The Hunger Games were a morbid and brutal competition which took place annually in the country of Panem, founded by Casca Highbottom and Crassus Snow as a school project. The project was eventually turned into the principal form of punishment enacted upon the districts by the Capitol after their defeat in the First Rebellion. It was to serve as a reminder to the defeated districts of the cost of insurrection and to never again make an attempt at it.
Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 were selected from each of the twelve districts as tributes by a lottery. They would be taken to the Capitol, where they would train for a week, and then were sent into an outdoor arena to fight to the death in a battle royale. The event was nationally televised as mandatory viewing for all citizens and could last several days to weeks. The last living tribute was declared the victor, showered in gifts, and lived the rest of their life in luxury and privilege in the Victors' Village. The winning district also received parcels of food from the Capitol for a year as reward to the district for producing a victor.
Since the conclusion of the First Rebellion, the Capitol has annually forced 24 children into the arena from each of the districts and used hidden cameras to televise the events in order to both entertain the Capitol citizens and remind the twelve districts how they were completely at the Capitol's mercy. Only one tribute is permitted to win the Games, with the sole exception of the 74th Hunger Games, where Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark of District 12 became the first and only joint victors in the history of the Games after an attempted double suicide.
Owing to its rebellious nature, the dual victory of Everdeen and Mellark in the 74th Games sparked widespread unrest, particularly in the outlying districts of Panem such as District 8 and District 11. The unrest grew into civil uprisings in various districts, which culminated, after several months, into a full-scale revolution after the impromptu ending of the 75th Hunger Games, which was also the Third Quarter Quell. The 75th Hunger Games was the final official Hunger Games held in Panem, and the sole Hunger Games to end without a winner. Instead, the arena was destroyed by Katniss Everdeen, and following this, she and a few of the remaining tributes were rescued by District 13, while those left behind were captured by the Capitol, thus beginning the Second Rebellion.
After the invasion of the Capitol and the overthrow of Coriolanus Snow's regime, the interim government discussed a potential 76th Hunger Games (using Capitol children) which was narrowly approved by the remaining Hunger Games victors. However, the 76th Hunger Games were never held, due to the deaths of both interim President Alma Coin and deposed President Snow. Following an emergency presidential election, which saw Commander Paylor ascend to the presidency, the Hunger Games were abolished permanently, with the former arenas being demolished and replaced by memorials.
The Hunger Games were the creation of Casca Highbottom, but also indirectly by Crassus Snow and Dr. Volumnia Gaul. During Highbottom and Snow's final days at the University, she served as a professor there and assigned her class a final project: to create a punishment for one's enemies so extreme that they would never be allowed forget how they had wronged them.
Being best friends, Highbottom and Snow paired together for the project. Highbottom, having a mind for puzzles, began brainstorming the Hunger Games, something which Snow assured him was just a private joke between the two of them. Highbottom, however, was drunk and Snow continued to ply him with alcohol, playing on his vanity as he fleshed out the project. Snow then turned the project in to Dr. Gaul while Highbottom was sleeping off the alcohol, leaving Highbottom to awake horrified at what had happened and meaning to rip it to shreds. Gaul held on to the project and then, following the end of the war, pulled out the proposal and introduced Highbottom as the architect of the Games. Highbottom thought it would die out quickly, being so ghastly, but Dr. Gaul took it and ran.
Originally, the Hunger Games were primitive, and quite flawed. The tributes arrived to the Capitol in cattle cars, unlike in later installments where tributes were pampered. Upon arrival to the Capitol, tributes were held in old stables, until the 10th Games where they were kept in the Capitol Zoo. Here, they were underfed and often mistreated by Peacekeepers. In the 10th Hunger Games, this led to several tributes dying before the Games had begun. The first ten installments of the Games were held in the Capitol Arena, an old stadium converted to a fighting arena. Basic weapons were provided, however, food and other supplies were not. Tributes were left in the arena to kill one another, until a lone Victor remained. However, unlike later Games, the winners of the first ten games were not showered in riches and given a home in the Victors' Village. They were simply returned to their home District and back to the life they formerly lived.
- Main article: The Reaping
Every year, each district holds a "lottery", which is colloquially referred to as the reaping. On this day, the entire district population is gathered at the Justice Building, where the children of reaping age are themselves sequestered into pens separated by age and gender. Two large glass balls contain slips of paper with the names of each child through the ages of 12-18. The number of times a child's name is entered in the reaping bowl is cumulative and dependent on their age: a twelve-year-old will have their name in once, a thirteen-year-old twice, and so on until the child is eighteen years old, where they will have seven slips in the bowl. However, a reaping age child 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 and a child can additionally claim tesserae for as many family members as they choose. For example, Katniss Everdeen, who took tesserae three times for herself, sister, and mother, had 20 slips in the bowl at 16 for the 74th Hunger Games, while Gale Hawthorne, who claimed tesserae for five family members, had 42 slips in the bowl at 18.
