Mockingjay Discussion 7: Gale Hawthorne

Ah, poor Gale! He is the hero of District 12 and of Katniss’ family for rescuing as many residents of the Seam as he did from the fire bombing, but the experience of seeing his community destroyed and Peeta being hijacked seems to have taken him around the twist. Gale winds up designing weapons and explosives that are as bad because taken from the same twisted playbook as the Capitol. Katniss’ final decision for Peeta rather than Gale because she did not need “Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred” seemed about right. We knew that Gale raged against the Capitol, but, if you were like me, you didn’t seem him embracing war crimes as in burying people alive needlessly or creating sequentially fused bombs to take out rescue workers to defeat his enemies.

Was that too big a jump for the man of the Seam or about right? Does it capture, in contrast with Peeta’s PTSD agonies, another side of how war changes those who fight them?


  1. It is a fitting ending, Indigo. I didn’t realize how much I wanted Peeta and Katniss to be together until that last page. After CF, I was sure that Gale would end up by her side in the end.

    I think that we do see a deeply flawed side of Gale, though, at the end, and that that is why Katniss makes her choice. Of course he wouldn’t target those that Katniss loved, and he might be mad that they were around, but it was a neccessary move for ending the war, and that, in itself, he doesn’t mind.

    I don’t think Gale could handle a friendship with Katniss, when everytime she’s see him he’d be reminded that she’d chosen Peeta. In that sense, Katniss couldn’t handle it either. Knowing her, she’d second-guess her choice and make everything miserable for everyone else. Gale IS extremely attractive to her, after all…

    And that wouldn’t really be fair for Peeta.

    I thnk in order for us to see Katniss really married to Peeta, we also had to see that Gale is a jerk. Otherwise, Katniss was just too torn.

  2. I have enjoyed all the MJ discussions and appreciate the variety of viewpoints and contributions.

    May I clarify my earlier reference to Gale and fame? Gale did not seek fame, fame found Gale in D2 out of his circumstance as a survivor of the rebellion (which we understood to be the final Games of Panem).

    Not dissimilar to the previously unknown Victors pulled into the 74 years of HG, yes?

    Further, consider the Victors’ lives post HG: demanded allegiance to the Capitol via mentoring, Snow’s blackmailing, or some other “service” to Panem. Is not Gale serving the now-rising Republic of Panem in parallel manner, albeit voluntarily (which we could again point back to Katniss’ selfless act of volunteering to save Prim, but that would be a whole other discussion post).

  3. I don’t see Gale as a “jerk” at all- I think he knew that they had to win this war, period. For the good of all citizens- b/c if the Capitol won, they all would have suffered for yrs! The rebels needed leaders like Gale- to me he was a strong warrior, and a protector- he wasn’t thinking about himself and his own gains- if this was the case, he wouldn’t have kicked that officer in the nose to go help Katniss which caused him to lose his badge- also at the end, he knew she was going to sneak out, violate a direct order, to go find Snow- and he said then that he would go with her, again not worrying about the consequences for himself. You can also see his “selfless” acts when he volunteered to get Peeta out, he saves many people from his district, he’s always showing the good side of Peeta to Katniss, even when she tends to forget about it… No, I don’t think he’s a jerk at all- he’s one of those that just does his thing, staying focused, looking at the big picture- that’s why I have a feeling he will do great things to help rebuild the future… and yeah, I wanted Katniss with Peeta as well because Peeta is what Katniss needed- she needed his “calmness” to help her through this horrible experience. She still did Gale wrong- he’s stood by her and her family for many years- and for her to think the worst of him, tells me once again, that Katniss is just thinking of herself and her needs…JMO

  4. I think the reason Gale couldn’t handle the friendship between him and Katniss is not because it would remind him that she chose Peeta. It’s because he knew that his presence would only hurt Katniss, since she saw him and Prim’s death as one. Seeing Katniss probably would hurt him too because it would remind him of how he indirectly killed Prim and other innocent children. I think Gale did a noble thing by letting go of Katniss and leaving her to Peeta. He knew he would only remind Katniss of the war, and someone like Peeta was what she truly needed to heal. If he apologized mindlessly, tried to pursue her and forced her to choose between him and Peeta, then he would be a jerk.

    Of course Gale has flaws, but people like him are the ones who truly bring freedom to the country, unlike someone like Peeta. There are so many parallels that can be drawn from his character to real life soldiers. Yes, Katniss was not his first priority, but what he did during the war helped the rebels win, thus giving freedom and eventually better lives for people who live in his lifetime as well as in the future. People like him, who can put aside personal matters for the greater cause, are the true heroes. Surely there were a lot of people like him during (for example) the American revolutionary war and the Civil War, who could sacrifice what mattered to them, so that other people can live better lives. It hurt them, of course, but if we didn’t have people like that, who knew what the USA would be like today? This is why I respect Gale, he didn’t think of how his actions would cost himself, he just devoted himself to the cause, and helped to make Panem a better place.

  5. Anyway, we only see Gale from Katniss’s perspective, and it seems like the war also cost her the ability to think rationally.

  6. Grace, because Indigo’s post was that awesome I’ll keep my comment short: Yes, Gale is a different person from Peeta. But why would that made him a jerk? Paraphrasing Sirius Black, the world is not split between Peetas and jerks. 😉 (Otherwise we would all probably be on the ‘jerk side’ of the equation.)

    I don’t read Gale’s character as you do, so we are bound to disagree. I don’t consider for a second “he didn’t mind” Prim was dead because creating bombs was necessary move for the rebel’s cause. I believe Prim’s death was more of a hit to his gut, than anything else.

    See, Katniss and Gale always had their particular way of communicating with each other. Like Jae has said, neither of them are much good with words. Somehow they managed to understood each other just right. Throughout HG and CF, one just knows what the other one is thinking (or what the other one would probably be thinking). And that’s just what we saw during their last MJ conversation. Their continued, silent understanding of how each other works and what the other one is thinking.

