- Tigris, President Snow's cousin, is a key figure in The Hunger Games trilogy and its prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, shaped by family ties during the Dark Days.
- As a stylist, Tigris's dismissal by President Snow hints at her rebel sympathies. In Mockingjay, she aids rebels, highlighting the complexities of her Capitol allegiance.
- Post-war, Tigris continues life selling fur-lined garments, offering a unique perspective on loyalty, rebellion, and survival in The Hunger Games universe.
Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Hunger Games trilogy and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Because The Ballard of Songbirds and Snakes takes place 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, very few characters appear in both stories. Coriolanus Snow is a main character in both the prequel and the original trilogy, as well as his cousin, Tigris. We first met Tigris in Mockingjay, the final book in the original Hunger Games trilogy, but her character is even more significant in the prequel.
Tigris wasn’t one of the main characters throughout the trilogy, so some people might not remember her … until they see a photo of her. She’s the Capitol citizen who modified herself with cosmetic surgeries and tattoos to resemble a tiger. But what happened to her in The Hunger Games and in the 64 years between the stories?
What happened to Tigris in ‘The Hunger Games’? She’s a stylist, as well as President Snow’s cousin.
We don’t expect many friends of President Snow to be rebels, which is why it was shocking to learn that Tigris and Coriolanus are actually cousins. In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we learn that Tigris and Coriolanus grew up together, almost as siblings, because both their parents died at young ages. They were raised together by their grandmother, whom they called Grandma’am, after the Snow family nearly lost everything during the Dark Days.
The Dark Days encompassed the first rebellion of the twelve districts against the Capitol, which led to starvation, death, and poverty among previously wealthy Capitol families, including the Snow family. Even still, Tigris was always sympathetic to people from the districts, who had no choice in their difficult circumstances and were later forced to compete in the brutal Hunger Games.
As a student at the Academy, Coriolanus was tasked with mentoring District 12’s tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, during the 10th Hunger Games. Tigris encouraged Coriolanus to meet Lucy at the train station, setting him above the other mentors in initiative and empathy. Lucy saved Coriolanus when the Arena was bonded, so she connected deeply with the Snow family.
While Tigris interned for fashion designer Fabricia Whatnot, Coriolanus asked her for help styling himself and Lucy for the reaping and the interviews, making her the first unofficial Hunger Games stylist. She later became an official stylist, but her disdain for the games and the Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul caused a strained relationship between her and her cousin.
Why did Tigris betray Snow?
As Coriolanus rose in the Capitol ranks, Tigris learned of the behind-the-scenes horrors that she couldn’t stand by. Throughout the 64 years between stories, Coriolanus personally fired Tigris from her post as the official stylist, saying that it was because her looks were “too altered.” However, their long history hints that it was likely because of their different beliefs and Tigris’s affiliation with rebels.
Coriolanus's actions coupled with his lack of loyalty for family is likely what led Tigris to betray him.
In Mockingjay, Tigris takes in Squad 451 when they fight for the rebels within the Capitol. She helps them hide out in a secret cellar below a clothing rack in her shop. Despite her affiliation with the rebels, it’s likely that she’s even allowed to have a shop and a position in the Capitol because of her familial relationship with the President.
After Squad 451 was forced out for fear of getting caught, she dressed them in furs to help them blend in and continued to house refugees and rebels. After President Snow was overthrown, Tigris lived on, selling and designing her fur-lined garments.
But why did Tigris change her appearance?
While we don't know exactly what drove Tigris to change her appearance to look more like a tiger, there are plenty of theories floating around. While some people seem to think the transformation was a product of Snow, others believe Tigris willingly changed how she looked as a way to cope with what was happening around her.
Another theory is that Tigris wanted to look more like a tiger (which complements her name) and less like a typical Capitol civilian. What's your theory?
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now playing in theaters.