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

I’m sure it is not just me, but my For You page on TikTok has been completely filled with videos of people rediscovering their love for The Hunger Games books and films. It was recently the 11th anniversary of the first Hunger Games film being released and it seems like perfect timing that those who were tweens then, are now re-reading this series and realising just how fantastic this book series is.

I was one of the many people who was obsessed with The Hunger Games when it first came out. I was 11, and I went to the cinema to watch it and it definitely became my personality trait for a while. I read the entire series in a matter of days and would run around the playground with a fake bow-and-arrow, cheering for Team Peeta. I subsequently went to the release day screenings of the latter films, but by the time the last film had come out – I had grown out of my phase a bit and didn’t touch the trilogy at all for a few years. However, when I was 18, I randomly fancied rewatching the films which ultimately led to a complete re-obsession with the series. I re-read the books around 4 times just that year, and the films countless times as I became re-immersed in Suzanne Collin’s world that she had created. I couldn’t believe all of the themes and nuances that I had missed being so young when I read them for the first time.

It was extremely easy to get swept up in the media circus around the films which focused on the love triangle and the glamour of such a huge motion picture – but when you really sit down and read/watch this series, you realise just how dark the themes are, and how much it truly reflects our true world. It was always undermined as being just another girl-oriented Y/A book series with a silly love triangle – but it is so much more than that. It covers themes such as: the horrors of war; all-powerful and violent governments; corrupt leaders; normalisation of violence to just scratch the surface of these books.

Katniss is an incredible protagonist who breaks barriers for gender-expectations without renouncing her femininity. She is a hunter and survivor, while also having a love and admiration for beautiful clothes. She isn’t prophesied or a ‘chosen one’, she is just a teenage girl who happened to be in a place at a certain point in time. She initially only cares about saving those closest to her but goes on a journey as she understands her importance in saving the entirety of the districts in the rebellion. Suzanne Collins also does an amazing job in showing how the traumatic events Katniss goes through has an immense effect on her as she suffers from PTSD, as well as many other characters which is extremely realistic and raw – showcasing the true horrors of The Capitol and war. In contrast to Katniss, Peeta often fulfils more feminine stereotypes such as being a baker, being an artist and is also more emotional and forward with his feelings. He is also unable to survive on his own and relies often on Katniss to save him. However, he is not useless. He is described as being extremely strong, loyal and smart. I mean only Peeta could have come up with the ground breaking – “If it wasn’t for the baby” bomb…

For The Hunger Games to have such complex and interesting characters that contrast so many stereotypes, it is a shame that for so long so many people have underestimated it. Sometimes, things are popular for a reason. It is so great to see so many other people start to rediscover The Hunger Games series, especially in time for the prequel movie that comes out later this year, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.’ This is based on a prequel novel written by Suzanne Collins herself, and follows a young President Snow and his rise to power. It is an incredible addition to the universe and the film features stars such as Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, Hunter Schafer and Tom Blyth. It will definitely be worth checking out when it comes out.

Orla Tanner

Nottingham '23

Hi, I'm Orla! I'm a third year student studying English and American Studies. I am super interested in social justice, feminism and absolutely love films, especially ones made by female directors.