"Hope is the only thing, which is stronger than fear"
―President Snow to Seneca Crane[src]
"We toast a glorious era, coming to its bitter end."
―President Snow to Minister Antonius[src]

President Coriolanus Snow was a tyrannical president of Panem.

He was the main antagonist of the Hunger Games trilogy, and is the main protagonist of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.


Early life

President snow panem adress
Coriolanus Snow is a native of the Capitol and eventually became the tyrannical and ruthless dictator of Panem at least a decade before the birth of Katniss Everdeen. Although carrying the title of President, it is unknown if he was elected to the position democratically.

He was born into the Snow family, a well-known and once-rich family. His parents and grandparents were well-known, but his family had fallen on hard times and his only real currency in his youth was charm.[1]


Entertainment Weekly Coriolanus Snow

Entertainment Weekly illustration of a young Coriolanus Snow

He attended the Academy and was one of its top-performing students. As such, in his senior year he was tapped as a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. He realized that something was amiss when his achievement as a top-performing student went unrecognized and he was assigned mentorship of the District 12 female, part of the worst-performing districts.[1]

President of Panem

Thgexplorer snow
As president, Snow possesses total power in Panem's government and has proven to be a cruel and manipulative dictator, ruling over the Capitol and its contained districts. He also works on the annual Hunger Games and heads the military responsible for oppressing the districts. He has no qualms about using intimidation in pursuit of his agenda, such as when he threatened to kill Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Peeta Mellark, and their families. Two weeks after Haymitch Abernathy won the 50th Hunger Games by performing a stunt with the force field, Snow murdered Haymitch's mother, younger brother, and girlfriend as punishment because Haymitch's move made the Capitol look foolish.

It is revealed by Finnick Odair that he poisoned his allies, as he believes that they would become future foes, but he had to drink the poison as well so that he wouldn't attract suspicion. Even though he took antidotes, the poison caused permanent sores inside his mouth that never healed. As a result, he always wears a genetically-engineered rose, which covers the scent of blood stained on his breath.

After Johanna Mason won the 71st Hunger Games, he had her family killed because she refused to dabble in prostitution, despite being widely considered to be an attractive tribute.

74th Hunger Games

Snow addressing the tributes

Snow welcomes the tributes.

During the pre-games, President Snow welcomes all the tributes during the parade in a high balcony above the chariots and gives a speech about the Hunger Games. He appears to disapprove of the fact that the Gamemakers awarded Katniss the highest score because she shot an arrow at them, likely because he saw it as a sign of rebellion. He then tells Seneca Crane the reason they have a winner in the Hunger Games is because of hope and that hope is the only thing stronger than fear. However, he believes that only a little hope is effective as long as it is contained, and orders Seneca to contain the hope. Later he is shown meeting with Seneca to discuss what he plans to do in response to the uprising in District 11 caused by Rue's death. He disagrees with Seneca's belief that the public love an underdog, as he has personally visited Districts 10, 11 and 12, saying that there are a lot of underdogs there and warns Seneca to be careful.

President Snow1

Snow in his rose garden.

He watches the Games and becomes furious when Katniss and Peeta are both crowned victors. He gives Katniss a long, dark look while he places her half of the crown on her head. At the victors' coronation Snow notices and examines Katniss' mockingjay pin, remarking "What a pretty pin." He is shown watching Peeta and Katniss's triumphant return to District 12 in a monitor room before silently leaving, pondering what to do about the uprising they have caused within the Districts. He has a party as usual at his mansion and observes her during the party. Later he plans to fix all that has been unbalanced due to Katniss and Peeta's rebellion. President Snow later has head Gamemaker Seneca Crane executed for allowing both Katniss and Peeta to live.

75th Hunger Games

CFpresident snow

President Snow on his mansion's balcony.

