The Hunger Games & Catching Fire: Book to Film Differences12:43 AM
I recently reread The Hunger Games trilogy just for kicks, even though I faintly remember telling myself three years ago when I finished Mockingjay that I would NEVER reread the series again, for reasons that are obvious (it's too depressing).
I guess it was because the 2nd movie had just come out, and my mom was reading the trilogy for the first time since she saw the movie and couldn't understand it so she decided to read the book - and then I thought why not read the trilogy with her, so I could refresh my mind with what had happened in the books.
When I read the series, I had just seen Catching Fire thrice (all in theaters. Yes I am that addicted) and rewatched the first movie which I had downloaded.
And now, I know, the Hunger Games movie franchise is generally loyal to the book, but of course there were some aspects like characters and scenes that had to be cut out of the movie. I didn't notice much of these stuff at first since I saw the movies long AFTER I finished the trilogy, so now that I've read the books again, this time I took mental notes on which stuff I wanted to get translated into film but didn't get to see.
I understand that they wanted to make the movie understandable to everyone and not just the readers, but I hate how they completely deleted Madge's character. Madge is the Mayor's daughter in District 12, and is Katniss's only friend aside form Gale. She is also the one who gives Katniss the mockingjay pin. But in the movie, Katniss acquires the pin from Greasy Sae in the black market. This was a very noticeable difference, and it just felt wrong for me. Madge, though a minor character, plays a major part in the story aside from being Katniss's friend who sits with her at lunch in school.
2. Peeta's father visits Katniss
In the first Hunger Games, before they are shipped off to the Capitol, both Katniss and Peeta are visited by friends and family. The movie however failed to show how Peeta's father actually came to visit Katniss, giving her cookies and reassuring her that he will make sure her family is eating. This is an important aspect since it shows how there is definitely a connection between Peeta and Katniss even if they had never spoken to each other, aside from that brief encounter when Peeta tossed her the bread.
3. Peeta's leg
In the first Hunger Games, Peeta got hurt by Cato badly, so they had to give him an artificial leg after the games. I don't like how they took out this part from the movie because it is actually important to show how Peeta finds it difficult to walk or run in Catching Fire because of the artificial leg.
The films seem to overlook the fact that there are people who are walking around the Capitol with their tongues cut off. In the first film, they didn't include the Avox girl who was assigned to Katniss in the first Hunger Games. She's the girl who Katniss had seen with Gale in the woods back in District 12, and Katniss is haunted by the guilt of not being able to save her. When she sees the girl again in the Capitol, now as an Avox, this torments Katniss, and she even says sorry for not being able to save the girl. In Catching Fire, this happens again when Darius, the former peacekeeper in District 12, is turned into an Avox and is assigned to the District 12 quarters. Though the absence of this doesn't really change anything to the plot, I feel like it is kind of essential in showing the cruelty of the Capitol, that they are willing to cut off people's tongues for defying them.
5. Development of Peeta/Katniss relationship
-Peeta helping Katniss when she injures her leg
-Peeta helping Katniss with her plant book
-Peeta showing Katniss his paintings, most of which are her
-Picnic scene when Peeta says "I wish I could freeze this moment and live in it forever."
-When Katniss tells Peeta to wake her up when he gets nightmares and he says "I'm usually okay when I wake up, because my nightmares are about losing you"
6. Haymitch backstory
I know it would be pretty difficult to insert this into the movie, but I feel like this is really important for us to understand Haymitch's character better. In the books, Peeta and Katniss saw the tapes of how Haymitch had won the 2nd Quarter Quell by hitting the force field with a weapon that backfired. It makes us empathize more with Haymitch and realize that he has been mentoring tributes for 25 years now, all who has died. Apart from that, it also tells us how the forcefield could be used as a weapon, an important detail in Catching Fire.
7. Bonnie and Twill
In Catching Fire, Katniss runs into Bonnie and Twill, people from District 8 who are running away to District 13. I don't know if they were saving money on casting but I do think this was important to show the impact and severity of the rebellion that is happening. It also hints on the existence of District 13.
8. Gale gets whipped for a different reason
In the books, Gale was whipped because he brought wild turkey. But in the movie, he got whipped because he tried to protect someone who was about to be killed by the peacekeeper. This small change makes him seem heroic, and I hate how it was dramatized in the movie.
Hopefully, they will do a much better job in Mockingjay, especially since it will be split into two parts! :)
Did I miss out anything? Comment below! :)
(Photo credits: Tumblr & Google)