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 three additional one-shots/follow-ups:
- Quell, about the tributes of the First Quarter Quell;
- Secrets, detailing a Dark Secret of each Victor; and
- Arrow, a companion story showing the "Mockingjay Rebellion" in each District.
The Victors Project also exists in the same universe as Oisin55's Victor Trilogy about Blight, Cecelia, and Enobaria. Those stories, respectively, are:
Tropes for all these stories are included here as well.
See the Characters Page for tropes that apply solely to each Victor.
Tropes with their own page:
The Victors Project includes the following tropes:
- 0% Approval Rating: Luster. Lancaster. After he won his Games, he wrested control of the DAEYD away from Gleam and turned District 1 into his personal dictatorship. Not only did he forcibly take the best-looking children away to be trained as future tributes and high-priced escorts, it was him that suggested to Snow the idea of making Victors prostitutes for the Capitol in the first place. Ultimately, he was so hated that he turned the previously loyalist District 1 into another hotbed of rebel activity, because they were that desperate to get rid of him.
- 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 at the Gamemakers' hands, he's a true believer who simply asks for more whenever Luster feeds him his poison. Mags replies that they'll "work on an antidote", but 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 Peace and Training Institute in District 2 (known throughout Panem as "Murder High") — 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 District 4's training camps and the DAEYD under Gleam, which are still training children to kill but come across as fairly humane towards the students and don't turn as many of their students into Ax-Crazy sociopaths.
- Actually Pretty Funny: One of Antigone's commandments to Dido is not to put laxatives in Tiberius's tea right before he speaks in front of a class, because no one will find it amusing. Antigone then admits that Boudicca found it amusing, though she still punished Dido for it. (Though the punishment is because Dido was caught on security footage breaking into the pharmacy, not for the prank itself.)
- After-Action Report: Many of the chapters take place after the designated Victor's Games and describe through exposition or flashback what happened during their particular Games.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Genner (District 5 boy) in the 62nd Hunger Games uses the airvents of the Hell Hotel arena to drop into the feast. 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 put 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 Someone Better: One of Antigone's pieces of advice to Dido. It's the only one that is not in some way sarcastic or exasperated.
- Ambiguous Syntax: A comment in Arrow about District 6 gangs abducting Chevy's nephews in order to give them legitimacy of controlling "Victor's blood" would doesn't explore whether this is strictly nephews or (given the ages of said nephews) any possible great-nephews as well.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Ephraim ben Galilee, a Clan kid from District 4, has a Hebrew name in what appears to be the Hebrew patronymic system, but the only thing known about him other than this is that he died to defend District 4 in the Second Rebellion.
- 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-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. Other Great Houses — such as St. James, Boleyn, and Delacroix — are involved in La Résistance but still seem to participate in Great House feuding.
- 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.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After listing a series of infractions Institute cadets should not commit, Antigone ends with "attempting to flavor the food in any way".
- Assassination Attempt: One is made against Katniss, which Johanna foils by killing the would-be assassin with Mannanan's old Victor spear.
- Author Catchphrase:
- Characters commonly pinch the bridge of their nose to show they are irritated or frustrated.
- A Slashed Throat is commonly referred to as a "red smile".
- Avengers Assemble: The surviving Victors, along with squads from Districts 2 and 13, all meet up at Annie's house to plan Katniss's rescue.
- Badass Crew:
- Lupus and his circle of Career trainee friends (Cato, Clove, Samaire and wrestler Ben).
- The Nightfoxes, a group of District 5 rebels led by Foxface's brother, who cripple Panem's energy sources by blowing up or hacking into power plants.
- Nolan's Five-Man Band (Nolan himself, a Stealth Expert, an archer, a Career defector, and a tough guy from 12).
- Nearly all of the surviving Victors allied together for the Rescue Arc, along with relatives of several Victors, Gale, and plenty of soldiers who served in the Rebellion.
- Enobaria and her fellow Career trainees: Declan, Pat and Maura.
- Haymitch, Cotton and Abram when they fight Peacekeepers together through the streets.
- Honorius, Virtus, Silk, Dido, Cerulea, Briseis and Jules when they gather together to Hold the Line against the Peacekeepers.
- Arguably Genner, Naomi and Kent from The Bonds of Blood. None of them are that physically tough but the former two are fairly defiant towards the Careers, Naomi is hinted to be an explosives expert (although she doesn't live long enough to show it), and Genner is a Stealth Expert who does a good job evading the Careers through a combination of Air-Vent Passageway and covering his upper body in oil to slip away when anyone tries to grab him.
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Romulus Thread arrives in District 5 to break the resistance and orders the long-serving District peacekeepers to execute 1/10th of the district's children as punishment for their actions. The Peacekeepers do the "ready, aim, fire" countdown, then to a man they turn and open fire on Thread and his elite troops.
- 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.
- Bears Are Bad News: During the 62nd Games, the Gamemakers sic a bear-mutt on the Careers that is twelve feet tall, the eyes and fur of a mountain cat, and a very tough hide.
- Bestiality Is Depraved:
- During the Revenge of Finnick Odair, his descriptions of a Capitolian dog breeder's "unique breeding techniques" cause her home to be the first of many that is burned down that night when it's attacked by a mob of animal-lovers.
- One of the reasons the Settlers of District 10 turn against the Capitol is they are tired of the Capitolian stereotype of Settlers having sex with cows.
- Binomium ridiculus: During the Victors' Talent Show, Johanna does bird calls/sex noise impressions of the other Victors while employing copious amounts of such 'scientific names', namely the Brutus Overextenious, the Connorus Wankerus, the Abernathy Drunkus and the Mags StillRidingHardus.
- 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.
- Brick Joke: Silk, while still a trainee, says to Gleam that etiquette classes are a waste of time, since "I'm not going to be thrown into the arena in an evening gown anyway". Nearly fifty years later, this is exactly what happens to the female tributes of the 62nd Games.
- 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."
- Right before entering the Third Quarter Quell, Blight writes a letter to his nieces and nephews telling them to look after his horses. Later, his nephew uses these horses to defeat the final set of Peacekeepers fighting in District 7.
- The District 11 chapter of Arrow recounts all the title chapters that came before it.Panem explodes. It explodes, crumbles, adapts, mourns, withdraws, burns, soars, falls, remembers, unites.
- 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.
- Caesar declares during Blight's Victory interview about Blight's love affair with Jason, "Surely, if there is ever a greater romance in the Games, it will shake the foundations of Panem!"
- 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.
- Cataclysm Backstory: 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.
- Catch Your Death of Cold: The 55th Games are set in Antarctica, so this is the fate of most of the tributes there.
- The Cavalry: In the District 7 chapter of Arrow this is done literally when a wave of Rebel reinforcements arrive on horseback, looking very much like Blight, Jason and seven decades of dead tributes to scare the peacekeepers.
- 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 Boudicca's 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.
- Child Soldier: The Capitol's high losses in the Second Rebellion force them to recruit and forcibly draft teenagers to be Peacekeepers. Fabius Kip, a Career tribute candidate, is one of them, where he's sent to District Nine and killed by a local because two of his daughters died in previous Hunger Games to Careers.
