The Hunger Games Book VS. Movie

By Sammy Robben

Perspective: First person novel vs. Third Person movie

In the book everything is told from Katniss' point of view. The games are seen only from her vision, and anything that Katniss could not have seen is not known to the readers. We hear her personal thoughts about the things happening, but we never see the involvement of the game makers, Haymitch, or anyone watching form the districts. In the film other perspectives were added to give more insight into the games and how they come to be. You see conversations between Seneca Crane and President snow that lead to the decision to allow two tributes from the same district to become winners, and you see Seneca controlling what happens in the games as if nothing is natural. The third person showing of the games required the film makers to make changes in the narration, such as the game commentators explaining what tracker jackers are and the mine trap, in order to help the viewer know what is going on without Katniss' inner thoughts.

Saying Goodbye: Peeta's dad

In the book when loved ones are given the chance to say goodbye to the tributes, Peeta's father comes and talks to Katniss offering her cookies. This seen is taken out of the movie completely, and peeta's parents are not even mentioned until later in the movie. By taking out this part of the novel the writers have taken away one of the main connections between Katniss and Peeta. In the book it is emphasized that Peeta's father has always bee very kind to both Katniss and her sister, Prim, because he buys meet from them. The only mention of a connection between Katniss and Peeta's family in the movie is a flashback to a time when Peeta throws bread at a starving Katniss and against when Peeta says "my mom said district 12 might finally have a winner, and she wasn't talking about me". By taking out these little previous connections between Katniss and Peeta the film writers were able to focus on their "forbidden love".
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Characters that play a different role in the movie

Scenes from the second book shown in the first movie

The District 11 Riot

As mentioned earlier the book is told completely from the first person point of view of Katniss so anything happening during the games that Katniss could not have known in the arena is not known until the next book, Catching Fire. However, the movie is shown from third person, which allows them to show other parts of the story that are happening while the tributes are in the arena. The district is one of these things. It is not talked about in the first book, but is found out in the second book after Katniss and Peeta return from the games. In the movie, after Rue is killed we not only see Katniss salute district 11 but we get a glimpse of the them revolting against the Capital. Another big difference with district 11 is that in the book they send katniss a loaf of bread and that is taken out of the movie.

Seneca's supposed death

At the end of the hunger games when only Peeta and Katniss are left the game makers, mostly Seneca, recall the rule that two tributes from the same district can be crowned winners. This would require either Peeta or Katniss to kill the other, but in order to prove that the capital does not own them they decide that they will both die together. As they prepare to kill themselves with poison berries the game makers call out and pronounce them both victors. In the first book this is all you know. Nothing more is told about the fate of the game maker of what will happen in the future, you only know that the Capital is not happy. It is in the second book that it is found out that Seneca is dead and they make it seem like he has hung himself. In the movie however, you see Seneca being led to a room with a single crystal bowl full of poison berries left in the middle. He is locked in the room and forced to chose to starve to death or kill himself with the berries just as Katniss and Peeta were going to. This change revealed just how serious that Capital takes the games, and gave the writers and directors a good set up for the next movie.
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