This post may contain affiliate links that grant me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Will we be seeing Katniss in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie? Probably not - and here's why.
I cannot tell you guys how excited I am for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie! I always liked The Hunger Games, but I was born just a little too early for the books to be required reading in school. I decided to read the prequel (Ballad) because I loved The Hunger Games movies so much that I ended up going down an entire Hunger Games rabbit hole.
I'm currently reading Catching Fire and it is seriously so good! I think The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is such a genius book and I really think Suzanne Collins made so many cool decisions regarding Coriolanus Snow in the book that I can't help but think she is the GOAT of dystopian series.
Whether you just finished the book and are reeling from it, or you're curious about what will be in the movie, we're going over some frequently asked questions about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
"OK I was skeptical on getting this book. But I have to say after reading it I absolutely love it. I always wanted to know about Snow and how he came to be the way he was in the books. This book explains it all."
"Whoever Amazon had to make these things did it right. The screen is good indoor or outdoor in direct sunlight. You can change color temp so you're not staring at blue light at night. Customizable schedule. I sleep better that way as does everyone else. You can simply change the size of text. Quite simply it's one of the best devices (or hardware) I've owned."
I wanted to mention my newest prized possession - my Kindle! This was gifted to me as a pre-honeymoon gift from my husband. I am someone who absolutely adores the feeling of a new book. The smell, the way the pages feel, etc. But this has actually changed my life! It's so lightweight and I absolutely love not having to worry about lighting at night or by the pool. I have Kindle Unlimited and it also works with Libby (the app you can use with your library card to get books for free!). I read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on the Kindle and now I'm reading the original Hunger Games trilogy.
I would keep an eye out for sales because they are always going on. This is the one I have, without ads and with 3 months free Kindle Unlimited. You can get the other one with ads for less money, but you have to deal with the ads! Let me know if you guys end up loving the Kindle as much as I do!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel story of the original Hunger Games trilogy. It follows the early life of Coriolanus Snow (AKA President Snow) and explains how he becomes the villain in the Hunger Games.
No. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years before the events of the 74th annual Hunger Games from the original Hunger Games book. Katniss was not born yet, so she will not be making an appearance in the movie as long as there are no time jumps in the film.
There are, however, plenty of breadcrumbs to indicate that Katniss may be related to or influenced by some of the characters in the prequel.
*THIS IS A SPOILER WARNING FOR THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES. BEYOND THIS POINT ARE SEVERAL SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK AND MOVIE. PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.*
Lucy Gray Baird wrote The Hanging Tree song as a response to the hanging of a local rebel man who called out to his wife to run as his last words. His plea was repeated by the mockingjays after his death.
The song became a known folk tune in District 12 and eventually became a symbol of the rebellion.
Dean Casca Highbottom invented the Hunger Games as a drunken suggestion, not anticipating it would actually be put into effect. His supposed best friend Crassus Snow ends up taking the idea and turning it in as a class assignment. He spends the rest of his life regretting creating the games and wishing he could take them back. He also harbors a deep resentment for the Snow family for Crassus' ignorance in writing down the idea.
Mentors were introduced to the Hunger Games to make the games more entertaining for viewers and to encourage students to earn scholarships for schooling. Snow needs to win because his family has fallen into disrepair and he needs schooling to get them back to where they used to be.
During a class assignment, Coriolanus Snow recommended a betting system that could be used to send tributes gifts while they were in the arena. This idea was implemented and used in all subsequent Hunger Games.
Lucy Gray Baird won the tenth Hunger Games with Coriolanus Snow as her mentor.
Coriolanus dropped his handkerchief with Lucy Gray's scent into Dr. Gaul's snake pit. When the snakes were released into the arena as a way to drum up more excitement for the games, the snakes recognized Lucy Gray's scent and did not attack her. She was actually able to harness them to attack other tributes in self defense.
Snow also snuck Lucy Gray his beloved compact which she filled with rat poison. This was another tool she used in the games to survive.
After his tribute won the Hunger Games, enabling Coriolanus to win the Plinth prize, Coriolanus was confronted by Dean Casca Highbottom for meddling in the games. He was forced to live out the rest of his days as a Peacekeeper.
Lucy Gray Baird believes that her name being called at The Reaping was not a coincidence. Many of her songs seem to suggest that it was the mayor's daughter Mayfair that was angry at Lucy Gray for having previously dated Billy Taupe, the boy she was running around town with. She thinks because she was the mayor's daughter, Mayfair had a hand in Lucy Gray being sent to the Hunger Games.
Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the book, many fans believe that Katniss is related to Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray was a part of a traveling group called the Covey. They mainly took up residence in District 12. In The Hunger Games books, we know that Katniss' father was an avid singer, passing along this musical abilities to Katniss. It's possible that Katniss is a descendent of Lucy Gray Baird on her father's side, although this connection is never explicitly made in the book.
