Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen is the protagonist of the Hunger Games trilogy authored by Suzanne Collins. Fierce and independent, she is the heroine that emerges victorious against all odds in the 74th Hunger Games and sparks the fire of rebellion amongst the districts.

The Definitive Glossary for The Hunger Games

Katniss is a strong-willed and skilled fighter who is chosen to be the leader of the Rebellion. She is therefore dubbed the “Mockingjay” and helps the districts overthrow the oppressive rule of the Capitol, thereby bringing peace and democracy to the nation of Panem.

Character Profile

  • Name: Katniss Everdeen 
  • Age: 16
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of Origin: District 12
  • Height: 5’7 (according to the Tribute Guide)
  • Physical Appearance: Dark hair, grey eyes, olive skin.
  • Skills: Archery, hunting, setting traps
  • Strengths: Quick and agile, strong-willed personality.
  • Weaknesses: Anger, Stubbornness 
  • Weapons: Bow and arrow, knives 
  • Loyalties: Rebel
  • Partner: Peeta Mellark


Katniss Everdeen is strong, bold and resourceful, and much more mature than her age might suggest. When she volunteers herself for the Games, many people begin to harbor hope that District 12 finally gets a Victor. This shows the kind of faith and trust Katniss inspires in people. 

Katniss is a highly skilled hunter and fighter. She has strong survival skills, having been forced to fend for herself and her family during tough times. After her father passed away, the burden of taking care of the family fell on Katniss’ shoulders, who was just 11 years old at the time. However, Katniss rose to the challenge and raised her sister with little to no help from her mother.

These experiences shaped Katniss into the pragmatic person the citizens of Panem witnessed in the arena. Unlike Peeta, Katniss is not likable. Instead, her primary concern has always been the safety and well-being of her family. She is fiercely loyal to the people she cares about and is even willing to lay down her life for them. 

Katniss is pushed into the role of leadership because of her magnetic personality. People are willing to listen to her and follow her through thick and thin. Although she never sought the role of a leader, Katniss embodies the role with ease. This is because she has spent her whole life caring for her family and friends – all of whom she vows to protect as the leader of the Rebellion. Her magnetic personality and effortless leadership make Katniss the biggest threat to the Capitol.

While Katniss has a hardened exterior, she also has a soft and compassionate side to her. She is extremely indulgent in her sister’s whims and fancies and goes out of her way to make Prim happy. She also cares for her friends in a similar manner, doing everything in her power to protect them from the brutality of the Capitol. 


It is said that everyone from the Seam of District 12 has an olive complexion, dark hair, and grey eyes, which is true of Katniss as well. 

Katniss is 5’7 in height and slim-bodied. Unlike the rest of the population from the Seam, she is physically healthy due to the illegal poaching she partakes in with her friend, Gale Hawthorne.


Katniss’ family at the beginning of the trilogy consists of her mother, Mrs. Everdeen, and her sister, Primrose Everdeen. Her father, Mr. Everdeen passed away in a tragic coal mining accident when Katniss was 11 years old, leaving Katniss’s mother devastated and incapable of taking care of her family. As a result, Katniss had to step up to the role of the provider of the family, hunting and foraging for food to provide for her family’s needs.

The fact that Mrs. Everdeen did not take care of the family after her husband’s death is a source of deep resentment that Katniss feels toward her mother. She is never quite able to repair the trust that was broken when her mother abandoned herself and her sister to fend for themselves. As a result, Katniss learns that she cannot rely on anyone other than herself, sculpting herself into a fiercely independent and self-reliant person. Because of her mother’s helplessness, Katniss is terrified of leaving Prim in her care during the Hunger Games. The thought of leaving Prim alone gives Katniss the strength she needs to fight her way back home from the Games.

Katniss has a loving relationship with her sister, Primrose. Prim is one of the few people who bring out the compassionate side of Katniss, mostly because of her sweet and gentle personality. Katniss looks after Prim after her father’s death, almost like a mother takes care of a child. It is for this reason that Katniss is fiercely protective of Prim and will do everything in her power to keep her safe and happy. 

