Seven years after The Hunger Games first debuted on bookstore shelves, the mega-successful film adaptation tetralogy comes to a close with Mockingjay - Part 2. The Mockingjay novel, which was split into two films by Lionsgate Entertainment, originally released in 2010 - meaning that book readers have known the fate of their favorite characters, and the larger state of Panem, for nearly half a decade.
While there are a few key differences between Suzanne Collins' books and the film adaptations, we've put together a Hunger Games series ending explained post that, depending on a reader's prior level of investment, will either be a refresher for returning fans, clarification for Mockingjay - Part 2 moviegoers, or cliff notes for non-viewers who have no intention of seeing the final Hunger Games movie (but still want to know how the dystopian tale wraps up). We’re here to help explain exactly what happens in the final act of Mockingjay - Part 2 as well as breakdown how prior Hunger Games films laid necessary groundwork for such an ambitious conclusion.
Our discussion is going to be full of SPOILERS for The Hunger Games films (and book) series, so READ NO FURTHER unless you’re all caught up. You have been warned.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
CLICK on any topic to jump directly to it:
- The Plutarch Underground (This Page)
- The District 13 Rebels & President Coin's Plan
- The Ultimate Gamemaker & The Love Triangle
The Plutarch Underground
Initially introduced in The Hungers Games (book), Plutarch Heavensbee replaces 74th Hunger Games' gamemaker Seneca Crane when the Capitol plans the Quarter Quell - becoming a trusted confidant to President Snow in the process. Unbeknownst to Snow, Heavensbee is actually the leader of an underground resistance, Capitol residents who are sympathetic to suffering in the districts, and planning a nation-wide revolt against ruling Capitol despots. To that end, Plutarch uses his position as gamemaker to shape the Quarter Quell as a foundation for rebellion - centered on Hunger Games victor Katniss Everdeen. Plutarch tips his hand to Everdeen during the 74th Victory Tour (when he shows her his Mockingjay watch) - though the District 12 victor, still scarred from her experience in the games, is too suspicious to know Plutarch's true intentions.
As Everdeen and the other tributes prepare for the Quarter Quell, Plutarch coordinates with District 13 president Alma Coin and District 12 victor Haymitch Abernathy, who are organizing rebels in the districts - while slyly using Katniss and Peeta's "engagement" to distract Snow (and alter public opinion). As part of Plutarch's plan, he enlists Abernathy to convince half of the Quarter Quell tributes to join forces against Capitol loyalist tributes to escape the Games and, most importantly, protect Katniss (who is becoming the symbol of rebellion in the districts). Many tributes give their lives in the Quarter Quell arena (Chaff, Seeder, Mags, Woof, Cecelia, the Morphlings, and Wiress) or are captured in the aftermath (Peeta and Joanna) but Plutarch's plan succeeds - and the rebels rescue Katniss (along with Finnick and Beetee) from the arena. With his subterfuge revealed to Snow, Plutarch flees with Katniss to the ruins of District 13 in preparation for war.