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The following are noted differences between the original Mockingjay book and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 films. As the novel's author Suzanne Collins was also one of the screenwriters as well as one of the film's producers, it should be inferred that all changes were approved by her. This page contains spoilers from both.
Please note: Try to organize changes by section and present them in close to chronological order.
There are generally a lot of differences that stem from the fact that in the book only things Katniss sees or knows about are ever told. Scenes like the ones where President Snow prepares his speech about the rebels or where he orders the bombing of the hospital thus are never in the book because Katniss cannot know about them.
- The extreme discipline of District 13 is toned down in the movie, for example the extremely strict food rations that are calculated to be just enough for a person's respective daily work schedule are omitted.
- Katniss' list of demands for becoming the Mockingjay is shortened in the movie. In the book she also demands to be allowed to go hunting with Gale. While she does go hunting with Gale in the movie, it happens simply as a result of him requesting it, not as a result of her demands.
- Katniss' chained-up-in-the-dungeon prep team is missing from the films completely, instead replaced by only Effie Trinket who is not a prisoner. In the book, Effie's whereabouts are unknown until the very end, where she appears as part of the team that preps Katniss for what was supposed to be the public execution of President Snow.
- The known executions of all of the stylists and prep teams who participated in the Quarter Quell, including Portia, are not mentioned or seen despite the fact that Katniss was told that that the executions were broadcast live early on in the novel.
- Castor and Pollux are supposed to be identical twins, but in the movie, they appear to be fraternal twins instead.
- After Peeta warns that District 13 will be bombed on the broadcast, Peeta is knocked out and the broadcast cuts off almost immediately in the movie, whereas in the book this scene goes on longer, with the camera being knocked over and Peeta's blood splattering on the floor. This was probably altered by filmmakers to make the film less violent. His warning is also more explicit than in the book, as he directly states that the Capitol is going to bomb District 13 rather than simply saying they will be "dead by morning".
- In the book, Peeta reveals in the interview that Chaff was killed by Brutus, and he killed Brutus. In the film he does not mention them.
- Upon leaving the bunker after the bombing, Katniss is greeted by two dozen roses in the book. In the movie, there is a whole carpet of them.
- In the movie only Katniss has a breakdown after the flower incident, in the book Finnick has one as well.
- In the book, Pollux uses a twig to write the word "SING?" in the dirt, asking Katniss to sing. In the movie, he instead taps his lips and points to Katniss, prompting her to sing.
- The whole rescue mission for Peeta and the other victors is majorly modified from the book in the film. In the book, the whole mission is performed off-screen. There is no communication at all with the rescue team in the book. In the movie, the whole event is on a video-feed. The broadcast that is supposed to act as a distraction is not live but recorded in the book, and Katniss also has a (though short) part in it. The videochat between Snow and Katniss during the rescue mission does not take place in the book.
- Johanna's scenes with Katniss were cut entirely, reducing her to only a few appearances. In the second half of the novel, they attempt to train together in order to be sent to the Capitol, which results in Johanna failing due to her post-traumatic stress disorder that came about after her torture in the Capitol. This is not included in the second part of the film adaptation.
- In the novel, Katniss is made to train herself for the assault on the Capitol alongside Johanna and cannot be sent on the mission until she completes training. In the second part of the film adaptation, after being told about a flight headed to District 2 by Johanna, Katniss illegally boards the flight and leaves District 13 against Coin's orders.
- Enobaria is not part of the Mockingjay deal Katniss makes with President Coin, and not even mentioned in Part 1 at all. She is seen in Part 2 as part of the surviving victors who Coin asks about making a Special Hunger Games with Capitol children.
- In the book, Beetee explains to Katniss that he can walk, but it is easier for him to use a wheelchair because he gets tired quickly. In the film he does not say it, leaving the impression that he is paraplegic as a result of the injuries he sustained at the arena.
- In the book after Peeta is knocked out, the doctors bring in Delly Cartwright to help him. Part 1 has Katniss watching as Peeta struggles to get out of his restraints. Part 2 has Prim talking with Peeta instead of Delly.
