What Happened To Lucy Gray (Did She Survive?)

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes!


  • Lucy Gray Baird’s fate in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is intentionally left ambiguous, allowing viewers to interpret what happened to her.
  • The decision to leave Lucy’s fate open-ended aligns with the book and adds a sense of mystery to the story, leaving doubt in Snow’s mind about what transpired.
  • Whether Lucy Gray died or survived has a significant impact on the future of the Hunger Games franchise, as her survival would mean that someone with the power to bring down Snow was out in the world.

Lucy Gray Baird’s fate in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is one of the biggest questions from the movie and the novel. District 12’s female tribute played by Rachel Zegler in the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ prequel novel plays a central role in the development of a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth). The talented singer and technical winner of the 10th Hunger Games is allowed to enjoy her life free with the Coveys once again after surviving the Capitol’s games. However, the seemingly happy and full life she should have the ability to have is put in question through the final acts of Snow.

The prequel story tells the story of the girl alluded to in the original Hunger Games trilogy as District 12’s very first victor, although she was not named at the time. The reason for this was due to Lucy Gray and the 10th Hunger Games being stricken from history after their conclusion. By the time that The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes‘ ending comes to a close, the question of what happened to Lucy Gray Baird is one the audience and characters in the world have. The movie sticks rather close to the source material in this regard, but that does not make the answer any more obvious.

RELATED: Does The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes Have A Post-Credits Scene?

Does Lucy Gray Die In The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes Movie?

Lucy Gray looking to the side, scared in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

The fate of Lucy Gray in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is intentionally left vague, leaving it up to viewers to interpret what they believe happened. This comes as a result of Lucy attempting to leave Snow during a rainstorm after they plot to flee the Districts, but she learns that he was responsible for killing Sejanus Plinth during the travels. Upon Snow finding the guns that could convict him of his previous crimes, he determines that he could destroy them and return to the glamorous life in the Capitol eventually without these loose ends, only for Lucy to tease that she could be one.

This leads to an encounter in the forest where Coriolanus Snow shoots at Lucy Gray after he is bitten by a snake. The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is specific about showing Lucy falling down and yelling after Snow shoots in her direction, but her body is not found when Snow gets to her presumed location. Even her tracks in the mud eventually disappear, leaving Snow just as confused about what happened to her. Snow then hears Lucy Gray singing “The Hanging Tree” song, but it is intentionally left ambiguous if she was actively singing the song at first or if this was the product of nearby Jabberjays.

The question of whether Lucy Gray dies is not definitively answered in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Casca Highbottom does tell Snow during their final encounter that his sources have told him that Lucy has “disappeared,” prompting speculation that District 12’s mayor killed her after his daughter’s death. The ambiguous ending for Lucy Gray lines up with the lyrics of her song about herself and how she answers Snow’s questions about if she lives. Lucy notes that she’s a “survivor,” but also teases that “It’s a mystery” about whether she lives in the song. The Hunger Games prequel follows suit.

What Happened To Lucy Gray Baird In The Songbirds & Snakes Novel

Lucy Gray Baird looking up at the sky and smiling

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book covers a chapter in President Snow’s teenage life. Much like the movie, he’s made part of the Hunger Games’ first batch of mentors responsible for training the tributes who are made up of students of the Academy rather than previous winners. During his time as a mentor, he developed a relationship with the District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray is a very different protagonist from Katniss. In the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Lucy story she returns to District 12 where she eventually meets Coriolanus Snow again. It is at this point that Lucy’s story takes a turn for the worse.

Discontent spreads across the District’s rebels after a public hanging which results in a ripple effect leading to the death of the mayor’s daughter, Mayfair, and Lucy’s ex-boyfriend, Billy Taupe at Snow’s hands. Lucy Gray Baird is considered the prime suspect and is joined by Coriolanus Snow as she flees northward. Her fate, however, is left as a mystery at a cabin near District 12’s lake. Told from Snow’s perspective, he discovers the gun he used for the murder at the cabin. As Lucy leaves for a brief moment to gather katniss, Snow grows paranoid and believes that she will betray him.

In the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Lucy story, he starts to hunt her across the lake and the novel amps up his neurosis after he’s bitten by a snake under a scarf that Lucy seems to have left behind. Snow hears “The Hanging Tree” song sung by Lucy and echoed by a swarm of mockingjays, and it’s during this scene that his neurosis crescendos as he fires his gun in the forest. What happened to Lucy Gray in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book is left ambiguous intentionally as, from that point, Snow returns to the military base rather than confirming her fate.

