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Wednesday
Sep232015

100 Days of MJ Week 7 Giveaway #SSTHG

This week in our ongoing 100 Days of Mockingjay celebration and countdown to Mockingjay Part 2 we're going to discuss shipping and fan fiction within The Hunger Games Universe. Read Amy's fabulous Shipping 101 post here and "A Celebration of Everlark Fanfiction" here

Shipping is a huge part of any fandom, and this week you'll have a chance to tell us or show us what pairing is important to you within The Hunger Games. Is Everlark your everything? Are you crazy for Hayffie? This week you can make an edit, take a picture, write something out and just tell us about your OTP and what you love about them. Just use the hashtag #SSTHG across social media this week (and it never hurts to tag us) and we'll post our favorites. 

Even if you aren't a shipper, you can enter our weekly giveaway. Posting on social media is NOT required to win, nor is it part of the giveaway. It's just for fun! To enter the giveaway you must complete one or more of the options listed on the widget below. That's it! This contest is open internationally and runs today, September 23rd - Tues, Sept 29th at 8pmET.

Prizes are:

1 Mockingjay graffiti hoodie by PanemPropaganda from our newly launched ShopPanemPropaganda store.  Go check it out, we have some amazing stuff!

1 Black Mockingjay pin. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday
Sep232015

The Star-Crossed Lovers From District 12 - A Celebration of Everlark Fanfiction

 

Guest post by Caryn aka papofglencoe on tumblr. Artwork by the talented loving-mellark

It’s an acute sort of pain, shipping the star-crossed lovers from District 12. In the world that Suzanne Collins created, literally everything conspires to prevent Katniss and Peeta from surviving, falling in love, and getting their happily ever after. They’re pitted against each other in not one but two death arenas and are thrust into the middle of a war. They are used and physically and emotionally torn apart by sadistic and warring factions. At every turn, they are encouraged by the conditions of their lives to leave each other behind, kill each other, forget each other, let each other go.

But they can’t. And they don’t. They stay with each other, protect each other. They claw their way through the depths of hell for each other. Because that’s what they do. And somehow, despite the fact that the odds are never in their favor, their love endures. It withstands every test thrown at it. It is tried by fire, and it emerges fortified.

If that’s not real love, then nothing is.

There is no question that The Hunger Games grapples with issues that have far-reaching sociological and ethical implications. It is as much a scathing critique of war as it is a commentary about child abuse, the frivolous excesses of our society, and the depths to which media will go to manipulate and warp our sense of reality. Above all, though, it is fundamentally a story about love in all its forms.

Love is the spark that starts the rebellion. Love is the shot that ends the war. Love is the fire that will burn forever.

What begins with a single act of courage to save her sister becomes a tale about how one person can save her people. With her every step of the way is the boy with with the bread. From the beginning, Peeta’s kindness and compassion give Katniss the hope to live another day. His strategy, which is nothing more than an honest effort to love and protect her, galvanizes her as a symbol. His powers of persuasion move and inspire her. His words of reason reach her when no one else can. And, when he returns to her, it is his unwavering loyalty, tenderness, and love that bring her back from the brink. Long before she is willing or able to accept what her feelings for Peeta mean, they are there, real and irrevocable.

To be star-crossed is to be simultaneously thwarted by fate but also predestined. Every hurdle thrown in Everlark’s way is only a temporary impediment to something that “would have happened anyway.” Ultimately, no matter how much Katniss may have resisted acknowledging it, she needs Peeta to survive, and he needs her. They are two magnets drawn to each other. In their unbreakable attraction and their refusal to part, they represent the “hope against hopelessness we often feel in life, brightness in the dark, and the endurance of a real, true, complicated but enduring love.” (myusernamehere)  

Whereas star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet meet a tragic end and 1984’s Winston and Julia sell each other out to save their own skins, Katniss and Peeta fight against the odds for each other, stay true to each other, and win. peetasallhehasleft notes that, “They don’t know the outcome, that don’t know how it’s going to end. So by them choosing to bridge the gap, it’s them saying that, despite what’s happened, what is happening, and what will happen, I still choose to make this journey with you, regardless of how it ends.” Theirs is a hard-fought, bittersweet victory that leaves them scarred and damaged, reassembled facsimiles of their former selves. But their journey represents every great love that refuses to be ravaged and wasted by time and experience. It is their insistence on growing together and not apart that inspires hope and adoration.

