Katniss first meets Paylor when she goes to District 8's hospital in order to film a propo for the Airtime Assault on the Capitol. Paylor takes Katniss along with Gale Hawthorne, Boggs, and the TV crew into the hospital. Paylor watches Katniss closely, to see what she is made of and if they have been right to count on her.
After Katniss leaves the hospital, hovercrafts from the Capitol fly in and begin to bomb the hospital. In an effort to fight against the bombers, Katniss and Gale climb to the roof of a warehouse that has machine gun nests. This is where they run into Commander Paylor again. Together, they all work to destroy the other waves of hovercrafts that fly overhead.
Commander Paylor later returns in the story when Katniss is living in President Snow's mansion, awaiting his execution. Katniss follows the strong scent of Snow's roses until she finds a room that is being guarded by two soldiers who at first do not permit her entrance to the room because they are following President Coin's orders. However, when Paylor appears, she instructs the soldiers to let Katniss go in and they obey her authority. Katniss enters to find President Snow and the two of them have a brief conversation. Snow informs Katniss that it was not him who bombed the children and ultimately killed Prim, but that instead it was President Coin who was behind it. When Katniss emerges, Paylor asks her, "Did you find what you were looking for?" This seems to imply that Paylor was somehow aware of Coin's betrayal and wanted Katniss to find out.
After Katniss assassinates President Coin, an emergency election was thrown together and Paylor was voted in as president. Under her rule, the Hunger Games were abolished, the arenas were destroyed, and memorials were built. It can be assumed that Paylor successfully set up the republic that Plutarch Heavensbee announced that they would form after the Capitol's defeat. She also pardoned Katniss for the assassination of Coin and declared her mentally unstable and let her return to the country. Plutarch became her Secretary of Communications.
Paylor is in her early thirties but she was mentioned to look too young for her occupation. She has dark brown eyes and even darker hair.
Commander Paylor was one of the very few amongst the rebels who wasn't overly concerned with vengeance. Though holding President Snow and the Capitol in contempt for their crimes against humanity, Paylor urged Rebels not to attack Capitol citizens and to only focus on capturing Snow. This advice was disregarded in the film adaptation, possibly at Coin's request.
Paylor is intelligent. Along with a few others, she sensed in advance that President Coin was not a trustworthy individual to lead the rebellion. After the Capitol was taken over and Snow was imprisoned, Paylor gave Katniss permission to see Snow, hoping that this encounter would expose Katniss to the truth behind Coin's leadership. It is possible that the bombing of the Capitol children, in which medics and Katniss's sister Prim were killed, Paylor was disgusted herself and realized that this assault was a facade and violation of the plan to conquer the Capitol. Following Coin's last minute assassination at the hands of Katniss, Paylor was elected President and she worked alongside Plutarch to pardon Katniss for murder by claiming that she was mentally unstable at the time.
It can be assumed that she was favored amongst the citizens of both the Districts and the Capitol.
- The character of Commander Paylor is expanded in Mockingjay—Part 2. In the film, Paylor is seen interacting with Commander Lyme and President Coin via a live feed—the three discuss ways in which the rebels can assume control over the Capitol's arsenal in the mountains. Paylor and Lyme are very defiant against Coin's suggestion that masses of rebel individuals attempt a suicide mission. Paylor is also seen giving a speech to the rebels in District 2, and explains how they (the rebels) will capture President Snow and take control over the Capitol.