Tattooed & Geeky

10 Die-Hard ‘Hunger Games’ Fans and Their Crazy Tattoos (PHOTOS)

From Mockingjays to quotes from the text, see 10 of the most fanatical Hunger Games pieces of body art.

Courtesy of Michelle D'Antonio

It’s hard to imagine that as Suzanne Collins was writing her now-phenomenally popular Hunger Games books, she could have dreamed that one day complete strangers would take the words she wrote and pictures she dreamed up and ink them permanently into their skin. As The Hunger Games’ film adaptation finally hits theaters on Friday, see photos of 10 extreme fans and the intense body art they’ve dedicated to Katniss and company. By Melissa Leon

The Odds Were in Her Favor

Budding costume designer (and avid Hunger Games  fan since 2008) Michelle D’Antonio boldly told friends three years ago that if The Hunger Games were ever made into films, she’d be right there on set, helping turn Suzanne Collins’s fantasy realm into a reality. Cocky assertions aside, even Michelle was surprised when she scored an internship on set. After getting to work alongside professional costume designers—as well as hanging out with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and more of the film’s stars—she says life was never the same. “It was the turning point in my life. When I look back when I’m 30, this is the moment that my life changed,” she told The Daily Beast. And what better way to commemorate the life-changing event than with a Hunger Games tattoo on her inner forearm? She chose the Mockingjay as the design for her tattoo and hid the number 11 in its wings, to commemorate the year she worked on the film. The phrase “May the odds be ever in your favor,” said to the “tributes” in the books who are chosen to fight each other to the death, also carries special meaning for her: “The odds were in my favor: I was the one who was chosen to intern,” she says. “It’s also just a daily thing, like ‘I hope everything works out for me.’”

 

 

Courtesy of Kat Werner

“The Librarian With All The Tattoos”

Kat Werner’s life revolves around teen lit—she’s the head of teen services at Benton Harbor Library in Benton Harbor, Mich.—but even so, The Hunger Games holds a special place in her heart. “I love that it has so many different things going on,” she told The Daily Beast. “It didn’t just cover one specific genre. It’s got a little bit of sci-fi, a little bit of romance and social commentary.” The tattoo depicting three birds on her calf is inspired partly by her love for The Hunger Games and partly by her grandfather, who passed away last year and to whom she often gave bird books. Apart from her tattoo’s bluebird and chickadee, a red Mockingjay strikes a pose almost straight from the cover of the first book. “I chose it because I really love the book,” Werner says. “I love the cover, the bird and that pose. It’s really awesome and simple and straightforward.”  Her many tattoos and frequently changing hair color are “a little unusual for where I live,” she admits, but she just laughs when recalling the way some in her town know her: “They call me ‘the librarian with all the tattoos,’” she says.

Courtesy of Julianna Steffens

A Personal Revolution

Julianna Steffens, the woman behind the blog Lost In Chick Lit, may live far away in Brazil, but that didn’t stop her from devouring Suzanne Collins’s fantastically popular book series at the same time that Americans did. “I finished the first book in a little over five hours of continuous and frantic reading,” she said in an email to The Daily Beast. “And almost immediately, I asked a friend who was going to the USA to bring me the box set of the series, because I couldn't wait for translation and publishing in Brazil.” A month later, not only did she have the box set, but she had read the entire series twice. From there, it was only natural to get inked with a symbol from the series. It’s her third “literary” tattoo—a Harry Potter-style lightning bolt and a Molnija Mark in honor of Vampire Academy also adorn her skin. However, her Mockingjay was larger and “more painful” than the rest, and it also means the most to her: “The Mockingjay is, above all, a symbol of revolution and hope,” she explains. “I had been through a divorce that was as bad as one can be, and all I wanted, at that moment, as to be a little more like Katniss: decisive and rational, and that’s why I chose the Mockingjay as the symbol of my personal revolution, in hope for better days in my new life.”

More Than Just a Book

Like Michelle D’Antonio, Cassi’s life was changed by The Hunger Games and the phrase “May the odds be ever in your favor,” words she chose to memorialize in permanent ink. “I read [the series] while the revolutions were happening in the Middle East,” she wrote. “And after reading these books throughout the day then seeing the footage of the revolutions on the nightly news, they became so much more real to me.” Cassi also saw parallels between people she knew and the characters Collins made up, creating an especially intense connection to the stories. “I felt for them like they were real, too,” she said. “I cried for them, felt hopeful, was angry at their stupid decisions, and worried when they went away.” The Hunger Games, she writes, “both broke my heart and gave me hope,” making her “really proud to bear this Mockingjay on my skin for the rest of my life.”

Courtesy of Jenny Altman

A Devotee To the 1,000th Degree

Jenny Altman  acknowledges that her tattoo was an “impulsive” decision—but that doesn’t mean she’s unhappy with her body art. Rather, this Hunger Games devotee just chalks it up to the fact that “I’m a girl who does things on a whim” and says that when she loves something, she does it “to the 1,000th degree.” She modeled her Mockingjay after the design found on mockingjay.net, but despite the slightly altered design, the bird is still a symbol of strength and rebellion to her. “It just really spoke to me. I love what it stands for in the book,” she wrote.

The Full Katniss Treatment

Apart from getting tattooed with the Mockingjay symbol that Katniss wears into battle, this Hunger Games fan took her devotion one step further by dressing up as the character as well, a practice known to the nerdy-inclined as cosplay. She’s not the only one doing it—it’s especially popular at conventions like Comic Con.

Flower Revolution

Amy Ratliffe of Fashionably Geek is decidedly “jealous” of her sister’s Hunger Games tattoo. “My sister read The Hunger Games and fell in love with the series,” she explains. “She inhaled them (as most people do) and decided she wanted a Mockingjay tattoo.” Flowers were added to the perimeter of the Mockingjay pin, prompting Amy to write, “I like it so much I may have to get a matching one.”

Boosting Self-Esteem Since 2008

Unlike many of her Hunger Games body art aficionados, Jessie Locke chose a quotation rather than an image from the series’ first book for her dainty foot tattoo. The words “She has no idea. The effect she can have” describe Katniss but struck a chord with Jessie too. “I connected really strongly to the main character of the series, to the point that reading [the books] became difficult because I saw so much of myself in her,” she writes. “I’ve always had issues with seeing my own value and believing I’m somebody people actually adore, and for that reason I had to get this tattoo. It’s my little reminder that I really do have worth, and that nothing is beyond my grasp. I have a more wonderful effect than I dare to realize.”

Catching Fire

This fan professes that The Hunger Games have “taken my life by storm recently.” Like so many other fans, she saw bits of the real world mirrored in the realm Collins describes and has paid permanent tribute to it by getting a Mockingjay and quotation from the text tatted on. “[The quote] is said by Katniss Everdeen about how everything is about to change for the world she is living in—which is something I am personally experiencing in my life,” she writes.

Twinsies!

They come in pairs too! This pair of best friends assigned a happier, friendlier meaning to the Mockingjay, besides its standard destroy-the-government connotations. “We got matching tattoos to represent our friendship, along with our love for the book series,” Taylor Jones writes—though that whole anti-government thing served as inspiration too: “In the books, the Mockingjay stands as a symbol for rebellion to the capitol, and they are described as being as tough as rocks, and being able to thrive in almost any environment.”