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Disclaimer: Viewer, not a reader.

At the end of Catching Fire, Haymitch is in the middle of a meeting with Plutarch when Katniss walks in on them. The next we see him is only after Katniss agrees to be the Mockingjay, the face of the revolution, and shoot some propaganda videos.

Why is he absent in the earlier meeting - when Plutarch tries to convince Katniss to be the Mockingjay in the presence of President Coin? And again when she makes her demands for being the Mockingjay?

Unlike Effie, Haymitch is pretty much an integral part of the plan to evacuate Katniss from the arena (during the 75th Hunger Games) and make her the Mockingjay - the face of the revolution. So why is he absent from convincing Katniss and only appears after she agrees?

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  • Isn't this because the actor who plays him died?
    – Gaius
    Mar 4, 2015 at 8:55
  • Woody Harrelson's dead?
    – Mac Cooper
    Mar 4, 2015 at 9:40
  • 2
    @Mac: no, as I write this (04/03/2015), Woody Harrelson lives. Mar 4, 2015 at 9:48
  • 5
    @Mac: but if he dies later today I'm going to look a bit silly, now... Mar 4, 2015 at 9:55
  • 2
    @Gaius: You're thinking of a different actor
    – Joe L.
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:02

1 Answer 1

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Movie

It's mentioned in the film that he was basically in rehab for his alcoholism at that point, and he approaches Katniss after he dries out. This is why he says he disagrees with President Coin's draconian view towards alcohol: he can't get booze in District 13.

Book

This is the first time that Haymitch is mentioned in Mockingjay (the book):

I haven't seen Haymitch since I attacked him on the hovercraft, leaving long claw marks down his face. I know it's been bad for him here. District 13 strictly forbids any production or consumption of intoxicating beverages, and even the rubbing alcohol in the hospital is kept under lock and key. Finally, Haymitch is being forced into sobriety, with no secret stashes or home-brewed concoctions to ease his transition. They've got him in seclusion until he's dried out, as he's not deemed fit for public display. It must be excruciating, but I lost all my sympathy for Haymitch when I realized how he had deceived us.
-The Hunger Games: Book Three - The Mockingjay, Part One: "The Ashes", Chapter Two.

Then he appears when the filming is being done:

"Action!" So I hold my bow over my head and yell with all the anger I can muster, "People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!"
There's dead silence on the set. It goes on. And on.
Finally, the intercom crackles and Haymitch's acerbic laugh fills the studio. He contains himself just long enough to say, "And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies."
-The Hunger Games: Book Three - The Mockingjay, Part One: "The Ashes", Chapter Six.

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