In Catching Fire, Snow plays a more antagonistic role. President Snow visits Katniss in her Victors' Village home and informs her of the rebellion in the other districts because of her suicide threat. He threatens to kill the people she loves unless she proves to all of Panem that what she did was driven by love, not by rebellion, in order to stop the uprising in the districts. He observes Katniss from a distance and makes sure she stays in line. During the victory tour, Peeta proposes to her publicly but Snow is still unsatisfied. During a ceremony aired all over Panem, he tells them about the Quarter Quell and how they differ from regular Hunger Games. President Snow reads the card that holds the theme of the Quarter Quell which reads "As a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors," He announces that this year for the third Quarter Quell, the Hunger Games

President Snow watching Katniss Everdeen's interview before her dress turned into a mockingjay.

will be played by previous victors. Snow greets the tributes and gives a speech as usual. President Snow confronts Cinna before interview night and tells him to dress Katniss in her wedding dress. Snow is infuriated when Cinna turns Katniss' wedding dress into a mockingjay dress and orders him killed, because Snow already suspects Cinna is a rebel. President Snow sends in a detail of Peacekeepers to apprehend Cinna and take him to be interrogated for information about the rebellion in front of Katniss to throw her off during the games.
Snow plutarch control room

President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee discuss Katniss in the control room.

Cinna died during his interrogation because he refused to give information. He watches the third Quarter Quell and is shocked when Katniss and a number of other victors escape the arena. He manages to capture three of them and demands the others be killed, and declares war on the rebel forces.


Capture and interrogation

In Mockingjay, President Snow holds Peeta, Annie, Johanna and Enobaria captive and tortures them for information about the rebellion. Snow lets Enobaria off easy since she is from the most loyal district and he fully trusted her. During the interrogation, he had two avoxes, Lavinia and Darius electrocuted to death and executes Portia and the other stylists and prep teams. He did this not for answers but for Peeta to see. He also at some point ordered Johanna's head shorn. President Snow keeps Peeta healthy so he can use him to break Katniss. President Snow at some point went to District 12 and left a white rose in Katniss' room to give her a message only she would know: "I can find you. I can reach you. Perhaps I am watching you now."

He makes Peeta do an interview with Caesar Flickerman so he can manipulate and break Katniss. President Snow appears on screen during Peeta's third interview and introduces him and Caesar. After Peeta implies there will be an attack from the Capitol on District 13, President Snow orders the interview stopped and for him to be taken away. After Peeta is taken away, President Snow orders for him to be hijacked in order to use him against Katniss. During an interview Katniss and Finnick shot to distract the Capitol from the rescue team, Finnick reveals President Snow kills his enemies and allies who can become threats to him. He also reveals that Snow forced Finnick into prostitution, selling his body to wealthy Capitol women for high prices. President Snow is enraged by this and becomes angry at them, but plans to kill Katniss by using the brainwashed Peeta. Boggs reveals that retrieving Peeta was far too easy and suspects that President Snow let them take Peeta so he could kill Katniss.

The Thirteenth District unleashed

President Snow goes on television to discuss the death of Squad 451. His broadcast is cut short after Beetee hacks into the system and airs a propo. President Snow's forces discover the remains of Boggs in an apartment of a Capitol citizen and realizes he has been fooled. President Snow figures out Katniss is still alive and sends a pod of lizard-human mutts to hunt her down and kill her and her squad.

During the final battle of the war, President Snow was in his mansion and was taking in Capitol children whom he was planning on using as human shields. Later on, President Snow was going to call an official surrender but before he could there was an explosion outside his mansion that killed the Capitol children and rebel Casualty Aides, including Prim. Snow was arrested and found guilty. Katniss finds him in his rose garden and he tells her the bomb that killed Prim and the others was not from him but from President Coin. Katniss refuses to believe him but he reminds her of the promise they made not to lie to each other. Katniss ends up believing him and ultimately kills Coin.


"We both know I'm not above killing children, but I'm not wasteful. I take life for very specific reasons. And there was no reason for me to destroy a pen full of Capitol children; none at all."
―Snow to Katniss after the fall of the Capitol[src]
After the overthrow of the Capitol in Mockingjay, Snow is tried for, convicted and sentenced to death. As the Mockingjay, Katniss is given the opportunity to execute Snow. Snow laughs and grins at the irony and the thought of Prim's death: he and Katniss were being used as pawns. When Katniss is supposed to shoot him through the heart with an arrow, she instead assassinates President Coin because she thinks Coin is worse than President Snow; she was the one who came up with the idea for another Hunger Games where the Capitol's children would have to compete and was part of the cause of Prim's death. In the chaos that follows, Katniss witnesses Snow roaring with laughter and coughing up blood as people surround them. When everything calms down, Snow is found dead, speculated to be from choking on his own blood, or being crushed by the crowd.


