Template:Quote Template:Character Rue was the female tribute from District 11 who was selected to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games. She is described as being small and easily underestimated by other competitors. Rue died in the 74th Hunger Games at the age of 12 when Marvel thrust a spear in her stomach. She had formed an alliance with Katniss Everdeen after warning her about a nest of tracker jackers. Rue decided to trust Katniss only because of the pin she wore over her heart, the famous mockingjay pin. As a memorial of Rue's death, Katniss covered her in daisies, indicating to the Capitol that Rue was not just a piece in their games.


Rue and Thresh are described in the book as having dark skin and brown hair. Rue worked with great effort in the orchards in District 11. She would always work from sunrise to sunset, alongside the other citizens of her district. Rue was the oldest child in her family. Despite her size, she was able to jump from tree to tree in the orchards. Her considerable agility and skill at traveling through the tree tops are probably the reason she earned a good score after the private training sessions preceding the 74th Hunger Games (later, Katniss thinks her score was much too low). This ability, and her small stature, made her able to climb the tallest trees in District 11, allowing her to see the flag signaling quitting time first and sing her four note song when work was over. This tune was picked up by the mockingjays in the area, which spread the message through the orchards, letting the others know that the working day was over. Rue claimed that these mockingjays were her special friends.

74th Hunger GamesEdit

Rue was chosen during the reaping at the age of 12 for the 74th Hunger Games along with Thresh, District 11's male tribute. When Rue was chosen her district escort asked if anyone would like to volunteer for Rue's place but the district answered with silence. Katniss was deeply disturbed by this, as she is the same age and size as Prim. She managed to get a seven out of twelve in her private session with the Gamemakers. It is likely she showed them her skill to move about along treetops swiftly and unnoticed, although this belief was never confirmed.

During her interview with Ceaser Flickerman, she told him not to count her out because she's fast, and if they can't catch her, they can't kill her. Ceasar replies by saying he wouldn't count her out in a million years. He then concludes Rue's interview.

In the arena, Rue managed to stay alive by staying off the ground, much like Katniss did. She used her extensive knowledge of plants to collect food. She also got a backpack and a slingshot at the Cornucopia in the beginning of the Games. She had a sharp shard of rock she uses as a knife. Her pack contained a small water skin and an extra pair of socks she uses to keep her hands warm during the cold nights. Her stalking of Katniss in the training center continued in the arena. It is implied that she had followed Katniss even before the tracker jacker incident.

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After this, Rue continues to follow Katniss. While Katniss is attempting to make a fire, she hears a branch crack and she knows it's Rue because she sees her boots sticking around the tree. She tells Rue the careers aren't the only ones who can make an alliance. Rue comes out from behind the tree and says she can heal Katniss' tracker jacker wounds with leaves. Katniss is relieved by her wounds being fixed and offers Rue treatment for her burns. Rue says longingly Katniss has good sponsors, for that is where she got the burn balm, and Katniss asks her if she had gotten anything yet, to which Rue replies no. Katniss tells Rue not to worry because the more she advances in the Games the more sponsors will recognise her for her survival skills. Katniss offers her a groosling leg which surprises Rue, who has never had a whole leg to herself. Katniss and Rue talk about their life in their districts. After the conversation, Rue explains to Katniss about the career's camp and the strategy they have for protecting food and supplies. This gives Katniss the idea of evening the playing field between them and the careers by destroying their supplies.

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Rue says she trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss was wearing a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help Katniss with her plan to destroy the career alliance's food. Katniss devises a plan with Rue; Rue must act as a decoy and light up three fires to distract the careers away from the camp site, while she destroys the food somehow. Rue manages to light the first fire, but soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who stabbed her through the stomach with his spear just before Katniss reached her. After Katniss killed Marvel, Rue's dying wish was for Katniss to sing to her. Katniss honored her wish and sang until she died. Furious with the Capitol for allowing an innocent child to die, Katniss covers Rue's body with brightly colored flowers. Before she leaves, she makes District 12's gesture of farewell to Rue.


