We’d love to pretend that everyone who ends up on this site is looking for comedy, opinions, and inspirations revolving around The Hunger Games… but we also know that isn’t always the case!
Every once in a while, we break down the searches that have lead people to our site. What we typically find is an unfiltered boatload of pure CRAZY. The times have changed with the release of Catching Fire, but the number of fans who probably need some sort of mental evaluation has not!
To repeat, people have actually searched these phrases and found their way to Victor’s Village within the last 7 days.
katniss everdeen’s pregnancy pictures - AKA let’s photoshop Jennifer Lawrence’s face onto the bodies of pregnant women because THAT’S NOT FREAKING CREEPY!
what would finnick name his daughter - He doesn’t have one. But if he did, he would call her Marjorie. DUH.
jack hutcherson - This world be the parents of the world trying to keep up with actors their kids like. Bless your heart for trying!
slag heap hunger games - Anyone who knows the books knows they person was probably looking for dirty fanfiction, but we’ve gotta give them credit for attempting to be subtle! Compared to search terms like “Katniss Peeta kinky sex”, this person is a lady/gentleman.
obama president snow - No matter what problems you may have with the current president (or any president throughout history, really), NO LEADER in the US is at President Snow’s level. Slow your roll.
johanna mason naked wrestling - The most nudity you see out of Jena Malone in Catching Fire is her exposed back, yet quite a few people (via various similar search terms) seem to think there’s a secret corner of the internet where she’s flaunting at all for the camera, sometimes while wrestling other naked people. But is it Jell-o wrestling? Otherwise, we’re not down.
hammer catfights - WHAT? What does this even consist of?! Two chicks fighting with hammers?!
do the victors in catching fire have talents? - They do! Several, actually. One of them is called “Reading”. You should try it!
peeta gay - Yup. Because if a man is compassionate, sensitive, and understanding, he must also want to be with other dudes. Way to subvert those gender stereotypes! Your parents must be proud!
how does katniss react to prims death.org - One of many in our “Give me the answers to my homework!” category. It’s the random .org at the end that kills us! DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND READ THE DAMN BOOKS, KID! THEY’RE FUCKING AWESOME.
scarf thingy that can be a dress from the movie - You think you can also wear that thing as a dress?! It has no bottom half. You go upstairs and change this instant, young lady!
what is the correlation between cats and the hunger games – Secretly, cats are the evil overlords controlling Snow and running The Hunger Games. They rigged the reaping ball to pick Prim’s name to get back at their one defector, Buttercup. Meow, bitches!
discounted cardboard cutout of jennifer lawrence bikini - General character cutouts are expected searches. Even general actor cutouts. But Jen in a bikini? This is a prop request for a sad, sad person who spends a lot of time alone in their room.
mockingjay attractive hijacked peeta - We’re sorry… you think Peeta is attractive after he gets hijacked? And you want more information on that? WE CAN’T EVEN.
There Is No Hope For You, Internet. We Love You Anyway.
The Girl With The Pearl
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
Premiere madness is upon us! If you missed all the fandemonium of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere in London, view it here!
In other news …Oh man! Premiere madness is upon us! That means that in a few days time, the whole Victor’s Village staff will be traveling around Los Angeles with little Internet access! We could write some posts on our cell phones, but that’s about as fun as grinding down your teeth with a nail file.
You know what that means!
WE NEED YOUR GUEST POSTS!
And we ain’t too proud to beg.
We’re seeking out some stellar guest posts because, believe it or not, we know that our opinions aren’t the only ones that matter!
If you’ve got ANYTHING to say about The Hunger Games books, movies, merchandise, actors, fandom, etc. that you’d like to share with tons of members of the fandom, write it up and send it to email@example.com! Wit preferred, but not required. As long as your writing isn’t a hot mess (we have faith in you!), we’ll post it up to be shared with other fans!
Send in your posts by Friday, Nomveber 15 at 5pm EST and we’ll love you forever!
