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Wiress, Beetee, Mags, Johanna, Finnick, Katniss, Peeta, Cashmere, Gloss, Enobaria, and Brutus

"Before Katniss and Peeta, seventy-three children won the Hunger Games. Some were brutal. Some were clever. Some were lucky. A few were almost decent. These are their stories. This is the Victors Project."
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The Victors Project by Oisin55 is a Hunger Games Fan Fic that tells the story of how each Victor won their Hunger Games (except for those Games described in the actual Hunger Games series). It also chronicles the rise of President Coriolanus Snow. These stories are interspersed with descriptions of current-day Panem, two years after the events of Mockingjay, recovering from Civil War and governed by President Paylor. It also includes an assassination plot against Katniss Everdeen. Much of current-day Panem is told through the perspective of Johanna Mason.

The Victors Project can be found here and includes two additional one-shots, Quell, about the tributes of the First Quarter Quell, and Secrets, detailing a Dark Secret of each Victor. The Victors Project also exists in the same universe as Oisin55’s Victor Trilogy about Blight, Cecelia, and Enobaria (which are included here as well).

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See the Characters Page for tropes that apply solely to each Victor.

The Victors Project includes the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Gleam starts taking morphling at the end of his chapter as a form of Drowning My Sorrows, to the horror and outrage of Luxe and Platinum, but appears completely sober in his subsequent appearances.
    • At the end of Brilliance's chapter, Mags asks if he'd make a good rebel and is told that despite all he's endured, Luster's hands, he's a true believer who simply asks for more whenever Luster feeds him his poison, to which Mags replies that they'll "work on an antidote." Two chapters later Brilliance is mentioned as having been executed by President Coin for remaining loyal to the Capitol and District 1 to the very last, and no mention is made of Mags having tried to recruit him.
  • Academy of Evil: The Career schools — the District Academy for Excellence in Youth Development (DAEYD) in District 1 (especially after Luster takes over) and the Institute (known throughout Panem as "Murder High") in District 2 — teach children how to successfully kill other children. Students are actually rewarded for bullying, maiming, and even murdering each other, all in order to instill a Virtue Is Weakness mentality. And in District 1, many children are forced to join the DAEYD.
    • Downplayed by The DAEYD under Luster's predecessor Gleam, and District 4's training camp, which are still training children to kill, but come across as fairly humane towards the students and don't durn as many of their students into Ax-Crazy Sociopath's.
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  • After the End: Panem rose from a cataclysmic environment disaster and manmade viral pandemic. It is alternatively called "The Hundred Years Darkness" in the Capitol, "The Catastrophe" in the outer districts, and "The Genesis" in District 1.
  • After-Action Report: Many of the chapters take place after the Victor’s Games and describe through exposition or flashback what happened during the particular Games.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: It's mentioned mentions that The Boy form District 5 did this during the 62nd Hunger Games (where the arena was a mansion). During a return to that same arena, Justus uses this to ambush members of the rescue team.
  • Alternative Calendar: Post-Mockingjay Revolution Panem begins its calendar when Katniss and Peeta out the nightlock berries in their mouths. All subsequent dates are P.B. (Post Baccis- After the Berries).
    • Prior to this, the Capitol seems to have set their calendars by the end of the Dark Days Rebellion and the start of the Hunger Games.
  • Always Male: The first 10 Victors were all male, leading people to call them "The Old Boy's Club." Ends when Mags becomes the first female Victor during the 12th Hunger Games, and she directly calls out the Old Boy's Club while she was still in the arena.
    Mags: Hey! Old Boys’ Club! How do you feel about that?! You feeling good now?! Suck it, you underbred sons of bitches!
    Ahenobarbus (watching from the Capitol): Oh, I like her.
  • Always Second Best: While various victors and tributes embody this at one time or another, one of the saddest cases is Dazzle Brooks from the 50th Hunger Games, who aimed for this deliberately during the race for the reaping stage (not wanting to actually volunteer), but in the heat of the moment briefly forgot that she needed to come in third and not second to avoid actually volunteering for that particular games, and died during the Cornucopia bloodbath.
  • Anachronic Order: The story jumps back and forth between current-day and the particular Hunger Games being researched. Yet, it can also jump to time periods in between. For instance, Jade’s chapter takes place during District 13 purge trials, which occur between the fall of the Capitol and President’s Coin’s assassination.
  • Anti-Hero: Several of the victors come across as this, or even a Villain Protagonist, at least during their initial chapters, such as Enobaria. Mathias, Antigone, Phoebus, Halibut, and Eamon.
  • Anti-Villain: Both Ahenobarbus and Boudicca can be seen as this. They run Career schools and fully support the Hunger Games. But they come to care about their fellow Victors, even those not from their Districts.
    • Although in Boudicca's case it takes a long time before that care shows itself.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Most of the Great Houses of District 1, especially Luster and any member of Dustell House (except for Crystal's boyfriend), given their tendency for casual murders as a way of life and support for the Capitol and its industries. The Great Houses uninvolved in the Mockingjay Revolution are targeted from the first day of the rebellion, and it's unclear if any of them survive.
    • Exceptions include and the House of St. James (at least after Luxe's victory) and members of the House of Delacroix, including Cashmere, her father and her and two older brothers. Jade and unspecified members of the House of Boleyn were also part of La Résistance. The House of Seville was the only Great House to side with the rebels during the Dark Days Rebellion. Luster mentions that Silk was the only known member of the House to survive the Dark Days (its unclear if she ever had children) and apparently didn't directly support the Mockingjay Revolution, but chose to fight alongside its members once the plot to escape the arena was exposed.
