In the world of "The Hunger Games," Tributes are given final rankings before heading into the titular tournament of death, graded by a bunch of holier-than-thou judges who don't actually know anything about how to survive the virtually unsurvivable event.
In our world, I'm about to do the same thing, except I'm the holier-than-thou judge, and I'm ordering all of the various Tributes we meet in "The Hunger Games" from worst to best.
Before we begin, note that (almost all) unnamed characters are off the menu. Sound the cannon in solidarity of the people who died too soon to receive names. Also, in many cases, preference is given to people who made it to the Quarter Quell, even if they're not as memorable as some of the 74th Hunger Games competitors; the fact that they lived through one round of the Capitol's horror show earns them higher placement.
With that out of the way, behold the standings:
I don't care who his parents are. He killed Rue. Automatically the worst.
The District 1 Career Tribute suffered one of the nastiest deaths of anyone in the 74th Hunger Games, virtually unrecognizable when Katniss discovered her ruined corpse. She scores points for a flashy exit, but loses tons for being bad.
Like Glimmer, points are awarded her for flashiness — this time in the form of throwing knives, her signature weapon, as sharp as her drive to win. Not sharp enough, unfortunately.
TIE: Seeder, Cecelia, Blight and Chaff
They're all lesser-known quantities than the previous Tributes, at least as far as our knowledge of them goes, but the fact that they survived one Hunger Games already pushes them past a few of these Careers who couldn't make it past one death match. Special shout-out to Chaff, who has one of the most Hunger Gamesy names of any "Hunger Games" character.
They're unnamed, but they're distinct enough to warrant placement on the list, especially the female Morphling who painted Peeta at the Training Center, and sacrificed her life for him in the games.
Returning briefly to some of the 74th Hunger Games competitors, some props are owed to Cato, one of the final three combatants. You feel a little bit bad for this Career Tribute in the end… not THAT bad, especially since it's him or Katniss/Peeta, but bad! Sad to see Alexander Ludwig leave the series so soon.
He was Rue's friend and he revenge killed Clove with two swift hits to the head. Pretty much a badass.
This Career Tribute from District 1, a former Hunger Games champion, drew blood by slitting Wiress' throat during the Quarter Quell — an act that was quickly repaid with an arrow to the heart.
You could swap her with her brother Gloss if you want, really; take your pick over which District 1 Tribute you prefer from the Quarter Quell era. She, like Gloss, was fierce while she lasted, and fierce enough to survive the 64th Hunger Games eleven years earlier.
Number one in the teeth rankings, and still pretty high where the greater roster of Tributes goes.
A little bit of a weirdo, but weird's good! Besides, she's played by Amanda Plummer, in a bit of masterstroke casting.
He's the last of the Tributes to die in the Quarter Quell, so that buys him a few spots higher than I would honestly like to give him.
If not for a little bit of poison, perhaps Foxface could have waited out the whole Hunger Games thing. It's a fairly peaceful way to go, all things considered.
How do you not love Mags, who sacrificed herself so that Finnick and friends could keep pushing forward with the rebel cause? One of the single most noble deaths in either of the two Hunger Games tournaments.
Outsmarting the Capitol has never felt so Wright. Jeffrey Wright, that is! Get it? You do? Okay, well, get this: Beetee is an awesome character played by an awesome actor, with an awesome way of breaking our heroes out of the Quarter Quell.
The Boy on Fire, as he was once described by Caesar Flickman, is one of the most important characters in the entirety of "The Hunger Games," but it's not because of his ruthless killer instinct or even his impressive survival skills. It's because of his pure heart — you know, when he's not a brainwashed representative of the Capitol, at least. Does he survive the games without Katniss? Probably not, if we're honest, but that's part of why we love the guy; he's better off baking bread.
The axe-wielding District 7 Tribute stands out as one of the most layered characters in "The Hunger Games," with a wicked attitude most of the time, but eventually shown as vulnerable and damaged after her time in Capitol captivity. Her struggle through PTSD near the end of the series feels all too real given the trauma she and all the other Tributes endured.
Have fun with your Peeta versus Gale arguments, folks. Finnick will be right over here in the corner, polishing his trident and looking absolutely stunning while doing it. He's even more really, really, really, ridiculously good-looking than Zoolander, and he has the killer instinct and rebellious cause to back it up. Finnick makes it out of both games alive, if not the series — but within the tournaments themselves, he's one of the top contenders on the board.
If not for her desire to link up with Katniss and have an ally in the fight, Rue could have easily survived the 74th Hunger Games, hiding completely on her own away from the Career killers. Instead, she died at the hands of Marvel (THE WORST), and galvanized Katniss in the process. Tragic as it is, Rue's death is arguably the most pivotal moment in the entire series, the one that fuels Katniss and pushes her closer toward full-on rebellion.
Is it cheating to toss Haymitch on here since we never actually saw him in the games? Sure, probably, but that's exactly how Haymitch rolls. The alcoholic mentor of Katniss and Peeta stands out as one of the best examples of the enduring damage the games can leave on its victors, but also the resilience and resourcefulness of these survivors as well. He's witty and wise, surly and mean most of the time, but warm and caring when the occasion calls for it. With a top-notch performance from Woody Harrelson, Haymitch is easily one of the most well-rounded characters in the entire series.
No surprise here. The odds were not in anyone else's favor when it came to snagging the top spot. Katniss Everdeen rules, and there are no further explanations required.