Catching Fire

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District 12’s middle-aged, alcoholic, lazy former champion in the Hunger Games, Haymitch is an enigmatic presence in Catching Fire. While he struggles with alcoholism and acts childishly to Katniss at many points, Katniss is forced to acknowledge his prowess as an athlete and a tactician—the qualities that led him to win the Hunger Games years ago. Furthermore, she gains respect for him for maintaining an ascetic, lonely lifestyle, thereby saving any loved ones from government intimidation and surveillance. Ultimately, Katniss learns that Haymitch is a rebel leader, maintaining a studied veneer of indifference and sloth to hide his true investment in defeating President Coriolanus Snow.

Haymitch Abernathy Quotes in Catching Fire

The Catching Fire quotes below are all either spoken by Haymitch Abernathy or refer to Haymitch Abernathy . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scholastic Press edition of Catching Fire published in 2013.
Chapter 4 Quotes

I think of Haymitch, unmarried, no family, blotting out the world with drink. He could have had his choice of any woman in the district. And he chose solitude.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Haymitch Abernathy
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss's mentor and model is Haymitch Abernathy, a former Hunger Games champion enlisted to prepare Katniss for the tournament. For most of the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Haymitch is portrayed as a figure of ridicule: a lazy, drunken complainer who's been resting on his laurels ever since winning the Hunger Games years before. But in this section of Catching Fire, Katniss begins to see Haymitch in different terms. Suddenly, Haymitch's sullenness and drunkenness become tragic and even impressive, rather than ridiculous.

In part, Katniss has changed her attitude toward Haymitch because of her own experiences in the Hunger Games. Unlike most champions, Katniss finds it impossible to rejoice in her own success: she's too naturally sympathetic to celebrate murder and bloodshed. Surrounded by the glitz and sleaze of the Victory Tour, Katniss looks to Haymitch as a kindred spirit: someone who won the Hunger Games but never enjoyed them for a second. Furthermore, Katniss is beginning to see that Haymitch's sullenness and drunkenness are noble and even rebellious. Haymitch knew that the President of the Capitol would try to pressure him into obeying the government by threatening his family, so Haymitch chose not to have a family at all rather than put innocent people in danger. By largely refusing to participate in the pomp of the Hunger Games and the Victory Tour, Haymitch is also refusing to empower the government any further: without Haymitch, Snow has one less way of controlling his people.

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Chapter 13 Quotes

I’m glad I won only last year. Otherwise I’d know all the other victors, not just because I see them on television but because they’re guests at every Games. Even if they’re not mentoring like Haymitch always has to, most return to the Capitol each year for the event. I think a lot of them are friends. Whereas the only friend I’ll have to worry about killing will be either Peeta or Haymitch.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Haymitch Abernathy
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

Katniss has been summoned to the Capitol to compete in another edition of the Hunger Games. When she arrives, she's intimidated but also strangely relieved: because of her youth, she hasn't made any lasting friendships with the other competitors. Unlike the other competitors, then, she'll have less guilt about killing her opponents (with the obvious exceptions of Haymitch and Peeta). Katniss's observation is also oddly characteristic of her personality, because it's both callous and compassionate. On one hand, the quote suggests that Katniss will have no problem killing dozens of people, simply because she's never met them before. On the other, the quote suggests that Katniss is thinking about guilt and loss, and that she has compassion for some people (such as Peeta) and empathy for others (who must struggle to kill their friends). In general, then, the quote illustrates the two sides of Katniss's complex personality: her brutality and her compassion.

Chapter 19 Quotes

All right, maybe killing Finnick would be a little premature. He’s been helpful so far. He does have Haymitch’s stamp of approval. And who knows what the night will hold?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Haymitch Abernathy , Finnick Odair
Page Number: 278
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quotation, written as Katniss's stream-of-consciousness, we see Katniss trying to decide whether or not to kill one of her fellow competitors in the Hunger Games. Finnick Odair is a famously devious and unpredictable competitor whom Katniss immediately distrusts, and yet he's also remarkably brave—and most important, he saves Peeta's life, seemingly proving his loyalty to Katniss and Peeta. Katniss ultimately chooses not to kill Finnick because of this. And yet the mere fact that she's seriously considering doing so speaks miles about her character during the Hunger Games. Katniss may be the protagonist of these novels, but she's also ruthless and willing to kill to protect the people she loves. Even if she's less ruthless and less willing to kill than some of her competitors, she's still very dangerous, and has been turned callous by the horrible situations she's forced to survive.