    • The ranchers of District 10, described as cut-rate versions of the Great Houses, are the most bigoted people in the district and count Roan Tully, arguably the most despised of the outlier Victors, among their number.
    • Almost any Capitolite mentioned as being wealthy and influential (especially ones whose families have been that way) is bad news. Exceptions include Plutarch, Adonis Silvertree, Allana Corwesh, Sabinus Snick, and Larissa Ferrar of the Rebellion and to lesser extents Urgulana (one of Cora's regular sponsors) and Mags contacts Dionysus and Platius (who feature prominently in Ceurela's chapter).
  • Assassination Attempt: One is made against Katniss, which Johanna foils by killing the would-be assassin with Mannanan's old Victor spear.
  • Assumed Win: A chilling version during the reaping for the First Quarter Quell, in which the boy from District 6 (a Self-Made Orphan who is one of the districts youngest and biggest drug lords) walks towards the stage before they call his name, having known that they'd vote for him. This is a rare case, which the person assuming the win does in fact win.
  • Badass Family/Power Trio: The three cousins Honorius, Virtus and Justus were the toughest group in the Community Home, were the only ones Boudicca chose to train from Ahenobarbus's original recruits, were all chosen to be tributes, and all won their respective Games.
  • Badass Teacher: Many of the Victors become dedicated mentors and trainers to future tributes. Ahenobarbus, Boudiccca, Jules, Mags, Mannanan, and Brutus are particular standouts.
  • Battle of Wits: Cashmere challenges Beetee to a Drinking Game called “I Know,” in which each person must take a drink of scotch if they rightly reveal a secret about the other. During the game it’s revealed that Beetee is asexual, that he was the one who sent the note to Crystal warning her that she would be reaped for the Third Quarter Quell, that Enobaria killed Cashmere’s father, and that Cashmere knows about the plot to rescue Katniss and Peeta from the Third Quarter Quell arena. Beetee is greatly impressed by Cashmere’s Hidden Depths.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: During the revenge of Finnick Odair, his descriptions of a dog breeders "unique breeding techniques" cause her home to be the first of many that burns down that night when it's attacked by a mob of animal-lovers.
  • Blackmail: Evelyn does this Gloss when she discovers he is the Midtown Mincer. Cashmere retaliates by culling together a list of 50 people Evelyn loves and threatening to have them killed unless she backs off.
  • Boom Town: District 5 becomes this after the war, due to inter-district travel being allowed, and District 12 no longer providing any energy, with its population having doubled within a few years of the rebellion despite the losses it took in the war. District 4 is also noted as bustling, rebuilding and filled with all kinds of people, although it was already a prosperous district to start with.
  • Call-Back: On their way to rescue Katniss, Enobaria says, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Seventy-Seventh Annual Hunger Games,” a reference to when Finnick refers to the rebel assault on the Capitol in Mockingjay as the Seventy-Sixth Annual Hunger Games.note  Annie responds, “And may the odds be ever in our favor.”
  • Call-Forward: In Catching Fire Katniss remarked that Johanna had probably been throwing axes since she could toddle. In The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf a two-year old Johanna is indeed toddling around and trying to practice axe-throwing.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Katniss does this to Haymitch when he attacks Boudicca.
    Haymitch: She trained kids to die! To kill! She lied to them! She lied and sent them to die.
    Katniss: Like you did. … You trained us to fight. You trained us to die. You lied to us, moved us like pieces in your Games. Don’t look at me like that, Haymitch. I have forgiven you. But you have to face what you did.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Brandon McNulty is first referenced in the First Quarter Quell chapter, in which his father Richard is the First-Person Peripheral Narrator. It's mentioned at the end of the chapter that Brandon is reaped in the 34th Games, and he ends up being Elena Perez's district "partner". The Gamemakers arrange it such that the two end up fighting, and Elena is able to break his arm and knees but chooses not to kill him. He dies two days later when the Gamemakers sink the ships where he was convalescing.
    • Jade Boleyn first appears as a seven year old accompanying her family to a victory tour banquet, although she did cameo in her victor capacity during the earlier fanfiction stories the lumberjack and the tree elf and fall into the river.
    • The three cousins seem to just be minor background characters in the last act of Boudiccas chapter.
    • Vesta and Marble, two of Tiberius’s fellow trainees, are later chosen as tributes in future games, where they are killed by Jules and Gleam respectively.
  • Christmas Episode: The District 2 Victors hold a Surprise Party at Ares's new Victor's mansion to celebrate Wintermas. Since religion is illegal, it's not Christmas, but it includes garland, a large, decorated tree, exchanging presents, and a family dinner. Boudicca claims it's a District 2 tradition for the newest Victor to host the Wintermas dinner, but Ares later realizes they started the tradition specifically for him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The Victors, starting with Emrys, all let out a series of profanities as they see the Polluted Wasteland theme of the 45th Games. Nolan has another string when the Career pack get a hold of his mentee.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Careers often become this, because it appeals to the Capitol crowds and helps their chances of getting more sponsors.
    • The District 4 male tribute in the 45th Games takes Up to Eleven. After slowly torturing the District 9 male tribute the death, he goes to masturbate. Unfortunately for him, Chaff takes the opportunity to choke him to death.
    • Another extreme example is during the 52nd Games, when the Career pack tortures Devon Hooley, the District 10 male tribute (and Elena's nephew), for 7 hours before finally killing him.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Jade is highly skeptical that Katniss would ever turn against Coin. She is soon proven wrong.
    Shilling: What are the chances she takes out that bitch instead of [Snow]?
