She [Suzanne Collins] told me she was working on a retelling of the Theseus myth – a story that became The Hunger Games. And she did it beautifully. In the Theseus myth, Crete is the evil empire. They have subjugated Greece, and every year as a show of fealty, the Greeks must send fourteen tributes – seven young men, seven young women – to the Cretan capital to descend into the Labyrinth and fight the Minotaur. None ever return, until Theseus breaks the cycle. Why does The Hunger Games resonate? Because Suzanne did a marvelous job reworking an ancient story that speaks to every age – an oppressive government with unreasonable demands, a conquered people trying to maintain their dignity, a hero who must decide to risk everything for a cause.
— Rick Riordan about reading myths, Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games