Category Archives: Books
Every holiday season, Victor’s Village searches the joys of the Internet to find new Hunger Games holiday favorites. We realize that it’s already the last night of Hanukkah, but there’s never a bad thing to window shop with us!
Every Hunger Games fan is different, but if you or someone you know gets as obsessed as we do, maybe something on this list will excite!
Starting off a little simple, but the CATCHING FIRE soundtrack is a must-have! Like the first soundtrack, there are so many songs that connect specifically to the books to form a beautiful, emotional reference. What’s new this time around is the mixing of genres, so fans can hum along, air guitar, belt it out, and break it down all in the course of one album!
CATCHING FIRE ARENA WALL CLOCK by Artsy Allaire
When it comes to Hunger Games fandom related decorations, we’ve always appreciated the more subtle nods like this clock with the Catching Fire Arena obstacles painted on the hour they go into effect! Available in black or white, it’s one way to test newcomers to your home on their Hunger Games knowledge!
MELLARK BAKERY APRON by Studio Vim
Know someone who’s got skillz in the kitchen? Make ‘em an honorary member of the finest bakery in District 12 with a charming and super functional apron! Yup, the Mellark Bakery CAN be rep’d without a reference to Peeta’s buns. Who knew?!
KATNISS PRIMROSE CUFF BRACELET by Unique Art Pendants
We tried to keep this list mostly gender neutral, but we like shiny things. Not to mention that this handpainted cuff bracelet, featuring the literal Katniss and Primrose plants, tells the story of an epic family bond without being too in-your-face. There are pretty of more obvious Hunger Games options out there, but the elegance of this one has got us hooked!
CERAMIC HUNGER GAMES HOPE TUMBLER by B. Atwood Creations
The comfort of District 12 has a rustic feel to it and so does this HOPE tumblr created by ceramics artist Blaine Atwood. With a hot beverage inside and a good book by your side, this looks like the perfect companion on a cold wintry night.
THE KATNISS COWL by theLOVEstitch
Katniss’ cowl wrap in District 12 has been making fans fall in love since Catching Fire was released. There are several versions on Etsy varying in style and price (not the mention knitting patterns!), but this one by theLOVEstitch appears to be one of the more accurate looking designs. The downside? This is the most expensive item in this post BY FAR. But prepared to fork over the dough!
by SoCool Designs
Decals are kind of a classic way to show off things you love, whether it be on your laptop, your car, or somewhere around the house. And at only a four inches, you can fit these Mockingjay ones along decals from your other favorite fandoms and rest assured they’re not going to consume your whole living/driving space.
HUNGER GAMES CHARM SET by The Tiny Kangaroo
Were we sucked in by the cute factor? ABSOLUTELY. Charms are a totally flexible type of fun. They can be used for cell phone charms, necklaces, (really big) earrings, or kept as collectibles. We may be inclined to take them out and about to snap pictures with them in funny situations. Because that’s what grown ups do!
That’s our list. As you may know, this list is a precursor to our annual holiday contests! We see awesome Hunger Games prizes in your future! Will one of these awesome items make the list? Keep checking back to find out!
P.S. Looking for books or movies that interest a huge Hunger Games fan? Check out our recommendations page!
Now that we’ve all reveled in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE several times, it’s time for Victor’s Village’s infamous reaction post!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with our reaction posts, our three admins in a chat get together and say anything and everything we feel about the topic at hand… and it gets pretty damn hilarious, if we do say so ourselves!
This post is also long, mostly hidden under the READ MORE cut, and contains ALL THE SPOILERS. Beware!
THE FIVE WORD CHALLENGE
The Girl With The Pearl: Since we made our readers answer this: Give an overall review in FIVE WORDS or less!
Them There Eyes: Not the Hunger Games, bitches. Sorry, was channeling Spike from Buffy.
Twiffidy: Oh no this is hard.
TGWTP: Mine is turning out to just be “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” That could be taken several different ways.
Twiffidy: Spectacular with all the feels.
DRUNK HAYMITCH AND EFFIE’S ALIEN BABIES
TGWTP: And said feelings start with some MAJOR character development? Whose was your favorite?
Them There Eyes: I think everyone got an ample amount of character development, even Buttercup. But, I think I’m going to have to go with Effie!
Twiffidy: Effie for sure. I mean, they did finally say her name!
TGWTP: Buttercup was so very… orange! T’was lovely.
TGWTP: I agree Effie takes the cake. We finally get to see the pure Capitol in her that was downplayed before AND a more sensitive side!
Twiffidy: When it comes to Effie, I was relieved to see her humanized.
