So the Telltale staff did a Q&A about Season 3 on the Telltale forums and this is what one of them had to say about whether or not Clem has feelings for Gabe. 1/2
“This is something that Clem will need to decide for herself. There’s some factors in her history that could make it more or less likely for her to open up to someone like Gabe, but at the end of the day, they really haven’t known each other all that long. She could feel strongly enough based on some existing choices that she’ll make a declaration on his deathbed of what they might have been – but the difference between might have been, and what will be, remains to be seen.” Thoughts? 2/2
I think this person is commenting more on whether Clem would get into a relationship with Gabe because another one of Telltale’s staff confirmed in the same thread that Clem does have romantic feelings for Gabe.
“There’s some factors in her history that could make it more or less likely for her to open up to someone like Gabe, but at the end of the day, they really haven’t known each other all that long.”
This is a pretty fair answer, honestly. ANF takes place over 3 or 4 days. However, it’s clear that despite their short time together, Clem and Gabe definitely care about each other (Gabe asking Javi how Clem is, Clem going with Gabe to protect him in the beginning of episode 5 when David insists he comes along with him). But getting to know someone – knowing what makes them tick, knowing their dreams and hopes and fears, the principles and morals they live by – that takes a lot of time. Gabe and Clem are friends who’ve talked and maybe even opened up to each other, but I doubt they’ve built that solid foundation of trust necessary for a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) in 3 days. I feel like they’re well on their way, though.
“She could feel strongly enough based on some existing choices that she’ll make a declaration on his deathbed of what they might have been – but the difference between might have been, and what will be, remains to be seen.”
Again, I think this is pretty fair statement too. It’s no surprise that they’ve taken a liking to each other. Someone else in the AMA also pointed out that it’s pretty natural for Clem and Gabe to crush on each other: Clem is the first girl who’s his age and isn’t family, Gabe is the first boy since Duck who’s her age. Whether it’ll blossom into a full-fledged relationship is another story. People grow and change and meet other people. I also doubt Clem has time to even be in a relationship, given that she’s raising AJ too. Gabe’s also a determinant character and we’re not even sure if he’ll even be alive next season, given Telltale’s track record (if he does survive episode 5, that is).
But despite all that, I think Gabe is really good for Clementine. Admittedly, I also initially had reservations about Gabe until I saw how Clem actually acted like her age around him and not the hardened, wary survivor she is. (I also I realized around episode 3 that I had the exact same personality as Gabe when I was his age so I cut him some slack too lmao. Now he’s one of my favourite characters in the game, kid’s really grown on me.) I feel like Gabe grounds Clementine and reminds her that life is beyond just surviving. I’d really hate to see Clem turn into someone who’s cold, alone, and void of humanity. But when she’s around Gabe, she’s able to forget that the world is utter shit, even if it’s only for a few moments (the scene where they’re playing euchre is SO PURE!!!).
On a sort of unrelated note, I’m also tired of seeing children die, too. I get it’s *realistic* or whatever but imo it’s the most depressing aspect of the game. I feel like it’s one thing when adults die – they’ve already become the person they’re meant to be, or are at least well into their journey of achieving that. But Duck, Ben, Sarah, and Mariana never got a chance. Gabe begins that journey in episode 5 only to die later (in some playthroughs) and it’s just really really unfair. I really wish that he wasn’t a determinant character. I’d also like to see how another kid would grow up and step into responsibility and adjust to the world around them, you know?