Why are all the Careers portrayed as amoral psychopaths? If they could choose to become Careers then it makes a bit more sense, but they can't — the novel explicitly states that they're raised from birth, meaning that there should be zero correlation with personality. Furthermore, even though districts 1, 2, and 4 are a bit better off than the others, raising someone like a Career requires a huge investment from the community, and what they're doing could actually be considered noble, in a way — if they're not volunteering for the sake of killing people, then they're either doing it to try and supply their district with food, or to save some poor kid who doesn't stand a chance.
Not necessarily. Finnick and Annie (and Mags, too) were Careers and were shown to be sympathetic characters. And by "raised from birth" they probably meant Conditioned to Accept Horror.
The fact that there are two exceptions to the rule is not enough to cancel out that all six of the Careers in book one were portrayed as evil, psychopathic monsters, and that people generally hate them, apparently. And while Conditioned to Accept Horror is likely, it does not explain why they're psychopathic or why they do things For the Evulz.
Possibly because since 1, 2, and 4 are the wealthiest and have the closest ties to the Capitol, they do feel superior about themselves. Children in those districts are groomed and trained as if they are going to participate in the Games.
They may be the wealthiest, but it's stated that they're still far from the Capitol's level of prosperity. Their lives still suck for the most part, it's doubtful that they're really going to be that haughty. Also, what? Psychopathy is largely genetic, even if they were pretentious and haughty, it wouldn't make them amoral psychos.
It actually falls into Fridge Brilliance territory when you think about it. One of the most effective ways of keeping multiple groups of people with clear divisions (i.e. the districts) from turning against you is to play them against each other. It isn't so much that the districts the careers come from feel closer to the Capitol, but for whatever reason (maybe the importance of the resource they produce or their actual proximity to the Capitol) are made to feel better than the other districts. In a sense, the careers are an extension of that, having been raised to compete and simply be better than the competitors from the other districts. In such a hierarchy oriented society like the one in Panem, the best way to distract people from dissatisfaction with a lowly position is to provide a lower one that they can trample over.
It is also possible that the myth around the careers are built on resentment. Objectively, they're not doing anything wrong; kids are put to slaughter anyway, so the best way of softening the blow would be to liberate them of as much fear and risk as possible. However, this is a zero sum game. Any actions made to protect your own kids will invariably hurt someone else's, meaning that districts able to do this will become a recognizable hindrance to the safety of kids from the other districts. Now imagine how you would feel about consistently suprior districts if yours weren't one of them.
How do we know that careers are trained from birth? The only people with that kind of information are former and current tributes from career districts, who have plenty of incentive to brag about their skillset. Let's face it, having just one years' experience will help immensely when faced with total noobs.
If you think about it, the tributes from 1 and 4 aren't given that much screentime. Do we even know that Glimmer, Marvel, and the District 4 tributes are utter psychos? (The Games are kill or be killed after all) It's only Big Bad Cato and The Dragon Clove whose insanity we're entirely sure of.
We only have Katniss' word for it. Normally I'd be willing to file this under Unreliable Narrator since the story's told in first-person, but all of her narration is pretty objective, so I highly doubt that's what Collins was going for. Also though, even if only two are psychos, that still makes no sense; people who are clinically insane are very unstable and unreliable. They are not the people you want to sent into childmurder games in the hopes they'll come out winning. It's far more practical to send in someone more stable. They'd probably find out at an early age, too, so they could change which kid got the training without much hassle.
Also, at no point in the book do we see Clove as insane. Evil psychopath, yes, as demonstrated by her excitement at torturing Katniss. But not necessarily insane. Of course, there's also the small but non-zero possibility that it's all an act, she doesn't actually enjoy torturing people that much, and she's doing it to curry favor with the Capitol or some other entity.
Actually, Personality in the broad sense is not genetic, but temperament is. Temperament interacts with the environment and early experiences to create Personality. We do not know the selection process for the Careers, so it's possible that they were selected for training precisely for their temperament which was shaped into a "psychopathic" personality via their training. Another possibility is that the more "psychopathic" tributes just happen to be better and thus are able to get through the volunteering process to make it into the games.
Additionally, regarding psychopathy being genetic, if you were running a Tribute Breeding Facility under this scenario where would you start? Would you just run around putting weapons in the hands of every kid and see who does best? Or would you start with the children of previous Victors (whose parents are more likely to agree to training anyway because children of Victors are more likely to be "randomly" drawn)? While psychopathy is insanity there have been psychopaths who are both unencumbered by human empathy AND charming/manipulative. These sorts of people are the most likely winners of things like the Hunger Games. Keep breeding the manipulative/charming psychopaths together and you keep getting more manipulative/charming psychopath breeding stock.
The simplest answer is that the Careers are trained from a young age, not only in how to kill, but in the role they need to act. They're not trained specifically to kill but to put on a show for the cameras. They show off, people bet on them, people supply them. So from the age of say, five, to the age of eighteen, Cato is trained to be the strongest, to be the king of the hill, and to know he is. He's trained not just in how to kill people, but also in how to wound them. Same goes for Clove. But Cato is trained to use his size and viciousness to intimidate, while Clove is trained how to taunt people and drive them into a corner psychologically. It's not their personalities. It's purely and simply what they were taught to do in the games. And they can do it without remorse because they're taught from a young age that it's perfectly okay to kill the people from the other districts, and that drawing them out will bring more honor to their district, and who cares about the other districts?
^They're not trained specifically to kill but to put on a show for the cameras.^ This would make sense if it was the Capitol training them, since they don't care who wins as long as its entertaining, but it's the districts doing the training. The career districts want to win the Games for the fame and the food, so you would think that they are training their tributes to kill. Of course, with the way the Games work, there is quite a bit of overlap between winning and entertaining...
1) Because we see them through Katniss's eyes. 2) It's also an image thing. They wouldn't want to be seen having a weak moment while on camera or while one of their opponents was watching. Doubtless they go back to behaving like somewhat rational human beings once the Games are over.
Each District only needs to send two tributes each year, but that doesn't mean that there are exactly two candidates each year. There are probably dozens of candidates for career tribute and the most amoral ones get selected to be sent to the Games.
Ranged weapons are Game Breakers. Why are none of the Careers trained in them other than Clove and Glimmer? They're clearly well-trained in close combat, which is pointless because the Hunger Games aren't one-on-one combat — survival is more important than brute strength, and close combat is much more dangerous, wears you down, etc. All the Careers need to be trained in are ranged weapons, stealth, and survival skills. So why do almost all the ones we see only use one, at most?
Considering that the arenas can contain almost any environment on earth, imagining training exclusively with a bow and arrow, only to be dumped in a place like a jungle or a swamp where visibility is zero to none. True, stealth and survival skills are still important, but a few days spent training with a particular weapon could easily prove to be wasted time if the wrong arena pops up.
That's no reason not to train Careers in it, though. They have years of training, there's no point ignoring a Game Breaker on the off-chance that this year the Gamemakers did something to counter it. Really, it would make more sense if the Gamemakers were more Genre Savvy and only allow throwing knives as ranged weapons, but they don't...
Any kind of weapon is heavily regulated in Panem. Bows and arrows are the next best thing to guns and landmines in guerrilla warfare, which is why it's a death sentence to own one; Katniss only knew how to use one because of her illegal poaching activities. It's possible that the Capitol will allow training in weapons such as swords and spears that would be essentially useless in a real war, but draws the line at giving anyone training with bows and arrows. Since there was only one bow included in the 74th hunger games and no mention of bows is made in any prior games, it's possible that the bow isn't normally even available in the hunger games and was only included because of Katniss's showing off her shooting skills to the gamemasters because they knew she could be a crowd pleaser. Even if there were bows in the previous hunger games, it isn't a weapon that you can just pick up and be effective with. It takes weeks of practice before it would have any game breaker potential.
