Recap: Hunger Games Seattle Mall Event

At what age is it appropriate to wake up before the sun rises and stand in the pouring rain for hours on the fleeting chance of meeting a celebrity starring in a film from your favorite franchise? 

13? 30?

Hunger Games University Village Mall Event

This would have been our view from the grassy knoll.

I can’t seem to tell anymore. It seemed like an awesome plan in theory, but then when my mother and I drug our sad carcasses out of the sweltering hot Motel 6 room and drove in slow circles to the University Village Mall in Seattle, WA…our hardcore endurance as fans of the Hunger Games was put to the test.

Turns out – we fail.

We just couldn’t hold up against the relentless tide of youthful shrieking young girls and their caffeinated but sleepy and skeptical parents. About 90 minutes after we’d staked a pretty reasonable patch of grassy knoll next to the Q&A area we came to affectionately refer to as “The Cattle Pen,” we exchanged a glance. Left our belongings on the grass with our new best friends and strolled to a nearby smoothie shop.

“Do you wanna just hit up the pier, get some fish and chips and go home?” Was the question on both our lips.

Turns out – yes.

We missed our golden opportunity to see the far-away but still bronzed flesh of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson for a drive around the University of Washington campus, a stroll through Pike’s Place Market and a casual lunch on the Puget Sound. During the car ride home my mom, in between cat naps, finished reading the current draft of the book I wrote and we chatted about the plot, characters and future edits until we pulled in the driveway.

The event itself? Was badly managed. The Father of the Year, complete with coffee in hand and an adorable nickname for his equally adorable daughter “Peanut” confirmed this several times during our two hour wait. As we tottled closer and closer to the end of the long, long line, he would dip out and chat up security officers and Microsoft staff to determine how successful our venture was, and just what the heck was happening.

The official rules on the website indicated there was to be no camping out on Mall property. Nowhere did it read you could camp just outside of the mall property. So, the people who played by the rules and arrived to queue up at 7am were greeted by a line already 1,500 people deep. The first 100 had secured their tickets around 4pm the Friday before the event.

Blergh to that.

The whole event echoed a similar emotion I felt during certain parts of San Diego Comic Con, and another reason I’m not too bummed about probably never going back. The obvious attempt at generating hype is obvious. While I wouldn’t mind hyping it up for my favorite franchises, age-wise, my mother and I were in the minority.

Something about jostling for a view with a bunch of twelve year olds really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t regret reading YA Fiction, but I do regret on some level going to this fan event because it’s made me feeling indescribably old. The whole time we were there I was scanning the crowd in desperate hope of finding somebody, ANYBODY that resembled my age (who wasn’t babysitting their minor child or sibling). Alas, I could find no such person.

The crux of the day came when they were handing out posters from the secured area to those of us loitering outside the gates. Only you had to perform a mad scramble through some bushes to retrieve one. My mother and I were hovering around this area, looking for some way to secure a free mini-poster without getting caught in a tree. I looked at my mom and uttered a statement which captured the entire mood of the event for us.

“If I have to crawl through bushes to get a poster, I’m kissing the last shreds of my dignity goodbye.”

Instead, we waved goodbye to the Hunger Games mall event, and ate some incredibly delicious seafood on the pier, happily turning our thoughts to Emerald City Comic Con, where it’s not strange to see 40 or 50 year olds dressed as their favorite characters. Where queueing in line for hours actually pays off in the ability to see the actor of your choice. We had a good laugh about the event and the people we’d encountered and marked our adventure as a success because of it’s adventure like properties.

If the real Hunger Games were a test of the endurance or lengths fans will go to in order to secure their ability to meet a celebrity, we would lose. But I think we’d die happy. 🙂


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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

4 responses to “Recap: Hunger Games Seattle Mall Event”

  1. Liz says :

    I know that feel, bro.

    A couple years ago, I was a chaperone for my 7th grade sister’s Washington DC trip. We happened to be staying in the same hotel hosting a Twilight Convention. I, having just read the books, was admittedly stoked to see some of the actors slated to appear (Edi Gathegi, Michael Whelch). But then I saw my fellow gawkers: the 7th graders I was chaperoning, Plus a weirdly high number of very overweight housewives in Edward Cullen t-shirts.

    That was my cue to dial down my excitement.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Yeah, aside from midnight viewings I’ve managed to avoid much of the core Twilight groupies and mostly bonded with the ladies my age about it. I think it’s a little easier to be a 40 year old digging on a 100 year old vampire versus a 30 year old crushing on a 16 year old tribute in the Hunger Games. I’m not really interested in any of the HG actors – The Avengers is my mainline to man-flesh.

      So I couldn’t really work up the pre-requisite excitement over seeing Josh Hutcherson. I was stoked for Jennifer Lawrence, cause I think she’s an awesome actress and I’ve loved her in other films. I love her character in the series.

      But I’m not sure I love her enough to crawl through some bushes or wait for like seven hours in the cold rain for a 30 minute Q&A session. Color me not that devoted, I suppose.

      Frankly, I’m becoming less and less enthused about the whole concept of extremism for a fandom. I know that’s the going currency, but at some point it becomes less about fangirling and more about mobbing. Which is kinda yikes. I’ve almost been crushed by True Blood fans. I don’t want to go back there. 😛

  2. Megan Cline says :

    I think it’s awesome that you at least tried. I wouldn’t have even tried to get as far as you did. Your day sounds like it was really fun though even if you didn’t get to meet the stars.

  3. karen crouchley says :

    You got that right, I had fun just hanging out with you. Loved the blog, had me laughing.

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