"How odd of you two to find it amusing. You know your mentor is your lifeline to the world in these games. The one who advises you, lines up your sponsors, and dictates the presentation of any gifts. Haymitch can well be the difference between your life and your death!"
-Effie Trinket defending Haymitch while summarizing the job of a mentor
A mentor is a victor of a past Hunger Games who must train subsequent tributes from their district. There are no gender restraints; a male victor can train a female tribute and vice versa. There can be two male mentors or two female mentors, though usually there is one female and one male for the respective male and female tribute. Due to a number of different factors, a pair of tributes may have just only one mentor. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark only had one mentor for both the 74th and 75th Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy. This was due to him being the only living victor of District 12.
Victors are neither required to either go to school nor to work in their district's industry; however, they are required to work as mentors who train their district's future tributes for the rest of their lives. A mentor's primary job is preparing their respective district's selection of tributes for life in the arena. Having first-hand experience of the Games by virtue of being victors themselves, mentors can provide invaluable knowledge and tips to their tributes on how to survive against their fellow tributes as well as out in the arena. By developing potential strategies based on their skills (or lack thereof), a mentor can play an important role on the overall survival of their tributes and their chances of victory.
Mentors also help prepare their tributes for their public interview with Caesar Flickerman, particularly focusing on helping their tributes make themselves look appealing to prospective sponsors. As it is ultimately up to the mentor to help procure these sponsors, they are crucial in this process. Their relative success (or failure) to get sponsors for their tributes depends strongly on how well their tributes impress or appeal to them. Should a tribute gain a sponsor, mentors hold power over the gifts that go into the arena for their tributes and when they are sent in.
Mentoring can be an emotionally and psychologically damaging job, particularly for mentors that hail from districts such as 10, 11, or 12, where victory is a rarity for their tributes. Mentors may become depressed, descend into damaging vices, and/or become apathetic to the following year's tributes due to the sheer number of tributes they have mentored in the hopes of victory ultimately dying. Haymitch is a prime example of this, who prior to the victory of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark's victory in the 74th Hunger Games had not mentored a single District 12 victor in the 23 years since he himself became one in the 50th Hunger Games. He became an alcoholic and showed little concern (initially) of the prospects of Katniss or Peeta's victory in the 74th Hunger Games.
All mentors live in the Victors' Village, a small gated off portion of every district that is made specifically for the victors of the Hunger Games. The houses are moderately-sized, luxurious mansions generally filled with furniture, tapestries, amenities, and plentiful amounts of food that the rest of the district's citizens typically do not have access to, especially for poorer districts.
Each victor is assigned their own unique house, likely tailored and constructed to their liking. Haymitch has a wooden house, which looks old and haunted. Katniss' is made out of bricks and is rather clean, as the building itself is only here for a single year. In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, however, the Victors' Village is depicted with all the houses being the same.
These are not confirmed but are presumed, especially in the Career districts where there are more victors.
- The Morphlings
- Haymitch Abernathy - Mentored 23 years' worth of tributes as well as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark.