The Dark Days is a term commonly used to describe the first rebellion and civil war in Panem, about 75 years prior to the beginning of the series. The rebellion began when various districts of Panem objected to the Capitol's oppressive rule and thus rose up against the government. During the course of the rebellion, District 13 was supposedly obliterated, leaving the remaining 12 under the rule of the Capitol, forced to compete in the sadistic Hunger Games in punishment for their rebellion. Only two known people in the series were known to be alive during the rebellion, Mags who was 5 when the games began and President Coriolanus Snow who was 1 when the games began.
Weapons, warfare and timelineEdit
The Capitol was known to use horrifying muttations, (or mutts for short) as organic weapons and put down rebelling districts by bombing them into submission with fleets of hovercrafts, while the only attacks the rebels were known to use were falsified information and the massed invasion of Capitol territory. It is mentioned that the rebels attempted an invasion of the Capitol itself but the natural fortification of the Rockies exposed them and made them easy targets for the Capitol airforce. The Capitol experienced some failure with its muttations, such as with the jabberjays relaying false information and the tracker jackers being easily sedated by smoke.
The basic timeline of the Dark Days started with basic rebellions and then ended with the supposed destruction of District 13.
It is revealed by President Snow that District 13 started the rebellion, but abandoned the other districts after it had won its freedom and the war started going badly. District 13 gained freedom by capturing the nuclear weapons and bartering a cease-fire with the Capitol under the concept of mutually assured destruction. In the agreement, District 13 agreed to masquerade as a wasteland in exchange for being left alone by the Capitol.
President Snow says before the second Quarter Quell that two rebels died for every Capitol citizen, hence the reason for twice as many tributes being sent into the arena.