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  • So the careers have Katniss trapped on a tree, couldn't hit her, gave up, then figured the best thing to do is to set up a fire NEXT TO the tree? How did it not occur to any of them to just move the fire a few feet over, watch until the tree starts burning, and leave?
    • In the movie Clove is smaller than Katniss and could've scaled the tree pretty easily.
    • Starting a forest fire and then leaving wouldn't help the careers. For one, it would make any nearby tributes scatter, and there's no guarantee the fire would kill Katniss after they left.
    • Why did they stay? They couldn't get her while she was in the tree, couldn't get up the tree themselves, and there was no way Katniss was climbing down on her own. There was nothing to suggest that waiting around would fix any of these issues, unless they were planning for Katniss to starve to death. They should have either started chucking knives and spears at her (which has the potential of giving Katniss a weapon) or "left" and then ambushed her when climbing down from the tree.
    • Couldn't they have cut the tree down?
  • If the tributes are really treated as well as they are prior to entering the Games, and there really is so many people starving in D12, why isn't there anyone volunteering? There has to be at least a couple kids dying of starvation and thinking something along the lines of "if I go in the Games, at least I'll get a taste of what luxury is like before I'm killed, it's better than starving to death in the streets"?
    • Katniss states in the first book that being a tribute from District 12 is synonymous with 'corpse'. When it comes down to it, most people would rather struggle against starvation and perhaps live to see things get better, than have two weeks of fantastic food and then be certainly brutally murdered on national TV.
      • Especially considering that a lot of young people in District 12 likely do things to support their family, or at least, intend to survive long enough to go into the workforce and support their family. District 12 is so incredibly poor that many families have to pull together to keep going, with older siblings taking out extra tessarae and so on. One sibling dies, that's one less person to help take care of the family.
    • The same reason Katniss had to pull herself together after losing both her father and (in a manner of speaking) her mother. Someone needed her.
    • In the book, it's clear that the tributes from D12 aren't all that aware of the process. It's possible they don't know about the week of luxury before the games.
    • They never had a winner before, who could tell them of all the luxury before the games?
    • Except for Haymitch. Then again, he was famous for being surly and drunk. He probably didn't get many people asking him relevant questions about his experiences.
      • They had two winners; Haymitch was the only one still alive. From what I've read, there isn't a lot of mention about D12's other winner. With all the experiences of the games, s/he might have hung themselves not too long after winning.
    • Your argument is far too rational to occur to someone who is dying of starvation.
      • Well that and the Games are yearly, you would have to have been starving and hit decline and willingness at just the right time to want to participate
  • How did Thresh not win the games of the first book? Katniss only lives because Thresh spares her, he is resourceful enough to actually gain weight during the games, and he is even bigger and more skilled than his only real competitor, Cato.
    • Thresh had just killed Clove, which Cato was not happy about. Roaring Rampage of Revenge might have had something to do with it.
    • To ask that question, one must wonder: How did Peeta survive? How did Annie survive? How did the boy from District 10 make it so far? How did Foxface die? How did Clove die? How did Cato die? Ergo, sometimes the world works in funny ways, and those you expect to have an advantage are the first to go, whereas those you expect to never last are holding on in the end. Use your imagination. This troper likes to believe that, having received an identical "gift" as Cato (that being, heavy armor) and probably wandering around in that armor during a lengthy rainstorm looking for Cato led him to a sticky situation he was unable to get out of with the added weight.
      • Annie's a career. She just went batshit and could swim.
      • Or as a certain good book puts it, "the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong... for time and chance overtake them all."
      • The film attempts to answer this by heavily implying he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the mutts were first released. Which, if he was living in the plains or a field like in the book the whole time, makes some kind of sense.
        • Thresh has made 3 mistakes which i believe were the reason why he died : 1. He stopped Clove from killing Katniss, 2. He killed Clove (and Cato didn't take it lightly!) and 3. He stole the backpack which should be taken either by Cato or Glove. Cato got mad because Thresh has ruined his almost perfect plan (If Katniss was killed, Peeta wouldn't get his medicine and would die as well) and also stole his gift from the sponsors. Even Katniss says later that Cato instead of hunting her, probably went to kill Thresh.
  • What bugged me is that we never find out what happened to the rest of the world. (Or did I miss it?)
    • Nope, you didn't. I wanted to find out about the outside world too. Well, there's always fanfic.
    • I actually thought that the rest of the world was doing quite okay but has decided to completely isolate North America because of the Capitol's tyranny and insanity. While Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, etc. might find what's going on in Panem barbaric, they don't want to bother with it because they fear triggering a nuclear/biological war, while the Capitol knows the rest of the world would kick its ass if it tried to expand past North America.
    • Seeing the film, I was reminded of 1984, where they don't know if the world even exists outside of Airstrip 1 (Britain). If there is something like a German Federation, New British Empire, or a Chinese Hegemony, they're probably wrapped up with their own survival to care what is happening in North America. Also, for all we know, Capitol is in contact with the outside world, but does not share this with the twelve districts because telling them they're the only humans left is a more effective means of control. "We're what's left of humanity. Do you really want to rise up and destroy our final chance?"
    • It's only mentioned briefly a couple of times, but it appears that a combination of natural disasters and terrible wars did in fact destroy all humanity and modern civilization, except for a few thousand people in the US territory; "He tells the story of Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America." Furthemore, throughout the books, various characters mention their "ancestors", people long gone who had incredible technology such as high-flying planes, lived in a republic (a concept that now generates doubtful looks) and, according to Katniss, left behind a dying and deserted world when they annihilated one another.
  • How did Katniss survive on a diet of mainly rabbit? Rabbit uses more nutrients to digest than it contains, so if anything she was bringing her death closer.
    • She probably also ate a lot of vegetables and roots and other small animals like squirrel. But the author probably just Did Not Do the Research.
      • It does actually credit at the end (not sure if this ended up in all editions of the book, though) the people who helped her with the research and it seems she did quite a lot of it. And people have survived with rabbit as their primary meat source before.
    • Or perhaps the gnawing hunger in her gut was more important to get rid of than worrying about specific caloric intake.
    • Rabbit does not use more nutrients to digest than it contains. (It's true you'd have to eat a lot of rabbits per day to keep yourself going long-term, but eating the rabbit certainly would not make you starve faster.) "Rabbit starvation" is not an incredibly well-understood phenomenon, but it's probably caused by nutrient deficiencies from the lack of essential fatty acids in such lean meat. You can't survive on just rabbit, but a diet mostly based on rabbit is quite possible as long as it's occasionally supplemented with fattier meat, or the right plants.
    • And she lives on a lot more than rabbit. In District Twelve, she mentions, among other things, birds, bread, wild dog, Greasy Sae's stew, and deer (though she and Gale trade the deer for cash and buy food that is presumably not rabbit, since they could hunt that.) She mentions her father's joke about not starving if she can find herself (ie, katniss, aka arrowhead, duck potato, etc), and things get better after she buys a goat for Prim (milk and cheese.) In the games, besides rabbit, there are eggs, groosling (a wild turkey sort of bird, explicitly described as being quite fatty), and berries that are not nightlock (the ones she uses to give Peeta the sleep syrup, a well as less delicious but edible inner bark from pines. That's not counting food from sponsors.
      • Katniss says herself she lost a lot of weight when she came out of the Games and that was on a diet of rabbit, some occasional berries and other foraged food and also food from Haymitch.
      • The idea that rabbit is a negative calorie food is a crock of horse hockey. It contains protein, which contains calories. Mal de caribou doesn't play in unless a diet consists solely of lean meat, which Katniss's never did.
  • Why would Katniss support the Capitol children being put into Hunger Games? She's made it clear in the past she's opposed to the idea and wouldn't want it on anyone.Then her reasoning, "For Prim" Really? From what I gather Prim never would've wanted that. Especially after helping out other kids in the Capitol?
    • Katniss wanted to give the impression that she blamed the Capitol for Prim's death. After Coin's death, the Capitol Hunger Games seems to never happen. It simply becomes just grisly history for Katniss's children.
    • Either that or Katniss was deranged by grief. Which isn't too unlikely, considering how many Heroic BSoDs she has during the rest of the novel. Not to mention that she might have just blown straight through the Despair Event Horizon, considering the ruminations on Eternal Recurrence that precede her statement.
    • What I figured is that Katniss was planning since they talked about the Hunger Games for the Capitol children, she was planning on shooting Coin instead of Snow. She voted for the Capitol children being in the Hunger Games so they would think she was still on their side.
    • I thought it was kinda obvious she was going for a Batman Gambit when Katniss immediately ponders whether Haymitch will understand what she is doing or not. Throughout all three books, those two have had an odd almost telepathic understanding of each other, and of hidden motives behind obvious acts or words (or lack thereof). She has given a nod to Eternal Recurrence and she knows she can only stop it if she heads it off at the source.
    • The Choice was between a genocide of all Capitol citizens and a single Hunger Games. The children wouldn't be spared either way. The Hunger Games was the lesser of two evils here.
      • I think it is a false dilemma here. We have only Coin's words here, and Coin admitted that the Hunger Games was her idea when Haymitch asked.
  • For the most part, I really liked this book. The suspense kept me reading until I finished the book. However two points really bother me about the book. 1. It is repeatedly pointed out that the games are being televised. However, I am left wondering where the cameras are and how they can get such good shots of the tributes. Is every tree and rock equipped with a concealed camera? I can suspend disbelief at the genetically engineered animals, but have a hard time suspending disbelief at the idea of such a huge arena having every square inch monitored both visually and aurally. 2. What was with the muttations? At the end of the book when they appeared it is implied that they are created from the DNA of the dead tributes. What exactly is the point of this? Does this mean that they have the minds and memories of the other tributes? These questions are never answered or even mentioned again, leading to one Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
    • On the first point: It's the future, and the Capitol is on the bleeding edge. They probably have cameras everywhere. My best bet could be that there are super-cameras that follow each tribute (via tracker) outside the confines of the arena that can zoom in very close, as well as some cameras near the Cournicopia and other key areas in the games, like water sources. I always assumed the cameras had super-zoom or something, and that more were hidden and could be activated. Also, I bet microphones are wired into the tracker chips or something.
    • On the second point: That was left ambiguous for a reason. However, I just thought that the mutts had the same color prosthetic eyes, not the actual ones. The idea that they would be the real eyes and minds of the tributes is just sort of a waste of money when you can get psychological tricks for cheap. The tributes were so scared by this point, they would believe anything. I just thought they were "likenesses".
    • Peeta seems pretty sure that the Capitol made the muttations seem like they had been made with Tributes' DNA, but weren't really. I think it was to create some nice Mind Rape for the remaining Tributes. I thought that the "Rue" muttation was snarling in hatred at Katniss was a hint that it wasn't really Rue, even if its eyes looked like hers. There's another muttation scene in Catching Fire that seems to support the idea that it's easier for the Capitol to fake involving humans in the creation of muttations, and it gets the same horrified results. I'm hoping that Collins will follow through on this in Mockingjay.
      • About the cameras - if you've read the series the arenas are surrounded by a one-way force field. The cameras could float above the field and use boom mikes to pick up sound and zoom lenses to get close-ups. Exactly the way TV crews do it today, but probably with fancier technology than a guy hanging from a crane.
      • Though how, using that technology, they were able to film inside a deliberately concealed cave is anyone's guess, unless they planted cameras in places that they expected people to hide, or fly-on-the-wall'd it.
      • Or it could always be that they have little flying camera drones that are cloaked. Y'know, kinda like the cloaked hovercrafts. I'm sure that if they could make it so something as big and noisy as a hovercraft can go unnoticed, they can do the same for a little flying camera. And there, they can follow the tributes, they can get inside caves, trees are no problem, and the only danger is that it might get blown up in the crossfire. Better TV, that way.
    • The Mutts seemed to be partially based off the tributes, e.g. the "Rue" being the most effective climber, but quite what was up with that was left deliberately ambiguous.
    • And btw, in the movie, we can see that yes, every tree and rock can and will have a camera.
  • The typical misunderstandings about gladiatorial combat abound, and no one is surprised. This troper has learned to ignore that. What she can't ignore is the fact that despite wanting the Hunger Games to last a long time, the Capitol does everything in its power to make sure that's impossible. Most of the tributes have no training (and only get three days to train), many of them are underfed and/or sickly, and a cornucopia is set up at the very beginning of the Games, full of weapons and supplies. The ensuing bloodbath over said supplies usually wipes out about half the contestants.
    • Supplies cost money, money that can be used to build the next arena. The Capitol wants blood and drama, and it doesn't matter for how long. Besides, human survival instinct is strong- the Games Katniss was in (you know, the legit ones) lasted a few weeks with sickly contestants.
      • And three days with healthy adult contestants.
    • They don't want them to last 'as along as possible', just not be over too quickly and the rush for supplies with the ensuing bloodbath is a 'kick-off' event to get the crowds cheering and engrossed in the Hunger Games.
      • Introduce a Game Show-style quiz round in place of the cornucopia. Put the Games on a hard time limit, say, 24 hours including the quiz round. Anyone who's not dead at the end of 24 hours goes home free with the traditional year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat (TM). Result? One day of excruciatingly boring television as everybody plays dull. The Capitol will whine to no end about the new-look Hunger Games, but who cares what they think?
      • Or better yet, give a timer, but threaten to kill them at the end unless there is only one survivor. That gives the tributes incentive to go after each other rather than hide, and makes the Gamemaker traps unnecessary.
    • I think that one of the interesting parts of this is that you watch a bunch of average teens acting purely on instinct. How does a human react to such danger? How far will he go? Is he ready to kill for it? In which ways will the killing affect him? How much can a human endure? How long does it take to strip away the humanity? And well, not to mention that there's probably woobiefication and choosing your favourites. Think of it as those "celebrity do gross things in the jungle" shows. Only that you can't interview them afterwards. If you use people who are actually trained for such situations, it's probably "enjoyable" too, but it's an entirely different experience. Also, there are the careers, so you actually get "professionals" vs. "normal people".
  • What's with the Humans Are White here? If Panem is the US in the future, it should be at least 50% Po C, as the US is projected to be majority minority by 2050.
    • There isn't one: District 11 is the largest District, and its residents are implied to be mostly descendants of modern day African Americans. People from the Seam are ambiguously beige, and there's a certain degree of segregation between them (Katniss's parents and Katniss herself being exceptions). Aside from the aforementioned and District 4 (green eyes, brown-auburn hair) there's no racial descriptors for any other districts. It bears mention, however, that Panem is a post-apocalyptic (global warming?) nation that, although located in what was once the USA, probably received a certain influx of people "heading to high ground" when most of North America went underwater. This means that the majority-minorities of both Canada (Asians) and Mexico (caucasians) should be considered, neither being particularly dark skinned.
    • I think it's the eye colors and hair colors that throw me. Grey eyes aren't very common in most races, and since Rue and Thresh are mentioned specifically as dark skinned, it seems that they stand out.
      • Grey eyes could have been a trait that was spread over time. I kind of thought that 12 was the district for people nobody wanted, so they got a mishmosh or races that probably had Mediterranean origins of some sort, or possible Hispanic origins, plus some white people, plus some grey-eyed people that spread the genes.
      • Thresh and Rue have brown eyes. Katniss has grey eyes, but since "olive" is a very broad range for skintone (she could be quite white with a "winter" complexion, or she could be dark) it's not implausible given the recessive nature of both blue and grey eyes (her parents' eye colors). Same issue was handled better with Katniss and Peeta's children, by pairing his dominant eye color with her dominant hair color in their daughter, and her recessive eye color with his recessive hair color in their son.
      • I take it gray eyes means North European, especially Russian, Finnish, Samii. Also, the blonde and blue-eyed look of Katniss's mother and sister remind me of Icelandic women, and I find it plausible that there may have been refugees from Europe during the original Apocalypse and that they got segregated into the "lowliest" Districts, what with citizens of District 13 also having gray eyes.
    • Rue and Thresh are explicitly described as having brown skin and eyes and hair, as is everybody else in their district. Wiress and Beetee are both described as ashen with black hair, and in the audiobooks their dialogue is spoken with an Asian accent of some sort, so I would hesitate to describe them as white. Katniss and others from the mining district are described as having olive skin and dark hair and eyes, so while you can't rule them out as being white that doesn't mean they might be some other ethnicity, either.
