Breaking Down the ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Epilogue: Happy or Sad?

Katniss & Peeta, Hunger Games EpilogueLionsgate

Warning: This post is devoted to the very end of The Hunger Games book series. As such, major spoilers follow.

For all of you Hunger Games book fans out there, you will probably agree that the  Mockingjay epilogue could possibly be classified as the most melancholic page in the history of the written word. Maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but don’t lie, you too felt a little despondent after reading that ending. Sure, it was, on the surface, vaguely happy. But, underneath, there was a few major problems within that quick look into the future of Katniss and Peeta. 

Throughout The Hunger Games series, Katniss is the type of fiery character that we all root for (and buy full priced hardcover books for). However, the series ending seems to completely contradict everything about this character that we have come to love. The major problem? It doesn’t sound anything like Katniss. 

In the epilogue, Katniss explains that she and Peeta have gotten together, but it took them 15 years to have children. And, the reason for having them at all? Because “Peeta wanted them so badly.” Um, what about you Katniss? Did you want these kids? It seems that the simple answer is no. She of course says there was joy in holding her children, but there was also a terror associated with having these kids (a boy and a girl, incase you’re wondering). While we readers can understand that Katniss may have been hesitant to have kids if the games were still happening, the idea of her fear seems to ring a little hollow now.

Wasn’t this whole series based on the war to end the games? Guess what Katniss, you won! There are no more games, so go ahead, have 20 kids if you want, there is no reason not to. While, yes, of course there is a fear that the Capitol could somehow be recreated, the chances of that happening seem slim to none, so stop letting an unrealistic fear cloud the happily ever after you fought so hard for.

But if the problem is you just don’t actually want kids, then speak up and say so. Because, let’s be honest, the Katniss we know and love would never just shut up and just have kids because that’s the “normal” thing to do.

Another issue? Katniss seems severely depressed. Not the “I’m fighting a war, so I’m sad, but I can find a way to be strong!” kind of depressed, but more a middle-aged and deep-seated “I don’t like being a mom, I lost my sister and best friend, I have PTSD, and my once exciting (terrifying) life has now become boring and tedious” type of depressed. This seems really unfortunate because Katniss is supposed to be the hero of this series, and, as the fierce leader of the rebellion, it seem innately sad that she ended up this way.

In my Hunger Games fantasy ending, I would want to see Katniss run Panem, or doling out punishments to the people who ruined her family, her childhood, and apparently, her psyche. I would also want her to help create a new government that is fair and just, as well as having time to hunt, relax, and spend time with Peeta. But, alas, we are left with the epilogue Katniss, a once great hero now living a secluded, ordinary and seemingly unhappy life. 

Maybe this hypothetical is a bit of a reach, but there must be some compromise: something that doesn’t seem too far a leap for the bleak Hunger Games series but that still leaves Katniss as the same brave, independent, strong hero that we know and care about. 

What do you guys think? Is the epilogue a fitting end to this series, or did it leave you feeling sort of sad? Sound off on the comments below!

And, if you haven’t read the ending, here’s a fan made video where she reads the epilogue while also creating a visual tribute to the series. Check it out below.