Why Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes Leaves Lucy Gray’s Fate Ambiguous

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird looking confident

The decision to leave Lucy’s fate in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is left ambiguous as a way to match the book. Instead of the movie seizing the opportunity to explain what happened to her and potentially set up The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes 2‘s story, keeping true to the source material was prioritized. The movie very easily could have provided a definitive answer based on knowledge from Suzanne Collins about if Lucy factors into any more upcoming books. However, doing so would have robbed The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes of an ending that leaves doubt in Snow’s mind about what transpired.

It is very possible that Lucy Gray Baird could have survived in the forest for the rest of her life since she was adept at the Hunger Games. As a member of District 12, she’s a survivalist in her own right and probably was smart enough to flee when she heard Snow shooting wildly in the forest. Another distinct possibility is that she might even have escaped to District 13, which still would have been around. There is also the option that Snow’s bullets did hit Lucy, leading to her death in the woods – which would tragically mean she and Snow’s father died in a similar fashion.

How Lucy Gray’s Death Or Survival Impacts Hunger Games’ Future

Lucy Gray and Coriolanus Snow looking out in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Lucy Gray’s death or potential survival in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes has a dramatic impact on the future of the Hunger Games franchise either way. If she did survive, it means that someone with the knowledge and power to bring down Snow was out in the world and in hiding for decades as he continued to make the Games bigger and deadlier. This does leave the door open for some exciting theories about Lucy Gray’s bloodline and possible relations to other characters from the main Hunger Games movies. However, it would also raise questions about why she did not resurface in any notable capacity.

For better or worse, Lucy Gray dying in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is the cleaner explanation for what happened to her as far as the wider franchise is considered. It eliminates a character that identifies themselves as a “loose end” in Snow’s story. This would also add more tragedy to Snow’s backstory if he ever was to learn that he was responsible for killing the woman he loved. In that case, it makes his hatred for District 12 and eventual disdain for Katniss Everdeen make even more sense.

The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Lucy Story Is Crucial For Katniss

Hunger Games Fans React To Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Rachel Zegler Lucy Gray Baird Katniss Parallel

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book has also prompted speculation that she might have a connection to the main trilogy — and the Lucy Gray Baird Hunger Games connections aren’t imagined. From her final scene being linked to Katniss and the mockingjays to her connection to some of the locations that are very crucial to the protagonist from the trilogy, it’s possible that Lucy may have escaped to eventually become Katniss Everdeen’s grandmother. This theory aside, there are plenty of other ways that Lucy is important to Katniss’ story.

First and foremost, Lucy Gray Baird was the first Hunger Games winner from District 12, Katniss’ lowly district. Being from District 12 automatically ranks their players lower in the sport, as they’re generally poverty-stricken and ill-prepared for the games unlike many of the competitors from the lower districts, who actually train for the games. Lucy is a symbol of hope for the impoverished district just as Katniss is. Lucy is also a composer of the song “The Hanging Tree,” which was taught to Katniss by her father and had immense importance in Mockingjay.

In a way, Lucy Gray Baird was really a precursor to Katniss as a protagonist, and her character contextualizes some of Snow’s actions in The Hunger Games. Snow’s initial inexplicable interest in Katniss can be explained by his prior relationship with Lucy. In addition, his dismissal of her as a true threat is also informed by his relationship with Lucy. Mockingjays were also very important to Lucy, and she used them against Coriolanus Snow. In turn, the Mockingjay became Katniss’ symbol as a rebel against the Capitol, as she sought to overthrow them.

What Suzanne Collins Has Said About Lucy Gray Baird And Her Place In The Hunger Games Universe

An image of Coriolanus and Lucy Gray Baird looking at each other in Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Author of The Hunger Games series and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Suzanne Collins had an interview with Scholastic after her prequel novel came out, and Lucy Gray Baird was a hot topic of discussion. Collins states that while her character was mentioned in the very first chapter of The Hunger Games, Lucy has evolved significantly over time and has had a major impact on the series overall. Collins says that while Lucy isn’t mentioned by name in Hunger Games, she is responsible for bringing entertainment to the Hunger Games, and her legacy lives on through her songs like “The Hanging Tree” and “Deep in the Meadow.”

“While her story isn’t well-known, Lucy Gray lives on in a significant way through her music, helping to bring down Snow in the trilogy. Imagine his reaction when Katniss starts singing “Deep in the Meadow” to Rue in the arena,” Collins said. When it came to the process of creating the Lucy Gray Baird character and her story with Coriolanus Snow, Collins basically worked backward to explain his past. Even though this offers little clarity about if Lucy Gray died in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, her impact on the franchise is still clear.

Source: Scholastic

  • The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Poster

    The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

    Release Date:

    Francis Lawrence

    Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, Josh Andrés, Josh Andrés Rivera, Viola Davis


    157 Minutes

    Action, Adventure, Drama

    Michael Lesslie, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Collins

    Color Force, Lionsgate


    The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

    The Hunger Games

#Happened #Lucy #Gray #Survive

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