Here is my article from Forever Young Adult, reposted here.
In the midst of Katniss’ full-body wax , Gale’s bedroom eyes, Cato’s massacre of a defenseless Contempo mannequin and Seneca Crane’s full frontal Brazilian, it’s possible to forget about the less flashy characters who made Hunger Games the masterpiece that it is. But, tributes, I am here to remind you, that before there was a PeeNis or a KatAle, before Effie’s restraining order against Haymitch, even before the Greasy Sae vs. District 13 Health Department scandal, there was a lone survivor, a humble foot soldier of the revolution, with a chewed-off ear and eyes the color of rotting squash. That’s right.
In Hunger Games, while Katniss was off fighting in the arena, Buttercup was doing what he does best—trapping mice and eating lizards. He did this without comment or complaint, without fanfare or glory, without sponsors or parachutes, without the help of a lovesick baker or a hive of venomous tracker jackers. For Buttercup, survival didn’t win you any special privileges; it didn’t guarantee you a mate in life, or fortune and fame; it didn’t earn you the attention of a blood-drinking psychopath. It allowed you to live another day. Period. Truckers truck and Buttercups prevail.
In Catching Fire, when Katniss and the Everdeen family high-tailed it out of the Seam, Buttercup stayed true to his roots. He didn’t sell out to the glitz and glamour of Victory Village with its climate control and chlorinated municipal water. He knew all along that there was no such thing as a free ride. He didn’t trust President Snow or his blood-money “gifts.” Buttercup smelled a rat because smelling rats is Buttercup’s J-O-B.
In Mockingjay, Gale was quick to take credit for the rescue of .oo1% of District 12’s population. But was it an accident that the entirety of Peeta’s family didn’t survive? Buttercup was there. He saw it all. It must have been another accident that found Buttercup so conveniently left outside during the bomb raid of District 13.
But Buttercup prevailed. And went on to entertain an entire bunker of stir-crazy civilians, allowing for the single best scene of normalcy and innocent fun in the trilogy. Can anyone say, Academy Award?
And at the end of it all, when Gale shipped off to District 4, when Katniss’ mother decided never to return to District 12 again. When all of those whom Katniss held most dear were gone, who, like a cat, came back?
If Katniss has nine lives, then Buttercup has ten.
If Gale can trap a rabbit in a snare, then Buttercup can trap two rabbits with his bare paws with a patch over one eye and a peg leg from a cat fight in District 2 over a feline who really wasn’t worth it and ended up giving him a strange rash, but damn she sure did look pretty after a few pints.
Peeta can bake croissants, but have you ever tried Buttercup’s catnip soufflé?
So, Lionsgate, you can imagine my disappointment when you never publicized who would be playing the role of Buttercup in the movie adaptation. My frustration was further exacerbated when his sweet, snarly mug was not featured prominently in the movie trailer. I can only hope that the rumors aren’t true.
You didn’t…kill Buttercup?
Because Buttercup won’t die. Remember the haunting on the set of Three Men and a Baby? That was because the family’s beloved dog, Rudolph, was not featured in the film. And Rudolph was a golden retriever who lived inside the house. Buttercup is a rat-eviscerating, bomb-dodging, assassination-plot-uncovering, bada$$ kitty.
You may try your Hollywood revisionist history on the HG movie, but in the hearts and minds of us fans, Buttercup will live forever. For-Ehh-Ver.
And all you tributes out there, who love that rascally rogue as I do, raise your glasses, because Buttercup Everdeen, this one’s for you.
Team Buttercup For-eva!!!