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Finnick Odair Has A Tragic Secret Past Only Book Readers Know

Finnick Odair seems like a simple playboy at first, when he saunters up to Katniss shirtless and in traditional District 4 garb, and offers her a sugar cube with a devilish grin. After the two escape the arena during the Quarter Quell, though, Finnick becomes a different person … in that he becomes a shell of his former self. The Capitol is holding his true love, Annie Cresta (Stef Dawson), hostage. As Finnick loses hope, he and Katniss grow closer, a bond strengthened by the fact that Peeta is being held alongside Annie.

Eventually, he makes a startling confession to Katniss. In the third book, “Mockingjay,” Finnick and Katniss are working on propaganda films (or “propos”) they can use to infiltrate Capitol airwaves, and after Katniss speaks about her love for Peeta, Finnick sits down in front of the camera. Katniss doesn’t know what he’s going to say until Finnick begins speaking. “President Snow used to…sell me…my body, that is,” he tells the cameras. “I wasn’t the only one. If a victor is considered desirable, the president gives them as a reward or allows people to buy them for an exorbitant amount of money. If you refuse, he kills someone you love. So you do it.”

This is a striking moment for Katniss, who, in this moment, seems to fully realize why Finnick is so complicated. “That explains it, then,” she thinks to herself. “Secrets, I think. That’s what Finnick told me his lovers paid him in, only I thought the whole arrangement was by his choice.” Before he finishes, Katniss even feels like she should ask the cameras to stop so she can apologize — which, frankly, isn’t an impulse Katniss feels very frequently.

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