  • The thing that bugs me the most is just how implausible the last book is. President Coin fears Katniss so much she tries to get her killed by sending a mole into her team. The point is hammered again and again - particularly with the utterly unnecessary bombing of her sister to death (to be clear: I can see the "logic" of killing children to shorten the war, but not the part of enraging Katniss even more by including her sister in the deal). And yet, at the end, President Coin hands her a bow, gives her an arrow and stands in front of her with no protection. It is absurd. All I can think of is that the author painted herself into a corner, and pulled a ridiculous deus ex machina to move the plot further.
    • Coin never saw Katniss as a threat to her life, only to her position. She thought Katniss was interested in ruling Panem once Snow fell, and had Prim killed to ensure Katniss would be in no state to do so after Katniss proved very difficult to kill... She obviously thought she could pin it on Snow, but made the mistake of having Katniss's best friend be one of the conspirators, meaning Katniss did find out it was Coin in the end.
      • So, Coin was simply stupid? A politically-savvy, manipulating president that has ruled a nation that relies on never giving your opponent the chance to destroy you simply wouldn't throw all caution to the winds and hand a person that has every reason to hate you and has repeatedly establish is desire to kill people in such positions the chance to strike. I mean, all it would've taken is a simple window.
      • Many politically-savvy people are idiots.
      • Coin didn't take Katniss seriously from the beginning- she only wanted her around to give District 13 someone to rally around. The fact that she was behind Prim's death was never supposed to come to the forefront (why would she want it to?), and she obviously underestimated Katniss. As far as she was concerned, she probably never gave Katniss a reason to hate her, but Gale ruined it by telling her.
      • I think it was because Katniss didn't seem to be supporting Coin. After the war they were going to have an election for the next president, Coin was going to be a canditate and would thus need all the popularity she could get. Katniss was very popular, even outside the Capitol, and so her opinion would be highly valued in the eyes of the public and Katniss never really seemed to particularly like Coin. So politically it'd be in Coin's best interest to get rid of Katniss, this is why she sent mentally unstable Peeta to join Katniss's team in the hopes that Peeta would get rid of Katniss for her.
    • Is it ever confirmed that Coin deliberately killed Prim? I can understand that she called for the False-Flag Operation on the Capitol children, but did she actually order her medics into the blast zone? It seems like that was just an unfortunate element of the plan from Coin's perspective. Feeding an entire unit of medics into the meatgrinder doesn't really advance her goal or breaking the Capitol's support and goes against the hyper-conservationist society she was running in D13. And there is no way on Earth she could have known Katniss would actually be there to witness it, her unit had gone off the grid. I thought she had intended for Capitol medics to be the ones caught in the blast and under-estimated how close her own forces were.
      • To be fair, quite a few people in the books are stupid for no apparent reason. The government and Coin share stupidity for misunderstanding Katniss and her intentions. Katniss is clearly not interested in ruling, she's barely interested in most things. Coin gets it in her head that she will have to rub her out, just like Snow decided Katniss was sparking a rebellion (Katniss didn't even pick up on Plutarch telling her he was part of the resistence in book 2).
  • Okay, really minor complaint here, but this has always baffled me: How could a nation such as Panem possibly exist and function? In the first book, it is stated that District 12 is in the Appalachians and the Capitol is in the Rockies. However there are only 12 Districts. Spread out across the entire continent of North America. District 12 also only has a population of about 2,000 people. Now, the thing that bugs me is that even with the hyper-advanced technology, it seems like it would be impossible for a nation to function with such a low population base spread out in small pockets over such a large area. It would make sense if all the districts either a) had a significantly larger population or b) were located closer to the capitol, but they're not. How could a nation like that even come into existence?
    • Well, I think it's mostly with a lot of networking between the Peacekeepers and the Capitol. I saw Panel as a bunck of colonies of varying sizes. The Capitol probably used older habitable areas to corral the people into.
    • Um...it says specifically in the book that there are about 8,000 people in 12. Where did you get such a low number?
    • It's said that District 12 is a relatively small district. Some, like 8, are massive. What is slightly suspicious is that the main town is so small, yes - but I don't think numbers are ever mentioned. This might just be a case of Writers Cannot Do Math as there is pretty much no way that a society requiring so much power (especially in the Capitol) could mine sufficient amounts of coal to meet its energy needs with so few miners, especially after District 13 - and with it all the nuclear resources - were destroyed. You could assume they have special technology to enable them to mine faster, but the impression is given that the Capitol doesn't care about either safety (all those accidents) or ease of extraction, and, even then it doesn't make that much sense. The "There is no District 12" thing doesn't really make sense when there is no indication anywhere other than the town even existed, and there are no refugees from anywhere else in 12 who've fled to 13. Considering that, enough Peacekeepers arrive to fill entire trains when there's such a tiny population? Isn't there going to be like a 1:2 Peacekeeper:citizen ratio when there's that small a population? I get the feeling Collins didn't realise for the first book, then tried to make up for it by exaggerating the population of the other districts book by book.
      • Coal mining is probably more a distraction tactic than an actual economic thing. The coal probably powers District 12, maybe a small part of another nearby district, and that's it. The Capitol obviously gets their power from somewhere else, probably wind/solar or gas, because there were no qualms about bombing 12 to the ground.
      • I always got the impression that District 12 was the district for people nobody wanted early on. Like inmates or something. The mining was pretty small. Also, people are keeling over from starvation all the time, so...
      • Not to mention that in Mockingjay, it's revealed that District 2 does mining as well.
      • Remember when Katniss reflected on how different Rue`s home was from hers. I see that as an (oversimplified) social commentary on how the Capitol and the rest of the country need District 11`s products more than they need those of District 12. The Capitol keeps very close tabs on District 11 and other Districts in charge of highly necessary industries. District 12 is basically ignored which means corrupt and inept law enforcement is able to go unnoticed (good from the point of view of the narrator who is a criminal) but also no leverage to make anyone address the extreme food shortages (yeah, I know other Districts have food shortages but that could be for a number of reasons) and no reason that the country could not quickly adjust to functioning without coal.
      • Maybe the coal from district 12 is used as a cheap way to power the other districts. You need coal coke to make steel and the plebs would need something to heat their hovels with. The Capitol probably derives most of his power from District 5 (which, going by the movie, uses nuclear power).
  • Why does no-one in-universe realise how manipulative Peeta is? He's well-meaning, sure, but he hides so much from Katniss, tells huge lies about her on national TV without even warning her first (e.g. the pregnancy thing), some of which don't even do her any favours in the long run. This is barely touched upon in the books, and when it is it's in a positive way - he's "great in interviews". I don't think it even goes as far as calling him a "good liar". I'm not even bothered about the whole Peeta/Gale thing, and this still really irritates me. If anything, it's almost made worse by the fact that it's for Katniss's own good - throughout the books there are people controlling her because she can't be trusted to do anything for herself. This is a key point of the series, but for such a trait to manifest itself so strongly in her future husband is just...ugh.
    • The first book seemed to imply that Haymitch didn't want him to warn her about what was going to happen in her interview, and then it was some sort of unspoken rule thereafter because Katniss is a lousy actor and her reactions had to be genuine. He doesn't really hide that much from her, though, aside from the fact that he made a deal with Haymitch to get Katniss out alive, although she figured that out on her own. The only other time he hid something from her (his playing the Magnificent Bastard card and joining the careers) he didn't have much of a chance to talk it out with her, and we don't know how he got himself into the situation to begin with...
    • What really bugs me about Peeta is that he basically changed Katniss to fit what he wanted. He thought that she was pretty, but her personality at the beginning of the series was not to his liking. She was a hunter, and absolutely not a romantic. He wanted a romantic. Then they get put into the Hunger Games, and Peeta starts manipulating her, surprising her, catching her off guard with things like his declaration of love, then throws in an ultimatum by somehow convincing the Gamemakers to "allow" two tributes to survive. (I put that in quotes because the Gamemakers try to undo it later.) By the end of the Games, she is beyond confused, because she has had to pretend to be Peeta's Romantic Katniss for so long but she really isn't Peeta's Romantic Katniss. Gale loves Real Katniss, but Real Katniss has been so warped by the end of the series, and Gale himself has been warped by the war, and the thought that he may have aided in killing Prim, that they can't be together anymore. "You love me. Real or not real?" Not real, Peeta, but you made it happen.
      • Actually, it was Katniss who changed herself. It's called Character Development. They're all warped by the war.
      • I (the original poster) agree with you on this. I've just been re-reading the books with my little sister, and Peeta's always forcing her into situations involving the two of them that she didn't want before. We're lovers, we're married, she's pregnant...the list goes on. It's like he's using her to live out his fantasies until eventually she becomes so confused she decides she must like him. The ending was basically a case of him being the only convenient male around after she told Gale to never see her again. The Katniss/Peeta romance could have been done well, but it really wasn't.
      • But was all this really his intention? Is it a worthwhile price to pay in exchange for continuing to live? Did he really intend to come out of the first games alive in the first place?
      • I don't think so. Besides, if you were Peeta, a teenage boy whose own mother said he would die in the Games and knew he had no chance of surviving, wouldn't you declare your love for the girl you would die to protect? Aside from that, he was always looking out for Katniss from the start.
      • I hate to bring sexism into this, but would you be so upset if their genders had been reversed? Think of how many romances involve a woman changing a man, whether it's because he's a big womanizer or because he's more like Katniss, with the whole "I will never fall in love" thing. Besides, a fair amount of the reason why Katniss didn't want to have children was that she was afraid of them having to become Tributes. With the Games over, it's not so crazy that she might change her mind.
      • Katniss played up the whole Star-Crossed Lovers thing almost as much as Peeta did. In the first book she went out in search of him after the Gamemakers' announcement that two victors could survive if from the same District (and where on earth are you getting that Peeta somehow convinced the Gamemakers to pull that, the Gamemakers did that on their own in order to rescind it later for the more dramatic final kill) and in order to get them food and save Peeta's life she started playing along with the whole pretend romance, kissing and cuddling and generally playing on the audience's sympathies. Everything they did from then on was pretty much joint playing to the cameras. I seriously doubt Peeta liked the fact that he and Katniss were basically forced to get married because Panem expected and wanted it-he wanted Katniss to love him of her own volition, which is why they decided to start from scratch and be friends in the second book. Everything he said in the TV interviews was him keeping up the charade, and making the citizens of Panem feel an injustice on their behalf, to incite a mood of rebellion in them. Katniss just rolled with the ball and then spent so much time supporting Peeta in and with the illusion that she started Becoming the Mask and fell for him for real. Not to mention that, even if he did put her in those situations, Peeta was also pretty darn determined to die so that Katniss could live and find comfort and a future with someone else. What good is manipulating a person if you're not planning on being around to reap the benefits?
        • I agree with this. I don't remember the exact wording, but I'm pretty sure I remember the first thing that Peeta did when their marriage was announced was sulk in his room for several hours because he was upset over the fact that it wouldn't be real. And again, it's really hard to make an argument about Peeta being manipulative to this extent because he's in a situation where he knows he could die at any time, and in fact expects to, which is why he continuously tries to urge Katniss to worry more about her own survival. And as far as the whole thing about playing up the "lovers" angle... It has to be added that Katniss's first reaction to the pregnancy ploy were feelings of empowerment. She was happy with that lie, hell, even happy that he didn't tell her he was going to drop that bomb before he did so. Not only that, but to an extent it worked. The Capitol ate the whole thing up, and allowed both of them the chance to beat the Games.
        • I read Peeta's manipulations as a defensive mechanism. Think about it; he's just been conscripted into a gladiatorial bloodsport with a 99% fatality rate. He's the son of a baker, unused to lifting anything heavier than a sack of flour being asked to compete against hunters and fishers for his survival. Much like Katniss's multiple traumas helped contribute to her icy exterior, Peeta is diving into a fantasy to protect his sanity. His whole relationship ballyhoo with Katniss was both A) falling back on his romantic fantasies as a means of coping with such a bleak situation and B) exploiting the spectacle of the games to guarantee his and Katniss's survival and C) attaching himself to a stronger competitor to ensure his own survival. Honestly, I think Peeta could have fallen in love with anyone because he needed to form whatever superficial attachment he could to stay alive.
        • Excuse me? Peeta didn't love Katniss for who she was? He had been in love with her and had been trying to work the nerve to confess to her since the age of five.
      • Well, that's what he says... And he is an excellent liar...
        • Except for the fact that he could remember the same schoolday events as Katniss could and talk about his love story. His love was genuine.
    • This is the troper who put the "Real or not real?" line at the end of her previous post on this topic. I just finished rereading the first book, and I've found that Peeta has really no reason to think that Katniss actually loves him! From her agreeing that it had been a good sponsor tactic early on, to him having to say "remember, we're supposed to be in love, so kiss me whenever," to her going right back to her normal personality the instant they get out of the cave... Katniss even has a bunch of lines the morning of the mutt attack about how she thinks that Peeta's just lying to convince the world that he loves her! And then at the very end, when she tells him that it wasn't real, he gets all pouty and makes her feel guilty. Peeta manipulates. He works to get the girl that he wants, no matter what the emotional cost to the girl.
      • What I think he was upset about was the fact that she kept it all up after the Games were over, which is what made him think it was real. Haymitch had told her that she had to pretend to be crazy with love for Peeta so she wouldn't get in trouble for her rebellion, but he never told Peeta the same thing. Obviously, Peeta knew it wasn't real in the very beginning, but it's hardly inconceivable for him to think she hadn't developed feelings throughout the Games, especially when she came up with a suicide pact so she wouldn't have to be without him.
    • Wasn't Katniss pretty much the first who noticed? I think it was after Peeta tried to take care of Haymitch while they were still on the train. That's when she pretty much decided to not get too close to him (she even threw away the cookies his father had given her). Also, until after Peeta was attacked by Cato, she firmly believed that he was one of the bad guys, who had been manipulating her all along and was more than ready to kill him. I think it doesn't come up later that much because she realises that he is genuinely a good guy.
    • Katniss demonstrates throughout the book that she's just plain not that good at reading into the motivations behind people's outward behavior, except in a very few cases in which she's either known and spent time around them forever (Prim and Gale) or recognizes that they think the same way she does (Haymitch) - and even then she's still sometimes blindsided by them. She doesn't understand a lot of what Peeta does early in the trilogy, and when the Games get underway she tends to assume that his actions, like hers, are calculated towards getting him out of the Games alive. She assumes that Peeta's lying because she's lying, and because she knows that Haymitch is trying to encourage her to keep up the act. It's illustrated pretty clearly near the end when she asks if Haymitch has given Peeta the same warning about the post-Games interview that he gave her: she takes "I don't have to, he's already there" to mean that Peeta already intuitively understands the danger and will keep up the act without being prompted, when what Haymitch really means by it is that for Peeta, it's not an act. In this respect, Katniss may be considered something of an Unreliable Narrator; the reader must read between the lines of her assumptions to fully understand what's going on.
      • There's my problem with all this: New reader on the first of the series, and I'm more than a little miffed at Haymitch for all this shit he's pulling. Drunkard, useless and unwittingly angry against young teenagers fighting to the death for NO REASON, it is when he tells them to stick together the whole time that really gets my goat. These kids are trying to kill each other, or will be soon. There is absolutely no tactical advantage associated with keeping them close. In fact, its a tactical disadvantage: keeping them that close creates an emotional attachment that neither can afford to have in the Games when one of them dies. They can't fight in a team-against the rules of the games. Not to mention he has done nothing in terms of helping with their preparedness at all. Punch Peeta, and make some overly-aggressive remarks. That's what he does. Isn't he the best mentor? Shithole.
      • Who said he was the best? He is a highly flawed individual.
      • Sorry. Meant to say that he's their mentor and not the best one. The point I mean is that, considering the poor tactics and rather strong wish to push himself straight under a desk with that drinking, he really doesn't strike me as someone they should be relying on.
      • Disagree strongly that Haymitch has no reason to be angry. He's projecting his anger at the Capitol, and his anger about FORTY-SIX DEAD TEENAGERS that he mentored in between his Games (the 50th) and Katniss and Peeta's. He is District 12's only living Victor, so he is its only mentor, and that, and the horrors of actually fighting his Games, is what made him the angry alcoholic he is.
