Stay With Me?

Real or not real? Whether or not we want it to, Hunger Games news is really slow, to say the least, and this is no place for an editorial-based fansite (on fire.)

hunger-games-quoteLet’s start by saying this isn’t a goodbye. It’s a “See ya when we see ya.”

It became clear about three weeks ago that we needed to give our accolades to the Hunger Games fandom as the activity level dies down… aaaaaaand then I hesitated for three weeks. We’re still going to post when there’s big Hunger Games news we wanna talk about–watch our social networks just in case!– but as things change, we know regular updates aren’t feasible. We cannot survive on actors being cast in other unrelated films, red carpet appearances, and selfies alone (so seriously, Willow Shields, cool it on the selfies.)

Being part of this fandom has been an incredible journey so far. I’m going to be selfish for a minute, but hopefully amuse you in the process, by talking about some of my experiences you may not know about:

  1. Victor’s Village got started because I wanted to work on a Hunger Games fansite, but couldn’t get involved with existing sites. I “applied” for but lost out to Sam Cushion– who is lovely and was straight-up famous in the fandom long before I got involved. And I had A LOT OF FEELINGS. So starting my own op-ed arrangement just seemed right. And I’ve been really, really lucky since.
  2. I was first approached by Savanna New from Hunger Games Fireside Chat to work on The Potter Games and later to be a guest on Hunger Games Fireside Chat, I’m pretty sure I had heart palpitations because they liked me, they really liked me!
  3. When The Potter Games developed into The Fandom (which I now co-own with my dear friend Nat,) I talked to Adam Spunberg about the site development so much that my then fiance/now husband expressed concern.
  4. I’ve met each of my three wonderful co-writers on this site over the course of its run– Rebekah, Tiffany, and JJ– once apiece in person. Don’t care. Still love em!
  5. If you thought our opinions were sometimes harsh, you weren’t the only one. We’re not saying that a certain studio has contacted us for expressing opinions they didn’t like before, but we’re not saying it didn’t happen, either.

What can you do now? Well, there are still awesome Hunger Games fansites out there with straight news– try Down With The Capitol, Jabberjays, and Panem Propaganda. For some more multi-faceted business including comic and YA genre books, movies, and shows you can still follow me over at TheFandom.Net. You can also hit us up on Twitter at @kaitmary and @jj_dash. we said, if there’s big news, we’ll be around to talk about it. But if it doesn’t come anytime soon, let us leave you with this message: LOVE WHAT YOU LOVE LOUD AND PROUD. Fandom is huge and encompassing, but there are people who will always be asses about it. “YA is immature,” “The thing you like is formulaic/too weird/overrated, etc,” or “There are other things you should invest your time in.” Does fandom make you happy? Does liking things make you happy? Then screw all of ’em! As a 20-adult in fandom, I constantly struggle with this. My 50-something year-old co-workers absolutely don’t think my love for The Hunger Games is worthwhile, but I never let that keep me from this community of like-minded friends. Don’t let wayward opinions from judgmental people sway you either. If you love a band, a book, or a movie, just love it and let everyone else deal with their opinions all by themselves.

After all, there are much worse games to play.

Thank you. Truly.
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Auction: The “Want!” and the “WHAT?!”

GUESS WHAT GUYS! Apparently, a bajillion props from The Hunger Games movies are going up for auction.

Guess that means that the exhibition is done? Also, we guess that Lionsgate is trying to make up for some recent, massive stock dips. BUT THOSE ARE JUST GUESSES.

Being the absolute crazies that we are, We looked through most of the online catalogue over at Because it’s movie props! They’re fun, they’re shiny, and they have some great sentimental value– well, some of it at least.

Truthfully, we’re not going to bid on any of it because we’re cheap and the lowest priced items are estimated to go for at least $200. We love feeding ourselves more than we love The Hunger Games. Sorry! Still, there we definitely some items that made us squeal “Want!” Of course, for every one of those, something made us say “WHAT?!”

Let’s explore a few, shall we?


