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Lancer Spirit Online

‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ drops Easter eggs for OG ‘Hunger Games’ fans

Fair Use Photo from Lionsgate Studio
Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Ziegler) in the Hunger Games arena. (Photo property of Color Force Studio).

Disclaimer: this review will contain spoilers

Now that I’ve seen the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes twice, I can confidently say that it lived up to the hype as well as my expectations as a long time book fan.

The story follows Coriolanus Snow (played by Tom Blyth), who someday would be the ruthless dictator of Panem. However, 64 years before the events of the first Hunger Games book, he is simply a mentor, helping a young girl from District 12 through her Hunger Games. Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Ziegler) is a young musician, who wins her support and her sponsors by performing both in and out of the games.

For die-hard Hunger Games fans, there were so many Easter eggs in the film that left viewers hooked.

One of the simpler Easter eggs was a character such as Lucky Flickerman. In the original Hunger Games, Caesar Flickerman is the hunger games announcer, which means that for generations, the Flickermans have been hosting the games.

The next one isn’t necessarily an Easter egg, but still something that fans would catch: the arena. In the later movies the arena is, of course, very complex. There is insane technology, genetically modified animals, acid rain, manipulating weather, and more. However in the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it really is just an arena. This just goes to show even more horrors from the Hunger Games, that before there was an elaborate arena, there was nowhere to hide.

One of the main Easter eggs was the Hanging Tree song. In Mockingjay pt 2, this is the song Katniss uses to rally the rebels to fight the capital. In the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it is revealed that the song is written by Lucy Gray Baird. When a man is hanged on the accusation of murdering three, Lucy Gray Baird uses her power of songwriting to write the heartfelt ballad that fans have come to know and love. Rachel Ziegler’s adaptation of the song literally sent chills down my arms.

Another incredible Easter egg comes when Coriolanus and Lucy are laying together by the lake. One of Lucy’s cousins comes and hands her a plant. Lucy explains that most people call it swamp potato, but she likes to call it Katniss. As soon as she says this, Katniss’s motif from the original films plays over the background, sending original fans into a freak out. 

In the same vein as this, there is a bow and arrow in the arena that remains untouched throughout the entire game. In the original Hunger Games, a bow and arrow is Katniss’s signature weapon. Later in the movie, Lucy even says “It’s too early for Katniss.” She’s referring to the plant of course, however it’s also an unintentional nod to the fact that in a couple decades time, Katniss will be the one to end the capital and dystopia within Panem, with help from a song that Lucy herself wrote.

Finally an Easter egg that had fans jumping out of their seats was the last line of the movie. The screen goes black and someone says “It’s the things we love most that destroy us.” Fans of the movies instantly recognize this as old President Snow’s voice, as he says it to Katniss. This easter egg is masterful because the film follows young Snow as he lets the thing he loves destroy him.

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About the Contributor
Michaela Horan
Michaela Horan, Copy Chief
This is Senior Michaela Horan's second year on staff at the Lancer Spirit, and this year she is the position of copy chief. She's the author of the Rolling Hills series, the first of which was published in 2021. She enjoys writing music and doing theater and loves being on staff.

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