Oh the Hunger Games. Truly the best of the pack from the dystopian craze, at least in my opinion. It had everything. Fire, social commentary, death, crazy outfits. More movies than you can count. It’s been a while, but I know we’re still hype, and the second Mockingjay movie came out four years ago today, so let’s open some old wounds and have some laughs.
I’m Just Saying
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Look. If we were married, we would live in the same place, and therefore we’d have tons of time to work on the project. Just smart thinking, right? The only group project anyone ever wants to do. Yeah, this part of the story was insanely depressing, but don’t we all sometimes feel like we’re tap dancing just a few inches ahead of death? Just me? And if you’re asking someone to marry you in literally any other situation, you need to look happier about it. Just a tip.
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The Hunger Games didn’t invent killing all your characters and breaking everyone’s hearts. If anything, The Hunger Games was more metal about it, because those books were directed at a younger audience. I mean, maybe younger people thank I think watch GOT, but the audience for this was potentially young. I was a teenager when the last book came out, probably, but imagine reading it and being Prue’s age, younger. Rooting for her. Too soon?
Advice vs. Execution
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If it ain’t me. He’s just lucky he didn’t fall over. I know the act natural trope is crazy overused, but I just can’t be mad when it’s always so funny. As someone who’s never succeeded at seeming unbothered in my life, I can just relate on a really deep level. Sure, I’ve never gotten to the point of wearing a white suit about it, but I did once back into a table and fall over trying to act calm and professional. That might just be a me thing. Peeta does look awkward, though. Maybe because that collar’s clearly stabbing him.
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Look, I like to think I’d say to hell with the capital too, but at the same time, cushy job, probably some crazy hats, literally more food than you can eat… Sure, it worked out for him, but he really rolled the dice, didn’t he? For most of the rebellion it was like, hmm, do we fight or do we accept death? They could only profit. Maybe he saw an opportunity, maybe he was just a really good dude deep down, but his character really shows you the limits of first person narrative.
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*air horn sound* Alright, it’s probably not that funny. I just love it when people laugh really hard and I don’t get it like that. Look at the reaction image! Is it that funny to someone? Is it ironic laughter? Either way I’m amused. I also have a bunch of questions about snow. He was basically omnipotent, and he couldn’t make that work for him. For all he seemed clever in the books, I really don’t know how he let himself get killed by an excited crowd. What a fall from grace.
In case you missed the news, The Hunger Gamesauthor Suzanne Collins will officially be releasing a prequel novel set seventy-five years before the first games—and yes, we’re hungry for more!
The prequel, set for May 2020 release, will take place just after the Dark Days after the First Rebellion, the civil war between the districts and the Capitol. If you know your fictional history better than whatever you just scribbled down on your final, you’ll know that this rebellion ground to a halt when District 13 abandoned the others to secure its own freedom. With 13’s resources out of the picture, the Capitol crushed the remaining districts and plunged the fractured nation into the aforementioned Dark Days, a ten-year reconstruction period during which the Treaty of Treason—the legal stipulation for the games themselves—was enacted.
While we already know some of what happened, let’s look back on this excerpt from The Hunger Games and remember that global warming was probably what caused everything to go to hell in the first place:
He tells of the history of Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes that was once called North America. He lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little sustenance remained. The result was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gaves us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games.
The encroaching sea that swallowed up so much of the land? The brutal war for what little sustenance remained? Sounds like global warming to me. But I digress—the exact cause of the First Rebellion isn’t the only thing we’re dying (is this in poor taste?) to know. Whenever fans get a spinoff or prequel, the very first thing we want to know is if any of our friends will be there. As readers, we bond with our favorite characters and want to feel some echo of their life in these new stories. We want to know that they’re as important to the world of the story as they are to us personally.
Of course, this is rarely possible when time-skips are involved. Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters universe have historically been lucky on this front; fan-favorite quick-witted, bisexual warlock Magnus Bane is immortal and can therefore appear in any book, giving readers a sense of familiarity within the new story. Fortunately, we can guess at which characters might appear in the prequel based on the timeline. According to Time, the prequel will begin at the reaping of the 10th Hunger Games, over sixty years before we meet Katniss Everdeen. So, who was alive back then?