        He is angry because Katniss COULD be a good competitor, but it's not just skill that wins games, you cannot win without gifts of food and possibly weapons from sponsors look at how Finnick won his Game!. Katniss gives the audience no reason to sponsor her. Peeta's confession of his love for her gives Haymitch something to work with, and playing up that angle is his only hope at mentoring either of them (likely Katniss, because she has had to fight for survival, whereas Peeta's life was relatively easy) out of this alive.
        • You do realize that the reason that, from my perspective, that he has those forty-six dead teenagers on his conscience is because he is truly as incompetent as he appeared to be? Drinking yourself into a stupor doesn't help anyone. A young boy and young girl willing and able in their own ways to fight is. And Kat 'cannot win'? Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers her actual ability at hunting in a large natural field. The governmental body may be able to control a lot, but they cannot control an outside environment nearly as well as they think they can. The gifts are momentary bonuses at best for a competitor based on that implication. It has to come down to the skill of the resulting child.
          • Statistically speaking, every mentor loses at least 1 tribute per year, and 11 of the 12 mentors lose both tributes in a given year. Even if Haymitch were the best mentor in the history of the games, he'd still have at best a 50% tribute survival rate. And yeah, Kat couldn't win on her own--that's made abundantly clear. Her burns would have led to infection, and if that didn't kill her then the burns on her hands would have made hitting anything with a bow difficult. It was because there were people willing to sponsor her that she managed to live, and it was because of Haymitch's advice, his efforts on her behalf, and Peeta's star-crossed lovers story that she was able to get sponsors.
        • Haymitch was the mentor to the poorest and least favored District. The Stylists in the past had terrible ideas for District 12, the District 12ers are viewed as barbarians, and they have no resources and no other winners...Even if Haymitch were Obi Wan Kenobi, he wouldn't be able to do much.
          • Haymitch was only the second winner from District 12, and he competed in the 50th Games. As in his year, four tributes were sent, there were 102 from District 12 in total; that means that less than 2% of the tributes from District 12 won. Before he won, District 12's win rate was just barely over 1%. Considering his district's disadvantages, it's unlikely that he'd manage to get more than one or two winners in 23 years no matter how good a mentor he might be.
  • How did it come to sending children to fight to the death? I understand the point the government was trying to make by attempting to keep the public simultaneously terrorized and pacified but children?! No one thought that this could backfire horribly? No one thought that forcing people to sacrifice their children could foster some kind of latent Mama Bear or Papa Wolf tenancies that might lead to rebellion? This is the level of needless, deliberate cruelty the Evil Overlord List warns against! You can call me Pollyanna, say I'm crazy as a loon but how did the games last this long without some kind uproar?
    • You're not alone. I couldn't help but groan at how stereotypically evil and Genre Blind some of the Capitol's acts were. You'd think that just after getting over a civil war, the best they could do would be to not start a tradition most likely to create bad sentiment towards their leaders, but no. They start up an event purely made to gloat over all the districts. Also, almost every reason Katniss joined the rebels was due to something the Capitol had recently started. Instead of letting the girl off with a simple warning in her mind, they had to push her and push her until she ended up doing what they feared the most. God, it's a wonder how Panem lasted this long.
    • I think the cruelty towards children is actually pretty realistic. Just think about history of real life. In the Holocaust, for example, most Nazis had no problem gassing children and there was even a case of Jewish babies in a Ghetto getting thrown out of third story windows. The government in the Hunger Games has its own sick justification for killing.
    • Except the Nazis didn't parade this fact in front of all of the invaded countries, it's not like they forced Belgium and France to watch Jewish children slowly die. And where the Capitol lasted for over 75 years, the Third Reich was ambushed and defeated before it could even reach one-sixth of that time span (and even if the Allies weren't there, Hitler would have either died from an eventual successful assassin or have his regime collapse under its own weight). While child cruelty is realistic, it's also an easy way to incite irreparable backlash that can and will lead to revolts. And you'd think that since Snow and the rest might have some semblance of previous history, they'd be genre savvy enough to know when to avoid the pitfalls of other dictators.
    • Dystopia Is Hard.
    • The whole point of the Hunger Games (from my understanding at least, I've only read the first one so far) was that the Capitol has such power over the districts that they can take away their children and have them kill each other for entertainment (not to mention completely wiping out District 13). They didn't think that the Hunger Games would lead to rebellion because the whole point was to show off they could do whatever they want and the districts would have to accept it, or be nuked. Also, real world dictators don't always make good decisions or look at the mistakes of others. (Hitler invaded Russia in winter, just like Napoleon.)
      • The problem with the Hunger Games is that it utterly misrepresents food politics and police states by two measures: first and foremost, the purpose of food power for a plebian class is to cripple the economy. By starving the Districts, the Capitol is not only creating unnecessary economic problems (ergo, they could actually be more powerful) but they're stewing totally unnecessary resentment. This is why countries prefer to use food power as a "carrot-and-stick" to other countries, and not within themselves, ex. the Cuban embargo. Second, police states typically promise something in exchange for their totalitarianism... the lower class never wanders blindly into it, they're always given something in return, such as how communist states have incredible literacy rates/amounts of doctors or how older autocracies could promise protection from outside threats. Also, Napoleon invaded Russia in June. Operation Barbarossa began in the same month.
      • It's not a story about food power, it's about a girl going up against a totalitarian state
        • The thing the districts got in return for the police state is, "You get to not die."
          • Except many of them do. It still comes off as stupid for the Capitol to enact laws whose only message is "Hey, districts! We're evil and we will keep killing your kids no matter what unless you somehow happen to join together and topple us! But that's never gonna happen, now is it!" Being cruel is one thing, but it's another when all that cruelty is ensured to backfire at every opportunity.
            • Well, maybe the Hunger Games weren't meant to last forever. After all, there would be no reason to call the 25th, 50th, and 75th H.G.'s Quarter Quells if they weren't actually quarters of the total. So maybe the Hunger Games were only intended to be around a hundred years. But if that were the case, it would only have helped their cause if they'd told the districts this, so who knows?
            • Nope. In response to the above troper's comment, I found this little gem for you from pg. 172 of Catching Fire: "The little boy in white steps forward, holding out the box as he opens the lid. We can see the tidy, upright rows of yellowed envelopes. Whoever devised the Quarter Quell system had prepared for centuries of Hunger Games."
              • You're kidding right? the games fell after 75 years, the person who thought up the games was a moron since it LEADS to the downfall of things.
      • The Evil Overlord list isn't even the oldest source of "what not to do" - look the The Prince. While Machiavelli argues that it's better to be feared than loved (if you can't have both) he also says that he you have to do it without inspiring hate. Forcing people's children to kill each other? That'll cook up a lot of hate.
    • As far as the people of the twelve Districts know as of the beginning of the first book, District 13 was wiped off the map and the Capitol could do the same thing to them, if they rebel again. The Hunger Games serves as a yearly reminder of the consequences of a second uprising - "we're letting you off easy by only taking two kids a year, if we wanted to, we could destroy you" - and it also gives the people of the District something to hope for as well as something to fear. They can hope that the odds will be in their favour, and that they and their loved ones will escape the reaping, and they can also hope that one of their tributes will be the Victor, and that they will reap the rewards of their victory. It also serves to cement divisions between the Districts, and between people within a District thanks to the tesserae system.
    • Think of what happend when they put adult competitors into the arean: a rebellion was instantly formed. Making adults go into the arena, say anyone over 21 would immidiately be a risk of people who are too strong, smart and experiances would get together and find a way to break out. Most teenagers (except careers) arn't trained in weapon use or real survival skills, adults might be, risking rebellion. And it may be more intersting to watch people with similar skill levals (none) fight it out, than strong miners, clever weapon technicians etc. Also, by putting a time limit, people will think "if i just survive six years i'm safe" and be more complicit. Also, also, as we see with Katniss, people will go to insane lengths to protect their own. if adults were in the hunger games, they would have nothing to lose, so a rebellion might be formed quicker, while as people would be afraid to rebel because of what failure could mean for their children. And wiping out two heads of families from each district could be disasterous. The Capitol might not want that.
  • I know I shouldn't get distracted by these things, but ... the economic system of this country makes no sense. This is a country that's implied to have existed for centuries and certainly has existed for 75 years, and yet... each district has only one major industry, presumably having to import everything else. The government is quite repressive, so districts should be revolting left and right — and indeed in the series almost all of them are very easily convinced to do so. Each revolt would cut off the rest of the country from whatever resource that district has. Hell, even without revolts... say there's a hurricane, or a fire, or an earthquake, or the main agrarian district is hit with a blight: there's no indication that any of these districts have surpluses, due to their poverty, so even if the capitol survives thousands of people on whom it depends will die. There's no way it should have lasted this long.
    • It appears very much as though only Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 really provide for the Capitol in a major way, and the Capitol itself seems to be producing its own things, or potentially just shipping them in from other places in the world in exchange for what their poorer Districts are producing. Unfortunately because Collins failed to adequately "flesh out" the rest of the world, there's still no reason why Panem should be getting away with having such a massive percentage of its population forcibly under the poverty line, as they aren't providing anything to the Districts in return. EG, Rome operated on a very large scale quite successfully because they could promise protection to underlings that they treated like crap. Twelve is the biggest anomaly, though, seeing as the Capitol obviously doesn't need the coal (they firebomb the place to the ground over a teenaged girl) yet they hardly bother to feed anyone there.
      • This a world that hasn't revolted in 75 years even though they're all dirt poor and the only thing keeping them in line is the threat of death and....having 2 of their children killed every year? There really isn't any reason for the status quo.
  • Where is the rest of the world? If there was a nuclear war or something, there should be parts of Europe, South America Asia, Africa, Australia, etc. left. And these guys have invisible hovercraft things that can fly at least across the continental United States. Why hasn't the Capitol gone exploring to go see what's up in the rest of the world? Nobody would have touched Australia, there must be SOMEONE left alive in China or India, Africa's probably completely untouched, South America is very close to North America even if the land bridge submerged, Europe probably has a couple hundred thousand left alive... There must be at least one civilization still sitting around there–probably with a much better economic and political system then Panem.
    • Maybe Panem was practicing isolationism, like what China and Japan did. They wouldn't want to risk discovering another country that might ignite a rebellion.
    • They also wanted to stress how everyone was dependent on that specific governing system. If people think no other state exists that message is easier to send. Besides it`s not like today where we have news from all over the world. Most people wouldn`t know if there was anything else left and those in the government that did know would want to keep it that way.
    • "Nobody would have touched Autralia"?! I'll have you know we actually have highly desireable resources - land, uranium, etc. Maybe we're a little more isolated than most countries, but there's no way we would have remained untouched by war - let alone nuclear war, the efects of which would have spanned the whole globe.
    • We ARE getting all this history through the eyes of a 17 year old who admittidly has a lot of better things to do than spend her time thinking about the rest of the world. The rest of the world might be fine, but struggling, and Panem probably wouldn't have taught kids in schools that in other countries things are better. Katniss might KNOW there's other countries, or she might not, but she definitely wouldn't really mention it.
  • What bugs me most about the whole series are the death traps. They show the capitol being cruel and sadistic. Forcing the children to fight would have worked so much better without the Deus Ex Machina of walls of fire. Other elements could have been used to goad recalcitrant Tributes into killing each other, but to really set the Districts against each other it would have worked so much better without the chance of a tribute being killed by someone other than another tribute. I also found the pods used to "protect" the Capitol to be insane. No one protects their city by installing traps twice as likely to kill their own population as themselves. Sure, Snow's a bastard, but he relies on support from others in the Capitol, people who'd be unlikely to be sanguine about him protecting their families by installing giant pits of flesheating monsters outside their houses or full of swarms of Nightmare Fuel inducing wasps. The who theme of man's inhumanity to man really suffers from these rather impersonal, almost videogamesque, elements.
    • I'm not sure about the Capitol traps, but the Games traps seem to add more drama than death (in the 74th Games, we don't see a Gamemaker trap being the direct cause of death to anyone). I suppose again, that if you had nothing but Tribute fights and none of the dangers in the Arena, the Capitol audience would probably complain that it was boring or something.
  • This troper often wonders how this series managed to avoid the Moral Guardians. Battle Royale had a simmilar premise, and it's American remake has been put on hold because of that (and Virginia Tech).
    • I have been wondering that too, and the only thing I can come up with is the fact that Battle Royale is gorier and has sex and rape in it and is clearly aimed at an adult audience while THG are aimed at young adults, with less gore and some relationship issues thrown in for good measure.
    • Also, Battle Royale uses guns, while I'd be hard-pressed to see someone shooting up a school with a bow and arrow/throwing knives/etc.
      • There was a case a few years ago where some students in Germany planned to shoot up a school using crossbows [1]...
      • Well, a friend of my mom's did try to have the books removed from her daughter's school's library...
  • How did Cato kill Thresh?
    • The Worf Effect? Also keep in mind, it was raining during their fight, so maybe that had some part in it.
    • The Gamemakers Did It. No, seriously: Cato vs. District 12 would provide more tension and violence for the finale than would Thresh vs. District 12, especially since Thresh is sane enough to team up with them against the muttributes. That's one of the points of the novels, really: a lot of us are reading because we like the characters, but according to Capitol, we should be reading because of the Gorn.
    • Cato had body armor that he got from the backpack at the Cornucopia, IIRC.
      • No, Thresh took Cato's bag, so Cato must have retrieved it from him. Of course, it's entirely possible that he just took it from his body before the hovercraft appeared.
    • We don't know that Cato killed Thresh, we just assume it. This troper read a fanfic (forgot the title) where Foxface snuck up on Thresh and killed him. For that matter, we don't know Foxface can't fight either. She just never chooses to show it.
  • The fact that Katniss ends up with Peeta. This isn't just a disappointed fangirl talking, because I support Katniss/Peeta: it would've made a hell of a lot more sense to end up with Gale. Gale is her best frind who she's known throughout the series. She only met Peeta at the start of the Hunger Games. She is forced to act her love for Peeta, and I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty pissed and bitter toward the guy. Plus, in Mockingjay she chooses Peeta, who tried to kill her twice, over Gale, who has stated numerous times he loves her and is willing to die to protect her, and actually carries his weight instead of being The Load like Peeta. If you're just going to throw away her best friend, why throw the Gale-loves-Katniss thing in the first place? Keep them as friends, because they lose each other in the end. I hate Mockingjay, seriously.
    • Because Team Peeta makes up the majority of the fanbase.
      • There's also the fact that Katniss's decision wasn't totally arbitrary either. Although it would've made sense for her to be with Gale because they're both very passionate people, it makes sense that she wouldn't be with him for the same reason: she would never forgive him for his role in killing her sister, and he would never feel remorse for it because Prim's life was traded for a greater "good". The Gale/Katniss relationship was page filler, and in itself was pandering to the base: in this post-Twilight world, teenagers seem to expect a love triangle.
    • I never get fans who portray Peter's actions in Mockingjay as somehow being his fault, when it was made clear over and over that he had been tortured and brainwashed for months on end into being a physical and psychological weapon against Katniss. The whole series is about Peeta and Katniss being pitted against each other in real and metaphorical death matches, and overcoming and beating the game by clinging to their humanity and choosing to be selfless for each other. The romance is more of an afterthought, literally an epilogue. As for ending up with Gale, that might have made sense in the beginning and indeed might have been the ending if the Hunger Games hadn't intervened, as Katniss herself speculates in Mockingjay. But it's very clear that all the characters have changed beyond recognition by the end, and the chance of Gale/Katniss had long flown by the time the war was over. Too much had happened, and they wanted different things out of life.
      • The fact the attacks of crazy paranoid rage weren't his fault doesn't mean that Katniss marrying a guy who wants to murder her is a Good Thing.
        • Probably not. But it wouldn't have been a Good Thing for her to marry a guy who might have had a hand in killing her sister, either. Again, that's not Gale's fault, but it would have hung over their heads and poisoned the relationship. Katniss herself makes it clear that she needed Peeta's warmth and comfort to live her life. Marrying a traumatized and broken man was not something she did for fun, obviously, but because she was willing to take the risk for a chance at happiness--which is the theme of the whole series, really.
