Okay, I’m pretty sure if you’re like me, you’ve probably been fangirling over The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes after watching it in theaters. Ever since seeing the film, everything in my life has been about the Hunger Games, and I can’t stop obsessing over the cast. Not only have I been thinking about the chemistry between the actors the actors and the cinematography, but I also haven’t been able to stop thinking about the movie’s ending ever since I left the theater. With strong characters like Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow, it’s likely many fans will be left shocked by the end of the film.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes place 64 years before Katniss’s story and centers around the 10th annual Hunger Games. As the ratings for the Games have gone down, we find an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow struggling to keep himself and his family afloat in Panem’s capital. Coriolanus soon finds himself mentoring District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, who may be the only way for Coriolanus to win the games. With twists and betrayals at every corner, one thing that’s left uncertain by the end of the film is what really happened to Lucy Gray Baird. Here’s what we know. Spoiler warning: Spoilers for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes follow.
What happens at the end of Songbirds & Snakes?
If you’ve watched the Hunger Games franchise, you know that Coriolanus Snow ends up becoming the president of Panem, essentially overruling all of the districts. Of course, this means that Snow survives The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, growing up to be the man we aren’t the biggest fan of in the Hunger Games series. However, at the end of Songbirds & Snakes, we see Coriolanus and Lucy Gray running away from District 12 after the deaths of Sejanus, Mayfair, and Billy. Lucy Gray discovers that Coriolanus killed Sejanus by recording his plans to escape out of Panem, and sends the recording to Dr. Volumina Gaul back in the capital.
In one of the last moments of the film, Coriolanus finds the guns that he used to kill Mayfair and Billy, which Lucy Gray has hidden in her cabin. Lucy Gray ends up running away from him after she discovers that Coriolanus killed 3 different people during the Hunger Games. As Coriolanus is trying to find her in the woods, Lucy Gray taunts him by singing “The Hanging Tree”, which causes him to go into a frenzy. Coriolanus catches a glimpse of Lucy Gray, and shoots at her, seemingly wounding her.
However, as Snow is walking towards the area where Lucy Gray was shot, there’s no evidence that she was wounded — it’s like she just disappeared.
What really happened to Lucy Gray?
We don’t actually have an answer to this. After Coriolanus shoots Lucy Gray, we don’t hear or see her again. It’s unclear if Lucy Gray escaped away from Panem, or if she died as a result of being shot by Coriolanus. It’s an ending that is left for the audience’s interpretation, almost as if Lucy Gray was a figment of our imagination. The movie ends without an answer of what happens to Lucy Gray, but it’s very clear that her presence still looms and lingers around Coriolanus 64 years later when Katniss arrives.