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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Is Katniss Lucy Gray's Granddaughter?

The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is chock full of easter eggs and homages to the original trilogy. So much so that many folks are wondering if the District 12 survivor from years past has any relation to the Girl on Fire.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows young performer Lucy Gray Baird as she is reaped for the 10th annual Hunger Games, becoming the female tribute from District 12. Her path crosses with the ambitious yet penniless teenaged Coriolanus Snow, whose curriculum at the Capitol’s Academy causes him to take a vested interest in Lucy Gray’s performance in the Games.

Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Image courtesy of IMDb.

Similar in some ways, but different in even more, Katniss Everdeen and Lucy Gray Baird both played to their strengths to survive the brutal Hunger Games. Here are the reasons some people got the idea that these two protagonists could be related.


The Timeline Checks Out


In The Hunger Games trilogy, the white-haired President Snow has a granddaughter just a couple years younger than Katniss and her sister Prim. Given that his younger self was two years older than Lucy Gray, it’s perfectly feasible that Katniss and Prim could be her descendants.


“The Hanging Tree”


Now, Lucy Gray isn’t the only one who knew this song- certainly not after performing it for a vivacious crowd of dancers at a District 12 pub. But Katniss is no performer. She gritted her teeth through any performative act she had to take to ensure her own survival, yet “The Hanging Tree” is a song she occasionally sang willingly, one she found peaceful. It must have had a special place in her heart to bring her that comfort. And why might that be?

Jennifer Lawrence and Amandla Stenberg in The Hunger Games. Image courtesy of IMDb.

Their Strategies in the Games


Lucy Gray and Katniss handled the Games- and the mind games leading up to the Games- very differently. Yet at their core, they played the same way. Both girls played smart, rather than violent; they both waited out the initial bloodbath and took as little life as was possible, given the circumstances. When finally forced to play their hand, Lucy Gray and Katniss both did the wholly unexpected, somehow finding a third option for themselves besides kill or be killed. Their strength in not succumbing to the animal-like behavior that the Capitol so eagerly wanted to televise is an outlier that draws a connection between the two of them.

Rachel Zegler in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Image courtesy of IMDb.



Lucy Gray had a fondness for Katniss- the plant. It’s a swamp potato that the Covey would eat on their travels. Not everyone called the plant Katniss, but Lucy Gray liked to. Did she like it enough for a child of hers to pass the name along in her honor?


Despite all these easter eggs in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes that can’t help but draw the mind to Katniss Everdeen, no relation between the two District 12 victors is ever confirmed. A strong argument can be made for one, but there are also some reasons this theory is just that- a theory.


The Covey


Lucy Gray Baird is a member of the Covey, a traveling performance troupe that happened to be settled in District 12 at the time of the 10th annual Hunger Games. Her Covey identity is so important to her that she is reluctant to call herself a resident of District 12, despite being reaped as the district’s female tribute. Yet, there is no mention of the Covey in The Hunger Games. The group is a new addition to The Hunger Games world with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. If Katniss was related to Lucy Gray, they would only be two generations removed, and Lucy Gray’s Covey identity would likely play a role in Katniss’s sense of self as well. The complete absence of the Covey in Katniss’s story casts some doubt on the possibility of a connection between the two girls.

Rachel Zegler in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Image courtesy of IMDb.

District 12


The Covey complicates things even further. Given that they are a traveling group, to the extent that Lucy Gray refused to call District 12 home, it seems unlikely that she spent the rest of her life there. When you add in the fact that, at the end of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, she and Coriolanus had set out to leave the districts and never return, the thought of her establishing a family in District 12 feels even more far-fetched. The prequel ends on an ambiguous note, with Lucy Gray deliberately losing Coriolanus in the forest, so it’s hard to say if she ever saw 12 again, much less made meaningful connections there.


Radically Different Personalities


Lucy Gray’s reaping consisted of her dropping a snake down another girl’s dress and then bursting into song. Katniss’s reaping found her intensely and tearfully volunteering in her sister’s place. The contrast between Lucy Gray’s levity and Katniss’s seriousness is a constant in their personalities. Lucy Gray, a performer for a living and a performer for survival, won Capitol hearts with her charm and voice. Katniss, on the other hand, had to be begged to grin and bear it, to give a single twirl, to save not just herself but Peeta- whose affability was an essential counterpart to her stone-faced persona. If the two girls are related, a similar demeanor is not one of the clues.

Jennifer Lawrence and Stanley Tucci in The Hunger Games. Image courtesy of IMDb.

Ultimately, though, we’ll never know for sure. It’s possible that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snake’s homages to Katniss served more as an explanation as to why the Girl on Fire bothered President Snow so much. Maybe she just got under his skin because she reminded him a little too much of the girl who bested him and broke his heart all those years ago- related or not.


What's your gut telling you? Do you think these two share blood? Or just that powerful fighting spirit?

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1 comentário

I am loving this movie review! You should totally post lots of these too! I think there were enough little Easter eggs for me to think that the two are related despite their differences in demeanor. If they aren’t related by blood , they are definitely related through trauma.

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