Commander Paylor's early life is unknown, however, as a resident of District 8, she most likely worked in the district's textile factories like most other citizens.
Katniss first meets Paylor when she goes to District 8's hospital in order to film a propo for the Airtime Assault on the Capitol. Paylor takes Katniss along with Gale Hawthorne, Boggs, and the TV crew into the hospital. Paylor watches Katniss closely, to see what she is made of and if they have been right to count on her.
After Katniss leaves the hospital, hovercrafts from the Capitol fly in and begin to bomb the hospital. In an effort to fight against the bombers, Katniss and Gale climb to the roof of a warehouse that has machine gun nests. This is where they run into Commander Paylor again. Together, they all work to destroy the other waves of hovercrafts that fly overhead.
Commander Paylor later returns in the story when Katniss is living in President Snow's mansion, awaiting his execution. Katniss follows the strong scent of Snow's roses until she finds a room that is being guarded by two soldiers who at first do not permit her entrance to the room because they are following President Coin's orders. However, when Paylor appears, she instructs the soldiers to let Katniss go in and they obey her authority. Katniss enters to find President Snow and the two of them have a brief conversation. Snow informs Katniss that it was not him who bombed the children and ultimately killed Prim, but that instead it was President Coin who was behind it. When Katniss emerges, Paylor asks her, "Did you find what you were looking for?", and Katniss holds up rose, which Paylor takes as an affirmative response. This seems to imply that Paylor was somehow aware of Coin's betrayal and wanted Katniss to find out.
After Katniss assassinates President Coin, an emergency election was thrown together and Paylor was voted in as president. Under her rule, the Hunger Games were abolished, the arenas were destroyed, and memorials were built. It can be assumed that Paylor successfully set up the republic that Plutarch Heavensbee announced that they would form after the Capitol's defeat. She also pardoned Katniss for the assassination of Coin and declared her mentally unstable and let her return to District 12. Plutarch became her Secretary of Communications.
Paylor is in her early thirties but she was mentioned to look too young for her occupation. She has dark brown eyes and even darker hair.
Although a strong and respectable leader, Commander Paylor was one of the very few rebels who wasn't overly concerned with vengeance. Though holding President Snow and the Capitol in contempt for their crimes against the districts, Paylor urged the rebels not to attack Capitol citizens and to only focus on capturing Snow.
Along with a few others, Paylor seemed to sense that President Coin was not a trustworthy individual to lead the rebellion. It is possible that the bombing of the Capitol children, Paylor was disgusted herself and realized that this assault was a facade and violation of the plan to conquer the Capitol. When Katniss was barred from entering the rose garden after the fall of the Capitol, Paylor ordered the guards to permit her entry and meet President Snow, in hopes of allowing the former to find out about the truth regarding who was responsible for the final bombing of the Capitol.
It can be assumed that she was favored amongst the citizens of both the Districts and the Capitol.
- In the films, Paylor's role is expanded. In Mockingjay - Part 2, she is seen in District 2 alongside Commander Lyme and the other rebels. Interacting with President Coin via a live feed, the three discuss ways in which the rebels can capture the Capitol's arsenal of weaponry held inside the large mountain nicknamed "the Nut". Given the suffering that the people of District 8 have already been through, Paylor refuses to commit her troops to an assault just to acquire weapons, as Coin suggests. Paylor and Lyme eventually persuade Coin to agree with Gale Hawthorne's plan of simply disabling the Nut by cutting off outside access and giving the Capitol loyalists a chance to surrender. Paylor is later seen giving a rousing speech to the assembled rebels on the outskirts of the Capitol, and explains how they will capture President Snow and take control of the city.