About the Book

Book Protagonist: Coriolanus Snow
Publication Date: 2020
Genre: Action and Adventure, Dystopian, Teen and Young Adult

Character List

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

By Suzanne Collins

'The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes' is a prequel and spin-off to the 'Hunger Games' Trilogy, and contains some of the same characters.

The novel follows the story of Coriolanus Snow in his attempt to bring his family back to glory and rise in rank at the Capitol. The novel introduces several interesting characters to explain Coriolanus’ origin story as well as the origin story of the Hunger Games.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Character List

Coriolanus Snow

Coriolanus Snow is the protagonist of the novel. While he comes from a wealthy and reputed family, his family has fallen on hard times after the war. Thus, Coriolanus now works hard to keep up appearances. He is shrewd and calculative – doing whatever is needed to bring himself to a better position. He falls in love with Lucy Gray and decides to run away with her. However, because of his experiences during the Games and as a Peacekeeper, Coriolanus decides that he does not want love; he wants power and control instead. 

Tigris Snow

Tigris Snow is Coriolanus’ cousin. She takes care of Coriolanus during the war. Presently, she works for a fashion designer who pays her enough to keep the family fed. She is kind and caring, especially towards Coriolanus. 

The Grandma’am

The Grandma’am is Coriolanus’ grandmother. She is called “The Grandma’am” by Coriolanus and Tigris, who deem her to be too imperial for any other name. She is stuck in her traditional ways and is extremely patriotic towards the nation. 

Sejanus Plinth

Sejanus Plinth is Coriolanus’ classmate and a mentor in the 10th Hunger Games. He is originally from District 2 but is currently living in the Capitol because of his father’s munitions empire. Sejanus does not agree with the Capitol’s political ideologies and actively rebels against them. He is seen as Coriolanus’ best friend, although Coriolanus betrays him in the end.

Lucy Gray Baird

Lucy Gray Baird is a charming 16-year-old girl chosen as the female tribute from District 12. With her colorful clothes, haunting voice, and rich personality, she wins over the hearts of everyone in the nation. She falls in love with Coriolanus but finds out that she cannot trust him in the end.

Dr. Volumnia Gaul

Dr. Volumnia Gaul is the Head Gamemaker and possesses the most power in the Capitol. She has twisted notions about human nature and believes that it is her duty to punish the districts for the rebellion. She takes Coriolanus under her wing and shapes his ideologies.

Dean Casca Highbottom

Dean Casca Highbottom is the Dean at the Academy where Coriolanus studies. One drunken night, he came up with the idea of the Hunger Games in theory, which was later put into practice. He is thus credited with the idea of the Hunger Games. However, horrified at the turn of events, Highbottom turned to morphling to numb himself. He hates Coriolanus and is killed by him at the end of the novel. 

Crassus Snow

Crassus Snow is Coriolanus’ father. He was killed in the war. Coriolanus did not have a close relationship with him. Crassus Snow was the one who submitted Dean Highbottom’s idea of the Hunger Games to Dr. Gaul and put it into practice.

Coriolanus’ Mother

Coriolanus’ mother died in childbirth. Coriolanus has sweet memories of her and is reminded by her whenever he smells her powder compact.

Strabo Plinth and Ma Plinth

Strabo Plinth and Ma Plinth are Sejanus’ parents. Ma Plinth occasionally sends Coriolanus kind words and delicious food. Strabo Plinth is the head of a munitions empire and names Coriolanus his heir after the death of his son. 

Pluribus Bell

Pluribus Bell is an old friend of the Snow family. He used to run a nightclub before the war, but he now makes a living by selling items on the black market. He helps the Snow family during times of trouble. 

Jessup Diggs

Jessup Diggs is Lucy Gray’s fellow tribute from District 12. He teams up with Lucy Gray and protects her in the arena. However, he contracts rabies and dies.


Marcus is the male tribute from District 2 who escapes during the bombing. He is caught, tortured, and hanged from his wrists at the start of the Games.


Bobbin is the male tribute from District 8. He tries to kill Coriolanus when Coriolanus enters the arena to rescue Sejanus. Coriolanus bludgeons him to death.

Arachne Crane

Arachne Crane is Coriolanus’ classmate and mentor to Brandy. She taunts Brandy with food at the zoo. Brandy slits her throat and a grand funeral is held to honor her.

Clemensia Dovecote 

Clemensia Dovecote is Coriolanus’ classmate, fellow mentor, and friend. She lies that she has completed the assignment that Dr. Gaul sets her, and she is punished with snake bites. The bites leave her with scales along her body, snakelike tics, and yellowish eyes. She resents Coriolanus for not visiting her in the hospital. 

