The novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a survival event where 24 teenagers must fight to the death until only one remains. Katniss is a smart and resourceful girl, which helps her stay alive in the Games.

An important character in the story is Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from Katniss’s district. Peeta tries to protect Katniss in the Games and reveals his feelings for her to the audience, which gives them both an advantage. In this light, the relationship between Katniss and Peeta also becomes central to the novel. 

Katniss’s mentor in the Hunger Games, the permanently drunk Haymitch Abernathy, her escort from the Capitol, Effie Trinket, and her stylist, Cinna, are also significant characters who work to improve Katniss’s chances of survival in the Games in various ways. The relationship between Katniss and these characters and the way they evolve and change as the novel progresses are also important to note. 

Other tributes who take part in the Games are the young Rue, whom Katniss immediately takes to and tries to protect, the cruel Cato, the clever girl Katniss nicknames Foxface, and Thresh, the boy from Rue’s district who spares Katniss’s life. 

During her time in the Games arena, Katniss constantly thinks about her younger sister Prim, whom she is trying to protect and come back home to. Katniss’s best friend and hunting partner Gale is also an important character as Katniss’s possible feelings for him confuse her and complicate Katniss’s relationship with Peeta. 

Other important characters in the novel include Katniss’s mother, Clove and Glimmer, two powerful tributes who try to kill Katniss, and President Snow. 

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