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Fan Fic: An Unsung Song
Welcome to the Capitol. Welcome to the Games.

Before the Music Dies: An Unsung Song is a Fanfiction written by the author Lavender Flame, based on the young adult trilogy The Hunger Games.

The four-hundred fifth Hunger Games come rolling around, and this time, everyone is in for a surprise: the Quarter Quell has come twenty years early, as a reminder to the rebels that false preparation was their downfall. To be released from the arena, the final tribute must be in possession of five special objects hidden throughout the arena. Soon secrets begin to unravel and a dangerous enemy is revealed, leaving plenty of material for the two sequels to cover.

The story can be found here. Its sequel, A New Tune, can be found here. The third book of the series, One Last Melody, is in the works, along with a potential second series.

Several companion fics also exist: Memories of Yesterday, Dreams of Tomorrow, a collection of prequel one-shots written by various authors; Another Song Will Rise, a collection of AU one-shots about various relationships between tributes; "Special", written by Amata le Fay and part of the AUS one-shot contest; "Once There Was a Child", written by jumpsinpuddles for the oneshot-contest; "As I Hear the Cannons Fire", by rainbowfreak37, also for the one-shot contest; To Describe a Gamemaker, a multichapter about the Gamemakers; "iridescent", a one-shot for the prompt "inescapable", also featuring the Gamemakers; "Alive and Together" focuses on Belle a few months before the beginning of A New Tune. The first official companion to A New Tune, The Place of White and Gold, focuses around District Fourteen plus their side of the war, and can be found here. "All Charm" focuses on Sassy's Games and can be found here. A companion to The Place of White and Gold entitled "Case 039 :: Felicity's Lullaby" can be found here, and its one-shot prequel, "the storm, the whirlwind, & the earthquake", can be found here. A oneshot companion showing the Capitol's media reaction to the four-hundred sixth bloodbath is called #Bloodbath, and is available on the website, and can be found here.

The whole saga is collectively known as the Before the Music Dies Legacy, and its website can be found here.


This story provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Fabian and Shade's dad.
    • Mist's dad, before he passed.
    • Lina's father, mostly due to alcohol.
    • Ikky's dad, before he was killed.
    • Evangaline's mother abandoned her at her sister's doorstep (neglect).
    • Arguably Evander and Aurelia's father as well.
  • Accidental Murder: Young Felina didn't know those were nightlock....
    • In "All Charm", Sassy decides to spare a young, small girl from District Seven after hearing her sad backstory... only to accidentally drop her knife and stab her two seconds later.
  • Action Girl: The female Careers, notably Chenille, and arguably Kizzy as well.
  • Action Mom: Belle.
  • Action Survivor: The non-Careers. Most of them, anyway.
  • Aerith and Bob: We've got Kildaire, Ionia, Namitha, and Replican alongside Carolina, Marco, and Samantha.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Or at least the west section of the 406th arena.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Katniss and Peeta were never in the Games. And the Dark Days happened a little bit differently....
  • Always Save the Girl: Several pairs have this, in ANT tributes, notably Henrik and Ikky, and a sibling version for Aurelia and Evander.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Mist, who has problems relating to people and considers his only friend to be a little bird that he sees at work every day. In ANT, there's Quinn, as well.
  • Anti-Hero: The Careers.
  • Anyone Can Die: Among the tributes. Mentors, too. At least, certain District Ten ones...
    • And, as further proof, Edalene and at least a couple other people were killed during the interviews.
  • Arc Number: 5. Apparently.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: This quote from Kizzy:
    "In my life, I'd lost my whole family, survived an epidemic, lived in the slums of District Six, gotten reaped for the Hunger Games, killed two people, and ran straight into the Careers' camp. But never, never had I been attacked by a swarm of angry, rabid birds. That, right there, crossed the line."
  • Author Avatar: Lavender Flame, the Head Gamemaker.
  • Bad Dreams: both the victors and the Gamemakers have these.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The bloodbath of the 406th Games happens like this, in a ring of fire leading to Jullius catching on fire.
  • Bearer of Bad News: A quote from Kizzy says this of Lavender: "Our last evening there, it was announced that Flame wanted to talk to me. That generally wasn't good news."
  • Bears Are Bad News: Quite a few tributes have had run-ins in the 406th arena.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Chenille watches Fabian sleep by the fire. She notes how it "makes his skin and hair glow".