    I would think Gale could handle a friendship with Katniss if she could handle one with him. I don’t think that was clear at the end of MJ, which I think it’s part of the reasons why he left at that moment.

    PJ, interesting perspective. Hadn’t thought of it that way, but I agree. Nice parallel there.

  7. I think Prim being killed by Gale’s bomb was a cheating way of Collins on how she ends the love triangle. Katniss really didn’t have to choose, as the possibility of being with Gale was immediately eliminated after Prim’s death. Collins could kill off Prim without having Gale involved in it, and Katniss would still hate Coin for putting Prim in the war and after the voting for another HG, would still see her for the dictator that she was, and she’d still kill Coin. It’d be interesting to see if that’s what happened instead, I guess Katniss would end up with neither of them!

    I’m disappointed with the ending with Gale. Since I got the spoiler about Katniss ending up with Peeta, I thought Gale was supposed to die. I was prepared for his death, but instead I got this, which was worse, in my opinion. If Katniss at least appreciated what he had to do and the things he went and would have to go through, it’d be all better.

  8. I thought Gale was supposed to die. I was prepared for his death, but instead I got this, which was worse, in my opinion.

    I’m curious as to why you think this is worse. Gale’s alive. He’s contributing to the new society. The guy’s, what, 20 years old? He’ll find someone that will make him happy (maybe Johanna? =P). He’ll live a long and prosperous life. So he lost his childhood sweetheart that he never officially hooked up with. That puts him in a class with 99% of humanity.

    Katniss got Peeta. She wasn’t gonna be able to keep both of them anyways. She lost her friendship with Gale, but I highly doubt she ever thought “boy, this would sure be a happier ending for me if Gale had died!

  9. Thank you, Joan.

    Vega…Collins didn’t cheat anyone, nor did she take a shortcut dissolving the relationship between Gale and Katniss. On the contrary, Prim’s death complicated their relationship!

    Think of the complications as the knots in the therapy rope Finnick, Peeta, and Katniss each had occasion to use. For argument’s sake, say the two ends of the rope represent a start and finish in the Gale/Katniss relationship. The variety of knots are the plethora of interactions and events they share, beginning in D12 and lasting through Katniss’ post-assassination recovery. Untying each knot is likened to both G & K coming to terms with the outcome of that event (making peace with each other or accepting the other’s personality/actions because of past knowledge) and smoothing out the rope to continue to the next big thing. Every time they interact with friction/conflict, those particular knots are tighter and more intricate, shortening their relationship and leaving a crimp in the rope after the looping is reversed. At some point in time, the rope fails to completely smooth out. Symbolically, the length of Gale and Katniss’ relationship is growing shorter. The rope may even begin to experience a “knot-memory” that causes it to twist up at the slightest provocation. We see this happening throughout MJ as Katniss processes Gale’s involvement with the Rebellion/Coin and his interactions with Peeta. When Prim dies, Gale realizes his role in the development of that particular bomb; hence, a very tight, complicated knot appears in the rope/relationship. When Katniss begins to put her thoughts in order and comes to the same conclusion about the firebombs, she effectively doubleknots the rope with little/nothing left to hold on to at the ends.

    Maybe a stretch…but I have to argue that killing Prim with Gale’s bomb design was not cheating, it was too true-to-life irony.

  10. So true, pj. Their relationship had to end.

  11. At the risk of incurring wrath, and in a perhaps vain attempt to steer the conversation closer to John’s insights, might I say that so much focus on Peeta vs. Gale is missing the point? I think a reading of the text, and taking Katniss’s word for her own feelings and ever-growing self-knowledge at the end of the novel will show the Collins didn’t do any cop-outs with regards to the love triangle, nor has she done a complete disservice to Gale, she does an excellent job of displaying her characters’ virtues and flaws.
    More to the point however, these books are about KATNISS, her choices, and her transformation (alchemical transformation, if you will!). What Collins might be saying about Gale and his qualities and choices in the book when compared with Katniss and her choices. While Collins has given us a real, flawed heroine in Katniss, the qualities that she exhibits that bring the greatest change in those around her are the qualities that I think Collins is trying to tell us are truly revolutionary and ones we should emulate to bring about changes in our world.
    What are the qualities that made Katniss the Mockingjay? that made others want to rally around her, support her, and fight the Capitol’s dominance?
    Perhaps the number one quality, Katniss is willing to sacrifice her life to protect others, she does it over and over, with Prim, with Peeta, with nameless citizens. At the same time, she is not willing to sacrifice others to achieve her goals. She resists and open rebellion to the Capitol for so long because she’s worried about the harm that it may do to her sister and District. Katniss’s hesitance to involve innocents in battle is one of the biggest conflicts she and Gale have in MJ.
    When Katniss is being honest, thinking and acting as herself, she has a skill with words. Peeta is the gifted speaker, but her challenges to Snow in District 8, and to those fighting on behalf of the Capitol in District 2 were inspired, and had me cheering aloud for her.
    Finally, Katniss never dehumanizes anyone, at least as far as I’m remembering, I could be wrong. Like many writers and thinkers, I think Collins warns us that evil is dehumanization, and that we’re in the greatest of becoming what we don’t want to be, or making tragic mistakes, when we view our opponents as less than human.
    Given all these qualities that make Katniss our hero, if we must compare one character with another, I personally think tying it back to Katniss is a more fruitful area for thought and discussion.

  12. PJ, you are on a roll making this parallels. Excellently put.

    I think that what it’s still mostly argued is that after Gale left, he was basically dropped out of the book. But like diva_alix said, the books are about Katniss. It’s just hard to keep it that way on Gale’s discussion thread.

  13. PK9, *sigh* I think it’s because I personally know several people who came home from the war, lost so much, and regret every little action, that they don’t see what’s the point of living anymore. They try to move on but it’s so apparent how empty they are inside. I admit I’m more than a little biased on my view of Gale – because I see these people in him. This is why I love MJ though, some parts are just too true.
    Your last sentence made me laugh =D. And it’d be really funny if he and Johanna become a couple, what a match that would be!

