Towards the end of Mockingjay (or Mockingjay Part 2 in film terms), Katniss

is meant to execute President Snow in a ceremony of rebel victory, but instead shoots the new President Coin.

Her decision takes almost everyone by surprise, but I'm wondering who was NOT surprised? Who saw it coming?

Two characters I'm particularly wondering about are:

  • Plutarch Heavensbee, who generally knows about everything before it happens and never gets fazed - was he playing Coin for a fool in the same way he did Snow?

  • Haymitch Abernathy, who voted with Katniss at the Vote of the Victors on the 76th Hunger Games - did he understand the full depth of her plan, or did he just trust her judgement?

although I'd also be interested in any evidence that anyone realised or guessed beforehand what Katniss intended to do.

  • Finn... Err Finnick would have known if he survived Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:14
  • @DVK Poor Finnick :'(
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:34
  • It's been a while since I've read the book (and not yet seen the film), but I always got the impression that Katniss didn't know she was going to shoot Coin until just before she did it. Did I miss something? Are her intentions clear before she lines Snow up in her sights? Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 14:16
  • @TheGiantofLannister I think the implication is that she only agreed to the 76th Hunger Games in order to make Coin think she was on her side, and that was all part of the plan. See this question.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 23:21
  • I wasn't. I saw it coming the first time I read it
    – TheAsh
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 21:31

2 Answers 2

  1. President Snow: YES.

    Well Duh. He's the one who basically set it up.

    I feel the bow purring in my hand. Reach back and grasp the arrow. Position it, aim at the rose, but watch his face. He coughs and a bloody dribble runs down his chin. His tongue flicks over his puffy lips. I search his eyes for the slightest sign of anything, fear, remorse, anger. But there’s only the same look of amusement that ended our last conversation. It’s as if he’s speaking the words again. “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other.”
    He’s right. We did

  2. Haymitch - LIKELY YES.

    Right before, during the vote for the 76th games, we witness the following happen:

    A furious Peeta hammers Haymitch with the atrocity he could become party to, but I can feel Haymitch watching me. This is the moment, then. When we find out exactly just how alike we are, and how much he truly understands me.
    “I’m with the Mockingjay,” he says.

    Note that if this was merely about the vote, there was no need for Katniss to wait and see what Haymitch says to gauge his understanding - she could have just argued her views with him, like Peeta did. So, it must have been about something else - and the only other thing of importance where his understanding mattered, would be what she planned to do.

  3. Peeta - probably.

    He managed to snatch Katniss's suicide pill with a speed and reaction that would be extremely unlikely if he didn't anticipate what she would do.

    “Good night,” I whisper to the bow in my hand and feel it go still. I raise my left arm and twist my neck down to rip off the pill on my sleeve. Instead my teeth sink into flesh. I yank my head back in confusion to find myself looking into Peeta’s eyes, only now they hold my gaze. Blood runs from the teeth marks on the hand he clamped over my nightlock. “Let me go!” I snarl at him, trying to wrest my arm from his grasp.

  4. Plutarch - unknown.

    There's a possibility:

    I’ve never seen Plutarch in such a good mood. He’s positively glowing. “You must have a million questions!” When I don’t respond, he answers them anyway.

  5. Paylor - possibly.

    She DID let Katniss in to Snow's apartment.

    It may have been just to help Katniss.

    Or it may have been so Katniss learns the truth from Snow that Paylor isn't allowed to tell.

  • 1
    I forgot about Snow! Good point with Haymitch - understanding is different from trust. Peeta was one I assumed didn't know, partly because of his actions at the Vote of the Victors and partly because he didn't say anything to Katniss about it beforehand or try to dissuade her. And quick reactions are to be expected from a HG victor ... definitely +1 though!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:38
  • Oo, edits :-) Paylor is one I never thought of - very good point there!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:40
  • 1
    @randal'thor - he's a victor because Katniss protected him. He's string but not exactly known for fast reflexes (and given his described physique, is unlikely to have them) Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 14:42

From the film, Mockingjay Part 2, we can definitely tell that Haymitch and Plutarch predicted what Katniss would do at the execution. In the film, after Katniss kills Coin and causes a riot amongst the audience, the camera shows the reaction on Plutarch's face - he didn't look surprised at all. In fact, the very look on Plutarch's face seems to show the message "I knew she would!"

Likewise, when Katniss voted in favor of the 76th Hunger Games at the Victors Meeting with Coin, Haymitch said "I'm with the Mockingjay", and from his expression, it sounded like he knew what Katniss was actually thinking.

Later on, when Haymitch read Plutarch's letter to Katniss, it opened up with "Katniss, maybe the whole country was shocked by your arrow tonight, but once again, I was not. You were exactly who I believed you were". This is a confirmation that Plutarch knew what Katniss would do. Of course, as for the rest of the country, they were shocked. To them, Coin was their hero who led the war to overthrow such a horrifying regime.

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