- 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.
- 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 this to the extreme. 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.
- Continuity Nod: During the countdown for the Third Quarter Quell, Cashmere tells Cecelia (though it's Victoria who's currently in control) to keep her shoes on. Victoria admits that she's flattered that Cashmere remembers her signature move from her original Games, in which she throws her shoes at her adjacent tributes' landmines in order to set them off before those Games even started.
- Conveniently Interrupted Document: Luster's chapter is a transcript about the founding of District 1, its incorporation into Panem, Luster's Games, and his takeover of the district. It abruptly ends, though, right before he spells out his plans to take out Katniss and Peeta.
- 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.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Lupus wins his Games (the one with only maces as a weapon) going against the two tributes form District 1, who have difficultly even lifting their maces properly. It's implied that they literally have to scrape what's left of those two from the ground.
- Arrow has District 3's revolt go this way. They've been Crazy-Prepared since the Games began, digging hidden tunnels, copying various kinds of weapons used by both the victors and the Gamemakers during the Games. Once the rebellion starts, first they go underground, and then they start using those weapons, one at a time. The peacekeepers are apparently wiped out to a man.During the Dark Days, District 3 lost half their citizens. During the Mockingjay Rebellion, they are the only District to win without firing a single shot, or losing a single life.
- Date Rape: At least one of the people Finnick was sold to drugged him first, and he witnesses someone else drug and rape girls twice at parties.
- A Day in the Limelight: Each chapter focuses on a particular Victor.
- The Dead Have Names:
- Near the end of The Lumberjack and the Tree Elf, Blight remembers every single one of his fellow tributes, recalling their names and how they died.All of their faces. All of their names. They've been filed away by the Capitol as Hunger Games deaths 1199-1121, but to me they will always be the boys and girls who could've come home if it weren't for me.
- Cora is tortured by Snow for the names of rebels in District 8, but most of the people whose names she shouts at him aren't rebels, and are no longer among the living."Sammy Jones. Eileen Martin. Satin Kasten ... Monica Thomas. Chrysanthemum Frill. Linyn Johnson." My voice is a long, loud scream but the names of my tributes hang in the air like a spell.
- Haymitch's chapter lists all 47 kids who died in the Quell, with various tidbits abut their lives, dreams, and talents. The last lines of the chapter reveal that no matter how drunk Haymitch gets every year, he can't forget a single one of their names.
- Near the end of The Lumberjack and the Tree Elf, Blight remembers every single one of his fellow tributes, recalling their names and how they died.
- Dead Guy Junior: Cecelia names her son by Brutus after Brutus's brother, Aaron, who died in the quarry a week before Brutus's Games.
- Deadline News: The parents of the District 4 girl who died during the 74th Hunger Games kick off the revolt in District 4 by drawing knives and cutting down several members of the Capitol camera crew (along with the mayor, his wife, and the Capitol liaison), in order to strike fear in the hearts of the Capitol viewers.
- Death as Comedy: During the 53rd Games, the District 4 boy holds a grenade too long and it explodes in his hand, killing him. This is replayed for laughs in the Capitol, and "doing a Four" becomes an Unusual Euphemism for finishing too soon.
- Death by Adaptation:
- Romulus Thread, who led the crackdown in District 12 in Catching Fire, is killed in the District 5 uprising.
- Johanna Mason dies after the events of the trilogy in a crane accident.
- Death Seeker:
- Dattery Nakamura, District 3 tribute for the Second Quarter Quell, lost his whole family to various industrial accidents and a previous Games. He is therefore "secretly pleased to be reaped because he felt his family would be disappointed if he just committed suicide".
- Many District 1 tributes considered death the Lesser of Two Evils rather than becoming a Victor and carrying out its official duties:Three generations of their girls and boys finding ways to commit suicide while maintaining deniability on live television, so they didn't have to face after.
- Decapitation Strike: Snow orders Enobaria to kill the mayors of Districts 3, 4, and 8 and the head of Delacroix House in District 1 (Cashmere and Gloss's father). None of these strikes, though, stop successful rebellions from breaking out in these districts.
- Demoted to Extra: Katniss and especially Gale.
- 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. They stay 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 to throw Blight off his game.
- In District 10, they turn a blind eye to various hate crimes committed by the Settlers.
- The District 5 second in command, who later defects to the rebels along with a large number or his men, lets Matty get away with skinning a dog alive with only a night in jail, so he could sell the meat to the local butcher.
- In District 1, the peacekeepers arrested and executed an innocent man as The Scapegoat for the murder or Cashmere's father, a crime which was in fact committed by Enobaria at Snow's behest, which is implied to be an Open Secret in the district.
- Similarly, peacekeepers in the Capitol are indicated to have covered up such crimes on behalf of Snow for decades.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Boudicca kills a prostitute who was in bed with Tiberius, because she woke up while Boudicca was preparing to threaten him.
- Disproportionate Retribution: A new platoon of Peacekeepers, led by Thread, comes to District 5 and decides to put down the rebellion there by rounding up all the district children and executing every tenth child. The local Peacekeepers attack the new Peacekeepers rather than follow the order.
- Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The Gamemakers send a tornado through the arena of the 67th Games, killing the District 5 boy, injuring the Careers, and destroying their supplies.
- 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, acknowledges Beetee's points but 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.
- The Dog Bites Back: Bovina refuses to provide Roan with any aid during the Third Quarter Quell as revenge for the racist, ungrateful way he always treated her and for the atrocities he committed against Anasazi throughout his life.
- Doomed Hometown: Lyme's home village Redfern (a hotbed of rebel sentiment) was massacred immediately after the Rebellion started, although a fair portion of the residents survived.
- Doorstopper: The Victor's Project is by itself at 315,000 words. The other installments in the series bring it closer to 650,000 words. This makes TVP by itself longer than the Hunger Games series as it existed at the time (301,583 words, though A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is another 130,000 words).
- Driven to Madness: All the tributes of the 21st Games, due to the arena going from a Garden of Eden to a Garden of Evil.
- Driven to Suicide: Several of the Victors kill themselves for various reasons across the years. This also applies to 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.
- Due to the Dead:
- Many of the Victors have personal traditions to honor the tribute mentees they've lost.
- After District 4 is liberated, the surviving noncombatants send the bodies of their dead out to sea on rafts, while Mags sister reads off a list with every one of their names on it.
- 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.
- Many of the earliest chapters rely on the framing device of the surviving Victors collecting information about them, but this fades greatly after the first twenty chapters and only picks up again for Blight's chapter.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Arrow chronicles the struggles each district went through to ultimately gain their freedom.
- Enemy Civil War: Many of the outlier tributes win because the Career pack turns on each other.
- Enemy Mine: Happens from time to time in the Games, such as when Cecelia and Andromache (the girl from 4) team up against the One-Man Army who answers to the title D2M.
- 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, Jet, 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 brother's family.
- 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.Hal: And that's why you never sleep with a fellow Victor. What one knows, everyone knows.
