Catching Fire’s Emo Kid Sessions

This week has brought us FOUR new Catching Fire stills. Kinda.

See, the stills already came out ages ago, because they were part of the NECA calendar released back in July. The images were treated as embargoed from the Internet, despite being readily available elsewhere. It was very confusing. But now they’re here and they’re HQ, courtesy of Panem Propaganda!

Of the four, we’re talking about TWO today. The one’s we aren’t talking about are:
1) Effie looking Capitol. Because we don’t have much more to say than “Effie looks Capitol!”
2) Katniss and Cinna, pre-Games, because it’s the moment before THE MOMENT. We may spontaneously burst into tears and turn into an utter mess because OH MY GOODNESS! WHY DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN?!

Instead, we’ll focus on the two photos that juxtapose each other kind of brilliantly and give fans a sense of the ch-ch-changes brought about in Catching Fire via a fine display of Emo kid faces!

Example Numero Uno:


Katniss and Peeta at The Victory Tour, throwing on those ultra fake smiles in the hope of saving Panem. Peeta is in front of the microphone, because we all know he’s the designated speaker of the two. It’s possible that this is post-District 11, as he’s got cue cards in hand and that’s the point at which our Victors KNOW they can’t screw around. The look on their faces shows AND tells, people! They’re in way over their heads. Neither of them is looking mighty comfortable. They’re not concerned about each other, either. There’s greater forces working here and no one has control.

Example Numero Dos:


Katniss and Gale in District 12, busting out ALL the Emo faces that they really feel, because the world is slowly turning upside-down since Katniss’ win (and there are likely Peacekeepers creepin’ on their turf). Katniss describes Gale as the one person she can turn to in Catching Fire, mainly because they’re both going through a time where they hate everything. But Gale is yet in the clutches of the Capitol and– despite his emerald green Grandpa button-up– looks like a man in control. Katniss is unhappy, but Gale is furious. He looks like someone about to jump into action. And OH HAI Cinna’s fingerless gloves!

Oh So Capitol!

Oh So Capitol!

Side by side, the two photos are an interesting look at the effects of the Capitol. It’s eating at Katniss, plain and simple. This is a perfect example of why we all hate love triangle talk. She can’t be happy anywhere, whether it’s home or away, with Peeta or with Gale. This is a story of Katniss, who’s not busy pining over anyone. She’s working with Peeta in an effort to save the nation’s collective skin (and failing.) She’s trying to be best friends with Gale again, but she’s been through things that he’ll never understand and they’re slowly divided by it. This ain’t no love story! It’s a war story! And a freaking sad one, at that!

Side note: Either Pajama Jeans or incredibly high-waisted pants are all the rage in Panem, because both Peeta and Gale’s pants have no zippers! Or perhaps they’re so busy enjoying the spoils from the Capitol with Katniss that they gained some weight and needed to invest some some good elastic-banded trousers!

We Hope It’s Pajama Jeans!
The Girl With The Pearl



    1. Ahahaha I think you’re taking us to mean that Katniss and Peeta aren’t concerned about each other throughout the Catching Fire storyline, which is not what we mean!

      In this one particular shot, they look so concerned about not screwing up their part in the act to be worried about the real relationship between them. Which is natural and not a bad thing and doesn’t mean that they don’t care about each other. It just shows the effects of the state they’ve been put in.

      1. lol, oh ok. I figured you meant something like that, I just wasn’t getting it. But yeah, they look like that in all the Tour clips and stills. It’s one of those things that would almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Poor things, trying in vein to stop something they didn’t mean to start in the first place. I think Katniss used to perfect word in the book: “desperate”.

      2. And I just thought of something else. When dealing with the Captiol, they’re not concerning themselves with their real relationship, which is basically put on the back-burner, because they have to portray and sell the fake one. My gosh, no wonder Kat is so CONFUSED!

  1. “This ain’t no love story! It’s a war story! And a freaking sad one, at that!”

    There’s no reason why it couldn’t be both. And it is. It doesn’t have to be a romance movie/book/series to have a love story in it (and a pretty great one, at that). It seems that a lot of fans just get too defensive because of the nonsensical comparisons to Twilight and the assumptions that romance is the main theme (just because it’s a book written by a woman with a female teenage protagonist and is considered YA), so they go into the other extreme and claim that there’s no romance in The Hunger Games at all. (Which, if it were true, would make it one of the 0.01% of all fiction that contains no romance in it.)

    1. We’re not saying there isn’t any love in the series. There’s romance, familial love, the love between friends. But should those be taken as the only theme (or even the MAIN theme) of the books? Absolutely not.

      Catching Fire is the perfect example of that because Katniss is presented with two perfectly viable romantic options and doesn’t attach herself to either of them because there are greater forces at work. Because life is, in fact, about more than the people you date.