We have a confession to make. Most fansites are too nice or perhaps too sane to think like this, but– Oh! We’re not! Here goes: We take some sick pleasure in watching tiny factions of the fandom lose their minds over nothing. IT. IS. HILARIOUS.
We’ve touched on Peeta Paranoia, the completely unfounded and totally irrational fear that Peeta’s role in Catching Fire will be overshadowed because Gale is also featured in the advertising, in the past. But recently, it’s been taken to a whole new level after the reveal of a Catching Fire soundtrack number entitled “Gale Song”. A new, pathetic level.
Mockingjay.net posted an infographic detailing how Peeta is actually way more dominant in the Catching Fire advertisement. It breaks down stills, promotional images, lines and appear times in the trailer, and appearances by the actors, among other things. To be clear, we think this is BRILLIANT. It spells out how this is an irrational fear… unless you are SO very irrational that you assume it’s a conspiracy, of course!
The comments on MJ.net are enough to throw us into a giggle fit (though some of them are just plain rude to the awesome, hardworking MJ staff and that is NOT COOL)! They accuse the site of going along with “The Gale Agenda” and a couple even question how much Lionsgate is paying them to side with their marketing campaign.
AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! Do you honestly think Lionsgate pays fansites for anything? Like ever?! REALLY?! Literally, there’s giggles happening as I write this, because the very thought is so ludicrous. Also, a “Gale Agenda”? Have they read the books?! Besides the fact that Peeta is featured much more heavily in the campaign, anyone who knows Suzanne Collins’ endgame should be bright enough to realize that a Gale Agenda would be completely counter-productive. Lionsgate would be shooting themselves in the foot come Mockingjay Part 1, when the audience needs to be so emotionally attached to Peeta that they are in constant fear for his safety and shocked by his hijacking.
Also, Peeta and Katniss end up together so it is not an actual competition, kids! And we assume Lionsgate would not set up the series to make non-readers root specifically for the character that’s maligned in the end, because they like it when their movies get good ratings.
The more reasonable portion of the unreasonable try to argue that it’s not the time that the characters have been promoted, but the context in which they’re been promoted. Gale kissing Katniss and tackling a Peacekeeper is shown, along with some heady quotes inspiring revolution. Peeta’s lines are more quiet and introspective, his relationship with Katniss is strained and not particularly loving. This small faction of Peeta fans has got their panties in a bunch because apparently, they’ve never read the first half of Catching Fire, in which this is almost exactly what happened. The tackled Peacekeeper is the only considerable difference and it won’t make or break character favoritism.
In case you forgot, Gale DOES spout off talk of revolution often, get in trouble with Peacekeepers, and kiss Katniss on a whim. Peeta and Katniss DO struggle to discover where they truly stand and during that time, Peeta is very careful in what he says to Katniss. This isn’t fanfiction. Gale is strong but a bit loud and showy in his rebelliousness, Peeta is strong but quiet and careful– at least, at the points we’re being shown in the trailer. If you don’t like that, you’re not yet fully aware of your own hypocrisy. Not to mention that audiences crying about Peeta not being portrayed correctly HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE and have no idea how he is portrayed throughout! They’ve seen about three scenes.
Real talk, guys. If Peeta is portrayed as poorly as he was in the first movie, we’ll be right there with you complaining. But we can only say that about the first movie because we’ve watched it several times and analyzed it at an almost unhealthy level. Nobody has seen Catching Fire yet. You’re judging a whole movie by a two-minute trailer meant to show you a very restricted peek at specific scenes.
Where is Peeta’s kiss, you ask? Or Peeta being a badass in the arena? Or Peeta being a brilliant spokesperson during the Victory Tour? That stuff is probably being saved. Not because it’s not worthy of showing audiences, but because those are the big moments! You don’t show your whole hand at once or you’re destroying the element of surprise! We haven’t seen anything passed the countdown in the arena, because that’s when things get really good and 98% of it involves Peeta. Be patient!
