- Main article: 75th Hunger Games arena
The Plan of the 75th Hunger Games Arena.
The arena was designed to mimic a clock, which Wiress was the first to discover. For every hour, some form of torture designed by the Gamemakers would be activated in a specific section of the arena. It was split into 12 sections, each for a different hour of the day. The arena was shaped like a circle and was very small. The Cornucopia was on an island in a large, round pool of salt water. Encircling the water was a jungle. The only fresh water was rainwater stored inside the trees. There were various foods in the arena, including nuts, «tree rats,» and shellfish that some of the tributes cooked by bouncing off the forcefield.
- 12-1: Bursts of lightning hit a single tree.
- 1-2: Blood rains down from the sky. Kills: Blight
- 2-3: Corrosive fog spreads through the jungle. Kills: Mags
- 3-4: Orange monkey muttations attack. Kills: District 6 female (75th HG)
- 4-5: Jabberjays torture the tributes with their loved ones’ screams.
- 5-6: Unknown
- 6-7: Unspecified muttation; Peeta calls it the «Beast.» Kills: District 10 male (75th HG)
- 7-8: Unknown
- 8-9: Unknown
- 9-10: Unknown
- 10-11: Huge tidal wave hits the beach. Kills: District 5 female (75th HG)
- 11-12: From the sound of clicking, Katniss guesses that it could be insect mutts with pinchers.
This cycle was repeated periodically to match the time, with each hour triggering a new event. Each event therefore occurred twice a day. The cycle began on midnight of the second day, and the Quarter Quell ended just after midnight of the third day. Each event was triggered four times except the lightning, which was triggered five times.
- «I watch his hands, his beautiful, capable fingers. Scarred, but strong and deft. Hands that have the power to mine coal but the precision to set a delicate snare. Hands I trust.«
- ―Katniss, on Gale
Gale is an expert at snares and strategy. He has known about snares since the first time he went into the woods. He has been able to catch many animals in his snares, which has been helpful for him and his family. Gale taught Katniss about basic snares, which came in handy during the Hunger Games. Later, he is able to transfer his skill in snares into a skill in designing military weapons and tactics.
Gale is also able to use a bow and arrow, though he is not as accurate or fast as Katniss. He is able to shoot from a certain distance and it takes him a little longer to shoot, but he is proficient enough to hunt and defend himself. He is able to kill animals with his skill.
In Mockingjay, Gale uses a Crossbow in the place of a normal Bow. The Crossbow looks very futuristic and is probably designed by Beetee, like Katniss’ Bow. It’s likely that Gales’ Crossbow uses three different kinds of arrows, just like the Bow of Katniss, but only one kind of arrow is seen in Mockingjay Part 1: The Explosive Arrows.
Clove, like most Careers, was strong, healthy, brawny and fit. In the book, she was about 150-200 pounds, as she was described as being at least 50-100 pounds heavier than 100-pound Katniss. It was heavily implied that Clove was at least 15 and overall larger than Katniss.
In the nightmare Katniss had before the 75th Hunger Games, Clove turned into a wolf mutt with dark fur sprouting from her skin. With the wolf mutts fur resembling the tributes hair it is likely that Clove herself had dark hair.
In the movie, Clove was smaller and younger than Katniss, being only 14-15 and weighing just at 100 pounds. She was described as being 5’4″ and had dark hair, usually in a ponytail or braid (while her mutt had dark fur), dark eyes, and some freckles.
Gale single-handedly supports his three younger siblings, Rory, Vick, and Posy, and his mother, Hazelle. His father died in the same mine accident as Katniss’ father did. Gale originally supported his family by illegally hunting and applying for extra tesserae (a small supply of grain and oil). As of Catching Fire, when he is too old for the Games, he works in the same mines as his father used to, twelve hours a day, with only Sundays off.
