Ballad Of Songbirds & Snake’s Crucial Death Was A “Defining Moment” For Snow’s Transformation

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Warning: This post contains major SPOILERS for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes!


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Summary

  • Sejanus Plinth’s death in The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, was essential to Coriolanus Snow’s transformation into an evil character. It led to a feeling of loss that Snow couldn’t return from, setting him on the path to becoming the iconic villain.
  • Plinth’s death was a devastating moment, as he was initially portrayed as the foil to Snow’s later villainy. He rejected status and prestige to try to better the lives of the districts, displaying hints of humanity that made it difficult not to root for him.
  • Plinth’s death was the evilest act committed by Snow in the prequel. It marked a dark turn for Snow, who then used the kindness of Plinth’s family after being responsible for their son’s death. This tragic event was a significant catalyst in Snow’s eventual descent into evil.

One The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes death was vital to Coriolanus Snow’s (Tom Blyth) descent into evil, reveals producer Nina Jacobson. The Hunger Games prequel premiered is based on Suzanne Collins’ novel of the same name and follows a young Snow, delving into his early life and experiences and how they led him to become the Capitol’s notorious President. The movie also introduces viewers to some other young students of the Capitol Academy, including Sejanus Plinth (Josh Rivera), who has unusual empathy for a student of Capitol status, with Snow ultimately betraying him and landing him in prison and sentenced to death.

In an interview with People, Jacobson explained why one particular death in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was vital to Snow’s origin story. According to Jacobson, Snow’s betrayal of Plinth and his subsequent death leads to a feeling of loss that the infamous character can’t return from, subsequently putting him on the path to becoming the iconic villain. Check out her statement below:

Had Sejanus not died, had he not borne the weight of that death — no matter what happened between him and Lucy Gray — he might not have turned out the way that he did. He doesn’t own what he does in the way that [Lucy] does. There’s that moment afterward in the barracks where he falls apart, where he does own it for a moment, and you can see how unbearably painful it is to live with the knowledge of your sins and how much easier it is in a way to justify and rationalize them.


Was Sejanus Plinth’s Death Necessary?

Sejanus Plinth in front of the Hunger Games monitors upset in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Of all the deaths in The Hunger Games series, Plinth’s death in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is one of the most devastating. It’s hard because, from the onset, Plinth is the foil to Snow’s later villainy, as he rejects status and prestige to try to better the lives of the districts. As a former member of the districts, he could’ve run away with that elevation in wealth and status, but instead always remembered his roots and perspective of the Capitol.

Sejanus Plinth initially belonged to District 2 before his family’s weapon manufacturing earned him a place in the Capitol.

As Snow derails, Plinth shows readers and viewers a hint of humanity, and it’s hard not to root for him and hope that he’ll make it out alive, despite getting on the Capitol’s radar with his rebellion. Some may have hoped that his ending was more ambiguous, such as him simply disappearing. However, the nature of his death and Snow’s betrayal in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes are harrowing, raising questions about whether this tragic death was essential. Jacobson makes a strong argument for Plinth’s death, though, suggesting that Snow wouldn’t be the character audiences know without it.

Indeed, Plinth’s death is the single evilest act that Snow commits in the prequel, especially because he then proceeds to use the Plinth family’s kindness after being responsible for their son’s death. It’s such a dark turn from the Snow viewers met at the story’s beginning. Lucy Gray Baird’s (Rachel Zegler) impact on Snow is more ambiguous given her disappearance, but Snow could never forget the blood on his hands from Plinth. Though tragic, Plinth’s death in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was one of the most significant catalysts in Snow’s eventual descent into evil.

Source: People

  • Ballad of Songbirds and snakes temp poster

    The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

    Release Date:
    2023-11-17

    Director:
    Francis Lawrence

    Cast:
    Rachel Zegler, Josh Andrés Rivera, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth

    Rating:
    Not Yet Rated

    Main Genre:
    Action

    Genres:
    Action, Adventure, Drama

    Writers:
    Michael Arndt, Michael Lesslie

    Summary:
    Based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the original Hunger Games franchise set sixty-four years before the events of the first film/book. The story follows Coriolanus Snow before his rise to power as the cold and calculating President Snow. To escape his impoverished life and secure the tuition he needs to attend the University, Snow will partner with a tribute he is assigned to mentor and help her succeed to benefit the both of them.

    Story By:
    Suzanne Collins

    Characters By:
    Suzanne Collins

    Sequel:
    The Hunger Games

    Cinematographer:
    Jo Willems

    Producer:
    Nina Jacobson, Francis Lawrence, Brad Simpson

    Production Company:
    Color Force, Good Universe, Lionsgate

    Main Characters :
    Lucy Gray Baird, Tigris Snow, Lucretius ‘Lucky’ Flickerman, Sejanus Plinth, Casca Highbottom, Dr. Volumnia Gaul, Coriolanus Snow

    Sfx Supervisor:
    Claudius Rauch

    Distributor :
    Lionsgate

    Assistant Director :
    Christopher Surgent