The Hunger Games Pulls a Star Wars With Its Prequel Hero

May the odds be ever in MY favor.
May the odds be ever in MY favor.
Image: Lionsgate

Sure he’s evil—but, like, how did he get to be evil? Suzanne Collins has unveiled the protagonist for her Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and he sounds pretty bloody familiar.


As reported by Entertainment Weekly, future-president Coriolanus Snow will be the main character of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which takes place over 60 years before the events of The Hunger Games, during the time following the great districts rebellion and the formation of the titular teen death competition. Not yet the leader of the Capitol and its 12 districts, Snow is a young student with dreams of grandeur, starting by becoming a mentor in the Hunger Games (as this was seemingly before former victors served as mentors).

In a newly released excerpt, we learn that Snow’s family has a long and influential history in the Capitol, but their reach may have subsided following the Dark Days of the rebellion. Young Snow is forced to rely on his wit and charm in order to survive, but even that can only take him so far as Snow ends up as the mentor of the girl from District 12. It’s like rain on your wedding day.

You can check out the excerpt as well as an illustration Charles Chaisson did for the magazine of young Snow on EW’s site. The portrait is seemingly in the style of Donald Sutherland (who played him in the film series), although the image looks more like Ryan from The Office.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes comes out May 19. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.


The Hunger Games is one of many recent young adult dystopias whose setting that can’t really plausibly exist outside the original books they were written for without some significant suspension of disbelief. I’m sure this movie will be successful nonetheless, but I don’t really see much franchise potential with something like this.