The district's representative/escort (e.g. Effie Trinket for District 12) has the duty of picking the name out of the bowls, 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. Volunteering is normally quite a rare phenomenon, at least in the outlier districts, as participation in the Hunger Games is normally viewed there as a death sentence. As such, it is often done to spare and/or protect a person from participating in the Games such as in Katniss's case when she volunteered for her twelve-year-old sister, Primrose Everdeen, in the 74th Hunger Games. However, the act of volunteering is far more common in one of the "Career Districts" (1, 2, and 4 in the novel, 1 and 2 in the film), in which participation in the Hunger Games is seen as an act of honor and chance for glory. In these districts, children spend the majority of their lives training in combat and survival at a special training academy before volunteering, typically at 18, to enter the Games.
Once a child passes their final reaping at the age of 18, they are no longer eligible for participation in the Hunger Games. Similarly, victors from previous Hunger Games are no longer eligible to be reaped or volunteer for subsequent games, even if they are still age eligible, with the exception for the reaping of the 75th Hunger Games.
Journey to the Capitol and Tribute Parade
- Main article: Chariot Rides
Once the tributes are selected, whether by lottery or volunteering, they are escorted into the Justice Building and brought into a room. The tributes are then allotted one hour to meet with family and friends to say goodbye and set their affairs in order. Once the hour is completed, the tributes are escorted to a car with their escort, which transports them to their district's train station. There, they board a train bound for the Capitol. The length of the train ride is dependent on the district the tributes hail from: it took roughly a day for Katniss and Peeta to reach the Capitol by virtue of being from District 12, arguably the farthest district from the Capitol. It can be assumed the trip is far shorter for closer districts such as 1 and 2.
During the train ride, the tributes will typically make their initial introductions to their mentor(s), a previous Hunger Games victor, where initial strategies and assessments of the tributes skill and talents are made. Watching of the Reaping recaps are customary, usually as a means of gauging the eventual competition, although not required by any means. An extravagant banquet is served to the tributes upon arrival on the train, followed by a similarly exquisite dinner. Tributes are allotted their own rooms with a built-in bath and full wardrobe for their use. Many of the amenities of the train, such as the caboose, bar carriage, food, drink, and Avoxes, are at the tributes' disposal whilst on board.
Upon arrival at the Capitol, tributes will be transported to the Training Center, a massive complex at one end of the City Circle, the center of the Capitol, where they will reside and train until the start of the Games. Once there, the tributes are brought to the Remake Center, where they are introduced to their prep team. Over the next few hours, the prep team's responsibilities will involve beautifying their respective tributes to the standards of the Capitol, after which they will meet their stylist. The stylist, as head of the prep team, will perform final touches to the tribute's makeover before presenting to them their vision for how they will be presented during the opening ceremonies of the Games. A few more hours will then be spent preparing the tribute in their chariot costume, typically an extravagant outfit that relates to their district's industry or culture, for the chariot ride in the evening.
Once the tributes are prepared in their chariot costumes, they will be led in a procession, starting with District 1, down the Avenue of the Tributes by horse-drawn carriages in an event known as the Tribute Parade. This event is the first time that Capitol citizens will see the tributes in person. As such, it is critical on the part of both the stylist and the tributes themselves to make a significant first impression in order to attract sponsors. It is also a chance for the tributes, wherever possible, to demonstrate what to expect from them in the coming days. The Tribute Parade concludes at the opposite end of the Avenue of the Tributes, where the President gives an opening address to the tributes and congratulates them on their courage. The tributes are then returned to their respective apartments at the Training Center.
- Main article: Training stations
Following the Tribute Parade, tributes begin their survival and combat training the following day for the next three days. Training is conducted in a massive gymnasium located in the basement of the Training Center. Here, the assembled tributes from each district are given an orientation by the Head Trainer of the gymnasium, who gives them a run down on each of the survival and combat stations in the gym. Each station is manned by a number of experts in the field the station specializes in, ready to assist as needed for the tributes. During training, tributes are free to travel between the stations at their leisure and spend as much time as they desire at any one of the stations. There are a large number of stations present in the gymnasium for the tributes to practice including survival stations such as edible plants, camouflage, and fire starting, as well as combat stations such as archery, swords, axes, and spears.
While an exact amount of time is not given for how long the tributes train, it is assumed that the tributes spend the majority of the day training in the gymnasium, which begins at 10am each day. Breakfast and dinner are given in their apartments, while lunch is served in a cafeteria located in the gymnasium. During training, tributes are free to socialize with and even train together with other tributes if they choose to do so, whether as a training strategy proposed by their mentor or the tribute's own volition. Training is also an opportunity for tributes to directly observe the physical performance of their competition and gauge who exactly will be the largest physical threat in the arena. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for tributes to form alliances with tributes they trust from other districts, a common occurrence for the Career tributes of 1, 2, and 4, but not uncommon for the outlier districts as well. Tributes, however, are strictly forbidden from fighting with one another during training as well as from partaking in combative exercises with another. In the case of the latter, expert partners are available for them to practice with.