    Jade: Katniss Everdeen, doing something her puppet masters haven’t approved of? I think you give her too much credit. … If Katniss Everdeen has an original thought for once, I’ll take back everything I’ve ever said about her after three martinis. But look at her. Her wings are clipped. She’s as much a corpse as we are. No, Shilling, I don’t think we can be expecting any more miracles from Katniss Everdeen.
    <<Katniss shoots her arrow at Coin instead of Snow>>
    Jade: Well, I have a new best friend.
  • Date Rape: At least one of the people Finnick was sold too drugged him first, and he describes another who he saw drug and rape girls twice at parties.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Having Abusive Parents proves to useful for tributes, because it teaches them survival skills.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each chapter focuses on a particular Victor.
  • Death Seeker: Quite a few, with District 3 Tribute Dattery Nakamura being a notable one, having lost his whole family to various industrial accidents and a previous games, causing him to be "secretly pleased to be reaped because he felt his family would be disappointed if he just committed suicide."
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Gleam and Silk continue training District 1 tributes even after Luster usurps them and turns the DAEYD into an Academy of Evil, in order to help the tributes survive the Games, and to find a way to distract themselves from how miserable their lives as Victors seem to be. Silk at least ultimately chooses to die helping the rebel Victors escape.
  • Dirty Cop: The Peacekeepers throughout all Panem, with either the encouragement or at least permission of the Capitol.
    • Nolan describes in great detail the many crimes committed by the peacekeepers in District 9, including raping every bride on her wedding night and looting all of the best crops for themselves.
    • Several District 7 peacekeepers are bribed into kidnapping Blight's love interest and sending him into the arena (although the viewers are later told it's just a hologram) to throw Blight off his game.
    • In District 10, they turn a blind eye to various have crimes committed by the Settlers.
    • The District 5 second in command, who later defects to the rebels, lets Matty get away with skinning a dog alive with a night in jail so he could sell the meat to the local butcher.
  • Disappeared Dad: Gordy Brockleton (one of the District 6 tributes for the Second Quarter Quell ) has three different kids from three different girls and doesn't even know any of their names. He considers his reaping to be a form of Laser-Guided Karma for his lack of a role in their lives.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Boudicca kills a prostitute who was in bed with Tiberius, because she woke up while Boudicca was preparing to threaten him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Seeder's husband is killed by Peacekeepers while walking home, though they claim he broke curfew and was resisting arrest. This greatly resembles the problem of police shootings of unarmed African-Americans, particularly since most of the people from District 11 are black.
    • In-universe. Beetee and Cashmere’s competing analyses of why The Roman Empire fell also reveal their perspectives on what will cause the Capitol to fall. Beetee, being from an outer district, argues Rome’s collapse was due to over-extension and a failure to take into account the strength of the barbarian tribes. Cashmere, being from an inner district, argues that Rome fell because of internal rot. Cashmere’s argument foreshadows “The Revenge of Finnick Odair,” which reveals all the hidden vices of Capitol society and causes support for Snow’s regime within the Capitol to collapse.
  • Driven to Suicide: Quite a few people whose dirty laundry Finnick Odair airs.
    Sabinus Smithywick can hear the laughter of his neighbors from his condo. He walks out onto the balcony and takes a twelve story swan dive.... No dramatic leaps for Potoma, the pills in her cabinet swallowed hastily through tears are enough... Finnick's stories continue, the incest and the fetishes and the affairs. The hilarity and shock in the Capitol spikes, as do the suicides, murders and domestic violence.
  • Drunk Driver: District 3 sent one who killed a woman and managed to cover it up into the 1st Quarter Quell, although she claims to have only had a little to drink and that no one could have seen the woman crossing the street in time.
  • Due to the Dead: Many of the Victors have personal traditions to honor the tribute mentees they've lost.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first seven Hunger Games were held in a small arena with a live audience of Capitol citizens. There was no Cornucopia, and instead all the weapons were spread out across the arena. The series charts the development of the Games as sponsors, mutts, the Opening Ceremonies, and larger arenas (as a result of rebels bombing the original arena) are all introduced.
  • Entitled to Have You: Tanni Romero, one of Cecelia's johns from when she was a Streetwalker and later one of her sponsors during the 57th Hunger Games, has this badly. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A common theme.
    • Luster and Roan, among the most morally reprehensible Victors, still have large families (albeit with equally toxic morals) who care for their survival.
    • Tiberius still cares for his friend and short-lived love interest Minnie long after she's turned her back on him for good.
    • Justus cared deeply for his cousins and fellow District 2 victors, despite shooting Lupus at point-blank range.
    • Head Gamemaker Spartacus Brandybane had a daughter he indulged.
    • Justinian Trinket is a closet pedophile, but cares for his wife and children, parents, siblings and niece Effie.
    • Eamon's homophobia stems from his father leaving his devastated mother for another man.
    • DAEYD Alpha Bitch Topaz had a boyfriend who was devastated after Ermine killed her.
    • Blight's sadistic Big Brother Bully Abel (who later goes on to be a torturer for the peacekeepers) had a momentary flash of emotion after learning their mother didn't run out on them but was taken by force.
    • President Lucius was happily married with sons and grandsons.
    • Capitol Policeman Ptolemy Boundaire, a Dirty Cop and occasional participant in the Victor sex trade, is a Cool Uncle to his brothers family.
    • Enobaria's ruthless District partner during the 62nd Hunger Games had feelings for the District 6 boy they took into their alliance.
    • Gloss Delacroix cares deeply for his sister long after becoming a poster child for Murder Makes You Crazy.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: The Victors enjoy hooking up with each other. Along with several Teacher Student Romances (see below), other hook-ups include Ahenobarbus and Cora, Cashmere and Connor, (possibly Crystal and Connor), and Cecelia and Brutus, which results in a One Night Stand Pregnancy.