- Exact Words: The epilogue of The Lumberjack and the Tree Elf goes back to Johanna's comment from Catching Fire about Blight: "He wasn't much, but he was from home", and reveals that this didn't mean home in the broader sense (District 7), but home as in she literally lived in his house with Blight and his life partner for eight and a half years, with Blight using this to protect her due to a promise he'd exerted from Snow long ago to leave anyone living under Blight's roof alone.
- Executive Meddling: Several In-Universe examples from the Gamemakers:
- Exaggerated for the 28th Games, when Snow ordered the Gamemakers to appease the Sixatrons by rigging the Games such that the District 6 tribute — in this case, Chevy Anderson — will be likely to win.Snow: I'm not suggesting you rig the Games to make it a sure thing. Just... give one of them a chance. A clear chance. A clear advantage.
- Another example is the 44th Games, where Snow ordered Brandybane to send a message to the Career Districts, who he felt were acting too entitled lately and taking their privileges for granted. Brandybane carried this out by creating a massive sinkhole at the very start of the Games, swallowing up the Cornucopia, all its supplies, and the entire Career pack that year, plus six other tributes. This guaranteed an outlier Victor (Maeve Collins), while also reminding the Career districts that even they were still subject to Snow's whims.
- Roan Tully suffers from both ends of this: President Snow wants to rig the Games to let Roan win after realizing he's willing to kill Katniss, but Plutarch sabotages the Games to ensure Roan goes through (well-deserved) hell in order to keep this from happening.
- 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.
- Interestingly, two "soft fixes" who win, Emrys (sent into the Games for burning down his own school) and Circe (sent for unknown reasons that involved reminding the Campers of District 5 they were vulnerable), are both from District 5.
- Even more interestingly, Emrys was nearly sent into the First Quarter Quell, but the Capitol rigged the voting to send in a teenage rebel agitator who had made himself unpopular enough for that to seem plausible instead. Then, when Emrys burned down his school a year later, an annoyed Capitol decided that his district had the right idea that he needed either a wake up call or an early death, and rigged the next reaping to send him in.
- Exaggerated for the 28th Games, when Snow ordered the Gamemakers to appease the Sixatrons by rigging the Games such that the District 6 tribute — in this case, Chevy Anderson — will be likely to win.
- Eye Scream/Fingore: Donovan Haye, a District 9 rebel, loses an eye and two fingers in the Battle of the Golden Field.
- 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, a band of outer tributes form their own counter-alliance against the Careers, 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". It includes:
- The Leader: Nolan, who dominates the group with an iron fist.
- The Lancer: Perry, District 4 male tribute who betrays the Career alliance.
- The Smart Guy: Sheavan, District 9 female tribute, who serves as a spy and tracks the Careers' movements.
- The Big Guy: The District 12 male tribute, No Name Given.
- The Runt at the End: The District 5 female tribute, described as "the weedy, shrewd girl" who escapes the bloodbath with a bow and arrow, which she quickly learns to use to help feed the alliance.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: The day before the 62nd Games begin, Orion says to Enobaria, "Better hope they don't put you in pumps tomorrow, Malachite." The next day, guess what all the female tributes are wearing? Baria has to fight the urge to blame Orion for this.
- "Five Things" Fic: Several chapters of the canonical Victors are structured this way, including:
- Woof, on the five times he lost his temper;
- Seeder, on the thirteen times she didn't let herself cry;
- Brutus, on the thirteen things Katniss never bothered to find out about him;
- Gloss, on the several names he has been called over the years;
- Johanna, on her nine secrets; and
- Peeta, on the thirteen times he ruined a cake.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: The Hunger Games motto "May the odds be in your favor" starts the year Camden is reaped, with Capitolians saying the odds are never in his family's favor, since so many of them have been reaped for the Games.
- 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, or at least well before we find out how they died, such as Dido, Crystal, and Mitt.
- A comment made by pre-Games Silk Seville in a conversation with Gleam provides a bonus to those who have read The Bonds of Blood:Gleam: That dress was worth more than a crafter's family makes in a month. Was it really necessary to rip it into such tiny pieces?
Silk: Why does it matter? I'm not going to be thrown into the arena in an evening gown anyway.
Gleam: From your lips to the Gamemakers' ears. Nothing is impossible in the arena.
- Ben comments to himself that Wheaton's affairs with ministers' wives will get him killed one day. While not exactly accurate, Wheaton is killed while in the crossfire at a Capitol orgy.
- 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.
- Beetee's chapter has a scene where he dreams of Cashmere lecturing him about preconceptions. While that scene was apparently just a dream (as Cashmere never recites that dialogue during their actual conversation in her chapter) it does tease her loyalties to the viewer, as well as the Colliding Criminal Conspiracies of Boudicca and Luster, both of whom plotting against Katniss at the same time.Cashmere: Have I surprised you, Beetee? There's no law that only one person in this city can be plotting at one time, you know... You make judgments based on the evidence provided. You're very difficult to outsmart, but very easy to deceive. So I know, and you know that I know. Now what are we going to do about it?
- Eamon is introduced in The Victor's Project impressing the judges by sneaking right up to them disguised as an Avox. Those who read The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf will know that he ends up becoming one himself after his plans to profit from sabotaging Blight go awry.
- A comment made by pre-Games Silk Seville in a conversation with Gleam provides a bonus to those who have read The Bonds of Blood:
- Funny Background Event: During the Victors Talent Show, as Cecelia has a tense confrontation with the Victor who beat her promising tribute due to in-universe 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.
- Garden of Evil: For the first week, the 21st Games arena is a Garden of Eden, but then on the seventh day:The sun is blotted out, and the arena is plunged into a cold darkness. The pools and waterfalls run black and foul. The trees draw together, their grasping branches stripped of leaves. The animals turn into vicious carnivores. The castle looms over the now haunted forest that rings with the screams of fifteen tortured tributes.
- Generation Xerox: Blane Gavin strongly resembles his uncle, Blight, and Mitch Murphy has the same lumberjack build of Jason Mellark, and the two fall in love just as Blight and Jason did.
- Genre Roulette: While the dystopian setting remains constant, the tone and style of the story vary from chapter to chapter, going from Noir Episode, to tales of La Résistance, to family drama, to the pure comedy gold of Dido's chapter.
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Exploited. Mags recruits Cora to get her some top-secret intel. Once she has retrieved it, Cora kisses Mags in order to covertly pass Mags the information.
- Girl Posse:
- Esther's chapter features a particularly sociopathic one at the DAEYD. She manages to kill two of them and maim another.
- 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.
- Going Native:
- Two dozen District 4 peacekeepers side with the Rebellion, stepping aside for them to take the armory, led by the deputy head, who's noted as this specifically.He'd done his job efficiently, the Capitol had no complaints about his work, but a person can't live in a place for thirty years without assimilating to some degree.
- District 5 Peacekeepers and their deputy commander, Runcus Thimble, who provides information on Matthias Fletcher to the Victors Project.
- Two dozen District 4 peacekeepers side with the Rebellion, stepping aside for them to take the armory, led by the deputy head, who's noted as this specifically.
