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The Tributes Of The Hunger Games Movies, Ranked

"The Hunger Games," the popular dystopian book series turned film franchise, presents a nation that forces 24 children to fight to the death in an arena once a year as a reminder of the war that split them into 13 districts. These children are called tributes, and the winning one is the victor. Tributes typically range from ages 12 to 18, though there is an exception made during the third Quarter Quell, or 75th Hunger Games, in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second film.

Each district is known for a particular industry, and that can play a role in how prepared children are for the Hunger Games. Tributes from Districts 1 and 2 (and 4 in the books) are called Careers because their districts train them for the Games. Others, like Districts 7 or 11, may have skills that help them but aren't necessarily trained for the arena. 

Over the course of the series, audiences are introduced to quite a few tributes, some that survive for a greater purpose and others that are killed within the first few minutes of their respective Games. Each one is known for their personality, their abilities, or even the impact the Games have on them. Prepare for a journey to Panem as we rank the tributes you should have your eyes on, especially as we venture back into the dystopian world soon with the release of "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."

12. Cato (District 2)

A member of the Career pack in the 74th Hunger Games, Cato (Alexander Ludwig) is the male tribute from District 2. He makes no effort to hide his personality or skills before the Games begin. In the book, he shows off his lethal force with spears in training, while the movie "The Hunger Games" depicts him using several different weapons. He even tries to fight another tribute because he thinks they took the knife he was using during a training session.

In the arena, he has no remorse. He makes it to the Cornucopia quickly in the film, staking his claim on a large sword that he brandishes throughout his time in the arena. Like the rest of the Careers, he does not hesitate to kill any other tribute that gets in his way.

It isn't until the end of the Games that the audience (and readers) see any type of humanity in him. When Clove is dying in the book, he is with her, begging her to stay alive. In the film, he holds Peeta in a headlock, battered and bruised by the canine mutations in the final act of the Games. He says that he knows he is "dead anyway" and didn't realize his chances of dying until then. Both of these moments humanize him slightly, helping us remember that, despite his ferocity, he is a child that was conditioned to be this way.

11. Clove (District 2)

Clove (Isabelle Fuhrman) is Cato's other District half in the 74th Games. She is well-versed with knives, able to throw them and hit her target every time, a skill she likely learned during her training for the Games back home in District 2. Like Cato, she comes across as lacking remorse as she kills other tributes in the arena.

The District 2 tribute is particularly sadistic in that she likes to taunt some of the others, especially those she sees as her enemies. When fighting with Katniss during the cornucopia feast, she describes how she will torture her before killing her, wanting to enjoy her actions and give the Capitol something to talk about. She uses her knives to make cuts on Katniss' face when she could simply kill her quickly, the way the other Career tributes do. 

Her lack of quick action is her downfall. She believes herself to be invincible, but when it comes down to it, she can't hold her own against someone like Thresh and she knows it. When Thresh is holding her against the Cornucopia, she screams for Cato, knowing she can't defend herself in this situation. Clove can talk the talk, but she can't always walk the walk, despite her intimidation attempts. This is particularly true in the film, as she is depicted as much smaller than her book counterpart. Her abilities and hubris put her towards the bottom of this list.

10. Thresh (District 11)

Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi) is the male tribute from District 11 in the 74th Hunger Games. He's seen as one of the strongest tributes and everyone takes notice of him. The Career tributes even try to recruit him for an alliance in the book, though he declines.

While not ruthless in the same way Clove and Cato are, Thresh does not hesitate to kill or let his emotions control his actions in the arena. During the feast at the Cornucopia, he overhears Clove talking about Rue's death while taunting Katniss and immediately lashes out. In the film, he holds Clove up against the sides of the Cornucopia, asking if she's the one who killed Rue. Clove denies it because it wasn't her, but Thresh kills her anyway, cracking her skull against the wall. This is tame compared to the source material, in which he uses a rock to crush her skull. 

Thresh is where he is on this list because of his callous ability to kill in the Games, compared to the rest of the tributes we're introduced to. He acts like the Careers in that respect. However, unlike the Careers, he does not kill everyone he comes across. After killing Clove, he lets Katniss live since she is Rue's partner. He sees it as repaying a debt since Katniss does everything she can to help Rue during their alliance and keeps her alive as long as she can. That humanity puts him above Cato and Clove.

9. Foxface (District 5)

Foxface (Jacqueline Emerson), the female tribute from District 5 in the 74th Games, stands out to Katniss because of her elusiveness. The name we know her by is a nickname given to her by Katniss. She sticks out to the District 12 tribute during the reaping, and then again in the Training Center with her knowledge of plants. The Gamemakers don't seem to believe she has the necessary skills to survive in the Games, giving her a training score of five out of 11.