  • Executive Meddling: Beyond the active meddling of the Gamemakers, the Capitol also occasionally arranges for certain children to be reaped. There are "soft fixes," in which the pre-selected tribute is allowed as much a chance to win as anyone else, and "hard fixes," in which the pre-selected tribute is marked for an early death.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Accepting their fate, some tributes use their interview with Caesar to do a final performance.
    • During the tribute interviews of the 40th Games, the District 6 girl, recognizing she would likely die the next day (which she did), "asked if she could recite a poem she wrote. It was about the smell of her mother's bread cutting through the stench of the petrol refineries, and it was deeply moving."
    • Aeria Whitaker, one of District 5's female tributes for the Second Quarter Quell, flawlessly performs the dance solo she would have given at her school's summer recital.
  • Family Extermination: Many of the Victors' family members are either reaped (Camden, Elena, Cecelia, Halibut) or outright killed (Haymitch, Seeder, Mags, Nolan, Johanna, even Woof's dog).
  • First Contact: The Capitol's first encounter with District 1 appears this way to those from District 1, since the Capitolians came in flying ships and had "skin of black and brown and gold and blue and scarlet, with hair of every hue and jeweled tattoos." When the District 1 citizens respond violently, the Capitolians return in a more Alien Invasion style, with a full army.
  • Five-Man Band : During the 40th Games, tributes from the outer districts formed their own counter-alliance, which Caesar describes as "half-savage and perpetually on the brink of starvation … stealing food from weaker tributes and staying one step ahead of the Careers."
  • Foreshadowing: During her recruitment of Luxe and Plat into La Résistance, Mags mentions that they have plans in the works for creating a cell in District 2. These plans are revealed when Lyme is revealed to be a mole sent for the specific purpose of becoming a Victor.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Often due to the chapter titles being the names of the victor who wins that year but sometimes other tributes receive a lot of focus. Most notably Wiress's chapter begins with Nolan talking about how sure he is that one of his tributes will make it back this year.
    • There are also many victors whose deaths are mentioned before they first appear, for at least well before we find out how they died, such as Dido, Crystal, and Mitt.
  • Funny Background Event: During the Victors Talent Show, as Cecelia has a tense confrontation with the Victor who beat her promising tribute due to Executive Meddling, Beetee is assembling some kind of mechanical device which turns out to be a water balloon launcher he blasts Gloss and Cashmere with.
  • Girl Posse:
    • Esther clashes with a particularly Sociopathic one at the DAEYD.
    • The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf' features a non-bullying version in the 57th Games when Blight's district partner Charlie teams up with two other outlier girls, Bobbi and Qin Li, dubbed "the three princesses" by the Careers and none of whom are particularly skilled combatants (except against a few mutts). They mostly avoided playing the Games until, with the final 8 approaching, Bobbi tried to poison Charlie and Qin Li only for Charlie to secretly give Bobbi her portion of the dinner due to thinking that she wasn't taking enough for herself. Qin Li then assumed that Charlie deliberately poisoned Bobbi, forcing Charlie to kill her in self-defense and undergo an extreme Break the Cutie/ Murder Makes You Crazy meltdown.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Cecelia uses both Tanni and Brutus to get pregnant in order to make the Capitol see her as a mother and reduce the number of people who want to buy a night with her.
  • Guilt by Association: The District 7 boy for the first Quarter Quell was a member of a rowdy local gang, and it's noted, "He's not the worst of them, not by far, but he's the only one still of reaping age, barely".
  • Homage: Word of God says Ermine's chapter featuring the Girl Posse was an homage to Mean Girls.
  • Hunger Games Hooligans:
  • Hypocrite:
    • President Snow (as in the guy who started turning victors into Sex Slave's along with Luster and keeps a harem of women forcibly taken from the district himself) considers himself a happily married man and calls Ermine a trollop at one point while expressing his frustration with District 1 and their recent victors.
    • Roan Tully is utterly dismissive and mocking any time Bovina is mentioned, except when his survival depends on her in the arena.
  • Illegal Religion: All religion is banned except for worship of the state. Boudicca's prayer over their Wintermas dinner is a thanksgiving to the Capitol and President Snow, and all colloquial references to God are instead replaced with "Snow," including in cursing.
    Beetee: Of all the Snow-damned, idiotic, foolish stunts …
    • Some if the district 10 Anisazi and the family of Enobarias friend Maura have traditional religious beliefs but are more secretive about them. The district 7 lumberjacks often practice pagan tree worship (their female tribute for the first quarter quell was a girl who burned their shrine because that sect of worship gave a husband the right to mistreat his wife) and after his Urban Ruins games Blight starts praying to Starbucks after encountering a statute of her, unaware that it was for a coffee chain and not a religious temple (something Beetee admits he never had the heart to tell Blight).
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: The structure of the Hunger Games is such that allies will inevitably have to betray each other. This leads some alliances to purposely break up early in order to not have to directly kill each other. This leads other alliances, particularly the Career packs, to betray each other even before all the other tributes have been killed.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Gloss's chapter establishes that he kidnaps, drugs and tortures someone every year (with Cashmere helping him plan the abduction and making sure he never actually kills anyone) to sate his bloodlust, having been dubbed the Midtown Mincer. During Finnick Odair's public unveiling of Capitolites secrets, we get this gem.
    Finnick: Bendedicta Horton, you strangled your husband and blamed the Midtown Mincers just so you could get your hands on the inheritance. Oh, and speaking of the Midtown Mincers, no idea.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Occurs when tributes develop genuine feelings for each other and sometimes invoked by the Gamemakers or Snow to make the Games more interesting (or to make a point).
