The smash hit series of books and movies, “The Hunger Games,” is generally believed to take place in a post-apocalyptic version of North America that has been geographically reformed by some sort of cataclysm and then oppressively re-stabilized by a central, dictatorial government.
Panem — the nation that replaces the U.S., Mexico and Canada — is divided up into 13 districts, each of which is forced to provide the ruling class in the fortified Capitol with supplies of various sorts. District 3 produces electronics, for instance, while District 12 is a mining region responsible for delivering coal.
Fans, of course, know that District 13’s specialty was mining graphite and nuclear technology before it was believed to be bombed into oblivion by the Capitol during a previous rebellion.
The story centers around hero Katniss Everdeen, who unwittingly becomes the face of hope for people across all the oppressed districts after gaming the system in the titular Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are an annual tournament run by the Capitol in which young people from each district must fight to the death as punishment for that aforementioned rebellion.
Katniss, played on the big screen by Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence, goes on to lead a new rebellion, mayhem ensues, etc.
So if you’re unfamiliar with the books or movies, that’s the basic framework for this discussion.
Given how hot the series is, fans naturally immersed themselves in projects like trying to map out exactly how the Panem map overlays North America, using references in the books about geography and natural resources as guides.
Which brings us to the obvious question: Where’s Maine in world of “The Hunger Games?”
The canonical answer turned out to be District 13.
While the layout of all the districts is subject to some speculation in the books and movies, “The Hunger Games Adventures” social media video game was subsequently released, is considered an official Hunger Games product — and includes a map.
On that map, Maine is squarely in District 13, the lost nuclear district which — spoiler alert, if you’re still reading the books or haven’t seen the movies thus far — is later rediscovered as an underground base for a renewed rebellion.
The “Adventures” video game map largely ended fan debate about where the districts were situated, and even before it was released, most of the speculative maps drawn up by fans placed Maine in or near District 13.
There is some history of graphite mining in Maine and the state is home to a deconstructed nuclear power plant, the remnants of which would certainly still be there in a post apocalyptic future, given the radioactive life of spent fuel rods.
Case closed, right?
Well, yes. Officially, anyway.
Unofficially, though, let’s ask the question: What should Maine’s district be?
It’s cool that we get to be the secret base of the rebellion, but although Maine has had graphite and nuclear energy, those aren’t really the things our state or region are known for.
In this map, Maine disappears off into the heavily forested no man’s land known as the wilderness, which seems like a reasonable guess at how Maine would fit into a post-apocalyptic North America.
Some other maps — like the one below — place Maine in Katniss’ home of District 12, likely going by descriptions in the book that it’s the district farthest from the Capitol, which is generally agreed to be in the Rocky Mountains.
But Maine’s not a coal mining state, and most maps placing District 12 somewhere within Appalachia seem more likely.
Here’s a suggestion: What about District 7?
District 7 is home to Panem’s logging and paper industries, which have much deeper roots in Maine than nuclear power or coal mining. It’s also the home district of Katniss ally and ax-thrower Johanna Mason.
Mason, played by actress Jena Malone in the movies, is exactly the type of sarcastic and cunning tribute Maine might produce.
Or maybe District 4, the fishing district?
Maine’s definitely known for its seafood, and the fiercely loyal tribute Finnick Odair could pass as a Mainer, for sure.
Another possibility might be District 8, which supplies the Capitol with textiles, an industry that once thrived along Maine’s rivers. District 8 leader Paylor is an independent thinker who believes in the cause, but isn’t afraid to buck the rebellion leadership from District 13, a common trait among Maine congressional delegates.
So what do you think? Which Panem district does Maine belong in? Do you like the official answer of District 13, or would you prefer another one?
Leave your preferred district for Maine in the comments below or on Facebook.