The Second Rebellion was a major civil war in Panem which began approximately seventy-five years after the conclusion of the First Rebellion. The conflict pitted the totalitarian government of the Capitol led by President Coriolanus Snow against the disparate rebel forces of the twelve outlying districts, supported and nominally led militarily by the forces of the independent District 13, headed by President Alma Coin.
While the origin of the Second Rebellion likely arose from leftover rebel sentiment from the Dark Days and ongoing resentment to the annual Hunger Games, open rebellion against the Capitol itself only began to gain momentum following the 74th Hunger Games when District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark threatened to commit double suicide. This act of defiance against the Capitol incited insurrectionist sentiment across the country. Over the course of the next two years, Panem gradually fell into civil disorder as bolder acts of defiance and riots were committed by the citizenry of the country's largely poverty-stricken and repressed administrative districts.
Unbeknownst to most of Panem's populace, District 13, long believed to have been destroyed during the First Rebellion, still existed and was subtlely supporting a conspiracy to overthrow the Capitol for some time. This conspiracy, involving a unknown number of Hunger Games Victors and even high ranking members of the Capitol government such as Plutarch Heavensbee, sought to extract Katniss Everdeen during the 75th Hunger Games in order for her to serve as the face of the rebellion. The plan was successful, and marked the beginning of open warfare between the Capitol and the rebels as Panem descended into a chatotic revolution.
Over the course of the war, Everdeen would become a central figure of the rebellion, known informally as the Mockingjay, galvanizing support amongst the populace in the fight against the Capitol. Meanwhile, District 13 capitalized on the breakdown in the Capitol's grip on the districts, successfully liberating all twelve districts in the months following the 75th Hunger Games. With their military crippled, the Capitol was unable to resist the subsequent rebel invasion of the city. The rebels ultimately triumphed and the Capitol was captured by the rebels. After a series of controversial event that left both Coriolanus Snow and Alma Coin dead, Commander Paylor of District 8 was elected president and led Panem into a new democratic age.
The first known rebellious activity took place in District 8 after the 74th Hunger Games's Victory Tour. After the train left District 8, a violent riot erupted. Rioters seized control of several strategic positions throughout the district, all while engaging in an chaotic, unorganized running battle with large contingents of Peacekeepers. Although the rebels initially had the upper hand due to the surprise assault, they were unorganized and ill-equipped to engage in sustained fighting between themselves and the better trained and equipped Peacekeeper force.
Capitol hovercraft gave air support to the Peacekeepers, bombing rebel positions as the Peacekeepers advanced. Eventually, the Peacekeepers quelled the rebellion and set the entire district under martial law. For a week, no one was permitted outside and the district's electricity and food supplies were cut. After this, the martial law was lifted and life was allowed to return to normal. However, a covertly-planted Capitol bomb destroyed the primary textile factory in the district, after loyalist intelligence agents received reports indicating that the rebellion had been plotted from there.
When the 75th Hunger Games drew near a close, rebel hovercraft from District 13 rescued Katniss Everdeen, Finnick Odair, and Beetee Lantier. The raid was launched prior to Katniss destroying the force field enclosing the arena. Capitol aircraft captured Peeta Mellark, Johanna Mason, Enobaria. Shortly afterwards, Annie Cresta was kidnapped from District 4 and imprisoned by the Capitol due to her relationship with Finnick Odair and her status as the victor of a previous Hunger Games. Simultaneously, a purge was conducted against surviving Victors of the Hunger Games due to the apparent link between the Victors and the conspiracy.
Outbreak of open warfare
Shortly after the force field was destroyed, Capitol aircraft launched a massive fire bombing raid on District 12, Everdeen's home district, burning it to the ground. Only about 800 of District 12's original 8,000 survived the raid. Gale Hawthorne was credited with helping most of the refugees escape into the woods around District 12. After the attack, hovercraft from District 13 appeared and began evacuating the refugees back to 13, where they were granted citizenship and given places to live that far exceeded their poverty-stricken conditions in 12.
