Happy 11th Birthday to The Hunger Games film (yes, we are that old. The UK release date for the film was 23rd March 2012). I must be on the right side of TikTok because my current FYP is having a Hunger Games renaissance and I am here for it. Creators on TikTok have been creating videos analysing the real messages of The Hunger Games, Easter eggs, in depth character deep dives and little bits of trivia.
I first started seeing The Hunger Games sneak onto my FYP back in January and It made me rewatch the films but now it really does seem like there is a whole renaissance happening. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes film comes out 17th November 2023 is this the fuel for the renaissance?
The last film came out almost 9 years ago. I remember seeing the trailer for the first film and couldn’t believe the concept even at 19. Then it blew my mind after I saw the film that this story came from a book and thanks to Amazon, I know I ordered the complete trilogy on the 25 April 2012. The Hunger Games renaissance shows us the power of good storytelling, and how even years after a movie and book's initial release, it can still be significant in people’s lives.
Last year I listened to audiobooks and started writing a blog post discussing what it was like to reread the book a little older and wiser, but the post was left in my drafts folder. Rereading the books a little older was a whole new experience and even just rewatching the films back in January it seemed different. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, I seen new insight every couple of years on social media or if it’s because I am that much older. Maybe it’s my age but it’s a little harder to watch and reread the books and coming to realisation of how old the characters actually are. Katniss was just 16-year-old in the first book, being a teenager is hard in reality, let alone in the world of Panem.
While listening to the book I fell back in love with the story and how The Hunger Games wasn’t a traditional “rise against the government” story, where the main character was the chosen one, everything fell into place and the chosen one just dealt with it. Katniss had no idea what she what she was doing and didn’t somehow become this iconic saviour overnight. Katniss took the rather realistic approach of I have no idea what’s going on, what to do but I will listen to Haymitch and Cinna because they are adults and know more stuff than I do, Oh and I hope I don’t die. Throughout books two and three you get to see the effect the games has had on both Katniss and Peta’s mental health and the real battle of PTSD cause from the games.
I am still a huge Peta fan and he still break my heart. Even now I adore how Suzanne Collins flipped expectations about what roles men and women were supposed to play by having Katniss as the hunter and Peta as the baker who loves to decorate cakes. There are so many little easter eggs I missed when I first reread the books. Hands up if you missed Johanna Mason being mentioned in (I think) the fourth chapter of the first book. The benefit of hindsight dear Readers.
I think it is worth rereading The Hunger Games not only because of the current renaissance but because the books are timeless, and you might be shocked at what you rediscover.