SPOILER ALERT : The character descriptions include a summary of a number of events in the Catching Fire book – read on at your own discretion.
Katniss Everdeen is back and facing new challenges. The first is that she needs to proove that she’s in love with Peeta and that her defiance of the Gamekeepers in The Hunger Games was down to mindless love. As retribution Katniss is forced to compete in the 75th Hunger Games. Her stylist Cinna puts her in a wedding dress for her famous pre-games interview, but he makes sure the dress “burns”, turning Katniss into a human mockingjay. Throughout Catching Fire, Katniss battles with her feelings for Peeta versus Gale. She stays undecided.
Peeta Mellark has now become Katniss’s fiancé. However the situation between Peeta and Katniss is now tense and Peeta is angry at Katniss for faking her affection for him. She’s confused about her feelings and is uncomfortable around Peeta. President Snow visits Katniss and tells her he knows she was faking the relationship she has with Peeta. She must now convince everyone in Panem that she really does love him. Peeta proposes to Katniss as part of the charade.
Katniss and Peeta think they are going to be the mentors for the Quarter Quell, but the new twist for the 75th Games is that the tributes will be chosen from the living victors. Katniss is chosen as the female tribute and Haymitch as the male from District 12. When Haymitch is chosen, Peeta volunteers to take his place. Before the games Peeta tells everyone that he and Katniss secretly got married as she is pregnant. During the Quell Peeta comes in contact with the force field around the Arena and his heart stops. Katniss, along with Finnick Odair, from District 4 manage to restart it by using CPR. The three soon band together with three other tributes: Beetee and Wiress from District 3, and Johanna Mason from District 7. Towards the end of the Quell the force field is destroyed. While Katniss, Finnick and Beettee are rescued by the rebels, Peeta is captured by the Capitol.
Gale Hawthorne -due to her situation with Peeta, Katnss must now pretend that she and Gale are cousins. This isn’t an easy situation for Gale who becomes increasingly upset about the apparent affection between Peeta and Katniss in the Hunger Games. In Catching Fire, Gale has turned 18 and now works in the mine. He can’t hunt with Katniss every day and she now lives next door to Peeta. Katniss starts to see Gale more of a love interest than her best friend, since they kissed in the woods. President Snow finds out and threatens to kill Gale if Katniss doesn’t make sure everyone believes that she’s madly in love with Peeta. Katniss comes to the realization that she can no longer be seen with Gale and thinks about running away with him (and their families). Gale ultimately says no to the plan as he doesn’t want to leave all of their friends in District 12 to the mercies of the Capitol. Gale is caught illegally hunting and is whipped as punishment. Katniss is then taken away for the Quarter Quell and doesn’t see Gale again until the very end of the story.
President Snow – The President of Panem. Katniss speaks to President Snow for the first time in Catching Fire. He’s described as having puffy lips, most likely from an appearance altering operation that is popular in the Capitol and Katniss says he smell like blood and roses. When President Snow comes to see Katniss at her home in District 12, he tells her that he’s angry that both she and Peeta were allowed to survive the Hunger Games. He tells her that their act of defiance has ignited rebellion in several of the Districts. He threatens her family and Gale unless she can prove to everyone that she acted out of love for Peeta.
Cinna – In Catching Fire, Cinna dresses Katniss in her wedding dress, as insisted by President Snow, for the interviews for the Quarter Quell. However he alters it so that when Katniss raises her arms at the interview, the dress burns away to be replaced with a black dress of feathers that resemble a mockingjay, which becomes the symbol of the resistance in Panem. Cinna pays the ultimate price for his act. He’s savagely beaten in front of Katniss, right before she enters the arena for the Quarter Quell. He is tortured to death after the Arena explodes.
Finnick Odair is the male tribute from District 4 who won the 65th Hunger Games at the age of 14. During those Games he was sent a trident, which might have been one of the most expensive gifts ever given in the Games. He excelled at using the trident as a weapon and with his skill for making nets, he would trap his opponents and then kill them.
He was also a mentor for the District 4 tributes during the 74th Hunger Games and took part in the 3rd Quarter Quell during which he was part of an alliance with Peeta, Katniss, Wiress, Beetee, Johanna Mason and his previous mentor, Mags. He’s described as being tall, muscular and athletic, with golden skin, bronze-colored hair, and seafoam green eyes. Katniss puts his success down to a combination of his physical skill and unprecedented popularity among the Capitol.
His one and only true love is Annie Cresta, the 70th Hunger Games victor who went insane when her partner tribute got beheaded in the Games.