The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Trailer Breakdown!

Time for another reaction post, this time for the NEW CATCHING FIRE TRAILER! As you can tell, we’re still flailing!

If you’ve never seen our group reaction posts before, they can get pretty damn long. Therefore, we’ve contained most of it under a cut! So refresh yourself by watching the trailer once more, read on, and don’t forget to hit READ MORE for the full effect!

TGWTP: Okay! Let’s start with Katniss and Peeta and the Victory Tour. Was it what you were expecting?
Twiffidy: This seems like a much darker version of what I imagined the Victory Tour to be, but I like it!
Them There Eyes: Yes and no. I was expecting more glamour, but I honestly like the grittier side of it that they’ve shown in this.
Twiffidy: Yes exactly, a lot grittier.
Them There Eyes: I like it a lot. I wanted more darkness in the 1st film, so… this is actually living up to my expectations more than that, and I’ve only seen snippets.
TGWTP: Yes! I loved the first film, but I didn’t feel the tension like I wanted to, This time around. It’s there. You definitely see how the experience changed the characters too. The settings aren’t just dark, they are too.
Twiffidy: Totally, even Peeta who was smiling and waving on the train in the first movie
Them There Eyes: Yes! The 1st time I watched this trailer I didn’t take it all in. The second time, it took my breath away, it was so intense.
Twiffidy: He pretty much doesn’t smile.
Them There Eyes: Peeta’s lost his innocence, I think that’s what this trailer is telling the world.
TGWTP: I love that he’s unhappy but still gentle. They cut out his outburst in the attic from the trailer, but I hope it’s in the movie. It’s so powerful because he usually IS so sensitive.
Them There Eyes: I just remember how non-fans of the series watched the 1st film, and said they thought Peeta was weak. I don’t think they can call him weak anymore, he looks kind of pissed actually.
Twiffidy: Totally.

These guys?

These guys?

Them There Eyes: Can we please talk about the symbolism, of those Peacekeepers costumes!
Twiffidy: I’m really believing that “riot gear” theory from a while back
Them There Eyes: It’s seriously disturbing how their backs resemble a reptile, and then they go crawling, or slithering into that crowd of earth tones like they’re evil ice reptiles.
Twiffidy: Oh man, if that’s any foreshadowing to the reptile mutts…!
Them There Eyes: I never thought of that! But… yes please!
TGWTP: They’re definitely meant to look like a insect or reptilian sort of SWAT team
Them There Eyes: Oh, their helmets remind me of a monster from Doctor Who as well. I can’t recall, but it was a motor cycle geared up soulless cyborg type thing. I think it was from the Tennant era?

TGWTP: Snow and Plutarch, anyone?
Twiffidy: I swear it reminds of Varys and Littlefinger talking at the counsel table on Game of Thrones
Them There Eyes: I am digging this whole new kind of canon, where the Gamemaker, and the president have little chats.
Twiffidy: Plotting the Games together.
Them There Eyes: And yes, it’s very Game of Thrones-y. I wish Tyrion would walk in and drag a chair to the other side of the room, and just… be amazing
TGWTP: Guys… I think I ship Snow/Plutarch now. Is that wrong?
Them There Eyes: Plutarch/Snow will be braiding each others hair soon… it’s bound to happen.
TGWTP: They bonded over their love of antique furniture and death and now they’ll live happily ever after, right?
Them There Eyes: Yes, happily ever after watching Finnick Odair do what he does best…
TGWTP: Until Plutarch totes turns out to be the best spy ever, that is. He’ll reluctant sneak out at that point, never to be heard from again!

Reaching to hold hands, obvs!

Reaching to hold hands, obvs!

Twiffidy: Snow seems to have way more respect for Plutarch than he did for Seneca.
Them There Eyes: Oh, yeah. He absolutely has more respect for him, he probably thinks he’s less of a threat ’cause he’s older, and a little bit fat, and more old fashioned.
Twiffidy: I think it’ll make the twist of Plutarch’s character that much more surprising. Also, Plutarch seems way less comical than he does in the books.
Them There Eyes: Yeah… maybe that’s just a persona he puts on for Katniss, and this is Closed Doors Plutarch?
TGWTP: Yes! They’ve made him sinister with Snow, which I think works better for film. Maybe in Mockingjay, we see that other side more?
Twiffidy: It’ll be interesting to seem how he acts in the open. The first movie implied that the Head Gamemaker is kind of a public figure.
Them There Eyes: Seneca was more than a figure, I think he was a celebrity in his own right, and then he got a big head because of it.
Them There Eyes: Also, gotta say it… I think it’s telling that Hoffman kept his New York accent. I also think it’s a “tell” to those who are paying attention that he’s a rebel.
Twiffidy: And yes, he could’ve done so many different kinds of voices for Plutarch, it seems like an interesting choice.
TGWTP: Yes, especially where Donald Sutherland’s voice is some much more structured and rigid.
TGWTP: I love how PSH says “They’ll hate her so much, they might just kill her for ya”. Honestly, that is my favorite line in the whole trailer. I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Them There Eyes: Because it’s so delicously evil?
TGWTP: YES, because it is so deliciously evil and so how I picture Plutarch!
Them There Eyes: Yes, a slimy pig in a great suit?
TGWTP: Exactly.