Obvious starting point. This is the Mac Daddy of all Hunger Games outfits.

mockingjay outfit


Katniss’ and Peeta’s pajamas? They’re not even display clothes! Are you going to buy it and sleep in it, hoping some of the actor scent stuck (assuming this is the actual pair they wore and not an extra set)?




victors village sign


The reaping ball is cool, in theory. But it’s just a giant glass bowl and they want to start at $1,000! Sure, the paper props are included. But do they have the meaning of life scribbled within? No? Then we’re all set!

reaping ball


We realize this is the commercialized bow Katniss was given by District 13 when she became The Mockingjay. But it’s just so effin’ pretty!

katniss capitol bow


This is less about the medicine ball (it least that had a purpose in the story) than the medicine ball rack, which is being auctioned off separately for hundreds of dollars. And maybe you could hang your coats on it, guys!

medicine ball


It’s a silver parachute guys! They mean hope and support and inspiration and.. *wipes single tear away*

silver parachute


Peeta’s pearl for Katniss is important. The fake oyster he found it in and the fake coconut they drank water out of, though? What does one even DO with those items? Do that fit nicely into anyone’s living room decor?!

coconut oyster


We have nowhere to put this but we want it PURELY FOR THE LULZ. We wanna drive it around town blasting Spice Girls songs and shooting off confetti cannons while getting strange looks just because we could if we had enough money to bid on it!

capitol military vehicle


This is HUGE and fumbly and not something you can casually display in a home! Unless you’re going to convert it into a race car bed-esque situation. Maybe not even then.

capitol chariot


If we want the Capitol’s fine china, there’s nothing wrong with that. WE ARE ADULTS, DAMMIT!

capitol china


Someone is about to yell at us because these sculptures from Katniss’ original tribute apartment are art. We can’t help it– All we see are giant, hole-y pensises.


Why Wasn’t Buttercup An Option?!
The Girl With The Pearl

Up For the Ride with Passengers

Last week we were raving about Rogue One (and enjoying seeing evidence of the “Everdeen Effect”). Now add Passengers to the list of movies we’re excited for in December. Well, we’ve been psyched for it since the movie was announced. Because Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in a sci-fi space thriller romance movie from the director of The Imitation Game has pretty much everything going for it in our book. Personally, since my favorite movie of all time is Catching Fire and favorite TV show is Parks and Recreation (which starred Pratt), it brings out all my fan hopes and dreams. Which can be a scary thing. So. Much. Pressure.

passengers poster.jpg

But now our excitement level is at the SHOW-US-THAT-TRAILER-NOW-impatient level. Because footage debuted at Cinema-Con last night (warning – link has spoilers that I did not read). The buzz was super-positive.





WE CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS. Plus, think of all the fun that’s going to come out of that press tour.

I mean, look at them!

passengers movie

If you’re wondering when a trailer will be available to the public’s eager eyes, bets are on the week that X-Men: Apocalypse comes out at the end of May.

If we can’t have a Hunger Games movie to look forward to this year, this definitely helps.




rogue one felicity jones

Star Wars: Rogue One And The Everdeen Effect

Be prepared. We’re about to make some fanboys whine and cry!

Something big happened today outside of this fandom, but what you might not have noticed is that something big happened today within this fandom too. And they’re both kind of the same thing.

It starts with the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which looks pretty freaking fantastic:

That’s the first thing. But the second is within the trailer itself– a young woman with dark hair tied back, fierce but unsmiling in utilitarian clothing. She faces a mentor who isn’t too impressed with her off-the-cuff decisions. She puts on her battle gear leads a team of rebels in a life-or-death attempt to destroy a dictator.

Yup. Rogue One’s Jyn Erso definitely seems to be influenced by Katniss Everdeen!

rogue one 2

Before anyone loses their minds, we’re not saying that Jyn is a Katniss rip-off. She’s clearly got her own mission, some original snark, etc. By the time the movie comes around, we imagine we’ll notice even more differences between the characters. But right now, there are plenty of fans having feelings (many of a defensive mansplaining nature) because at first glance, Jyn feels similar to Katniss. They’re both strong women from impoverished backgrounds leading their team, taking action, and ultimately inspiring change in a futuristic landscape overwrought by a dictator.

Do we mind the comparison? Hell no!

