Talking exclusively to MTV News following the premiere of her new video for "Safe & Sound" from "The Hunger Games," Taylor Swift revealed that the clip contains several references to the best-selling YA book series that fans should recognize.
"I felt like I was really needing to pay tribute to this movie and tell this story," Swift said. "There's this moment in the music video where I find this mockingjay pin and hold it up."
For those who have not read the books, the mockingjay pin is one of the most iconic symbols from the series. It was given to the main character, Katniss Everdeen (played in the film by Jennifer Lawrence), as a token to take into the arena to remind her of her Home, District 12.
The mockingjay and the pin itself are both symbols of rebellion in the books. The mockingjay is a species of bird inadvertently bred when the Capitol released "jabberjays" throughout the nation of Panem in an attempt to spy on its citizens. After the mission failed and the citizens of Panem learned how to feed lies to Capitol spies through the jabberjays, the Capitol ended the project, but the birds bred with mockingbirds in the wild, creating the mockingjay, which the Capitol was never able to eradicate.
We won't spoil the rest, but the third book in the series is titled "Mockingjay," and that isn't just a reference to the bird or the pin anymore.
"Having a music video with that much symbolism in it is something I'm not used to," Swift continued. "Everyone who is a 'Hunger Games' fans knows what it means when there's fire in the trees and they know what it means for the house to be burnt and they know what it means for the 'Hunger Games' pin to be covered in rust and old. Everybody can take their own meaning away from it, but it all goes back to the symbolism of the book."
To avoid spoiling the books and film, the only bit here that we'll address are the burning trees, which can be seen throughout Swift's video and briefly in the film's second trailer. In the arena, the Gamesmakers use fire to keep the tributes from hiding in trees and to push groups of them into the same area so they can fight to the death for all to see.
Swift's "Safe & Sound" video has us psyched for the release of "The Hunger Games," due March 23. "I'm now sort of like an infomercial for it," Swift, a fan of the books, joked to MTV News about the series.