The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Who Won the 10th Hunger Games? Answered

Another Hunger Games story is coming to the big screen with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds of Snakes. The film is set to premiere on November 17, 2023, and recently dropped its first official trailer. The teaser sees a young Corionalous Snow (Tom Blythe) serving as the mentor of a District 12 tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). Based on what we saw of Snow in The Hunger Games trilogy, it may be surprising to see him in this role. However, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, meaning things are very different, including the Game itself.

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In the film, the Capitol is only on the 10th Hunger Games, meaning it’s still struggling to recover from the war with the Districts and to perfect the Games. The Capitol’s people are also struggling, with some powerful families, like the Snows, fearing the loss of their prestige during these tough financial times. This is why Snow jumps at the assignment to mentor Baird in the Games, in hopes of it gaining him prominence and financial stability. However, mentoring a tribute wasn’t as simple back then as it is in The Hunger Games.

In The Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy was initially able to stumble drunkenly through his mentorship of Katniss and Peeta and didn’t plan to expend any effort on them. Back when the Games were just getting started, though, mentoring was pretty dangerous work, as mentors faced the threat of being harmed by the tributes or of their tributes dying of starvation or disease before the Games even began. Given the deplorable conditions and newness of the Games, winning the 10th Hunger Games was a pretty impressive feat.

Who won the 10th Hunger Games?

Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, bows at her Reaping in the trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Baird was the winner of the 10th Hunger Games and may have also been the first tribute from District 12 to win the Games. In addition to being from District 12, Baird was also similar to Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch in that she unconventionally won the Games. She first receives an edge due to Snow introducing the concept of betting and sponsors to the Games. With her charm, Baird arose as a fan favorite, allowing Snow to send her gifts on behalf of her sponsors. However, Snow also resorted to cheating to ensure Baird would win the games. This included him secretly giving her a vial of rat poison, as well as giving genetically modified snakes her scent to prevent them from attacking her in the arena.

In the book, Snow begins his habit of disposing of anyone privy to his corruption, which allows him and Baird to get away with cheating. Meanwhile, we know from The Hunger Games that winning the competition wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. However, back then, winning the Games came with even fewer positives. The Victory Tour, care packages for the winning District, and Victor’s Village weren’t implemented until the 11th Hunger Games. This means, Baird pretty much just went back to her old life in District 12 after surviving the traumatic Games.

By the time The Hunger Games comes around, Haymitch is the last surviving victor of District 12. Also, during the 75th Hunger Games, Mags Flanagan is the oldest victor to participate, as she won the 11th Games. However, no mention is made of Baird, who disappeared shortly after her victory after Snow’s paranoia caused him to turn on her. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, though, establishes her as one of the earliest known winners of the Games and the one with the most impact on the Games’ future, as Snow’s actions as Gamemaker later in life were likely influenced by his connection to her.

(featured image: Scholastic Books)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, 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.