5. ) Seneca Crane
There isn’t much written about the game makers in the novel. Readers often see them from a distance as Katniss trains before their eyes and is eventually judged by them. Collins writes about their role in the training sessions: “They sit in the elevated stands that surround the gymnasium, page sometimes wandering about to watch us, jotting down notes, other times eating at the endless banquet that has been set for them, ignoring the lot of us.”
In the film, Seneca Crane– the main Game Maker– is portrayed by Wes Bentley (American Beauty). He’s given a much larger role in the film and viewers watch him talk about the games and discuss the proceedings with President Snow. And, of course, at the end of the film he is confronted by his own failings.
Cinna is more than the typical stylist that Katniss encounters in the Capitol. In a world of fanciful characters and outlandish outfits, he seems normal to her. Collins writes from Katniss’ prespective about Cinna’s appearence: “Most of the stylists they interview on television are so dyed, stenciled and surgically altered they’re grotesque. But Cinna’s close-cropped hair appears to be its natural shade of brown.” After she meets him, Cinna– who is spending his first year working on the games– becomes Katniss’ ally and friend.
Lenny Kravitz plays Cinna in the film. Kravitz wasn’t an obvious choice for Cinna because he’s known more for his musical skills than his acting abilities, but he pulls off the role nicely. In a world of opulence and money, he’s a relatable figure who helps make Katniss become “the girl on fire.”
3.) Effie Trinket
In the book, Katniss first sees Effie Trinket at the reaping, where the tributes will be chosen from District 12. In the poor district, Effie–who constantly wishes to be upgraded to a better district- is a symbol of the wealth that the Capitol represents. Collins writes that Effie is “District 12’s escort, fresh from the Capitol with her scary white grin, pinkish hair, and spring green suit.”
Elizabeth Banks (Man on a Ledge) is nearly unrecognizable and does an excellent job in the role. Effie is never seen as a hateful villian. She’s more of a shallow diva who feels underappreciated by the Capitol. It’s difficult to hate this Barbie Doll-wannabe, and in fact, she can be quite amusing at times in her blatant cluelessness.
2.) Caesar Flickerman
Caesar Flickerman is a television personality who interviews the tributes before the games begin. He’s a game show host in a game with real life and death consequences. As Collins writes, Caesar “has hosted the interviews for more than forty years…” She adds, “It’s a little scary because his appearance has been virtually unchanged during all that time.” This playful personality knows exactly how to keep an interview interesting and when to make a witty joke to make the audience guffaw.
Played by Stanley Tucci in the film, Caesar is undoubtedly my favorite character. With his big personality and cheery demeanor– even in the midst of a deadly game– he’s a fun character to watch and read about. It’s not hard to see why the Capitol brings him back year after year to do the interviews. He’s an entertainer and I– like those in the Capitol itself – am entertained by him.
1.) Katniss Everdeen
Without Katniss Everdeen, this story wouldn’t have the resonance and power that it has. Katniss is the heroine. She’s the one that we root for despite the odds placed in her path. Although the novel is written in the first-person, readers still see how much of an honorable woman she is. When her father died, she’s the one who cared for her younger sister and her grief-stricken mother. When the food ran out, she’s the one who figured out a way to feed her family. And when her younger sister was chosen to fight and likely die at the hands of the Capitol, she’s the one who volunteers to enter the ring instead.
Played by Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss is the heart of this story. Although the movie is not told from her perspective, she’s still the mian character and is shown to be the strong and self-sacrificing heroine. Even critics have noted how Lawrence brings the powerful character to vivid life in the film.
One of the best aspects of the The Hunger Games is its strong set of characters, especially the supporting ones. Although Katniss is an great heroine and Lawrence plays her wonderfully, the cast– in both the book and the movie– is full of other vivid characters that could carry their own stories.
In the Capitol, especially, Collins has created an intriguing world of eccentric and undeniably wealthy individuals who take pleasure in watching the games unfold.
Of course, if you disagree with our list of the best characters, let us know in the comments section who YOU think is the best character in the original story….And as Effie says, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Follow me on Twitter @johnhanlon.
This piece was originally published on ScreenRant.com