The Capitol of Panem in the Hunger Games is a technologically advanced, utopian city where the nation’s most wealthy and powerful citizens live.

The Definitive Glossary for The Hunger Games

The Capitol is a tyrannical dictatorship that possesses absolute control over the nation of Panem. It is a technologically advanced city with enormous wealth and riches at its fingertips. The city is populated by the wealthiest and most influential citizens of Panem. It is noted for its unique society and culture as well as its harsh and cruel treatment of the districts


The Capitol is located in present-day North America in the Western mountainous region. It is bordered by the Rockies. The neighboring body of water to the west of the Capitol suggests that it is located somewhere close to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Relationship with the Districts

The fall of modern civilization led to the rise of the nation of Panem, with the Capitol at the center and 13 outlying districts surrounding it. Each of the 13 districts harvests produced within the nation including lumber, coal, military weapons, farm produce, fish, and so on. However, with their produce being sent to satisfy the undying greed of the Capitol, the districts are in a state of abject poverty, Some of the districts (such as 11 and 12) barely have enough food to sustain themselves.

Districts 1, 2, and 4 on the other hand, enjoy a favorable relationship with the Capitol. District 2, which is the military center of the Capitol, has better resources and more food than any other district. It also allows its citizens to follow a military career in the form of Peacekeepers.

None of the districts have any political representation within the nation. A mayor is appointed in each of the districts to oversee the rate of production. However, the mayor does not have any electoral representative role in the nation.

The Capitol looks upon the citizens of the district as vulgar. They are not given any mercy, as is evident by the Hunger Games itself. 

Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch – this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen.”

District 13 was the military and nuclear center of the Capitol before and during the first rebellion. However, after threatening mutual destruction, it was allowed to secede from the nation. The official party line regarding District 13 is that it was annihilated during the rebellion. While the Capitol hoped that the people of the district would die out in isolation, District 13 recuperated enough to launch a second rebellion on the Capitol.

The Government

The Capitol is the central government of the nation. It is a dictatorial rule with no local governments present. The head of the government is President Snow, an autocratic ruler who rose to power through manipulation and deceit.

The president is supported by cabinet members dealing with different portfolios, all of whom are appointed by the president himself. The Capitol imposes a centrally planned economy that leaves the Capitol wealthy and the districts in abject poverty. It exercises control through the means of a large military force called the Peacekeepers, who help enforce law and order in the districts.

History of the Capitol

The founding of the Capitol is credited to some of the most wealthy and powerful citizens of the country. These citizens came together to create the powerhouse known as the Capitol. This includes the Phipps family, as well as the Crane and Snow families who formed an elite circle of the old guard of the Capitol.

Over the years, the Capitol comprised the most wealthy citizens who held the most amount of privilege and power in the districts. This is evident from the Plinth family who aided the Capitol in the first rebellion in return for a life of immense wealth and power in the Capitol.


First Rebellion

74 years before the Hunger Games trilogy, the 13 districts of Panem rose in arms against the Capitol. The catalyst for the first rebellion is unknown. However, it lasted for three years and caused considerable damage to both the Capitol and the districts. 

The rebels had the upper hand during the last 2 years of the rebellion, during which they managed to starve Capitol citizens by cutting off the food supply. They also gained control of the bomb warning alarm system which allowed them to manipulate the Capitol through fake threats.

During the rebellion, rabies broke out, spreading to almost a dozen Capitol citizens before a vaccine was introduced. 

Despite the damage it sustained, the Capitol emerged as the victor. This was mainly due to the natural protection of the mountains as well as its superior air force. The rebellion ended with the Capitol and District 13 (the nuclear base of the Capitol) signing a peace treaty. The treaty allowed District 13 to secede from the nation while it enabled the Capitol to gain control over the remaining 12 districts. The Capitol then propagated the propaganda that District 13 was annihilated by the capital forces.

President Ravenstill became the leader of the nation and The Hunger Games was introduced to punish the districts for their actions. The effects of the first rebellion were seen in both the Capitol and the districts for several years to come. It is referred to as the “Dark Days” in the coming years.

