This news is interesting in part because of how it connects to a lot of fans’ disappointment with “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” when it first came out. A common question was: Why write a story about the young Coriolanus Snow, a Capitol citizen who isn’t fighting in the Games themselves? The games themselves have always been the main appeal of the “Hunger Games” franchise, so why move away from it?
This complaint was around even back when Collins’ initial “Hunger Games” novel trilogy was being released, as none of her original three books fully grappled with the idea of 24 children fighting to the death. Even the first book, which handled the premise the most straightforwardly, was more interested in the propaganda aspects and the budding revolution surrounding the games. When it comes to the actual moral quandary of having to kill a fellow child to save oneself, “Hunger Games” protagonist Katniss Everdeen is largely spared. She only kills “bad” tributes, the ones we’re never meant to care about, and even then it’s either done in self-defense or as an act of mercy.
That’s why when discussing potential spinoffs and prequel ideas, fans often gravitate to a straight-forward book about a regular Hunger Games — one that doesn’t turn out to be all about a revolution. Maybe there could even be a book jumping back and forth between a bunch of different tributes’ perspectives. That way, the reader not only gets to care about each of them but genuinely wouldn’t know which of them would survive. Whereas Collins’ original trilogy hampered its suspense by making Katniss the sole point-of-view character, a “Hunger Games” book with a large-but-dwindling cast of POV characters could make for a riveting, if brutal, experience.