- A Good Way to Die: The District 11 tributes for the First Quarter Quell both volunteer, because they decide that they would rather die by sticking it the Capitol than live a longer miserable life and die eventually anyway.
- Gory Discretion Shot: In-universe. The Gamemakers for the 66th are unable to retrieve the body of Burnish, the District 1 boy, so they cannot stop Titus from eating him. All they can do is broadcast other parts of the Games.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: No one is told about the Reavers' invasion of District 11, even people in District 11.
- 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".
- Half the Man He Used to Be: At the start of the 53rd Games, the District 2 boy almost completely cut the District 7 boy in half with one swipe.
- Hated by All:
- Roan Tully. He's descended from the ranchers of District 10, the closest the district has to aristocracy, and is a cruel and violent racist even by normal Settler standards. The Anasazi outright use his name as a curse word, while even other Settlers refuse to talk about him.
- The First Quarter Quell requires the districts to vote on their own tributes, so nearly all the tributes for the Quell fall into this category. This trope especially applies to the District 6 and 8 boys, who are respectively a drug kingpin and a serial rapist. People cheered as they walked up on the stage. Exceptions include those who volunteered from Districts 1, 2, and 11 (though in 2 and 11, they still volunteered for kids who were voted in), and those who were somewhat random, like Jon Parsons from District 10 and the girl from District 5.
- High Heel Hurt: Cora mourns having to wear five-inch, or even eight-inch, Capitol heels.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: "District 3 has reproduced every single pod they manufactured for the Capitol's defense and installed it piece by piece, pod by pod, throughout the district", allowing District 3 to defeat Capitol forces without losing a single citizen.
- Homage: Ermine's chapter featuring the Girl Posse was intended to be an homage to Mean Girls.
- Homophobic Hate Crime: Both the District 9 male tribute for the First Quarter Quell and Blight (though illegally in that case) are selected as tribute because they're gay.
- Hunger Games Hooligans:
- The Sixatrons, who are fanatic in their demands for a Victor from the perpetual underdog, District 6. They attack the Hunger Games TV studio during Virtus' Victor interview, leading him to kill several of them. After 26th Games, their rioting is so bad that Snow demands the Gamemaker rig the games to ensure a District 6 Victor.
- The Fighting-Fives are this for District 5. The fanatics are apparently especially attracted to districts with very few Victors.
- Hufflepuff House:
- District 12 gets noticeably less focus, characters, and details about its layout than the other 11 Districts, mainly due to how a lot of this was already covered by the original books. Their chapter of Arrow isn't even a whole story, but rather a few lines of song lyrics.
- District 1 is ruled by forty noble families, but only nine of them (St. James, Boleyn, Delacroix, Lancaster, Dustell, St. Martin, Westness, Seville, and Rosencrantz) are named and several of them only have minor roles.
- The Lancaster, Boleyn, and St. James families are all pretty prominent and have multiple members with names and/or dialogue and each house produces a Victor, but said victors are the only members of each family to appear in more than one chapter and rarely if ever acknowledge their families later on.
- Seville House is the only house to side with the rebels during the Dark Days Rebellion, and is nearly wiped out as a result. Silk, the Sole Survivor of the family, is left homeless and becomes a Career tribute to get off the streets, and it's never revealed whether she ever has kids or the family dies with her.
- The Delacroixes are a regular presence, but are only present in the background until two of their children become Victors.
- Several members of Dustell House appear throughout the story, mostly just to antagonize main characters and/or get killed. They are also the only known house to have cadet branches.
- The St. Martin family competes with the Boleyn and St. James families to be District 1's most important Great House, but only receive a single passing mention in Luster's chapter.
- Victor Brilliance Rosencrantz is from a Great House, but this is only mentioned three times, nothing is revealed about his family, and Brilliance himself is one of the least prominent Victors in the story.
- Some Westness nobles make a cameo appearance in Wonder's chapter, "eyeing each [party] guest like a fish they were about to filet".
- President Snow (as in the guy who started turning victors into Sex Slaves 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.
- Boudicca speaks derisively of the outer districts, describing them as savage and saying that District 2 has to fight to gain Victors to keep from falling that low while ignoring that it's because of the Capitol that she supports that they've sunk too such depths in the first place and choosing to overlook how District 2 (with its slave markets) was even worse before she used her status as a Victor to change that, while she is indirectly denying the other Districts similar opportunities with her Career program.
- Brutus speaking poorly of the few victors who actually enjoy killing rings a bit hollow considering that he specifically killed as many tributes as possible to try and set the kill record.
- In Arrow, after Lyme kills a peacekeeper borrowing a page from Enobaria's book one of his friends calls her a sick animal. This coming from a guy who was drinking and laughing about killing unarmed women and kids less than a minute earlier.
- Blight's brother Abel made his life a waking nightmare for over a decade for supposedly being a peacekeepers illegitimate child, only to end up joining the peacekeepers (where he becomes a hated and feared figure) himself due to his gambling debts and/or to avoid facing his brother as a Victor.
- I Warned You: Enobaria warns the Career pack against burning down the carriage house, as she has seen that the Gamemakers typically don't like destroying parts of the arena. However, the boys outvote her, and soon after a bear-mutt appears.Rob: I change my vote.
- 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 of District 10's Anasazi population and the family of Enobaria's 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); after his Urban Ruins games, Blight starts praying to Starbucks after encountering a statue 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).
- District 4 is shown to have beliefs that involve Viking Funerals to release the souls of the dead, which the Capitol prohibited them from doing with their slain tributes.
- 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.
- Incoming Ham: Both Madame Lucia (stylist of Blight, Enobaria, Jade, Brutus, Cora, Silk, Nolan and several others) and Hector (stylist of Cecelia and Circe), although Hector's is also a Jerkass Establishing Character Moment.Madame Lucia: Madame Lucia has come to prepare her tribute! Madame Lucia sincerely hopes that her prep team has done an adequate job, although judging by what they're wearing themselves, she finds that to be dreadfully unlikely.Hector: So this is my canvas. Could have been worse, could have been better. How an artiste is meant to suffer!
- 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.
- Involuntary Battle to the Death: Applies to the Hunger Games overall, but it is especially noteworthy when the battle is between two reaped (that is, non-Career) tributes who clearly don't want to have to fight each other. Lampshaded by Elena and Bear MacFarlane (the District 12 boy), in their Final Battle.Bear: My name is Bear MacFarlane. I don't want to kill you, but I do want to get home, so I'm sorry.
Elena: My name is Elena Perez. I'm in love with a man I should have killed. A man I was taught to hate. I'm going to kill you, so that the man I love doesn't have to watch me die. I'm sorry you have to die, but I'm not sorry for fighting.
- It Has Been an Honor: District 4 tributes sometimes say goodbye to a particularly close ally (generally another Four) with the phrase "Safe voyage".
- 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. Finnick's chapter establishes that a woman committing an Inheritance Murder blamed it on the Midtown Mincer to avoid punishment.
