Does Hunger Games take place on a small planet?

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#1 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

I just saw Mockingjay Part 1 and it wasn't until I saw this movie that I thought about the size of the world. You are telling me that a single dam was powering the entire capital? Isn't the capital like the center of their power? A quick google search reveals that the US has 75,000 dams. What's the deal with their world?

I wont google search to avoid unknown spoilers, but it seems to me like their society is quite tiny given the fact that District 13 had like 10,000 people? Does every district have a similar number of people?How does it all work?

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#2 Posted by deactivated-5bf47a52ab2a3 (461 posts) -

If I recall correctly the different districts had varying populations. And while the capital was the central trading hub and seat of the government I don't think its infrastructure was entirely self-sufficient. I think one of the districts was where most of the power was generated.

Honestly though, save yourself the trouble duder and try not to make sense of it. If you start breaking stuff down The Hunger Games universe just falls apart.

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#3 Edited by SoylentGreen (287 posts) -

I haven't seen (or read, for that matter) Mockingjay, but you know the Hunger Games series takes place after some implied apocalypse, right? There aren't that many people left, so it's sorta feasible (maybe?) for one dam to be powering most of the "country".

Also that second book is BS.

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#4 Posted by OrwellHuxZam (184 posts) -

I'm pretty sure it's a post-apocalyptic, war-torn United States.

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#5 Posted by schreibertyler (35 posts) -

I've only read the books once but I don't think they really go into detail about the world. I always thought that there was some sort of war or disaster that killed most of the worlds population and destroyed all of civilization until the district system was put into place which brought most of the remaining people together on one continent. I might have just made this up, my biggest problem with this series is its almost complete lack of backstory.

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#6 Edited by Nightriff (7200 posts) -

Haven't read the books but I always assumed these were the scraps of a single civilization, so yes a single damn can power the capital, but I always thought there were other civs out there doing their own damn thing.

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#7 Posted by BisonHero (11603 posts) -

I've never read the books, but even from just a passing familiarity with the films, I also got the impression that some great disaster befell the world before the start of the books. So I'm guessing you can assume that the overall population of the world is kinda low compared to present day Earth.

Also, most large hydroelectric dams supply several thousand megawatts of power, and it's entirely possible for that amount of power to be enough for a capital city, unless that city is New York City or Shanghai or something.

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#8 Posted by SadPatrol (529 posts) -

The books flat out say it takes place in the United States.

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#9 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

I don't remember the movies ever mentioning that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic war-torn United States. The movies just say that there was some war and the capital city came to power and the hunger games happen to make the districts not rebel again.

I never got the sense that there was any other world power outside of their own so it makes sense to believe that the capital is the world power. Going on that logic it could only make sense that the planet was small.

If you guys say that the series takes place in the US and that the remaining population lives in the districts I call shenanigans. Such a small population would be unable to support their civilization. It would be one thing if it was an agrarian society that puts all their efforts into growing food and feeding the population, but their numbers and district makeups don't make any sense. How would you even fight against the food production district? Kill the population there and have no one to grow the food you apparently don't grow in the capital?

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#10 Posted by Humanity (18946 posts) -

I read the books and it was shocking how each was so much worse than the one before it. The Young Adult genre plays fast and loose with world building because ultimately they're about the protagonist and everything else is only a backdrop for him/her.

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#11 Posted by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

My understanding is that The Hunger Games takes place in North America a couple hundred years from now, and that the population has been significantly reduced because we didn't take care of the planet. In fact the population is so low there's a legitimate concern that the human species will not be able to recover if the rebellion continues. So the idea that one dam powers all of Panem might be because there's far fewer people who need energy, it is portrayed as a very limited resource outside of the capitol. I assume that they were using the coal in district 12 for power too, so maybe destroying that was part of it. Or maybe it was just convenient for the plot idk.

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#12 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@humanity said:

I read the books and it was shocking how each was so much worse than the one before it. The Young Adult genre plays fast and loose with world building because ultimately they're about the protagonist and everything else is only a backdrop for him/her.

Given that the movies are dealing with world altering events you would think some thought would go into establishing a world that makes sense. Is it really that much harder to think about the logistics of supporting the world you are building or at least omitting details to prevent such glaring holes?

Here is another thought. How is the capital going to bomb districts that they need to simply support their day to day infrastructure? That dam district seemed pretty important. That's 1 of the 13. District 13 was leveled so I guess whatever it did didn't really matter. That's 2 of 13. Where do they get water? Raw materials? Other power sources? Which districts are they allowed to go into and kill the population without any real negative effect on the capital?

When the movies just focused on the games all you really knew about the world was that there was a stage where the kids fought and a city where it happened. Now the city is the main hub and the only places with people are those 13 districts you are bombing. What the hell?

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#13 Edited by Corevi (6796 posts) -

Hunger Games is a bad series. Battle Royale is a better teenagers killing teenagers because politics movie and there are a billion better revolutionary books/movies.

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#14 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@corevi said:

Hunger Games is a bad series. Battle Royale is a better teenagers killing teenagers because politics movie and there a billion better revolutionary books/movies.

I know Battle Royale is great. I read the novel and watched the semi okay movie. The great thing about their setup is that you don't get a chance to question the mechanics of the world. You just know a totalitarian government is making kids kill each other and some rebel force exists. That's all you need because what matters is happening in the game.

