Katniss gets stung a few times while taking the one tribute’s bow and arrow set but when Peeta arrives he gets her to run while he distracts the other tributes so they don’t kill her. Katniss passes out, and when she awakes she meets up again with Rue. She has a soft spot for Rue because she reminds her of her younger sister. They form a bond and Katniss protects her and shares food with her. They make a plan to take out the food supply of the Career Tributes by blowing up the landmines the Careers have rigged around their supplies while Rue distracts them by setting decoy fires in the woods.
When their plan works, Katniss goes to the meeting spot to find Rue trapped in a net. Before she can save her, a Career Tribute impales her with a spear. Katniss kills the other tribute with an arrow to the chest and sings to Rue as she dies. She honors her by sending a gesture of respect to District 11 and covers her body in flowers.
After Rue dies, there is an announcement stating that two tributes from the same district can be declared the winner. She yells out Peeta’s name in excitement and runs off to find him. Katniss eventually finds Peeta but he has been injured and is close to death. She helps him into a cave and kisses him. She shortly after finds a gift from Haymitch and she realizes that she needs to play up the romance angle to get more sponsor support. She continues to nurse him back to health and they get to know each other better. An announcement is made that there will be a feast containing an item that each tribute desperately needs at the Cornucopia.
Katniss knows that this will be medicine for Peeta’s leg which is badly infected. Peeta insists that she not risk her life for him but she knows that without this medicine that he will die. She receives sleep syrup from Haymitch and knocks Peeta out so she can sneak away. She gets the medicine and is saved from being attacked and killed by Thresh, the other District 11 tribute, who spares her because of her kindness to Rue.
Peeta and Katniss spend a few more days in the cave healing, hunting, and foraging. While out hunting and foraging, Peeta gathers a pile of poisonous berries that one of the tributes named Foxface steals and eats. Katniss meets up with him and warns him that the berries are poisonous when they realize that Foxface had taken them. They decide to keep the extra berries in case they can trick Cato. The next day the water supply is drained by the Gamemakers and they are forced to move to the centre of the arena to face off with Cato, the last remaining tribute. Before they can face off with him, they are all chased by genetically mutated wild dogs and they all end up on the top of the Cornucopia.
Cato attacks Peeta and Katniss shoots Cato off the statue where he falls into the pack of dogs and is eaten. As they start to celebrate the fact that they have won, the announcer lets them know that the rules have changed again and only one winner is allowed.
They both decide that they can’t kill each other, and they know that the Capitol needs a winner every year so they decide to take the rest of the poisonous berries together in an act of rebellion. Just as they start to take the berries the announcer tells them to stop and announces that they are both the winners of the Hunger Games.
They are returned to the Training Center, Haymitch warns them that they angered the Capitol and they are in danger. They have to work on convincing everyone that their actions were from desperation and love for each other rather than rebellion. They conduct their final interview and convince everyone of their romance and are sent home. On the way home, Katniss finds out that Peeta is truly in love with her, but he finds out that she has feelings for him but acted loving more out of a motivation to protect them. Peeta is hurt by this, but as they arrive at District 12 they put on a happy face for the cameras and hold hands as they step out into the crowd.