The Love Triangle: Katniss, Peeta and Gale in Mockingjay

Reading Mockingjay, one cannot help but reach the conclusion that there are no victors in war, only victims. In its essence, what makes the Hunger Games series so different from other stories is that it is not a simple love story, but a social commentary on culture, entertainment and warfare. As the story progresses, Katniss’ relationships with her two male friends – Gale and Peeta – changes as the realities of war transform and change her.

peeta hunger games love trianglePeeta:

Although Peeta is a kind, caring, idealistic person, Katniss initially sees him as wily and manipulative. As the story unfolds, Katniss learns to slowly trust him, and begins to respect the person he is, although she is not sure of her feelings for him. In Mockingjay, when Peeta is captured by the capitol in an effort to break Katniss, she realizes that she does indeed love him. Meanwhile, the Capitol highjacks Peeta’s mind, and his memories of her are twisted. When he is finally rescued, Katniss visits him, only to be nearly strangled by Peeta.

Most love stories narrate the healing power of love, but the story of Katniss and Peeta explores how love can indeed destroy you, break you. War can be so bitter that there is no real victory for love, even the purest love can get poisoned, and be lost. Yet, even as Peeta transforms from Katniss’ ‘lover boy’ to her would-be assassin, and Katniss is driven to despair, madness and constant physical agony, she learns much about love and relationships.

Convinced there is still hope, she tries to win back the Peeta she once knew. In the end, he is immensely recovered from his brainwashing and plants primroses next to Katniss’s house in memory of her sister, Prim. In the Epilogue of Mockingjay, it is revealed that Katniss fully accepted her love for Peeta and married him and they have two unnamed children, a boy and a girl.

gale hunger gamesGale:

Katniss is very close to her friend Gale, and trusts him Gale loves her for his part, but Katniss is torn between Peeta and Gale – although she is more concerned with the war, and her role as the Mockingjay, than with potential relationships. At first, Katniss sees Gale as a best friend, more like a brother, because he is the only person who she can truly relate with. They hunt together, and trade their game meat. Although Katniss likes and trusts Gale, she does not reciprocate his romantic intentions.

In Mockingjay Katniss and Gale’s relationship becomes closer as the book progresses. He does everything he can to make her happy, including being the first one to volunteer to go to the Capitol and save Peeta, Annie, and Johanna, risking his life. Towards the end, Katniss can’t bear to be with Gale anymore because Katniss’ sister Prim was killed by a firebomb that she believes was made by Gale. That decision ended up being best for her, as she came to the conclusion that “What I need to survive is not Gale’s fire… what I need … only Peeta can give.”