Haymitch Abernathy

Haymitch Abernathy

    The Hunger Games
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in District 12 of Panem. Panem is a futuristic nation set in the ruins of North America, while its District 12 is a poor mining section located in Appalachia.

Living… in Victor's Village in Panem. A former winner of Panem's Hunger Games, an annual government-orchestrated battle-to-the-death that pits 12 boys and 12 girls from all the Districts of Panem against each other, Haymitch gets to live in a secluded neighborhood set aside for winners of that horrific contest. In Haymitch’s mind, the relatively nice digs (by District 12’s standards) are not much of a consolation, never mind a reward.

Profession… trainer of all Hunger Games participants from District 12. As the only living Victor from District 12, Haymitch has to train its randomly drawn participants each year. It’s a job with a lot of downtime, which is both good and bad for him.

Interests… drinking. A lot. After returning from his Hunger Games, Haymitch became an isolated alcoholic. The horrors of the Games definitely took their toll on him.

Relationship Status… single, but it's definitely complicated by his close personal friendship with his bottle of whisky. During the Games he competed in, Haymitch used the arena’s force field to his advantage and ending up winning (barely, while holding his intestines). However, Panem's cruel and ruthless dictator felt this embarrassed the Capitol, and Haymitch’s mother, brother, and girlfriend were executed as a result. Which is a big reason why Haymitch drinks. A lot.

Challenge… trying to keep his two tributes alive during their days in the arena. Originally unimpressed with Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the two Tributes from District 12, Haymitch gains some actual hope that they can be contenders. He strategizes with them, and prepares them for what they can expect.

Personality… stubborn, temperamental, and frequently surly. He is often curt: “Here's some advice – stay alive.” But over the course of the Hunger Games, Haymitch becomes a true mentor to Katniss and Peeta. As a trainer, it's his job while in the Capitol to get sponsors for his Tributes. Sponsors provide much-needed weapons, medicine, and other supplies that are then flown into the arena. Haymitch (somewhat surprisingly) rises to the occasion on this front, but will it be enough to keep either Katniss or Peeta alive?


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