Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Fans Of Fiction as requested

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I had several people ask me if I would post this article I wrote for class, so here it is!

Fans of Fiction

So many times, we hear of crazy fans doing off-the-wall things in order to read the next book to that “hit new series” or spending outrageous amounts of money just to see the movie version one day early. There are millions of these fans out there watching and waiting to pounce on the first whispers of a new piece of fiction that is going to “literary” rock their world. Why is that? What is it about The Harry Potter Series, The Twilight Saga, or The Hunger Games Trilogy that gets fans so worked up into a literary seizure? I will attempt to answer this question through evidence and examples of crazed fans doing lunatic inspired stunts in order to feed on the next fiction victim.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Fans

I will first talk about The Harry Potter Series, because it was the first out of the three and probably has the most devoted fans. There is a young man, self-named Harry Potter, who prides himself on being the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world. He has three rooms full of paraphernalia, has read each book over a hundred times, wore dress robes to his high school prom, and claims he can wear HP-related clothing for three months straight and never wear the same thing twice. He even had J.K. Rowling sign his arm and had it made into a tattoo, one of four HP related tattoos.

Yeah, this guy.

Amazing stories of the stars actually being approached by these crazed fans never cease to amaze and even frighten those of us with a sane mind. A devout HP fan offered, with necessary documents in hand, to adopt the still under-aged Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy). This fan wanted to take him away from his own parents to live with him at a place he was to call “Malfoy Manor.” He even legally changed his name to “Lucius Malfoy.” Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) unfortunately is terrorized by many of the perverted fans out there. One man photo-shopped her face onto child pornography, but was kept out of jail because he didn’t mean to send out these pictures, only to keep them for himself (Sick, I know). When she went to college at Brown University, she was actually stalked by a group of guys from Harvard at a football game, who tweeted about their success as it was happening. Stalking, apparently, is not the only way to show your devotion to the characters.

Have you ever heard of Wizard Rock? Well, it’s a genre of music celebrating the world of Harry Potter, and consists of some bands such as “The Luna Lovegoods,” “Danny Dementor,” “Riddle TM,” “The Band Who Must Not Be Named,” “Celestial Warmbottom” (probably my favorite name), and “The Ministry of Magic.” This is only scratching the surface of devoted fans out there dedicated to this franchise, or as they might call it, “my childhood.”

This is Danny Dementor’s song “The Fallen”

So the Fan Fell in Love with Both Edward and Jacob

I am going to go ahead and take a stand on this one: Twihards, or the many other names Twilight fans call themselves, are among the craziest fans in existence. Small events turn into crazed, angry, and more often than not, violent, mobs. People get trampled, hit, and even end up in the hospital. There have been several reports about young girls with broken noses just because they grabbed the last free poster. These young girls and grown women (we don’t like to call attention to the age gap here), kick, push, and scream if it means getting only a little closer to being able to talk to one of these stars. Speaking of women who will do anything…

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The fourteen-year old Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater) experienced the inappropriate actions of older women. After taking a picture with a forty-year-old woman, Stewart was asked if he wanted to “make out” with her. These types of stories are plaguing these actors and even putting their lives at risk. A group of giggling girls ambushed Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), causing him to jump out into on-coming traffic. Luckily, the car only grazed him, but he could have been seriously injured from these unrelenting fans. I guess Pattinson should be thankful the driver wasn’t anti-Twilight like some of these people:

While some of the actors themselves have been accosted, the anti-Twilight people out there have actually been harmed for their hate of this franchise. I have read three girls’ accounts of what happened to them or friends of theirs, while bashing Twilight. One girl was sitting with three friends on a dock by a river when a very deranged fan overheard them poking fun at Twilight. She proceeded to pick up a flare gun and shoot it directly at them, severely injuring one of the guys in the group, making him unable to move his arm. Another account is about how three fans “jumped” a girl for writing an anti-Twilight essay, resulting in this girl needing stitches because of the assault. The last one, and probably the most frightening of the three, is when a girl said that because the saga was taken too seriously, it should be destroyed. Proving her point, a nearby fan-girl left the table fuming. Later on that day, as the first girl was sharpening her pencil, the crazed fan came behind her with a shank and tried to slit her throat. I would like to stress that this is a book adapted into a movie and these fans are willing to go to jail and ruin their lives just because someone doesn’t like it as much as they do. However, it isn’t just the teen fans acting crazy; it’s the older women as well.

Some older women go too far with their obsessions, compromising their marriages, their integrity, and even their sanity. Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) was approached by an older woman and proceeded to take her panties off for him to sign. Other men have claimed that their wives love the books more than they love them. Some women have whole rooms devoted to their obsession and have to retreat there in order not to become depressed. They have even created a name for this: Post-Twilight Depression. It is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the mixed feeling of wondering awe and devastating sadness when a person finishes the last book of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn.” Fans are letting a series of fictional characters literally ruin their lives.

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 May the Fans be Ever in Pursuit

The Hunger Games is quickly gaining the fandom that Twilight and Harry Potter have achieved. There is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to see crazy fan stories throughout the rise of this series. However, since the movie was just released, it hasn’t had enough time for the crazies to come out. The actors in the movie have had some weird, and maybe a little creepy, encounters with fans, but not to the same extent as the other two franchises.

Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) is still getting used to the new attention being placed on her and is still confused when people start cheering when she walks into a room. “I still do the thing when they start screaming and I’m like, ‘Who’s here?’” She has said that fans follow her and kind of “creep her out.” One girl followed her home from the airport and confessed to sleeping there while waiting for her. Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) has gotten many marriage proposals and had some older women beg her to let them buy her coffee.