Re: “Gale Song”: There are a couple songs about Peeta or Katniss/Peeta on the Catching Fire soundtrack, as there were on The Hunger Games soundtrack. Just because it’s not called “Peeta Song” doesn’t mean it doesn’t count for anything. There could be songs about Snow, Finnick, Effie or Haymitch for all we know. So let’s stop freaking out just because The Lumineers (who we’re just happy to see featured on the soundtrack!) didn’t come up with an alternate title to what was probably their placeholder title during the submission process. Also, the song is FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. Stop hatin’!
Way to Embarrass The Sensible Peeta Fans,
The Girl With The Pearl
SURPRISE! It’s time for a Monday guest post, courtesy of Le District 12‘s very own Aeris!
There are two reasons you should give Aeris lots of love:
1) This is a long, thought-provoking, articulate piece.
2) We probably should’ve posted it last week, like we originally told her we would before we just kept falling asleep too early.
I’ve been re-reading Catching Fire for a few weeks now (actually, I’d been re-reading it and was about to start Mockingjay, when on the day of the second trailer’s release I decided to… read Catching Fire for the second time in a row. Because I felt like celebrating the trailer, and Catching Fire happens to be my favorite of the three. Maybe. Picking a favorite THG book is like evaluating kitten cuteness. Not possible. Anyway. When I say “re-read”, I meant “re-read for the 5th or 6th time”, but you knew that, right?) and I’m currently at the part where Katniss, Peeta and Finnick start to realize what the Arena’s all about. As in, “Tick, Tock”.
Now as we are getting closer to the movie’s release, I’ve been picturing what Catching Fire will look like a lot more than before, what with the visuals we have now, and because it’s actually happening, we’re going to see it on the big screen, SOON so I can’t help but think about it that way! Therefore, I’ve been wondering which sections (that we, as readers, know of) of the Arena Francis Lawrence will choose to include and which (new) ones he might add. Because Suzanne Collins probably has all the other ones in mind even if she didn’t specify them in the book, and as a director Francis Lawrence knows best what will be cinematographic and what won’t. So without further ado (oh, how I like to ramble), let’s dig in, shall we?
Part 1: The Sections We Know About
1. The Blood Rain: Johanna, Wiress and Beetee emerge from this as they finally join Katniss, Peeta and Finnick on the Beach. Whether we’ll actually see the down-poor, or just the result (them being covered in blood), or nothing at all, isn’t clear at this point. With everything FLaw (oh man, I just realized shortening Francis’ name like that makes it seem like I’m calling him “flaw”…Noooo!) needs to put in this movie, it’s doubtful he’s going to take the time to show stuff that isn’t crucial, but I for one think Blood Rain visual effects would be pretty cool.
2. The Fog: From what we’ve seen on, um, dubiously obtained pictures, the Tributes’ uniforms do not seem to have been destroyed by the Fog after they go through it. Plus, even though we’d be more than happy to see Peeta and Finnick shirtless, things might get a little awkward if during three quarters of the arena sequences, all 3 are in their underwear. (Peeta and Katniss should only be very slightly clothed for the Beach Scene, let’s be reasonable here!)
So maybe the Fog will “just” paralyze them, without being acidic. Which rules out the whole dipping limbs in water, slathering on disgusting ointment part and scaring Peeta with it.
I wonder though, how the Fog will work, visually. People running away from, basically, mist, doesn’t seem that scary, even though we know better.
3. The Mutt-Monkeys: Now this, we know FOR SURE appears in the movie because Josh said so! (And Josh’s word is as good as gold, obviously). He also said it was his favorite action scene, so there you go. And what’s not to like about a fight with hoards of rabid monkeys, right? Plus, this is also the scene which reaffirms the idea in Katniss’ mind that other Tributes are saving Peeta’s life whenever it’s endangered and she can’t figure out why. So it is im-pah-tant, people.