Weeks of practice? It takes years of practice to shoot efficiently. After some weeks you can only hope to hit a static target from the distance of 20 meters. Note that even during 74 Hunger Games Katniss wasn't using a compound bow, but a traditional recurve bow, without any additional parts that could help her aim.
Note that the Careers came from districts where they used weapon-like items in their daily jobs. Axes for the lumber district, Tridents/Spears for the fishing district, etc. So they get some training on their own. Also, it's easy to train with an item that can pass for a sword - a 2x2, an iron pipe, etc. There is no substitute for a bow.
That doesn't really seem to be the case. We don't really know what was going on in districts 1 and 2 which is where the careers came from. In 3 they did electronics. 4 they used tridents (for some stupid reason) and spears to fish.
District 1 is luxury goods, so there's not going to be a whole lot of physical activity involved in jeweling or lace making, and ostensibly, District 2 is the stone/masonry District, but it's also where Peacekeepers are trained and recruited and Panem's military and weapons hub after the Dark Days, so the children from District 2, aside from most of them probably being relatively strong and fit, would have at least some weapons training.
In the movie, Cato, who's mainly a sword user, uses Glimmer's bow without any issues. I would think that all the Careers can use a variety of weapons, but chose their favorite/best weapon from the supplies after the bloodbath was over.
A very bow-centric Hunger Games would be much less entertaining than one that centers on hand to hand combat. So while the Capitol would look the other way when Careers trained with swords, spears, throwing knives, and so forth, they would disallow extensive training with bows and other very long ranged weapons, to prevent the games from becoming a shooting match.
Why are the Careers trained to fight to win, up to age 17-18 before they "volunteer"? All the Capitol demands is one boy and one girl tribute, and it would be far cheaper to throw them in at age 12 as soon as they're eligible. I suppose that they could have unlimited amounts of tesserae, enough that the Capitol effectively subsidizes their training; but if the Capitol allowed that, why wouldn't every District do it?
Well, to start, the Careers actually do volunteer themselves to be in the Hunger Games (at least in Districts 1 and 2; District 4 seems to be the odd District out because no one volunteered when 14-year-old Finnick got reaped and even he wasn't so cocky to volunteer that young) because they want the pride and money and "prosperity" to their District that winning would bring. With that in mind, think about it: would you rather have a 12 year old with no chance up against older, bigger tributes from other Districts if you wanted them to win? (Think about guys like Thresh; he could have easily taken out a bunch of twelve-year-old unless they were all really crafty and/or fast.) And then there's a certain level of maturity and level-headedness needed to form alliances and learn survival skills. You kinda have to look at it from a business stand point in that you have to spend money to make money. A well-trained 18-year-old has infinitely better odds at killing 23 other kids than someone who hasn't even hit their first growth spurt. As for not letting the other Districts train the same way, the other Districts aren't close or favored, so they'd be much more willing to use their training skills to start a rebellion, especially in places like District 11, where tensions are already high. If you just let a couple Districts train, then they're much less likely to revolt (it took destroying the Nut for District 2 to fall) and if it's usually just the Districts with decent relations that win the Games, there are probably going to be a lot less problematic Victors like Haymitch. Plus, it serves to further the whole "make the Districts resent each other" thing the Capitol uses to keep them from banding together and rebelling again.
My apologies, reverse media consumption error *ie, I saw the movie before reading the book).
Mags volunteered for Annie because she was up in her years anyway, and Finnick's protection over Katniss' pregnancy would be from all those capitol lovers, right?
Until Mockingjay mentions they had a son. Given in Mockingjay Annie came back merely 7 weeks after she last saw Finnick, that easily puts her in the 9-15 week stage of pregnancy.
First time mothers don't show that early, so as long as Katniss didn't notice...
I thought the implication was that Annie got pregnant after the wedding. However, Annie and Finnick make for an interesting parallel to Katniss and Peeta when you stop to think who the real star-crossed lovers of the Hunger Games were.
Why does Katniss treat Cinna as her friend after knowing him for, what, ten minutes? And then lighting her on fire? Sure, he made her stand out and therefore gave her an advantage, but the most she should think about the guy who, you know, dresses up people so they look good before they're brutally slaughtered for the entertainment of the masses, is "Oh he's talented I guess", not "Wow, he is suddenly my bestest friend ever!"
Remember, he is good to her and (in later books) even helps her survive. In the first book, he manages to get her mockingjay pin in the arena with her, which is super important.
Katniss has a habit of clinging to any person that treats her like a human being. Notice how she's never been able to let go of a piece of burnt bread Peeta chucked at her, even when it was years ago, and how she takes Rue under her wing without the slightest hesitation.
Cinna has also demonstrated several orders of magnitude more class than anyone else involved with the Games, and everything he's done for her or advised her to do has worked out in her favor. She latches onto him as the only person she can possibly trust because he's the only one other than Peeta and Haymitch who's consistently treated her as a human being rather than a player in an upcoming spectacle; she can't trust Peeta because as far as she knows they'll be enemies in the arena, and she can't trust Haymitch because he's a sarcastic, belligerent drunk who doesn't seem to like her, but Cinna comes across as safe, approachable, and understanding.
Cinna looks human to her. In the book, she mentions how little make-up he uses and that he's hasn't had body modifications. Even his clothes are much less extreme. He looks more like someone from home. The Capitol treats the districts as if they aren't human, but we also see through Katniss narration that (at least the outlying) Districts don't see the people of the Capitol as fully human either. This goes up to eleven in later books.
Why is cannibalism prohibited in the Games? These people cry for the blood of innocent traumatized children and enjoy watching them kill each other for sport. Any kind of psychopath who enjoys something like the Games is not going to be put off by a little cannibalism.
Even Evil Has Standards, anyone? ... Seriously, if you actually do your research, you'll note that there are cultures throughout history which did stuff like this - sacrificing people while treating them like gods prior to it all, etc. More importantly, it's a reflection of our culture, the Western World - we can watch people brutally killing each other so long as it's distant from us, and this is the logical extension of that when people lose that attachment to reality. The Capitol see the Games like an epic, annual television series without really stopping to think and consider the brutal reality. As for the cannibalism: there are loads of cultures who have, historically, done such dread-provoking things, but stopped short of cannibalism because it's a step too far. More significantly, cannibalism takes away the humanity from the Tributes completely. The people don't want to cheer for a winner of the Games who is a brutal, unstable creature beyond humanity, they want some kind of god on a pedestal, a 'special' being if you will. After all, didn't even the Greeks/Norse/etc. envision their own gods as being very human - if not admirable - in behaviour?
Even Evil Has Standards? They enjoy watching twelve-year-olds beat each other to death with spiked maces. Hahaha No. Anyone who enjoys that — not even tolerates it, enjoys it — is not going to be put off by cannibalism. As for your second point, that's another thing the book fails at. The Hunger Games are incredibly traumatic, you would not get a functional human at the end of it, even if they survived. They may be able to patch your body back together, but they can't do anything for your mind. Yes, yes, Katniss has Bad Dreams, but that's not even close to the level of trauma people would get realistically. People should have extreme PTSD at best, and suicidally depressed at the worst.
This troper believes that someone needs to stop armchair psychoanalysing. Humans are more resilient than most of us think.
