Monday, 29 December 2014

Gale Hawthorne - A Reflection

Okay so as some of you may know, I'm not a huge fan of The Hunger Games book series. I do like it, but I don't love it.

But there are three things I love about the series.
  1. Katniss Everdeen's character development
  2. Finnick Odair
  3. Gale Hawthorne
And today, I would like to discuss the third of those things I love. Gale Hawthorne is, in my opinion, possibly the best character in The Hunger Games and I will happily fight whoever disagrees to the death. Just kidding. Sort of. But I am always up for a friendly debate.

So with the recent release of Mockingjay Part 1, I went to go see it with some of my friends. And throughout the whole movie, all I heard was "I want Gale to die", "I hate Gale", "ugh, it's Gale again" and variations of the above. And I was so angry I spent hours afterwards ranting about how much I love Gale to my very disinterested family. So here are the reasons why Gale is the best character in The Hunger Games.

1. He deeply cares about Katniss, his family, her family and just everyone in general.
Gale does, unarguably, care deeply about Katniss. He loves her, as a friend and more, but instead of being fixated on convincing her to love him back, he simply cares for her and her family. He takes care of her mother and Prim whilst she's in the games, and he rescues half of District 12. He is selfless and always ready to help not only Katniss, but everyone he cares for.

2. He's a respectful and wonderful (boy)friend to Katniss.
Gale, despite being in love with Katniss, never pressures her into anything. He never tries to convince her to love him. He respects her and her decision to love Peeta and not him. He even supports her in this decision, by going to rescue Peeta. He loves her enough to not only respect her decision to not be with him, but to also actively work to peruse her happiness, even if it won't make him directly happy, because her happiness and well being comes first to him. He loves her enough to let her go, and to respect her choices. He doesn't ever accuse her of "friendzoning" him.

Okay. This is what really gets me riled up. Gale DID NOT KILL PRIM. Half the internet seems to believe Gale held a gun to Prim's head and laughed manically, followed by, "I am killing Prim!". Just because he built the bomb that did eventually end up killing Prim doesn't mean he meant to or even did kill her. That's like blaming the company that makes ink for a mean letter used to bully someone else. Ridiculous.

4. The Mockingjay epilogue was extremely out of character, and so it really shouldn't count, anyways.
Let's be real, everyone should be able to agree the Mockingjay epilogue was very, very out of character. Katniss didn't even sound like herself, not to mention the fact that she had children when she directly and repeatedly said she did not ever want children (which could mean Peeta pressured her into having children maybe but that's an issue for another post). And that quote in the epilogue about Gale, that tiny little explanation of what happened to him really didn't do him justice. People often combat my pro-Gale argument by saying, "he left Katniss at the end of Mockingjay!". And I guess in some ways, that's right. But she'd also made her decision to be with Peeta in District 12, and is it so unreasonable that Gale would move somewhere else, create a new life for himself? He had no real obligation to stay with Katniss, although it would've been nice. And that quote about him kissing another pair of lips- what the heck? Even if he did move on, which is pretty unbelievable knowing Gale's character, how would that be his fault? Katniss made her decision pretty clearly towards the end of Mockingjay. She wanted to be with Peeta, which was fine, but blaming Gale for then moving on? Not only is this very un-Gale and un-Katniss, it's a sloppy end to Gale's part of the story. I feel like the explanation was an easy way out, a quick, we-don't-really-care-about-this-character approach. Which is ridiculous because I can't be the only person on earth who loves Gale and was very put out by the end to his story (I like to imagine he ends up with Johanna somewhere, an idea my dear friend Lian convinced me on). Conclusion- the epilogue was really out of character, and if you want me to flesh this out more, I would be more than happy to, just let me know.

If I haven't managed to convince you that Gale is an valuable and precious character in this series, then you should at least take this home- it is not fair to hate on a character just because they get in the way of your ship, or because it is easier to. Don't hate on a perfectly fine character, particularly one that is as innocent and blameless as Gale is.

Please don't think I'm hating on Peeta or Peeta/Katniss, I'm really not. Would I prefer Gatniss was endgame? Yes, but it really doesn't bother me that much.

Feel free to express your opinion in the comments below, my twitter @lilypherondale.

Thank you for listening, please let me know if you're a fellow Gale-lover and agree!
Lily xoxo

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