The Big Picture
- Katniss and her rebel team prepare for the final battle to determine the fate of Panem, seeking vengeance against President Snow.
- Katniss and Gale’s plan to reach Snow’s mansion is jeopardized when Gale is captured by the Peacekeepers, leading to devastating consequences.
- After killing Coin instead of Snow, Katniss returns to District 12 with Haymitch and eventually finds solace and love with Peeta. The franchise continues with the prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, the war in Panem is heating up. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has successfully brought the districts together against the Capitol. Well, all except for District 2. As such, the rebels finally have hope for a positive outcome to this gruesome and decades-long struggle. However, after the end of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, Katniss is primarily concerned by her thirst for blood and vengeance. After rescuing Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), they discover how severely he has been tortured and tormented while imprisoned by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the Capitol over the last several weeks. Using tracker jacker venom, Snow makes Peeta believe Katniss is an immediate threat to his life, explaining why he immediately tries to kill Katniss upon seeing her after they rescued him. In short, he’s no longer the sweet and gentle boy with the bread that saved and comforted Katniss. Horrified by everything that has happened and what Snow has shown himself capable of, Katniss is determined to kill him immediately.
So, with the support of District 13 President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), former Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Effie (Elizabeth Banks), Katniss dons her Mockingjay uniform and heads out to District 2, the last stop before they can breach the Capitol itself. Katniss hopes to help use her voice to make the best of a bad situation, escaping the reality of Peeta’s situation and District 13, but Gale (Liam Hemsworth) proposes an idea that sets the tone for the rest of the film: bury the loyalists alive in the mountain base. And that’s just the start of the final chapter of The Hunger Games series. Finnick (Sam Claflin) does get married, though, so that’s a welcome break from the madness before Katniss sneaks out of District 13 to join the so-called 76th Hunger Games on the Capitol’s streets.
Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the final battle that will decide the fate of Panem.
- Release Date
- November 18, 2015
- Francis Lawrence
- Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer
- Drama, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Danny Strong
- IT ENDS HERE.
Do Katniss and Gale Capture President Snow in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’?
Dressed in heavy cloaks from Tigris (Eugenie Bondurant)—who we learn is actually Snow’s cousin in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes—to shroud their appearances, Katniss and Gale make their way through the crowded Capitol streets toward Snow’s mansion. However, the Peacekeepers are checking identities and pulling down hoods as people move forward, threatening their plan. Unsure what to do, they have only a moment to rush forward as the rebels begin to converge on the city center and a car bomb separates them, causing Gale to be captured by the Peacekeepers. Despite previously agreeing to shoot Gale if he were in the enemy’s grasp, Katniss can’t bring herself to do so.
Without Gale, Katniss continues on, more desperate than ever to kill Snow after all the horror and death he has caused. However, she reaches the mansion’s gates and sees Peacekeepers taking the Capitol’s children from their parents and putting them into a fenced-off area in front of the gate’s door. Snow is using the children to make a human wall between him and the rebels. Shortly thereafter, a hovercraft bearing the Capitol’s seal arrives and releases parachutes that float down to the children, resembling those in the Capitol’s beloved Hunger Games that contain gifts. Once they land, half of the containers explode. Shocked and confused, a group of medics rushes in alongside the parents of the children to help the wounded. While taking in the latest of Snow’s horrific attacks, Katniss sees Prim (Willow Shields) in the crowd. She begins shouting out to Prim and the two make eye contact just as the remainder of the parachute bombs go off, knocking Katniss to the ground. As her clothes and her entire world burn, she falls unconscious.
Who Killed Prim and the Children in the Capitol?
When Katniss wakes up, she’s covered in burns. Sometime later, as her mother treats her wounds and the two avoid talking about Prim’s death, an emotional Haymitch tells Katniss that the war was over after the Capitol bombed the children. Haymitch explains that this final act of cruelty from President Snow was the last straw for many Peacekeepers and Palace Guards. The rebels won, walked into the mansion, and captured Snow. Later, after healing enough to leave the hospital, Effie escorts Katniss to her room in the mansion with a small scene highlighting how far the underrated Effie Trinket has come since the beginning of this story.
Katniss then begins to wander around the mansion, finding her way to a greenhouse in the back where, after Katniss receives permission to enter from Commander Paylor (Patina Miller), she finds Snow. Snow apologizes to Katniss for her loss, explaining how he was just about to surrender when they released the parachutes. Katniss counters, arguing that he released the parachutes, but he adamantly denies the accusation. He admits he isn’t above killing children, but always for a reason. He had no reason to kill those children, as it is what ultimately turned the remainder of his supporters against him.
Snow continues on to commend President Coin, now in charge of Panem in its entirety, for her masterful strategy throughout the war. She managed to pit Katniss and Snow against each other, taking it to another level where they couldn’t see what she was doing and how she was manipulating them behind the scenes. Snow insists that Coin is responsible for killing the children and Prim, airing the event live to turn every remaining supporter against him, and stepping in to take power after the districts and Capitol have all but completely destroyed each other. Katniss says she doesn’t believe his story, but Snow reminds her of their agreement to never lie to one another.
Why Do Katniss and Gale End Their Friendship in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’?
Back in her room, Gale arrives to tell Katniss that Coin is looking for her. In this brief moment alone, Katniss remarks how Gale never came to see her in the hospital, and the guilty look on his face says it all. After strategizing attacks with Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Katniss asks if it was his plan and weapon. He admits that he doesn’t know, apologizing for not taking care of her family as he promised he would.