- Just Like Robin Hood: At least two years before the Third Quarter Quell, a ring of thieves skim the grain from the top of collected sacks and distribute it to the poor. The Peacekeepers uncover the plot, and as a reward Gloss attends a banquet in the Head Peacekeeper's honor.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: The final thought of Priam, the District 2 boy and penultimate tribute of the 54th Games, is, "As a last insult, they play the trumpets before I'm even dead."
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: In the 62nd Games, the female tributes are all forced to wear ballgowns and high heels, and the male tributes white tuxedos. The former makes for a White Shirt of Death, while the latter takes High Heel Hurt up to eleven. It's no surprise then (at least to the women) that of the nine tributes killed at the Cornucopia, seven are female.
- 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.
- Luster considers exploiting this by sending Gloss and Cashmere into the same Games, believing Snow and the Capitol would love it. Silk and the other DAEYD trainers are able to convince him that the Delacroix twins would refuse to go through with it, and sibling Victors would be even better.
- The Gamemakers of course tried this with Katniss and Peeta but were Out-Gambitted.
- Klingon Promotion:
- Many of the Career Victors — notably Tiberius, Boudicca, Ermine, Jade, and 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.
- Laser Hallway: There is a laser-guarded walk-in closet during the 62nd Games, which Enobaria almost walks into. Citrine employs some impressive She-Fu to navigate passed it and get the clothes inside.
- 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 ABACs –- "Anyone But a Career" — outlier district Victors who view the Careers as trained murderers and Capitol lapdogs.
- The Antarctic arena from the 55th Games was immediately closed down and never opened to the public, having been considered the worst Hunger Games ever.
- Life Saving Misfortune: It's hard to imagine a teenage girl suffering a fever severe enough to put you into a life-threatening coma as having a positive side, at least until that fever/coma causes her to be the first ever tribute reaped for the Hunger Games to be excused from participating. Of course, it's never revealed whether or not she survived that fever as her final fate is unrevealed.
- 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'.
- Lost in the Maize: The Career pack in the 62nd Games defied this when going through a garden maze, thanks to Tiller knowing a trick that if you keep your hand on the hedge, you won't get lost.
- 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 District 1 girl, 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 girl while they are kissing her.
- Priam, the District 2 boy from the 54th Games, drowns Lianne, the District 4 girl with whom he had developed a romantic relationship. In this case, at least, there were only three tributes left.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": 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.
- Meaningful Background Event: Several Games (particularly those of canon Victors) play in the background of a given chapter, so that other plots can be advanced:
- Antigone during the Victors meeting following President's death.
- Cerulea as Mags travels around the Capitol investigating Wheaton's death.
- Finnick in Cecelia's chapter during her date with Brutus.
- Johanna in Phoebus's chapter during his confrontation with Blight.
- Annie is mentioned very briefly in Gloss's chapter as the mentors watch the 70th Games.
- Men of Sherwood: During the dangerous mission to rescue a kidnapped Katniss from her well-armed captors, the remaining victors and other established characters are accompanied by thirty-one soldiers who are only introduced right before that point. These soldiers are a mixture of District 13 soldiers and former Career cadets seeking a new purpose, with only one of the thirty-one being named. More than 4/5ths of the soldiers survive the rescue mission, and they provide some vital (although mostly offscreen) help to the main characters.
- Mood Dissonance: A description of touring 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.
- Mood Whiplash: In Fall Into The River, many of the Victors are clutching their sides with laughter as everyone in the viewing center realizes that the developmentally challenged Loomer Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality and has been reenacting a level of a video game that he and Woof played on the train ride to the Capitol. Their laughter turns to gaping awe as Loomer pushes away the boulder that has trapped Cecelia in a cave for 48 hours.
- Mook Horror Show:
- Several victors, most notably Chaff, Halibut and Emrys, get some focus picking off the Career tributes (or the other Career tributes in Halibut's case) in ruthlessly effective fashions, with this being told from the POV of the mentors in Chaff's chapter, and the POV of the victims in Hal's.
- Enobaria cutting through the Reaver village after escaping captivity at the beginning of The Bonds of Blood.
- Arrow has some of this in the District rebellions. The Peacekeepers in Districts 1, 3, 6 and possibly 7 are wiped out, in some cases while screaming or begging.
- The ones in 1 are lynched after being subjected to various Cool and Unusual Punishment's or (literally) torn apart.
- The ones in 3 fall victim to an entire District full of Death Traps copied from everything that was built for the defense of the capitol or the games themselves.
- Moral Myopia: A partial example. Finnick's chapter notes that, during the Rebellion, the Capitol undergoes hardships it's never had to deal with before (rationing, random searches and arrests, curfews etc.) and the reaction of many (although not all) of the people amounts to this.The more aware of the Capitol citizens muse that this must be what life has been like in the districts for seven odd decades. The rest simply cannot comprehend that these horrible things are happening to them.
- 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.
- Multi-Ethnic Name: Outside of some more creative surnaming choices with little to no etymological basis, Oisin55's rendition of Panem plays more into the canon implication that most characters are mixed-race than canon itself.note In the series, there are a few Districts that distinctly indicate stronger ethnic-mixing than others, and excluding those who derive their given names from Ancient Greek and Latin directly from the Panemian naming trend, there are:
- District 1: Gloss and Cashmere Delacroix (English and English from Sanskrit, French)
- District 3: Wiress Okamoto (English-derived, Japanese), Pixelle Li (English-derived, Chinese), Dattery Nakamura (English-derived, Japanese)
- District 4: Amy Sato (English, Japanese)
- District 10: Morgan Garcia (English/French from Welsh, Spanish), Autumn Martinez (English, Spanish)
- Multiple Narrative Modes: Different chapters are told from different types of perspectives: third person narrator, the Victor themself, 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.
- Named by the Adaptation:
- All the Third Quarter Quell tributes who were not named, including Circe and Matthias (from District 5), Maeve and Mitt (District 6), Evelyn and Nolan (District 9), and Elena and Roan (District 10).
- The District 8 girl from the 74th Games is named here Triss.
- The leader of District 5 rebellion, Miles Donovan, is Foxface's brother, revealing at least her last name.
- The District 1 girl who fought Haymitch during the Quell is named Gossamer Munroe.
- 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 Found the Body: No one ever finds the remains of Marina Grey, a Capitolian who Finnick reveals killed her maid when she walked in on the two of them together. Though at least the maid's body has now been found.
- 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.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Roan's Anasazi district partner shows him where a hidden spring is, and he returns the favor by brutally killing her. It being the Hunger Games, the betrayal is to be expected but the brutality is unnecessary.
- 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 outlier tributes for the sake of entertainment, it's somewhat understandable that for some people, it comes across as very personal indeed.
- Oblivious to Hatred: During the Mockingjay Rebellion, the Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal of the Settlers completely blindsides the District 10 Peacekeepers.[A]t some point, Settler loyalty became Settler playacting, and the Peacekeepers never noticed. And now, it deeply unnerves them.
- 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.
- Off the Wagon: The mother of Jenna Dunne (D6- Second Quarter Quell) stayed clean for sixteen years until her daughter was reaped.