    • The Gamemakers ensure that Seaward and Waverly, District 4 partners and siblings-in-law, are the last remaining tributes in the 8th Games so they have to fight to death. Seaward prevails.
    • Snow orders Brutus to kill Cecelia during the Third Quarter Quell, knowing he is the father of her son Aaron.
    • The Gamemakers of course tried this with Katniss and Peeta but were Out-Gambitted.
  • Klingon Promotion: Many of the Career Victors — Tiberius, Boudicca, Ermine, Jade, Crystal — got selected by killing or incapacitating the prior favorite to be chosen as that year’s tribute.
    • And of course Capitol politics at its finest is this.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Ahenobarbus demands that Gleam perform one after he saw Gleam's impressive knife-throwing skills during his Games. Gleam reluctantly complies and successfully avoids hitting the Avox forced to be a Lovely Assistant. Ahenobarbus then tells Gleam that mercy is for the weak and throws a knife directly at the Avox. Thankfully, Orchus catches the knife in midair before it hits the Avox.
  • Knockout Gas: Katniss’s kidnappers use this against Katniss and Johanna.
  • Last Stand: The remaining Victor mentors of the Third Quarter Quell fight off the Peacekeepers who attack the Control Center, so that Haymitch, Abram, and Cotton can escape and help start the Mockingjay Revolution. All the oldest Victors present stay behind to fight – Jules (84), Silk (77), Honorius (69), Virtus (67), Briseis (60), Cerulea (56), and Dido (54).
    Honorius: Can you win? Can you win, Haymitch?
    Haymitch: I said yes. Chaff said no. I usually came out on top, when we bet serious.
    Honorius: That’s enough for me.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: As Boudicca is agonizing over whether to choose Justus as tribute for the 27th Games, Snow calls her and tells her he is agonizing over whether to give his most prized horse to President Lucius's grandson and asks her what he should do. Boudicca gets the message, tells Snow to do his duty, and then selects Justus as tribute.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: It is an unspoken agreement among Victors that they do not bring up with each other or hold against each other what they did during their Games. This rule is occasionally broken though by the ABAC’s –- “Anyone But a Career” — outlier district Victors who view the Careers as trained murderers and Capitol lapdogs.
  • Local Hangout: Samson’s becomes the bar of choice and Den of Iniquity for the Victors, run by a woman who always goes by the name, Madame Nigella.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Romantic relationships that develop during the Games inevitably lead to this. And they always seem to involve the District 2 male tribute .
    • Virtus is betrayed by his entire alliance, but the betrayal from Luscious, the female District 1 tribute, stung him the most, because they had developed a close, romantic relationship. The other tributes throw Virtus over a cliff into the raging seas, but he survives and gets his revenge by brutally raping Luscious and then killing her.
    • Ares kills the District 4 female tribute while they are kissing her.
    • Priam, the District 2 boy from the 54th Games, drowns Lianne, the District 4 female tribute with whom he had developed a romantic relationship. In this case, at least, there were only three tributes left.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: The District 11s tributes for the First Quarter Quell both separately decide to volunteer as tributes, as a "F*ck You" towards the Capitol and because they have little else to live for.
    District 11 Female: She volunteers because no one in eleven is guaranteed a long life, but she can give herself a meaningful death. She has nothing else left.
    District 11 Male: He almost falters when they call the boy up. It's the son of his own overseer. The scars on his back, the ones he received at nine and the ones he earned last week and all the ones in between twitch. The call goes up for volunteers. He almost doesn't do it. He fills with pleasure at the sight of the little boy who so closely resembles his father shivering on the stage. But that's what they want, isn't it? And if there's one thing he'll never do, it's give the damned Capitol what they want.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain:
    • District 2: Ahenobarbus —> Tiberius —> Boudicca —> Granyte/Honorius/Virtus/Justus/Antigone
      • Granyte —> Bartimaeus/Lyme
      • Honorius —> Ares —> Berenice
      • Virtus —> Brutus —> Ferrus/Phoebus/Lupus
      • Antigone —> Dido —> Enobaria —> Clove
    • District 4: Mags —> Manannan/Briseis/Cerulea/Liannenote /Andromache/Finnick
      • Manannan —> Thisbe/Halibut/Annie
      • Halibut —> Odysseus
    • District 7: Jules —> Vera/Blightnote 
      • Blight —> Connor/Johanna
    • District 11: Wren —> Seeder —> Chaff/Abundance/Rue
  • Mood Whiplash: The tour of the 33rd Games arena describes in one sentence the beautiful scenery and fun, luxurious activities there, and in the next sentence describes how the tributes were brutally killed in these exact spots.
  • Morality Pet: There are several examples throughout the series, but a notable literal one is described when all of the 2nd Quarter Quell tributes are being described and we get this gem.
    Athena Costa had no affection for anyone or anything except for the sparrows that ate the seeds she left every morning on her windowsill at the Institute.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: One of the corrupt Capitol citizens exposed during the revenge of Finnick Odair is Marcus Aerius, Vice-President of the bank of Pompey, and a backer of a drug cartel. Finnick says that he's put out hits on two hundred people in the last twenty years and then starts reciting names. A few paragraphs later it's mentioned that the Bank of Pompey is under siege by a vengeful crowd... and losing.
  • Multiple Narrative Modes: Different chapters are told from different types of perspectives: third person narrator, the Victor her/himself, outside viewers, other Tributes, etc.
