Who won the 50th Hunger Games? Haymitch’s story will be told in an all-new book and movie

A prominent character in “The Hunger Games” may finally get the story of his games told in detail, something that many fans of the franchise have been looking forward to.

Suzanne Collins plans on releasing a new book inspired by 18th-century Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume.

The book, “Sunrise on the Reaping,” is the fifth installment of “The Hunger Games” series and will be published on March 18, 2025. It takes place during the 50th Hunger Games, which is set 24 years before Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark’s reaping in the first book and 40 years after “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

“With ‘Sunrise on the Reaping,’ I was inspired by David Hume’s idea of implicit submission and, in his words, ‘the easiness with which the many are governed by the few,’” Collins said in a statement to the Associated Press. “The story also lent itself to a deeper dive into the use of propaganda and the power of those who control the narrative. The question ‘Real or not real?’ seems more pressing to me every day.”

A film version of the book “The Hunger Games: Sunrise on the Reaping” is also in the works and will be out Nov. 20, 2026.

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Here’s what to know about the newest Hunger Games novel, “Sunrise on the Reaping.”

Who won the 50th Hunger Games?

The victor of the 50th Hunger Games or the second Quarter Quell was Haymitch Abernathy from District 12.

When was Haymitch in the Hunger Games?

Haymitch was in the 50th Hunger Games, or the second Quarter Quell, which had double the number of tributes reaped from the districts. This occurred 24 years before Katniss and Peeta were forced into the Games during the original book.

He was reaped as one of the two District 12 male tributes alongside Maysilee Donner and another female tribute. His mentor is unknown.

How old was Haymitch when he won the Hunger Games?

Haymitch was 16 at the time of the 50th Hunger Games.

How did Haymitch win the Hunger Games?

When the 50th Hunger Games started, the tributes were stunned by the beautiful arena and were too distracted to get off their pedestals. Haymitch used this to his advantage and got a knife and a “backpack of choice” from the Cornucopia. Eighteen tributes died during the opening act of the Second Quarter Quell.

While Haymitch had to deal with fluffy carnivorous squirrels and stinging butterfly mutations, other tributes died from consuming or contacting poisonous elements in the arena. On the fourth day, a volcanic eruption killed 12 tributes including five of the ten remaining Career Tributes.

Haymitch ran into three Careers and, with his speed and knife skills, he was able to kill two of them. The third disarmed him but he was saved by Maysilee Donner – who used a poison dart to shoot the Career in the back – before his throat was slit. The two agreed that their odds of surviving were better if they formed an alliance.

When there were only five tributes left, the pair split off, with Maysilee not wanting to kill Haymitch herself. Haymitch ended up discovering a force field around the arena after throwing a rock off the cliff and watching it bounce back.

Haymitch and a District 1 female tribute were the final two left. They fought once they found each other and both ended up severely injured with Haymitch receiving a hit to the abdomen from her axe and him slicing her eye out.

While weakened, Haymitch returned to the cliff and collapsed right before the District 1 female threw her axe at him. The weapon flew over the cliff, rebounded off the force field back into the arena and ended up killing her.

This left Haymitch as the victor, District 12’s latest in four decades.

What was Haymitch’s Hunger Games like?

Haymitch won the Second Quarter Quell by using the force field at the edge of the arena as a tool for killing the District 1 tribute with her own axe. Two weeks after being crowned the victor, Haymitch’s mother, younger brother and girlfriend were all killed by President Snow.

Snow perceived the stunt with the force field as an act of defiance that made the Capitol look foolish.

He mentored tributes for the next 23 years but dealt with horror from the games, the grief from his family and girlfriend’s deaths, and guilt from being obligated to participate in the continuing cycle of the Games. He turned to alcoholism to cope with his issues and feelings, isolating himself from most of the district.

Maysilee Donner in ‘Hunger Games’

Maysilee Donner was a District 12 tribute along with Haymitch and two others. The pair formed an alliance and survived until only five tributes were left.

Maysilee split off from Haymitch when they reached the edge of the arena and he refused to leave. She did not want to kill him herself so she decided to go her separate way. Moments after Haymitch discovered the force field, he heard Maysilee screaming and ran in that direction.

He saw her being attacked by mutts, deadly, candy-pink birds who speared her throat with their long thin beaks. Haymitch rushed over to her but was too late, he held her hand while she died.

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Who plays Haymitch in ‘The Hunger Games’?

Haymitch Abernathy, the victor of the 50th Hunger Games from District 12, is portrayed by Woody Harrelson in “The Hunger Games,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.”

Reach the reporter at dina.kaur@arizonarepublic.com. Follow @dina_kaur on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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