Them There Eyes: Effie crying was like watching an alien have a baby, and then you cry… because it had a baby.
TGWTP: Somehow, that description works. LOL
Them There Eyes: Okay, now we have to talk about how the joke could finally be made! “Go home Haymitch, you’re drunk.”
TGWTP: YES. He was ACTUALLY DRUNK.
Them There Eyes: Really drunk! I’ve never been so glad to see a man drunk before in my life!
Twiffidy: That entire scene like a slice out of my imagination when I read the books
Them There Eyes: I know! Right down to the bread, and the “burrrr!”
Twiffidy: He was the right amount of drunk from how the books describes without being too comical.
TGWTP: For sure! It’s a hard line to walk, but Woody knows what he’s doing.
Them There Eyes: Still made me wish for Drunk!Haymitch from THG, falling off the stage at the Reaping. I hope non book fans aren’t too surprised by his sudden change from social drinker to rubbing alcohol pilferer.
TGWTP: And you know what? Peeta was manned up! And it wasn’t some massive dissolution of his character like people made it out to be. Quelle surprise!
Them There Eyes: I know, just seemed like a boy grew up after he saw some pretty horrible things, and… also had his heart broken.
Twiffidy: Yes, it’s understated but that’s how it appeared to me. I’m a big fan of Peeta’s journey through this movie.
Them There Eyes: I loved Peeta, I had Peeta feels for days after seeing it… also sleep deprivation. People change, Peeta’s one of those people.
TGWTP: Peeta Mellark is the ninja-silent emo badass of Panem, though for good reason.
Twiffidy: It’s important to realize that this is the Peeta that Katniss will miss in Mockingjay.
TGWTP: URGH MOCKINGJAY. MY HEART IS NOT READY.
Them There Eyes: My body is.
Twiffidy: I almost involuntarily squeak out “No!” at that final look at Peeta as Katniss leaves with the wire. Every. Time.
TGWTP: I understand. It’s “Don’t do it, idiot! I know what happens and you don’t want that shit!”
Twiffidy: I’VE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND IT IS BLEAK.
Welcome to another pre-premiere guest posts!
Companion books are a much debated part of The Hunger Games fandom, so wouldn’t you love a like help deciding whether or not a certain companion is for you? The fantastic HGBC is here today to do just that!
A little bit of salt goes a long way.
Reading ‘Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games’ by Valerie Estelle Frankel is like adding a little bit of salt to your Hunger Games experience.
It’s a simple book. It dips its foot into the literary criticism genre without being pretentious or super scholarly. ‘Katniss the Cattail’ is a reference guide intended to be used over and over again to make connections between characters, name meanings, and historical figures.
A little bit of salt brings out the flavor. You see, you could read ‘The Hunger Games’ just for the plot, or maybe because you enjoy a little romance in-between intense action scenes. But ‘The Hunger Games’ has many layers – a complexity to it that needs to be unveiled. That is where ‘Katniss the Cattail’ comes in…
Until I read ‘Katniss the Cattail’, I didn’t understand the degree to which Suzanne Collins built this world of Panem. Most of the names of characters that come from the Districts are derived from botanical sources: Katniss (a plant commonly known as arrowhead or duck-potato), Prim (as in primrose), Rue (sometimes called a “death herb”), Buttercup, the Hawthorne family, etc. On the other hand, the majority of the names of characters in the Capitol have Roman names. Not only can we learn about these Roman figures from historical sources – such as ‘Plutarch’s Lives – but most are featured in Shakespeare’s plays, such as ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Coriolanus’, and ‘Troilus and Cressida’. I recognized some of these Roman names when reading through ‘The Hunger Games’, but had no idea the scope or the historical background until perusing this little guide.
Some names have these connections to history, while others require more speculation to the meaning behind Collins’ choice for that particular name. For example, I found it fascinating to learn that “the hawthorn root-wood makes the hottest wood-fire known (Grieve). Gale’s fire for survival, and especially for revolution, indeed burns hotter and stabs more sharply than everyone around him” (Katniss the Cattail, pg 19). Each name or symbol is mentioned briefly to give you inspiration or a starting place for more research. Frankel has written other books that go into more depth on some of these topics: ‘The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen’, ‘The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend’, and ‘From Girl to Goddess’, to mention a few. Overall, I found this book to be well researched and thought provoking. Though the title’s alliteration was catchy, I disagreed with the cattail part, finding Frankel’s description of the duck-potato as the katniss plant to be more accurate.
