“Don’t kill her. You’ll just create a martyr,” Haymitch begs Seneca Crane. “I hear these rumours out of District 11. This could get away from you.” He asks Seneca to play up the young love angle, hoping to save Katniss.
In the next scene, Seneca tries to sell the idea to a reluctant President Snow. “There are lots of underdogs,” he says. “Lots of coal, too. Grow crops, minerals, things we need. There are lots of underdogs. And I think if you could see them, you would not root for them either.” This line further characterises the Capitol and its President as selfish and uncaring.
“The regulations requiring a single victor have been suspended,” a voice over informs the tributes in the next scene. “From now on, two victors may be crowned, if both originate from the same district.” Peeta and Katniss are subsequently reunited. When she discovers that Peeta has sustained a serious wound she says, “I’m not going to leave you, I’m not going to do that.” Once again, the film praises compassion over violence, self-interest and cruelty. Katniss receives a parachute containing soup. “You fed me once,” she says, offering him a spoonful of soup.
“I think about that all the time,” he says. “How I tossed you that bread. I should have gone to you. I should have just gone out in the rain and…” He starts to recall the first time he saw her and how he watched her going home “every day”. Despite his protests, Katniss resolves to go to the cornucopia to get medicine for Peeta, kissing him. When she makes a run for the medicine, Clove attacks her. “Where’s lover boy?” she taunts. “I see. You were gonna help him, right? Well, that’s sweet. You know, it’s too bad that you couldn’t help your little friend. That little girl? What was her name again? Rue? Yeah, well, we killed her. And now we’re gonna kill you.” This acting and dialogue further reinforces the film’s condemnation of violence and brutality. Thresh suddenly appears and kills Clove in retribution for Rue’s murder. “Just this time, 12,” he says. “For Rue.”
When she returns, Peeta insists on applying the medicine to Katniss before she tends to his wounds. She smiles and Ross cuts to a shot of The Hunger Games control room where people look up from their work, clearly moved by the gesture. The next morning, their wounds have healed and they realise that there’s a possibility they could both go home.
After the death of Foxface, Ross cuts back to The Hunger Games control room where Seneca Crane smiles and says, “That’s excellent” when he sees the holographic image of a mutt. The narrative pushes relentlessly to its conclusion as Katniss and Peeta are pursued relentlessly by the mutts. In the climactic scene on top of the cornucopia as the mutts circle below, Cato urges Katniss to kill him. “I’m dead anyway,” he says. “I always was, right? I didn’t know that till now. How is that? Is that what they want?” He screams towards the cameras. Highlighting the injustice of The Hunger Games, he says that killing is the only thing he knows how to do. Katniss shoots him before he has a chance to hurt Peeta. The victory is hardly triumphant, mournful music rising, as they watch him be devoured by the mutts. Katniss chooses to end his suffering by firing another arrow.
When the previous revision allowing two victors is revoked, Katniss and Peeta resolve to eat the poised berries. Before they do, Seneca intervenes and they are allowed to leave the arena. “They’re not happy with you,” Haymitch says. “Because you showed them up.” The ruthlessness of The Capitol and President Snow is underscored when Ross cuts to a shot of Seneca Crane being ushered into a room containing the poisoned berries.
The film ends with a shot of President Snow watching on as the victors return to District 12. Dramatic music rises and the film cuts to black