Even though Katniss wants to help him, he refuses every coin she offers. He does allow Katniss to bring in game from hunts that he can no longer join, but expresses antagonism towards this arrangement as well. Katniss and her family are just like family to him, as they look out for each other and share many things in common. At the end of Catching Fire, Gale saves Prim, Mrs. Everdeen, and about nine hundred other District 12 citizens when the Capitol bombs their home.
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Personality and traits
Rue had a gentle and kind nature. Her greatest joy in life was music, and she loved singing with the mockingjays at home. The mockingjays liked her and were used to her; a few were even her special friends because she was the one who sang a four-note melody that signaled the end of a work day out in the fields.
Clever and resourceful, Rue manages to steal Cato’s knife
While in the arena, Rue showed excitement at the prospect of adventure — one character trait that Katniss noted differed her from Prim. Rue was clever and quite observant of her surroundings, noticing every piece of information she saw when spying on the Careers.
Being the eldest child in her family, Rue was a caretaker and always made sure her younger siblings were tended to. Similarly, she helped heal Katniss in the arena and willingly shared her supplies and knowledge. Once allied with Katniss, Rue put a great deal of trust in her, falling asleep quickly that night and agreeing to Katniss’s schemes.
- Main article: Mentors
Each living victor from each district is given the task of mentoring the next tributes for the Games. If there is only one living victor, he/she will be the mentor for both tributes (e.g. Haymitch Abernathy mentors both Katniss and Peeta for the 74th and 75th Hunger Games). Any living victor, mentor or not, is required to visit the Capitol to watch the Games, visit the residents, and make Capitol TV cameos, but the mentors come alongside their respective District tributes and to watch the Games live. Mentors are very important as they give advice to their tributes, assist in the forming of alliances, politic for their tributes, secure sponsors, and control the sending of any gifts into the arena. A good clear minded mentor is imperative to the success of their tributes with very few exceptions.
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Rue was the eldest of six children. She had five younger siblings, all living in poverty in District 11.
She usually gave her food rations to her younger siblings, and foraged in the fields to provide more food for them. District 11 has very strict laws and Rue could be punished for helping her family in this way. On the Victory Tour (in Catching Fire), Katniss sees Rue’s family and her siblings look just like Rue. Her parents were also seen weeping. A man in the back whistles her four note tune, and started a small uprising. The man was shot shortly after. After Katniss sees the man get shot, she hears two more shots, which could possibly mean someone in the family was killed or wounded. At the Quarter Quell, Seeder assures Katniss that Rue’s family is safe.
Katniss’ alliance seeks shelter in the jungle. However Peeta strikes a force field causing his heart to stop. Fortunately, he is revived by Finnick. Haymitch sends the alliance a sponsors gift of a spile (although it takes them a while to figure out how to use it). Katniss hears 12 gongs which signal the beginning of the hourly horrors.
District 5 male, Male Morphling, Woof, Cecelia, District 9 Male, District 9 female, District 10 female, Seeder.
Following a lightning storm and rain which doesn’t seem to move closer to the alliance a cannon is heard (signalling Blight’s demise). Katniss then notices the uniformity of approaching mist and rouses the others. After fleeing through the jungle Katniss and the others find their motor controls failing along with burns appearing. In order for Finnick to save Peeta, Mags sacrifices herself by walking into the fog.
The remaining members collapse in the jungle and notice monkeys lining the trees. They crawl to the pond (Movie) /Centre lake (Book) and purge themselves of the fog poison. Peeta tries to tap a tree for water upon which the monkeys are again noticed by Katniss and Finnick. The monkey’s attack the trio. When Katniss runs out of arrows she beckons to Peeta for more momentarily distracting him. However, when a monkey attacks him the female morphling appears from behind the foliage and sacrifices herself to save Peeta, putting herself in between him and the monkey. She dies while being comforted by Peeta in the water.
Katniss and the alliance rest whilst Finnick remains on watch whilst grieving for Mags. In the morning they receive a sponsors gift of ointment for their skin. Finnick and Katniss scare Peeta awake and receive another gift of bread from District 4. The 10 o’clock wave occurs and a cannon is heard along with the District 5 female’s scream.
