Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

It’s a Mystery, Sweetheart—Just Like Her

Just like in her namesake song, the fate of Lucy Gray Baird in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is just as mysterious in the film as it was in the book. However, that hasn’t stopped fans from thinking up various theories about her future—with varying levels of persuasiveness.

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Warning: spoilers ahead for both The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book and film.

At the end of the movie and book, the last we see of Lucy Gray is her heading out of the cabin into the rain to find katniss (a fun hint at Snow’s eventual downfall). When Snow eventually snaps and shoots into the woods, convinced his ‘love’ has betrayed him, we hear her cry, only for her route to be covered by the song of the mockingjays.

Neither we nor Snow nor seemingly anyone in District 12 know what happened to Lucy Gray. However, there are some theories that we can speculate about.

Lucy Gray returned to District 12

Greasy Sea in The Hunger Games

With Lucy Gray apparently able to flee at least far enough away from Snow that he couldn’t find her, it’s possible that she found her way back to District 12 and the Covey. 12 is far enough away from the Capitol that no one close to Snow (who himself quickly left the District for good) would likely notice that she had returned. No one knew she had intended to leave, so a brief disappearance could be easily explained.

Some have even speculated that Lucy Gray could be a relative to Katniss, as The Hanging Tree song that she later sings was learned from her father. Katniss’ father also had olive skin and dark hair, much like Lucy Gray herself.

Another popular theory is that Lucy Gray became Greasy Sea, a Hob merchant who gave Katniss her Mockingjay pin. With Lucy Gray’s love for the birds, it’s possible she would see it as a symbol of hope to give to a fellow Tribute.

The flaw in this theory is that Lucy Gray was fleeing District 12 in fear for her life. Having just been shot at, would she really return so easily, with the mayor still calling for her death? This leads us to…

Lucy Gray found her way to District 13

Lucy Gray heading into the woods

…the idea that Lucy Gray stayed in the wilderness and ultimately found her way to District 13. Her own motivations at this point line up with District 13’s hatred of Snow and desire for revenge and retribution, making it a good spot for her to lie low and bide her time.

Lucy Gray became President Coin

President Coin in The Hunger Games

Going deeper on this, some fans speculate that Lucy Gray would go on to become President Coin. There aren’t many similarities between the two characters, with Lucy Gray being warm and positive, seemingly horrified by death, while Coin is cold, calculating, and ruthless.

However, Lucy Gray’s experiences in both the arena and afterwards with Snow could well have hardened her. By the time President Coin overthrew the Capitol and briefly rose to power, she would be well into her 80s, a long time for someone to change.

In both the books and movies, however, President Coin is not portrayed as being the right age for her to be an older Lucy Gray. What’s more, we never get any clue at a personal history between Coin and Snow, something we’d expect if this is something that Suzanne Collins had in the back of her mind. Plus, I’d personally prefer to not believe this theory as Lucy Gray being killed by the Mockingjay after becoming power-hungry is not that ending I would prefer to see for her.

Lucy Gray simply died

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow in 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes'

Nor, however, is this theory. After being shot in an unknown spot, it’s possible that Lucy Gray got away from Snow only long enough to hide and later succumbed to her injuries. We don’t know what she knew about healing remedies to be found in the forest, so perhaps she simply walked into the woods and died, much like it’s suggested in the song about the little girl who gave Lucy Gray her name.

Ultimately, we’ll never know. It’s up to us to choose the theory we like best—or simply accept Lucy Gray for the mystery that she is.

(featured image: Lionsgate)

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