“In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley. A thicket of berry bushes protects it from unwanted eyes. The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile.”
- Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
…… The sight of him waiting brings a smile to her face, in the gray world he was her green, and she was his purple, his red, his green and his blue. Each other´s key, key to sanity in the mad world. Being in the woods with Gale, sometimes she was truly happy, and he saved his Sundays for her. It was so little, but somehow, it was enough.
“They were each other’s strength. For such long time, they were each other’s everything. No matter how hard their day was, they could always come to their rocky ledge overlooking the valley and be happy even just for a while. Maybe it wasn´t much but to them it was enough. And suddenly everything disappeared. I’m trying to imagine this place after they are all gone, years and years later. Generations later, where the games are a distant memory and the name of Katniss Everdeen is just another name written in the history books. People learn about her story but no one quite believes because no one saw it, no one was there. I imagine this place, forgotten from the world, yet still the same, remembering them. No one will know how much this place meant to two kids who were trying to survive in the world so cold, so cruel. No one will know how much was taken away from them, yet this place never could be. It will always belong to Katniss and Gale, and that´s the beauty of them isn´t it? That piece of themselves they gave to each other, an unspoken vow of remembering someone who will always be a part of you.”
That was a brief moment of inspiration, of clarity; that was me feeling deeply for two characters who somehow felt real to me. After I wrote it, I realized why do I feel so much for Katniss and Gale, and it´s because their relationship felt genuine to me. I’m not saying any of you who are reading this have to feel this way, but I do. I think we all, or at least most of us, have that one person who was once a big part of our lives. And even though life happens, and circumstances separate our paths, I think part of that person always stays with us. You continue your life, you love someone else, and you go days without even remembering them. But then, out of the blue, it comes. That day, years from the day you last saw that person, and you feel that ache, that longing for what once was, for what it could have been. Part of you still loves them, part of you will always love them, maybe not in a way you once did, but in a way that it´s so sad and beautiful at the same time. That is Katniss and Gale for me, two people who will always have a part of each other. As Katniss said herself after everything was said and done, she wishes that he was by her side.
“I think about going to the lake, but I’m so weak that I barely make it to my meeting place with Gale. I sit on the rock where Cressida filmed us, but it’s too wide without his body beside me. Several times I close my eyes and count to ten, thinking that when I open them, he will have materialized without a sound as he so often did.” - Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
How many moments like this did Katniss have throughout the years? How many times, somewhere miles away, did Gale replay the last time they saw each other over and over again? I think about it, and for me their last scene is one of the most heartbreaking scenes I’ve ever read:
“I’m searching for something to hang on to, some sign of the girl and boy who met by chance in the woods five years ago and became inseparable. I’m wondering what would have happened to them if the Hunger Games had not reaped the girl. If she would have fallen in love with the boy, married him even. And sometime in the future, when the brothers and sisters had been raised up, escaped with him into the woods and left 12 behind forever.” - Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
I don´t want to convince any of you to feel the way I do about Katniss and Gale. I don´t want to bother to prove why I think they had something romantic going on between them. I don´t want to tell you stories of how they would be perfect for each other, but I want to try to show you their story as I saw it: beautiful, sad and somehow real. Maybe some of you will be surprised and angry at me after I say that I am thankful to Suzanne Collins for ending this series the way she did. Many of you will not agree with me, and that´s ok, but her ending made sense. Because it´s life. Katniss loved Peeta I never doubted that, but I think Gale was a slow fire in her veins, flame that burned until her very end.
This series changed my life as I´m sure it changed many more. I want to take this wonderful opportunity panempropaganda gave me to thank every single one of you for making these past five years such a lovely experience. I want to thank the cast and crew for all of the love and hard work they put in these movies. I want to thank Suzanne Collins for creating Katniss Everdeen and her story, and touching so many lives, including mine. I know some of you might think we come to the end of the road with Mockingjay Part 2, but we don´t. These characters, these relationships we all fell in love with, will always be with us.