Katniss notices three individuals appearing out of the jungle: Johanna, Wiress and Beetee. Beetee is badly injured and Wiress keeps mumbling «Tick tock». This leads Katniss to the revelation that the arena is set up like a giant clock. The alliance heads to the cornucopia to resupply and Wiress is killed by Gloss. In retaliation Katniss shoots Gloss and Johanna kills Cashmere. The cornucopia starts to spin distorting the alliances ability to tell time.
Finnick and Katniss become trapped in the jabberjays section and are forced to listen to artificial sounds of their loved ones being tortured. Another cannon sounds in the nearby wedge causing a tribute, the District 10 male, to be collected in pieces.
The alliance settles down for the night again and Peeta attempts to persuade Katniss not to sacrifice her life for his.
Gloss, Cashmere, Wiress, Mags, District 5 female, Female Morphiling, Blight, District 10 male.
The next day, Beetee comes up with a plan to kill off the remaining Careers, Brutus and Enobaria. He planned on using the lightning tree and his coil to shock them both to death after Katniss’s alliance fled the beach.
Katniss and the others make it to the tree in ample time, and Beetee has Katniss and Johanna take the wire and take it to the beach as quickly as possible so they could trap the Carrers. As they brought the wire down, Brutus and Enobaria spotted them, and Johanna attacked Katniss, slicing out her tracker, and telling her to stay down so they would think Johanna killed her.
After feeling she was safe, Katniss left the area to look for Peeta, and, returned to the lightning tree. Finnick soon calls out for her, and Katniss raises an arrow at her, but Finnick reminds her to remember who the real enemy is. With these words, Katniss attaches the wire to her arrow, and shoots the forcefield surrounding the arena, destroying it with the lightning. In this time, Chaff was found by Brutus, and was killed. Peeta, upon seeing this, killed Brutus in a fit of rage.
After destroying the forcefield, Katniss, Finnick and Beetee were recovered by District 13 rebels, while Johanna, Peeta and Enobaria were taken hostage by the Capitol.
Brutus and Chaff
- Main article: The Reaping
Effie Trinket, the District 12 escort, drawing a name from the Reaping Ball.
Every year, each district holds a reaping ceremony «Lottery». Two large glass balls contain slips of paper with the names of each child through the ages of 12-18. However, they can choose to add their name more times in exchange for tesserae, which is a small ration of oil and grain. Each tessera has enough oil and grain to supply one family member with food for one year and entries are cumulative from year to year. The exception to this rule was the 25th Hunger Games, the FirstQuarter Quell, in which each District was forced to elect the male and female tributes that they would send to the Capitol.
The district’s representative/escort (e.g. Effie Trinket for District 12) picks a name out of the balls, one of which is for girls and one for boys. The tributes whose names are chosen are then entered into the Hunger Games, unless someone is willing to volunteer — a normally quite rare phenomenon unless it is in one of the «Career Districts» (, , and in the novel, 1 and 2 in the film), in which children have been training their whole lives at a special school to enter the Games. The one exception to the traditional one boy, one girl per district, total of twenty four reaped tributes rule was the 50th Hunger Games, the Second Quarter Quell. In these games each District were required to double the amount of tributes and reap two girls and two boys for a total of 48 tributes to compete.
Victors from previous Hunger Games are no longer eligible to be reaped or volunteer for subsequent games, even if they are still age eligible. The exception being the 75th Hunger Games, the Third Quarter Quell, in which the reaping of potential tributes was restricted to each district’s pool of existing victors.
- Clove’s name means to cleave, which means to split with a sharp instrument (which makes sense since Clove is very skilled with knives), as seen the night before Glimmer’s death when she throws three knives at a lizard.
- In the film, it is shown that she weighs 100 pounds.