Tributes are observed by the Gamemakers from an elevated balcony that can view the entire gymnasium throughout their three days of training. On the third day of training, each of the tributes will have the opportunity to showcase their learned or pre-existing skills in a private session in front of the Gamemakers during the latter half of that day. Once their private session is concluded, the tributes will return to their apartments where they will await the announcement of their training score on television, which will be rated from 1-12. This is another crucial impression that tributes must do well in, as the level of expertise in the skill they show or degree overall they impress the Gamemakers, both through their three days of training and in their private session, will directly impact how high of a training score they receive. This in turn will assist in attracting sponsors and serve as a talking point for their mentor to do so, as a high training score (e.g. Katniss's 11 and Cato's 10) will attract more sponsors than an average or mediocre ones (e.g. Rue's 7 and Foxface's 5).
- Main article: Interviews
The final event before the start of the Hunger Games are the tribute interviews. Following their training sessions, tributes will spend a single day with their mentor and escort preparing for the interview with the host of the Hunger Games, which for the last several iterations of the Games was Caesar Flickerman. The mentor will assist their tribute on the best angle to go for based on their personality and demonstrated skills, while the escort will drill the tribute on proper etiquette. On the following day, the tributes will once again meet with their prep team and stylist, who will proceed to spend much of the day giving their tribute a full makeover and dressing them in an extravagant formal outfit for their interview with Caesar in the evening.
In the evening, the tributes are brought to a studio, where one by one in district order, they are brought out to the stage to meet Caesar. During the interview, Caesar will ask them a number of questions, including about their life back home, their family, their impression on the Capitol, their training score, and many more. Despite this, the interviews are fairly short and fast paced, lasting only three minutes per tribute. How the tributes choose to approach the interview is entirely up to the individual, ranging from them being excitable and funny, to bold and confident, to shy and withdrawn. Regardless of how the tribute approaches the interview, it is nevertheless of high importance for them to stand out, as it is the last opportunity for tributes to directly attract and appeal to sponsors. The interviews also give the Capitol citizenry an opportunity to get to know the tributes on a personal level as well as choose their favorite prior to the start of the Games.
Following their interview, the tributes return to their apartments for the last time. The following morning, the tributes are escorted by their respective stylist to a waiting hovercraft. It is here that each of the tributes are implanted with a tracker, a device that monitors their vital signs and position within the arena. Once all tributes are aboard, the hovercraft departs the Training Center for the arena. The length of time to get to the arena is dependent on its distance in relation to the Capitol. Katniss notes that it took about half an hour to reach the arena of the 74th Hunger Games.
Once the tributes have arrived to the arena, they and their stylist are taken underground to the arena catacombs, arriving at the Launch Room. Here the tributes undergo their final dressing and preparations for the Games with their stylist. When the time comes, the tributes are directed to enter the launch tube, which seals them inside. A platform then raises the tributes upwards into the arena, where a 60-second countdown commences. Prior to launch, tributes are advised not to step off their platform before the countdown ends, as doing so will activate a hidden mine under their pedestal, killing them instantly. Once the countdown completes, the Hunger Games will have officially commenced.
- Main article: Cornucopia bloodbath
The opening act of any Hunger Games is the inevitable Cornucopia bloodbath, which typically kicks off the excitement and initial action in the Games. When the tributes are launched into the arena, the first object typically noticed is the Cornucopia and the vast amount of items both inside it and in the area around it. These items include weapons, food, water, bags, tools, and other supplies, any one of which would prove invaluable to improving the chances of a tribute's survival. The purpose of the Cornucopia is not only to provide these items to help the tributes survive their ordeals in the arena but to purposely draw the tributes in into a confrontation with one another over the items. As a result, roughly half of the tributes end up dying in the initial battle that takes place at the Cornucopia. In the 74th Hunger Games, 11 out of the 24 tributes died in the opening bloodbath, while in the 75th Hunger Games, 8 out of the 24 tributes died.
The choice to make the run or not to the Cornucopia is one of the most critical initial decisions a tribute can make in the opening stages of the Games, due to the inherent high risk-high reward nature of the choice. Many tributes ultimately elect to venture into the opening scramble for a chance to get some of the plethora of valuable items scattered around, while others choose to outright flee into the arena to avoid the impending slaughter. Due to their statistical advantage as athletes, having been trained in combat for years, and being a part of a large preexisting alliance, the Career tributes inevitably end up dominating the other tributes in the opening battle and are usually responsible for the vast majority of the deaths in the bloodbath. As such, the bloodbath usually ends with the Careers in complete control of the Cornucopia and its cache of supplies, giving them a huge material advantage over the tributes who managed to flee the carnage early with some items and those who fled at the very start of the Games with none at all.
Memoriam to the Fallen
Following the conclusion of a day in the arena, should there be any deaths that occurred on that particularly day, a memoriam is held for the fallen tributes that is displayed in the sky high above of the arena. This memoriam is typically held at an unspecified time in the evening and begins with the playing of the national anthem and display of the national emblem. This is followed by the showing of an image of each one of the fallen tribute(s) that died in ascending order of the their respective district. The largest and most significant memoriam occurs during the first night, to represent the equally large amount of deaths that occur during the Cornucopia bloodbath. Subsequent memoriams typically display only very few tributes and are held intermittently throughout the course of a Games, as tributes are gradually picked off by each other or hazards in the arena.
The memoriam serves two purposes. Firstly, it acknowledges the tributes and their participation in the Games, however brief or long that may have been. Secondly, it assists the Capitol and district audiences as well as the surviving tributes in the arena on determining who has died and the number of tributes remaining alive in the Games.