TGWTP: And then we get to the shooting in District 11 as all this talking is happening. Featuring the adorable old man chosen to inflict MAXIMUM PAIN.
Them There Eyes: Adorable man that Francis Lawrence probably painstakingly picked through hours of audition footage to find
Twiffidy: There is this one party where they are shoving him up to the front and it was a little too much for me to handle when I noticed it. I think it’s at that part where you can see Rue in the background.
Them There Eyes: What? You can see Rue?!
Twiffidy: Yeah it’s gone around Tumblr, she’s kind of projected in the top right corner of the shot
TGWTP: I love that Katniss runs toward him, as if she can do something.
Them There Eyes: That’s what she does though… she volunteers for the innocent.
TGWTP: But you see the great vulnerability there too: She can’t save em all.
Them There Eyes: Nope… which we will see again in Mockingjay.
TGWTP: At least she pulls back in time. I would probably dive headfirst into that like an idiot.
Them There Eyes: Can we talk about Peeta’s reaction shot? Because Josh’s face is the stuff of legends in those few frames.
TGWTP: The scared little boy shot? I love it so much.
Them There Eyes: He was the stoic man-boy out on that stage, then bam! Literally… bam!
TGWTP: I kind of want to cradle him in my bosom and pet his head until he calms down. Again… totally normal, right?
Twiffidy: Totally normal.
Them There Eyes: Totally… just don’t try to feed him like Catlyn’s weird sister.
TGWTP: Allllll set there, thanks!
Twiffidy: Ew.
Them There Eyes: Sorry. Game of Thrones is on the brain.
Twiffidy: Anyway it’s that holy shit moment, he’s basically projecting what we the audience are feeling
Them There Eyes: Yep, Peeta is the audiences conscience in many ways.
TGWTP: Exactly. It works brilliantly. I don’t think we’d ever see it from Katniss, so it’s awesome that it’s there through Peeta.
Them There Eyes: Once again… we need Peeta like we need bread.

The reluctant face of the brand!

The reluctant face of the brand!

TGWTP: Can we move on to Gale?
Them There Eyes: Okay, Mr. Hawthorne come on down…. the mine shaft.
Twiffidy: Smudgy face!
TGWTP: And muscle bod!
Twiffidy: He’s definitely been working in the mines… I feel like I should be eyebrow-lifting!
Them There Eyes: Does he have more cheekbone, or as that just artfully placed smudge?
Twiffidy: Like bronzer!
Them There Eyes: Nope, fake dirt. Or maybe it’s real dirt? Maybe Liam’s a method actor?
TGWTP: Apparently, all miners wear a thick layer of manly bronzer, just in case the coal dust doesn’t stick enough naturally?
Them There Eyes: Great, no wonder that lot of “Gale Miners” on CL Casting’s Facebook page were so eager to do re-shoots! They love makeup!
TGWTP: On Fireside Chat, Adam said he thought we’d see a lot more of Gale, but I feel like we’re seeing most of Gale’s scenes in these few seconds
Them There Eyes: Maybe showing more Gale is to appease the Gale fans? I doubt that though…
TGWTP: I think it’s too create more tension. People see then talking then KISSING and then there are whips (and not in the sexy way) all in quick succession, leaving everyone who doesn’t know the books like “WAIT… WHAT?!”
Twiffidy: Also I’m a fan of them tricking the non book readers.
Them There Eyes: I know, my initial reaction to the trailer was that newbies are going to be like “Wait a second, I thought this was like a teen drama book!? What’s with the riots, and the guns, and the dirty people!?”
TGWTP: They deserve to be tricked, if they’re too lazy to read. Muahahaha!
Twiffidy: Exactly, some serious shit goes down. And it’s very much in a way that rebellions happen in history, so even though it’s in a fictional world, it feels real.
Them There Eyes: It does! I’m seeing so many similarities between photos/footage from Egypt, and other revolutions in history. Like the homemade Mockingjay sign.
Twiffidy: They took a lot of real life imagery as inspiration, it’s really great
TGWTP: Yeah, definite notes of Arab Spring.
Them There Eyes: I wholeheartedly approve!