- Oh, Crap!:
- The mentoring Victors of the 45th Games let out a Cluster F Bombs when they see the Polluted Wasteland arena.
- When Mags reveals to Luxe and Plat that she knows about their secret dissident fund, both of their faces go white.
- Old Windbag: These turn out to be the most reliable resources when seeking information on the most obscure Victors, like Orchus, Thisbe, and Matthias.
- Only the Knowledgable May Pass: The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf has this, as Mack and Jason (Blight's future life partner) arrive for a rebel meeting (Jason's first) at the home of Mayor Lourdes and his family.Carla Lourdes: The days are dark.
Mack: I brought a lantern.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Both Ahenobarbus and Boudicca act of out of character at the start the Victors' meeting held during the 32nd Games, demonstrating to the other Victors how serious this meeting is. Ahenobarbus, known for never drinking, drinks two glasses a wine, and Boudicca, known for her devotion to the Games, says that it is more important to be at the meeting. Ahenobarbus then reveals the President Lucius is dead.
- Opposites Attract: Heavily implied between Beetee and Cashmere based on their one meeting, with Beetee telling Enobaria that he didn't know her well, then sadly adding, "Not well enough."
- 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 [their boy] a mocking chance to fight before butchering him like a pig". Bartimaeus's chapter also includes him watching these Games as a child and asking "why the mean kids killed the nice pretty girl on screen".
- 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 agreed to go along with him without fully understanding what was going on.
- Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Boudicca "invites" Phyle, Barty's Wicked Stepfather, "to visit the Institute if he ever found the nerve to fight someone older than a little boy". Phyle responds by asking for her autograph.
- Police Are Useless: Paylor's government proves unable to to find Katniss when she's kidnapped, so the Victors take it upon themselves.
- Production Throwback: The First Quarter Quell reverts to 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 had become "a cluster of low lying islands and sunken splendor against the setting sun", and create what becomes District 1.
- The Campers of District 5 have stories about an ancient American City with enough infrastructure left for them to eke out a living in.
- 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 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 Discretion Shot: Both in general and in-story. Virtus's rape of Luscious during his Games is not broadcast on Panem TV, and all that's shown is a scratched-up Virtus tossing Luscious' body into the sea. All that is described in the chapter is Luscious "begging him to stop" and "being defeated in every way a woman can be defeated".
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
- Virtus tracks down Luscious, the District 1 girl who he forms a relationship with 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".
- "The 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.
- Recursive Fanfiction: The popularity of The Victors Project has inspired its own crop of fan factions, including:
- 74th Hunger Games: A Fanfic Tribute, telling those Games from the perspective of the mentors and written in the same style as Chapter 46 of The Victors Project.
- Mentoring, giving a snippet on the mentoring perspectives of each of the 75 Victors and written in the same style as Secrets.
- Silent Nights in Victors' Villages, which describes how each district's Victors learned about and responded to the Third Quarter Quell twist.
- Won't Somebody Stop This Train I Can Never Get Off Of?, an AU Fic that changes the Third Quarter Quell twist, and therefore allows Katniss and Peeta to serve as mentors for future Games. It includes appearances by the Victors of TVP, though it treats Lucy Gray Baird winning the 10th Games as canonical, but alludes to Camden Donner by naming the District 12 train station the Donner Train Station.
- Red Baron:
- Ahenobarbus is known as "The Butcher".
- Tiberius is nicknamed "The Dog".
- Blight is referred to as "The Tree-Elf". It's initially used as a gay slur, but quickly becomes an Appropriated Appellation.
- Gloss is known as "The Golden Hunter", as his arena is an African desert and he hunts the other tributes like animals.
- Circe is dubbed "The Witch of the Woods", due to her Magical Romani appearance and skills.
- Redemption Equals Death:
- Arguably several Victors who'd been particularly brutal or Capitol loyalists for a long time, such as Silk and Virtus.
- Large numbers of Peacekeepers in Districts 4 and 5 defect to the rebels, but both groups are explicitly noted as having few survivors. The people of District 5 in particular watch how "the Peacekeepers who beat them and starved them for years now defend them with their lives".
- 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.
- In Arrow, several District 7 rebel leaders resurface after having been believed killed by a biological weapon Snow tested in 7 at the end of The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf, having apparently faked their deaths and fled to District 13.
- Rescue Arc: Katniss is kidnapped, and the surviving Victors join together to rescue her.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized:
- The Rebellion in District 1 includes widespread lynchings, looting, and castrating the Deputy Head Peacekeeper for raping "too many young, beautiful boys too many times".
- The Rebellion in District 6 causes rioting and burning that get out of hand and results in the incineration of much of the district's urban center.
- Coin as acting President of Panem institutes a series of Kangaroo Courts that target, among others, the Career Victors.
- Finally subverted under President Paylor's regime after Katniss kills Coin, and there is remarkable congeniality (from what is portrayed) between Capitolians and District citizens, particularly as they create new districts.
- Right Under Their Noses: In Arrow, the only survivors of Redfern who Lyme finds are hiding in the hidden cellar of a pub while several of the people who were sent to massacre the villagers are obliviously celebrating directly above them.
- Road Trip Episode: Evelyn's chapter focuses on her Victory tour, in which she visits every district. This provides a snapshot of each district.
- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: The 44th Games begin with the total collapsing of the Cornucopia and the surrounding areas, immediately killing of 12 tributes, including the entire Career pack.
- Rule of Pool: Enobaria pushes Mercury into the reflecting pool to cut off the escalating argument between Mercury and Orion. Citrine then pushes Baria, and eventually the whole Career pack is in the pool having a chicken fight.
- Salt the Earth: District Eleven's strategy during their Rebellion, which happens over the past year leading to the Third Quarter Quell. By the time Katniss shoots the arrow into the forcefield, the Capitol gives up on Eleven and focuses on other districts that are more significant to them.By the time the arrow flies, District 11 has been putting a stranglehold on the Capitol's food supply for almost a year. They've burned what they couldn't steal. Whole fields ravaged by fires and pesticides. First one part of the wall came down, then another. The Victory Tour from the 74th was so tight-fisted because Snow couldn't let Katniss know how far gone the district was. How many towns were deserted. How many people, gone.
- Savage Wolves: The Gamemakers send a 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 female tribute for the First Quarter Quell was voted in because of a fatal industrial accident she caused while working double shifts to help keep her family clothed. Her supervisor admitted he was at fault for failing to instruct her on how to use the equipment properly, but it happened just a week after the Quell announcement, so plenty of people were familiar with her name and role in the accident but not that she'd been cleared of wrongdoing.
- Scream Discretion Shot: When Citrine, the District 1 girl of the 62nd Games, takes an hour to kill the District 10 girl, all that is portrayed is Enobaria and Rob (the District 6 boy) listening to the screams, and then Citrine walking out covered in blood.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Multiple Victors attempt this.
- Fed up with the general Crapsack World and possibly his own inability to make a difference, Orchus simply packs up his things and flees outside the district to live in the wilderness. By the time he returns to District 11 many years later, no one recognizes him and he is all but forgotten.