Before her father’s death, Katniss had a strong connection with her father. Her father taught her to sing, and helped her learn the famous song, “The Hanging Tree”. Mr. Everdeen used to hunt for extra food with a bow and arrow, a skill which he passed on to Katniss as well. Katniss misses her father terribly, a feeling that is compounded by her frustrations with her emotionally absent mother.

Key Moments

74th Hunger Games 

Katniss volunteers instead of her sister Primrose Everdeen, whose name is called out during the Reaping. Katniss takes her place instead, and heads to the Capitol with her fellow tribute Peeta, mentor Haymitch and escort Effie Trinket. She begins to train for the Games and does extremely well in her interview as well as in her training. After a harrowing time in the arena, Katniss eventually emerges as the Victor along with Peeta.

75th Hunger Games

Katniss and Peeta go on a Victory Tour where they announce that they are engaged. The Third Quarter Quell rules are announced, and this year, the tributes are going to be picked from the existing pool of victors. As a result, Katniss is forced into the arena once again with Peeta. This time, however, the rebels have planned to get Katniss out alive and into District 13. Katniss forms an alliance with some of the other tributes, who help keep her alive. She eventually blows up the arena, thereby starting the rebellion on a full scale. The rebels rescue her and take her to District 13.

The Second Rebellion

Katniss has trouble adjusting to life in District 13. She refuses to take on the role of the leader of the rebellion until she is finally convinced that it is the right thing to do. She is named the “Mockingjay” and begins filming to motivate the rebels. Katniss also demands that Peeta be rescued from the Capitol. She goes into training and gets put into the star squad that is designated to infiltrate the Capitol. The Rebellion is a success and President Snow is captured. Democracy is established in the nation.

After the Rebellion 

Katniss learns to live in peace, although she is regularly visited by the nightmares of her past. She gets married to Peeta and has two children with him.


Katniss is a skilled archer. Having learned the art of hunting from her father and her friend Gale, both excellent hunters themselves, Katniss honed her skills over the years to provide for her family. She is able to use these skills to survive in the Hunger Games as well. 

Katniss is also skilled at setting traps and foraging for food. Back in District 12, Katniss would use these abilities to either feed her family or earn some extra money by selling game to people at the Hob. 

Katniss is quick on her feet and agile. She can climb tall trees quite easily – a skill that helps her evade the Careers in the 74th Hunger Games.


Katniss and Peeta Mellark

“…when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”

One of the most compelling relationships in the trilogy is the one that develops between Katniss and Peeta. The two of them do not have much contact before the Hunger Games, however, the little contact they have left indelible impressions in both their minds. 

Katniss was saved by Peeta from death by starvation once when she was struggling to obtain food. Peeta takes pity on her and burns some bread on purpose, risking the wrath of his mother. He tosses the bread to Katniss – an act that gives Katniss renewed strength to continue living. This moment becomes a turning point in Katniss’s life, after which she decides to learn how to hunt so that she and her family never have to go hungry ever again.

Peeta has harbored a crush on Katniss ever since the day she sang a song in school, and everyone stopped in their tracks to listen to her captivating voice. He reveals this fact during his pre-Games interview with Caesar Flickerman. While Katniss is furious at him for making her look weak, Peeta has only one thing on his mind: to protect Katniss and help her survive the Games. He goes on to do exactly this, even teaming up with the Career Pack to misdirect them from Katniss.

Katniss goes looking for Peeta when the rule change is announced: that 2 tributes from the same district will be allowed to go home together if they were the last ones standing. This is when their romance develops. It is mostly an act for the cameras on Katniss’ side. However, Peeta’s feelings for her are genuine.

Once the two of them emerge as Victors from the Games, Peeta is extremely hurt when he realizes that Katniss was only pretending to be in love with him to gain more sponsors. However, the two decide to remain friends in the future.

Katniss and Peeta are forced to keep up the pretense of being lovestruck on the Victory Tour, in order to quell the ripples of a rising rebellion. As such, Peeta announces that he and Katniss are engaged, much to the adoration of Capitol citizens. 

Soon, Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the arena once again as they are picked as tributes from District 12 for the Third Quarter Quell. During the pre-Games interview, Peeta announces that Katniss is pregnant, thereby garnering even more sponsors for her. In the arena, he tries his best to keep Katniss alive. Peeta is successful in his attempts, however, he himself is captured by the Capitol.

