I got an idea after re-reading THG: Tributes could conceivably blow up other tributes before the sixty-second countdown was over, for example a boot or shoe to the mines surrounding the tribute. In this case, the tribute could potentially blow up two others.

I assume the same could be done with a sufficiently heavy district token, or perhaps a fruit pilfered from the Launch Room.

  • 2
    Wouldn't shifting their weight to remove a shoe or throw something set off their own mine though?
    – Timpanus
    Apr 9, 2016 at 14:47
  • 6
    You have to remember that it's a game, not a trap-maze. If you cheat, the people running the game punish you. Severely and/or fatally.
    – Valorum
    Apr 9, 2016 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


The mines might be activated manually.

You're assuming the mines around each tribute's launch pad automatically go off when someone or something touches the ground around them, but this may not be the case. Many of the tricks and traps in the Games are set up and activated manually by the Gamemakers. It could be that they're carefully watching each tribute during the sixty-second countdown and standing ready to explode the mines around any one who steps off their pad.

In this scenario, a tribute who threw their shoe at the ground around the neighbouring tribute, intending to get rid of one of their adversaries before the Games even start, would find themselves blown to bits instead. That would be quite the backfiring plan!

Additionally, I should reiterate one of the points I made in answering your last question, and which @Richard also made in a comment on this one:

People who cheat in the Hunger Games usually aren't allowed to win.

Once the tributes are in the arena, they're more or less at the Gamemakers' mercy. It'd be easy for a cheating tribute to be singled out by some mutt or natural disaster, to come to a quick and grisly end. If the Gamemakers really don't want a particular tribute to win, there's no way they'll be able to. It's best to play by the rules unless there's a massive advantage in not doing so.

The only reason Katniss and Peeta were allowed to win after their stunt with the berries was because they were the Capitol's only possibility for a victor. If Cato had still been alive but dying at that point, the Gamemakers would have blown the District 12 'cheaters' sky-high and pronounced Cato the victor. Anyone who cheats isn't someone the Capitol wants walking around forever as a victor - as the fallout from the berries incident, and the third Quarter Quell, demonstrate only too well.

As another example of this attitude from the Capitol, consider what happened to Haymitch after he gamed the system by using the force field around the arena to win his Games:

"No. My mother and younger brother. My girl. They were all dead two weeks after I was crowned victor. Because of that stunt I pulled with the force field," he answers. "Snow had no one to use against me."

"I'm surprised he didn't just kill you," I say.

"Oh, no. I was the example. The person to hold up to the young Finnicks and Johannas and Cashmeres."

-- Catching Fire

  • you've made me curious now as to how many examples of "cheating" there are in the Games, and whether all such examples resulted in punishment... I take it Haymitch's victory isn't considered cheating, considering he's been alive for 24 years since it happened, before the start of the first book? Apr 10, 2016 at 9:49
  • @TheGiantofLannister It was considered cheating to the extent that they murdered his family and girlfriend as punishment for it after he won. In fact, maybe I should add something about that to my answer, to demonstrate how cheating victors are treated.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 10, 2016 at 12:05
  • @TheGiantofLannister Done!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 10, 2016 at 14:56
  • One thing a death-obsessed society, hellbent on submitting their Districts through an elaborate game-of-death system hates most is cheaters.
    – Möoz
    Apr 9, 2019 at 3:47
  • Regarding your first point, I believe in the first book it says that one tribute once dropped something and was blown up.
    – Alex
    Sep 22, 2020 at 23:58

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