Chapter 27 Quotes

But will Peeta know that or will he keep fighting? He’s so strong and such a good liar. Does he think he has a chance of surviving? Does he even care if he does? He wasn’t planning on it, anyway. He had already signed off on life. Maybe, if he knows I was rescued, he’s even happy. Feels he fulfilled his mission to keep me alive. I think I hate him even more than I do Haymitch.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark , Haymitch Abernathy
Page Number: 387
Explanation and Analysis:

In the final pages of Catching Fire, Katniss is rescued by a group of rebels including Haymitch, Plutarch Heavensbee, and others. Peeta, on the other hand, is kidnapped by the government of Panem and placed in captivity as a warning to Katniss, now perceived (correctly) as an enemy of the government. In simplest terms, Katniss was trying to save Peeta's life by sacrificing her own, only to find that Peeta's life has been placed in danger because of her own rebellious escape (and furthermore, he was trying to sacrifice his life to save hers).

As Katniss realizes, she's become increasingly emotionally reliant on other people since winning the Hunger Games last year. Traumatized by the violence she witnessed, she's relied on Peeta (one of the few people who understands what she's going through) for love and understanding. The advantage of emotional dependence is that in Peeta, Katniss has a good friend: someone who can empathize with her and lessen her pain. But the challenge of emotional dependence, of course, is that when Katniss loses Peeta to the government, she feels more pain than she ever thought was possible: her connection with Peeta is now a horrible burden. In the depths of her misery, Katniss even says that she hates Peeta—a clear sign that she resents the bond of guilt and fear that now links her to him.

