Most Heroic Hunger Games Characters

It can never be stated enough just how courageous the heroes of The Hunger Games trilogy were. Risking death, torture, and the loss of their loved ones, Katniss and her team fought against terrible odds to overthrow a tyrannical government and win their freedom.

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It’s hard to say who the bravest is. They were all brave in their own way. Katniss was a warrior, Prim was a healer, and Peeta endured great pain to save Katniss. Even minor characters like Rue and Mags showed bravery. Rue saved Katniss despite not knowing if Katniss would kill her or not, and Mags took Annie’s place to save her from the games. Nonetheless, some characters easily rank among the bravest people in the trilogy.



10 Peeta Mallark

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Katniss earned her dues as the “Girl on Fire,” but Peeta overcomes a lot worse than her. Throughout the trilogy, Peeta endures severe pain just to save Katniss. In the first book, he lost his leg, rescuing Katniss from a career tribute. In the second book, he gives himself up to the Capitol to let Katniss be rescued. In the third book, he’s severely brainwashed after warning District 13 about an attack and works to undo the effects.

Peeta was mutilated, tortured, and violated, and he still came out on top. There are no words to express how strong this boy was.

9 Katniss Everdeen

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Katniss looking concerned as fire burns behind her in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.

Despite the machines of those around her, Katniss is neither a figurehead nor a puppet. As the breadwinner of her family, Katniss is practical to a fault, doing what she has to when she has to.

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However, it doesn’t take away her heart or integrity that easily. She is allies with Rue because she reminds her of her sister. She makes friends during the 75th Hunger Games even though they’re weaker than the other tributes. She defies all those who try to take her freedom, even those claiming to be her allies. Where others would give up and close their hearts, Katniss keeps flying and loving no matter how bad things get or how often she’s betrayed.

8 Primrose Everdeen

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Prim and Katniss hugging in Hunger Games Catching Fire

Prim was never a fighter like Katniss. Both sisters are aware of this. However, Prim possesses her own kind of quiet strength, which she demonstrates more often as the trilogy goes on. Although Prim has always been Katniss’ reason for living, she also becomes Katniss’ rock. As things get worse, Prim is there to give Katniss the emotional support she needs. She extends that same care towards her ornery cat, Buttercup, and the sick and wounded she tends to.

The books show even more of this quiet courage than the movies through flashbacks and stories. What little they do show had a strong impact on the audience, so much so that her death left everyone in tears. Of all the deaths in the trilogy, Primrose’s hurt the most.

7 Gale Hawthorn

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

As Katniss’ hunting partner and closest friend, Gale does what he can to help her and her family despite the danger. His loyalty is such that he becomes Katniss’ bodyguard during their stay at District 13.

It’s been noted throughout the trilogy how similar he and Katniss are. They both have the same fiery spirit that makes them fight and survive. It is not stated as many times in the movies. However, it was greatly expanded upon. In the movies, instead of being punished for poaching, he is punished for protecting a woman who was being beaten by the peacekeepers.

6 Haymitch Abernathy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss standing outside looking upset in The Hunger Games.

Haymitch Abernathy begins the trilogy as a disillusioned drunk. He’s lost too much and seen too many horrors to really care about anything except drinking his way into an early grave. Then Katniss and Peeta come along and upset the boat, and suddenly he finds himself hoping and getting attached again despite himself.

Haymitch is a highly flawed mentor. He cares for Katniss and Peeta but doesn’t always prioritize their well-being. Nonetheless, as soon as he saw an opportunity to end the Games, he snatched it with both hands. Despite the decades of pain and suffering, he found it in himself to have hope again that things would end.

5 Effie Trinket

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark salute next to Effie Trinket

Effie Trinket doesn’t have as large a role in the books as in the movies. Where Effie fades into the background in the books, she’s more dynamic and pivotal in the movies and goes through something of a redemption arc.

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As Effie gets to know Katniss and Peeta, she slowly comes to see them as friends. Eventually, she chooses to support their mission to break Snow’s power. She doesn’t agree with President Coin or District 13’s ideals, but she doesn’t agree with the Capitol anymore either. It takes nerve to admit that what she believed in was wrong.

4 Cinna

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The mockingjay dress_Cinna's finest work

Katniss’s stylist from the 74th and 75th Hunger Games, Cinna, gets most of the credit for giving Katniss the moniker “The Girl on Fire.” He first used synthetic fire in her and Peeta’s parade outfits to create the image of burning coal and kept using fire motifs in her outfits, with few exceptions.

His last outfit for her was the best he had ever designed. Made to look like a wedding dress, the white fabric disintegrates into flames when Katniss twirls it, revealing a Mockingjay costume underneath. This highly public transformation signs Cinna’s death sentence, but he does it anyway. In doing so, he solidifies Katniss as a symbol of freedom and hope. Cinna was a key component in setting the foundations for the revolution and was at peace with the fact that it would cost him his life.

3 Plutarch Heavensbee

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Plutarch Heavensbee and President Snow talking over dinner in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Plutarch Heavensbee is easily the cleverest character in the trilogy. He arranges Katniss’ escape, outsmarts both President Snow and President Coin, and is always one step ahead of everyone else. He could’ve easily taken control of Panem for himself.

Instead, he chooses to let Commander Paylor become president after Coin’s death. Although it’s unclear how much influence Plutarch has, it’s stated that the Games were abolished, and Panem is a slightly better place than before under her administration. This shows a measure of wisdom, if not humility, on Plutarch’s part. He truly was doing what he thought was best for Panem. “Heaven’s Bee” indeed.

2 Finnick Odair

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Annie Cresta and Finnick Odair kiss in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Next to Prim, Finnick’s death is the saddest in The Hunger Games trilogy. He suffered so much as a child and only got to be happy for a few hours. In the books, his death is so sudden that it takes a minute to process what just happened. In the movies, it’s drawn out. He and Katniss know he’s not going to make it, so Katniss blows up the area as a mercy. The worst part is that he stayed behind to let the others go ahead.

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He could’ve taken the safer option to go home to Annie. However, he chose to actively participate in the revolution to ensure that other children wouldn’t suffer the way he did.

1 Rue

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Katniss holds Rue as she dies

Rue only appears in the first book for a short while, but she was instrumental in sparking the revolution. Rue is an alternative version of Primrose. She’s young, small, innocent, and one of the likeliest to die in the Hunger Games. However, no one volunteers for her the way Katniss did for Prim.

Despite all this, she chooses to help and trust Katniss even though they’re supposed to be enemies. They build a sisterly relationship and work together to fight the career tributes. When Rue is killed, Katniss comforts and treats her body with dignity. This little girl’s brave decision had a bigger impact than anyone could’ve imagined.

NEXT: 10 Bravest Characters In The Hunger Games Trilogy

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Andrew Naughtie

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