10 Most Memorable Moments in THE HUNGER GAMES (10th Anniversary Special)

It’s the 10th anniversary of the publication of THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, and we list our 10 most memorable moments from the book. 

As we continue to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling novel The Hunger Games, we offer up our list of the ten most memorable moments of the book. We’re sure that there are some that may have been missed, but these are just our top ten moments. If you have any favorites moments that aren’t listed, please write them in the comments below. We’d love to know what your favorites are.

Here’s our list, in no particular order:

1) Katniss volunteers for Prim


The first chapter of The Hunger Games quickly introduces us to Prim, her overwhelming fear, and Katniss’s constant assertion of how unlikely it is that Prim will be chosen. When Prim IS chosen, Katniss’s reality bottoms out in a way that gives you all the feels. She doesn’t think about the fact that she’ll likely be giving up her life to save Prim, but she has to. There’s just no other choice in her mind. That’s the power of family.

2) Peeta confesses his love for Katniss


Every tribute is playing their own game except Peeta Mellark, who pulls Katniss into an unexpected team-up when he announces his love for her on national television, making them the star-crossed lovers from District 12. It’s one big shock for Katniss, but it helps give them both an advantage as audiences swoon over them. Plus, it left readers wondering how much was real and how much was gameplay.

3) Rue is killed


Katniss not only finds an ally in Rue, she sees a surrogate figure for her sister, Prim. Rue is the games’ youngest and most innocent contestant, but she’s also clever and fierce. Her death at the hands of a violent tribute is super tragic on its own, but it also solidifies Katniss’ fear that she can’t save anyone.

4) Katniss’ dress


There’s a reason Katniss Everdeen is known as The Girl On Fire, and it’s all because Cinna is a total genius. He made her dazzle when she needed confidence the most and with a little flame, she won over Capitol audiences and readers alike.

5) Katniss and Peeta’s chariot ride


Katniss and Peeta have spent their lives in poverty and relative isolation in an outer district of Panem, then they’re suddenly expected to impress a crowd. Thankfully, Cinna is one of the few genuinely good people in the Capitol. Shrouded in his dazzling designs and with their successful TV interviews behind them, the two have the confidence to hold each other’s hand and connect with potential sponsors, no matter how superficial it may be.

6) The mutts’ eyes


The Gamemakers have released their final attack in the 74th annual Hunger Games: Twisted, vicious wolf mutts. As Katniss and Peeta alternate between running from and killing off the wolf mutts, they make a horrid realization: Each mutt has the eyes of a previous dead tribute. Katniss and Peeta have to essentially kill all the dead tributes, including their allies, all over again. Is there a creepier moment in the first novel? WE THINK NOT!

8) Two victors


The moments leading up to the end of the games is the most tense in the book. The rules were rigged against them. Peeta is willing to let Katniss kill him, but she could never do that. For a second, you think that Katniss and Peeta might crunch down on those Nightlock berries together and even once their victory is secured, Peeta almost dies from his injuries. It’s thrilling and heartbreaking all at once.

9) The Cave


It’s not the most important point in the book, but for romantics, it certainly has the appeal to connect to some of the young readers who need something more to level out the dark tone of the series. Also, it serves as a ploy to the Capitol viewers to find a reason to want to see these star-crossed lovers from District 12 move forward, to see their story move forward and to see them either die together or win together. We could see it as moments of levity, but it’s important to note the consideration and care that Katniss begins to really show for Peeta in a time where she’s not supposed to care at all.  It also makes the ending of the book all the more agonizing as Peeta suggests they hold hands one more time, “For the audience?”

10) Katniss’ skills test


Ever since she was brought into the Capitol for her role as the female tribute of District 12, she hasn’t been able to really be herself. Katniss, always keeping to herself, to be the strong one for her family, now feels woefully intimidated, especially by the other tributes. She knows what it means to be a tribute, and that her days may be numbered, so of course she’s not taking any of this well. However, she finally feels her frustration with the whole training and primping reach its limit when even the gamemakers don’t seem to give her a second view during her skills test. She finally shows her anger when she shoots an apple out of the roasted pig’s mouth, with many of the gamemakers well within target of her arrow. While it could’ve cost her a bad rating or any other sort of punishment, the gamemakers gave her the highest score among all the tributes.


All gif images are scenes taken from the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Amandla Stenberg.

Order The Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins:

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Author

Southern California native who likes movies (Star Wars, Marvel, Love Simon), books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (Supernatural, The 100), food (sushi, seafood, steak, all kinds really), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here.

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