4. The JabberJays: OK, they just have to be in the movie. I don’t care that much if they tweak the fog and make it something different, but the Jabberjays… the psychological attack says so much about Finnick as a character and it depicts perfectly just how far the Capitol is willing to go to torture people, in a gruesome, custom-made way. I know they didn’t cast Annie until Mockingjay, so technically they can’t include her voice (except if they add it now that we have Stef Dawson, who knows!) but it can’t be hard to add a young girl’s screaming, right? That being said, if I have to hear another cringe-worthy, weak, flat, wrong, “KATNISS” from Willow Shields, they won’t need to because I am going to scream, Jabberjay Style.
5. The Beast: We don’t know much about this, really. Most likely they’ll skirt over it like they did when Thresh died during The Hunger Games, but then again maybe not. We have psychological attacks, elemental attacks (more about that later), and animal attacks but the monkeys, even though they’re horrible mutts, are still probably not that impressive as “beasts”. So a huge, Monster/Beast-Mutt might be quite interesting to include in a very fast-paced scene.
6. The Wave: I bet this will be in the movie. It’s easy to do, impressive to see.
7. The Insects: We might just get the sound of these, as our Tributes never get to face them for real (thankfully). But I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t mentioned.
8. The Earthquake: OK, technically this doesn’t count as a “section” but it does happen. And it will be in the movie because Francis said so! And Francis’ word is…as good as gold, you bet.
Part 2: The Unknown
All in all, we have four empty sections of unknown horrors that the Tributes don’t “get” to see. The other attacks, as previously summarized, can easily be categorized into the following: elemental (the wave, the quake, the fog, the rain), animal (the beast, the insects, the monkeys), and psychological (the Jabberjays). Some of these can overlap of course, the Jabberjays are technically also in an “animal” category but they don’t attack physically, so… And the rain can also count as psychological: how unnerving would it be to almost drown in blood, all while not knowing whose blood it is.
Bearing this in mind, I thought about what the other sections could be. Considering the quota of “elemental” attacks, I think we could still add one more. Something vicious, like quicksand, or a localized tornado. Or maybe even a field of beautiful but drowse-inducing poppies, like in The Wizard of Oz, making Tributes completely vulnerable to anything else (namely, other Tributes) that might come their way.
Also, remember the pedestals? They are part of the “clock”, so we can easily imagine them detonating at the slightest breach of a section at the right (or wrong, more accurately) time. Trying to cross over to another section to get yourself far away from the danger? THINK AGAIN!
There probably could be another animal attack, too. The arena is set in the jungle, and I’m pretty sure they could have encountered snakes, or mutt-snakes, more likely. Evil, deathly poisonous, altered snakes. Snakes that can fly, for example, (has anyone else read Michael Grant’s Gone series? You should!). Or stare you in the eyes and kill you on the spot. (OK, I promise I’m done with other literature references!)
I’m coming up a little blank on the psychological attacks though. Of course Tracker Jackers could be employed to make the Tributes hallucinate and wonder if their worst fears coming true is…real or not real, if you will. But I don’t think Suzanne would so blatantly use something from the first and third books, and the Tracker Jacker venom will be explained in all its agonizing glory during Mockingjay.
And I feel like the Jabberjays pretty much take the cake. Hearing your loved ones scream while you can’t do anything, and wondering “Where did they get those screams, Katniss?” has to be close to Number 1 on the “Best ways to drive someone insane” course.
And considering Psychological Torture will be THE THEME of Mockingjay Part 1, they probably won’t elaborate on it too much during Catching Fire.
Now I’m just going to go and read some more and try and imagine (over and over) how the Beach Scene is going to be done. Bruno Gunn tweeting quotes from it is NOT helping me to be patient.
Three months! *breathes deeply*. Three months.
Them There Eyes is off exploring the wilderness this week, which means one thing: GUEST POSTS!
We’ve got a couple of goodies for you, starting off with this one from first time guest writer Fefe! She’s introducing us to a new term and talking about why resemblance isn’t a deciding factor for the characters she loves.
In completely unrelated (but totally related) fandom news, the answer to “Who is the 12th Doctor?” has been answered, and he looks nothing like, well, me. Whovians all over the world have been weighing in on what they wanted from a new Doctor (“a person of color”,” a woman”, “A GINGER!”) all summer and now that the role has been filled we can get to the part I’ve been dreading: the backlash from the unsatisfied.
