10 Things You Need To Know Before Seeing Catching Fire

By Katey Rich 2013-11-21 13:52:38discussion comments
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Tonight the die hard Hunger Games fans will be flocking to midnight screenings of the new film, Catching Fire. But there's a chance that at least a few newbies will be wrapped into the bunch-- parents shepherding tweens, significant others doing their honeys a favor, or even someone who's seen Jennifer Lawrence's magnetic public appearances and can't resist the draw. It's for those people, who don't know Haymitch Abernathy from Claudius Templesmith, that we're here. Catching Fire may not be as dense as the Star Wars universe or, Lord knows, a Marvel after-credits scene, but there are some details and people you ought to know before jumping in blind for Catching Fire. Here are the 10 biggest things you need to know.



Panem
Panem is the name of the country that The Hunger Games takes place in, and appears to be what's left of America after a giant civil war and nuclear attacks. It is run by a central government located in The Capitol (implied to be somewhere near Denver), where the rich live lavishly and thrive off the goods and resources provided by the poorer other districts. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is the leader of Panem, and is as vicious as you'd imagine for a guy who allows kids to fight to the death for the nation's entertainment each year. His signature is a white rose, which explains why everyone's holding one in character posters.

The Hunger Games
A yearly event in which two teenagers are chosen from each of Panem's twelve districts to fight to the death inside an arena, which changes every year and comes equipped with fantastical threats, like mutant dogs or giant engineered tsunamis. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were the tributes last year from District 12, the poorest district in the country that's roughly equivalent to West Virginia. Thanks to a last-second rule-change (made only when Katniss attempted to help them both commit suicide), they became the first dual winners in history.
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