The Hunger Games Wiki

"Remember who the real enemy is."
Haymitch Abernathy, referring to the Capitol.[src]

The Capitol of Panem is a technologically advanced metropolis where the nation's most wealthy and powerful citizens live. The Capitol is also the colloquial name for the ruling government of Panem. As the seat of power in Panem, this city rules the nation's thirteen districts (twelve after The Dark Days), organizes and celebrates the Hunger Games inside its city limits (protected by anti-aircraft guns and multiple launch rocket systems, or MLRS's).

Prior to the Second Rebellion, the Capitol was a tyrannical dictatorship, led by President Snow (before his death) and previously President Ravinstill, and held total political and economic dominance over Panem, enforcing its rule through an army of Peacekeepers, capital punishment, propaganda, the fear of nuclear devastation (like District 13), and the Hunger Games. It is also the only major city mentioned in the trilogy. The Capitol is known for the luxurious, decadent lifestyles enjoyed by its citizens. Following the events of Mockingjay, Paylor becomes the new president, and Panem is transformed into a constitutional republic.



The Capitol 10 years after the end of the rebellion.

It is located in the western, mountainous section of former North America. Proximity to both the mountains to the east and the large body of water to the west suggests it could somewhere be near the location of present-day Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rockies also act as a natural barrier and have served the Capitol well, allowing their air force to bomb the rebels who attempted to invade the city during the Dark Days.

History and founding[]

Much is unknown about when the Capitol was first established, however it is noted that Trajan Heavensbee is renowned as the 'Father of Panem', and as such is presumed to have been highly influential in the establishment of the country and Capitol. Influential families such as the Phipps were also noted to be key contributors to the founding of the city. Eventually over time, the most affluent families moved over to the Capitol, as the Snow and Crane family were both noted to be a part of an elite circle of the old guard of the wealthy.


The Capitol during the reconstruction period 10 years after the end of the first rebellion.

It's presumed that many Capitol residents have made a life in the Capitol due to the immense wealth, influence, and power they acquired from the districts, as many Capitol residents are noted to hold assets within the Districts. For example, the Moss family works in the agriculture department, the Creed family works with timber in District 7, the Crane family on transportation and travel, owning assets of hotels within District 10 and the Snow family owning laboratories within District 13. Citizens from the districts were still eligible for citizenship within the advanced city up to right after the First Rebellion, as the Plinth family had earned a life in total wealth and power by deciding to side with the Capitol during the war within District 2. At this early point of the country's history, citizens of the Capitol could freely move throughout the districts, as the tourism industry seemed to have flourished as proven by the Crane's family considerable wealth they earned from their hotels. People such as the Covey were also free to travel across district borders.

First Rebellion[]

It is unknown what had been the catalyst for the First Rebellion, and unclear on what exactly had motivated the districts to take up arms against the Capitol. The most likely catalyst, however, was the brutal oppression they endured at the hands of the Capitol, and 74 years before the original trilogy, a civil war had started. As Snow was aged 5 years when the war began and 8 years old by the time of the first Hunger Games, it can be deduced that the first rebellion lasted for roughly 3 years.

Rebel attack on the Capitol

The Capitol being attacked by rebel forces.

Although much is unknown as to what notable events had transpired during the majority of the rebellion, it is mentioned by Snow that during the first year, Snow's grandmother sang the national anthem of Panem whilst bombs were shooting down on the city. With the support of District 13 and its military arsenal, the rebel forces were able to stand strong against the Capitol, successfully cutting off vital food supplies to the city during the final two years of the conflict.

This led to mass starvation and widespread poverty of the Capitol citizens, as many families were forced to sell their goods including furniture and clothing to the black market to scrape by. In rare instances, some citizens, including Nero Price, a wealthy man who was widely considered a titan of the railroad industry, resorted to cannibalism. At some point, rebel forces operating in District 5 managed to overtake the bomb warning alarm system of the Capitol, allowing them to trigger the alarm for fake threats, effectively dealing more damage when actual attacks were lead into the city.

