coin but finds that Peeta’s hand is keeping her from getting into the pocket. Katniss sees and hears Snow laughing as blood streams from his mouth, and he chokes on it; she knows he will die too. Katniss is subdued and days later is informed by Plutarch as to what has happened; her trial has already come and gone and she was pardoned due to her mental state.

Katniss and Haymitch are sent back to District 12 and Haymitch asks Katniss if she wants to know who is not going back but she says she would rather be surprised. Greasy Sae comes back and checks in on Katniss sometimes as she is alone in her house; Mrs. Everdeen decided not to return but to immerse herself in her work because Prim’s memory is too painful. Slowly people come back to District 12, but Gale does not, instead he gets a job in District 2 and Katniss assumes that he will fall in love with someone else now. Peeta does return, and he helps Katniss to deal with her grief and recover.

Buttercup returns to the house, having come all the way from District 13, and he and Katniss mourn Prim together as Buttercup seems to understand that Prim is gone. Over time, Katniss and Peeta create a memory book together, she remembers people and things and Peeta paints pictures of her memories, including a photo of Finnick’s son which Annie has just given birth to.

Katniss slowly realizes that she and Gale were too much alike to have worked together, they are both fiery. Katniss knows that what she needed was not Gale’s fire but Peeta’s warmth and goodness. Katniss finally admits to Peeta that she loves him. In the epilogue, Katniss reveals that she and Peeta have gotten married and had two children of their own, though their children will never have to worry about the Hunger Games because they no longer exist.

The group meets together to see what they’re going to do about the assembly’s vote. They try to figure out if the assembly already has someone else in mind to put on the thrown, or if they simple want to send a warning to Elend because he has been ignoring them of late. The discussion leads to an argument between Breeze and Ham, as always, and Vin gets a taste of kandra humor when OreSeur whispers that he could always eat one of them and solve the argument. Later, Elend gets another lesson from Tindwyl about how a proper kind should act.

At night, Vin and OreSeur have a talk. OreSeur doesn’t think it’s healthy for Vin to keep herself awake for long periods of time, burning pewter to stay strong. He also doesn’t like the way Vin treats Zane, who should be her enemy. In the middle of the conversation, Vin realizes that she’s figured out what the Deepness is.

Sazed is in his room, studying and transcribing the rubbings he found. He knows that these few pages of transcribed text could keep him busy for months or even years. Vin enters through his window and wants to talk to him about the deepness. Sazed talks about if the deepness is even real or if it’s just a made-up story, some propaganda spun by the Lord Ruler. Vin says she thinks it’s real and tells Sazed that she thinks it’s actually the mist itself. The log book and the rubbings don’t say the mist actually killed people but that people died because of the mist. That could be because a permenant mist that covered the ground would kill crops and live stalk, leaving people to die of starvation. Vin also tells Sazed about the mist spirit that has been following her.

The assembly gathers, and Elend gets an opportunity to explain what he has done with his father. He uses twenty minutes to tell of the situation with the two armies and how his meeting with Straff went. He tells them that he used Vin’s power to threaten Straff, a move that may protect the city for some time yet. Meanwhile, Vin tries to pay attention to Elend’s meeting. She sees Zane in the crowd, and he smiles at her. They then have nominations for who should run for king. Elend and Lord Penrod are nominated, and, lastly, Cett is nominated. The man reveals himself to be in the crowd.

Vin watches in shock as Cett reveals himself to the crowd and to the assembly. He uses his army outside the gates to threaten the people into voting for him. He also tells the crowd about the koloss army not too far away, a fact that Elend hasn’t told anyone.

Vin sits in her room, studying the stacks of papers she has there. OreSeur is there with her, and they talk about the religious beliefs of the kandra. They practically worship the Contract above all else, the agreement they have with their human masters. Meanwhile, Elend discovers that some of the wells in Luthadel are being poisoned by someone, probably one of the armies outside. Vin talks to Dockson, and in the conversation, she determines that he can’t be the spy. She and OreSeur turn their attentions toward a new option: Demoux, a captain of the guard.

