How The Newly Released “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Prequel Builds Upon the Hunger Games Trilogy

A review of the new installation into the Hunger Games series


Olivia Miller

The cover of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins

by Olivia Miller, Editor-in-Chief

The tale of the horrific annual Hunger Games, in which the twelve districts of Panem each contribute a male and female tribute to fight to the death, have captivated readers since the release of the first book, “The Hunger Games,” in 2008. 

The extremely popular trilogy has gone on to have 100 million copies printed worldwide, with the film adaptations having grossed over $2.97 billion worldwide

However, after the release of the last film, “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” in 2015, the ever successful series came to what many fans considered a satisfying end. 

That was until the publication of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was announced. 

The anticipation for the new installation into the series was electric, being built with an ambiguous digital global campaign and rampant socially distanced promotion due to COVID-19. 

This new addition to the Hunger Games series is a prequel to the first novel, telling the story of a young Corionalus Snow’s struggle to find his place in the world and his journey mentoring the female District 12 tribute in the 10th annual Hunger Games. 

This new perspective on the Hunger Games is extremely gratifying and allows readers to perceive the history of Panem in a new light. The juxtaposition between the point of views of Katniss Everdeen and Coriolanus Snow gives insight into how truly different citizens of the Capitol and the districts are. 

Though the Capitol presents itself as a fortified, indestructible menace throughout the Hunger Games trilogy, that illusion is quickly dismissed as a young Snow describes the aftermath of the first district rising on the Capitol. This is the first of many assumptions that are disbanded throughout the novel.

There is also an astounding amount of new information revealed in the novel, which connects loose ends and adds more context to threadbare parts of the trilogy. The revelation about the origin of the infamous song “The Hanging Tree” is sure to leave readers with goosebumps. 

Overall, this newly released novel gives valuable insight into the development of the horrific Hunger Games and readers a deeper understanding of the history of Panem and Snow himself.