          • So what, she HAS to go with Peeta and not someone else? Or simply not marry? Nice Message
            • If she married someone other than Peeta or Gale, it would have been weird. The ending was choppy enough; if she had also developed feelings for another guy who hadn't been there throughout the series, it would have been worse. As for getting married at all, I thought it WAS a nice message. Early in the series, she didn't want to have children not because she just didn't want to be a parent, but because she was afraid of them having to go to the Games. Having her get over it, get married, and have children gave the ending more hope.
    • It's possible that Katniss felt that Peeta could understand her in a way that Gale, and most others, couldn't. The Hunger Games were pretty traumatic, to say the least, and more than that, they were bizarre. At multiple points after she came back from the first games, Katniss said something about how she couldn't relate to Prim or Gale as well as she could before. The only victors that we see in relationships are Finnick and Annie, who are together; Johanna and Haymitch, at least, are explicitly stated not to have any significant others. It must be hard for a victor to relate to a non-victor well enough to be in love.
    • Katniss may not have known Peeta as long as she knew Gale, but that doesn't mean that she should like Gale better. How many times in real life do people marry their childhood best friends? Besides, by the end of the series, she and Peeta have known each other for about a year and a half, maybe two years, lots of that in shall we say stressful situations, so it's not like they're strangers.
  • Am I the only one who read between the lines for Katniss's approval for The Capitol Games? No one saw that she was trying to catch Coin off guard? And even if she wasn't planning it, she was stricken with grief over Prim's death. So, you're telling me that if a loved one of yours got murdered, you wouldn't in the slightest act more irrational?
    • Definitely true, but for me the biggest problem with that is one that exists alongside a lot of Katniss's actions: we don't know why she did it because, even though the books are from her POV, it doesn't explicitly say.
  • This is pretty minor, but I'm still a bit curious about it. Namely, why does everyone refer to the animals that the Capitol created ( such as jabberjays, tracker jackers, and the wolf/tribute hybrids) as "muttations" or "mutts"? Where did that term come from?
    • "Muttation" is most likely a portmanteau of the words "mutt" and "mutation." A mutt is traditionally a term used to describe a mixed-breed dog and a mutation is a change in genetic material.
    • Or Fridge Brilliance, it was just a natural result of a language evolving. Over the years, mutations became muttations, Peter became Peeta, morphine became morphling, ect... When the world we know was destroyed and Panem rose, paper and digital records were probably destroyed and people wrote things how they were pronounced (we don't know if they even use the same writing we do) and the words were corrupted in pronunciation, not to mention regional accents, before the final spellings settled.
  • Why in god's name would the movie be PG-13? In fact, tons of things about the movie are already bugging me and it hasn't even come out yet. Gale and Peeta are both played by muscular looking actors, and Cato looks like he's 12. I have a feeling they're going to go with a Twilight Love Triangle angle instead of the real message behind these books. Disappointing.
    • I am wondering if the OP wasn't comment on Cato after seeing images of Alexander Ludwig circa "Race to Witch Mountain" or "The Dark Is Rising" and before more current publicity shots came out. Not only did he bulk up a lot for this film but in the intervening 3-5 years that kid got HUGE. I was shocked at how big he got. I would never have guessed that he would grow up to be that big a guy based on what he looked like in older movies. I figured he would grow up to be on the small side of average.
    • Why are you surprised that it's PG-13? There is no world where this book, marketed to teenagers and some pre-teens, would be rated R. Gale is muscular. He's a hunter. How is that even remotely a problem. And Peeta doesn't look overly strong, just like someone who's used to heavy lifting, as was stated in the books. Also, Cato's actor is 19, which is older than the character anyway. I hope they don't go Twilight Love Triangle too, but the rest of your complaints made no sense to me.
      • With the content in the books, it's going to have to rely on a lot of Gory Discresion Shot for it NOT to be rated R. As far as the actors go, I think I may have mixed up the two (I always thought Peeta was blonde, and Gale's actor is blonde) so that complaint is pretty dumb, I'll admit. As far as Cato goes, it's not so much how old he looks, just that he seriously looks smaller than Rue, yet he's supposed to be a career tribute? Just the fact that Gale, a resident of one of the poorest districts (hunter or not) looks like he can beat up Cato feels like a lot of the visual focus is going to be directed, again, towards the love triangle. I'll admit, I'm being paranoid, but the whole thing does seem like a new attempt at a love triangle movie series.
      • Why shouldn't Gale look like he can beat up Cato? Also, Cato looks smaller than Rue? The hell promotional materials are you looking at? That's Cato standing at Rue's right, Peeta on her other side.
        • I thought Cato would be small too after hearing that he would be played by Alexander Ludwig, but he really bulked up for the film, it's possible that some people are commenting on what he looked like before, which was pretty slender in comparison and I never take stock of actors hair color cause its easily died, which they did here. Also the PG-13 rating is just a flaw in the system, because the american system fails to recognize that alot of stuff that is suitable for 16 year olds is not suitable for 13 year olds. So you get things like this movie which is borderline suitable due to violence that get pg-13 ratings for both marketability and also because it's not so unsuitable that you could say its only for 18+. I'd imagine its could get a 15's rating in the countries that have that rating.
      • They get away with a PG-13 via Gory Discretion Shot mixed with a lot of Jittercam.
  • We never find out whether or not there will be a Capitol Hunger Games. Did it die with Coin or is Plutarch gonna go ahead with it.
    • It's not stated directly, but I think that the answer is no.
  • How do you pronounce "muttations"? It is just mutation with an extra t in the spelling or mutt-tation?
    • Since it's a portmanteau term, I'm going to assume that it's mutt-ation.
  • Okay, here's one: the Quarter Quell was supposed to be spectacular. Why, then, did it actively have less natural hazards and dangers than the arena in the first book? Once you've figured out the clock, there are no real natural hazards - if anything, it's much easier to avoid being killer death wasp'd or wall of fire'd to death than in the previous year's normal games. The Quarter Quell is supposed to be really special, but beyond a cornucopia filled with weapons and a bunch of ex-tribute tributes it was actually a lot tamer than either the first games Katniss was in or any of the many games mentioned in passing. There's no water, but you can tap it from trees; non of the shellfish etc are poisonous and non of the wildlife are dangerous for more than one hour in twelve. Other than boredom, there isn't even any incentive for the combatants to fight each other rather than keep going round on opposite sides of the clock. It all seems to make for an incredibly boring Games.
    • Well, Plutarch Heavensbee is designing them. He probably wants as few tributes to die as possible before the hovercrafts can rescue them. In the meantime, having a tricky arena like that would at least keep the audience at home interested as they tried to figure out the trick themselves, placed bets, etc. As long as the audience is engaged, the Gamekeepers don't have to come up with more arbitrary cruelties to force a conflict.
    • The "drama" was supposed to come from matching much more capable adults. Also consider that after the Blast Out at the Cornucopia, the majority of the surviving tributes were allied with each other to protect Katniss and Peeta, while the Careers hid the forest from the much larger group. It was only the combined information from that group that figured out the system. Also, the first "gift" they receive is the tap to get water from the trees. Had the Games gone on the way Snow wanted, it would have been much bloodier and more of the traps would have worked.
    • Plutarch gives Katniss the key to surviving before she goes in. The arena is explicitly designed to be very easily survivable once you've figured out its secret, which is also why it conveniently provides a huge source of electricity right next to the weak spot in the force field. Its sole purpose is to keep Beetee and Katniss and/or Peeta alive long enough to escape and start the rebellion.
  • Maybe this is a case of overthinking, and maybe I won't be able to get this out very clearly, but the gravity with which the Games treated, they seem like a relatively new thing (certainly not something that's happened 74 times). Why do I say this? Well, Collins herself got the idea partially from reality television, and there's a certain effect that happens to reality TV shows: after the first season of any reality show, the contestants start playing with an "awareness" of how things fall out over the course of the season. Well, okay, that seems to be reflected somewhat by Careers, but over 70 years, you'd think Districts would have learned to "game" the system the way, for instance, pro athletes are groomed from high school (i.e., there are always volunteers). In other words, that there would be a whole subculture dedicated to Careers in each District; even that there might be ways for each District to turn a profit from it. It's not that I think this isn't a compelling idea (I haven't read the books, but the movie looks pretty appealing to me and I'm willing to ignore plot holes as long as I'm entertained), it's just that the dynamics of the Games don't hit me as something that should be the way they are after 74 years as they would after say, 5 years.
    • Gravity, no. Strategy, yes. A good example of this is Solitary, where it only took until the third season to produce their own 'Career' - a player who had trained in a simulated pod, had studied the last two seasons to the point of memorizing what happened to each previous contestant, and did DAMNED well as a result. Aside from the obvious issue of trying to keep the Capitol from getting wiser, I'd imagine similar strategies (such as mini-games or at least LARPs) would crop up, if not outright manipulation of the system (using the games as a way to eliminate "problem" youth and spare the rest, victory and training be damned)!
    • A headscratcher I've noticed along these lines is District 4 in general, especially Finnick and Annie. If D4 is a Career District as Katniss claims, has has a good amount of volunteers, then why did Annie (who doesn't seem like a Career to me) end up going during the 70th Games, and what was Finnick doing competing when he was only 14?
      • I don't know what the deal with Finnick was but it's mentioned that Annie went insane after she saw her district partner get decapitated. We don't know what she was like before that happened, but presumably she wasn't quite as weak as she was afterwards. Also it seemed to me that the Careers from 1 & 2 were a bit more dominant than the ones in 4.
  • So the Games begin, and I see the Cornicupia for the first time. This is after I have agreed with Katt over her initial reaction to Peeta's declaration of love for the girl; while it may have given her slight advantage in terms of the view, the perception of her being seen as some weak young woman who could be trampled over in short range or possibly wallow in her situation was something that came to mind. Now, I think back to that asshole Haymitch and his initial 'tactical thinking.' So...don't charge into the Cornicupia to grab a bow, one of the only ways for Kat to have any real advantage in this game with some arrows, and friggin high-tail it? Yes, its a risk, but it is one of the best risks to take; she's faster than most of the other tributes by her own implication and worlds more agile. Haymitch, once again, fails to wow me as someone with little tactical understanding or expectation of risk.
    • Bear in mind that Haymitch had seen every child he had mentored previously for the last 24 years die, and probably lost more than a few in the opening minutes.
      • Katniss almost dies at the Cornucopia because she's not fast enough. The first few minutes of the Game are called the "bloodbath" for a reason. It's a real and present danger, and unless you have a powerful alliance on your side, in most cases, the smartest thing to do is get out as fast as you can and live to plan another day.
      • Yeah, and give your opponents a huge advantage for those who do decide to stay while the others are fighting to snag and grab. I'm happy she got something. Don't get me wrong, but its not tactically sound to simply allow the opponent unmitigated access to those supplies. I mean, look at the situation she got into later on because of that.
        • She only got the supplies because the other person she was fighting with over them got a convenient case of death by knife from the Knife Nut who was aiming for HER.
    • It worked for Haymitch in his Games. There are a bunch of references to how they are pretty similar, so maybe he recognized that and thought she might benefit from having a similar strategy as he did.
  • When Kat is burned by the Gamemaster's trap, she mentions that 'pity does not get you aid.' Now, normally I would agree with that, except that as Haymitch, Peeta and Cinna have all mentioned from their original argument, Kat is likely the fantasy and desirable interest of some rather rich and powerful men and women in the capitol. If they really were interested in her, it would make sense that her need for help would drive them to act with sending medical supplies, unless Haymitch really is sitting on his ass and sending nothing to her. I hate that son of a bitch.
    • If pity got you aid, parachutes would be constant and the Games would be not only much less exciting but expensive for the Capitol crowd. Also, if pity got you aid, there wouldn't be Games in the first place.
      • See, that doesn't hold up for Haymitch's tactical perception of Katt to the crowd, one of the few things I can agree he did well: As he says himself, the idea of Peeta attributing affection for Katt was to make her desirable to those in The Capitol. That was the entire point to their plan. A lot of rich boys in the capitol, if the plan worked, would be interested in Katt and wangint to support her with tributes and boons.
      • That was still early in the Game, however. Gifts are pricey. I'm sure the Capitol crowd is savvy enough that they don't want to waste money on a tribute who's not going to survive. And besides, Haymitch sends her burn ointment soon after that, once she's faced down the Career pack, defied them, and begun putting her plan to kill them via tracker jackers to work. That's the moment when she proves she is a contender.
      • If that is true, then there was no point to Peeta weaving the story that he had feelings for Katt. If all she had to do was prove she's a contender, the trials would've been enough-alongside the basic stuff that Cinna did-and wait until the Games started without that little fabrication. Even if he did love her, it only disheartens the story and weakens their cause, especially if Haymitch doesn't act on it. He's already on a great deal of thin ice with margalinizing both tributes and not giving Peeta anything at all despite his ability to stay alive-which has also made him a Butt Monkey in comparison to Katt. Acutally, this has really become unforgivable in terms of Fridge Logic for Haymitch; he only just gave them food because it served their little stupid story when he had the ability to save them THE ENTIRE TIME, and yet he sits on his ass and lets them starve throughout the whole of the game until the near end, showing little to no respect or dignity until he decides to grow a pair near the end, after they already won the games. There's a difference between being stern to protect the cause, and being outright unwilling to keep them alive when they needed it at any other point in the games. Unforgivable and laced in poor tactical judgment, and they still respect him. There's no respect that should be given.
        • First of all, calm down on the Haymitch rage. Second of all, I think you're attributing a little too much power to Haymitch. Yes, Katniss and Peeta are two tributes to watch from the start, but Haymitch doesn't have unlimited funds, and he can't just send them anything, anytime, lickety-split. Was he unnecessarily harsh to both Katniss and Peeta in training? Yes. If I'd spent the last quarter century watching children die year after year, I would probably be apathetic to most new mentees myself. The Game isn't played by "Whose mentor will send the best stuff at the best time," the tributes within the Arena have to suffer and struggle and make a great show of it because that's what the Capitol wants. In the case of not sending Peeta any goodies, that just enhances the cathartic response when Katniss finds him and nurses him back to health.
        • Also, in regards to the original post, where you said that Katniss is a fantasy object of some Capitol citizens, you're again overstating the power of one factor in winning the Games. Katniss only mentions one Victor — Finnick — whose victory was due almost singlehandedly to his astounding attractiveness. Katniss is never described as that stunning. She looks her best when she's in one of Cinna's divine creations. For contrast, in that same book, Glimmer deliberately cultivated sex appeal as her gimmick, and look what that got her.
  • How did the Capitol citizens get a luxurious lifestyle? It is mentioned that a lot of people are swamped in debt in the Capitol.
    • It's relative. Most Americans live a comparatively luxurious lifestyle on the grand scheme, yet the average American also has over $10 000 in debt.
  • Why is hunting illegal in District 12? Back in feudal times it was illegal because it meant less meat for the lord. IN the first book it's implied that they have an over abundance of wild life, to the point that courage's and bears are wandering into town despite having a thick, lush forest filled with animals to hunt. So why would hunting be illegal?
    • Well, for one it takes people outside the wire where they aren't being watched. (Supposedly, Snow does somehow learn about Katniss and Gale kissing) Also, Hunting requires weapons and martial skills, which are strictly verboten. But also it subverts the tesserae system. The kids are supposed to trade entries in the Hunger Games for food rations, but if they are outside the wire earning their own food then no one has any need to sign up and it takes away the giant FUCK YOU from the Capitol.
      • It wouldn't hurt the Hunger Games at all though. The names are add every year whether the people want them to be added for not. They don't need volunteers because entry is mandatory. The worst thing that would happen is that more of the competitors from district 12 would be well fed and better able to compete. Besides, why would the capitol want to keep these people permanently starving? It only fuels the desire for rebellion. The Capitol is clutching their Idiot Ball pretty hard if they think it's a good idea to intentionally piss off their subjects. They aren't really giving anyone any reason to not rebel.