- It is stated that Clove was made unhinged and slightly psychotic to supplement her high combat skills in the film. This is due to the fact that Isabelle Fuhrman, the actress who portrayed Clove, was smaller than the other actors who played the Career Tributes. As the Career Tributes were supposed to be bigger than most of the other tributes to make them more feared, Clove expertise with knives and mental instability was played up to make her just as intimidating.
- In the film, her betting odds of winning were 5-1, the same as Marvel, the District 7 boy, and the District 8 girl.
- According to Linda Flowers, the film’s hair stylist, Clove’s arena hairstyle was inspired by the «bad girls» in Japanese action movies, who had high ponytails with knives in them. To make it look more original, they made it like little balls coming down her head.
- In deleted scenes, Caeser reveals that Clove was a volunteer.
- In an interview, Isabelle Fuhrman revealed that she made up a backstory for Clove. The backstory is as follows: Clove had a terrible relationship with her parents, who pressured her into volunteering for the Hunger Games. Clove’s goal was to win the Games in order to prove to her parents that she could win on her own.
Behind the Scenes
Panem and the general setting of The Hunger Games has many references to the Ancient Roman Empire. The Games themselves are reminiscent of the Roman munera, or gladiatorial games. The districts surrounding the Capitol are similar to the Roman provinces that surrounded the city of Rome. Many names, particularly of those from the Capitol are Roman names, such as Cinna, Seneca, Caesar, Coriolanus, Portia etc.
The name «Panem» itself comes from the Latin expression panem et circenses, which means «bread and circuses», a political strategy to keep the people satisfied with the current leaders by distracting them with cheap food («bread») and entertainment («circuses»), the two basis of Panem’s control over the districts and the people within. The Hunger Games version of panem et circenses is far darker and crueler than the Roman version, as food and entertainment are also used as a means of coercion (through threats of being withheld) as well as for distraction.
Additionally, Panem may also have a secondary derivation as a corrupted form of «Pan-Am» («Pan-America»), hinted by the fact that the name «Panem» is pronounced in the movies with both syllables stressed.
Panem had 13 districts, possibly an allusion to the original Thirteen American Colonies than rebelled against their British rulers.
The tributes of the 75th Hunger Games.
While preparing for the Games, the tributes all seemed to like each other, even publicly joining hands as a symbol of sorrow and defiance towards the Capitol. However, when they went into the arena, the killing resumed as usual.
The victors holding hand at the 75th Hunger Games’ interview.
In this year’s Games, the tributes from Districts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 11 had varying degrees of knowledge about the plan to break the tributes out of the arena. They also agreed to die in order to keep Katniss alive, because she was the symbol of the rebellion and while she lived, the revolution lived.
All 24 tributes were previous victors. Additionally, the games were unique as it was the first time that two tributes from the same district (Katniss and Peeta) both scored a 12 out of 12 in training.
|District||Male Tribute||Female Tribute|
|District 3||Beetee Latier||Wiress|
|District 4||Finnick Odair||Mags|
|District 5||Unnamed Tribute||Unnamed Tribute|
|District 6||«Male Morphling»||«Female Morphling»|
|District 7||Blight||Johanna Mason|
|District 9||Unnamed Tribute||Unnamed Tribute|
|District 10||Unnamed Tribute||Unnamed Tribute|
|District 12||Peeta Mellark||Katniss Everdeen|
In The Hunger Games, Gale was not yet working in the coal mines, and was mainly supporting his family through tesserae and the money and meat he made from poaching illegally in the woods that surrounding District 12. By Catching Fire, Gale had turned nineteen and was working in the coal mines. This gave a little more money, but left him less time to hunt. He still made time to hunt on Sundays with Katniss. This job took the place of the tesserae, because he is no longer eligible for the Hunger Games, but did not help his family in finances.
