The Capitol is a tyrannical dictatorship, led by President Snow, and holds total political and economic dominance over Panem, enforcing its rule through an army of Peacekeepers, capital punishment, propaganda, and the Hunger Games. It is also the only major city mentioned in the trilogy. The Capitol is known for its fashion and food.
According to a recent cencus, the Capitol has a population of 96,463 people.
It is thought to be located in the northwestern section of the former United States of America, seemingly west of the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies also act as a natural barrier and have served the Capitol well, allowing their air forces to bomb the rebels who attempted to invade the city in the Dark Days.
Society and Culture
Sense of style and fashion are very important to the wealthy citizens of the plutocratic Capitol. It is common for them to tattoo and dye their bodies bright colors, as well as undergo plastic surgery to alter their appearances. Known results of the surgeries are whiskers, dyed skin, talons, and more outrageous fashions alluded to but not mentioned. Some people of the Capitol also have gems implanted in their skin. Capitol residents frequently wear wigs in a multitude of colors. District citizens view the people of the Capitol as alien, odd, and distrustful, and despise them. In order to have a good time at a party and eat as much as they want, Capitol residents drink a special liquid (similar to ipecac) that causes them to vomit, thus providing enough room for more food.
The people who live in the Capitol are culturally distinct from the rest of Panem, speaking with strange accents; their voices are high pitched, their jaws barely open when talking, and their tone at the ends of their sentences going up as if they're asking a question. They have odd vowels, clipped words, and tend to hiss the letter "s."
Capitol residents have often been said to treat the Hunger Games like a celebrated sporting event and a highly anticipated source of entertainment and past time. They take pride in betting on the tributes simply for bragging rights, not understanding or showing any regard for the crime their government is committing by forcing the games upon the districts. Some citizens are sponsors to the tributes, paying money for packages of supplies that are then delivered to them in the arena. Also, the more blood and fighting there is in the arena, the greater the entertainment for the Capitol. Unlike the twelve districts of Panem, the Capitol does not have to offer children for the Hunger Games,.
Because people in the Capitol are all extremely wealthy, none of the residents have jobs or places to be. For these people, life moves very slowly until the Games, which make them all the more anticipated. Despite being at the top of both the economic and social chain, there is very little in the way of celebration or festivity until the Games and Victory Tour.
Many Capitol residents are extremely shallow, always looking for ways to become well-noticed. Because of this, many of them will mutilate themselves in the name of the style, going so far as to don tails and whiskers or cut decorative patterns in their skin. These alterations are done so heavily that Katniss describes them as disfiguring, wondering if the people of the Capitol realize how horrifying they look to the rest of Panem.
Relationships with the Districts
After the collapse of modern civilization and before the Dark Days rebellion, the districts were brought together under the Capitol's rule, thus forming the nation of Panem. Originally, there were thirteen districts, until District 13 was supposedly destroyed by Capitol forces, due to being the driving force of the rebellion against their rule. Though the districts harvest great amounts of resources, such as fish, coal, lumber, crops, and gems, they must export almost almost all of their reasources to serve the Capitol's citizens. Districts 1, 2 and 4 generally have a better relationship with the Capitol and therefore recieve better food and are graced with various goods and protection. It has been said that the Capitol favours District 2, since it stayed loyal during the 1st rebellion.
The districts have no political representation since the government of Panem invests all power to the centralized executive in the Capitol, with a President acting as the supreme leader of the nation. Mayors within the districts act simply as governors, ensuring the districts fulfill their quotas of goods to the Capitol and serve no representative roles as a parliamentarian or senator. As a result of this, the massive poverty, starvation, and brutality witnessed in the districts goes unchecked. It is highly probable that the Capitol government is aware of the districts' suffering but is reluctant or uninterested in improving conditions for its downtrodden subjects.