- Beetee and Gale discuss their plans of building a bomb (which later might have killed Primrose Everdeen) in the hovercraft to District 2, instead of right before leaving in District 13. Also, Katniss goes to District 2 first in the book, and then Gale follows afterward. In the movie, Katniss and Gale go to District 2 at the same time.
- In the book, Leeg 1 is killed by a lizard mutt and Leeg 2 is shot in the head by a metal dart. In the movie, 2 injures her leg and stays behind in an abandoned building with Leeg 1 tending for her. The building is subsequently destroyed by Peacekeepers after an intense firefight ending with the Peacekeepers firing rockets into the building, killing them both.
- The movie has the Capitol frequently broadcasting reports on the ongoing battle caused by the rebel invasion. Once Snow does a speech dismissing the supposedly dead Katniss, the signal is hijacked by a transmission by Coin.
- In the novel, Katniss is forced into the crowd of Capitol refugee adults and children in front of Snow's mansion when the Rebels forcefully and unexpectedly present themselves during the invasion of the Capitol. She avoids being swept under the panicking crowd by grabbing onto a rope of a flagpole and raising herself above everyone else. In the film, the rebel invasion is sudden and much earlier, which forces Katniss and Gale and many refugees towards Snow's mansion. Instead of a flagpole, Katniss climbs onto a Capitol military vehicle and assesses the scene of panicking refugees, particularly children, who cry as they are forcefully placed before the adults alongside one another.
- The girl in the yellow coat who notices Katniss in disguise was supposedly shot after her mother dies, but in Part 2 the girl's mother dies and is not shown, but the girl is seen crying over her mother's body, and is not seen dying herself.
- In the book, Katniss only has one arrow in her quiver which Gale gives her, to represent the last shot of the war, which she uses to kill Coin. In the film, Katniss has 6 arrows in her quiver.
- In the book, after Katniss kills Coin, Snow is seem laughing and coughing up blood, and is later found dead, although it is unclear if he was trampled to death or choked to death of his own blood. As that could be too graphic for the film, it plays out differently. After Katniss kills Coin, Snow roars with laughter, but the only blood seen is residue from inside his mouth (he doesn't cough it up, it's just there). As Katniss is dragged away, Snow can be seen being pulled down from his stake by the crowd and vanishes among them, so it can be assumed that he was beaten to death in the ensuring riot.
- Due to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Plutarch does not interact with Katniss to inform her that she is going home after she had murdered Coin, as well as his speech about a changing Panem. Instead, this information is relayed to Katniss by Haymitch, who reads a letter Plutarch wrote to Katniss because he was unable to see her in person. Also, in Part 1, instead of Plutarch and Fulvia showing Katniss Cinna's Sketchbook, it was said in the film's audio commentary that Philip died before that scene was shot, which is why Effie shows the sketchbook to her.
- In the novel, the epilouge takes place 15 years after the events of Mockingjay, and Katniss and Peeta's children are playing together, her daughter likely in her early teens while their son is growing out of his toddler stage. In the film, less time appears to have passed, as their children are much younger.
- In the book, Coin's death takes place in front of the President's mansion. In the movie, it takes place on the Avenue of the Tributes.
- In Mockingjay, Katniss and Finnick see Peeta's second interview together in the hospital. Katniss waits for Gale to talk to her about it, but he never does, causing a fight between the two later. In Part 1, Katniss and Gale see the interview alone together in the cafeteria after hunting. Gale sparks an argument between the two by showing no sympathy for Peeta after his deterioration because he believes that Peeta was acting cowardly to say what he said in the interview.
- In Mockingjay, Katniss comes up with the line "13 is alive and well and so am I," but cannot get herself to finish it when speaking. In Part 1, Katniss is seen going above ground with her crew as Effie feeds her the line. Once above ground, Katniss does not voice the line.
- In Mockingjay, Katniss's first conversation with Peeta after the strangulation happens after Finnick and Annie's wedding. In Part 2, it happens before the wedding.
