In Catching Fire – the second instalment of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy – we see Katniss and Peeta get thrust back into the deadly arena. But here are 5 things that were never mentioned in the films…
Following on from ‘8 Shocking Differences Between The Hunger Games Book And Film’, we explore the second book of the trilogy: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2009). What we found weren’t just slight differences between the film and the book, but the entire omissions of events and details that every fan needs to know.
WARNING: The next section contains spoilers and excerpts from the second book and film.
1. Plutarch’s coded message and special watch
In the film when Plutarch and Katniss dance at the party in President Snow’s mansion, their conversation is odd, to say the least. There are no hints to Plutarch’s motives or allegiances. But the conversation goes very differently in the book, Catching Fire.
“Oh, yes. Well, they’ve been in the works for years, of course. Arenas aren’t built in a day. But the, shall we say, flavour of the Games is being determined now. Believe it or not, I’ve got a strategy meeting tonight,” he says.
Plutarch steps back and pulls out a gold watch on a chain from a vest pocket. He flips open the lid, sees the time, and frowns. “I’ll have to be going soon.” He turns the watch so I can see the face. “It starts at midnight.”
“That seems late for -” I say, but then something distracts me. Plutarch has run his thumb across the crystal face of the watch and for just a moment an image appears, glowing as if lit by candlelight. It’s another Mockingjay. Exactly like the pin on my dress. Only this one disappears. He snaps the watch closed.
We later discover that Plutarch is working with the rebels to extract Katniss and some of the other tributes from the Quarter Quell. The glimmer of the Mockingjay on his watch was a hint of his alliance with the rebels. Plus, his “it starts at midnight” line was a reference to the lightning tree in the Games, as well as the time they planned to rescue the tributes from the arena.
2. Katniss sees news of uprisings on the mayor’s TV
Not only is neither Mayor Undersee (mayor of District 12) or his daughter, Madge, featured in any of the films, nor is this important event where Katniss witnesses a private televised message about uprisings in District 8.
I’m leaving the room when a beeping noise catches my attention. I turn back to see the screen of the television go black. Then the words “UPDATE ON DISTRICT 8” start flashing. Instinctively I know this is not for my eyes but something intended only for the mayor. I should go. Quickly. Instead, I find myself stepping closer to the television.
An announcer I’ve never seen before appears. It’s a woman with greying hair and a hoarse, authoritative voice. She warns that conditions are worsening and a Level 3 alert has been called. Additional forces are being sent into District 8, and all textile production has ceased.
They cut away from the woman to the main square in District 8. I recognize it because I was there only last week. There are still banners with my face waving from the rooftops. Below them, there’s a mob scene. The square’s packed with screaming people, their faces were hidden with rags and homemade masks, throwing bricks. Buildings burn. Peacekeepers shoot into the crowd, killing at random.
I’ve never seen anything like it, but I can only be witnessing one thing. This is what President Snow calls an uprising.
This is an important development for Katniss to see with her own eyes, and it’s completely omitted in the films.
Plus, Katniss doesn’t make friends easily – especially not female friends. Excluding her family and some of the tributes introduced in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, her only real female friends have been Rue and Madge. And when we remember that Madge was the one responsible for Katniss’ iconic Mockingjay pin, it seems a shame that snippets of this friendship were never included on screen.
3. Katniss meets people from District 8 who are heading for District 13
This isn’t the first time that Katniss has seen people heading for District 13 (remember the girl with red hair who the Capitol turn into an Avox, as well as her male companion who was killed when the hovercraft arrived) but it’s the first time she’s managed to properly speak to any.
She meets them beyond the fence at District 12. They introduce themselves as Bonnie and Twill and explain how they escaped District 8 after an explosion killed Twill’s husband and all of Bonnie’s family.
But it’s where they’re headed which is the intriguing part.
“I understand why you’re running, but what do you expect to find in District Thirteen?” I ask.
Bonnie and Twill exchange a nervous glance. “We’re not sure exactly,” Twill says.
“It’s nothing but rubble,” I say. “We’ve all seen the footage.”
“That’s just it. They’ve been using the same footage for as long as anyone in District Eight can remember,” says Twill.
“You know how they always show the Justice Building?” Twill continues. I nod. I’ve seen it a thousand times. “If you look very carefully, you’ll see it. Up in the far right-hand corner.”
“See what?” I ask.
Twill holds out her cracker with the bird again. “A Mockingjay. Just a glimpse of it as it flies by. The same one every time.”
“Back home, we think they keep reusing the old footage because the Capitol can’t show what’s really there now,” says Bonnie.
At this point, we’re still unaware that District 13 is indeed inhabited. But it’s another big hint that not all there is as it may seem.
4. Each Quarter Quell had a different “theme”
One thing which isn’t clear in the films is the Quarter Quell. As we know, one male and one female victor from each district were to participate in the 75th Hunger Games. But those who’ve only seen the films could be forgiven for thinking that this was the practice for the two previous Quarter Quells too – leading to questions on how there’d be enough victors when some districts barely ever saw a winner, let alone one of each gender.
But the book provides clarity on this.
President Snow goes on to tell us what happened in the previous Quarter Quells. “On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying because of their choice to initiate violence, every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it.”
“On the fiftieth anniversary,” the president continues, “as a reminder that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen, every district was required to send twice as many tributes.”
This is a huge omission because it shows that, despite going into a Quarter Quell, Katniss and Peeta have a mentor who won one himself.
5. Haymitch wins the second Quarter Quell, beating 47 other tributes
To prepare Katniss and Peeta for the 75th Hunger Games, Effie sources some recordings of past games for them to watch. There’s one in particular which catches Katniss’ eye.
The tapes are marked with the year of the Games and the name of the victor. I dig around and suddenly find one in my hand that we have not watched. The year of the Games is fifty. That would make it the second Quarter Quell. And the name of the victor is Haymitch Abernathy.
Since the second Quarter Quell demanded that each district send twice as many tributes, Haymitch beat 47 others in order to be crowned the victor. Of course, even at 16 years old, Haymitch is still a confident smart-arse.
“So, Haymitch, what do you think of the Games having one hundred percent more competitors than usual?” asks Caesar.
Haymitch shrugs. “I don’t see that it makes much difference. They’ll still be one hundred percent as stupid as usual, so I figure my odds will be roughly the same.”
And that’s our list on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.
You can also check out our ‘8 Shocking Differences Between The Hunger Games Book And Film’ article for differences between the first book and film HERE.
Read IMDB information about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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