It’s around that time of year again: happy Hunger Games…’s birthday!
Image via Amazon
If you’re like me and for a long time you were—and always will be—a hardcore fan of THG, books and movies, even when it’s long since been over (aside from the upcoming prequel next year on May 19), then you know how significant this time of year can be (and no, not to get Reaped), so here are the seven most memorable moments within the first book of the series.
(If you have not read my articles on the most memorable moments for the sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay, since those books’ publication dates have both passed within a month ago, which is so unbelievable that I’m convinced it’s been planned, you can read them both after this one, starting with the one for Catching Fire right here!)
*Also, spoiler warning: if you haven’t The Hunger Games, then click off now or, as the tributes had done back in the Games, stay alive!
May the odds be ever in your favor in trying to get through this article without getting all the THG feels…
1. “I volunteer as tribute!”
Image via MEME
It would be downright wrong to talk about iconic scenes in THG and not mention this one first and foremost. When Katniss volunteers to fight in her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, it is both the absolute turning point in her life and the moment that we as readers know this is the beginning of not only the book and the series but also the journey that we—and Katniss—have chosen to take.
2. “Thank you for your consideration”
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This has to be my go-to favorite scene in both the book and the movie: after being looked the other way by the Gamemakers during her tribute evaluation, Katniss shoots an arrow at the apple in the roast pig’s mouth, thus grabbing their attention, then bows and says, “Thank you for your consideration,” not at all missing a beat and her tone drenched—not dipped—in sarcasm.
(*Note: Katniss/Jennifer Lawrence: forever my queen.)
Specifically, in this book, this scene is arguably one of the best—if not the best—that we’ve ever seen from Katniss (again, from just this book), as well as the strongest impression that she could ever leave upon the Gamemakers, to show them not to mess with her. (If it forces them to put up an invisible force field around them the following year, then I’d say she definitely got to them!)
3. Katniss’s “Girl on Fire” dress
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Now, this is a moment to remember, as well as one you really need to see (the movie version of) to grasp the full experience! When Katniss has her interview with Caesar Flickerman, she wears a beautiful red dress, which as per his request she twirls for him, igniting at the base, catching on fire (harmlessly and temporarily), and stunning the audience (similar to the dress she wore while arriving in the Capitol that sparked her moniker “Girl on Fire”).
Cinna: 1 – no, 2; other stylists: 0. Also, move over Alicia Keys for the OG “Girl on Fire”!
4. “Because she came here with me”
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This would be my second favorite scene, and it’s a scene that’s so major that this line ends the first of the book’s three main parts. Right after Katniss’s interview was Peeta’s, and towards the end, Caesar asks Peeta if there was a special girl back in District 12 and tells him that by winning the Games he’ll win her over, but Peeta says that it wouldn’t do him any good and explains why with this all-too-bittersweet line: “Because she came here with me.”
Every time I think about this scene, it makes my heart ache for Peeta all over again…
In fact, I still remember seeing the movie clip for this for the first time on Freeform (which was then ABC Family) and losing it when I saw Katniss’s reaction!
5. The tracker-jacker scene
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This moment serves the Career tributes right! After Rue, Katniss’s new ally, points out to her a nest of tracker-jackers, genetically-engineered wasps, in the trees right above the Careers, Katniss knows right after what to do with it: saw off the branch and send those bees after them, but not before Katniss gets stung a few times herself, their venom causing all sorts of weird hallucinations…
I was never personally stung by a bee, but I’m sure that a normal bee-sting can be painful enough; however, this is where I draw the line at trying to imagine just how disorienting an experience it would be if I were stung by a mutated bee!
6. Rue’s farewell
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Just as it was for the moment she volunteered as tribute, Rue’s death as well as Katniss’s flowery farewell as “tribute” (get it?) to her was a major turning point not for only her to take Peeta’s words to heart about “not being a piece in their Games” but also—and you can only know this from the movie during this part—for District 11 and ultimately all the districts of Panem to rebel against the Capitol.
And it is because of this incident that inspires the announced temporary rule change that two tributes that be crowned victors if both came from the same district, the story’s own major turning point of which that caps off its second part.
Image via Painting Valley
Also—and I know this is jumping ahead a bit to a scene in Catching Fire, but I just couldn’t resist—Peeta’s mural of this very tribute to Rue in the next installment of the series is absolutely gorgeous and captures the farewell perfectly.
7. Katniss and Peeta almost take the berries
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About that rule change, here’s the mother of all memorable moments with the “star-crossed lovers of District 12” nearly committing suicide (Romeo & Juliet style) with deadly nightlock berries after finding out that the rule change was to narrow down the tribute pool so there would only be the two of them, but now—if I may quote from another movie—“it’s just been revoked,” as it was intended to force them to face off against each other until one of them remains.
This moment is the point where Katniss and Peeta were convinced that there would be no turning back from this… until they find themselves both walking out of the arena alive—but of course, severely scathed. Little do they know though, it is only the beginning…
Featured Image via YouTube