As far as literary characters go, Panem's president in The Hunger Games series is one of the worst. Anyone who sentences children to fight to the death is basically evil incarnate, so it's not surprising that President Snow's book quotes are super creepy. In preparation for the Mockingjay Part 1 movie premiere I've been re-reading the books so I'm up to date on everything that happens in the first two Hunger Games installments. And though Snow is plenty terrible in books one and two, he hits his peak in the third. [Spoilers ahead] He tortures Peeta and literally hijacks his brain to make him not love Katniss anymore.
This is the man who hid behind a pen full of children to deter the rebels from blowing him up. With President Snow, it's easy to look at his actions and declare him a horrible man, but his words are just as bad. You don't rise to political power without being good with words, and Snow's silver tongue is as awful as it can be. He manipulates his followers, the districts, and especially Katniss to get what he wants and doesn't care who he hurts in the process.
So to prepare for his worst self yet in Mockingjay Part 1, let's take a look at his creepiest quotes from The Hunger Games series.
"PANEM TODAY, PANEM TOMORROW, PANEM FOREVER"
Just a fancy way of saying no one is escaping the system, and this is how things are going to be until you die.
"AIM HIGHER IN CASE YOU FALL SHORT…CONVINCE ME."
That evil little smile he gives at the end there makes me shudder. It's like he already knows she's going to fail.
"BY THE WAY, I KNOW ABOUT THAT KISS."
For Katniss, kissing Gale was a long time coming and a very private moment. Snow's letting her know that she isn't safe anywhere, and he can infiltrate every aspect of her life.
"ANY GIRL WHO GOES TO SUCH LENGTHS TO PRESERVE HER LIFE ISN'T GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN THROWING IT AWAY WITH BOTH HANDS. AND THEN THERE'S HER FAMILY TO THINK OF. HER MOTHER, HER SISTER, AND ALL THOSE... COUSINS."
Yep, that's a threat on everyone Katniss loves.
"[GALE] I CAN EASILY KILL OFF IF WE DON'T COME TO A HAPPY RESOLUTION. YOU AREN'T DOING HIM ANY FAVORS BY DISAPPEARING INTO THE WOODS WITH HIM EACH SUNDAY.”
Not only is Snow insinuating that killing Gale is no problem at all, but he's making it Katniss' fault because it's her association with him that's putting him in danger.
"BEFORE WE SET A DATE, WE BETTER CLEAR IT WITH KATNISS'S MOTHER. MAYBE IF THE WHOLE COUNTRY PUTS ITS MIND TO IT, WE CAN GET YOU MARRIED BEFORE YOU'RE THIRTY. [WE'LL PASS A LAW] IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES."
Snow will do whatever it takes to make sure Katniss' own happiness is not an option. Even if that means he has to pass a law to do so.
"I PERSONALLY WANT TO CONGRATULATE THEM ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT. YOUR LOVE HAS INSPIRED US AND I KNOW IT WILL GO ON INSPIRING US EVERY DAY FOR AS LONG AS YOU MAY LIVE."
To the crowd this seems like a nice sentiment, but the reality behind it is that Katniss and Peeta must keep up this charade until they die.
"A REMINDER TO THE REBELS THAT EVEN THE STRONGEST AMONG THEM CANNOT OVERCOME THE POWER OF THE CAPITOL."
The President's Quarter Quell address was about sewing more fear, as usual. If you want to rebel, think again. Even the victors aren't safe, so why would an average citizen be?
THE HEAD SHAKE
Technically not a quote, but it conveys so much. It subtly says that Katniss didn't convince him, and her life as she knows it is over.
"[THE ROSE] WHISPERS, I CAN FIND YOU. I CAN REACH YOU. PERHAPS I AM WATCHING YOU NOW."
To some the white rose Katniss finds is just a flower, but she knows the message it's sending—and it's not a pretty one.
"THE COLORS ARE LOVELY, OF COURSE, BUT NOTHING SAYS PERFECTION LIKE WHITE."
Snow's offhand comment about the color of his roses is so racist.
"I WANTED TO TELL YOU HOW VERY SORRY I AM ABOUT YOUR SISTER."
"YOU REALLY DIDN'T THINK I GAVE THE ORDER, DID YOU? IF I'D HAD A WORKING HOVERCRAFT AT MY DISPOSAL, I'D HAVE BEEN USING IT TO MAKE AN ESCAPE ... I'M SURE [PLUTARCH] WASN'T GUNNING FOR YOUR SISTER, BUT THESE THINGS HAPPEN."
The suggestion that it was Katniss' own side that killed her sister is a cruel one to make.
"OH, MY DEAR MISS EVERDEEN. I THOUGHT WE HAD AGREED NOT TO LIE TO EACH OTHER."
Snow presents it like he's trying to tell Katniss the truth for her own sake. But really he's just manipulating her into doubting her team. He may have agreed not to lie to Katniss, but there is nothing holding him to that promise and she should never take him at his word.
"[PRIM'S DEATH WAS] SO WASTEFUL, SO UNNECESSARY. ANYONE COULD SEE THE GAME WAS OVER BY THAT POINT. IN FACT, I WAS JUST ABOUT TO ISSUE AN OFFICIAL SURRENDER WHEN THEY RELEASED THOSE PARACHUTES."
This is the worst thing he could say to a grieving Katniss. The idea that he was just about to surrender, that her sister died for no reason, that if everyone had just waited for a few minutes things would have been OK. There is no way he was going to surrender, he's just telling her that to torture her.
I'm sure come Nov. 21, Donald Sutherland will again bring President Snow to an even creepier level. He'll match Suzanne Collins' words with a delivery guaranteed to make you shudder.
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