        • Part of it is to keep the poorest of the poor dependent on the Capitol. While many of the people in many of the districts are very poor, some are still worse off than others. In the book, the mayor's daughter, Madge was mentioned. She was fairly well off (by District 12 standards, anyway) and never had to take out any tessarae. The ones who take out the most tessarae are typically the ones who have siblings and whatnot they need to help care for.
        • It only fuels the desire for rebellion. Yes, the Capitol does things which are on their face intended to piss off and antagonize the Districts. Just to show that they can. They're saying 'Not only can we take your kids any time we want and make them march around our city naked and die for our amusement buuuuut we will also keep you on the brink of death and force people to risk their very lives for the crappy food you do get.' You're not the first person to note that the Capitol is playing with fire by antagonizing the Districts, but that's just how they roll. No one claimed they were particularly smart and it does lead to their downfall so what's the Headscratcher?
          • It's very difficult to imagine that the government would be that stupid, especially one that knows it's on the brink of rebellion like Snow suggests in the second book. I don't think the government is saying anything here, I think Collins is a just a very poor world builder. It seems much less like the Capitol is a big bad villain intentionally antagonizing the districts, and much more Collins has no idea how to write a tyrannical government.
    • Hunting being illegal makes sense to me. The Capitol needs the citizens of the Districts to work for them so they want to keep them subjugated. Food is a large part of that. Most of the Districts produce something other than food, and the Capitol controls the movement of supplies between Districts, in addition to encouraging dependence on the tesserae available to those in need of it. It's not in their interests to allow people and Districts to become more self-sufficient. If hunting was allowed, they'd run the risk that more and more people would discover that they had a knack for it, and those people could begin to consider the idea of leaving the District (depriving the Capitol of some of its workers) appealing.
    • It's possible that the Capitol didn't want District 12ers wandering into the forest, getting lost, and accidentally coming across the supposedly destroyed District 13.
  • Why did Gale who appears to be the only bread winner for his house hold, take out 42 tesseraes on himself. Did he not think about what would happen to his family if he happened to be chosen and sent off to the hunger games? He's skilled, but he's not that skilled, and his chances of getting killed are pretty good. If he really is the only one in his family gathering food, then won't his family be far worse off than if he just put in a couple extra tessraes?
    • It's risky, yes. But plenty of people live all seven years of Reaping eligibility and never get Reaped. He probably thought that it was worth gambling that, even if he put in tesserae (as many, many D-12 children did) his name would never be called, so his family wouldn't lose their main breadwinner to the Games, but would get extra bread.
    • Gale took tesserae before his father died - he told Madge that he had six entries when he was twelve, but he would have been thirteen when his father died - so it could be that once you sign up, you can't back out at a later date. It's also probable that while hunting can supplement the tesserae provisions and Hazelle's earnings, it isn't enough to provide for a family of five, including three young children without Gale taking tesserae.
  • While I haven't read the books, the premise of them just seems a little... weak. And most of that is from one simple question: Why are the children being sent off for these games for the entertainment of the masses? Without children, the current generation will just grow old, die and collapse the entire government. I can understand needing to cull the population if food is tight, but still. Why the children? If the adults go, then yeah it's sad but that leaves the children behind. Since children will believe pretty much anything told to them they'll go along happily with the government, even if its evil.
    • In the books, it's said that this is to show the people how powerless they are. I don't really know how big the population of Panem is, and it may sound extremely cold, but it's just 23 dead children a year. And not in one district, but usually "just" two per district. Furthermore, they're usually not from one generation. What I'd be worried about, however, is discouraging people from getting children. Maybe not in the few districts where taking part in the games is considered a big honour, but everywhere else. And I don't think that people are getting benefits/facing sanctions if they have children/don't have children which might encourage reproduction.
      • It does discourage people from having children, that much is explicit in the text. Which is, to some degree, another facet of the control by restraining the district's population. But they do offer the tesserae-for-entries method by which some kids (notably Gale) feed their families.
        • It does beg the question of why more people in the Districts don't just stop having children, when they know there's a chance their child will end up in the Games. If the entire population of each District dies off, then the Capitol wouldn't have anyone to work for them.
        • The only way to get food from the Capitol is to submit your name for the Hunger Games, which you can only do if you're between the ages of 12 and 18. That probably influences how families are planned for in the poorer residents of Panem.
  • Did we ever find out Fox Face's name? I remember reading the end of hunger games and being disappointed that Katniss didn't even want to know, she had mentioned that she admired her and Foxface didn't kill or even try to kill anyone, and I was a bit disappointed that Katniss didn't even have an "I wish I knew her real name " moment after she died. I was wondering if maybe they mentioned it when they did the reaping recap. I thought Katniss just said "a fox faced girl" but did I miss a name as well?
    • Marisa Reynard. Because why not?
    • Considering that her district is the power district and that people are frequently named for something in their district, my headcanon name for her is "Electra". It's as good a guess as anything.
  • Peeta always struck me as a liability, especially when he and Katniss start working together. Unable to move for four days, has to be put to sleep so she can get the medicine, then still unable to help after he moves around. Yeah, he's got a great way with words and a good heart, but this is absolutely infuriating because he should be effective..somewhere. Clearly Katniss is seeing something I'm not if she claims he saved her..somehow. I know he has skills and abilities from the training he went through, not to mention that determination clearly matters to some extent in the Games.
    • Physically, he is a liability and is such through basically the entire series. But he did save her. Without Peeta playing up his crush on Katniss, the public's enthusiasm for her would have faded and she would not have been able to A) get food and medicine from Haymitch for playing along or B) convince them to do the whole 'double winner' thing at the end of the first book.
    • Yeah, my problems with Haymitch are well-founded; letting his charges starve when he has the power to do something for them-and has had it for some time, if we're led to believe that feast cost so much that he had to build it up the entire game, when they could have used that food at any other point. I have no respect for that guy. My thought, though, was that Katt's incredible skill and ability in the games that would get her support and boons from that sicko.
      • I don't think he can just give them things when he wants to. Maybe there's some kind of bar running next to each tribute's name, and once it's filled, you can send them something. We don't know much about what mentors actually do. But I have an entirely different problem with the entire thing, which I'll discuss below.
    • He did help her out by being a part of the Careers' alliance. It was him who suggested that they just wait her out when she was stuck in the tree; Cato and Glimmer had both failed at getting to her, but most likely, they would have managed to get her eventually. He also was implied, if not outright stated, to have fed them false information about her, which might have helped her evade them, and he held Cato off her when she was stung by the tracker jackers (which also seems to say that he was not totally physically incompetent, as Cato is supposed to be a killing machine; he got wounded, but he didn't die and he at least managed to get away, even if he didn't wound Cato in return. Admittedly, both of them were probably not totally in their right minds because of their stings).
  • Why is all the stuff they could get sent so goddamn expensive? Especially food. Of course, it would be expensive from Katniss's point of view. But from Capitol people's point of view? Or is there some huge freaking tax on sponsoring gifts? Do you have to pay 200 times the price? Because I can't imagine that a tiny pot of cream is almost priceless when were talking about the capitol that has built 74 arenas for Hunger Games.
    • It’s never explained why the gifts are so expensive or why they get more so as time goes on, so I’m assuming it’s like this just to add tension to the story. It would have made more sense for there to be a limited amount of money that each district could spend, or a limited number of gifts the tributes are allowed to receive. That would explain why they can’t send food every time a tribute gets hungry.
      • It makes sense that the gifts would get more expensive as time goes on. Sending a burn cream to someone when there are thirteen other tributes standing is obviously less worthwhile than sending it when there are three. When you get down to fewer tributes, each gift brings your tribute much closer to winning, whereas earlier in the game they could be taken out at any moment.
    • The Capitol probably charges an exorbitant tax on gifts, otherwise everyone could just send in every single thing the tributes could ever need or want.
      • It kind of bothers me because it wouldn't be necessary to say that the gifts are so expensive (from Collins's POV.) I guess it would have been nice to get some behind the scenes information. Possibly in the form of a prequel about the first Hunger Games. (Unlikely, but I'd just love to read it.)
      • You have to buy the gifts within the game system. The gifts are part of the game. The Game makers are the only ones who can get things in and out of the games so the Capitol/game makers can set what ever sliding scale price they want on gifts. Charging more for items in general and with an increased cost as the games progress only makes sense from the viewpoint of making the games interesting. Reality TV shows already work like this. Ever watch Big Brother (US or UK versions)? Things that were relatively cheap for the contestants early on get increasingly more expensive/harder to earn as the game goes on.
    • Sponsors probably have to buy gifts from a specific vendor, who then forwards those gifts to the mentors. Obviously there's a huge surcharge on purchasing gifts.
    • The Capitol wants the games to be exciting. If it was easy for sponsors to send gifts to contestants they like, well, contestants could receive food and medicine whenever they needed it and they'd be able to avoid getting killed for a longer period of time. I imagine that sending stuff to contestants cost a LOT of money, or there may have been other limits on it, forcing sponsors to think wisely about who to send stuff to, what to send and when to send it.
  • I supported Katniss/Peeta throughout the series, but was anyone else bothered by the fact that Katniss falls for Peeta out of "survival"? She was furious when Gale told Peeta she'd choose whoever she needed to "survive," but at the end of Mockingjay, she says that's exactly the reason she falls for Peeta; she needs him to survive. I can't decide how I'm supposed to feel about that...
    • You will notice that, throughout the series, Katniss's definition of things changes depending on what major thing impacts her life. At the time of Gale's conversation with Peeta--when the war was going on--survival only meant existing during and after the war. In the end, when Katniss had lost nearly everything, survival had come to mean pulling through and living despite whatever crushed her in the past. Existence versus life. See the difference?
    • It's a play on words - as in, "I love you so much, I can't survive without you." Like when the protagonist of Boy Meets World realized which girl he loved by saying the other was great, "but I can live without her."
  • Why was Prim with the Capitol children? I don't remember any of them being injured and her needing to heal them, but past that she was barely thirteen (I think). Why would they send a child to take care of the sick? Sending Katniss's mother would have made some sense, and it would be really unexpected seeing that Prim reeks of death. But Prim's death was really... contrived, and unnecessary. I don't mean from the story's perspective because after getting the whole moral at the end that war is bad and unnecessary, but more from a writing perspective that the whole setup just doesn't make enough sense to have any impact.
    • Katniss seems to decide it was orchestrated by Coin to hurt her. It's completely understandable that a kid like Prim, who matured tremendously by the last book, would want to go help people despite any risk to her own safety; it's Katniss's realization that Prim would be too young to be approved without intervention on the part of someone very high up, like Coin, that leads her to believe Prim's presence was no accident. As to why she was with the Capitol children specifically, the bombs in the parachutes were designed to go off in two waves: first wave, most of the kids are killed or injured, then people rush in to help and the second wave hits. As to why Prim, specifically, was there, this can be interpreted one of two ways: either Coin gave orders for her unit to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or she was dropped in with others whose mission it was to try to treat anyone who needed it, and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • I'm hoping that I'm reading too much into this, but did anyone else notice that the only time sexual relations aren't noted to be between a man and a woman, this is during Finnick's recounting his sexual slavery? This could've been an oversight, but there's a glaring "strange sexual appetites" that I really can't overlook. If it's several decades/centuries into the future, why aren't gay marriages legal/acceptable? Even if marriage isn't recognized by the Capitol (but I think it is), people still get married in the districts. But Katniss always specifies it's between a man and a woman. Would this mean that the only place homosexuality would be socially acceptable was in the Capitol, which is already expressed as depraved and morally bankrupt?
    • The fact that this is the future doesn't mean society as a whole has progressed - if anything it's regressed, at least in the Districts, where it's likely being gay isn't even a 'thing'. Those in the Capitol enjoy the same protections their money and influence afford them as upper classes did in our own past, so even if homosexuality is taboo, they have the means to feed their appetites regardless of what they may be. It's possible that gay people are sort of an open secret in the Capitol, and everyone looks the other way. But 'strange sexual appetites' could mean absolutely anything.
    • If Katniss had specifically mentioned anything to do with homosexuals, it would've seemed like a political statement by the author. There's just no good way to casually mention that in a book like this. If Katniss had noticed it in the Capitol and been repulsed, Suzanne Collins would've gotten a ton of flak. If Katniss had noticed it and acted like it was normal, it would've seemed strange (considering the way society seems to have regressed in District 12), random, and a blatantly obvious Gayesop.
      • That's true, but an easy way to have side step this would have been to not specify genders during the marriage ceremonies' descriptions. You could use things like 'the engaged' or something. If she specified genders when Finnick was talking, this wouldn't have been so bad because then it would be clear that heterosexuality is the norm.
    • You're making that classic mistake, assuming time somehow makes things better. History says otherwise. Things simply shift. No matter what you think is good or bad, you will never find a society entirely to your liking. It just doesn't exist. Plus, this is a dystopia. With the way society is there, I'm surprised the concept of marriage survived in any form in the Capitol.
    • In addition to all this, there is the matter of being the last few thousand people in the world. Not that the Capitol cares who dies, but you'd think it cared some about repopulating the country.
    • Is it specified that it was men who were his customers? Because I was under the impression that it was, at least, mostly women, being as Katniss thought that he was just a womanizer and they were his lovers. If you mean what he said about people having "strange sexual appetites", that could mean any number of things. I assumed they were weird kinks.
    • Upon checking, it's indeed never specified, or even hinted, that his clients were men. It's noted that he has a ton of fangirls all over Panem, and later revealed that at least some of the fangirls in the Capitol were customers, and nothing's ever said beyond that.
  • Why is everyone with a psychological issue basically helpless in the series? Katniss's mother, Annie is basically "the poor, mad girl", the morphlings, etc. I think the only people who get to function more or less normally are people with PTSD from the Games. Everyone else just seems... pathetic. Why?????
    • If you feel like being Darwinistic then you could argue that everyone has some mental hangup in this Crapsack World but the tributes who had to survive or die are the only ones capable of functioning because they would be dead otherwise
    • Mrs. Everdeen is responsible for the health and wellness of the entire District. Granted, it's about the only thing she's good at, but it's pretty considerable. As for the morphlings, keep in mind that they've been addicts for decades and haven't had a fix in a decently long time. Haymitch gets grumpy when he has to go so much as half a day without booze, and that's exponentially less addictive. And overall, do remember that this is a dystopian world without psychiatrists where starvation is a fact of daily life. People with problems like that are not going to be able to find solace or comfort much of anywhere.
  • Katniss shoots an innocent Capitol woman at point-blank range after trying to break into her house. This is never brought up again.
    • This troper thought the woman would turn out to be Effie in a different wig/with a different skin color, and that Katniss made a huge mistake in the heat of battle.
    • Since the story is told from Katniss's point of view, it's likely that she just never thought about how she murdered that person again. Especially since she does not seem to have any inhibition against killing and is willing to do it at the drop of a hat.
    • It actually is brought up again a couple chapters later, where Katniss notes the Capitol's using video of the incident as anti-rebel propaganda. She just doesn't dwell on it because, frankly, there are bigger things happening. That was just one horrific part of a supremely horrific day.
      • I seem to remember her mocking the dead woman for being dressed up like a whore during the propaganda video. Maybe my memory is descending into hyperbole, though.
      • Katniss actually does dwell on it. She thinks about how many people have died and adds in the woman she shot as an after thought.
  • Let's walk this back a bit. How can such an underpopulated place afford to lose 23 teenagers a year, every year, for basically nothing?
    • It doesn't seem to have a population of 6 billion, but underpopulated? Where do you get that from?
      • Since the population of the entire setting is never specified, it's most likely from the thousands to perhaps a couple of million, if not more. District 12 had at least two thousand people, and it lost only two teenagers per year. Still, it isn't really plausible to have such a setting where losing twenty-three teenagers per year throughout the entire country is costly.
        • The poorer districts seem to produce a lot of children. Both Gale and Peeta have at least two siblings.
          • According to the main page the population is about 100,000 total counting all the areas and as mentioned elsewhere on this page it probably tied into population control
    • In Mockingjay, the 800 or 900 people from District 12 are supposedly about 10% of the original population, meaning that there were originally about 8000 or 9000, and that was one of the least populated districts. In a population of 8000, two more dead per year wouldn't really make much of a difference.
  • It doesn't make sense for a District to NOT have a Career system. It gives their own children a better chance for survival and the prize that goes with it. And because every district knows in advance who's going, the rest of the kids can put their names in for extra food as much as is needed without consequence.