It’s painful enough to have your OTP put through the ringer, continually battered and beaten. Factor in, then, the exquisite agony of being evasively told that they “grow back together.” After seeing Everlark fractured apart and warped into mutt versions of themselves, we are denied the joy of seeing them heal. At the end, the shutters are finally closed on our prying eyes. Katniss gives us, as her audience, just enough information to assure us that she and Peeta are fine, but she finally has the power to keep the sacred details for herself. And she does.

It is this unknowing that brings so many writers to the world of Everlark fanfiction. Although it is certainly not true for all of us, for many of us, the appeal of reading and writing Everlark fanfiction begins with a dissatisfaction about not knowing. How did Katniss and Peeta come to grow back together? What did their lives look like after the war, between “real” and the meadow? The questions rapidly spiral out from there.

One of the reasons The Hunger Games provides such rich soil for exploration is the limitations of its narrative- or, more specifically, of its narrator. Someone who professes to be bad with words, is disinclined to communicate with an audience she resents having, and suffers from PTSD should automatically call into question what it is we think we know about what we’ve read. What would the story look like from alternate points of view? In what ways can we not trust Katniss to know the truth, or, if she knows it, when might we expect her, as an unreliable narrator, to evade it?

Those are just in canon considerations. What happens if you remove the Games from the equation? What would happen if any one variable in their universe changed?

Or what would happen if Katniss and Peeta had met in another time and place altogether?

Fanfiction is appealing, not only for exploring questions about the text we’ve been given and for in-universe expansion, but for taking the characters we know and love and placing them in unfamiliar circumstances to push them to their limits. In what ways can you recast Katniss and Peeta and have them retain their essential qualities and love? An allure of reading and writing AU Everlark is seeing how Katniss and Peeta, in any situation, over any one of a hundred lifetimes, are actually more than deserving of each other; they are perfect for each other.

When Panem Propaganda approached me and asked me to write an article celebrating Everlark fanfiction for their 100 Days of Mockingjay countdown, I was incredibly flattered and taken aback. To put it mildly, I’m not an obvious or immediate choice. I’m so new to the world of fanfiction that you could say, accurately, I haven’t even really cut my teeth. I can’t pretend to be an expert or historian. But that’s exactly why I agreed to write the article. As I see it, I’m like the family labrador: I’m someone who greets you at the front door, welcomes you inside, and encourages you to join the pack in playing ball.

So this is my call to you: You should be here with us. You don’t know what you’ve been missing.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep232015

Anything Else is Unthinkable … An Ode to Katniss and Gale



gifs by Mockingjalie
Guest post by Mockingjalie

Anything else is unthinkable …


In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley. A thicket of berry bushes protects it from unwanted eyes. The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile.”  
- Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

 
…… The sight of him waiting brings a smile to her face, in the gray world he was her green, and she was his purple, his red, his green and his blue.  Each other´s key, key to sanity in the mad world. Being in the woods with Gale, sometimes she was truly happy, and he saved his Sundays for her. It was so little, but somehow, it was enough. 

I once wrote on my blog:

"They were each other's strength. For such long time, they were each other's everything. No matter how hard their day was, they could always come to their rocky ledge overlooking the valley and be happy even just for a while. Maybe it wasn´t much but to them it was enough. And suddenly everything disappeared. I'm trying to imagine this place after they are all gone, years and years later. Generations later, where the games are a distant memory and the name of Katniss Everdeen is just another name written in the history books. People learn about her story but no one quite believes because no one saw it, no one was there. I imagine this place, forgotten from the world, yet still the same, remembering them. No one will know how much this place meant to two kids who were trying to survive in the world so cold, so cruel. No one will know how much was taken away from them, yet this place never could be. It will always belong to Katniss and Gale, and that´s the beauty of them isn´t it? That piece of themselves they gave to each other, an unspoken vow of remembering someone who will always be a part of you."

That was a brief moment of inspiration, of clarity; that was me feeling deeply for two characters who somehow felt real to me. After I wrote it, I realized why do I feel so much for Katniss and Gale, and it´s because their relationship felt genuine to me. I'm not saying any of you who are reading this have to feel this way, but I do. I think we all, or at least most of us, have that one person who was once a big part of our lives. And even though life happens, and circumstances separate our paths, I think part of that person always stays with us. You continue your life, you love someone else, and you go days without even remembering them.  But then, out of the blue, it comes.  That day, years from the day you last saw that person, and you feel that ache, that longing for what once was, for what it could have been. Part of you still loves them, part of you will always love them, maybe not in a way you once did, but in a way that it´s so sad and beautiful at the same time. That is Katniss and Gale for me, two people who will always have a part of each other. As Katniss said herself after everything was said and done, she wishes that he was by her side.

