The Hunger Games: The Reunion

So something weird happened last night: I went to my 10 year high school reunion. YES I AM OLD. I accept this and you should too. Moving on!

It turns out the reunion situation was pretty similar to what I expected (read: fairly lackluster), but it got me thinking about the people I reunited with and how, inevitably, some of them exist in every crowd.

For instance, I was convinced to go thanks to the Effie Trinket-esque friend. The girl who still has lots of lovely memories from back in the day and remains largely positive, determined to see us take advantage of the fun promised by this event. “Its’ going to be a big, big day!” And once we got there, she was a total champ.

Naturally, it got me thinking where the rest of the characters would fall if they met in a function hall ten years later.

Still never mastered how to smile!

Still never mastered how to smile!

For instance, Gale would probably be the best dressed guy in the room. He’d make polite small talk with the girls he missed out on in high school. But ultimately, he’d have a few too many drinks, viciously insult one of those said girls and get her all upset, reminding everyone that he’s still kind of a dick.

Katniss sits at her table while almost everyone else kind of flutters around the room. She sticks with the people she knows best, but chats with anyone who comes over to say hi. She gets a little alarmed if anyone is too enthusiastic, because nobody cares about how you’re doing that much. Moderate alcohol consumption and avoiding eye contact is key to surviving the night.

Peeta is also looking decent, but in a more basic way than any of the other men. He’s friendlier than Katniss, but still sticks by her side for most of the night. Your single friends lament the fact that he’s still with “that girl he’s been dating forever” with a twinge of jealousy. Also, he gives the awkward welcome speech.

The “Oh hell he better have a ride home” guy

Haymitch is in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, drunk to the nth degree about 20 minutes arrival. He greets everyone as if they’re his best friend, even relative strangers. Upon seeing friendly faces, he thanks them for being one of the fellow “normals” to show up in comparison to the more popular folks from back in the day (P.S. That happened) and by the end of the night, he’s flashing everyone as they try to say goodbye (P.P.S. Also happened).

Annie Odair (Cresta? Cresta-Odair? WE DON’T EVEN KNOW) is there as well. She’s smartly dressed, a bit shy, but so lovely. She’s the person everyone hasn’t fully kept in touch with but is still a total joy to see. For a few seconds that the other characters catch up on news about her kiddo and life, a reunion feels like an actual reunion and not a giant puddle of awkward.

Plutarch is the guy who’s forcing everyone to take pictures, because the memories. And the Instagram account. Everyone knows he’s in not way a ruler of Panem, but he’s sure gonna act like it. He’s a little too slick for his own good and a lot of attendees roll their eyes when he turns away.

There are probably dozens of mostly nameless others involved in this reunion– Gale’s family and Katniss’ mom and several residents from both District 12 and District 13. If it were an actual Hunger Games reunion, we’d have this:


Plus, with more people, you could probably repeat this formula several times over!

Or Just Leave For A Bar After 2 Hours. That Worked Too!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Disaster Theme Park

It’s been a looming threat for a long time, but as of last week, it became a reality in America: The Hunger Games theme park is being developed.

We’re not even close to the biggest Hunger Games superfans out there, but we think we’re not too shabby. We run a website dedicated to The Hunger Games and its fans, travel to premieres and big events in the fandom, buy some of the merch, discuss the promotional releases, occasionally chat on a podcast about the series, and generally pour our fangirl feels all over the Internet. Though we don’t always love every single morsel that comes out of the franchise, we’re big freaking fans!

So does that mean we want to see a theme park?



There are few words to describe what a moronic idea this is, guys! The foundation for a Hunger Games theme park is:
A) Making entertainment out of desolation, poverty, and children being forced to murder each other, desensitizing visitors to violence and the world’s struggles in the ways that Suzanne Collins was trying to warn us against.
B) Yet another attempt to hype the Capitol glam, willfully ignorant to the fact that the lush Capitol lifestyles are a harsh criticism of the way the rich often manipulate and undervalue human rights.
C) A combination of both A and B.