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Haymitch Abernathy Character Timeline in Catching Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Haymitch Abernathy appears in Catching Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...to sell, but she buys liquor, bread, coffee, and other foodstuffs. The liquor is for Haymitch, the man who mentored Katniss and Peeta, the two co-winners of the Games. Their victory... (full context)
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...has a huge house in the Village, which she shares with her mother and sister. Haymitch and Peeta have similarly massive houses. Katniss walks into Haymitch’s house, which is luxurious but... (full context)
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As Katniss and Haymitch bicker, Peeta walks into the room. He has been baking bread in Haymitch’s house—Katniss notes... (full context)
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Katniss leaves Haymitch’s house and walks to her own. There, her mother is waiting for her. She tells... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...ask him to pretend to be in love with her. Finally, Katniss could talk to Haymitch, her mentor. The problem is that he might not understand, or care, about Katniss’s problem. (full context)
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...This year is the 75th year of the Hunger Games. Venia and Octavia mention that Haymitch may be required to compete in challenges, since he won the Games years ago. Katniss... (full context)
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...train station, where they’re ready to leave District 12, along with their stylists, Effie, and Haymitch. Once they’re on the train, Katniss insists that she has to talk to Haymitch immediately.... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Haymitch and Katniss walk back inside the train, which finishes refueling and moves on. Katniss goes... (full context)
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...she can’t enjoy her food because she’s concerned for her family. She also notices that Haymitch and Cinna aren’t present at the dinner. Effie explains that Haymitch is probably drunk and... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...a small room in the Justice Building, from which they’ve just come. There, they find Haymitch, Effie, and Cinna. Effie frantically asks what’s going on—Peeta replies, a little too calmly, that... (full context)
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Haymitch shouts that everyone needs to follow him. Wordlessly, he walks up a staircase in the... (full context)
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Haymitch leads Peeta and Katniss up a ladder, which leads to the dome at the top... (full context)
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...executed, a suggestion that Katniss can’t disagree with. Peeta is also angry, he says, that Haymitch gave Katniss help during the Hunger Games, but never aided him until Katniss had allied... (full context)
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Katniss, still standing in the dome with Haymitch, asks him about favoritism. Haymitch tells her that he always preferred Peeta to her, but... (full context)
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...exactly what they want. Peeta agrees immediately, but then leaves the room. When Katniss tells Haymitch about her proposal, Haymitch tells her that Peeta had wanted to marry Katniss, but not... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...Snow. She imagines leaving District 12 and going into the wilderness with Peeta, her family, Haymitch, and Gale and his family. (full context)
Chapter 7
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...with them. She also adds that she’ll try to bring her own family, along with Haymitch and Peeta—but the mention of Peeta angers Gale. Katniss insists that they must all leave... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Before Katniss can say anything further, a voice calls out, “Hold it!” It is Haymitch, walking through the crowd. Katniss notices Darius lying on the ground, and wonders if he... (full context)
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Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch untie Gale from his whipping post. He is unconscious from the pain. They carry Gale... (full context)
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...horrible injuries—it is only at these times, she thinks, that her mother truly comes alive. Haymitch notes that in the old days, when whippings were more common, everyone went to Katniss’s... (full context)
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...mother refuses. Katniss tries to find the stronger painkillers, and her mother tells Peeta and Haymitch to drag her from the room, which they do. (full context)
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Peeta and Haymitch drag Katniss to another room of her house, where they stay with her. Peeta tells... (full context)
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...Katniss’s face. She gives Katniss herbs and other simple treatments. As she works, she asks Haymitch if “it’s starting again,” in reference to the whippings. Then there’s a sudden knock at... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...12, so that they can find Hazelle and tell her about Gale. Katniss also convinces Haymitch to join them, though he is reluctant. Haymitch asks her what her “plan” is, and... (full context)
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Katniss walks to the square with Haymitch and Peeta. When they arrive, she notices that the area has been transformed in the... (full context)
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...after he sees the state of District 12. One positive development is that Katniss convinces Haymitch to hire Hazelle as a maid. This gives Hazelle much-needed food, and also greatly improves... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The next day, Katniss tells Haymitch about the possibility of an uprising in Districts 8 and 4, and suggests that there’s... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...from future competitions. Now, she faces the possibility of competing against her friends, Peeta and Haymitch. (full context)
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Katniss tries to calm herself. She walks to Haymitch’s house in Victor’s Village, where she’s unsurprised to find him drunk. Haymitch thinks that Katniss... (full context)
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Haymitch and Katniss drink together. Katniss accuses Haymitch of hating his life, and Haymitch agrees. He... (full context)
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Katniss walks downstairs, where she finds Peeta and Haymitch waiting for her. Peeta announces that he’s poured out all of Haymitch’s alcohol, and made... (full context)
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For the following days, Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch prepare for the Hunger Games. They watch old footage of the victors, and Haymitch gives... (full context)
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...process is quick: the district assembles outside the Justice Building, Effie reads Katniss’s name, followed Haymitch’s, and Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch’s place. Afterwards, Peeta and Katniss are marched into a... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Katniss and Peeta eat dinner with Haymitch and Effie in the train. Effie mentions that she’ll be wearing dresses to match Katniss’s... (full context)
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...can’t stop thinking about her competitors in the upcoming Games. She goes to talk to Haymitch, thinking that he must be awake, too. In the compartment next to hers, she finds... (full context)
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...her own mother as a young woman—Katniss thinks that she’s very beautiful. In the clip, Haymitch’s name is called, along with that of a teenager named Maysilee, who, Katniss recognizes, was... (full context)
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The clips of the Games continue. In one, Haymitch is about to participate in his second Hunger Games, as a part of the second... (full context)
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Peeta and Katniss watch as the Games in their clip draw to a close. Haymitch and Maysilee break off their alliance, recognizing that it’s better to part ways in peace... (full context)
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Katniss notes, admiringly, that Haymitch managed to win his second Games without actually murdering his final opponent. This action undoubtedly... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...Katniss return to the Training Center, where Cinna is waiting for them. Katniss notices that Haymitch is talking with Chaff, one of his oldest friends, and a fellow victor. Katniss has... (full context)
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...way. At their floor, Peeta and Katniss get off the elevator to find Effie and Haymitch waiting for them. Effie explains that they have two “Avoxes,” or assistants, for the length... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...She and Peeta must be at the Training Center by 10 AM. Before they leave, Haymitch advises them to make friends with the other competitors, as they’re going to need allies.... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...the Gamemakers’ room and sent to her room, as the other tributes have been. There, Haymitch, Effie, and Peeta are waiting. Peeta explains, a little reluctantly, that he painted a picture... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Peeta and Katniss return to their room, where Haymitch is waiting for them. He explains that the Games are in a state of chaos:... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...grins and tells Katniss that they’re allies. He shows her a gold bangle—the same bangle Haymitch was wearing the day Katniss arrived at the Training Center. Katniss realizes that Haymitch must... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...skin in her sleep. She goes to wash in the salt water, and mutters to Haymitch, who’s watching the footage, that they could use some skin care. Almost too quickly, a... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Peeta talks with Katniss about Haymitch and the inevitable end of the Games. Haymitch has promised both of them that he’ll... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Just as Katniss is about to shoot Enobaria, she remembers Haymitch’s words—“remember who the real enemy is.” It’s clear to Katniss, as she thinks this, that... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...mysterious building where she’s being kept. She finds Plutarch, who is talking to Finnick and Haymitch. She’s even more confused when Plutarch kindly tells her to sit down and drink a... (full context)
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Haymitch tells Katniss that there has been a plan to break the victors out of the... (full context)
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Haymitch continues to explain the details of his plan to Katniss. Neither Peeta nor Katniss was... (full context)
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Haymitch then tells Katniss that the Capitol has kidnapped Peeta, Johanna, and Enobaria. Katniss is furious... (full context)