Welcome back to The Hunger Games Countdown, Tributes! Yes, the poll has finally wrapped and after the initial race and the run-off, us Hunger Games fans aren’t the Mockingjays, rather the Tributes. Sure, Mockingjays would have been appropriate, but what first enraptures a reader is Katniss’ journey to the Capitol to become a tribute in the Hunger Games. Plus, it’s her experience as a tribute that leads to the term “Mockingjay” having such a strong significance. Non-Hunger Games readers would ultimately have to wait until the third and/or fourth films to truly understand the value of the Mockingjay whereas everyone will get a taste of what a tribute is capable of soon enough.
Now, as a Hunger Games fanatic, my love for the series often seeps into my coverage of other films, particularly ones involving Hunger Games cast members, or, in this case, ones that missed out. While chatting Terri with John C. Reilly at a roundtable interview, I asked what happened, as he was a perfect choice for the role of Haymitch. I know rumors are frequent in the industry, but was surprised when he explained, “That was a total fake story is what happened!” He added, “All of a sudden I had to field these questions about a job I wasn’t doing, didn’t get. It was like, ‘Wow, I get the worst of both worlds. I’m not in the movie and I have to answer why I’m not in it.’”
At least Nikita star Lyndsy Fonseca had a better experience just missing out on the role of Katniss. Even though the part went to Jennifer Lawrence, while talking about her recent release, The Ward, Fonseca recalled, “I literally had the most incredible experience auditioning for that because I got to go to the director’s house and Gary was just the nicest.” She continued, “I just felt very honored that I got as far as I did.” But why should her journey end there? Is it just me, or would she make for the perfect Johanna Mason in Catching Fire?
The Fan Sites Weigh In – Districts We’d Like To Call Home
Sure, you’d expect District 12 to be the favorite as that’s the region our leading lady comes from, but there are 11 other districts in Panem as well as The Capitol and while all have drawbacks, some pack some powerful perks, too. Check out The Hunger Games Countdown’s most extensive collaborative effort yet in which I and writers from Hunger-Games.net, TheHob.org, HungerGamesMovie.org, DownWithTheCapitol.net and HungerGamesTrilogy.net reveal where we’d wish to plant our roots should we be residents of Panem.
The Capitol – Tanvi of Hunger-Games.net
One of the most obvious reasons to want to live in the Capitol is the comfortable lifestyle. Sure there are eccentricities, but I think they can be curbed, like Cinna did. Questions might be raised about wanting to live in a society where people’s sensibilities are lost. But it’s not fair to blame citizens for a tyrannical government. That’s like blaming every German citizen for the Holocaust, or every American citizen for Iraq and Afghanistan’s uprooted existence or more. The Capitol we saw was from District 12’s eyes. If we ask an Afghan villager, I’m sure he has a rather low opinion of Americans. I like to see the Capitol citizens not as robots, insensitive to the oppressive regime, but as brainwashed cult members. I would want to live in the Capitol only because I think beneath the glam and seemingly careless attitude, the society is a complex one worth exploring. Also, I like hot chocolate.
District 1 – Pauline of TheHob.org
Yes, it is true that throughout The Hunger Games series, the tributes from this district are often vilified, but when thinking in regards to survival, and not necessarily popularity, it makes more sense to want to live somewhere that provides more financial security for its residents. District 1 is described as one of the wealthiest districts, making luxury items for the Capitol, such as diamonds and other precious gems. The fact that Katniss notes that the tributes from this district far outweigh her, shows that they obviously have enough to eat. Love or hate people like Marvel and Glimmer, they are strong, smart and healthy competitors. It’s not particularly fair to portray these tributes in a bad light, since ultimately they were in the same predicament as the other children being forced into such a vicious game for the entertainment of the Capitol. Just because they were given more opportunities to train prior isn’t wrong on their part; it is just fortunate. If you could potentially be sent into The Hunger Games, would you prefer being from a district that prepared you for that possibility or would you rather take your chances and live in a poor district just to be well liked? I know what I'd choose.
District 2 – Lisa of HungerGamesMovie.org
If you are not on the side of the Rebellion and you had to pick a district to be a part of, District 2 is the place to be! Not only is it full of stone quarries, but it manufactures weaponry, trains Peace Keepers for the Capitol, and provides them with supplies, too. The prime site in District 2 is known as “The Nut,” and it is the main location for all military action. Since District 2 has always sided with the Capitol, they receive extra luxuries for their dedication and are known to be favored by the Capitol. As introduced in The Hunger Games, Tributes Cato and Clove prove to be extreme competitors in the arena due to their advanced weaponry training, which clearly is a result of being from District 2. All Tributes from District 2 are among the few known as Careers, contenders who have been bred to be a part of the Hunger Games.
