- This article is about the event. For other uses, see The Hunger Games (disambiguation).
The Hunger Games were a morbid and brutal competition which took place annually in the country of Panem. Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 were selected from each of the twelve districts as tributes, who prepare for a week and then are sent into an outdoor arena to fight to the death. The event was nationally televised as mandatory viewing for all citizens. The last living tribute is declared the victor and is allowed to live in comfort in their home district.
Seventy-five years before the 74th Hunger Games, the thirteen districts of Panem revolted against the Capitol. Together, they stood strong, but when District 13 was obliterated by the Capitol, resistance became impossible, as District 13 was the driving force behind the rebellion. The remaining districts submitted to the Capitol and lost their hope for change.
Every year since the rebellion, the Capitol forced 24 children into the arena and used hidden cameras to televise the events in order to both entertain the Capitol citizens and remind the twelve districts how completely at the Capitol's mercy they are. Only one tribute can win the games, with the exception of the 74th Hunger Games, where Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark both won because of their joint attempted suicide.
Every year, each district holds a reaping ceremony. Two large glass balls contain slips of paper with each child's first and last name. A child's name is entered each year for every year that they are eligible. The entries are cumulative, and each year another slip is added to the glass ball for the child's aging. Ex: At age 12 one slip has their name, at 13 two slips are added, and so on. By the time each child is 18, they must have a minimum of 7 entries in the glass ball. However, they can choose to add their name more times in exchange for tessera, which is a small ration of oil and grain. Each tessera has enough oil and grain to supply one family member with food for one year.
The district's representative/escort (e.g. Effie Trinket for District 12) picks a name out of the balls, one of which is for girls and one for boys. The tributes whose names are chosen are then entered into the Games, unless someone is willing to volunteer - a normally quite rare phenomenon unless it is in one of the "Career Districts" (1, 2, and 4), districts in which children have been training their whole lives to enter the Games.
When a victor comes home, they are no longer be eligible to participate in the Games even if they are still young enough to have their name drawn in the reaping. The exception to this rule is the 75th Hunger Games or the 3rd Quarter Quell. Another year where there was an exception, was the 25th Hunger Games (or the 1st Quarter Quell) when the districts were required to chose which tributes were to enter the Games.
The reaping ceremony is also treated like a celebration to all districts. The children dress up and sometimes give gifts to each other. They also tend to celebrate after the reaping is over, except of course for the children who are chosen, who are busy saying their goodbyes.
Each living victor from each district is given the task of mentoring the next tributes for the Games. If there is only one living victor, he/she will be mentor for both tributes (ex. Haymitch mentors both Katniss and Peeta for the 74th and 75th Hunger Games). Any living victor is invited to the Capitol to come alongside the tributes and to watch the Games live. Mentors are expected to come in order to sort out the complications of sponsors and sending the gifts into the arena.
Each tribute is allowed one token from their district, to represent and remind them of home. They must not be able to be used as weapons. They are very carefully examined and checked for any hidden triggers. In the 74th Hunger Games, Glimmer, the female tribute from District 1, had her token, a ring, confiscated because it carried a hidden poisoned spike. Katniss' token was a golden pin given to her by Madge Undersee, showing a mockingjay in both the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. It was almost confiscated because some people believed that it could be used as a weapon. It is mentioned that several years prior to the 74th Hunger Games, one girl's token was a small wooden ball which she dropped while on her starting plate, activating the mine underneath her feet. Katniss said that "they literally had to scrape bits of her off the ground'. Rue's token was a necklace made out of grass with a star shaped charm on it. Finnick Odair's token for the 75th Hunger Games was a golden band from Haymitch.
As tributes battle in the arena, quite often they can become helpless (ex. Peeta Mellark with blood poisoning, Katniss' leg burn, etc.). This is simply because of the Cornucopia bloodbath since the tributes are fighting over the items they need to win the Hunger Games. Many of the tributes are left with limited or no items they wanted from the Cornucopia. Wealthy viewers or groups of people can pool their funds and send items into the arena should a tribute need something, such as food, shelter, weapons, or medicine. In the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss received burn medicine and food - most notably a loaf of bread from District 11 that she assumes was intended for Rue before her death. Katniss is extremely touched by this unheard of gesture as never before has a tribute received a gift from another district.
The bloodbath is what starts the excitement in the Games. On average, roughly half of the tributes die at the initial battle that takes place at the Cornucopia, near the starting point of the games. Spilling from the Cornucopia and strewn on the ground among the tributes are various items including weapons, food, water, and other supplies. Some tributes venture into the opening scramble for these valuable items, while others use it as part of their strategy for slaughter.
