Unlike the Hunger Games movies, the prequel TV show has quite a challenge ahead of it when it comes to the ending, and there’s seemingly no viable solution for it.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The Hunger Games trilogy was immensely successful in the book form, and even more so when they received the now-iconic live-action adaptation that launched Jennifer Lawrence into international stardom. The trilogy carefully and thoroughly explored the story of its protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, and those close to her.
Years after the final movie came out, we’re waiting for the release of the prequel series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. This TV show will revolve around another tribute, Lucy Gray Baird from District 12 and her mentor Coriolanus Snow — the young man who would later become Katniss Everdeen’s enemy, President Snow.
From everything we know at this point, The Ballad looks really promising, and we’re more than ready to explore the events that long preceded the Mockingbird’s rebellion. However, despite the incredible cast and setting, we can’t help but notice that The Ballad will inevitably run into a huge problem: namely, it’s the ending.
The thing is that much like The Hunger Games movies, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be based on a book. Having source material is always useful, but in this case, it’s also an issue since the book doesn’t have a concrete ending. The readers are not supposed to learn the fate of Lucy Gray…and this won’t work for the series.
If the TV show intends to follow the book closely, the finale must be ambiguous. It kind of implies that Snow killed his lover and tribute, but at the same time, it’s never confirmed, and we can’t be sure Lucy Gray didn’t successfully escape Panem. However, such a finale risks alienating many viewers due to the lack of a resolution.
It seems like The Ballad will have to either take this risk and potentially have its rating ruined or change the canon book ending by clearly revealing the fate of Lucy Gray. We kind of expect the TV show to kill the tribute off to highlight the ambitious and cruel nature of future President Snow…but this would, in turn, alienate the book fans.
That’s quite a dilemma.