      1. We seem to be saying the same thing. 🙂 I also find it annoying when people talk about THG as if it’s *all* about romance and “love triangle” (which I think only really plays a role in Catching Fire), as if the series is all about Katniss choosing a boyfriend. And, like I said, this makes us all a bit defensive; I don’t see anyone saying “This is not a story about sibling love!” or ” “This is not a story about friendship!” The main theme is revolution and civil war in a dystopian oppressive society, but that does not mean that it does not have stories about familial love, friendship, and romantic love – and great stories, IMO.

        Romance (and sex, of course) are always going to be used in marketing and media to sell things (just like it is for the Capitol audiences). Take an example of Margaret Atwood’s post-apocalyptic novel Oryx and Crake – the blurb on the cover of one of the editions says the novel is “at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future”. Now, I guess that may be a matter of opinion, but while there is a prominent romantic subplot (and a love triangle), I don’t even know if I’d call it a love story, let alone an unforgettable one! I found the novel very cold and detached and concerned more with ideas than with human emotion, and the main characters hard to relate to.

        Speaking of labels that just seem wrong – The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are defined on IMDB as “Action Adventure Sci-Fi” and on Wikipedia, in the list of upcoming films, CF is defined as “Action Adventure Sci-Fi Teen”. IMDB even has Mockingjay as “Action Adventure Sci-Fi”, no “War” as one of the genres! (Although that may change when it actually comes out.) Now, I get Action and Sci-Fi (which stands for Dystopian), but Adventure? What adventure? Indiana Jones or Romancing the Stone is “Adventure”, not THG. Who’s setting out on adventures in Panem? Why put a genre that THG is really not, instead of “Drama”, which is really is? And what does “Teen” as a genre even mean? What are the marks of this so-called “Teen” genre? (Interestingly, they don’t put “Adult” as a genre of a film like “Blue Jasmine”… because “Adult” means something else. Which is, actually, hilarious.) I’m trying to imagine some clueless cinema-goer seeing “Action Adventure Sci-Fi Teen” and happily going to see The Hunger Games because they want to see young people having some fun-filled frolicking adventures, and aren’t in the mood to watch any of those dark depressing dramas about war and murder… and, oh, wait… what is this? 😉

        1. Well, if something is labeled with “Adventure”, does that mean it has to include a happy or more lighthearted adventure? Also, does anybody actually look up genre labels when deciding to see a movie? Especially these days, when genres can be kind of subjective or mixed. For goodness sake, “genre” is apparently a genre now (which I have a whole other issue with).

          1. Adventures don’t have all to be lighthearted, but what is an adventure? I imagine that someone has to set out on an adventure. Bilbo Baggins going on a journey with the dwarves, yes, that’s an adventure; the Star Trek crew looking to make contact with new worlds, that can be considered an adventure. But being chosen against your will and thrown into an Arena for a death-match and trying to survive – I would hardly call that “an adventure”! And it makes even less sense to label Mockingjay that way – war movies are labelled as “war” not as “adventure”. Saving Private Ryan is labelled “action drama war” not “action drama adventure”!

            Luckily, most people probably pay more attention to trailers and synopsis, maybe posters, than to what genre something is labelled on IMDB – but that doesn’t mean that the entries don’t have to make sense.

            Oh, don’t get me started on the ridiculous expression “genre movies”, “genre literature”, “genre shows”! What does that mean? There is no genre called “genre!” And everything belongs to some genre or other! It’s as infuriating and stupid as when people say that someone has an “accent” or, even worse, use the term “ethnic role”, “ethnic food”, “ethnic this or that”.Everyone has some kind of accent – the question is just *what kind of* accent they have. If you want to say someone has a foreign accent, say it, if you want to say they have a regional accent, say it. But it’s impossible to “not have an accent”! And everyone belongs to some ethnicity or more of them. It’s illogical and annoying, because it’s a way to pretend that some ethnicities, some accents and some genres are somehow superior to others to the point of being considered “default” while the others are marked.

  2. I agree. There is the love in the series, but contrary to what some believe, it’s not all romantic love. Family, friends, and maybe even the love or want for how things used to be (before Katniss’ time in the 74th Games). Katniss faked love for Peeta in the 74th Games to survive, and just realizes finally at the end that Peeta’s feelings were real. It really irks me how some people think that Katniss was in love or falling in love with Gale in The Hunger Games. Yes, I’m sure she loved him—in the sense that they are friends and hunting companions who survived starvation, *that* kind of love and loyalty. Catching Fire is really the first book that tried to paint a “love triangle”. And yet still in CF, Katniss had far more on her plate than just “Oh my God, which guy do I choose?!” like Twilight, but instead “Oh my God! If I fail this, my family and my friends will be killed!” sort of way.

    To me it was obvious she loved Peeta in Catching Fire, during his hijacking. She said she kissed Gale out of loneliness, and Gale even said that he has kissed many girls, and that by him hurting was the only way to get her attention. To me, that doesn’t exactly scream “love story” or even “love triangle”. After the incident with Prim, even though it was not by the direct fault of Gale that some people would like to believe, I don’t think even their friendship could have been the same, which is quite sad. Gale left her cold for District 2. Katniss’ own mother left her . . . twice! I say “twice” because of her emotional absence pre-Hunger Games, and the physical absence after the war. I don’t think she loved Peeta romantically throughout the series. I think it was hope that he gave her, and all that they’ve been through, and I think that finally during Mockingjay it’s when it becomes fairly evident that Katniss loves Peeta, but now Peeta is, what you could say, gone. I think she grew to love him. She and Peeta got closer (then were separated in Mockingjay for a while), while her and Gale really grew apart. Katniss loses just about everything at the end of the books, but she and Peeta build a new life together and start a family. But I guess that’s just me?

