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As District 12’s only surviving winner of the Hunger Games, Haymitch acts as
Katniss’s and Peeta’s coach throughout the Games. Though he is drunk most, in fact
nearly all, of the time, he proves a cunning advisor to the young tributes. It is
never made explicit in the novel, but it appears to be Haymitch who devises the
strategy of playing up the romance between Katniss and Peeta, a move that ultimately
allows both of them to survive the Games even though traditionally only one winner
has been allowed. Haymitch also finds a way of communicating with Katniss during the
Games through the gifts he sends her, essentially coaching her on how she should
behave to get more sponsors. Albeit in a very limited way, he also acts as somewhat
of a father figure to Katniss, who lost her father years earlier. While Haymitch is
often indelicate and manipulative, frequently using Peeta and his feelings for
Katniss to get the results he wants, he is undeniably effective. When Katniss and
Peeta wonder how he won the Hunger Games, Peeta suspects he must have outsmarted the
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Hunger Games!