Where are you getting your info from? There's no such thing a a sliding scale of "standards" that you speak of. Hitler slaughtered millions of men women and children, he didn't just "tolerate" it, he "advocated" it. Guess what? He disapproved of cannibalism. We slaughter pigs and chickens by the millions yet feel horrified when we hear of people abusing dogs or cats. Point is, there is no neat set of standards people abide by, if you were raised being taught killing children is OK but cannibalism is wrong, then you will abide by exactly those standards, no questions asked.
I don't know if I would classify it as Even Evil Has Standards, but it's perfectly reasonable for the crowd to be turned off by cannibalism given the history of bloodsports. Crowds watching TV at home would want a somewhat heroic character to root for; Roman gladiators, for example, were expected to act with a degree of honor as they killed each other for the crowd's amusement, and tributes were expected to not breach certain mores. A cannibal seems too inhuman, too monstrous; the crowd starts to realize the dehumanizing effects of the game and has trouble rooting for someone so utterly unrelatable.
The rest of the injuries in the games, however horrible, can be made to look romantic and interesting. There's a level of disgustingness in cannibalism that even bashing skulls in can't touch. On a Fridge Brilliance note, televised cannibalism might start riots in some of the districts by hitting a little close to home. Think about it: there's not enough to eat...
And think about it-the fact that the Capitol looks down on cannibalism is supposed to be IRONIC. They're essentially cannibalizing the districts, draining them of hope, resources, and sacrificing their children, all the while maintaining a holier than thou, "fount of civilization" self image. Besides, the fact is the gamemakers and the more psychotic of the audience may not care about cannibalism themselves-they may even enjoy watching it-but the people in charge are aware that the social taboos on cannibalism make consuming human flesh in the arena a possible riot starter.
Game balance. Part of the fun is that the strongest fighter can just starve to death. If getting a kill guaranteed you several days' worth of food the game would become skewed.
Speaking isn't the only form of communication. What's to stop Avoxes from writing or using sign language? And on that note, they're generally slaves in charge of things like cleaning and cooking. They are also usually people who have nothing to lose. What's to stop them from mixing chemicals together in a fatal reaction, or causing food poisoning?
There are two solutions to this: first, you have to be educated in sign language to use it. Second, communication between them is probably monitored and portrayed as a no-no, even for those who can speak. As to the poisoning: why didn't slaves who had nothing to lose do it in the past? In case no one has figured out, the entire nation- including the Capitol- is bugged. Not only would the poison probably not reach its destination, but retribution would probably be bestowed on all Avoxes serving the home/facility in question by having them taste the food beforehand.
That would work I suppose...but still, what's to stop them from mixing two household chemicals and releasing poisonous gas everywhere or something like that, if they're in charge of cleaning?
"Nothing to lose" is a lot more drastic a statement than you might think. They might have awful lives, but they have lives nonetheless, and for a lot of them, that would probably be enough: killing their masters and getting caught (which would be almost sure, for the reasons expressed above) would be a death sentence, and probably a painful one. Not to mention that some of them probably still have free families and friends, and killing family members as punishment seems to be accepted practice in the Capitol.
First and foremost, it takes INTENSE amount of chlorine gas to kill a person: generally you can see it before it hits you, and requires a 0.001% concentration to be fatal (which is high when you're dealing with household cleaners). Furthermore, it requires knowledge of chemical compounds to create. Besides: as far as we can tell based on Katniss' opinions (and she's pretty damn bitter) hatred isn't directed at Capitol citizens, who are seen more as poor lost (idiotic) souls. It's the government that's taking the hate, as is the case in any war/subservient national relationship.
Bit of a moot point: Pollux uses sign language in Mockingjay.
This requires a good bit of re-writing, but let's say that the setup for the Quarter Quell was something different (anything that wouldn't mean Katniss is going back). What's to stop Prim from getting picked *again*? What would Katniss do then?
Prepare her sister the best she could? Prim is shown to be a competent healer and can recognize things that are and are not safe to eat. If she could get away from the Cornucopia with a backpack like Katniss did and managed to hide from the Careers, Prim could have made it pretty far. Hell, if the Careers all killed each other or there was some "natural" disaster that injured many of the tributes, who wouldn't have been able to heal themselves like Prim could heal herself, she could have won. Plus, wasn't Prim well liked by the people of the Capitol? She would have had plenty of sponsors.
Still, at only 13 years old and not really a fighter, she probably wouldn't have stood much of a chance no matter how well Katniss tried. Which would mean that, if Snow rigged the topic and reapings of the Quarter Quell so that Prim was chosen, it probably would have done a far better job of breaking Katniss and putting down the rebellion than throwing Katniss and a bunch of Victors in did.
The third Quarter Quell using only previous victors might have been a bit coincidental, but Prim being chosen AGAIN for the hunger games would be so painfully contrived that absolutely nobody in the capitol or districts would believe for an instant that Snow didn't just flat out rig the ballot. After all, the reason that Snow says he doesn't just arrange an "accident" to happen is because nobody would buy it. Furthermore, Snow doesn't want Katniss to be "broken" (yet) but rather for her to to stop the rebellion, killing off her sister would no doubt anger her enough to spur her into full on rebellion mode.
When Snow made that move, I took it as conceding that a war was about to happen. Even the Capitol citizens didn't want the Victors in the Arena again. From a pragmatic standpoint, if you assume that a rebellion is imminent and that most previous victors are in on it, you might as well kill off as many as you can before the rebellion can start. Rounding your enemies up into an Arena is a good way to do that.
She'd probably go crazy with the sponsorship; Prim wouldn't even need to grab a backpack. Sure, *one* Victor might not be able to afford too much, but Peeta's head-over-heels for her, so he'd probably contribute his money too. And Haymitch might be talked into it. And Katniss would probably get something from Cinna and maybe Portia. Or else she'd break into the arena.
Why did the capitol ever develop nuclear weapons? It is strongly implied in the series that Panem is the last nation on earth. What enemies did it have that it needed that level of weaponry?
If there are other nations that would justify Panem getting nuclear weapons, why did District 13 not at least attempt to recruit them as allies?
Because that would mean another powerful group of people involved in the struggle for control of the country. District 13 wouldn't want to take that risk by recruiting allies outside of Panem. Especially if they also had nuclear weapons. Coin and her followers are portrayed as preventing anyone else from standing in her way of controlling all of Panem, even if she pretends to be on their side.
Actually, no. One of the cameramen in the third book is an avox, and he is shown eating with the rest of them in Mockingjay; it doesn't go into detail, but it looks like they just have to learn how to work around it, like talking with retainers. His "particular difficulty in swalloing" is how Peeta figures out he was an avox.
Presumably, the same way as anyone who's lost his tongue eats. Such accidents and punishments are not unknown.
What happened to the people who needed tesserae after the announcement that the drawing for the Quarter Quell would only be among past victors?
Tesserae is a mark that stays with you for all the years you are eligible to enter. They just dodged the bullet for that year.
And therefore, all the 18-year-olds are lining up in droves in front of all the Justice Buildings to take as many tesserae as they're allowed to take.
Would that actually happen, though? Would that time count as a year they're eligible to enter anymore, since their names wouldn't be entered for the reapings anyway? (Relatedly, what about 18-year olds whose birthday is after the Games? Would they be able to sign up for tesserae if they'd bcome ineligible before the next games?)
On the relatedly: it is not about the year they turn, but their actual age. Katniss became eligible when she turned twelve, even though it was almost a year until the next reaping. Logically, an eighteen-year-old is still eligible, even if he turns nineteen the next day. This means there may have been kids who turned nineteen shortly after being reaped/going into the Hunger Games, but the difference would not have been big enough to matter. After all, they don't know how long each Games will last until it's over.
