What You Need to Know Before You See "Mockingjay"

With Mockingjay premiering on Thursday night, you might want to a little recap on what happened in the last couple movies. Unless you have had time to watch both movies over recently, it’s likely that you forgot a couple of things. So here is your ultimate guide to preparing for Part 1 of Mockingjay.

Note: This guide includes spoilers if you haven’t seen The Hunger Games or Catching Fire.

Hunger Games

In the dystopian future of Panem, there are 12 districts plus the Capitol. Each year one boy and one girl are selected by a lottery from each district to compete in a game that reminds the citizens that they aren’t in control, as punishment for a past rebellion. There can only be one winner in the Hunger Games—or rather, one survivor.

In District 12, Katniss Everdeen volunteered to take the place of her younger sister when Prim’s name got drawn. 

Katniss and the male tribute, Peeta, are rushed to the Capitol to prepare for the Games. 

They meet their coach, Haymitch, who is a past winner from District 12, and their Capitol Representative, Effie. 

In preparation for the Games their stylists Cinna and Portia make Katniss and Peeta stand out with a carriage that lights on fire as they are presented to the public.

Katniss and Peeta separated once in the games, and Katniss aligns with a girl her sister’s age, Rue, from District 11. After Rue is killed, Peeta and Katniss find each other and Katniss starts to play up a star-crossed lovers romance when she realizes it will get them more gifts from sponsors from the Capitol. Katniss is mostly trying to get gifts to help them. Peeta, on the other hand, has fallen for the Girl on Fire.

In the end of the Games Peeta and Katniss defeat the other tributes, but refuse to kill each other and agree to both eat the poisonous berries. 

The announcers come back and tell them they have both won the Hunger Games.

The pair reunites on the show that recaps the Games. When asked about the poisonous berries Katniss said she couldn’t bare the thought of being without Peeta to keep up the charade.

Catching Fire

After winning the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta have to go on their “Victory Tour”. In their stop at District 11, Katniss speaks in memory of her ally in the games, Rue. An old man whistles to the tune that Katniss used to tell Rue she was safe in the Games, and people use the gesture that Katniss used to say goodbye to Rue. The old man and two others are taken after the speech and killed. 

Peeta also finds out that Katniss has a special relationship with her friend Gale, and grows jealous, creating a tension between the two.

It is later revealed that it is the 75th Annual Games, which means it is a Quarter Quell, which means there is a special twist. This year 24 previous victors are forced to compete again, because the President is angry that Katniss and Peeta cheated the system. Katniss is drawn from the lottery since she is the only female victor from District 12, and Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch’s spot when he is chosen.

Peeta and Katniss return to the games filled with even more twists and surprises than before. Katniss manages to find a way to end the games by shooting lighting into the force field around the arena.

As Katniss wakes up she learns that she is being taken to District 13, which is previously thought to not exist anymore. Everyone believed it had been taken out by the Capitol years before. She also learns that they were not able to get Peeta before the Capitol. Finally, Gale returns to tell Katniss that District 12 has been destroyed, but he managed to get her family out.

Now that you’re all caught up. Watch the trailer for Mockingjay: