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The Hunger Games Cheat Sheet - For Those Who Want In But Don't Yet Have Time

Daniel Griswold

The Hunger Games Trilogy is a phenomenal yet easy to read work of near-Science Fiction that struck me from the beginning.  The movie is coming out next year, and many are testing the waters to see if they want to read the books. I encourage everyone to do so.  The whole trilogy could be read in a week or two with determination and it is well worth it to get to know Peeta, Katniss, Haymitch, Cinna, President Snow, Coin, and crew. 

Here is a short list of things you may need to know if you haven’t read the books and want to understand what Fans are talking about:

Panem - A post-apocalyptic North America after a great loss of land and resources and after a great war over the resources.

The Capital - The city that used military might to subvert the other 12 areas or Districts, and supposedly destroyed the 13th, which is where Atomics/Nukes were produced.  The Capital is a cushy place full of entertainment and control. The President of Panem is named Snow.

The Hunger Games – Each year, young citizens from the 12 Districts are put into a lottery and two from each are selected on REAPING DAY and  are placed into an ARENA made by GAMEMAKERS, and are forced to fight to the death.  They are simultaneously a way to subvert the 12 Districts and remind them never to rise up against the Capital, and also entertainment (like Reality TV) for the masses in the Capital.  Those who have survived The Hunger Games become known as CAREERS and train up new TRIBUTES from each district.

Districts 1-12: These are zones in various locations that are under the control and surrounding the Capital.  Each provides a resource to the Capital.

District 1: Luxury Goods
District 2: Stone Mining
District 3: Electronics/Technology
District 4: Fishing
District 5: DNA Splicing/breeding
District 6: Medicine and other scientific research
District 7: Lumber and paper products
District 8: Textiles
District 9: Food Processing
District 10: Livestock
District 11: Agriculture
District 12: Coal mining – Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch are from District 12.

Source here.
District 13 – A district that is supposed to be destroyed and is rumored to have been a place that produced Graphite.  But people seem to know that it was actually a place where atomics are produced and was the only district that wasn’t subverted by the Capital.  A peace was made in exchange for District 13 to “disappear” below the ground.  The president of 13 is named Coin, and is just as intense as President Snow.  They live underground, have a nuclear arsenal, and have been quiet for a long long time.
Mockingjays - Bioengineered birds that originally communicated between people and recorded with human voices but who mated with native birds and became excellent songbirds with amazing memories.  You could sing to them and they would spread a song to other Mockingjays quickly and beautifully.  The third book is called Mockingjay because of the pin given to the main character Katniss, and she takes on the Symbolism of being Panem’s “Mockingjay” or “Girl on Fire” as a symbol of the Rebellion against the Capital.
If you have other terms that are coming up and you want to know, leave a comment and I’ll reply asap.