To us, this trailer is a major victory for The Hunger Games fandom. It’s an example of the influence of Katniss Everdeen– an amazing, fierce, vulnerable female hero– has had on the entertainment media, just as Katniss was influenced by fearsome female figures before her. The Hunger Games’ main character is a point of reference for strong female representation in film and she absolutely should be. A few basic plot details and similar clothing choices don’t necessarily make the two characters alike. Star Wars is not becoming The Hunger Games. But we appreciate the homage, intentional or not.

Even with the obvious points of comparison, guess what? Fans are pretty damn happy. Young, badass ladies are in charge and most people are cool with it, because they’ve learned from The Force Awakens and series like The Hunger Games. The complaints so far mainly consist of a small group of particularly pathetic male fans complaining that the Star Wars franchise had the gall to create not one but TWO FEMALE LEAD PROTAGONISTS… IN A ROW! But we’re just going to ignore the fuck out of those ignorant, bitter whiners PLZKTHX!

Whether you’re obsessed with The Hunger Games franchise or not, you can’t deny that it’s success has probably spurred more movies with action and adventure and depth driven by female leads. We couldn’t be happier!

KE + JE = 5eva,
The Girl With The Pearl


Looks like this will be the last time we’re doing one of these giveaways, so please feel free to hold us while we weep!

The Mockingjay Part 2 DVD/Blu-ray is here and IT’S HARD TO LET GO, GUYS. We’ve been obsessing over DVDs and special features for so long, and now they’re available to the general public.



Of course, not everyone was able to get their DVDs right away, because life happens. Or maybe you got the 4-Film Collection, but didn’t get your own standalone Mockingjay Part 2 DVD. Well, good news: We’re giving away two copies of the Mockingjay Part 2 Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack!

Simply click the link below to enter!


Contest is open internationally, but you must have a Region A compatible blu-ray player.

Contest ends at 11:59pm on April 3rd!

May the odds… and all that jazz,
The Girl With The Pearl

Breaking Down the Mockingjay Part 2 Audio Commentary

We’re enjoying going though all the special features in the Mockingjay Part 2 home media releases. One of our favorite features is always the audio commentary with Francis Lawrence and Nina Jacobson. Let’s go through some of the bits that stood out.

The Last Time

Right at the start there is a super cute moment where Francis mentions this is the last time they get to do an audio commentary… on these movies. This isn’t news – we know they’re planning on adapting The Odyssey together – but that quibble was fun to hear them acknowledge.

These movies start and end with Katniss (well, Francis’s movies)

Francis mentions how he deliberately structured the films this way.

The Nut’s destruction, not close up but through Katniss’s eyes

In a refreshing difference from the popular superhero movies of the day, they decided not to show the spectacle of the Nut’s destruction, but focus on how Katniss experiences it. (Bonus, it also saves them a bunch of cash).

No crying until the end

During the District 2 scene, a tear fell from Jen’s eye due to cold which was digitally removed. Suzanne and Francis felt Katniss should not cry in this movie until the end because she’s so numb from everything she’s experienced.

Francis’s assistant/MJ2’s associate producer was working double time

He’s the one who shoots Katniss in District 2.

jena scalp doubleJena had a scalp double

Francis didn’t have the heart to ask Jena to have her head shaved for a year (for 10 days total of shooting) but he thinks bald caps look fake. The solution – he hired scalp doubles and digitally added them in.

They thought about cutting Finnick and Annie’s wedding (gasp!)

They were concerned about the wedding slowing the pace of the film, but Nina knew the fans wouldn’t stand for this scene not being included (imagine the anger lol). They found a way to incorporate the elements they needed to keep propelling the story forward within the backdrop of the wedding.

Noisy le Grand residents (site of the black oil scene) were suspicious when the team came in to scout locations, and later shoot

The location scouts needed to come back with security after someone threw an egg at them. Then when they shot the scenes people started throwing things as well so they needed more security. They even ended up hiring one of the kids who was throwing things (made him security too) to bring him over to the team Mockingjay side.

Francis was looking forward to shooting the sewer sequences, but then reality set in

Francis was excited to shoot the sewer sequences for a chance to do a scene that was really scary in these movies. Unfortunately it meant about a month of shooting in cold, claustrophobic tunnels to get the footage for these sequences (but thanks for doing it, guys).