Rue's main tactic in the Games was to stay off the ground. Her ability to move swiftly and silently through the trees allowed her to stalk the other tributes and gain information on them without being noticed. Since most of the tributes can't climb trees, they would have extreme difficulty in killing her, which gave Rue a massive advantage.

Rue wasn't able to hunt, but this wasn't a problem, as she used her wide knowledge of plants and berries to find food. She also didn't need as much food as the careers, as she was used to poverty.


Rue reminded Katniss Everdeen of her sister, Primrose. Like Prim, Rue sometimes stood on her toes with her arms slightly extended. Katniss describes her as "birdlike" and after the Games can barely look at Prim without noticing Rue in her and being reminded of her death. Small, quick, intelligent, and young, the two had many similarities, which led Katniss to make Rue her ally. Katniss has remarked that Rue is very observant. Quite soon after Katniss asked Rue for an alliance, Rue agreed, saying she had already made the decision to trust Katniss because of her mockingjay pin.

The two worked together to survive, and learned much about each other and their districts. They shared stories together and became close, although their alliance was short lived. Like Katniss, Rue was able to find edible and medicinal plants in the arena. Among the edible plants she found were some berries and roots. She was also able to pick out the leaves of a plant that could help extract tracker jacker venom out of Katniss' wounds. When it came time to eat, Rue was shy in taking such a large quantity in food, saying that she had never had a whole leg of groosling to herself. However, Katniss insisted that she take it, feeling pity for the younger girl.

The first and only night that the two spent together, Rue was surprised by the sleeping bag that Katniss had gotten in the beginning of the Games. When Katniss asked how she had kept warm every night, she said that she would pull out her extra socks and put them on her hands. Rue examined the contents of Katniss's pack and explained what some of the things were. Rue told Katniss about the night vision glasses that Katniss had gotten, which Katniss mistook for sunglasses at first, and how important the glasses were in Rue's District. Rue was very comfortable with Katniss, which was indicated by the fact that she immediately snuggled up close to her in the sleeping bag. When Rue told Katniss about the mockingjays in her district, Katniss offered her the gold mockingjay pin that Madge had given her, but Rue told her to keep it because it was how she knew that she could trust Katniss.

Katniss and Rue knew that the Careers needed to be eliminated, and the only way they could possibly make that happen was to take away their ample food and other supplies. At first, the feat seemed nearly impossible, but Katniss and Rue concocted a plan with the intention of destroying or even stealing the supplies. Rue, being the smaller of the two, was in charge of setting three fires in various areas in the forest. This would distract the Careers and get them moving as Katniss would try to figure out a way to get their precious supplies. Katniss and Rue decided to communicate by fires and the mockingjays. Rue would sing her four-note melody to let Katniss know that all was going well. The four-note melody was also the tune that Rue sang to the mockingjays in District 11 to signal the end of the work day; because she worked so high in the trees, she was the first of the workers in the orchard to know when it was time to go home.


Rue died soon after Katniss' successful attempt to destroy the Careers' stash of supplies, while she was creating her diversion. After lighting the first two fires, she stumbled upon a net on her way to start the third and final fire. After following the sound of the mockingjays, Katniss found Rue. But the moment she heard her name escape Rue's lips, Marvel speared Rue in the abdomen, earning him an arrow through the neck, as Katniss tried in vain to save her.

Katniss rushed over to Rue and cut her out of the net and put Rue's head on her lap. Katniss held Rue's hand as a lifeline as if it were she who were dying and Rue holding her. Rue asked if she blew up the food and Katniss confirmed that she destroyed everything. Rue pleaded for Katniss to win and Katniss promised she'd win for the both of them. When Marvel's cannon fired, Rue told Katniss to stay with her and Katniss lingered right by her side. As a last wish, Rue asked Katniss to sing to her, and Katniss sang a lullaby until Rue's eyes fluttered shut and she died. The mockingjays soon picked up Rue's Lullaby and sang it through the entire arena.

To show the Capitol that Rue was more than a piece in the Games, Katniss covered her corpse in brightly colored flowers she found nearby to cover up her wounds. As a final goodbye, Katniss gave her the same farewell salute that the entire District 12 gave Katniss when she left for the Games, placing the three middle fingers of the left hand to her lips, then lifting her arm out toward Rue. The gesture was often used by the residents of District 12 at funerals, signifying respect and admiration. District 11 then sends Katniss a loaf of bread as a gift of appreciation. This would end up leaving a lot of people in District 11 going hungry that night and was against the law but they felt they owed Katniss something.

At the end of The Hunger Games, it was mentioned by Katniss that when the Capitol showed Katniss and Peeta the video of the 74th Hunger Games, they did not show the part where Katniss puts the flowers on her body.

In Catching Fire, when Katniss and Peeta are on their victory tour, she thanks Rue for everything she has done for her. Katniss says that she feels Rue is still with her and that everything beautiful brings Rue to mind. Katniss then thanks District 11 for their tributes, Rue and Thresh. Katniss tells Thresh's family that she admired him for being solitary, and even when the Career tributes wanted him, he turned them down. This made them smile. Later, when asked by the Gamemakers to show his skill for the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta painted Rue on the floor, earning a 12 from the Gamemakers. Later, Katniss describes to Peeta her only "good" dream since the Games, explaining how she followed Rue as a mockingjay, singing and "talking". Peeta asks where Rue was taking her, to which Katniss replies, "they never arrived, but they felt happy".

In Mockingjay, Katniss compiled a book about all the people who died because of the Hunger Games, including Rue. A memorial was built for her.

Physical descriptionEdit


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Being the youngest of the tributes at the age of 12, Rue was naturally the smallest - but this still gave her a heavy advantage for being light on her feet and agile. Suzanne Collins has stated that Rue is African-American,[1] with thick dark hair, dark satiny brown skin and "golden eyes". She always stood leaning forward, on her toes, with both arms slightly extended. This is how Prim, Katniss's sister, also stood, which brings back memories of Rue whenever Katniss sees her own sister. This stance made her look like a bird, ready to take flight. Her swift and almost invisible movements through the treetops added to the bird-like description. Rue says that what she enjoys most in life is music, something which greatly confuses Katniss when she considers the hardship Rue has endured on the fields in District 11. She is described as 4' 8".


Rue was the eldest of six children. She had five younger siblings, all living in poverty in District 11.

She usually gave her food rations to her younger siblings, and foraged in the fields to provide more food for them. District 11 has very strict laws and Rue could be punished for helping her family in this way. On the victory tour (in Catching Fire), Katniss sees Rue's family and her siblings look just like Rue. Her parents were also seen weeping. A man in the back whistles her four note tune, and started a small uprising. The man was shot shortly after. After Katniss sees the man get shot, she hears two more shots, which could possibly mean someone in the family was killed or wounded. At the Quarter Quell, Seeder assures Katniss that Rue's family is safe.


Katniss EverdeenEdit


Rue and Katniss had a loving relationship. Katniss formed an alliance with her and took care of her as well. She was deeply cared for by Katniss. Rue told her everything about her, like her favorite thing in the world is music. Katniss felt empathy and pity for her. Katniss demonstrated her love for Rue by crying and mourning her death.

Katniss trusts Rue because of her similarities to Prim and her gentle demeanor. Katniss also felt pity and empathy for Rue, being forced into the arena at such a young age.

Rue and her bonded the night Katniss awakened from her tracker jacker injuries. Rue received a groosling leg from Katniss. Katniss and Rue tell each other about their life and district. Rue told her about the Career's camp and this helps her with her plan.

Rue trusted Katniss when she saw that Katniss had on a mockingjay pin. She then proceeded to help her with a plan to destroy the career alliance. But soon after the second fire was lit, Rue stumbled into a trap set up by Marvel, who stabbed her through the abdomen with his spear while Katniss ran to save her. After dispatching Marvel, Rue begged Katniss win and to sing to her as she died. As an act of defiance and a way to honor Rue's death, Katniss covers Rue's corpse with brightly colored flowers and gives her Disrict 12's farewell gesture.