Elend works to find a way to convince the assembly to name him king again, while Vin wants to tell him her theory about Demoux. Tindwyle gets upset with Sazed when she finds out that he helped write part of the laws Elend put into place a year ago. Vin leaves the group and finds Zane, who immediately attacks her. She thinks he wants to spar, like before, but the fight becomes aggressive and Vin must fight him to survive. Zane tells her that he was ordered to kill her and that this attack was a warning. There are also many refugees coming from the koloss army, on their way to seek refuge in Luthadel. After giving his two warnings, Zane leaves.

Vin tries on another custom-made dress. Tindwyl tells her that Elend has nearly learned as much as he can from her; he’ll now have to learn to be a good leader through experience. Elend prepares his armored escort and carriage to go and see Cett. Breeze decides not to go, since he and Cett have history, which would only make the situation worse. When Elend and Vin actually enter the keep Cett is staying in and talk to the man, they discover just how sincere he is. He doesn’t want his daughter back, trusting that Elend will take good care of her. Cett wants Elend to step down from the election for king, and in return he won’t have Elend killed when he is made king. They also talk about the fact that no atium was found in all of Luthadel. Finally, Cett dismisses the two.

Sazed wanders through warehouse full of refugees from the koloss attacks, trying to help and health where he can. Tindwyl comes in and talks to him. She wants to see what he’s found–the rubbings he’s been transcribing. Meanwhile, Breeze has been listening in on the conversation, soothing both people in a way that would make them more friendly to each other. He walks among the refugees, trying to sooth away bad emotions and make them feel better. Elend and Ham come in, and Elend wants to make sure all the people have the clothes they need. Later, Breeze goes into the keep and has a secret meeting with Clubs. Though they always seem to hate each other, they drink together and talk; they’ve struck up a strange companionship. Allrianne walks in and tries to steal Breeze away. Vin, watching from outside, discovers that Allrianne is a rioter, since she was rioting Breeze’s emotions. She and OreSeur then go to find Demoux, still certain that he is the kandra spy. They find him in a little meeting of the church of the Survivor. He can’t be a spy, Vin decides. Then who is?

Sazed and Tindwyl sit together in the study, pouring over the rubbings, searching their metalminds for any references to the deepness or Hero of Ages. It’s morning, meaning they’ve been at it all night long. Tindwyl knows the course of actions Sazed takes is different from what the keepers want, but she is willing to stay with him and study these things further. Meanwhile, Elend and Ham walk along the wall. Ham comments that Elend looks more kingly than ever. As they walk, Elend announces that he has an idea to help Luthadel’s situation.

Vin, Elend, and the rest of the crew arrive early for the day of the election for king. Before the voting begins, Vin, trying to figure out what Elend has up his sleeve, discovers that he has joined the church of the Savior, in an effort to curry votes from the skaa members of the assembly. Suddenly, a groups of allomancers attack Elend and Cett. Vin manages to fight off the men, getting badly hurt in the process. After the fighting, the vote is moved to a more secure location, and the assembly members each announce their vote. Surprisingly, Penrod, a nobleman from the assembly is chosen the new king. Elend hands over his crown and leaves.

Straff Venture is angry that Zane sent a group of his allomancers to their deaths while Vin still lives. Zane promises that he has a plan to take care of her. Meanwhile, Straff meets with Penrod, the new king of Luthadel. Penrod is planning to give Luthadel to Straff, opening the gates to him and handing over the kingship.  Straff, on the other hand, doesn’t want to enter the city while Vin still lives. Later, Zane tells Straff that he has been poisoned again. Zane leaves, and Straff is forced to ride hard back into the camp so his mistress can make him another antidote tea.

Vin awakes to see that Elend is with her. He tells her that he is not king, and he reports that OreSeur, who was badly hurt in the fight, is currently digesting a new set of bones. Vin feels that Elend is now scared of her somehow because of the way she fought those allomancers. Vin goes back to sleep, and awakes to find Zane there. He accuses her, saying that she could have killed those attackers easily had she not been so distracted with protecting Elend and other innocents. Later, OreSeur visits Vin, in another dog’s body. They talk more about the Contract that binds all kandra. Vin uses brass and duralumin to push strongly on OreSeur’s emotions. Even though he at first does not react at all, with enough force, Vin hurts him very badly, and she felt like she were controlling him for a moment. She apologizes for hurting OreSeur, and he leaves to get some rest. Vin promise to never tell anyone what she’s discovered about kandra.

