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"These are the 89th annual Hunger Games, and hopefully, you'll find a tribute worth your time. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a massacre delivered straight to your living room. Failed Rebellion AU."
— Static Memento Mori summary

The Ars Moriendi Series is the name of a series of Alternate Universe fanfiction works based on The Hunger Games, published on FanFiction.Net by author Sukkar. The series currently consists of one work, Memento Mori, with a planned sequel in SYOT format, announced as Pro Patria Mori. At over 600,000 words, with an epilogue yet to come, the first installment alone is quite a Doorstopper.

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Provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Cora's and Samil's families, Xenita's and Doreen's fathers - Yuna's fall more into the Parental Neglect range, but the other examples are fairly explicit.
  • The Ace: Marcus, within the other competitors in the arena, as he scores a near-impossible eleven in training, and also in the Center in District 2, when he is considered (admittedly, from Cora's perspective) to be both untouchably talented and widely admired.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Cora, a longtime opioid addict in the throes of withdrawal, doesn't respond exactly how Yuna was hoping upon being injected with a killer dose of carfentanil. Subverted, as her development of immunity to opioids is quite auxiliary to her general preference to be on opioids.
  • Action Girl:
    • Enforced by Districts 1, 2, and 4, which send trained volunteers, including one female trainee each.
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    • Meanwhile, Bridget picks up the mantle quickly once she's in the arena, more so once her partner, Dion is killed. She cements her status as more than an Action Survivor when she kills Angel, a formidable 'trainee'.
  • Action Survivor:
    • By the final ten or so, several of these remain, among them the decidedly non-physically-inclined Yuna and the Actual Pacifist Fidan.
    • In general, most non-trainees who make it through the bloodbath fall into this trope, surviving more through good luck, brains, and Gamemaker intervention than any kind of physical skill on their parts.
  • Action Duo: Enforced by the trainee districts, though particularly in Districts 1 and 2, where volunteers are specifically chosen based on the male and female tributes' aptitudes to work together. Jewel and Manari from District 1 form one, Cora and Marcus from District 2 forming a second. These two duos collectively take responsibility for over half of the deaths in the arena.
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  • Actual Pacifist: A few examples among tributes who stubbornly refuse to 'play', but Fidan stands out, as she avoids using force whenever possible, refuses first to carry a knife and then to use it in defense of her own life when found and tortured by Samil, and spends much of the story agonizing over having cut Marcus' face with a poisoned blade in an ill-fated raid on the trainee camp.
  • Addled Addict: By the final seven, Cora is strung out on a dwindling supply of the pain pills she used for years to self medicate for bipolar disorder.
  • Adorkable: Thanks to their mutual Friendless Backgrounds and general lack of experience in almost every other respect, both Cora and Marcus fall extensively into this trope in their efforts to negotiate their in-Games relationship.
  • Afraid of Doctors: Cora, with good reason, having been traumatically hospitalized for much of her early life. Self-Surgery, among other horrors, ensue.
  • Affluent Ascetic: Marina, the sole heir to the Snow fortune, who lives in the same three-room apartment she has all through grad school with an empty fridge. She dresses deliberately to be unmemorable and unobtrusive.
  • After-Action Healing Drama:
    • Thanks to Cora's (debatably reliable) medical training, the volunteer alliance spends a fair amount of time post-throwdown effectively at her mercy, which introduces some of the fracture-lines in the duos' abilities to trust and rely on each other.
    • After an unfortunate mutt attack, Bridget and Dion find themselves racing to identify their injuries and sort out their situation with anti-venom, a slapdash effort that ultimately contributes to Dion's near death by septic shock due to a poorly maintained duct tape bandage.
    • Following their attack on the trainees, Yuna and Fidan are effectively trapped in a cave as they recover from their injuries, introducing serious tension to their already fragile alliance as Fidan is left to question what they were trying to accomplish in the first place.