Second Rebellion

Katniss Everdeen sparked off the second rebellion at the end of the 74th Hunger Games. Despite several efforts by Katniss, Peeta, and the Capitol to subdue the rebellion, the districts broke out in full-scale rebellion at the end of the 75th Hunger Games. The catalyst was Katniss blowing up the arena.

Districts 1, 3, 8, and 11 managed to overthrow Capitol rule while District 13 acted as the leader of the rebellion. Katniss became the face of the rebellion in the form of the “Mockingjay” and united the districts against the Capitol. With the help of the military arsenal and the rebel forces of District 13, the rebels stormed the Capitol and established several military bases and safe pathways. 

The military invasion of the Capitol was successful, and the rebels captured President Snow from his mansion. President Alma Coin becomes the interim president and suggests a last Hunger games with the Capitol children. While her suggestion is approved by a vote, she is killed by Katniss during the execution of President Snow. Commander Paylor is elected president, and the nation of Panem becomes a constitutional republic.

Society and Culture

What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?

The Capitol is marked by abundance and luxury. They have automatic food dispensers that bring forth the most exotic food that anyone from the districts has ever seen. To be able to eat more of this exotic food, the citizens of the Capitol drink a liquid that causes them to vomit – thereby allowing them to taste but not digest their food. This is in stark contrast to the people of the districts who starve from the lack of food.

As a society, the Capitol is filled with vain and superficial people who are concerned only about fashion and food. The citizens disfigure their bodies with dyed skin, tattoos, ornaments, jewels, and plastic surgery. They wear different wigs every day and speak in a strange accent. They barely open their mouth when talking, and end their sentences with a high intonation. They speak in high-pitched voices, have clipped words and strange vowel sounds. Most of them also tend to hiss the letter “s.”

The people of the Capitol enjoy melodrama and theatric bloodshed. They eagerly take part in the Hunger Games, either as spectators, gamblers, or sponsors. They are extremely self-centered and only care about the tributes according to how much entertainment value they provide.

It’s funny, because even though they’re rattling on about the Games, it’s all about where they were or what they were doing or how they felt when a specific event occurred… Everything is about them, not the dying boys and girls in the arena


What is the Capitol in Hunger Games?

The Capitol in the Hunger Games is the ruling Government of the nation of Panem. It is a utopia that is technologically advanced, filled with abundance, and peopled by the wealthiest classes of Panem.

Why did the Capitol start the Hunger Games?

The Capitol started the Hunger Games to subdue the districts and bring them under their control. The stated reason for starting the Hunger Games, however, was to punish the Districts for trying to rebel against the Capitol.

Did they have a Hunger Games with Capitol children?

No, they did not have a Hunger Games with the Capitol children. Although President Coin suggests a last Hunger Games as a way to quench the people’s thirst for Capital blood, she and her idea are both killed by Katniss in the end.

Which Hunger Games did they storm the Capitol?

Katniss and the other rebels storm the Capitol in the third book of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay.

How has the Capitol influenced the Hunger Games?

The Capitol was the creator of the barbaric Hunger Games. Created to punish the Districts for their attempted rebellion, the Capitol fine-tuned the rules of the Hunger Games and the technology used in them over several decades.

Where is the Capitol in the Hunger Games?

The Capitol in the Hunger Games is located in present-day Salt Lake City. Utah, and is bordered by the Rocky Mountains. It is surrounded by twelve outlying districts.

What does the Capitol symbolize in the Hunger Games?

The Capitol symbolizes autocratic rule and oppression. It possesses absolute control over the nation through the means of fear, torture & harsh punishment.

How does Katniss feel about the Capitol?

Katniss does not agree with the Capitol’s philosophy nor their methodology of enforcing rules in Panem. While she is afraid of the Capitol’s power at the beginning of the series, she grows to become fearless in the end.

How did the Capitol rise to power?

The Capitol rose to power through the deceit, manipulation, and control of the people of Panem.

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