Other character relationships

Katniss and Gale

In the novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss’s relationship with Gale is very important to her. For Katniss, Gale is not only her hunting partner but also her closest friend. Katniss mentions that she feels at ease around Gale, which highlights their closeness and familiarity: 

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 (…) The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile. Gale says I never smile except in the woods. (Chapter 1, 19%)

When it comes to their relationship, Katniss says they are only friends: “There’s never been anything romantic between Gale and me” (Chapter 1, 43%). However, during her time in the Hunger Games, Katniss begins to see her relationship with Gale in a different light: 

I call him my friend, but in the last year it’s seemed too casual a word for what Gale is to me. A pang of longing shoots through my chest. If only he was with me now! (…) I just miss him. (Chapter 8, 92%)

This shows that Katniss is questioning the nature of her feelings toward Gale, which sit somewhere between friendship and romance. She also wonders whether Gale feels the same towards her: “Gale’s not my boyfriend, but would he be, if I opened that door?” (Chapter 21, 21%). 

Katniss contrasts her relationship with Gale, which she says was born out of a “mutual need to survive” (Chapter 8, 92%), to her relationship with Peeta, where one’s survival in the Games must mean the other one’s death. In this way, she shows the two boys as rivals. 

However, as the rules of the Hunger Games change, Katniss and Peeta end up helping each other survive, which mirrors Katniss’s relationship with Gale. This suggests her feelings for the two boys are similar. Katniss also says “for some reason Gale and Peeta do not coexist well together in ...

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