    • Not sure exactly what your complaint is, but not every district would be able to afford the system. Considering district twelve is essentially starving, they're not going to have the resources to train up tributes every year and it's doubtful they'd find people in decent enough condition to train. I imagine most of the later districts are the same, hence why numbers 1-4 are the only ones to have Careers
    • But they wouldn't BE starving if they implemented a Career system. Knowing that someone was going to volunteer, and who, would let them enter their names into the drawing as many times as they needed to be properly fed because there's no risk. So as soon as they decide and agree, they can get food as they need it. Their Tribute also stands a better chance because even a little training beforehand for someone physically and mentally suited will give them a better shot than the malnourished 13 year-old who might get drawn.
    • That's great from a utilitarian sense, but are you rushing to volunteer your son/daughter? That requires someone to not only suggest this plan, but families to go along with it year after year. It's not clear how the "academy" was established in the Career districts, but it is a very tenuous system. If any "volunteer" gets cold feet and backs out, the whole thing collapses. Further, who is in District 12 to train them? They only have one champion, and he's a drunk.
      • Who says there's only 2 volunteers per year? Winning the Games is seen as a huge honor in the richer districts, remember. I'd imagine that D1 and D2 have a academy with multiple students, and the tributes we saw were the valedictorians that year. I'm sure that even getting into this career academy would be competitive, since you know that the district wouldn't let its future tributes or their families go hungry.
    • I still don't see how, after 74 years of the Hunger Games, the districts haven't used the "lottery" as a way of getting rid of unwanted children in the community. It's simply, really: tell them they either volunteer, or get executed after the Reaping. If they win, they'll be allowed to live once they get back from the Capitol.
      • In a similar vein, I wonder if people use the games to commit suicide. This is a bit dark, but I could imagine somebody basically just allowing themselves some luxury before going out with a bang... probably literally by stepping off one of the platforms while the count-down is running. (Optionally, tell your partner about your intentions, step off at 2, and while everybody is staring, the other person runs, gets the best bag and is gone before everybody else has even moved a muscle.) But you know, maybe some people do it. There have been 74 games, there's a lot of stuff we don't know. That's why I wish there were prequels, not necessarily all written by Collins though for added diversity.
    • Is it ever stated how Districts 1 & 2 got their Career systems started? I always assumed they came up with the system because they were near starvation sometime in the past. Seriously, teaching children how to kill is probably a last resort. If your district is doing alright, there would be no pressure to start a Career system.
  • It bothers me how chummy Katniss is with the people who are sending her to her death. With the exception of Effie and Haymitch (the latter being the most sympathetic character of all those involved), she seems to think Cinna is delightful and her prep team harmless, despite their part in dressing kids up for death. She's not bothered that they strip her naked. She thinks the interviewer (Caesar?) is a genuinely nice guy due to his banter with the kids who are about to die. She also shoots her arrow at the gamemakers in her test not because she's angry at them for, you know, making the murder games but because they're ignoring her. Katniss generally seems to spend most of her time before the games going "ooh, pretty dresses" or "mmm, tasty food" and not so much going "ohgodohgodohgod I don't want to die". Obviously she can't be written doing that all the time, but some realism in her behaviour would be nice. It makes me wonder if she's mentally unstable before the games, not after. For all the mentions of Annie being a bit unbalanced, I think her reaction to the murder games is just that little bit more realistic, whereas Katniss doesn't seem all that bothered the first time around.
    • To me, Katniss always seemed like a "deal with it" person. Not just in the sense that you have to deal with her, but also that she deals with what's presented to her. And why wouldn't she admire the food and the dresses? She's never seen such things irl, and it's a nice distraction. Not to mention that she seems to do a lot of repressing. About them stripping her naked, I was under the impression that nudity is not a big deal in panem, unless it happens to be specific persons. The reason she started liking Cinna is probably because he seemed like a shred of sanity in all this madness. Her prep team, she doesn't even take seriously. She repeatedly says that they're like dumb pets.
    • Keep in mind that the Games have been running for 74 years. This is a fairly long time to have everyone simply getting used to it. Sure, if it is you who has been chosen, it is a tragedy, but one of the mundane kind, not an absolute evil, as we think of sending children to fight each other for death from our early 21st century perspective. If she always has been told that this is how the country runs, and, moreover, never knew anything else, she is not likely to hate the system or the people which represent it. Actually, the fact that she did question the system in the end can be viewed as an outstanding (for the world) trait and a character development.
    • She's in a world where the Hunger Games are basically just a reality show. She, like the rest of Panem, has had years to become desensitized to the idea of death and violence so she understands that her stylists don't think about it the same way she does. In regards to Cinna, he seems to actually want to help Katniss survive. Right from the getgo he makes sure she has multiple advantages thanks to his dresses and whatever. Not to mention the encouragement he gives her.
      • Hate to break it to you but human's aren't that weak. Humans do not break that easily. The Soviet Union fell because there was a REVOLUTION many years after the system was put into place, the USSR wouldn't have fallen if they were willing to crack down on the revolt in their puppet states but that isn't the point
    • When someone's particularly helpless and knows it, they strongly tend to latch on to any moments of kindness or just not-cruelty and exaggerate it, ignoring the context. Stockholm Syndrome.
    • There's also the fact that she's constantly saying how wasteful the Capitol is and how stupid and unnecessary their fashion is, but it seems like as soon as she's given the opportunity to be wasteful and wear stupid, unnecessary fashion she just goes "Ooh, gimme gimme gimme." Maybe she's supposed to be a satire on people who do nothing but complain about topic X but then when given the chance to live up to their moral code, just immediately give in to temptation.
      • It's not like she has a choice. She could rage and attack and claw and bite her prep team, but they'd stick tranquilizers into her and sew her into her dress if that's what it took. And Katniss learns that if she puts her best face forward, she can win sponsors — so learning to twirl and walk in heels becomes a viable strategy. Point is, she's got to follow the formula of the Opening Ceremonies; hey, might as well have fun with it.
      • I think the problem most people have isn't that she goes along with it, but that she actively enjoys it. She rages about how awful it is that they're dressed up before being sent to be slaughtered, but then, once she sees out pretty her outfit is, she decides this is the coolest thing ever. And she twirls and plays nice with Caesar, but she also seems to legitimately think he's a very nice man and twirls because she feels so pretty and giggly, not because she is going along with the game to survive.
        • Imagine you were a teenage girl who spent her whole life living in drab poverty and with not many people who were nice to you or paid you much attention. Woman's only human, it'd be unrealistic for her to not get sucked into the glamor.
      • I imagine I'd be more concerned with the whole death games thing.
  • What's with the whole 'Peeta is a better person than all the rest of us' thing the books have going on. He doesn't show himself as being that much better. He was willing to team up with the Careers, who the books portray as CompleteMonsters, and then murder a defenseless girl. His reason for all this is that it was to protect Katniss, which really doesn't really excuse anything, because that girl was no immediate threat to Katniss, and HELLO, YOU'RE STILL KILLING PEOPLE, PEETA, so how is he so much better. Would it have been alright if he killed Rue in order to ensure Katniss's survival? He's also rather manipulative. I'm not saying that he has no good qualities (he has plenty), but for goodness' sake, he's not Jesus.
    • Sorry, but I'm not sure where you get the "he's a better person than all the rest of us" vibe from...
    • Pretty sure OP is getting it from the scenes in the second book where Katniss specifically says stuff like, "Maybe they see what I see. That Peeta is better than us..." It's pretty blatant that Katniss believes that for the majority of the story. But yeah, I forgot about Peeta killing that girl. I think it was left ambiguous at the time to throw off the reader's perception of him, but in my mind I wrote it off later as he killed her to put her out of her misery later on. I'm sure he apologized to her a lot.
      • Well, also to be fair, he did participate in her maiming as she screamed at first for mercy and then in agony. The way book presents the Careers' and Peeta's attack is that they caused a lot of suffering to her. But really, I think they drop the idea because it would be inconvenient to bring up that Peeta participated in the maiming and murder of a child.
        • Was he necessarily involved in the maiming? Because from what the Careers said, it seemed that he was kind of a tag along more than anything. He finished her off, and he didn't stop the torture, but that could have been the extent of his involvement. Besides, Katniss is telling the story, and Katniss didn't actually witness any of that, so she didn't think it was that important.
    • The books are written from Katniss's point of view, and the only other person who says that Peeta's such a great person is Haymitch. They're both pretty self-centered, so Peeta being so willing to sacrifice himself for someone else looks pretty good to them, even if it was for the fairly selfish reason that he loves her. As for everyone else, they seem to think Peeta is likable and charming, but not necessarily some moral paragon.
    • Besides, Katniss has plenty of blood on her hands, herself. Far more than Peeta ever even comes close to. The idea was never "Peeta's a saint." It's "Peeta's better than the rest of us."
      • Arguably, Katniss has less blood on her hands, especially from her perspective. The only people she killed were terrible monsters in her eyes, whereas he killed an innocent. From her perspective, his murder should be far more heinous than hers.
        • Actually, he had to make the Careers trust him and believe him to be on their side - and the intention was clear: so did the readers - and it's not like she wouldn't have died slowly instead if he hadn't gone back.
      • He did not have to make the Careers trust him, he chose to do that for selfish reasons - it is not okay to help torture someone so that you can save someone else. That makes him a bad person. Also, joining in on a bad activity is not alright, even if it was going to happen anyway. If five people beat someone and one of them says "Well, the rest were going to do it anyway and I wanted them to trust me," that person is still a bad person.
      • ^It is not okay to help torture someone so that you can save someone else.^ Yes, Peeta is a bad person for doing that, but Katniss is definitely not objective in this case. She has no reason to care for that girl, and benefits from her death. It makes sense that she would forgive Peeta for finishing off a torture victim that was going to die anyway since it helped her survive. It may be selfish of her to ignore that girl's pain, but I can understand why she would feel that way.
      • I feel like that might be a fair interpretation if not for the fact that Haymitch also believes Peeta is better than the rest of them. So, unless Katniss is so delusional that she imagines Haymitch saying those things, it seems that this is a view shared by at least one other person. And there is not really any good reason for him to ignore what Peeta did, especially since he probably saw everything. Now, I suppose that could lend some support to the argument that Peeta actually didn't do anything, but then why wasn't that explicitly mentioned? Also, I could see forgiving him for that, or flat out not caring, but instead saying, "He's better than us all," is taking it not just a step farther but in some weird other direction.
      • The way I see it, it's similar to when your cat presents you with dead animals: it's annoying, and you wish he would stop, but you can't really blame him for it since it's expected to happen. Tributes are SUPPOSED to kill each other for their OWN survival. Peeta didn't do that; he killed for Katniss's survival instead. That's why he's a "good" person: he killed for someone else rather than himself, which is pretty selfless and rare during the games. And who is Haymitch to judge? All of the victors are murderers, after all. Besides, killing that girl WORKED. Katniss lived, and Peeta got lucky and survived too.
  • One flaw in the system: if people from different districts are not allowed to travel to other districts, wouldn't that be an enormous waste of talent?
    • Considering that the Capitol wanted to keep the districts down, well, spreading talent in the districts would be a bad way to do that.
  • Why did District 11 erupt into riots over Rue's death? I get why that one guy (presumably her father) was angry, but given that District 11 isn't one of the districts that spawns careers, then they've likely been having their tributes killed many, many times before. What made Rue so special?
    • The death of Rue, a kind 12-year old girl, might have been the last bit of insult and pain which unleashed subtly growing tensions. Much like the self-immolation of one street vendor ignited Tunisia in 2010.
    • Not just Rue's death, but Katniss (someone who barely knew her) going out of her way to ring the body in flowers and give the District 12 farewell salute. That additional act of kindness and sadness was the straw that broke the camel's back.
    • Who said it was the first riot ever anyways? Seeing how the area was surrounded by peacekeepers I would bet that riots are a fairly common occurence during the hunger games.
  • If District 12 is supposed to be borderline starving why does Katniss look so healthy and well fed? If she lived in dirt poverty and had to hunt to put food on the family table shouldn't she be malnourished or at best thin and wiry?
    • While I agree that her body shape in the movies probably is a little bit unrealistic, she does hunt every day and she trades for other kinds of food so she has a reasonable income. She should probably be thinner but not drastically so.
    • I find it amusing that people are bothered by this. For me, Jennifer Lawrence's acting was more convincing than the fact that she did not look starved. It's not a documentary, those people are actors, and there are limits to how much "method" you can demand.
    • Could be a product of the times. There's been so much attention given recently to overly thin women in the media that having a very thin lead actress in a movie that, being based on a popular young adult book, was pretty much guaranteed to be seen by a lot of young people might be risky, even if she's skinny for a reason and it's not supposed to be attractive.
  • It's occuring to me that (for the movies at least, I haven't yet read the books) the Careers are kind of incompetent. Firstly, there's the absolute inability to hit Katniss in the tree with the bow. These kids have trained for... what, about a decade in how to fight and survive. None of their group can hit a slow moving/immobile human-sized object that isn't that far away? NONE of them? Not to mention that they only shoot straight up instead of moving back from the tree to get a better profile. And then the booby-trapped food and supplies. It's a good idea. But it's set up so that when any single mine goes off, it blows up all of their supplies. I could see non-Careers forgetting to take that into account, or underestimating the explosives, but these guys are supposed to be smart and well taught in this stuff, aren't they?
    • I was bothered by that too. Bows and arrows are hard to master, especially old fashioned ones, but they aren’t that difficult to use. I remember using them in Phys Ed when I was 12 and I could at least hit the target at a good distance. There’s no reason why the Careers shouldn’t be able to do the same thing themselves. I don’t get why they wouldn’t have had some basic training with bows and arrows any way. Distance weapons are amazing, especially in a situation like the Hunger Games. Hand to hand combat is a terrible strategy for this kind of thing because it’s too easy to get hurt. Once you're hurt your fighting is only going to go down hill, which results in worse injuries (unless you're Katniss and all of your problems are conveniently fixed before another one has a chance to arise) and more than likely death. Even if distance weapons aren’t offered often, they should be covered at some point during the nearly two decades of training the careers have.
    • Also, the bobby trapping the food is fucking stupid regardless of who's doing it. Anyone should be able to see that 1. Using almost all of your supplies as bait is just begging for trouble, and 2. setting it as bait for exploding trap is going to destroy all your food. This makes me think that the districts are choosing the stupidest kids they could find to be careers and they really need to fire their trainers.
    • Another point: They are looking up at Katniss, and fail to spot the giant wasp nest in the tree above her, even after they set up camp for the night. They also didn't sleep in shifts, leaving themselves open to being slaughtered in their sleep by Katniss or Peeta or anything, really. So yeah, they aren't the best at the whole "being effective" thing, but who knows, maybe this year's Careers are know for being idiots back home too.
    • Remember, it was the D3 boy who handled the explosives, so maybe he lied/was mistaken about the range that the bombs had. As for their incompetence with bows and arrows, isn’t it mentioned that they normally aren’t at the Games? I assumed the bow was only there because Katniss was good with one, and Glimmer only took it with her so Katniss couldn’t have it. (Although that means Glimmer took a weapon she wasn’t good with on purpose because... she’s just that confident?) I could see the trainers back at the districts spending a short amount of time on a bow to focus more on commonly available weapons and survival skills.
    • It was stated that the Careers' downfall is usually their arrogance. Maybe they thought that Katniss would be so intimidated by their gang and so demoralized by Peeta's betrayal that she wouldn't be able to put up an effective fight. It still raises the question of why they trusted Peeta so quickly, but maybe they just thought he was too incompetent to be a threat.
    • On the mines: I don't think all of the supplies would have been destroyed if it had been one person setting off one mine. Because Katniss shot the bag of apples, apples tumbled all over and set off multiple mines, as opposed to a person, who would only be in one place.
    • On the mines again: It's possible that the D3 boy could have lied about it as well and told them it would only explode the person who stepped on it rather than the whole supplies in order to trick the careers and at some point destroy the food at the sacrifice of his own life. It's a stretch, but why not?