- Main article: Feasts
If the Gamemakers feel that there has not been enough bloodshed recently, they will invite all of the tributes to the Cornucopia for a feast. Normally, this feast features something desirable or needed by the tributes, like food, armor, medicine, etc. However, Katniss has stated that in the past, the Gamemakers have sometimes only offered a loaf of stale bread to fight over. The principle behind the feast is the same as that of the Cornucopia and the large number of supplies at the beginning of the Games: it is a ploy by the Gamemakers to draw the tributes in to force a confrontation. Some tributes choose not to attend the feast, whether because their present situation in the Games precludes them from doing so or to avoid getting caught up in the inevitable fight with other attending tributes. Attendance is by no means mandatory. However, the Gamemakers may try to strongly tempt the remaining tributes of the Games to attend with something presently vital to their survival or the survival of a member of their alliance, if they are a part of one.
Once a tribute has been declared victor, they are immediately taken back to the Capitol for medical treatment. Any critical injuries sustained during their time in the arena or just prior to their victory are addressed mid-flight, as was the case with Peeta in regard to his leg injury. Upon arrival at the Training Center, the newly minted victor is transported to a dedicated medical facility in the sublevels of the building, below even the training gymnasium, to receive top-of-the-line medical treatment. So thorough is this medical treatment that Katniss notices that all scars and burns she received in the arena are faded or gone, and she is largely without any blemish from her time in the arena. Furthermore, she regained full hearing in her ear, after previously being rendered deaf in said ear from the force of the explosion that destroyed the Career camp she caused. Peeta is similarly largely blemish-free from his ordeals in the Games as well. However, his leg injury ultimately proved too severe even for the Capitol's medical technology to save, as his doctors were forced to amputate it. Nevertheless, Peeta is given a high-tech prosthetic, allowing him to continue to walk. Presumably, past victors are similarly offered a prosthetic if they lose a limb during their Games.
Once a tribute has physically recovered from the damages they sustained in arena, they will be reunited with their team, including their mentor, stylist, and escort. Their prep team will once again give them a makeover, with their stylist adding the finishing touches before fitting them into the formal attire they will wear for the recap. Later in the evening, the new victor is brought to the studio once again, and the victor and their team meets with Caesar Flickerman. The prep team, stylist, escort, and mentor are all introduced to the audience and congratulated for their role in their tribute's victory. Unlike the tribute interviews, which lasted only three minutes, the recap is a three-hour long event. During this event, the Games are recapped essentially into a story following the victor, with Katniss noting the first hour and a half focusing on the pre-arena events such as the reaping, tribute parade, training score, and tribute interview. The remaining time is focused on the their time in the arena, and follows the victor through the events of the Games that ultimately led to their victory. While the event is meant to celebrate a tribute's victory in the Games, it a very traumatic ordeal for the victor, as it involves the victor having to essentially relive the most brutal and trying moments of their Games less than a day after leaving the arena.
Following the recap, the victors meets with the President, who proceeds to crown the victor with the victory crown. The victor and his entourage are then brought to the Victory Banquet, a lavish dinner held in honor of the victor at the President's mansion. During the banquet, the victor partakes in a final interview with Caesar Flickerman in an isolated room at the mansion. During this interview, Caesar poses a slew of questions, typically focusing on the actions the victor made during the games, the reasoning behind some of the decisions they took, and how they responded to the challenges they faced in the arena, among others. The interview is fairly short, but much longer then the tribute interviews, after which the victor presumably enjoys the rest of the night at the banquet before returning to their apartments at the Training Center. The following day, the victor departs the Capitol with their escort and mentor on a train bound for their home district to begin their life as their district's newest victor. Upon arrival in their district, the victor is typically celebrated and applauded by the district's populace for the victory in the Games and ability to return home.
- Main article: Arena
The arena is the setting of where each and every Hunger Games are held, consisting of an artificial outdoor environment designed and constructed by the Gamemakers. The arena could and have taken a wide variety of forms and settings, including a verdant jungle, a dense forest, a scorching desert, a frozen wasteland, a destroyed urban environment, and presumably many more. Arenas are large and circular in shape, presumably being several kilometers in diameter and thus cover an area of several dozen to a few hundred square kilometers, although no exact measurements are ever given. It is unknown if the arenas have a standardized size or vary between each iteration, although given the variable environment of the Games themselves between each year, the latter is more likely.
Arenas are heavily modulated and controllable, with the Gamemakers able to spontaneously create force fields to sequester parts of the arena, control the weather, and generate hazards at a moments notice. The Gamemakers can also modify the physical environment as well, such as spontaneously starting forest fires or draining bodies of water such as lake and rivers. In addition, the arena has a number of hidden traps in place such as fireball launchers or by making the environment itself poisonous and can be populated with deadly genetically engineered creatures known as muttations. Both these traps and muttations serve as an added environmental danger the tributes must contend with, along with each other. The highly customizable nature of the arena allows the Gamemaker to easily employ new twist into the Games on the fly, enabling them to keep the Games entertaining even when tribute-on-tribute combat is low or lackluster.
