How will the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Movie end?

Lionsgate has announced that the Mockingjay movie will be split into two parts. Mockingjay: Part 1 will be released on November 21st, 2014, and Mockingjay: Part 2 will be released on November 20th, 2015. In doing so, the Hunger Games trilogy has chosen to adopt the strategy of splitting the last movie into more than one part, as the Harry Potter and Twilight movies have successfully done.

That said, the next big question in the Hunger Games franchise is what cliffhanger Part 1 of the movie will end with. In storytelling, a rule of thumb is that a story should end, not on an ordinary twist in the plot, but on an incident that changes the dynamics of the plot. The ideal cliffhanger creates a situation that is badly stacked against the protagonist. An incident that is a grave setback or tragedy for the main character makes for an ideal cliffhanger.

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It would probably make sense for Part 1 to end right when Peeta is rescued from the Capitol.

In Mockingjay, the Capitol has Peeta imprisoned, but he is freed by a rescue mission led by Gale Hawthorne. At this point, Katniss has slowly been coming to the realization that she truly loves Peeta. Gale is her best friend, but he loves her, and undertakes this mission for her sake. Katniss’ apprehensions over losing both Peeta and Gale turn into relief and exultation when Peeta is rescued and brought back to safety. However, much to her horror, Peeta chokes her and tries killing her.

During his imprisonment and torture, Peeta is made to watch Lavinia being tortured to death, and his mind is hijacked. The Capitol turns Peeta into a sleeper assassin, reprogramming his mind to turn him into a killing machine. Peeta is another pawn in the Capitol’s strategy to take everything from Katniss that she holds dear, driving her, inch by inch, toward despair and madness. At this point, Katniss is still not sure of her feelings for Peeta. She sees Gale as her best friend, but is unsure of Peeta’s place in her life. However, Peeta has always loved her, largely unrequited. Now at the cusp of the greatest battle with the Capitol, friends turn into enemies, and new alliances must be formed.

Peeta’s assassination attempt on Katniss represents all that is evil about war. Acts of war involve no conscience, and show no limits to decadence. Anything is fair, so long as it serves a purpose. This moment conveys that battle that Katniss is fighting is not between good and evil. It is between two evils, where nothing is absolute, and neither side will stop at anything to achieve complete victory over the other.

As Katniss sees Peeta again, she runs up to him, but before she can call out his name, his fingers grip on her throat and choke the air out of her. What could be a better ending to the first part of the Mockingjay movies, than an event which changes everything – relationships, the balance of power, and any sense of meaning that the war held?