The Hunger Games franchise has, much like the fragile peace of Panem, been built on the backs of the tributes who compete against one another in bloodthirsty battle every year. There's a lot of hope, but also death in the books and movies, and every tribute played an important role. In honor of those competitors, here's our ranking of the most memorable tribute deaths of The Hunger Games movies so far and why.
How He Was Killed: Thresh’s death is murky in the book. In the film, his death happens off-screen, but it’s implied he was killed by the wolf mutations, after the sounds of his screaming and the wolf mutts growling coalesces into the cannon shot signifying his death afterward.
Known for: Playing the games on his own terms; saving Katniss’ life
Alliance: No one; though he displayed a soft spot for Rue and showed Katniss a moment of mercy when he might have killed her
Weapon of choice: Crescent sword, his own hands
Reason we put him at #10:
Thresh gets a spot on the list because, while dangerous, he still operated with his own strange code of honor, avenging Rue’s death and sparing Katniss’ life in a nod of respect. He was one of the tributes that deserved a more noble (or at least on-screen) end, but alas, he didn’t.
How He Was Killed: After Marvel hurled the spear that kills Rue, Katniss instinctively reacted by shooting an arrow at him, hitting him in the heart. He pulled the arrow out and died on the spot.
Known for: Killing Rue, THAT BASTARD (also being the first person that Katniss ever killed directly)
Alliance: Glimmer (fellow District 1 Career), Cato and Clove (District 2 Careers), temporarily Peeta
Weapon of choice: Spear, kukri knife, throwing axe
Reason we put him at #9:
Marvel’s death happened in a split second and he died off-screen as most of the attention was on Katniss and Rue. But it was important because he was the first tribute that Katniss intentionally killed herself and his death at her hands changes Katniss forever.
How she was killed: Wiress headed to the lake in the arena to clean the wire that eventually shorted out the power grid, all the while singing “Hickory Dickory Dock” to herself. Katniss realized her song had stopped and looked over to see Gloss had snuck up on them and slit open Wiress’ throat.
Known for: Being so psychologically traumatized that she barely communicated, figuring out the arena of the 75th Hunger Games was designed like a giant clock.
Alliance: The underground rebels who banded together to destroy the power grid and keep Katniss and Peeta alive, especially her fellow District 3 tribute, Beetee.
Reason we put her at #8:
Wiress would be higher on the list as she was the one who essentially kept the rebel tributes alive by figuring out the clock layout of the arena, but her death happened partly off-camera and was without much fanfare.
How she was killed: Foxface’s death happened off-screen when she stole the poisonous Nightlock berries that Peeta had collected and ate them. However, it was unclear whether or not her death was accidental or a suicide, as it was well-known she’d scored high in her knowledge of plants during testing and should have known what Nightlock berries looked like. There were also signs she was emaciated and already on her way to starving to death.
Known for: Her sly, fox-like cunning
Alliance: No one; she was a loner
Weapon of choice: Stealth, knife
Reason we put her at #7:
Foxface’s death happened off-screen, but it was still poignant as it was unclear whether or not she killed herself on purpose to avoid starvation. Katniss also respected Foxface on a certain fundamental level and had even considered allying with her at one point.
6. Female Morphling
How she was killed: Peeta, Katniss, and Finnick were being attacked by the monkey mutations in the jungle. A mutation was about to kill Peeta when the female Morphling came out of nowhere and jumped in front of Peeta to protect him; the mutation gashed her neck open. Peeta tried to ease her passing by taking her to the beach and telling her to look at the sunset before she died in his arms.
Known for: Being addicted to Morphling, a drug she turned to to dull the memories of being in the Games
Alliance: Fellow Morphling from District 6, part of the alliance of rebel tributes who vowed to keep Katniss and Peeta alive
Weapon of choice: Camouflage
Reason we put her at #6:
Her sacrifice for Peeta was noble, but unfortunately, we just never knew much about the female Morphling. Still, her noble death earns her a solid place in the middle of our list simply because it was so unexpected.
How she was killed: Thresh overheard Clove taunting Katniss about Rue’s death and believed she was the one to kill Rue. In his rage, he yanked her off Katniss and bashed her head against the Cornucopia, cracking her skull.
Known for: Being absolutely vicious and sadistic; earned the first kill in the Games
Alliance: Cato (fellow District 2 Career), Marvel and Glimmer (District 1 Careers), temporarily Peeta
Weapon of choice: Throwing knives
Reason we put her at #5:
Brutal life, brutal death. It was also one of the few moments in the film in which the tributes momentarily remembered their humanity, as Thresh tells Katniss him saving her from Clove was payback for comforting Rue as she died and they were now even.
How she was killed: When a group of the Careers had an injured Katniss treed, they camped out underneath to wait for her to come down. Rue, who was in another tree, pointed out that there was a giant tracker jacker nest above Katniss’ head. Katniss sawed the nest down and it exploded on the Careers below. The Careers fled, but Glimmer wasn’t able to get away in time and died from all the enhanced venom.
Known for: Being a Career tribute
Alliance: Marvel (fellow District 1 Career), Cato and Clove (District 2 Careers), temporarily Peeta
Weapon of choice: Bow and arrows, knife, sword
Reason we put her at #4:
Yeah, she was hellbent on killing Katniss with the rest of the Careers, but her death was one of the most horrifying scenes in all of the films. No one deserved to go out like that, not even a bloodthirsty Career.
How she was killed: Sacrificed herself to the poison fog in the jungle when it became clear that Finnick could not both carry her and help an injured Peeta, whose legs had also been damaged by the acid fog, himself, and Katniss escape. She gave Finnick a kiss and her love one last time before walking into the fog so the other three could live. Heartbreaking.
Known for: Being the oldest surviving tribute in the games
Alliance: Finnick (District 4 partner), Katniss, Peeta, the rebellion in general
Weapon of choice: Trident, fishhooks
Reason we put her at #3:
Mags may not have had a ton of screen time, but she was a fan favorite, and her death was heartbreaking, noble, and necessary.
How was he killed: The immediate protagonist of the first Hunger Games movie had perhaps the most brutal and symbolic death of the entire franchise. As one of the final three remaining in the Games, he was mauled by genetically engineered mutant dogs after Peeta pushed him off the Cornucopia; Katniss had a moment of mercy and ended his suffering by firing an arrow into him.
Known for: Being a dick, mostly (but also being the leader of the Career pack of tributes)
Alliance: Clove (fellow District 2 Career); Marvel and Glimmer (District 1 Careers); temporarily Peeta before Peeta betrays them
Weapon of choice: Pretty much everything: sword, baton, machete, scythe, fists
Reason we put him at #2:
He was the big bad of the first movie but in his death, uttered the words that every tribute knew in their heart - they were just pawns. It was the first real moment in the movies where everyone - not just Katniss - realized that it was the Capitol that was the true enemy, not each another.
How she was killed: Katniss found Rue tangled up in a net trap and cut her down. But letting their guard down opened them up to a surprise attack; Marvel snuck up on them and hurled a spear from behind. Katniss dodged it, but Rue took the full spear to the chest and died within moments as Katniss tried to comfort her.
Known for: Her iconic whistle
Alliance: Katniss and Thresh
Weapon of choice: Slingshot, stealth (using the trees to hide and move about)
Reason we put her at #1:
The odds might have not been in their favor, but in the end, their deaths weren't in vain. Every single one gave Katniss the strength and motivation she needed to bring down an evil regime and stop the rise of another.
Fear does not work as long as there is hope.
[The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866) his theaters nationwide on Friday, November 20th.