- Wonder Spicer and his boyfriend Scipio try to flee District 1 to keep Wonder from being sold as a Sex Slave in the weeks after his victory. They get caught long before reaching the boundary fence, and the results aren't pretty.
- After being Trapped by Gambling Debts and then failing in his attempt to rig the 52nd Games, Eamon tries to go into hiding within the Capitol rather than face the consequences. When the Peacekeepers find him, he's made into an Avox as punishment.
- Serendipitous Survival/Victory by Endurance: Several Victors win because the Career pack turns on each other, through in-universe Executive Meddling, or just by being in the right place at the right time.
- Series Continuity Error: There are a few occasions where it is stated in-story that something originated or was exclusive to a particular character, but then it comes up again in regards to another character, or that there's a contradiction in backstory and such:
- Seaward (8th Games) is said to be the first Victor to kill his district partner, but Platinum (6th Games) kills his district partner Ruby.
- The motto "May the odds be ever in your favor" is said to begin with Camden in the lead up to the 10th Games, but it is included in the letter to Wheaton after he won the 4th Games.
- Beetee is said to be the only tribute to kill the entire Career pack, but so do Ben and Chaff.
- In Roan's Games, he gets trapped in a tight cavern and swims to safety down a river through several submerged caverns, something you'd have to be a very strong swimmer to survive, but later in the same chapter, when describing the Third Quell, it's directly stated "Roan couldn't swim", so he has to stay on his pedestal after getting launched into the arena.
- In Finnick's chapter, the opening lines of his denouncement of Justinian as a pedophile are different than they were in Justinian's chapter when that scene was shown from his point of view.
- TVP has Brutus and Enobaria both cornering Seeder before Cecelia fights Brutus, but Arrow has Brutus and Cecelia already fighting when Enobaria corners Seeder, with Cecelia just shouting something to try and distract her.
- The District 2 chapter of Arrow has Lyme and Abram talking about making it to District 5 (which their dialogue implies is in a state of rebellion) and connecting with Emrys there when it briefly looks as if the rebellion in District 2 was stopped in its tracks. The District 5 chapter of the same story says that the District rebellion was a slow, awkward process and that Emrys never made it back to 5, but rather spent the whole rebellion hiding in Capitol safe houses.
- In The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf, Plautia says that her uncle is a past Victor who won the 24th Hunger Games. The Victor of the 24th Hunger Games was Virtus. Virtus was an orphan with no known siblings, just two cousins, and if either of them had been Plautia's father it would have made more sense for her to emphasize that relationship over her one with Virtus.
- The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf claims that (as of the announcement for the Third Quarter Quell) Blight was the last victor to join the Rebellion, right after the 72nd Hunger Games. Later stories imply that Cotton and Odysseus, the Victors of the 72nd and 73rd Hunger Games, joined the Rebellion as well after that date.
- Sex Slave: Many of the chapters describe how the Victors -– especially from District 1 -– are forced to serve as this for the Capitol.
- Ship Tease: Johanna and Gale are sleeping together.
- 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.
- Secrets states that Manannan Ulmo got his last name from The Silmarillion.
- District 4's last Victor is named Odysseus, who was also the name of a District 4 victor briefly featured in the We Must Be Killers story, The End is the Beginning is the End: The Quarter Quell, which Oisin55's profile page lists as one of his favorite stories.note
- Shrine to the Fallen: Coin announces that all the "heroic Victors" would be entombed in the Capitol with full honors. It's not said whether this still happens after Katniss assassinates her, but it seems likely. Finnick receives a golden Memorial Statue at the spot where he was killed.
- 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. This is also the case in several other examples.
- The Undersee family from District 12 were especially targeted for the part in the Dark Days Rebellion. Jon and Ryla Undersee both fought in the initial Games, and many other family members were subsequently reaped. Camden was the only Undersee family member to actually win his Games.
- Blight Gavin Got Volunteered for the 52nd Hunger Games partially because of his district's homophobia but mainly because they believed him to be the bastard son of a Peacekeeper.
- As the 57th Hunger Games go on, the District 8 resistance worries that Cecelia was reaped, because her stepmother Spindella is one of the leaders of the district rebellion. Spindella, however, disagrees and assumes it's probably a coincidence, since the Gamemakers likely would not have let Cecelia make it that far if they'd reaped her to punish the family. Instead, if the Capitol had really identified her as leader, they would have spent the next few years letting her lead them to other rebels and then reaped her biological daughter once she reached reaping age.
- Those elected for the First Quarter Quell had several examples of this:
- Cora was the daughter of a Capitol-loving tax collector who killed a girl.
- The District 3 boy was the younger brother of a drug dealer who was just above reaping age.
- Nellie Mills, the girl from 10, was voted in by the Anasazi, because her racist father liked to hunt them like animals while the Peacekeepers turned a blind eye.
- This was zig-zagged with Jon Parsons, the District 10 boy. Richard McNulty voted for Jon, because Jon's father had cost him a promotion at work, but he never expected Jon to be picked. When he was, Richard had a major My God, What Have I Done? reaction. However, the actual reason Jon went in was because the majority-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.
- The boy initially reaped in District 11 was the son of an abusive work crew overseer who liked whipping his charges. The boy who ultimately volunteered as a Take That! to the Capitol almost changed his mind due to having been in that work crew and still having scars from being whipped by the overseer. But he realized that "that's what they want, isn't it? And if there's one thing he'll never do, its give the damned Capitol what they want".
- 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.
- Some Kind of Force Field: The carriage house in the 62nd Games is protected by one, in part to protect Codey, who was staying inside, from the Careers.
- Spark of the Rebellion: Katniss firing the fateful arrow that destroys the Third Quarter Quell arena sets off uprisings—planned and unplanned—throughout almost all the districts in Panem.
- 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 Second Quarter Quell, something her stylist doesn't mention after being voted "Best Newcomer" to the stylist pool by a tabloid magazine.
- Strip Poker: Jade and the imprisoned District 1 rebels play a game to pass the time between Kangaroo Courts.
- 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.
- Symbolism: Strawberries are eaten or offered to make someone feel better after experiencing the stress and trauma of the Games. This is made most clear in Luxe's Arc Words, which he gets from his mother: "There will always be strawberries."
- Taking You with Me: In The Lumberjack and the Tree-Elf, Charlie drags Romani, the District 4 boy, off the Ferris wheel with her to their deaths.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The Career pack in the 36th Games kills Lyon (the District 4 boy) and the District 1 boy right after the Cornucopia bloodbath, because both received scores of 11.
- 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.
- Tempting Fate: In Fall Into the River, Ferrus has Cecelia and Andromache at his mercy and goes into some ill-advised Evil Gloating, which costs him what would have been a certain victory.Ferrus: This is almost too easy. I expected the finale to be more... climatic.
Cecelia: You've got your wish, Ferrus. You brought it on your own head.
Ferrus: (uneasily) What are you talking about, Eight?
Cecelia points past him, where it's shown that the Gamemakers are about to release scores of mutts into the arena to attack the last three tributes.