We understand that Lionsgate owns the rights and can milk this cash cow however they want– which they will, lest they be forced to create something new and original to intrigue audiences instead– but really, this just proves how utterly shameless they are. This is not Harry Potter or Star Wars. There is no magic, there is no adventure in space. This franchise is focused around slaughter, human rights violations, and the need to stop it. This is not a fucking theme park topic!

For goodness sake, the negligent, terrible Capitol citizens even turn the arenas into theme parks IN THE BOOKS. Suzanne Collins literally put a warning against this shit in the source material!

A spokesperson for theme park developer Avatron is defending their decision to be involved, of course:
“There are so many positives about these movies, starting with the fact that she’s an empowered young woman.”

And we agree with that. But please, do tell us how you’re going to tell build a theme park with the “empowered young woman” theme alone without the terror, war, murder, torture, or political corruption also involved. Pretty, pretty freaking please. We’d bet you our life savings that someone is going to try to dress us up as Effie Trinket and just– No thank you. Because you’re missing the entire damn point.

There’s still a little hope: Lionsgate needs financing for these parks. Hopefully, people will realize that this is not actually a good investment and it won’t come to fruition, at least here in the US. That is how much we’re against this.

Go home, Lionsgate. You’re drunk.

“They Say The Food Is Excellent”,
The Girl With The Pearl

The World of the Hunger Games!

The World of the Hunger Games is pretty rich for a three book (and four movie) series. Lots of characters and places and undiscovered stories. Also, fun merch!

Like these adorable Funko Pop! Figures.

funko pop hunger games

The Katniss Everdeen one – yeah, I’m trusting the USPS to bring that safely to my house next week. The Peeta one will probably be a necessary purchase at some point as well.

Cuteness aside, we’re seeing a continuing theme lately with Hunger Games stuff. Instead of it being branded THE HUNGER GAMES, it’s branded THE WORLD OF THE HUNGER GAMES.

Whether it’s the Funko Pop! items,katniss funko

Or advertisements for the Hunger Games Exhibition.


Or the 2016 World of the Hunger Games calendar.

Hunger Games 2016 calendar

No, this wording isn’t just simple coincidence. It’s a deliberate transition of the HUNGER GAMES brand from simply being three books adapted into movies to the development of a larger world that can be mined for years to come. It’s a big (largely profitable) trend in Hollywood, so no surprise that it’s happening here. Next November, (in THG’s relinquished weekend slot) we’ll see the first of the Harry Potter prequels come to screen. It will be interesting to see how this movie does without Harry being the star of the show, just as it will be interesting to see how THE WORLD OF THE HUNGER GAMES transitions from being about Katniss’s journey, to other stories in Panem.

When will development of the next Hunger Games movie be announced? Six months? One year? Two? Place your bets now.


Those Unquenchable Mockingjays

Before the debut of the FOR PRIM “trailer” on Wednesday morning, another Mockingjay Part 2 poster was released via Jennifer Lawrence’s Facebook page.


Again we have the red Mockingjay outfit, which we still don’t believe will be in the actual film, but is merely for these in-universe propaganda promotional pieces. The red makes for a bolder visual statement, but as a practical matter, we see the use of the red as a way to differentiate the Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 marketing pieces. Thinking back to May when the first promotional items for Part 2 came out with the Sisters poster or just the Effie image, a common complaint was that it looked just like Mockingjay Part 1 stuff. By making the suit red, they’ve instantly been able to make things seem “new” without being really new while creating a sense of continuity between the two films. Having her standing in profile reminds us of the first character posters for the Hunger Games. Much has changed for Katniss, but much remains the same.

The new element of this poster is the inclusion of a “real” mockingjay resting precariously on her shoulder (don’t fall off, little buddy!). Maybe he’s positioned like that because he’s about to fly away again – Mockingjays are busy creatures after all. We suppose it’s more interesting to have him with Katniss than just her by her lonesome, and he’s not sticking awkwardly out of her neck, so we’re grateful for that.

tom haverford artThis poster overall harkens back to Catching Fire’s “The Sun Persists in Rising” poster that had mixed reviews back in the day. As personal “confession,” I’m looking at the “Sun Persists” poster right now because I have it hanging in my living room. I know it gets criticism for a lot of reasons (the pose is too Pocahontas/Lion King/you name it) but I like it for three reasons: the tagline, the clouds, and overall color scheme. (The color scheme is PERFECT for my living room decor). “The sun persists in rising so I make myself stand,” is from the beginning of Catching Fire and fits with the overall look of the poster, and what Katniss has to do throughout the book/movie. It’s also nicely relevant to anyone’s life – you may go through great struggles in life but you have to continue on and face the days as they come. It’s a more “artistic” poster, and with all ART we all feel different things looking at it.