At some unknown point in the midst of the rebellion, rabies had managed to spread rapidly into the Capitol. With doctors, facilities and supply lines badly affected by bombing prior and stretched thin due to the ongoing war, citizens were unlikely to be provided with adequate access to healthcare. Snow theorized that the virus strain most likely came from a coyote from the mountains, starved dogs, or bats. Due to the poor level of healthcare, the virus strain developed at an unprecedented speed, killing over a dozen capitol citizens before finally being brought under control by a vaccine.[1]

Near the end of the rebellion, the Capitol had managed a victory against the rebels when they attempted to scale the mountains that serve as natural protection for the city. The Capitol's Air Force was able to kill off a large number of ground troops and destroy large amounts of equipment, giving them the upper hand in the rebellion.

The war became stagnant 3 years into the conflict, as both District 13 and the Capitol held their nuclear arsenals pointed at one another. However, both parties diplomatically agreed to sign a peace treaty to officially end the conflict. This allowed the Capitol to regain full control of the other twelve districts, and District 13 to secede from Capitol rule, establishing its status as an independent nation. However, this decision was unbeknownst to the rest of nation, as the Capitol publicly announced that District 13 had been annihilated by the Capitol itself, and was left radioactive and uninhabitable. Even 75 years later, the Capitol continued using such propaganda to intimidate the districts and discourage rebellion.

After the rebellion, under President Ravinstill, the Hunger Games was announced by Volumnia Gaul, credited to Casca Highbottom, serving as an annual event to remind the Districts of the cost of their rebellion. After the end of the first rebellion, Panem began its reconstruction period to redevelop the country, especially the Capitol.

Society and culture[]

The Capitol Seal

Capitol emblem.

"Gem of Panem, Mighty city, Through the ages you shine anew."
—Lyrics from the Capitol anthem, "Gem of Panem"[src]

As the wealthiest of Panem, Capitol citizens tend to possess lucrative jobs, such as fashion designers, news reporters, bank managers, doctors, scientists, university professors, etc. Capitol citizens are noted to possess high ranking and integral roles and occupations over Panem as a whole. For example, Iphigenia Moss's father worked in the agriculture department and as such, determines and regulates the flow of food within Panem. It's also noted that the Crane family worked in the travel industry, owning luxurious hotels. The Creed family oversaw the production of timber within District 7. Pliny Harrington’s father was also a naval commander within District 4 and former President Coriolanus Snow's family had assets for laboratories within District 13. As many Capitol residents live in considerable luxury due to their assets within the Districts, this deepening inequality and blatant exploitation may have played a part in the rising tension between the Capitol and Districts.

Capitol citizens possess a sense of superiority over District citizens, viewing District people as savages more akin to animals, as proven when the tributes of the 10th Hunger Games was dumped into the Capitol Zoo. Capitol citizens also see themselves as more civilized and intelligent than their district counterparts and typically lacked empathy toward District citizens. Their disdain toward District citizens can even motivate Capitol civilians to dislike one another, as Coriolanus Snow's close relationship with Sejanus Plinth made other Academy students somewhat indifferent toward him.

Nepotism and the obsession with 'old money' families are also prevalent within Capitol Society. As new money such as the Plinths were looked down upon by Capitol civilians. Though this can be attributed due to their District 2 ancestry and their move into the Capitol shortly after the end of the first rebellion may have also played a part in the contempt Capitol civilians hold against them. Nevertheless, those from affluent families were given special opportunities. For example, Tigris was easily accepted into the Academy since she was a part of the Snow family, and gamemakers such as Plutarch Heavensbee and Seneca Crane were also part of affluent families themselves. Regardless of family wealth, nepotism also benefitted less affluent families, as Lucretius Flickerman's position as the first host of the Hunger Games may have also played a part in Caesar Flickerman's success as a host for the Hunger games and a prominent interviewer in the following decades. There is also an academy and university for the brightest and most well-connected students, though even for Capitol citizens tuition was very high for the latter. Additionally, even the Capitol had a black market, which Coriolanus Snow once purchased a pair of dark pants from.[2]