Cecelia: You forgot the first rule of the Hunger Games, Ferrus. Never, ever tempt the Gamemakers. I'd run if I were you.
- A Threesome Is Hot: Citrine, Orion, and Tiller have Three-Way Sex during the 62nd Games and each gets rewarded with a new pair of boots.
- To Absent Friends: The surviving Victors meet at the Lodge following Katniss's rescue and "drink to all our lost friends".
- Tomato Surprise:
- Crystal and Wren's suicides and the District 1 Victors' responses to Crystal's suicide all come off as very strange until it's revealed at the end that this is right before the announcement of the Third Quarter Quell. When reading it again, there are subtle clues like Luster noting that it was an "unusual" year, Jade laughing about being thrown back in the arena, and Brilliance mentioning "the engagement".
- Phoebus's chapter focuses on the hostility between he and Blight, while the ongoing Games play in the background. Only at the end is it clear that these are Johanna's Games, and Blight is intentionally distracting the District 2 mentors from paying attention to her.
- Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup/Gambit Pile Up: Played for Drama in Arrow. The opening paragraphs reveal the very meticulous plans for a relatively restrained coup by the District 1 rebels, but as soon as Katniss shoots the force field, multiple factions seize the opportunity, resulting in a chaotic free-for-all, which ultimately gives Luster the opportunity to fake his death and escape.There is not just one Rebellion in District 1. There are a dozen. Rebellions of the workers and goldsmiths, the spicers and tanners, the Great Houses who lost as much as anyone during the era of the Games. They have no plans or leaders, just one goal. Blood.
- District 6 has it even worse, due to having a much smaller rebellion and the countless other factions being gangs who simply want power or to hijack the only means of escaping the district. Their bloody actions cause the citizens to rise up against both them and the Peacekeepers, though with even less organization than District 1 had.
- Took a Level in Badass: Tutti Marble, who went from being "the bubbling, oblivious escort" of District 7 for twenty years to one of the district's fiercest warriors during the Rebellion.
- Toxic Friend Influence: The boy from District 7 is voted into the First Quarter Quell, because he's part of bad gang of kids. He's not the worst of the group, but he's the only one of reaping age.
- Travelogue Show: In-universe. Evelyn's chapter describes her Victory tour and provides the first overview of each district.
- Tricked into Escaping: Played with. Plutarch sends his aide, Benedictus, to help the District 1 rebel leaders break out of Coin's prison. However, Benedictus betrays them to Coin. It's not clear if Coin then means to apply this trope, but a shoot-out occurs between the District 1 rebels and District 13 soldiers, in which all the rebel leaders except Jade and Shilling are killed.
- Two Aliases, One Character: The Speaker, a Reaver driven out of the Capitol and the Districts who tortures Enobaria and kills her friends, 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 with the aid of Coriolanus Snow. He transforms the DAEYD from an academy that also prepares cadets for the real world following graduation, into one that takes children away from parents to become sex slaves. It's one of the reasons why the locals end up rebelling by the time Katniss shoots the arrow into the forcefield, as seen in Arrow.
- 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.
- Undignified Death: A few, most notably Careers who die by accident without a showdown near the end of their Games (like the District 1 boy from Berenice's Games and the District 2 girl from Matthias's Games). The real standout is the District 4 boy from Wiress's Games, who pulls the pin from a grenade to ward of a pack of mutts, but he hesitates too long before throwing one, looking back and forth at the muttations, and the grenades blow up in his hand. This inspires an Unusual Euphemism in the Capitol for Premature Ejaculation: "Doing a four".
- The Un-Reveal:
- Frequently. District 5 in particular has three driving ones which are never answered. What made Snow mad enough at the campers to rig Circe's reaping? Did the Campers make it to their promised land after they fled into the wastelands? Did the District 5 peacekeepers defect spontaneously as a result of being ordered to execute so many children, or had they been in previous negotiations with the rebels? The last of those is even commented on as being the subject of much In-Universe speculation.
- In-universe. Finnick, after listing so many of the Capitol's dark secrets, when he gets to the Midtown Mincers simply says, "No idea." It's not clear whether he truly does not know or is protecting Cashmere as gratitude for her being The Mole.
- Beetee and Cashmere do this to each other during their Battle of Wits, not telling the other where they got their inside information. While this mostly makes sense in context since they want to keep their secrets, Cashmere at one point asks Beetee why he tipped off Crystal to being reaped for the Quell if didn't expect her to commit suicide, since otherwise this was giving an advantage to a likely foe. Beetee doesn't give an answer, but it is a good question.
- 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.
- Uriah Gambit: Blight Got Volunteered for the 52nd Hunger Games by his family and Eamon because they want him to die in the arena due to homophobia, a misplaced grudge against Blight's mother, and a confident desire that with them sabotaging him, they can ensure he'll lose and they can make money gambling on that. Mack is quick to point out the insanity of the Uriah gambit, as Snow would burn District 7 to the ground rather than let a handful of its citizens profit off the games meant to punish them. This becomes moot when Blight wins.
- Villains Out Shopping: Chapter 42 is devoted is to the District 2 Victors celebrating Wintermas together. Whether they count as villains may vary due to Alternative Character Interpretation.
- 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 Ulysses Blackwater, who "volunteered so that his parents would finally notice him".
- We Win, Because You Didn't: Many of the outlier district Victors are ABACs (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 1 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Of all Victors documented in this story, Eamon's fate after the war is the only one never specified. Whether he died with the Avoxes to the lizard mutts or died earlier is similarly never specified. It's even possible that Eamon survives the war but is still shunned afterward due to what he did to Blight or didn't care enough about his fellow Victors enough to join them for the Rescue Arc.
- 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.
- Luster is wearing a white suit when he's fatally shot by Mrs. Everdeen.
- 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 from 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 Are Not Alone: Done twice with Lyme and the other Redfern rebels. They get her made a victor specifically to look for other District rebels, and are clearly happy when she reports having made contact with Seeder and Beetee. Later, when Redfern's populace are killed or scattered early in the war, they are stunned to find out that they weren't the only rebels in the district after all, and that lots of other eastern villages have risen up against the capitol and made a strong vanguard.
- 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.
- Young and in Charge: The Rebel Leaders in District 5 (Miles Donovan, implied as he is "Foxface"'s older brother) and District 9 (Abram, 24 years old).
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Naturally, the Capitol and their allies view the District freedom fighters as this.
- Shortly before the Eighth Hunger Games, the arena is blown up by the Rebellion and nine people killed. This feels like a brave attempt to try and stop the Games and remind the Capitol they're not invincible for the Districts, while the Capitol derides it as an act of terrorism which must be overcome.
- Some rebel factions (such as elements of the District 1 freedom fighters) are pretty wild and excessively violent even as they are winning their freedom.
- District 5 rebel leader Miles Donovan is viewed as a terrorist after the fact by "pompous articles and interviews" from the Capitol for his cyber attacks cutting out the power to hospitals, and causing traffic collisions by hacking traffic lights (although the narrative seems to give Donovan credit for doing something at a time most of the District was trying to Opt Out of things).