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The Hunger Games is Having Its Renaissance…And I’m So Here For It

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

For anyone who has been on TikTok the past two weeks, you have probably seen at least one video relating to the book and movie series The Hunger Games. All of a sudden, the franchise has made a triumphant return into the spotlight and fans–new and old–are so excited. The Hunger Games started as a book franchise written by Suzanne Collins in 2008. There were two sequels: Catching Fire and Mockingjay and the books eventually were turned into a movie franchise in 2012. 

For those that weren’t absolutely obsessed with the franchise in middle school, the books focus around a teenaged girl named Katniss Everdeen (Played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movies). She lives in Panem (which was once the United States) that is split into twelve districts, each with its own speciality. She lives in District 12, which speciality is mining. She lost her father in a mining accident, so it is just her, her mother, and her younger sister, Primrose. Every year in Panem, there is an event called “The Hunger Games,” hence the title. These games take one boy and one girl tribute from each district, (they are randomly picked) between the ages of 12 and 18 and put them in an arena where they have to fight to the death. All of this is televised to the people of Panem and it a huge event. Only one person can survive, making them the victor. On the reaping day (the day where the tributes are chosen) of the 74th games, Primrose is chosen and Katniss volunteers to go in her place. I won’t go into further details, but the books follow Katniss on her journey through the games and the eventual rebellion that follows. There are a total of three books and four movies, with the final book Mockingjay being split into two parts. When these movies came out, the world exploded in Hunger Games excitement. Middle and high schoolers all over the world latched on to the characters, the storyline, and everything about it, which created a mass obsession with all things Hunger Games. I was one of those people.

By the time I got into the Hunger Games, the first two movies had already come out. I started right after the release of Catching Fire, and had to wait a whole year before the release of Mockingjay Part 1. My fellow Hunger Games-obsessed friends and I all made matching t-shirts for the premiere and went opening night. I dressed as Katniss for Halloween and plastered my room with pictures from the movies. Needless to say, I was just a little obsessed. During the time period that these movies were released, dystopian movies and fiction were all the rage. There was also the Divergent series, the Maze Runner series, and the Shadowhunters series, among others. It was the perfect time to release any kind of dystopian media, but the Hunger Games just outdid them all.

Flash forward over ten years since the first movies release, The Hunger Games has made a comeback on TikTok. Whether it’s an edit of Finnick Odair or a former fan telling stories of their obsessive days, almost every other video on my “For You Page” is Hunger Games related. I thought that maybe it was just my algorithm showing me more content because whenever something related to the franchise pops up, I interact with it, but these videos were popping up on feeds of friends who had never even watched the movies. Now everyone is getting a taste of what it was like being a fan almost a decade ago, and it is nostalgic as well as bittersweet. Although the books and movies deal with really heavy and intense subject matter, seeing videos brings me back to a time in my life where The Hunger Games was my only worry. I can’t lie when I say I am seeing videos that are making me tear up and I am even considering running to my local Barnes and Noble to buy the trilogy and re-read them (my original copies are long gone and were on my Kindle). Suzanne Collins even released a new book in 2021 that is a prequel to the first book called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes which is also set to become a movie that is releasing on November 17, 2023. Many people believe that this sudden renaissance of the films is promo for the movie, but whatever it is, I am glad that I have been able to relive such a fun time in my life. 

Cameron Crews is the president of Her Campus at NC State. She is responsible for publishing all articles, leading meetings, encouraging all staff, and overseeing the entire chapter. This is her third year on Her Campus and her second year as President. Outside of Her Campus, Cameron was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s yearbook, which she helped lead to being awarded the best book in the entire state and honored at Columbia University’s scholastic journalism awards. She worked as an intern at Southpark Magazine in Charlotte, NC, where she edited articles, conducted interviews, and assisted the editors. In the Summer of 2023, she attended Regents University in London, England, where she took fashion classes from high players in the fashion industry who have worked with the likes of Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Christian Siriano, and more. She also had the opportunity to interview Brendan Fraser immediately after he won his “Best Actor” Oscar at the 2023 Academy Awards. She is a junior at NC State University majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York, LA, Paris, or London and work in the fashion industry as either a fashion editor or celebrity stylist. Cameron was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, with her younger brother and dog, George Bailey. She enjoys shopping, watching movies, listening to music, writing, hanging out with friends, and traveling in her free time. She is a huge Taylor Swift and Harry Styles fan and has seen them both in concert multiple times. She is also a huge Timothee Chalamet aficionado and is a huge movie fan–with some of her favorites being Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, Barbie, Lady Bird, the Breakfast Club, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.