If the Gamemakers feel that there has not been enough bloodshed recently, they will invite all of the tributes to the Cornucopia for a feast. Normally this feast features something desirable to the tributes, like food, armor, medicine, etc. so they will be more likely to go. Some still choose not to because these feasts usually result in a bloodbath. Attendance is not mandatory. In the 74th Hunger Games, the feast resulted in the death of Clove (District 2 female). The event would have also resulted in Katniss' death if Thresh (District 11 male) had not shown her mercy for Rue's sake.
Every twenty-five years, the president of Panem selects a card from a box made during the original establishment of the Hunger Games that makes a change in the rules of the reapings. For the first Quarter Quell, or the 25th Hunger Games, each district had to choose the children who went into the arena. For the second Quarter Quell, or the 50th Hunger Games, twice as many tributes had to be reaped to go into the arena. That was the year Haymitch Abernathy won. For the third Quarter Quell, or the 75th Hunger Games, the tributes were reaped from the pool of existing victors. Katniss Everdeen was despaired when she heard this because her status as the only living female victor from District 12 assured her return to the arena.
25th Hunger Games (First Quarter Quell)
The 25th Hunger Games was the first Quarter Quell in the history of the Games, and each district had to elect its own tributes. The victor of these Games wasn't alive when the third Quarter Quell started, just like Mags and Woof, who are both older than the said victor.
45th Hunger Games
The 45th Hunger Games included Chaff, of District 11. It ended with Chaff being victorious, though losing his left arm from the elbow and below in the process. He refused to get a prosthetic replacement from the Capitol.
- Known Tributes:
- Chaff - District 11 (Victor)
50th Hunger Games (Second Quarter Quell)
The 50th Hunger Games included Maysilee Donner and Haymitch Abernathy of District 12. There were forty-eight tributes rather than twenty-four as stated for from the special rule of the Quarter Quell. Maysilee and Haymitch made an alliance to help each other survive. This lasted until the top 5 tributes. Maysilee was killed by candy pink bird muttations with spear-like bills, two tributes were eaten by carnivorous squirrel mutts, the next was killed in combat (who killed him/her is not specified) and Haymitch managed victory by using the arena's force-field to deflect an attack from the Career girl from District 1, which killed her instead. She threw her axe at Haymitch and he ducked, allowing the axe to hit the forcefield and ricochet, killing her and making Haymitch the victor.
- Known Tributes:
62nd Hunger Games
Enobaria of District 2 won the 62nd Hunger Games, killing one of her former allies from the Career Pack, by ripping open their throat with her teeth. This later became what Enobaria was best known for. She was encouraged to surgically alter her teeth, so they now end in points and are coated in gold, making them a flashy and deadly weapon.
- Known Tributes:
65th Hunger Games
Finnick Odair won the 65th Hunger Games due to his proficiency with weapons, being from District 4 and therefore a Career Tribute, as well as his good looks that helped him acquire sponsors. He received a trident from sponsors, which Katniss believes is one of the most expensive gifts ever given during the Games. Being from the fishing district, he was skilled with the weapon and used handwoven nets to capture tributes and then stab them with his trident.
- Known Tributes:
70th Hunger Games
Annie Cresta of District 4 won the 70th Hunger Games. It is assumed she followed the typical Career Alliance strategy, but when her fellow District 4 tribute was decapitated, she went insane and hid for the remainder of the game. She won only because a dam broke in the arena and flooded it; Annie was the best swimmer (being from District 4) and outlasted all the remaining Tributes.
- Known Tributes:
- Annie Cresta - District 4 (Victor)
73rd Hunger Games
Effie mentioned that both tributes from District 12 ate like savages and had no sense of etiquette or manners. This angered Katniss, as both were from the Seam and therefore they had never had a decent meal in their lives. Katniss mentions that this is when the setting was in winter and that most of the contestants died from cold amid the snow. This Hunger Games bored the Capitol and as a result, they made some changes in the rules, which had them require the supplying of firewood for the tributes to use for warmth.
74th Hunger Games
See The Hunger Games for full details on the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta were both the victors, the first and only time this happened.
- Glimmer - District 1
- Marvel - District 1
- Clove - District 2
- Cato - District 2
- Foxface - District 5
- Rue - District 11
- Thresh - District 11
- Katniss Everdeen - District 12 (Victor)
- Peeta Mellark - District 12 (Victor)
75th Hunger Games (Third Quarter Quell)
For the 75th Hunger Games, the tributes were reaped out of their District's pool of victors.