- After Katniss goes back to live in District 12, Greasy Sae and her granddaughter come to District 12 and Greasy Sae cooks for Katniss. In the Part 2 movie, this does not happen.
- In the book, Gale and Beetee design the hummingbird trap in District 13 before they go to District 2. In the movie, they do it on the ride to District 2.
- Katniss and President Alma Coin's relationship in Mockingjay - Part 1 is vastly different than how it is depicted in the novel. In the novel, Katniss's trust in Coin lasts briefly before she begins to sway on her own, which causes the collapse in her and Coin's relationship. In the first film, Coin is depicted as being much more sympathetic towards Katniss and the two are not at odds with one another at all.
- This alteration of President Coin's character was a move on the filmmakers part to divert the anticipation of those who had not read the book(s). Coin's death was a surprise for many readers, and the filmmakers wanted to maintain that uncertainty so as not to ruin that surprise for audiences.
- Many characters death sequences, particularly that of Squad 451, were altered. A prime example was that of Finnick, who was decapitated by Lizard mutts in the novel. In the film, he is pulled back down into the sewer grounds after attempting to escape with the rest of the remaining Squad. The mutts begin to maul him as he screams Katniss's name; she activates the bomb within the Holo and drops it in, sparing Finnick the agony of being mauled alive while simultaneously killing him and the mutts. In the novel, Finnick's death is sudden. This change in the way he died was likely the decision of the filmmakers who wanted to maintain a certain film rating as decapitation would have been much more violent for young movie goers and would have likely resulted in the film being given an R rating.
- Nina Jacobson, the producer of the films, stated that most of the death scenes were altered for the sake of maintaining an ongoing tension.
- During the battle of the Capitol, the rebels attack and kill numerous Capitol citizens though their targets were Peacekeepers amongst the moving refugee crowd. In the novel, Katniss spots a little girl trying to wake her dead mother who was mistakenly killed by the rebel forces. Seconds later, Katniss watches in horror as the little girl herself is unfortunately gunned down. As with many other alterations, this take from the novel was depicted differently in the film at the expense of the filmmakers. In the film and immediately after the rebels begin to flood into the Capitol, Katniss looks around at those stuck between the crossfire and sees the little girl trying to wake her mother. The little girl is not killed like in the novel, though her fate is subjective as Katniss jumps over a barrier and an explosions rocks nearby where the girl was spotted.
- Director Francis Lawrence stated in an interview that most of the violence of the battle of the Capitol had to be "watered down" a bit as he and the studio behind the franchise believed that most parents would have walked out of the theater with their children the second they saw such violence.
- Most of the pods depicted in the novel during these scenes do not appear in the film adaptation as the filmmakers considered them to be too violent and time consuming. These included the pod that initiated the collapsing of Capitol streets and the boiling pod, both which killed Peacekeepers and innocent Capitol citizens.
- The bombing of the Capitol children is not as gruesome as depicted in the novel. In the novel, Katniss described the first wave of parachute explosions resulting in many of the children dying and with their bloody "undersized body parts" scattered all over the place. For obvious reasons relating to the MPAA rating system, filmmakers altered this take to show a briefly dazed Katniss emerging from her own haze and realizing the trauma inflicted. Another alteration was that of the second bombing, in which Prim was killed. In the novel, Katniss is taken by surprise when a second wave of explosions obliterate the medics and surviving children as well as any Capitol citizen and Rebel individual. The second wave of explosions cause an inferno to consume Katniss, igniting her completely and her moving blindly and desperately to shake off the flames before falling into an unconscious state. In the film, Katniss is thrown back from the explosion and is instantly knocked unconscious with sparse flames beginning to consume her outfit that Tigris had provided her with.
- In the novel, Coin does not give a speech to Panem at Snow's execution--she is greeted by cheers from the crowds who have placed their faith in her for president.
- This alteration was said to be a last minute idea during the scriptwriting process as the filmmakers wanted to finally let audiences see the manipulating and artificial persona of Coin before she is executed by Katniss, thereby providing reason for her murder.