Considering the entire Hunger Games series focuses on children being forced to kill other children, it isn’t exactly surprising that we get a few absolutely brutal moments along the way. These films had no chill.
Whether they’re through direct actions in the Games themselves, accidental death at the hands of Katniss’ resistance or a result of Snow’s brutal government, the series presents us with a lot of devastating actions that shock viewers to this day. We’ve gathered together ten of the most brutal deaths in The Hunger Games movies.
Despite Katniss herself only finding out his name retrospectively, Marvel’s death was a particularly gruesome one. As a career tribute, Marvel had spent his entire life leading to this moment, forging an arrogant, tough exterior that could be used to intimidate his opponents.
He got off to a strong start, immediately plunging a spear through the heart of a girl from District 7 and slashing the throat of a guy from District 8. Eventually, once Katniss realized his direct hand in the death of Rue, he gets an arrow straight to the chest.
9 President Snow
As the primary antagonist of a four-film spectacle of Hunger Games’ stature, we knew President Coriolanus Snow was destined for doom eventually. His tyrannical rule was pretty much the initial stimulus behind every death on this list, but when Katniss was given the chance to execute him at the end of Mockingjay, she went for the hidden evil of Coin instead.
Snow was treated to an arguably more brutal death anyway, coughing up blood as he was crushed by the chaotic crowd that formed in the panic.
With saving Prim being Katniss’ primary motivation for entering the Games and kicking off the whole series of messy affairs that follow, the tragedy of Prim’s gruesome fate became even more poignant as the series came to a close.
Prim’s own spirit and determination to help and heal those around her, we (and Katniss) last see her as she sprints towards an injured child, only for a second wave of bombs to hit. Prim is killed, and as a result, Katniss completely loses her voice for days due to grief. This one has the double-barrel hit of being physically and emotionally brutal.
One of Katniss’ main foes in the 74th Hunger Games was 15-year old District 2 career tribute Clove. She had knife throwing accuracy to parallel Katniss’ bow and arrow shooting, and a distinctive bloodlust that she masked with fake sweetness during her interview.
When Rue’s death is announced, Thresh thinks Clove was responsible and throttles her against the Cornucopia. When he smashes her head against it, her skull cracks and she drops to the ground, only to die slowly with her eyes and mouth open and fingers slowly closing.
We never learn much about this District 5 tribute; not even her real name. Her main strength was her intelligence and analysis, so at the Cornucopia, she simply runs away, bumping into Katniss with no attempt to fight.
She ended up coming fourth in the entire Games but met her maker when she stole and ate Peeta’s poisonous berries. There is an interesting theory that Foxface actually used these berries to commit suicide, with eagle-eyed viewers noting that her extreme intelligence suggests she knew exactly what the berries would do.
Everyone knows the heart-breaking story of Rue, the 12-year old from District 11 who’s death sparked Katniss’ revolution and remained part of her fight in every film after her death. Katniss found Rue trapped in a net and watched as she caught Marvel’s spear directly through the abdomen.
As we know, Katniss avenged her immediately but was completely helpless as she watched Rue die. Katniss sang to Rue in her final moments, and the Mockingjays soon picked up the song and relayed it around the entire arena. A moving few seconds which stemmed from a truly harrowing moment.
Cato was the strongest, most powerful and most arrogant tribute in the Games. He was a volunteer from District 2 and ended up being Katniss’ main rival throughout the first games. He referred to himself as vicious in his interview, and proved it in the Cornucopia, immediately involving himself in the action.
He went on to lead the career tributes and was Peeta and Katniss’ final fight as the film came to a close. Just before his death at the hands of the muttations (and Katniss’ mercy arrow), he seems to repent slightly, stating that the Capitol had turned him into a pawn raised to kill. This glimmer of sympathy makes his brutal demise even more shocking.
Despite being the youngest winner of the Games in history, Finnick finally met his match on the way to President Snow’s mansion at the hands of the muttations. He had come from District 4 and was mentored by Mags, the winner of the 11th Games (and tribute who eventually died when she sacrificed herself volunteering in place of Finnick’s wife, but that’s another story).
After her death, Finnick remained shook up until his own. Not unlike Cato, he was dragged down into the tunnels and devoured by the brutal mutated dogs, and Katniss was able to provide him a quicker, but no less sad, death.
Thanks to his unwavering support of Katniss, Cinna became a fan favorite character within his first few moments on screen. He styled her and helped her prepare for both the 74th and 75th games, but couldn’t get any further than that.
His death was an intimidation tactic, carried out by Peacekeepers just as Katniss was being taken into the 75th Games. They beat him with spiked gloves until they drag his bloodied body out for interrogation. It seems like Cinna could have come back at any moment considering we don’t see him die on screen, but his death during interrogation must have been more real than we thought.
Alongside Marvel, Glimmer was a career tribute from District 1 with a tendency for brutality and arrogance. When Katniss is stuck in a tree waiting for the career tributes to give up, she receives the most brutal death in the Hunger Games franchise. Katniss cuts a tracker jacker (sort of like aggressive, deadly wasps) nest and allows it to land amongst the group.
After being stung persistently, she eventually collapsed, moaning and twitching while hallucinating from the sting of the terrifying mutated monsters. When Katniss came down, she was in a coma, unrecognizable due to the swelling of her face. For a film aimed at teenagers, this was an incredibly graphic way to go.
NEXT: The Hunger Games: D&D Alignments Of The Main Characters