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.
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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