The Hunger Games characters: movie vs. novel

So, how do the characters compare from novel to movie when it comes to the Hunger Games? Well, I think some were more of a hit than others. Time to explore.

-Katniss Everdeen

Katniss, I think, is the hardest character to bring into reality in a movie. Why? Because we as readers got to dig deep into her mind throughout the whole experience. To cast that character on the big screen would be extremely difficult because the audience not only needs someone to express those feelings and thoughts clearly, but also executing her personality to a T.

That said, I think they casted a great role for Katniss. She’s strong, self kept with emotion, and doesn’t show her weakness in the wrong situations. She did a great job portraying someone who doesn’t do well with other people, and also someone that’s willing to sacrifice themselves for her family. The part when she volunteers? I still get teary eyed from that scene, it was beautiful. And the part with Rue? Amazing.

Katniss gets my approval.

-Peeta Mellark

Oh, the boy with the bread. We can critique all day with the physical stuff, like how he should be a bit taller and naturally blonde and more built, but I’m not going to do that. In the first novel we see Peeta as a free spirit that knows how to work a crowd, which he also uses to manipulate other people. I heard from other people that they didn’t like Peeta in the movie (mainly those that didn’t read the book, ugh), but I have to explain to them that it was created that way. Peeta was supposed to be iffy and questionable, to a point where we wonder if he’s manipulating us. But that’s the beauty of his character, he isn’t pretending with Katniss, and that’s what makes his character so amazing. His love is unconditional, and he’d sacrifice himself for her without question.

So, was he well casted? Personally, in my head I visualized Peeta with a more innocent face, but that’s just looks. As for personality? I think Josh pretty much nailed it. Although I would have enjoyed more loving looks from him toward Katniss, or more fear in his tone when begging her to stay in the cave, but those are minor things I hope will improve next movie. Oh, and the eyes? I wish they were more obviously blue.

The boy with the bread gets my approval.

-Gale Hawthorne

I don’t think I have to talk much for this one. His casting was perfection. Gale is tall, rugged, strong, and his personality is as rough and sturdy as his appearance. We don’t see much of him in the first movie, but I’m excited to see his character grow in the second movie, especially when his relationship with Katniss gets a little different. Personally, I always viewed him as a brother, so to see him say “I love you” to Katniss still gives me the shivers. Although I admit the scene after the whipping was very touching and sweet.

Gale gets my approval by a long shot.

-Haymitch Abernathy

Where do I start with this character? Let me get this out of the way: I was so sad that he didn’t show up on stage at the reaping. The part when he gropes Effie made me laugh so hard, and I’m so sad that wasn’t in there!

Now, I always pictured Haymitch to be balding, have a big belly, and brown hair. The casting basically threw that out of the window. Granted, Woody is a great actor, I’m just not sure if Haymitch was perfectly casted. Well, scratch that, probably well casted, just the script didn’t embody his full character. Where’s all the stumbling? He just wasn’t drunk enough for me.

So, I give half a star for this character. Not Woody’s fault, the movie just didn’t embrace his character as much as they should have. Tsk, tsk.

-Effie Trinket

Oh, Effie. She annoyed me yet amused me in the books. In the movie she was all right, but I wish they captured more of her bubbly personality. Not just a little bubble, more like pop in your face and screaming until you notice her kind of bubble. In the movie she’s kind of there to make some comments, while in the novels she was the planner, to a point of nagging people to let her be heard.

I think her character could’ve been better in depth. Although I loved the part with the mahogony, they needed more scenes like that with her.

Effie, I give her a so-so in the movie.


I’m just going to say it short, sweet, and to the point: horrible job on the movie’s part. Now don’t scream at me, let me explain.

I think Lenny did a great acting job with Cinna, don’t get me wrong on that. His character was just so dully touched on. In the novels, Cinna ends up being a huge support and friend for Katniss, and in the movie he’s just a small shadow that’s sometimes there in a screen shot. Cinna isn’t only her designer in the novel, but her advisor and friend. I don’t think they did very well on touching that. It was brief, very brief. I really hope they give Cinna the recognition he deserves in Catching Fire. He’s one of my favorite characters, and he deserves to shine.

Cinna, sadly, doesn’t get my approval in the movie. Tsk, tsk Hollywood.

-Caesar Flickerman

They did a fabulous job on Caesar, quite frankly probably too good of a job, if that makes any sense. In the novels, Caesar is a funny interviewer, yes, but I felt like in the movie it was more wrapped around his character than the others in the Games. I mean, his character was better portrayed than Effie, at least for me, and that’s no good.

I think they should of concentrated more on building the character of Haymitch and Cinna instead of putting so much focus on him. However, I still give them props for casting Caesar so well.

Caeser? You, individually, get my approval. (still would’ve liked more Haymitch and Cinna, though)


Oh, little Rue. I wanted more scenes with Rue! Take more time to build her relationship with Katniss would’ve been nicer. Oh, and when Katniss describes her as a bird about to take off for flight (after Rue points out the tracker jacker nest and crouches down), that would’ve been nice to put in the movie somehow. Her being free like a bird is very imperative in the story, considering Katniss constantly wears one on her pin.

However, I think the casting was great; she is so cute! The part when she dies, wow, the acting was stupendous. When a single tear went down Rue’s face, oh my goodness, I just broke apart.

Rue definitely gets my approval.


Oh, mister Cato. What a twisted, powerful, and scary man. Alexander did well with this role, I think. I wish they showed the interview with him though just to send a bigger idea of what a threat he can be. In the books he freaked me out, in the movie he still freaked me out, I just wish they had more scenes with him to send more fear into the audience that this guy means business. Then again I’ve been wanting more scene time for many characters. Hmmm. Three hour movie next time then? I say yes!

Cato, you get my approval. I think I should, I don’t want a fictional character knocking on my door and slicing into my leg.


Let me be honest: this girl scared the living daylights out of me in the book. A girl with knives and huge in muscle and determined to kill? Uh, hello? Ah!!

I think the girl who played Clove was great, however, she seemed too tiny for my taste. I guess I just saw her in “The Orphan” and already knew how crazy she could act, so my personal experience with the actress helped put a crazy side to Clove that the movie may not have done itself. Clove wasn’t in the book as much as Cato, so they did well with screen time with Clove. Kudos.

A little too tiny, but other than that, Clove gets my approval.


I wanted more scenes with Foxface. And, sadness, they never even said in the movie that her nickname was Foxface! Very sad they didn’t, the idea of her being like a fox (aka: looking like one and being sneaky like one), kind of dulled her true character. They did show all the scenes she was in the book in the movie, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. Her idea of being a fox should’ve been put in there too though.

Overall, though, Foxface gets my approval.

-Prim Everdeen

You’re probably wondering why she’s so far down this list of importance, and I apologize. Her character is much stronger in the next two novels, but in the first one she’s mainly for background inspiration. There’s not much to say about Prim at this point since her role isn’t strong just yet, but so far I’ve seen her play the part wonderfully. When she started breaking down in tears at the reaping, I instantly fell in love with Prim on screen.

Well done, I approve miss Prim. Who can’t? She’s adorable.

-President Snow

We kind of see President Snow in the first novel, so I can’t rely on much to critique his character in the movie. In the movie they went outside of the Games to show what goes on during it, and I thought that was an interest way to do it; we got to see more of Snow in the movie than we did in the book. Well, with the first one, at least.

I personally never imagined Snow with a beard, and for some reason I always pictured him as some super thin dweeb with a constant sneer on his face. I always pictured him younger for some reason too. I suppose President Snow is fine in the movies, I just can’t picture him playing the role in Mockingjay. I can’t see him laughing as Katniss aims an arrow at him, but hopefully they can prove me wrong.

I can’t judge on much just yet, so I suppose so far President Snow gets my approval. So far.

-Seneca Crane

This one will be short. I’ll simply put: great casting. That beard? Fantastic! By the time the second book roles around and Katniss hangs a dummy with Seneca’s name on it, I forgot who that even was. I’m glad that the movie emphasized his importance in the story so that scene will be even more powerful in the next movie.

He gets my approval.

And that’ll be all, folks! Of course the characters are always more detailed in the books, but in this case, the movie generally did a good job on giving these characters justice. I’m looking forward to Catching Fire to see the characters progress!

Agree or disagree with my feelings toward the characters? Discuss below!

May the odds be ever in your favor.


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