The Hunger Games renaissance

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

Content warning: this article contains spoilers

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins was easily one of the most formative young-adult trilogies for teenage girls in the early 2010s — alongside Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.” The three-book, four-movie franchise was highly grossing all over the world, with the first four films grossing a whopping $2.9 billion on their own at the box office. 

However, it’s Collins’ newest novel-to-movie adaptation that is bringing “The Hunger Games” into a renaissance of popularity, fan edits and cosplays. 

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” novel, released in May of 2020, follows a young President Snow when he and Lucy Gray Baird, the victor of the tenth annual Hunger Games, traverse through the games and the events that are caused in the aftermath. Young Snow and his fellow classmates at the Capitol’s top academy are tasked with creating spectacles of the tributes they are assigned to. Snow and his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, slowly fall in love over the course of the novel, but this romance ultimately ends in tragedy, with Snow spiraling into the cold-hearted red flag the audience knows him as when Katniss Everdeen comes into play. 

The movie follows the book almost perfectly, with some omissions, but the movie’s release has released a shockwave of fan media.

In 2014 a compilation of Josh Hutcherson, the actor who played Peeta Mellark, photos to the song “Whistle” by Flo Rida was posted to YouTube by user MetroGirlzStation. This video has had a resurgence in popularity, especially on TikTok, and becoming a modern Rick Roll of sorts. 

Other fans have taken to TikTok and X — formerly Twitter — to present their theories about Lucy Grey and parallels between her and Katniss. One favorite theory among fans is Katniss’ relationship to Lucy Grey, specifically if she, Katniss, is the granddaughter of Lucy Grey’s sister, Maude Ivory. 

TikTok user LuckyLeftie is one of these popular theorists, gaining more than 885K followers and sharing lore information, comparisons between the books and movies and her own theories on the franchise. Her most viewed video, with 2.1M views posted on Nov. 11, discusses the Districts’ relationship with the Capitol and their reasons for why they rebelled. She is the top most followed and watched “Hunger Games” content creator.

Many people have compared this renaissance of the franchise to when the original movies were released. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” grossed over $1 million at the box office, bringing the franchise to a value of $3 billion, and this success does not appear to be slowing down. With the amount of content being created on popular platforms, as well as Hot Topic recently releasing a “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” inspired clothing and accessory line, this renaissance will likely last well into the months ahead. 

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