The Second Rebellion began when rebels across Panem rose up against the regime of President Coriolanus Snow 75 years after the First Rebellion. The leader of the second rebellion was nominally President Alma Coin, but due to the largely decentralized nature of the rebel forces, it is difficult for any one figure to be designated as the rebellion's official leader. The rebellion itself began to gain momentum during the 74th Hunger Games when District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark threatened to commit a double suicide. Over the course of the next two years, Panem fell into civil war as the citizens of the country's largely poverty-stricken and repressed administrative districts, disenfranchised by over 75 years of totalitarian rule (made most clearly manifest in the Hunger Games), took up arms against the regime of President Coriolanus Snow. The war eventually resulted in the overthrow of Snow's dictatorial regime and Panem's transition to a liberal democracy.
The first known rebellious activity took place in District 8 after the 74th Hunger Games's Victory Tour. After the train left District 8, a violent riot erupted. Rioters seized control of several strategic positions throughout the district, all while engaging in an chaotic, unorganized running battle with large contingents of Peacekeepers. Although the rebels initially had the upper hand due to the surprise assault, they were unorganized and ill-equipped to engage in sustained fighting between themselves and the better trained and equipped Peacekeeper force. Capitol hovercraft gave air support to the Peacekeepers, bombing rebel positions as the Peacekeepers advanced. Eventually, the Peacekeepers quelled the rebellion and set the entire district under martial law. For a week, no one was permitted outside and the district's electricity and food supplies were cut. After this, the martial law was lifted and life was allowed to return to normal. However, a covertly-planted Capitol bomb destroyed the primary textile factory in the district, after loyalist intelligence agents received intelligence reports indicating that the rebellion had been plotted from there.
When the 75th Hunger Games drew near a close, rebel hovercraft from District 13 rescued Katniss Everdeen, Finnick Odair, and Beetee Lantier. The raid was launched prior to Katniss destroying the force field enclosing the arena. Capitol aircraft captured Peeta Mellark, Johanna Mason, Enobaria. Shortly afterwards, Annie Cresta was kidnapped from District 4 and imprisoned by the Capitol due to her relationship with Finnick Odair and her status as the victor of a previous Hunger Games.
Outbreak of open warfare
Shortly after the force field was destroyed, Capitol aircraft launched a massive fire bombing raid on District 12, Everdeen's home district, burning it to the ground. Only about 800 of District 12's original 8,000 survived the raid. Gale Hawthorne was credited with helping most of the refugees escape into the woods around District 12. After the attack, hovercraft from District 13 appeared and began evacuating the refugees back to 13, where they were granted citizenship and given places to live that far exceeded their poverty-stricken conditions in 12.
Simultaneously, uprisings began in a poorly-coordinated mass offensive in Districts Seven, Ten, and Eleven, which were responded to harshly by the Capitol. The exact details of these uprisings are unclear due to communication disruptions, but it is known that rebel forces operating in District Eleven were able to seize control of local transportation networks in the opening phase of the fighting.
Liberating the Districts
Tactical, operational, and strategic details of the war from this point until the Battle of the Capitol are largely unavailable, but the fighting was largely marked by indiscriminate surface-based and aerial artillery bombardments, as well as a confused mixture of asymmetrical and conventional ground warfare that resulted in widespread destruction.
Mellark and Everdeen were both made to star in propaganda videos, referred to by both sides' media as propos, for the side they had been taken by. There was a stark contrast notable in the videos--Mellark's called for a general ceasefire while Everdeen was told to rally the rebels to fight. When Everdeen was taken from the arena, many rebel divisions were struggling to maintain footholds in several districts. However, after one particular propo in which Everdeen stood in front of the wreckage of a destroyed field hospital in District 8 after a Capitol bombing and announced "if we burn, you burn with us," the rebels' morale was reenergized, and they launched a vast counteroffensive against the loyalists, relieving strategic pressure in several districts where they had been barely holding out.
After the airing of Everdeen's propaganda video in District 8, President Snow and Mellark held a Capitol video of their own. Near the end, Mellark accidentally leaked information regarding a surprise Capitol missile attack on District 13. Thereafter, Capitol torturors deployed a psychological technique against Mellark known as hijacking (discussed in detail elsewhere). Multiple bunker buster missiles were launched but due to the warning, casualties were reduced to a minimum, if any at all.
During a video after the bomb raid, Everdeen suffered a mental meltdown due to learning that any actions by her caused pain to Mellark. Finnick also suffered a breakdown after Everdeen, as his fiancee, Annie Cresta, was being held by the Capitol as well. Fearing the loss of their most crucial propaganda assets on account of those assets' fiancees and friends being held by the Capitol, rebel special forces launched a rescue mission into the Capitol--the first known rebel action to take place inside the city itself--aimed at freeing Cresta, Mellark, and Johanna Mason. Tactical details of this operation, like much of the war, are unclear, but it is known that they involved knock out gas, power failures, and the detonation of an explosive in a government building as diversions.