His poaching was stopped in Catching Fire, after Katniss and Gale got into a heated argument. Gale was caught with a fresh turkey when he went to sell it at the Head Peacekeeper, Cray’s, home. Unknown to Gale and the rest of the community, Cray had been replaced by another cruel Head Peacekeeper, Thread. Gale was forced to admit his guilt and was then whipped horribly. Peeta was with Katniss when the two witnessed Gale’s whipping. Peeta had told Katniss to leave when he saw the scene, knowing full well that Katniss would try to stop Thread but even with his warning, Katniss rushed to Gale’s aid, getting lashed in the face herself in the process. Peeta and Haymitch had to step in before Thread could hurt Katniss more. The whipping was soon brought to an end and Gale was rushed to Katniss’ mother for medical treatment. Katniss was by Gale’s side during the treatment and kissed him, which brought Gale back to consciousness. Katniss then decides that Gale is the one she will love. Both Katniss and Gale had to stop their treks into the woods when the new Peacekeeper decides, just to be safe, to run constant electricity through the fence that surrounds the woods so that no one can get in or out.
At the beginning of Mockingjay, he works particularly closely with Beetee, designing weaponry for District 13, and later goes in as a soldier on the ground to assassinate President Snow. Gale eventually moves to District 2, where he currently lives and continues working for the military.
- Main article: Quarter Quell
Every twenty-five years, the president of Panem selects a card from a box made during the original establishment of the Hunger Games that makes a change in the rules of the reapings. For the first Quarter Quell, or the 25th Hunger Games, each district had to choose the children who went into the arena. For the second Quarter Quell, or the 50th Hunger Games, twice as many tributes had to be reaped to go into the arena (It can be assumed that four children were reaped from each district that year; Two boys and two girls). That was the year Haymitch Abernathy won. For the third Quarter Quell, or the 75th Hunger Games, the tributes were reaped from the pool of existing victors. Katniss Everdeen was despaired when she heard this because her status as the only living female victor from District 12 assured her return to the arena.
Clove was strong, sadistic, arrogant, violent, dangerous, and powerful, characteristics of a typical Career. Clove was also slightly unhinged, which made her a feared opponent. She had a strong hatred for Katniss, particularly due to her score of 11 from the Gamemakers, which was higher than her own score of 10. When she captures Katniss at the Feast, she boasts about how her team killed Rue and joyfully states she was going to make her death a slow and painful one, exemplifying her psychotic and sadistic nature. Clove was also intelligent, supporting Marvel in his idea to keep Peeta alive to get to Katniss, and was smart enough to go to the lake to heal her tracker jacker wounds, and was also instinctive enough to go back to the Cornucopia instead of chasing Katniss. While Clove was confident in her abilities to hold her own and take on other tributes, particularly Katniss, this facade collapses when faced with overwhelming force, which came in the form of Thresh. Completely terrified of him, Clove was too cowardly to own up to her mockery of Rue when at his mercy and ultimately was only able to scream for Cato’s help in her final moments.
- Main article: Sponsors
A sponsor gift.
As tributes battle in the arena, quite often they can become helpless (ex. Peeta Mellark with blood poisoning, Katniss’ leg burn, etc.). This is simply because of the Cornucopia bloodbath, since the tributes are fighting over the items they need to win the Hunger Games. Many of the tributes are left with limited or no items they wanted from the Cornucopia. Wealthy viewers or groups of people can pool their funds and send items into the arena should a tribute need something, such as food, shelter, weapons, or medicine. In the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss received burn medicine and food — most notably a loaf of bread from District 11 that she assumes was intended for Rue before her death. Katniss is extremely touched by this unheard of gesture as never before has a tribute received a gift from another district. Most items are very limited and small but during the 65th Hunger Games, Finnick Odair received what as recalled to Katniss one of the most expensive sponsorship gifts she had ever seen, a trident.
In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta went to District 2 on their victory tour where they see Clove’s grieving family, and tried to avoid eye contact. Katniss stated that the appearance in District 2 was awful, and that both the tributes Cato and Clove could have made it home if it hadn’t been for her and Peeta.
