|Inhabitants||President Snow, Gamemakers, richest inhabitants of Panem|
|Appearance||The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay|
The Capitol of Panem is a technologically advanced, utopian city where the nation's most wealthy and powerful reside. The Capitol is also the colloquial name for the ruling government of Panem. As the seat of power in Panem, the nation's thirteen districts are ruled from this city, and the Hunger Games are organized and celebrated in it. The Capitol is a tyrannical dictatorship, led by President Snow (before his death), and holds total political and economic dominance over Panem, enforcing its rule through an army of Peacekeepers, capital punishment, propaganda, and the Hunger Games. It is also the only major city mentioned in the trilogy. The Capitol is known for its fashion and food.
LocationIt is thought to be located in the northwestern section of the former United States of America, seemingly west of the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies also act as a natural barrier and have served the Capitol well, allowing their air forces to bomb the rebels who attempted to invade the city in the Dark Days.
People and Culture
Style and fashion are very important to the wealthy citizens of the plutocratic Capitol. It is common for them to tattoo and dye their bodies bright colors, as well as undergo plastic surgery to alter their appearances. Known results of the surgeries, as stated by Katniss Everdeen, are whiskers, dyed skin, talons, and more outrageous fashions alluded to but not mentioned. Some people of the Capitol also have gems implanted in their skin, as noted by Katniss. Capitol residents frequently wear wigs in a multitude of colors. District citizens view the people of the Capitol as alien, odd, and distrustful, and despise them. In order to have a good time at a party and eat as much as they want, Capitol residents drink a special liquid that causes them to vomit, thus providing enough room for more food. The residents seem almost 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.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. They have odd vowels, clipped words, and tend to hiss the letter "s." The only noted exception to this is Cinna, Katniss Everdeen's stylist during the 74th and 75th Hunger Games.
It is noted in the film adaptation that residents of the Capitol stay awake late at night and sleep late during the day, as such the first day of the Hunger Games does not begin until about ten o'clock.
People living in the Capitol are very easy to win over because, despite the fact that they enjoy a 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 residents have often been said to treat the Hunger Games like a sporting event and a highly anticipated source of entertainment. They take pride in betting on the tributes simply for bragging rights, not understanding or showing any regard for the crime their government is committing by forcing the games upon the districts. Some citizens are sponsors to the tributes, paying 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.
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.
Because people in the Capitol are all extremely wealthy, none of the residents have jobs or places to be. For these people, 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.
Many Capitol residents are extremely shallow, always looking for ways to become well-noticed. Because of this, many of them will mutilate themselves in the name of the style, going so far as to don tails and whiskers or cut decorative patterns in their skin. 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.
Relationship with the Districts
After the collapse of modern civilization and before the Dark Days rebellion, the districts were brought together under the Capitol's rule, thus forming the nation of Panem. Originally, there were thirteen districts, until District 13 was supposedly destroyed by Capitol forces, due to being the driving force of the rebellion against their rule. Though the districts harvest great amounts of resources, such as fish, coal, lumber, crops, and gems, they must export almost all of their resources to serve the Capitol's citizens. As a result, many districts, such as 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 generally have a better relationship with the Capitol and therefore receive more, have better food, and are graced with other various goods and protection.The Districts have no political representation since the government of Panem invests all power to the centralized executive in the Capitol, with a President acting as the supreme leader of the nation. Mayors within the Districts act simply as governors, ensuring the districts fulfill their quotas of goods to the Capitol and serve no representative roles as a parliamentarian or senator. As a result of this, the massive poverty, starvation, and brutality witnessed in the Districts goes unchecked. It is highly probable that the Capitol government is aware of the Districts' suffering but is reluctant or uninterested in improving conditions for its downtrodden subjects.