What if Panem was New Jersey? The Hunger Games featuring characters from The Sopranos as tributes would be the most competitive and entertaining installment ever. Tony and those around him are not only used to violence but they’ve also lived all their lives watching their backs and doing evil deeds to survive.
An analysis of personalities, level of intelligence, and past actions makes it possible to determine who will go all the way. President Snow, the Gamemakers, and the residents of the Capitol have to watch out too because none of these characters are used to following laws set up by the government.
AJ can’t do anything right in the HBO series. He isn’t bright in class, he doesn’t have a special skill and neither is he tough enough to be a gangster like his father. Tony is even angry when Carmela tells him to get a vasectomy because he doesn’t see AJ as a worthy heir.
The youngest Soprano will be among the first tributes to perish during the usual early bloodbath at the Cornucopia. Due to his indecision, one wouldn’t bet on him grabbing a proper weapon in time after leaving the Launch Room. Even if he makes it to the forest, he’ll possibly be spotted and taken out, much to the glee of the Gamemakers.
Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero
The fact that the FBI sees Pussy as the perfect DiMeo crime family member to threaten and turn into a snitch proves he is weak. He deals drugs despite the fact that such a business endeavor is guaranteed to attract the authorities. As expected, he gets caught and turned into an informant. As a rat, he makes frantic and careless decisions such as pursuing fellow gangsters with a car.
Weakness can be sensed from far and during the hunger games, other tributes will be on to Pussy as soon as everyone leaves the Cornucopia. Just as his downfall is brought by the FBI in the series, his demise in the arena will be at the hands of a Career Tribute who will execute him in a hasty manner.
Carmela is a loving and good-hearted mother but being married to a mob boss has taught her to be vicious. She is capable of protecting herself as seen in the incident where she hears a noise outside at night while she’s with Father Phil and pulls out a rifle. Like a Schwarzenneger character, she steps outside to blow away whoever it is only to find out it’s Meadow.
She also threatens Joan to sign a letter of recommendation for Meadow. A badass mom, Carmela will manage a few kills and survive several traps before she dies. A Gamemaker-engineered calamity in the forest is a better bet as her cause of death.
Christopher might look friendly but his badass meter is quite high. A man who offers the love of his life to be killed by his boss won’t hesitate to turn on tributes that he has formed alliances with during the hunger games. Christopher’s self-defense skills are legendary too. His attempted assassination in Season 2 also proves he will last long in the arena.
When Matt and Sean try to whack him in order to win favor with Richie, Christopher fires back and kills Sean. He is badly wounded but still comes out alive. This is proof of his endurance. Minor injuries won’t slow him down in the arena. His undoing? Drug addiction will cloud his judgment, hence he’ll make one wrong move that’ll lead to his death.
There’s no doubt that Dr. Melfi is a good person. Her skills in psychiatry make her an easier person to warm up to than to lash out against. She makes Tony comfortable enough to open up about the most intricate proceedings in his life. Since their conversations are guarded by doctor-patient confidentiality, she keeps his secrets.
Just as Katniss wasn’t expected to go far because she came from District 12, Melfi won’t be expected to go far because she is nice. However, the combination of her intelligence and her people skills will make fellow tributes spare her on a number of occasions. She’ll then be killed by a genetically engineered being without a conscience—a Mutt.
Consigliere Silvio Dante has the appearance of a typical mafia enforcer. His looks alone are enough to make other tributes piss their pants in the arena. He is the show’s resident “Rat Killer” as he manages to whack three different FBI informants including Jimmy Altieri, Big Pussy, and Adriana.
Silvio is also fiercely loyal. He faces several temptations to turn on Tony during several stages of the series but remains loyal. Any person he makes an alliance with can expect to be well protected. Just like in the series, it will take more than one person to put Silvio down. He’s more likely to die at the hands of Mutts than humans.
Carrado “Junior” Soprano
You don’t get to grow old in the mafia by not being careful. Most people in the business have a short life span. It’s normal in a world where a small mistake gets you whacked. Junior, on the other hand, has seen many generations come and go. His only weakness is his failing health.
Old age goes hand in hand with wisdom and Junior will be able to anticipate all threats that come his way. The only thing that’ll prevent him from being a victor is the lack of medical supplies or food to keep his health in check.
Janice is not likable, not even one bit, but she is vicious and manipulative enough to make her way to the final stages of the games. Her penchant for violence is well proven. She shoots her fiance Richie Aprile when he physically abuses her and brutally beats up a mother during a soccer match. The incident is shocking enough to put her on the news.
Janice also manipulates three ruthless mobsters in the series (Richie, Ralph, and Bobby) into dating her and doing her bidding. And despite living dangerously, she is still alive when the series ends. In the arena, she’ll scheme and fight her way through various stages until someone like Paulie reluctantly eliminates her in order to stand a better chance of winning.
Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri
Paulie has the highest kill count in the series, with a total of 9 murders. In Season 2, it’s revealed that he had his first kill in the ’60s. Given that events in the series begin in the late ’90s, Paulie probably killed more people before the pilot. A man with such statistics wouldn’t struggle during the games.
Wolf Mutts? Monkey Mutts? All will be slain by Mighty Paulie. His fellow tributes will have no chance either. He’s likely to die after underestimating an opponent as he did with Russian mobster Valery in the iconic episode “Pine Barrens.”
History has proven that 80% of mob bosses end up dead. 19% end up in jail while 1% get to live blissfully until old age and eventually die of natural causes. Tony survives the entire show without getting killed or imprisoned. The FBI bugs his house and his phones. They monitor him closely and even try to use informants but fail to nail him.
There’s also the time Tony fights off two hitmen on his own in the first season. Taking into account his combination of intelligence and ability to fight off attackers, the New Jersey mob boss would have a field day in the arena. All kinds of obstacles thrown his way will be dealt with in a fairly easy manner.