As the rebellion begins, Peeta is continually tortured by the Capitol and used as a mouthpiece to spread Capitol propaganda. Katniss, on the other hand, becomes the leader of the rebellion, on one condition: that Peeta is rescued from the Capitol. A covert operation is duly instituted, and Peeta is rescued from the clutches of the Capitol. 

However, the reunion between Katniss and Peeta is not a happy one. Peeta’s mind is hijacked by the Capitol and he is therefore brainwashed into thinking that Katniss is an enemy mutt created by the Capitol to destroy the people from the districts. Peeta believes this lie to such an extent that he even tries to strangle Katniss upon seeing her.

Peeta is eventually rehabilitated, and he ends up reconciling with Katniss. However, he continues to find it difficult to tell the difference between his real and false memories. After the Rebellion, Katniss and Peeta learn to live with each other and support each other through their traumatic experiences. 

“Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips.”

Katniss and Peeta become life partners, eventually getting married and having children together as well.

Katniss and Gale Hawthorne

“Gale gave me a sense of security I’d lacked since my father’s death. His companionship replaced the long solitary hours in the woods. I became a much better hunter when I didn’t have to look over my shoulder constantly, when someone was watching my back…Being out in the woods with Gale…sometimes I was actually happy.”

Gale Hawthorne is Katniss’ best friend and hunting partner. He and Katniss developed a strong friendship when both of them were tasked with the responsibility of taking care of their families. As such, the two friends began to lean on each other in times of trouble, helping one another out, no questions asked.

Katniss trusts Gale wholeheartedly, and even leaves her sister and mother in his care when she leaves for the Hunger Games. 

During the rebellion, the duo is central to the strategy devised by District 13 for the destruction of the government. They train and plan together, and eventually infiltrate the Capitol together on the same squad as well.

Gale makes his feelings for Katniss evident multiple times throughout the trilogy. However, Katniss does not reciprocate these feelings. This is mostly because Katniss is preoccupied with the events unfolding before her, and partly because of her feelings for Peeta as well. Thus, the two continue to remain friends and nothing more.

Katniss and Haymitch Abernathy

Haymitch is Katniss’ mentor in both the Hunger Games she takes part in. Until he meets Katniss and Peeta, Haymitch does not believe that any of his tributes stand a chance in the arena. However, this changes with Katniss and Peeta, whom he trains with the intent to keep them alive for as long as possible. In particular, Haymitch believes that Katniss is capable of winning the Games, and therefore tries to get as many sponsors for her as possible.

In the arena, Katniss and Haymitch develop a secret language for communicating with each other. Katniss understands that whenever she does something right, Haymitch sends her a gift from a sponsor. As a result, she begins to play the Games in a way that might please Haymitch, a tactic that ultimately helps her stay alive.

Haymitch turns from a mentor into a sort of paternal figure for Katniss, filling in the shoes of her dead father. He helps her survive the Games and provides her with the strength and support she needs. Unfortunately, however, Katniss and Haymitch’s relationship takes a hit when Haymitch decides to rescue Katniss from the arena instead of Peeta, despite promising Katniss that he would do anything in his power to keep Peeta alive.

Haymitch and Katniss reconcile, however, and continue to share a close bond during the Rebellion as well as in the days to come after the Rebellion.

Katniss and Effie Trinket 

Effie Trinket is the escort for District 12, and she helps to escort Katniss and Peeta to the Capitol. Effie is one of the few citizens of the Capitol that Katniss does not hate or resent. Instead, she even comes to harbor friendly feelings for Effie, who in turn cares for Katniss as more than just any other tribute.

Katniss and Rue

Rue is the female tribute from District 11 with whom Katniss forms a close friendship in the arena. Rue is young and petite, reminding Katniss of her sister, Prim. She, therefore, feels a special connection with Rue, who leaves a lasting impact on Katniss even though the two of them spent a very short amount of time together. 

During their alliance, Katniss and Rue look out for each other in various ways. Both of them find comfort and security in each other, and Rue even trusts Katniss enough to talk to her about her home and some of her favorite things. Upon Rue’s death, Katniss loses this sense of security and is devastated. She begins to associate Rue with Mockingjays after she and Rue use the unique four-note tune as a signal.