Katniss Everdeen

"Oh, my dear Ms. Everdeen, I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other..."
―Snow to Katniss in Mockingjay[src]
Snow never really got to know Katniss in The Hunger Games, but in Catching Fire, President Snow was angry that she and Peeta Mellark managed to get Seneca Crane to allow them both to be crowned victors. He came to her house in Victor's Village located in District 12. President Snow was clearly angry that she did that, but acted calm the whole time. He pushed her enough to agree not to lie to each other. While Katniss and the other tributes were in the arena she managed to destroy it, further angering him. He kidnapped some of them but the rebels from District 13 took her there. He tortured them in the Capitol. During his trial in Mockingjay, instead of killing him, she killed President Alma Coin.

Seneca Crane

President Snow had no known relationship in the book. But in the film, there were scenes with Snow and Seneca in Snow's rose garden in his mansion, where they met to plan strategies, tactics, and what was going to happen next in the Games. 


Snow's granddaughter was only mentioned in the books but appeared in person in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I. The girl appeared to be unaware of her grandfather's evil nature. Snow was disapproving of the fact that she looked up to Katniss, but nevertheless, he appeared to care about her to some degree. She is the only person in the entire Hunger Games franchise to whom he has shown at least a basic level of attachment.


A ruthlessly cruel, sadistic, wrathful, violent, greedy, arrogant, power-hungry, wicked and purely and utterly evil man, President Coriolanus Snow was obsessed with keeping the perfection of the established order and maintained absolutely no respect or care for human life. He was an extremely tyrannical, megalomaniacal, and egomaniacal ruler who ruled over Panem with an iron fist. He constantly threatened and killed people who stood in his way to holding absolute power over Panem. He was not hesitant to use people for his personal advantage. For example, he used Finnick and other (unknown) attractive victors and sold them into prostitution to affluent Capitol citizens. Cashmere was also one of his victims of prostitution. Snow tried to prostitute Johanna Mason as well, but she refused to go along with his plan. Because of this, he ruthlessly killed all of her loved ones as punishment which only inflamed her hatred of him further rather than breaking her.

His obsession with perfection arises out of his paranoia. He was paranoid that he will lose his power. As a result, he murdered allies and enemies alike (usually by poisoning them), and in his effort to throw off suspicion he drunk his own murderous poison from the same cup, and was left with a mouthful of bloody sores (because the antidotes didn't always work) which are the only outward sign of his insanity. He uses the thick perfume of the genetically enhanced roses in his lapel to cover the scent of his bloody mouth. He fails, however, as Katniss describes his aroma as that of faux roses and blood.

Noticeably, Snow was an extremely calm and reserved man, never visibly losing his temper at any point (at least, not in public, as this would risk damaging his public image). He remained completely in control, both figuratively and literally, throughout a conversation and maintained his serenity even if his life were in danger or if he were facing a known enemy. He had absolutely no lapses when it came to discussing the execution or omission of other people, as evidenced by his conversations with Seneca Crane and the almost cynical way in which Snow referenced Crane's execution. When he encountered Katniss after being overthrown, he calmly revealed to her what had really happened in the final battle, in the knowledge that she was confronting him with the belief that he had killed her sister, and even showed sympathy (real or otherwise) for Prim's demise. He also suggested that Coin was more dangerous than he was, and even chastised Katniss for breaking their agreement never to lie to one another.

His name, Snow, and his white roses symbolize his mental need to appear flawless, despite his obvious flaws. Despite all this, he claims that he is not wasteful. Snow has a very clear understanding of the districts' emotions towards the Capitol, and how fear doesn't make them back down if they have hope- which he allows, in a very limited form, as a motivator. He'll only kill people for well-defined reasons. President Snow is also willing to take the life of children for his own safety as when he was going to use them as human shields during the rebellion in Mockingjay. He was obviously highly intelligent and cunning as evidenced by his manipulation of Katniss during Catching Fire, and his ability to maintain control of Panem for at least 25 years, probably longer. He was also able to almost effortlessly judge whether or not Katniss was still alive after the showdown in District 2, knowing that she would have been martyred if she were truly dead. Despite his intelligence, however, he was fooled and outwitted by Plutarch Heavensbee and Alma Coin. At the very least, he was quite capable of admitting that he had been overwhelmed, outwitted and defeated because of some of his own mistakes and shortcomings and that he had horribly underestimated the ruthlessness of President Coin.

