Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

*This article contains spoilers*!

We all know and love The Hunger Games series. It is easily one of the most popular and beloved dystopian stories of all time. I for one remember the exciting anticipation in 2012-2016 when the movies came out. The nostalgia is so strong! Now, we are gearing up for the prequel to hit theatres on November 17th: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Let me just tell you, this prequel is AMAZING. We are shown the timeline of Coriolanus Snow, better known as President Snow in the trilogy, rising to power. I am going to share some background to the book and my opinions of the prequel, connections to Katniss’ timeline, and what we can expect from the upcoming movie. It’s time to let The Hunger Games nostalgia flood back. 

Let’s start with some quick background to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes! The prequel takes place during the 10th Hunger Games, which is 64 years before Katniss and Peeta’s games. At this time, the games were only just getting started. However, there is something special about the 10th Hunger Games. This is the first game to have a mentor assigned for each tribute. The Capitol Academy’s seniors were selected as mentors, Coriolanus Snow being assigned the District 12 female tribute: Lucy Gray Baird. Think of Katniss Everdeen. Absolute badass, fierce fighter with a good heart. Lucy Gray is very similar to Katniss. It is easily shown how alike the two are inside and out, and I’ll leave those connections up for your imagination! In this prequel we are shown the kind, teenage Coriolanus who falls for Lucy Gray at first sight. We all know Coriolanus as the evil President Snow from the trilogy. Here we are receiving a completely different side. With his determination to keep Lucy Gray alive and the praise he would get for mentoring a victor, Coriolanus used cunning tactics to cheat that ultimately saved Lucy Gray’s life, but not without a cost. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is jam packed with anticipation in each page you flip to. Just like The Hunger Games trilogy, there are many times where you have to sit and reflect on WTF just happened. I promise if you loved the first three books, you will love the prequel just as much.

Tying into the first three The Hunger Games, there are lots of connections or “easter eggs” you will notice. There are references to the Rebellion, the Meadow, the Hob, and the song “The Hanging Tree”. *Spoiler*…Lucy Gray is the one who wrote “The Hanging Tree”! We see that there are tribute interviews, held by Lucky Flickerman (related to Caesar Flickerman, the colorful haired host of the Hunger Games from the trilogy). There are numerous references to Coriolanus’ roses, which from the trilogy we know as one of his symbols. The prequel doesn’t just show us the background and life of Coriolanus before becoming President, but the background and rise of the games and Panem as a country. Taking place during the 10th Hunger Games, people were not as obsessed and drawn to watching as we see they are during the 74th Hunger Games. We can eerily notice how much the games have advanced from the 10th to 74th games. As for characters, we get a deep dive into Coriolanus, his cousin, Tigris, and the background of his deceased mother and father. We are also introduced to the woman responsible for the creation of the games: Dr. Gaul. She is not mentioned in the trilogy, therefore she is a new character along with a number of others that we meet. It’s easy to decipher who is evil and who is good.

I have very high expectations for the movie because we are getting a wonderful cast, including Hunter Schafer, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, and more! I just know the movie will bring the book to life and do it justice. The prequel adds lots of depth and background to the plotline set by the trilogy and I cannot wait to see it on film. The trailers gave me absolute chills! There is SO much to unpack, and I want to leave it to you to unfold the rest! We only have about a month until the movie comes out, so get reading! 

Check out the official trailers!



Jessica Creamer

West Chester '26

Second year West Chester student majoring in Secondary Education & English!