Katniss then says goodbye, officially marking the end of their years-long friendship. Then, Katniss arrives at a round table with Interim President Coin and the remaining tributes-turned-victors, including Johanna (Jena Malone), Annie (Stef Dawson), and Enobaria (Meta Golding). To quench the thirst for revenge that the rebels feel, Coin proposes a special, symbolic version of the Hunger Games with the children of the Capitol’s most powerful. Peeta, Annie, and Beetee vote no, while Johanna and Enobaria vote yes. After some thought, Katniss demands to kill Snow. Once she receives an agreement, she votes yes, for Prim. Realizing something is up (as Katniss would never do that), Haymitch votes yes, too.
Why Does Katniss Shoot President Coin Instead of Snow?
Then, it’s time for President Snow’s long-awaited execution. As Effie preps Katniss, Katniss slips a nightlock pill (a throwback to the first Hunger Games film) into her suit. Outside, on the avenue of tributes, an unrepentant Snow is tied to a post. Coin gives a speech from the President’s perch above as Katniss readies her arrow. At the last moment, Katniss shifts her bow upward, shooting Coin in the chest. Instantly, she’s dead. Katniss attempts to swallow her nightlock pill, but Peeta stops her. As she is dragged away, the crowd takes matters with Snow into their own hands, converging on him at the post.
After her successful assassination of the country’s new leader, Katniss is locked in a room with guards. She is later visited by Haymitch, who reads a letter from Plutarch (due to the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman while filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay). In the letter, Plutarch elaborates on why he wasn’t surprised by Katniss killing Coin in the slightest. He goes on to tell her that a free election will be held — one that Commander Paylor will likely win. Plutarch apologizes to Katniss for everything she has been through (as he should, considering he’s responsible for quite a bit of the trauma), but he would do everything again if he had to. The war is over, and there will be a sweet period of peace, but it’s up in the air whether humanity will repeat this mess or learn from this experience.
Katniss and Haymitch Return Home to District 12 in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’
At least until Paylor can officially pardon her, Katniss and Haymitch head home to District 12. With a sweet goodbye from Effie, who receives a steamy kiss from Haymitch, they take their leave. Back in 12, Katniss and Haymitch return to their houses in Victor’s Village. Katniss is alone, lost in her grief. When Prim’s cat Buttercup shows up after making the trek from District 13, Katniss has a meltdown, screaming at the cat to leave and finally saying out loud that Prim is dead. The reality hits her, hard, all over again. Later, after a hunt, Katniss arrives home to see Peeta has finally returned from the Capitol and is planting primrose flowers in the garden to honor Prim. Katniss embraces him, smiling for the first time since Prim’s death.
Do Katniss and Peeta End Up Together?
Sometime in the future, a letter from Annie reveals she and Finnick had a son, giving them updates on how their bleak world is changing for the better. Commander Paylor becomes President Paylor. Peeta and Katniss sit and watch the rain together, healing after everything they’ve been through. One night, Katniss leaves her bed and makes her way down the hall to Peeta’s, and he wraps her in his arms. Peeta asks, “You love me. Real or not real?” Katniss says, “Real.” They hold hands and sleep, embracing their love. In the future, Peeta plays with a little boy in the meadow while Katniss holds their newborn in her arms. When the baby wakes, Katniss asks if she had a nightmare, saying she has nightmares too. She says someday she’ll explain it, why they came and why they won’t ever go away. She survives by making a list of all the good things she’s seen someone do. It’s like a game. It’s repetitive and tedious, as she does it over and over, but there are much worse games to play.
What Does the Ending of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’ Mean?
Using knowledge from the movie and the books, let’s break down how The Hunger Games ends. Coin killed Prim to destroy Katniss because, as Boggs (Mahershala Ali) explains before his death, Katniss is her biggest threat to maintaining her power over Panem because of the influence Katniss has over the people. Katniss only ever tolerated Coin, making her dangerous. Katniss kills Coin for several reasons. Because she killed Prim, yes, but also because Katniss knew that Coin wanted to replace Snow. The reason Snow spent his final days relaxing in his greenhouse with his beloved roses was that Coin wanted to set a precedent for this type of event in case she ever found herself in a similar situation. The symbolic Hunger Games was only the first of many bad decisions to come down the line, and Katniss only voted yes to make sure Coin didn’t become suspicious of her. That Hunger Games did not occur.
Technically, Gale is partially responsible for Prim’s death. But, he and Katniss wouldn’t have ended up together anyway. In the Mockingjay book, Katniss realizes at the very end that she always needed Peeta and what he brings to her life. Regardless of Gale’s involvement, he wouldn’t have been her final choice, but that does seem to be the end of their friendship. Gale lives in District 2, while Katniss’ mother helps get a hospital off of the ground in District 4, as going home is too painful for her without Prim. Meanwhile, Peeta and Katniss live in District 12 for as much of their lives as we see. The entirety of Panem is rebuilt to support each district being able to get what they need to live supported and happy lives. All in all, it’s a bittersweet ending, but one that closes the door on these characters.
The Franchise Continues With ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’
However, while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 is seemingly the last we’ll see of Katniss and Peeta (unless there’s a reboot one day), we are not quite done with the world of Panem. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel that follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) before he rises to the esteemed role of President. The story begins as the tenth anniversary of the Hunger Games approaches, which is the perfect opportunity to change the rules. Those in charge decide to bring in one student from the Capitol’s school per tribute to guide them through the competition and try to get the audience more engaged in the Games. As such, and much to his disappointment, Snow is assigned to District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). Without any spoilers, the two become entangled as their futures quite literally depend on one another. Their story takes an interesting route that ultimately lends itself to the original series, which is a feat that many prequels do not accomplish. This origin story for Snow doesn’t waste time trying to humanize him but showcases exactly how he turns into the man that we knew him as. In many ways, it is the perfect follow-up to Katniss’ story that depicts a much darker, colder, and drearier Panem.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is playing in theaters now. Watch The Hunger Games franchise movies on Peacock in the U.S.