The Hunger Games trilogy was a riveting tale of characters who were pitted against each other in a vicious fight to the death for the entire nation to watch and cheer on. Composed of three books and four movies, the franchise was incredibly successful and continues to be a popular fictional series today.
As with any set of books or films, there are always many major and minor characters that help execute a flawless story. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen usually steals the show, but there are a multitude of smaller characters who complete the terrific plot.
Here are the top 10 underappreciated Hunger Games characters.
10. Effie Trinket
One of the most prominent depictions of the Capitol’s odd and exuberant fashion sense, Effie Trinket is a woman born and raised within an oblivious life. Her role in the Hunger Games is to announce the annual event to District 12, where she is less than enthused by the lack of excitement from her audience.
When Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute in place of her younger sister, this seems to spark Effie’s interest. She quickly forms an attachment to both Katniss and Peeta as she chaperones and guides them throughout the moments leading up to the arena.
Despite the horrific premise of The Hunger Games, Effie does not seem to notice how horrible it truly is. With cotton candy-colored hair and a face painted as white as snow, Effie is the epitome of what the Capitol endorses.
Infamously quoted for her saying, “Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor!” Effie isn’t necessarily an evil character, though her condoning of the Games isn’t something to be overlooked.
Despite being a friend to Katniss and Peeta, during the chaotic end to the Third Quarter Quell, she is not executed like many others who are thought to have been involved in Katniss’ escape. By the time she is seen again, it is during President Snow’s execution day, and her once bubbly demeanor has significantly faded.
Although Effie is not a very bright character, her role is significant as a mentor to Katniss and Peeta in ways that are unlike that of former Hunger Games tribute, Haymitch Abernathy. Instead, her background in the Capitol allows her to determinedly promote her tributes so that they may reign victorious at the end.
Buttercup is Primrose Everdeen’s cat, the younger sister of Katniss Everdeen. In their hometown of District 12, Buttercup lives with the family, though he occasionally wanders the surrounding area, and has a special fondness for Prim.
His relationship toward Katniss is strained; she describes him as “the world’s ugliest cat.” When District 12 is bombed following the escape of Katniss Everdeen and several other former victors of the Third Quarter Quell, Katniss retrieves Buttercup on a mission there, simply for his connection with Prim.
He is not a fan of District 13, where the entire facility is kept far underground and fresh air does not reach. Although he and Katniss continue to have an unspoken hatred for one another, they are eventually forced to bond upon the death of Primrose.
Discovered again at District 12, where Buttercup has made his way back to his former home, the pair mourn Prim together, indicating that they have grown to love each other over time. Buttercup’s role in the story is minimal but holds significant purpose.
In the final instalment of The Hunger Games, Tigris is a woman who assists the squad led by Katniss as they infiltrate the Capitol during their last mission to overthrow President Snow. Although there are not many characters from within the main city that are willing to work toward the benefit of Katniss Everdeen, Tigris is a special kind of animal.
She is a former fashion stylist for the Hunger Games. Tigris followed rules religiously, with a face altered by implants and surgical procedures to look like a feline. Although not directly stated, it is evident that Tigris was shunned and belittled for her borderline grotesque fashion sense.
This theory is urged by the fact that she currently runs a shop dedicated to selling underwear lined with animal fur. Due to this, Tigris allied with the Rebels, offering them a place to hide once they’d made their way to her shop. In addition to this, she also provided them with disguises to match with the Capitol’s flamboyancy.
Despite her generosity, Katniss is put off by Tigris’ efforts to get into her freakish feline character when she is offered food in exchange for her kindness. She notes that Tigris only eats raw meat like a wild cat.
8. President Alma Coin
The leader of District 13, which hosts an uprising rebellion in the third installment of The Hunger Games, is President Alma Coin. Her cold personality matches her appearance. She has straight, shoulder-length gray hair and colorless eyes to match.
