Hungry for more?
Like Hobbits at the multiplex and red noses in winter, Katniss Everdeen has become something of a cinematic mainstay over the past three years and she's back on the big screen this week in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, the latest instalment in the mega-hit franchise.
If it's been a while since you saw the first film (The Hunger Games) or the second (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), chances are you could do with a little memory jog when it comes to the important stuff like what the heck is a mockingjay, anyway? And what's the beef with President Snow?
Luckily, we've put together this handy catch-up to make sure you're not left in the dark when the curtain goes up on Mockingjay - Part 1. Let the games commence...
This is The Capitol, aka the capital city of Panem, aka post-apocalypse America. Panem is a dictatorship divided into 12 Districts, ruled by the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland). District 13 was apparently destroyed during an earlier uprising. The 12 Districts are all poor and labour-oriented. The Capitol is strictly reserved for anybody who looks like a '90s Club Kid.
Every year, two competitors (or 'tributes') from each District are selected to take part in the Hunger Games. Think Battle Royale minus the school uniforms with a dash of Running Man. The event is televised throughout Panem as the tributes all attempt to kill each other. Like Celebrity Big Brother, there can only be one winner.
This is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). She's defiant, gutsy and has no idea how gorgeous she is. (Obviously.) Katniss lives in District 12 and harbours secret feelings for the hunky Gale (Liam Hemsworth), who she often illegally hunts with. They obviously like each other but neither will admit it because then we'd have no story.
When Katniss's sister, Prim, is selected to compete in the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. She'll be heading into the arena with fellow District 12-er Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who was kind enough to chuck her a loaf of bread once, meaning they're obviously MTB.
Katniss and Peeta are assigned their Hunger Games mentor, an alcoholic former tribute called Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). He has boy band hair. They're chaperoned by Effie Trinkett (Elizabeth Banks), who looks like an extra from a Katy Perry music video, and assigned a stylist, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).
Cinna has fun creating not-so-subtly defiant outfits for Katniss, including one that turns her into a human fireball. He sends her into the 74th Hunger Games arena wearing a pin featuring a mockingjay. The mockingjay is a crossbreed, a result of genetic tampering in the Capitol. It's going to be important, so don't forget it.
In the arena, Katniss survives the initial bloodbath. She befriends Rue, a young girl from District 11. Soon after, Rue's killed and, in her first act of defiance against the Capitol, Katniss covers her in flowers. Meanwhile, we see that Rue's death has incited a rebellion in her home, District 11.
Love Me Quick
Katniss discovers Peeta's hurt. She realises that playing up a star-crossed romance between them will win over the audience and earn gifts from sponsors, who are allowed to send helpful items into the arena. Katniss nurses Peeta and ends up kissing him. Somewhere, Gale smashes a vase.
Katniss and Peeta somehow manage to evade being killed by giant wasps, various bloodthirsty tributes and scary hellbeast things. They end up the two final tributes, but the games will only be over when there's only one tribute left standing. In a further show of defiance, Katniss and Peeta decide to poison themselves with berries, leaving the 74th Hunger Games bereft of a winner.
Luckily, a sneaky rule change means Katniss and Peeta are announced joint winners before they can consume the deadly berries. They return to District 12 as victors, to live in their own luxury village away from all the poor people.
After Katniss and Peeta's sort-of love affair, Gale's confused. Katniss is confused. Peeta is confused. Basically, everybody likes somebody they shouldn't and nobody likes anybody they should. Gale and Katniss are still obviously MFEO, but neither will admit it.
Making things worse, Katniss' sign of defiance against the Capitol has incited a rebellion. In District 8, the mockingjay is used as a symbol for the rebellion. A pissed-off President Snow worries that Katniss might actually become a beacon of hope for the rebellion. While plotting to eliminate her, he tells her that she needs to make the world believe that she saved Peeta because she loves him, not because she wants to defy the Capitol. As part of his divine torture, he makes her wear a wedding dress.
While visiting District 11, Katniss endears everybody to her by remembering Rue. In a sign of solidarity, the residents of Distrct 11 raise a three-finger salute, pledging their allegiance to Katniss.
Meanwhile, Katniss and Peeta play up to the cameras as a happy couple. It reaches a horrifying climax when Peeta lies live on air about getting married to Katniss, telling chat show host Caesar Flickerman that we got married... in secret.
Back in District 12, Peacekeepers (think Stormtroopers without the clumsiness) have taken over. Gale is whipped after attacking new Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread. It's bad.
Unconvinced by Katniss' show of affection, President Snow decides to chuck her back into the arena for the 75th Hunger Games, in which past tributes will compete. He calls it the Quarter Quell, which is nice and onomatopoeic. Her entire species has to be eliminated, he says. The other victors. Now, because of her, they all pose a threat. Because of her, they all think they're invincible.
Haymitch urges Katniss and Peeta to make allies in the arena as it will help save their lives. Katniss thinks it's a stupid idea as there can only be one winner anyway. Clearly, she's already forgotten she broke the rules last year.
Back In The Arena
The 75th Hunger Games kick off. Tribute Finnick Odair (a peacock, a total preener but he's the Capitol darling according to Haymitch) saves Katniss' life and becomes an ally, along with District 3's Wiress and Beetee, and District 7's Johanna Mason.
Scary stuff happens, including a deadly fog and killer monkeys. The tributes discover that the arena is a giant clock, which is pretty impressive, with each segment containing a different threat that's unleashed on the hour. (Weirdly, nobody wonders just how much money these insanely complex arenas cost to make.)
Katniss discovers that Peeta and the others made a pact to ensure that she survived the tournament no matter what she's the figurehead for the uprisings in Panem, even if she doesn't want to be. Understandably, this upsets Katniss a bit, and prompts her to reveal she actually does have some feelings for Peeta. Nobody needs me, says Peeta. I do. I need you, replies Katniss. Somewhere, Gale smashes another vase.
Beetee creates a special wire rig that will cause a power failure in the arena when it's struck by lightning. When the power goes down, an aircraft (called The Mockingjay, naturally) appears, extracting Katniss and whisking her away from the arena.
Katniss discovers that she's been saved by head gameskeeper Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who's secretly been heading up the resistance against President Snow. Katniss, you have been our mission from the beginning, he explains. The plan was always to get you out. Half the tributes were in on it. This is the revolution, and you are the mockingjay.
Gale turns up with even more good news District 12 has been destroyed. They're on their way to District 13, which does exist after all...
One problem where's Peeta?