Rue is the official female tribute of District 11 in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, and clearly the youngest participant in the Games that year at just 12. What Rue lacks in physical strength, she makes up for with intelligence, quick wits and cat-like agility.
Rue is born and raised in District 11, the oldest of six children in her family, whom she is fiercely protective of, even giving the younger ones her work rations. She has grown up experiencing hardship and has witnessed the harshness of the District 11 Peacekeepers so often, she speaks of it almost matter of factly. Rue finds small joys in life however, especially through music. She has an affinity with mockingjays and has no difficulty in getting them to imitate her songs. Because she can scale trees so high when picking fruit, she is the first to see the flag indicating when work is over, and she sings a four-note song, which the mockingjays pick up and spread around, as an indicator for those lower down.
Along with her male counterpart Thresh, Rue is selected as tribute for District 11 in the 74th Hunger Games, but unlike in any of the other Districts, none volunteer to take her place. She vows to ensure that no one will catch her in the arena, and scores an unusually high score in her private exhibition session before the Gamemakers. In the Games' early stages, she flees to safety, and silently tips off the female District 12 tribute, Katniss Everdeen, with a method for driving away the Career tributes pursuing her. When Katniss is stung by several Tracker Jackers and collapses following a hallucinogenic fit, Rue looks after her, and the two form an alliance when Katniss awakes. In the short time they spend together, Katniss and Rue bond quickly and come up with a plan to destroy the Careers' supplies. They are separated when the plan goes underway however, and when Katniss finally catches up to Rue, she has become entangled in a net. Katniss frees Rue, but immediately afterwards she is impaled by a spear thrown by Marvel, the male District 1 tribute. After Rue removes the spear, now rapidly dying, she requests that Katniss sing to her as she passes on. Katniss obliges, tearfully singing an old District 12 lullaby, and after Rue has quietly died, Katniss decorates her body with wild flowers and performs the farewell salute of District 12 to a nearby camera. In District 11, the citizens mimic the salute before breaking into a full-scale rebellion.
Rue's death remains a constant source of contention for Katniss following the Games, as she was unable to save her and sees her in everything beautiful, from flowers in the meadow, to the mockingjays, to her own little sister.