5 Unforgivable Book-to-Movie Changes in The Hunger Games

5 Unforgivable Book-to-Movie Changes in The Hunger Games
Image credit: Legion-Media

The books are not always better, but more often than not, the movies end up being very different, and not in a good way.

In practically every book-to-movie adaptation, many details get left out of the movie, and in the case of The Hunger Games Trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, there were changes made that had fans ready to start their own rebellion.

1. The Mockingjay pin

The Mockingjay pin was the most important symbol in the series, but the story of its origin became far less meaningful in the movies.

In the books, it is given to Katniss by classmate Madge Undersee as a symbol of hope. The pin previously belonged to Madge’s aunt, who had died in the Hunger Games.

In the movie, Madge does not exist, and Katniss finds the Mockingjay pin at a stall whilst trading at the Hob, and the stallholder gives it to her, which removes the emotional significance and impact of the pin.

2. Katniss drugging Peeta

A truly selfless, albeit sneaky move on Katniss's part that did not happen in the movie at all. In the book, Katniss drugs a dying Peeta to embark on a dangerous mission for much-needed medicine to save his life.

In both the book and movie, Peeta was adamant that she not leave, but the movie made Peeta seem far weaker as a character. He fell asleep, allowing Katniss to slip away and save him, detracting from the book moment.

3. Katniss’s Imprisonment

The consequences of Katniss's actions, including her imprisonment and torture, are downplayed in the movies. After shooting and killing President Coin in the books, Katniss is imprisoned for weeks and endures some pretty gruesome torture.

In the movie, either to save time or to spare audiences the graphic content, the scenes following the shooting are non-existent, and take away from her character development and depth.

4. Tesserae

The concept of Tessera and its significance are barely explored in the movies. In the books, Tessera highlight the desperate circumstances faced by impoverished families and are tokens taken by children eligible for the Hunger Games that allow them to feed their families, but also increase the chances of them being selected for the brutal games, as it meant their names would be put in more times for the draw.

When Katniss is leaving for the Capitol she tells her sister 'You’re going to be okay. It isn’t worth putting your name in more times.' clearly referring to Tessera, but moviegoers wouldn't understand what it meant without the book context.

5. Peeta losing his leg

The movie adaptation leaves out Peeta losing his leg after an encounter with the Mutts, a significant injury that affects his character both physically and psychologically.

In the movie, he never has the amputation, which had fans disappointed because his injury in the books had huge significance and affected his character physically and psychologically.