The Hunger Games franchise is back, people, and more horrifying than ever. On November 17, the much-anticipated prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, premiered in theaters, welcoming viewers back into the world of Panem. Taking place 64 years before the original Hunger Games film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young President Snow, who mentors District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird during the 10th-annual Hunger Games.
Well, if you had any doubt, Snow falls for Baird. Suddenly, he’s forced to choose between his privileged life in the capital and a life fighting for the underdogs of Panem. Without getting into spoiler territory, by the time you reach the end of the movie, it’s clear that Snow’s life has been changed—for better or worse. Regardless, there's still a significant time jump between The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and The Hunger Games, leaving fans are wondering what’s next for Snow and his constituents.
Unfortunately, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes doesn't feature a post-credits scene, or anything hinting at a prequel-sequel. However, there is an Easter egg that connects to a different film in the franchise. At the end of the movie, we see a shot of Snow smiling. while his older self says, “It’s the things we love most that destroy us.” Years later, he utters the same phrase to Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, while Panem is on the brink of a revolution.
In an interview with People, director Francis Lawrence, explained the chilling reference. “I thought it was just perfect,” he said. “There was something about that line, that even though it didn’t have that kind of history in intention in the original Mockingjay, suddenly you go, ‘Oh wow, there’s a new history to it. There’s a new context for this line,’ because part of the reason that he goes dark is this sort of betrayal of this relationship and this love that he had for this person.”
There isn't another Hunger Games film in the works, but you can revisit all of the Hunger Games movies with a greater understanding of President Snow and the complicated history of Panem. May the odds be ever in your favor.
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