Fans Are Not Happy the ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Will Focus on President Snow

When Suzanne Collins first confirmed the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in 2019, fans were ecstatic to return to Panem. That enthusiasm dissipated once the first excerpt of the book came out. As it turns out, the Hunger Games prequel centers around President Snow.

Hunger Games President Snow
Donald Sutherland played President Snow in the ‘Hunger Games’ movie franchise | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The ‘Hunger Games’ prequel takes place long before Katniss was born

Collins confirmed the prequel back in October 2019. While many of the protagonists of the Hunger Games trilogy and movie franchise are beloved by fans, this new story takes place years before Katniss was born.

“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” said Collins about The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

“The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days — as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet — provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity,” she said in a press release.

The ‘Hunger Games’ prequel focuses on President Snow

On Jan. 21, 2020, Entertainment Weekly released the first excerpt from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Based on the contents of the excerpt, it appears the main character is President Snow, the central villain of Collins’ original trilogy. Not only is a young President Snow a main character, he is described as a hero.

Obviously, this revelation is shocking to fans. EW even describes President Snow as “a manipulative tyrant, a brutal killer,” in its preview of the excerpt. However, the preview goes on to describe a young Coriolanus Snow as a hero, or at least a temporary one.

“Last June, Scholastic announced that Collins had written a prequel set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (out May 19). And now EW can offer eager fans a taste of what to expect with this first excerpt — and reveal Snow as our new protagonist, a teenager born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here, he’s friendly. He’s charming. And, for now anyway, he’s a hero,” reads EW’s preview.

Fans are not happy about President Snow’s story line in the ‘Hunger Games’ prequel

The excerpt then reveals that at one point in time, Snow was assigned to mentor a young girl from District 12 in the Hunger Games. This acts as a parallel to President Snow’s future antagonistic relationship with Katniss.

However, a large group of Hunger Games fans did not like the idea of returning to read about Snow when there were other characters’ backstories that could have been explored. Other fans don’t like that the book might take on the trope of humanizing a male villain.

“everyone being so hypеd for the new hunger games book just to find out it’s about president snow…… i gtg,” wrote a Twitter user.

“you’re telling me I waited YEARS for a new hunger games book just for it to be a president snow origin story,” a fan tweeted.

One fan tweeted, “you mean …. to tell me …. I’ve waited years and preordered the hunger games sequel …. thinking it was abt mags … for it to be a president snow origin story … about a rich white boy becoming an authortarian who loves *checks notes* genocide?”

“Of all the characters in The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins decided to humanize President Snow. Like we need another story about some tortured white boy. I hate it here,” a Twitter user wrote.