Continuing a bit off of this question, at the end Mockingjay, the final book of the Hunger Games saga, a certain character ends up dead. The reason for the character's death is never fully explained.

Specifically, Katniss kills President Coin when Katniss is given the task of killing the ex-president Snow. Katniss subsequently gets arrested and trapped in a room for a few days while other events happen. Why does Katniss kill President Coin, when she agreed to a new Hunger Games shortly before?

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    I took it as implied that she'd agreed to the new Hunger Games so that she'd get a chance to kill Coin. She finds the idea of the Games properly abhorrent throughout; she never actually intended to support them.
    – Tynam
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 23:13
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    >! I fail to see that connection. Coin would be present when Katniss was supposed to kill Snow regardless of the continuation of the games....?
    – itpastorn
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 22:50
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    @itpastorn: Sure, Coin would be present at Snow's death no matter what, but Katniss needed Coin not to suspect anything. If Coin realised that Kat didn't believe the official story about Prim's death, Coin might play it safe and get someone else to do the execution. Or assassinate Kat, and blame the Capitol again. Coin had all the power, so Kat needed to be really convincing.
    – Tynam
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 22:43
  • +1 For the careful phrasing of the question.
    – SQB
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 10:13
  • I noticed the jet which was from district 13 maybe it was planned by coin because president Snow isn't that crazy to kill the children.
    – user56285
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:25

8 Answers 8


According to Snow (and Katniss chose to believe him), President Coin ordered the attack on the Capitol, and in particular the bombs placed in the supply packages. One of these bombs killed Prim.

At a more fundamental level, it's because Katniss believes that Coin is as dangerous as Snow - or more dangerous, because Coin will lie and Snow didn't.

This is the same reason she rejects Gale in favor of Peeta.

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    Well, she rejects Gale because Gale had thought up a trap very much like the one that killed Prim. Kat knows this, and once it becomes apparent that Coin actually ordered that attack, Kat realizes, as does Gale, that Gale is indirectly responsible for Prim's death. It's simply impossible for Kat to feel any attraction at all to a man who caused the death of the most important thing in Kat's life.
    – KeithS
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 1:34
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    @KeithS Spoilers: Katniss did not reject Gale. While the question of whether the bombing that killed Prim was of his device would always be between them, Gale left her for District 2 during her trial. Gale realized that there was little left between them since protecting her family was the one thing he had "going for him". Katniss was forcibly returned to District 12 and the gap between them became physical as well as emotional. JMO
    – Josh
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 18:42
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    Worth pointing out that Katniss also suspected that Coin knew or suspected Katniss was in that area and specifically permitted Prim (who was underage for service without special permission) to join with the rescue force knowing that Prim would be killed by the follow-up explosions. Katniss believes Coin killed Prim intentionally (in addition to the many other children) and that Prim was killed as an attack on Katniss.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 13:49
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    IMO, Katniss and Gale were never really compatible to begin with, despite being hunters. At the start of "Catching Fire" Gale wanted to fight, Katniss wanted to run. Katniss only fully supports the war after a wartime atrocity is committed; the bombing of the hospital. Gale is capable of planning a wartime atrocity.
    – swbarnes2
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 22:30
  • @Jeff That's quite a stretch. What logical reason would Coin have to kill Prim specifically? Coin knew Kat was a threat because she couldn't be controlled. So how would killing Prim make her any easier to control? Coin wanted as many casualties as possible, so she sent as many innocents into that death trap as possible. It was just an unfortunate coincidence. But even if it wasn't; if Coin specifically sent Prim there, she probably did so in hopes that Kat would see her and be lured into the death trap herself. Keep in mind, before Boggs died, he warned Kat that Coin may try to eliminate her.
    – arkon
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 3:30

What no-one here has explained is Katniss' reason for believing what Snow tells her. His logic is impeccable.

The bomb that kills Prim was delivered by a flyer. Snow told Katniss that given how close the rebels were to taking his home, if he had a working flyer at his command, he would be using it to get out of there, not blowing up people he still viewed as his subjects.

Then how the bombs were delivered, using the 'tribute gift' parachutes from the Hunger Games so the kids would go and pick them up. That takes forethought and planning, and Snow's troops were fighting to protect the capital. This part of my answer is speculation, and not confirmed in the books.

Finally, Coin was manipulating Katniss from the moment they met.