The epilogue. At first, it seems like a glimmer of hope among the bleak, that Peeta and Katniss live to have children, who will grow up in a world better than the one they grew up in. But then, you realise that these kids are going to grow up with a severely depressed, emotionally numb Broken Bird for a mother, and a father who has difficulty seperating reality from fiction and is still susceptible to mental programming that at any moment could cause him to flip out and kill their mother. Maybe having kids wasn't the best decision on Katniss and Peeta's part...
Except that Peeta was already beyond most of his trauma (not all, but enough to control himself) at the book's end and Katniss is very giving person no matter how bitter she is. Plus, it's specifically stated they waited 15 years before having kids. This world has therapists, and they're smart enough to see them when kids are on the line. Their life won't be perfect, and Katniss and Peeta will always have problems with themselves but that doesn't make them bad parents.
No one said that they are bad parents. The only thing suggested is that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea for them to have children.
The mention of their children reminded me of Art Spiegelman's afterword to Maus: A Survivor's Tale. There Spiegelman, the child of two Holocaust survivors, recounts how he assumed as a child that all adults moaned and thrashed all night in their sleep. He was rather amazed by the discovery that other kids' parents didn't do this. Expect Katniss and Peeta's kids to grow up believing that it's totally normal for grownups to wake up screaming in the night or to stare into space muttering "real or not real?" No, far from ideal, but kids adjust—they can flourish even under very damaged parents as long as the parents are loving and responsible.
Exactly. They'll reach adolescence thinking their parents are normal, having never gone hungry or even tasted stale bread and not quite grasping the whole "chance of being forced to fight to the death in your teens" thing, and it'll slowly unfold to them just how hard their parents had to fight to make the world that way for them, and the scars that it left...
Additionally to the above points: just because Katniss and Peeta are not 100% recovered and emotionally healthy and well-adjusted after their experiences doesn't mean they're still in exactly the same broken and traumatized states as they were in the period immediately after the events of the novel. Fifteen years after the fact, while they still struggle with nightmares, depression, and other issues, they are almost certainly not the basket cases the original comment describes, thanks to time, a functional support structure, and the opportunity for professional help.
Finnick, the heartthrob of District 4, reveals his forced prostitution under President Snow in Mockingjay. Now, with that in mind, remind yourself of how Katniss nearly got cosmetic surgery to look more attractive after the 74th Games, and the fact that she might have suffered the same fate had it not been for Haymitch's intervention (and the star-crossed lovers of District 12 thing).
Even more horrifying when you remember Finnick was only 14 when he won his Hunger Games...
In Catching Fire, Katniss notes that the citizens of the Capitol waited until he was 16 until they went after him.
I assumed that was the story given out for public consumption. If Snow could benefit in some way by letting someone have clandestine access to an underage Finnick, then there'd be no such thing as any Jail Bait Wait.
For further horror, remember how Katniss noted that the prep teams often sent the tributes in the parade nearly or completely naked, and considers it a near miss that Cinna doesn't do this. Almost as if they were being shopped. Then notice that the children of tributes are more likely to be chose for the Games ... perhaps because their parents refused Snow's demands?
It should also be noted that Finnick had to become a prostitute because the Capitol threatened to kill everyone he loved. Then remember that Johanna states in Catching Fire that everyone she loves is dead. Considering that Johanna is mentioned as being one of the young and relatively attractive victors, there's a large chance that Johanna refused the Capitol's prostitution demands and that the Capitol responded by killing everyone she cared about.
Take note that all the attractive tributes we know of (and maybe even the unattractive) have likely been forced to prostitute themselves. Cashmere and Gloss, Finnick and Johanna, probably Enobaria... And if Glimmer or Marvel had won the 74th, the same fate probably would have befallen them.
Haymitch claims this never happened to him, and he's probably telling the truth. The Fridge Horror kicks in when you think about the only reason he must have escaped it: Snow had already had his family killed, and so had no leverage over him.
Not likely. The Capitol adored Katniss and Peeta, they wouldn't want to intrude on their relationship.
Agreed - but they made a big deal about them getting married in the Capitol, and considering how easy it would be to put a camera in their room ... there totally would have been porn of their honeymoon sold to people who could offer political favors to Snow.
When you consider the proclivities of the kinds of people Finnick described, it's not hard to believe that certain particularly sadistic Capitol citizens would want Katniss or Peeta for themselves because of their famous romance- a chance to "get in on the action" themselves.
The winners of the Hunger Games becomes mentors for the next tributes. Children of tributes are often chosen for the Games ... there's probably some mentors that had to mentor their own children, imagine how that must feel.
Finnick is mentioned as pulling Annie back when she retreats into her own world. She's been like this for years. Well, Finnick dies and she has his baby. What happens if she starts to retreat into her own world? Finnick isn't there to pull her back.
The kid was therapeutic for her. It happens.
Katniss and Peeta are implied to have watched all 57 of the relevant tapes from the old Hunger Games in Catching Fire. So they watched over 1,300 teenagers be murdered on television in a few months.
In Catching Fire when Gale is being punished in the square, Peeta figures out what's going on before they can see anything. Why does he know what a whip sounds like?! Then go back to Hunger Games and look at the progression of Peeta's injury after the first bread scene (red weal, then swelling and a black eye) - just like with the injury Katniss gets trying to protect Gale. That awful woman whipped her 11-year-old son in the face!
A Tumblr post got me thinking on how Annie was only in a sheet after she, Peeta, and Johanna were rescued from the Capitol. The implications of her and most likely Johanna being naked there...as if they weren't already big enough Woobies! It's made even more horrible by the fact that Annie was mentioned to have had Finnick's son at the end of Mockingjay, and when the child was conceived seems vague.
Hmm... The Hunger Games obviously include the horror of brutal murder of children, and it's mentioned that at least one tribute was eating body parts. That's two bad bits - it's probably not too much of a stretch that rape has happened in the games. (I've only read the first book so far, I'm assuming this doesn't come up.)
While the topic never comes up, the Gamemakers did not approve of the cannibalism and most likely would have prevented any rapes from occuring (sudden fire, flood, Muttation, et c).
This troper has always been bugged by a (slightly less 'fridge horror') variation of this; surely, over 74 years of 24 teenagers being locked up together, forming alliances etc (and knowing they are going, very probably, to die soon) Katniss and Peeta cannot have have been the first 'star-crossed lovers'? There must have been other relationships forming in there... Or if not, 'we are going to die/what would you do if this was your last night on earth, may as well'-type stuff must have been going on. Back to the rape thing, though, there's nothing to say it wasn't happening and the Gamemakers just didn't show it. Deaths need to be shown, which would explain the taboo on cannibalism, but no-one watching the games has any knowledge of what is going on besides what the Gamemakers choose to broadcast. It's very unlikely it didn't ever happen.
You guys are forgetting one very important aspect of the Hunger Games. It's televised across the entire nation. It's not at all a stretch to assume that rape is extremely rare because the tributes know full well that they're being watched. Shame is a powerful deterrent. And if there really were any star crossed lovers before Peeta and Katniss, they probably tried to keep it quiet, so they could have at least a little bit of privacy in their final days.
There's a world of difference between the kind of 'star-crossed lovers' story Katniss and Peeta represented and a brief romantic relationship springing up between two kids who would never have known each other before the Reaping. Yeah, it's quite plausible that some kids might have struck up a romantic relationship after that (remaining willfully blind to the fact that it would never work out), but the story of Peeta being reaped together with the girl he'd secretly loved for years was so effective precisely because it was so dramatically unlikely and implausible. It's a practical certainty that their story was unique in the history of the Hunger Games.
