MOCKINGJAY Discussion and Spoilers

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

SPOILER ALERT: Warning! Major spoilers for Mockingjay ahead! This post is intended to be a place to discuss everything that happened in Mockingjay. If you haven’t yet read Mockingjay, check out our spoiler-free review.

So now that we’ve finished Mockingjay we’re (Jose and Kristen) dying to talk about it! Let’s start with our general thoughts about the book and then move on to some of the specific events.

Jose: Well, I talked about my feelings about the book in my review, but overall I have to say that I really liked it and thought it was a great piece of dystopian writing.

Kristen: Mockingjay just blew my mind. I mean, what an EPIC way to end a trilogy. It was hard to read at times, but I respect the fact that Suzanne Collins didn’t try to sugarcoat the war or make Katniss warm and fuzzy. She genuinely surprised me too. There were a few times when my mouth just dropped open in SHOCK because I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Jose: Well, I think we all had those OMG type moments while reading this series.

Peeta versus Gale – The Aftermath

Kristen: As much I was rooting for Gale, there was no way he and Katniss could end up together after what he did in Mockingjay. I knew he had a lot of anger in him, but I was shocked by how he used that anger to design weapons to kill people. That his idea for a bomb was possibly used to kill all those kids, including Prim (*sob*), is just unforgivable.

Jose: At the same time, even though I was pulling for Peeta, there’s no escaping the fact that he was severely affected by his time under interrogation at the Capitol. When one person in the relationship has tried to kill the other it tends to throw a wrench into things. I was actually surprised she ended up with Peeta in the end–I thought Collins would have let her live out her days without Peeta or Gale.

Kristen: Me too! I was surprised when Peeta showed up at the end. And how weird was it that for most of the book Peeta was absent or not himself?

Jose: Still, if there was anyone who could console and understand what Katniss had gone through, it was Peeta, so maybe it was for the best that they ended up together.

Kristen: Yeah, I really feel like there were no winners in this situation. Katniss and Peeta may have gotten together and had kids, but it wasn’t a “…and they lived happily ever after” situation. They just picked up the broken pieces of their lives as best they could.

District 13 – A Nice Place to Visit, But…

Jose: So we finally get to see the mysterious District 13 that we’ve been excited about since Catching Fire, and it was a whole lot of tunnels with the charm of Alcatraz.

Kristen: Uggh, it was horrible, right? They had a little more food, but no freedom. I was hoping District 13 would be some sort of Utopia, but it wasn’t much better than Panem. While the people in the Capitol were brightly colored and blinged-out, District 13 was its sterile (literally) cousin.

Jose: Actually now that you mention it, there was a lot of dualities between the Capitol and District 13 weren’t there? I mean both are led by intense leaders who appear to rule with an iron fist. Both seemed to have little regard for the people in the other Districts caught in the middle of this war. Both wanted to mold Katniss for their own means.

Kristen: So what did you think of Alma Coin? I don’t think she was much different than President Snow–especially since she (most likely) killed Prim and tried to kill Katniss. Maybe she was even worse than Snow.

Jose: I have to agree. It’s interesting that leading up to Mockingjay you get the impression that this is all a noble struggle between the beaten down districts and the all mighty Capitol. Then we find out it’s about who wants to control Panem more, the President who smells of blood and roses or the very ruthless, power-hungry District 13 leader?

The Assassination of Alma Coin by the Mockingjay Katniss Everdeen

Jose: What did you think of how Katniss handled the execution of President Snow?

Kristen: I’m still in shock by the choice Katniss made. That was the best OMG moment in the book. I literally gasped out loud. Do you think it was just revenge for Prim’s death?

Jose: I think Katniss realized (with help from Snow no less) that Coin would be just as terrible a ruler as Snow was, and that she had a chance to break the cycle. I was completely shocked by it–I had to keep on rereading it because I thought it was a typo!

Kristen: Yeah, that’s what the rebellion was all about–freeing themselves from an oppressive leader.

Jose: It’s interesting that one of the subtexts near the end of the war was the role that Katniss would have in selecting the next leader of Panem. I think it was Boggs who pointed out that if she wasn’t for Coin she wouldn’t be of much use to the new government. It’s funny how Katniss pretty much decided that None of the Above was her option for future leader of Panem.

Kristen: Oooh, good point! Still, that was an impulsive–if courageous–move on her part.

Death, Death, and More Death

Kristen: Well, my prediction that either Gale or Peeta would die didn’t come true. Not that I’m complaining! But there were still a lot of casualties in the war. Prim’s death, of course, was the hardest to take.

Jose: I think Prim’s death really was the surprise that no one saw coming. In many ways Katniss’ role in this series was to protect Prim, and in the end she fails to do so (though not through her fault). The large number of deaths in the book really surprised me, but there was a war going on, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Kristen: Finnick’s death really made me sad too. His reunion with Annie was so sweet, but too short. And then there’s Cinna. I really had hoped that he would be alive in Mockingjay.

Jose: Me too, I was in that “I haven’t seen a body so there’s still a chance” camp. I think Cinna would’ve been nice addition to the book, even if only for a short bit.

Odds and Ends

Jose: After reading all the books, I’m kind of surprised I missed the ties to Roman history sprinkled throughout the books. Maybe Collins was treating the Hunger Games series as similar to Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? The most clever connection was Plutarch becoming Secretary of Communications, since the original Plutarch was known for his biographies and essays.

Kristen: Cool, I didn’t make that connection. I’m really intrigued by “The Hanging Tree” song that kept popping up throughout Mockingjay (I keep humming it to the tune of “Lord of the Dance“). There’s a really interesting discussion of it over at Hogwarts Professor, who says that the song could be about a revolutionary that is urging people to join in his cause–that the song is really a call to arms. I like that idea because it also relates to the rope necklaces we see the characters making throughout the book.

Jose: Nice, I didn’t make the connection while reading the book. Now that you mention it, there’s a great quote attributed to Ben Franklin around the time of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately”. He was making the point that the colonies must join together in the war or risk perishing separately. (By the way, 13 Colonies – 13 Districts….coincidence? I think not!)

Kristen: What was your favorite quote? Mine was:

Peeta: “You love me. Real or not real?
Katniss: “Real.”

Jose: Mine was:

“Ally.” Peeta say’s the words slowly, tasting it. “Friend. Lover. Victor. Enemy. Fiancée. Target. Mutt. Neighbor. Hunter. Tribute. Ally. I’ll add it to the list of words I use to try to figure you out.”

So what did you guys think of Mockingjay? What moment did you think was most shocking? Did you cry when Prim died? Are you happy with the way Collins wrapped everything up? Share your thoughts and favorite quotes in the comments!

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