Marvel Deserves More Love Than He Gets

I am a big fan of the Hunger Games Fireside Chat but only discovered the show recently. That involved a lot of catch up in listening to episodes. I find episode 18 particulary memorable for a Thresh, Cato, and Marvel CMK. One of the panelists chose to kill Marvel saying that, as a general rule, Marvel should be dead for killing Rue. Every panelist agreed with this.

This got me to thinking about Katniss being repeatedly told to remember who the real enemy is while in the arena. I am pretty sure we all mutually understand who the enemy is: the Capitol. Here’s my problem: if the Capitol is the enemy, then isn’t hating Marvel totally defeating the purpose of the books?!

Marvel The Hunger Games

Victim of circumstance?

Marvel killed Rue, yes, but Katniss killed people in the arena. And Cato…he is way violenter than Marvel ever was (he freaking snapped the District 3 tribute boy’s neck!), and I never truly see fandom hatred towards him. How does Marvel’s one known murder make him horrid compared to tributes that killed way more people (like Cato or Katniss)?

Some people try to support their hatred by saying that Rue wasn’t a threat to Marvel. I would like to say she was. She was the sweetest little girl, but she was a tribute in the Games. That label AUTOMATICALLY made her a threat. The Games completely change the definition of what a threat is.

You also are forgetting something else if you hate him: Marvel is a District 1 Career. Careers are trained to kill for their entire life. Winning the Games is a great honor. They don’t know how to do anything but kill in the Games.

Finally, what can any of us really say about Marvel’s morality when he is such an underdeveloped character? Katniss herself thinks about him and how he might have a girlfriend or a loving family waiting for him at home, hoping for him to win. We don’t think twice when Katniss kills because we know she has a conscience. If Marvel had lived, who’s to say Rue’s death wouldn’t have haunted him? Despite the honor of winning, I still think the death would have bothered him. He is, after all, a human being.

I too hated Marvel when he killed Rue. I thought he was a heartless human being and I rejoiced when Katniss killed him. I wish now I had not felt that way. Marvel never was the enemy, and I don’t think Suzanne Collins intended for all of us to hate him. The Capitol is Rue’s real murderer. Marvel deserves better treatment then we give him.

The next time you read the Hunger Games, don’t just cry for Rue’s death. Cry for Marvel’s too.

Erudite in District 4


  1. Thank you! It always bothered me that people were cheering for various characters’ deaths. The way I saw it, all of the tributes were victims of a situation which was far out of their control. You could be like the Careers and do your best to adapt to it, training your children to be SURVIVORS of the Games, or like the other Districts who are just trying to make it through a day. It’s all grey area. Yes, he killed Rue, but when it comes right down to it, only one person is supposed to leave that arena alive and there is absolutely no way that wouldn’t damage a person’s (more accurately, child’s) mental capacity. When all you can see are enemies, of course you are bound to snap.

    1. You bring up a good point about teaching the kids to adapt. The people from districts without Careers look at them with distaste. I am sure that districts with the Careers look at the ones who just walk in to passively die with distaste. From a parents point of view, you want to give your child every opportunity you can in life. If this includes training them to defend themself if and when that child is chosen for the Games, then so be it. If they die fighting, they at least took some with them, if they make it, then they bring extra food for the year to the entire district. From their POV, this seems like the best decision. So yes, the entire world they live in is flooded with shades of grey.

  2. We even have pity on Cato for his horrible death, after seing aaaaall his bad intentions, and never think how much worse was the way Katniss killed Glimmer or all others ends. The truth is, The Hunger Games is an arena and the fight is to survive. No death was nice, no one was happy. And I trully think Rue could kill too, if the right time and chance came. The idea of the traker jakers was hers. And again, we would not blame her, as we don’t blame Katniss. Let’s not forget: the idea of the books is that killing is not good, no matter what the reason, the ideal, because always, what is left is sufering. Leave poor Marvel alone.