While in the arena, Foxface proves her cleverness. She watches the Careers, learning how they guard their supplies so she can steal food as she needs it. When the Capitol provides everyone with an item they desperately need during the feast, she hides in the Cornucopia so she can immediately grab her bag and run. She uses her brain rather than her physical strength to stay alive. When she encounters Katniss at the start of the Games in the film, she runs away, her flight response kicking in as she tries to survive and making it clear that she is looking to avoid confrontation as long as possible.

However, her strategy only works for so long. She eats nightlock berries, which are extremely poisonous, and dies. Katniss speculates that she saw Peeta collect them and assumed they were safe to eat, even though audiences saw her studying plants during training time in the film. That decision determined her place on this list.

8. Johanna (District 7)

We are introduced to Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" when she is selected as the female tribute for District 7. To win her first Games, the 71st Hunger Games, she pretended to be weak, coming across as someone the other tributes didn't need to worry about. As the number of tributes left in the arena grew smaller and smaller, she revealed her true nature and earned her spot as a victor with the use of an axe.

Going into the Quarter Quell, Johanna hides nothing. She is particularly brash with her words regarding the situation and the Capitol's actions, upset that she has to fight for her life again. She is a part of the rebellion plot to get Katniss and Peeta out of the arena, staying with Beetee and Wiress until they link up with Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss. In the film, she yells about keeping them alive for Katniss, which confuses the District 12 tribute since she is not aware of the plot.

As a tribute, she is ruthless but protective of those she forms an alliance with, though she may not always see her allies in the best light. In particular, she doesn't seem to think highly of Beetee and Wiress, giving them crude nicknames because she thinks they are weird. Her strength makes her admirable, but her attitude toward her peers makes her a middle-of-the-pack tribute.

7. Wiress (District 3)

Wiress (Amanda Plummer) is the female tribute from District 3 in the 75th Hunger Games. While it isn't known how she won her first Games, it clearly took a toll on her mentally. During the Quarter Quell, Wiress comes across to the other tributes as a bit confused. She repeats herself often and Beetee typically finishes her statements. However, she is the one to figure out that the arena is set up like a clock, with a new threat every hour but only in the corresponding location of the clock.

Wiress picks up on cues faster than the rest. She is the first to realize the arena is a clock even if she can't communicate it in a way that everyone else would understand. Wiress isn't the most physically able tribute, especially compared to her allies Johanna and Katniss, but she uses her brain to alert them to a crucial aspect of the arena. Without the understanding that it's a clock, Beetee's plan may not come to fruition and the tributes might continue to suffer from the dangers lurking each hour. Wiress plays an important part, even if she isn't recognized for it.

6. Beetee (District 3)

Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) is one of the smartest minds in Panem. He is credited with many technological advancements, including inventing the wire that Katniss uses to destroy the force field surrounding the arena in the film. To win his first Games, he used his knowledge of electronics to electrocute the last six tributes, earning his place as a victor.

When he goes back into the arena during the Quarter Quell, he's part of the plot to ensure that Katniss and Peeta make it out of the Games alive. He plans to use the wire he acquires from the Cornucopia, which is placed there by the Head Gamemaker — who is also an agent for the revolution — to destroy the arena and make it possible for the tributes to make it out of the arena. He disguises his idea by telling the District 12 tributes that they are using the wire and timed lightning to kill two other tributes. 

Without his idea and his creation of the materials needed to execute it, the revolution wouldn't be able to move forward. He risks his life going into the arena just to make sure two tributes can get out. As with the actions of others on this list, it's a noble act that isn't always recognized.

5. Mags (District 4)

We're introduced to Mags (Lynn Cohen), the first victor from District 4, during the 75th Hunger Games. She originally won the 11th Games at age 16, and volunteers at 80 years old to return to the arena in place of Annie Cresta, winner of the 70th Games, for the Quarter Quell. 

Everything about Mags puts her toward the top of this list. She volunteers to go to the Games again, when she could continue living out her life in District 4, so a traumatized woman doesn't have to relive her worst nightmare. In both the book and film, she sacrifices herself in the arena so Peeta can survive, choosing to walk into poison fog and die what is presumably a painful death, with Katniss describing it as a "horrible dance." She acts in a completely selfless manner every time she's present on the page and screen.