Chaotic ground fighting and bomber strikes were the hallmarks of much of the war. After several months of fighting, every district was in under rebel control with the exception of District 2, which was the supplier of most of Panem's military force and also served as the loyalists' primary base of operations. The primary command center for the Capitol's military forces, located in Two, was located inside a hollowed-out mountain known to the rebels as "the Nut" after Plutarch Heavensbee's comment on the district; "it's a tough nut to crack." After several failed attempts at capturing the mountain complex, Gale Hawthorne, who had previously taken part in the evacuation from 12, the fighting in District 8, and the raid that liberated hostage former Tributes from the Capitol, put forth the idea of causing avalanches with rebel bombers and suffocating the loyalist forces inside. Rebel bombers began dropping their payloads on the Nut's upper elevations, triggering avalanches that buried most of the exits from the mountain and crippled the base inside. Several trains carrying survivors made it out of the train tunnel, as the rebels had decided to leave that one path open so as to permit any who survived the bombing and avalanche an opportunity to surrender. Immediately after the collapse of the loyalist command and control center, fighting began in the central square of District 2, and a rebel offensive secured the square and the surrounding area. Everdeen gave a speech despite the fighting that turned District 2's forces to the rebel side, but was wounded shortly thereafter and temporarily removed from action.
Battle of the Capitol and the end of the war
The destruction of the Nut and 2's ensuing alignment with the rebels crippled the Capitol's military forces, forcing the Capitol's military to withdraw to the city itself in a last-ditch defensive effort. Rebel forces then invaded the city, resulting in the single most destructive urban battle of the war. The destruction of the Nut meant the loss of the Capitol's air force, leaving the defense of the city to ground forces who lacked air support of any kind. Despite the rebels' clear strategic advantage provided by their momentum after the elimination of Capitol forces in the District Two pocket, the rebel advance was severely hindered by strategically placed traps, called pods, that were positioned all around the city. These pods, when triggered, held lethal weapons that ranged from automated gun systems to genetically-modified wasps known as tracker jackers. Midway through the battle for the city, rebel forces designated four central routes for travel directly to the heart of the Capitol, simply referred to as the A, B, C, and D lines. After intense and confused block-by-block fighting, the rebels reached the City Circle, the center of the Capitol itself. As a final defensive measure, President Coriolanus Snow had a group of refugee Capitol children form a ring around the presidential mansion. A hovercraft marked with a Capitol insignia dropped parachutes similar to those that Hunger Games tributes received in the arenas, but these turned out to be bombs that killed most of the children in the ring and rebel medical teams who responded. The Capitol fell that day, ending Panem's second civil war. It was later revealed that the aircraft used in the Presidential Mansion bombing was actually owned by District 13 and operating under orders from President Coin to drop the bombs on the children in an attempt to end the war by shattering what remained of the Capitol's image.
The following weeks were marked by what was supposed to be the restructuring and liberalization of Panem's government, but what actually became a consolidation of power by Interim President Alma Coin. In what was supposed to be Snow's execution, Everdeen, acting on intelligence supplied by former President Snow while he was incarcerated, instead shot President Alma Coin in retaliation for killing her sister, Primrose, who was serving as a medic outside the Presidential Mansion when the parachute bombs went off. Snow was later found dead of unknown causes--the two prevailing theories indicate that Snow was either murdered by the crowd or died choking on his own blood as a result of internal hemmorhages--and Everdeen was tried in absentia for killing Panem's acting president, while Commander Paylor of District Eight was sworn in as Panem's new president following an emergency election (as Coin, evidently intending to rule in much the same fashion as Snow had, did not designate a successor in the event she was rendered incapable of carrying out her duties). Everdeen was cleared of her charges under a plea of insanity, and in a related trial afterwards, Gale Hawthorne 's and Beetee Latier's testimony of their involvement of the bombs at Snow's mansion persuaded the jury of Everdeen's justification in killing Coin, which helped reclaim her reputation as a hero to Panem, and allowed to return to the under-reconstruction District 12. Panem's history after the war is largely left unknown, but from available information, it is clear that new democratic government has survived and Panem's citizens have largely prospered.
Notable members of the second rebellion
- Castor (deceased)
- Cinna (deceased)
- Effie Trinket
- Fulvia Cardew
- Lavinia (deceased)
- Messalla (deceased)
- Plutarch Heavensbee
- Portia (deceased)
- Bonnie (missing, presumed deceased)
- Cecelia (deceased)
- Commander Paylor
- Eddy (deceased)
- Eddy's Sister (deceased)
- Twill (missing, presumed deceased)
- Woof (deceased)
- Dalton (later moved to District 13)
- Delly Cartwright
- Gale Hawthorne
- Greasy Sae
- Greasy Sae's granddaughter
- Haymitch Abernathy
- Hazelle Hawthorne
- Katniss Everdeen
- Mrs. Everdeen
- Peeta Mellark
- Posy Hawthorne
- Primrose Everdeen (deceased)
- Rory Hawthorne
- Vick Hawthorne