From the outset, it is clear that she holds great dislike for Katniss Everdeen, despite the fact that she is the Mockingjay – the drive and spark behind the revolution. On multiple occasions, her disdain toward Katniss is made evident, specifically when she notes that she had wanted to bring Peeta Mellark back to District 13 after the Third Quarter Quell rescue.
Instead, he was captured by the Capitol in the confusion, leaving only Katniss to be the symbol of a rebellion that she often failed to put into words. In addition to this, upon the rescue of Peeta, who was now hardwired to see Katniss as the enemy, Coin intentionally placed the two in a group together as they set out on their final mission.
She hoped that he would go into an episode and kill Katniss. Once the Capitol is taken over by Katniss’ squad, President Alma Coin takes command as the interim leader and conceives the idea that they should host Hunger Games using the Capitol’s children.
This is the exact idea that disproves what the rebels had fought for, and during the execution of President Snow, Katniss takes out Coin instead. It is believed that Coin was indifferent to Katniss because of her fiery personality and frequent disobedience toward rules, something that Coin did not want as part of her new dictatorship.
Coming from District 3, Beetee is a participant in the Third Quarter Quell, also known as the 75th Annual Hunger Games, with a variety of previous tributes. He won his first games by electrocuting several people at once, earning him the privilege of survival — but ultimately throwing him back into the arena.
He was a genius when it came to technology, and strived when it came to devising a sound plan for vacating the arena via his electronic methods. Despite being injured, Beetee was taken back to District 13 to work with the technology division, where he crafted a multitude of useful weapons and inventions intended to help the rebels take over the Capitol.
Ultimately, despite his good intentions, a special bomb that was designed to explode and then, after a brief delay, explode again, was used in a crowd of Capitol children shortly before Katniss was able to take the city over.
Once the bomb dropped, injuring several kids, Katniss’ sister, Primrose, who had trained as a medic, jumped into the crowd in hopes to save as many lives as she could. When the second wave hit, the blast killed Prim, leaving Katniss distraught by District 13’s usage of their state-of-the-art equipment.
Despite this, Beetee was seen as an ally to Katniss and frequently shared his technical knowledge to help his fellow tributes survive throughout the Third Quarter Quell. His expertise may have done significant harm, however.
Wiress was a rather odd character from The Hunger Games who, like Beetee, belonged to District 3 and was rather intelligent when it came to technology. Despite this, she was represented as a very mentally unsound person. She apparently lost her mind after the death of Blight, a District 7 tribute.
During the Third Quarter Quell, Wiress was part of a group that banded together, which included Beetee, Katniss, Peeta, and several others on this list. Although she lacked proper communicative skills, Wiress was able to inform her allies, namely Katniss, about the arena that they were in.
Every so often, a giant gong would bang twelve times, and with the constant fidgeting and mumbling of Wiress, Katniss realized that they were surrounded by a clock. At specific times, different things would happen throughout the jungle and on the beach that surrounded the cornucopia in the middle of the arena, all in the motion of the timekeeping device.
When the allied group faced the rest of the tributes, labeled as careers, Gloss, a male from District 1, who slit Wiress’ throat open. Katniss then shot Gloss with an arrow to the temple.
4. Seneca Crane
Every year, gamemakers recreate the Hunger Games arena is recreated with a new layout and lethal elements. Seneca Crane was the lead gamemaker during and before the 74th Hunger Games. He was in charge of creating a landscape filled with deadly traps and obstacles for the tributes to work around as their number whittled from 24 to 1.
Throughout the original film adaptation, Seneca continuously reports to President Snow, a clear indication of his loyalty and diligence to the Capitol. Despite this, Seneca makes a fatal mistake. Katniss and Peeta are portrayed as star-crossed lovers, hoping to find a chance to make it out alive.
The drama drives Capitol audiences into a fit of excitement. It prompts Seneca to interject a rule that, should two tributes from the same district make it to the end alive, they will be able to win together.
Because this was a false hope, when Katniss and Peeta eventually make it to this point and stand victorious atop the cornucopia, Seneca backtracks, stating that one of them must kill the other to ultimately win the games.
