The Dark Days is a term commonly used to describe the first rebellion and civil war in Panem, which occurred 74 years prior to the beginning of the series. The rebellion began when the thirteen 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 said to have been completely destroyed, as a reminder to the other Districts that the Capitol has the power to do this to them at any moment. The sadistic Hunger Games event was founded as a dark reminder of the rebellion, forcing one boy and one girl per district to fight to the death in the arena each year. Only two named 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 (which were known as 'The Nut') exposed them and made them easy targets for the Capitol's air force. 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. These citizens continued to function in an underground facility, and helped the districts to win the second rebellion.