The fun of messing with audience’s expectations

Francis had fun subverting audience’s expectations during the sewer sequence. He enjoyed building the suspense, mentioning how he set up certain shots to make you think Pollux was going to get attacked… but then of course that NOT being the moment of attack.

The importance of Finnick’s “Hero Moment”

They spent a lot of time developing Finnick’s fight scenes in order to give him a “samurai’s death,” as Nina put it. Also, Francis loves how the film requires you to keep moving right after Finnick’s death. There is no ability to take a beat and absorb it. The mourning has to happen during the continued chase and they used the music to communicate that.

The difficulty of showing the consequences of war within PG-13

To keep it within the rating, there had to be a minimal amount of blood and some very carefully constructed shots. They had to go back and forth with the MPAA several times nonetheless because of the intensity of the movie. Francis also had to focus more on the emotional consequences.

Scar-free Katniss

I mentioned this in an earlier post how I was disappointed that they did not choose to show Katniss’s burns except momentarily and had the magic Capitol medicine erase them away. Nina explains that, just like not having Peeta lose his leg, they decided to focus more on the emotional, and not the physical damage. I stand by my opinion that this was a mistake that reduced the impact of the story, so I guess we’ll have to disagree on that one. (I also still disagree on their choice to have Peeta keep his leg).

Goodbye, Gale

The ending of this scene originally ended with Katniss telling Gale to “get out,” but when it was screened for Suzanne, she said this was the first time that she didn’t like Katniss. Well, we don’t what THAT, so they revised the dialogue to the ending as we have it now.

kat capitol hgThe Capitol Hunger Games decision

Was Katniss’s decision based on a desire for revenge, or is Katniss saying yes just as a ruse to get rid of Coin? I believe it’s the latter, but they built the scene to allow the audience to decide for themselves.

No animals were harmed in the filming of the cat scene

Were you worried for dear Buttercup’s safely when Katniss threw the cup at that beloved cat? Well, the cup was added in digitally, so nothing was actually thrown. No worries.

Hand holding is all you get, kids

Nina knows there are lots of fans that wanted a more than just some hand holding during the Real or Not Real scene, but doesn’t have much sympathy, saying “too bad” for them. We’ve always been on the side that thought a full on love scene would be waaaaaay out of place for the movie, but we also think the hand holding/general mood of the scene was too subtle to truly give weight to what is going on between these two when they exchange the words. I actually wish they’d said nothing during this scene, rather them have the “real or not real” exchange happen too early.

Did you watch the audio commentary yet? Any other parts you thought were interesting?

Last one, guys😥




NOSTALGIA-RAMA: Looking Back At The Hunger Games In 2012

While we’re not the OGs for The Hunger Games fandom and many of our fansite friends predate us, we’ve been around for a while. Victor’s Village was around when The Hunger Games debuted in theaters four years ago today and…


How has to already been four years? How are these movies already done? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were squeeing over the release of the first movie?

We can only say that despite ups and downs, being in this fandom has been an honor and a pleasure. To celebrate, let’s kick it with a few of our favorite geeky fandom moments circa 2012!

1. The Teen Tributes

Today, Theresa from Down With The Capitol reminded us about THE CHART. It filled in as each tribute, most of whom were nameless characters, were announced.


We watched this thing like a kettle of hawks circling its prey (Fun fact: a flock of hawks is called a kettle!) And we all lost our minds!

Though some actors from later movies were social media accessible, the original tributes were teens fresh into their new roles who were just genuinely as excited about The Hunger Games as we were. They were thrilled to be in it, we were thrilled to see them in it. We all fed off each other. There’s a special place in our fandom-loving hearts for Dayo, Jackie, Jack, Alexander (and his slightly inappropriate fan interactions), Isabelle, Amandla, and all the others. There always will be!

2. Snazzy Sayings

Part of what we loved about the cast in the weren’t afraid of being irreverent as all hell and had zero qualms about it. That included tons of hilarious phrases that the fandom picked up with zeal! For instance, on the premiere day back in 2012, I wrote for the people at the premiere to “Liv it up and stay crispy like a boss.”