The hoopla over the next Doctor reminds me of another group of fans we all know and (usually) love; fans of The Hunger Games. See, I told you it was kind of related. Remember when Jennifer and Liam weren’t the exact skin tone we imagined Katniss and Gale would be? Remember when Cinna was (*gasp*) tapped to be played by a black actor? Remember when that all happened again this year when the Catching Fire cast was announced by Lionsgate? There were people who were angry yet again because the actors did not look the way they’d imagined, these critics were those who didn’t think there were enough people of color hired to be a part of the cast.
The opposing fans argued that the looks of the actors tapped to play the characters they had grown to love when reading the series is: “They don’t look like me and I want to be able to see myself in this character I love.” I have a question for you, why? While I can understand occasionally wanting to see oneself represented on screen, I cannot understand why that has to be the case with every TV show or film one watches. I have had many spirited debates with friends about this when discussing the likes of shows on The CW or ABC Family as well as The Hunger Games saga and I never quite get it.
I am black, I am female, and I date women, but I don’t need every character in everything watch to also be a gay black woman for me to enjoy watching them. Some would call me a “Blerd”; a black nerd. I swear I did not just make that word up and it is actually a thing; Google it if you don’t believe me. I am also friends with a lot of Blerds and, as much as I love them, I am constantly frustrated by some of their points of view. They tend to get up in arms the “feel left out” and because they don’t think there are enough representations of them on shows and in films they watch. I in turn get frustrated trying to argue that sometimes even characters resembling me tend to be the characters I like least. For the record, the lesbian women of color, like me, on True Blood and Pretty Little Liars, to me are unlikable and I sometimes mute the telly when they are on screen. Should I enjoy a character more by virtue of a shared resemblance? A character’s race, gender, and sexual orientation have little to with my identifying with a character as I am more about the depth of that character than the surface qualities.
While reading The Hunger Games series I liked to imagine I could have been Katniss Everdeen or Johanna Mason. I wanted to believe that I could be the face of a rebellion and that there could be something that I believed in so strongly about that I would be brave enough to risk everything, including my life for. When the actresses hired to play the parts of these characters who from their book descriptions could have been a person of color turned out to be white women, I lost no love or respect for them or what they did in the books and did not admire them any less because the actress playing the part didn’t look like me. My friends argued that Collins’ description of Katniss meant she could have been played by an African-American or Native American and casting Jennifer Lawrence left some fans disappointed that she was another case of Hollywood whitewashing. They felt hurt that because Katniss/Collins did not specifically say I am black or I am Latina that meant by default she was to be played by a white actress.
It comes down to this: Katniss had to be played by someone and that someone turned out to be a great actress. Ultimately, these friends of mine accepted Jennifer Lawrence because hey, who doesn’t love Jennifer? (For the record if you don’t love her, I wouldn’t admit it out loud or on Twitter, talk about backlash.) I asked my fellow Blerds if they were pleased when Jeffrey Wright and Maria Howell were picked to play Tributes in the 75th Hunger Games and they were. They were pleased they were going to see themselves represented and even happier because unlike the stereotypical move in a movie, Beetee and Seeder don’t die right away. Oh well, at least there’s that I told them. Boring old that, because how uninteresting to only watch things that have characters just like you living their lives just like you (well, if you lived in a dystopian future and were on a nationally televised reality show where you had to kill to live)? I am a self-proclaimed TV & film addict, and if I only watched shows featuring a chick that goes to classes, writes papers, and spends most her time at her call center job I’d be bored, like, Episode One bored
Personally, I am most looking forward to Catching Fire to see my favorite character, Johanna, from the series come to life on screen, and I could not care less that Jena Malone does not look just like me. I just want to see her sashay into that elevator and swing that axe because those are actions I most want to try in real life.
Earlier this week, we talked about the new Entertainment Weekly article and how it wasn’t much of a shocker. Alas, we didn’t take in to account The Hunger Games fandom’s ability to OVERREACT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW.
