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Fridge: The Hunger Games
Examples of Fridge Horror, and Fridge Brilliance in The Hunger Games. Remember to put Fridge Logic in Headscratchers, not here.

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     Fridge Horror 
  • How do Avoxes eat?!
  • 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.
    • Also people in real life who have PTSD or trauma due to other things have children sometimes. Shock and awe, I know.
  • 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.
      • Or even try their hands on both of them, If they pay enough for it.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Annie Cresta went crazy during her games because she saw her district partner get decapitated. Finnick, Annie's husband, is killed by lizard mutts ripping off his head

     Fridge Brilliance 
  • 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.
  • How come Haymitch doesn't look particularly Seam in the movies? Well, the Capitol is known to make enhancements to their victors. They also want to avoid reminding people of Haymitch's victory, so what better way to distance people from that thought than changing the way the victor looks. Not too much - just enough to separate Haymitch the Victor form Haymitch the Tribute who used the Games against them. Maybe by changing his most recognisable features, such as hair and eye colour.
  • 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
      • Well, if 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 countries? Sure, there 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, Euphemia (Effie)...
  • 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.
    • Wasn't that what the District 6 morphing's did? Camouflage themselves and lie low until everybody else had died.
  • 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.
      • I believe the original troper's point was less "Katniss doesn't know what she's talking about when she says the Capitol is bad" and more "Katniss doesn't know what she's talking about when she says airplanes can't fly as high as they used to because the atmosphere was burned away", which is scientifically ridiculous and most likely the product of an less-than-knowledgeable teenager poorly assimilating random scraps of actual information about a topic she doesn't consider important.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      • It may actually border on Stalker with a Crush
      • 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.
  • 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!
  • It's mentioned that Buttercup hates everyone but Prim. On the main Hunger Games page here, it's mentioned that the author takes some liberties with the care of animals. Just now, it hit me- Buttercup hates everyone BECAUSE of the Artistic License - Animal Care. Everyone else took such bad care of him that he latched on to the first person to do it right.
    • 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.
    • That, or Katniss simply doesn't hear them because she's so focused on what happened to Rue, she's deaf to anything else, which IIRC also happened when Prim was reaped and when she watched Prim die. If I am remembering correctly, then it's some pretty good Foreshadowing.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • There was one 12 Victor before Haymitch, who's never named and apparently died long enough ago that he or she is no consequence to Katniss. The interesting question would be, did they die before Haymitch won? After?
  • 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.
  • At the epilogue of the series, it's Katniss who narrates and while Peeta is mentioned, he doesn't appear. Why? Because, due to all the trauma of those years, Katniss has never psychologically grown past 17/18. Peeta, on the other hand, was the one who kept recovering and growing, enough to get to a point where he could marry Katniss and want children. The reason Peeta doesn't appear is because he would be a very different person now than he was last chapter, and it would be jarring for the reader.
  • Reference keeps being made to how Peeta is good at camouflage because he does cake decoration. This seems pretty absurd until you hear about his skill in painting, recreating people and scenes with amazing realism. THAT is where his skill at camouflage comes form, just like the morphlings'. He's able to recreate camouflage realistically because he's spend time studying and remembering the subtleties of his environment for his art.
  • Finnick spends the training sessions of Catching Fire trying to impress Katniss, he's acting like the cock of the walk because, as he admits in Mockingjay, he's misjudged her. He thinks that, like him, she's a calculated act, that she only went with the star-crossed lovers routine to save her own neck, rather than to save hers and Peeta's necks. He thinks that if he displays himself as her best chance of survival (the same thing Gale says will drive Katniss's choice between him and Peeta), she'll choose him as an ally and allow him to protect her during the Quell. But instead, she chooses Mags, Wiress, and Beetee as allies: people she'd have to protect, not people to protect her. It's not until he starts to lose his glossy veneer that Katniss warms up to him, and it dovetails prettily with the fact that Katniss entirely misjudged his act, too. It's not until they drop their acts and see each other at their worst that they really become friends.
  • In the first book there seem to be a lot of coincidences that lead to Katniss winning the Hunger Games (her grand opening, the high score, the bow in the Cornucopia, the woodland environment of the arena, the unexpected trackerjcker nest, the number of gifts she receives, the refusal to allow her death over the berries), many of which are under the control of the capitol. However, given that for the Quarter Quell, there must have been a female victor from District 12 it doesn't seem so coincidental anymore, It seems as though someone in the capitol knew they needed Katniss to win and did what they could to make it happen. (It makes this troper wonder what would have happened had Prim been the tribute.)
    • Except that Plutarch says that no one knows what the Quell twist will be until the card is read— the plan to break the tributes out is especially mentioned to have been formed "from the moment the Quell was announced." If the Quell hadn't involved the previous victors, of whom Haymitch, Finnick, Johanna, and Beetee, at least, are resistance members (and may also have included Mags, Wiress, Cecelia, Blight, Woof, Chaff, Seeder and the morphlings, all of whom are revealed to have been in on the plan, and Lyme, who leads the army of 2), the Games would have probably gone on as normal.
      • Just because a character says something is the case it doesn't mean that statement is true, even if that character is not lying. In any case the Quarter Quell required a female victor from District 12, so someone must have known that the victor of the 74th games must have been the District 12 girl in order to make it happen.
      • What does Katniss being the 74th victor have to do with anything? In the books, Katniss seems to assume that the Quell cards were written when the games began, she notes that the box the card is drawn from is very full, suggesting that someone sat down and dreamed all the twists up at once, then put them in to be drawn when relevant. Plutarch supports this idea, when he says that he only tipped her off about the clock arena assuming she'd be a mentor, implying that he had no idea what the Quell twist would be until Snow read the card. Now, Katniss also acknowledges that it's possible Snow rigged the cards so that he had an excuse to kill off the victors that were thorns in his side— this is supported by the fact that so many of them were sympathetic enough to the rebels to be let in on the escape plan. But the idea that someone knew 12 would have female victor in a particular Games is silly, considering that 12 has had exactly four victors in 74 years, and Peeta is a weird case. Now, if Snow didn't tamper with the Quell twist, and if Katniss never won, then the idea of what 12 would do to make up for the lack of a female tribute is an interesting one. But the idea that someone knew Katniss was going to win the 74th Games before she did (beyond a betting capacity) doesn't make any sense. It's most likely that Snow tampered with the Quell after he saw how much trouble Katniss caused, in order to ensure her death, and then rigged the rest of the reapings to punish the other rebellious victors— notice that both Annie and Finnick were reaped. Given that 4 is a Career district with a larger victor pool than most, the fact that the two lovers, with Finnick implied to be a crucial member of the rebellion due to his secret-gathering and Annie being his major weakness, were both chosen is a pretty grand coincidence. Ditto Wiress and Beetee, who have a coded conversation with Katniss about how they hoped 12 would rebel like 3 did.
  • A little audio foreshadowing in the film (obviously): the sound that the microphone makes at the Reaping when Effie taps it to check whether it's on is the same dull "boom" sound effect used for the cannon signalling the death of a tribute.
  • The three shown gimmicks for the Quarter Quells have similarities to certain gimmicks that Reality TV does.
    • The first being that the Tributes are people who are voted to be Tributes refers to elimination-based Reality TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother, where it's done via voting.
    • The second having 24 Tributes refers to Game Shows where they do more than their usual amount of contestants.
    • And the more obvious Quarter Quell, where past victors partake in the Games, refers to the "All-Star" editions of the game shows, like Survivor.

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