      • Hell, he was smart enough that he might have "foreseen" the careers turning on each other and one of them getting shoved onto a mine, blowing up the food and everyone in the vicinity. He himself would have been at a safe distance. (On the other hand, he wasn't much at seeing through social schemes - he let himself be intimidated by Cato - so maybe not.)
  • Did anyone else get the impression that, after the first book, Peeta wasn't really portrayed as anything other than Katniss's Berserk Button? Katniss is the only one to acknowledge his charisma and powers of persuasion, and in fact immediately identified him when she was pondering who might be able to talk people into rebellion. Everyone else, however, presumably only tried so hard to keep him alive during the second book because they thought Katniss would have gone off the rails without him. Perhaps it was because of his perceived status as The Load (although this troper never saw him that way), but it just seemed like Peeta's obvious attributes were glossed over in favor of some of Katniss's more informed ones.
    • I also thought it was strange that only President Coin wanted Peeta. Katniss's idea about her dying in the Games and becoming a martyr, while Peeta became the mouthpiece of the rebellion, being both a charismatic speaker and in mourning over his dead wife and unborn child, seemed like a really good one and I don't know why no one thought of it. Haymitch even acknowledges multiple times that people didn't like Katniss all that much, they liked the way that Peeta portrayed her.
  • Why does the Capitol starve the districts? In history, many revolts and rebellions were triggered because there is a food shortage or famine of some kind. Being starved angers people. It drives them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Even worse. starving people make for a pretty shitty work force. If you want to have borderline slaves you have to keep them healthy so they can work. Having a bunch of malnourished, unhealthy, half dead workers is going to give you really shitty results. Besides, if the people can rely on the government for food, why would they need to break the laws to eat?
    • Part of it is to keep the people dependent on the government. It's either get food from the Capitol, or starve. But since getting food from the Capitol does have consequences, people still look for other ways like illegal hunting. It should also be noted that the Capitol does do other things to keep the people down, like banning weapons. It's why Katniss had to hide her bows and arrows.
      • As I said above (though admittedly posted after you posted) "This a world that hasn't revolted in 75 years even though they're all dirt poor and the only thing keeping them in line is the threat of death and....having 2 of their children killed every year? There really isn't any reason for the status quo."
    • If they're kept hungry, their lives are going to be centered around finding food, not leaving much time for them to plan rebellions. It was the same way in Rome; they created steam engines, but didn't implement them, because they didn't want their slaves to have too much free time.
  • Why didn't Katniss at least attempt to gain some profficeny in hand to hand combat during her training? I get that the bow is her speciality and key weapon but she was running a tremendous risk. What if there wasn't a bow or it became broken early on or the person who did get her hands on it didn't sleep convieniently beneath a wasp nest? It's understandable that she wouldn't become a martial arts master overnight but she's a tall, strongly built girl who could have learnt how to deliver a punch or kick if only as a last resort move.
    • But... she's not. She's a starved girl, tiny in comparison to the careers. Maybe she could have kicked Rue into oblivion, but Thresh or Cato? No Chance. Did it explicitly say that she didn't do any hand to hand combat? I don't have the book on me now, but my impression was that she visited pretty every station with a few favourites except for shooting.
    • Perhaps she's starved in the book but in the film she's tall, robust and looks in excellent shape. She's certainly towers over Clove for instance and as far as I can recall she's bigger than Glimmer too. In fact now that I think of it she might be tallest female tribute. In any case I'm not arguing that Katniss should have devoted herself to a hand to hand strategy but (again in the film) she seems to spend little or no time studying even the basics. The scrawny Clove makes mincemeat out of her in seconds even though she's also primarily a missile girl.
      • Okay, I guessed that you might have only seen the movie... but I assume the casting choice was made due to Jennifer Lawrence's acting skills and the fact that it might send a bad message to impressionable teens to have a severely underweight girl play the main character. Also, the movie is long enough as it is, I don't think a close-combat training montage would have added anything to that.
      • When your life is on the line, use what you know. Right before the Hunger Games is NOT the time to be learning a new combat skill that several others have already mastered.
  • The only thing that pushes my Willing Suspension of Disbelief too far is most of 13's Genre Blindness regarding Peeta before he's rescued. Given that these people not only know how frequently the Capitol forces people to lie and act contrary to the truth before cameras but know of the practice of hijacking, wouldn't the first assumption upon seeing Peeta calling for a cease fire not be "Traitor!" but that he's being coerced or Brainwashed?
    • They didn't want Katniss to know that he was being tortured whenever she released propaganda, so it's possible that the ones who did figure out the truth kept it from her. They've all been shown to be perfectly willing to lie to Katniss to get her to do what they want.
  • Maybe this is because I've only seen the movie and not the books, but are the rules of the Hunger Games ever pointed out? Like why they fight each other at all? Since the Capitol clearly has the power to create hazards pretty much at will I'm mildly amazed that the kids don't just all team up and see how long they can survive wave after wave of whatever the computer can cook up. Sure just like in any survival scenario they'd lose but I'd rather be the last man standing of the twenty four people who stood together and died like champs than the last survivor who murdered a bunch of people who'd never done anything to me and whose sole crime was losing the lottery.
    • Well, there's not really a rule, but you have to consider the following (some of which isn't really made explicit by the movie, I think): The people living in different districts have literally no contact with each other. The one and only time people from different districts are together are the games. (In the books, Katniss learns a lot about district 11 from Rue.) Forming a bond under those conditions is difficult. It appears that there's some kind of unspoken agreement to not kill each other if you're from one district (well, it's not absolute, it could be different in other districts, especially if they're so big that you don't even know the other tribute), but that's it. Before the games, they can prepare a little. But can they actually form such a bond? It would involve trust, and I think that's a really difficult thing to achieve. In the end, there's only one rule, and that is: One survives. This means that - whether you regard them as such or not - everybody is your enemy. And what if somebody doesn't play fair in a group of 24 people? Who's to say that someone doesn't just kill everybody in their sleep, because they trust each other so much? If the group was smaller, then, MAYBE, it would work. But in a group of 24 strangers? Also, consider the Careers (the group of kids in the movie that ran around as if they owned the place). For them, it's a big honour to win a game, and people volunteer a lot in those districts. They've trained to kill their entire lives. Just sitting it out wouldn't be very honourable, would it? And in the end, everybody is their own person, who might have their own reasons to survive apart from surviving. For the Careers, it's honour. For Katniss, it's her family. If everybody was like Peeta, who didn't really have any reason to survive (which sounds cold, but for the purpose of the argument...) then maybe it would work. Anyway, if you're interested in slightly different dynamics, I'm sure that you might like the second book.
    • If they pulled that strategy, a lot of the deaths would be up to random chance. When Katniss cut the tracker jacker nest, Glimmer died and the others survived not because she was less competent than the others, but because she was unlucky. It wouldn't take long before one of the sneakier tributes decided to improve their chances by sabotaging the others.
  • Ok, so in the film, Katniss drops the wasps on the Careers+Peeta, and they run away screaming. The next time we see the Careers, they've teamed up with the D3 boy. The next time we see Peeta, he has a leg wound from Cato's sword. I doubt Cato accidentally nicked Peeta with the sword while running from the wasps, so it had to be after. Why didn't he just kill him instead?
    • Everybody ran to the nearest body of water to drive off the Tracker Jackers. Peeta was the first to return and yelled at Katniss to leave. Cato probably entered shortly after and fought with Peeta after seeing this but passed out quickly due to the stings. Peeta's stings were less serious so he managed to cover a bit more distance after being cut before blacking out near a riverbank.
  • In the movie, it's stated that you're more likely to get killed by being exposed to the elements than by another person. If the Games are for entertainment, why are they set up this way? Isn't the point of it to get them to kill each other?
    • The Games are intended to last for some period of time. If they were just thrown in a room where they could bludgeon each other to death, it would be over quick. There would be less tension and impact. The book does make note that the people making the arenas are careful not to make the terrain TOO challenging. Apparently there was one game where everyone just froze to death because it was cold and there was no wood to make a fire. Adding in other obstacles makes it interesting to the people watching the game. Otherwise you'd have contestants just running away the entire time while still being able to survive, and the game would last TOO long. Characters getting sick or injured also makes them more vulnerable to be killed, so again, it keeps the game from lasting too long.
      • Note that we see exactly zero characters dying from exposure and other "natural" causes in the 74th Games.
    • I agree with both of these points, but I've seen the movie again and the woman clearly states that it's "natural causes" that has the best chance to kill you, not getting exposed and then running into another tribute. Unless they have a bizarre way to count what kills the tributes, it seems that most people die due to something other than another tribute. The fact that this supposedly happens most of the time and yet it didn't during the 74th Games just makes it seem weirder. Is this mentioned in the book at all?
      • That something has a better chance of killing you than something else doesn't mean that it has to. In Annie's case, the flood drowned way more tributes than can have been average: as I remember it, the woman you refer to gives "natural causes" a thirty percent chance of killing you, which leaves a seventy percent chance of murder killing you. Also: Glimmer and possibly the girl from 4 died from wasp venom, Foxface died from eating poisonous food, guy from 10 died of an unknown cause, Cato and possibly Thresh mainly died of being hunted down by ferocious wolves that eat you flesh first and let someone else kill you a day or so later, and I'm sure at least one died of dehydration; and looking at the list of characters on wikipedia, it certainly seems that the highest chance of dying is in fact the bloodbath at the Cornucopia.
  • I've done a few text searches on the novels, and as far as I can tell there's no mention of any religion, and even religious-based words (hell only appears 3 or 4 times in the first book)are pretty rare. Is this the norm for young-adult fiction today, or is there some subtle point on the author's part? I'm an atheist myself, but it just seems an odd omission.
    • Are you American? I know the author is so I can't argue the same way I'd argue if we were talking about Harry Potter, but to be quite honest, I didn't notice because religion isn't a big deal where I live. I don't think that it's odd that there's no mention, but come to think of it, perhaps it is intentional. Or probably just convenience.
    • Yes, I'm American. I mainly picked up on it because it's absence in a series that's largely (IMHO) social commentary seemed to stand out. After a little web browsing, I'm not the only one to notice this. I don't think the author has made any official statement with regard to the lack of religion. It may have just been convenience, as you said, for marketing a young-adult series. Publishers step very lightly around hot-wire topics in that age market.
      • I think that the problem is that there are already some heavy moral issues addressed in this series. Imagine adding religion to that. It might be interesting, but I think that it would be a bit too much for a YA novel. Also, maybe Katniss just doesn't care. I can't see her as religious at all. The only thing she cared about before she got reaped was getting food on the table. Everything else was irrelevant. I guess it's also possible that practising religion was forbidden.
      • It's most likely that Katniss and the other people from the poorer Districts are concentrated more on surviving. No time to pray, or worry about what God thinks or worry about eternal damnation, when there's such a high risk of family members starving.
        • Personally, I'd think it would be the other way around. Being consistently close to death would give one reason to consider the spiritual more than if death isn't even worth a second thought. Thinking and praying are not exactly energy-intensive activities.
          • There are different things to factor in, and would depend on how much exposure the people have had to religion as well as the mindsets they've developed in their upbringing. For all we know, religion could be a more common occurrence in other districts. But District 12 citizens grow up with a very heavy hardship (moreso than many of the other Districts) and a bigger focus on survival. It could simply be a mindset thing: don't hope for anyone, not even a higher divine being, to help you.
    • The Capitol's entire plan behind the Hunger Games is to separate the districts and pit them against one another. They would certainly stamp out religion, which would act as unifying force and an alternate source of authority. Besides, all religion is about underdogs, and as Snow says in the movie - he hates underdogs.
    • In Communist states, which Panem is at least partially, religion would be seen as an unnecessary distraction by the leaders, as it is more materialistic, like the Capitol. Also, if you're a dictator, you don't want your people to think there is anyone more powerful than you, like God.
  • Am I the only one who thinks it's strange that a lot of fans are focusing so much on the romance aspect of the story, even though it's not the main plot? At least it made sense with Twilight since the romance was the focal point of the book, but why do the same with The Hunger Games?
    • Well, the first book take a major time-out from the action so that Katniss and Peeta can have an extended forced make-out party and a huge amount of time in the second book is dedicated to her deciding whether she wanted to be with Peeta or Gale. And then even more time is taken in the second book with her thinking "I need to die to save Peeta because he's the best person ever." So, it seems like Collins/Katniss is also pretty focused on the romance plot.
  • It's really grating that when the book decides to give people Roman names, it's almost always cognomen or nomen used as people's first names. There's a Cinna, a Cato, a Flavius, a Brutus, a Plutarch, a Seneca, a Caesar, a Claudius, and a Coriolanus. But none of these are names that would correspond to a Roman person's first name. A few of these names could be forgiven, like Brutus and Caesar, which have become first names over time (Brutus is an uncommon English name and Cesar and Cesare are not uncommon Spanish and Italian names), and it is possible that the same thing has happened with regard to other Latin cognomen and nomen, but that is not a satisfying answer, especially given that Cesar(e) has connotations beyond the name (that is, to the title). Why couldn't the book just name the people Marcus, Publius, or Gaius? It’s the equivalent of wanting a Nazi flare and giving people names like Hitler Snow or Von Hindenberg Templesmith or wanting a Russian flare and naming people Zhukov Flickerman or Dostoyevsky Crane – it just makes no sense.
    • OP here. Also, what’s with the use of Cato and Brutus as the names of psychopathic child-murderers? Many of the characters names have overt symbolic overtones (like Katniss and Rue) or at least refer to some aspect of the character's personality or background (like Thresh and Peeta) and if that’s applied to these two names, then there’s a huge dissonance between the symbolic importance of both of these names and the characters’ behavior. Both Catones were paragons of Stoic philosophy (the opposite of the emotional, psychotic murder-machine depicted in the books) and Cato the Younger is most famous for fighting against tyranny and preferring to die free rather than live under a tyrant. And the Bruti were staunch republicans who fought against tyrants, Lucius Junius founding the Republic and defending it against his sons, Marcus Junius the Younger committing tyrannicide and fighting to defend the Republic from those who would subvert it. Now, it could be argued that Cato the Younger and Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger both fought against populist forces, but given that the populist “party” wanted to subvert a republic with a mixed constitution and backed tyrants, that can hardly be seen as a bad thing. Basically, it seems to subvert the books intention to use names symbolically, which it does in droves.
      • VERY weak tie: Cato uses a sword to kill others. The historical Cato used a sword to kill himself.
      • I actually laughed pretty hard at that connection and thus choose to believe that was Collins's thought process.
    • Classical & Near Eastern archaeology major here. Praenomia were rarely relevant to the general public and the Capitol-- which should not be confused with Rome, as there can in fact only be one Rome-- probably realized this as historically they were barely used and largely forgotten. Seeing the fallacy in this system it isn't hard to believe that the Capitol did too and broadened their scope in taking their inspiration to avoid the ridiculous measures to which Rome had to go to keep its citizenry straight; endeavors which it bears mention were largely ineffectual seeing as, in spite of additions of more and more names and titles, the daughters of the Julio family might still be referred to as Julias the first, second, third, fourth, etc.
      • Before I offer up a critique of your main points, it's "praenomina", not "praenomia" and "gens Julia" not "Julio family." Anyway, as to the difficulty in keeping it's citizens straight, we do that today as well. We have given names and surnames which contribute to how we identify people. In addition, we often have middle names, which can provide an extra layer of identification when confusion is otherwise possible (i.e. George H. W. Bush as opposed to George W. Bush). Also, in professional discourse, we often use surnames more than given names. For instance, it is rare to refer to artists by their first names (we speak of Kafka, Dali, and Nietzsche, never Franz, Salvadore, or Friedrich) and the same can be said of politicians and other professionals, where either a surname is sufficient or a full name is used (i.e. we would never call James Carter by anything aside from his full name or surname. The same could be said of people like Warren Buffet or Ted Turner). It is only in colloquial language that we primarily refer to people by their given names. So I do not understand the difference you are drawing between Rome and the present day and the future of The Hunger Games. Perhaps you might be refering to the fact that people often neglect praenomina, but I would also find it offensive if people in the future were calling themselves Montesquieu or Petrarch or Collingwood rather than Charles, Francesco, or Robin. And, as to the issue with women's names, the problem with all the Julias (Juliae) was one that disappeared under the Empire, as it became fashionable to name one's daughters, rather than use the feminine form of the gens name. So, if the evil empire of the Capitol was willing to use names from the Roman Empire (which seems logical, rather than have them follow the Republic), then there would be no issue with women's names. And finally, if you want to look at the steps that need to be taken to identify citizens, everyone in the US is given a nine digit number to identify them because a name alone is insufficient. In addition, people also get lengthy ID numbers from their state's motor vehicle association that are secondary identification numbers, because one is, apparently, insufficient. So it is not as though the US does not have to go through extra steps to ensure that citizens are differentiated. And I'm sure all those cognomina that were used to differentiate people were honors bestowed, not ways of asking "Now how are we going to identify random person 1 from random person 2".