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#15 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5777 posts) -

@golguin said:

@corevi said:

Hunger Games is a bad series. Battle Royale is a better teenagers killing teenagers because politics movie and there a billion better revolutionary books/movies.

I know Battle Royale is great. I read the novel and watched the semi okay movie. The great thing about their setup is that you don't get a chance to question the mechanics of the world. You just know a totalitarian government is making kids kill each other and some rebel force exists. That's all you need because what matters is happening in the game.

The movie is fantastic. What are you talking about?

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#16 Posted by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

I'm pretty sure it's a post-apocalyptic, war-torn United States.

Pretty much that. It isn't a planet, it is just one continent of that planet and god knows what is going on with the other places.

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#17 Posted by joshwent (2897 posts) -

Doesn't one of the districts provide coal for power to the other 12? If so, I don't see the disastrous effects of a dam being broken. I read all of the books, and only saw the first movie, but I thought that was a thing. Also, I don't remember any dam being destroyed on the novels, but that could easily be because I was distracted by how much I wanted to slap Katniss in the face every fucking second.

Nothing about the setup, world, or characters make any sense aside from the most superficial analysis, so if you're enjoying the movies, I'd suggest doing your best to really avoid asking these kind of questions.

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#18 Edited by Quid_Pro_Bono (1134 posts) -

I enjoyed the first book and the first two movies well enough, but the third book was so shockingly bad that I'm not sure I could sit through six total hours of movie based on it.

As somebody mentioned above, young adult series don't really focus on a believable world since the stories are really about the characters, and Hunger Games is not really any different. The circumstances of Panem are barely talked about in the books. Basically all the background we're given is in service of explaining why the characters are in their situation, so I don't think any attention was paid to creating a world that was realistic. The history of Panem seemed like the last thing on Collins' mind.

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#19 Edited by katimanic (210 posts) -
No Caption Provided

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120424222555/thehungergames/images/4/47/Map_of_panem.jpg

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#20 Edited by Crembaw (894 posts) -

Science fiction and Young Adult fiction writers very rarely have a true grasp of real-world scale. The world is probably as big as the author wants it to be, Dam be damned.

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#21 Posted by katimanic (210 posts) -

@joshwent: Yeah, that is district 12.

Also considering how few people are actually alive it makes sense, I think there are less than 10,000 people in each district.

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#22 Posted by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

@golguin said:

Given that the movies are dealing with world altering events you would think some thought would go into establishing a world that makes sense. Is it really that much harder to think about the logistics of supporting the world you are building or at least omitting details to prevent such glaring holes?

Here is another thought. How is the capital going to bomb districts that they need to simply support their day to day infrastructure? That dam district seemed pretty important. That's 1 of the 13. District 13 was leveled so I guess whatever it did didn't really matter. That's 2 of 13. Where do they get water? Raw materials? Other power sources? Which districts are they allowed to go into and kill the population without any real negative effect on the capital?

Well I'm not saying the world of Panem is plausible, but these issues definitely come up in the books. The president is aware of how precarious the system is and how disastrous the uprisings could be, which is part of why they're so harsh about quelling the rebellion, not because they want to kill them, because they want it dealt with before everything topples to the ground. They could only get away with destroying District 12 because it's always been portrayed as a trivial backwater district.

Also they totally show the uprisings having a negative effect on The Capitol. That's what the whole dam thing is all about, and in the book they mention all sorts of things that the Capitol is going without because of the rebellion.

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#23 Posted by Dan_CiTi (5249 posts) -
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Yes

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#24 Edited by MattyFTM (14891 posts) -

@katimanic: Didn't the first book say something about there being nothing past the Rocky Mountains? Or am I misremembering? I'm probably misremembering. I'm sure the Rockies were mentioned at some point. Most of the world building and romance stuff in that book was instantly forgettable. The kids killing kids parts were fairly entertaining, but the rest was poor.

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#25 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

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http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120424222555/thehungergames/images/4/47/Map_of_panem.jpg

There must be a lot of empty space in each district because 20,000 people don't really need the entire east coast of the US.

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#26 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

@katimanic said:

No Caption Provided

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120424222555/thehungergames/images/4/47/Map_of_panem.jpg

That definitely plays fast and loose with geography. Interesting that so much of the West Coast that is far above sea level is now below, while much of the land near sea level is somehow above. Well, whatever. I still have a hard time getting past the fact that such a technologically advanced society / Capitol are so reliant on coal to survive.

Anyway, I actually read the first book and it specifically mentions that the land they live in used to be called America. The book itself is okay, if a really easy read.

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#27 Edited by Brendan (9218 posts) -

The series takes place after an apocalypse kills off the majority of the population. I'm assuming the districts cover so much area (despite their low population) because they are situated where the different resources are.

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#28 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@katimanic said:

No Caption Provided

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120424222555/thehungergames/images/4/47/Map_of_panem.jpg

That definitely plays fast and loose with geography. Interesting that so much of the West Coast that is far above sea level is now below, while much of the land near sea level is somehow above. Well, whatever. I still have a hard time getting past the fact that such a technologically advanced society / Capitol are so reliant on coal to survive.

Anyway, I actually read the first book and it specifically mentions that the land they live in used to be called America. The book itself is okay, if a really easy read.

Woah, sea level. How would California and our MOUNTAIN AREAS be under water?

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#29 Posted by BlueFalcon (255 posts) -

No. It takes place on Earth in the United States after the Fox News Tea party takes over.