"Once upon a time, in a land too close for comfort… there was pain. Th-there was pain and suffering and sadness and darkness. The land was divided by barriers that could never be overcome, it seemed. Everything was desolate and bleak.... And then, there was another realm: a place without districts.... A place without districts. A place where there was no pain or suffering, no sadness or darkness. No one got sick, and nobody... died. In that place, there was no war. No bloody battles, no one who would do harm. No bitter cold. Only peace and happiness and love. Everywhere, it was always filled with warmth and light. It was a place without arenas and silly Games. It was there that all the good people went when they died—rich and poor, tributes and citizens alike. Everyone who did good in their lives."
"Remember what you said in your interview last night. How you promised your sister you would win without becoming ruthless and inhuman. 'Run like crazy.' Run, Vale, you and Kit both, and survive that way for as long as you can. Stay out of the others' way, and you won't have to kill anyone. Not for a while. But you have to survive. Because for goodness's sake, I am sick and tired of losing my tributes!"
—Lavinia Gilden /Tansy Leefinch
"There's a place that only we know,
Where the flowers bloom and the willow grows,
Where the silver stream flows soft and slow,
And troubles lie far, far away.
There's a place where only love survives,
Where the birds sing sweet and the gold sun shines,
Where our hearts are forever intertwined,
And troubles lie far, far away.
There's a place where no hate can be found,
No danger and strife, only peace all around.
Take hold of my hand, and we won't touch the ground.
Together, we'll fly far, far away.
There's a place that only we know,
Where sunbeams dance with a heavenly glow.
Take me there by the hand and never let go;
Let our troubles lie far, far away.
"You don't hurt innocent things. That's just wrong. You don't kill sweet, innocent, harmless things."
"'Hey, I was thinking you might need an ally.' No, no, no… 'So, kind of cold at night by yourself, huh? Well, since you're alone now, and so am I…' That's pathetic. How about… 'I'm really sorry about Kit. He seemed really nice. So, I was thinking…'"
—Obsidian Citrine, practicing how he would propose an alliance with Vale
"'Oh, yes, Amber is so ruthless. Isn't it just wonderful? The way she shoots her silver arrows at poor, defenseless little animals—it's so lovely, isn't it?' Will someone please shoot me so I don't have to listen to this?"
—Maybelle Whitaker, imitating Amber Sheen's family during their interview
"If I stay here long enough, is it possible that I could get to the point where I can't remember anything at all about home? Could I wake up one morning and find that I can't even remember my own mother's face? Or the way Dad comes home from the mines, smiling even though he's sick, just relieved to be back home with us? Could I honestly forget them someday, and Maybelle, Averill, Laurel, Hazelle…? No. I'm not going to forget them, ever! I'll never forget them, even if I stay here for weeks and weeks, or however long the Games last this year. No matter what happens, no matter if it's dark and cold and miserable… I'll keep holding on to that spot of light—the way things used to be. I can't forget that. Can't forget them."
"If I did that [winning the Games through cruelty like the Gamemakers want], the Games would end up winning me."
"Sometimes, Vale, you just know that you must do something—more than you've ever known anything else in your entire life."
Vale: "What do you want?"
Obsidian: "I don't know—a nice house, lots of money, and long, moonlit walks on the beach. Maybe a cat…"
Vale: "No, I mean, what do you want from me?"
Obsidian: "What?" *Luminescent Blush* "Nothing at all. I mean, when you woke up, I was eating your food, not kissing your unconscious corpse. I've never even thought about kissing you—well, I mean, now I am, but… Anyway, you wouldn't have been a corpse, because obviously, you aren't dead…."
Vale: "And why not?"
Obsidian: "Because… I didn't kill you?"
Vale: "And you didn't do that because…?"
Obsidian: "Wait, I'm confused. You're getting onto me because I didn't kill you?"
"I am. I'm a Career. Whether I try to be different than the others or not, I was raised the exact same way. I have the same training and drive and reflexes as they do. The same killer instinct. It's been drilled into my head for my whole life. It's not like I can just reach inside my brain and pluck it out. I want to. I want to tell you that I'm a good person who would rather die than hurt anybody. But that's a flat-out lie. No matter whether I left the pack or not, I'm still just as much one of them as I ever was."
Vale: "The stars go on forever. Even long after all of us are dead and gone, there will still be stars up in the sky, shining down on the new people on the Earth. Stars never fade; they shine forever."
Obsidian: "They're not the same stars, Vale. Stars live and die, just like people do. Eventually, they all burn out and fade and die."
Vale: "But there are always stars, even so. Even when certain stars flicker and fade, new stars are born to take their places, right? Maybe stars die like people, but just like people, they're given a chance to shine if they're willing to take it. And even after they die, more people will come after them, who are given the same chances. And it's because of that… that the sky never goes dark."