Who killed Thresh? Differences and theories between movies and books explained

Thresh died during The Hunger Games, but his death is portrayed differently in the books and movies. Here are the theories surrounding who killed him.

While The hunger Games the movies remained relatively consistent with the books, details like Thresh’s death, confusing. With many characters, their deaths came as readers expected, and how they died was clear. However, in Thresh’s case, the books and the movies seem to tell different stories.

The first installment of The hunger Games The book series was released in 2008, and by 2012 Suzanne Collins had already helped adapt her novel into a movie of the same name. The story follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a young girl living in a dystopian reality where 24 children are selected each year to participate in a vicious fight to the death known as The hunger Games. Although Katniss manages to survive, other tributes – like Thresh – aren’t so lucky.

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Related: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’s Key Differences From The Book

Representing District 11, Thresh is the embodiment of strength and power, and because of this he is approached by a tribute group known as the Career Pack. After refusing their offer of an alliance, Thresh is seen as a threat by the Quarries and their leader Cato. He survives the majority The hunger Gamesbefore being killed with only a few tributes remaining, but how he dies is portrayed differently in the books and movies.


To beat

Although the books do not directly reveal the cause of Thresh’s death, Katniss assumes that he was killed by Cato. After Katniss meets him at the Cornucopia, he saves her from Clove and takes Cato’s backpack. When Katniss and Peeta see Thresh’s image appear in the sky during the thunderstorm, they assume Cato must have been chasing him. It would make sense that Cato would not only want his backpack back, but also want revenge for the death of his district partner Clove. Another theory is that Thresh could have been killed by a lightning strike during the thunderstorm. The storm was deliberately created by The hunger Games‘ Gamemakers and it’s plausible that they kill Thresh, knowing that the Hunger Games finale would be more brutal if it was between Katniss, Peeta and Cato.


In the first film, it is implied that Thresh dies during an attack by Mutt. When the game wardens release the Mutts for the first time in the game, the sound of an attack can be heard, before Thresh dies and the cannon sounds. Although the audience doesn’t witness Thresh’s death, there seems to be little room to dispute how he dies. It’s up to Mockingjay: Part 2, where Katniss refers to Thresh as having been killed by Cato. Although this could have been a false assumption, there is reason to assume that Cato was involved. As Thresh’s death was not explicitly shown in the first film, there are theories that the Mutts could have reached and injured Thresh following an attack by Cato, ultimately blaming Cato.


These discrepancies combine with the debate over the timing of Thresh’s death. In the books he ranks fifth behind Foxface, while in the movies he dies after her, ranking 4th. These differences have caused confusion over who killed Thresh and how he died. While Thresh’s death remains a talking point among viewers, it doesn’t distract from his role within the franchise and the overall success of The hunger Games.

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