As far as fictional badass heroines go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better or more beloved one than Katniss Everdeen. The “Hunger Games” trailblazer is obviously the central character of both the book and movie franchises: she’s the face of the rebellion, the spirited leader who was thrust into a world she never wanted to belong in but ended up saving and fighting for regardless.
But in a series that’s so rich with strong and fascinating characters, who else besides Katniss deserves to be recognized? We went to the "Hunger Games" Tribute bash in Los Angeles on Saturday (Oct. 31) to celebrate "Mockingjay: Part 2," and to ask diehard fans who they think the non-Katniss MVP of the franchise is. Below, fans state their cases for the secondary characters who deserve a shout-out.
[Warning: Some "Mockingjay: Part 2" spoilers ahead!]
Crystal Castillo — Effie
“She definitely showed who she really is on the inside towards the end of the series. And it’s really beautiful to see how she really cares about Katniss. And in her own way, even though she is from the Capitol, she really comes out and shows how much she really cares about [Katniss]. And I loved that in ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ she came out of her shell and tried to make the best of everything. So I definitely feel that Effie’s character developed really well.”
Dora Macias — Primrose
“I think Primrose Everdeen deserves a shoutout. I love you, Willow! She’s just a great character and she supports her sister, and I really aspire to be like her.”
Aryana Khalilzadeh — Peeta
“I feel like he motivated Katniss to do all the stuff that she did, and the things he said to her just made her the person… because in ‘Mockingjay: Part 1,’ she’s only thinking about Peeta and all the things he’s done for her. And she’s trying to get him back and repay him.”
Maria Ortega and Norma Raygoza — Finnick
“I feel like you see him develop a lot in ‘Catching Fire’ and then in ‘Mockingjay: Part 1,’ so I think he deserves a shout-out. I think he’s just a strong character. He’s a fighter. He has a great personality, so loving. And he chose to die for the rebellion and give his life for what he believes in.”
Maddie Kirkwood — Rue
“Because she drove Katniss to keep going and fighting for all that. She was behind Katniss, pushing her, even after she was dead.”
Tina Phan — Primrose
“I think that she’s just really there for Katniss and is her rock and that’s the reason why Katniss did what she did; the whole thing.”
Nathan Harounian — Effie
“I really think Effie deserves some recognition because she really has been there for [Katniss] all that time. She’s been there throughout her whole journey in the Hunger Games. She’s helped her get through a lot of stuff and she’s just been there for her, and that’s all you can really ask for. And even though she’s part of the Capitol, she really does care about these people, Katniss and Peeta. And she really loves them with all her heart, so I think she deserves some recognition.”
Jordan Blauvelt — Peeta
“I like Peeta because he’s just with Katniss the whole way. He doesn’t have much to offer, sadly, but he’s always backing her up.”
Liz Escalante — Haymitch
“Because he’s awesome. He’s been through [the Games] a lot of years ago and I think he’s amazing and he’s been guiding the tributes. I like him a lot. At the beginning, he was kind of mean to them, but then he changed and he was trying to protect Katniss.”
Florence Kizza- Boggs
“I feel like Boggs is very under appreciated just because he doesn’t appear until the third and the fourth film. But he really does his part to lead the squad going in, and at the end, he does what he does to push Katniss forward and be like ‘Katniss, do what you need to do.’ And he’s a good mentor and a good advisor for her.”
Karen Olea — Finnick
“Finnick, because he goes through everything from the first time when he was in the Hunger Games to the Quarter Quell again. And then in ‘Mockingjay: Part 2,’ he kind of sacrifices himself for everybody else. So he ends up dying — spoiler alert! — but he’s already gotten married to Annie and had a baby. He still does that huge sacrifice because he knows it’s for the greater good of everyone else. For Katniss to be saved. You hate him at first and then you get to know his story and it’s so sad.”
Ricky Duarte — Johanna
To be honest, I would say Johanna, played by Jena Malone. The things she says, like in 'Catching Fire,' when she faced off against the Capitol and got mad at the Capitol... the things she says are just pretty awesome."
Laura Schkolnick — Haymitch and Effie
“Haymitch and Effie, because they’re kind of like a tag team. They just want to help Katniss and Peeta win and survive. So I think that’s really nice. And how Haymitch got both of them to stay alive in the first one — that probably took a lot, and that deserves recognition.”
Kristal Galeana — Finnick
“Probably Finnick Odair. He’s a tough guy. His whole character is great, how he loves Annie and stuff. When he’s talking about Annie in interviews in ‘Catching Fire,’ I think that was so touching. And he’s so brave to go into battle right after his wedding.”
Tea Kingley — Cinna
“I think Cinna because Cinna designed all the costumes and he designed the Mockingjay suit that was really big to lead the revolution. He designed Katniss’ dresses, like the one that turned into the Mockingjay in ‘Catching Fire’ that really united the rebellion. His designs really did change the world.”
Clarissa Cueva — Primrose
“I think just because she’s so young and she’s had to witness so much, and that’s hard for someone who’s like 12. I think she’s just a really courageous character in the books. And even though it ends tragically for her, I think that she was an important part of it.”
Karlie Bixler and Jenna Wilson — Gale
“Gale was there from the beginning. He and Katniss are the original OTP. And I feel like even though we’ve seen a lot more about Peeta throughout the movies, Gale still has one of the most important roles. And he really has a special place in Katniss’ heart. And I think he’s definitely left an impact on her.”
“I think Gale kind of pushed Katniss, you know? To fight. I think that he influenced Katniss. I don’t think Katniss would be where she is now in the movies if it wasn’t for Gale.
“Hunger Games” fans, who’s your pick for the series’ non-Katniss MVP? Sound off in the comments!