Hunger Game Names: Inventions and Reinventions
Even if you haven’t read the books, you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games. The trilogy has topped the bestseller lists, and buzz about the upcoming movie adaptation has been constant for the past few months.
It is the tale of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who overthrows a cruel and despotic government. Katniss Everdeen becomes the unlikely heroine after she is chosen to fight to the death in a televised game controlled by the all-powerful Capitol. It’s part Greek myth, part reality TV.
Author Suzanne Collins is quite the storyteller, and she’s a masterful namer of characters. Katniss sounds like a smoosh of classics like Katherine and Frances, but the name is borrowed from an edible aquatic plant. Sagittaria, the plant’s Latin name, comes from its arrow-shaped leaves. And wouldn’t you know it? Katniss saves the day through her extraordinary skill with a bow and arrow.
Even if you’re not into sci fi, the series is worth a read for the names alone. In Collins’ post-apocalyptic future, some familiar choices have endured, while other names have been sourced from the past. Many are new, drawn from the changed world in which her characters live. Each of the outlying Districts has a certain specific style.
This list includes minor characters and villains, and they range from the perfectly wearable to the truly out-there.
FELLOW CONTESTANTS & PAST CHAMPIONS
Cato – A willing contestant, from wealthy District 2. In the more affluent Districts, children often train for the Games, hoping for a chance to win riches and glory.
Marvel – Like many of the District 1 and 2 names, less wearable than other options in the trilogy.
REBELS & REFUGEES
Annie – A past champion, and Finnick’s true love.
Finnick – A trident-wielding past champion and rebel leader. Johanna
Plutarch – He once helped create the Games, but eventually brings his skills to help overthrow the Capitol.
FROM THE CAPITOL
Venia – Along with Octavia and Flavius, she joins the rebellion. It’s a truly clever name. Venality – taking bribes – is a vice, but a venial sin is forgivable. Over the course of the series, Katniss recognizes that many of the Capitol’s residents deserve forgiveness, even if they’ve enjoyed their privileged status.
KATNISS’ HOME TOWN: DISTRICT 12
Darius – A good-natured peacekeeper, sent by the Capitol to enforce their rule in District 12.
Maysilee – Madge’s aunt, and a past contestant.
Peeta – The baker’s son, he and Katniss are chosen to represent District 12 in the 74th Hunger Games. Their apparent romance helps keep them both alive.
And thanks, Abby, for a great blog!