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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Prequel Guide Defined

Editor’s Be aware: The next comprises full spoilers for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes guide.


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  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to The Starvation Video games that explores the backstory of President Coriolanus Snow and the creation of the dystopian regime.
  • The guide follows Snow’s involvement within the tenth Annual Starvation Video games as a pupil mentor, the place he’s paired with the feminine tribute from District 12, Lucy Grey Baird.
  • Stuffed with love, concern, and betrayal, the novel delves into the making of a monster and fills within the lore and historical past that followers of the franchise had lengthy contemplated over.

The worldwide phenomenon that was the teenager dystopian guide sequence The Starvation Video games lastly acquired its long-awaited prequel with writer Suzanne Collins releasing The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in Could 2020. The guide particulars the youthful years of the franchises villain President Coriolanus Snow and his involvement within the tenth Annual Starvation Video games as a pupil mentor, who’s then paired with the feminine tribute from District 12, a folksinger named Lucy Grey Baird. Set within the rubble that was the Capitol after the Civil Battle that nearly introduced Panem to its knees, Songbirds and Snakes explores the making of a monster and the development of a dystopian regime all by way of the lens of its major character, Snow. Stuffed with moments of affection, concern, and betrayal, the novel encases a lot of the lore and historical past followers of the franchise had contemplated over for years. The YA sequence movie adaptation is ready to be launched this week. It should star Tom Blyth as a younger Snow and West Facet Story‘s Rachel Zegler as Lucy Grey Baird. With a return to Panem simply across the nook, here’s a full rundown of all the pieces that occurs in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Film Poster
The Starvation Video games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

64 years earlier than Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and a long time earlier than Coriolanus Snow turned the tyrannical President of Panem. The Starvation Video games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a younger Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who’s the final hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow household that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. Along with his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Grey Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. However after Lucy Grey’s allure captivates the viewers of Panem, Snow sees a possibility to shift their fates. With all the pieces he has labored for hanging within the stability, Snow unites with Lucy Grey to show the percentages of their favor. Battling his instincts for each good and evil, Snow units out on a race towards time to outlive and reveal if he’ll in the end change into a songbird or a snake.

Launch Date
November 17, 2023

Director
Francis Lawrence

Solid
Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman, Burn Gorman, Fionnula Flanagan

Runtime
165 minutes

When Is ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Set?

Ten years earlier than the occasions of the novel marked the tip of the battle, when the tried revolt towards the Capitol was terminated, and the Districts have been pressured again into their zones. Leaders and teachers got here collectively to determine on a punishment for the rebellious Districts and fashioned the early Starvation Video games. For the reason that battle, the once-prosperous Snow household has been left outnumbered and destitute. A younger Coriolanus Snow lives within the household’s Capitol residence along with his grandmother and his cousin Tigress. After shedding each his dad and mom to the battle, Snow and his kin reside off of meals rations and previous possessions as town rebuilds itself.

Who Is Lucy Grey Baird?

Regardless of his hardships, Snow performs exceedingly effectively in his research on the Capitol Academy, working towards his important principal, Dean Highbottom, and Snow is chosen to be part of the mentorship program for the upcoming tenth Annual Starvation Video games. With a money prize hooked up for the profitable mentor, Snow sees this as his alternative to revive his household’s wealth. Nonetheless, when he learns that he has been paired with the feminine tribute from District 12, the poorest of Panem’s districts, Snow grows anxious. Lucy Grey Baird is a member of the touring music group, The Covey, who was pressured into the District by the battle. She makes a splash within the Capitol through the reaping ceremony the place she slips a snake down the again of Mayfair Lipp, the Mayor’s daughter, after Mayfair ensured Lucy can be reaped out of jealousy when Lucy catches the eye of the boy Mayfair likes.

With the tributes reaped and the world prepared, the 24 youngsters are delivered to the Capitol aboard a prepare, one which Snow unintentionally winds up on whereas making an attempt to fulfill Lucy on the proper station. When the tributes discover Snow, recognizing he’s a Capitol pupil, they ponder killing him, to which Lucy Grey reminds them that they and their households can be slaughtered. Snow’s life is spared and Snow alongside the tributes are dropped off on the previous zoo the place the tributes are to be held till the video games. Appearing as an early mannequin of the Tribute Heart, the zoo permits the Capitol to maintain the tributes caged and starved, and in addition permits Capitol residents to view them. Anxious that his tribute will develop too weak if stored starved, Snow begins sneaking meals from the Academy to present to Lucy, which spawns a way of belief between the pair. Different tributes take discover of this and start quietly feeding their tributes, together with Snow’s peer Sejanus Plinth, a District sympathizer whose father purchased his household’s means into the Capitol from District 2 after the battle. Noticing the curiosity the general public has taken in viewing the tributes, Snow and Lucy prepare dinner up a scheme involving Lucy singing for the residents to realize reputation.

Picture through Lionsgate

The thrill surrounding Lucy and the video games is sidelined by the information that Snow’s classmate and fellow mentor Arachne Crane was murdered by her tribute after she taunted them with meals. Along with his friends devastated by the loss, together with that of his essay companion Clemensia, Snow is pressured to write down a paper about additions to the video games on his personal. Snow presents his essay the place he suggests a betting and sponsorship program that will permit Capitol residents to assist their favourite tributes to the Head Recreation Maker Volumnia Gaul, an concept that will later change into instrumental within the trendy video games. Suspecting Snow had been the only contributor to the paper, Gaul drops the essay right into a tank of genetically modified snakes designed for the world (preserve these snakes in thoughts!).

