President Snow is one of the creepiest and most insidious villains in the pantheon of youth fiction, and Donald Sutherland portrays him perfectly. He is an omniscient, cold, and intelligent man with a wealth of life experiences, which makes him even more terrifying and powerful. Even its flaws work to its advantage, making it feel more realistic.
Your wisdom and position of power give you many opportunities to express your opinion. He is highly quotable, even if most of his words are threats. His knowledge is undeniable, as is his understanding of the human condition. In fact, this is what terrifies Katniss above all else. Somehow, he always knows what happens to him.
10 “Convince me.”
President Snow makes a surprise visit to Katniss’s home in Victor’s Village after the first Games. He is there to threaten her, but pretends to be trying to help her. If she does what he asks, she could probably save herself and her family, but she also knows that Snow is impossible to appease.
He has come to tell her that he knows that her romance with Peeta is an act, even if she cares about him in another way. She still doesn’t realize the full extent of her actions in the arena, but Snow knows the only way to rectify them is to convince the world of her romance. But most importantly, she had to convince him.
9 “Fear doesn’t work as long as they have hope, and Katniss Everdeen is giving them hope.”
Many fans of The Hunger Games You will remember President Snow for his quote that hope is stronger than fear, but it is more than just a phrase. Snow lives and rules by this notion, for better or for worse.
In On fire Snow meets with Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker, to talk things over. He knows that with Katniss at the Games, things will be a bit difficult in Panem. Little does he know that Plutarch has a plan of his own with the rebels. In any case, Snow is quick to warn her that as long as Katniss gives her followers hope, fear won’t work on them.
8 “Whatever game you think you are playing, the people out there will not play it with you.”
Plutarch wants to ensure that the Quarter Quell is under his control, not Snow’s, but he must present the illusion that Snow is in control so as not to arouse suspicion. The president may not be suspicious of Plutarch’s position, but he does feel he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Snow makes sure that Plutarch understands her suspicions and that he can’t do what he wants. Plutarch wants to manipulate the Quarter Quell, from harvest to victors, but Snow warns him that the people will not be happy with his choices.
7 “It’s her.”
President Snow may be as cold as ice, but he knows Katniss better than she would like. He is an excellent character analyst and is quick to figure out how to deal with people.
In Mockingjay one of his staff members warns him about the fact that Katniss and her unit are alive after being presumed dead. Snow won’t take her word for it and insists they show her the pictures. He immediately recognizes her, even from a distance and despite her weak disguise. The way he pronounces the words is insidious and chilling. He sounds almost relieved and hopeful.
6 “… I’ve been looking at you. And you are looking at me.”
At the end of the series, after the rebellion is won, Katniss visits Snow in his rose garden. He is weak and dying, but he still has a few words to say to her. He tells her that they have been so busy focusing on each other that they overlooked the third: Coin and his rebels.
Katniss is still recovering from her sister’s death, and believes that Snow is to blame. “I’m afraid we’ve both been taken for fools,” he tells Katniss, and she realizes he’s right. He wants her to feel like she has lost as much as he has in this fight, and it is this conversation that prompts Katniss to kill Coin instead of him.
5 “We both know I’m not above killing children, but I’m not wasting.”
During the earlier conversation in the rose garden, Katniss begins to realize that Snow may not be the real enemy, but the system. She believes it was Snow’s order that killed Prim, but he reveals that it was Coin’s.
Katniss now understands that even if Coin comes to power, the system will be just as barbarous and totalitarian. She uses the same methods as the Capitol to get what she wants and, as Snow points out, it’s a waste.
4 “Oh my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed to never lie to each other.”
The last thing Snow says to Katniss is something that completes her. It’s one of the first things he tells you in On fire where he visits her in private and speaks to her alone for the first time in the series.
Snow is many things, but as he says, he is not a liar. He rules with pride, and when he reveals the truth about what District 13 and the rebels have done during the rebellion, Katniss questions his position. You have been advised to support someone you would like to have Panem lead after the war is over, but you don’t know who. So when you are about to shoot Snow, remember these words.
3 “You fought very hard in the games, Miss Everdeen. But they were games.”
When President Snow visits Katniss’s home in District 12, he is naturally terrified. Seeing him in the flesh in his own home is bad enough, but what he says chills her even more. Now that the Games are over, Snow points out that much more is at stake.
He’s warning you about your dangerous berry act and how viewers might have perceived it. “Would you like to be in a real war? Imagine thousands of people dead. Your loved ones, missing.” The two come to some kind of agreement that she should remedy her actions by convincing everyone that she did it out of love for Peeta.
two “Mrs. Everdeen, it’s the things we love the most that destroy us.”
District 13 sends a team of men to rescue Peeta, Johanna and Annie from the Capitol, but they must distract Snow from the invasion. Katniss talks to him through a video call, but Snow is aware of the plot the entire time.
She tells him that she never intended for any of this to happen, that she never intended to start a war. Suddenly she says, “Mrs. Everdeen, it’s the things we love the most that destroy us.” They look at each other for a moment, trying to read each other. Then Snow smiles. “Did you think I didn’t know your friends are at the Tribute Center?” He abruptly cuts off the call, leaving Katniss in fear for the lives of Peeta and Gale.
1 “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.”
Fans can say what they want about Snow, but they can’t deny that he’s wise. He knows what he’s talking about, which makes him an even more formidable opponent.
In the first movie, he warns the Head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, about Katniss and her actions. Seneca is impressed by his shooting skills, but Snow only says that he almost shot him in the head. Then he says what they are really talking about: “A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it is contained.” Snow warns him to hold it back, and to Katniss.
NEXT: The Hunger Games: 5 Quotes From Peeta That Show Why He’s The Hero (And 5 From Gale)
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