Sazed and Tindwyl continue to talk about the things they are learning. Something doesn’t make sense about the rubbings, written by Kwaan. It seems that Kwaan did not trust Alendi, but he also knew Alendi was a good man. But if Kwaan knew Alendi was good, why did he have his nephew, Rashek, to mislead or even kill Alendi? Elend comes in and asks for advice. After a discussion, he decides that being king isn’t about a title, but about doing something to help others. He returns to his closet and retrieves the white suite, the one made for a king.

Elend is hard at work, helping the people. He’s sending men out to dismantle the wooden parts of keeps and houses to use as firewood. The many refugees are cold and hungry, and he wants to help them. Someone comes with news that one of the gates under the river has been broken. That is how someone has been getting into the city and poisoning the wells. Also, other reports say that an Inquisitor is lurking about the city. Elend decides to go out and talk to Jastes, with the koloss army, himself. He rides out and meets Jastes, unable to make any kind of deal. On the way out, Elend manages to fight and kill one smaller koloss, earning the sword and pouch as his own. He looks into the pouch and discovers how Jastes is controlling the koloss. He’s paying them.

Vin sees Elend, now returned from his meet with the koloss army, inured and resting. Zanes comes and says that Cett was the one that planed the attack at the voting ceremony. Vin gets angry and decides to attack Cett. Zane and Vin attack the keep that Cett has been staying at in Luthadel. Together, they kill guards and hazekillers. Fueled by rage, Vin kills quickly, working her way to Cett’s room. She realizes that Zane is using atium, while she has none, and yet she’s killing just as easily as he is. They finally get to Cett’s room, where he is with his son. Vin fights them at first, but when she discovers that neither of them is an allomancer and that Cett doesn’t have a single allomancer with him, she leaves them behind, injured and scared.

The crew sees that Cett’s army is now leaving, a result of Vin’s attack on his keep the night before. Elend does not know why Vin attacked Cett like that. Some in the crew think she’s crazy, but Elend just sees her as determined. They also discover that the “coins” Jastes has been using to control   the koloss are fake, wooden coins painted gold. Elend goes to find Vin, who is hiding in the city. He finds her with OreSeur’s help. She says she must leave Luthadel and go north, to Terris. Elend says he trust her to do the right thing. They have one large bead of atium, and Vin gives it to OreSeur to hold for her.

Sazed and Tindwyl compare notes, studying the rubbing and other references they’ve managed to find. Tindwyl admits that she doesn’t believe in these prophecies, her interest in them being purely academic. Sazed, on the other hand, thinks Vin might actually be the next Hero of the Ages. While they talk, they discover that someone–or something–has torn a piece from one of the transcription pages. Vin comes in, while they try to figure out at what point were they both gone or occupied to not have seen an intruder going through their things. Vin asks Sazed how she can know if she’s in love. They talk about trust. After Vin leaves, Elend comes in and starts asking similar questions. Elend thinks he and Vin are too different to make a couple, but Sazed says that, to him, they are more alike than they think. After Elend leaves, Sazed realizes that Luthadel is going to fall soon; he needs to get both Elend and Vin out of the city before that happens.

Sazed calls a meeting with the members of the crew: Dockson, Breeze, Ham, and Clubs. He doesn’t invite Elend, Vin, or Spook. They talk about how the city is sure to fall. Straff apparently is in no hurry to take Luthadel. Instead, he’ll back off and let the koloss attack the city first. The koloss will win and enter the city, pillaging as they go. Then, with the koloss weakened and tired from the fight, Venture will ride in like a hero and save the city, defeating the koloss and taking Luthadel for himself. Sazed says that Elend and Vin need to get out of the city before these things happen. He wants Spook and Tindwyl to go with them. The rest of the group will have to stay and fight and die. Meanwhile, Vin feels she must follow the drumming she hears all the time. In Straff’s camp, Zane is attacked by his father’s men. He defeats them, but spares his father. He leaves, saying that tonight he will take Vin with him and leave Luthadel. He tells Straff that he should wait for the koloss to attack and then take the city.

