By Cristina Hartmann, Lawyer by day, writer by night
To get a vague estimate of the Hunger Game's temporal placement, we must think about its background.
As stated in How did the Capitol rise to power?, Panem rises to power after a cataclysmic environmental disaster. The chaos runs so deep that the sea consumes parts of North America, throwing the North American governments into ruin.
I think the environmental disaster gives us a peek into a possible timeframe for the Hunger Games. One possible cause is global warming, but that would take hundreds of years (I hope) to wreak such havoc. Panem's technologies are too similar to our current technologies for me to believe that this book series takes place hundreds of years in the future. So, I don't think global warming is it. My guess is a tsuamni, or some kind of massive plate shift that causes massive rearranging of the earth's plates.
An event like that can happen anytime. Hmm, the environmental disaster thing turns out not to be much of help. Let's move on.
So, I think it'd be more useful to establish the minimum temporal placement of the series.
Since the first book takes place 74 years after the first Hunger Games, approximately 75 years had passed since the "Dark Days." We can assume that Panem ruled for a good chunk of time before the Dark Days (otherwise, the government would be too new to rebel against). A conservative guess. would be 50 years of rule. Let's throw in another 10 years for good measure; collapsing and building nations take time! So, the math works out to 135 years (75 + 50 + 10).
I estimate that the Hunger Games takes place at minimum, 135 years in the future (year 2147).
This fits into the technological pictures that the Hunger Games presents. As previously mentioned in When and where is The Hunger Games supposed to take place?, many of the technologies in Hunger Games, with the notable exception of Hovercrafts, exist today.
But then again, I'm guessing here.
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