What happens to Peeta while he's captured by President Snow is exactly what he told Katniss he didn't want to have happen to him on the night before the 74th games. Something about that is just deeply unsettling.
One might also wonder if Snow partially chose that particular method of torture because he knows that conversation took place and that it would shake Katniss more than anything else.
Both a straight and in-universe example: The moment Katniss realizes that when Snow told her to convince him she loved Peeta it was not actually to preserve peace. It was because when Snow knew Katniss genuinely loved Peeta the boy became valuable as a way of torturing Katniss "by proxy".
This troper took it to mean the following; Snow knew from the beginning the rebellion couldn't be controlled, but scaring Katniss into not instignating anything along the Victory Tour would definitely help keeping the mood down.
Katniss's (in)famous ultimatum. At first it seems like a (kind-of) win-win: Either both she and Peeta live and the victory celebrations go on as usual, or they both die, but leave the gamemakers and the Capitol to deal with the fallout from 12 seriously pissed off districts (all of that and no one gets extra food, and no family gets their child back? Well there goes that bit of hope Snow was talking about in the movie) and a disgruntled Capitol audience who have no new celebrity to fawn over. Katniss was counting on the fact that they would prefer the former over the latter, which they did. But if they didn't, there's what we learn from the later books about how President Snow likes to deal with rebellious or disobedient victors. He almost certainly would have had Katniss and Peeta's families killed, and maybe Gale's if he found out about their relationship . And since what they did was so public, he probably would have done it publicly to teach the districts, especially future tributes, a lesson about openly defying the Games' rules. (Of course, there's what happens to Prim and Peeta's family later, but still.)
Mag's fate becomes this once the plan is revealed. We go in assuming that Mag's was making a Heroic Sacrifice by volunteering, since even if she managed to survive for a while, there's pretty much no way she could finish off anyone else before they could finish her off. Then we find out the plan was to get them out, and she and Finnick knew about it, and her death becomes infinitely more tragic.
Throughout the series, Katniss has trouble relating to others. She assumes Peeta is lying the entire time he's saying he's in love with her because she understands manipulation rather than emotion. Why? Because she has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as the result of her totally brutal childhood. Common symptoms of PTSD: avoidance, feelings of detachment or estrangement from others and restricted range of affect (numbing)? Check. Sleep disturbance, nightmares, irritability, anger (and impulsiveness)? Check. Intrusive reexperiencing and dissociative recall? Less until Mockingjay, but still present early on. Katniss' bitchiness is actually well written, undiagnosed, deep seated psychological trauma.
Even more brilliant? Prim doesn't have PTSD. Why? One of the resilience factors in not developing PTSD is having a strong sense of family providing a sense of safety for you. Katniss' mother checked out leaving no one for Katniss, but Prim had her older sister.
This hit me while I was eating ice cream one afternoon. Marvel killed Rue, because he found out that she was Katniss' ally sometime after Glimmer's death but before Katniss blows up the Careers' food. Jealous that Katniss and Peeta were the most famous Tributes of that year's Games and the fact that he's a Career trained to think that only he can win and not some kids from the porrest District, he decided to take away something that Katniss had so she could lose the will to survive in the Games. Of course, it doesn't work since Katniss kills Marvel and she and Peeta both win.
This suddenly hit me the other day: Suzanne Collins has made it so that you, the reader, are a person from the Capitol! Let me explain: Most people I know love the first book, are okay with the second, and dislike the third. Their reasoning is that things start to go bad. Well, by the end of the first book, you're enjoying yourself, right? A lot of horrible stuff has happened, people have been hurt and died, but you're enjoying yourself. It was exciting! That's like the Capitol citizen, watching the Hunger Games on television and enjoying it. Then, in the second and third books, things start to go nasty. War, Anyone Can Die, stuff like that. Suddenly, you don't like the books anymore. That's because the Capitol citizen is being shown what danger is really like. It's not fun. It's nasty. It's traumatic. It's real.
So that would mean that the people who enjoyed all books (although 3rd a little less) would be District 13?
Not necessarily. I liked Catching Fire the best, and disliked Mockingjay because I felt it was full of Character Derailment and bad writing, not necessarily because of all the trauma. Though I do admit it is a rather radical departure from the other two books; it would have worked better if the tone was more consistent.
Also, there are reasons besides "it's getting dark" that people disliked Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I personally liked them less because romance started to eat the plot a bit (and therefore, began eating Katniss's thoughts), and I'm just not a fan of all that stuff. When it came to the action, though, I thoroughly enjoyed both. That said, I do think you have a point in that we, as a reader, are meant to think like the Capitol citizens when it comes to the Games.
Are the people who couldn't tolerate the first book good human beings by this metric, then?
I'd say this is only because the author knew human nature well enough to recognize how many/almost all of us are (even unwillingly) drawn to chaos and carnage as something interesting. This can be disastrous and tragic, like when a person becomes a murderer, but it can also be beneficial: consider a media frenzy over a train accident because of unsafe rails. People care about the story because it both horrifies and intrigues them, but this obsession will likely lead to steps to prevent it from happening to us (new legislation/safety precautions). Similarly, a person who's drawn to action or blood might as well become a police officer or a doctor—not just a criminal or a serial killer. My point is that a person intrigued by gore isn't necessarily evil! The crime of the people of the Capitol is that they can't distinguish the line between fiction and reality, because the districts' populations are so far removed from them culturally, in appearance, and in just about any other way that they sympathize with them no more than we would with a fictional protagonist.
To expand on this, notice that in Catching Fire, the Victors go out of their way in the pre-Games interviews to humanize themselves to the audiences and make it as difficult as possible for them to be seen as fictional characters as opposed to real people.
Well, if you think about it, the symbolism in the books is quite clear. We are from the capitol. What do you think the US or Europe looks like to people from poor country's? Sure, they have rich people everywhere (winners). But where is the place where half of the food gets thrown away? [Humans Are Bastards right...]
If Chapters 24 and 25 of Mockingjay weren't so painfully badly written, you might have something.
Interestingly enough there's another way to look at this one. Suzanne Collins WANTED to make the reader into a person from the capitol and in many cases she probably succeeded but not all. Some of us were more likely people in the districts. I enjoyed the first book yes but less for the gore and more for how pointedly well Collins showed how evil this nightmare was and felt more like the people in the districts. She also gave you a choice, the choice everyone has really. Go along with the games and be swept up in them, or be thinking of a way to turn the tide. Then we start to see the results in Catching Fire with the decisions of people like Cinna and Plutarch.
A minor bit of Fridge Brilliance of the Meaningful Name variety with Lavinia (the Avox girl not named until the third book). This name seemed random until I read a summary of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and read about the eventual fate of that Lavinia: among other things, her tongue was cut out.
Many characters have Meaningful Names, among others, Seneca Crane, Cato, Katniss, Peeta...
In Katniss and Gale's first scene together, Gale shows up with a loaf of bread (symbolizing Peeta) that has an arrow (symbolizing Katniss) stuck to it. Make of that what you will.
Don't forget all the times that fire and bread are alluded to in one scene. The bread scene when Katniss was eleven and the wedding rites of District 12 are two significant ones.