  • Murder Makes You Crazy: True to an extent for all the Victors, but some are especially affected by having to kill in the Games:
    • Virtus kills several Sixatrons who burst into the Hunger Games TV studio during his Victor interview
    • Cecelia develops a Split Personality after killing her district partner, Loomer. This new personality, “Victoria,” is much more comfortable killing other tributes and performing “Victors’ duties.”
    • Gloss becomes infatuated with the thrill of bloodshed after his Games, so with Cashmere’s help he becomes the “Midtown Mincer.” Cashmere drugs the victim, and Gloss tortures them, though the victims never realize who their attacker is.
  • Naming Ceremony: Honorius, Virtus, and Justus all change their names to represent one of the values Boudicca said represented their duty to the Capitol. Later that evening the cousins make a Blood Oath and changed their names to represent the value Boudicca individually assigned to them.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Luster tells of how the members of District 1 descended from white supremacists, and he adopts similar practices of racial superiority and selection as the Nazis.
  • Never Suicide: The DAEYD Girl Posse makes Esther’s death look like a suicide, but Jade immediately recognizes it as a fake and knows the posse killed her to take her spot.
  • Newhart Phonecall: Cardella Rheys is able to hack into Paylor’s network and finds a televideo conversation between Paylor and Luster, but only Luster’s side is heard. Regardless, they are able to learn that Luster kidnapped Katniss, the list of his demands, and a sense of how Paylor responded.
  • Noir Episode: Cerulea’s and Crystal’s chapters have this motif:
    • Cerulea’s chapter focuses on Mags's search for Wheaton's killer, which ultimately leads her to help Snow in his rise to power, plays out like this. In searching for Wheaton's killer, Mags travels to a seedy nightclub, where she meets a mysterious Peacekeeper who has critical information but needs her help. He offers her unlimited sponsorship for her tribute in exchange for help, but also threatens her with losing all funding for training tributes if she refuses. In helping him, she uncovers a major political plot/sex scandal. Unbeknownst to her, the mysterious Peacekeeper is actually Snow, who uses the information she gives him to move against his political enemies and consolidate power. When Mags learns the truth, she literally says, "My God, What Have I Done?!"
    • Crystal’s chapter is from the perspective of Inspector Ptolemy Boundaire, who investigates her death and depicts her life through flashback. The investigation includes interaction with seedy people and ends with the mystery left unsolved.
  • Nothing Personal: A common sentiment of victors. It's especially common in careers, who often wear a downright barbaric mask for the cameras. Considering how they've been known to spend hours dismembering likable outlier tributes for the sake of entertainment, it's somewhat understandable that for some victors, but comes across as very personal indeed.
  • O.C. Stand-in: All of the unnamed and under-developed tributes of the Third Quarter Quell get much greater Character Development.
  • Odd Friendship: Ahenobarbus and Gates. Ahenobarbus considered Gates to be the most brilliant Victor and was greatly offended by the Capitol’s Post Game Retaliation against him. He even sat in the hospital with Gates after he had a stroke and was there when he woke up.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Tiberius, Silk, Boudicca, Enobaria, and the three cousins — Honorius, Virtus, Justus — are all orphans who train to become Careers as their only means of escaping poverty.
  • The Pawns Go First: A rare example of a hero doing this: When Cashmere agrees to play the part of the villain in the rebels’ plot to break Katniss and Peeta out of the arena, she tells Beetee he needs to designate several Victors for Heroic Sacrifices. Beetee reluctantly designates those who are either weak and aren’t critical to breaking out Katniss and Peeta out. This ultimately includes all the rebel Victor-tributes – including Wiress – except Finnick, Johanna, Seeder (though Enobaria ends up killing her anyway), and Beetee himself.
  • Perspective Flip:
    • Honorius's chapter describes how honorably the Careers treated the other tributes, in giving them the chance to defend themselves and giving them a quick death if they fought. In Evelyn's chapter, her visit to District 8 provides their perspective, in which the Careers "gave [the male 8 tribute] a mocking chance to fight before butchering him like a pig."
    • Finnick’s chapter provides an expanded version of his revelation of the Capitol’s sins and shows it from the perspective of the Capitolians themselves.
    • Near the end of The Bonds of Blood the duel between Enobaria and Finnick, right before Katniss destroys the Quarter Quell arena, is shown from Enobaria's perspective, and it's revealed that Finnick had been whispering for her to help them, and Enobaria had some understanding of what was going on, and wanted to help on some level.
  • Porn Stash: "Tenebrus 'Terry' De Luca bequeathed his entire porn collection to the thirteen year-olds at the institute. It was considered a sacred treasure by all subsequent classes."
  • Production Throwback: The First Quarter Quell reverts the original-style arena of being held in a contained arena within the Capitol with audience spectators.
  • The Promised Land: After the End of the United States, a group of white supremacists traveled from the former American Southeast (what is now District 11) across the continent to the former San Francisco, which is now “a cluster of low lying islands and sunken splendor against the setting sun,” and create what becomes District 1.
  • Public Secret Message: During Evelyn’s Victory tour in District 11, Wren gives her a seemingly innocuous nighttime tour of the district. In fact, Wren is letting Evelyn know many of the details of the district that the Capitol would not want shared across districts.
  • Racist Grandpa: In Roan's chapter, it's noted that in the decades after Elena's games, as the Anasazi and he settlers grew closer "More and more children were born with no memory of the hatred between their peoples other than the occasional ramblings of their elder relatives".
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Virtus tracks down Luscious, the female District 1 tribute with whom he forms a relationship but who later joins in betraying him, and brutally rapes and kills her. Despite the nature of the Hunger Games, this is treated as especially heinous.
    • Blight asks Cecelia to kill Luckie in the 57th Games, even though Luckie’s the tribute from Blight’s district. Blight hates him, because he raped a young girl and threw a knife at another girl who tried to stop him, future tribute Johanna Mason.
