Are Lucy Gray & Katniss Related? The Hunger Games Family Tree Theory
Wait, this makes so much sense.
Ever since the Hunger Games prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released in 2020, fans have pondered one major question: Is Lucy Gray Baird somehow related to Katniss Everdeen? The two victors have so much in common that it’s impossible to ignore, but the books never confirmed any official relation. However, after the 2023 film adaptation of the prequel omitted one key detail, a new theory has formed about how the two songbirds are connected.
There are a ton of reasons Hunger Games fans have theorized Katniss may be a descendent of Lucy Gray. Most obviously, Coriolanus Snow has an immediate hatred for Katniss that feels way too intense for any ordinary stranger — she clearly reminds him of the District 12 tribute that escaped his clutches in his youth. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie also puts a prolonged focus on how Lucy Gray loves the name Katniss, which she uses for the swamp potatoes that grow in District 12.
The books encouraged the theory that Lucy Gray could be Katniss’ grandmother, as they note that Katniss learned Lucy Gray’s song “The Hanging Tree” from her father. The novels also state the song was banned in District 12 shortly after Lucy Gray fled, implying that the only way Katniss’ father may have heard it is if he had a personal connection to Lucy Gray.
But when the movie version of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes didn’t include that detail about the song being banned, the theory about Lucy Gray and Katniss’ relation changed.
Now, the most popular theory is that Katniss descended from Lucy Gray’s cousin Maude Ivory Baird. Maude Ivory is the youngest in the Covey, and learned “The Hanging Tree” from her cousin — and most notably of all, she decided to stay in District 12 at the end of TBOSAS. Even franchise director Francis Lawrence has admitted that he buys into the Maude Ivory theory. If it’s proven true, that would make Katniss and Lucy Gray first cousins twice removed.
Since Suzanne Collins has yet to officially address this pressing fan question, the Katniss-Lucy Gray connection will have to remain merely a theory for now. Although it does seem pretty convincing.