And in case you forgot why we “liv it up”…

Our Cato, ladies and gentlemen. I am truly laughing out loud right now. GENUINELY LOLING!

3. Russ Bowen

Oh, Russ! In case you missed it, Russ was an intrepid North Carolina reporter who basically tried to build up his career on getting The Hunger Games scoop before anyone else. He was really good at getting all the news and for a while, we loved him dearly for it. But after a while, Russ dubbed himself the Perez Hilton of The Hunger Games and it became pretty clear that he was more interested in getting recognition for himself than the series. Needless to say, the fandom collectively let Russ go after a while because he forgot who was boss. Maybe he moved on, but frankly, we stopped paying attention so we wouldn’t know!

4. Umami Burger

The cast of the first movie was OBSESSED with this burger joint. Suddenly, fans all over the world knew about the chain that really only exists in California and a few other major American cities. We knew what burger we wanted to order. Fansite friends went there to grab a bite and it was fucking awesome. Screw Subway, THIS was the unofficial restaurant sponsor of The Hunger Games franchise!

5. Backpackgate

Once upon a time, the fandom didn’t know for sure if Katniss’ backpack was orange. And I made the mistake on one of my earlier Hunger Games Fireside Chat appearances of suggesting that it wasn’t a big deal. SO BEGAN A GREAT DEBATE! It was all in good sport and there were lots of points considered. We dubbed it “Backpackgate 2011”… and in the end, it didn’t even matter because the backpack was totally orange.


Only the straps were black, guys!

6. Panem October

Welcome to the fandom’s first big clash with Lionsgate! Fandom is pretty intuitive, so it’s no major surprise that someone came up with plans for a major interactive Panem-based experience early on, even before movie marketing really began. Naturally, Lionsgate called out their copyright and shut it down. The fans had A LOT TO SAY. Eventually, Panem October did come back, served as an unofficial fan community full o’ fun for a while, then disappeared in the way that many fan-related things do after a while (including official sites.) But seeing the fandom stand up for fanmade creations and Panem October make its return felt like perseverance and victory!

There are so, so many memories of the fandom, but these are the ones that really stick out when we think back to 2012. We couldn’t be more grateful for all of it.

The Girl With The Pearl

Does the Allegiant Box Office Performance Make Hunger Games Prequels More Likely – Or Less?

In the wake of the disappointing box office returns for The Divergent Series: Allegiant (down 44% from the last movie), opinions abound about what this means for that movie series, for YA dystopian movies, and YA movies in general.

We’re familiar with this media speculation, having seen all the questions about the Mockingjay movies box office decreases (albeit, not nearly as serious profitability-wise since even though they decreased from the MASSIVE Catching Fire box office, Mockingjay 1 and 2 still both made HUGE amounts of money). We wonder though, how it may affect Lionsgate’s thinking about those rumored Hunger Games prequel plans.  Will the declines make them more nervous to pursue them because they think the public is tired of the YA dystopian trend? Or will the need to beef up their theatrical slate with known properties make them move forward even faster?

MagsVictoryTourPosterIt’s no question that the Hunger Games brand is still strong. Lionsgate is going to want to use it to drive more revenue. But we admit to being very nervous about theatrical prequel movies.  How are we going to respond to a story that doesn’t revolve around Katniss? How are they not going to make prequel stories about past Hunger Games hugely depressing? Granted, these stories could focus more on the political/social aspects of Panem and less on the Games themselves, but if Lionsgate’s initial public statements hold true about the kids’ desire for arenas, call us doubtful that a Hunger Games political thriller-style will happen. (But look at Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Comic book movie that meets political thriller and SO GOOD. It could work).

It is possible that Lionsgate gets spooked by the “people are tired of dystopian YA” talk. Or at least, decides to put in a bit more time and breathing room for the public to miss the world of Panem before moving ahead with plans.

If any prequels or spin-offs happen, Lionsgate is moving into new, risky territory with this still valuable, known property. Perhaps Lionsgate will wait to see how the Harry Potter prequels perform and use that as a template in moving forward.  If they do, we should point out that a great asset to the Harry Potter prequels is the involvement of JK Rowling. It sounds, at least for now, that Suzanne Collins is done with the Hunger Games universe. So if Lionsgate does want to do spin-offs in the near-ish future, they’d best be politely knocking on her door with some good, non-exploitative ideas.

