The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Movie poster for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Photo courtesy of IMDb. [The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)] by IMDB

Fans Await “Hunger Games'” Return With “Ballad of Songbirds”

It’s been fifteen years since Suzanne Collins released “The Hunger Games” and eight years since the last book in the triology was adapted into a film. Now, with the release of Collins’ prequel book “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” fans anticipate the release of the movie of the same name.

Since it’s been a while since you may have read the books or watched the movies, you may have forgotten some details about the prequel novel (or like many, that was one of Collins’ books you just skipped). So without further ado, let’s get caught up.

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” takes place in the dystopian world of Panem, a land which is broken into 13 districts, which keeps the peace by demanding that each district send two young “volunteers” each year to fight to the death. The story corresponds to the time period of the tenth annual Hunger Games. (For perspective,  Katniss first competes in the 74th Hunger Games, so “Ballad” takes place approximately 64 years earlier.) It explores themes of power, privilege, and loss of innocence. The book dives deep into the character’s motivations and provides a gripping backstory to the Hunger Games.

The story illuminates how President Snow came to be Panem’s greatest enemy. It follows a young Coriolanus Snow (President Snow), who is the last hope for his failing bloodline. The once proud Snow family has fallen from grace in a post-war capitol. With his life threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12.

When Baird charms the crowd, Snow sees an opportunity to change their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging on the line, Snow unites with Baird to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts of good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will become a songbird or a snake (someone who either basically defies the rules–a songbird–or who is cunning and dangerous–a snake). Of course, due to the original “Hunger Games” films, the audience already knows Snow’s fate.

With this movie, fans will not only see Snow as a young prodigy before he turns into the ruthless leader of Panem, but also a chance to perhaps see a love affair with his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. Though this movie will not mention Katniss or Peeta, as they will be born decades later, audience members might recognize the scenery of District 12. What sets “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” apart from the original story is its exploration of the moral gray areas that shape the characters’ actions. It forces the characters to question their own beliefs and notions of right and wrong.

This movie does have quite the cast. Tom Blyth is cast as President Snow, Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, and Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker. Blyth is best known for his role as the title character in the “Billy the Kid” series, while Zegler gained her fame playing María in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story.” You might recognize Davis for her roles in “Suicide Squad,” “The Help,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Many students at FCHS are excited for the return of “Hunger Games.” “ It’s super exciting to see this book turned into a movie like the originals. I can’t wait to see what they do with this film because there’s so many ways they can take it while keeping it accurate to the book,” said sophomore Mya Inge.

In contrast, senior Hadley Dyke is a little concerned fans will be forgiving to President Snow. “I’m just a little nervous people will start to like Snow, or in a way, forgive and feel bad for him when he’s clearly an awful person,” she said.

“Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” will be in theaters Nov. 17.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Fluco Beat Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *