The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes’ 12 Easter Eggs & Hunger Games References

Summary

  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to The Hunger Games series, exploring the rise of Coriolanus Snow and the early Hunger Games.
  • The prequel contains numerous references and some subtle Easter eggs that connect it to the original movies.
  • The movie provides insight into Snow’s character development, including his first use of poison to kill an opponent.


The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is full of small references and Easter Eggs to the original The Hunger Games movie series. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the prequel story to The Hunger Games timeline, following the rise of Coriolanus Snow and his impact on the future of the Hunger Games. This story is set in a post-war Panem during the reconstruction phase of the Capitol.

The prequel explores a much different Hunger Games than viewers are used to, with many of the defining elements yet to be established. Snow works to help his tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird, to stand out and emerge victorious to secure his place at the University. Throughout this prequel story, numerous references and Easter eggs seamlessly connect The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to The Hunger Games movies.

Related

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes Ending Explained

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ends ambiguously for one major character. We break down the prequel’s ending & what’s next.


13 A Bow And Arrow In The 10th Hunger Games

A Bow And Arrow Is Seen In The Arena

The tributes run to the center of the arena in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. 

As Snow enters the arena to rescue Sejanus, a bow and a set of arrows sit atop the debris at the center of the arena. This subtle detail is a tribute to Katniss Everdeen’s expertise with a bow and arrows, a skill she learned from her father. Katniss utilized this skill in District 12, hunting to provide food for her mother and sister. In the 74th and 75th Hunger Games, the bow and arrow became the weapon of choice. The unclaimed bow and arrows pay homage to Katniss and hint at its significance for Snow’s future.

12 Lucy Gray’s Dress

Primrose And Katniss Flowers Are On The Corset

Lucy Gray is in her rainbow dress in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Lucy Gray stands out immediately from the other residents in District 12 with her vibrant rainbow dress. Notably, Lucy Gray’s dress is full of references to The Hunger Games. Firstly, Lucy Gray’s corset has primrose and katniss flowers painted on it, referencing the sisters from the original Hunger Games novels. Also, Lucy Gray’s dress for the reaping ceremony and the Games originally belonged to her mother. This parallels Katniss Everdeen’s choice to wear her mother’s blue dress to the reaping ceremony.

11 Lucy Gray’s Bow

This Mirrors Katniss In The Hunger Games

Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) is bowing at the reaping in Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Upon hearing her name announced as the female tribute for District 12 in the 10th Hunger Games, Lucy Gray took the stage and started singing to the crowd and the Panem audience. At that moment, she was aware that this performance could potentially be her final one should she not survive the Games. After The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ song “Nothing You Can Take From Me,” she extends her arms and takes a bow. This act is reminiscent of Katniss taking a bow after shooting an arrow at the Gamemakers’ table to draw their attention.

10 Snow Poisoning Dean Highbottom

This Is The First Time Snow Uses Poison

Peter Dinklage as Casca Highbottom staring to the side in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. 

In the final moments of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Snow departs after speaking with Dean Casca Highbottom, leaving behind a vial of morphling. Dean Highbottom drinks it and dies quickly from it being poisoned. This marks Snow’s first use of poison to kill, a method that would later become his preferred method of killing. As Snow ascends to power, he uses poison to eliminate those who oppose him or those he seeks vengeance against.

9 Lucy Gray Writing The Hanging Tree

It Becomes The Anthem Of The Rebellion

Lucy Gray playing the guitar outside in The Ballas of Songbirds and Snakes.

In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Lucy Gray writes “The Hanging Tree” after she and Snow witness the execution of the rebel Arlo Chance. Due to its rebellious and morbid lyrics, this song is banned in Panem. However, Katniss learns this song from her father. She sang it in Mockingjay Part 1, which swiftly evolved into the anthem of the rebellion against the Capitol and President Snow.

8 May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

This Line Originated In The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

Hunger Games Peeta Effie Katniss District 12

The 10th Hunger Games marked the start of the televised spectacle of the Hunger Games. Following Lucy Gray’s performance during her interview with Lucky Flickerman, he says, “I don’t love your odds, but may they be in your favor.” This mirrors the iconic line in The Hunger Games when Katniss volunteers as a tribute to protect her sister Primrose Everdeen. Effie Trinket says, “Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.” Lucky’s words to Lucy Gray serve as the inception of this line, which would lead to the signature phrase for the Games.

7 Arachne Crane Relation To Seneca Crane

They Are Likely From The Same Family

Arachne Crane is one of the 24 top-performing seniors assigned a tribute in the 10th Hunger Games. When meeting with her tribute, Brandy from District 10, she taunts her, resulting in her death. Her name, Crane, connects her to Seneca Crane from The Hunger Games, the Head Gamemaker in the 74th Hunger Games. Seneca meets a fate similar to Arachne’s, as President Snow poisons him for failing to produce only one victor for the 74th Hunger Games. The shared surname hints that they are from the same wealthy Capitol family.

6 Hilarius Heavensbee Connection To Plutarch Heavensbee

They Are Likely From The Same Family

Plutarch Heavensbee is looking up in The Hunger Games. 

Hilarius Heavensbee is another of the 24 top-performing seniors chosen as mentors and is assigned Wovey, the female tribute from District 8. The last name Heavensbee connects to The Hunger Games character Plutarch Heavensbee, who is the Gamemaker for the 75th Hunger Games and commander of the rebel forces. The shared surname implies a connection to the same Capitol family in Panem for these characters.

5 Lucky Flickerman Hints At Caesar Flickerman Connection

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Confirmed Their Connection

Lucky Flickerman with a microphone and TVs behind him in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Lucky becomes the first host of the Hunger Games in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, playing a pivotal role in shaping the spectacle that the Games would evolve into. The surname Flickerman is the same as Caeser Flickerman, who was the host of the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes confirms Lucky is Caeser Flickerman’s father. When Lucky is making a reservation on the phone, he says, “party of two and a highchair,” which signals that he has a young child. Given the connection of the name and roles as hosts of the Hunger Games, it becomes evident that Lucky is the father of Caesar Flickerman.

4 Snow’s Grandm’am Grew Roses

Roses Are Snow’s Signature

Snow’s affinity for roses traces back to his Grandm’am, who grew them on their rooftop penthouse. Roses are a big part of Snow’s life as he wears roses on his lapel, presents Lucy Gray a rose at the train station, and mentions that his mother’s scarf smells of roses. The use of roses in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes connects to President Snow’s rose garden, the rose on his lapel, and how he leaves roses for those he intended to eliminate.

3 Songbirds and Snakes

Snakes Connect To a Line In Mockingjay Part 1

Lucy Gray and Coriolanus Snow looking out in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

The title, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, connects directly to the characters themselves. Lucy Gray symbolizes the songbird, who is forced to compete in the deadly Games, while Snow embodies the snake, who manipulates those around him to rise in power. This thematic connection extends to a line in Mockingjay Part 1, where Finnick Odair discusses Snow’s ascent to power through the use of poison. Katniss remarks that poison is “the perfect weapon for a snake,” further connecting the stories.

2 Mockingjays

Mockingjays Became the Symbol Of The Rebellion

In The Hunger Games, Mockingjays are the evolutionary result of a failed government breeding experiment designed initially to spy on the Districts. Snow hates Mockingjays, as they are unnatural and unable to be controlled. At the end of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the Mockingjays echo Lucy Gray’s voice in the forest, leading Coriolanus to shoot at them. This disdain for Mockingjays intensifies as Katniss is called the Mockingjay in The Hunger Games, becoming the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol. Snow’s animosity towards the bird takes on a new significance with Katniss as the Mockingjay in The Hunger Games.

1 “It’s the things we love most, that destroy us”

This Line Is Taken From Mockingjay Part 1

Katniss, Snow, and Lucy in the Hunger Games movies

In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ending, Snow walks through the Capitol until the screen goes black. At this moment, the voice-over of President Snow from The Hunger Games says, “It’s the things we love most, that destroy us.” This line is said to Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1 when Peeta’s mind is manipulated to believe that Katniss is his enemy. The inclusion of this line underscores the connection between Snow’s experiences with Lucy Gray and how she made him vulnerable. This addition at the end of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes reinforces ties to the original franchise and deepens Lucy Grays’s lasting impact on President Snow.

  • The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Poster

    The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

    Release Date:
    2023-11-17

    Director:
    Francis Lawrence

    Cast:
    Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, Josh Andrés, Josh Andrés Rivera, Viola Davis

    Rating:
    PG-13

    Runtime:
    157 Minutes

    Genres:
    Action, Adventure, Drama

    Writers:
    Michael Lesslie, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins

    Studio(s):
    Color Force, Lionsgate

    Distributor(s):
    Lionsgate

    Sequel(s):
    The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

    Franchise(s):
    The Hunger Games