Thresh liked Rue and took pity on her since she was so young and nice and felt she did not deserve this. They seemed to have a fairly close friendship, as Thresh was infurated and saddened by her death. During the feast, Thresh overheard Clove taunting Katniss about Rue and taking credit for her death, and was enraged by this. Thresh pushed Clove off Katniss and held her above the ground by her throat, yelling accusations at her. Terrified, Clove insisted she didn't kill Rue (this is true, as it was Marvel who killed her), but Thresh didn't believe her, and crushed her skull with a large rock, avenging Rue's death. Due to Katniss' alliance with Rue, Thresh spared her life, proving that he cared deeply for her.


Rue had a sweet nature, loving those close to her, and hates to see them hurt. Her greatest joy in life was music, and she loved singing with the mockingjays at home. The mockingjays back home liked her and are used to her because she was the one who sang a four-note melody that signals the end of a work day out in the field. She is excited at the prospect of adventure - one character trait that she does not share with Katniss's sister, Primrose.

She is also very observant of her surroundings, noticing every piece of information she saw when spying on the Careers.

Rue fully understood the inhumane and brutal nature of the Hunger Games, and refused to sink down to the level of the others. Instead of attacking at the first sight of other tributes, she spied and gathered information that helped her and Katniss form a plan on how to wipe out the Careers. Katniss supplied a bit of emotional support to Rue, giving her the hope that maybe it wouldn't be all bad.

It is also her personality that set her apart from Prim. Prim could not stand to see anything get hurt and would have definitely not been able to harm anyone in the Games, but Rue was ready and willing to go forth with the plan, seeing it as an adventure (Prim sees adventures as an ordeal). Teaching Prim to hunt was a disaster, with her crying over the shot animal and wondering if there was time to rush it home and nurse it back to health, whereas Rue was prepared to do whatever to survive. Rue was also very bird-like, the way she was able to move swiftly through the trees without being noticed.


Rue had a talent for singing; her greatest joy was music. During work she would sing to the Mockingjays and they would sing back. She was also able to whistle a four note song which had meaning in her district that the day of work was over.

Exceptionally talented at climbing, she could silently jump from one tree to another without being noticed; Katniss compared her skill to that of the birds. Rue was able to stalk and track Katniss and other tributes during the Games to gain information and no one picked up that they were being followed or watched by her.

Rue was also intelligent. She was able to survive by herself before she formed her alliance with Katniss. She survived mostly on berries that she found and discovered could be eaten. She was expected to have survived by staying off the ground and hiding in trees. She is very observant as well, picking up every small and important detail about the career's camp and some useful information about other tributes.

Rue is talented with a slingshot.


Rue possesed a grass necklace with a wooden star and used it for good luck in the Games. During the day of the Bloodbath she ran into the Cornucopia and got a slingshot and a bag. The bag held a pair of socks, a water skin and iodine. She found a sharp rock shard and used it as a knife. Rue was also able to find leaves, berries and plants that were safe to eat.


Rue's mutt was one of the creatures that appeared at the end of the 74th Hunger Games. It was described as the smallest of the wolf-mutts with a dark brown coat. It also wore a woven collar made of plant fibers. Rue's district number, 11, was woven into the collar as well. Her mutt seemed to have no connection to Katniss whatsoever, and it tried to kill her.

Film portrayalEdit

Amandla Stenberg has been cast to portray her in the upcoming The Hunger Games film.



  • Rue received her name from a small mountain flower (Ruta graveolens), just as Katniss received her name from a waterside plant, and Prim received her name from a bush (Primrose bush). Symbolically, both Ruta graveolens and primrose blossoms close at night.
  • "Rue" also means "to regret."
  • If Katniss had not volunteered for her sister, Prim, there would have been at least two 12 year olds participitating the 74th Hunger Games from poor districts.



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