Fan Theories About 'The Hunger Games' That Prove It's Darker Than We Remember

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Vote up the best 'Hunger Games' fan theories.

The Hunger Games, the YA dystopian novels by Suzanne Collins, have become a fan favorite known to entertain on rainy days. However, for a popular comfort movie, The Hunger Games may be as dark as they come. Fortunately, there's no shortage of Hunger Games fan theories that dive into the dark conspiracies. 

It's impossible not to wonder what happened to Panem that a Battle Royale with kids has been a tradition for over fifty years. Fan theories like how the world beyond Panem is perfectly fine have drummed up plenty of discourse in The Hunger Games community. Take a look below and vote up the best Hunger Games fan theories!

Photo: Lionsgate / Lionsgate / Lionsgate

  • 1
    1,338 VOTES

    Foxface Ended Her Own Life

    Foxface Ended Her Own Life
    Photo: The Hunger Games / Lionsgate

    This theory, although never explicitly stated, is hard to look past. Foxface's demise took viewers by surprise and had many speculating. One theory from Redditor u/circlemanfan pretty much confirms it: 

    During the training montage scene in the Hunger Games movie, they show a clip of Foxface using some kind of program that tests her skill with identifying plants. They deliberately include this to show that she definitely has knowledge of the berries and their effects.

    And then comes the reason why it appeared as an honest mistake. Foxface knew what would happen if she blatantly committed suicide, it would look like defiance to the Capitol and her family would be killed. She decided to end it this way to make sure no one would think she was trying to outsmart anybody.

    1,338 votes
  • 2
    1,251 VOTES

    The Games Are A Way To Assess Each District's Capabilities

    The Games Are A Way To Assess Each District's Capabilities
    Photo: The Hunger Games / Lionsgate

    This theory is highly regarded and more popular based on the compelling evidence. It's easy to overlook the harsh truth, the real reason behind such a deadly tradition. Redditor u/Burnnoticelover explains:

    The Hunger Games aren’t just a propaganda tool, they’re a way to assess each district’s insurgency capabilities and test countermeasures. President Snow isn’t an idiot, he knows that his method of ruling is bound to cause a rebellion eventually, especially with district 13 lying in wait.

    They use the reaping to gather a (mostly) random sampling. Giving extra food for entering your name multiple times ensures that they can see the skills of the truly desperate (those most likely to join a rebel militia) and allowing volunteers lets them see how the glory hounds and tough guys fare (those most likely to lead a rebel militia).

    From there, they offer training to see how quickly the average fighters from each district would adapt to combat training. How educated are they? How fast do they learn? Are weapons new to them, or do they have experience? They even test media savvy and ability to rally capitol citizens to their cause with Caesar Flickerman’s show.

    1,251 votes
  • 3
    967 VOTES

    Thresh's Death Was A Conspiracy

    Thresh's Death Was A Conspiracy
    Photo: The Hunger Games / Lionsgate

    Thresh's death might've been intentionally vague, as there was a huge lightning storm happening at the same time. Quora user Abby Smith sheds some light with a popular theory:

    Thresh wasn’t killed by Cato, he was killed by a lighting strike from the gamemakers. This could have been done for a few reasons, one of which because he spared Katniss at the feast, and the gamemakers felt District 11 and 12 were getting too close. Another reason is that it looked like Thresh might be able to take Cato out during their fight and the gamemakers didn’t want that. We didn’t get to see how Cato and Thresh fought against each other but we can bet the gamemakers would prefer a champion from a career district.

    967 votes
  • 4
    858 VOTES

    Cinna Worked His Way Up Into The Capitol

    Cinna Worked His Way Up Into The Capitol
    Photo: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire / Lionsgate

    Audiences meet Cinna in the first Hunger Games as Katniss's comforting stylist. His presence is immediately different from the others we've met at the Capitol, and fans are still speculating about his mysterious background. From Redditor u/CaptainPie00:

    Cinna is one of the few that has risen above the brainwashing of the capital to work for change. It is my favorite theory because it is such an interesting idea that someone could not only move from the districts to the Capitol, but rise within the Capitol to have enough influence to be a stylist in the games. 

    858 votes
  • 5
    730 VOTES

    Madge's Motive In Passing The Mockingjay Pin On To Katniss

    Madge's Motive In Passing The Mockingjay Pin On To Katniss
    Photo: The Hunger Games / Lionsgate

    The Mockingjay pin is one of the most important elements throughout the later books. There's been a ton of speculation about how Katniss came into the pin, which Quora user Alisha Thibodeau has a more lengthy and highly regarded theory: 

    I think that the pin was given to Katniss through Madge, but really by Madge's mother as a sign to Haymitch. Maysilee's pin was used to get Haymitch to acknowledge Katniss as both a competitor and rebel. The pin was symbolic to Mrs. Undersee, Mrs. Everdeen and Haymitch. Haymitch had connections to the other districts through his Victor status. I think it was Mrs. Undersee's last "F you" to the Capitol and was an intentional catalyst for the rebellion.

    730 votes
  • 6
    640 VOTES

    The World Beyond Panem Is Perfectly Fine

    The World Beyond Panem Is Perfectly Fine
    Photo: The Hunger Games / Lionsgate

    With all the devastation and inequality in Panem, it's impossible not to linger over how the world got to that point. Redditor u/CapriciousSalmon has an interesting explanation with plenty more examples through the link: 

    One thing I did question is how the rest of the world is functioning. Is it like Panem where they have their own problems? Is Panem the last vestige of humanity?

    In Divergent, civilization does exist beyond Chicago, just it isn’t as glamorous as life in Chicago. In Attack on Titan, the world beyond the walls is just fine, but the walls is hundreds of years obsolete. 1984 questions this. Same applies to The Handmaid's Tale, as North America or the world might have a fertility problem, but the rest of the world is relatively fine.

    I say this because I doubt Katniss ever questioned it. She has to provide for a starving sister and a depressed mom and has better things to worry about than the existentialism of soap. Meanwhile, she wasn’t a stellar student, since she had to hunt. She’s good at problem solving and identifying plants, but still. One way you control your population is education, which as a teaching major I can agree with.

    Maybe it was like The Handmaid's Tale and some kind of catastrophic event, whether it happened or did happen but not on the magnitude they thought. Maybe it could’ve been a literal famine, which is why Panem comes from “bread and circuses” since the capital gave food to the citizens and they didn’t question the rule, as they were too hungry to. So it went on for a few generations until full people questioned stuff and the war began. The capital destroys the rebellion, and the Hunger Games start.

    640 votes