I was sort of hoping the tribute nicknamed 'Foxface' would have more significance as a character in The Hunger Games. She just sort of hung around and then get killed accidentally by Peeta. But then I realized that is the significance of her character. Whether or not Suzanne Collins actually intended it, she answered a question that is on all of our minds. How would a tribute do if he or she just hid from the others and carefully scavenged food and didn't kill anyone (as far as we know, she didn't) and just waited it out as the others killed each other? The answer is this: if she's as sneaky and clever as that girl, pretty well. She came in fourth and it was only by chance that Peeta happened to have poisoned berries in his food stash right at the moment she stole their food. Remember Finnick's comment about none of the Victors being Victors by chance and all of them being lacking in compassion and quick to kill? Well, if Foxface had still been alive, in the final battle with the mutts when they attacked Cato, Katniss and Peeta, the mutts wouldn't have backed off and Katniss and Peeta couldn't hold on forever. So she shows that maybe you can be a victor by laying low, just focusing on stealing food and avoiding the others as they finish each other off. Who knows?
However, that that kind of victory would be...undramatic. The Hunger Games are put on for the entertainment of the people of the Capitol, who are starved for action and blood. The last thing the gamemasters would allow would be a victory by someone who basically spent the entire Games laying low and not doing anything. Even if she hadn't met her end at Peeta's poisoned berries, it's highly likely that a suitably dramatic death was being arranged for her anyway.
Maybe, maybe not. After, say, a five-year-streak of the Games being won by bloody battles, the sheer surprise of a non-Career tribute winning the Game through wit and strategy could have been pretty good entertainment.
There's a chance Foxface did recognize the berries and decided to have a painless suicide (that looks like an accident so her family won't get hurt) rather than be brutally killed by someone else.
Didn't Haymitch win, against much greater odds, that way? The other tribute who tried to kill him ended up having it rebound. Foxface's strategy could have been a winner and had been before.
In Catching Fire, Haymitch promises both Katniss and Peeta that he'll work with them to get the other one out alive. When Katniss and Peeta discuss this in the arena, Peeta points out that Haymitch has to be lying to one of them. Although the narrative never specifically addresses it later on, he's not lying to either of them - he's hoping to get them both out with the help of the rebels.
In Mockingjay, it is revealed that attractive Hunger Games Victors are forced to prostitute themselves to Capitol citizens. The Capitol is based off of Ancient Rome/Greece, where some... Unusual and unrestrained sexual practices were performed. So, it does make sense that Attractive Hunger Games Victors would forced to be prostitutes in a Roman/Grecian-based Capitol.
Having not read any other books by Suzanne Collins, I posit that the writing and facts contained in the book are flawed because it's told by a poorly educated 16 year old who never really has a full understanding of what is going on. All the info dumps are done from her point of view and based on her experiences. She grew up in a small, impoverished coal mining town. She was taught everything she knew about hunting from her father and best friend. All of that knowledge has been passed down by at least one other person since it's been 73 years since the the second war, even longer since the first. Most knowledge of using bows as sport may have even been lost before then since this is set 10 seconds in the future. Even her mother's strange healing knowledge can be explained by this (keeping flies away from open wounds when you don't have any better way of cleaning them? That's something that goes back centuries that can be explained by society being overly reliant on technology and then in a heartbeat have it all taken away).
Makes sense, except for when the facts are things Katniss really ought to know about. Like facts about hunting and whatnot. The ability to shoot a squirrel through the eye seems a bit... much.
Unless she shot with pointed sticks at small game.
There are real-life squirrel-hunting competitions in places like southern Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia — Hillbilly coal-mining country, even. Bonus points are awarded for a shot through the eye. The competitions are conducted with muzzle-loading black-powder rifles even less accurate than a good hunting bow. Winners routinely turn in nothing but eye-shot squirrels.
I think that the original troper's suggestion here constitutes an Argument from Incredulity. Just because aforesaid troper considers Katniss a ' poorly educated 16 year old' who was 'taught everything she knew about hunting from her father and best friend', doesn't mean that Katniss is stupid; stupidity is not a function of one's educational level. Troper seems confused about the difference between intelligence and knowledge; Katniss seems to be remarkably intelligent in that she takes the few morsels of fact that she is given and puts them together into a picture of her society that her experience more or less confirms. If anything, her experience teaches her that her society is even worse - more systematically unjust and cruel - than she imagined. Also, Katniss' conclusions about the nature of her own society are repeatedly shown to be accurate, or at any rate she is seldom contradicted by her own experiences. So either the original troper has not made his or her point clear, or the original point is entirely wrong; Katniss' native intelligence helps her to understand pretty well what is going on, and her experience only confirms most of her worst fears about the exploitation and cruelty that is rampant in her society. In other respects, I fail to see how knowledge of how to use a bow, etc., could be so easily lost as the troper seems to believe.
Peeta's favorite color being orange: "like sunset". Like fire? And note that a muted, sunset-like orange was also the color of the dress Katniss wore at the end of the first book, the one that made it look as if she was "wearing candlelight". The dress was calculated to make her look innocent, but Cinna stated that he thought Peeta would like it. Apparently, he did.
Peeta is shown to be a smooth and remorseless liar more than once, and even though it's done for the sake of surviving the Games (specifically for Katniss to survive the Games), I wondered how a guy who is otherwise so genuinely decent and idealistic could also be so practiced at deception. And then it occurred to me that the answer might lie in his family life; with an abusive mother and a father who seemed unable to protect him much of the time, lying was probably a means of self-protection for young Peeta rather than something immoral or wrong. Remember, even his act of kindness in giving bread to a starving Katniss was an act of deception against his mother. After growing up deceiving and manipulating abusive or indifferent adults to protect himself, playing the repressive regime and the entertainment-hungry audience in order to save the girl he loved probably came naturally to him. Seen this way, his character makes more sense to me.
Though Panem has some pretty crazy name customs ("Hi, I'm Glimmer!"), Effie, whether it was intended this way or not, is short for Elizabeth. Elizabeth Banks portrayed her in the film. YMMV, but that's kind of cool.
YMMV on this, but when Peeta's name was called during the Reaping, he had this horrified expression on his face. Initially, being one who has never touched any of the books, I thought he was intended to be just a faceless nobody who was afraid that he was going to die. It didn't hit me until after he had proclaimed his love for Katniss that the horrified expression he had at the beginning of the movie was because he was going to fight against the love of his life. Could also have some Fridge Horror, though. Imagine you and the person you cherish the most being pitted against 22 others in a battle to the death, and the rules are, "24 enter, 1 survives."
Good point, but you might be overstating the whole romance thing, at least at this point. Peeta had a crush on Katniss. You need to actually know the person to really fall in love with them. A better example might be finding yourself having to fight against a friend or just someone you know. Not as dramatic but still somewhat disturbing.
If he was watching her walk home everyday and covertly staring at her at school, it was probably a bit more than a crush. He was at least seriously infatuated with her, probably to the point of being in love with the idea of her. It should be noted that Peeta seemed to know a lot more about Katniss than she knew about him, so maybe he could have loved her based on what he knew.
Being abused most of his life, Peeta probably felt isolated - either because of the defensive mechanisms (lying, mostly) he set up, or because of his fear of other people. When he saw Katniss singing as a child, an infatuation began. However, notice how throughout all three books, Peeta's actions and words are geared toward protecting her and taking care of her rather than a relationship with her. He even apologizes for their forced relationship. His stalker-like tendancies are his socially awkward way of watching over her. Why does he do this? Because no one took care of him. His crush evolved into a sense of duty, that was magnified by his traumatic childhood. Thus, the explanation behind his horrified face is not that he is afraid to kill his "crush," but rather that he has to kill the person he has been secretly watching over and wanting to protect.
In addition to that, he could have been horrified that the person he loved could kill him.
Going along with the above, Peeta might have identified with Katniss because she's also an outsider. Also, Peeta's dad liked Katniss' mom, and Peeta is stated to be kind-hearted like his father
The name of the mockingjay. Mockingjay. Not only because it's part mockingbird, but because its very existence taunts the Capitol.
