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If we burn, you burn with us!
~ Katniss to President Snow.
I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!
~ Katniss at the Reaping.

Katniss Everdeen is the main protagonist of the Hunger Games trilogy and the Hunger Games film series. She volunteered to participate in an evil game, where 24 teens fight to the death, taking her sister, Prim's, place who was reaped for the Hunger Games.

In the films, she was portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, who also portrays Mystique's younger self in the X-Men trilogy, and Mother in the titular film.

In the Japanese Version, she was voiced by Nana Mizuki, who also played Hinata Hyūga from Nartuo.

Biography

Early Life

Katniss was born on May 8 in District 12, 16 years prior to the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss was close to her father and spent time hunting with him in the woods. There, he taught her about hunting, nature, and how to use a bow and arrow.

Katniss's father also taught her how to swim in a pond in the woods. When she was 11 years old, her father died in an explosion underground in the mines where he worked, leaving her to take care of her mother and sister. Katniss stated in the book that she still has nightmares about the explosion and the day her father died five years after.

She still woke up screaming for him to run and wondering if he would ever come back to her. She resents her mother for succumbing to depression caused by her husband's death, which left her unable to care for Katniss and her sister, Primrose Everdeen. Even years after her father's death, Katniss didn't forgive her for sinking into depression and leaving her and Prim alone to fend for themselves so young.

The district gave a small amount of money to Katniss's family, allowing for a month grieving period before her mother was expected to get a job. When her mother did not get a job, Katniss was thrust into the role of provider and nurturer. She took on this role to avoid allowing her mother to be deemed an unfit mother, which would send herself and Prim to the community home.

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen from District 12 volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her 12-year-old sister, Primrose. The male tribute is Peeta Mellark, a former schoolmate of Katniss who once gave her bread from his family's bakery when her family was starving. In the days leading up to the Games in the Capitol, they are given advice by their drunken mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, the sole living District 12 victor of the Hunger Games; chaperone Effie Trinket; and various stylists to enhance their public perception to get potential sponsors, who will send potentially life-saving gifts during the Games. Katniss's stylist, Cinna, designed special costumes for Katniss and Peeta that set them apart from the tributes when introduced to the public. During their evaluation by the Gamemakers, Katniss unexpectedly gets the highest score among the others. Meanwhile, Rue, the petite 12-year-old girl tribute from District 11, follows Katniss and Peeta around during the training sessions. On the day before the games, in the televised interview with Caesar Flickerman, Peeta reveals his long-unrequited love for Katniss; she is initially shocked by this and believes this is a ploy to gain sponsors, but later accepts this as sincere. Haymitch then promotes their image as "star-crossed lovers".

The Games begin, and nearly half the tributes are killed in the bloodbath at the start, fighting over the weapons and supplies throughout the arena. Katniss disregards Haymitch's earlier advice to flee immediately and nearly dies, but uses her well-practiced hunting and survival skills to hide in the woods. After a few days, an artificial fire drives Katniss toward the others. She is spotted and treed by the "Careers" tributes and Peeta, who seems to have allied with them. Rue, hiding in a nearby tree, silently alerts Katniss to a “tracker jacker” nest, which she sends it plummeting down, releasing the flying insects. Their venom kills one of the careers and drives the others away, but Katniss is stung and begins hallucinating. Peeta returns, but instead of killing her, tells her to run away. Katniss later forms an alliance with Rue, but Rue is fatally wounded by another tribute while Katniss destroys the careers' supplies. Katniss kills Rue's killer with an arrow, and accompanies Rue as she dies and spreads flowers over the body to show her defiance against the Capitol. In gratitude, Rue's district sends Katniss a loaf of bread.

A rule change is announced, allowing the tributes from the same district to win as a pair. Katniss finds and nurses a wounded Peeta (who later revealed that he formed an alliance with the careers to protect Katniss), acting the part of a girl in love to gain gifts. When the Gamemakers send a delivery of what each contestant needs most, Katniss risks her life to obtain medicine for Peeta. She is intercepted by a career tribute Clove, who gloats over Rue's death and tries to kill Katniss, but is killed by Thresh, the male District 11 tribute, who spares Katniss for Rue's sake. The medicine saves Peeta's life, and they both spend time hunting and collecting food.

