Can we just stop and talk about this for a minute?
Thresh doesn’t make an alliance. Thresh doesn’t waste time liking her. Thresh knows that either he must kill her or she must kill him for one of them to win.
But this is the only way he can repay her for protecting Rue when he couldn’t. It’s the only way he can repay her for honoring Rue when he couldn’t. He honors her by sparing her friend, the girl who would have died for her.
The revolution really doesn’t start with Katniss.
It starts with Rue.
SOMEBODY FINALLY SAID IT
This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make for years. Okay, so the revolution gets it’s kindling with Katniss. She volunteers, well that’s new, she rebels in the display of talents by shooting the apple. This triggers her perfect score, okay. These aren’t really “Revolutionary” though.
It’s not even revolutionary when Peeta professes his love, because, let’s face it, the rules of the game haven’t changed. They’re still just two kids who would have to KILL each other to win. Without a doubt, it would bring some interest to the games, so the Capitol makes propaganda about it. The “Star Crossed Lovers” in a game of life and death.
But what changes the game is Rue. Right away from her introduction in the books we know Rue is going to be somewhat of a big deal. She was compared to the most important character to Katniss, Prim, so that’s a huge indicator. She’s small, young, she’s what Prim would have been.
So Katniss instantly feels a subconscious pull toward her.
When they meet in the trees, Katniss could have killed Rue easily, and Rue probably could have pulled a sneak attack or alerted the Careers of Katniss’s presence. Instead, Rue points out the Tracker Jacker nest.
Then it escalates, Rue and Katniss become an odd team, they’re an alliance, which is never new in the Hunger Games, as forming teams and then betraying them at the end seems to be a common, but there’s is different. It’s close, it’s sisterly, protective.
And then Rue get’s impaled. Katniss kills her first tribute with ease after that. Comparing it to hunting game. Katniss holds Rue, she cries, and then she sings. She sings for Rue a song of promised safety and warmth, something completely absent in the arena.
And this is where the metaphorical canon fires. Katniss could have left Rue, the hovercraft would have been along to pick her up, but she can’t. She’s morally obligated to love this girl as much as possible. And this is where the revolution starts.
She honors the dead. She honors a dead tribute from a district she’d never seen, a person she’d known for only a short period of time. But she throws away Hunger Games norms. She rejects them completely.
In the Hunger Games you’re supposed to kill mercilessly and leave the victims for the plain box they’re shipped home in.
Katniss gives Rue a funeral in the Games, she decorates the body, she makes it look like Rue is sleeping. Like no harm had come. Katniss just ignited the coals that Rue had placed.
Rue’s District sends a parachute. Homemade bread.
Then Thresh kills Clove and distracts Cato by taking his bag.
The fire is going now, and the actions in Catching Fire are even more obvious.
The Speech for Rue. Peeta’s painting. Everything eludes back to this one little girl who became Katniss’s family.
So the revolution never started with Katniss, she was just the tinder for Rue’s ignition.
Rue was the real Mockingjay.
Rue is omnipresent in the books and movies, and I absolutely love it.