  • So, I'm almost at the end of the book, big climax battle is pretty much over, and something's been nagging me while I read it: why didn't Katniss just shoot Cato while he was on the Cornucopia right there? At least two times we're told he's just lying there with cramps and unable to do anything on his defense, yet Katniss spends more time taking care of the other threat that she could easily take care of with one less problem on the line. Cato's lying there, one arrow square in the eye or the neck, then take care of the mutts. Why not?
    • Because Katniss is someone who can only bring herself to kill in self-defense.
      • Not really. Killing Marvel wasn't in self defense, it was out of vengeance. Also, she talks a lot about how she wants to kill people in her internal monologue, it's just that she never really has the opportunity to or has reasons why it's helpful to keep them alive longer (this is more the case in the second book). There's also the scene in the second book where she's about to shoot some innocent people after they've laid down their weapons, but only stops when she notices they have a mockingjay token on them. Basically, she seems really willing to kill for no reason at all.
      • I would argue as follows: Marvel was a direct threat to her life. He had just chucked a spear at her, and whether it missed her or dodged her I doubt he would have left it at that. It's better to say that she killed Glimmer without her being a "direct threat" to her life (she couldn't even shoot an arrow that high). As for Cato, it is more likely she has a "code of honor" that matches her brand of empathy, namely that she doesn't kill someone who is down, if anything she tries to heal them instead.
      • The problem is, though, that the book is narrated by her and when she kills Marvel, she isn't thinking about saving herself, but how he needs to die for what he did to Rue. If the narration was third person and did not talk about her motivation, then that might be a valid argument, but it's not what she was thinking. And there's also all the other times she says she wants to kill people - like how she thinks about killing Johanna just for talking back to her.
      • All right, so she is violent. She still couldn't make herself kill Cato while he was down. That she failed to perform a mercy killing before twenty hours of mauling had passed was just cruelty on her part.
        • No, it wasn't. He was dragged inside the Cornucopia where she couldn't see him, otherwise she would have killed him.
        • So, what I was meaning to argue is: at that time, killing Kato would be an act in self defense. At that time Kato was the only thing between her and the end of the games. Yes, there was the final twist, but no one was seeing that coming.
  • A question about the Capitol audience: do they watch the Games 24/7? Deaths happen around the clock, it would suck if you bet or sent aid to someone and they died while you were sleeping or working or doing anything else other than watching. The Gamemakers can kind of control when people die by controlling the sun and when the tributes sleep by association, but what would happen if some epic throwdown happened in the middle of the night? Would the audience just miss out on the action?
    • The tributes need their sleep too. Also, the truly epic throwdowns don't usually happen until the very end, since usually half the tributes are killed early and the remaining ones scatter. They might also have phone alerts of when tributes get within a kilometer or so of each other.
    • It seems that the only interesting parts are the beginning and the end. The middle is full of tributes hiding, with a death here and there. Pretty boring if you ask me.
    • Think of it like a reality show(what it is, indeed), there is 24h coverage, not everyone will be watching 24h but someone probably will be. Then they show the best moments at some set time of the day for the people. I mean, the people still need to work during this time, right?
    • The Games aren't really exciting all the time, especially at night when the tributes are mostly sleeping. They probably give updates in the morning, if anything big happened at night, and worse comes to worst, you can probably catch it on rerun. I'm sure that, in this technologically advanced future, everyone has some form of Tivo, so if your chosen tribute dies in the middle of the night, you can go back and watch it at your leisure.
    • I guess the part that still bugs me is that the Capitol is suppose to be starved for drama and entertainment, and the Games are suppose to be the cure for that, but I can't see the Games as being that good of a spectator sport or a reality show due to the long stretches of nothing happening. An hour or two of nothing may up the suspense, but days? The entire Capitol had nothing better to do than to watch with bated breath as some sickly tributes sleep in a cave? The only way this works is if the Hunger Games are the only entertainment in the Capitol, but given the level of technology they have, I doubt this is true.
      • Well, during periods of nothing happening, they show interviews and other stuff. Also, they probably can switch to any camera they want. Peeta is lying around? Let's switch to those careers. Hunger Games boring? Let's switch to the interviews with the stylists. Let's watch the families watching.
      • I get that they can show other game-related stuff during the lulls in the action, but question is more about why the Games are designed so that these lulls can happen in the first place. The Games are primarily about entertainment and bloodlust, so why are there stretches of days where neither of those things happen? Commercial time? Does all of Capitol society has a weird obsession with watching teenagers live and hide in the wild? Because that's what most of the video from the Hunger Games is composed of. The Gamemakers can clearly force the tributes to interact more, since we saw them do it when they corralled Katniss toward the careers with a forest fire. They also have mutts. Hell, they could just build a smaller arena. Why don't they do these things? Some tributes would still naturally try to hide, but they'll be found easier, leading to more blood, which is exactly what the Capitol wants.
  • The way that the lottery works is that for every time you put your name in, you get food and the extra chance for going to the Hunger Games. In a career district, then, you can submit your name as many time as you want and never get picked, since the career will volunteer. So you can get all the reward with none of the risk. And the Capital is ok with this? The Games are supposed to be a punishment, after all. Why do they allow volunteers?
    • They say the Games are a punishment, but in truth they are more a matter of control. The career districts have been conditioned to be loyal to the Capitol - probably helped by the fact that their children aren't randomly selected to be sent to their deaths every year. I doubt the career districts are in desperate need of the extra food in any case, and the other districts simply don't have the resources to start a career system of their own. The Capitol doesn't let them.
      • IIRC, career districts are the ones that make expensive stuff(luxury items, electronics, etc), so they probably aren't in dire need of resources.
  • The Capitol likes to act like being chosen as tribute is a big honor, even though the Games themselves are supposed to be punishments. If that's the case, how do they explain giving extra food for people who put their names in extra times? That makes it pretty clear that you don't want to get chosen, because you effectively get paid to put your name in.
    • It might be more of a symbolic thing, in that it's making it so that the poor are more likely to die, like when you could buy your way out of the draft.
    • Kids see it as a price, but maybe the Capitol promotes it as an award. Brave enough to up your odds of fighting for your District's honor? Enjoy this reward of free food!
    • It's probably also a way to put further pressure on the parents. Basically, in the "you're so hungry and hopeless, you have to more or less sell your child to get food" way.
  • I've only seen the movie, so please bear with me. The president of Panem makes this big speech about how Katniss is a problem because her victory would inspire hope, and too much hope would lead to the downfall of Panem. This makes sense, but why specifically Katniss? No one else from a poor district has ever won? What about that big black guy from 11? He had a good chance of winning, but the president didn't seem to care about him at all. I realize that Katniss is important because she's the main character, but I just can't swallow that she's the first one to inspire this worry and fear from the president.
    • Katniss caught the public eye like no other tribute ever really had before. Cinna made her gorgeous, Peeta made her tragic, Rue brought out a level of kindness in her that's unheard of in the Games, she was daring and deadly by virtue of her own talent, and most importantly, on top of all of that, she was openly willing to make fools of the Capitol. She was the perfect storm. Thresh (the big black guy) seemed like a decent guy, sure, but Katniss was unbelievable. She was the Girl on Fire, the girl who sacrificed herself to save her adorable little baby sister, the girl caught up in a whirlwind star-crossed romance doomed to end in utter tragedy, the girl who laid a rival to rest with a song and a bed of flowers, the girl who scored an 11 through sheer skill and balls-i-ness. Her story had a special way of captivating the crowd.
  • So, Haymitch won his Games by avoiding all the other tributes and basically just making a beeline till he hit the very edge of the arena. Where were the Gamemakers in all of this? Don't they typically drive the tributes towards each other? Especially in a case like Haymitch's, since he was heading towards something was never supposed to be part of the game?
    • In his case, there's the chance that the Gamemakers were too busy with forty-seven other tributes to really care about that schmuck who's wandering by himself in the woods.
  • How does Katniss and Peeta's attempt at dual suicide really make the Capitol look stupid and lead to rebellion? Also, why do the Gamemakers decide that having two winners is better than zero? Why not just let them kill themselves off? Katniss kept saying, "They need a winner," but never why. Is it because the after-tour is so important in crushing people's spirits? Is it because they said there would be one (in this case, they are still liars, since now there are two)? It just does not make much sense to me. I have a hard time believing that a totalitarian regime who enjoys watching kids die would act this way. And I don't understand why it leads to a rebellion. Yes, symbolic acts can be important, but you and your buddy tricking your way out of a game is hardly some great symbol of resistance, especially when it's completely motivated by self-interest. Katniss didn't want to die and she didn't want her buddy/lover to die. That's not inspirational, it's selfish.
    • Katniss and Peeta openly defied the Capitol on live national TV and got rewarded for it. That's what makes the Capitol look like idiots. The Capitol's supposed to be all-powerful and controlling, but these two total goobers from the smelliest armpit of the country totally played them for saps. The Capitol said, "Hey, guys, only one winner," but Katniss and Peeta just went, "Screw you, bozos," and the Capitol totally rolled over. And gave them a lifetime of food and fame for it.
      • Why did the Capitol have to roll over and reward them, exactly? The Capitol could easily say that technically, neither of them won, so no one gets food or fame this year. Think of how hated Katniss and Peeta will be once they get home if this happens. I mean, they were the last tributes alive, so District 12 was guaranteed a win as long as one of them died. Instead, District 12 is still on the brink of starvation, all because Katniss valued her boyfriend's life more than the lives and well-being of all of District 12. If I was the Capitol, I would make sure that this is brought up and stressed in the post-Games interview, and then send a camera crew back with Katniss. When the inevitable angry mob kills her for letting them starve, air it for the other districts to see as a warning to future tributes.
      • Exactly, the problem is that the Capitol just rolled over, which makes no sense. Two winners seems as exactly against the rules as no winners, so what makes one better than the other? I'll tell you what, having no winners shows the people the cost of trying to be clever and standing up to the Capitol. The book acts like there is some metaphysical law that prevents the Hunger Games from having no winner, but there isn't. There's only a narrative reason why, and it's not a very good one.
    • As for the matter of needing a winner, just imagine. If you have two winners, then okay, that makes you look stupid. But if you had no winners? That means the entire Games was for nothing. It would be the Capital saying to the Districts, "Congratulations, guys. Those 24 kids of yours just died for absolutely no reason!" When you have a winner, you parade them around, you talk about glory and fame, and you say this was the entire point. Yes, people died, but they only died so that this champion could rise. If you don't have a champion, you outright admit there was no point, and the entire thing was just one long, cruel, public execution of two dozens innocents. That incites riots.
      • Well, the Games are for nothing. The way Katniss speaks, everyone in the districts is well aware that the Hunger Games are just a tool of oppression. And we can see that this is not just her opinion from the description of the behavior of all of District 12 at the Reaping - all of them seem aware that this is a sham. Now, it could be that this is just the way District 12 sees it, but that seems unlikely. And why can't they just name whichever one of the two died last the winner? If Peeta's heart stops before Katniss, he wins, if not she does. And even if both die, you can have a winner, just one who died shortly after winning. They could still parade around in his honor - glory and fame are not things that disappear with death. Hell, death can be a great source of glory and fame (take, for example, real Cato. That guy got tons of glory and fame from his suicide, why can't Peeta or Katniss?). And you say that "That incites riots." You know what else incites riots? Taking away people's children to be slaughtered for a game. You know what doesn't cause riots in the books? Taking away people's children to be slaughtered for a game. I'd believe that the Game's lack of a winner (if they chose not to name one posthumously) is not so much more heinous than the Games themselves, especially since the people (outside the Capitol at least) don't buy into the myth.
      • The reason for the Games is for the Capitol to say, "Hey Districts, we are powerful enough that we can take your children away and make them fight to the death for our entertainment, and you can't do anything about it!" The victors and the competition for food are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. As long as the districts still fear the Capitol's power, the Games have been successful. So yeah, only 22 tributes died this year. So? Just don't make that stupid rule change ever again.
    • I personally believe the first book's Hunger Games would have played out more or less the same for Katniss and Peeta even if the Capitol didn't make that decree about two district winners. So much so, that I don't even know why it was included in the first place, except to make the Capitol look uncharacteristically like saps. I think there was supposed to be a little ambiguity at first regarding Peeta's loyalty towards Katniss vs. the careers, but as soon as us readers found out that was a ploy it became obvious that neither Peeta nor Katniss would ever kill each other. That rule change also made no sense to me - it seemed like the Capitol was purposely baiting them, because they also should have been aware that the two people who are supposedly lovers would not blindly follow some lame last-minute change. So yeah, if the new rule had never been made they could have just waited it out. Peeta most likely would have died first without some form of aid, but if they did try to pull the stunt with the nightlock the Capitol should have just let them. Either option works out well for the Capitol, and would quell any stirring rebellion.
      • The rule change was made to manufacture some more drama for the game (specifically, forcing lovers to fight each other). The change definitively did make a difference; Katniss only started looking for Peeta after she heard the new rule. Without the change, Peeta would have likely died by the riverbank without aid. Also, since Katniss is doing relatively well and isn't worried about Peeta's medicine, she's in no rush to get to the feast (or maybe just ignores the feast altogether), meaning that Clove isn't distracted with Katniss/bragging about Rue when Thresh shows up. Katniss, unlike Peeta, knows about Nighlock berries and wouldn't pick them, so Foxface wouldn't have poisoned herself. Who knows who would have won? (My money's on Clove.) I will agree that the rule change did make the Capitol look stupid though. A more natural way to get the same result would have been for Haymitch to send a note saying to act more in love, and then Katniss deciding to look for Peeta as a result.
      • I don't think Clove would have won. Without the option of both of them getting out alive I suspect Cato would have killed her. Anyway, It's possible that Katniss would have gone looking for Peeta even without the rule change. She's smart enough to realize that she most likely would not have survived without an ally, and after Rue died Peeta became the only possible choice. Besides, since they were playing the lovers card it would have seemed incredibly callous of her to leave Peeta to die, which would certainly affect her post-victory tour (if she still won). The other players most likely would have been affected, but that's why I specified that the games would play out the same for Katniss and Peeta.
      • I don't think the Victory Tour even occurred to Katniss, though. Frankly, even after she goes and finds Peeta, she doesn't even think about the romance angle until Haymitch pokes and prods at her with the parachute incentives. At this point in the series, her only concern is surviving the Games, and until the rule change, she thought of Peeta as a very dangerous potential enemy. That's what the rule change ultimately did in the narrative: It made Katniss stop thinking of him as "just another guy who has to kill me if he wants to live" and start thinking of him as "the one single guy I can safely team up with."
  • Isn't it kind of infeasible that the Hunger Games don't have a set end point? Wouldn't you want the finale on during primetime for the best ratings?
  • As someone mentioned above "You know what doesn't cause riots in the books? Taking away people's children to be slaughtered for a game." Can I mention how much this bothers me? I didn't realize it at first, but when I explained the books to a friend, she pointed something out. For 74 years, children have been sent to their deaths. Nothing happens. This year, they send adults. A rebellion uprises. Really? From just hearing that, you'd think that the districts don't care about their children at all other than their ability to get them food.
  • The Avox. Every year 24 children are thrown into an arena to fight to the death, but known traitors to the Capitol and criminals are ... made into household slaves. Where they could easily set fires, smother important people in their sleep, poison food, plant bombs sent by traitors who weren't caught and made into Avoces or overhear information to pass onto traitors. Is there some kind of brain-chip keeping them in line? I've only read the first book, but that part really stuck out to me.
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