The Hunger Games: The First & Last Lines Of Each Main Character

Svetlana Sterlin
9 min readNov 25, 2021

After the emotional rollercoaster that is The Hunger Games, the characters are left with some memorable quotes in their final moments onscreen.

Katniss Everdeen isn’t the only character who goes through a lot across the four Hunger Games movies. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for everyone, which leaves the main characters with some memorable quotes in their final moments onscreen. Katniss has an extensive support system around her to share in her experiences, though not everyone is as much of an ally as they pretend to be.

Many of the characters’ last lines are echoes of their first, bringing their journeys full circle. The final film’s ending is a satisfying one, but no less emotional. Katniss ends up in a peaceful place, but she had to go through Hell to get there. Some characters’ lives were cut short, like Prim’s, while others simply exited Katniss’s life. Upon first meeting these characters, it’s hard to predict who will be important in the grand scheme of things.

10. Primrose Everdeen

FIRST: “It was me.”

The opening scene of the series — after Seneca Crane’s interview with Caesar Flickerman — is an abrupt, attention-grabbing hook that brings viewers right into the experience of life in District 12. Prim wakes screaming from a nightmare. Katniss comforts her as she explains that she dreamt her name was chosen at the Reaping. Even though Prim’s name is only entered once, this moment of foreshadowing does, indeed, come to fruition, changing the course of the story.

LAST: “It’s okay.”

Aptly in character, Prim’s last line of the series is said almost in passing, but it pays testament to her character nonetheless. She’s one of the first people to talk to Peeta after he returns from the Capitol in Mockingjay — Part 2, and even when he starts screaming at her that Katniss is a mutt, Prim tries to comfort him. Prim appears in two scenes later in the film but doesn’t have any more lines.

9. President Coin

FIRST: “What an honor it is to meet you.”

Coin is one of the best characters introduced in the Hunger Games sequels. The audience meets her in Mockingjay — Part 1 at the same does Katniss does. Plutarch is the one to introduce them as they plan to explain the role of the Mockingjay and what they expect of her. Coin seems to have great respect for Katniss, but even at this first meeting, she always cares more about the revolution than the Mockingjay’s wellbeing.

LAST: “Mockingjay, may your aim be as true as your heart is pure.”

In President Coin’s final moments, she gives a speech that’s just as stately and portentous as ever. Much of Panem is on tenterhooks, waiting for Katniss to execute Snow, but Katniss remembers who the real enemy is. Snow has already lost his power at this point, and she finally sees that Coin isn’t all that different from him. When Coin proposes the honorary Hunger Games, Katniss sides with her, so Coin doesn’t have the slightest idea that Katniss is about to end her presidency — and her life.

8. Rue

FIRST: “No, that’s okay.”

Rue doesn’t speak for a long time in the first movie, so her first line isn’t until after she heals Katniss’s tracker jacker stings. Her first words in the series encapsulate her character well; she prefers to stay out of the way. Even after saving Katniss, she doesn’t want to intrude or bother her. When Katniss offers her some of her food, Rue declines because that’s how she’s grown up in District 11. This is something of an asset for her in the arena, and this quality reminds Katniss of Prim.

LAST: “Can you sing?”

Rue’s time in the franchise is short, but one of the most impactful. She gives Katniss the drive to become the Mockingjay, though she doesn’t quite know it at the time. When Rue dies, Katniss doesn’t feel any satisfaction in killing Marvel, her murderer. She’s angry at the Capitol, and her actions from this point on are driven by the feeling she had watching Rue, an innocent child, die. In this way, she becomes a leader without even trying, which is one of Katniss’s greatest strengths.

7. Finnick Odair

FIRST: “Katniss!”

At the Quarter Quell, Katniss and Peeta feel like the new kids on the block, while all around them are famous Victors. Finnick is one of these darlings of the Capitol, though at this point, Katniss has no idea that he’s already a part of the revolution. When he first meets her, he calls out her name as if they already know each other, but in reality, he wants to get to know her before they get into the arena and become allies.

LAST: “Katniss!”

In a full-circle moment, Finnick’s last line is also Katniss’s name. He’s being attacked by mutts under the Capitol, and after killing a significant amount of them, he’s swamped. He begs Katniss to end his suffering. She activates the nightlock bomb, killing Finnick along with the mutts. In the epilogue, Katniss receives a letter from Annie, Finnick’s wife, in which she writes about the son Finnick never got to meet.

6. Gale Hawthorne

FIRST: “What are you gonna do with that when you catch it?”

Gale is a steadying force for Katniss throughout all four movies, even if their relationship is turbulent at best. At the start of the first film, Gale brings Katniss back down to reality when he sees her about to shoot a deer. He reminds her to be realistic, and his grounding presence may be one of Gale’s best traits.

