But I love, love, love the movies.
Not just aces: capital Aces, as in Artemis. Among the reasons I like the movie version of the character is her resemblence to the goddess.
If you're still with me, I know what you're saying. Artemis had nothing to do with men, and by the end of the second movie, there are three potential boyfriends in Katniss' life (Peeta, Gale, and Finnick). Katniss has nothing to do with Artemis.
Bear with me.
In a way, every unmarried teenage girl is Artemis. The Greeks understood that when they made Artemis the silent virgin goddess who was a huntress and mistress of animals; the nurturer of the young; leader of a pack of unmarried, devoted girls, and the punisher of transgressions from afar with her unwavering arrows.
The Greeks knew that adolescence is powerful, and that female adolescence has an untamed quality. The end of this power, so the Greeks felt, comes when a woman marries and becomes a mother. Then the freedom of movement is curtailed, the independence is bequeathed on those teens coming up, and ever after the influence of a woman comes from relationships rather than beauty, anger, and mystery.
How many model-pretty sixteen-year old girls do you know who can be both both babysitter, dog-sitter, enthraller of pre-teens and role model to them, and yet monosyllabic, rebellious, and punishing to parents and others they deem unfair?
That's Artemis, a Greek adolescent caught in amber by her immortality. She never marries and therefore never grows up.
Consider Katniss now.
The first movie for me was a blur, despite the hyper hyper HD quality of the movie print, but I gleaned a few details about Katniss:
- She is a huntress, an accomplished archer who spends a lot of time in the wilderness
- She loves and wants to protect her younger sister Prim
- She hates injustice. Remember when Katniss shoots an arrow at the judges observing her in the Hunger Games training gym? The look on her face said, "Your days are numbered."
In the second movie, her silent, brooding nature is highlighted, especially in this wonderful conversation with Peeta:
Peeta: See Katniss, the way the whole "friend" thing works is that you have to tell each other the deep stuff.
Katniss: The deep stuff?
Katniss: Like what?
Peeta: Like... what's your favorite color?
Katniss: Oh, now you've stepped over the line.
Katniss is tight-lipped and keeps her real feelings close to her vest. This allows her to retain power over her would-be boyfriends.
But the tender heart is right there. You can tell this in the scenes with Prim, well-played by Willow Shields, but even more in the scene with the jabberjays, a haunting moment to be seen rather than explained.
The big difference in the two characters remains what you objected to at the beginning. We assume that at some point Katniss is going to settle down with one of the sexy guys who is pursuing her.
That's okay. If you read stories where Artemis is a character, you start to see her as she is, lacking humanity, lacking that essential warmth that would allow us humans to relate to her and see her as a favorite character. She really is an ice-queen, and that works against her.
But Katniss is human, vulnerable, and full of feelings. And as a human being, I like that and get it.
PS: The other Greek caught-in-amber adolescent girl type is Persephone. This is the quiet, compliant one who is always saying she's sorry, even when it isn't her fault. In many ways the opposite of Artemis, Persephone does end up married, but never has children, as her husband is the god of death, Hades.