    • It was Luster's idea to have Snow sell Victors as Sex Slaves, and he proudly reflects on having raped several of them (ones from his district, Finnick and Cecelia) himself.
    • District 8 certainly thought so when they were voting on the tributes for the first Quarter Quell. The eighteen year old serial rapist that they picked was so bad he went after his own district partner in the arena. Unfortunately for him, that partner was Cora.
    • One of the District 7 female tributes from the Second Quarter Quell purposely runs headlong into the Cornucopia bloodbath when she learns from Vera about "Victor's duties."
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • After Katniss complains that she doesn’t understand Peeta’s mood swings, Johanna gives her one of these, telling her that she views her relationship with Peeta as all about herself and that Peeta is also recovering from the trauma of the Games, the war, and his torture.
    • Blight gives one to Phoebus about why he hates Careers.
      Blight: You all make me sick, Brutus with his ‘competitive spirit’, Boudicca with her insufferable faux-patriotism, and Enobaria is barely more than an animal, but I think I hate you most of all. Because you volunteered to kill our kids for whatever reason, and you genuinely expected people to like you for it. You think people should like you no matter what you do.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Ahenobarbus initially recruited homeless ruffians and juvenile delinquents and trained them to be tributes. They were often referred to as “Ahenobarbus’s dogs,” because they were good at killing but less so at strategy. This changed when Boudicca replaces Ahenobarbus as the lead District 2 mentor.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: In Mockingjay, Coin says there are only seven remaining Victors: Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Johanna, Annie, Beetee, and Enobaria. The opening chapter reveals that many other Victors survived as well. Coin was either unaware of this or hoping to quietly purge them without drawing attention.
  • Rescue Arc: Katniss is kidnapped, and the surviving Victors join together to rescue her.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Immediately following the Mockingjay Revolution, when President Coin is acting President of Panem, she begins a Reign of Terror that targets, among others, the Career Victors. However, after Katniss assassinates Coin, the new regime under President Paylor subverts this, and there is remarkable congeniality (from what is portrayed) between Capitolians and District citizens.
  • Road Trip Episode: Evelyn's chapter focuses on her Victory tour, in which she visits every district. This provides a snapshot of each district.
  • Savage Wolves: The Gamemakers send mutt-wolf pack against Ben, but he kills them all and turns the alpha male’s skin into a pelt.
  • The Scapegoat: A sadly unintentional example was when District 5's tribute for the first quarter quell was voted in because of a fatal industrial accident she's caused while working double shifts to help keep her family clothed. Even though the fault came form her overworked supervisor failing to instruct her on how to use the equipment properly, something he admitted to, it happened just a week before the voting, so that plenty of people were familiar with her name and role in the accident but not that she'd been cleared of wrongdoing.
  • Serendipitous Survival/Victory by Endurance: Several Victors win because the Career pack turns on each other, through Executive Meddling, or just by being in the right place at the right time.
  • Sex Slave: Many of the chapters describe how the Victors – especially from District 1 – are forced to serve as this for the Capitol.
  • Shipping: Johanna and Gale are sleeping together.
  • Shout-Out: Luxe and Platinum are shocked to learn that Mags knows about their secret account funding Capitol members of La Résistance. Mags, referring to Beetee, responds, "Oh, let's just say I know little boy who can practically walk through firewalls." This is a shout-out to a line Professor X says about Kitty Pryde in X2: X-Men United.
  • Sibling Triangle: One of the socialites Finnick Odair exposes during his airing of secrets only married his wife because he's having an affair with her married sister and wanted a pretext to spend more time with her.
  • Sins of the Father: Many of the initial tributes were the children of rebels who fought against the Capitol during the Dark Days or were considered disloyal for being neutral. The Undersee family, two of whom fought in the initial Games, were especially targeted.
    • Blight Gavin Got Volunteered for the 52nd Hunger Games partially because of his districts homophobia but mainly because they wrongly. believed him too be the bastard son of a peacekeeper.
    • District 12's first victor, Camden Donner, also came from a prominent Rebel family that had a disproportionate number of its members reaped over the years.
    • As the 57th Hunger Games go on, the District 8 resistance worries that Cecelia. was reaped due to the leader of the district rebellion being her stepmother, who disagrees, feeling that it's probably a coincidence due to the fact that the Gamemakers would never have let Cecelia make it that far if they'd reaped her to punish the family, and that if the Capitol had really identified her they would have spent the next few years letting her lead them to other rebels before reaping her biological daughter as soon as she reached reaping age.
    • During the 1st Quarter Quell. Cora was the daughter of a Capitol-loving Tax collector who killed a girl. The boy from District 3 was the younger brother of a drug dealer who was just above reaping age. The boy reaped in District 11 was the son of an abusive work crew overseer who liked whipping his charges, with the actual tribute that year (a boy who'd been planing to volunteer as a Take That! to the Quell) almost changing his mind due to having been in that work crew, and still having scars from when that boy's father whipped him, but deciding that "that's what they want, isn't it? And if there's one thing he'll never do, its give the damend Capitol what they want." Nellie Mills, the girl from 10, was voted in by the Anasazi dominated population because her racist father liked to hunt them like animals, while the peacekeepers turned a blind eye. This was subverted with Jon Parsons, her District partner, as one of the few settlers to vote for him did it because he had to vote for someone and Jon's father had cost him a promotion at work (he never expected Jon to be picked and had a My God, What Have I Done? moment afterwards) but the actual reason Jon went in was because the Anasazi wanted to send in a settler instead of one of their own as payback, and since they couldn't find any boy of reaping age they had a grudge against, they picked someone who might win and had no dependents.