Let’s take a look at who we might encounter:
President Snow would be eleven at the time of the prequel, so it’s possible that we could meet the ruthless despot when he’s only a child. Admittedly, it would be interesting to see how coming of age in this time period could influence his worldview and the man he becomes. Of course, Snow’s age comes with certain implications: he would have been born barely a year before the first Hunger Games and knows no other world. This could offer readers an interesting juxtaposition between himself and teenage characters, who may remember life before the Games. We would also get to see what life is like for a child of the Capitol: born into wealth, Snow likely never experienced the mortal fear that consumed children of the same age. (Compare his life with Prim’s, a life in which a pre-teen could be reaped for the Games.)
The oldest featured character in Collins’ trilogy, Mags is the District 4 female tribute who befriends Katniss in Catching Fire. You might remember her most iconic (yet blatantly upsetting) scene: Katniss is trying to carry Mags to safety as the poison fog encroaches in Plutarch Heavensbee’s clock arena when Mags lets go and is quickly engulfed. Since she sacrificed herself so that Katniss could outrun the fog, fans resonated with her extraordinary gesture. If you’ll recall, self-sacrifice is in her nature: she was only in the games because she volunteered to save Annie Cresta, Finnick Odair’s troubled girlfriend.
At eighty years old, Mags is the right age to appear in the prequel as a teenager. Given that she won the 11th Hunger Games, just one year after the timeline of the upcoming novel, it’s highly likely she’ll at least make an appearance. Unlike with Snow, the narrative could present Mag’s unique perspective as someone born before the Hunger Games ensured the districts’ submission. District 4 is traditionally a Career district: children train for the Games, following the local cultural convention that to fight and win is a tremendous honor. While we don’t know whether or not Mags herself was a Career, it would be interesting to watch a character’s bloodlust and desire for glory transform into the deep empathy she obviously possesses at eighty.
If we’re lucky enough to see both Mags and Coriolanus Snow, the juxtaposition of District 4 and the Capitol could make for fascinating political commentary. Among the twelve remaining districts, District 4’s fishing industry has made it one of the wealthiest. The residents of 4 are a complex bunch: affluent enough to produce Career tributes and strong-willed enough to side with the Second Rebellion. It would be fascinating to see the differences between a wealthy district (the Capitol) whose citizens were guaranteed physical safety and a wealthy district whose prosperity could not save it.
What do you think? Will we see anyone we recognize? Or will we, much like whoever our characters may be, remain in the dark?
Yes, it’s true! Suzanne Collins is giving the world a prequel to her multimillion-selling trilogy The Hunger Games.
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Collins’ trilogy started in 2008, only a year after she finished her 5 book series The Underland Chronicles, with The Hunger Games – where in the nation of Panem, established in the remains of North America after an unknown apocalyptic event, the wealthy Capitol exploits the twelve surrounding districts by forcing representatives from each district, one boy and one girl between the ages 12 to 18, to fight each other to the death in a televised event.
The novel follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her 12-year-old sister.
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The novel received critical acclaim with Timecalling the novel “a chilling, bloody and thoroughly horrifying book” and The New York Times noting “the considerable strength of the novel comes in Collins’ convincingly detailed world-building and her memorably complex and fascinating heroine” before going to sell millions of copies.
During this heyday, Collins signed a six-figure deal for three books with Scholastic. She did, and Catching Fire came out the following year and Mockingjaycame out the next year in 2010. Catching Fire received praise for improving upon the first book and, like The Hunger Games, became a New York Times bestseller.
Each of the novels were developed into films starring Jennifer Lawrence with Mockingjay being split into two parts. The films are largely responsible for setting off a trend of teenage dystopian films, but after Mockingjay Part 2 released, it seemed like the end of the series.
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But come May 19 2020, Suzanne Collins will bring readers back to Panem in a prequel set 64 years before the beginning of her multimillion-selling trilogy, is coming next year. She said in a statement:
With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival…The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.
Scholastic Trade Publishing President Ellie Berger didn’t give us any new information, but he did tell fans that:
We are absolutely thrilled — as both readers and publishers — to introduce the devoted fans of the series and a new audience to an entirely new perspective on this modern classic.
Obviously, Lionsgate – who released the four Hunger Games movies – are already gearing up to adapt the prequel for a movie. Express.co.uk quotes studio’s chairman Joe Drake as saying, “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”