All of this told Katniss that Coin would be just as bad a president as Snow.


First and foremost, anyone thinking critically while reading Mockingjay or after reading it would simply need to recall the formation of the rebellion that takes place in the book(s) rather than the events that happen toward the end of it. President Coin declared herself leader of the REBELLION despite the obvious fact that it was KATNISS who ignited, fueled, and led it.

Second, Coin never gave Katniss control over her image as the Mockingjay--even when Katniss acted on her own accord, Coin ALWAYS fabricated Katniss to suit HER intentions for the rebellion. It doesn't take much to realize that all Coin wanted was authority--I wasn't even surprised when Katniss killed her at the end because of the various allusions to her tyrannical dark side that were so subtle but "out there" in her personality, especially when her and Katniss interacted (it was never pleasant).

In essence, Katniss and Coin did not see eye-to-eye regarding the rebellion. Katniss' lack of conformity was the distinguishing factor. This is why Coin wanted Peeta rescued at the end of Catching Fire because he conformed to the Capitol and made his and Katniss's affair seem convincing--Katniss couldn't achieve that, and President Snow threatened her for it. Even Haymitch admitted that Peeta was more simple to be around than Katniss because he could be persuaded and make things go smoothly (Remember the events at the end of The Hunger Games and during the first half of Catching Fire?). There is even a moment in the novel during a broadcast in which Peeta, still his normal self, attempts to get through to Katniss by telling her that she is a pawn being used to fulfill another regime. Boggs even told Katniss that Coin (without specifically saying it) was afraid that Katniss would rise to power on her own without even trying. To counter Katniss, Coin performed numerous tasks to suppress her including sending Peeta with Squad 451 in the hopes that he would kill her in a fit of unexpected rage.

The bombing of the Capitol children and Prim wasn't to break the last of the allegiance the people of the Capitol felt to Snow, but to mentally unhinge Katniss so that she would place her entire faith in Coin. And Coin nearly succeeded given that Katniss's depression and desire for vengeance briefly consumed her. Snow's last conversation didn't even need to be forced so that he could get through to Katniss; he knew how intelligent she was. All she had to do was put the pieces together to understand just how much worse Coin was in contrast to Snow. But even then she was trying to find a way to deny the truth because she was overwhelmed with sadness and anger...so when Coin suggested a "final" Hunger Games using the children of the Capitol's elite families, it solidified the truth in its entirety.

Coin made everyone fight a battle only to repeat an aspect of an atrocity they originally rose up against. A sane person like Katniss, Beetee, Haymitch, Peeta, and Annie knew it wasn't right despite the fact that the people of the CAPITOL enthusiastically watched the Hunger Games each year with no objection. Coin's plan wouldn't pacify those who directly suffered despite her claims that it would--there would never be any true compensation for the those who were lost in the games, the first war, and the second war. And, had a Hunger Games been hosted with Capitol children, Coin would have likely used another excuse, that the people were seeking more vengeance...it would eventually paved the way for her to embody and take over Snow's position. There would have been no change.

Katniss voted in favor of the games for one reason, and that was to gain Coin's trust. Her bargaining for the role as Snow's executor was simply a facade to cover up her own intentions. Katniss only had one chance to kill Coin and if she ruined that in any way...nothing would have changed.

  • 1
    Line breaks would do wonders for legibility.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 3:28
  • In the future, please don't use one giant paragraph to yell at me Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 5:01

It seemed pretty obvious that Snow wouldn't have bombed the people at his gates that were stopping the rebels from entering. Didn't take much logic to see that. Perhaps the most interesting character (and most difficult to figure out) is Plutarch. Who's side was he on?

In his final letter to Kat, you see that Plutarch was the real mastermind. He was the game maker. He brought in Kat despite Coin's reservations. As the person in charge of optics, he would have been the one to stage the Snow execution to have Kat lined up perfectly to shoot Coin instead. Until that moment, it seems that Kat had not decided to kill Coin. Plutarch, knowing what Coin was, positioned Kat in a place where he hoped (and expected) her to kill Coin, allowing for true, free elections. In Plutarch's final letter, he told Kat that she was exactly who he thought she would be.