  • Against My Religion: While both Manari and Charlotte are demonstrably religious and other tributes are shown to come from religious families, this comes up mostly when Manari, a practicing Muslim, is forced to reconcile his beliefs with the demands made on his faith by the Games, leading to a spectacular Heroic BSoD when Jewel is killed by Samil and Bridget after Manari was forced away from her side by the Gamemakers' machinations. What's against his religion? Injustice.
    • While it's Played for Laughs, during the victory tour, Cora is repeatedly warned not to shake the hand of District 7's mayor, who is himself Muslim, and in the notably evangelical District 9 and District 10, she is relieved to be dressed in relatively modest clothing, as district custom demands.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: The trainees are this to the districts from which they volunteered, though Renata loses her status when she leaves Angel to be killed by Bridget and later allies with the pair from District 3.
  • All Elections Are Serious Business: The Capitol b-plot throughout Memento Mori focuses on an election between the only President to have held office since the termination of the Mockingjay Rebellion and the fall of the Snow administration and an auspicious challenger:
    "He's a draft-dodging tax-evading scam-operating new-money fake-suited barely-educated mouth-breathing secretary-groping tactless warmongering son of a bitch and he rises in the polls with each accusation."
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl:
    • In the arena, Yuna takes the prize on this one, as she has black hair and an extremely hard time letting down her guard incrementally, even with allies who've demonstrated their trustworthiness. Having grown up with Neglectful Parents, and a similarly aloof Parental Substitute, there's an extent to which it makes sense, though it can be hard to watch.
    • Outside of the arena, the enigmatic campaign advisor Marina Trevino fills this role, at least until she befriends Saxaul and Polly and begins to show a side that isn't just vaguely conniving and mysterious.
  • Aloof Ally: Renata to the trainee alliance, at first, as she recognizes the value of the conventional setup but individually can't stand the other volunteers. Then, Renata to Bridget and Dion, until she's killed by the same allies she deserted previously.
  • Ambiguously Bi: President Lancaster, while she spent most of her life married to a man, is shown to have had an extremely close relationship with her Head Gamemaker, Annia Neves, in college and persisting until Annia kills herself after being framed for treason.
    • In the arena, Jewel, shown to be in a relationship with a woman, mentions past affairs with men, though it's unclear whether she had any emotional investment whatsoever.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Jewel makes a few references to Jewish cultural traditions - for example, in chiding her partner for philosophizing on the clock, she calls him 'Rabbi Manari' - but within the story, little about her religious identity is overtly confirmed, as her family is non-practicing.
  • Anything That Moves: Saxaul is explicitly shown to have simultaneous existing relationships with men, women, and agender people.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: A theme throughout the work, that kindness usually matters to someone, but most notably:
    • Cora, who eventually recognizes her own tendency to indiscriminately try to bond with anyone whose behavior even suggests affection, causing her to repeatedly forgive Claudia despite years of abuse, because she was the only one who cared about her, to frame her alliance with Marcus as a romance despite the potential risk, knowing it would help his case, because he listened to her and tried to understand, and effectively letting Jewel break her nose and have a good go at killing her over a few kind gestures, like washing blood out of her hair for her.
    "I can see it in myself, when I squint, the tendency to… attach to anyone who is kind to me, but I can't do anything about it but try to deny it, which is frustrating."
    • As much as he tries to deny it, Manari has a profound sense of obligation to Fidan, who intervenes and saves him from a mutt, to the extent that he throws away his training and allies with her in the final seven and otherwise intervenes to save her in her own time of need, and Cora, who saved his life after the mutt attack, who he fails to kill when it would have been easy to do so because, well... it wouldn't be right.
  • Bested by the Inexperienced: Angel, a competent and skilled trainee, loses a knife fight to the clever but entirely inexperienced Bridget. You'd feel bad for the poor guy if she didn't also have a hand in killing three other trainees as well.
  • Bi the Way: Angel offhandedly mentions finding Marcus extremely attractive, and is equally enamored of Jewel.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Cora, in the aftermath of Marcus' death, literally rips Yuna to pieces while sobbing inconsolably and, eventually, apologizing.
  • Blessed with Suck: Cora's many early-in-life operations and decade of opioid abuse has left her with a dramatically altered sense of pain. She can play through grievous injuries... but also frequently inflicts them on herself, deliberately and accidentally, and struggles to comprehend situational pain as a concept.