    PJ, bravo for the awesome parallel! I see where you’re coming from, but I still wish Collins would end it a little differently. To be honest, it’s just too painful for me >.<
    Perhaps I will be able to see things from a new perspective when I read it again next month.

  14. “While Collins has given us a real, flawed heroine in Katniss, the qualities that she exhibits that bring the greatest change in those around her are the qualities that I think Collins is trying to tell us are truly revolutionary and ones we should emulate to bring about changes in our world.”

    Well put, diva.

    While Katniss is willing to self-sacrifice, she would not have others sacrificing for her. The dilemma, and the one we all face, is when our choices resonate with others to the point they, too, are willing to self-sacrifice for our cause. Therefore, be very, very certain that one’s cause is worthy and honorable, above reproach, beyond “best” for all…and dare I say it, “for the greater Good” (my emphasis on ‘good’)!?

  15. I would love it if Collins wrote a spin off of Gale- would love to get to know Gale more- from his perspective…

  16. It was the most upsetting thing for me in the trilogy to see Gale consumed by his hate for the Capitol. He became very vengeful and naming him a war criminal is very harsh but still quite a close descriptor. I wish before the trilogy ended he saw the error of his vengeful thinking and realised that peace and justice does not come with revenge and unnecessary violence. Golly, I really liked him too!! ='[

  17. I just posted this on another blog or something similar to this:

    I don’t get why Katniss is put in such a moral pedestal. She begged to be in District 2 to blow people up when she had boy trouble with Peeta. Honestly, Gale didn’t do anything Katniss didn’t do. She was killing people left and right, too. Only, we were treated to Katniss’s constant emotional breakdown and nightmares while we barely got to know Gale. Just because he didn’t grow mental about killing people doesn’t mean he didn’t feel bad about it. Only, he had to do what what was needed to be done, as he was the only one who wasn’t insane at the time (Finnick, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Johanna…UGH!).

    And what’s this about Katniss being a sacrificial lamb? The girl is SELFISH. She ate Gale’s turnips (which he needed more given his training requirements and body mass), she whined and acted like a royal brat all throughout Mockingjay, making unnecessary demands and not caring that they’re in the middle of a rebellion. She only agreed to be the Mockingjay in the first place to save Peeta. She wasn’t really fighting for the greater good, she was only fighting to survive.

    So many people died for many were they in the elite team and how many were left? Katniss didn’t really show remorse (Ahem..Finnick’s two-sentence death description) and this is the girl who don’t want others sacrificing for her? Btw, she did this because she wants Snow dead. She wanted revenge. This really wasn’t part of the plan.

  18. I think one simple thing needed to fix up the rushed ending of this story and to give us an idea of what the feelings really were like between Gale and Katniss would be one dialogue between the two saying goodbye or whatever where Gale tells her he will be in District 2. No matter what terms they are on because of what happened in the Capitol, they were still lifelong friends and should have at least said goodbye and try to clear up what they feel about each other. I was just angry about the ending of this book because throughout this series the author keeps you attached and makes you really feel like you know everyone and what everyone feels, and to just leave out what happens to Gale and with Katniss’s mother really just left me angry and disappointed. The author must of hit a deadline because somehow after managing to make really feel the characters emotions and thoughts the whole series at the end I feel we are left in the dark and we are being given a quick summary of what happens when we are used to seeing what happens. I don’t think it would of been so bad to add an extra 10 pages and put in a bit more explanation and dialogue.

  19. That’s why we have fanfiction. And I think in the Hunger Games fandom esp. there are a lot of fanfics dealing with the loose ends of the story – mostly glaringly Gale. At least that’s why I had to write one. (Shameless plug – “Ever in Your Favor” on, by EStrunk.)

  20. Good shameless plug, Rebecca. I’m Teem Peeta and I still managed to enjoy it and read it in two or three days.

  21. I really hoped, that at the end, they would tell you that Gale was in 2 with Johanna. I’m disappointed that I didn’t hear about Gale after like 20 years or something, he was a big part of the book. I just guess that he is happily married and has an important job. But I hoped to know it sure. And I hoped that he would end up with Johanna. She’s also a ‘fire-type’ but I think they will match (:

  22. Quite honestly, I wanted Gale and Katniss through all three books, but that is neither here nor there at this point. I’m just putting it out there. I don’t hate her and Peeta, I just liked Gale better, plain and simple.

    What my real issue is with the ending of Mockingjay is that there are all these characters that you’ve grown so attached to (not just Gale) and then at the very end it’s like everyone drops off the face of the earth except Katniss and Peeta and you never get any resolution for the rest of the story. Like if you’re lucky you get a few words indirectly about what they’re kind of doing and then that’s it for them. This is especially upsetting and obvious with Gale who was such an integral character to the story, but it’s also annoying with all the other characters too.
    I know that these books are from Katniss’ perspective, that much is obvious. But that doesn’t mean she is the be all and end all of the series. Is she the most important character? Absolutely. Should the focus be on her? Yes. However with a novel that is based around one character there will always be the supporting cast which the reader often grows just as and sometimes more attached to than the central character, and to leave us without satisfying resolution for these characters is the cruelty. I don’t mean satisfying as in ‘they all lived happily ever after.’ More like just being able to have some sort of farewell with them that feels somewhat complete. After Katniss shoots Coin the only characters we really see are Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Greasy Sae, Greasy Sae’s granddaughter and Buttercup (who perhaps got the best resolution of any supporting character) and Haymitch just ends up drinking again (which isn’t exactly a bad ending, it’s better than saying ‘and Haymitch sobered up, found a nice girl and lived happily forever, but still a little lame) and it’s just really disappointing because the ending seemed so rushed. I was literally two pages from the end and realized ‘oh crap she’s actually going to leave it like this’

  23. I really liked the book and loved how the characters in the love triangle came across.

    I didnt really know what the outcome of the book was going to be, so i loved that whole aspect to it – not knowing who she would pick until it came to the very end. Although talking about it now, i can slowly see why she picked Peeta in the end and now its not that shocking.
    Like her relationship with Gale was detoriating rapidly in the last book. Although so was hers with Peetas. But with Gale, he became too angry and obsessed with the wars, and she kept stating this in the books, but not strongly, but there was hints. But because Gale is her very best friend i dont think she really accepted it until her sister died.

