Richard III, uncle of Elizabeth of York, great...

Richard III, uncle of Elizabeth of York, great uncle of Henry VIII (Photo credit: lisby1)

So today, LG released, though the Capitol.PN Facebook page, a poster meant to be produced by the Capitol to promote the Victory Tour.  It features a very airbrushed Katniss and Peeta who are both dressed in white, and Katniss (who doesn’t look very happy to do so) is holding a bouquet of white roses.  I’m pretty sure the roses are meant to represent President Snow and the control he is trying to assert over Katniss during the Victory Tour.

Not too long ago, the bones of King Richard III were found under a parking lot.

(See this link: Richard III’s Remains Found In Council Car Park (news.sky.com))

What in the world does this have to do with President Snow and The Hunger Games trilogy?  A lot, I think.

If you’re a fan of British history, or even if not, you may recall the “War of the Roses”, in which the House of York and the House of Lancaster fought over who had a better claim on the throne of England.  King Richard III was the last king who reigned from the House of York, he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field by forces of a certain Henry Tudor (from the House of Lancaster), who went on to become King Henry VII – the father of the infamous King Henry VIII.  The symbol of the House of York was…drumroll…a white rose!

Not only that, the popular image of Richard III as a hunchbacked tyrant who ruthlessly killed off anyone who was a threat to his power, including the “Princes in the Tower”, was due mostly to Tudor propaganda, especially a play written by William Shakespeare, whose royal patron was Queen Elizabeth II, who was Henry VIII’s daughter, and obviously predisposed to support a version of history that painted Richard III as a villian.  Hmm…anyone else seeing the parallels to a certain female ruler of District 13?

English: White Rose of York

English: White Rose of York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other interesting historical tidbits; The House of York itself did survive by marrying into Henry Tudor’s family (specifically, Elizabeth of York, Richard’s niece, married Henry VII).  Eventually, the House of York produced the Stuart line of kings, who were overthrown by the Glorious Revolution.  The white rose then became a symbol, for many “Jacobites” who wanted the Stuarts restored, especially in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, not of tyranny, but of rebellion!  Very ironic.

Richard III now has many “Ricardist” defenders who dismiss the “official” version of history as “Tudor propaganda”, and indeed, it was the Richard III Society that, along with the University of Leicester, funded the expedition that led to the discovery of his remains.  Their version of what happened, IMHO, seems just as much as propagandistic as the anti-Richard III material, but feel free to read the website and decide for yourself!  Interestingly, the discovery seems to SUPPORT the idea that Richard was a hunchback, as the skeleton had severe scoliosis of the spine, even thought his idea has often been dismissed by Ricardists as mere propaganda.

I wonder if Suzanne Collins herself was thinking of the Wars of the Roses when she chose to make Snow’s symbol a white rose, or if this is just a giant coincidence.  Another parallel, is that one of the charges made against Richard III, including in the Shakespeare play, is that he poisoned his wife, Queen Anne, so he could marry Elizabeth of York (the same one who later married Henry VII).  One of the charges against Snow by Finnick is that he poisoned his political opponents.

I can easily imagine that, centuries after the fall of the Capitol, there would emerge a group of revisionist historians who found the Coriolanus Snow Society, dedicated to reforming Snow’s image, and that dismisses the accounts of Snow’s atrocities as “mere Coinist propaganda”.

The archery practice target: President Snow

The archery practice target: President Snow (Photo credit: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

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