Katniss and Peeta become the last two survivors, but the Gamemakers revoke the rule change to force one to kill the other for a dramatic finale. In defiance, Katniss prepares to consume the poisonous "nightlock" berries with Peeta. Realizing they intend to commit suicide so that there will not be a victor for the games, the Gamemakers declare Katniss and Peeta the victors. Although both of them receive a hero's welcome as a couple, Katniss is warned by Haymitch that the Capitol may take action against her for her defiance. Along the way back to District 12, Peeta is heartbroken to learn that Katniss' actions were part of a calculated ploy to gain sympathy. Katniss, however, is unsure of her own feelings and her future.

Catching Fire

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12, the poorest sector of Panem. Six months later, prior to Katniss and Peeta's "Victory Tour" of the country, President Snow visits and tells Katniss that her televised acts of defiance in the previous Games have inspired rebellion among the districts. Snow demands that Katniss convince the country that she was acting out of love for Peeta, not against the Capitol, or her entire family and best friend Gale Hawthorne will be executed. Katniss reveals this threat to her mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, but not to Peeta.

The tour’s first stop is District 11, home of Katniss' Hunger Games ally Rue. Peeta announces that he will give part of his winnings to the families of Rue and fellow tribute Thresh, and Katniss delivers an impromptu, heartfelt speech expressing her gratitude to the fallen tributes. An old man salutes Katniss, joined by the crowd; to her horror, the old man is immediately executed. Katniss tells Peeta of Snow’s threat, and they continue the tour as normal. Hoping to placate Snow, Peeta proposes to Katniss during a televised interview in the Capitol. Katniss accepts, but Snow is dissatisfied with her performance, leaving her fearing for her loved ones.

Returning to District 12, now overrun with harsher Peacekeepers to enforce the Capitol's rule, Katniss discovers an uprising has broken out in District 8. Gale is caught poaching and is whipped in the town square until Haymitch intervenes. While hunting in the woods, Katniss meets Bonnie and Twill, refugees from District 8 whose uprising has failed. They plan to reach District 13 – believed to be destroyed in the first rebellion against the Capitol – in the hope that the residents are actually underground. Katniss is injured climbing back over District 12’s now live electric fence. Preparing for her upcoming wedding, Katniss learns that Districts 3 and 4 have also risen up against the Capitol.

The Capitol announces the 75th Hunger Games, with a twist – tributes will be selected from the surviving victors of the previous Games. Katniss realizes she must compete alongside either Haymitch or Peeta. Haymitch is chosen and is unable to stop Peeta volunteering in his place. At the Capitol, Haymitch urges Katniss to find allies but she bonds with the weakest tributes. In the televised interview, Katniss' stylist Cinna transforms the white wedding gown Snow insisted she wear into a black dress of feathers resembling a mockingjay, a symbol of the rebellion. Before Katniss is sent into the arena, she watches helplessly as Cinna is beaten unconscious by the peacekeepers.

Katniss and Peeta ally themselves with Finnick Odair from District 4 and Mags, his 80-year-old mentor. Peeta is knocked out by the jungle arena’s force field, and the party later has to flee from a poisonous fog. Mags sacrifices herself to allow Finnick to save the weakened Peeta. They join up with Johanna Mason from District 7 and “exceptionally smart” Beetee and Wiress from District 3. Wiress reveals that the arena is arranged like a clock, with each danger occurring at a fixed time and place for one hour. However, Wiress is killed, and in retaliation Katniss and Johanna kill the tributes of District 1. The remaining tributes work on Beetee's plan to harness lightning to electrocute the District 2 tributes, who later interferes and disrupts the plan. Katniss uses her bow and arrow to direct the lightning into the force field, destroying it and knocking her unconscious.

