District 12 is the smallest and poorest of the thirteen districts of Panem. Located in Appalachia, it had a population of around 8,000 people before the district was firebombed by the Capitol. District 12's main industry is coal mining, but after the Second Rebellion the mines closed and their main industry became medicine. District 12 is the home of victors Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mallark, Haymitch Abernathy, and Lucy Gray Baird.
Areas and places
- Main article: The Seam
- "District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety."
- ―Katniss Everdeen[src]
The Seam was the poorest part of District 12 and was where Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne lived. It was located on the border of District 12, next to the wild forests. Food was extremely hard to find, and many families lived in poverty. Because of this, an adult who lived to be very old is respected and thought of as wise; in contrast, a full belly and youth are frowned upon and loathed. Many who lived there lost family due to mining accidents or from starvation. Katniss mentioned that they only had electricity a few hours a day, so they mostly used candles for light.
Early in the mornings, the streets of the Seam were crowded with tired and worn-down coal miners heading to work. Everything in that part of the district was covered in a layer of coal dust due to the coal mining of the region.
Typically, residents of the Seam have dark hair, grey eyes, and an olive complexion. Prim and Mrs. Everdeen always looked out of place in the Seam with their blonde hair and bright blue eyes.
This area of the district was a step-up from the Seam. The mayor and his daughter, along with other families such as Peeta Mellark's, lived in the merchant area and were well-off by District 12's standards. It was said by Katniss that the merchants "lived above their businesses," suggesting that the merchants' homes doubled as their shops. The merchant section was a center for trading and buying goods. With the district's coal mines, they made some trades to the Capitol and occasionally to other districts.
The merchant class' appearances set them apart from residents of the Seam, as most of them had blonde hair and blue eyes. Mrs. Everdeen originally lived in the merchant section, but she moved to the Seam to live with her husband after they married.
- Main article: The Hob
The Hob was District 12's black market, where Katniss and Gale went to sell or trade their excess game. Many things were available for purchase or trade at the Hob, varying from some of Greasy Sae's soup, a goat, or white liquor made by Ripper. It was burned down by Peacekeepers in Catching Fire.
- Main article: Victors Village
The Victors' Village is a small area where the victors of previous Hunger Games dwell. The houses are grand and luxurious compared to the rest of District 12. It housed four victors in the span of 75 Hunger Games; the first victor died sometime before the 74th Hunger Games, leaving Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Haymitch Abernathy as the only ones who lived there.
The Justice Building
The Justice Building was used for formal administration such as registration of marriages. Tributes would bid goodbye to their loved ones inside, and the eldest children of miners killed in accidents would receive medals of honor here, such as Katniss and Gale.
- "Back home everything is so much simpler. A woman usually rents a white dress that's been worn hundreds of times. The man wears something clean that's not mining clothes. They fill out some forms at the Justice Building and are assigned a house. Family and friends gather for a meal or bit of cake, if it can be afforded. Even if it can't, there's always a traditional song we sing as the new couple crosses the threshold of their home. And we have our own little ceremony, where they make their first fire, toast a bit of bread, and share it. Maybe it's old-fashioned, but no one really feels married in District 12 until after the toasting."
- ―Catching Fire[src]
The square was where the reapings were held. Citizens would be forced to gather and watch that year's tributes be selected. In the Hunger Games film, a propaganda video describing the Dark Days and origin of the Hunger Games would be played on a screen before the reaping.
Relationship with the Games
Since District 12 is the poorest of Panem's districts, its tributes are almost guaranteed a quick death. Prior to the 74th Hunger Games, the district had produced only two victors. Most of the district's tributes are malnourished and are unaccustomed to the glamour of the Capitol, often being regarded as "uncivil" as Effie remarked.
Due to their primary industry being mining, most tributes are inexperienced with weapons compared to other districts, such as Districts 7, 4, and 2. Sponsors typically refuse to support District 12 tributes, as this district has produced the fewest winners. Katniss and Peeta were exceptions, due to the former's illegal hunting skills and Peeta's strength, personality, and overall handsomeness. Lucy Gray Baird was also an exception, due to her skill at entertaining the crowds with song, as well as strong performance in the games and Coriolanus Snow's selling the Capitol on the idea that she was not truly a District girl.
- Main article: The fence
A twenty-foot high electric fence surrounded the district. Officials and Peacekeepers claimed it was electrified twenty-four hours a day, but Katniss could tell if it was or wasn't. In Catching Fire, when Romulus Thread became Head Peacekeeper of 12, the fence was always electrified.