Simultaneously, uprisings began in a poorly-coordinated mass offensive in Districts Seven, Ten, and Eleven, which were responded to harshly by the Capitol. The exact details of these uprisings are unclear due to communication disruptions, but it is known that rebel forces operating in District Eleven were able to seize control of local transportation networks in the opening phase of the fighting.
Liberating the Districts
Tactical, operational, and strategic details of the war from this point until the Battle of the Capitol are largely unavailable, but the fighting was largely marked by indiscriminate surface-based and aerial artillery bombardments, as well as a confused mixture of asymmetrical and conventional ground warfare that resulted in widespread destruction of infrastructure throughout the country.
Mellark and Everdeen were both made to star in propaganda videos, referred to by both sides' media as propos, for the side they had been taken by. There was a stark contrast notable in the videos--Mellark's called for a general ceassation of hostilities and return to normalcy, while Everdeen's told the populace to defy the Capitol and rally to the rebels to fight. When Everdeen was taken from the arena, many rebel divisions were struggling to maintain footholds in several districts. However, after one particular propo in which Everdeen stood in front of the wreckage of a destroyed field hospital in District 8 after a Capitol bombing and announced "if we burn, you burn with us," the rebels' morale was reenergized. A vast counteroffensive was subsequently launched against the loyalists, relieving strategic pressure in several districts where they had been barely holding out.
After the airing of Everdeen's propaganda video in District 8, President Snow and Mellark held a Capitol video of their own. Near the end, Mellark accidentally leaked information regarding a surprise Capitol missile and bombing attack against District 13. Thereafter, Capitol torturors deployed a psychological technique against Mellark known as hijacking. Multiple bunker buster missiles were launched against the underground infrastructure of District 13. However, due to the timely warning, casualties were reduced to a minimum, if any at all, but significant to damage to District 13 was still sustained.
During a video after the bomb raid, Everdeen suffered a mental meltdown due to learning that any actions by her caused pain to Mellark. Finnick also suffered a breakdown after Everdeen, as his fiancee, Annie Cresta, was being held by the Capitol as well. Fearing the loss of their most crucial propaganda assets on account of those assets' fiancees and friends being held by the Capitol, rebel special forces launched a rescue mission into the Capitol--the first known rebel action to take place inside the city itself--aimed at freeing Cresta, Mellark, Johanna Mason, and Enobaria. Tactical details of the raid, like much of the war, are unclear, but it is known that they involved the deployment of anesthetic gases, power failures, and the detonation of an explosive in a government building as diversions while the special forces conducted the operation.
Chaotic ground fighting and bomber strikes were the hallmarks of much of the war. After several months of fighting, every district was in under rebel control with the exception of District 2, which was the supplier of most of Panem's military force and also served as the loyalists' primary base of operations. The primary command center for the Capitol's military forces, located in Two, was located inside a hollowed-out mountain known to the rebels as "the Nut" after Plutarch Heavensbee's comment on the district; "it's a tough nut to crack." After several failed attempts at capturing the mountain complex, Gale Hawthorne, who had previously taken part in the evacuation from 12, the fighting in District 8, and the raid that liberated hostage Victors from the Capitol, put forth the idea of causing avalanches with rebel bombers and suffocating the loyalist forces inside. Rebel bombers began dropping their payloads on the Nut's upper elevations, triggering avalanches that buried most of the exits from the mountain and crippled the base inside. Several trains carrying survivors made it out of the train tunnel, as the rebels had decided to leave that one path open so as to permit any who survived the bombing and avalanche an opportunity to surrender. Immediately after the collapse of the loyalist command and control center, fighting began in the central square of District 2, and a rebel offensive secured the square and the surrounding area. Everdeen gave a speech despite the fighting that turned District 2's forces to the rebel side, but was wounded shortly thereafter and temporarily removed from action.