    Personally, I really wanted Katniss to end up with Gale – I just loved their whole friendship – how they spoke without words and understood each other completely – he would tell her the truth on what he thought about things, even though he loved her, he still had his own mind and his decisions wasnt purely based on what Katniss did (unlike Peeta). But in the last book, he became too involved in being the hero, that he sort of changed, we saw more the aggressive side to him, although this was hinted in the first book that he was angry with the world.

    Peeta on the other hand, was the compete opposite to Gale. Katniss and Peeta were more of a love story – as they say opposites do attract – Katniss and Peeta were complete opposites and Katniss and Gale were completely the same.
    Peeta was already in love with her from the beginning and would do anything for her. He was quite calm compared to Gale, more in control of himself than Gale was, because in the end he overcame his hate for Katniss because he loved her so much.

    Theres just so much to say and this isnt even half of what i wanted to say, but what i did want to say was i didnt really like the ending much – but only because i wanted to know more about Gale.
    But thinking about it now, the ending was ok because they gave us glimpses of the happiness, in the Peeta and Katniss’s kids, in Finnicks child (It sucks that he died!). But it showed so much unhappiness with Katniss as well which i didnt really like. And how unable she is to really love so much.

  24. You guys are smart I read the book for school. I hated how the hunting partner, i liked more than the main character, just goes and lives another life. This doesnt fit his character.

  25. I pretty much knew from Catching Fire that Katniss would end up with Peeta. Because of their personality types, Katniss and Gale are mindmates, whereas Katniss and Peeta are soulmates.

    Based on what I believe their personality types to be, Katniss and Peeta have a pedagogical relationship…each is the other’s mentor and each is the other’s student. Each elevates the other’s humanity. They are simply better people together than they are apart.

    Having the same personality type as Katniss, I can relate to her being noncommittal to romantic relationships and waiting to see who would stick it out to the end. I knew she would end up with the one who proved himself worthy of her complete devotion at the end of Mockingjay (and this was well forecasted in both of the previous books). Gale removed himself from the running, and would have done so even if he hadn’t been complicit in Prim’s death. I don’t believe he would have stuck around to nurse an emotionally devastated Katniss…He really didn’t have the patience to allow Katniss to heal on her own terms and timeline at many of the critical junctures in the trilogy.

    There is a fundamental disconnect in how Katniss and Gale process information. Katniss is highly intuitive, whereas Gale is a man of action (a sensor in Myers-Briggs typology)..They bonded over a common enemy (the Capitol)….but after their common enemy falls, Katniss remains an iconoclast, whereas Gale is a good soldier and quite the conformist. Quite frequently in Mockingjay, he simply cannot understand why she thinks the way she does, and it’s because she thinks outside the box. She can’t conform, and he can’t not conform.

  26. I wish that Gale ended with Kelly. And like 25 years later they meet Katniss and Peeta in district 12. I think it would be sweat for Katniss to have a girl named Rue and Gale have a daughter named Prim and they be the same age. I wanted Katniss and Peeta to be together… but I wish I knew more about what happened to Gale.

  27. Okay, here’s the thing. Yes, Gale killed Prim and we all know that. He killed her ACCIDENTALY but that isn’t an excuse of his wrong decition of killing poor boys of The Capitol. But in the hole trilogy… this is what you really kept about Gale after everything he did? Remember who went to the forest everyday to hunt and make sure Katniss’ family didn’t starve while she was on the Hunger Games? Even if he saw her kissing and being in love with Peeta.
    Who save all those people of District 12 and brought them to District 13?
    Who went to rescue Peeta just for Katniss?
    Who was always by Katniss side, helping her pass through tick-and.thin? even tough she prefers Peeta and Gale is concient about that
    So Gale is the perfect friend and supporter everyone wish to have no matter what happened next. I agree with you Carder, I didn’t expect Gale to move on to another District because he believed in a future with Katniss, and he always stands up for what he believe. Maybe it was guilty, we don’t know. But I’ll miss him and it sucks to have no idea what happened to him.
    Anyways, Katniss and Peeta are a cute couple:)

  28. It’s hardly accidental…He had a total disregard for the taking of innocent life (targeting rescuers!). He was thereby unworthy of Katniss, period.

    That being said, I strongly feel he should have had something of a redemption arc by shooting Coin and then taking the nightlock while Katniss shot Snow. It would have paralleled Peeta giving Katniss giving her her life with Gale when he presented her with the locket in book 2.

  29. Gale became consumed with his hatred for the capital, he was so wrapped up in making them “pay” that he didnt see he was becoming everything that they hated. Also Gale tells Katniss that the only time she kisses him is when he is in pain….With Peeta its something different she feels different when she kisses Peeta..they are in a death game together and all she wants to is KISS HIM!! Peeta was her soulmate..period. I know this isnt a Peeta thread but i’m jus sayin…I always say Peeta as her brother and Peeta as her lover…

  30. I agree, the end seemed completely rushed! By the last part of the book, everyone just ended up being killed off really quickly, then the book moves on (I guess this happens in the middle of a war, but still it’s so depressing..)

    Although I initially preferred Gale more, it’s clear to see why Katniss ends up with Peeta, and he’s definitely better for her. But I dislike how their friendship ends. I think that Collins gives us enough clues along the way and moments to get us on Peeta’s “side” (for example, the first book only starts just before the beginning of the Games – we never really see Katniss and Gale together much, yet we see the whole of her and Peeta’s relationship from the beginning). We never really get to appriciate the full extent of her and Gale’s friendship, and how he was there for her when her father died.

