How is A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes connected to The Hunger Games? Anyone who watched The Hunger Games when the franchise was in its prime will likely think they know everything about Panem and its bleak history.
But the new Hunger Games prequel, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, might make you rethink that. Set decades before the events of the 74th Hunger Games, the new movie presents a whole new side to this dystopian bloodbath. If you’re wondering how the newest flick connects to the classic teen movies, read ahead, because we’ve got all you need to know.
How is A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes connected to The Hunger Games?
A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 64 years before the events of 2012’s The Hunger Games, and is an origin story for Coriolanus Snow, who later becomes the President of Panem and the main villain of the film series.
It’s all set in the same universe, and essentially acts as a prequel story that shows how Snow became the big bad we know (and love?).
While The Hunger Games focuses on the story of Katniss Everdeen, a tribute from District 12 in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is mainly focused on a teenage Snow while he lives and studies in the Capitol, and as he competes as a mentor for the 10th Hunger Games.
This takes place decades before the events of the original series, meaning that while a lot of familiar elements are included (such as the Games, the Capitol Aesthetic, and the politics of Panem), only one of the original characters from the franchise is present. That one, of course, being Snow.
The new movie is based on a 2020 prequel novel by Suzanne Collins, who wrote the original book series. It’s essentially a look back in history at how the Games developed to become the technologically-advanced, celebrated event that we know them to be.
In Songbirds and Snakes, the Games are far less extravagant, and we’re shown how certain elements (like betting and donor gifts) are implemented. Spoiler alert: they’re all pretty much Snow’s idea. Yeah, he’s a bad apple.
That’s A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in a nutshell. For more, check out our interview with director Francis Lawrence, and see what we thought with our A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review. For some classic dramas, take a look at our list of the best movies of all time, or stick to the franchise and rewatch the Hunger Games movies in order.