• T.C. Hansing

What Happens When....? - The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This will (hopefully) be an interesting and fun topic that I'll be posting every Monday, where I take one small scene or event in a book and change it to see how it'd influence the rest of the story. There will probably be some spoilers in this section, so if you haven't read the topic book and plan to, I'd suggest coming back after you've finished it.

The first book book I'm focusing on is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I wanted to pick a more serious aspect of the story to change this time around - one that seemed to have been set up from the beginning and then failed to deliver in the prequel.

If you've read the Hunger Games trilogy, you'd probably remember that Coriolanus Snow was a victim of his own poisoning attempt, as he sought to eliminate anyone who opposed his authority. The secret-keeper, Finnick, revealed this in the third book, Mockingjay. But what if that was not how it played out?

What if, instead of being his own victim... he was the victim of the district twelve girl whom he'd grown so attached to. It all begins in the scene where Snow gives Lucy Grey a precious family heirloom - a compact - and hints for her to fill it with rat poison to kill off the other tributes. What if, somehow, she kept it all that time and used it to poison his drinking water at the end? They were running away from the capital and sipping from a water bottle - it would've been a perfect opportunity for Lucy to get revenge against a capital lapdog (which he proved to be once the evidence against him was 'destroyed' and he left Lucy behind).

It would also explain Snow's malice toward Katniss in the trilogy. He'd loved a district twelve girl who poisoned him and left him for dead. Now another district twelve girl, who reminded him of her, was winning over the crowd in a similar manner while openly rebelling against him. Finnick's rumor could've been explained away by the pride of Coriolanus. If anyone ever found out that a Snow was poisoned and left for dead by a district girl, it would bring shame to his family and his name.....

It seemed to me the whole book was teasing for this to happen, but it never did.... Regardless, I enjoyed my time with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes! It was a great book and an excellent prequel to The Hunger Games.

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