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5 Huge Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ If You’ve Only Seen The Film

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Hunger Games Catching Fire
Lionsgate

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.

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Comics & Literature

Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered

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Draco Malfoy Harry Potter image
Warner Bros.

It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.

J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.

Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.

What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?

Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.

Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’

Beyond the happily ever after

A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.

But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.

Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.

Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?

There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?

Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.

Harry’s scar shape is important, right?

Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.

Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:

‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’

Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.

What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?

We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.

‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’

Is there more than one Wizarding school?

If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.

Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.

Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?

It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.

Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.

Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?

This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.

Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.

Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.


Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.

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