This post will contain spoilers. Be warned.

Spoiler space.

More spoiler space.

Enough spoiler space.

So, as I’ve said in my first two posts about the Hunger Games, I’m just not going to read the rest of the books. I can’t. I won’t. So I’m reading about what happens, and an interesting thread has developed. And I’m in an interesting spot to evaluate whether or not it makes sense to suggest the entire thing was a set up by the Rebellion against the Capitol.

Normally, when one first encounters the rebellion, one is much deeper into the series. But I’m not. I have the entire first book fresh in my mind, unadulterated. So what makes sense to be a rebel plant? I say, not much.

If we’re going to say the whole series is a rebel plot, we have to say with certainty that Katniss winning the games rebelliously was their plan. But I don’t see how that’s possible, not really.

How would they have set up Peeta and Katniss meeting? A boy getting a whipping from his mother to help a girl. A boy and girl stealing glances at each other, sparing thoughts, from then on.

And even then, Katniss was “just a girl.” She only became the expert archer, survivalist, and rebel sympathizer through her time out hunting, first with father and then with father figure Gale. And the rebel side only came up with Gale, whom she only met because her father was killed in an (all too common) mining accident. Did the hypothetical rebels kill her father, to get her to meet Gale, to make her their Mockingjay? Doubtful.

Killing Katniss’s father nearly killed Katniss. Her mother went into that deep depressive episode, after all. Katniss could easily have starved. Katniss could easily have stolen food and gotten killed. Hey, she could even have gotten killed by a mutt while trying to follow in her father’s footsteps, going out and hunting. The idea that the rebellion could have seen this through is absurd.

OK, how about her “charmed” life after? Did the rebellion suppress oppression in District 12? Did they ensure an environment where Katniss could get by? Plausible. But that takes us to the next point.

About the only thing we can say is that the rebellion would have rigged the reaping. But why would they have rigged the results there were? Why wouldn’t they have picked Gale and Katniss if they wanted Katniss? Gale and Katniss knew each other, trusted each other, hunted together, had gained that skill through the above hypothetical weakening of District 12 discipline, and would have been a great team. Instead, this hypothetical rebel spy picked Peeta and Prim. How could they have counted on Katniss volunteering? Nobody ever volunteered in District 12, after all. They weren’t even prepared for the protocol

Now, I grant you Cinna is freaking suspicious from his first appearance. He was clearly a plant of some sort. I would not be surprised if he, from the beginning, was to be part of a conspiracy of some sort. He requested District 12. He was clearly quite talented, for the low man on the totem pole at the Hunger Games. He went a long way towards winning Katniss and Peeta the sponsors they needed.

How about the events in the games themselves? The bow and arrow set seems convenient, but makes sense even with the games played straight. She was rated highly by the game makers. The weapon was put into the Cornucopia as a hook, and she was meant to get them, or die trying. No rigging would be needed after her stunt with the apple.

Sponsorships? Sure, but she hardly got any. [Edit: Ointment,] Stew, knockout drops. The bread was explained. She only got the blood medicine from the game makers, presumably at the same point in time her adversary got body armor that nearly neutralized her grand bow and arrow set. No, no hand of the rebellion there.

And how about her survival and victory? Not a chance. That was her father and Gale, her sister and her mother, and of course her own wits, skills, and will to live. That was Rue (what, are we saying she was in on it?) and that was Thresh (without whom the both Katniss and Peeta die).

Oh and the pin? The bird that was more Rue’s thing than her own, that Katniss only began to play up to honor the dead child? When Katniss didn’t nearly give it away, she nearly didn’t get it back and onto the field of play. What if she had given it to Rue? No way she’d have raided Rue’s body to get it back, not when it was one of Rue’s precious mockingjays. What then for the symbol of the rebellion? No, too much left to chance to be rigged.

I conclude that the consensus is right, and that the later books aren’t as good as the first, if they’re trying to create this powerful District 13, with a large web of agents, rigging everything to create Katniss Everdeen as the figurehead of the movement that would take down the Capitol.

It’s just a bridge too far to retcon.

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