The heroine of The Hunger Games is named Katniss? Really?

I haven’t read The Hunger Games books, nor have I seen the movie. I could be all hip and say I read the books when they were originally called The Running Man or The Long Walk by Stephen King, or saw the movie when it was called Battle Royale and was Japanese, but to be honest the fact that the story seems to be quite similar isn’t a big deal to me.  That happens all the time, and the old adage is that there’s nothing new under the sun.  If the next big thing was a story about a kid trapped somewhere by a big angry animal, I’m sure it could be compared to Cujo, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same thing.

However, I do have to stop and ask one question.  The main character in The Hunger Games…her name…it’s really “Katniss”?  Seriously?  And this passed an editor’s desk?  I’m reminded of the show Archer when Cheryl reveals that her last name is actually Tunt, and Archer says, “Come on, no one’s going to touch that?”  It also reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer and Marge are choosing a name for their first child; every one of Marge’s suggestions Homer turns into a taunt until she suggests Bart.  Homer begins going through the alphabet, “Art, Cart, Dart, E-Art…nope, I guess that name is fine!”

I’m sorry, I’m sure the books are wonderful.  Many people seem to think so.  I can’t imagine that something that popular would suck.  Just look at Twilight…er…ehm…uh.  Nevermind.  I just am not qualified to comment on the merits of the story.  But that NAME.  It would be like George Lucas naming his hero “Luke Far-Tripper”.  Could the author, who I assume is a wonderfully clever individual, really have not realized that her heroine’s name sounds like “cat piss”?  And were her editors that afraid to say, “hey, you know, this is great, but the name of the main character…uh, how about we change it to Katherine or Katy or, you know, something else?”  I guess so…

Anyway, I likely won’t go see the movie.  Despite what I said above, it does look terribly derivative of King and the Japanese gore fest.  Doesn’t mean I won’t watch it when it eventually hits Netflix, but right now, I can’t seem to care enough to pay $8 to see it, especially not with a main character whose name would make me giggle throughout the movie.


2 thoughts on “The heroine of The Hunger Games is named Katniss? Really?

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  1. It is a complete rip off of Battle Royale. The books (the first one) were decent. I actually enjoyed the first book and got bored with the rest. When I watched the movie which I was actually excited about, I was disappointed. It was boring and if you watch Battle Royale right afterwards, you realize how much was copied. The author never admitted that she copied, in fact stated she had never heard of it. It is more Battle Royale than The Running Man.

    1. Yes, I’ve heard it’s much more like Battle Royale than The Running Man, though I actually meant the original text version of The Running Man, which is quite different from the Arnold movie. The Long Walk, which King wrote a few years before The Running Man, also deals with this theme – in it, boys volunteer to go on “the Long Walk” which starts in Maine and goes down the eastern seaboard, and it never stops, not for rest breaks, not for bad weather, it just goes on till they drop. They have to keep a certain pace or they are killed. In the end, only one boy will remain and win “The Prize”, which is anything he wants for the rest of his life, though it’s hinted that the winners don’t live long considering the physical torment they have just lived through. While it’s not violent precisely, most of the same themes are there, and this was written in the late 1960s!

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