There is a lot of talk about "Twilight" vs. "The Hunger Games," whether it’s about the books or the films. Both have seen their fair share of wild success, with vocal fan followings, and the not so vocal, guilty pleasure readers--admit it, there are a bunch of you. Some would say that one couldn’t possibly compare the two heroines, but it’s very hard to ignore the urge when they are such role models for girls in today’s society.
So, who is the better female lead: Bella Swan or Katniss Everdeen? Let’s consider the following (Be warned: I may not be able to help myself when it comes to spoilers!).
Bella Swan moves to Forks, WA to live with her dad and ends up falling for the sparkly vampire Edward Cullen. While the sometimes sweet, sometimes creepy and depressing love story is nice and all, the anti-climactic ending to the series and weird turn of events with the vampire baby in what I believe to be an unnecessary fourth book takes the whole series down. Add to that the annoying, constant whining coming from Bella’s narrative in the books and disappointment in the movies and you’ve lost me.
Katniss Everdeen has a much more intense story that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole series including some not-so-appreciated cliff hangers that have you begging for more. In the story, we see Katniss living in an oppressive society where the government forces kids between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death. When she volunteers to take her little sister’s place in the brutal games, you can already tell that this is going to be a moving story about sacrifice in the face of freedom. While there is a love triangle like so many young adult novels, it doesn’t seem to suffocate Katniss’ character or her story.
Winner: Katniss Everdeen
Of course I’m going to talk about the guys. With the actors who play them getting so much press and recognition for the characters, it’s hard to not address it. Personally, I think this category is a bit of a draw.
Let me explain.
As far as looks go, my vote goes to "Twilight" simply for the fact that it is hard to beat Taylor Lautner’s abs. However, in terms of actual character, I would prefer the relationships that Katniss has. Both Gale and Peeta want to help protect Katniss and are willing to sacrifice everything for her. Edward and Jacob, on the other hand, sometimes have good intentions and other times try to control Bella so they can have her for themselves.
Last, but definitely not least is the actual character herself.
I understand how girls can relate to Bella Swan. She’s clumsy, shy, and considers herself plain. However, one cannot ignore the fact that Bella portrays the kind of girl who needs a guy in her life to be happy. Without Edward or Jacob, she becomes depressed and suicidal. She wants to make both of them happy in order to feel fulfilled. In "The Hunger Games" Katniss sacrifices herself for her sister and then goes on to be a hero in her own right. She didn’t need necessarily need Peeta or Gale to rescue her. In fact, she saved them. Katniss is a hero, and one that makes me want to root for her.
Winner: Katniss Everdeen
So, there you go. This might just be one girl’s opinion, but I honestly think that Katniss makes a better heroine than Bella. She’s strong, independent, self-sacrificing, and doesn’t need a guy to rescue her. She is a wonderful new character in today’s pop culture that gives me hope for stronger female characters and, if the $155 million opening weekend proves anything, it’s that she is well on her way to laying claim to a legacy.