And did no-one else pick that the name became a double-entendre when applied to Katniss? In one sense, she was "The Mockingjay", which was the name given to the rebel leader. In another, the way that Coin's media machine kept trying to set her up as a "revolutionary celebrity" by making her parrot high-sounding phrases and dramatic but empty slogans made her very much a "mockingjay", ie a bird that mindlessly repeats everything that is said to it!
The Shaky Cam in the Reaping scene. At first it was just annoying because it was purely an artistic choice - there was no violence that needed to be obfuscated to keep it PG-13 - but it makes sense as an artistic choice because it's the most violent thing in the whole movie - it's where the characters are put in the position that leads to all the blood and gore in the Arena.
Peeta. Pita. His family makes bread.
Could also be seen as Biblical. St Peter was Christ's 'rock' and Peeta in The Hunger Games is Katniss's rock. Someone she can always rely on. Until Mockingjay, when, after he's hijacked by Snow, he denies her in very violent terms.
While I was first reading The Hunger Games, I initially chalked up the spelling of Capitol with an "o" instead of an "a" as a "Because poor literacy is kewL" moment, as did my mom. When discussing it, we realized that it was because the Capitol was deliberately trying to invoke a templesque image in the citizenry of Panem.
I also considered the use of "Capitol" instead of "Capital" a case of something akin to Unreliable Narrator (because the girl just can't spell) until I realized that you go to the capitol to pay your tolls (dues, taxes, tributes).
I thought it was just a nod to Ancient Rome's Capitolium, where the senate (and later the emperor) held government.
In Mockingjay, I wondered for a long time about Katniss voting yes for holding another, Capitol-centered, Hunger Games. We get her thought process, but not her motivation. In the end it occurred to me: she had to convince Coin to trust her, but even more so she had to find out what she would do... and Coin said she'd make sure Snow knew about the last Hunger Games with Capitol children, assuming that would cause him anguish. At least to me, that is like having Coin testify that even she would not have expected Snow to bomb his own child human shields.
Talking about Coin said she'd make sure Snow knew, the vote was right before the scheduled public execution of Snow. I guess Coin announced the decision in public before letting Katniss carry out the execution. The crowd must have been furious (they finally understand the horror of sending their children to certain death), a riot is imminent, all they need is a spark. And then Katniss shot Coin...
And then Katniss' trial after she shot President Coin. They used the Insanity Defense and sent her home. The new government can't afford to execute her, as they risk uprising from the Capitol people and their sympathizers, and making her a martyr. And of course there won't be another Hunger Games.
Collins' move was perfect, actually. It's about time a protagonist lied to an antagonist's face about her stand. How many times have we seen deuteragonists (okay, Katniss isn't one, but still) mouth off to the bad guys about their plan to bring the latter to justice, only to get snuffed in the process?
I wondered why, in Catching Fire, Cashmere, the female tribute from District 1, is so controlling of Gloss, the male and her brother. Whenever they're pictured together, she's dragging him around. Then I realized... they're siblings. And their games were CONSECUTIVE YEARS. WHAT ARE THE ODDS? So Gloss was probably selected as a tribute the year after his sister either as punishment for Cashmere, or because she was just so spectacular. No wonder she's protective of him! There was a very, very slim chance he would make it back from his games! Makes their deaths a lot sadder...
They were Career tributes, it's likely they would have volunteered.
Unlikely. Brutus is specifically mentioned as volunteering, but not Enobaria or the siblings. Also, they both go out of their way during their interviews to reflect badly on the Capitol and try to get the Games cancelled. It seems like only the craziest of the crazies would want to go through that arena again.
I am thinking that the siblings volunteered for their first Games on consecutive years, so "what are the odds of two siblings being chosen on consecutive years?" doesn't really apply. After they won their first Games, they were promised an easy life with lots of money and no more reapings, right until the Quarter Quell rule change, and both got chosen. Feeling betrayed, and also the horror of killing each other, they tried to get the Games cancelled.
This troper read a Fan Fic where Gloss volunteered for his Games (partly) in order to help Cashmere escape from prostitution, making it so that he can no longer be used as leverage (assuming Snow doesn't have the power to kill off victors).
The rebellions in Mockingjay got my goat for a little while because Katniss seems to hear about everything secondhand. She never really does much. By the time Katniss joins in, all the Districts are already rebelling, and in fact, they've already won, except for Two, which is sorted out quickly enough courtesy of one single move by Gale and Beetee. There's revolution sweeping the entire country, an empire being toppled, and we don't even get to see most of it. Even in the very end, she's unconscious and nearly dead when the Capitol's finally overthrown. She didn't have anything to do with the final battle. But then, as the ending and the epilogue went on, it hit me: That's the entire point. This is not the story of a girl who led the rebels to victory. This is the story of a girl who's used by every single faction for every single second of her life. She's not a champion. She's a tool. That's her character arc, and only in the very final pages of the series does she finally learn to live as a person again.
You can even see tremendous hints of this really early on, in her first Games, where the only thing keeping her alive was her public image, which was lovingly crafted by Peeta and Cinna. They made her tragic and beautiful, respectively. So, even then, her life and death were decided by other people — not just the Capitol, but even people who love her, people more talented and brilliant than she was to begin with.
Is it really fair to lump Peeta and Cinna in with the rest? Everyone else was trying to control her, there's no doubt of that, but those two were purely in it to save her life, and neither were looking to gain anything out of it. Peeta, at the very least, was never trying to use her at any point.
I'd say that Peeta and Cinna manipulated everyone else to view Katniss as something she wasn't. It was all about what people wanted to see in Katniss, instead of who she actually was. Point still stands.
How did Theseus escape the labyrinth in the myth that inspired The Hunger Games? With a long coil of string. How does Katniss escape the arena in Catching Fire? With a long coil of wire. Destroying the force field separating the arena from the outside world was the equivalent of killing the minotaur!
Well, it's more likely (and not artistic license at all) that Buttercup is a nasty piece of work because he's presumably a feral cat who was only barely young enough to be tamed at all when they found him. Note that Katniss only gets along with him at all when she bribes him with food before the REAL Artistic License - Animal Care when he tames to her after Prim dies—a real cat with that behavior would probably just go feral again. Most ferals never really tame down unless they are very, very young when humans capture them—Prim is just so much Friend to All Living Things she can overcome it. (Another hint she's Too Good for This Sinful Earth).
Given that the humans in his life are struggling to feed themselves, it's no wonder they have little time left over to figure out how to care for him properly.
Why was Katniss' squad in the Battle of the Capitol numbered 451? Fahrenheit 451, one of the earliest dystopian works.
There are countless hints throughout the book as to how the love triangle will end. To avoid too much stuff in spoiler tags I'll just name a few:
Katniss describes how her mother got depressed when her husband died and almost lost the will to live. When Katniss has lost Peeta at the end of Catching Fire she goes through a period of not wanting to live, followed by a long period of depression.
Katniss is the girl on fire and Peeta is the boy with the bread. Put those together and you can get toast. In District Twelve no couple feels married until they have made a fire together and made toast.
Peeta is portrayed in a very positive light throughout the books, almost to the point of having no faults. The books are not written in third-person but told through the eyes of Katniss. People tend to not see the faults in the people they are in love with.
