Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Do We Need Prequels?


Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the prequel for The Hunger Games trilogy, set 64 years prior to the original book. It is set in the world of Panem, 10 years after the reconstruction period 10 years after the war, known as the ‘Dark Days’, following the life of a young Coriolanus Snow at the 10th Hunger Games. This story will change the antagonist of the original series to the protagonist, this can be a true hit or miss and it may bring humanity to his character. In the original series, Snow is an evil president who kills those who go against his wishes, by seeing his past it may change the way we view his character. It could make us sympathise or hate him even more, but it is hard to tell if this is good or a bad thing. The release of this prequel opens the debate to if we really need prequels. Do we need this extra context into the life of Coriolanus Snow?

Every fictional world has a backstory but sometimes it isn’t always worth knowing; sometimes it’s better not knowing the full picture of the backstory of the world as it allows your imagination to run wild with ideas surrounding what happened before the series. The issue with prequels is they are usually a way to milk more money out of an already successful franchise, therefore the story lacks any importance or relevance to the original story and then ruins it. This could be a possibility for The Hunger Games, theoretically if there is prequel on the 10th Hunger Games will there be one for all the other games? We have missed a total of 73 games, would we need to know the context of every game? Why is the 10th game more important than the 1st? Will there be a prequel to the prequel to get a backstory for the prequel? It seems like an ever-ending cycle of a fictional world becoming overly looked into. Another issue with the prequel is the fact Katniss Everdeen – the star of the book – will not be featured, she is the reason the first book was so popular, people read to see the story of a strong powerful woman, but now that will be overlooked by the backstory of the stories main villain. A prequel is almost like when a TV series decides to do a spin-off show, the spin-off is usually a flop and ruins the character, just the way a prequel can ruin the story for a book.

Despite this, The Hobbit has shown to be a successful prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, the series is absolutely adored by Lord of the Rings fans as supporting character Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings becomes the main protagonists in The Hobbit. Bilbo is the author of The Hobbit and translator of various works from the elvish, The Hobbit allows fans to understand how he came to be and what he did to end up back in Bag End. Bilbo displays true heroism in his quest and his discovery for courage and bravery, this discovery and determination kept him going forward to confront trolls, escape from Gollum, prevent war between Dwarves and Men and much more. The Hobbit was the perfect prequel to the original series proving not all prequels are bad (just most are). When comparing this to The Hunger Games prequel it questions whether Coriolanus Snow is the best character to base the prequel upon, he is not well loved. The different between The Hunger Games prequel and The Hobbit is that learning about the life of Bilbo Baggins added a greater understanding to the Middle Earth world whilst what will The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes add to the original trilogy?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins will be published on May 19th, 2020.


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Editor 2020/21 and a History student with a Britney Spears addiction.

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