    1. Finally, somebody who sees how SAD the end Katniss and Gale’s friendship was. It seems like a lot of people don’t really think about that, or if they’re Gale-haters, blame him or love that the friendship ended. But it’s one of the most depressing aspects of MJ to me. It all comes back to this quote for me: “Gale is mine. I am his. Anything else is unthinkable.” And then the unthinkable happened… 😦

      And as for Peeta, it took you until MJ to see that? What sealed it for me (after a re-read or two) was the end of CF after she finds out that he was taken by the Capitol. She just shuts down, not eating or talking, getting herself drugged, even before she finds out about District 12. Seems kind of familiar when you remember what happened to her mom when her dad died…

      1. Yeah. You go from them being the best of friends in The Hunger Games, then by Mockingjay what’s left of their friendship is in tatters. Mockingjay was depressing. In fact it was the book I took longest to read—the first of it dragged on, but once we were headed to the Capitol, it got better. I like the way the series ended, but the last hurrah of Gale and Katniss’ friendship was bitter and sad.

        1. Wait, they had a “last hurrah”? lol, I think i missed that.
          But yeah, their relationship was just another thing the Games, the Capitol, and Coin (damn her!) took from Katniss. *sigh* There’s a reason I’ve only read MJ about half as many times as I’ve read the first two.

          P.S.: If I had to pinpoint a last hurrah (or 2) for their friendship, it would be when they didn’t shoot each other like they promised they would if they were captured. Because how could you really do that to your best friend, if it came down to it?

      2. I’m still conflicted about the way Gale and Katniss’s friendship ended. I totally see what SC was trying to do, but the fact that basically 99% of all post-MJ fanfics I’ve read show Gale and Katniss reconciling, makes me think the way this went down was a flaw in SC’s writing. I could say that most of these fanfic writers are inexperienced teenagers who don’t realize that 10 years from now, they too might be estranged from their current “BFFs”. But, MJ was marketed as a YA Book, not a general audience one.

        So, if SC didn’t convince her main target YA/teen audience that what happened was plausible, then I’m forced to say that there is room for improvement in that storyline, and that hopefully the two MJ movies will indeed add material to make Gale and Katniss parting ways more believable.

        Also, as the OP alludes to, Gale and Katniss growing apart is something that actually starts to occur in Catching Fire. However, despite the tense atmosphere of the Gale and Katniss still, it’s interesting that Gale is shown wearing Cinna’s gloves in that still. Maybe they tweaked the timeline a bit, but in canon, he first accepts them as a gift from Katniss, but rejects them after learning about the rebellion, because he doesn’t want anything “made in the Capitol”. That, plus those extra K-G scenes, makes me wonder if the CF movie will focus more on establishing to the casual viewer how important Gale is to Katniss, and save the unraveling of the relationship for the MJ movies.

        1. I don’t think people wanting them to reconcile has anything to do with how believable the dissolution was (which, I think, was very believable, considering all that happened between them). Of course people would wish they would eventually make up, the whole thing was sad, and they were best friends. I saw a comic on Deviant art where Gale came back to 12 years later to make up, and Katniss’s daughter answered the door, it was freaking adorable. But fantasy headcanon, that’s what fanfiction is for. Also, I don’t really get what you’re saying about the YA versus general audience.

          1. Yeah, I think a lot of Katniss and Gale shippers just write fanfiction like that because they a) want their ship to stay in tact, or b) hated to see their friendship waste away. Maybe a combination of both. I, too, think the ending was believable. I never believed that their friendship could return to its glory days, i.e., before the events of the first book. Even though Gale wasn’t at fault for Prim’s death, he would still, in Katniss’ mind, be connected to that.

            Generally, I don’t read fanfics. Especially those that are post-Mockingjay. Gale seemed to be at peace (or whatever you would call it) in District 2, and I don’t see him ever coming back. Didn’t Katniss say that the only time she saw him was on TV after he left for 2? And with Katniss seemingly having moved on, apart from some depression and worry, I think she is at peace with her life now as well. She’s got Peeta, her children, even Haymitch and Greasy Sae. I think Buttercup stayed with her, too? Or was that just a one-time affair? And I believe if Gale or her mother ever returned, it would just tear open old wounds.

            1. This has so been going off course from the original post, but since you mentioned her mom: In my own post-MJ headcanon, I like to think that, even though she could never bring herself to go back to 12 (and I can’t blame her), Katniss and Peeta visit her in 4 once in a while, especially after they have the kids. Plus, they can see Annie and her son. It makes me happy. 🙂

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