In The Hunger Games, the Gamemakers use burning trees and firebolts to turn Katniss back towards the centre, and in the film it's even directly stated that she's too close to the edge. Of course, the Gamemakers want to keep the games interesting, but Catching Fire turns it into Fridge Brilliance: it is revealed that Haymitch used the edge of the arena to his advantage in a way the Gamemakers wouldn't have thought of (and didn't approve). After that stunt, Gamemakers for later Hunger Games would make sure to keep the tributes away from the edge. Bonus brilliance: Why can they go near the edge of the arena in Catching Fire? Why, because the leader of the Gamemakers was part of the rebellion, of course!
Two additional layers to that last thought: How does he get away with letting them come close to the force field? By making it strong enough that it can electrocute and kill the tributes. Which, in turn, is probably necessary for their planned method of breaking out to work.
Prim is portrayed as a nearly perfect person whose closest thing to a flaw is being too good. Why? Because we see her through Katniss' eyes. Katniss' sister is one of very few people who have never let her down at some point, or appeared to do so. Also, even if she knows what she's done in her life has been good for some people, she has to kill others to win the Games, she has to watch horrible stuff happen in the war to overthrow the Capitol, knowing that she sort of started it. Protecting her sister is the only thing she's done that she (and the reader) can be certain is unambiguously good. No wonder she makes Prim out to be an idealized character.
Why District Twelve? Because Suzanne Collins-and the fans-like underdogs? Maybe, but maybe also because someone in charge of the rebellion wanted someone without much power or knowledge of what went on outside their District, that they could control as a rebel symbol without appearing to. Cinna asked for that particular District. The rebels could have manipulated the Games from the inside like Plutarch did long before Katniss pulled out the berries. They couldn't have known it would happen exactly as it did but it sounds like they were planning to make a rebel symbol out of somebody.
Katniss finding a bow and arrow that was roughly the right size for her, or at least close enough that she could use it without injuring herself severely seems farfetched until you remember that the Gamemakers want her to be able to use it. It's more entertainment for the masses in the 74th Games and in the 75th there's at least one Gamemaker with a vested interest in keeping her alive. In fact, Glimmer probably just looked incompetent with a bow because it wasn't the right fit.
For those who follow goofs, it is often pointed out that there is no cannon for Rue or Marvel. The film makes it pretty obvious that the Gamemakers have complete control over the arena, able to create forest fires and fall trees at will, and they do not first fire the cannon until some time after the opening bloodbath. They probably didn't want to ruin the emotional scene between Katniss and Rue.
Rue's death is forshadowing. Rue didn't survive the Games, Prim won't survive the war.
Both Snow's and Coin's names hint at their true nature. President Snow is cold like his name and, like a coin, Alma Coin has two sides to her, the public face that she puts on and her ruthlessness that leads her to bomb the crowds
Some fans have wondered why Rue, who seems to come off as a Morality Pet to almost everyone she meets, had nobody volunteer to take her place in the Hunger Games. The second book shows that District 11 has a huge population, so the reaping shown on television is most likely the final stage of several eliminations, by which time anything of that nature would have been sorted out. However, there's a second, more tearjerking possibility. Not only are parents forbidden from volunteering for their children, but Rue is the oldest of her siblings and probably told them not to take her place. Seeing as how the entire district salutes Katniss during her victory tour, it's possible that this was an agreement amongst the entire community.
Well, being the oldest of the siblings at twelve, and assuming her parents weren't six years old when they had her, meant that none of her family could have taken her place anyway. They were all either too old or too young.
The existence of the Careers, full stop.
It's stated that the Careers are trained from birth for what they do. What better way for the wealthiest Districts to protect their own children? The families who offer their children as Careers are probably the poorest, the ones with too many mouths to feed. Taking only two or three Careers per year would mean sending their babies to certain death, but taking several gives families hope that their kids will get the benefit of training without the sacrifice at the end. It helps the parents rationalize their decision, and the Districts can pick the best out of a larger training pool. And the richer families can live in relative peace, knowing that the Reaping is just a formality and a Career will always step forward to volunteer in their child's place. It's the tesserae concept all over again, cranked up to eleven.
Many of the families must emotionally distance themselves from their Career kids as much as possible, knowing they may volunteer someday. The Games are probably the first, last, and only entity to really "want" kids like Cato and Glimmer. They draw their entire sense of self-worth from the Arena, and the promise of immortality and glory for their District. No wonder these are the kids who volunteer and leap into the Games' metaphorical arms, delighted to "put on a show"!
And why does the Capitol turn a blind eye to the training process? Two reasons. It suits their purposes to divide the twelve Districts into conflicting upper and lower classes, within and between themselves. In that sense, the unofficial Career program keeps the citizens of District 1 and 2 feeling privileged and special - their children can grow up without true fear of the Reaping, and their populaces are well fed and prosperous. Citizens from these Districts are probably a major source of loyal talent for the Capitol. And furthermore, a regular string of Career Victors allows the Capitol to divert most of the Victors' spoils into their wealthiest districts, keeping the larger and more populous agricultural/logging/mining districts as poor and starving as possible, and deflect their resentment onto Districts 1 and 2 for "cheating". If a poorer District tried to set up a training program, they'd be shut down by the Peacekeepers in no time.
Tributes from District 4 seem to be added to the Career Packs mainly as an afterthought; they die off faster and easier, and are probably recruited mostly to swell the ranks of the Pack in the early part of the Games, when numbers count, and to ensure an alliance with any potential Finnicks. (In fact, depending on when it started, their inclusion may even be one of Finnick's legacies.)
In the first book, Peeta tells Katniss that his dad had wanted to marry her mom back when they were younger. It didn't hit me until much later that he said this on national television, and you know the gamemakers aired it because of the "star-crossed lovers" storyline. If his mother didn't know already that her husband basically settled for her before, she knows now, along with all of District 12 and the rest of Panem. (I even read a theory from a commenter on a HG fansite that Peeta may have revealed it on purpose to subtly get back at her for what she said to him before the Games. And knowing how slick Peeta can be, I wouldn't put it past him.)
I had a thought when I was reminded of the fact that Peeta's father was in love with Katniss's mother as a youngster and pointed this out to Peeta when he was a little boy. Originally, this detail annoyed me. it seemed too cute of a detail or too much of a coincidence that Peeta would fall in love with the daughter of the woman his father fell in love with. But I realized that maybe Peeta's infatuation with Katniss is born from the idea of his father being with Katniss's mother instead of his own. With Peeta having a downright terrible relationship with his mother and her being abusive towards him his whole life, perhaps he would escape that pain with the fantasy of his father being with Katniss's mother instead. And of course in his fantasy, she would be lovely and nice. So perhaps he took that idea and transferred it to Katniss. As if Katniss is his chance to get away from the abuse of his mother, or the abuse his potential wife might bestow on their children.
Katniss' father once said to her, "If you can find yourself, you'll never starve." She did — not only did she find the katniss roots, but she also discovered her purpose in life and what she was good at while trying to save her family from starvation. She found who she was meant to be.
Before Haymitch won in District 12, or if he had died due to his alcoholism - or really any district without a victor - would not have a mentor for the children, which presumably means that they won't have sponsors or be able to get gifts from their districts during the games and would leave their chances of survival very, very low, if they even survived the Cornucopia.
In the film, unlike the book, Peeta doesn't lose his leg. This is likely in part because of another difference between the film and the book: Katniss is able to Mercy Kill Cato not long after he falls off the Cornucopia instead of spending hours listening to him die inside it, which means Peeta gets medical attention sooner.
The Career tributes are necessary to keep the games functioning as planned. Without bloodthirsty Careers, there's no guarantee of anyone actually fighting. After all, it's not like the tributes like the idea of being forced to kill each other, but neither is there anything preventing the survival of all tributes if none of them choose to fight.