LAST: “All I know is I was supposed to take care of your family, and I’m sorry I couldn’t.”

By the end of the series, Gale has changed, but he’s still very much the same person. He cares for Katniss a lot and feels guilty about Prim’s death. Since they were kids, Gale promised to help Katniss keep her family safe. Before leaving for the first Games, Gale promises to take care of Prim. In their last scene together, Katniss asks Gale if it was his bomb that killed Prim. He says that he doesn’t know and offers the only apology he can, knowing it’s not enough.

5. President Snow

FIRST: “War, terrible war.”

Snow’s first line is part of the short film the Capitol broadcasts at the Districts’ Reaping ceremonies. Gale and Katniss make fun of the film and already have the words memorized. In it, Snow sends a message to promote the Capitol’s leadership, portraying it as generous and necessary. In Snow’s eyes, the Hunger Games are the only way to maintain so-called peace.

LAST: “Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen, I thought we’d agreed never to lie to each other.”

Despite everything, Katniss and President Snow seem to understand each other better than they’re willing to admit. After the bombs kill District 13’s nurses, Katniss confronts Snow, but he reveals that the bombs didn’t come from the Capitol. This changes her perspective of the entire revolution — and particularly of Coin — but when Snow reminds her of their promise to be honest with one another, she believes him.

4. Effie Trinket

FIRST: “Welcome, welcome, welcome! Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Effie’s first appearance is at the District 12 Reaping, where she cheerfully announces the two Tributes every year. She begins with her customary introduction, which, understandably, isn’t received well by the grim residents of the District. Gale and Katniss make fun of her Capitol accent and the incongruous well wishes people like Effie throw around to the less privileged.

LAST: “Take care of her.”

Effie has changed markedly by the last movie. When Katniss and Haymitch leave the Capitol, the last person they part with is Effie. Though she’s still one of the most fashionable characters in The Hunger Games, she’s not as frivolous and shallow as she is at the beginning. She allows herself to show some emotion as she says goodbye to her friends, but is comforted by the knowledge that Haymitch will take care of Katniss.

3. Haymitch Abernathy

FIRST: “Congratulations.”

Haymitch is a hopeless alcoholic when he’s introduced in the first film. Having mentored Tributes year after year with no success, he no longer cares about the fates of his new mentees. On the train to the Capitol, he sarcastically congratulates Peeta and Katniss on their “selection”, though they know it’s nothing to celebrate.

LAST: “And they say no one ever wins the Games.”

By the end of the series, Haymitch has developed a strong connection with Peeta and especially Katniss. He’s having dinner with them in the Victor’s Village and watching Paylor’s induction as the new leader of Panem when Peeta spots Plutarch on the screen. Haymitch quips, “And they say no one ever wins the Games,” but it’s clear that out of everyone, Plutarch has come out on top. This is a fitting line for Haymitch, who has some strong opinions on the Games, the Capitol, and the way Panem is governed.

2. Peeta Mellark

FIRST: “Have you ever met him? Haymitch?”

Peeta doesn’t speak to Katniss until they’re alone on the train, waiting for their mentor to meet them. Katniss ignores him, remembering their past encounter in the rain when Peeta saved her life by giving her a loaf of bread. In an attempt to make conversation, Peeta says what is likely the first thing to come to mind. As always, he’s only trying to be friendly, but Katniss misreads the situation.

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

Peeta doesn’t fully return to his normal self after being tortured by the Capitol. Even after the revolution, he has to ask whether something is real or not. One night, Katniss can’t sleep, so she goes to Peeta’s room. They don’t speak until Peeta has the courage to ask Katniss if she loves him. Even before the Capitol manipulates his memories, it’s unclear whether Katniss’s love for Peeta is real or pretend, but this time, Katniss tells the truth.

1. Katniss Everdeen

FIRST: “Shh. It’s okay, it’s okay. You were just dreaming.”

Katniss’s first line in the movie is spoken to Prim, who has just woken from a nightmare. She’s reassuring her younger sister, indicating that this is a key relationship in Katniss’s life, and in the film. This proves to be true; every decision Katniss makes in the first film is for Prim.

LAST: “It gets a little tedious after all these years, but there are much worse games to play.”

In the last scene of the series, Katniss holds her baby. Prim is gone, but even after everything, Katniss is still a caring and nurturing person, even though she rarely seems like it. She looks at her family as she calms her baby, who has just woken from a nightmare, like Prim. Katniss explains how she copes with her own nightmares after the Games. She talks about the list of kind acts she’s forever composing in her mind, and how it’s also like a game, but better than the one the Capitol came up with.

[Originally shared via ScreenRant.]

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Svetlana Sterlin

Svetlana Sterlin lives and writes in Brisbane, Australia, where she completed a BFA. Her work appears in several online and print publications.