Over the course of four movies in as many years, the Hunger Games franchise gave audiences one incredible moment after another and some of the most unforgettable characters of the early-to-mid 2010s. Based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian sci-fi trilogy of the same name, this massive blockbuster introduced heroes like Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark, as well as Donald Sutherland’s villainous President Coriolanus Snow, whose character will be at the center of the new prequel.
As part of our partnership with AMC Theatres, where you can now purchase tickets to see the prequel film, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, we’ve put together a list of some of the supporting parts that made a major impact on the original movies and stole every scene. With four movies and dozens of characters, there was a lot to choose from, so please enjoy our selections…
From the first time we met Caesar Flickerman in The Hunger Games, audiences immediately knew Stanley Tucci’s dynamic character was going to be someone that no one would ever forget, even if they tried. Whether it was with his over-the-top personality, unique sense of style (which was always changing), or his uncanny ability to bring out the best in the various tributes and make them feel at ease despite the task at hand, Flickerman also stole the show. However, despite being a shimmering peacock on the stage, the complex character always allowed the likes of Katniss Everdeen to shine.
With his sardonic sense of humor, devastating quotes, and a general presence that is hard not to get carried away with, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) is not only one of the best supporting characters in the Hunger Games movies, he’s one of the best characters in general. From his introduction as Katniss’ coach and former Hunger Games winner in the first movie to one of the rebel leader’s strongest and most honest allies later on, Abernathy was charismatic and fun to watch the entire time. Sure, he was prickly, rough around the edges, and was dealing with a myriad of personal issues, but don’t we all?
Like Caesar Flickerman, Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket is one of the true MVPs of the franchise, especially in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This supporting character, who starts out as a flashy and over-the-top escort and advisor for Katniss and Peeta in the first movie, slowly transforms into an extremely emotional and complex character in the Panem capitol. It is hard to not be captivated by her presence, which is pretty much an impossibility thanks to her unique fashion sense and personality, resulting in her becoming a gravitational force in just about every one of her scenes.
Johanna Mason, one of the most popular characters from the books, immediately made an impact with her introduction in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. With the debut of Jena Malone’s portrayal through the Capitol Couture fashion website (a clever marketing tool that has since been taken down), the victor of the 71st Hunger Games was made to look like a million bucks before audiences got a chance to see her in action. Over the course of the final three movies in the series, she became a fan-favorite thanks to her candidness and occasionally blunt honesty, as well as that incredible arc that was her journey with Katniss through it all.
Though he was only in The Hunger Games and none of its sequels, it’s nearly impossible to forget Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), the Head Gamemaker for the 74th annual battle royale. The hair, that intricately groomed beard, and fashion sense would be enough to remember this supporting character, but it’s his acts of defiance to allow two victors in the games, and decision to spare the lives of Katniss and Peeta that really take the cake. He paid the price for these acts, but he faced his fate with resolve and poise.
Perhaps one of the most tragic characters in the Hunger Games franchise, Rue (Amandla Stenberg) was a major part of the first installment in the series as well as someone whose impact could be felt throughout the remaining films. Her death created one of the most emotional moments that is still just as heartbreaking more than a decade later.
How could anyone forget The Hunger Games’ “The Girl on Fire” introduction? Though Katniss gets most of the attention for this remarkable cinematic moment, let’s not forget Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) the stylist who made the moment possible. A calm, collected, and rather subtle character, Cinna also had several other moments of defiance in the first two movies, including the pinning of the mockingjay pendant and his incredibly tragic death.
Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) was one of the supporting characters introduced in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire who would stick around through the rest of the franchise before meeting his fate. The winner of the 65th Hunger Games had a number of heroic moments in the 75th deathmatch known as the Third Quarter Quell, Second Rebellion, and everything in between His death, and the act of sacrifice that preceded it, was one of the more violent and impactful of the series.
Beetee Latier & Wiress
While we could include separate sections for Beetee Latier (Jeffrey Wright) and Wiress (Amanda Plummer), these two characters were so intertwined it just makes sense to include them together. Watching the two in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, especially the sequence in which Katniss tries to find allies, the bond shared by these two is noticeably tight. It’s difficult to keep your eyes off of them in this scene with their giggling, quirky mannerisms, and general demeanor.
Though many of these characters suffered tragic and oftentimes brutal fates in the original Hunger Games movies, we can still feel their impact and acts of sacrifice, as well as those utterly hilarious and sensational moments all these years later. If you are interested in meeting new characters (and younger versions of others) in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, you can go ahead and purchase your tickets at AMC Theatres prior to the prequel’s November 17, 2023 release.