  • Slashed Throat: A favorite killing method for many of the tributes, which the author often calls “a red smile.”
  • Slasher Movie: Chaff’s chapter comes off as this. Super Strong, Nigh Invulnerable killer slowly stalks through the shadows and kills off each person individually while an audience watches on the edge of their seat. Except in this case, the slasher is the hero.
  • Spider-Sense: "Victor's Premonition," which outer district Victors tend to have. It helps explain how they were able to survive and win their Games without much official training.
  • Stealing from the Till: The second former john who Finnick names during his airing of secrets paid for a night with Finnick by embezzling 100,000 sesterces from his employers. Once Finnick exposes his theft, the peacekeepers come to arrest him and he chooses Suicide by Cop.
  • Stealing the Credit: District 8 tribute Jane Lawson adjusts her own interview dress (which was fitted for a taller tribute by the novice stylist) for the 3rd Quarter Quell, something her stylist doesn't mention after being voted the best newcomer to the stylist pool by a tabloid magazine.
  • Succession Crisis: President Lucius's death creates one, during which Lucius's family is wiped out, and there is a major purge of top officials. Eventually, Coriolanus Snow comes out on top.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Several of the Victors had sexual relationships with their tributes: Luxe and Ruby, Mags and Manannan, Raoul and Bovina, Boudicca and Justus.
  • To Absent Friends: The surviving Victors meet at the Lodge following Katniss’s rescue and “drink to all our lost friends”.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: The Speaker, a Reaver driven out of the Capitol and the Districts who tortures Enobaria and kills her friends (motivating her to volunteer for the 62nd Hunger Games in exchange for the opportunity to face him again) turns out to be Tanni Romero, seeking revenge for the punishment he got for knocking up Cecelia.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm:
    • Luster taking over District 1 and the DAEYD Academy turns out to be a really bad thing for the District.
    • Played with in District 2. Boudicca's takeover is brutal, but she develops a more rigorous but benevolent training program than Ahenobarbus 's and cleans out the corruption and slave trade in District 2. Still, her creation of Panem's first true Academy of Evil has terrible effects for the other districts.
    • Subverted with President Snow, for though he is an awful tyrant, his predecessors (especially President Lucius) weren't any better.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Largely subverted, as the Career districts have the most Victors (forty between them all), but during the 50’s, a string of outlier tributes win, starting with the Second Quarter Quell: Haymitch, Blight, Wiress, Mitt, Connor, Cecelia, and Circe. This string is only broken by Lyme (who though from District 2 is more like an outlier) and Halibut.
  • The Un Reveal: Frequently. The most plot relevant ones are that we never find out what made Snow mad enough at the campers to rig Circe's reaping, and that it's never revealed how Luster faked his death, which apparently had a lot of witnesses, although the most likely explanations are a Body Double or bribing people.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Jules is about to explain Vera’s game plan to Marty, but Marty’s dad cuts Jules off. Only during the Games does Vera’s Stealth Expert strategy become apparent.
  • Urban Ruins: Several of the arenas are built in the ancient ruins of American cities.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Luxe and Platinum form a relationship that Mags describes as "the most passive-aggressive friendship in the history of the nation."
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Fairly common, all the way back to the first victor, Ahenobarbus, but a particularly pronounced example is 2nd Quarter Quell tribute Ulyssess Blackwater, who "volunteered so that his parents would finally notice him."
  • We Win... Because You Didn't: Many of the outlier district Victors are ABAC’s – Anyone But a Career – meaning they will support any outer district tribute as long as a Career doesn’t win. Wren first uses the exact words when she chooses an expected Mutual Kill with the District 2 male tribute rather than possibly let him win.
    District 1 boy: There’s still one left. The girl from Six. Remember? The one who vomited all over Pine’s shoes during the interviews? If you kill me, she wins. Six. You’re going to hand it to her?
    Wren: Anyone but a Career.
  • Wham Line: Cashmere reveals to Beetee that she knows they are planning to break Katniss and Peeta out of the Third Quarter Quell arena.
    Beetee (inner monologue): The sky falls. The roof collapses. The sun goes out.
  • White Shirt of Death:
    • The earliest tributes are dressed in white tunics, which Ahenobarbus assumes was “meant to make the bloodstains show.”
    • The Victors executed in Coin’s Reign of Terror are dressed in white. Jade wonders if this is meant as a Call-Back to the original Games, but then decides that no one in District 13 has enough sense of irony to do that purposely.
  • Win Your Freedom: The original mentors were former rebels who received their freedom once their mentees won a Hunger Games and replaced them as mentors. Wheaton became the first Volunteer in order to win his father’s freedom. Wheaton won, and his father was pardoned but then immediately executed for other crimes.
    • Played straighter with the other mentors we see , such as Bovina's mentor Raoul (who is hinted to remain a closet rebel after his release), Orchus's unseen mentor and Matti Clude (formerly the Camp Cook for District 12's Rebel barracks) who are released afterwards.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Orchus, Seeder, and Mitt all win without engaging any of the other tributes. Orchus absently swats the District 4 female tribute, causing her to fall into a trap and die, which allows him to win, but this is completely unintended.
  • Woman Scorned: The girl District 9 voted into the first Quarter Quell made a False Rape Accusation against a boy who wouldn't go to a dance with her and watched him get whipped with a smile on her face.
  • You Just Told Me: Katniss pulls this on President Paylor:
    Katniss: Civil Forces have a tracker on me somewhere. They couldn’t lose me if they tried.
    Paylor: How did you know?
    Katniss: I didn’t until now.
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