10 Ways to Prepare Yourself for 'Catching Fire'

So, since tickets go on sale today, you've secured two seats (and fandom bragging rights) for the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Nov. 22. What's that you say? You want to take your preparation just a little bit further and go all out like a good District 12 victor? Well, you're in luck. We took the liberty of creating a checklist worthy of the super-fandom surrounding The Hunger Games for your pre-premiere preparation. So grab your bow-and-arrow, braid your hair, and prepare yourself for theater seat-finding battle like a good Katniss Everdeen. Jennifer Lawrence would be so proud.

This week:

10) Re-read (or read for the first time) Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire.

A significant number of new characters will pop up in prominent roles in this film, so it would be helpful to familiarize yourself ahead of time. For those skeptical about reading the book right before its film adaptation, fear not: The Hunger Games was so true to its literary counterpart that it's safe to assume you won't be disappointed. (Also, Katniss would want to be as informed as possible about what she's getting herself into.)

9) Download and listen...

...to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack because it's really awesome and so much better than Songs From District 12 And Beyond. But also because it's boasting tracks by recent sensation, Lorde, and Ellie Goulding, Santigold, and Coldplay. Use it to get in the zone.


8) There are so many great costumes...

...to recreate between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire that you might have a hard time choosing just one, so we suggest you start contemplating early. And with Halloween right around the corner, you could justify spending a little extra money if it means having a kick-ass Halloween costume that can double for the midnight premiere. You can also bank on Hunger Games-related costumes to be of choice this year, so you'll have a lot of options in stores.

7) Practice your braiding skills.

Or enlist a talented friend to craft you a plait to rival Katniss' famous braid. J. Law may want to get rid of her heroine's badass hairstyle, but we love it. You might not be fighting for your life in the Quarter Quell, but you'll look like you are.

6) Exercise.

If you've never been to a midnight movie before, the mad-dash to get the best seats looks exactly like the Hunger Games scene when all the tributes are running to grab supplies... except it's not staged and people can/probably will get hurt. Prepare accordingly, as Katniss might, and maybe go for a short jog once a week or take a yoga class. You don't want to waste a perfectly good ticket and midnight movie sitting one row back from the screen, high on painkillers, because you threw your back out tripping over that 10 year-old dressed like Effie Trinket.


5) Spend a Saturday at the nearest archery range.

You'll want to get to know your way around Katniss Everdeen's weapon of choice. With three weeks to go till the movie's release, why not take up a new hobby that you can share with the Hunger Games' heroine... and brag about to fellow movie-goers? (Also, archery is just really fun, speaking from experience.)

4) Make Katniss' favorite food.

From the Capitol: Lamb Stew with Dried Plums. If you're into lamb, of course. Make enough to share for fellow fans in line... if they're willing to let you cut in front of them, of course.

November 21 (Premiere Day):

3) Watch The Hunger Games.

Because you'll be happy for the refresher when you're sitting in the theater. (If you don't have time to do this on the day of the midnight premiere, which is reasonable because some people do have jobs and stuff, you should at least try to take one night off from your busy TV schedule to refresh your memory on District 12.) Seriously, there are a lot of characters in the Hunger Games universe, don't shoot yourself in the foot and spend half the movie trying to remember who Gale is.

2) Be prepared, which basically means to pack snacks.

You'll undoubtably have to wait in line for awhile, if you're planning to get a good seat, so be prepared to do so. You probably won't have time to stop for some overpriced popcorn, Twizzlers and a large diet Coke as you're passing through the floodgates and into the theaters and end up with good seats. (Unless you have a great friend that's willing to lay her life on the line to save your seat while you go out for provisions.) Katniss would be disappointed if you came unprepared, just saying. If you're wondering which snacks would be the most Hunger Games-esque, Katniss seems like she'd be a fan of trail mix and beef jerky. She's also pretty resourceful, so she might also know how to roast her own kale chips. And don't forget those lamb leftovers!

1) Be prepared, part two: Arrive early.

If you haven't finished reading Catching Fire, the hours you spend waiting in line to enter the movie theater will provide you with plenty of time to do so. (You could also listen to the soundtrack over and over or an audiobook. Yay, technology!) As a veteran of midnight movie screenings, I'd suggest getting there before 9 p.m. even though the showing is technically on a Thursday night and most kids won't be allowed to go because it's a school night. Again, Katniss would be prepared for anything and since this isn't the actual Hunger Games, you can't fight your way to the front of the line (by the way, your archery classes were just for fun) so the only rational solution is to get there first.

Moral of the story: Prepare yourself as if you're a career tribute from District 1, 2, or 4 and you've been waiting for this moment your whole life. Or if you're just someone that loves the idea of a midnight movie, whatever makes you feel more powerful.