  • Broken Bird: A whole lot of them by the end of the Games. Jewel is pushed off the deep end into a neurotic version of herself that she can't stand by the fear that she'll be cut as a villain by the Gamemakers. Bridget, who comes from a religious family that abhors violence and even the consumption of meat, kills almost all of the trainees in the arena and very nearly wins the very Games she fought against in the first place. Yuna, a somewhat haughty Defrosting Ice Queen, devolves to a caricature of the 'do no harm' pharmacist she always wanted to be, killed while trying to poison one of the last living competitors, having abandoned or been abandoned by all of her allies. Manari loses his faith in the Games entirely, and with it, his sense that any of his actions ever truly lent themselves to the justice he thought he was fighting for, and effectively goes rogue. Marcus has his face burned off and is forced to beg his only friend to kill him. Cora in some ways gets off the worst, falling from the frying pan to the fire upon winning the Games.
    • Outside of the arena there's Saxaul, Niagara, and plenty of other deeply disillusioned victors who have turned wholeheartedly to cynicism in the aftermath of their victory.
  • Broken Pedestal: In the aftermath of her victory, Cora discovers that Claudia was not the morally unimpeachable and trustworthy mentor she always believed her to be.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Marina, as the b-plot reveals more about her, is shown to be a 30-year-old academic and the heir to a megalomaniacal ex-President with no close friends and an extremely questionable sense of decorum. She rarely sleeps and struggles to feed herself consistently, but she's an outrageously competent campaign advisor and was well on the way to winning the election even before Claudia intervened. Despite deep and understandable skepticism, the President is forced to continue to rely on her because she gets results.
    • Saxaul, similarly, is wildly eccentric and unpredictable, even actively antagonistic towards authority, but he remains in the Capitol's good graces - even when he really shouldn't - through an impressive gift for the dramatic.
    • Claudia is an orange-juice sipping, bad-pun-cracking nightmare of a Faux Affably Evil Chessmaster, but she's also among the most powerful individuals in Panem, because she's a fantastically gifted tactician with a talent for gaining power during chaotic moments, which... Panem has a lot of. The District 2 Center lets her keep the reins because she gets results and would certainly kill a lot of people on her way out were she to be ousted.
    • Polly, the severely depressed and extremely hands-off mentor from District 3 who talks to a plant named Beetee, prefers a calico cat named Halogen to any human person, and largely doesn't participate in her mentoring responsibilities. She also invented orbital-manipulation electron computing, which turns a beam of light into, effectively, a supercomputer, and since then has gotten a lot of work building weapons. She's zany, challenging to work with at times, and utterly indispensable.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: While it comes part and parcel with the genre, by the final five, at least one character dies in every chapter.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Yuna and her childhood friend Ben, who happens to be the only person to actively seek answers when her body isn't returned to her family after her death.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ask Richard Lorca, the President, the Head Gamemaker, Mayor Rhodes, and her own tributes what happens when you trust Claudia.
  • Colonel Badass: Claudia is a high-ranking military leader, though her position is more decorative than anything - she just so happens to have trained the vast majority of the Peacekeepers who populate the army, and wields power through her own personal martial skill as well as her prodigious manipulative talents.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Cora trips into this frequently when interacting with Manari and Jewel, as the sincerity gap is very real.
  • Contralto of Danger: Jewel, one of the most formidable women in the arena, is described as having a notably low and throaty voice.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Cora holds Marcus' body until it's ripped away by the claw from the hovercraft arrived to take the body home. She has to be tased before she lets go.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Both Claudia and Marina have plans within plans and redundancies built into their redundancies.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Even by story standards, the level of mutilation described when Samil kills Fidan is excessive. Marcus gets a similarly brutal death, burned beyond salvaging and badly injured by shrapnel but clinging to life until his district partner is forced to Mercy Kill him, at his own last request.
  • Dance Battler: Marcus is noted by several other characters to fight with a grace that suggests dancing.