  • Better as Friends: Fabian and Devena, although they don't manage to keep it up very long.
  • Big Brother Instinct: A lot. AUS tributes Fabian for Shade, Marco for Fade, Namitha for Nellie. A non-sibling example, Lina for Cala. ANT tributes Evander for Aurelia, Cama for any of her younger family members, and Troy for Lena (and his friends).
    • Out of the Gamemakers, virtually any of them towards Kaye, though Thespian is a notable example.
    • In The Place of White and Gold, Justice for Felicity, non-sibling.
  • Blood Sport: The Hunger Games.
  • Bookworm: Callia.
  • Brainy Brunette: Charity.
  • Bread and Circuses: For the Capitol, and arguably the Careers. Hence, the name of the country, "Panem".
  • Break the Cutie: Namitha is very effectively broken by her allies' deaths.
  • Bury Your Disabled: The autistic District Twelve tribute, Mist, who dies in the bloodbath. Also, Cala. In ANT, Airah, who was terminally ill, Tam, who was paraplegic, Zattiana, who was bipolar, and Quinn, who had an Ambiguous Disorder.
  • Cain And Able: ANT District Two tributes Aurelia and Evander.
  • Captive Audience: Watching the Games is mandatory.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Once the Games begin, it all goes downhill.
  • Children Forced To Kill: Although the Careers need considerably less forcing than most.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: This works out nicely for Chenille, when the bouncing mutt was closing in. Fabian kindly reminded her of the tunnel exit.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: To write "Welcome to the Games" with. Blood worked nicely.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes And Ears: The Gamemakers do this to Kaye often, although she's in her twenties.
  • Creepy Child: Tod and Cala.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many tributes have especially gruesome deaths. In AUS, special mention goes to Maine. In the ANT bloodbath, the prize probably goes to Jullius and/or Gunner.
  • Cynical Mentor: Quite a few in A New Tune. Special mention goes to Ella, Kizzy, Keith, Litiea, and Kalina.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Several of them. Among the AUS tributes:
    • Fabian - an abusive father he's trying to save his little sister from.
    • Marco - the tragic orphan story.
    • Ionia - her father died in a boating accident. She thought he wanted her to volunteer. He didn't.
    • Kizzy - an orphan with two dead little sisters (epidemic), living on the streets, and then the Games.
    • Kildaire - scared silent by a near death experience.
    • Kyler - orphan, with only vague recollections of his family.
    • Cala - a dead older brother, who seems to have become the voice in her head.
    • Maine - lost his mother, and also the general joys of District Eleven life.
    • Lina - an abusive and usually drunk father.
    • Mist - an orphan, not to mention being autistic and formerly abused.
    • Getting to be too many to name. But, out of the ANT tributes, special mention goes to Delora, Airah, Evangaline, Ikky, Felina, and Belle.
  • Deadly Game: The Hunger Games.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kizzy. Also, Henrik.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Every tributes' interactions with the ghosts.
  • Death Trap: Several parts of the arena, as it's the Hunger Games we're talking about.
  • Dies Wide Open: In "All Charm", the girl from District Six, and Lucia from District Two.
    • In The Place of White and Gold, Felicity and Justice. Interestingly, Deneb is there both times.
    • In ANT, Quinn.
  • Disability Immunity: Subverted. Many disabled tributes enter the arena, notably Tam, who's paraplegic, and Alder, who's missing a hand.
  • Disappeared Dad: And also Missing Mom. Being an orphan is fairly common in Panem.
  • Driven to Suicide: Both Jullius and Airah plan to enter the arena with this intention. Evangaline attempts this under the influence of a tracker-induced breakdown.
  • Drowning Pit: Subverted. Charity expects the underwater tunnels to do this, but they just shake her around a bit.
  • Duel to the Death: These happen rather frequently in the arena.
  • Dumb Muscle: Arsin. He's also a villain, making him The Brute.
  • Dwindling Party: The tributes, every year... one by one....
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Some of the tributes from A New Tune and One Last Melody feature in "Back Home in the Districts" and "This Is Your Insanity" (chapters), alongside the epilogue.
  • Enemy Civil War: To District Fourteen, the districts' rebellions against the Capitol. To the Capitol, District Fourteen's conspiracy against Headquarters.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Charity betrays Kyler, stabbing him in his sleep.