Capitol residence

A Capitol residence showing off the city's extreme wealth and luxury

After the establishment of the Hunger Games and the end of the first rebellion, the Capitol continued to rapidly prosper into wasteful indulgence. Many Capitol residents are extremely shallow, always looking for ways to be noticed. An outrageous sense of style and fashion are very important to the citizens of the Capitol. It is common for them to tattoo and dye their bodies in extravagant bright colors, as well as undergo plastic surgery to alter their appearances. Known results of the surgeries are whiskers, dyed skin, talons, decorative patterns cut into their skin, and more outrageous fashions alluded to but not mentioned. These alterations are done so heavily that Katniss describes them as disfiguring, wondering if the people of the Capitol realize how horrifying they look to the rest of Panem. Some people of the Capitol also have gems implanted in their skin. Capitol residents frequently wear wigs in a multitude of colors. In The Hunger Games, when Katniss and Peeta are talking on the roof the night before their enter to the arena, Peeta admits that it would be hard to tell if they were wearing any fancy costumes, because you might as well mistake their ordinary clothing for a costume.

In order to have a good time at a party and eat as much as they want, Capitol residents drink a liquid (similar to ipecac) that causes them to vomit, thus providing enough room in their stomachs for more food. The residents seem oblivious to the fact that, although they go through lots of food and still have plenty left over, many of the districts' residents are starving. The food Capitol residents eat is extremely rich and appears in exotic and beautiful patterns, such as bread rolls shaped like flowers and oranges served with a sauce. Everything is luxurious and overwhelming for the tributes that arrive from the poor districts (for example, food dispensers and showers with over a hundred buttons).

Capitol crowd

A Capitol crowd.

The people who live in the Capitol are culturally distinct from the rest of Panem, speaking with strange accents; their voices are high pitched, their jaws barely open when talking, and their tone at the ends of their sentences going up as if they're asking a question (this particular trait is present in real life Californian English). They have odd vowels, clipped words, and tend to hiss the letter "s." The only noted exceptions to this are Cinna and Plutarch Heavensbee.

People living in the Capitol are very easy to win over because, despite the fact that they enjoy theatric bloodshed, they love sentimentality and melodrama. Both Katniss and other former victors have exploited this fact to further their own agenda. Haymitch also states that it's possible to gain support in the arena simply by gushing.

Capitol freak

A woman from the Capitol.

Capitol residents have often been said to treat the Hunger Games like a celebrated sporting event and a highly anticipated source of entertainment and past time. They take pride in betting on the tributes simply for bragging rights, not understanding or showing any regard for the horror their government is committing by forcing the games upon the districts. Some citizens are sponsors to the tributes, paying money for packages of supplies that are then delivered to them in the arena. Also, the more blood and fighting there is in the arena, the greater the entertainment for the Capitol. Unlike the twelve districts of Panem, the Capitol does not have to offer children for the Hunger Games, although the idea was discussed in Mockingjay.

Despite their extreme wealth, life moves very slowly until the Games, which make them all the more anticipated. Despite being at the top of both the economic and social chain, there is very little in the way of celebration or festivity until the Games and Victory Tour. It is also observed that they are unhappy about the previous victors being thrown into the arena once more for the 3rd Quarter Quell, because they have grown attached to the victors. Many Capitol citizens wanted to stop that Hunger Games from happening.

Government and military[]

The Capitol has no localized city government, as the central government of Panem is housed at the Capitol. Capitol citizens control the government as all members of President Snow's cabinet are Capitol citizens. Prior to the establishment of the Constitutional Republic in the wake of the Second Rebellion, no elections were held in Panem or in the Capitol, so it is unknown how President Snow came to his position. The Capitol exerts all political and economic control over all of Panem, and Snow's regime is known to be exceptionally harsh in keeping law and order in the districts.

