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8 Shocking Differences Between The Hunger Games Book And Film

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Mocking-Jay pin image
Lionsgate

Millions of people have seen The Hunger Games, but far fewer have read the book. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on some game-changing details. We’ve compiled eight shocking differences between The Hunger Games book and film.

The Hunger Games films have been a hit across the globe. But like all films adapted from books, a number of key details aren’t included. In the case of The Hunger Games, some of those omissions are huge…

WARNING: The next section contains spoilers and excerpts from the first book and film.

1. Katniss doesn’t buy the Mockingjay pin

In the film, Katniss buys the iconic Mockingjay pin at the Hob. But in the books, the daughter of District 12’s mayor, Madge Undersee, visits Katniss before they haul her off to the Capitol.

My next guest is also unexpected. Madge walks straight to me. She is not weepy or evasive, instead, there’s an urgency about her tone that surprises me. “They let you wear one thing from your district in the arena. One thing to remind you of home. Will you wear this?” She holds out the circular gold pin that was on her dress earlier. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but now I see it’s a small bird in flight.

This may seem like an irrelevant omission from the film until we learn the significance of it. Not only was the Mockingjay symbol somewhat of a slap in the face to the Capitol, but that very same pin was also worn by Madge’s aunt who was a former tribute.

2. Peeta’s dad brings Katniss gifts

During the hour when the tributes get to say goodbye to their loved ones, Katniss gets more visitors than just the ones we see in the film. As well as Madge delivering the Mockingjay pin, Peeta’s father also makes a surprise visit.

Someone else enters the room, and when I look up, I’m surprised to see it’s the baker, Peeta Mellark’s father. I can’t believe he’s come to visit me. After all, I’ll be trying to kill his son soon.

Even more surprisingly, he gives Katniss cookies and promises to watch over Prim and make sure she’s eating. The exchange makes no sense until Peeta and Katniss come together in the games. Katniss asks when Peeta first started to like her, and he relates a story about his first day at school.

“Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair… it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says.

“Your father? Why?” I ask.

“He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says.

Peeta’s father was in love with Katniss’ mother. His visit with Katniss hints that he may still carry some of those feelings, and thus cares about Katniss’ and Prim’s welfare by extension.

3. The traitorous Avox with red hair

During a dinner at the Training Center, Katniss recognises one of the servers. “Don’t be ridiculous, Katniss. How could you possibly know an Avox?” snaps Effie.

But Katniss does know her… of sorts anyway. She later tells Peeta that once, whilst she and Gale were hunting, they saw the girl and a boy “running as if their lives depended on it” through the woods. They weren’t from District 12: they were from the Capitol. But no sooner did they see them than a hovercraft appeared in the sky out of nowhere, killing the boy and taking the girl prisoner.

“Where do you suppose they were going?” he asks.

“I don’t know that,” I say. District 12 is pretty much the end of the line. Beyond us, there’s only wilderness. If you don’t count the ruins of District 13 that still smoulder from the toxic bombs. They show it on television occasionally, just to remind us.

“Or why they would leave here.” Haymitch had called the Avoxes traitors. Against what? It could only be the Capitol. But they had everything here. No cause to rebel.

This is the first subtle tease we get of rebellion. The first breadcrumb that something may actually be beyond District 12 besides a barren wasteland…

4. Katniss goes deaf in one ear

When Katniss blows up the stockpile of food around the cornucopia, the force of the explosion knocks her back. Although we see her injured in the film, the book makes it clear that her injuries are more serious.

Have I gone deaf from the explosion? The idea frightens me. I rely as much on my ears as my eyes as a hunter, maybe more at times.

For the rest of the book, Katniss is deaf in her left ear. She only regains her hearing once she wins the Games and the Capitol fixes it.

5. District 11 sends Katniss a parachute after Rue dies

When Rue dies in the film, we see District 11 revolt against the peacekeepers. What we don’t see is what actually happened in the book.

Instead of a rebellion, the people of District 11 send Katniss a gift.

I open the parachute and find a small loaf of bread. It’s not the fine white Capitol stuff. It’s made of dark ration grain and shaped in a crescent. Sprinkled with seeds. I flashback to Peeta’s lesson on the various district breads in the Training Center. This bread came from District 11. I cautiously lift the still-warm loaf. What must it have cost the people of District 11 who can’t even feed themselves? How many would’ve had to do without to scrape up a coin to put in the collection for this one loaf? It had been meant for Rue, surely. But instead of pulling the gift when she died, they’d authorized Haymitch to give it to me. As a thank-you? Or because, like me, they don’t like to let debts go unpaid? For whatever reason, this is a first. A district gift to a tribute who’s not your own.

Whether they sent it to Katniss out of gratitude for caring for Rue, or as a sign that they had already chosen her to be the leader of the rebellion, it isn’t clear. But it was an unbelievable move and a first for the games.

6. Katniss drugs Peeta to get medication

In the film when Katniss cares for Peeta in the cave, we see her leave him while he sleeps. She goes to the cornucopia to retrieve medication that will save his life.

In reality, Katniss receives a parachute with sleep syrup that will knock Peeta out for a day.

It’s such a tiny vial though. It must be very strong to cure someone as ill as Peeta. A ripple of doubt runs through me. I uncork the vial and take a deep sniff. My spirits fall at the sickly sweet scent. Just to be sure, I place a drop on the tip of my tongue. There’s no question, it’s sleep syrup.

7. The mutts are half-animal, half-dead victor

Nothing special is mentioned about the mutts that arrive at the end of the film, but the books indicate a more sinister twist.

My head snaps from side to side as I examine the pack, taking in the various sizes and colours. The small one with the red coat and amber eyes… Foxface!

And there, the ashen hair and hazel eyes of the boy from District 9 who died as we struggled for the backpack! And worst of all, the smallest mutt, with dark glossy fur, huge brown eyes and a collar that reads 11 in woven straw. Teeth bared in hatred. Rue…

In a cruel and monstrous move from the gamemakers, Katniss notices that the eyes of the mutts belong to the eyes of the already dead victors.

8. Peeta loses a leg

One of the most shocking differences between the book and film is Peeta’s life-long injury.

But it’s not until we get around to the mutts that I forget I’m on camera. When Caesar asks Peeta how his “new leg” is working out.

“New leg?” I say, and I can’t help reaching out and pulling up the bottom of Peeta’s pants. “Oh, no,” I whisper, taking in the metal-and-plastic device that has replaced his flesh.

There is no mention or indication that Peeta loses a limb in the films, but this is undoubtedly one of the biggest omissions. The games have taken a part of Peeta that can never, ever be replaced.


Are there any other moments you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our next Hunger Games article HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Hunger Games 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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