You know how in The Hunger Games, the thing that makes the games the most horrifying is how the Capitol treats it? They don’t focus on how 23 kids die each year, about how most of the survivors come back broken; if not physically, but mentally? About how their bodies are sold, and they’re viewed as more like toys than people who have been forced to kill, to watch people die?
How the Capitol focusses on the love story between Katniss and Peeta, not about how a twelve-year-old died, about how a boy was eaten alive by mutts, about how a girl had her head bashed in by a rock? They focus on the ‘star-crossed lovers’.
And I realize, we are, too.
You can’t search for anything Hunger Games related without finding an article about Katniss and Peeta. Most after-series fan fiction revolves around Katniss and Peeta being perfectly sane, completely happy, and the games are rarely mentioned?
We have started seeing it like the Capitol saw it. We don’t see as a brutal, horrifying ‘game’, where kids are ripped apart, forced to go through things that would give a grown man or woman nightmares? We don’t see the kids who died, who were sold; most of us see it as a love story.
One person proclaims ‘I’m Team Peeta!’ another announces that they’re ‘Team Gale!” This isn’t Twilight. It’s not meant to be a love story. It’s a story about war, basically, about how damaging it is. About how there are things you can go through and never recover from. It’s terrifying. And we don’t see it that way.
Some of us do, especially the younger ones. I read them when I was thirteen, and I was so horrified I cried when I read The Hunger Games and Mockingjay. Catching Fire is my favorite, because it was the least brutal. I saw how it was meant to be seen when I first read it.
Then I got older. I started getting caught up in the romance. When I read it next, I felt the romance, not the terror. But then I realized, It’s not a love story. But I’m, we’re, reading it like one.
We are basically becoming the Capitol.
And I think that’s pretty scary.