Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly revealed an exclusive first excerpt from Suzanne Collins’s upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, letting us know that the protagonist for this book will be none other than our ultimate Panem villain, Coriolanus Snow
We know Coriolanus Snow, from Suzanne Collins’ original Hunger Games trilogy and its film adaptations (where he was portrayed by Donald Sutherland), to be a villain — a manipulative tyrant, a brutal killer. Those were Katniss Everdeen’s novels, after all, and Snow’s dictatorial presidency stood as the main antagonist to her resistance-underdog story. But what if there was more to him than we knew? What if he could be — crazy as it may sound — a hero?
Last June, Scholastic announced that Collins had written a prequel set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (out May 19). And now EW can offer eager fans a taste of what to expect with this first excerpt — and reveal Snow as our new protagonist, a teenager born to privilege but searching for something more, a far cry from the man we know he will become. Here, he’s friendly. He’s charming. And, for now anyway, he’s a hero.