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How the 'Hunger Games' Trilogy Should Have Ended

My prediction halfway through 'Mockingjay...'

By Kai PedersenPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

So. As you should probably know from the subtitle, and the title of this here piece, there are going to be some spoilers. Well, not so much spoilers, I suppose, as a brief discussion of what was NOT the ending, and what, in my opinion, it should have been. One final time, just for good measure: if you haven't read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, or if you have not seen the movies based on the franchise of the same name, and you don't want to have anything at all spoiled or ruled out, do not proceed. Rather, go immediately to your (preferably local, independent) bookstore, purchase a copy of all three of the books, and don't do much else until you read them all. After which you should also immediately (preferably binge) watch all of the four movie adaptations of The Hunger Games trilogy and enjoy the breathtaking masterpiece that is Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen. More on that in another piece coming soon...

Now, with all that being firmly dealt with, I'd like to fanboy about literature and imaginative-international politics.

I thought that Suzanne Collins was going to make Peeta Mellark the leader of post-revolutionary Panem.

Kind of an odd prediction, it perhaps was, given the direction that Collins decided to take with both the character arc of Peeta, and the conclusion of the Mockingjay Revolution, I know. However, I noticed a lot of clues throughout the three books that seemed to set up this eventuality. We learn in Mockingjay that the nation of Panem is named for the Latin word for “bread.” "Panem" being the direct Latin translation.

("Mockingjay Revolution," what a lovely ring to that...)

Now, when I read this, I immediately thought of the titles; the monikers that are given to both Katniss and Peeta. The Capitol dubs Katniss “The Girl on Fire” right from her entrance in the Hunger Games in the first book. But only the reader ever finds out what Katniss' name, or rather, phrase for Peeta is… “The Boy with the Bread.”

Furthermore, this imagery of base nutritional sustenance also loops back around to an original theme of the first book: hunger. You know... The Hunger Games. Those who've only seen the movies might be at a slight loss here, as the literary theme and the politics of hunger play a much more central role in the books than in the movies. (An unfortunate, but perhaps well-made choice, as this theme, though prevalent in the first book, greatly dissipates in the second and third books.)

Returning to Katniss and Peeta. Throughout the entire series, we hear Katniss describe Peeta’s strengths on camera as a public speaker and even as a natural politician, not necessarily in his understanding of policy, but in his ability to exercise influence on those around him. She often says that these are the strengths that Peeta has that Katniss herself does not have.

When I read that “Panem” was Latin for "bread" in Mockingjay, I thought that Collins had been foreshadowing Peeta’s role in Panem after the Capitol is defeated and subliminally setting Peeta up to be the leader that rises from the ashes of the broken nation. Peeta is one of the only people to be a veteran of, not one, but two Hunger Games, and he is the only figure in Panem’s 75-year history (since the first revolution) to publicly fight for peace on both sides of the conflict, captive or not.

Katniss, the symbol of revolution, the Mockingjay, the hero of the "Mockingjay Revolution", “The Girl on Fire” delivers the freed nation to the new leader: Peeta. The politician, the people pleaser, the charismatic, “The Boy with the Bread.”

“The Boy with Panem.”


About the Creator

Kai Pedersen

Finding my voice again…

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