The Myth That Inspired ‘The Hunger Games’ Series

The concept of children being forced to kill each other seems so far-fetched that it never could have happened in real life. Right?

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is so brutal that most of us think she pulled the idea out of the sky.  The concept of children being forced to kill each other seems so far-fetched. We think, “well that could never actually happen?” But did it already happen? After all, Collins had to get her inspiration from somewhere.


image via scholastic



In an interview, Suzanne Collins stated that she first pulled inspiration for her YA dystopian novel from a Greek myth called Theseus. In the myth, as punishment for their falling out with a more powerful country named Crete, Athens has to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete where they are tossed into a labyrinth and killed by a monster. Collins mentions that she was “stunned” by the cruelty of this behavior, but thought it would make for great story-telling. She also stated that in order to create the perfect games, she made sure to include three major elements: a ruthless and powerful government, people who are forced to fight to the death, and the games to be a form of entertainment for average citizens. After a while of brainstorming, creating, and writing, a masterpiece was formed. 


image via nirvana insights


As demonstrated by Suzanne Collins, inspiration can come from anywhere. If you’re a writer and something you see or hear about, whether it be real or fictional, fascinates you, write it down—create something out of it. The best stories are rarely created out of the blue. Every author starts somewhere. 


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