Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian future where the country is divided into twelve districts and the Capitol. Katniss, who lives in the poorest of the districts, regularly sneaks out beyond the fence to poach what game she can for food or trade.
Most people in the districts struggle to survive. The people in the Capitol live a life of luxury and leisure. As a reminder of a failed rebellion in the past, the Capitol forces the districts to participate in the Hunger Games, in which twenty-four teenagers kill one another to survive.
During the selection of Hunger Games participants, called the Reaping, Katniss' younger sister Prim is selected to be the female tribute from District 12. Katniss volunteers to take her place to save her sister.
Stop! Stop! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the winners of the 74th annual Hunger Games.
Katniss and Peeta enter the deadly Hunger Games after a short stay in the Capitol where they trained and were put on display for the public.
Katniss surprises viewers and Game Makers alike with her quick thinking and unexpected acts of compassion. Katniss and Peeta win over the hearts of the viewers because of their "romance."
The Game Makers reverse the decision to allow two winners from the same district. Katniss and Peeta pretend to nearly eat poisonous nightlock berries in order to beat the Game Makers at their own game. Because the Capitol needs a winner for the Hunger Games, both Katniss and Peeta are declared winners.