  3. When reading about the careers, it made me think of the Spartans. They killed whomever was viewed as weak, including babies and children. We all adore Rue because she is small, frail, tenacious and brave but a “Career” tribute is trained in battle and their honor is intrinsically tied to this, and would start at a young age, like a Spartan would have. They
    most likely would look upon Rue’s fraility and size as a weakness. It seems strange that there is so much hate directed at Marvel and yet “The 300” are idolized for the same visciousness and militaristic mentality.

    1. I actually never thought about it before, but that’s a really cool perspective. Didn’t Suzanne Collins say she was inspired by gladiators and stuff?

      1. There are a lot of nods to Roman Culture in her books from “panem” to the name. Ceasar, Cinna, Portia, Octavia. Also, when I was growing up, we were taught about the vomitoria and were told that during a party, they would tickle the backs of their throats with feathers to induce vomitting so they could continue to eat and drink. This is considerred myth now, but I liked the nod to it in CF.

  4. “I just wanted to hold them accountable, for killing that little girl.” ~Peeta in Catching Fire. That’s not an exact quote, but I think the point is YES, it’s the Capitol who’s to blame for Rue’s death. Katniss understood that when she buried her ally in flowers, Peeta understood it when he painted her face on the training center floor. I hope we understand, too….. it’s a major theme in the series, something we should take care to remember.

    1. Yes! And to me it seems so much worse when I think that the ones who saw the flowers and the painting were essentially television producers. Yes, the Capitol (the govt) was responsible, but they used Media to control the masses and but their own spin on things.

  5. Sorry this has nothing to do with the topic. This puts insight into Cato’s monologue before his death and makes you think. That was the best monologue in the movie. Because he realized he was already dead. He was supposed to die his entirely life. We pity those kids from poor districts. But have we ever stopped to think of the careers? They were trained to this. Knowing they would most probably die. What kinds of parents use their kids as a business? Trained to make them rich, or die. The children from 12 were poor and starving and weak. But most of them had their parents. Loving parents who would die for get some food to bring home for them. Cato and the rest of the careers lived under a fake mask of glory. And he realized it right before he died. “Is that what you wanted?” He screamed to the cameras. Was that him blaming the Capitol? Or maybe, just maybe, was there a heartless mother back home, realizing she killed her child from the day he was born?

    1. i’m sure it didn’t start out that way. from a parental stand point, I’m sure it started out with someone saying… dear god, there is a chance my child could be snatched away from me and all of us who love them have to watch them die … I should teach them something so they have an advantage…. which probably turned into more people teaching their children. so after this happens… guess what? it WORKED! they taught their child to fight, to survive at all costs and they get them back, they get them to come home…. and not only that, they win enough food for the WHOLE DISTRICT for the year. They are a hero. Everyone is fed and next year, parents go to that kid and say… hey… can you do me a favor? Can you please please teach my kid the same things that let you win?.. you know, just in case they’re chosen? eventually, it just becomes easier to teach them in a group. every year, you get a victor and they have something new to teach, each year, more kids are in the group and it becomes easier to have a school.
      things evolve.
      besides, the point of this post was to show that his mother isn’t heartless, the CAPITOL was heartless. those children ALL were going to die the moment their names were called. No matter what the district. it’s quite a jump to assume his mother was heartless. Is it worse to send your child into a death match unprepared and ready to die or to tell them to come home at all costs?

  6. They were all just scared children trying to get home. I pity everyone put into that game whether they be a career or not. They are raised that way. My friends all say they were happy when Marvel and Cato died. It’s kind of sick wishing death on them. Some people are no better than Capitol citizens….

  7. Okay lets not give Marvel to much credit. He didnt HAVE to kill Rue. He chose to. Im sure not every career was merciless. Thresh was just as good as cato, and only killed when to avenge Rue… So even though Clove died it was somewhat okay. The careers were a diffrent type of tribute because they were volenteers. (Clove was the best tribute… And theres speculation Marvel killed Rue because he knew if Clove and Cato found her they’d torture her.)

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