In Hunger Games 2, President Show Did His Best to Save Tributes' Lives

In Hunger Games 2, President Show Did His Best to Save Tributes' Lives
Image credit: Lionsgate

Believe it or not, President Snow actually prevented the tributes from dying in the 75th Hunger Games — or, at the very least, he tried his best to save some of them.


  • The Hunger Games ’ tributes’ starting platforms were typically surrounded with explosives to kill anyone who would step off before the start of the Games.
  • In the Third Quarter Quell, however, there were seemingly no measures preventing the tributes from leaving their platforms prematurely.
  • President Snow feared that some ex-champions might try to finish the Games immediately on their own terms and tried to prevent these early casualties.

In the Hunger Games franchise, President Snow largely poses as the ultimate heartless antagonist. It’s especially true for his later version since The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes revealed his human side, too.

Snow used the Hunger Games to establish fear and dominance in Panem and cared little for his tributes’ lives. Or did he?

Hunger Games Had Certain Limitations

Seeing how the Hunger Games were the show of the Capitol’s power over the Districts, it was crucial for the organizers to ensure a strict protocol is followed. This included preventing tributes from going off the rails at any point in time, and the ones who tried to do it were severely punished, as it happened with Haymitch Abernathy.

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The Hunger Games could get as brutal, chaotic, and unregulated as it gets, but not before the Capitol would allow that. As we learned in the first movie, the tributes’ starting platforms were surrounded by landmines and other scary devices to make sure none of the competitors would get the advantage by stepping off early.

It’s safe to assume that securing the starting platforms like that was a long-practiced technique on the Capitol’s part — and still, President Snow made an exception once.

Third Quarter Quell Was Very Special

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The 75th Hunger Games (the second movie) were different from all the previous Games in many ways. The first difference is one the nose: it was the Third Quarter Quell, meaning that these Games were special. Second, instead of choosing new tributes, the 75th Hunger Games brought back previous Games’ champions.

But the third distinction was much more subtle: the Third Quarter Quell didn’t restrict the tributes’ premature movements. The starting platforms were surrounded by water this time which eliminated the possibility of landmines, and the water wasn’t electrified since Katniss touched it safely before the timer ran out. That’s not all.

Katniss and Peeta were also specifically not warned about stepping off their platforms before entering the Arena, unlike in the 74th Hunger Games. But why?

President Snow Saved Tributes’ Lives

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Most likely, the organizers of the Third Quarter Quell wanted to add a little twist: if any tribute tried to get an early advantage, they would have indeed received it. Nothing was stopping the competitors from leaving their platforms before the timer ran out and grabbing the loot first. But it must have been allowed by President Snow.

The 75th Hunger Games employed the previous champions who were furious about having to fight to death once again after having won the Games already, and the Capitol was right to assume that at least some of them might try to immediately step off their platforms to flip President Snow off and leave the Games on their terms.

To prevent such a public humiliation, President Snow ordered the usual precautions to be removed, thus attempting to save the rebellious tributes’ lives. Was his motivation noble in any way? Absolutely not. But still, he actually tried to prevent the casualties that could be avoided at that point in the Third Quarter Quell.