All arenas possess a Cornucopia, typically at or near its center, where the tributes are launched around in a semicircle. All arenas are also surrounded by a dome-shaped force field that completely encloses it. These force fields are capable of bouncing back any object that strikes it and should a tribute have the misfortune of striking or crashing into the force field themselves, the resulting shock can kill said tribute. The arena is populated by hundreds, if not thousands of hidden cameras dispersed throughout the grounds of the arenas. This allows the Gamemakers to observe every action of the tributes at all times and quickly focus in on action between tributes should it occur.
Aspects of the Games
- Main article: Mentors
Each living victor from each district is given the task of mentoring the next slate of tributes for the Games each year. If there is only one living victor, they 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, politick 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 and ultimate victory of their tributes in their Games, with very few exceptions.
- Main article: Token
Each tribute is allowed one token from their district, to represent and remind them of home, however, they must not be able to be used as weapons. They are very carefully examined and checked for any hidden advantages. In the 74th Hunger Games, Glimmer, the female tribute from District 1, had her token, a ring, confiscated because it carried a hidden poisoned spike. Katniss' token was a golden pin given to her by Madge Undersee in the book and by her sister Primrose (Katniss actually bought the pin in the Seam from Greasy Sae and gave to Prim for good luck originally before the 74th Games reaping) in the movie, showing a Mockingjay in both the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. In the Launch Room, prior to the 74th Games, Cinna states that it could hardly get past the review board, and that it was almost confiscated because some people believed that it could be used as a weapon. It is mentioned that several years prior to the 74th Hunger Games, one girl's token was a small wooden ball which she dropped while on her starting plate, activating the mine underneath her feet killing her before the Games officially started. Katniss states that "they literally had to scrape bits of her off the ground." Rue's token was a necklace made out of grass with a star or flower (Katniss was unsure) shaped charm on it. Finnick Odair's token for the 75th Hunger Games was a golden band from Haymitch, to signal Katniss to trust him in the arena. Peeta's token for the 75th Games was a golden trifold necklace with pictures of Prim, Katniss' mother, and Gale.
- Main article: Sponsors
As tributes battle in the arena, quite often they can become helpless (ex. Peeta Mellark with blood poisoning, Katniss' leg burn, etc.) from any number of circumstances. In the opening act of the Games, the Cornucopia bloodbath, a large number of tributes find themselves fighting over many items, such as food, water, supplies, and weapons, that they need will need to be a contender to winning the Hunger Games. As such, many of the tributes are left with limited or no items they wanted from the Cornucopia, or they end up losing said items during the course of the Games. 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. It is at the discretion of the tribute's mentor on when, where, and what is sent to their respective tribute(s), as they and they alone control the distribution of a tribute's sponsor money.
Courting sponsors is a dual role possessed by the tribute and their team, specifically their mentor and stylist. It is the mentor's duty to advocate on their tribute's behalf based on their talents and skills, both before and during the Games, to secure the endorsement of potential sponsors. In a similar vein, it is the duty of the stylist to properly showcase their tribute and make them memorable to Capitol citizens during the Opening Ceremonies and their Interview. Finally, it is up to the tribute themselves to utilize the advice given by their mentor and the way their stylist presents them to the Capitol to their advantage in order to attract and appeal to sponsors.
Sponsors are not restricted to Capitol citizens alone (although they are the principal benefactors of tributes due to their extreme wealth), but can also come from the districts themselves. 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 to her knowledge 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 was recalled to Katniss as one of the most expensive sponsorship gifts she had ever seen: a trident.
- Main article: Cornucopia
- Main article: Muttations
- Main article: Gamemakers
- 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. The rules of the reaping are modified or completely changed during these special quarter-century iterations of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell. The purpose of the Quarter Quells are to keep the memory for why the Games are held fresh for the citizens of Panem, with the special rules for each Quell being specifically tailored toward the actions of the rebels during the First Rebellion. For the 25th Hunger Games, the First Quarter Quell, its special rule stipulated that the districts were to elect the male and female tributes that they would send to the Capitol, rather than them being randomly chosen by lottery. For the 50th Hunger Games, the Second Quarter Quell, its special rule stipulated that each district was required to double the amount of tributes and as such reap two girls and two boys for a total of 48 tributes to compete, instead of the usual 24. Finally, in the 75th Hunger Games, the Third Quarter Quell, its special rule stipulated that the reaping of potential tributes was restricted to each district's pool of existing victors, thus forcing past victors of the Games, regardless of age, to once again participate in the Hunger Games.
List of Hunger Games
1st Hunger Games
The 1st Hunger Games was held shortly after the destruction of District 13, when the First Rebellion was put down by the Capitol, signaling the start of the Dark Days. The first twenty-four tributes were reaped from the surviving twelve districts. The victor of the 1st Hunger Games is unknown.