    I also agree that Gale is made out to be the “bad guy” – yeah, he’s angry and violent at the end, but someone has to be strong enough to make sure that the necessary things are done to finish the war. He is no more selfish than Katniss – the whole way through, we are reminded how similar they are – they both look alike, think alike, and have the fight to survive. Except, Katniss is ready to sacrifice anything for the people she loves (as Gale said: she’d choose the person that SHE can’t live without). Whereas Gale will sacrifice anything (even the girl he loves) for the greater good, for EVERYBODY. Which actually makes him less selfish than her. But we’re still led to believe that he’s the bad guy, after he supposedly kills Prim (WHICH IS POINTLESS). It would be nice if at least somebody else survived.

    And there should have been more about him in the epilogue. And yes, not knowing the names of the children bugs me, too. The whole end of the book just feels really rushed and wrong.

    I could go on. Sorry for the rant though, but I’ve just finished reading it and LOVED it.. right up until the end – it’s just so depressing 🙁

  31. Honestly, i feel im on Team Peeta. Mainly because Katniss Decided That she didnt really love Gale. When i was reading the book i put myself in her postion and I choose the same person. She did.Gale tells Katniss that the only time she kisses him is when he is in pain….With Peeta its something different she feels different when she kisses Peeta..they are in a death game together and all she wants to is KISS HIM!! Seriously, TEAM PEETA. just except the fact

  32. If Gale hated District 2 so much (they sent the hovercraft that bombed District 12) why did he end up there? As a military guy District 13 would have been just as good a fit if not better, particularly with the leadership vacuum created by Coin’s death. What is his important job in District 2? Is he there to somehow make amends for his role in the Nut bombing? I think Gale and Katniss knew each other well enough that they both knew his saying “shoot straight OK” was his way of saying goodbye. While she could have called out to him right then but didn’t, her silence was her goodbye. I love that Katniss ended up with Peeta but I disagree that Gale was a bad guy. He may have been somewhat machivellian during the war and stooped to the capital’s level in order to win, but he is willing to accept the consequences (lost his chance with Katniss) and hopefully do something about it by turning District 2 around. Just my $0.02

  33. I assumed Gale went to District 2 because it was a mining district like District 12, i.e., the nearest thing to home left to him in Panem. His choice not to go back to the artificial bunker life of 13, too, seemed a natural choice given his loss of Katniss and their regimented life. The guy went back to the woods and the Seam as much as he could.

    Katniss heard Peeta’s plea to “find out” if she was bring used by her handlers in 13; Gale, in his zeal to destroy the Capitol as 12 had been destroyed, never gets this. He doesn’t become a MuttPhoenix/Mockingjay consequently or r9ose above his origins and anger.

  34. I am just upset that she makes Gale out to be not-too-nice a guy towards the (very rushed) end. I mean, if you’re going to do that, why lure me into falling in love with the hot sexy beast? 🙂 I guessed from the very beginning that Katniss would end up with Peeta, but I didn’t expect Gale to be written off in about two lines.

    500 pages of “gale is my best friend, we hunt, he knows me, he takes care of his whole family, he is so great, i miss him, he kisses me, i kiss him, i can’t decide, what to do, who do i choose? gale is so perfect”

    3 lines of “we can’t shoot each other, i cant look at gale without thinking of prim, he is firey like me, i choose peta” end. will never even think of gale again.


  35. @John: Not sure if after the war the people in District 13 would be forced to live underground in seclusion anymore. Could they not rebuild in the same way that District 12 was starting to do? Their strict rationing and regimented lifestyle could change too over time as resources from other districts came in as they became more a part of Panem again as a full trading partner (this was happening near the end of Mockingjay already even before the fall of the Capitol as they received food shipments from other Districts…recall the beef stew dinner).

    @Code: I actually found that Katniss’ closure of her relationship with Gale existed in these lines from Mockinjay Chp 27:
    Over the eggs, I ask Greasy Sae “Where did Gale go?”
    “District Two. Got some fancy job there, I see him now and again on television,” she says.
    I dig around inside myself, trying to register anger, hatred, longing. I find only relief.

    Not sure why but that last line really resonated with me…I guess it’s the way I wish I could have left off every failed relationship in my life, but often didn’t.

    I’m also heartbroken about Finnick, but war is hell and meaningless deaths like that made the story more realistic for me. You can’t read these books without acknowledging that some aspects are meant to be painful.

  36. I think gale was not being a jerk at all. He was a strong guy and stood upbeat for himself. He never intended on killing prim and I think he felt terrible when it did happen (he even cooluldnt really speak when katniss asked him about it) I agree that it was to hard to have a friendship with katniss in he end because he also liked her and didn’t want to make her ubhappy after all shes been through.

  37. I find myself rooting for gale and katniss throughout the trilogy eventhough he didn’t have a lot of moments with katniss especially on the first 2 books. I wanted him to end up with katniss eventhough I hated some of his traits. My favorite part of the book is actually when they were shooting down the hover planes to protect the hospital. I was trilled to see these two characters in sync again. I was a bit unhappy on how the author have solved the love trisngle. Katniss love both of them and I don’t think she can ever choose between one of them. I don’t buy that she chose peeta only because she he’s the dandelion of hope and she doesn’t need Gale’s fire. I believe that she choose peeta because he’s conveniently there and gale is not. I also think that she has forgiven gale because when she went hunting, she closes her eyes, count to ten and hoping he would appear. Also keeping in mind that she indeed chose gale when she kissed him on the table after he was whipped.. She said she loves him before everything turned upside down and is somewhat sane.

    Lastly, I think gale is better suited for katniss because peeta like katniss, is broken. He still has those scary episodes. Nothing good can happen being with another broken individual… It’s like 2 suicidal/depressed couple living together… It’s just not healthy.

