Before the boy can grab the spear, Katniss shoots the boy from District 1 and kills him. She frees Rue but realizes that there is nothing more she can do. Rue is dying from her wound. Rue tells Katniss that she has to win for them both and asks Katniss to sing to her. Katniss sings a lullaby to her until she dies, with the mockingjays surrounding them and singing the song as well. As Rue’s cannon fires, Katniss breaks down crying.
Filled with sadness and rage, Katniss gathers flowers and covers Rue’s body with them to show the Capitol that this girl was more than just a pawn or entertainment in their game. When she is done she shows Rue the three-finger gesture of respect used in District 12. Later that night, as she is wandering around aimlessly a gift of a loaf of bread from the people of District 11 arrives. She thinks of the starving people of Rue’s district and she thanks them aloud as she knows how much they must have sacrificed to send her this gift.
When she replays the day’s events, she realizes that the boy she killed from District 1 was the first person she has ever killed. She is thinking of what his family must think of her when she hears an announcement. The Gamemakers announce a change in the game’s rules. This year tributes from the same district will both be declared winners if they are the last two alive. Overjoyed, she calls out Peeta’s name realizing they can both survive.
Katniss performs her first intentional kill, for which she seems to feel little remorse for. She is consumed with anger over him killing Rue and afterward she mostly wonders what his family will think of her for committing this act. Katniss shows her first act of rebellion against the Capitol by covering Rue up with flowers and sending a gesture of respect to District 11. Fueled by her grief and anger, Katniss shows the audience that they are real people and not just a form of entertainment, which is sure to make the government unhappy, as they want their citizens happy and entertained by these games. Katniss also receives a gift from District 11, in thanks for taking care of Rue, which is the first time this sense of unity between the districts has existed. Katniss is so overcome with joy that she and Peeta can both survive that she forgets herself and calls out his name. This shows how much she must care for him, as Katniss is not the type to give over to emotions and possibly put herself in danger by calling out when she is supposed to be hidden.
Katniss realizes that the Gamemakers want to play up the whole star-crossed-lovers angle and she smiles so that the cameras will see how happy she is. She realizes how smart Peeta’s behaviour has been and how much of an advantage it has given them both. Before sleeping that night she mentally reviews the other tributes and decides that Cato and Clove, the female from his district, are going to be the biggest threats because they are the only other pair alive from the same district. As soon as the morning comes, Katniss sets off in search for Peeta. She guesses he will be by the stream since he needs water to survive. She hears him calling and rushes to where he is lying in the mud well camouflaged.
He is badly hurt and can barely move but Katniss does her best to clean him up and treat the infected wounds and tracker jacker stings using the technique that Rue showed her. She learns that Peeta has not received anything from the sponsors, which Peeta tells her is because Haymitch favors her because they are so much alike. Since Peeta can’t walk very far, Katniss finds them a cave to hide out. Peeta has a high fever and starts talking about not surviving which prompts Katniss to kiss him to keep him quiet. She tells him not to talk like that and they will make it out together. She steps outside and sees that Haymitch has sent a new gift of hot broth from the sponsors, sending the message to keep acting in love.
Reunited with Peeta, Katniss is rewarded by Haymitch and the sponsors when she shows affection towards Peeta. This shows how important the sponsors are to their well-being as the pot of broth helped Peeta survive the night. Katniss also furthers her understanding of how Haymitch thinks and how important it is to play the part of the smitten girlfriend.