  • Deadly Doctor: Yuna, a pharmaceutical development track student at the top of her class, goes all-in on this trope, particularly once she gets ahold of a syringe of carfentanil.
  • Dead Partner: By the final four, none of the remaining tributes has a living partner, and none of them are happy about it.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Mr. Fanservice Marcus dies after being mutilated beyond recognition in an IED blast.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Cora and Manari, while they never explicitly hated each other during the Games, become Fire-Forged Friends once the Games are over, despite the unfortunate matter of her having spent the last six months thinking she killed him. Which she sort of did, for a few minutes. He got better.
  • Determinator: Several terrifying examples.
    • After he witnesses the murder of Fidan, Manari, despite his mortal wounds in the aftermath of the fight with Marcus and the discharge of the IED, proceeds to square off with her killer, despite his being in far better shape. Facing death, he manages to take Samil down with him with the aid of the hovercraft claw dropping down to secure his dead ally. And having regained the support of his mentor, he manages to live through it.
    • In the final two face-off, while both combatants certainly qualify, the gold medal goes to Cora, who, with a crushed trachea, a broken leg, and a handful of guts ripped out, still manages to win.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Given that the vast majority of the cast is or has been part of a wildly traumatic murder game, this comes up a lot.
    • Lucas, during the chariot ride, struggles but ultimately succeeds to explain to Yuna that, even if it jeopardizes his angle as a tragic child going to his death, he deeply doesn't want to leverage the audience's pity.
    • Jewel, more or less whenever she's offered sympathy or support, even by her partner Manari, manages to side-step it or turn it into a joke or a slight.
    '"It's not a weakness to be hurt."'
    '"Yeah, fuck off. It's fine."
  • Driven to Villainy: The main factor behind the trainees' Anti-Villain status, as all of them have been in varying measures put through Training from Hell and otherwise endured various conditions that put them in a position to be vulnerable to their respective Centers' demands.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played With pretty extensively, as Cora's relationship with drugs both facilitates her ability to compete in the Games and ultimately hamstrings her once she's actually in them. Once she wins, the effects of her narcotic abuse persist until she finally receives treatment for bipolar disorder, and uses the empathy cultivated by the experience to become a trauma nurse and the star of a television show that frequently addresses addiction.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The epilogue is almost as long as the Games itself, and the victor continues to fight through the Capitol's machinations and the consequences of victory to end up surrounded by friends, beloved by the country, with a loving Family of Choice and under no immediate threat from the main villains, with a years-long hiatus from the Games in which to recover even more completely. Aw.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Several of these, in a story with twenty-two chapters dedicated solely to introducing one character each, but most notably...
    • While his partner prepares to attend a party on the night before their volunteering, Manari has a last smoke with his friends and, when one is shown to be too inebriated, carries her home rather than enjoying the rest of the evening.
    • We meet Bridget midway through organizing a student protest on the steps of the Justice Building.
    • The first chapter to feature Saxaul begins with his hosting a poker game for his time.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The majority of Memento Mori's b-plot villains are politicians held to certain rules of etiquette while trying to sabotage each others' tributes and double-, triple-, quadruple-cross relentlessly. While the majority have at least some level of sincerely selfish intentions behind the affable facade, Claudia takes the cake in a scene where she breaks into her political competition's home, politely offers her a glass of orange juice from her own kitchen, and proceeds to threaten her amiably with death should she fail to see things her way.
  • Final Speech: Bridget gets a pretty decent one.
    "I never expected justice. Just a chance… I want them to see. I want them to see what it did to me. It isn't right… Where does it end? When does it make sense?"
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The trainee alliance, until the final eight, of course, featuring...
    • Jewel as The Cynic, a Snark Knight who ultimately expects the worst from the Games and, more often than not, the people around her.
    • Manari as the Honor Before Reason optimist who's sincerely convinced in the righteousness of what they're all doing, even when it's pretty damned sketchy.
    • Marcus as the fettered realist, bound much more by his sense of obligation to his family than any especially sincere support for the Games.
    • Cora as the conflicted and naive Ingenue who's very much still figuring out where she stands, though she mostly defaults to whatever Marcus seems to think.