  38. CaliforniaGirl99 says

    I personally was a peter katniss fan because they seemed like ying and yang together. I was a little mad though when Collins just ended the friendship between Gale and Katniss because they were friends and Peeta and Gale were also becoming good friends as well. In a way I wish that Collins made a different ending but in a way it was a smart way to end the love triangle. I like someone said it would be cool if Collins made another book from Gales perspective or even peetas would be interesting especially with when he was tortured at the Capitol.
    I know this is not a discussion based on this topic but I would just like to mention how I don’t like how Katniss’s mom just leaves her there in d12 and doesn’t come back for a little while at least to cope with proms lost with her. It’s almost like she just put up with katniss and cared more about prim.

  39. CaliforniaGirl99 says

    Please excuse the auto correct sorry!!

  40. “It’s hardly accidental…He had a total disregard for the taking of innocent life (targeting rescuers!). He was thereby unworthy of Katniss, period”

    It’s statements like this that make me want to scream. Gale did not order that bombing. We don’t even know if Gale made the bomb, only that he had a plan for similar type of bomb. And I’m sure Gale only meant it to be used against combat forces. When a bomb goes off in war, it’s not civilians or even medics that go in first, it’s other combat troops. And what about Beetee? He was just as complicit in Gale’s plan but readers still seem to love him.

    I hear the term bloodthirsty or ruthless and someone even mentioned war crimes. The problem a lot of people seem to have is that Gale was the most realistic character. They’re in the middle of a rebellion. Losing is not an option. Gale knows that. He realizes what must be done and what must be done is going to be violent and harsh. He choses the rebellion over silly little love games. But even at that, he says he won’t allow Katniss to go at Snow alone. I think a lot of hate for Gale is that he chose to fight for something bigger than Katniss where Peeta only fought for a girl he didn’t even really know.

    The scene at “The Nut” is a major flaw in the narrative of the book. The rebels did not need to take The Nut. They could have simply blew up the entrances so that no more machinery was able to get out. They could have left the airducts in tact and just kept The Nut under siege will a relatively small force and sent the rest of the force to the capitol. Actually, they could have just laid seige to the capitol. The war was over, there was no need to take it by force. Ms Collins just needed a way to make Gale look bad to drive her point home.

    “Collins didn’t cheat anyone, nor did she take a shortcut dissolving the relationship between Gale and Katniss. On the contrary, Prim’s death complicated their relationship!”

    Sorry, but this is untrue. This is still fiction and Ms Collins chose to use this device to kill Prim. She could have had Prim killed in other ways and still had Katniss make a choice. And it didn’t complicate their relationship, it ended it. Katniss was hell bent of finding out who knew what about the bomb, then Haymitch makes fun of her an she drops it. Or worse yet, she just chooses to believe Snow because ‘they never lie to each other’. The problem with this is we never see Snow tell Katniss the truth when it would have benefitted him to lie to her.

    Then there’s whole ‘we both have fire thing’. What fire did Katniss have at the end? None. it was all burnt out. She would have needed someone like Gale to rekindle it. Katniss could have done great things instead of being resigned to a life with Peeta. Someone mentioned Peeta and Katniss were soulmates. To that I say no they weren’t. To imply soulmates means that they were alike. Katniss even admits that her and Peeta aren’t alike. If anything, it’s her and Gale that are alike. Plus, Katniss is still imagining Gale ‘kissing other lips’. You don’t say that unless you really love someone. Peeta and Katniss would not have worked in the end. Eventually one of them would have started ‘healing’ before the other and resentment on both ends would have set in. How many time do we hear of people getting a divorce after something tragic happens like the loss of child. It simply would not have worked in the long run between Peeta and Katniss.

    Sorry for the long post… Just one other comment. I find it amusing how people talk about Gale being bloodthirsty and ruthless and not caring about human life yet they have no problem with Katniss being judge, jury and executioner when it comes to Coin. What is the difference? Because Katniss only killed one person? They both did what they did for the future of Panem. But if you remember, Katniss says she’s basically just shooting people at random as she moves through the capitol. She also got her whole team killed over a lie she told them. It’s kind of hypocritical.

  41. Oh, and let’s not forget how this whole thing started. It started because of Katniss and Peeta. Gale loses his home and people he cared about and was put in this position because of Katniss but mostly because of Peeta’s profession of undying love for Katniss.

    Peeta got this whole ball rolling yet in the end, Gale is the ‘bad guy’. Sure Gale hated the capitol is there is no denying his love for Katniss and because of what Peeta started, he’s the one that get’s the shaft and is the jerk? Gale had always treated Katniss as an equal from the first time he met her and he should be commended for that, not vilified.

    God, why aren’t more girls outraged at what Peeta did? Why can’t they see that how Peeta and Katniss came together is not healthy?

    I’m sorry to make this about the ‘love triangle’ but Ms Collins chose the wrong guy for Katniss. Instead of her choosing a love for Katniss that grew organically over ime with mutual love and respect and caring, she gave Katniss a love that started as a lie and continued as a lie through at least the first two books. Peeta was basically a suroggate for Prim through all three books. Peeta was someone Katniss felt obligated to care for. She neve saw him as her equal. And if both people don’t feel that the other is their equal, the relationship won’t last. There is no way that the Katniss we knew would put up with Peeta pestering her for kids. Plus, Gale would have never asked her to have his children.