Capitol officials at dinner

Panem's high-ranking officials including President Snow, Egeria and Antonius.

Headed by the president who is the ultimate authority in the nation, the Capitol imposes a centrally planned economy on the districts, with all major industries under its control. The economic development of the districts is thus extremely limited, and nearly all citizens live in abject poverty.

The President of Panem heads a cabinet whose members are chosen by the president himself. The individual members of the cabinet are charged with various duties and portfolios.

After the Battle of the Capitol, the central government dissolved, and its members were arrested, including President Snow himself.

The Capitol employs a powerful military force to enforce its laws and police the districts. The majority of the military's manpower comes from District 2, as Capitol citizens are not known for physically fighting. With few exceptions, the only members of the military who reside in the Capitol are the military commanders. The Peacekeepers, the who form the backbone of the Capitol's Armed Forces, are armed with advanced, cutting-edge equipment and technology, including nuclear arms. Following the overthrow of the Capitol, the armed forces are disbanded as well, with large numbers of Peacekeepers arrested, tried, and executed.

Relationship with the districts[]

After the collapse of modern civilization, the thirteen districts were brought together under the Capitol's rule, thus forming the nation of Panem. Originally, there were thirteen districts, until the outbreak of the First Rebellion, which was a failed attempt to topple the dictatorship.

District 13, unbeknownst to the other districts, was the Capitol's primary weapons supplier as its industry was in military arms production and nuclear weapons development and research, which had been instrumental to supporting the First and Second Rebellions. As the First Rebellion was failing, 13 managed to get the Capitol to capitulate to a degree through a threat of mutually assured destruction with their nuclear arsenal. 13 was allowed to secede from Panem and would prepare for another rebellion in the following decades, and the Capitol created fear-mongering propaganda of District 13's "annihilation" in the war, whilst hoping that the rogue district would eventually die out.


The Capitol.

Though the districts harvest all of the country's resources, such as fish, coal, lumber, textiles, technology, electricity, transportation, grain, livestock, crops, and gems, they must export almost all of their resources to serve the Capitol's citizens and their overwhelming greed. As a result, many districts, such 12 and 11, don't have enough coal to power their own district or enough food to feed their citizens (respectively). Districts 1, 2, and 4 typically have a better relationship with the Capitol and therefore receive more, have better food, and are graced with other various goods.

It is said that the Capitol favors District 2 as a lapdog, although District 2 is still not excused from the Hunger Games. Out of all the districts, District 2 is the most loyal to the Capitol. Following the end of the First Rebellion and the destruction (in reality, secession) of District 13, the Capitol looked to District 2 as the new center of its military-industrial complex. The Capitol's military operations were thus based in District 2's mountains.

With the establishment of the base in District 2, military careers were offered to District 2 citizens. Because of this, many District 2 citizens began to look favorably upon the Capitol. Nevertheless, citizens in the mountainous regions who remained loyal to the district trade of masonry, maintained a negative view of the Capitol, and rebelled during the Second Rebellion.


Panem's president after the rebellion, although she was killed by Katniss shortly after.

The districts have no political representation since all power is invested in the central government in the Capitol, with a President acting as the supreme leader of the nation. The districts' mayors serve as governors, ensuring the districts fulfill their quotas of production. They serve no electoral representative role as parliamentarians, senators, or congressional representatives.

As a result, the citizens of the districts live in abject poverty and under brutal oppression. The Capitol takes advantage of the suffering, using it as a tool of control, to keep the districts in line and in servitude.

