Sorry Delly, But Prim Needs You

In the many Mockingjay casting announcements last year, one character has been left out that makes people worried– Delly. So, are they leaving her out or just keeping her a secret?  It seems likely to me at this point that she’s not in the movies. There’s no reason to keep her casting a secret. Well, other than inspiring this post. So I guess I should be thanking Lionsgate for the mystery of it all.

Them There Eyes has shared her displeasure with the possibility of cutting Delly back in September.  I agree that Delly has an important place in Peeta’s recovery so if not including her is sending the signal that they’re going to gloss over Peeta’s journey, then I don’t like it. But, my hunch is that this isn’t the case. Mockingjay is split into two moves, so cutting story for time is less of an issue. No, I think they’re cutting Delly in order to build up Prim.

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, Prim?

What do those Mockingjay scripts have in store for you, Prim?

See, I always feel bad about this, but I was never really invested in Prim. Katniss certainly thinks the world of her, and tells us over and over again how great Prim is. But it’s during the scenes with Prim that I’m the most bored. And I always feel bad when Katniss compares herself negatively to Prim. After all the amazing things Katniss does for her family and friends, I just can’t abide by the comparison. This is in no way Prim’s fault, since it’s Katniss narrating the story and making these comparisons.  I love the character of Katniss with all my heart, but Katniss is never able to convince me to love Prim. So when Prim dies, I mourn for her mostly because it destroys Katniss, not for the actual loss of the character.

One of the fabulous things about the Catching Fire movie is that I found myself warming to Prim. Credit to Francis Lawrence, Michael Arndt, Willow Shields, whoever had a hand in it, but this movie gave us hope that Prim’s character could be something more than it is in the books.

So returning back to Mockingjay – We have 13 year old Prim training at the hospital in District 13. And she’s AMAZING. GUYS SHE’S JUST THE BEST MEDICAL TRAINEE EVER. (*Rolls eyes* Come on, Katniss, she can’t be that good. But you love her and that’s nice). When Peeta is rescued, Prim fights for him and helps in his recovery. She even comes up with a reverse hijacking treatment idea. (Again, the 13 year-old trainee thinks of this and not any of the doctors/scientists?) Ok, realistic or not, when she is trying to help Peeta, I really like her. Especially when she says things like,

 Well, you’re going to try, aren’t you?” Prim persists. “You’re not just going to lock him up in some padded room and leave him to suffer?

And when she tells Katniss,

There’s a chance that the old Peeta, the one who loves you, is still inside. Trying to get back to you. Don’t give up on him.

YES, PRIM, YES. MORE.

Now, Them There Eyes also pointed out one really big problem with transferring Delly’s role in Peeta’s recovery to Prim. Delly has a past with Peeta that is not connected to Katniss. That’s why she is so helpful in grounding him. Katniss is his trigger, so how is having his trigger’s sister more involved in the treatment going to affect the recovery storyline? My thought is that they will have to reduce the importance of “any connection to Katniss” being a trigger and just make Katniss herself the major thing that sets him off. Peeta won’t freak out over Prim herself. Or maybe she and Peeta will have major issues at first, and she will find some way to break through to him. Maybe Movie!Prim finally lives up to Katniss’s esteem for her!

This is all complete speculation. Delly could end up being in the films. But after all, this whole journey began because of Prim. In Mockingjay Part 2, her death MUST have an emotional impact on more than just Katniss and her mother. For this movie to have done its job, the audience needs to feel the pain of her loss more acutely. And Delly may be sacrificed for us to have a stronger connection to Prim.

I’m sorry for it Delly, but this story just requires A LOT of sacrifice.

JJ

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14 comments

  1. I agree with this. When I heard the rumours that no one was cast for Delly, it did make me think perhaps they are going to build up Prim’s role in the movie. Which is also great because I never had the emotional connection to Prim, so when she dies, I just feel bad for Katniss’ sake. I can’t see them glossing over Peeta’s situation, not only because of the 2 movie factor, but also because of some comments made by the actors in past interviews. Your assumption seems to be the most logical one at this time. Of course, we won’t know until the movies come out, but it’s fun to guess anyway!

  2. UNPOPULAR OPINION: I didn’t like Delly in the books because she kind of popped out of no where and helped Peeta (yeah i know Peeta mentions her in CF but that’s not enough). I appreciate what Suzanne Collins was trying to do but she should have characterized Delly a lot more in Catching Fire in order for it to work. To me Delly was kind of like Bonnie/Twill in a sense where their sole purpose was to move the plot along.

    In terms of the film, MOAR PRIM. Maybe make her less “saintly” and more like a full character so we can grow attached to her. This is also a huge opportunity for the film to give us more perspective than the books. The point is I want people to sobbing their eyes out in the theater when Prim dies regardless if people are expecting it or not.

  3. Yeah, I’ve had this thought, too, It’s not just that more Prim would be a good thing. It’s that Delly, like TeamButtercup says, sort of came ouf of nowhere, like a mini-deus-ex-machina, and then left the story again. More importantly, she didn’t really contribute anyting, did she?? IIRC, Peeta didn’t get any better from this attempt. It made little to no difference.

