Why “Real” was important

“I thought he wanted it, anyway.”  I say.

“Not like this,” Haymitch says.  “He wanted it to be real.”

We almost got these lines in the movie, and I was so happing they would put them in.  I think the scene still did a job of at least showing how Peeta was feeling.  This moment, and that line, was so important in the books.  Because Suzanne Collins was amazing at how she set up so much to come. Because this moment is reflected later  in so many ways.  Most especially when we finally get to here…

“So after, when he whispers, “You love me.  Real or not real?”

Katniss knows from Haymitch’s earlier statement and all the questions she has answered in the Real or not Real? game that it will not be saying “I love you” back to Peeta that will mean the most to him.  So, she gives the answer that will.  The one word that will tell Peeta everything.