To the very end, Snow showed no remorse for his tyranny and murderous desire for power, often acting self-righteous and blaming Katniss for disrupting the status quo, reasoning that for all his authoritarian propaganda Snow believed the games insured order and control.

Physical description

Snow Portrait

Snow's Capitol portrait

The President was a small, thin man, with paper-white hair and thick lips that seem pulled across his face. His lips were thought to be changed, to make them look fuller and more appealing. Katniss Everdeen once stated that his lips smelled of blood and roses. In Mockingjay, it is revealed that the smell of blood is due to mouth sores he got from one of the poisons that he used to kill people in his monomaniacal efforts to control Panem. He drank the poison in order to allay suspicions, then took the antidote, but he could not be cured of the sores. He also smelled strongly of genetically enhanced roses. He always wore a white rose in his lapel to cover the scent of blood. The strong smell invariably makes Katniss gag. His eyes are similar to a snake's. Overall, his appearance is quite snake-like. His trademark sign is a single white rose, which he always wears, and that Katniss finds in her house at the beginning of the third book.

His clothing is never fully described in the novel, but in the film, he wears a dark suit over a white shirt with a gray vest over it, a tie, matching pants and black shoes. In Catching Fire, he wears his suit closed, a dark fur stole over it and black leather gloves.


Snow resided in a huge mansion in the City Circle where he sometimes hosted parties. It is described as being large enough "to get lost in." The mansion contains many rooms such as bedrooms, offices, ballrooms, bathrooms, a closet with furs, a library and a room with a long-forgotten bathtub and discarded furniture. Katniss and her mother stayed in one of the rooms while they were in the Capitol.

The President's mansion during one of his balls.

There is also an internal greenhouse for Snow's roses in a section of the mansion which was kept unoccupied by the rebels after it was captured. Snow was imprisoned in the greenhouse and revealed to Katniss that the rebels had bombed the children in front of the mansion when she found him there. Following the 74th Victory Tour, victors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark attended one of his ballroom celebrations, where Katniss ended up meeting and eventually dancing with rebel leader Plutarch Heavensbee for the first time. 


President Snow is known to have a granddaughter between the ages of twelve and eighteen. This also means he must have had at least one child.


  • President Snow is one of the two characters in the trilogy to have been known to be born before the Hunger Games began, being 8 years old when the first Games commenced. The only other person that is known is Mags.
  • There is a solar power plant, Coriolanus 9, in District 5 named after him.
  • He may be named after the Shakespearean character Coriolanus, who was a scheming politician, much like Snow.
  • There was possibly a way to avoid the mouth sores altogether when Snow drank from the poisoned cup. They could have just made a duplicate cup, but absolutely clean of poison.


Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was a famed Roman general. This ties into the many Roman references in the series.

The Hunger Games trilogy
Novels The Hunger GamesCatching FireMockingjay
Main Characters Katniss EverdeenPeeta MellarkGale HawthorneHaymitch AbernathyEffie Trinket
Supporting Characters Primrose EverdeenPresident SnowCinnaMrs. EverdeenMr. EverdeenPresident CoinClaudius TemplesmithMadge UnderseePaylorPlutarch HeavensbeeSeneca Crane
Tributes MarvelGlimmerCatoCloveFoxfaceThreshRueMaysilee DonnerTitus
Past Victors Annie CrestaBeetee LatierBlightBrutusCashmereCeceliaChaffEnobariaFinnick OdairGlossJohanna MasonLymeMags FlanaganMorphlingsSeederWiressWoof
Groups RebellionGamemakersPrep teamTributesVictors
Locations PanemThe CapitolDistrict 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13
Behind the Scenes Suzanne CollinsGary RossFrancis Lawrence
Films The Hunger Games (film)Catching Fire (film)Mockingjay - Part 1Mockingjay - Part 2
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Main Characters Coriolanus Snow
Supporting Characters Casca HighbottomLivia CardewClemensia DovecoteSejanus Plinth
Locations PanemThe CapitolDistrict 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13
Behind the Scenes Suzanne Collins

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