Hold on to your Mockingjay pins because it’s time to say goodbye. The Hunger Games franchise is coming to a close with the release of Mockingjay–Part 2. Sob! In the final installment of the record-breaking franchise, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, of course) inspires the rebel army to march on the Capitol and finally take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The franchise has given us so many iconic moments, it was hard to choose, but, just like in the Games, when making a top 10 list there are always casualties. Here’s our picks for the 10 moments from The Hunger Games series that will linger on. Note: SPOILER ALERTS for Part 2 come at the end of the list!
1. Katniss Volunteers Herself as Tribute (The Hunger Games)
There is no moment more iconic than this one. Capitol stylist and OTT sartorial spirit animal Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) chooses one man and one woman from District 12 to compete in The Hunger Games. The first name she pulls out is Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’s pre-teen sister. Full body chills ensued. Katniss isn’t about to have any of this and volunteers as tribute to save her sister from entering the Games. No, you’re crying!
2. Cinna + Katniss = Forever (The Hunger Games)
Who knew that Lenny Kravitz, who plays Katniss’s stylist Cinna, could make us so emotional without holding a guitar!? Cinna is one of the few people who truly gets Katniss. He helps her make an impression beyond the dress; past the aesthetics, Cinna gives Katniss the assurance that she’s got this and their friendship is too much to handle. (Then, in Catching Fire…nooooo! #RIPCinna)
3. Rue’s Death (The Hunger Games)/Katniss Speaks to Rue’s Family (Catching Fire)
Katniss and the youngest tribute Rue (Amandla Stenberg) became almost-instant allies while in the arena. Katniss finds Rue tied up and saves her, but she’s cruelly taken out taken out of the Games as soon as she’s freed. It’s a gut-wrenching scene; in Rue’s final moments, she tells Katniss she has to win and it just breaks you. Katniss, parting from Rue’s body, turns to the cameras and salutes District 11 and the two-fingered Mockingjay salute was born. Then, when on the all-district Victor’s Tour, Katniss breaks from the pre-written speeches to speak directly to Rue’s family, saying, “I see her in the flowers that grow in the meadow by my house…”
4. Peeta and Katniss Change the Game (The Hunger Games)
Peeta (Josh “He’s Not Too Short” Hutcherson) and Katniss are the final two tributes after a harrowing Games, which should mean that they both survive. The Capitol makes a last minute rule change stating that only one can win. Neither is willing to kill the other, so they agree to take poisonous berries together and have no one win the Games at all. President Snow couldn’t let them challenge the Capitol that way and both were crowned winners of the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss became Snow’s enemy for life, putting the entire rebellion into motion.
5. Gale Is Whipped in Public (Catching Fire)
The Capitol’s “Peacekeepers,” A.K.A. straight-up soldiers there to hurt you, have taken over District 12. Katniss walks up to the public square, only to see BFF/maybe BF Gale (Liam Hemsworth) being badly whipped by the new Head Peacekeeper. It’s violent and graphic and to see big, strong Gale so beaten down was heart-wrenching. Once Katniss and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) stop the whipping, they take him to Katniss’s home, where she watches over him, kissing him while he recovers.
6. Johanna’s Elevator Strip Down (Catching Fire)
Catching Fire is one of those rare sequels that can stand on its own merits, one of them being Jena Malone’s performance as badass tribute Johanna Mason. Malone absolutely slays as Johanna, and it’s her flirty, sassy strip-to-the-buff while riding the elevator with Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch that made us love-hate her even more.
7. Katniss Sings For Her Life (Mockingjay–Part 1)
Jennifer Lawrence: Oscar winner, Dior muse, real life meme generator and…singer. Yes, she really does it all. “The Hanging Tree” scene is a serenely somber moment in the film that helps unify her army and others looking to rebel. The short song was so successful that it even received the dance remix treatment and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #12.
8. Katniss’s First Mockingjay Propo (Mockingjay–Part 1)
Katniss is now the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol and President Coin uses her in propaganda films (“propos”) to fire up the rebels. While shooting her first in District 8, the Capitol bombs a hospital full of civilians and Katniss loses it, eloquently and powerfully, shouting “Fire is catching and if we burn, you burn with us!” It’s the precise moment Katniss-as-Mockingjay is born.
9. OMG! Prim’s Death (Mockingjay–Part 2)
If you read the books, you knew it was coming and, still, it put an arrow through our heart. As Katniss and Gale are attempting to sneak into President Snow’s mansion to kill him, chaos erupts as Capitol civilians push their children to the front gates to be saved from the oncoming rebels. After a devasting explosion that kills, gulp, so many kids (tears), Katniss spots Prim helping the wounded as a medic. Two seconds later, Prim is caught in a second explosion and killed.
10. The Epilogue: Happy-ish Ever After (Mockingjay–Part 2)
The conclusion of The Hunger Games was everything we hoped for. Katniss and Peeta are seen in the near future sitting in a sunny field with their two kids, somewhat at peace. Katniss, holding their infant daughter while Peeta plays with their older son in the distance, tells the baby that she will let her know everything when she is older and how she will never have to live in fear. Mom goals!