Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Reveals First Clip Showcasing Viola Davis’ Character



  • The first clip from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes introduces the villainous Dr. Gaul and Dean Casca Highbottom.
  • Dr. Gaul, the Head Gamemaker, plays a crucial role in the evolution of the Hunger Games as a ruthless entertainment spectacle.
  • The clip gives viewers a glimpse into the world of young Coriolanus Snow and sets the stage for a thrilling Hunger Games story.



The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has released its first clip. Adapted from the novel by Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes tells the story of a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) during the tenth Hunger Games, and how the annual event becomes a ruthless entertainment spectacle. One of the key figures in the story of Snow and the Hunger Games’ evolution is the villainous Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis).

The clip released by The Hunger Games primarily focuses on Dr. Gaul introducing herself to Snow and his peers. Check out the clip below:

While Dr. Gaul is the Head Gamemaker, Dean Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage) is credited as the creator of the Hunger Games and is introduced in the clip as well. While Gaul seems to take pleasure in her work, Highbottom’s tone when discussing the Hunger Games hints at some reluctance on his part.

Why Dr. Gaul Is Important To The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes

Viola Davis as Dr. Volumnia Gaul in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

At the beginning of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the Hunger Games are a far cry from the massive entertainment exhibition shown in the original books and movies that are watched by all of Panem. Even the Capitol’s citizens are not invested in the Games. As Head Gamemaker, Dr. Gaul is at the center of transforming the Games into the spectacle that the Districts will watch in fear as punishment for their rebellion, and that the Capitol’s citizens will gleefully watch.

Dr. Gaul’s influence not only affects the future of the Games, but also greatly impacts Snow and his transformation into becoming the merciless tyrant known as President Snow. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes features several pivotal moments where Snow is at a moral crossroad. While Lucy Gray is more of a positive influence on Snow and pushes him in a better direction, Dr. Gaul definitely brings out the worst in Snow, and pushes him onto the path of the villain that he will become.

Given the importance of Dr. Gaul, it is only fitting that she is played by an actor as talented and accomplished as Davis, with the clip already showing the presence she brings to the role. Davis requested a change from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book, which was to give the character different colored eyes, possibly from an experiment gone awry. From the character’s appearance to Davis’ performance, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes‘ first clip perfectly captures Dr. Gaul’s essence.

Source: The Hunger Games/Twitter

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  • The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Poster

    The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes