Saw the movie adaptation of Catching Fire. Looks like I was spot-on in my visual representation of the arena! The cosmetic changes they made of their of their own vocation (deviating from the text) were to make the Cornucopia, it's island, and the spokes made of sleek, black, rock-like material instead of sand. The simulated daytime sky was also depected as being regular blue instead of pink. Aside from those two changes, I feel they did just as close a job interpreting the text as I did and was thrilled to see it!
Please use the Download Image
link for a full of the view the guide at it's max resolution! You'll be able to see all the tiny map details and the text will no doubt be easier to read.
The thing I loved most about Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (sequel to The Hunger Games) was the new arena she created to throw her characters into. It's symmetrical, therefore easy to map out, extremely creative in it's "clock-trap" concept, and far more detailed in it's environmental descriptions & feature locations than the arena described in the first book. Therefore, more map-able! I felt I better do just that right now before a movie comes out and eclipses this version which I've based solely on the novel's literary description.
I created the overall topography of the map, both endless jungle and beach with sea zone through assembly of real satellite photos pulled from Google Earth. It was actually a lot harder to pull off than the idea first seemed to make it. I had to locate beach & sea features such as atolls to help contribute to the curved edges of the beach line and stitch it all together in a way that didn't cheaply repeat. However I knew using real photos was the only way I knew I'd be satisfied with achieving a realistic "Google Map" style for the final look.
I promise you I have done my homework on this map! Both distances, topographical features & their placements all correspond as best they can to the text presented in the novel, though I concede this is a fictional place and of course an error could have been made on my part by missing some small detail. I fully welcome friendly pointers/debate/corrections on the layout. I made extensive notes on all descriptive references in the novel to the arena along with what page numbers in the book that they appear on. I'd be happy to provide any detail of choice and page number I found it on if anything is suspected to be incorrect. I was actually going to type them all up and post them right here but while it may be hard to believe from looking at this thing, I do have a life
and I really do need to get back to it at some point soon.
Only two numerical distinctions I have made on the map are the product of my (educated) guess work and deduction based on what's written in book and not from direct mention by the author. I have very detailed and thought-out reasons for making the decisions I did when factoring them and again instead of writing a book about it all I think I'll wait and see if anyone catches on to them and then go from there.
All that information aside, enjoy! I had a lot of fun researching and planning out this guide & have really enjoyed the book series!
Capitol Seal Vector Art by fav.me/d3i2pluUPDATE: A great question was asked on Mockingjay.net about the nature of the central island and spokes-"Isn’t it supposed to be an island?"
That’s what I thought too at first. It’s referred to as an “island” but if you look how the “spokes” are described, they branch out from the center island all the way to the beach. The first overt reference to this we find is when Peeta draws his map on a leaf on page 332 (hardcover edition)- "In the center the Cornucopia on its circle of sand with the twelve strips branching out from it."
Next, we find several characters during the course of the novel are able to run on dry land from the island all the way to the shore & jungle without having to swim. For example, on page 333 Brutus and Enobaria both sprint down one of the sand strips to the jungle after attacking Katniss & her group just before the Cornucopia spins.
So it would seem the center land mass is an “island” only by virtue of the fact that it's more of a large, circular, mass of sand than the thin spokes that connect it to the beach and not a "true" island surrounded completely by water without interruption.UPDATE: Regarding The Total Length of The Arena
The jungle radius around the lake/sea is surprisingly large if you follow the hints in text! In fact, almost too huge to decently support the events described in the last half of the novel where they're wiring up the Lightning Tree, get attacked, and everything hits the fan. That's why I made a few guesstimates of my own that put the total diameter at 3 miles...
Katnis & her group initially walk straight from the beach uphill into the jungle for what she estimates to be a mile, then they all rest. After her "almost fight" with Finnik, the whole group moves on for another mile before reaching the force field. That could conceivably put the radius length from beach to force field at 2 miles, making a full diameter of the arena over 4 miles! However they don't encounter the force field head on (Peeta's accident notwithstanding) they instead wind up approaching it while walking next to it from the side so I don't think that second mile they walked after resting was in as straight a line as they were before resting.
Add that to the fact that they're walking up hill, which would add more foot distance than would be measured on a top-down map, plus the fact the events at the end which I mentioned above all take place in mere moments where the characters run huge distances very quickly and I don't think the radius is a full 2 miles. I believe it to be roughly 1.5 to 1.75 miles as I rendered in my map.