The Hunger Games: Finnick Odair

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Mockingjay

Initially, I did not want to read The Hunger Games trilogy. Bad memories from reading another series about teenagers fighting and killing people meant I never wanted to pick up a book with such a premise again. But between the urging of a friend and my own curiosity, I gave in and read Collins’ books, determined not to like them at all.

That changed while I was reading Catching Fire.

For anyone who has read the series, watched the film, or cheated and read the Wikipedia files on the trilogy, they know that in Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta end up allying with other tributes from other districts during the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games. One of their new ‘teammates’ is Finnick Odair, a victor from District Four.

Known for his good looks – which send almost every female citizen in the Capitol into a swoon – Katniss dislikes him for his reported string of Capitol lovers and shallow character. And until he enters the arena, Finnick makes himself appear to be a genuinely dislikable ladies’ man.

In the course of the Games, however, he proves to be a noble and generous fellow. He even shows a deep sense of humor. After he, Katniss, and Peeta escape a poisonous fog, they are left with scabs on their skin as they heal from the effects of the toxic mist. When a sponsor sends the three tributes medicine to cure the itchy scabs, Katniss and Finnick are the only ones awake when it arrives.

They begin applying the ointment to each other and discover that, while the medicine eradicates the itching, it also turns their skin an awful shade of green. Katniss then decides to awaken Peeta, whereupon Finnick says they should both do it in order to surprise him with their new color, which makes their appearance hideous. They do manage to scare Peeta awake, and his reaction to their startling “new look” subsequently sends the two into fits of laughter.

It is the one scene in the entire trilogy which actually made me laugh out loud while I was reading it.

In Mockingjay, however, Finnick’s vulnerable side is revealed as he struggles with the knowledge that Annie Cresta, a damaged District Four victor he is in love with, is now in the Capitol’s power. I have to say that I hated reading about his death in that book. I had grown to really like him by that point.

Finnick’s presence in the final two books went a long way to softening my view of the trilogy. It is strange how a second tier character can become so interesting; Finnick’s swashbuckling chivalry, wit, and fun-loving attitude both lighten the hard moments in the books and furthers their point. If I had to choose only one favorite character out of the entire trilogy, I think it would be Finnick.

Later,

The Mithril Guardian

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About The Mithril Guardian

I like stories.  Whether they’re on film, in song, or in print, I always remember a good story.  They remind me of paintings.  People cannot see them without learning something.  So it’s a good idea to look at a story from as many angles as possible.  I can watch the same movie a million times and still I will learn something that I did not know before.  Thoughts on the Edge of Forever is where I get to focus on what I learned from stories; what was not obvious the first time, the second time, or the umpteenth time. Earlier posts are written in the form of letters, usually to specific characters, to point out what I saw in a particular story or heard in a piece of music. Some of those letters, though, are like letters to the editor. Why did someone write a story this way and not another? Would the story have turned out better if the writer had done something different? These ‘letters to the editor’ will probably never be answered by the writers - the characters certainly will not answer anything - but their contents are still up for debate. After all, unless you ask a question, you will never get an answer. Still, civil ground rules apply. Any foul language or other form of abuse will not be tolerated in Thoughts on the Edge of Forever. I mean, who wants to be around the guest at the dinner party who is being nasty? Practically nobody, since people go to a party to have fun, not to hang around a grouch. So let’s have fun! The Mithril Guardian
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