Katniss wakes up en route to District 13 with Finnick, Beetee, and Haymitch. She learns from Haymitch and Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamekeeper, that there has been a plan to rescue Katniss, now the living symbol of the rebellion. Enraged that Peeta, along with Johanna and tribute Enobaria, have been captured by the Capitol, and for not being confined with the plan, Katniss attacks Haymitch. She later learns from Gale that, though her family and some other residents have escaped, District 12 has been destroyed

Mockingjay

Katniss Everdeen, her mother, her sister Primrose Everdeen, mentor Haymitch Abernathy, and her friends Finnick Odair and Gale Hawthorne, along with the survivors from District 12, adjust to life in the underground District 13, headquarters of the rebellion in Panem. Katniss reluctantly agrees to act as "the Mockingjay”–the symbol of the rebellion–for rebel propaganda, on the condition that District 13 President Alma Coin grant immunity to all surviving Hunger Games tributes, including Katniss's friend Peeta Mellark and Finnick's lover Annie Cresta. Coin, however, insists on flipping for Katniss's other demand: the right to personally execute Panem President Coriolanus Snow. Peeta is tortured by the Capitol to demoralize Katniss. A rescue team extracts Peeta along with the other captured victors, but discover that he has been brainwashed to fear and despise Katniss. He attempts to kill her, and is restrained under heavy guard while medics seek a cure. Finnick and Annie marry in a propaganda effort.

Katniss and Gale are sent to persuade District 2 to join the rebellion. Gale’s controversial strategy results in a decisive victory over District 2, enabling a final assault against the Capitol itself. Katniss is assigned to a squad and sent with a film crew to shoot propaganda. President Coin also sends Peeta, still dangerous and unpredictable; Katniss suspects Coin wants her dead for her lack of support and growing influence. While filming in a supposedly safe Capitol neighborhood, the team's commander Boggs is fatally wounded; before dying, he gives Katniss the team’s command. She decides to infiltrate the Capitol and kill Snow, telling her team that this was Coin's secret plan; she later reveals the lie, but the team sticks with her. In the ensuing urban warfare, many of Katniss's comrades, including Finnick, are killed. As the last of her squad reaches Snow's mansion, a hoverplane bearing the Capitol seal drops bombs among a group of children being used as human shields. Rebel medics, including Prim, rush in to help the injured children, and the remaining bombs detonate. Prim is killed, and Katniss sustains severe burns.

As she recuperates, Katniss, deeply depressed over her sister’s death, learns the rebels have taken over the Capitol and Snow is to be publicly executed. She confronts Snow, who claims that Coin orchestrated the bombing to turn Snow’s remaining supporters against him. Horrified, Katniss realizes Gale had earlier proposed a similar tactic. She becomes convinced that, rather than establish a republic governed by representatives from each District, Coin intends to take Snow's place and maintain the status quo. Coin hosts a referendum for the remaining Victors to decide whether to host another Hunger Games for the Capitol children. Although three, including Peeta, are against the plan, Katniss, Haymitch and two others outvote them.

Set to execute Snow, Katniss instead shoots Coin and immediately attempts suicide, but Peeta stops her, and she is arrested in the ensuing riot. Snow is later found dead, and Commander Paylor of District 8 takes over as president. Katniss is acquitted of murder by reason of insanity and sent home to District 12, while her mother leaves for District 4 and Gale leaves for District 2. Other District 12 natives later return, including Peeta, who has recovered his memories and his love for Katniss. She embraces him, recognizing her need for his hope and strength. Together, they write a book to preserve the memory of those who died. Though still suffering flashbacks and screaming nightmares, they manage to comfort each other.

Twenty years later, Katniss and Peeta are married and have two children. Under Paylor's administration, the Hunger Games are abolished with the arenas replaced by memorials. Katniss is beyond joyful with her new life and her family, but still carries mental and emotional scars, and dreads the day her children learn about their parents' involvement in the war and the Games. When she feels distressed, Katniss plays a comforting, repetitive game: reminding herself of every good thing she has ever seen someone do. The series ends with Katniss' reflection that this was meant to be.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Many actresses auditioned for the role of Katniss Everdeen: Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Ronan, Chloë Moretz, Jodelle Ferland, Lyndsy Fonseca, Emily Browning, Shailene Woodley, Danielle Chuchran, and Kaya Scodelario.
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