In a post-apocalyptic world, the continent once known as North America is now named Panem. The country has been divided into very distinct areas; the rich and powerful reside in a bustling city called the Capitol, and the rest of Panem reside inthe peripheral twelve districts, all of which provide a valuable resource for Panem. District 12, in which the narrator Katniss Everdeen resides, provides coal. District 12 is exceedingly poor, and since Everdeen lost her father in a mine explosion, she has been relegated to providing food and care for her family, which includes her mother and her younger sister, Prim.
Katniss and her male friendGale Hawthorne have developed a strong bond over many years. Together the two hunt together for food in the woods alongside the district, a prohibited area. District 12 lives under strong oppression from the Capitol, in which its citizens are prohibited from speaking ill of the government. Katniss and Gale have learned how to elude notice from the authorities for trespassing and selling illegalgoods.
Today is the reaping, in which two children, one of each sex aged twelve to eighteen, will be chosen randomly from each district to attend the annual Hunger Games. These 24 combatants (called “tributes”) will be locked in an arena together, to fight to the death. The Hunger Games is not complete until only one survivor remains. That lone survivor will return to their district to live a lifeof luxury, and their district will receive beneficial monthly goods from the Capitol. Some districts have trained their children to compete in the Games from a young age, calling these children “Careers." District 12 is not one of them. District 12 has only had one winner at the Hunger Games, and his name is Haymitch; he is the sole resident in the luxurious area of the district, builtexclusively for the winners of the Hunger Games.
The Capitol cruelly orders all the inhabitants of the districts to attend their respective reaping, meant to be a festival of sorts to announce the names of those chosen to attend the Hunger Games. As the anxious children gather around, they choose the first female name: Prim Everdeen, Katniss’s twelve-year-old sister. Katniss quickly volunteers herselfinstead, saving her delicate sister from certain death.
The second contestant chosen is Peeta Mellark. Katniss remembers Peeta as a boy who took pity on her when they were children by giving her a fresh loaf of bread in her time of need. Peeta and Katniss are then shipped to a nearby area to say their goodbyes to friends and family, as they await their departure for the Hunger Games.
Once aboardthe train and heading towards their unknown destination, Peeta and Katniss are assigned personal stylists and groomers to make them look presentable. In addition, they are given an incredible amount of food in an effort to make them strong for the grueling competition. District 12 winner Haymitch and another mentor named Effie act as their guardians. Peeta and Katniss are forced to interact with theother tributes as they show off their respective skills for the game makers, who will score them based on their odds of survivability.
Those with high odds will often receive sponsors, who can award them gifts during various times at the Games, thus increasing their odds of survival. Katniss’s skill is her unbelievable talent with a bow and arrow, which she has developed through hunting inDistrict 12. Katniss, who is incredibly angry with the Capitol for her forced participation, shoots her arrow straight into the gamemakers’ table, narrowly avoiding several high-ranking officials. The gamemakers surprisingly end up awarding Katniss a high score prior to the commencement of the Games.
The tributes all gather around for their interviews, which will be televised to those in the...