  • Friendless Background: Common characterization trope in Memento Mori's cast.
    • Enforced by the District 2 Center, which broadly discourages the formation of close friendships between trainees by setting especially close friends up to fight to the death. Fittingly, both Marcus and Cora share this element of backstory.
    • As former President Snow's granddaughter, Marina's only close friend of her own age while growing up was her cousin Herodotus, and after the rest of her family evacuated and left her to the mercy of the rebels (and her grandfather) even that relationship dissolved until they made up in their late twenties.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Deliberately Invoked by Saxaul, coaching Fidan's siblings into representing her as a paragon of goodness.
    "You tell Lysima that animals follow Fidan through the woods when she sings. Tell her that Fidan visits the elderly with food every evening. She's a saint, you hear me?"
  • Gentle Giant: Dion, who, at 6'8, is the tallest person in the arena, and also one of the most straightforwardly kind and compassionate, talking Renata down from a fight and ultimately representing the glue holding the 3-4 alliance together.
  • Genghis Gambit: The backdrop to the Games in the Capitol, where the President, Claudia, and Marina are all working, in varying parts with and against each other, to turn public opinion against some opponent to accomplish a goal - either concluding or continuing the Games, or alternately just winning an election. The Head Gamemaker, Richard Lorca, and the Games themselves are all appealing targets for vilification.
    • Most notably, when Lorca goes on the offensive against the incumbent President and begins to meaningfully gain ground in the election, Claudia directly invokes this in the hope of discouraging Marina from undermining her plan. Of course, she helped him turn the tables in the first place.
  • Genre Savvy: While the volunteers from the trainee districts are specifically prepared in this regard in order to capitalize on public perception for sponsors and in the hopes of receiving a more advantageous framing by the Gamemakers, the most notable example of the trope in the Games is Statice, whose primary usefulness within his alliance is his extensive knowledge of previous Games.
    • Particularly for the older and more experienced mentors, the Games are old hat and they intervene quite extensively in an effort to shift things in their tributes' favor.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While he ultimately ends up heroically-oriented in contrast with opponents like Samil, Manari also gets himself into an unfortunate position with his allies from other districts, who, not knowing him as well as Jewel, find his moral posturing unendurable right up until the point that Marcus is about to kill him.
    "I thought you had something important to tell me about the nature of morality? Don't you usually?"
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Marcus picks up a gnarled scar running down the side of his face in a scuffle with a poisoned knife, but despite the ugliness of the scar and the relative innocence of his attacker, his situation is largely played for sympathy.
    • The only scars left from Cora's extensive list of injuries incurred in training are three long purple marks across her stomach, one of which transects where a bellybutton should be. This is played as an unsettling trait, a sort of physical manifestation of illness, though she isn't ultimately played straight as villainous or evil.
    • Samil, when Bridget burns his face with hot baric tar, winds up with a distinctly unfortunate eye-scar, played fairly straight as he goes on to intensify his brutality after the encounter.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After a brutal fight with Manari in the final three, Bridget expires with one of these when he promises to see her mission through and see consequences brought down on the architects of the Games.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Angel and Renata from District 4 are both bilingual, with the implication that a significant portion of the district is as well, and Renata's introduction specifically includes a liberal amount of Spanish. They go on to use it as a sort of code within the trainee alliance, to variable success.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Fidan dies after losing nearly all of her abdomen to Samil's new sword.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How Marcus neatly dispatches Trace after he tries to kill him with a throwing knife.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dasheen pulls one of these off to buy her district partner Statice an escape from the pair from One hunting them down. It even works!
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Saxaul has no hangups about what he very explicitly considers entrepreneurship to ensure that his tributes get the best shot possible at surviving. Besides, he's good at it.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Cora ultimately decides not to kill Claudia because, after all, she was the one who taught her that Violence Is the Only Option, and she's sincerely trying to change.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: In post-Games, while Cora and Saxaul develop an extremely close friendship, and both are very hug-y people, they remain very resolutely Just Friends, despite joking about their relationship almost constantly.