The fence was supposedly there to keep out wild animals, but it more likely existed to keep the people in.
- Maysilee Donner - 50th Hunger Games tribute.
- Unknown female tribute - 50th Hunger Games, from the Seam.
- Haymitch Abernathy - Victor of the 50th Hunger Games.
- Unknown tributes of the 73rd Hunger Games - mentioned in the first book.
- Katniss Everdeen - Co-Victor of the 74th Hunger Games
- Peeta Mellark - Co-Victor of the 74th Hunger Games
- Lucy Gray Baird - Victor of the 10th Hunger Games, mentored by Coriolanus Snow
- Jessup Diggs - a male tribute in the 10th Hunger Games, mentored by Lysistrata Vickers
The last escort for District 12 was Effie Trinket, a bubbly, pink-haired, air-headed lady from the Capitol. Another was seen in the recap of Haymitch's Games. Effie was reluctant and slightly unwelcoming to the tributes, feeling she was bound to be promoted to a better district.
An unknown woman is the escort during the 50th Hunger Games.
At the end of Catching Fire, Gale sees Katniss on her way to District 13 and informs her that there is no District 12. The district was destroyed with incendiary bombs by the Capitol, with only the Victors' Village spared. Gale is able to evacuate roughly 900 citizens, although the rest are presumably all killed in the bombing.
During the second rebellion, the rebels used District 12 as a transportation base to send troops to the Capitol. Katniss and Squad 451 were taken there before being transported to the Capitol. After Panem's second war, Katniss and Haymitch returned to District 12, and Peeta eventually returned as well. Most of the remains of District 12 citizens were buried in a mass grave. A medicine factory was constructed, and District 12 began to rebuild. The filled-in mass grave is now a meadow. In the epilogue, Katniss and Peeta take their son and their daughter to the Meadow. They agreed to tell them someday about the people buried there and what they died for.
- All the living victors of District 12: Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta have killed Careers sometime in their Games. Katniss killed Glimmer, Marvel, Cato, Gloss, and a female from 4, Peeta killed Brutus, and Haymitch killed three unnamed Careers, including the District 1 female in his games. (This excludes Maysilee since even though she has killed a career tribute to save Haymitch, she was killed in the 50th Hunger Games).
- All of District 12's victors have had an ally from the same District.
- There were only two volunteer tributes from District 12, Katniss for Prim in the 74th games and Peeta for Haymitch in the Third Quarter Quell.
- All of the living victors of District 12 have competed in a Quarter Quell.
- All of the victors of District 12 won their first Hunger Games at the age of 16.
- All three living victors have comforted a female tribute in their last moments: Katniss comforted Rue in the 74th Hunger Games, Peeta comforted the female morphling in the 75th Hunger Games and Haymitch comforted Maysilee Donner in the 50th Hunger Games.
- All of the named tributes from District 12 made their way into the top five, with the exception of Jessup Diggs, who placed 11th in the 10qth Hunger Games.
- According to The Hunger Games Adventures, District 12 is located on the East Coast of Panem and is the smallest district by size.
- Each of the known victors from District 12 has done an act that made the Capitol look foolish. Katniss and Peeta both almost ate the berries, knowing the Capitol need their victor, forcing them to have two victors. Haymitch used the forcefield as a weapon when a girl from District 1 threw her ax towards him as he didn't know it would come back, catching her off guard and sending the axe into her head, resulting in Haymitch's victory in the 50th Hunger Games. Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow cheated to win.
- Although it was one of the most targeted districts during the 2nd rebellion, District 12 never had an officially organized rebellion against the Capitol, as it was fire-bombed and destroyed early into the war.
- In the film, it is recognized that District 12 only has 3 victors. However, in the first book, it is said that District 12 has 4 victors. As of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the fate of Lucy Gray Baird, the victor of the 10th Hunger Games, is unknown.
- While mining would have given tributes advantages, citizens under 18 were not allowed in the mines.
- According to Capitol.PN, District 12 had 15 mines in operation with a population of 7,935, making it the smallest of the twelve operational districts in population.
- Also according to the site, District 12 claims 862,568 in tesserae, the most of any district.
- If the population was 7,935 and they claimed 862,568 tesserae, that would equal to 108.704 tesserae per person. Due to the unbalanced ratio it can be inferred that this number represents tesserae claims throughout the 75 years of the games and not an annual number.
- District 12 is the only district not to pry from Capitol rule, being destroyed after the Third Quarter Quell.
- Catching Fire, Chapter 14