This new poster is in the same LOOK GUYS, THIS IS ART category.  It also has the same cloud motif and obscure book quote tagline. So sure, the clouds and colors are nice but that book quote is a WEIRD choice. Yes, we know it’s from the passage in Mockingjay after the parachute fire bombs go off.

Real or not real? I am on fire. The balls of flame that erupted from the parachutes shot over the barricades, through the snowy air, and landed in the crowd. I was just turning away when one caught me, ran its tongue up the back of my body, and transformed me into something new. A creature as unquenchable as the sun.

The only reason we can think of for including this quote is that it’s meant to be paired with the FOR PRIM trailer. The trailer is all about bringing you the #feels about the moment when Prim dies and Katniss’s devastation from that loss. How does that moment of Katniss becoming a “fire mutt” and subsequent limbo between life and death relate to this poster? We’re struggling with the choice.

This is not the final poster though, just as FOR PRIM is not the final trailer. These are extras, so at least it’s something new to talk about.

Wonder if this poster will be the cover of Tim Palen’s $850 ULTIMATE Hunger Games photography book?


Snapping The Mockingjay

Yes, we’ve already complained about how we’re already over the SnapChat element of the Mockingjay Part 2 campaign. And honestly, that still stands! We will take one website reveal of images over twenty 10-second snaps ANY DAY. But today was kind of an exception!

Over the course of the week, the MockingjayPt2 Snapchat has been running various contests to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Mockingjay novel. Today, fans were tasked with drawing their own version of the Mockingjay cover.

This contest proved something we already knew: The world has waaaayyyy too much time on its hands!

But also, somebody get these kiddos a real art-based program to mess around on, because some of them are pretty good!

CNbiJ3BWoAABAMR CNcS1QfWgAA_ssX unnamed (1)


We’re Snapchat amateurs, at best. We can barely manage to add short spurts of text to our snaps. Our drawn in hearts and smiley faces are lopsided like it’s nobody’s business. Yet these damn users created in tact shapes and shading!

Seriously, how long do you have to spend drawing with one finger to get that good at it?! Maybe they just have natural skillz that we don’t. Let’s hope it’s that and not the rabid dependency on the app!

My Mockingjay Would Look Like Tic-Tac-Toe Gone Wrong,
The Girl With The Pearl

Going Back For The Cat (Or Dog)

So today we’re going to get serious because we work out all our feelings by relating them to books!

This is an apology to a fictional character– more specifically, Primrose Everdeen.

At the Mockingjay Part 2 panel at Comic-Con, Conan O’Brien joked with Willow Shields, saying “I was so mad at you when you went back for the cat!” And mostly, our reaction was “Well.. duh.” It was a rash, irresponsible move made by a young girl who’s almost too sensitive for this world. Buttercup was an adult cat and hell, cats don’t even live that long. Why would anyone risk anything for a cat?! Katniss, while we loves her sister, thinks she’s an overly sentimental piece of work when it comes to this issue and audiences kinda do too.

Well, I’m sorry, Prim. It’s unfair to judge you because I really do understand.


This picture is roughly 17 years, 8 months old. I’m 10-years-old– hence the bad hair, fashion, etc. The puppy here is Jake, my family’s Jack Russell Terrier who died of old age this past Sunday, four days before my 28th birthday. He was the best dog ever… though perhaps I’m biased.

And truthfully, I totally would’ve gone back from him in an emergency situation.

It’s not that uncommon. In scary situations, people rescue their pets. They sometimes get injured or even die themselves in the attempt. To some, that just sounds crazy, but not to me. I don’t consider myself all too sentimental, but pets become an important part of your life in a way that most humans don’t even. They’re a furry ball of friendship, playfulness, and companionship without an ounce of judgment. And dammit, we all need some of that! So risking it all for our animal friends makes sense.