10th Hunger Games
- Main article: 10th Hunger Games
The 10th Hunger Games was the first Hunger Games to introduce mentors for the tributes, recruiting twenty-four of the Capitol Academy's best and brightest seniors. Additionally, this Hunger Games was the first to introduce a sponsorship program, where mentors could provide food and water to tributes who had received bets from viewers. Many tributes and their mentors were killed before the games officially began, following an explosion in the Capitol and prior to the bombing, a tribute was executed after killing their mentor, while several other tributes were executed after trying to escape following the bombing, a further tribute died trying to escape and one tribute died of ilness before the Games began. The chain of embarassments continued as the winner received illegal help from their mentor. Head Gamemaker Volumnia Gaul deleted all but the master copy of the recordings due to the games making the Capitol look weak. Future Panem President Coriolanus Snow served as the mentor for the victor, Lucy Gray Baird of District 12.
- Facet - District 1
- Velvereen - District 1
- Marcus - District 2
- Sabyn - District 2
- Circ - District 3
- Teslee - District 3
- Mizzen - District 4
- Coral - District 4
- Hy - District 5
- Sol - District 5
- Otto - District 6
- Ginnee - District 6
- Treech - District 7
- Lamina - District 7
- Bobbin - District 8
- Wovey - District 8
- Panlo - District 9
- Sheaf - District 9
- Tanner - District 10
- Brandy - District 10
- Reaper - District 11
- Dill - District 11
- Jessup Diggs - District 12
- Lucy Gray Baird - District 12 (Victor)
11th Hunger Games
- Main article: 11th Hunger Games
The 11th Hunger Games was won by Mags of District 4. It is said that Mags had the ability to construct baskets so tightly woven that even water couldn't seep through. This, along with her ability to make a fishhook out of seemingly nothing, most likely contributed to her victory. After the failure of the 10th Games, many innovations were brought into place in the 11th Games, mostly at the behest of Coriolanus Snow, including the Victors' Village. Dr Gaul continued to serve as Head Gamemaker, implementing her protegé Snow's suggestions. This is likely the point where the games exploded into popularity and propaganda success as opposed to the low attendance and lack of interest shown to the first 10 Games.
- Mags - District 4 (Victor)
25th Hunger Games (First Quarter Quell)
- Main article: 25th Hunger Games
The 25th Hunger Games was the first Quarter Quell in the history of the Games, and each district had to elect its own tributes as per the Quarter Quell rules written for the 25th Games. The victor of these Games wasn't alive when the third Quarter Quell started, though Mags and Woof were both older than the said victor.
38th Hunger Games
The 38th Hunger Games included Porter Millicent Tripp of District 5 who won the Games despite sustaining a broken neck in the final showdown of the Games. This is the earliest possible and most likely the specific games where Caesar Flickerman became the main commentator and interviewer, as according to Katniss Everdeen he has been doing the interviews for "over 35 years" by the 74th Hunger Games.
- Porter Millicent Tripp - District 5 (Victor)
45th Hunger Games
- Main article: 45th Hunger Games
The 45th Hunger Games included Chaff of District 11. It ended with Chaff being victorious, though losing his left arm from the elbow and below in the process. He refused to get a prosthetic replacement from the Capitol.
- Chaff - District 11- (Victor)
50th Hunger Games (Second Quarter Quell)
- Main article: 50th Hunger Games
The 50th Hunger Games included Maysilee Donner and Haymitch Abernathy of District 12. Being a Quarter Quell, a special amended rule was enforced. Each district would be required to reap two eligible girls and two eligible boys as tribute into the Games. This was to be a reminder that, allegedly, for every one Capitol death, the Districts lost two during the first rebellion. Maysilee and Haymitch made an alliance to help each other survive. This lasted until five tributes were remaining. Shortly after parting ways, Maysilee was killed by candy pink bird muttations with spear-like bills, placing her fifth and leaving four tributes left. Then a tribute was eaten by carnivorous squirrel mutts, the next was killed in combat by the District 1 girl tribute. This left Haymitch and the District 1 girl for the finale. Haymitch, though badly injured and literally holding his innards inside his stomach, managed victory by using the arena's forcefield to deflect a thrown axe from the Career girl which rebounded killing her, leaving Haymitch as the Victor. The Capitol leaders and Gamemakers thought Haymitch made them look foolish with this stunt and deprived their audience a proper finale, and promptly had his family and his girlfriend killed as a result.
- District 1 female - District 1 (2nd place)
- Haymitch Abernathy - District 12 (Victor)
- Maysilee Donner - District 12 (5th place)
62nd Hunger Games
- Main article: 62nd Hunger Games
Enobaria of District 2 won the 62nd Hunger Games, killing one of her former allies from the Career Pack by ripping open their throat with her teeth. This later became what Enobaria was best known for. She was encouraged to surgically alter her teeth, so they now end in points and are coated in gold, making them a flashy and deadly weapon.
- Enobaria - District 2 (Victor)
63rd Hunger Games
- Main article: 63rd Hunger Games
Gloss of District 1 was the victor of the 63rd Hunger Games. Being from a Career District, it can be assumed that Gloss was in an alliance with the other Career tributes.
- Gloss - District 1 (Victor)
64th Hunger Games
- Main article: 64th Hunger Games
Cashmere of District 1 was the victor of the 64th Hunger Games. It can be assumed that Cashmere was in a Career Alliance. Her brother, Gloss, won the previous Games.
