Attention All Tributes: Here's the Title of the "Hunger Games" Prequel

Put your hair in a braid and grab your bow because the nation of Panem is rising up from the ashes.

Or rather, it's descending into ashes?

Best-selling author Suzanne Collins, author of the highly successful YA trilogy, The Hunger Games, is set to release a prequel to Katniss Everdeen's story on May 19, 2020. Originally given the name Untitled Panem Novel and without a book cover, Collins and Scholastic Publishing Company revealed just a few days ago via Twitter on Good Morning America that the true name of the prequel is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and here's what the novel will look like:


What do we think? There is a resemblance to the classic mockingjay pin that was the symbol of both Katniss and the Rebellion throughout the series, but this time, it's a mockingjay perched on some branches with a snake coiled around the bottom. The golden yellow of the image contrasts against the combination of dark green and black in the background. Is it just me, or does it seem like the bird and the snake on the branch are in the middle of a green and black target?

Maybe I'm looking too much into it (or maybe I'm doing it just right), but yeah, 12-year-old me is ecstatic to say the least. I'm still a fangirl at heart because The Hunger Games craze lasted throughout pretty much my entire middle school life. My dad even let me buy a legit archery set from Dick's Sporting Goods and practice shooting in our backyard because I wanted to be as cool as Katniss Everdeen.

But alas, I was and still am not the Girl on Fire, and moreover, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be taking place way before Katniss' time. The prequel is set 64 years before the events of the first novel on the day where tributes were chosen for the 10th Hunger Games, according to Scholastic. If you remember from the first novel and/or the first film, the reconstruction period following the war lasted ten years and were known as the Dark Days. Concerning the original novel, Collins stated, "With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," and I'm excited to see how she continues to address these important themes in the prequel.

The title of the novel itself is interesting: why songbirds and snakes? I think I sort of get the idea behind "songbirds" (gotta keep on-brand with the birds, right?), but "snakes" is intriguing. When we think of snakes, we think of cunning, slyness, and, dare I say it, back-stabbing. Meanwhile, "ballad" makes me think of the song little Rue whistled, the one that people in District 11 would use to tell the time, the one she shared with Katniss in the first Hunger Games.

Don't mind me, just trying not to cry remembering *spoiler!* Rue's death.

Anyways, talk of Collins' prequel has not been catching fire across social media platforms as much as I thought it would. Perhaps people have better things to do now than contemplate what could possibly be happening in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I get it, perhaps I should stop living in the past.

I'm joking, of course I'm going to continue to keep my eyes and ears open for any future hints and sneak-peeks of what Panem was like recently post-war. Yet, in the midst of doing research on the prequel, I stumbled upon several comments in various articles, most of which had this general question: Is Suzanne Collins falling onto the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter wagon?

We all know that the Harry Potter book and movie franchises were highly successful, which prompted Rowling to release the Fantastic Beasts series with Newt Scamander. As much as I love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (both the fictional world and the amusement park in Orlando), I understand why people had their gripes about Rowling "milking" profits from all these releases. You have to give her credit though, she certainly knows how to make money!

However, I hope this isn't the reason why people will be put off from Suzanne Collins' novel to be released next May. I'm just here to get you excited and curious about the newly-named and newly-covered prequel. I'm interested in seeing what will happen (riots in the streets?), where the Hunger Games will take place (what kind of arena?), and most importantly who the main characters will be (from what district?).

As much as the media adores talking about the love-triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, I think we all know that none of that lovey-dovey stuff was the main focus of the series. Katniss was an independent, kick-butt, archery queen who would do anything for her loved ones, and I'm expecting the same fierce attitude in whatever characters Suzanne Collins writes in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Until next time, Tributes, and as midterm season approaches/commences, I'll leave you with this iconic Hunger Games quote:

Oh wait, not that one. This one:

Sources: CNN Entertainment & Entertainment Weekly.