Article by: Paris Chanel
July 17, 2021
Can we take a moment to give Suzanne Collins her flowers? She is one of the most brilliant writers in history. Yes, I said HISTORY! I’m basing this fact on four of her books; The Hunger Games (THG), Catching Fire, Mockingjay, and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (TBSS). The Hunger Games was first released in 2008, twelve years before Collins’ latest book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Now if you’ve read all four of the books I’ve mentioned, then you might know where I’m going with this. I have an unexplored theory.
Let’s start at the Reaping from THG, where Katniss volunteered as tribute to take the place of her younger sister, Primrose Everdeen (Prim). We’ll come back to Prim being chosen later, but when Katniss is taken upstairs to the Justice Building to say her goodbyes, her friend, Madge, comes up to tell her goodbye. Katniss is shocked to see Madge because she didn’t know she and Madge were really friends. She doesn’t dwell on it too much and allows the visit. Madge creepily insists for Katniss to take her gold Mockingjay Pin and makes her promise to wear it. This part is confusing to THG fans because Katniss sees the pin at The Hob in the movie, finds it intriguing, and buys it from Greasy Sae. I believe Madge giving the pin to Katniss was significant.
In Catching Fire (book 2), we learn a few things that seemed insignificant to us readers;
Madge’s mother and Katniss’ mother were friends when they were growing up.
Madge’s mother had a twin sister, Maysilee Donner, who was Katniss’s mother’s friend too.
Maysilee was a tribute in the second Quarter Quell (the 50th Hunger Games, the same year Haymitch won).
Based on physical appearances (blonde, pale, and healthier looking than the other side of town (The Seam), and small frames (from easier labor), Katniss’ mother, Madge’s mother and aunt, Madge, and Peeta are all from the merchant side of town.
Madge got the gold mockingjay pin from her mother’s belongings, but they belonged to her aunt (who, as stated earlier, died in the 50th Hunger Games).
Peeta’s father wanted to marry Katniss’ mother. (This is probably insignificant, but a fun fact.)
Now, how do all of these points connect to TBSS? In The Mockingjay (book 3) Katniss mentions, again, that she didn’t really ever want to get married, but she for sure didn’t want to have kids. Victor's kids “coincidently” seemed to have a higher chance of being “randomly” selected as tributes than other kids. This potential clue alludes to the fact that The Capitol can rig The Reaping if they want to.
TBSS takes place at the 10th Annual Hunger Games and Lucy Gray Baird is the female tribute selected from District 12. I’ve seen a lot of theories that believe Lucy is Katniss’ paternal grandmother or great-grandmother. I thought this too and here’s why;
Lucy’s physical appearance sounds a lot like Katniss’ (that “seam” look with dark hair, smokey eyes, and stronger frames from physical labor.)
Lucy can sing well and does it often.
Lucy hunts in the woods outside of 12, which was forbidden back then too.
Lucy takes President Snow (when he was just a young Corialanus) to the same pond Katniss learned to swim in with her Father, in the woods located outside of District 12.
Lucy enjoys the plant, katniss.
All of these points made me believe that Lucy was Katniss’ paternal great-grandmother or grandmother. The physical description of Lucy, Katniss, and Katniss’ dad’s and their shared skills of hunting, singing, and exploring the forest alone was enough for me to almost classify the theory as fact. This is a cool theory, but it doesn’t make sense. I mean...it makes sense, but it lacks purpose. Let’s go back to THG. Katniss described her mother as a nervous wreck and sometimes mentally absent. Why? We know from Catching Fire and The Mockingjay that President Snow has a history of using The Games as a way to get revenge and torture people. We know from TBSS that he also spent some time in 12 when he was still young, fell in love with Lucy, and was tricked by her. So Snow probably developed a hatred for Lucy and probably everything that reminded him of her, but why are we assuming Lucy was a relative of Katniss’ father? Why not her mother? Think about it...all of Snow’s revenge seems to be aimed towards Katniss’ mother.
He sent her best friend to The Games.
Killed her husband in an explosion
Sent one of her Kids to The Hunger Games
I believe Prim was intentionally chosen for The Reaping. I wouldn’t be surprised if only Katniss and Prim’s names were in the bowl of prospective tributes. Okay, that last part was a stretch, but I meant everything else. It simply makes no sense for Snow to torture Katniss, just to get back at Lucy (who vanished at the end of TBSS). Snow is the type of person who wants his enemies to feel his revenge and know it’s from him. Example: In the middle of the second rebellion (Catching Fire) where he’s supposed to be dropping missiles on District 13, he also drops dozens of white roses, to add a little razzle-dazzle to the damage he just did. Petty. I simply can’t support the theory that Snow is doing all of this to get revenge on a descendant of a dead man and possibly the descendant of an ex-lover that he can't find. That’s not his style. He would want his victims present and front row for his torture.
In chapter 9 of Catching Fire, Katniss explains how she learned the song, The Hanging Tree. She explains that while making necklaces out of ropes with her dad, her dad sang the song and she learned it. Her mother heard them singing it and went ballistic! Screaming to the point of making Katniss cry because her mother was a quiet timid woman. In TBSS, Snow is present at a scene eerily similar to what’s being described in the song. Snow was hurt by District 12 and Lucy. Banning songs connected to Lucy is the biggest indicator of that. (Quick sidebar: I believe that The Hanging Tree was code for thought staging a rebellion to now who was with them. In The Mockingjay, Peeta remembers Katniss' dad singing the song in their baker while "making a trade". They were possibly all part of a rebellion and this could be why Peeta was chosen the same year as Primrose.) I believe Lucy is Katniss’ maternal grandmother and Snow has been intentionally torturing the Everdeen family to either lure Lucy out, or torture her by torturing her family knowing there’s nothing she can do about it. Before you say, “Well Lucy looked like she was from The Seam and Katniss’ mother was a merchant kid”, think about Prim. Prim looks like a merchant kid too, but she’s from the seam. The one thing I am certain of is that there is another book on the way. Collins hasn’t announced it, but there is clearly more to the story. If Lucy is Katniss’ grandmother, maternal or paternal she must’ve returned to 12. I believe the next book will shed some new light on the Heavensbee family as well. Plutarch seemed to get a kick out of everything Katniss did but was particularly pleased when Katniss sang, The Hanging Tree in Catching Fire. What’s your theory?
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(All images in this article are copyrighted and owned by The Hunger Games franchise)