    • This comes up frequently while Saxaul is couch-surfing - Marina and Polly, who room with him for a month after the 89th Games conclude, fall into this dynamic with him as well.
  • Inspirational Martyr: While it's not what Mayor Rhodes was going for, Bridget uses her interview and pre-Games time to try to establish herself as this in the hope that her cause will live on if she dies.
  • Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: When Cora is facing death by asphyxiation after a sip of a highly irritating poison, she circumvents the problem by clawing open her own throat until Marcus and Jewel can figure out her instructions to find an epinephrine autoinjector in one of their first aid kits. Things look pretty bad for a while.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Manari before cutting Bridget's throat.
    "Close your eyes. And know… I'm going to make them pay for it. All of it. Picture it. Something better. Trust me, to whatever extent that you can."
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Marcus to Cora as the Games drag on, most obviously in the aftermath of Claudia's command to kill herself.
  • Love Confession: Cora drops one quite dramatically in her interview, declaring:
    "I love Marcus! He's better than all of us!"
    • Interrupted Declaration of Love: In the aftermath of a tsunami, despite being a little reticent to put voice to his feelings throughout the Games, Marcus can't quite spit it out in time before the encroaching fire puts an end to his attempts. And then, of course, he dies shortly after when Bridget and Yuna's IED goes off.
  • Martial Medic: Cora can treat injuries competently largely because she's so experienced with inflicting them, but especially with sustaining them herself...
  • Moral Pragmatist: By the epilogue of Memento Mori, most of the protagonists have been revealed to fall somewhere in this spectrum of morality.
    • Marina is willing to engage in downright shady tactics and essentially intended to inherit President Snow's empire prior to his death. For most of Memento Mori, she's very clear about the fact that her objective is to take over the world. Her friendships with Saxaul, Polly, and the survivors of the 89th Hunger Games steer her methods towards the palatable, and she ultimately wants to end the Games as much as anyone and personally coordinates the effort to make it happen, despite Claudia's opposition.
    • President Lancaster, from start to finish, is framed as the kind of leader who will do just about anything to maintain stability, whether that's quashing a rebellion, authorizing Reconstruction, resuming the Hunger Games, building children's hospitals, or overseeing a massive military expansion that puts a huge amount of power in Claudia's hands. She's sold on an end to the Games at the point that they no longer prove a viable means to maintain order.
    • Manari's strict sense of morality allows him to kill, ultimately, more people in the arena than Cora, the actual victor. It's not until circumstances shift drastically that he recalibrates away from murder-as-problem-solving and begins to develop his opposition to the Games.
  • Mr. Fanservice and Ms. Fanservice: In-Universe, the early-district trainees all get this treatment, though in very different ways. Jewel spends the entirety of her pre-Games defined largely by her perceived 'availability' and Manari by his standoffish disaffection. Meanwhile, Marcus and Cora, while served up as a couple by the end of their interviews, have their own independent fanbases.
    • Serves as a bit of a handwave for the noticeable in-universe attractiveness of the volunteers, who were selected at least in part for their appeal.
  • Neck Snap: One of Claudia's favorite moves, notably employed within ten minutes of her meeting Dr. Valentine.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Marcus well-intentionedly suggests that Cora replace the sleeping pills she's run out of with their stockpile of painkillers, not knowing that she's a recovered drug addict who would take just about any excuse to do exactly that.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: American readers particularly may find the election B-plot in the Capitol, up to and including the two candidates involved, familiar - assuming they remember 2016, that is.
  • Parental Substitute: While Claudia originally serves as this for Cora, ultimately after she wins and learns Claudia's real intentions with her, she is effectively taken in by Marcus' parents, despite her fear that they hate her after her role in his death. Both Hamezo and Lina Ota become more like parents than her own were.
    • President Snow, and then after he was killed, Dr. Boult, served as this for Marina after her grandfather poisoned her father and her mother was assassinated by rebels early in the Mockingjay Rebellion
  • Perfect Poison: Averted, as the manchineel-distilled toxins are devastating in their effect, but don't kill Cora and Yuna actually never manages to kill anyone just with poison.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Marina is continually flustered by Saxaul's complex relationship with 'wearing clothes', particularly for the brief interval where they live together as roommates.
