In Catching Fire, in chapter 17, after Peeta goes to his private session with the Gamemakers, he tells Katniss and the others that he painted Rue:

"Actually, I painted a picture of Rue," Peeta says. "How she looked after Katniss had covered her in flowers."

But I realized: how does he know what Rue looked like after Katniss covered her in flowers? It was clearly stated that what Katniss had done was a sign of rebellion so they omitted it when they recapped the hunger games after they won. She had said:

"It's like watching complete strangers in another Hunger Games. But I do notice they omit the part where I covered her in flowers. Right. Because even that smacks of rebellion."

I figure Katniss told him about it and he used his imagination to draw her, but he clearly said he painted what she looked like, which makes it seem like he actually saw it. Only, there was no way that he could've seen it. The only time Katniss was sure that they would air it on T.V was when they picked up Rue's body from the arena, so he couldn't have seen it then. And he couldn't have seen it later either because it wouldn't make sense to show it again if they clearly omitted it the first time they recapped the games. I also don't think Katniss would have described it to him since remembering Rue's death would've been hard for her. So how did Peeta know what Rue looked like covered in flowers?

  • Maybe Haimitch was the one describing it to peeta. Mentors probably have access to the realtime uncut version of events
    – user68762
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 0:54
  • 2
    Also, katniss told thresh about the flowers and possible that it wasn't edited out: “And you killed him?” he demands. “Yes. I killed him. And buried her in flowers,” I say. “And I sang her to sleep.” after all a sentence about rue covered in flowers is not that moving than the actual shot, but it was enough for peeta to imagine
    – user68762
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 1:07

4 Answers 4


They show all of Rue's death scene except the flowers part.

They play her death in full, the spearing, my failed rescue attempt, my arrow through the boy from District 1's throat, Rue drawing her last breath in my arms. And the song. I get to sing every note of the song.

So, during the replay of their Hunger Games story which they had to watch immediately after their victory, Peeta must have seen where and how Rue died. He knows how affected Katniss was by it, and probably the scene would have stuck in his mind anyway just for how horrendous it was.

Presumably Katniss told him about the flowers at some point - if not immediately after their first Games, then when telling him about Snow's threats and the potential for rebellion, or some time during their training for the Quarter Quell. They spent a lot of time together during Catching Fire at least.

Knowing what Rue looked like and what flowers look like, he could draw them together.

He knew Rue's face; he even knew how she looked exactly when she died, and what her surroundings were like. Perhaps he noticed the flowers in the background of the shot, or remembered what kind of flowers were in the arena. Perhaps he used some artistic licence and the flowers weren't exactly the same in his picture. The point wasn't to make a perfectly realistic depiction, just distinctive enough so that the Gamemakers would understand what he was drawing, clear enough to get his point across.

In the film version, it certainly wasn't completely true to life, but still realistic enough that there was no mistake who and what he was drawing:

Hunger Games Peeta's drawing


I am going out on a limb here. I think when Katniss and Peeta were watching the highlights of the games one of them is Katniss covering Rue in flowers.

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    Is there anything supporting textual/visual evidence anywhere to support this that you could edit in or is it just an informed guess?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 17:33

It may have been from the Quarter Quell. In the movie and the book, they don't exactly say or show what went on. It may have also been that someone who is on team Districts from the Capital "accidentally" forgot to delete that scene on a replay.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. But if the scene was suppressed from the replay, how could it be added back in? This seems like a complete guess; do you have any evidence for it?
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 22:14

Even if they did not show Rue in the replay that they watched in the capital, Katniss talked about how they had to show Rue covered in flowers on the original broadcast. Peeta could have seen the original live broadcast on replay after the games or heard what it looked like from Katniss or somebody else who watched the show.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. The question notes that the scene of Rue covered in flowers was specifically excluded from the replay, so you'd need to establish the existence of a bootleg replay. And yes, he could have heard about it, but the question then is how/from whom? So far you haven't added anything to the existing answer, which does a better job of explaining.
    – DavidW
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 13:51

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