How did Snow die? All I can see is that people rushed towards him. Either stabbing him or what? The book didn't mention if Snow actually died. Even the movies portrayed the same scenario.

The point of my arrow shifts upward. I release the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead.

In the stunned reaction that follows, I'm aware of one sound. Snow's laughter. An awful gurgling cackle accompanied by an eruption of foamy blood when the coughing begins. I see him bend forward, spewing out his life, until the guards block him from my sight.

Choked by his own blood.

Might be? After Katniss shot her arrow to Alma Coin, Snow is laughing. And at the same time, he spits blood.

Because of the crowd?

When Katniss had her attempt to take a nightlock pill, the crowd behind her suddenly rushed towards Snow. Did they trample Snow or used some kind of weapon to finish him off?


3 Answers 3


Nobody knows, and nobody much cares.

This is part of the information Plutarch imparts to the listless, uncaring Katniss when he comes to meet her after she's been acquitted for killing Coin:

After I shot Coin, there was pandemonium. When the ruckus died down, they discovered Snow's body, still tethered to the post. Opinions differ on whether he choked to death while laughing or was crushed by the crowd. No one really cares.

It's symbolic, in a way. Snow is no longer important. His day is over. Despite all the power he once wielded, he dies an ignominious, inglorious death, and nobody even knows or cares exactly how it happens. Coin's unexpected death is the main headline; Snow's long-expected death isn't interesting.

  • 1
    Reminds me bit of Vito Corleone dying in his tomato garden.
    – Skooba
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 12:57
  • 2
    IIRC he was self-dosing with some chemical cocktail, which is what gave his breath the nasty smell that is mentioned several times in the books, possibly due to the nasty sores in his mouth. He also has a chronic cough, mouth/throat sores, etc almost like someone with "consumption" (most likely tb, etc) back in the 1800s - see how Doc Holiday is called a "lunger" for an example from the Tombstone movie. And yes, hard coughing can cause tears and ruptures on already fragile and diseased and nasty parts/pieces, and so medically he likely had that one fatal series of coughs...
    – ivanivan
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 14:28

In the film, after Katniss shoots and kills President Coin, the crowd of rebels behind her rushes forward and attacks Snow-I would presume that Snow was lynched by the angry mob. However, in the book, it is debated whether he died from choking on his blood or being trampled to death. Either way, the cruel, heartless dictator died an inglorious death-it didn't really matter anyway how he died. I think Collins allowed President Snow to die in such a matter to symbolize that Snow's death didn't really matter anymore. Sure, he was once the supreme ruler of Panem, but by the end of Mockingjay, he is nothing but just, well, an elderly man. Whether he died or not, the point being, Snow was already symbolically dead, in that he no longer had real power or influence in Panem, Coin was calling the shots! Snow was simply what remained of the old Panem, which was already overthrown/destroyed. At that point, it didn't really matter whether President Snow lived or died, his regime was toppled and his time was over. This is what Collins desired to show, that Snow didn't really matter at this point.

By contrast, there were several hints from various characters that President Coin had questionable motives. While Squad 451 began to infiltrate the Capitol, Boggs told Katniss that President Coin never liked her, and wanted to rescue Peeta from the arena instead. Of course, the others didn't agree, and Katniss ended up being rescued instead. Boggs asked Katniss the important question: Who will Katniss support for the post-rebellion President of Panem? When Katniss responded that she never thought about it, Boggs warned that if she her decisive answer was Alma Coin, she would be seen as a threat. In other words, from what Boggs knew, Alma Coin saw Katniss as a thorn in her side, and the most Coin and Everdeen did for each other was to tolerate.

Following Katniss' conversation with Snow following the invasion of the Capitol, Paylor asked her "Did you find what you were looking for?" Paylor was also the person who demanded that the soldiers guarding the imprisoned President Snow to allow Katniss to speak with him. In the film, when Coin was proposing the 76th Hunger Games (with Capitol Children) to the remaining victors, Haymitch's attitude was of concern. When Coin mentioned "I have taken the burden and honor of declaring myself interim President of Panem", Haymitch seemed skeptical, "Interim? Exactly-how long is this interim?" He seemed to have his suspicions about President Coin.

Snow told Katniss "Make no mistake, she (Coin) intends to take my place now".

From all these hints, it is safe to assume that President Coin had her own, selfish motives, from the attitudes of several characters. Snow, on the other hand, was already dead, figuratively speaking. He had lost all control over Panem, and the death of Coin was what really changed the course of Panem's post-war history.

Following Coin's assassination, an election was held instantly and Paylor became the new president, and the Hunger Games were permanently ended, and Panem was transformed into the Republic that Plutarch mentioned they would set up, following the war. Compare that with Coin's promise "We'll plan an election when the time is right." I'd have serious reservations about some new political leader who would say THAT!

  • This is a good analysis, but everything after the first paragraph is rather tangential to the question of how Snow died, and would serve better as an answer to a question like "were there any early signs that Coin was a bad leader?"
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 8:14

I believe most people are missing what really happened.

In my opinion it is obvious that Coin killed Snow. She poisoned him which led to the coughing fit and the blood. She made it no secret that she wanted to be the one that killed Snow to set herself up as his successor, only relenting to public pressure that Katniss be the one to execute him. Out of spite (no secret she hated and resented Katniss) she poisoned him so she would be the one that actually killed him, but would allow everyone else to believe Katniss did it. She made it a point to be in control of when Katniss would shoot in order to cover up the poisoning, waiting until his final seconds before giving the order to shoot. Snow realized what was happening causing him to laugh. Katniss shooting Coin instead exposed her treachery as Snow began coughing up blood and immediately dying without being touched.

  • 6
    Can you offer any evidence from the books to back up this bold assertion?
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 22:39

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