Warning, there are massive spoilers for the ending of the new Hunger Games film: The $3 billion sci-fi franchise Hunger Games is back in theaters. The Hunger Games – The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes was launched on November 16, 2023 and tells the backstory of the future President Snow at the time of the 10th Hunger Games, i.e. 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s first appearance.
The Hunger Games prequel follows the original book of The Hunger Games X: The Song of the Bird and the Serpent *. Anyone who has read Suzanne Collins’ novel will probably have no problems understanding the events at the end. For anyone who is unsure, we will clarify below 3 most important questions:
1. Explanation for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ending: Why does Snow suddenly want to kill Lucy Gray?
Although Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) are bonded together through the Hunger Games as mentors and tributes, saving each other’s lives and even falling in love, they are very different people. The quiet, natural idyll of District 12 isn’t what Snow sees. what he hopes for from his life has. At some point he wants to return to the Capitol, restore his family’s reputation and pursue a career.
The Hunger Games – The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes explained
After Snow proves himself to be an exemplary peacekeeper, Commander Hoff (Burn Gorman) offers him one with officer training in District 2 Way out of the career dead end in District 12. But the fact that Snow’s “best friend” Sejanus (Josh Andrés Rivera) supports the rebels incriminates him as an accomplice. Which is why Snow betrays Sejanus via Jabberjay recording – without being sure whether his message is Dr. Gaul will really reach and convince him of his loyalty to the Capitol.
Things get complicated when… weapons to join the game. The jealous mayor’s daughter Mayfair Lipp (Isobel Jesper Jones) threatens to betray the rebels (and Snow) because her boyfriend Billy Taupe (Dakota Shapiro) apparently still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend Lucy Gray. To prevent this, Snow shoots Mayfair. The rebel Spruce (George Somner) then kills the angry Billy Taupe. In a panic, Spruce disappears to hide the weapons on them too Snow’s incriminating DNA is.
When Spruce is captured and hanged along with Sejanus, Snow believes that the Peacekeepers must have found the rebel weapons and that his DNA identification and capture is imminent. His Escape with Lucy Gray seems to be the only way out, to survive. But then their escape leads them to the cabin by the lake, where they find the weapons safely hidden under the floorboards.
Since all the rebels present at the murder (Sejanus, Spruce, Mayfair and Billy Taupe) are dead and the incriminating weapons can be removed from the world once and for all (dunk in the lake), suddenly only one loose end remains that will end Snow’s career – Standing in the way of a comeback: Lucy Gray. The singer realizes Snow’s intentions and flees from him. In the forest he finds the scarf he gave her as a gift and is bitten by a (non-lethal poisonous) snake underneath it. In this moment of loss of trust, he reads this as an attempted murder and makes his final decision against love and for his career.
2. Does Lucy Gray survive at the end of the Hunger Games prequels?
At the end of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Snow shoots the fleeing Lucy Gray in the forest and we see her fall to the ground between the trees. But when he reaches the place where she should be lying, she is not there. In the book as well as in the film The Hunger Games prequel deliberately leaves open whether Lucy Gray, who was shot, survives.
As in the ghost song “Lucy Gray” * that gave the singer her name, hers lead Footprints into nowhere and no one can know what has become of her. Perhaps she ran away injured but later died alone in the wilderness. Perhaps she could survive hidden in exile and find a new home in the north. Possibly also in the supposedly destroyed District 13, which actually continued to exist after the war.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes – Lucy Gray and the snakes
Lucy Gray’s bird song echoing through the trees at the end “The Hanging Tree” * also doesn’t give a clear answer: the song must have been triggered by her, but we don’t know whether that happened before or after Snow was shot. The only thing that is certain is that Lucy Gray’s songs will endure.
At least the two stars Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth believe in the Moviepilot interview that a return of their two characters Snow and Lucy Gray would be possible for a sequel.
3. Farewell, Peter Dinklage: The death of Hunger Games creator Dean Casca Highbottoms explained
His cheating in the Hunger Games leaves Snow disgraced despite his victory. In particular, Dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage) is committed to letting Snow fade away as a peacekeeper – while he sends Lucy Gray back to District 12 to “save her from Corionalus”. By betraying his rebellious friend Sejanus, Snow regains Dr.’s favor at the end of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis), who wants to train him to become a game master in the Capitol after he has passed all her “tests” and shed his moral conscience.
We don’t find out what Dean’s hostility towards Snow is all about until the very end: Casca Highbottom was close friends with Coriolanus’ father, Crassus Snow. After drunken young Casca serves as homework for Dr. Gaul the The Hunger Games were only invented as a thought experiment, he wanted to destroy the cruel idea immediately. But Crassus submitted it and so, against Casca’s wishes, the Hunger Games became a reality. Casca passed on his hatred of Snow Senior’s betrayal to his son after his death.
Casca Highbottom’s attempts to make the Games a boring affair, which was abolished due to lack of interest, were thwarted by Coriolanus at the 10th Games by using his ideas to turn the competition back into a spectacle. The annual death of children in “his” competition also made Casca guilt-ridden addicted to the painkilling drug Morphling.
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes: Peter Dinklage’s Dean Highbottom dies from poisoned morphling
With the friendship memory and the drug, Coriolanus finally brings Snow Casca Highbottom down: by giving him Sejanus’ possessions including a photo of the friends, the Dean believes that Snow Junior has developed a conscience in the districts. In reality, the opposite is true: Snow spiked the morphling in Sejanus’ box with rat poison (which he already confided to Lucy Gray in the arena). He knows that the game inventor cannot resist the drug and when Casca dies as planned, the last person in Capitol who could stand in the way of Coriolanus’ rise also dies.
So Snow’s poisoning career beginswhich the character Finnick later reveals in The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1 as the president’s tried and tested method of getting rid of unpleasant opponents.
Podcast for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Our colleagues at FILMSTARTS watched The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes for the latest edition of the screen love podcast.
At this point you will find external content that complements the article. You can display it and hide it again with one click.
Has the franchise been properly expanded here? Can you save the Hunger Games prequel story on the big screen? You can find out this and more in the podcast.
*The links to the Amazon offer are so-called affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we receive a commission.