I read the Hunger Games books a long time ago so maybe there's an answer there that I don't remember, but from the movies Haymitch makes it seem like Peeta couldn't be rescued from the arena because his tracker was still in his arm. Why couldn't they have simply cut it out of his arm in the hovercraft on the way to District 13? Then they could have easily disposed of or destroyed it.

Furthermore, it seems they could have done this for all the rescued tributes. Removing the tracker on board seems like it would be far less painful (since they seem to have anaesthetic on board), more sanitary, and wouldn't have given the capital a moment to react when they saw the trackers being removed in the arena during the games.

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    Surgery inside a moving vehicle generally doesn't go so well. Even if they were successful, the tracking chip would still give away their general direction of travel up until it was removed and thrown out of the hovercraft. That partial data would at least narrow down the possible destinations and might allow the Capitol to deduce that District 13 was their destination anyway.
    – Steve-O
    Jul 5, 2017 at 19:40
  • @Steve Where else would they have been going. I feel like everybody knew they were going to district 13. It's just the specific location that was secret
    – Daniel
    Jul 5, 2017 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


They didn't have time to pick Peeta up because he was separated from Katniss, and they barely made it out without him.

"I can't believe you let him out of your sight that night," says Haymitch.

I nod. That's it. "I play it over and over in my head. What I could have done to keep him by my side without breaking the alliance. But nothing comes to me."

"You didn't have a choice. And even if I could've made Plutarch say and rescue him that night, the whole hovercraft would've gone down. We barely got out as it was."

~ Mockingjay

Beetee and Finnick were all in the same area, so presumably there was enough time to pick them up, but not anyone else. Notably, Enobaria was also in the area, but Haymitch declared at the end of Catching Fire that:

[Peeta] was picked up by the Capitol along with Johanna and Enobaria.

Presumably, they didn't pick up Enobaria because she wasn't part of the plan to break Katniss out.

It might be possible Beetee's and Finnick's trackers were removed on the hovercraft. The book doesn't make any comments on when and how they were removed.

  • Why wasn't Peeta with Beetee and Finnick. Wasn't he supposed to be with them?
    – Daniel
    Jul 6, 2017 at 1:19
  • Peeta ran off to find Katniss when the wire was cut. Jul 6, 2017 at 16:55

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