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Undoubtedly, the ever ruthless and vicious man, President Snow, would quite fit the bill as the creator of the Hunger Games and he certainly has carried forward the sinister legacy to the best of his capacity during his reign. But one can say with certainty that Snow couldn't have been the creator of the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games Wiki claims that President Snow is 76 years old. So unless he became the President of Panem at the age of two or three and conceived the Hunger Games in his infancy, and that is as unlikely as it sounds, there was someone else in charge when the uprising took place consequently leading to the evil tradition of the Hunger Games which later evolved under different Head Gamemakers.

If Suzanne Collins has left that to our imagination, I think someone who has read the trilogy thoroughly can possibly try to connect the dots, gather the missing bits and pieces and deduce something relevant?

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Have you read the trilogy? I don't want to start mentioning or quoting things from the third book if you haven't read the books and are just watching the movies. – Anthony Grist Mar 3 '14 at 13:35
I haven't read the books, no. I have just watched two films. – Elzee Mar 3 '14 at 13:41
Well, as I've stated in other answers recently, there isn't a whole lot of historical information in the books. There's a small amount, but nothing I can think of that would answer the question. There's a vaguely relevant quote from the end of the third book, but it's by no means definitive and it would kind of ruin the ending for you. – Anthony Grist Mar 3 '14 at 13:46
Also, if you haven't read the books you may not know that they're written in the first person. It's Katniss telling the story of what happened to her, so the reader only learns things that Katniss already knew prior to the beginning of the first book or that she learns during the books. – Anthony Grist Mar 3 '14 at 13:49
@AnthonyGrist - I see what you mean. And maybe Collins has planned for another book as the prequel to the trilogy and hopefully we will then get to know more about how it all started. That's just my assumption though. – Elzee Mar 3 '14 at 13:58
up vote 19 down vote accepted

As far as I recall, the books do not provide any detail about the origins of the Hunger Games. They were established after the Rebellion, and the first book shows us the 74th annual games. That is all.

This is an important point -- when the books take place, the Hunger Games are much more than the product of a single, deranged personality. Snow was only a child when the Games began, and by the time he took power they must have been running for at least 30 or 40 years. So the Hunger Games are something which the ruling classes of the Capitol have collectively decided to maintain, for generations.

As such, the Hunger Games are deeply rooted in the society of Panem. The Games are not like the insanity of the Roman Emperor Caligula; they are like the Roman gladiatorial arenas. Caligula was regarded by the Romans as an aberration, they were glad to be rid of him and his policies were not maintained after his death. But the Romans thought of gladiators as a normal part of society, and continued to watch them regardless of who was Emperor.

From the perspective of Katniss and the other characters in the books, the identities of the original creators no longer matter. The important thing is that the Capitol has chosen to continue what they started.

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