Like always, there are fans who like to dress up for the premieres on opening night (I might be one of those people, but I will never admit to it!). At the theater I went to, there were many people dressed up as various characters.  The other fans, who did not dress up, were begging for pictures with them. I’m not going to lie: we felt important. I mean, you know, the other people who dressed up felt important (not me, I would never dress up for a movie…).

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These franchises all have something in common: they make people do crazy stuff. No one really understands or can coherently explain why they like these books/movies they just know they do. There is one thing that I have learned though: Never, I repeat, NEVER tell a teenage girl that you don’t like Twilight. She WILL shank you. You have been warned.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Read it. Now.)

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Rating: 5/5

Cover art: 5/5  You have to read to understand the meaning of the bird (Mockingjay) and the arrow. The symbol is key in the plot of the book and that is why I think they did a fantastic job on the cover. It is simple, but also conveys so much in just one little symbol of hope.

Age Limit: 12 and up

Author: Suzanne Collins

Set in the future, Panem is the dystopian depiction of America that has fallen apart due to the rebellious nature of the Districts against the Capitol.  There are 12 districts in Panem and each district is responsible for a different product. For instance, District 12, the district in which the main character is a citizen, is known for mining. The capitol is full of vain and wealthy people that don’t know anything about working for their money except how to spend it next. The novel opens up on the life of Katniss Everdeen in the days prior to the Reaping.

Katniss lives in the part of District 12 that is known for producing miners, known as the Seam, and they are anything but rich. Katniss lives with her mother and her younger sister, Primrose, who plays a vital role in Katniss’ life. Her father died when she was young, but not before he taught Katniss everything he knew about plants and hunting. The fact that she knew even the slightest bit about plants and hunting for her food, saved her family from starvation. With a mother who is still grief stricken from losing her husband, Katniss became the mother figure of the family and provided for them. Even though going into the woods is illegal (and life-threatening), Katniss, along with her bow and arrow and her friend Gale, slips past the fence enclosing the district, and hunts in order to survive.

As mentioned above, the Reaping is a ceremony in which the Capitol, ensuring that the districts don’t try to rebel against them again, goes to each district, 1 through 12, and gathers every boy and girl, from the age of 12 to 17, into the square to pick the boy and girl tribute for the annual Hunger Games.

What is that, you ask? It is the “show” that the Capitol puts on every year in order to keep the districts from forming a rebellion against them as they once did. This is why there is no District 13 anymore. The Hunger Games takes each boy and girl tribute from each district (24 in all) and puts them into an arena together. You might think that is harmless enough, that maybe they are going to compete in some games. In a way, they are competing. Competing for their lives…for the Hunger Games is a televised fight to the death.

When first hearing about this book is 2010, I was a bit reluctant to read it. A friend was stubbornly trying to talk me in to reading it and I am too much of a reader to turn it down. I broke down and bought the book…And so the frenzy began. I was absolutely hooked. The (this is going to be an awkward description, but it’s the only way I can describe it) hard compassion that Katniss embodied was very relatable and it gave her a bit of realness that had the potential to capture anyone’s interest. She is hard against the world and her situation. She is trapped by the Capitol and the rules of this dystopian society, and also trapped by an emotionally devoid mother who barely takes care of her and her sister. She has so much resentment towards life. But she also has an unyielding compassion for those she loves. Her characteristics are so real and I love how Suzanne Collins didn’t force any unnatural emotions from Katniss.

Back at the Reaping, Katniss is hoping that she and the others that she loves, such as Gale and Primrose, names are not called. However her life is thrown thrashing to the ground when she hears Primrose’s name.

She, of course, can’t let her little sister go through this barbaric “show” for the Capitol’s convenience, so she volunteers to go in her place, which is a rare occurrence and is almost guaranteed suicide. So Katniss and a boy named Peeta Mellark are the District 12 tributes for the 74th annual Hunger games. May the odds be ever in their favor.

What next ensues is a myriad of emotions and determination. Katniss trusts no one and is lost in her own thoughts about the coming events. She is forced to be with the boy that could eventually turn against her, because, ultimately, there is only one winner. The boy and girl on each team could eventually be forced to kill the other. Katniss and Peeta’s relationship is one so full of a confusion that you would have to read the book to understand.

The Hunger Games is an easy read and hooks the reader from the very beginning. I don’t want to spoil anything that happens after the Reaping because what happens is a journey you have to take with these characters. I would (and have many, many times) recommend this to everyone. A wonderful dystopian novel captures the hearts of every reader, and leaves them wanting more of these wonderful characters’ stories.

Some characters and the productions from each district that are useful to know (on the Districts that don’t name the tributes, I will leave blank, but will still put the production that they are known for):

District 1: Marvel & Glimmer > Luxury Goods     |     District 2: Cato & Clove > Weapons

District 3: Electronics/ Explosives                            |     District 4: Fishing

District 5: Foxface (named by Katniss) > DNA     |     District 6: Medicine & Scientific Research

District 7: Lumber and Paper                                       |     District 8: Textiles

District 9: Food Processing                                           |     District 10: Livestock

District 11: Thresh & Rue > Agriculture                   |     District 12: Katniss & Peeta > Mining

With the upcoming movie, due to come out on March 23, 2012, the popularity of the book has skyrocketed! So hurry up and read it before the movie is released so you can be on top of things! The link to the trailer, if you haven’t seen it as of yet, is listed below. Pay attention to the whistle at the end, it is very important in the book.

Happy reading everyone!

“The Printed Word: Readable – Usable – Recyclable – Sustainable – Biodegradable”