Primrose was selected for the 74th hunger games, but Katniss volunteered to take her place (the first for this district). In other districts it is even more common for volunteers to take the place of people drawn.

Once you are drawn (whether you ultimately play or not) are you exempt from future games? We know that those who play are either winners or losers (i.e. dead) and are exempt; baring some special circumstance (such as the 75th hunger games).

Is Primrose also exempt from playing now that she has been drawn? Or would she normally go back into the pool?

  • I've only seen the movie, but it seemed to be that the few volunteers do so for glory and not to protect loved ones or anything like that. That being the case, it seems unlikely that she'd be exempt, other than that the pool was large and if truly random she's unlikely to be drawn again.
    – John O
    Mar 27, 2013 at 19:07
  • 3
    And what happens if Primrose is drawn and Katniss wants to replace her again?
    – psr
    Mar 28, 2013 at 0:01

6 Answers 6


There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Prim is still eligible for the Games

  1. Katniss directs Primrose not to put her name in more for food, known as the tesserae. She wouldn't need this if she was exempt. This was done as Katniss left to the Hunger Games.
  2. Otherwise, Katniss seems to prepare Prim for the games, should she be taken.
  3. Katniss is clearly exempt, showing that she has the exemption.

Or she should be exempt, except for the rules of the Quarter Quell in Book 2.

  • In response to 1 - after Katniss wins, there's no reason for Primrose to ask for tesserae, given them living in the Victor's village. Apr 5, 2013 at 20:42

Taken from The Hunger Games, p. 15

The repeating system is unfair, with the poor getting the worst of it. You become eligible for the reaping the day you turn twelve. That year, your name is entered once. At thirteen, twice. And so on and so on until you reach the age of eighteen, the final year of eligibility, when your name goes into the pool seven times. That's true for every citizen in all twelve districts in Panem.

So Prim's name is in there every year an increasing number of times regardless. The odds of her getting pulled first year were slim, but as we saw, possible.

The reason nobody thought she'd get pulled was:

Say you are poor and starving....you can opt to add your name more times in exchange for tesserae. ... You may do this for each of your family members as well. So, at the age of twelve, I had my name entered four times. Once because I had to, and three times for tesserae for grain and oil for myself, Prim and my mother.

TL;DR: Prim's name goes in each year regardless. Katniss offered to go in her stead - but that doesn't stop her from getting called in future.

  • 1
    This explains the normal circumstances of getting reaped, but not after you get selected at least once.
    – Möoz
    Aug 8, 2014 at 2:16

In the books it's pretty clear; only victors are exempt. All other 12-18 kids in the districts can be chosen.

That said; since Katniss is a victor, she is pretty rich (prize money is extremely high, even more so compared to the average poor people in district 12). That means Prim will never have to sign up for tesserae (you put your name in extra in order to get food), meaning her chances of being drawn are pretty slim. (Though they were as well when she was 12, and she was still drawn. The odds aren't in her favor.)

  • 2
    The odds are NEVER in anyone's favor.
    – Jeff
    May 7, 2013 at 20:26

It actually might be possible that Prim's chances would increase, as it mentioned in book 2 how the children of victor's somehow managed to be more likely to be selected, and thus a reason for victors not to have children. If the Games were rigged (and the books do give a decent thought that they might) it could be that Prim not only might be selected again, but probably would, if not for the 75th Hunger Games result.

I always thought that Prim's selection was through rigging; read the book when it came out, and the first thought I had when I finished was that it was just that; rigged. While I was under the impression that District 12 was home to thousands of people (and I think the first book covered it), the factor of odds would be the same as that one person who bought one ticket for the lottery and won. Prim had her name in the ball once out of how many 12-18 year old children, plus the fact that many had their names in multiple times due to age and tessera. Prim probably had a (I'm guessing) 1:25,000 odds to being selected. I think the contest was rigged since, as we all know, the Hunger Games was just as much a marketing scheme as it was a tool of punishment. Why not, like reality shows, guarentee crowd favorites/personas by 'selecting' a particular type? Such as the District 11 boy who was so big? Or Foxface form 5 (smart/intelligence instead of brute force)?

Makes you think, if District 13 was trying to set up a revolution, was the whole thing a large-scale coup attempt? Was someone like Katness the thing they were planning for and working for? They needed a savior, they just had to wait for one to win?

  • 4
    Of course it was rigged, the author rigged it because it made for a good story. Nov 27, 2013 at 14:02

She might have been, but there were no future games. The next Game was the Quarter Quell, then the rebellion. Although if there were more games, I don't think she would have been picked. Let's say they do put her in, they are contradicting themselves. The whole reason Katniss got rooted for, one of the reasons, was because she volunteered for her sister. I don't think that would go over well for the Capitol, just because of the whole uplifting hope story they had going.


From what I gathered while reading the books, the only people exempt from future pools were those who survived the games. If a 12 year old went in and won, their name would technically be eligible for the next 6 years. But as a gift for winning, they are exempt. Thus since Prim never participated, much less won, she would still be eligible for the games. I will try to find the specific passage, but I believe that this was addressed in Catching Fire, just before the special circumstances were announced.

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