  42. When I think about the good qualities of both Gale and Peeta that surfaced throughout their predicaments in the series, I honestly don’t think Katniss deserves either. Although I admired her courageous, independent spirit in the beginning, her inconsistent indifference toward those who love her to death, inability to comprehend the issue at hand, and hint of selfishness in times of distress slowly extinguished my respect for the girl on fire. But having had a slight bias for Gale, I wanted Catnip to end up with her best friend. I know that in terms of conveying the meaning of the book as a whole, the way in which Ms. Collins tied up the novel was the only possible ending that would emphasize her message. However, I was upset beyond words that Katniss so readily dismissed Gale, who absolutely had no knowledge that the weapon he had constructed to save the lives of the oppressed would end the life of her beloved sister (if it was the bomb he created to begin with). The longing she’s overcome with in the woods as a result of her foolish decision not to go after him and sort things out before she kills Coin, immediately followed by her shallow, disdainful thoughts of him kissing someone else, bugged me to no avail. Was their relationship so insignificant and fragile that Gale deserves such a shameful, apathetic exit from her thoughts? Someone who was her safe haven and means of sanity after her father’s death? I could deal with the fact that Gale does not end up with Katniss (and I had a feeling from the moment she kept on stressing that she would never be with Peeta that she would actually end up with Peeta) but I feel like he deserved a better ending, one in which he is acknowledged for the hero and person that he is, someone who’s willing to sacrifice anything for others and who, if thrown in Peeta’s situation, would have gone above and beyond to save Katniss…like someone mentioned above, he is the only one who can rekindle the fire that defines Katniss.

    Regarding the rest of the characters…
    I was absolutely distraught by Cinna’s, Finnick’s, and Prim’s deaths..
    Because it wasn’t completely confirmed in the book, I kept on expecting Cinna to pop into one of the scenes, giving comfort to the emotionally and physically drained Katniss…but I finally had to accept at the end that he truly was gone for being an inspiration to the hopeless, no more warm hugs or witty words of solace.
    Finnick’s death really took me by surprise and I was horrified. I had to read the sentences over and over again to grasp the fact that he really was dead. His humor and good nature made him one of my favorite characters in the book and it almost brought me to tears…I kept on thinking…’oh, no…oh, no…Annie…’ they were finally happy and together…but I’m so happy that a part of him will always be with her.
    While I didn’t have a chance to get attached to Prim the way I was to Cinna, Finnick, Gale, and Peeta, I was very upset by her unexpected death, which defeated the purpose of Katniss’ motivation behind everything.
    I also wish the book elaborated more on the aftermath of the war, the reconstruction of Panem, what happened to Haymitch, etc.

    I can’t help wishing for a different ending for Katniss, where she and Gale courageously build a new life and country together as a married couple with Peeta, Haymitch, Finnick, Annie, Cinna, Johanna, Prim, and their families by their side…but…that would be one more painful sacrifice on Peeta’s part and too happy of an ending…although I was upset by and didn’t agree with many of the elements in the actual ending, I am amazed by the way in which Ms. Collins got us all so attached to the dear characters….

  43. CA i completely agree with you. Im honestly glad I found a place where people arent so overly judgemental about Gale just because they’re obsessesed with Peeta. Gale, in my opinion, was the most brave, courageous, noble, and selfless person in the series. Based on all is actions: Encouraging Katniss not to run away, in order to start the revolution that could save millions of lives, not thinking about himself. He stood by Katniss’ side through all those years, without anything in return, just friendship and love. As for what happened at the end of Mockingjay, I thought it was either rushed writing or pure brilliance. If Collins just used the fancy job as an excuse, and that is actually what happened, then its completly rushed writing. However, if Collins intended a deeper insight to the end, that it was just great. In my opinion, I have two theories about what happened to Gale.

    My first theory is the same as one from above:
    “I think the reason Gale couldn’t handle the friendship between him and Katniss is not because it would remind him that she chose Peeta. It’s because he knew that his presence would only hurt Katniss, since she saw him and Prim’s death as one. Seeing Katniss probably would hurt him too because it would remind him of how he indirectly killed Prim and other innocent children. I think Gale did a noble thing by letting go of Katniss and leaving her to Peeta. He knew he would only remind Katniss of the war”
    I immedeately thought of this when reading the end.

    My second theory is a bit extreme, but when I put the pieces together it made sense, but its just a theory:
    Gale was never the one to ever take a “fancy job”. I’m not saying that is my opinion. I’m simply stating that as one of his characteristics. Peeta fans don’t get pissed and opinionated, its just Gale’s personality. I found it really strange how he just left, and for that matter. When Katniss calls for him after she had just killed Coin, he doesn’t come. I found this extremely odd considering the fact that he had just been held slightly responsible for Prim’s death from Katniss. Wouldn’t he jump at the opportunity to do anything and everything for her? Whatever she needs? She is his best friend after all. This just didn’t add up so I kept re-reading. I then came up with the theory that Gale was executed. He was the one who confirmed to Katniss that Coin put Prim at war and went through with the bombs. Doesn’t this give the capitol/District 13 a reason to execute him?
    Also, Collins has a tendency of taking creative aspects from her novels, and applying them to her work. For example, many character names are taken from Julius Caesar. (Cato, Cinna, Caesar, Portia, etc.)
    When I read the title “Mockingjay” i immedeately thought of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In that story, Tom Robinson was executed, and we are aware of it, but the narrator isn’t. I think the same situation may apply to the end of Mockingjay.

    Once again, that is just a theory. Personally, I don’t mind if either occured, but most likely one of them did, or perhaps some other thing happened. All I know is that the ending given, was not the ending intended. Something else happened and I think Collins is aware she left us Gale fans hanging, and she did it on purpose. Either way, if any of my theories did occur, it really does show that Gale was an honest, genuine, noble, selfless person who stayed true to himself.