  • Evil Gloating: In The Place of White and Gold, Licinius plans on doing more of this, but still gets some in.
  • Eye Scream: Andy's eye is taken out by a cactus needle in ANT.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Played with in The Place of White and Gold. In the Headquarters fire plot, Deneb is set up by Hale to be the hero, rushing into a burning building to save Jack, the Minister. However, he's actually trying to kill Jack. But, Jack is actually an antagonist, which makes Deneb still the hero.
  • False Friend:
    • Charity, to both of her allies, though especially Kyler.
    • The Careers. Chenille and Fabian betray Ionia and Samantha first, but they get back at them the next day.
    • Arguably Kizzy and Tod, as they're district partners but not allies.
  • First-Person Smartass: Several, although Kizzy is almost certainly the best example.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Kizzy Ericssen usually just steals her food. Even in the Capitol, she insists on relying on theft.
  • Four Girl Ensemble: The alliance between Jessalyn, Evangaline, Quinn, and Belle.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Marco's motivation for volunteering may be securing a better life for his Annoying Younger Sibling, Fade, but that doesn't mean he can't be a jerk to everyone else (and occasionally even her).
  • Gray Eyes: Describes Lina (and several other people from District Twelve). Also Link, and possibly Gavin. Plus the "A New Tune" tributes Delora, Jessalyn, Belle, and Gunner.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Twelve boys and twelve girls enter the Games. One comes out.
  • Hearing Voices: Cala hears a voice in her head called Kane. He's a warped form of her dead brother.
    • In the last few chapters, both Namitha and Chenille hear the voices of dead allies.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Who knew that being able to camouflage butterflies well would get Maine an 11 in training, the highest score of the bunch?
  • Heroic BSOD: Namitha, after every other member of her alliance is killed by the Careers. Tara's death also catches up to her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nellie tries to do this for Namitha. Namitha doesn't let her.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Kyler.
  • I Gave My Word: There are several examples of this.
    • Just about all the tributes, saying that they'll come home.
    • Devena, (Fabian's best friend/ex-girlfriend), who says that she'll take care of his little sister, Shade, while Fabian is in the Games.
    • Ionia, who promised her father that she would volunteer for the Games. She later finds out that she promised to actually not do this.
    • Ondrew, who promises Mr. Velius and Ms. Velius that he would take care of their daughter and his district partner, Cala. Subverted, as he dies in the bloodbath, leaving most of the work to Lina.
    • Namitha and the rest of the District Ten team, who tell President Paylor that they won't tell anyone the truth about Tara's death.
    • Also applies to the trust established between all of the alliances. This doesn't work out so well with the District Eight alliance or the Career pack, at the betrayals of certain members.
    • In A New Tune, a group of victors is sworn to secrecy about their knowledge of District Fourteen.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Kyler's angst about Kildaire.
  • I'll Kill You!: It's relatively common to hear someone threaten a tribute with death if they don't return.
  • I'm Melting: Type A, Jullius.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Sage.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Kyler, who can use a sword despite being from District Eight.
  • Is This Thing On?: Used by the Head Gamemaker.
    "Someone tapped a microphone, the sound coming through speakers somewhere I couldn’t see. '—Ah, hello? Is this on?' There was more tapping on the microphone, and then it stopped, replaced by nervous laughter. 'Yes. Ah, all right.'"
  • It's All About Me: The District Six escort, Mrs. Twine.
  • It's Personal: When Kizzy finds out that District Fourteen was responsible for the deaths of her family, it gets very personal.
  • Jerkass: A number of them. Making people fight for their life tends to do that.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The apparent justification for Samantha's grandfather training her with that specific type of sword.
  • Killed Off for Real: 23 tributes each year. And also some others.
  • Kill 'em All: The sole goal of the Hunger Games - to be the only tribute left.
  • Killer Rabbit: The bouncing mutt in the 405th Games, and the pine martens in the 406th. Possibly others as well.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Tributes are often forced to do this.
  • Knife Fight: Several, usually in the Games.
  • La Résistance: District Fourteen is an unusual deconstruction. While they do fight the Capitol, their true motives are ambiguous at best.