“But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the Mockingjays that sing in the trees.”

Katniss and Cinna 

Cinna is Katniss’ stylist at the Capitol. Katniss shares a compassionate relationship with him as he styles her during the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. Cinna seems to understand Katniss’ thoughts and feelings better than most people and is able to convey them through the clothes he designed for her. He is the one who designed Katniss’ iconic Mockingjay dress – for which he was tortured and killed by the Capitol. 

Katniss and President Snow

President Snow is the menacing antagonist of the Hunger Games trilogy and Katniss’ rival. The relationship between Katniss and President Snow begins from the moment Katniss tries to kill herself with Nightlock Berries in the arena – an act that prompts the president to mark her as a threat to the Capitol.

President Snow terrifies Katniss down to her very core. As a result, Katniss does whatever Snow asks of her, including pretending to be in love with and engaged to Peeta. However, she soon learns to be courageous in facing Snow head-on during the rebellion. Ultimately, Katniss ends up defeating President Snow and sending him to his death.

Katniss Everdeen’s Love Triangle with Gale and Peeta

“…what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.”

While there has always been a special bond between Gale and Katniss, any chance of their relationship turning romantic was destroyed once Katniss volunteered for the Hunger Games. As a result of the Games, Katniss and Peeta were permanently tied together, and all Katniss and Gale could be were friends.

Gale, however, is in love with Katniss. He expresses his feelings towards her a couple of times but to no avail. While Katniss cares deeply for him, she does not harbor any romantic feelings for him. Further, during the rebellion, Katniss discovers an aggressive side to Gale that she has never seen before, which she finds deeply disturbing. The nail in the coffin for Katniss and Gale’s relationship is laid with the bomb that killed Prim, Katniss’ sister. As Katniss will never be able to tell whether the bomb that killed her sister was the one planned by Gale or not, she will never be able to look at Gale the same way ever again.

Thus, there is no doubt that Katniss prefers leaning on Peeta for security and comfort. Katniss and Peeta, therefore, end up together, helping each other move on from the trauma of the past and learn to live happily once again.


What is Katniss’ real name?

Katniss’ full name is Katniss Everdeen. The name comes from a plant with edible tubers called katniss. The plant is also called Sagittaria after the Archer, Sagittarius, whose name in Latin means “He that throws”.

How old is Katniss at the end of Mockingjay?

In the epilogue at the end of Mockingjay, Katniss is 35 years old. The epilogue is set several years after the Second Rebellion and shows Katniss married to Peeta with two children.

Is Katniss deaf?

Katniss goes deaf in one ear in the 74th Hunger Games. When she blows up the supplies of Career Tributes, both her ears are left ringing, while blood pours from her left ear. Her right ear regains hearing after a while, however, her left ear remains deaf for the rest of the Games. Once she becomes a Victor, however, the Capitol restores her hearing with a replacement aid.

Who was Katniss in love with?

While Katniss is caught in the middle of a love triangle between Peeta and Gale, she ends up falling in love with Peeta over the course of the trilogy. While Gale is passionate and fiery, Katniss concludes that what she needs instead is the security and comfort that Peeta can provide.

How old are Katniss and Peeta supposed to be?

Katniss and Peeta are both 16 years old when they are first reaped for the Hunger Games. During the events of Catching Fire and the Second Rebellion, they turn 17, while at the end of Mockingjay, they are 35 years old.

Who plays Katniss Everdeen?

Katniss Everdeen is played by American actress Jennifer Lawrence in the movies, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 as well as Mockingjay Part 2.

Did Peeta get Katniss pregnant?

Peeta lies during the interview with Caesar Flickerman (before the Third Quarter Quell) that Katniss is pregnant. He does this to garner sympathy from the viewers as well as sponsors for Katniss in the arena.

How old is Katniss when she gets picked?

Katniss is 16 years old when she volunteers at the reaping of the 74th Hunger Games. She volunteers in the place of her sister, Primrose Everdeen, who is 12 years old when she gets picked.

Do Katniss and Gale get together?

No, Katniss and Gale do not get together. Gale loves Katniss, however, Katniss will never be able to harbor the same feelings for Gale, especially after the events of the Second Rebellion. Instead, she gets together with Peeta, who she eventually ends up marrying.

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