In the previous stage of the Heroine’s Journey, our heroine gathers her allies and support in order to conquer the main conflict in the climax. This leads to Stage Eight. In this stage, our heroine “has found her strength and resolve, and she goes after her goal with gusto.” She is going to face many obstacles in this stage of the story, but she is well equipped with weapons, knowledge, and allies she gathered throughout the course of the narrative. According to 45 Master Characters, “the hero has learned to set boundaries, take action, and listen to her own inner voice. She has reclaimed her identity and her weapons and realizes she is the creator of her own fear.”
In The Hunger Games, Katniss is faced with a new twist in the story: there can only be ONE victor. This is a reversal from the rule change earlier in the story when the Gamemakers announce that there can be two winners if they come from the same district. Now Katniss must kill Peeta if she is to survive. However, she knows that she cannot do it. She cannot play the Capitol’s game. So, she listens to her own instincts and embraces her role as the Mockingjay and ultimately defies the Capitol. She decides that both she and Peeta will eat poisonous berries, leaving the Capitol without a victor. Before she can Peeta can go through with it, the rules are hastily changed and both Katniss and Peeta are declared winners.
Katniss no longer feared the Capitol or death. If she was going to die, she was going to do it staking claim to her identity. She is no longer the young girl at the beginning of the novel who cared only about surviving. She is now willing to die for a greater cause. Katniss’ journey is almost complete. She just needs to complete one last Stage.
Until next time, kill your darlings, slay your dragons, and keep writing.