- Cashmere - District 1
- Gloss - District 1
- Enobaria - District 2
- Brutus - District 2
- Wiress - District 3
- Beetee - District 3
- Mags - District 4
- Finnick Odair - District 4
- Morphlings - District 6
- Johanna Mason - District 7
- Blight - District 7
- Cecelia - District 8
- Woof - District 8
- Seeder - District 11
- Chaff - District 11
- Katniss Everdeen - District 12
- Peeta Mellark - District 12
Unknown Hunger Games
- Either the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, or 13th Hunger Games - Mags - District 4 (Victor)
- Unknown Hunger Games - Woof - District 8 (Victor)
- Unknown Hunger Games - Seeder - District 11 (Victor) - Won her Games by being able to go without food longer than the other tributes.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Beetee - District 3 (Victor) - Won his Games by somehow surviving until the end was close, then created an electrical trap, which he used to kill the remaining tributes.
- 2 Unknown Hunger Games - Morphlings - District 6 (Victors)
- Unknown Hunger Games - Lyme - District 2 (Victor) - Games not explained, but Katniss and Peeta watched them before the Quarter Quell.
- Either the 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, or 44th Hunger Games - Brutus - District 2 (Victor) - Volunteered when he was 17 and became victorious.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Wiress - District 3 (Victor)
- Either the 58th, 59th, 60th, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, or 64th Hunger Games - Cecelia - District 8 (Victor)
- Unknown Hunger Games - Titus - District 6 - A promising Tribute in his Games, but went insane and started eating his victims. He died in an avalanche, though it is suspected the Gamemakers set it up to make sure their victor was sane, it was said it was only a few years ago.
- Either the 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, or 71st Hunger Games - Johanna Mason - District 7 (Victor) - Won her games by pretending to be weak and fragile but in reality, Johanna was a cold hearted killer and easily won her Games as the other Tributes didn't see her as a threat.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Blight - District 7 (Victor)
- Either the 63rd, 64th, 66th, 67th, 68th, or 69th, Hunger Games - Cashmere - District 1 (Victor) - Won consecutive Games with her brother when Katniss was younger.
- Either the 63rd, 64th, 66th, 67th, 68th or 69th Hunger Games - Gloss - District 1 (Victor) - Won consecutive Games with his sister when Katniss was younger.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game from when she was younger where tributes had to bludgeon each other with spiked maces as they were the only available weapons.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game from when she was younger where the terrain was boulders, sand and scruffy bushes. Many of the tributes were either bitten and killed by venomous snakes or went insane from thirst.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game from when she was younger where the arena was a woodless landscape. It was freezing cold and most of the tributes died from hypothermia because they had no wood to make torches, fires or anything to keep them warm. These Games were considered unsatisfying in the eye of the Capitol for all the bloodless death and lack of action, therefore giving a certain chance of having means to make a fire in following Games.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game from when she was younger where a female tribute dropped her token, a small wooden ball, on the ground before the gong sounded, and she was blown apart by explosives and had to be collected in parts.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game from when she was younger where the stylists from District 12 sent both tributes out completely naked and covered in black powder, to simulate coal dust, for the Chariot Rides through the Capitol. Their appearance did not endear them in the eyes of the Capitol, and neither tribute received any sponsors and both died as a result.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss mentioned in The Hunger Games that she remembered a Game where the victor only received a 3 as his training score.
- Unknown Hunger Games - Katniss watches a tribute brutally beat another tribute to death with a brick. Caesar Flickerman comments on the games, saying it was one of his favorite games.
- Throughout the history of the Hunger Games, there have been a total of 1824 Tributes that have participated in the seventy-five Hunger Games ever held, yet there were only 1800 unique Tributes (due to the nature of the 75th Hunger Games). By the end of the war (in Mockingjay), 1793 of them had died (99.61% of all tributes), 1743 in the Games as tributes (96.83%), and the other 50 tributes (2.78%) either died in the Victor's Purge during the War, or before the war, leaving only 7 remaining tributes (~0.4% of all tributes) that have witnessed, participated, and survived the Hunger Games.
- There were two other "Hunger Games" that technically never occurred, but were seen as hypothetical. The defensive system of the streets in the Capitol consisted of pods that unleashed death traps when activated. When looking at the schematics of the Capitol, it looks eerily similar to the set-up at the Cornucopia before the combat starts at a regular Hunger Games. Plutarch Heavensbee, Katniss, and possibly even other former tributes took note of this, as Katniss and Finnick recited the infamous line, "let the 76th annual Hunger Games begin". In addition, prior to Snow's assassination, Katniss was pulled into a meeting where surviving tributes and leaders took votes on whether or not to hold another Hunger Games with Capitol children. Peeta, Annie, and Beetee voted against it and Johanna, Enobaria, Katniss, and Haymitch voted for it, but it was never actually held following Coin's and Snow's assassinations. This proposed Hunger Games could have been considered the actual 76th Hunger Games and from an inside perspective, the 77th Hunger Games.
- In the book, Katniss said that after the Hunger Games were abolished, people came to the memorials so they could rewatch the Games, tour the catacombs, visit the places deaths took place and do re-enactments of the most bloody scenes.