‘Katniss the Cattail’ describes many of the symbols in ‘The Hunger Games’ such as bread, ‘The Hanging Tree’ song, the nickname of Katniss – The Girl Who Was on Fire, the pearl, President Snow’s rose, etc. Learning more about these symbols deepens the experience of watching the movie (soon to be plural!) or re-reading the trilogy. Frankel digs briefly into some of the over-arching themes of war, reality television, Greek myths, and more.
Here’s the thing, folks… nobody wants to eat just salt! Salt is meant to enhance another food. And ‘Katniss the Cattail’ is meant to enhance your understanding of ‘The Hunger Games’ – to take your thoughts in a new direction or see characters in a new light. So, dear readers, may you savor your literary food and, of course, “may the odds be ever in your favor”.
Hunger Games Bookclub
As we all prepare for the release of the Catching Fire movie, we’ve noticed a big trend. It seems everyone is picking up their copies of Catching Fire and getting their re-read on!
Then I think “Is it just me? Am I crazy?”
Though I know Twiffidy talked about the joys of re-reading prior to the first film, I can’t do it. Re-reading is an awesome experience… just not right before a movie. I can’t. Can’t! WON’T!
When you re-read a book directly before a movie, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment in my book. Even when you’ve re-read a book a million times and think you’ve memorized it, a re-read right before a movie keeps all the details fresh. Your expectations are higher, though perhaps not consciously. And then you realize every. single. difference. Suddenly, every heartwarming line missed feels like a heavier blow. Every small scene or character quirk brushed over is a missed opportunity. Even if the movie is stellar, it’s not as fulfilling because yes, you WOULD sit through a 5 hour line-by-line adaptation of the book!
As long as it’s faithful to the book on the whole, we don’t need to analyze every change between the book and the movie. It will only drive us crazy and we’re neurotic enough already, thank you very much! Why set ourselves up for that?!
Strangely enough, we only have this problem with books we re-read. Reading a book for the first time and going to see the movie the next day? No problem! Re-reading and watching? NIGHTMARE.
It seems like everyone involved in fandom has their own little traditions surrounding book or movie releases. Maybe I’m alone in this one, but you know what? It works for me in the way that avoiding press junkets or clips works for some others (though press junkets and clips are my lifeblood.)
Really, it doesn’t matter how you prepare. Because guess what?
YOU ARE SO NOT PREPARED.
The Girl With The Pearl
Catching Fire press overload has begun! BRING IT, BABY!
We know that it can be daunting for some, but we personally love soaking in all the teasers before the movie actually hits theaters. Most fans will turn around in a week and say “It feels like we’ve seen half the movie already!” Well, ya haven’t and you’ll realize that once you get out the theater!
As much as we love interviews, we’re in it for the REAL goods… That’s right: CLIPS. Sweet, delicious angst-dipped morsels of movie magic! Unlike trailers, it’s more than 5 seconds per shot and you really get to feel the moment!
We’ve been graced with two clips in the last couple days. Now let’s get together and drool over them!
Clip #1 – “You Do What You Want. I’m Staying Here.”
As introduced by Hemsy and The Chin (after confirming that Liam does not, in fact, have sex with kangaroos), clip #1 shows Katniss and Gale debating whether or not to run away from District 12.
Gale doesn’t seem as fervently anti-Capitol in his pursuits to protect the districts as he is in the books. Perhaps the raging ripping off of leather gloves just didn’t have the same effect on screen?! But alas, the cross-marketing opportunity of Gale angrily turning away Capitol Couture products has been missed! Forever sad! Then again, this obviously isn’t the WHOLE scene, just a pretty chunk.
But for real, guys… Katniss effing Everdeen. She doesn’t want anyone looking to her! She can’t help them! And we totally believe her helplessness in that moment, even though we know she’s dead wrong in the long run.
That girl had our emotions all in a tizzy until our attentions were turned to the Capitol brigade and their gas-guzzling ways!
Also, we feel like we should be writing free verse poetry about the gray barrenness of District 12… and possibly these characters’ lives. Just because.
Clip #2 – “This Trip Doesn’t End When You Go Back Home.”
Damn Haymitch! Time for three snaps in Z formation as you tell these n00b victors what it’s all about! Winning The Hunger Games is (usually) a one-time deal, but being a victor is FOR-EV-ER.
Note that both Haymitch and Peeta are not in the loop about Katniss’ debacle in film world, which probably means Peeta doesn’t have a massive meltdown about being kept in the dark all the time. But he still seems pretty damn pissed, which gives us a look at the appropriately bolder Peeta that’s more in line with the books.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence is really good at crying. She cries on cue like a boss! And it’s tearing up our hearts into little teeny shreds! Katniss will be emotionally shot for 90% of this movie, which means we will be too. Dammit!
Only One More Thing We Need… MOAR CLIPS!
