🕊️ 🐍This post contains MASSIVE spoilers for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.🕊️ 🐍
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is finally out in theaters, and I'm already in love with the movie.
And this movie is a prequel so it sets up the story 64 years before the events of the first movie, so obviously, there are a TON of references to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
So, here are 19 references, Easter eggs, and more I caught while watching that connect to the other Hunger Games books and movies:
1.In The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Lucy Gray wears her mother's rainbow dress for the Reaping ceremony and during the 10th annual Games. In The Hunger Games, Katniss also borrows her mom's blue dress for the Reaping ceremony, where she volunteers as the tribute for District 12 in the 74th annual Games.
2.The corset of Lucy Gray's dress also has primrose and katniss flowers painted on it, both referencing the characters in the original movies.
3.After Lucy is chosen at the Reaping, she sings to the crowd and bows in exactly the same way Katniss does at the end of her private training session.
4.While Lucy Gray and Coryo are relaxing by the creek, Maude Ivory picks some swamp potato, otherwise known as katniss. Lucy Gray shows the plant to Coryo and says it's a "pretty little thing, but it's determined." As soon as she says this, Katniss's instrumental score from Catching Fire plays.
5.When Coryo goes into the arena to save Sejanus, we see an untouched bow and a set of arrows sitting on top of the pile of rubble. This is one of the movie's most direct references to Katniss Everdeen, who's an extremely skilled archer and uses her bow and arrows during the 74th and 75th Games.
6.Lucy Gray sings in her initial interview with Lucky Flickerman before the Games, and when she finishes, he says, "I don’t love your odds, but may they be in your favor." Then, of course, in The Hunger Games, Effie's iconic tagline for the games is "May the odds be ever in your favor."
7.Several of the Capitol's characters have some iconic last names, which insinuates that Coryo's classmates are the parents/grandparents to many major characters in the franchise. For instance, Seneca Crane was most likely related to Arachne Crane, while Plutarch Heavensbee was probably related to Hilarius Heavensbee.
8.Lucretius "Lucky" Flickerman is most likely Caesar Flickerman's father, which we learn when Lucky needs to cancel his dinner reservation "for two with a highchair."
9.As the tributes enter the Games, Wovey grabs Lucy Gray's hand. This friendship is the closest reference we see to Katniss and Rue's friendship in The Hunger Games.
10.We all know Coriolanus Snow appears in the other movies as President Snow, but so does his cousin Tigris. In Mockingjay — Part 2, we learn that she was a stylist for the Games until "Snow decided [she] wasn't pretty enough anymore." Then, she joins the Rebellion and lets Katniss, Peeta, and their team of rebels seek refuge in her shop.
11. In Mockingjay — Part 1, Effie wears her hair wrapped up and tells Katniss that the style was "all the rage" when she was growing up. Then, in TBOSAS, Tigris wears her hair in the same style.
effie saying “it was all the rage when i was coming up” in mjp1 to then seeing this style on tigris 64 years ago ok trish!! pic.twitter.com/tXlVqRgKWC
— v ☼ (@mockingjayssing) November 8, 2023
12.In TBOSAS, we see Lucy Gray playing "The Hanging Tree" on her guitar as she sits alone in a field, and Coryo walks up to meet her. This same song becomes Katniss's anthem in Mockingjay, which she shares is a song that she learned from her father. Since Lucy Gray disappears at the end of the movie, fans have theorized that Maude Ivory would've known the song and taught it to her own child...possibly Katniss's father.
13.And while Lucy Gray wrote "The Hanging Tree" about a totally different incident, the song hauntingly parallels Coryo's story as well. "Are you, are you comin' to the tree? / Where they strung up a man, they say, who murdered three," specifically references how Coryo has killed three people — Bobbin, Mayfair Lipp, and Sejanus — by the end of TBOSAS.
14.In the later movies, Snow has an affinity for roses and always wears one on his lapel — he often leaves roses for his enemies right before they're about to be killed. And in TBOSAS, we see that Coryo's Grandm'am grew her roses on the roof of their penthouse. Coryo says that his mother's scarf also smells of her rose-scented perfume. Coryo also gives Lucy Gray a rose when he meets her at the train station.
15.In TBOSAS, the final line of the movie is, "It’s the things we love most, that destroy us," voiced by Donald Sutherland, who plays President Snow in the other movies. He first said this line to Katniss in Mockingjay — Part 1, and is referencing Peeta whose mind has been hijacked to believe that Katniss is his enemy. However, it's extremely fitting in this movie, too, to describe Coryo's "love" for Lucy Gray is what ultimately changes him for the worst.
16.The title itself is a direct nod to Lucy Gray (the songbird) and Coryo (the snake) — Dean Highbottom even refers to Lucy Gray as "songbird" throughout the movie. And in Mockingjay — Part 1, there is also a line that says, poison is “the perfect weapon for a snake,” when referring to President Snow.
17.Mockingjays are also a huge symbol in this series. In TBOSAS, while sitting with Lucy Gray in the field outside District 12, Coryo sees birds flying overhead that he's never seen before. Lucy Gray tells him they're "mockingjays," which echo sounds and songs. At the end of the movie, while Coryo is calling for Lucy Gray, the mockingjays taunt him with her song, and he realizes she's fled. Then, in the other movies, the bird becomes the symbol for the rebellion, with Katniss being referred to as the Mockingjay, even dressing as one in Catching Fire.
18.One of Lucy Gray's final lines in the movie is, "I think I'll go dig up some katniss, since we got the fire going anyway." And while it maaaayyy be a stretch, this is the last time we see her, and 64 years later, we're introduced to Katniss Everdeen, who ultimately causes Snow's downfall. So, like, she did go and get some Katniss.
19.Finally, at the end of TBOSAS, Tigris says, "You look just like your father, Coriolanus." Every time before this moment she calls him Coryo, which just signifies that the Coryo she knew and loved is dead. And the Coriolanus Snow that we know and despise is born.
Did you catch any other small details or callback moments? Let us know in the comments!
Be sure to check out The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes in theaters and the rest of the movies on Peacock.