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The hugely-successful and highly-addictive Hunger Games book series has one glaring oversight:  The books do not contain a map of the world in which the books are set.  But have no fear, fellow cartographers, because avid fans of the series set out to create maps of their own.

The Hunger Games is set in the country of Panem in a dystopian future North America.  Panem is divided into 13 districts (one of which has been destroyed) which are ruled by the Capital, a city of great wealth and power that remains dependent on the supplies provided by the other districts.  The Capital prevents the districts from rebelling against it by staging an annual event called the Hunger Games.  It takes two children from each district and makes them battle to the death until one survives.  The whole event is broadcast on TV for the entertainment of the people in the capital, and the horror of the people in the districts.  It’s cruel and slightly ridiculous, but the books, and movies, are rather engrossing as we follow protagonist Katniss Everdeen after she becomes one of the contestants in the Games.  I won’t say how, but clearly she survives the Games, as she’s popping up in trailers for part two, Catching Fire, which opens in theaters this Friday.

Each district produces a certain specialized kind of supply, such as livestock or coal.  From this information, and other clues peppered throughout the books, fans have deduced the general layout of Panem and produced the following maps.  My favorite is the first one, for its sleek presentation and creative spiral design.  The creators also clearly tried to make it as accurate as possible, as you can see by their extensive and thoughtful rationale in this link: http://aimmyarrowshigh.livejournal.com/32461.html

Map of Panem, from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. By Livejournal users aimmyarrowshigh and badguys (image via io9.com)

I found it pretty impressive, given all the thought that went into it.  If you google image search for Official Map of Panem, this is the first image that comes up.  Since no official map has been released, this is probably as close as we’re going to get.  Kudos to the creators for their fine work!

There are, however, several other interesting fan-made maps.  Here’s another that I particularly like for its dark, futuristic look:

But the craziest thing I found was a map from a bridal guide for a… Hunger Games-themed wedding.  That’s right.  Nothing makes your wedding day more memorable than evoking a dystopian teenage bloodbath, complete with invitations resembling lottery tickets to the Reaping.  And the arrangement of the tables for wedding guests is also a map of the districts of Panem:

What will they think of next?

If you’re looking for more maps of Panem, check out this link as well:  http://historytech.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/hunger-games-lesson-plans-worksheets-and-handouts/

Happy mapping, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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