Katniss explains to a confused Peeta that Foxface had watched him gather the berries and stole them, not realizing they were poisonous. They decide to keep the rest of the nightlock berries in case they are able to fool Cato the same way. Since the cannon went off right near them, they figure that Cato will know their location and show up but instead of running they decide to cook their food and wait to see if he shows up. When he doesn’t show up, they decide to return to the cave for the night and Katniss strategizes about the best way to defeat Cato as she falls asleep. She suspects this will be their last night in the Games and that a showdown will happen in the morning.
When they wake, they find that the Gamemakers have drained the stream and the only available water is by the Cornucopia which will push the remaining tributes closer together. They arrive at the lake, but to their surprise Cato isn’t there. They drink their fill and while they wait Katniss sings Rue’s song to the mockingjays. They sing the song back to her until they are cut off when Cato smashes through the trees wearing body armor. Katniss hits him with an arrow which bounces off his armor and she is shocked when Cato runs directly past them. They look into the distance and see strange creatures approaching them fast.
With the death of Foxface, the readers are further shown how one tribute’s strategy can turn against them. Foxface stole from the other tributes and used her stealth and speed to survive but this turned deadly when she ingested the berries. The Gamemakers use the creatures to throw the tributes off and send them the message that they can never truly know what is going to happen next.
Katniss sees that the creatures chasing them are large wolf like creatures but they seem to be able to walk upright like humans. She recognizes them as hybrid animals created by the Capitol called muttations. The three tributes run to the Cornucopia and Cato and Katniss climb to the top. Peeta is slower due to his injured leg and Katniss fires arrows at the muttations to give him a chance to climb up.
Once they are on top of the Cornucopia they look closer at the muttations and with horror they realize that they have been genetically engineered from the dead tributes bodies. Once Cato has recovered from his chase, he grabs Peeta and begins strangling him from behind. Katniss realizes that they are at a stalemate because if she shoots Cato he will take Peeta over the side of the Cornucopia with him and they will both die. Peeta draws an X on Cato’s hand in his blood, signaling Katniss to shoot him there, which she does. Cato lets go of Peeta and Peeta shoves him to the ground where the muttations attack him in his body armor for a long time before dragging him off into the woods. The two of them wait, but no cannon announces Cato’s death and they can hear him moaning in pain but the Gamemakers won’t have the muttations kill him quickly. Katniss feels pity for him and concern for Peeta who is bleeding heavily from a gash in his leg. She ties a tourniquet, which she worries will make him lose his leg but may be the only chance to save his life. She makes Peeta stay awake during the night so he does not succumb to his injuries while they listen to Cato slowly dying. She finally climbs down the Cornucopia and shoots Cato with an arrow, killing him.
The cannon sounds and the muttations leave but to their surprise the Games don’t end. They move to the lake to clean up when they hear the announcer’s voice declaring that there is another change in the rules, and that only one tribute can win the games. Peeta draws his knife and says he isn’t surprised and Katniss takes aim at him with her bow. Peeta begs her to shoot him and win the Games but she realizes she can’t do it but also can’t let him kill himself. She realizes that the Gamemakers won’t allow them both to die, as they need a winner for every year of the Hunger Games.
She takes the poisonous berries from her pouch and they both take some in their hands. They decide to risk them both dying rather than have one kill the other. As they put the berries in their mouth, the announcer shouts at them to stop and announces them as the winners of the Seventy-fourth annual Hunger Games.
When Katniss kills Cato to end his suffering she shows how truly compassionate she can be. Often it is easy to be compassionate to someone who is kind, but Cato was deadly and had tried to kill Peeta earlier that day. Katniss also shows by her actions that she will not sit idly by and let someone suffer for the sake of the Capitol’s entertainment. Katniss and Peeta also show their compassion toward one another and also their feelings for one another when they decide to call The Gamemakers bluff and start to eat the poisonous berries. Although they are well aware of the consequences of defying the Capitol they cannot compromise their morality or their relationship to one another.