It is possible that the remaining last two tributes might get killed at the same time, for example, by a land mine explosion, and in that case the games will end with no victor standing.

Is there a reference in the original books as to what happens if nobody emerges victor in the Hunger Games?

  • possible duplicate of Are there any official rules for the Hunger Games?
    – Valorum
    Feb 24, 2014 at 19:31
  • 12
    I don't see how it's a duplicate. Neither the question nor any of the answers discusses that scenario, and it may not be an actual official regulation.
    – phantom42
    Feb 24, 2014 at 19:55
  • 2
    I'd be willing to bet money that there was no rule stating that the gamesmaker had to eat poison berries if there were two victors. There may not be a rule, but there may be some sort of mention of what might happen if there were no survivors. The rules question is definitely related, but not a dupe.
    – phantom42
    Feb 24, 2014 at 20:02
  • 3
    Nope, not a dupe
    – The Fallen
    Feb 24, 2014 at 20:08
  • 1
    @phantom42 I totally agree. My question has something to do with the official rules of the Hunger Games and I did go through that old question which was about the official rules, but like you said, there was nothing I could find related to this specific rule I am talking about. Thanks for supporting the question.
    – Elzee
    Feb 25, 2014 at 12:21

6 Answers 6


There's nothing in the three books that explicitly states what would happen in the event that there was no victor. However, I think we can make some educated guesses about what might happen.

First off, it's extremely unlikely that the final two Tributes are going to die. The Capitol is going to make sure of that. The arenas seem to be completely under the control of the Gamesmakers, under the guidance of the Head Gamesmaker, so they aren't going to die from "natural" disasters, or even from things like mine explosions, as they'd no doubt disable those the moment it came down to the final two - unless they were necessary to force the two of them together.

Of course, it's not an entirely impossible situation. Katniss and Peeta could have very well gone through with the threat of eating the berries, and the Capitol would have been without their victor. And they need their victor. It's part of how they maintain their power. The Victory Tour - strategically placed halfway between each Games - is intended to remind the Districts that they're powerless. They take the victor, the strongest of the previous lot of Tributes, and drag them around Panem, putting them on display, and the Tribute has no say in the matter.

Let's assume that there was no surviving Tribute. What would the Capitol do?

First off, try to revive the victor. They have access to advanced medical techniques and equipment; depending on the severity of the injuries and exact cause of death it may be possible for them to revive them. They're not going to give up until they absolutely have to.

If that doesn't work, depending on the exact cause of death, they may very well lie. The 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell, demonstrated the Capitol's ability to manufacture recordings using an individuals voice. There's also the option of surgery to make somebody look like the winning tribute. If the tribute died from injuries, or blood loss, or exposure to the elements, dehydration or starvation, this may well be a viable option.

If they were, for example, blown to pieces then this would be impossible to sell; you can't fool an entire country who saw the explosion happen on television into believing that you managed to save them.

  • 11
    +1 for mentioning the possibility of substituting somebody in place of the deceased victor. That's exactly what I think the Capitol would do in that situation. Feb 25, 2014 at 7:46
  • 13
    Good answer. It's also possible that the Capitol would re-stage the games with a fresh set of Tributes in a bid to send out a clear message to the Districts that the onus of survival rests solely on the Tributes and if their follies result in the Capitol not having their Victor, another Reaping would be held and the games would be re-staged. Doing so would effectively discourage the surviving Tribute(s) from committing a suicide in protest, like Katnis and Peeta decided to do.
    – Elzee
    Feb 25, 2014 at 12:31
  • 4
    "You can't fool an entire country who saw the explosion happen on television"... We can't believe everything we see on TV, now, can we?
    – trysis
    Sep 29, 2014 at 19:14
  • It's possible the Capitol might use a "fake victor" too because they can do a lot of facial surgery. Like the lip injections Snow got, or the tiger surgery Tigris used to look more like her name :) Nov 27, 2022 at 1:19

No, there's no such reference. I obviously can't give you a link or a quotation to prove a negative, but it's the kind of thing I would have picked up when reading the books, if it existed.


There is no canon explanation as far as I know. However, it would not be a good thing. In the first book, when Seneca Crane changed the rules back to only allow for one victor, Katniss and Peeta had decided they would commit a double-suicide, so that the Capitol would not win again.

Crane stopped them before they could complete their plan, and crowned them both as victors, but all that can be said about having no victor is pure speculation. Ultimately, each year the Capitol is the victor, because the games keep each district from rebelling the way District 13 had. When Katniss volunteered was the first year that the Capitol lost the Hunger Games, and you could count that as there being no victor, because even though Katniss and Peeta won the games, the had still had to kill all those other tributes, and no one can consider that a victory for someone so young.

  • Well, if no one survives . . . Secena Crane might also die, right? Either way, he's doomed . . . Nov 27, 2022 at 1:21

I actually think this would be quite unlikely. For 2 main reasons.

  • Reason 1: the game makers would make sure MOST dangers are not present when it comes down to the final two. The fight between the remaining two tributes would be all down to them, not the game makers.
  • Reason 2: if the Capitol doesn't get its victor out of the arena ALIVE, it will possibly try and revive the tribute. Because it's in the future, this could be possible. They also might try and get a look-alike to the victor to be that victor.

So that's why I think it's unlikely, but it could happen still.


Really it could be possible under very rare, very special circumstances. For example, say in the final battle of two survivors as references to how Haymitch won near the arena edge, one tribute throws an axe, the other ducks and stabs the other one in the eye to the brain, killing them as the axe hits the force field and bounces back, before slamming into the back of the head of the supposed victor, killing. Bam! No victor. Or like Beetree blowing up the six victors, if they had calculated the explosion extremely wrong and the explosion shot off shrapnel of bone, which was lodged into the heart or head... Anything that doesn't kill the victor, meaning head blown to pieces or heart shot, one of them will be resuscitated somehow, or retake as has been said...

  • 2
    Welcome to the site Ninja! I tried to edit this answer a bit, but it's quite hard to follow, I wonder if it would be possible to reformulate it a little to make it clearer what you are saying. Also, it would improve this answer a lot if you addressed the question of what would happen in the very rare, very special circumstances where nobody survives, ideally with quotes and references to back you up
    – Au101
    Dec 7, 2016 at 22:34

Nothing, they will do nothing about it.

  • 2
    This doesn't really add anything to the existing answers,
    – Blackwood
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:16
  • 5
    Do you have any evidence or support for this? Answers here are generally expected to be backed up either by canonical sources or at least by solid reasoning.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:22
  • I feel like the Capitol will be very inclined to DO SOMETHING to show that they are truly in charge of the tributes' lives. After all, the Capitol is a very evil force in the City of Bread (Panem is bread) Nov 27, 2022 at 1:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.