5 Hunger Games Questions The Prequel Needs To Answer

Donald Sutherland as President Snow in The Hunger Games
(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

The Hunger Games is coming back. About a decade after Suzanne Collins published the final book to her young adult sci-fi trilogy and global phenomenon, the bestselling author is gearing up to release her prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which hits bookshelves this spring. The upcoming novel will take place 64 years before the events of the original Hunger Games and follow an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow before he became the tyrannical president of Panem.

Now, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has not officially been given a movie deal yet. Lionsgate may want to wait and see how Suzanne Collins’ continuation shakes out among fans first, but the studio chairman, Joe Drake, had this to say about the impending release of the Hunger Games prequel:

As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.

It’s only a matter of time, right? If The Hunger Games continued on the big screen with Suzanne Collins' new novel, it would follow the trajectory of franchises such as Star Wars and X-Men. George Lucas’ famed series went back in time to tell the story of Darth Vader, and the Marvel reboot showed Professor X and Magneto's time as friends before becoming enemies. When the original Hunger Games series ended with 2015’s Mockingjay - Part 2, fans were left with plenty of questions about the world dystopian world being introduced.

Here are some of the big questions on our minds after The Hunger Games trilogy that the prequel needs to answer:

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss volunteers as tribute in The Hunger Games

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

What Are The Origins Of The Country Of Panem?

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of The Hunger Games was how it allowed audiences to peer into an alternate society that is set up differently than our own. The trilogy took place in the country of Panem, which was apparently established after a variety of ecological disasters and global conflict tore apart the world we live in now. Instead of the United States being a democracy comprised of 50 states, Panem is a totalitarian dictatorship.

The elite people live in the vast and beautiful Capitol and then there are 12 Districts, each of which are composed of working-class people have a specialty good that they produce. Since The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (opens in new tab) centers on the future president of the country, we’d like to know more about its history through his eyes. Perhaps he learns about it in school? How can a government such as Panem even come to be?

President Snow speaking at the 74th Hunger Games

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

What Was The First Rebellion Really Like?

Another legendary aspect within the DNA of The Hunger Games is the storied rebellion that took place just prior to the beginning of the harsh yearly tradition. In the beginning of the first movie, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and the rest of District 12 witness a routine video where the Capitol paints the First Rebellion as an event brought on by the rebels, and those in the Capitol, who are presented as heroes, ended the bloodshed. It was the civil war that led to the Hunger Games, and fans still don’t know enough about it.

We’d imagine the First Rebellion was a revolt by the people after years of oppressive rule by the Capitol, but how did it begin? How exactly did they treat the other districts and why was the Hunger Games the decree that needed to be enacted for there to be peace among them? President Snow was a child when the First Rebellion occurred, so he could give us insight on the full story.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta in The Hunger Games

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

How Has The Hunger Games Evolved Over The Years?

According to the timeline of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it would follow the Hunger Games in its 10th year – as opposed to its 74th when Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta Mellark compete. It would certainly be intriguing to see how the competition has changed from its beginnings. When we see the games in the first movie, it’s a high-profile event full of televised fashion displays, interviews and drama, much like a reality TV show.

The Hunger Games is somewhat of a commentary on modern entertainment, and through the years, the Capitol must have felt the need to keep stepping it up to continue to create audience interest for the games. Katniss’ competition was full of extravagance, but was it always like that? It may have had smaller beginnings or different quirks to it before.

outskirts of Panem in Hunger Games: Catching Fire

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

What’s The Deal With District 13?

In The Hunger Games, there’s also some mystery surrounding District 13. Most of the citizens of Panem believe the district was lost after the rebellion at the Capitol’s hands. It’s supposedly inhabitable due to chemical bombs set off in the land. A television broadcast actually shows this occurring in the series, but we learned that it was actually fake. The Capitol struck a deal with the outlying district to drift apart from Panem for their discretion.

It would definitely be interesting to learn more about District 13 at the time of Snow’s early years. What is the political relationship between Panem and District 13? We know that because 13’s specialty was explosives, those within could certainly begin a nuclear war with Panem if they wanted to. More of an exchange between the leaders of Panem and District 13 in the prequel could offer up a better picture.

fence on the outside of District 12 in The Hunger Games

(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

Is There A World Left Outside Panem?

Perhaps the most interesting question in the world of The Hunger Games is about the world outside of it. Is the country of Panem all that there is left of civilization on Earth or is there a completely different and better life beyond it for the oppressed citizens of Panem to venture off to? What if there were secret means of travel the Capitol elite go on in their spare time? Chances are slim, but it’s certainly an enticing part of Suzanne Collins’ world that has yet to be explored. It does seem like the kind of thing a sequel would better answer, but Snow and his colleagues could very well know the answer to this question.

Are you excited for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and a potential Hunger Games prequel movie to answer some of these questions? Sound off in the comments and vote in our poll below!

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.