Lysistrata Vickers 

Lysistrata Vickers is Coriolanus’ classmate and Jessup’s mentor. She helps to mercifully kill Jessup after he contracts rabies by sending him water. 

Lucky Flickerman 

Lucky Flickerman is the first TV interviewer to act as the host of the Hunger Games. He is vain and superficial and tries hard to bring humor into his commentary.

Lepidus Malmsey 

Lepidus Malmsey is the cameraman who films the mentors and their reactions during the 10th Hunger Games.


Reaper is the male tribute from District 11. He sets himself apart by apologizing to the tributes for killing them in the arena and then promising to avenge their deaths. Reaper remains alive till the end of the Games when he is poisoned by Lucy Gray, who claims that she killed him mercifully for having contracted rabies. 


Lamina is a female tribute from District 7. She mercifully kills Marcus at the beginning of the Games. For a long time, she is the only one in the Games who is visible to the cameras.

Dr. Wane

Dr. Wane is the general physician who looks after the injuries of the mentors during the tenth Hunger Games. 

Mayor Lipp and Mayfair Lipp

Mayor Lipp is the Mayor of District 12. Mayfair Lipp is his daughter. As Billy Taupe’s new girlfriend, she sends Billy’s ex-girlfriend Lucy Gray to the arena. She is killed by Coriolanus in an altercation. 

The Covey

The Covey is a traveling troupe that consists of Lucy Gray Baird and her cousins. This includes the young girl, Maude Ivory, Lucy’s ex-lover Billy Taupe, Clerk Carmine, Barb Azure, and Tam Amber.

Arlo Chance and Lil

Arlo Chance is a man who sets off an explosion in the mines, killing three people in the process. He is hanged for his actions. Lil is his co-conspirator and possibly his lover. She is arrested and sentenced to death.

Dr. Kay

Dr. Kay is the mastermind behind the failed experiment of the Jabberjays. She is called to District 12 to clean up the mess left behind from her experiment. 

Bug, Smiley, and Beanpole

Bug, Smiley, and Beanpole are Coriolanus’ bunkmates and fellow Peacekeepers in District 12. They enjoy going to the Hob on Saturdays and getting drunk while watching the shows put on by the Covey.


Spruce is a rebel from District 12 and Lil’s brother. He conspires to escape with Billy Taupe and Sejanus after rescuing his sister from the Peacekeepers’ base. However, things do not go according to plan, and he kills Billy Taupe in an altercation. Spruce dies later from mysterious injuries.

Commander Hoff

Commander Hoff is the head of the Peacekeepers unit in District 12. He informs Coriolanus that he has been promoted to the level of an officer. 


Brandy, Wovey, Coral, Tanner, Circ, Treech, Dill, Mizzen, Sol, and Teslee are the other tributes selected for the 10th Hunger Games. 


Pup Harrington, Vipsania Sickle, Hilarius Heavensbee, Io Jasper, Domitia Whimsiwick, Urban Canville, Felix Ravenstill, Juno Phipps, Pollo and Didi Ring, Persephone Price, Livia Cardew, Gaius Breen, and Iphegenia Moss are Coriolanus’ classmates and mentors during the 10th Hunger Games.

The Professors at the Academy

Professor Agrippa Sickle is the professor of physical education at the Academy while Professor Crispus Demigloss teaches history. Professor Satyria Click Coriolanus’ mentor and gives him guidance and advice.

President Ravenstill

President Ravenstill is the President of Panem. He mainly appears at the Academy for the funerals of students who died before the Games.


Cookie is the cook at the Peacekeepers unit in District 12. She is benevolent and allows Coriolanus to take as much ice as he wants to cool himself.


What is the main conflict In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has one main conflict for the majority of the novel. That is, whether Lucy Gray emerges victorious in the tenth Hunger Games or not.

Who is the villain in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes?

The main antagonist in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is the nation of Panem. It is the trials and regulations that the nation puts Coriolanus through that shape him into who he is.

Did Lucy Gray write “The Hanging Tree”?

Yes, Lucy Gray wrote the famous song that Katniss sings – “The Hanging Tree.” The song was based on Arlo Chance, a man who was responsible for an explosion in the mines in District 12 that killed three people.

Is Alma Coin Lucy Gray?

We do not know for sure whether Alma Coin is related to Lucy Gray or not. However, some fans speculate that Lucy Gray grew up to become Alma Coin. Others speculate that Alma Coin is Lucy Gray’s daughter.

Neesha Thunga K
About Neesha Thunga K
Neesha graduated in 2020 with a degree in MA English. Before that, she has spent several years teaching English and writing for various organizations. As a lover of English literature, she truly believes that crafting stories through words is the greatest achievement of mankind. She is now pursuing her passion for literature as an Expert on the Book Analysis team.
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