That could be a tough one.


The Unsung Heroes

We’re REALLY HYPED as the Mockingjay Part 2 and 4-Film Collection Blu-ray release date approaches– that would be March 22nd, in case you’ve been living under a rock. A big part of that is the obvious: Deleted and extended scenes, cast shenanigans, commentary. But a big part of it is also because home video releases often introduce us to the unsung heroes behind the film projects we love.

Yes, everyone wants to fangirl over the cast because they are spectacular and Francis because he’s the leader of the pack. But if you’ve ever watched a movie with crap make-up and effects, you know that no amount of acting skill or good intentions can save a movie that just doesn’t have all the elements.

For that, we turn to people like Ve Neill, Nikoletta Skarlatos, and Glenn Hetrick. You probably don’t know their names (unless you’re really into makeup as an artistic medium,) but you’ve got a lot to thank them for if you love this franchise– along with lots and lots of other people, of course.

In anticipation of the home video release, we’re seeing some full-length interviews with the three and they are so freaking endearing. We talk a lot about The Hunger Games “family” and the fandom, but people who work behind the scenes don’t get nearly enough credit and THEY ARE A MAJOR PART OF THAT FAMILY.

We couldn’t help but smile when we watched Ve and Nikoletta’s interview quickly go awry and the wild giggle fit that followed, because this is what we do with the people we love. Plus, they were so honest and sweet about feeling at home and embraced on The Hunger Games franchise.

Glenn Hetrick, on the other hand, talks about how competitive the field of special effects makeup is and how hard it is to brush the ego aside sometimes. But working on a major motion picture franchise with tons of moving parts teaches humility and helped make him part of a team.

So yes, these movies are special for the cast and Francis and the fans. But some people built (or at least seriously fattened up) their careers around this franchise behind the scenes. Even though we don’t know them, they’re a bigger part of the family than we’ll ever be. And we owe them tremendously!

Every Effie Trinket Cosplayer Out There, Raise Your Glass!
The Girl With The Pearl

Scars (Or Lack Thereof)

As we wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD release of Mockingjay Part 2, there are some more BTS featurette clips to tide us over in the meantime. One of the clips shows the work makeup designer Ve Neill and her team did for the movie.

No doubt Katniss has a rough time in Mockingjay Part 2, and the makeup team did a great job making the neck and chest bruising very believable. And it sounds like the team went to a lot of effort on the burn makeup as well. Only those burns (and the inevitable scars) barely made it on screen, and we think that was a mistake.

Don’t get us wrong. We didn’t WANT to see more damage done to our favorite character really. Our poor girl is strangled, shot, and then the massively burned, and it’s awful that she endures that. But the physical hurt she experiences is a part of the Mockingjay journey, and part of the lesson of Mockingjay. We were disappointed at how Katniss’s injuries were glossed over, because it took weight out of the story’s message.

burned katniss

First of all the fire completely misses her face, in an “amazing” stroke of Hollywood luck. Then there’s the magical Capitol burn medicine that seems to fix everything in a flash (to be fair on that point, we don’t know how long Katniss is in the hospital, but the movie’s quick cuts make the recovery FEEL too quick). Was the burn makeup deemed too intense to be given more than a few seconds of screen time? What was behind the decision to make Katniss look physically well so fast?

Beyond the magic of the complete burn recovery, the moment that really seemed out of place was when she returns back to 12, goes hunting and Katniss’s gorgeous hair is blowing in the wind. She looks beautiful. She looks physically healthy. But accelerating her physical recovery SO MUCH faster than her mental one was a change from the book that felt a little too much like Hollywood being afraid to show a woman with physical imperfections. After 2 hours of trauma, suddenly seeing “shampoo commercial Katniss” took me completely out of the movie.

We love it when Katniss is allowed to look real. No wonder critics and fans alike thought the Buttercup scene was great. Give us the slobbery ugly cry! That looks like a real person in despair, and Jennifer Lawrence OWNS that scene. After all that Katniss physically goes through, no one expects her to look perfect. (And if they do, screw them).

We love you, scars and all, Katniss