Are you ready for the continuation of Guest Postapalooza?! We’re back today with another post from the mse, who says that President Coin isn’t just your nickel and dime evildoer!
Bad puns from us aside, enjoy!
I feel like all these fancasting posts make me way too excited about Mockingjay, and namely about the enigma that President Alma Coin is. When secondary characters are brought to life on the screen in any adaptations, there’s a certain liberty that falls to the actors portraying them. Think Helena Bonham Carter as the vicious Bellatrix Lestrange, bringing the kind of eccentric over-the-top complete and utter madness that only Helena Bonham Carter can bring to that role.
You see, every actor is a different interpretation and therefore a different Alma Coin. Will she be a quiet menace throughout the two Mockingjay movies? Will she display any sort of fatigue or emotional attachment? Will she be intelligent and visibly calculative, or a strong, comforting presence in the lives of the District 13 people? Are we going to see her struggling with some of the more questionable decisions she makes, or will she be completely depleted of empathy towards the innocents she sacrifices?
Beside the casting options, I’m also excited because our screenwriter is Danny ‘Jonathan from Buffy’ Strong, who as we all know, happens to have a few political dramas to his credit about the real Alma Coins of our world… Well, not really, because as far as I know, our politicians don’t usually drop bombs on a bunch of kids, and then pretend that it was the enemy just to win a war. At least I hope so. Also none of his characters were anything like Alma Coin as far as I can tell. But you get my drift. Strong knows how to write politicians and political situations, and if there’s anyone who can humanize this seemingly malicious character while still staying true to canon, it’s him.
GASP! Yes, I actually truly believe that this character was human and not the incarnation of evil itself. Judge me all you want, I will stand by this point until my dying breath, grasping a copy of Mockingjay in my hands, telling my grand-grandchildren the story of how I was exiled from the Hunger Games fandom in my youth.
The thing is, I also believe that Coin was a negative character. She was ruthless, power-hungry, and used anyone and any means necessary to achieve her goals. As far as I’m concerned, Katniss’ decision to put an arrow through her was merited, and was based on a lot more than just plain revenge for her sister. Coin wanted to bring back the Games, the very symbol of the enslavement Panem tried to get free of, promising the same kind of dictatorship Snow enforced.
On another hand though, Coin accomplished some truly remarkable achievements. She and her predecessors built a whole new society to survive, one that may restrict personal freedoms, but as a whole worked efficiently, dividing their limited supplies and evolving quietly.
Yes, they weren’t exactly helpful in the 75 years the other Districts had to deal with the Capitol’s oppression, that’s for sure. They were just fine in their tiny little secluded country, thank you very much, and didn’t care a whole lot about what happened to the rest of the world. But honestly, who would’ve benefited from a nuclear war between the Capitol and 13?
You could say that District 13 needed the other Districts’ full co-operation to win this war. You could say that they tried to minimize their own casualties by relying heavily on the rebel armies. You could say that Alma Coin only wanted the power that helping the Districts would give her. The fact remains. It was under President Coin’s leadership that the Capitol has been overthrown. It seems to me, that even those who’ve seen her methods and understood her plans, let her stay in position until the very end, possibly because they knew that she would indeed succeed.
I guess the point of my rant is that while Coin wasn’t fit to lead Panem, she might still have been a necessary evil in this revolution. Obviously not all of her actions were merited, but she did what she thought was needed to be done – not just to cement her position as the main authority in the country, but to end this war as soon as possible. So maybe, just maybe, there is indeed a complexity to this character that can be explored in many different ways.
So many actors, so many interpretations, so many possibilities,