Her nature is evident to those around her. Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) has nothing but kind words to say about her as he introduces Katniss and Peeta to the victors-turned-tributes before the 75th Games. The Girl on Fire chooses her for an alliance because she volunteers for Annie. Katniss isn't concerned about her physical abilities, noting in the book that she walks with a cane, but about her kindness. People connect with Mags' good nature and her selflessness, which makes her one of the best tributes of "The Hunger Games" franchise.

4. Katniss (District 12)

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) begins her time as a tribute with the compassionate act of volunteering in her sister Prim's (Willow Shields) place during the reaping. As she begins the 74th Hunger Games, she stays on her own, not making alliances right away and avoiding other tributes in her effort to survive. But Katniss is willing to fight for those she cares about, even if it takes her a moment to open herself up to others.

When she's forced to trust others, she chooses to align herself with those who may be overlooked, like Mags and Rue. With her archery skills, she has her pick of allies, especially when she goes back into the arena in the third Quarter Quell. Even when Haymitch tells her this, she chooses the tributes who many might consider underdogs. She isn't choosing allies for their abilities, but rather for their strength of character, what she sees in them, or how she relates to them.

After the Quarter Quell twist is announced, she asks Haymitch to promise to save Peeta the second time around. She knows her mentor put his efforts behind her the first time and she wants him to do that for Peeta so he can go home. She isn't clued in on the rebellion's plan, but she does her best to put Peeta first during the Games, even though it doesn't work out in her favor in the end when he's captured by the Capitol.

3. Finnick (District 4)

Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) is the youngest victor in the history of the Hunger Games. At just 14 years old, he won the 65th Games. In "Catching Fire," he's brought back into the arena for the third Quarter Quell. Haymitch describes him as a "peacock" in the film adaptation. Throughout Panem, Finnick is known as a flirt and is a popular victor with the Capitol residents.

Despite his playful personality, Finnick knows when to be serious. In the book, he teaches Katniss how to use a trident in exchange for archery lessons during their time in the Training Center. He is also part of the secret plan to get Katniss and Peeta out of the arena so they can be the faces of the rebellion. While Katniss doesn't initially select him as someone she wants as an ally in the Games, Haymitch gives him a gold bracelet, meant as a way to show Katniss that Finnick is who she needs to align herself with to survive. 

His noble efforts don't go unnoticed. He does everything he can to keep Katniss and Peeta alive during the Games, even resuscitating Peeta after he hits the force field barrier. He allows his mentor Mags to walk into the fog and save Peeta a second time. He willingly puts himself in this position, knowing he could be killed in his efforts, to help further the rebellion.

2. Rue (District 11)

Arguably the most tragic death of the franchise, the young girl from District 11 is one of the most kindhearted tributes we meet. In the Training Center, Rue (Amandla Stenberg) spends her time climbing around the infrastructure, even being the one to take Cato's knife in the film. In the arena, she hides among the trees, following tributes and getting the lay of the land without anyone seemingly noticing her.

Like Katniss, she doesn't let the Games determine her values. She cares for Katniss when she could let her die, which would improve Rue's odds of winning. This is especially true in the film, since Katniss is knocked out for several days due to the tracker jacker venom in her system. Instead, Rue watches over her and changes the leaves she is using to heal the District 12 tribute's stings.

She's also cunning. Rue knows who she wants to work with in the arena, and tracks Katniss for several days in the book before pointing out the tracker jacker nest in the trees to Katniss. Even after that, she continues to follow her, only making herself known when Katniss is making a fire. She shares vital information with Katniss as a way of forging an alliance and tries to do her part to ensure they are successful in their plan to destroy the Career pack's supplies. Her caring nature and ability to go unnoticed put her toward the top of this list.

1. Peeta (District 12)

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is at the top of the list. As the second male victor of District 12, the boy with the bread is a tribute in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games alongside Katniss. Throughout his time inside and outside the arena, he shows his compassion, strength, and love for those around him, as well as what he is willing to do to ensure their survival and happiness.

After reuniting with Katniss in the arena during their first Games, he is adamant that she doesn't leave to get the medicine he desperately needs. He doesn't want her to put her life on the line to save him, although she ignores his request. During the third Quarter Quell, he immediately volunteers in Haymitch's place to reenter the arena and protect Katniss. Rather than take something for himself into the arena, he takes a locket that holds photos of her family and Gale. He gives it to her as an object of solace and a reminder that she has people waiting for her outside.

Every move Peeta makes is in the name of helping someone else. He is confident he does not have a chance in the arena but believes he can help the girl he loves make it out alive. He chooses to use his time and energy to help someone else. Peeta is acting out of love, and there isn't anything more selfless than that.