District 3 – Perri of Movies.com
Sure the folks in the Capitol get to live lavish lives, but I’d give up luxuries and fantastic food to not have to dye my skin green or adopt the extravagant Capitol fashion trends in a heartbeat, even if it means living in a district and having to risk being a contender in the Hunger Games. So, should I be a district resident, there’s no place I’d rather live than District 3. The region specializes in electronics and, as a bit of a tech junkie, manual labor in the electronics field doesn’t sound half bad. Plus, as we learn in Catching Fire, past District 3 Hunger Games victors Beetee and Wiress are incredibly smart. Actually, perhaps “smart” is the wrong word. As Beetee notes, Wiress is “intuitive.” Who wouldn’t want to live in the area known for breeding such skilled problem solvers, let alone noble people?
District 4 – Megan of TheHob.org
The source of the Capitol's seafood supply, District 4 is located on the water near sand and sea. Being near the water has always given me the feeling of tranquility and a sense of being free, so it would make life living under the Capitol's watchful eye a lot easier. If my life had to be dictated by an evil ruler like President Snow, I would need something to keep me sane and being surrounded by the most "decent looking people" in all the land wouldn't be too bad either. Some benefits of District 4 are that it is somewhat wealthier than other districts and its tributes are considered "careers," people who train their whole lives for the possibility of entering the games. Being a career is a huge advantage if you’re ever selected to compete and I'm definitely someone who likes to be prepared. Let's not forget that District 4 is also where the very popular Finnick Odair comes from, which may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this district. He’s a fan favorite and a Hunger Games victor, too. As an avid fisherman, or fisher-woman, and a skilled swimmer, District 4 is definitely the place for me!
District 8 – Shylah of DownWithTheCapitol.net
While living in the Capitol means never having to need anything, spending your whole life eating, wearing, watching and mass producing garbage, what’s so great about becoming a mindless slave to trends and entertainment? That’s why, even with the threat of becoming a Hunger Games tribute, I would want to be a resident of District 8. The region is responsible for making all of the textiles for the nation of Panem, and, as a self-proclaimed yarn hoarder, spinning, dyeing, and weaving fabrics for a living doesn’t sound like a bad gig. Also, from Catching Fire, we know that the loud factories make for the perfect cover and that the people of District 8 aren’t afraid to fight for their freedom. In fact, citizens like Bonnie and Twill are able to clearly recognize the Capitol’s blatant use of false propaganda and use that knowledge to escape. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place that creates such strong and independent citizens?
District 11 – Kate of HungerGamesTrilogy.net
There’s such an abundance of food in the Capitol, the citizens drink vomit-inducing potions to keep their stomachs empty. If only the reverse existed for their hearts, as meaningful relationships are nothing to them; they cheer on the deaths of children every year. I'd quickly drop that lifestyle to live in District 11 where food isn't as common, but love rules. Their love is enough to keep the people alive, even under the harsh rule of the government, something that’s exemplified by their tributes in the Hunger Games. District 11 specializes in grain and agriculture. Spending the day in a field of waving wheat would be warm, but the network of respect that is alive in those fields far makes up for the discomfort. As Rue proves by climbing a tree to sing and mark the end of the workday, every day, the people rely on and trust in each other. This trust and love creates a network that would welcome anyone. They might not have much food, but would you pass up an opportunity to live in a land where love is what truly rules?
District 12 – Theresa of DownWithTheCapitol.net
District 12 doesn't offer a lavish lifestyle and it’s not the cleanest, as working in the coalmines all day is bound to keep things a bit dusty. People work hard yet still come away without enough food to feed their families. Why would I want to live here? The heart of this district is the people who call it home. From the merchant class to the Seam, there are unique characters who care for one another in their own way, even if they don't always show it. Many of the people who live here are tough and proud, not known for showing emotion, but they have been known to stand as one to honor one of their own. Their silent three-fingered goodbye salute was one of the most moving moments in the Reapings prior to the 74th Hunger Games. The most famous residents of District 12 are Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark and they showed the country that loving and caring for another person are the most important gifts we can give. In a world where self-sacrifice is almost unheard of, unless glory is attached, the people of this small district show us what it's like to have a heart.
What do you think about our choices? Would you choose to live in any of these districts?
The Hunger Games Countdown runs here on Movies.com every other Wednesday. There are 253 days until release.