- Cashmere - District 1 (Victor)
65th Hunger Games
- Main article: 65th Hunger Games
Finnick Odair won the 65th Hunger Games due to his proficiency with weapons, being from District 4 and therefore a Career Tribute, as well as his good looks that helped him acquire sponsors. He received a trident from sponsors, which Katniss believes is one of the most expensive gifts ever given during the Games. Being from the fishing district, he was skilled with the weapon and used handwoven nets to capture tributes and then stab them with his trident.
- Finnick Odair - District 4 (Victor)
67th Hunger Games
- Main article: 67th Hunger Games
The 67th Hunger Games were won by Augustus Braun of District 1, who was known as the "Cavalier Career", and hailed as "Panem's Favorite Son." Augustus was highly popular after his victory and during his Victory Tour was paraded around as a symbol of reconciliation with the Districts.
- Augustus Braun - District 1 (Victor)
69th Hunger Games
It is mentioned in The Hunger Games: Tribute Guide and by Atala that this year's arena was a burning desert. The victor of these Games is unknown. Also, Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from "a few years ago" in which the victor only received a 3 as his training score. Considering that "few" typically means "three to five," Katniss was referring to the victor of the 69th Hunger Games as the two subsequent victors, Annie Cresta and Johanna Mason, were unlikely to have score this low, Annie by virtue of being Career and Johanna by virtue of her pre-existing skills despite pretending to be weak in her Games.
70th Hunger Games
- Main article: 70th Hunger Games
Annie Cresta of District 4 won the 70th Hunger Games. It is assumed she followed the typical Career Alliance strategy, but when her fellow District 4 tribute was decapitated, it left her traumatized and hid for the remainder of the game. She won only because a dam broke in the arena and flooded it; Annie was the best swimmer (being from District 4) and outlasted all the remaining tributes.
71st Hunger Games
- Main article: 71st Hunger Games
Johanna Mason of District 7 won the 71st Hunger Games. Johanna won her games by pretending to be weak and fragile, but in reality, Johanna was a cold-hearted killer, and easily won her Games as the other tributes didn't see her as a threat, allowing her to wait until other serious threats had been dealt with and then mounting her own attack on the weakened survivors.
72nd Hunger Games
This was Seneca Crane's first year as Head Gamemaker.
73rd Hunger Games
- Main article: 73rd Hunger Games
The 73rd Hunger Games were won by an unnamed male from District 2. It is assumed that he was a member of a Career alliance, as this is typical for tributes from his district. As the arena of these games was a ruined city, some of the tributes took advantage of the rubble. During the final battle of the games, the boy from 2 used a brick to kill the boy from 10.
This was Seneca Crane's second year as Head Gamemaker.
- District 2 male - District 2 (Victor)
- District 10 male - District 10
- District 12 male - District 12
- District 12 female - District 12
74th Hunger Games
- Main article: 74th Hunger Games
Katniss and Peeta were both the victors, the first and only time this happened. This was Seneca Crane's third and last year as Head Gamemaker. For allowing both Katniss and Peeta to win after the threat of a double suicide and thus making the Capitol look weak, Crane was marked for death by President Snow, and was either allowed to commit suicide or be hanged.
- Marvel - District 1
- Glimmer - District 1
- Cato - District 2
- Clove - District 2
- District 3 male - District 3
- District 3 female - District 3
- District 4 male - District 4
- District 4 female - District 4
- District 5 male - District 5
- Foxface - District 5
- District 6 male - District 6
- District 6 female - District 6
- District 7 male - District 7
- District 7 female - District 7
- District 8 male - District 8
- District 8 female - District 8
- District 9 male - District 9
- District 9 female - District 9
- District 10 male - District 10
- District 10 female - District 10
- Thresh - District 11
- Rue - District 11
- Peeta Mellark - District 12 (Victor)
- Katniss Everdeen - District 12 (Victor)
75th Hunger Games (Third Quarter Quell)
- Main article: 75th Hunger Games
For the 75th Hunger Games, the tributes were reaped out of their district's pool of victors as it was the Third Quarter Quell. This was Plutarch Heavensbee's first and only year as Head Gamemaker. This is the only edition to not have a Victor due to the destruction of the Arena. This was the final Games in Panem due to the outbreak of the Second Rebellion during the games. Also, there are six tributes who survived after the destruction of the arena.
- Gloss - District 1
- Cashmere - District 1
- Brutus - District 2
- Enobaria - District 2 (Survived)
- Beetee - District 3 (Survived)
- Wiress - District 3
- Finnick Odair - District 4 (Survived)
- Mags - District 4
- District 5 male - District 5
- District 5 female - District 5
- Morphlings - District 6
- Blight - District 7
- Johanna Mason - District 7 (Survived)
- Woof - District 8
- Cecelia - District 8
- District 9 male - District 9
- District 9 female - District 9
- District 10 male - District 10
- District 10 female - District 10
- Chaff - District 11
- Seeder - District 11
- Peeta Mellark - District 12 (Survived)
- Katniss Everdeen - District 12 (Survived)
Unknown Hunger Games
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from when she was younger where tributes had to bludgeon each other with spiked maces as they were the only available weapons.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from when she was younger where the tributes were tossed into a landscape filled with sand, boulders and scruffy bushes. Many of the tributes were either bitten by poisonous snakes, or went insane from thirst.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition where the arena was a woodless landscape. It was freezing cold and most of the tributes died from hypothermia because they had no wood to make torches, fires, or anything to keep them warm. These Games were considered unsatisfying in the eye of the Capitol for all the bloodless deaths and lack of action, therefore, tributes usually had means to make a fire in following Games.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from when she was younger where a pack of hideous reptiles destroyed the Career tributes' food supply. She also mentioned another year (possibly the 70th Hunger Games) where the food supply was washed away in a flood caused by the Gamemakers.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from when she was younger where a female tribute dropped her token, a small wooden ball, on the ground before the gong sounded, and she was blown apart by explosives and had to be collected in parts.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered an edition from "a few years ago" in which the District 6 male, a boy named Titus, went insane and began to eat the tributes that he killed. Eventually, Titus was taken out by an avalanche that was speculated to have been designed by the Gamemakers. Considering that "few" typically means "three to five," Katniss was referring to either the 70th Hunger Games or the 71st Hunger Games since the 69th Hunger Games took place in a burning desert.
