The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes stars Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as President Snow.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes stars Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as President Snow.
Photo Credit: Ava Radovic/Canva/Achona online

Hunger Games Prequel, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, premieres

Suzanne Collins pleased book readers everywhere when she published the first Hunger Games book in 2008. Followed by two sequels and then four movies, the series has acted as a cultural phenomenon throughout the 2010’s. Eleven years later, Collins has yet again shook readers and viewers with the newest addition, a prequel to the series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is centered around the original trilogy’s antagonist, President Snow. 

The original trilogy tells the story of Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence), who lived in dystopian District 12. She must take her sister’s place after she is picked to fight in a battle to the death. The Hunger Games are also run by Panem’s President, manipulative President Snow. Throughout the trilogy, the audience sees Katniss rebelling against the oppressive government, leading to destruction and alteration of the whole country, alongside her opposite tribute, Peeta Mellark. The original movie, and its sequels, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 2, were well received across the country, generating $2.96 billion dollars with the four films. With the series, the Hunger Games community greatly influenced the teen population, with tons of merchandise, fan interaction, and press brought upon the actors. It influenced them so much that Collins decided to write a new story, but one that told the interesting story of the man viewers are supposed to hate. 

Sophomore Anna Hahn adds, “The movie did such a great depiction of how Snow became the villain over time, that I found myself rooting for him at the beginning.” 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes tells the story of President Coriolanus Snow during his youth, as he must mentor tribute and singer Lucy Gray Baird, in the tenth Hunger Games, in order to regain his fortune. However, through the complicated, growing emotions he feels for Lucy, Snow begins to manipulate the games in Lucy’s favor and alter his decisions based on his wealth and power. Throughout the film, the audience will view how Snow becomes the bitter man that will later be known as. This story not only encapsulates the complex character arc of Panem’s corrupt commander, but also sees how rebellion often led to disarray prior to Katniss. Comparing the unrestrained mindsets of the female leads, Lucy Gray and Katniss Everdeen, viewers can see how the cruel government has developed over time in the dystopian setting and why they negatively responded to tributes like the leading ladies. Overall, while the story doesn’t have many concurrent characters between the original series and the prequel, the new film will allow fans to understand the story of the event’s history.


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While oftentimes with prequels, the die-hard fans reject the new film, complaining that it doesn’t fit the story, or messes up the characters, Hunger Games fans have been ecstatic about the new film. Fans have been seen dressing up to match Panem’s wardrobe, make videos in regards to the prequel, and voice their strong opinions about Snow’s everchanging demeanor. This comes to show the ever-lasting impact Collins’ books and movies have left on the young audiences of America, and how even 11 years later the movies have groups of people running to theaters. The movie also sparked interest amongst viewers through featuring popstar, Olivia Rodrigo, and her song made specifically for the film, Can’t Catch Me Now, which connects to Lucy Gray Baird. 

Many girls have been seen wearing all black, a prominent braid, and carrying a bow to honor beloved character Katniss Everdeen for the Hunger Games Franchise. (Ava Radovic/Canva/Achona Online)

Ultimately, the new film, The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes, excites fans across the world through its phenomenal actors, including Euphoria star Hunter Schafer, the unique storytelling of ancient Panem, its connection to beloved Katniss Everdeen, and the soundtrack of the dystopian cinematography. These spectacular components leave fans attending theaters abundantly, making for a busy November and December movie season. 

Ashleigh Carpenter (‘26) states, “I have been an avid Hunger Games fan since I was young, and this movie fulfilled all my hopes for what the prequel would be like.” 

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