by Jenna Mullins | Tue., Mar. 6, 2012 6:00 AM
And let the games begin!
The Hunger Games hits movie theaters in less than a month (we'll be livestreaming the premiere on Monday), and fans' nerves are already wound tighter than an arrow in Katniss' bow.
In case you're a newbie to the franchise, or you just need a refresher on who to dress up as when you hit a midnight showing, here's a handy guide to the pivotal characters in The Hunger Games—and the actors playing them. You know, for your convenience.
So, print it, laminate it, memorize it. It's Game on!
Portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss grew up in District 12 and used her hunting skills to become the sole provider for her family, so she's lethal with a bow and arrow. She is one of the two tributes from her District in The 74th Hunger Games. Katniss is strong, resilient and will stop at nothing to ensure her family's survival. In fact, it was her desire to protect her little sister that put her in the Games in the first place.
The other tribute from District 12, Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) is the quiet, smart and handsome son of a baker. Katniss and Peeta bond while preparing for the games, but there is a history between them makes the bond run deeper. His resentment of the Capitol and fondness for Katniss drives all his actions throughout the series.
The only person in Disctrict 12 history to have won a Hunger Games, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) is now a middle-aged drunken mess. As a previous winner, he must mentor Peeta and Katniss while they train for their own Hunger Games. Though he's rarely sober and appears to be worthless as a mentor, Haymitch grows somewhat fond of his tributes, and he turns out to be much more helpful throughout the Games then he initially appears.
Portrayed by Liam Hemsworth, Gale is Katniss' best friend and hunting partner. He's also the sole provider for his family, so he and Katniss spend most of their time together in the woods outside of District 12. Gale must watch his best friend fight for her life in The Hunger Games, which adds to his already deep hatred for The Capitol.
The main villain in the series, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is the autocratic ruler of all of Panem. At first he appears to be a gentle and quiet leader, he is soon revealed to be cunningly vicious and just plain evil. He believes in order in the Districts above all else, and The Hunger Games is the most important part of that plan. He's not prominent in the first book of the series, but he's front and center in the final two.
Primrose, or "Prim" as she is called throughout the series, is Katniss' sister and arguably the most important person in our main character's life. Portrayed by Willow Shields, Prim is the tribute chosen for the Hunger Games, but Katniss volunteers herself to save her sister. Prim is no hunter like her sister, but instead has developed a talent for medicine and healing practices, like their mother. Katniss promises her that she'll try and survive the Hunger Games.
She is the flamboyant chaperone for the District 12 tributes, and is responsible for making sure Peeta and Katniss attend all pre-Hunger Games activities. Effie (played by Elizabeth Banks) was born and raised in the Capitol, and while she is a harmless part of the sadistic Hunger Games, she is oblivious to the horror the Capitol brings to the Districts.
The head of Katniss' Capitol style team. Because style is important! Portrayed by Lenny Kravitz in the movie, Cinna is responsible for making sure Katniss makes an impression with her appearance, and he's one of the few Capitol citizens who Katniss respects and opens up to. He's smart, kind and plays a big part in transforming Katniss into the Girl on Fire.
The Head Gamemaker of the 74th Hunger Games. Seneca (Wes Bentley) is responsible for everything that happens in the arena. He's young, idealistic and wants his Hunger Games to be unforgettable.
A Capitol reporter who hosts pre-Games events and conducts all the interviews with the tributes before the Hunger Games. Think of him as Capitol's own Ryan Seacrest. (Portrayed by Stanley Tucci).
The 24 Tributes
Tributes are the names of the residents of Panem fighting for their lives in the 74th Hunger Games, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 Districts. Their ages range from 12 to 18 years old. According to the official rules, out of the 24 tributes in the arena, only one tribute survives and is declared a winner.
Now, got all that? Good! What do you think of the casting, spot-on?