As fans of Suzanne Collins’s immaculate YA dystopian trilogy, The Hunger Games, we shared a collective sigh of relief and satisfaction to the faithfulness of Lionsgate’s film adaptations, especially after the release of Mockingjay Part 2. With three hit movies already stacked (and both filmgoers and book fans happy), to say they had a lot of pressure mounted on the finale would be an understatement. Thankfully, the adaptation stayed true to Collins’s original vision in all the places that counted—including the signature WTF moments common throughout the series.
Though The Hunger Games trilogy was written for young adults, it is, by no means, a lighthearted story; the author took great pains to accurately depict the brutal horrors of war, which sets the series apart from others out there. With such commitment to authenticity, Mockingjay Part 2 was full of many scarring moments that stole our breaths. To celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Mockingjay Part 2 adaptation, we at Bookstr have compiled 5 WTF moments from the movie that will send chills down your spine.
Peeta’s Therapy Session
The first WTF moment came at the very start of the movie; Peeta, who we learned had been medically conditioned to hate Katniss, was strapped to a bed. We then witnessed Katniss watching through one-way glass as he conversed with her sister Prim. Things started out–ok; however, they quickly escalated into madness as Peeta revealed just how far-gone he was. That frightening intro gave an ominous tone for what was ahead.
Gale’s True Colors
Aside from Peeta, Gale was the second-best potential lover for Katniss…until Mockingjay Part 2. Though their relationship gradually deteriorated since the 74th Hunger Games, it’s safe to say his consistent demonstration of callous all-or-nothing sentiments to the rebel cause was a turnoff to both Katniss and the audience.
Though Gale was ultimately fighting for the right side, his disregard for human rights and willingness to commit what are actual war crimes really darkened his character. Even though he supported Katniss during her mission into the Capitol, he ceased being her closest ally (that status was earned back by Peeta up to the film’s end, despite undergoing adverse conditioning).
One standout aspect of The Hunger Games trilogy was how Collins introduced numerous compelling and likeable supporting characters throughout the second and third installments. Equally amazing was that the movies were able to mirror that effect. One of the best characters that appeared late in the series was Boggs. Serving as Katniss’s trusty and competent escort during her acclimation in District 13, he was quickly established as a critical member of the Mockingjay’s inner circle, which made his untimely death so tragic.
Though we’d already seen the level of overkill packed in a single Capitol pod, the moment that landmine went off and the sound cut was one of the most terrifying in the whole movie—even when compared to the eyeless lizard mutts that came later. Maybe the scene was hard-hitting because we understood how important Boggs was to Squad 451’s survival in the Capitol warzone. Whatever the reason, Boggs’s death caused a thematic shift in the film as a whole: for the first time, Katniss was technically alone (note that Peeta was still recovering from Katniss-pox and Gale had started showing signs of psychopathy). With Boggs gone, she was running low on people she could rely on.
President Snow’s Moral Integrity
When it comes to villains, President Snow proved to be one of the more complicated in bookish and cinematic history. A combination of James Moriarty’s confident intelligence and the military might of Emperor Palpatine, he ruled Panem with an iron grip. Despite his totalitarian exploits, he surprised audiences throughout the series with small, down to earth, and—dare we say—good moments, that revealed him to be not a complete monster.
The most famous and controversial instance happened after the rebellion’s victory in the Capitol, when Snow was spending his last days in the company of his beloved roses (a message to all of you scented candle hoarders and shoe collectors: don’t judge someone because of their obsession!). When Katniss went to visit him, he expressed his condolences for the tragic death of her sister Prim. In that brief moment of dialogue, his expression and tone shifted to what appeared as authentic sorrow…until he began listing the practical evidence for why he wasn’t the one who caused her death, during which he couldn’t help gloating (his final one up over Alma Coin’s hidden corruption and malevolence).
When Katniss responded with understandable skepticism, Snow directed her to a callback of the conversation they shared in Catching Fire, where they promised to always tell the truth to each other. Looking back through the books and films, it seemed that he held up his end of the bargain. Despite President Snow’s cold brutality, you can’t deny that he had at least some moral integrity; however, that fact only makes the moment all the more disturbing.
Coin’s “Solution” For Peace
It turns out that there’s a disagreement regarding best way to put out a fire; the first and most widely accepted way is with water; on the other hand, you can try fighting fire with fire. Acting president Alma Coin preferred the ladder method when she seized power over Panem at the conclusion of Mockingjay Part 2.
In a private meeting with the remaining victors, she proposed the idea of hosting a final Hunger Games that would, supposedly, even things out between the aggrieved District citizens and those of the Capitol. Though approval of the idea won out, it was Katniss’s sudden choice to assassinate Coin which ensured that the twisted peace plan didn’t occur. Recalling the scene itself, the characters all agreed that it was a WTF moment, even considering all they’d been through.
Mockingjay Part 2’s release marked the end of an era. With all three of Collins’s books adapted, the story was concluded for both the bookish and filmgoing audience. Considering the sometimes-messy nature of book adaptations, Mockingjay Part 2 and The Hunger Games movies as a whole stand among the more faithfully executed in cinema history.
Featured Images Via FicQuotes & Vox.