Coriolanus hated mockingjays because they were uncontrolled. Mockingjays were created when jabberjays (Capitol spying birds) were released into the woods, expected to die off. Instead they mated successfully with mockingbirds, creating a new species.
At the climax of the book, Lucy Gray and Coriolanus decide to run away together. Coriolanus believes he is going to be discovered as he murdered Mayfair, the mayor's daughter in order to protect Lucy Gray. Lucy Gray is suspected to be the murderer so they both realize staying is not safe.
Before he leaves, Coriolanus discovers that he is to be promoted to officer and will begin training soon. Lucy Gray questions him about Sejanus when he lets it slip that he has killed 3 people, when Lucy Gray only knew about 2. He hopes she doesn't notice, but as they walk Lucy Gray starts to think.
They continue their journey, but Coriolanus starts to worry that he is not equipped to survive in the woods and that he doesn't want that kind of life. When they get to the lake, Coriolanus finds the murder weapon used in Mayfair's death. He debates if he can go back to training camp and have a life of power. He becomes paranoid and rationalizes that Lucy Gray is not an innocent bystander since to win the Hunger Games you have to have the mindset of a victor. He decides in that moment to abandon the plan of running away. At this time, Lucy Gray's suspicions about Coriolanus have grown. She decides to observe him and see what he does. When Snow tries to talk to Lucy Gray, he realizes that she must know something and decides to hunt her to prevent her from being able to talk about his crimes.
She hides from him and creates a trap with a snake. She sings The Hanging Tree song which talks about "a man who murdered three." He shoots at the mockingjays and jabberjays and doesn't know if he has shot Lucy Gray. He sinks the gun in the lake and runs back, leaving Lucy Gray. He doesn't know if he has injured her or if she is still alive. He never finds out what happens to her.
Coriolanus was able to harness a jabberjay to record his best friend Sejanus talking about his plans to help the rebels to free a prisoner and run away. He hoped that Dr. Gaul would know that it was him that turned in the recording. She did realize this and recognized it as an act of loyalty to the Capitol.
Coriolanus betrayed Sejanus because he increasingly believed that Sejanus would harm himself and those around him by continuing to aid the rebels. He also believed that by sending the jabberjay back to the Capitol that Sejanus would receive minor to moderate punishment since he did not actually aid the rebels, he only planned to.
This plan backfired as Sejanus' punishment was death. When Snow discovered this he had no time to save him.
When Snow decided that he could abandon Lucy Gray and return to his old life (by hiding the murder weapon he used to kill the mayor's daughter) he returns to the Capitol and studies under Dr. Gaul.
He then obviously rises up in the ranks and becomes a very powerful Capitol citizen.
Coriolanus most likely sees Lucy Gray in Katniss Everdeen. They are both from District 12, they both won the games via cleverness and some rebellion, they both value music and family, and they both have affiliations with mockingjays.
He most likely feared that Katniss had the ability to entertain and perform like Lucy Gray but ultimately he sensed rebellion in her. He also probably recognized their similarities and wondered at some point if they were related.
The book never specifies what happens to Lucy Gray in the end. Most likely she survived and either ran away, or joined back with the Covey and they ended up traveling on. It's possible she tried to run away and died or that she made it to District 13. She was never a mentor or a part of the 3rd Quarter Quell because she was most likely presumed dead.
Growing up, Snow saw the effect the war with the rebels had on the Capitol. People were starving and had to resort to eating other dead people to survive. He lost both of his parents and his family almost became homeless.
He ultimately believes that the Hunger Games keep order and that without them the districts would plunge back into a war that would ultimately threaten his way of life.
The lake that Katniss mentions in the books that her and her father would visit is the location where Snow and Lucy Gray visited with the Covey as well as the spot of their final meeting.
Lucy Gray also collects Katniss roots at the lake.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a reference to several things in the book. Lucy Gray drops a snake down Mayfair's dress at the reaping to scare her. Snakes are also used by head game maker Dr. Volumnia Gaul to be released into the arena. The snakes recognized Lucy Gray's scent from Coriolanus' handkerchief so she was able to use them to her advantage in the games. A snake is also a symbol of betrayal or plotting. "A snake in the grass" is a common phrase indicating that something or someone may be waiting to strike against you. Lucy Gray uses a snake at the end of the book to scare Coriolanus.
Songbirds reference Lucy Gray as she is a performer and singer. They are also represented as mockingjays, which sing songs are are symbols of rebellion in the original trilogy. Lucy Gray loves to sing ballads as they are her way of sharing stories. These stories are then passed down generations and fuel for future rebels. The tenth Hunger Games had a focus on entertainment so Lucy's songs became a way for Panem to get to know her.
Are you guys excited for the movie? I seriously can't wait to see it!