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    Don't forget his slight smile when the camera focuses on him after the execution...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 17:35
  • While I agree with your observation of Plutarch, your first paragraph doesn't make sense to me. The rebels were getting in regardless; and as Snow said, he's not above slaughtering the innocent. You say it "didn't take logic to see that". But that's easy to say after the answer has already been given to you. Kat herself didn't even see it until Snow spelled it out for her.
    – arkon
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 23:24

Katniss killed Coin because she believed the Coin was dangerous, and was responsible for Primrose's death. Why does she believe these things?

  1. The exact circumstance of Primrose's death was discussed by Beetee mid-way through Mockingjay as a strategy requested by Coin.
  2. President Snow, while quite manipulative, never outright lied to Katniss, and had once agreed not to do so with her.
  3. President Snow had stated that he did not kill Primrose, that it was Coin's fault.
  4. Coin was a dangerous person, and could have easily taken over President Snow's full power, despite attempting not to do so.
  • Erm . . . the name is spelled "Beetee", not "Beety" Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 0:53
  • Fixed. You can also propose edits, FYI @Silvermidnight Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 15:34
  • Oh! I just realized that. Thank you for telling me :) Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 22:34

Katniss's little sister, Primrose (nicknamed Prim), was killed in an explosion outside of the President house, along with hundreds of other children. Before what was supposed to be President Snow's execution, Snow told Katniss that Coin had ordered the attack on the kids, and since Prim was the reason Katniss had been in the games in the first place, she was devastated. So, to get revenge, Katniss shot President Coin, also allowing for Paylor to become president.

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    Snow told Katniss this well before the execution, when she stumbled upon his quarters.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 13:50
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    Oops, sorry. I'll fix that.
    – Dragona13
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 14:19
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    Kat's actions were motivated by far more than just petty revenge. Kat finally realized that both Coin and Snow were two sides of the same coin. So Kat killed Coin because the cycle of brutality and oppression would have continued if Coin was allowed to take Snow's place.
    – arkon
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 3:40

I think that Katniss believed Snow, as we all know Snow was a lying weasel always thinking for himself, I too believed that Snow would have escaped in a hovercraft if he had one. So she killed coin for all the deaths of the children. Also coin had killed Prim intentionally as Prim had been too young to be in a rescue mission so she had to have had Coin's permission to be there.

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    Welcome to Science Fiction and Fantasy SE. Can you provide any canonical sources to support your answer? If you can, feel free to edit them in!
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 12:09
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    Snow might have been a weasel, but he was an honest weasel.
    – Verdan
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 13:33
  • I never understood why Primrose was there at all. Did Coin arrange it then so Primrose was there, and the rest of children were from Capitol? When and how does the film tell (or hint) that?
    – Heimdall
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 23:23
  • Yes, Coin arranged it on purpose. Katniss says something about it when she thinks about her conversation with Snow. Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 1:29

Okay basically this will take some time to explain, so I'll do it step by step.

#1: Gale and Beetee design a top-secret bomb that will blow up twice - one time for enemies, another time for healers

#2: At the capitol, a hovercraft with the symbol of capitol drops bombs that blow up twice (shocked expression)

#3: Katniss's sister, Prim, dies when the bombs blow up a second time

#4: Katniss talks to Snow, who says that they promised not to lie to each other

#5: Snow says that the Capitol DID NOT drop the bombs and that the bombs removed all the people of the Capitol's trust in him, something he would never do; It is also implied that President Snow has no hovercrafts left, and if he did, he would flee with them

#6: Katniss realizes that President Coin has been playing with her and Snow (Snow thinks Katniss is the enemy, Katniss thinks Snow is the enemy)

#7: Katniss learns that President Coin plans to "take President Snow's place", basically becoming President Snow again

#8: President Coin wants to hold a new type of Hunger Games

#9: Katniss realizes that President Snow is right and that President Coin is lying to her and killed Prim (on purpose, the main reason being to make sure that Katniss kills Snow; this move also removes any questions Katniss may have for Coin, but Snow foiled that part by telling Katniss; Also, President Coin's plan has too many loopholes)

#10: Katniss takes revenge for Prim and kills Coin to protect the children of the Capitol from the Games

  • Also out of universe, regarding the last chapters or the last book in general, Suzanne Collins is trying raise discussion if there is such a thing as a just war, deliberately making the final victory bittersweet. And earlier in the book, both sides of the war are guilty of war crimes. The nearly end up just replacing one dictator with another, thereby all casualties would be for nothing.
    – Amarth
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 17:27

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