It’s silly to think of the continuum of the story after the final chapter (but before the epilogue) because everything is just head canon from that point on, but we can’t even imagine how Katniss felt when Buttercup finally went. We see the two forming a bond over the loss of Prim at the end of Mockingjay, and I’d like to believe that they stuck together and learned to love each other. That means that things would be rough for Katniss not just because she lost a pet, but because that pet was one of the few things she had that linked back to her sister. And urgh… we can’t even.

Though the most minor of minor characters in The Hunger Games, Buttercup makes a major impact on the plot and the characters’ emotional wellbeing, which says something big. So we get it, Prim. And really, you’re awesome for doing it.

And Without That, There’d Be No Buttercup: Evil Overlord Fanon Memes,
The Girl With The Pearl

Is Trailer Peeta the REAL Peeta?

One subject that’s been debated in the fandom since the theatrical trailer release has been… Peeta. Because we will always want to talk about Peeta, and analyze every last detail about this character. It’s what we do. Relating to this particular debate is whether Peeta’s speech in the trailer is out of character for him (Thanks to Satsumarena for bringing this up in our Trailer Reaction post comments).

Peeta says,

Our lives were never ours. They belong to Snow and our deaths too. But if you kill him, Katniss, if you end all of this, all those deaths…they mean something.

peeta trailer 2I think the main question is whether we think Peeta would be encouraging Katniss to kill Snow at this point in the plot. Or even broader, if he would ever encourage killing Snow. Considering the blurry objects in the background, I’m assuming this is in Tigris’s basement. At this point, Peeta has struggled with the deaths that his hijacking episode helped provoke, but felt real remorse and sorrow at it. He was suicidal after this happened. This is after the “Stay with me. Always” kiss in the sewers. All of his energy is being taken up with staying in control so he doesn’t hurt any more people. He’s fighting to get back to his “Real” self in the most stressful of circumstances, but you can see the real Peeta is slowly winning that battle.

Book!Peeta tells Katniss this in Tigris’s basement

I think…you still have no idea. The effect you can have… None of the people we lost were idiots. They knew what they were doing. They followed you because they believed you really could kill Snow.

We know Francis & Co have put book quotes in the movie whenever possible. So why the change? What is it about this reworked version that’s more evocative? And does it make sense for Peeta to say?

Well, first of all, I think Trailer!Peeta’s speech fits better for a trailer, and I think it will work well in the film. And Trailer!Peeta is raising the personal stakes here a bit. When he says OUR lives, I interpret that as his and Katniss’s lives, how their lives and deaths belonged to Snow from the reaping on. And when Peeta speaks of all those deaths, there’s a cut to Finnick fighting the lizard mutts (SO heartbreakingly good there). The reworked version flows so well.

Although worded more strongly in favor of killing Snow in the movie, from the book quote above, Peeta is telling Katniss she should kill Snow for all those who have been lost. And Katniss gets it. She thinks to herself

I don’t know why his voice reaches me when no one else’s can. But if he’s right, and I think he is, I owe the others a debt that can only be repaid in one way.

And then she makes plans to kill Snow.

So what we have here is some nice reworking of the book to help us more clearly see what both Peeta and Katniss are thinking very quickly. Well done.

Movie Peeta is Real Peeta. And we can relax.



The Sight That Made Our Mockingjay-Loving Souls Weep

Finally, things are happening in the fandom! FINALLLLLLLY!

There are brand spankin’ new Mockingjay Part 2 stills that we’ll be talking about soon– but they’re still coming so we’ll wait a little while longer.

Instead, we’re gonna soak in all our really, really intense fandom feels, thanks to Nina Jacobson:

There are two thoughts that came to mind as we saw this:
1) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S GOOD! The setting is beautiful, Jen and Josh are doing their Everlark thing, and it’s all coming full circle. And despite some division among the fans, we freakin’ love the epilogue.
2) OMG THEY’RE FINALLY DOING THE EPILOGUE AND IT’S SO VERY PAINFUL! This means that in just a couple days, filming is over. This is the last time Katniss and Peeta are happening on screen (bar an awful remake in 20 years or so), everyone else is donezo, and in a few short months, all we’ll have is the memory of fandom anticipation. THE END IS NIGH.

