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The coal miners from District 12.

"Our part of District 12, nicknamed the Seam, is usually crawling with coal miners heading out to the morning shift at this hour. Men and women with hunched shoulders, swollen knuckles, many who have long since stopped trying to scrub the coal dust out of their broken nails, the lines of their sunken faces."
―Description of coal miners in the Seam[src]

Coal mining is the main occupation available to the residents of District 12. The job requires its workers to dig for coal in District 12's underground mines. The mines are open to either gender,[1] and the only real qualification required is that employees have to be over the age of 18.[2]

Coal mining is an extremely dangerous profession, as accidents such as cave explosions are frequent. Some coal miners caught in these accidents are mutilated and often lose their limbs, like Ripper,[3] while many others die in these mining accidents, as did both Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne's fathers, Mr. Everdeen[1] and Mr. Hawthorne.[4] Some coal miners can also experience trouble breathing at an older age due to working in the coal mines.

Towards the beginning of the uprising in Catching Fire, District 12's Head Peacekeeper, Cray, is replaced by Romulus Thread.[5] In response to the rebellion, the Hob is burned down and the mines are closed for two weeks. When they reopen, workers' wages are cut, their hours extended and the work sites become more and more dangerous. This comes a few months after Gale starts work in the mines along with Bristel and Thom, affecting the lives of themselves and their families.[6]

Effect on the Games

Coal mining is one of the few occupations in Panem that only opens to residents once their eligibility for the reaping of the Hunger Games is over, resulting in severely undertrained tributes. While the children of some districts, even District 11 (whose children are included in the harvests from an early age), have the chance to build their strength and skills in their respective industries for years, the children of District 12 do not have the opportunity to develop special skills or strength that they would gain working in the mines.[2] This helps to explain why District 12 only had four victors over the course of 74 years.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Hunger Games, Chapter 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Catching Fire, Chapter 23
  3. Catching Fire, Chapter 2
  4. The Hunger Games, Chapter 8
  5. Catching Fire, Chapter 8
  6. Catching Fire, Chapter 9