I think about going to the lake, but I’m so weak that I barely make it to my meeting place with Gale. I sit on the rock where Cressida filmed us, but it’s too wide without his body beside me. Several times I close my eyes and count to ten, thinking that when I open them, he will have materialized without a sound as he so often did.”      
- Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
 
 
How many moments like this did Katniss have throughout the years? How many times, somewhere miles away, did Gale replay the last time they saw each other over and over again? I think about it, and for me their last scene is one of the most heartbreaking scenes I've ever read:

 
I’m searching for something to hang on to, some sign of the girl and boy who met by chance in the woods five years ago and became inseparable. I’m wondering what would have happened to them if the Hunger Games had not reaped the girl. If she would have fallen in love with the boy, married him even. And sometime in the future, when the brothers and sisters had been raised up, escaped with him into the woods and left 12 behind forever." 


 - Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

I don't want to convince any of you to feel the way I do about Katniss and Gale.  I don´t want to bother to prove why I think they had something romantic going on between them.  I don´t want to tell you stories of how they would be perfect for each other, but I want to try to show you their story as I saw it: beautiful, sad and somehow real. Maybe some of you will be surprised and angry at me after I say that I am thankful to Suzanne Collins for ending this series the way she did. Many of you will not agree with me, and that´s ok, but her ending made sense. Because it´s life. Katniss loved Peeta I never doubted that, but I think Gale was a slow fire in her veins, flame that burned until her very end.

This series changed my life as I´m sure it changed many more. I want to take this wonderful opportunity PanemPropaganda gave me to thank every single one of you for making these past five years such a lovely experience. I want to thank the cast and crew for all of the love and hard work they put in these movies. I want to thank Suzanne Collins for creating Katniss Everdeen and her story, and touching so many lives, including mine. I know some of you might think we come to the end of the road with Mockingjay Part 2, but we don't. These characters, these relationships we all fell in love with, will always be with us. 

Thank you for being the best fandom,

Love,

Be sure to say hello to Mockingjalie on tumblr.

For an introduction to Hunger Games Shipping and Fan Fic see:The SS Hunger Games: Shipping and Fan Fiction in The Hunger Games Universe

Read "The Star-Crossed lovers From District 12 - A Celebration of Everlark Fan Fiction" HERE.

Read The Essential Everlark: 50 Influential Works of Fanfiction HERE.

 Enter this week's giveaway for a Mockingjay graffiti hoodie and black mockingjay pin HERE 

Saturday
Sep262015

“No one seeing them could doubt their love.“ - Finnick and Annie

Edit by etherealfinnick on tumblr

Guest post by Jessica aka EtherealFinnick

Odesta is my favorite ship and always will be.  

Finnick and Annie’s relationship is up to much interpretation and one’s own ideas about how it started and progressed, but no matter how one thinks their love story began, this is certain: they are each other’s whole entire world.  These are two people who have been dehumanized to no end.  Finnick has been seen as nothing but a sex symbol and an object for the Capitol citizens to do with what they want, while Annie has been diminished to just a “mad girl.”  I think a big part of their relationship was making each other feel human again after everything they’d been through and finding a kind of peace and family together.  And even though one doesn’t know how they met or how long they knew each other, it’s easy to tell how much Finnick and Annie care for each other through scenes like the jabberjay attack, the reunion, and their wedding.  Finnick and Annie had a completely mutual need for one another that, in my opinion, is unparalleled to any other ship I’ve seen.  They were each other’s rocks, the one person that they loved more than anything else in the world.  

I love that they adore each other so much and that after all they’ve been through, just being able to be together is enough for them.  They really are indivisible.

A huge thank you to PanemPropaganda for giving me a chance to share my love for my absolute favorites, Finnick and Annie.  Also a big shout out to my friends and everyone in the odesta community on tumblr who are so imaginative and loving as well as everyone in The Hunger Games fandom!  Let’s make the days leading up to Mockingjay Part 2 great, as well as the time after <3