Either way, we kind of want to collapse into a ball and cry, rocking ever so slightly as we cradle this image in our arms. We’re pretty sure Nina Jacobson was trying to kill us (but not really).

Hell, the overall feel of the scene is just so enormous that it’s making us nostalgic and downright sappy. And then… What is Katniss holding?! Is that a baby? And is that another tot standing off to the side? Jen’s nephews, nonetheless! WE CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT!

So are you prepared to be a bucket of outrageous feelings for the next several months? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where all this is headed!

Off To Listen To Sad Music And Contemplate Existence…
The Girl With The Pearl

Here’s Effie. Kind of.

Today, another image from Tim Palen’s upcoming bookTIM PALEN: Photographs from the Hunger Games, was released via Entertainment Weekly. This time, we got a look at District 13-era Effie.


Wait, is that even Effie? Of course we recognize her from the inventive use of the bandana and some signature accessories she was able to swipe on her way out of the Capitol, but her face looks a bit different. Maybe it’s that Effie dug heavily into the makeup stash used during Katniss’s first failed Mockingjay transformation. Or maybe someone went a little Photoshop happy.

The photograph itself is quite lovely, and the posing very much in Effie’s character. I suppose if we imagine that Effie commissioned this piece and wanted her face to have all that extra…work to make the “best impression” possible, then, ok, we get it.

Really though, we think someone just really enjoys using Photoshop.


Creating a Fun-Filled Panem, in Dubai?

There were lots of funny pranks pulled throughout the fandom last week in celebration of April Fools, however there was one legit piece of news that was real, but it ALMOST sounded like a joke.  The Hunger Games Theme Park Attraction – It’s happening. In Dubai.

dubaiWhen the news came out on March 31, we knew it wasn’t a joke, because Lionsgate executives have said on multiple occasions that they were exploring opportunities to add the Hunger Games as a theme park attraction. It will be a part of a larger Hollywood theme park, Motiongate Dubai. According to the press release, it will “feature state-of-the-art theme park attractions and a retail facility inspired by … The Hunger Games franchise.” Not much in the way of details beyond that were released, other than it would be located in Dubai and another Lionsgate movie property, Step Up, will also be a part of the attractions when it opens in October 2016.

We’ve been very wary of this theme park idea all along and nothing about the announcement has changed our perspective on it. The Hunger Games costume exhibitions and the upcoming touring Exhibition starting this summer in New York have focused on showing how the books have been turned into movies. They’re basically extensions of the behind the scenes goodies of a Blu-ray, and we like that. The word “theme park attraction” invites broader world-building that could be problematic if not handled with care. So what are they going to do? Will this be some amped up version of the Samsung-sponsored Comic Con event last year, complete with Capitol Gallery and a Capitolized Peeta’s Bakery? District 12 themed rides? An arena?????

Ok, we need to stop thinking of the possibilities cause this is just getting dark and we’re probably just thinking of the worst possible scenarios. After all, remember this passage from The Hunger Games when Katniss is about to enter the arena?


They wouldn’t do that, right? No. No, they couldn’t. THEY WOULD NOT DO THAT. True, these books/movies are just stories, so if they created an arena attraction no one would have truly died there. But it would definitely be creepy and way too “Capitol” for us to fathom.

Even if they don’t make the “attraction” an arena, placed in the context of the super-wealth of Dubai, there’s a lot of ways for this to be way too Capitol for our tastes. But then again, us three American women of Victor’s Village are clearly not the intended visitors for this attraction. I spent a week in Dubai in 2011, and while it was a fascinating experience, I’m certainly not taking that long of a journey again simply to go to a theme park when there are plenty of other places still to visit in the big, beautiful world. The Hunger Games attractions will draw in people who live closer to the geographic area, people who were planning to visit Dubai anyway for the larger theme park experience, or people visiting to gawk at the fabulous buildings and ski slope inside a mall.

We just hope they keep the story’s themes top of mind when putting this all together, otherwise it’s going to be really awkward and gross.

We really don’t want this to get awkward and gross.