The Hunger Games movies cut 1 key character (and may hurt the prequel)

He The Hunger Games The movies removed a major character from the books who, though not named, carried major themes from Katniss’s story into the prequel novel. The Ballad of the Songbirds and the Serpent. Although Katniss and his immediate family are not characters in the prequel, which will receive a film adaptation on November 17, 2023, the story draws connections to his life in District 12. However, with a family member of Katniss outside the The Hunger Games movies, these connections could be lost to movie audiences.


When Katniss was introduced to the The Hunger Games books, his entire being was dedicated to nothing but survival. He didn’t have time for music, rebellion, or even much empathy. After the death of her father, Katniss and her arch took it upon themselves to care for her family, even though she was only 11 years old. Still, she hadn’t always been like this. When Mr. Everdeen was alive, they sang songs whose lyrics were filled with the spirit of rebellion. Unfortunately, the The Hunger Games the movies never talked about these moments since Katniss’s father barely appeared.

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Katniss’s father was much more important in the Hunger Games books.

A framed photo of Katniss's father sitting in a cloak in The Hunger Games.

Katniss’s father was shown briefly in the The Hunger Games movies being lowered into a mine. The subsequent explosion revealed to the public that he had died while doing the dangerous work expected of residents of District 12, but that was the end of his involvement in Katniss’s story. He was never mentioned again, and as far as anyone could tell, Katniss barely thought of him. However, in the The Hunger Games books, Katniss’s memories of her father, and the increased frequency with which she thought of him, revealed much about her character.

Early in the The Hunger Games books, Katniss tried not to think about her dad. His internal dialogue explained to readers that he had taught her to hunt and identify edible plants (and that he should avoid things like Nightlock berries). He also briefly considered how he had taught her to sing, but had come to consider this a useless skill. However, once he was in the Hunger Games and sang one of his father’s songs to Rue as he died, he began to think of her songs differently.

Walk into On fire and Mockingjay, Katniss began to recognize that the songs her father sang and his determination to hunt and forage for food in order to care for his family, despite the legality, was a sign of his rebellion. She taught her daughter songs like “The Hanging Tree,” even though it was forbidden. This helped Katniss realize that he couldn’t just survive anymore. Her father had been a fighter and she needed to be one too.

Why was Katniss’s father never given a name?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in a poster for Catching Fire

Although Mr. Everdeen had been assassinated long before the start of The Hunger Games, his character had immense importance in the overall plot. Still, she was never given a first name. This has a lot to do with the fact that the The Hunger Games the books are written in the first person, with Katniss as the narrator. She therefore referred to her parents, as people often do, as “mother” and “father.” Of course, Katniss’s mother’s name was revealed to be Carine Everdeen but, despite her importance, Mr. Everdeen remains nameless.

The fact that Katniss never named her father in The Hunger Games it is symbolic when considering his state of mind throughout the books. Katniss was a child who had been raised under significant trauma, and this only worsened once she was harvested to murder children for her survival. The only way she could survive was to block out painful thoughts and memories, and for a long time, that included her father. She was a constant presence throughout the series, but she remained nameless to show her profound absence.

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How The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Is Affected By Katniss’s Changed History

Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games

Although Mr. Everdeen added a lot to Katniss’s story in the The Hunger Games books, movies survived without him. Something was lost regarding the character development of the heroine, but sacrifices must be made with the limited time available in the movies. However, the launch of the Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents The novel made her character even more important as several of Katniss’s memories of her father were brought up in the prequel story.

Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents introduced readers to a group of citizens from District 12 called the Covey, who were revealed to have excellent foraging skills and had been the ones to write the songs that Mr. Everdeen had taught his daughter. Also, the Covey would sometimes sneak off to a hidden lake deep in the woods, a place that, in The Hunger GamesKatniss called her and her father’s special place (because only they knew that).

The implication is that the Coveys are Katniss’s ancestors, as these secrets were likely passed down from father to son. However, from the The Hunger Games movies omitted the finer details of Mr. Everdeen, it will be much more difficult for the Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents film adaptation to make this connection. The Coveys and Mr. Everdeen were the glue that held the prequel movie together and The Hunger Games together, and the emotional impact might be lost without it.

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