Should You Watch ‘The Hunger Games’ Movies Before ‘The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?’

The Hunger Games time is nigh, and soon, we’ll all be gathering in the cinema room with our mockingbird pins, ready to revive our teenagehood in Panem – figuratively speaking, of course.

This time, the film The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will surround the tenth Hunger Games, marking the first instance our trilogy’s antagonist enters into contact with the deadly games. We never expected to see Coriolanus Snow’s backstory, and although it’s not the story we asked for, it is the story we didn’t know we needed.

Nearly every The Hunger Games fan knows the story is based on the prequel book “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which, funnily enough, came out after the original trilogy. Knowing this, do we really need to watch the original films to fully appreciate the new prequel?

Do I need to watch The Hunger Games to watch The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?

Image via Lionsgate.

No, you don’t need to watch The Hunger Games to watch The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Technically, there is no correct way to watch the new film, but while you don’t necessarily need to have watched the original trilogy, it is highly recommended that you do, for a number of reasons.

The first film of The Hunger Games franchise was released in 2012, and it offers incredible insight into the lore and the post-apocalyptic world, especially regarding Katniss Everdeen and District 12, thus creating the perfect knowledge base to enjoy the new film. We also meet Snow, and the ruthless person he becomes – which we don’t see to its full extent in the prequel.

On the other hand, if we consider the franchise from a chronological perspective, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a prequel depicting a story that occurred 64 years before the events of the first film. This means that, technically, it can be watched and read as a standalone film and book, without the need to read the trilogy beforehand.

If you happen to watch the prequel first, you should definitely watch the trilogy afterward. The stories are directly intertwined, with perfectly nuanced conduit elements, including songs, events, and of course, the similarities between Lucy Gray Baird and Katniss Everdeen – our protagonists in both stories.

So generally, while you don’t need to watch the trilogy, here at WeGotThisCovered, we recommend that you do. However, if you’re on a time crunch, you can also skip it altogether and head straight to your nearest theater on November 17.

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