Clove appeared in one of Katniss’ nightmares before the 75th Hunger Games. She stabbed Katniss in the cheek and then turned into a mutt and began to lick Katniss’ wound, causing Katniss great pain. Clove reminded her that she couldn’t run away from her fears and the Hunger Games themselves, thereafter turning into a mutt and chasing Katniss.
For presumably its entire history, Panem was run as a totalitarian dictatorship led by a president who served for life and wielded absolute power over the government and military. Four presidents of Panem are mentioned and present in the book series: Ravinstill, Coriolanus Snow, Alma Coin, and Paylor. Previous presidents are unknown; Coriolanus Snow was mentioned to have been the president during the 50th Hunger Games, meaning he held power for at least 25 years. Ravinstill is described as having been in power before the First Rebellion and up to and including at least the 10th Hunger Games. The exact details of the the national government are unknown, but it is at least known the President possesses a cabinet, with ministers that presumably oversee different areas of the government. The government overall is modelled after that of ancient Rome, reflected in Capitol society by the citizenry taking names of Greco-Roman origin and the architecture of the city. Originally, Panem was composed of a federal district, the Capitol, and 13 districts spread out over North America. Following the First Rebellion, only twelve districts remained following District 13’s apparent destruction (in reality, secession). With the overthrow of the Snow regime in Mockingjay at the conclusion of the Second Rebellion, District 13 reunified with a now democratic Panem, restructured into a constitutional republic, with Commander Paylor as the first democratically elected president.
The government of the individual Districts is not entirely known. District 12 possessed a mayor with a contingent of Peacekeepers composed of local and Capitol-sourced soldiers overseeing law enforcement under a Head Peacekeeper and it can be assumed the other Districts are governed in this way. With all major industries privately owned by wealthy Capitol families under state oversight, Panem operates as a semi-feudal fascist state. Each district is assigned a particular industry, and citizens have little freedom to choose careers outside of their district’s designated industry. Free markets outside of the Capitol, such as the Hob in District 12, are illegal, though some grey market exchange is tolerated. All trade and commerce between the districts is generally forbidden, as most of the districts’ produced goods are sent to the Capitol. As a result, a majority of the districts live in abject poverty with the exceptions of Districts 1, 2, 4, and 5.
Due to the nature of the totalitarian dictatorship governing Panem, citizens, particularly in the Districts have little civil liberties and virtually no capacity for self-governance or say in how to be governed. Even in the Capitol, it’s citizens have surrendered such rights in exchange for «bread and circus.» As such, Capitol citizens partake in lavish and hedonistic lifestyle dominated by mass entertainment, parties, and extravagant fashion that is largely removed from the oppressions and destitution faced by the outlying Districts.
Law enforcement is provided through a military/police force known as the Peacekeepers. Originally headquartered in District 13, the then center of Panem’s military-industrial complex, this was moved to District 2 following the First Rebellion. As such most soldiers who enlist in the Peacekeepers come from District 2, although a significant portion originate from the Capitol, with a small minority coming from the other Districts. Each District’s Peacekeeper garrison is headed by a Head Peacekeeper, who is responsible for enforcing the laws of Panem within his designated District.
Panem can be compared to North Korea, and it is possible that they turned down or ignored diplomatic relations with other survivor nations in the world (if they do exist), who are likely unaware of the hardship that faced Panem’s citizenry
Mags was noted by Haymitch to be a wonderful lady and showed herself to be kind, friendly, selfless, and very brave, as well as pragmatic. She volunteered to save Annie, clearly knowing she was not going to survive, and willingly walked to her death to allow Finnick, Katniss, and Peeta to escape the poison fog in the arena without being burdened by her, sacrificing herself without hesitation to protect them so that they would survive (and go on to help the rebellion).
She clearly loved Finnick and Annie, as it was noted she basically raised Finnick, having mentored him and likely Annie as well. She made easy friends with Katniss, who admired the old woman for her bravery and selflessness.