WARNING: If you haven’t read the Hunger Games Trilogy and don’t want any spoilers for the story, please don’t read this post.
I fucking LOVE the HG books. Just thought I’d throw that out there, because I don’t want anyone to think that I would ever bash them. It’s such a good premise, and it’s executed beautifully. The movie was an amazing tribute, one of the best movie adaptations of a book I’ve ever seen. (Only other good one: Lord of the Rings, and whee, let the haters hate me.)
That being said, there are a few things that I was really stoked to see happen in the story, and they never happened. I wouldn’t change anything outright, just could have used a little more.
Katniss Should Get Laid
I know, these books are for young adults. But honestly, the whole concept of the Hunger Games is so fucking violent that I really don’t think allowing poor Katniss some nookie would have been that bad. I’m not talking erotica here, just allude to the fact that she gets some at least once.
For starters, the night before her and Peeta go into the arena for the first time. They’re both pretty sure that they’re going to die the next day, and even if one of them lives the other one HAS to die. So one or both of them are not going to make it. They know this because that’s how the game works. I for one, especially as an sixteen year old girl, would have not wanted to die a virgin. Maybe that’s just me.
And Gale! Seriously, her and Gale SO needed to bang when she got back. I know she was supposed to ‘be’ with Peeta for the public, but her and Gale snuck a kiss, how did they not bone? They were very obviously into each other, and she almost died. She comes back after them pretty much thinking that they were never going to see each other again, and they don’t have reunion sex? Psh.
Oh, dear sweet Gale. *sigh*
Okay, this is probably where you’re going to think I’m crazy, but the whole world of Panem fascinates me. I wish I could just pluck a full history book from the HG universe and read it cover to cover. I know the story is written in Katniss’ POV, and a sixteen year old girl fighting for her and her family’s survival every day probably doesn’t care much about history or politics. But I would have loved more glimpses into the rest of the world.
Peeta and Katniss visit a few of the districts, and the Capitol is explored, but there isn’t a lot of insight into the other districts except for a few tidbits of information Katniss throws in. To some people learning every little thing (complete with maps) about each district would be boring as hell, but I’d soak it in like a sponge.
There are ways to make deep politics and history interesting in fiction, and although I am a writer myself I have no clue how to do it properly or correctly. Unfortunately every reader is different and enjoys different styles, so perhaps there is no right way. But a good example is the Saga Of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. My dad and I have been reading those for years, and they are absolutely absorbing. The main storylines and characters in each book are wonderful, but they all come together to basically form a complete history of the entire world and where all of the countries came from. This is complete with political power struggles, trade statistics, and literally how the buildings and technology was built from nothing. And it’s so fucking interesting I just can’t put the books down. I would have loved such rich immersion in the HG series.
It would likely have been impossible for them to be young adult books if this were the case; not that teenagers don’t read dense novels, I was reading the Saga of Recluce and the Dark Tower books when I was in high school. But a more linear simpler storyline that centers itself completely on the main character (especially because it’s told from Katniss’ head) is a lot more appealing to younger readers. I guess I kinda wish that these books had been written and geared towards an older audience.
Katniss and Peeta as Mentors
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Catching Fire. IMHO, it’s the best out of the three. But I think the trilogy could have become a quadrilogy and had a book in between the first and second. I was really, really looking forward to seeing Katniss and Peeta having to be the mentors for the next Hunger Games. Haymitch could just stay home and get drunk, and Katniss and Peeta would have to deal with the tributes.
This would have been an emotional rollercoaster, and incredibly awesome to see. Haymitch alludes to the fact that it’s horrible having to train these kids and watch them die year after year. Peeta and Katniss survived the Hunger Games together, the first ones ever to defy the Capitol, and now they have to deal with it from the other side. They have to do what they can to train the crap out of these kids, share their insights, get them sponsors, knowing that one or both of them are going to die. Probably both, considering President Snow is all about screwing the lesser districts out of hope. Throughout all of this Katniss and Peeta would also be learning about all of the twisted politics (there it is again!) in the Capitol that goes on between the mentors, not just the tributes. We’d get to meet the people behind the tributes.
And in an Alternate Universe…
I so wanted Haymitch to go with Katniss in Catching Fire. It would have been so awesome to see him in action, the two of them kicking ass together. I’m biased because I think Peeta is a pissant little wein that should have gotten skewered in the first book (haters gonna be hatin), but can you not agree that it would have been sick to have Haymitch out there?
I suppose this goes against what I said about not wanting to change anything, and I wouldn’t change this, but I would absolutely read a fanfiction about it. Or if Suzanne Collins wants to write a ‘what-if’ book, I would read the shit out of it. Unlikely, but you know. A girl can dream.
P.S. Speaking of dreaming, check out the guy that got picked to play Finnick Odair:
Mm. He’ll do. :)