  • Plucky Girl: While Fidan is almost the archetypal version of this trope, literally wandering about the arena picking flowers to eat rather than pick up a weapon in self defense, facing death bravely until the end with the caveat that she wants it to be clean and quick so her watching family won't suffer, several other examples populate Memento Mori, among them the disturbingly irrepressible Cora, and even Bridget, before her Trauma Conga Line kicks in.
  • Politically Correct Villain: The Head Gamemaker and the President are actively shown to be using the Games as a tool to address discrimination and violence against women. Annia doesn't tolerate excessively dehumanizing language in her Gamemaking staff, and threatens to throw out Gamemakers whose comments veer too close to homophobia.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In contrast with the pre-Rebellion Capitol, the Games are employed more as a means of entertaining the Capitol/maintaining the normalcy and legitimacy of the government while attempting to engage the districts in them as a sort of competition and a tool to foster nationalism to prevent them from cooperating in the future. As opposed to a mechanism to maximize helpless suffering, which worked out really well for the last President to be executed by a cheering throng.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After first Charlotte is killed by Samil, and then he further learns that Jewel died the same way, Manari effectively adopts Fidan.
    "Fidan is a person, of course, I recognize this as I watch her eyelashes flutter and her chest shallowly rise and fall. Her own kind of person. Not a conglomeration of young women with cut throats and bodies torn open, savaged, unsalvageable. Her own living person, with a little piece of granola stuck to the bandage on her jaw.
    I know this, intellectually. But I struggle, looking at her, not to see all of them."
  • Rousing Speech: In her introduction, Bridget gives one of these to a crowd of protestors organizing against the construction of a Training Center in District 3.
  • Scary Black Man: Manari leverages this perception as his angle in training, and very much plays this role to the rest of the tributes in pre-Games. His loving extended family and broad circle of friends back home are shown to find this portrayal ridiculous, and Jewel, his partner, manages to get him to break 'character' fairly regularly.
    • Dion, while half a head taller than Manari, is too intensely good-humored and friendly to fall into this perception, and despite the somewhat negative assumptions of District 3 made by other tributes, he manages to make a number of friends in training.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: When they pair off to hunt, Manari and Marcus fall easily into this dynamic.
  • Slave to PR:
    • Within the Games, Jewel suffers most from this, as her mentor, who won the previous year, was so terrible that she's certain that unless she gets a very positive edit, she won't be allowed to win.
    • Outside of the Games, in the election b-plot, the President is subject to this as Lorca begins to attack first with the suggestion that she's a rebel from the last war, then with the discovery of the identity she destroyed to survive the Rebellion, painting her as duplicitous. She can't have him executed lest she prove him right. Luckily for her, Claudia, and through her Cora, is bound by no such fetters.
  • The Social Expert: Jewel, full-stop, making her an interesting contrast with Marcus, who is naturally talented but inexperienced with practical implementation. She easily outplays him on a few occasions, meanwhile roping District 4 into the alliance despite strong resistance from Renata, and until she starts fragmenting under the pressure of the Games, was doing a decent job keeping the 1-2 alliance together.
  • Training from Hell: In some cases referenced, in some cases described in horrifying detail, all of the trainee volunteers have been to hell and back in terms of being forced to kill their peers and in many cases actively abused themselves in the Centers. While District 1 uses its tributes to enforce capital punishment verdicts as kill-tests, in District 2 the people they're forced to kill are their own friends and competition within the pool to be chosen as volunteer.
  • Trauma Conga Line: While many characters endure series of utterly appalling misfortune and abuse, special mention to Cora, the eventual victor, whose utterly awful childhood makes parts of the Games look positively gentle and enjoyable in comparison, and who goes on to see literally everything torn away in a tremendous Heroic BSoD once the Games are over and she learns that they weren't the perfect instrument of fairness she believed, her mentor never sincerely cared about her, she was a third choice to win at best due to her usefulness as an easily disregarded-as-crazy murderer...
