Updated: Nov 19
In honour of the new movie coming out, let’s talk about the best dystopian series I am sure a majority of us grew up reading and watching. It was a series I personally loved, and I practically worshiped the ground Katniss walked on. However, upon reading the series and re-watching the movies last year, I truly realized how amazing this series was compared to all the other series I grew up reading, and I’m about to tell you why.
Can We Talk About Katniss?
For one, Katniss was a strong female lead with clear motives and logical reasoning. The reasoning behind her motives included one thing: Prim. She volunteered for Prim, fought her way through the arena to see Prim, and did everything in her power to protect her sister. Her love life was a subplot in the series, as her romantic relationships weren’t what fueled her; her strong will to secure a better life for her sister was. This made her relatable and was honestly refreshing to see a female character who doesn't revolve her entire personality around a flimsy relationship. Additionally, her trauma is something the readers see her struggle and work through. This makes her human and realistic to readers and makes it easier to understand her.
Our Favourite Baker Boy
Peeta Mallark. I mean, do I really have to say more? He was the calm energy that Katniss lacked in her life. But more than that, he was incredibly intelligent. He was one of the few tributes that played the Hunger Games. He knew how to tug at the heartstrings of the audience to do his bidding, and it was something I was completely oblivious to as a teenager. Now, I look at Peeta with my eyes wide open, in complete awe over how he played the people of Capitol. Also, when do we ever see a male protagonist with a kind and gentle heart like Peeta’s? He was the perfect foil character to Gale, who was hot-headed, impatient, and angry. Peeta had a feminine touch to his personality, making him the perfect example of a character who caters to the female gaze.
The Fully-Fledged Side Characters
Collins did a phenomenal job at showcasing the horrors of the world these tributes lived in. We can start with the career tributes, who we learned through Katniss’ eyes were these crazy tributes hungry for fame and money. However, throughout the first Hunger Games book, we see what they truly are: kids who are brainwashed into believing that the games will make them honourable. Then we see Finnick Odair and Haymitch, both winning tributes for their respective Hunger Games, yet their horrors do not end there. Finnick hinted at his body being sold because the Capitol adored him, even at the young age of 14. Haymitch’s entire family was murdered because of a simple quirk of the arena that he used to his advantage. These events give context to the people they are in the current day. They aren’t half characters who exist for the plot, but rather fully thought out human beings with their own motives that don’t always align with the narrative of the story.
Happily Ever After?
Now this is something I have heard so much criticism about: “Katniss never wanted children so her having them at the end made zero sense.” I could not disagree more, it made perfect sense. She did not want kids in a world where they would be reaped and have to go through the same thing she did. The books discuss how it took her YEARS after the war to be able to have kids because it took time for her to accept that there are no more threats in the world. Her choice to not have kids was to prevent a situation where she couldn’t protect them, and with the threat of the games gone, she could address the idea of having children without fear. Her having kids was the PERFECT indicator that Katniss had started to heal, as she finally believed she was safe.
Honestly? I could go on forever, talking about various details, like the world-building and Collins' use of graphic details, but I think you get the point. Overall, this trilogy is genuinely one of my favourite series for a multitude of reasons, and I hope I was able to convince you of that. So maybe a rewatch is overdue to truly enjoy the prequel coming out soon?