- Throughout the history of the Hunger Games, there have been a total of 1,824 tributes that have participated in the seventy-five Hunger Games ever held (24 tributes x 75 years + 24 extra in the Second Quarter Quell). However, there were only 1,800 unique tributes due to nature of the Third Quarter Quell, whose rule specified tributes be reaped from the existing pool of victors. On the eve of the 75th Hunger Games, there were 59 living victors out of the 75 in total that won. By the end of the Second Rebellion (in Mockingjay), of the 1,800 unique tributes reaped for the Hunger Games, 1,793 were deceased (99.61% of all tributes). 1,725 died in the Hunger Games they participated in, while 68 more tributes, all victors, died either before the 75th Hunger Games due to various causes including natural death (16), during the 75th Hunger Games as participants who failed to survive until the Arena was destroyed (18), or during the Victors' Purge that occurred during the Second Rebellion or in battle during the Second Rebellion (34). Thus, only 7 remaining victors (0.39% of all tributes): Beetee Latier, Haymitch Abernathy, Enobaria, Annie Cresta, Johanna Mason, Katniss Everdeen, and Peeta Mellark, were left alive that can be said to have witnessed, participated, and survived the Hunger Games, and all except Annie and Haymitch having the notable distinction of doing so twice.
- There were two other "Hunger Games" that technically never occurred, but were seen as hypothetical. The first refers to the Battle of the Capitol, in which the defensive system of the Capitol city streets consisted of pods that unleashed death traps when activated. When looking at the schematics of the Capitol, it looked eerily similar to the set-up at the Cornucopia before the combat started at a regular Hunger Games. Plutarch Heavensbee, Katniss, and possibly even other former tributes took note of this, and Katniss and Finnick even recited the infamous line, "let the 76th Annual Hunger Games begin". The second was proposed prior to Snow's execution, during a meeting with the seven surviving victors and President Alma Coin to vote on whether or not to hold one final Hunger Games, this time with Capitol children. Peeta, Annie, and Beetee voted against it while Johanna, Enobaria, Katniss, and Haymitch voted for it - though Katniss and Haymitch voted yes so President Coin would believe she had Katniss on her side. While approved of, this Hunger Games was never held and ultimately cancelled following Coin's assassination by Katniss and Snow's subsequent lynching and death. This proposed Hunger Games, had it been held, would have been the actual 76th Hunger Games and from an inside perspective, the 77th Hunger Games. As it is, only 75 official Hunger Games took place, the de facto 76th being a nickname for the final battle of the Second Rebellion, while the hypothetical 77th would have been the de jure 76th had it not been tabled and cancelled.
- In the book, Katniss said that after the Hunger Games were abolished, memorials were set up.
- It has also been said that after a Hunger Games had ended, the associated arena became a tourist attraction where people could vacation and re-watch the Games, tour the catacombs, visit the places deaths took place and do re-enactments of the most bloody scenes.
- In Mockingjay, when Katniss asks what day, she learns it's a week until "September. That means Snow has had Peeta in his clutches for five, maybe six weeks." Due to this, it can be concluded that, since Peeta was captured at the end of the 75th Hunger Games, that the Games start in middle to late July.
- Katniss mentions in The Hunger Games that the Games start at 10 o'clock.
- It is very likely that The Hunger Games is loosely based on the Roman Colosseum. This would fit in with the typically Greco-Roman styled names of Capitol citizens, leaders and officials, such as Coriolanus, Plutarch, Portia, Cinna, Flavius and many more.
- The youth of the participants and brutality of the Hunger Games resulted in many of the victors suffering from PTSD and subsequent substance abuse to cope: Annie Cresta, the Morphlings, Chaff, and Haymitch are one of the most notable examples. Annie suffers from severe PTSD that manifests as mental issues, the Morphlings have become deeply addicted to morphling, while Chaff and Haymitch both have descended into severe alcoholism, all of which a direct or indirect result of the aftermath of their respective Hunger Games. Even those that didn't descend into abuse were severely traumatized by their experience, as shown by Katniss and Peeta, both of whom suffer terrible nightmares from their ordeals in the 74th Hunger Games, a trait likely shared by many, if not all of the other victors.