As Snow retrieves the pages, the snakes appear uninterested, however when Clemensia lowers her arms, the snakes chew at her arms. Realizing that the snakes may establish his scent on the pages and never his classmate, Snow is aware of he is been caught and Clemensia is taken to the hospital. Quickly sufficient, the countdown is on to the video games, and Snow and Lucy Grey proceed to dazzle the Capitol with Lucy’s flare and performances. All the joy that the pair had generated because the zoo is rapidly overtaken by sudden bombs that go off through the tour of the world, killing a number of tributes and mentors alike. With the eye of the Capitol and the Recreation Makers turned to the bombing, Lucy briefly considers escaping however abandons the concept to assist an injured Snow. Regardless of one other hurdle, the video games start with most tributes dying rapidly of hunger, illness, and weak point. Realizing different remaining tributes are greater than herself, Lucy opts to cover in darkish spots throughout the world.

Who Wins the Starvation Video games in ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’?

Sejanus, the beforehand talked about District sympathizer with a robust distaste for the video games, enters the world in protest towards the Capitol. Snow follows after him and convinces him to go away, explaining to him that he may make extra of an impression along with his beliefs if he have been alive. As they attempt to sneak out, they’re attacked by a tribute and Snow is pressured to kill them, making this Snow’s first act of violence. Again within the Capitol, Snow recollects the snakes that Dr. Gaul had used towards Clemensia, and drops a fabric with Lucy’s scent on it into the tank permitting for the Snakes to develop accustomed to her scent.

Positive sufficient, the following day, the snakes are launched into the world, and whereas all different tributes are attacked, Lucy is left unhurt and as a substitute surrounded by the snakes, with the reptiles slithering up her limbs and embracing her. After a number of days, the remaining tributes succumb to their accidents and Lucy Grey is pronounced the winner of the Video games. Lucy is returned to her District, and whereas attending an Academy social gathering for the occasion, Snow is cornered by Recreation Makers presenting damning proof that Snow aided his tribute by feeding her and taming the snakes. Snow is pressured to change into a Peacekeeper in District 12, removed from the retribution he had pined for.

What Occurs to Snow and Lucy After the Starvation Video games?

Picture through Lionsgate

Arriving in District 12 a failure, Snow is comforted by reuniting with Lucy, and the pair confront their rising emotions for one another. Snow comes to know Lucy higher and her wild and defiant nature, and grows empathetic in the direction of the Districts. It is not lengthy into his keep, nonetheless, that Snow discovers that Sejanus, who was additionally made a Peacekeeper in 12, is plotting to assist District residents escape to territory within the North believed to be out of Panem’s management. Taking into consideration his risked popularity within the Capitol, Snow secretly information the proof utilizing a Jabberyjay that he sends again to Dr. Gaul. Sejanus continues engaged on the plot till a dialog between him and a fellow insurgent named Spruce is walked in on by the Mayor’s daughter and one other citizen.

Snow and Lucy discover the state of affairs close by and, figuring out this could threat the security of the plot, Snow and Spruce shoot the intruders and bury the stays. These actions nonetheless appear fruitless, as solely days later Spruce dies from suspicious accidents and Sejanus is hung for treason, leaving Snow and Lucy because the remaining witnesses to the murders. Within the wake of the rising chaos and uncertainty, Lucy tells Snow she goes to go away for the North anyway, and regardless of having been provided a place within the Officers Coaching Academy in District 2 for his data on Sejanus, Snow decides to hitch Lucy in her escape.

Because the couple journeys to the North, Snow unintentionally stumbles upon the buried weapons he and Spruce used to homicide the Mayor’s daughter, and Snow realizes that with the proof in hand, he may destroy any reminiscence of his crimes and regain his household’s honor. Swayed in the direction of betrayal, Snow struggles to cowl his change of coronary heart. Noticing his conduct, Lucy assumes Snow is planning to go away, and as soon as Snow picks up on her personal uncertainty, Lucy flees into the forest. Snow pulls out his gun and shoots into the bushes hoping to kill her. Regardless of sending a number of rounds in all instructions, Snow is left not sure whether or not she was struck or not, and with no time to waste, he disposes of the weapons and makes his means again to District 12 and is then transported to the Capitol. Dr. Gaul meets with him to reward Snow for his data on Sejanus’s plot and explains that she despatched Snow to 12 within the first place to return to phrases with the truth of Panem’s society. Snow then accepts his place to coach as an officer and is virtually adopted by Sejanus’s father, who stays unaware of Snow’s involvement in his son’s dying.

What Occurs on the Finish of ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’?

Picture through Lionsgate

The novel’s epilogue reveals that the video games have been the brainchild of a younger Dean Highbottom, who thought it up as a easy and merciless methodology for a faculty venture with Snow’s father Crausses. Crausses would then go on to current the concept to Dr. Gaul, in the end making the video games a actuality with out Highbottom’s data. Highbottom stays against the video games and resentful in the direction of the Snow household. Rising uninterested in Highbottom’s therapy in the direction of him, Snow decides to slide poison into the Dean’s medicine, killing him, starting Snow’s lifelong signature of poisoning his enemies. Snow goes on to change into a Recreation Maker and implement his personal concepts into the video games. Both dying that day within the forest or escaping Panem, Lucy Grey isn’t seen once more.

Within the upcoming film, moreover the casting for Snow and Lucy, Dean Highbottom is performed by Peter Dinklage and named Casca, Dr. Gaul is performed by Viola Davis, and Hunter Schafer is Snow’s cousin Tigress. The movie has been getting excessive reward, and has been referred to as the most effective of the Starvation Video games films, with particular reward being given to the supporting characters. Whereas trailers and early critiques appear to trace that the film follows the guide fairly carefully, time will inform if there are any main deviations from Collins’ authentic novel.

The Starvation Video games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes involves theaters November 17, 2023.

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