Vin is in her room with OreSeur when Zane visits. He wants her to come with him, but she says she can’t because she doesn’t want to leave Elend. When Zane sees that she won’t go, he attacks her. They fight. When Zane starts to burn atium, Vin asks OreSeur for the large bead, a bead Zan had given her before. OreSeur doesn’t respond to her command. Vin discovers that OreSeur is not OreSeur. He is TenSoon, Zane’s kandra. Of course! There was no other spy. The bones they found were TenSoon’s and he had killed OreSeur! Zane corners Vin, but Vin uses a massive soothing to take control of OreSeur/TenSoon and attack Zane from behind. She then cuts the bead of atium fro TenSoon. But this is another trick. The bead is lead, with only a thin layer of atium. Soon, Vin is left helpless against a Mistborn killer with atium. Vin decides that Zane can see what she’s about to do, or, rather, what she plans on doing. If she attacks without thinking, though, she can, see in Zane’s reaction what she is going to do, only to change it at the last possible second. The trick works, and Vin defeats Zane. After Zane dies, she thanks OreSeur/TenSoon for helping her win. His contract is void, and he must return to his people. Vin goes to find Elend.

Elend is in his study when Vin comes in, bloody from her fight with Zane. She tells him that she killed him. He calls for Sazed, who comes to help with the wounds. While she is there, on the ground, she asks Sazed if he knows any wedding ceremonies. Of course, he knows hundreds. Vin asks which one is the shortest, and Sazed recalls one that only requires a declaration of love between the bride and groom before an ordained witness. Vin and Elend both say that they love each other, and Sazed declares them married. The wounds are clean, and Sazed sends Vin to get some rest. He also gives them a fake map to find the Well of Ascension. If the couple follows the map, they’ll be gone from Luthadel for a long time.

Elend and Vin prepare to ride out of the city. Tindwyl decides to stay in Luthadel. Spooks gets ready to go, and Allrianne will ride out, at Breeze’s insistence. So the four of them ride out, Vin quickly having to fight pursuers from Straff’s army. Once they are free, Allrianne breaks off to find her father’s army. Meanwhile, some of the crew watch as the escape, now sure of their own coming doom. Straff Venture hears of the escapes, but he has problems of his own now. He’s getting sick, which he knows is the result of poisoning from his son, Zane. He sends for his mistress, Amaranta, to fix him an antidote, but he discovers that she isn’t preparing what she normally does. She is actually killing, as she has for a long time. There never was any poison. Zane never tried to kill his father. But Amaranta, in her constant fixing of teas for Straff, has been causing him to become addicted to a rare drug. Without that drug, Straff will die. Straff, in a rage, kills Amaranta and then swallows as much powder from her medicine cabnet as he can, hoping to accidentally swallow some of the drug he needs before he loses consciousness.

Allrianne has made her way to her father’s camp, with the help of some bandits she’s tamed with her rioting. Her father, Cett, is not happy to see her. She convinces him to go back and join the winning party in the battle that is to come, although Cett promises that will likely be Straff. Meanwhile, Elend wakes up on the third morning out of Luthadel. He and Vin share a tent now, and he finds himself surprisingly comfortable on the hard ground, with Vin next to him. They get up and prepare the fire. It’s just the three of them: Elend, Vin, and Spook. Meanwhile Straff wakes up in bed. His men have taken care of him, and they’ve isolated the plant he needs to stay alive. When he hears that Vin and Elend have left the city, the men ask if they should attack now. Straff says no; they should pull back and wait for the koloss. Sazed meets with the others to plan a strategy for when the koloss attack. They plan to have a group of men at each gate. Saze and Tindwyl get a little time together, but then the warning drums begin to beat.

Vin is thinking about how the mist is staying later and later every day, instead of just disappearing with dawn, when she feels the pulsing of the mist spirit coming from Elend’s tent. She runs in, just in time to see the outline of that spirit lift some kind of knife to attack Elend, who is sleeping on the ground. She attacks the spirit and it disappears. Elend wakes up and never knows what was happening. She leaves Elend to sleep a little more and goes out to speak with Spook. He thinks someone is following them. Meanwhile, Sazed and the crew get ready, since it looks like the Koloss are about to attack. Men are at each gate, with one crewmember there to help. Straff sees that the koloss are attacking, but he tells his men to wait. Vin and Elend attack the camp of people that have been following them. It turns out to be Jastes. He’s lost control of the koloss, so he just left them. Elend kills Jastes because of his crimes against Luthadel. Vin discovers that the drumming sounds are getting softer, meaning the well is to the south, in Luthadel, and not in the Terris mountains.

Breeze works at his assigned gate, soothing soldiers by the dozen, helping them to be brave and fight well. The koloss pound at the door, while men atop the wall rain arrows down on the attackers. The koloss throw rocks up in return, smashing archers. Meanwhile, Vin runs towards Luthadel, burning pewter. She knows she will run out of pewter long before reaching Luthadel, and she wonders if the effect will kill her. But still she keeps running. Breeze and Clubs talk while the koloss continue to beat the gate. They blame themselves for being stupid enough to be in this mess, and they blame Kelsier for getting them into such responsibilities. Just then, the gates burst open. Meanwhile, Sazed gets word that Breeze’s gate had fallen. He doesn’t think he can really help. He notices that there is a crowd of skaa standing behind the defense force. When Sazed confronts them, telling them that they should flee to safety inside the city, the skaa answer that they are there to witness the fall of the koloss at the hands of Vin, who they are sure will return and make her appearance at Sazed’s gate. Then the gate breaks. Sazed musters his stored strength, growing in size, and faces the lead koloss, shouting for the men to fight. Vin, half collapsing and out of pewter, reaching a small village. At first she thinks to ask for pewter, but then she remembers how she used to travel with Kelsier on a path of metal bars in the ground. She asks for horseshoes, using them to “walk” by leaping, placing horseshoes ahead of her and pulling the ones behind to place further. In this way, she uses the horseshoes like stilts to help her travel in the air.

Outside Luthadel, Straff Venture sees that the koloss have now broken into the city gates. His men are ready to attack the koloss from the rear, but Straff decides to wait longer. Sazed, fighting the koloss, realizes that they need to get the gate closed again in order to survive. Using strength and weight, he manages to fight off the koloss and get the gate closed again. While getting a little break, a messenger comes and says that Tindwyl’s gate fell over an hour ago. Meanwhile, Clubs and Breeze are attacked and forced to run. Clubs is killed, while Breeze hides in a building. Dockson contemplates the root of their failure. He attacks a koloss, only to be cut down. Straff decides not to swoop in a save the city while the koloss are weak. Instead, he’d rather wait for the koloss to kill everyone and burn the city. Then Straff will move in. Meanwhile, Sazed fights on, wondering what happened to Tindwyl. He feels he is going to die, but then Vin arrives and starts killing koloss. Breeze is found by Ham and some others. They want to try to escape.

Vin continues killing koloss, several at a time. Sazed, outside Lord Penrod’s keep, begs the newly appointed king to go with them as they try to escape. Penrod insists on staying inside his keep. Vin continues to fight the koloss, but now she is almost completely out of pewter, steel, and almost every other metal. In desperation, to save some skaa from certain death, she super-soothes them, like she’d done to TenSoon, controlling the koloss with her mind. Sazed is standing outside Penrod’s keep when Vin walks up with koloss in tow. She orders Penrod to gather his men and put out the fires in Luthadel. Vin will take care of the koloss throughout the city. Later, Sazed finds Tindwyl’s dead body among the slain soldiers. He feels that all the faith, all the religions, he has always treasured is now useless. His life, he believes, has been a sham.

Straff wakes up and takes a sample of the drug he needs to stay alive. He gathers his men, expecting to be able to take the city now. But the koloss come out with the remaining soldiers of Luthadel. Vin jumps from among the koloss, sailing through the sky with a giant sword, cleaving Straff and his horse in half on impact. Allrianne watches these events from her father’s camp. She charges after them to help Luthadel’s army, forcing her father and his men to ride after her. Straff’s army surrenders, and Janarle, Straff’s general, is named the new Lord of the Venture army. Janarle, Penrod, and Cett all swear loyalty to Elend as their Emperor. Vin, needing rest, leaves Sazed in charge of the Empire until Elend can return to Luthadel.