The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes finally hit theaters on Nov. 17, bringing fans of the YA series back to Panem for the first time since 2015. The prequel film follows young Coriolanus Snow — aka President Snow from the future Hunger Games films — who acts as a mentor for tribute Lucy Gray Baird at the 10th annual Hunger Games. Considering it’s been a whole eight years since a Hunger Games movie was released, eagle-eyed fans, including myself, were quick to look for Easter eggs from the previously-released movies in Songbirds & Snakes. And, dear reader, viewers were not disappointed. Here are some of the best Hunger Games Easter eggs fans picked up on during the film. Spoiler alert: Spoilers for The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes follow.
Unfortunately, there were some details missing from the film I would’ve liked, such as a direct answer to whether Lucy Gray and Katniss Everdeen are related or what actually happens to Lucy Gray at the end of the movie. But some of these Easter eggs, like the moment Lucy Gray started singing “The Hanging Tree,” made up for that in my book. Here are the Easter eggs I picked up on in Songbirds & Snakes.
- Snow’s Roses
In the previously-released Hunger Games movies, fans have always associated President Snow with roses. He often wears one on his jacket, and he’s surrounded by white roses in his home. It’s even said that Snow wears them to cover up the smell of blood in his mouth. In Mockingjay — Part 1, Snow destroyed District 13 and dropped hundreds of white roses on top of the rubble. Katniss also finds a white rose when she visits the similarly-destroyed District 12. In Songbirds & Snakes, fans see the origin of Snow’s love of roses. Snow’s grandmother grows them, and even when his family lost everything, his grandmother spared her few roses for her grandson.
- Katniss At The Lake
While Katniss Everdeen herself wasn’t in Songbirds & Snakes, her name was mentioned — well, sort of. When Snow and Lucy Gray are at the lake, her cousin hands her a swamp potato plant. Lucy Gray tells her cousin it’s not quite ready to pick and eat yet. She and Snow have a short conversation about the plant, and Lucy Gray tells him she much prefers the plant’s nickname — Katniss. It’s all but confirmed that this is where Katniss got her name from, considering her sister Primrose also has a nature-inspired name.
- “The Hanging Tree”
I got chills in the theater when I heard Lucy Gray starting to sing the familiar tune of “The Hanging Tree,” and I know I wasn’t the only one. A singer and songwriter herself, it turns out Lucy Gray wrote it. The song is obviously huge in the Hunger Games movies that take place in the future, and it becomes the battle cry of the rebels.
In Songbirds & Snakes, we see the origins of the Jabberjays, which were created by scientists in the Capitol. During his time as a peacekeeper, Snow was tasked with looking after the birds with his friend and colleague, Sejanus Plinth. When he realizes Plinth is planning an escape plan with some rebels, Snow uses one of the Jabberjays to record their conversation, which ultimately leads to Plinth being executed for treason. In the later Hunger Games movies like Catching Fire, fans recognize the Jabberjays as the birds that are sent into the Games to mock Katniss and Finnick with the screams of their loved ones.
- The Mockingjay
In the later Hunger Games movies, the mockingjay is the sign of the rebellion, and Katniss herself is deemed the Mockingjay. In Songbirds & Snakes, fans learn a little more about why that is. In the prequel, viewers primarily see mockingjays at the Hanging Tree, where the birds repeat the screams of the people sent to their death. Snow is obviously rocked by the sound, as he hears it when both Arlo Chance and Plinth are executed at the tree. At the end of the movie, the mockingjays also get to Snow in the woods when he loses Lucy Gray. It’s clear that Snow hates the mockingjays, which could signal why they became such a powerful symbol for rebels against the Capitol.