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‘The Hunger Games’ Has a New Tribute: Here’s the Lowdown on Lucy Gray Baird

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The official trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes dropped on April 27, 2023, giving us the first extended look at The Hunger Games spinoff and its new cast of characters. The film serves as the fifth installment in The Hunger Games franchise, which is based on the book series of the same name by Suzanne Collins. From 2008 to 2015, The Hunger Games was a hot topic, with the film series becoming one of the highest-grossing of all time and the books becoming instant bestsellers. To say that fans were excited when Collins chose to continue the story with a prequel in 2020 would be a massive understatement.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games trilogy, and follows 18-year-old future Panem president Coriolanus Snow, who becomes involved in the Games for the first time as a mentor to District 12’s tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. It’s an interesting dive into the Capitol’s history, as well as what made Snow into the cold and calculating dictator he is in The Hunger Games.

However, the 64-year gap between The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and The Hunger Games trilogy means that there aren’t many familiar characters in the story. Aside from Snow and Tigris, the majority of characters from The Hunger Games haven’t even been born yet in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. This is why the prequel introduces several new characters, including supporting protagonist Lucy. Though Lucy is never mentioned by name in The Hunger Games trilogy, and there is no confirmation of whether she lived to see its events, she’s one of the lead characters in the prequel and will be portrayed by Golden Globe-winning actress Rachel Zegler.

Here’s everything you need to know about Lucy in The Hunger Games series.

The following contains spoilers for the book The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Who is Lucy Gray Baird?

Tom Blythe as Coriolanus Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Baird Gray in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Lucy is the female tribute of District 12, chosen to compete in the 10th Hunger Games. Unfortunately, her selection for the games wasn’t random, nor was it voluntary. The mayor of District 12 rigged the drawing to ensure she would be selected for the Games due to a feud she had with the mayor’s daughter. Before her life was impacted by the Games and the Capitol’s brutality, Lucy traveled around Panem with her family and their musical group, the Covey. It’s unclear if she ever even belonged to any one District, as her family spent their life on the road performing before being forced to settle in District 12 after the war.

For the 10th Hunger Games, Snow was assigned as a mentor to Lucy. During these early years of the Games, the tributes were treated much more unceremoniously than tributes like Katniss and Peeta were decades later, often being starved and kept in unsanitary cages. However, with her musical talents, kindness, and charm, Lucy managed to arise as a fan favorite and formed a close connection with Snow. She even once gave up a chance to escape in favor of saving Snow’s life. With the combined efforts of sponsors and Snow’s cheating behind the scenes, Lucy became the victor of the 10th Hunger Games.

The romantic connection between her and Snow grew stronger, and the pair seemed destined to run away together and live a happy life free of the Capitol. However, Snow had dug himself too deep into the Capitol, the Games, and corruption. At the end of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, he turned on Lucy despite initially accompanying her in her escape from Panem. It’s unclear if she was killed by Snow or if she survived and successfully escaped Panem, but after Snow’s attack, the charming, singing girl from District 12, who once won a Capitol boy’s heart, was never seen or heard from again.

While she was instrumental in setting Snow on the path he ultimately takes in The Hunger Games, much of Lucy’s story before and after the 10th Hunger Games remains a mystery. We’re eager to see if the film will uphold her elusiveness or provide more insight into her story, especially regarding the nagging question of what happened to her.

(featured image: Lionsgate)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.