You’ve probably seen the mega-success that is The Hunger Games. And hey, you probably saw it even if you didn’t read the books. That’s fine! Of course, like any adaptation the filmmakers are going to change the material so they make more sense on screen while also trimming down characters and events so they can present a story in a good amount of time. Here are some of the bigger changes in the film. Warning: SPOILERS.
In the book, the pin is given to Katniss by a character named Madge. In the film she trades for it and gives it to her sister, who then gives it back to her for protection. Ultimately, this cuts out having to introduce a new character and strengthens the bond between Katniss and her sister Prim.
What Does the Winner Get?
The movie doesn’t do a great job of explaining what the winner of the Games gets, while the book does tell you that they get a house and some money and resources.
Haymitch at the Reaping
In the book Haymitch appears at the Reaping drunk and falls off the stage. In the movie he doesn’t appear at all.
Mr. Mellark goes to visit Katniss after Prim and her mother visit her shortly after the reaping. In the movie he doesn’t make an appearance at all.
When the feast is announced near the end of the movie Katniss waits till Peeta is asleep and then heads over there. In the book Katniss drugs him. Yeah, they aren’t as lovey dovey in the book.
Peeta Kills Someone
When the stupid girl makes that bonfire and is eventually found by Cato and crew they kill her right away. In the book they think they kill her, realize the cannon doesn’t fire and send Peeta to go kill her while Katniss is listening.
Peeta and Katniss Mind Games
It’s MUCH more apparent in the book that Katniss looks at the Peeta situation as a mind game they’re playing on the world to get sponsors. In the film you could easily mistake it for an actual romance.
District 4 Girl’s Death
In the movie the girl dies in the initial blood bath, in the book she dies in the Tracker Jacker attack.
In the book the leafs are chewed into a paste by Rue, rather than being the miracle bandages they are in the film.
District 11′s Bread
Perhaps they were too busy rioting, but in the book the District Rue is from sends Katniss a loaf of bread to thank her for what she did. In the movie we just see District 11 going insane.
After she destroys Cato’s supplies she suffers a temporary loss of hearing in the film, but in the book she loses hearing in her left ear until the Games are completed.
Our heroine nearly dies of dehydration in the book because she struggles to find water for about 2 days. Of course, this isn’t very fun to watch so she finds water pretty instantly in the film.
Katniss never receives notes from Haymitch in the book, she just guesses what he’s thinking.
The book is told from Katniss’ perspective, so you get a lot of her thoughts. In the movie the story is told in third person, so we don’t get into Katniss’ head.
Cato’s Body Armor
When the wolf things are unleashed they start chasing Cato, who runs right at Katniss and Peeta. Katniss tries to shoot him with an arrow but he has body armor on, something he likely got from the Feast. This would, of course, look ridiculous on the big screen and would probably inspire laughs so it was cut.
The look of the Wolf Mutations
The wolf things that chase Katniss and Peeta look like dead tributes in the book, and it seems like their body parts and faces were used to inspire the creatures. In the film they’re just some random creation some lady comes up with.
Book: Golden. Film: Gunmetal.
Thresh takes a rock to Clove’s head at the Feast in the book, while in the movie she is slammed against the wall until her neck breaks. PG-13 much?
After a Tributes Death
We never see how hovercrafts come to pick up the bodies of dead tributes.
We see a lot of him. In the book he’s barely there.
After he falls off the cornucopia in the film Katniss quickly shoots an arrow at his head to put him out of his misery. In the book Katniss and Peeta listen to him die over the course of the night and puts an arrow in him the next morning.
Seneca Crane and Behind the Scenes
In the film we get to see the Gamemaker in his element. In the book the Gamemaker’s actions are predicted and thought about by Katniss.
Peeta eventually gets a new leg and his current leg is amputated. In the film this does not happen.
Peeta and Katniss’ Romance
In the book Peeta realizes after the Games that Katniss was putting on a show for sponsors. In the movie this isn’t brought up at all, but is hinted a teeny tiny bit.
They’re barely mentioned. An Avox is a person who’s been punished for rebelling against the Capitol. An Avox tends to Katniss at the Capitol.
Cato at the Feast
The strong guy bends over near Clove at the Feast and shows some sympathy for his compadre. In the fim he isn’t present at the Feast.
In the movie Cato realizes the politics behind the Hunger Games and says how he was never meant to win. In the book he doesn’t realize this and just wants to kill Katniss and Peeta.
The Deadly Berries.
In the book Katniss and Peeta put the berries in their mouths, in the film they don’t. This is kind of a stupid change, honestly.
Staying in the Cave
Katniss and Peeta stay in the cave for multiple days because of a storm outside. They even receive a couple different gifts. In the movie they’re only there for a day.
Katniss and Peeta kiss a lot more in the book to play up sponsors. In the film they kiss once.
District 11 Explained
In the book, Rue tells Katniss a good deal about her District. In the movie they don’t discuss this in great detail.
Peeta Goes First
When the judges score the tributes’ workout sessions, Katniss goes first in the movie and we don’t know what Peeta ends up doing. In the book Peeta goes first.
Movie: Wolf things kill Thresh. Book: Cato kills Thresh.
Katniss is too late to stop Rue’s death in the book. She witnesses Marvel throw a spear at her and then Katniss shoots him in the neck. In the film she frees Rue from a net, then Marvel appears and spears Rue. Katniss then shoots an arrow into his chest.