What about now? Francis Lawrence talked about “manning up” Peeta:
“We made some changes to Peeta’s narrative,” says [Francis] Lawrence. “We manned him up a little. And by the way it didn’t take a lot, just little choices to make here and there. The story doesn’t really change, his relationship with Katniss doesn’t change, he’s just a different kind of character.” For instance, in the book, the Hunger Games kicks off and Peeta is paralyzed when the other all-star tributes dive into the water. “The option is for either me drowning or sitting there like a cat batting my paw into the water,” says Josh Hutcherson with a laugh. “Either way the visual is horrible.” Easy fix: Let Peeta swim.
And suddenly Francis Lawrence, who fans were seemingly optimistic about until a few days ago, is nothing short of the devil. “HE’S DESTROYING OUR PEETA!” Nevermind that nobody is aware of the context in which Peeta is being “manned up” or in comparison to what other elements, or the fact that Lawrence stated that the changes were very minimal. And Frankie says he’s “a different kind of character”! As we all know, we should be taking ALL THE THINGS literally and Peeta will be totally unrecognizable now. right?!
Everyone seems to assume that Francis Lawrence is talking about toughening Peeta up from his role in the books because the example provided talks about him swimming, which he does not in the books. (P.S. Swimming means Peeta has an extra skill, not that he is all that equals manliness. We know plenty of people who would start and win a bar fight, but can’t swim well.) Yet we’re thinking no, mainly because Hunger Games Book!Peeta was much tougher than Movie!Peeta. Think about it!
We love that The Hunger Games characters subvert gender stereotypes in many instances, but something went awry in the first movie. In order to make Katniss look stronger, they made Peeta look helpless. The only time his strength is mentioned is when Katniss brings it up. The only time his strength is shown is when Katniss tells him to show it off. He’s a jittery mess when working with the Careers. He rarely talks back. That not how we recall Book!Peeta at all. So is working Movie!Peeta up to a level more on par with Book!Peeta really a bad thing?
We also seem to be forgetting that once the Quarter Quell is announced, both Peeta and Katniss become more emotionally callous. Peeta puts himself, Katniss, and Haymitch through his own version of Victor bootcamp. He becomes friendly with the other tributes in a way Katniss can’t, but he’s doing so on a strategic level. He’s facing down his death and he’s not taking it lightly. Why is it that when Peeta is described as getting tougher, everyone assumes they’re trying to make him into a testosterone-driven dickhead action hero instead of considering the natural freaking progression of his character?!
Peeta has strengths! Manly ones! He also has a great deal of sensitivity and charm that fans love. The idea that the progression of one somehow negates the other is downright stupid. He can be strong and skilled and artsy and still have deep feelings, just like in the books! Crazy, we know!
Personally, we’re looking forward to seeing how this plays out on the big screen.
The Mulan Reference In The Title Is Ill-Suited But We Don’t Even Care,
The Girl With The Pearl
Okay… this may sound weird but… We need to know if we’re going to see Jena Malone naked in November. Okay, not actually naked, but in an on-screen situation that seriously implies nudity. It’s driving us crazy!
When District 7′s Johanna Mason introduces herself to the readers in Catching Fire, she sets the tone stripping down in the middle of the elevator to psych out the ever uptight Katniss. It’s there for a little shock value, but it shows that she’s not intimidated by the other Victors and she’s probably got a better handle on the Capitol lifestyle to boot. It’s also a great moment of differentiation between Katniss, who is mortified, and Peeta, who laughs at the situation because he’s adapted a little better and doesn’t let Johanna ruffle his feathers.
And we have no idea whether or not it’s going to happen. We think so. We’re pretty sure. Kinda.
It’s not that Jena Malone hasn’t been asked about it. She was asked. A lot. But she gave basically the same answer every time. Something along the lines of “What’s great about this film is that Francis Lawrence worked really closely with Suzanne Collins, so we’re very true to the book and the core of the story.”
