BY MIRIAM KRULE
There are many shocking elements in The Hunger Games, the dystopic young adult series by Suzanne Collins—it is, after all, about kids killing each other. Once you let that sink in, though, you can absorb the craziest part of the trilogy: the characters’ names. Katniss Everdeen? Caesar Flickerman? Alma Coin? Collins has never explained how she came up with these names, leaving the books’ many fans to hatch their own theories.
The names can be roughly divided into two groups. Characters from the poor, depleted districts are named after plants or other earthy items; those from the regal capital have a Roman influence. The Roman-themed names play on Collins’ critique of imperialism—the nation of Panem gets its name from panem et circenses, or “bread and circuses”—while the plant names highlight the natural goodness of the books’ heroes.
While the names may seem as random as the reaping, I think there’s order in them. Below is my attempt to explain those that belong to the more important characters who either appear or are mentioned in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. They are listed alphabetically by first name.