  • Leitmotif: "One Last Melody" (sung by Kizzy to get out of the toucan attack), "Another Song Will Rise" (sung by the Career pack before the Games), the anthem of Panem, and this mysterious song that keeps appearing in the arena.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: To help the Capitol or District Fourteen?
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Twenty-four tributes per installment, their mentors, escorts, stylists, and prep teams. The Gamemakers and President Paylor, plus the Place of White and Gold cast. And all their families and friends. Oh, and don't forget about-
  • Lonely Together: The Gamemakers, according to Glisten.
    "Outside of this room, no one can ever matter, and no one can know who we really are. We are the Gamemakers, the ones who have only each other. Like a really, really crazy family―talk about dysfunctional."
  • Lottery Of Doom: The Reapings. Although they're becoming less and less of an honest "lottery".
  • MacGuffin: The books. Justified, as they need to have them in order to escape the arena.
    • Subverted later, as they provide critical information about District Fourteen.
  • Meganekko: Callia, who is described as a beauty but is also quietly studious and wears glasses, seems to be one.
  • The Mole: D3 Victor Trey and tribute Saber, who actually work for District Fourteen.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kizzy, after she wins the Games.
  • Name of Cain: The voice in Cala's head (Kane) has very questionable intentions.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: That is to say, the arena is not nice. Anything can be — and everything will be — deadly.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Arsin never got to say goodbye to his girlfriend, Arbenia, as she was taken away by Peacekeepers at the Reaping.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Tod. Dear Lord, Tod.
  • No-Holds-Barred Contest: The Games. Leading to a lot of No-Holds-Barred Beatdowns. Gunner's comes to mind.
  • No Periods, Period: Inverted. Cama gets hers on Day One of the Games.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't actually see most of the people who supposedly die before the Games get killed. Such as Arbenia, Tara, and the unknown people at the interviews.
  • Older than They Look: Chenille describes the girl she volunteers for as looking about eight.
    • Also, Ikky is described by Kizzy as looking closer to thirteen than fifteen.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • "Replican" is never called anything other than Tal, except officially. (End of story, according to him.)
    • "Ellink" is only ever Link - to his family, his allies... everyone.
    • "Caladium" is strictly Cala. Most readers probably wouldn't recognize who she was, if called "Caladium".
    • "Carolina" of District Twelve is almost always called Lina.
    • "Andrew" gets annoyed if called anything other than Andy.
    • Tamberlain "Tam" Ektra.
    • Corsage "Sage" Hemlocke.
    • Autumn "Fall" Yates.
    • President Paylor has never been referred to by her first name. It's Aidan.
    • "Mistina", one of the Gamemakers, is only ever called Misty.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Somewhere around night one, things start getting spooky for a few of the groups...
  • Parental Neglect: A lot of examples, alongside Abusive Parents. Not to mention that all of the tributes' parents are pretty okay with their children being put in a game of murder. Several of the Gamemakers have this in their backstory as well.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Marco uses "Capitolness", and immediately states that he knows that's not a word and doesn't care.
  • Phobia: Tons of them in the arena. Almost all of the tributes are scared of both dying (in general), being all alone, and losing the people they care about though these fears happen to most of them.
    • Chenille is scared of climbing/heights, although there are three different times she has to climb—(before the Reaping, in training, and up the cliff in the arena).
    • Samantha is terribly afraid of being betrayed by her allies, which also happens.
    • Ionia is terrified of the wind, as she blames it for her father's death in a boating accident.
    • Tal is extremely frightened by mutts, as he's heard too many horror stories about them, coming from District Five.
    • It's never really stated, but Kizzy did seem to be quite scared by the toucan muttations.
    • Kildaire stopped talking because, in her memory, she was almost crushed by a falling tree. Some believe she was "scared silent".
    • Kyler's greatest fear is becoming someone he's not. He feels he's failed this after he "lets" Kildaire die. Ironically, he felt no guilt for killing Tal and attempting to take on the Careers, as both were in a situation to defend his allies, Charity and Kildaire.
    • Cala seems to have many vague fears, as she's frequently confused by reality.
    • Ondrew is claustrophobic, and, like Chenille, has a fear of heights.
    • Namitha is scared of spiders, but her worst fear is dying alone. Hence the shut-down when all of her allies die.
    • Lina is most afraid of rejection.
    • Another case of too many to name. But several ANT tributes have phobias of their own.
