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 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