Battle of the Capitol and the end of the war
The destruction of the Nut and 2's ensuing alignment with the rebels crippled the Capitol's military forces, forcing the Capitol's military to withdraw to the city itself in a last-ditch defensive effort. Rebel forces then invaded the city, resulting in the single most destructive urban battle of the war. The destruction of the Nut meant the loss of the Capitol's air force, leaving the defense of the city to ground forces who lacked air support of any kind. Despite the rebels' clear strategic advantage provided by their momentum after the elimination of Capitol forces in the District Two pocket, the rebel advance was severely hindered by strategically placed traps, called pods, that were positioned all around the city. These pods, when triggered, held lethal weapons and traps that ranged from automated gun systems to genetically-modified creatures known as muttations. Midway through the battle for the city, rebel forces designated four central routes for travel directly to the heart of the Capitol, simply referred to as the A, B, C, and D lines.
After intense and confused block-by-block fighting, the rebels reached the City Circle, the center of the Capitol itself. As a final defensive measure, President Coriolanus Snow positioned a large group of refugee Capitol children form a ring around the presidential mansion. A hovercraft marked with a Capitol insignia dropped parachutes similar to those that Hunger Games tributes received in the arenas, but these turned out to be bombs that killed most of the children in the ring. The controversial event forced a temporary ceasefire, with Peacekeepers and rebel medical teams alike uniting to assist the survivors. A second round of bombing led to further casualties. Believing the Capitol bombed its own forces and citizens, it can be assumed that most loyalist forces turned against President Snow. With this, most resistance in the city collapsed and the Capitol fell under the control of the rebels, ending Panem's second civil war. It was later revealed that the aircraft used in the Presidential Mansion bombing was actually owned by District 13 and operated under orders from President Coin to drop the bombs on the children in an attempt to end the war by shattering what remained of the Capitol's image amongst the populace.
The following weeks were marked by what was supposed to be the restructuring and liberalization of Panem's government, but what actually became a consolidation of power by Interim President Alma Coin. During a private meeting held by Coin with the known surviving Victors, a majority of them voted in favor of a final 76th Hunger Games, in which the tributes would solely the children of high-ranking Capitol officials. This was meant to be in lieu of the mass execution of hundreds of loyalist officials as a means of limiting bloodshed. This, coupled with intelligence supplied by former President Snow while he was incarcerated, led to Everdeen fatally shooting Coin in what was supposed to be Snow's public execution on the Avenue of Tributes,in retaliation for killing her sister, Primrose, who was serving as a medic outside the Presidential Mansion when the second round of parachute bombs went off. Immediately after this, Snow was later found dead of unknown causes. The two prevailing theories indicate that Snow was either murdered by the crowd or died choking on his own blood as a result of internal hemorrhages.
Katniss Everdeen was subsequently apprehended and tried in absentia for killing Panem's acting president, while Commander Paylor of District Eight was sworn in as Panem's new president following an emergency election (as Coin, evidently intending to rule in much the same fashion as Snow had, did not designate a successor in the event she was rendered incapable of carrying out her duties). Everdeen was cleared of her charges under a plea of insanity, and in a related trial afterwards, Gale Hawthorne's and Beetee Latier's testimony of their involvement of the bombs at Snow's mansion persuaded the jury of Everdeen's justification in killing Coin, which helped reclaim her reputation as a hero to Panem, and allowed her to return to the under-reconstruction District 12.
Panem's history after the war is largely left unknown, but from available information, it is clear that the new democratic government founded in the wake of the war has led Panem to flourish.
Notable members of the second rebellion
- Castor (deceased)
- Cinna (deceased)
- Effie Trinket
- Fulvia Cardew
- Lavinia (deceased)
- Messalla (deceased)
- Plutarch Heavensbee
- Portia (deceased)
- Bonnie (missing, presumed deceased)
- Cecelia (deceased)
- Commander Paylor
- Eddy (deceased)
- Eddy's Sister (deceased)
- Twill (missing, presumed deceased)
- Woof (deceased)
- Dalton (later moved to District 13)
- Delly Cartwright
- Gale Hawthorne
- Greasy Sae
- Greasy Sae's granddaughter
- Haymitch Abernathy
- Hazelle Hawthorne
- Katniss Everdeen
- Mrs. Everdeen
- Peeta Mellark
- Posy Hawthorne
- Primrose Everdeen (deceased)
- Rory Hawthorne
- Vick Hawthorne