12 Details From “The Hunger Games” That You Might Have Missed Even If You’ve Watched These Films 100 Times
The final film of The Hunger Games was released 7 years ago, but the story of Katniss Everdeen hasn’t become less popular since then. Soon, we’ll be able to see the prequel of the saga, called The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes. And while we’re waiting, we can re-watch the first movies and find hidden messages that we might have missed. And in the bonus section, we’ll explain the connection between the prequel and the main saga.
The wrong hand
According to the book, the Three Finger Salute was done with your left hand. However, after Rue’s death, Katniss does the salute with her right hand, and rebels in District 11 repeat it. Later, the franchise makers realized that they’d made a mistake and corrected it in the following 3 movies.
Effie’s development is shown through gloves.
Effie Trinket is responsible for drawing the tributes’ names at the reaping and escorting them to the Capitol. In order to follow the development of this character, it’s enough to pay attention to her outfits. In the first movie, Effie wears thick black gloves. It seems they imply that she’s hiding something. And it’s partly true because she hides her true self under the layers of makeup and clothes.
In the second movie, Effie’s gloves become transparent. She continues to be a part of the governmental system and follow the codex of decency, but she can’t ignore her inner changes anymore. And in the franchise finale, Trinket stops wearing gloves at all.
Rue’s role in the story is implied by her name.
Katniss and Rue become real friends during their short time together at the Games. This is why Katniss is so shaken after the girl’s death, which becomes the catalyst of the following events. Only after losing Rue, does Katniss fully understand what’s happening in her country.
Attentive readers and viewers could predict the role of Rue in the story right from the very beginning. The fact is that this character was named after a medicinal herb. It is used to treat eye strains and sore eyes. Thanks to the leaves of a rue, people start seeing better. This is exactly what happened to Katniss in The Hunger Games.
A reference to Ray Bradbury’s novel
In the final part of the franchise, Katniss is sent to the Capitol as part of Squad 451. Suzanne Collins has never commented on the choice of this number, but many people suggest that the author drew parallels with another dystopian book, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, this way.
It’s also interesting that both stories use fire as an important symbol. In The Hunger Games, the flames of revolution destroy President Snow’s dictatorship. In Bradbury’s book, the fire in the hands of a book-burning fireman represents destruction.
Katniss’ hairstyle is the symbol of the revolution.
Katniss used to wear 2 braids as a child before her father died. After that, Katniss had to become the breadwinner of the family. She started braiding her hair into one tight braid because it was more convenient to hunt this way, and then participate in the Games. After the victory, Everdeen’s hairstyle turns into a symbol, and even the granddaughter of the President styles her hair this way in accordance with the latest Capitol fashion.
The hair artist working on the second film of the franchise admitted that they paid great attention to the braid of the main character, “Her braids always connect her to her family, her roots. She always maintains some version of the braids so as to not lose who she is. The braids are symbolic. For instance, when she arrives at the Capitol, she has a HUGE braid. It’s a sign of revolt.”
The hidden message above the tunnel.
There is a scene in the second film where Katniss and Peeta are waiting to face the crowd before the Quarter Quell. And they enter a tunnel labeled PDL-736. It turns out that film director Francis Lawrence left an Easter Egg for the cast. PDL-736 stands for Ponce De Leon 736, the address of an underground hip-hop club in Atlanta that the cast and crew used to frequent.
The poisonous berries have prototypes in real life.
The nightlock berries that Foxface gets poisoned with have got their name from 2 real poisonous plants. Deadly nightshade resembles the berries shown in the movie. While hemlock looks like flowers. Both plants look harmless but are very poisonous.
Seneca repeats the fate of his prototype.
Seneca Crane is the Head Gamemaker. We understand that Seneca is close to President Snow because the President honors him with an audience quite often. Crane falls out of favor when he begins to stray from the government’s course. As a result, Seneca, on the orders of President Snow, is left locked in a room with nightlock berries.
The Roman philosopher Seneca, who probably inspired the author of The Hunger Games, had a similar fate. Emperor Nero was a student of the Stoic philosopher Seneca but later lost confidence in him and even suspected him of a conspiracy.
President Snow’s first name speaks for itself.
Suzanne Collins was inspired by antiquity in many ways. The very concept of The Hunger Games is based on the idea of gladiator fights. Also, the trilogy has a lot of names that have a reference to ancient Greece and Rome. The name of President Coriolanus Snow is one of them.
Coriolanus is the name of a Roman leader after which Shakespeare wrote a play. In this tragedy, the main character is a general who advocates totalitarianism. Just like Snow, he doesn’t believe that power can be entrusted to the people; therefore, he strives for dictatorship.
“Avox” derives from Latin.
In The Hunger Games, an Avox is a criminal who has their tongue cut out, leaving them unable to speak. “Vox” means “voice” in Latin, and the prefix “a” typically means “without.” This means that “Avox” literally translates to “without voice.”
Katniss and Peeta resemble Disney characters.
At the end of the first film, Katniss and Peeta appear on the stage dressed like the characters of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And these costumes seem to predict the youngster’s future. Mellark will be turned into a Beast by the forces of the Capitol, and Katniss will do everything possible to free him and return him to a human state.
District 12 was inspired by the Great Depression.
From the very first minutes of the film, we understand that life in the Districts is very different from the one in the Capitol. The atmosphere of devastation and hopelessness is created with the help of small details — an old woman walking down the street with a broken yoke and children stirring up the dirt with a stick in the absence of other entertainment.
Some Internet users pointed out the resemblance of the woman standing by the window at the beginning of the movie to a photograph of Dorothea Lange taken during the Great Depression. Indeed, the pose and anxious look are identical.
Bonus 1: “The Hanging Tree” was written by the prequel’s main heroine.
The song that Katniss sings in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 became even more meaningful after the prequel of the trilogy was published. In the book, the events take place 64 years prior to the main events. Coriolanus Snow is the mentor of Lucy Gray, who, by unfortunate circumstances, turned out to be a Tribute of District 12. Lucy is a songwriter, and it was she who wrote the song that would be performed many years later by Katniss.
Bonus 2: Katniss and Lucy are related.
After the release of the prequel novel, fans came to the conclusion that Lucy and Katniss are related. Most likely, Katniss’ direct ancestor is Gray’s sister Maud Ivory. They were the main singers of the musical troupe. Of all the members of the troupe, it is with Maud that Katniss has a lot in common. They both pick up songs by ear quickly and love mockingjays. Maud could get married to someone with the surname Everdeen and become Katniss’ great-grandmother.
Do you want to watch the movie based on the prequel novel? What other books would you want to see adapted for the screen?