The Girl With The Pearl
Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Clip
Facebook Live Event
Jennifer Lawrence and Francis Lawrence Tumblr Chat
Yesterday morning, Victor’s Village and a whole bunch of fansite friends got the chance to interview Sam Claflin and Jena Malone via phone!
If you’ve ever questioned these two in their roles, we can officially tell you not to worry about it. Sam Claflin is beyond charming. He talked about the love of his life so much that our hearts melted. Srsly quise, it was adorbs. And it was so very Finnick Odair! Jena Malone is small and cute, but there’s also a fierce passion in her that lets us know she’ll bring out the best (and by “best”, we may mean “worst”) parts of Johanna Mason.
They were unbelievably sweet, especially considering that they were probably woken up at the crack of dawn to get ready for the Philadelphia stop of the Victory Tour and 7 out of 10 sites asked them how they were because it’s habit and it’s the polite thing to do, okay?! The interview itself ran a little long, so each site only had a chance for one question. But in the post-interview downtime, Sam and Jena sang “Happy Birthday” to Samantha from Panem Propaganda, because her birthday was Saturday and hey, they could. Yeah, we’re kinda TOTALLY smitten.
So now that they gushing is done, on to the interview! Please note that a large portion of the interview is under the READ MORE link!
Sam, fans have followed the casting with a lot of attention to detail, and Annie Cresta was not cast until you guys had wrapped Catching Fire, so without an actress in that role, did you find it difficult to draw from Finnick’s relationship with her in the Catching Fire arena and if so how did you overcome that?
Sam: I definitely see where you are coming from. No, but I don’t feel like without a picture in my head, as an actor I necesarily needed that to draw from, if you know what I mean. Obviously from personal experience, I am married and there for my wife was my kind of experience that I could draw from. You know, the love of my life and all that. So I didn’t necessarily need an actress or an image of a person to emotionally inform me, if that makes sense. Definitely I am very excited to get started with Steph Dawson, who is playing Annie Cresta. Finnick spends so much time in the arena, away from her, focusing on mainly protecting Katniss. I don’t feel that it affected my performance necessarily during Catching Fire.
#2 HG Movie Site
When you become part of the cast for a franchise as big as the Hunger Games, with such a big fanbase is there a pressure to please a lot of people or do you find that it’s easier when there is already millions of people that love it?
Jena: Well it’s kind of a give and take. I think luckily Sam and I – Sam if I could just speak for you – we were both such fans of the series anyway, that coming in with such love and appreciation for the project, such passion for a project it only propels you forward knowing that there is 100,000 people out there that has the same love and passion. Of course it’s a little terrifying in the morning when you want to make sure that you are getting it right. But fortunately books are two dimensional beings and films are a three dimensional format. We were building things in a whole new way. So there is no way to get it like the book in every way, because books are two dimensional. We are building blood and love and sweat. We’re breathing life into these characters and so I think that they are always going to be better than the books ever imagined them.
#3 Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Over the course of filming, you’ve obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with other members of the cast. Who did you really enjoy hanging out with off set, and are there any close bonds you formed that you think will go beyond the films many years into the future?
Jena: The entire cast is so rad, it’s hard to pick one person. We’ve become such a tight-knit family. I kind of fangirled out over Philip Seymour Hoffman, just a little bit. I mean, he’s been one of my favorites, I don’t know.
Sam: Yeah, we all sort of ended up socializing off set as much as we did on set, and there was a lot of fun to be had. And that all kind of spans back to the fact that Francis was very open to ideas and it made it much more of a collaborative family experience, if that makes sense. There was a lot of misbehaving and mischief caused, but, you know, in a very fun way, and we were all able to kind of focus on the job at hand when we needed to. But yeah, I don’t think there was one person I disliked, and if I did, I’d be sure to tell you! (laughter) Actually, I’m not a big fan of Jena, Jena Malone.
Jena: …Jina Mahone or something? She’s a crazer.
Sam: But we all got along like a house on fire. You can’t help but really admire an experience like that really.
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The Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is creeping up upon us in a matter of 26 days, that’s less than a month from now– which means several things. One: You’re allowed to be overly emotional about it being so freaking close. Two: If you haven’t read the book by now, you might want to get on that, or drink your self into an oblivion. Three: I got nothing, ’cause I’m probably driving a few of my family and friends to the ER, to have their stomach pumped from alcohol poisoning.
