|Appearances||The Hunger Games|
|Portrayed by||Wes Bentley|
- "An unfortunate sentimental streak."
- ―President Snow, on Seneca Crane[src]
Seneca Crane was the head Gamemaker of the 74th Hunger Games and his third year as Gamemaker. During the Games, Crane gave into public pressure to allow two victors from the same district to win. However, President Coriolanus Snow disagreed with this ruling and Crane rescinded the rule change. When the two remaining tributes, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, threatened to consume the deadly nightlock berries at the same time and commit suicide, Crane reinstated the ruling, choosing to have two victors instead of none. Although his ruling was accepted, President Snow had him executed.
Crane is mentioned in The Hunger Games, but his influence on the events in the arena is clear. After the Games' conclusion, President Snow, upset that Crane allowed such a situation to occur, had him killed. Wes Bentley, the actor who played Seneca, said "He's just had success after success, climbing the ladder." In Catching Fire, Snow tells Katniss about Crane's death as an example of Snow's power and as a threat to her loved ones to ensure her compliance with what he wants. Later in the novel, while the Gamemakers are evaluating tributes for the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss hangs an effigy in the form of a dummy with a noose she made and paints "SENECA CRANE" with berry juice on its chest. This earned her a training score of 12.
The Hunger GamesEdit
In the opening of the film, he is seen being interviewed by Caesar Flickerman about his plans for the 74th Hunger Games and his third year into his career as head Gamemaker. He had a direct hand in managing the Games from the tribute parade through the Games' conclusion, and was present in the Training Center, when Katniss shot the apple out of the roast pig's mouth.
Throughout the film, Crane met with President Snow in the latter's rose garden to discuss the rising popularity of Katniss with the Panem television audience and Snow's need to keep her (and the districts) in line. After a meeting with Haymitch Abernathy led to Crane's initial change in ruling to allow two victors, Snow discussed the implications of the change with Crane and expressed his opposition to the change.
Crane isn't mentioned in the first book at all, and is first mentioned in Catching Fire, when Snow implies to Katniss that he had been executed for allowing two victors in the 74th Hunger Games.
Despite Snow's opposition, Crane decided to allow the two victors to live after they threatened to consume the poisonous nightlock berries and leave the Games with no victor. In the book it is never revealed how Crane died, only that his execution was ordered by Snow. Katniss made a statement when she hanged an effigy during her private session for the 75th Hunger Games painted with his name on it.In the film, Snow has Peacekeepers escort Crane to an opulent neoclassic room containing only an elegant bowl of deadly nightlock berries, locking him in. Although some suggested that he may have broke the glass and fell out to his death, or starved himself. However, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Plutarch Heavensbee stated that Crane chose to "stop breathing", implying he may have hanged himself instead.
Seneca Crane was a middle aged Capitol citizen. In the film, he sports a uniquely styled beard, shaved in an intricate design. He has dark, short hair, and has applied gel to the back.
Despite being the head Gamemaker in the Hunger Games, and the pleasure he showed in the dangers of the arena (such as his delight in seeing the mutations that were created from the dead tributes) as well as watching people die, Seneca Crane was not entirely evil and showed a degree of mercy by allowing both Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark to survive the Hunger Games. His sentimental streak ultimately got him executed. He seemed uncomfortable around President Snow, and did not fully agree with the way Snow ruled Panem but it wasn't until Katniss brought out the berries that would kill both her and Peeta that he finally decided not to go along with everything Snow told him. If anything, Crane's weird party-boy enthusiasm seemed quite naive both towards the grim citizens of the districts and the ruthless Capitol leaders who were orchestrating his Hunger Games. He was admired in the Capitol both for his role as Head Gamemaker and for his beard, a huge fashion statement.