The epilogue takes place twenty years after the events of the last chapter. Under the new government, headed by Paylor, the Hunger Games have been abolished. Katniss and Peeta have two young children: one boy and one girl. In school, they learn about their parents’ heroism.
It’s a relief to find that the Hunger Games have been abolished, and this suggests that the successors to Coriolanus Snow have been more humane presidents, in this aspect at least. It’s jarring to see Katniss as a middle-aged woman, but also refreshing, since we see that she has a good life with Peeta and no longer has to experience so much violence and suffering.
Katniss watches her children playing, and thinks, a little sadly, that they have no idea they’re playing in the same area where President Snow once ordered mass killings. Katniss still has nightmares about the events of the Hunger Games, and the deaths of her loved ones. To console herself, she spends time with Peeta, who is sympathetic and supportive, and privately she makes a list of every good act she’s witnessed. Making this list is a tiresome game for Katniss, but, she concludes, “there are much worse games to play.”
Katniss’s reaction to her children isn’t only one of sadness: she’s also somewhat jealous of them. It’s a beautiful thing, she thinks, to be ignorant of pain and trauma—to be a “blank slate,” much as Katniss herself was before she went off to the Hunger Games. Katniss ultimately lives a life based on a kind of weary compromise: she’ll never entirely escape her trauma and sadness, but she’s lucky to have friends and family who understand her trauma and help her deal with it as best she can—and she now has, at least, a sense of peace and hope for the future.