    I don’t know why people think it will be a problem that Prim is connected with Katniss. I think they’ll just drop that whole idea of finding someone who doesn’t make him think of her. Prim, the wannabe doctor, will try different ways to heal him while Katniss is in D2. She doesn’t have to talk to him face-to-face to do that. And this will be very much in line with the “tough Prim” we saw in Catching Fire.

    I agree they should make her less saintly, though. People care more if characters have some weaknesses, or at least a personality, aside from the heroic qualitites. The risk is she could be too much of a goody two shoes, and that people’ll be put off that she’s unrealistically competent for a 13-year-old. I know I might… They shouldn’t forget she’s still a kid.

  4. Well, on a scale of 1 to the Deathly Hallows, Delly isn’t such a bad deus ex-machina. At least she was mentioned in the first book.

    But I agree a 100%, this is a wonderful opportunity to build up Prim a bit more. It’s even more crucial and important in the movies for use to see her and see her grow than in the books, because obviously we can’t be inside Katniss’ head in the same way for that ride. As horrible as it sounds, they need to make us care for her and like her in order to kill her.

    Of course, the truth is that because this is such a first person narrated story, we see most of the deaths through Katniss’ eyes anyway, and it’s inevitably Katniss who gives such an impact to Prim’s death. Because if I want to be honest with myself, when the peacekeepers drag Cinna away, it’s not him I mourn the most, it’s Katniss’ devastation and reaction that does it for me. But it doesn’t hurt that we do see some character behind him that we can like and relate to, and that’s the best I can hope for Prim’s development.

      1. I think mse was referring to the Deathly Hallows themselves, especially the Elder Wand, that proves essential to the defeat of Voldemort, despite not being mentioned at all earlier in the series. I don’t quite agree, but I understand where the critics were coming from on that one. Especially with how Hermione explains the Hallows in a way that the movie had to turn into a little animated short in order to be at all interesting, and how Harry himself Explains it All in the end; pretty much, a whole lot of Tell not Show. (But the “so-and-so, usually Dumbledore, Explains It All in the end” device was a feature of the whole book series, and I think this was just a limit of the genre.)

  5. I’m kinda bummed about it. I think it’s important to give Peeta a backstory in the movies. In the books we don’t see his family or friends but at least we know some stuff about them, especially about his father and mother. In the movies Peeta only exists as a prop device for Katniss. I guess that’s understandable since it is Katniss’s story. But a lack of proper backstory is bad for his character development.

    There has been no mention of his family or friends or his life before the Games other than he is the ‘baker’s boy’ or that one line about people he cared about in D11. I think it kind of lessens the emotional impact of his saga, especially when he comes back to D13 and finds out that his whole family and almost everyone he loved is dead. We also didn’t see his individual scenes through the last two movies, like the morphling scene or killing Brutus. His painting and wrestling skills are completely glossed over. He doesn’t lose his leg. I thought it would be important to show more about his life outside Katniss.

    Also Delly was his childhood friend, so she was able to tell him more about the old Peeta and help him reclaim his childhood memories. Prim and Peeta barely had any interactions in the books or in the movies. Other than her idea about the morphling, she wouldn’t be able to do anything for him.

  6. I personally got a kick out of the uber happy Delly. But, more Prim makes sense. I definitely liked where CF was taking her character and hope MJ movies continue the grit and strength.

  7. I pretty much agree with everyone else; I’ve always assumed Delly would be cut and her role in Peeta recovering from hijacking to be relegated to Prim. Delly isn’t really a deus ex machina in the books, as she is mentioned in the THG book, but she would be in the movie because she’s never been mentioned before. I also agree that fleshing out Prim as a character would make her death affect the audience more.

    I think Prim’s characterization, or lack thereof, WAS a flaw in the books, to many readers she just wound up being a plot device that is fridged in the end, important to provide Katniss with motivations for her actions, but not as her own person. (Except that the original “Women in Refrigerators” trope was more sexist, per wikipedia; “Cases of it deal with a gruesome injury or murder of a female character at the hands of a supervillain, usually as a motivating personal tragedy for a male superhero to whom the victim is connected.”)

    The main problem with having Prim take over Delly’s role, is the whole “Katniss is the trigger, how can Prim, her sister, not be a trigger either” issue, but I can see the movie either just handwaving this away, perhaps changing the “trigger” to just Katniss’s personal presence, not memories about her, or changing Peeta’s hijacked delusion to “the real Katniss from my childhood was replaced before the Games by an evil mutt that looks just like her”.

    Which actually makes sense, there’s no hint the Capitol spies on all the Districts 24/7, and unless you believe the “Mr Everdeen was a rebel” theory, there’s no reason it would have wasted time spying on Katniss and Peeta as little kids. So the only real stimuli Capitol torturers would have access to, is Games footage, Victory Tour footage, and possibly some post-Games D12 footage (as per the CF movie, Snow was definitely spying on Katniss with cameras after she won the 74th Games).

    As for Prim not being a saint, well, if you REALLY have her consume Delly’s role completely and have her yell at Peeta in the lunchroom for being mean to Katniss, that would certainly show that she’s not a saint, as that’s certainly not behavior appropriate for a medical professional. Though TBH, being involved in the care of someone you personally know is already unprofessional, but I think fans would blame that situation more on the D13 doctors approving having Prim involved, than Prim herself.

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