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By Kat Li, Quora biz dev.
Skills such as weaponry, strength, foraging, and camouflage were all important. However, any tribute who survived the initial bloodbath was expected to have at least two or more of those skills. The difference between surviving the first round of killing and becoming the victor though lies in an entirely different assortment of skills. Having the following skills can mean the difference between life and death.
- Deceit. Haymitch tricks his final competitor into killing herself when he's on the verge of death. Johanna fools all the other tributes into discounting her as competition and goes home the victor. Peeta allies with the Careers, only to turn on them once Katniss is in danger. Katniss fools the Gamemakers and audience into believing that she and Peeta are about to off themselves, making them the only double victory in the history of the games.
- Compassion. The tribute who began cannibalizing other tributes topped the Gamemakers hit list, effectively reducing his chances at survival to zero. Katniss cares for Rue, saving her life when she comes head-to-head with Thresh. It seems oxymoronic, that a compassionate tribute be able to kill, but it didn't stop Katniss. In fact, at the end of her first Games, Katniss was able to kill Cato THROUGH compassion.
- Persuasion. This is the skill that Peeta excels and the one which differentiates him. He convinces the entire Capitol of his love for Katniss (and later of their wedding/child) which is the lynchpin in the process of their double survival. Without it, no one would have ever allowed, and even wanted, both to survive. Within the Games themselves he subtly persuades Katniss to keep their allies, such as Finnick, alive by delaying their betrayal and even by placing himself between them during tense moments.
This is a tough question so I'll add more as I see fit!
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