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How Did Haymitch Abernathy Win The Hunger Games?

Immediately after Haymitch won the 50th Hunger Games for District 12 — becoming the second-ever victor from that impoverished district after Lucy Gray Baird, Rachel Zegler’s leading lady from “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” — he was punished for his manuever with the axe. Because Haymitch manipulated the force field and made the Capitol look foolish, officials killed his mother, brother, and girlfriend, leaving him alone and showing that the Capitol is not to be crossed.

From that point forward, Haymitch sank into a deep depression and developed a dependency on alcohol, mentoring all tributes from District 12 that came after him … all of whom died in the arena. Ultimately, though, he meets District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) during the 74th Hunger Games, which is where the story of the original books and films begins. Though Haymitch is certainly pessimistic about Katniss and Peeta’s chances at first, he soon discovers Katniss’ talents with a bow and arrow as well as Peeta’s brute strength and affinity for camouflage, and is clever enough to guide them through their first time in the Games. 

When Katniss and Peeta, like Haymitch before them, manipulate the Capitol by nearly taking their lives as the only two tributes left standing — forcing the Capitol to declare them both winners — they’re punished too and put right back into the arena for the Third Quarter Quell, wherein only former victors can be chosen to compete. From there, Katniss, Haymitch, and Peeta all join the resistance effort against the Capitol — so what happens to Haymitch next?

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