After finishing Mockingjay I felt an extreme amount of disappointment, not only was the series a great story, but it is one of the most hyped up YA books out there. Both, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were filled with such an original plot that I could excuse the childish writing. However, when it comes to Mockingjay, the plot was just as bad as the writing. The final chapters had me wanting to throw the book against a wall – and trust me, I do not take kindly to violence against books, so you can understand the sheer frustration I must’ve experienced. The epilogue was so unrealistic and, well, way too happy for my liking. I couldn’t help but sit there and think of alternative endings that were much more symbolic, and in the end I decided to write one. In my opinion this ending holds much more power as it circles back to the first arena and also demonstrates the differences in her relationship with Peeta and Gale. For example, she cannot trust Gale to kill her and she cannot kill him, but with Peeta, they have had almost parallel experiences, both of which weigh on them heavily. These experiences have forged a bond so strong between them, that when it comes down to it, they can rely on each other to do what needs to be done. Controversially though, I do not believe they are in love. In the weak ending that collins wrote I didn’t find the true love that she tried to portray, instead I found two emotionally drained people that resigned themselves to each other out of default. Just think about it, Gale has left, they’re practically the only people in district 12, they didn’t exactly have a load of people to choose from. Katniss and Peeta only “choose” each other because they are both desperate for any resemblance of comfort.
Anyway here is my re-written ending, which picks up from chapter 27:
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. I am alive but I am not living. I merely exist. I am here in district 12, but I am not here at all, I’m lost in a world of torture and death. I have no one. All those I love are either dead or the people they used to be have vanished. Apart from Haymitch. But he’s probably passed out drunk somewhere. I should be happy, the rebellion has won, we are finally free from the capitols reign. But I will never be free, I am a slave to my mind and this hell inside of me that I cannot escape.
My head snaps around at a hiss, but it takes awhile for me to believe he’s real and not just another hallucination. I take in the claw marks from some wild animal, the back paw he holds slightly above the ground, the prominent bones in his face. He’s come on foot, then, all the way from 13. Maybe they kicked him out or maybe he just couldn’t stand it there without her, so he came looking. “It was the waste of a trip. She’s not here,” I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. “She’s not here. You can hiss all you like. You won’t find Prim.” At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. “Get out!” He dodges the pillow I throw at him. “Go away! There’s nothing left for you here!” I start to shake, furious with him. “She’s not coming back! She’s never ever coming back!”. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. “She’s dead.” I sink down on my heels, rocking the pillow, crying. “She’s dead, you stupid cat. She’s dead.” A new sound, part crying, part singing, comes out of my body, giving voice to my despair. Buttercup begins to wail as well. No matter what I do, he won’t go. He circles me, just out of reach, as wave after wave of sobs racks my body, until eventually I fall unconscious. But he must understand. He must know that the unthinkable has happened. Because hours later, when I wake up thrashing from the terrors that stalk my dreams, he’s there in the moonlight. Crouched beside me, yellow eyes alert, guarding me from the night.
Buttercup doesn’t ever return, that night a rare occurrence forged by our mutual despair. For Prim’s sake I try and make a conscious effort to hope that he survives but my mind cannot stay in one place for long, before it returns to the emptiness inside of me.
No one visits except from Greasy Sae and her granddaughter who come twice everyday to make sure I eat, slowly they try to bring me back to reality. But I don’t want to return, I want to stay lost forever, because I know the truth of my reality will hit me like a brick, it will submerge me into an ocean of my own bitter tears and I will drown and drown in a sea of sorrow. I cannot go back, I won’t go back.
Eventually they give up and leave me to my dull daze. Sometimes the phone rings and rings and rings, but I don’t pick it up. I don’t sleep, too scared to relive the horrors I’ve endured, afraid that every time I close my eyes I will see another corpse. I live in this state of constant numbness for weeks, months even. Maybe it has only been a few hours, maybe I’m going insane, maybe my mind has been hijacked like Peeta’s and I no longer know what is real or not real. Except that I know when Peeta unexpectedly turns up at my door that it’s real. The only other thing I know for certain is that he too is lost. A hollow shell of who he used to be. Peeta doesn’t say anything, just walks through the door, turns around and looks at me, his eyes clouded in intensity. And then he holds out is hand. My chaotic mind is so detached from me that it takes a while to realise Peeta’s intentions. And yet I do not hesitate to grab a handful. Immediately a wave of calm rolls over me; a sensation I haven’t felt in years. Slowly I emerge from the depths of the ocean, the pitch black around me replaced by the light shining down onto the water as I find solace in the fact that my death shall be of my own doing, on my own terms.
I am done being a pawn in someone else’s game.
A voice speaks, it must be mine because Peeta’s lips don’t move. Barely a whisper, I hear the broken voice “on the count of three, one, two…”
And we both swallow the berries.
Peeta’s lips barely form the question “real or not real?” before my lips find his and we desperately cling to each other.
Until, bodies intertwined, we collapse onto the floor.