Books

The Hunger Games is 10 years old! Here are 10 things you might not know about the bestselling trilogy

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins' dystopic YA novel, turns 10 on Oct. 1, 2018.
Suzanne Collins attends the 2014 premiere of The Hunger Games: Part 1 in L.A. (Jordan Strauss/Canadian Press)

It's been a decade since Suzanne Collins published The Hunger Games, the first book in what would be become a bestselling trilogy, film franchise and worldwide phenomenon.

The dystopian tale follows a teenage girl named Katniss Everdeen, who lives in one of 12 oppressed districts controlled by wealthy residents of the Capitol. Each year, one boy and one girl are chosen from each district to fight to the death in a televised reality show called the Hunger Games. Katniss volunteers for the games in order to save her sister and unwittingly sets off a district-wide revolution.

To mark the 10th anniversary of this iconic series, here are 10 interesting facts about Collins's young adult books.

1. The idea for The Hunger Games came to Collins as she was flipping through channels on television, seeing young soldiers in war, juxtaposed against young people competing on reality television: "I was tired and the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way..."

2. Collins says she was drawn to serious subjects like oppression and war because her father was in the Air Force and insisted his children understand why war occurs, how it plays out and its consequences. 

3. Ancient Rome and the Gladiator Games were a major source of inspiration for Collins: "In my mind you need three elements to make a gladiator game: you need a ruthless, all-powerful government, you need people to fight to the death and you need it to be popular entertainment."

4. Another source of inspiration was the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. As the story goes, ancient Athens was forced to send seven boys and seven girls to Crete to be cast into the Labyrinth and devoured by a monster known as Minotaur.

5. When Gary Ross took on directing the first The Hunger Games film, he said, "I had so many people warn me that it could never be successful, not because of the violence or anything like that, but that no one would ever go to a movie with this kind of female protagonist. I disagreed. I loved making that movie for that reason."

6. The Hunger Games has been translated into 51 languages.

7. Suzanne Collins says that if she was forced to compete in the Hunger Games her special skill would be "hiding." Though, she does have some training in swordfighting. 

8. In honour of the 10th anniversary edition, Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany will be narrating the new audiobook.

9. Before writing books, Collins wrote for children's television shows, including Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Her first book was Gregor the Overlander, which became a five-part bestselling fantasy series. 

10. Together, all of Collins's books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.

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