Katniss offers Peeta the alternative of simultaneously eating poisonous Nightlock berries. In a panic, Seneca agrees to let the pair live, because the games cannot go on without a victor.
Going against some of the most ancient rules of the games, Seneca helped Katniss spark a rebellion across the districts. Her public act of defiance inspired hope in people who had long forgotten what it was like to stand up against the dictatorship.
Seneca was later taken to a room with nothing but a cluster of Nightlock berries – with the option to either starvation, or instantly kill himself.
Cinna is a stylist in his first year when he is placed with Katniss to design her outfits for several events including the opening ceremony and interviews with talk-show host Caesar Flickerman. In the first instalment of the series, his bold designs win over the hearts of many viewers.
He dresses up Peeta and Katniss in synthetic fire. He later refers to her as “the Girl on Fire.” Cinna seems to be much tamer in comparison to the rest of the stylists and chaperones present. He adorns himself in simple clothing, with only a streak of golden eyeliner linking him to the disturbing and colorful ways of the Capitol.
Continuing into the second book and film, Cinna is a quiet friend to Katniss. In Catching Fire, President Snow instructs Cinna to construct a wedding dress for Katniss’ interview, to which he obliges.
Similar to the magic he worked for Katniss’ very first opening ceremony outfit, Cinna combines materials to create a dress that, when Katniss raises her arms and twirls, burns away the traditional white into black plumage, reminiscent of a Mockingjay.
This is the symbol that Katniss totes in the form of a pin on her chest, which also ends up being an emblem for the rebellion. Seen as a direct defiance to the Capitol, the audience is simultaneously shocked and intrigued.
Following this debacle, as Katniss is getting ready to be shipped up to the arena, she witnesses guards beating Cinna for his creative decisions. Seeing this shakes her to her core. Ultimately, Effie Trinket informs Katniss that Cinna had been killed, but the stylist’s bravery was one of many keys to kickstarting the rebellion.
2. Johanna Mason
Johanna Mason is a tribute from District 7 who is forced to compete in the Third Quarter Quell. Her tactics in the original Hunger Games she competed in were to pretend that she was a coward, before viciously murdering the final tributes at the end of the games.
Her character plays a strong role in the series. She is willing to do almost anything since President Snow had her entire family killed when she would not comply with being prostituted.
Her sarcastic nature and turbulent attitude make her a unique character. While others cannot defy the Capitol for fear of having their lives ripped away from them, Johanna has nothing more to lose.
Because of this, she openly talks down upon the Capitol’s unjust ways. However, few pay attention to her. While Johanna is a key component in ensuring that Katniss safely escapes the arena in Catching Fire by violently removing the tracking device from her arm, she is taken into captivity by Capitol forces.
Johanna offered Katniss an unlikely friend to rely on while they trained in District 13. Yet, the trauma that Johanna harbored from being tortured in the Capitol didn’t allow her to participate in the final mission.
1. Finnick Odair
From start to finish, Finnick’s character in the Hunger Games trilogy is one that makes a myriad of differences for the lives of everyone, especially Katniss. Handpicked by Haymitch, Katniss’ mentor, to be her ally in the Third Quarter Quell, the seemingly arrogant and trivial tribute from District 4 did not sit well with her initially.
It is only after Finnick saves Peeta’s life via CPR that she begins to trust him.When the tributes escape at the end of Catching Fire, and are subsequently transported to District 13, the Capitol kidnaps Finnick’s one true love, Annie Cresta.
Stricken with grief, Katniss and Finnick find solace in each other as they mourn the losses of Peeta and Annie. When their respective partners are returned to them, Finnick quickly marries Annie and continues to be a supportive friend to Katniss as she copes with the realities of the world around her.
When Katniss deploys on her final mission, Finnick is a part of her squad. His expertise, alongside the others, is incredibly beneficial in helping the group reach the Capitol. However, a pack of giant mutated lizards finds them. Finnick sacrifices himself to allow Katniss to make it out alive.