Second Rebellion[]

Following the victory of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in the 74th Hunger Games, unrest began growing in the districts once more, particularly the outlying and most impoverished districts, such as 11 and 8. After Katniss and Peeta's failure to extinguish the dissent within the districts during their Victory tour, President Snow announced the third quarter quell, in which victors were forced back into the arena as tributes. After the 75th Hunger games ended with Katniss blowing up the arena, many districts turned to full-scale rebellion against the Capitol, with Districts 1, 3, 8 and 11 being the first the separate from Capitol control. The full-scale uprising, which after several months, ultimately led to the takeover of all 12 districts by the rebel forces, led and supported by District 13 and its military arsenal.

Rebel-occupied streets

Rebel-occupied streets from the Capitol.

Rebel forces then managed to set up military bases around the outer areas of the Capitol and effectively managed to make safe pathways leading further into the Capitol despite the pods activated by Gamemakers. By the end of the rebellion, as the Capitol evacuates citizens affected from the war residing in the outer blocks of the city, the rebel forces uses the opportunity to further their assault within the Capitol. The invasion of the Capitol is ultimately successful, leading to the overthrow of the Snow regime and the arrests of large numbers of Capitol officials, including the president himself.

Capitol refugees

Capitol refugees.

Interim President Alma Coin called for the remaining seven Hunger Games Victors to vote on a 76th Hunger Games, using Capitol children. The victors approved by a narrow 4-3 decision. However, during the execution of deposed president Coriolanus Snow, Katniss Everdeen made the last-minute decision to assassinate Coin. In the chaos that followed, a free election was held, resulting in the victory of Commander Paylor, a rebel military commander from District 8. The 76th Hunger Games were never held, and the event was entirely abolished afterwards. Under the leadership of the new administration, Panem was transformed into a constitutional republic. Massive economic and political liberalization took place afterwards, and the districts are implied to have prospered.


  • Due to the Capitol not participating in the Hunger Games, no official arena wear for the Capitol was produced in the first movie. Because of this, it is difficult to determine what the Capitol's color could be. However, considering the Capitol's status as Panem's central seat of government, the Capitol's color seems to be metallic gold (#d4af37 –    ).[3]
  • In the book, Katniss mentions that the Capitol's Skyline had colorful skyscrapers. Contrastingly, in the movies the dominant architectural styles are brutalism and neoclassical.
  • The dominant fashion trend of the Capitol had rapidly changed over time from inter/post-war styles around the time of the 10th Hunger Games to avant-garde and couture by the 74th Hunger Games.
  • The Capitol bares many resemblances to the British Empire. The Capitol's obsession with old money families such as the Snow, Crane, Phipp and Heavenbee families is similiar to that of the British upper-class aristocracy. Further, in the Victorian Era, Britain opened Human zoos much like the Capitol did for the tributes of the 10th Hunger Games.
  • A "capitol", named after the Capitoline Hill in Rome, refers specifically to the legislative building of the government in the capital city.

See also[]


The Hunger Games trilogy
Novels The Hunger GamesCatching FireMockingjay
Main Characters Katniss EverdeenPeeta MellarkGale HawthorneHaymitch AbernathyEffie Trinket
Supporting Characters Primrose EverdeenPresident SnowCinnaMrs. EverdeenMr. EverdeenPresident CoinClaudius TemplesmithCaesar FlickermanMadge UnderseePaylorPlutarch HeavensbeeSeneca Crane
Tributes MarvelGlimmerCatoCloveFoxfaceThreshRueMaysilee DonnerTitus
Past Victors Augustus BraunAnnie CrestaBeetee LatierBlightBrutusCashmereCeceliaChaffEnobariaFinnick OdairGlossJohanna MasonLymeMags FlanaganMorphlingsPorter Millicent TrippSeederWiressWoof
Groups RebellionGamemakersPrep teamTributesVictors
Locations PanemThe CapitolDistrict 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13
Behind the Scenes Suzanne CollinsGary RossFrancis Lawrence
Films The Hunger Games (film)Catching Fire (film)Mockingjay - Part 1Mockingjay - Part 2