Them There Eyes: Oooh, oooh! To those who thought they’d cut Gale’s whipping scene… What do ya’ say now?!
Twiffidy: I honestly don’t know where people would get that idea in the first place.
Twiffidy: Yes, he seems EVIL.
Them There Eyes: Yep, we got ourselves real honest proof that Thread isn’t just a name on IMDB!
TGWTP: I don’t know why, but I find him Christoph Waltz-y. Probably because of the smile while he’s whipping someone.
Them There Eyes: Although only readers will know he’s Thread.
Twiffidy: It’s OK, Effie didn’t get named in the first movie and she’s kind of a big deal



TGWTP: Effie kind of delights me in her ignorance. I feel like they can use that to make some really sharp contrasts in this film. She’s so proud, genuinely proud. Who knows when she’ll really notice the problems?
Them There Eyes: Yes, she’s such a little flighty bird, and she dresses like one too.
TGWTP: She looks like a poodle some “fashion forward” owner dyed lavender!
Them There Eyes: I know. It’s awesome.
Twiffidy: Or like she’s wearing lavender icing?
Them There Eyes: I want to snog the costume designer for pulling all this amazing designer clothing.
Twiffidy: She’s so great, I’m really impressed with her.
TGWTP: More Alexander McQueen! It seems she’s definitely got a running list of favorite designers. They’re all great, though.
Them There Eyes: She kind of reminds me of a party decoration… Effie I mean. like one of those paper balls you hang…
Them There Eyes: Yep, the McQueen fashions are back in full force.
TGWTP: I feel like you could suspend her above the crowd and shine a light on her and BAM! Disco!
Them There Eyes: Yeah, she’d probably like that too! It would mean she’s the center of attention.

TGWTP: Final thoughts, ladies?
Them There Eyes: Yeah! Final thoughts just like Jerry Springer!
Twiffidy: I was really impressed with how much we were able to see, and yet how it was still very much a teaser in that there was so much more to see. You get the feeling that this is a much more sinister animal than the first movie and can feel that it is a ramp up to something bigger. Well done, I think.
TGWTP: The trailer really showed off the best pre-games action, getting flashy without making the plot feel redundant. I’m psyched to really feel the tension this time around and OH MY GOD GUYS, WE’VE BARELY EVEN SEEN ANYTHING YET AND I’M DYING.
Them There Eyes: I think this trailer does what I hoped it would… pleased old fans of the series, and hopefully intrigued Hunger Games virgins. I also think that this trailer says loud and clear “THIS IS NOT THE HUNGER GAMES!!!” It doesn’t even mention The Hunger Games, which I also think is key to the element of surprise when… dun, dun, DUN… they go back into the games.
Them There Eyes: Oh, also… Peeta’s all in leather.  😀



  1. So glad you mentioned about the darker tone because that was something I felt the first movie was sorely lacking and I DESPERATELY wanted to see brought out in CF, and judging by 2 minutes of footage it’s definitely there… the riot scenes are brilliant and perfect and more than I ever imagined.

  2. Yes, yes, and yes! I think any doubts of Francis Lawrence pulling this together should be ERADICATED by now! This trailer has absolutely and completely blown me away!

    Like you, I really like the gritty tones to the trailer. If you notice, there are even a lot of blues and grays in clothing and set design, whereas District 12 in The Hunger Games films was a lot of browns. What I think this trailer does unequivocally is to help non book readers be clear on the evil nature of the Capitol and the desperation of the districts. It was there in a low key visual way in the first film, but I think the addition of dialogue and the filming shots, such as the graffiti one “The odds are NEVER in our favor”, have ramped the drama WAY up!

    I also agree that the Peeta we see in this Catching Fire trailer has lost his innocence. He has this rigid set to his jaw in almost every moment. And I LOVE that shot with the shock on his face after the Peacemakers take down the old man. I really really wanted that attic scene. I’m not sure if we are going to get the same attic scene in the book where he goes ballistic, because my impression from the trailer is that the CF film is going to focus on the fact that their lives are in danger if they don’t fake their way through the rest of their lives, basically. Weak Peeta no more.

    Every single addition to the script from the book canon is a plus! That surprises me, because I consider myself a purist that wants them to stay as close to the book as possible. But in the added dialogue scenes between Plutarch and Snow, and Katniss and Prim give us in words what we understand in the books through “context” or Katniss’ thoughts rather than words.

    I feel like I’m giggly… “happy as a little girl”. This is going to be so good!

  3. P.S. I also love your description of what non book readers are going to be saying when they see the Catching Fire trailer: “Wait a second, I thought this was like a teen drama book!? What’s with the riots, and the guns, and the dirty people!?”

  4. I loved the trailer too and my favorite part is that they kept the surprise of the 75th Hunger Games completely under wraps to make it a surprise for non-book readers. When I read the books, that was one of my favorite parts in parts thanks to the fact that I didn’t see it coming. I hope they keep it out of the future trailers too so people get really surprised in theaters 🙂

  5. Great discussion! I loved so many of the little details in this trailer and the darker tone and the emphasis on fire and revolution was great. Totally agree with Book Club about the departures from canon. I really like the idea that Plutarch suggests that make Katniss look like ‘one of us’ — it makes so much more sense than the fake wedding/romance emphasis that never quite hung together in my mind.

    Meanwhile all the hysteria from shippers about who gets more screen time Gale or Peeta is misplaced IMO. There are all kinds of little signs that Peeta is becoming essential to Katniss. Did you notice how he reaches out to hold her hand in the hologram in Snow’s office and how she responds? Or the way he nudges Katniss’s hand as they go out onto the stage in District 11? (It shows better in the teaser gif). It’s like they are starting to work out the kind of silent language that all real couples develop. Anyway, in the book Katniss really doesn’t know how much she cares for Peeta — the moment when Peeta nearly dies in the arena and the kiss on the beach were the first time she really feels anything more than a sense of obligation and friendship. You know they are NEVER going to spoil that moment in a trailer.

    I freaked out over Effie! She was almost evil with that ‘Chins up, Smiles on’ line. So Capitol. But Elizabeth Banks just implied an interview that Effie shows some heart. That will be yet another interesting character development. And Katniss’s bird dress at the party — Cinna took some chances with that number!!

    Haymitch seems to have pulled himself together (new haircut!) and it’s pretty clear that he’s in contact with Plutarch — why else did he know their role was to be a distraction.

    And that scene where the peacekeepers firebomb the Hob and everyone in District 12 fleeing. Awesome. And Snow’s evil laugh!

    Altogether so much better than the first teaser trailer for HG.

    Only problem is I can’t stop watching the darn thing 🙂

    1. Hana, I hope you will forgive me for being a bit of book nerd as I comment on your comments. I’m impressed by all the details that you noticed regarding Peeta and Katniss’ interactions. I’ll have to go back to the trailer and pay attention to what you describe as “they are starting to work out the kind of silent language that all real couples develop.”

      I actually did quite a bit of research on that very thing from Catching Fire pages 59, 79, 80, 212, 235, 241, 243, 244, 257, 258, 304, 366. I’m excited and impressed to see Francis Lawrence portray this subtlety in the film. Here’s the link to my guest post at Victor’s Village where I did a bit of fan fic of Peeta explaining this connection or like-mindedness between him and Katniss.

      However, I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of Plutarch’s comment of making Katniss “one of us” to mean that the fake wedding/romance is not emphasized. I think Plutarch is referring to the fake wedding hype as making Katniss look Capitol as opposed to a rebellion symbol for the Districts.

    2. Hana Your post has just made me feel a thousand times better!! You are doing exactly what others should do to help those that are worried and disappointed in the trailer. Saying something encouraging instead of just saying calm down. Thanks for your great post!

  6. HG Bookclub, I’m going to check out the pages you flagged and your fan fic. To clarify: I don’t mean to say they won’t do the wedding dress thing. Since we’ve seen at least two wedding dress outfits already on Katniss and Peeta, we know they will have a wedding dress competition. I just mean that the whole story line about Katniss having to show how much in love she is with Peeta won’t be the only goad that Snow uses with Katniss to keep her in line. I especially like this since it removes at least part of the ambiguity between Katniss and Peeta — yes, they are being forced together, but no, the world’s fate does not completely rest on them acting like they are in love, but rather acting like they’ve sold out to the Capitol. So the scenes that (I hope) will show Katniss and Peeta gradually falling in love for real will carry more weight.

    This also means that Peeta’s line in THG movie: “I just wish I could think of a way to show them that they don’t own me” starts to assume much greater weight as they develop his character. Sorry to be round about and long winded, but it’s just a feeling that I get from the Snow/Plutarch dialog.

    1. Hana, I can see how being sold out to the Capitol through their wedding/shomance would be more powerful and realistic than simply trying to act in love.

  7. My favorite part of the trailer is when it shows the building marked with, “The odds are NEVER in our favor.” I just love it!

    I feel like they really went above and beyond with this film. Not to say that the first film’s crew didn’t put much effort into it, because they definitely did. I just feel like they thought of everything for this one. All of the little moments that are so subtle, but add so much depth. Can November just be here already?!

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