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‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes’ Movie Made A Few Minor Changes From The Book

We’re officially in our Hunger Games Era. The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes is now in theaters and I’m sure everyone’s dusting up on their Hunger Games knowledge, blasting “Can’t Catch Me Now” on their drive to the theaters, or buying The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes novel at your local bookstore. With the latest installment in the Hunger Games film franchise finally out, many have likely started to compare both the film and the book to see what differences they can spot. 

If you’re curious about the differences between the books and the film, don’t worry, we have you covered. And if you’re a huge fan of the Hunger Games, I can tell you that you’ll be very pleased. 

What are some of the differences between the movie and the book in terms of the plot? 

If you think that the movie strays away from the original plot of the book, you’ll be very pleased to know that it follows the book very closely. The book centers around a younger Coriolanus Snow trying to win the Plinth Prize to help out his once-wealthy family and gain a spot at Panem’s prestigious university. The rules to win the Plinth Prize change in the beginning and the mentor who’s able to turn their tribute into a spectacle during the games will win. Coriolanus is paired up with a District 12 tribute named Lucy Gray Baird, who may be his key to winning the prize he seeks. 

There are some minor differences in the movie.

Of course, there are some things the film changed from the book, but it’s nothing major. The movie follows the main plot and twists of the books but changes some of the deaths that occur. In the book, Lucy Gray does not kill Trench or Reaper during the Hunger Games, the snakes that are released into the arena kill them. There’s also no reference or mention of Agrippina Sickle in the movie, who’s a teacher aided by Sejanus Plinth in the books. 

Are there references to the Hunger Trilogy in The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes?

Since The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes takes place 64 years before we meet Katniss and Peeta, there are not many references to the Panem we see during the 74th Hunger Games. However, the film does incorporate references to Katniss’ name (Lucy Gray tells Coriolanus about the Katniss flower that grows in District 12 when he arrives as a Peacekeeper).

It’s also important to note that the only other character — besides Coriolanus — alive in The Hunger Games trilogy is Tigress, Coriolanus’s cousin. In The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, the games are hosted for the first time by Panem’s weatherman Lucky Flickerman (played by Jason Schwartzman), who’s a relative of Caesar Flickerman in the original trilogy. Since most of the characters in the first Hunger Games films were born after the 10th Hunger Games, there are no other references to them in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Leia Mendoza

TX State '24

Leia Mendoza is a national entertainment & culture correspondent and writer at Her Campus, where she writes and talks about the latest entertainment news and pop culture updates. As well as updating timely news, she covers a broad aspect of film, television and music for Her Campus Media. She is also a contributor to Oscars Central, where she covers award shows and future Oscar contenders. In addition to being a national writer & correspondent, she is also the Campus Correspondent for Texas State University’s chapter, overseeing all aspects of marketing, journalism, public relations and social media since 2022. Throughout her time as a campus correspondent, she has worked with beauty brands such as Prada, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent on beauty and fashion campaigns. In addition, she is a Film Production and Fashion Merchandising student at Texas State University. In the past, she has covered events conducted by Texas State University, Austin Film Festival's On Story, & SXSW. She has conducted interviews for Paramount, MGM, and A24. You can find her in her spare time talking about bridging the worlds of film and fashion together, cinema preservation, indie darlings, and fabulous shopping sequences.