  • Ultimate Job Security: Not only is Claudia terrifyingly competent as a mentor and strategist, she's also implanted a chip in her brain that, should her heart stop, would activate a failsafe to ensure her enemies in the Capitol go down with her. Predictably, no one is lining up to try to usurp her position, even as she kills, tortures, and abuses her own trainees. After all, it seems to work well enough.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Richard Lorca, who is revealed to have participated in some utterly awful parts of the underbelly of Panem-that-was, yet continues to represent an increasingly viable challenger to the Lesser of Two Evils President Lancaster.
    • Claudia also counts, as the majority of the country sees her as a fairly normal District 2 victor, responsible for bringing home tributes and fairly good at her job, when really this perception is the result of an extensive campaign of disinformation.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: While Marcus is the last person who needs violent protection from anyone, being perfectly capable of defending himself in any but the most incendiary situations, Cora, whose toolbox of demonstrating value to others is 'wound care' and 'murder', kills the girl from District 5, Doreen particularly because her partner tried to throw a knife at Marcus, and that's just within the first ten minutes of the Games.
  • Visionary Villain: Both Marina and Claudia, though they fall in different places on the villain spectrum, have committed or facilitated atrocities in pursuit of greater goals. Respectively, generally Taking Over The World and maintaining a comfortable position of complete despotic authority in District 2.
  • Voice of the Resistance: While Bridget is shown working with several friends to put together the District 3 student protests, she's ultimately the 'face' of their efforts. And the one who winds up reaped for the Hunger Games.
  • War Is Hell: While avoiding the goriest details, the President's backstory shows why she's so strongly committed to avoiding another rebellion, concessions be damned. The family into which she married is wiped out completely, and she barely avoids death herself, as a refugee, on more than one occasion.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Cora to the President upon winning the Games and almost immediately learning that the victory was more or less based on her potential usefulness to the administration rather than recognition of skill or a fair outcome based on her conduct. After all, it was supposed to be Manari, anyway.
  • Water Source Tampering: How An won her Games, partially - with a whole lot of strychnine.
  • Weapon of Choice:
  • We Can Rule Together: Claudia's attempt to persuade Marina out of actually ending the Games takes on this note, as she suggests that Marina would make an excellent Head Gamemaker, if she would just stop meddling in Claudia's specific plans.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: The aftermath of the Mockingjay Rebellion includes the reinstatement of the Games and, the President finds, a creeping attempt by much of the Capitol to return to the ruthless and decadent status quo. Lorca's rise to power is a symptom of her failure to meet the changing needs of the country.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Marina to Claudia.
    • After she Takes A Level In Badass, Cora to Claudia.
    • In-Games, Cora and Manari are this to each other in the final two.
    • Despite her lack of training, Bridget proves to be this to every trainee she encounters, killing most of them only to be killed by Manari in a fight even he considers well-done on her part.
  • Worst Aid: While the 89th Games suffers from no shortage of tributes competent in first aid, Bridget and Renata attempting to treat Dion's badly infected snakebite make matters far, far worse.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Manari notes, with great displeasure, that apart from, eventually, Samil, everyone he kills in the arena is a young woman, which goes very much against his personal values. In the final fight with Cora, while he certainly hits a girl quite a lot, he also immediately backs off when she starts to panic about something unrelated to the fight.
    "If it means I die, astaghfirullah, then I die, but I don't hurt a woman begging me not to."
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: After Claudia is fully outed as a villain, Cora finds herself thinking this on the victory tour, despite the fact that she can't help wanting her old mentor to love and approve of her.
    • Marina, considering what her grandfather would think of her ambitions. It's different when she takes over the world, okay?
  • You Should Have Died Instead: It's made pretty explicit, even in-universe, that Cora was no one's first choice as a victor, usually in direct comparisons between her capabilities in the position and any of the other potential options, many of whom she killed.
  • You Taught Me That: When Cora finally stands up to Claudia, she uses - and lampshades her use of - the "The Reason You Suck" Speech that she's heard Claudia give so often, to her and to others.
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