  44. I think I understand Katniss, this surving thing she has with Peeta. I understand what it is to be broken and needing a person so much, because you know he can really help you to heal. There are other people, whom we may love (why not) that seem to be right for us only when we are fine. Gale was never really there for Katniss when she was broken. He was there to deal whith some of her needs (feed her family, save her family, things that, ok, I acknowledge that she really needs) but in the end, Collins tels us that she can survive without them (her sister dies, her mother stays away). What Katniss really needs help dealing with is her misery, her lack of desire to live. She´s really so miserable that she really wants to end it. After all, it´s Peeta that saves her from suicide! If she died, there would be no love finale at all! It´s Peeta the one who saves her again, and again, and again. And she ends up knowing it. She needs him to survive, cause he is the only one that really understands that she is really broken. She has suffered more than anywone should. Gale has too much fire, he won´t understand what she really is going through, what she needs. He didn´t go through the games. He thinks he has a destiny to fullfill… and after all, I´m kind of angry with Gale, cause he never comes back for her. He really doesn´t need her, he can go on, he prefers his fancy job now. And true love, I think, it´s all about thinking that you can´t go on without the other person, even if after all you learn that you can, that life goes on if they dissapear. Really, I think that what really changes everything is that he never comes back, not even after years, cause Collins doesn´t tell us that that ever happens. Katniss ends up with Peeta cause everyone makes choices, and while Peeta chooses to comes back for her, to help her, Gale stays away.

  45. Gale really gets the shaft, both by Katniss *and* Collins.

    Gale, who has been devoted to Katniss for so long. Gale, who unquestioningly takes life long responsibility for Katniss’ family in book 1. Gale, who chose saving Katniss’ family over his own when D12 was fire bombed. Gale who volunteered for a what was likely a suicide mission to save Peeta for Katniss — his rival. Gale, who would not allow Katniss to face Snow alone despite being smart enough to understand there was no chance whatsoever of success. Gale who also knew Katniss enough to know he could never convince her to not try. Gale who clearly would have stood by Katniss’ side even if he was not her choice.

    It’s sad that Collins chooses to try to turn this selfless figure into a monster, through contrivance, in the eyes of Katniss and readers simply because she could find no better way to resolve the love triangle. It’s a character assassination of epic proportion and in the end he’s kicked to the curb like so much trash despite an amazing display of selflessness throughout the entire series. Ironically Gale’s role in the whole series is reduced to being nothing more than a pawn in Collins’ own game. Collins shows no respect for Gale’s character.

    Of course, she has similar problems with all her other characters. Prim’s death is nothing more than an absurd contrivance. Katniss herself is unrecognizable in the third book — being reduced to nothing more than a vengeful, selfish prima donna who no longer has the fire, wits and selflessness that define her in the other books.

    I am Glad that Gale got away. Gale deserves a much better person than who Katniss became in the end.

  46. Andrew Kelly says

    I think that Gale’s design of fused weapons to attack soft targets shows how relative morals are. When you are in the mindset of fighting a war, many thanks that you would find abhorrent are considered and justified easily. This is demonstrated not only in the bombs, but in the decision to block off the train tunnel when they collapsed the mountain onto the Nut in d2. It is only when Prim was killed by his own weapon that I think he realises what he has done, although we never see his character developed by this event other than his last line with Katniss in the book. It is a shame that Collins did not close off this character development before the conclusion of the book, rather than just passing him off as “getting a tv job”.

  47. I think that Katniss chose right. Peeta is better for her…. but that doesn’t stop me from liking Gale better. Gale’s fire amd rage made a good friend and hunting partner for all those years before Peeta tainted it with his exclaimation of love fore Katniss. Gale loves nothing more than freedom from opression and in his case the Capitol, so why it was nescessary for Suzanne Colins to end the book with Prim’s death and the end of Gale and Katniss’s friendship i’m not sure, but i do know one thing. Gale stood by Katniss in good times and bad. He was her rock and sanity, he should not have been potrayed as the killer of Prim when in actuallity that was Coin’s fault.

    Gale loved Katniss. And Katniss loved Gale. But then the reaping happened………….

  48. Agnes, i do not agree in the least with your statements. Gale is there for Katniss constantly. Yes he does help her family because he knows that she loves them more than anything else in the world, would die for them which in the end is why Katniss picks Peeta. Gale designed the bomb that killed Prim but he wasnt the one to decide when to use the bomb, but Katniss cant get it through her conceited one track mind that Prim’s death wasnt Gales fault. The reason he left was because he knew she blamed him, he knew she chose Peeta. So in the end it was really Katniss who cast away Gale.

  49. Allison Cruz says

    Katniss did loved Gale and there were many evidences to prove it.

    The Hunger Games:
    – Katniss was thinking of Gale throughout the cave scene with Peeta. Gale was Katniss’s stone in the Games.

    Catching Fire:
    – Katniss hated the fact that Gale was labelled as her cousin
    – Katniss chose Gale before the Quell Game. She chose him knowing it meant losing Peeta (stated by Katniss herself). Something she never did with Peeta
    – Katniss was jealous when Haymitch stated that there might be something between Gale and Madge. Again, she never showed this emotion with Peeta
    – Katniss hated and was tired of the cross star lovers thing

    The Mockingjay:
    We pluck in silence for a while longer. Then he says, ” I saw Peeta yesterday. Through the glass”
    “What’d you think?” I asked
    “Something selfish” says gale
    “That you dont have to be jealous of him anymore?”
    “No just the opposite.” Gale pulls a feather… “I dont stand a stand a chance if he doesnt get better. You’ll never be able to let him go. You’ll always feel wrong about being with me”
    “The way I always felt wro ng kissing him because of you” says Katniss
    ‘It is true,” I admit. “But so is what you said about Peeta”

    This pretty much sum up the love triangle. Even if Katniss wants to be with Gale, she couldnt because she will felt guilty. It doesnt mean she loved Peeta. This pretty much summarized the whole love triangle between them. Even if Katniss chose someone else, she will never be truly happy because she will always feel guilty. The more Peeta was tortured, the more she felt guilty and obligated to be with him. That choosing him is something she owes to him after all that have happened. After all, Katniss always had the need to repay back whatever she owes. In the end, I dont think it was love.


  50. @Allison Cruz

    Great analysis.

    In reading all the books, I never once got the impression that Katniss actually loved Peeta. In the end Katniss pretty much screws everyone over. She ruins her relationship with Gale and dooms Peeta to a lifetime with someone who doesn’t really love him but is with him only out of a sense of obligation.

    Why on Earth would Collins think that was a good way to end the story?

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