This could be Jena saying two things: “Yup, I’m totes naked” or “My character does a helluva lot more than get naked in the books, so stop being getting so damn obsessed with that one scene.” Maybe both! Truthfully, we just can’t be sure. And maybe we shouldn’t care, but the moment actually has some interesting context, not just bare skin.
Also, it would be a glorious “fuck you” to that parent review site who cited a quick shot of Jennifer Lawrence’s bare leg from the knee down in The Hunger Games’ speed bathing scene as “some inappropriate nudity” back when the first film came out. We’ll show you real inappropriate nudity!
And why not say one way or the other? Were the actors, particularly Jena, told to keep mum on the scene? Or did she decide it would more fun for the fans to guess? Either way, good move. We’re intrigued. NOW TELL USSSSSSS!
Let’s Face It. Johanna Will Look Hot Either Way,
The Girl With The Pearl
The Spice Girls were right.. We need more Girl Power in this world STAT!
We had a great guest post back in June about Katniss Everdeen, the girl who isn’t exactly universally loved by the fandom. Writer mse totally nailed it when she talked about all the complexities of Katniss that fans should love, but often take for granted. Instead, fans fault her for “annoying” habits: She’s rash, emotional, not always a shining beacon of confidence, and willing to prioritize certain people above others. And let’s face it, the perpetrators of the idea that these characteristics are “annoying” in a female protagonist are usually other women.
Meanwhile, those fans will herald Gale for being a “Man’s Man” for possessing the same characteristics they claim to hate in Katniss. There’s nothing wrong with the way either of them act… except we’re readily willing to accept that behavior from a dude, not a chick.
Though Suzanne Collins hasn’t discussed this phenomenon directly, Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments, talked about it in a way that was pretty intriguing. Many people describe her female protagonist, Clary Fray, as “annoying” (which Clare essentially says is a copout word for people don’t bother to pinpoint their actual problems with the character). To which Clare has responded on multiple occasions by saying she’s purposefully given Clary predominantly male characteristics, many of which she shares with Katniss. OH SNAP! Yup, she’s rash and doesn’t always make the best decisions. She prioritizes her family above many others, including herself, and people die in the process. She finds herself in situations she never dreamed of facing and gets doesn’t always handle her emotions well.
To specifically quote Clare:
“So I guess what I would say is that of course being a female character doesn’t meant you get a pass from anyone ever not liking you. But if you’re using the word “annoying” to describe a girl or woman, real or fictional, take a moment to stop and ponder what it is that makes you think that character is annoying, what precise actions she took that bothered you so much, and whether they would have bothered you if a boy did them.”
Regardless of your thoughts on Clary and The Mortal Instruments, girl’s got a point about literature in general. The readers have this preset idea of what characteristics belong with a certain gender and any assignment of those characteristics elsewhere drives some people cray cray!
Think of all the well loved, oh-so-broken male characters out there! They have dark pasts and they struggle so much and we just want to hug them and save them from their pain! They don’t mean to make bad decisions, they just try to do what they think is best to protect to people they love! Despite their hard exterior, we know their hearts are golden! (…In my mind, I’m saying this all in the sappy voice typically reserved for babies and puppies.)
In The Hunger Games, Katniss is not the only one who gets this treatment. Though Peeta is well-liked by many, his naysayers often cite his more feminine characteristics as a reason to hate him: He doesn’t like fighting or confrontation and doesn’t always win! He’s openly afraid of death! He’s sensitive! He bakes, for god sake! And of course, the Mockingjay ringer that will forever kill us: It took him a long while to fight off months of Tracker Jacker venom-induced brainwashing that most people never even recover from, but readers assume a more masculine character could’ve handled faster.
Oh, Katniss. We love that you’re tough as nails and flawed and a total bitchface when the moment calls for it (though we would like it if other characters called you out on it more often). And we love Peeta for being the voice of reason and having strength of mind, just as much as we love Gale for his ability to kick Peacekeeper ass.
Are We Surprised That I Am A Total Tomboy?
The Girl With The Pearl