In late 2023, the Hunger Games franchise is set to introduce its first prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Centered around President Snow’s early life, the film is likely going to introduce plotlines from the original Hunger Games books that the films themselves left out, like many of the inter-district relations.
Of course, while it is certainly going to showcase those book plotlines, there are many more that fans wish they had the chance to see in the movies. While they are shown or alluded to in the books, the majority of the fandom just hasn’t had exposure to some amazing storylines.
While Haymitch is introduced as a previous victor, movie fans never had the chance to see the details of how he rose to prominence and survived, despite all odds. The victor of the 50th Hunger Games, Haymitch had to outlast a record 48 competitors, which is incredibly impressive.
Many fans wish it would have been alluded to on-screen, but some are suspecting there might be a reason. “Now I wonder if they intentionally left his games out not just for time but because they’re planning a prequel,” says Reddit user DevelopmentRelevant. If so, that film will certainly be incredible and can bring a new appreciation for Haymitch.
While Haymitch in the movies was a fascinating character, they left out a major storyline, as Haymitch struggled to overcome his alcoholism as he prepared for the Quarter Quell. Redditor ToYouItReaches states it “would have added a lot more to the film’s characterization of him… only showing the competent, functional side of his character detracts from how tragic a story he has in the books.”
Given that Haymitch had to witness decades of trainees failing to return from the Games, it makes sense that he would be dejected and detached. His struggle with alcohol could have added that layer to his character, especially since he eventually managed to become a leader of the rebellion.
Katniss and Johanna Training
A book character better than her movie counterpart, Johanna was much closer to Katniss in the books than she was in the movies. They trained together, bonded, and became integral pieces of the rebellion together. Fans desperately wish that the movies had explored their dynamic more.
Reddit user blodreiina would have liked “a montage-like scene from Mockingjay showing Katniss and Johanna training for the invasion of the Capitol.” The movies could have given Katniss a loyal and fierce friend rather than isolating her and leaving her with no one but Peeta and Gale.
Cato Grieving Clove
There are many “what if” Hunger Games scenarios, but the most popular is the thought of Cato winning the 74th games. After all, Cato was clearly the fiercest tribute selected, and he seemed genuinely unbothered by the Games. Yet, there was one moment where he showed his heart in the books — when his partner, Clove, died.
“It’s such an important moment in showing that all the tributes are just scared kids at the end of the day despite all the training (& definite brainwashing) they experienced,” says Reddit user 102717. The Hunger Games‘ major theme is that all the tributes are children forced into horrific circumstances. Rather than Cato being a brute, allowing him to mourn his losses would have humanized him and shown just how horrible the Games were.
While the movies were a fairly faithful adaptation, there were a few characters that they neglected to adapt. One of them was Katniss’ friend, Madge, who originally gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin. Reddit user Even_Lychee4954 argues, “I’m so mad they cut out Madge. She was a critical character in the trilogy.”
While it was impossible for The Hunger Games to adapt her, given her complicated family history, their friendship was such a sweet subplot that really helped give Katniss something to fight for. Given that Madge was the mayor’s daughter, it also showed how there could be allies between the powerful and the weak, and how even the powerful were at risk.
Flashbacks From The Past
Katniss’ history is utterly fascinating, given how she served as the provider for her family for years. Yet fans never really had much time to experience what it was like for Katniss to grow up in District 12. Reddit user DevelopmentRelevant wishes for “Flashbacks to Katniss’ life, including the Dandelions, meeting Gale in the woods and Lavinia, the Avox girl getting captured!”
Each of those scenes could have introduced a new and relatively carefree side to Katniss. While Katniss can often be summed up as a stern and stoic character, having the chance to see how she grew and developed could help viewers empathize with her.
One of the most ridiculous and cringiest parts of the movies is the fact that Katniss and Peeta have very little long-term injuries from their time in a death match. That’s why the books featured a major subplot where Peeta lost his leg and had it replaced with a robotic appendage.
“I also would liked to have seen Peeta’s missing leg being included in the movies,” states Reddit user tomatobee613, and for good reason. After all, it helped to add more stakes to the series and provided long-term physical repercussions for the characters, which was sorely needed, just like Katniss losing hearing in one ear after her games.
The Prep Team
Every tribute had a team dedicated to helping them prepare for the Games and look their best in the process. Katniss always felt a close bond with her own team, which didn’t fully translate to the screen and could have added more layers to an already deep character.
“Seeing how Katniss has a conflicting fondness for them and how she and Gale fight about it in Mockingjay,” posits Reddit user Radiant-Flamingo-72, could have really added to the conflict between the Capitol and the Districts. After all, it showed that there were good people in the Capitol and that not everyone was evil.
Katniss Killing A Capital Citizen
While Katniss often tried to be a good person by only killing those that she truly needed to outlast, Mockingjay saw her forced to kill a random and innocent Capitol citizen. Reddit user just-me-yaay says, “That was kind of a shocking scene, seeing her kill an innocent, unsuspecting citizen in her own home so quickly.”
Given that she would later turn on President Coin for planning to restore the Hunger Games, Katniss killing that Capitol citizen was a point where she could stop and realize her mistakes. She could see that she had gone too far and that she needed to reverse course. It’s truly one of Katniss’ saddest moments, and the movies really could have used that to make the ending more understandable.
Katniss’ Relationship With Her Mom
While Katniss’ mother is relegated to an extremely limited role in the movies, her complicated relationship with Katniss was incredibly relevant in the books. Reddit user Outside-Ad-8992 states, “I would have liked to see more of Katniss and her mom. I feel like they really downplayed their relationship in the movies.”
Given that her mother is the only family she had left after Prim’s death, having someone to lean on could have been essential for the Girl on Fire. By failing to develop their relationship, the movies failed to properly showcase that side of Katniss, which was disappointing.