This year's MTV Movie Awards will be bittersweet for fans of The Hunger Games. The final film in the beloved franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2, is up for three Golden Popcorns at the 2016 Movie Awards, including Best Ensemble Cast and Best Hero for Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen.
The nods won't come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the impact of The Hunger Games on pop culture at large over the past five years, but that doesn't make it any easier to process that this is the last hurrah for Katniss Everdeen, our Girl on Fire.
On one hand, Mockingjay, Part 2 was a satisfying end to an important and beautiful franchise. On the other hand, it's all over. Katniss's journey is done. We'll never again see Jennifer Lawrence rock that iconic side braid. We'll never hear Effie say the word mahogany in that way of hers. How terribly tragic is that?
It's not just that Katniss and her post-apocalyptic world have inspired so many others like it (Divergent, The Maze Runner, The 5th Wave, etc.) -- though of course, that demonstrates the kind of cultural impact The Hunger Games has had over the years -- or that Katniss Everdeen is a much-needed, interesting female hero. (Though, we're all about that.) The Hunger Games franchise works because it's honest with its fans. It's never been a franchise that acts like extreme violence and warfare just happen so that everybody can move on and start making out with the nearest Peeta.
It's a story about a girl who finds herself in the middle of an impossible situation, and does her best to rise to the occasion even while questioning the institutionalized authority around her. For Katniss, war isn't a means to an end; it's war. It's brutal and it's scary and it's heartbreaking. It's an important story, not only for young people, but for every generation.
And the the fans noticed. When MTV News asked Hunger Games fans why they loved Katniss ahead of the film's November 2015 release, they said things like, "she doesn’t know she can do so much," and "if Katniss could get through everything that she went through, then I can get through this," and "she is aware of her faults." (That sounds like Best Hero material to us.)
Not to mention that throughout its vise-grip hold on pop culture, The Hunger Games franchise has won nine fan-voted MTV Movie Awards and wracked up 23 nominations. That's a record surely worthy of a three-finger Mockingjay salute.
It all began at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, where The Hunger Games was up for a whopping nine Golden Popcorns, including Movie of the Year, Best Female Performance, and the coveted Best Kiss. Lawrence and Hutcherson may not have walked away winners for Katniss and Peeta's first lip-lock, but they both scored wins for their individual performances and their epic fight scene with Alexander Ludwig's Cato.
Elizabeth Banks also scored her first Movie Awards win for her incredible transformation into Effie Trinket. We're still not over her pitch-perfect delivery of "mahogany."
Then, in 2014, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took home the night's top prize, Movie of the Year. Hutcherson and then-newbie Sam Claflin accepted the award and poignantly dedicated their big win to their late co-star, the indomitable Philip Seymour Hoffman.
On top of their epic Movie of the Year prize, our dream BFFs, Hutcherson and Lawrence, once again took home the awards for Best Male and Female Performance, respectively.
Last year, Lawrence won her fourth Movie Award for her haunting musical performance in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. The somber song, titled "Hanging Tree," was a breakout hit, debuting at no. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in December 2014. Because whatever JLaw touches turns to gold, obviously.
JLaw told MTV News that she had "never sung in front of people or anyone" before recording "Hanging Tree" for the Mockingjay score. (We're not entirely sure if we believe her or not because she clearly sounded amazing.)
Only time will tell if Lawrence and cast of The Hunger Games end this chapter in MTV Movie Awards history on a high note, but Katniss Everdeen has already won the hearts of millions of fans around the world -- and she doesn't need a Golden Popcorn to prove it.
Though, if you want to give JLaw one final accolade for her incredible work as the embattled heroine, be sure to vote for her, and the entire Hunger Games ensemble cast, you have until March 20, 2016 to cast your vote.