  • Plot Driving Secret: Essentially the existence of District Fourteen, and everything that goes along with it.
  • Plucky Girl: Namitha.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Glitter" for Gamemakers Ritter and Glisten.
  • Pressure Point: They come up from time to time. Delora seems fond of using them.
  • Prevent The War: The goal of the Capitol at this point.
  • Professional Killer: D10 Victor Litiea from A New Tune does assassin work for the Capitol, including killing Edalene the interviewer.
  • Promotion to Parent: Fabian and Marco in "An Unsung Song", to a point.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I. Would. Win."
    • Also, Chenille's "Will… you… just... die…!"
    • Also-also, "Fourteen. Was. Going. To. Pay."
  • Rebellious Rebel: In The Place of White and Gold, the conspirators, especially Licinius, who also turns against the resistance against the resistance.
  • Sacrificial Lamb/Lion: The lambs: anyone who dies in the bloodbath. The lions: the couple of strong tributes who die in the bloodbath.
  • Sarcasm Mode: "That was sarcasm, by the way." (-Andy Radke, A New Tune)
  • Schedule Fanatic: Replican ("Tal") is a mild version of this. Enough so that, when one of the stations during training is out of order, he has a mini-panic.
  • Shoot the Dog: In The Place of White and Gold, Deneb is forced to execute Felicity for treason as Fourteen's Deputy, never mind that he's secretly a part of the same conspiracy.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Averted with bookworm Callia, who is awkwardly tall.
  • Shrinking Violet: Callia Marshan.
  • Shout-Out: A few, mostly from the creators of the characters.
  • Storming the Castle: Several of the Careers' attacks on tributes, including the Alliance of the Mockingjays and the District 7/8 Alliance.
    • Additionally, Kizzy's plan to steal the book from the Careers.
  • Suicidal Pacifism: Jullius, who calls himself a "monster" while still in training and shows little desire to win the Games.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Poor, poor Cala....
  • Switching P.O.V.: One per chapter, among the tributes in AUS.
  • Sword Fight: A lot of them, in training and the Games.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Belle to Dharma, talking about Hope.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Some tributes are a bit too willing to do anything to win.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: November is the eleventh child in her family. Guess what the other siblings are called?
  • Tempting Fate: Oh, Samantha....
    "But I wouldn't go in to the arena. Why would I?"
  • The Antagonist: During the actual Games, either the Gamemakers or the Careers. And in a larger sense, the Capitol and District Fourteen are each antagonists in the perspective of the other.
  • The Chase: The Games are all about the tributes chasing each other.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Cala, who remembered how to get out of Section Four. It seems she also might've known something about the song that no one seems to really know, but keeps appearing in the arena.
  • There Are No Rules: In the arena.
  • There Can Only Be One: Victor. Which means that twenty-three small, innocent children must die horribly every year.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Maine, who gets stabbed twice by Kizzy, in addition to almost being eaten by the prairie-dog mutts.
    • Kyler, who gets his own sword dropped on him repetitively when Charity misses the first few times.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Briefly, for Henrik and Ikky. They eventually get two beds, but still have to share a room and deal with the inevitable awkwardness.
  • The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: Cala and the voice inside her head, Kane.
  • The Speechless: Kildaire Kalitlin.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted several times over. (Twenty-two, during the four-hundred fifth Games.)
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In Andy's training demonstration, at least.
  • Together in Death: Sage notices that Airah and Tam died this way, though not a couple.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kildaire is killed rushing the Careers, outnumbered two to one.
  • Tracking Chip: All of the tributes have one to keep track of them and make them hallucinate ghosts, go to certain places, induce pain, and have psychotic attacks...
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Alder.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Chenille to Kizzy: "Will... you... just... die...!"
  • The Worf Effect: Maine is played up as an incredibly strong tribute only to be killed on Day Two by Kizzy, the future victor.
  • World of No Grandparents: Averted. Samantha is very close to her grandfather.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Several cases, as there are both girls and boys in the Hunger Games, and only one of them can live.
    • Averted by Kyler, who refuses to kill Charity, even when she tries to kill him (and succeeds).
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A lot of the Capitol citizens fit this trope, including Collon Lefray, the D3 escort, and Voda Tithe, a D2 stylist.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: District Fourteen fits this trope to a T.
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