The revolution in Panem is coming up roses! In every piece of Catching Fire promotional material so far, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been seen gripping white roses. Now, with the release of five more “Capitol Portraits,” it’s clear that the roses are a symbol of rebellion—and Katniss isn’t the only one holding them.
When we left off, the portrait of Katniss in her incredible wedding dress had just been released. We were just as wowed by her fierce mockingjay-themed gown as by her staring straight into the camera when every other character had averted their gaze. Matching her virginal dress was a snowy rose, usually President Snow’s calling card. But here it’s been subverted into yet another sign of the unrest in Panem.
The Quarter Quell victors (...and Gale) all also share the same simple wooden chair. Katniss stands beside the chair in her portrait, as if to announce each victor (...and Gale) before they sit.
First off was Beetee (released simultaneously via fansites like the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast):
This portrait really solidified the character for me, especially since he looks so different from what we’ve envisioned in the books. He’s still #EccentricandElectric, as the clue teased, but he’s also very much in his element. If you zoom in real close, you can spot what look almost like electrical sparks woven into his clothing.
Note that, like Katniss, all of the victors reaped for the Quarter Quell stare into the camera and most hold their roses drooping downward, a subtle sign of dissent toward Snow (who always has a rose in his lapel).
Of this crop, my favorite might be Johanna Mason (via Moviefone):
Everything about her says fierce, from the hair to the makeup to the cascading gown. It makes you wonder if this is the dress that she tears off in front of Katniss in part-tantrum, part-intimidation attempt.
Perez Hilton had the honor of releasing Peeta Mellark’s portrait earlier today:
He looks like a regular Prince Charming—seriously, like something out of a Disney movie. The simplicity of his suit is making fans wonder what that is peeking out of his pocket: A metallic pocket square, a flask like Haymitch might sneak, or (as The Hob pointed out) the locket Peeta carries with photos of Katniss, Prim, Mrs. Everdeen, and Gale?
Speaking of, Katniss’ other love interest got his very own portrait (via PopSugar) despite spending all of Catching Fire in District 12 recovering from his lash wounds:
This is where the Catching Fire marketing falls apart somewhat. Sure, Gale makes a painfully underdressed contrast to the victors (and especially Peeta), but this doesn’t fit into the world that up until now the portraits had established. Gale has no reason to be in the Capitol, so including him in this group makes absolutely no sense. Why not give us another victor like Beetee’s district partner Wiress or Enobaria with those fearsome gold teeth?
Still, the throughline of the roses holds up. You can almost envision Katniss hoarding her bouquet of roses after the propaganda poster shoot and then distributing them among her fellow victors. Well, except for Gale. It still doesn’t make sense why he’s there.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter because we finally got Finnick! (Thanks to the ladies at MTV’s Hollywood Crush.)
More than any other victor, his portrait costume really matches his district: There’s a very pirate-y feel with the open shirt, shell necklace, and flowing pants. It’s also worth noting how he almost lifts his rose up, which could speak to Finnick’s status as a seeming ally of the Capitol after President Snow forces him into prostitution. His is a very different portrait from the other men: As swanky as Peeta looks and as soulful as Gale comes across, Finnick is the first guy to be actually smoldering and sexy. I dunno you guys, I’m getting sold on Sam Claflin with every photo I see.
What we’re assuming is the final clue features a chair much swankier than the last few we’ve seen, and the hint “#HisEminence is #AdoredByAll.”
Of course President Snow ends the Capitol Portraits, rose at the ready.
Natalie Zutter is a playwright, foodie, and pop culture blogger. Her writing has appeared on BlackBook, Ology, and Crushable, where she discusses celebrity culture alongside internet memes (or vice versa). Weekly you can find her calling in to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast, reviewing new releases at Movie Mezzanine, and on Twitter.