Any who, there’s one other teeny tiny thing that you might want to do if you have any inkling of attending the LA Premiere, and that is– registering for the campsite lottery that will allow you possible access to tickets to the said premiere. You heard me, or you probably heard about twelve other fan-sites, and a few major media outlets telling you about this yesterday! But still, get on it fast. However, you should prepare yourself if you do in fact get picked to set your behinds down for 48 hours outside The Nokia Theater in downtown LA! Preparation tools are as follows!
1. If you do not in fact own camping equipment, look into renting, borrowing, or taking the plunge and buying some. Camping equipment that I personally believe will be an absolute must whilst quite literally camping on concrete– padding. Seriously, look into getting air mattresses, or good, thick, comfy folding camp mattresses. Or, forgo the mattress and get a raised camp bed, they come in two models in my experience, easiest-thing-to-set-up-ever, or RAGING-OH-MY-GOD-WHY-IS-THIS-SO-HARD-TO-SET-UP?! And yep, I own both! Oh, air mattresses require pumps, get the battery-powered one, you won’t be sorry, but your neighbor will when your cheap mattress deflates in the night and you have to re-inflate it! A tent would be good as well, just sayin’.
2. Buy some gift cards: To be more specific– get gift cards for the eateries around The Nokia. Why? Because cash is passe, and who am I kidding! Most of you will just skip off to the Starbucks that’s a 2 minute walk away, and gorge your selves on caloric pastries, and possibly tolerate buying a 6 Oz bottle of San Pellegrino for way too much money! Oh, and be prepared to drink bad coffee for two days, ’cause that’s all Starbucks makes!
3. Books, bring ‘em, ’cause your cell phone batteries will die, and you will get bored. So, head to your local library and take out a few volumes, or hell– bring your copies of The Hunger Games trilogy and re-immerse your selves in Katniss and Co. That’s why you’re there, right?
4. Sunscreen! I’m not bloody kidding, guys. Buy it, use it, share it. Los Angeles has sun, and it will hurt you, especially if you’re from out-of-town and your town doesn’t get a lot of sun is not the norm. I’m speaking from personal experience here!
5. Sunglasses, also see above. You can likely get both sunscreen and sunglasses in the same location, and also for not very much money. So stock up people, go to Rite Aid, CVS, Wallgreens, Target, or god forbid Wal-Mart, and save your skin, and save your precious, young eyes from the evils of the sun.
5. A sense of humor: You’re camping in downtown LA to get in to see a movie, that in and of its self is hilarious. So, please, don’t get your panties into a twist about minute things like, I don’t know I’m not you. But, yeah– breathe, laugh, make some new friends, keep the old…
…One is sliver and the other’s gold.
Them There Eyes
I like Capitol Couture! There I’ve said it, I’m outed or something. I know Capitol Couture is not the most popular aspect of the promotional campaigns surrounding The Hunger Games franchise, but for me I think it’s kind of unprecedented, and a little bit on the brilliant side of marketing. I know, I know, what’s wrong with me? Capitol Couture is a glorification of the Capitol’s ass-backwards way of thinking, living, walking, talking, and dressing. Yeah, it is– but isn’t the Capitol deserving of a little hype every now and again? I think so, especially considering how much Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games did not set a very solid, or inspired visual base, or well– not much of anything for it. Which, for me at least, is one of the reasons I like Capitol Couture, because while it is rather surface, and bubble-gum at times, it’s doing a better job at building that world of The Capitol in the virtual world than what we got in the first film to begin with.
Social media, and the Inter-net are still very new things, or better yet tools, that the film industry is seemingly just now latching its teeth onto, and using them to degrees that many of us never thought was possible. Just think how much bigger, or better some films or film
franchises could have been if Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or Instagram existed ten to fifteen years ago, or hell– if people had known what those platforms were capable of five years ago! So, yes, Capitol Couture is a virtual representation of The Capitol spouting its point of views on things that many out there in the ether consider pointless, time-wasting, stupid, and weird. I disagree though, because eh-hem, I like fashion, I also like fiction which is something else Capitol Couture has been doing– fleshing out more aspects of the fiction, and for gods sake I love art, and I like having my culture put under a microscope and given a weird, slightly sickening new twist. Sadly I’ve noticed that some are seemingly so adverse to anything and everything that may possibly put The Capitol in any semblance of a positive light, they scream “foul!” or “I don’t understand this… this… this weird fashion, it serves no purpose!” Fashion is art though, and art isn’t supposed to make sense, and fashion my dear friends more often than not is not pretty, sometimes it’s even, dare I say it– ugly. I posit this, don’t we want ugly, don’t we want weird, don’t we want The Capitol to seem frivolous, superficial, dead-in-the-eyes, and isn’t that exactly what Capitol Couture is doing?
If it’s not, erm I need to get my eyes checked– again.
Them There Eyes