In the year and a half since The Hunger Games came out (and even longer since you may have read the books), it’s easy to get foggy trying to remember all the names of the characters for the sequel, Catching Fire, which opens Friday. And there’s too much going on in the film to waste your time being distracted by questions like, “What’s that announcer’s name again? And who is this ‘Enobaria’ they keep talking about?” So to help you tell Primrose from Plutarch, we came up with simple mnemonics for all the major characters (including Katniss, just to cover all bases) to make it easy to remember who is who. We can’t guarantee you’ll keep everyone straight, but the odds will definitely be in your favor. (We intentionally didn’t give up too much of the plot, but there are some very light spoilers.)
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence): Rhymes with “can’t miss,” as in “Katniss can’t miss with a bow and arrow.”
Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson): As Sesame Street pointed out in their Hunger Games parody, Peeta sounds exactly like the pocket bread, pita. Peeta not only comes from a family of bakers, but he is also small enough to fit inside a pita.
Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth): Gale rhymes with “male,” and Gale is the more manly of Katniss’s two suitors. Not that baking is effeminate, mind you, but come on, look at this giant Gale of a man.
Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson): Rhymes with “lay ditch,” because drunk Haymitch is likely to lay down in a ditch.
President Snow (Donald Sutherland): Snow is white and so is President’s Snow’s hair. Easy! Next.
Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields): Primrose rhymes with “grim Snow’s,” as in “grim President Snow’s going to kill Katniss’s little sister Primrose if Katniss doesn’t get better at pretending she’s in love with Peeta.”
Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks): Think “F’ing Trinket,” like “that fancy lady escorting Katniss around sure wears a lot of f’ing trinkets.”
Cinna (Lenny Kravitz): Katniss’s stylist is really sweet to her. You know what else is sweet? Cinnabon.
Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci): He’s the host of The Hunger Games, a show that everyone in Panem watches. Back in the 1950s, everyone tuned in for Your Show of Shows … hosted by Sid Caesar. And back in those early days of TV, reception was really bad; your screen would really “flicker, man.”
Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman): Rhymes with “drew park.” As head gamemaker, Plutarch drew plans for all the parks in the arena.
Commander Thread (Patrick St. Esprit): District 12’s brutal Head Peacekeeper is really thread-dening.
Gloss (Alan Ritchson): The male tribute from Panem’s fanciest, “glossiest” district, District 1. “Gloss” also sounds like the name of an American Gladiator, which he most definitely looks like.
Cashmere (Stephanie Leigh Schlund): Cashmere is also fancy, which makes sense, as she is the female tribute from Gloss’s fancypants District .
Enobaria (Meta Golding): She really sets a high bar for being mean: she ripped out a tribute’s throat with her teeth in the first Hunger Games. Just hearing that makes one squeal, “Eeyah!” So to review: mean-o bar, eeyah!
Brutus (Bruno Gunn): A gimme: He’s a big brute. But if you want to be more creative, you can say he’s big enough to have eaten two of everything: Eat two, Brutus?
Beetee (Jeffrey Wright): Beetee sounds like “DC”; he’s an electronic and wiring expert, which means he knows DC current. He also knows AC current, but that’s only relevant professionally, not mnemonically.
Wiress (Amanda Plummer): Also from Beetee’s electrical District 3,; and if a female wire existed, it would probably be called a “wiress.”
Mags (Lynn Cohen): Rhymes with sags. Mags competed in one of the very first Hunger Games, meaning she’s pretty old and certain areas sag.
Finnick (Sam Claflin): Think of it as a portmanteau of “fin” and “clinic”; Finnick is from the fishing district (District 4), so he is such an expert on fishes that he could teach a fin clinic.
Annie Cresta (Stef Dawson): Finnick, who loves her, wants her to sit out the 75th Hunger Games, because she’s possibly mentally unstable from seeing her partner get decapitated in her first Games. In other words, he wants her to take Annie (a knee). Also, if her emotional peaks make her hyperventilate, a lot of mouth-breathing can cause bad breath, so best if she brushes her teeth — with Crest-a.
Johanna Mason (Jena Malone): This one takes a couple steps. In the 1970s, Mason Reese was a red-haired child actor with an adorable lisp who was a pop-culture staple after being ubiquitously cast in commercials. Johanna (which rhymes with “don’t wanna”) is being asked to become a ubiquitous Hunger Games contestant by returning for the 75th, but she doesn’t want the spotlight. In other words, she don’t wanna Mason.
Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones): As the announcer of the Hunger Games, he’s most likely to have a podcast. So he’s the pod-iest.