1:16 PM

WARNING: This will be a long read.


Do not read if you haven't read the books or haven't seen the movies. If you've read up until Catching Fire, but not Mockingjay, then STOP right now (unless you're like me and like spoilers so much, then wow okay read on, I insist)

But for those who hate spoilers, enjoy this picture for a while, then LEAVE. For the love of God LEAVE NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE (i have had enough death threats from people who I have unintentionally spoiled, I don't want any more)

HI THERE! So if you're still here and have continued to read on, then it's safe to assume that you have read all the books and have seen the movies or you just like spoilers like me (REALLY? You like spoilers? Really really? I thought I was the only one....)

Anyway, the title of this post is false and misleading. Because this isn't a blog post with a list trying to convince Katniss to choose Peeta or Suzanne Collins to MAKE Katniss choose Peeta.

No, this isn't a Team Peeta blog post where you find stupid reasons like "Peeta is gentle" "Peeta can bake" "Peeta is nice" Though all these statements are true, this is not the content of this blog post.

The title is wrong, because this blog post isn't about why Katniss SHOULD choose Peeta, but why Katniss CHOOSES Peeta.

(AND THAT'S OUR FIRST MAJOR SPOILER: Katniss chooses Peeta. (I'm sure a lot of people know this already, but not everyone - hence the warning before the jump is necessary) )

I've recently read a lot of stuff online posted by THG fans, wondering if Katniss really did love Peeta, why she chose him, why not Gale, why did she end up with anyone at all, etc etc (REALLY GUYS? Did you even read the book? Don't you see how clear it all is????). And I thought that it was imperative for me to share my own views and opinions about how Mockingjay ended - with Katniss and Peeta getting married and having kids and all.

(SECOND SPOILER: Katniss and Peeta get married and have kids.)

So here are the answers to those questions. Answers which can be found from the book, and I guess some of my own analysis. Just to clear things out.

Katniss chooses Peeta because he is the one she can't survive without. I know that sounds so morbid and not at all romantic, but after all that Katniss has been through, Peeta is the one person who can understand her, what she has been through in the Games because they were together - and that is one thing Gale will NEVER understand. People argue that Katniss only settles for Peeta, but for me, it is clearly a CHOICE. Many say that Gale conveniently left District 12, thus giving Katniss no choice but to be with Peeta. But that is not true. Katniss could have opted to not get married at all, never recover and live her life like a robot or even to just kill herself. But it is Peeta who is there for her, caring for her and never leaving her side. He is the one who inspires her to continue living despite all the pain they've been through. Since Day 1, Peeta is the one person who gives Katniss hope. Hope, when he gave her bread. Hope, when Katniss saw Peeta and collected the dandelions. Hope, when Peeta planted primroses in her yard. And because of this hope, Katniss continues to live.
That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
But not to say that Katniss didn't actually love Peeta - more on this below.

Yes. Yes! YES!!!!!! There was never any doubt for me about Katniss's feelings for Peeta, and even in the first book I felt that Peeta was the clear choice. In the first book, it was quite obvious that Katniss had feelings for Peeta, not necessarily wholly romantic ones, but feelings nonetheless. She felt an attachment to Peeta, who she often dubbed as The Boy With the Bread, because of their shared history. She was surprised that she kept tabs of him as they grew up even knowing that he came in 2nd at a wrestling match. This shows that Katniss does feel something for the boy, but just not entirely sure what it was at first.

Peeta obviously loved Katniss first. His every action was to protect Katniss; she always came first. Peeta risked getting a beating from his mother to give Katniss bread; Peeta teamed up with the Careers in the first Games so he could protect Katniss; Peeta screamed a warning even if he was being tortured at the Capitol; Peeta stopped her from swallowing the pill that would take her life - the list goes on and on and on. But does Katniss return the feelings? YES, of course, she does. She acknowledges the fact that some kisses in the arena were just for show, but she also knew that other kisses mattered and made her feel something. At the end of Book 1, she admits to dreading the time when she is separated from Peeta. In Book 2, she then dedicates her life mission to save Peeta and let him survive. She even admits that she needs Peeta, and would be irrevocably damaged if she loses him.

In a scene in Catching Fire, Katniss is obviously confused between Gale and Peeta, but this quote explains it all clearly to me.
I wish that Peeta were here to hold me, until I remember I’m not supposed to wish that anymore. I have chosen Gale and the rebellion, and a future with Peeta is the Capitol’s design, not mine. 
This is one of the quotes that make me really sure that Katniss is in love with Peeta - she just denies it. Look at how it is written. "I'm not SUPPOSED to wish that anymore" It seems to me that Katniss thinks it is wrong for her to love Peeta because it is what the Capitol wants her to do, so she automatically dismisses it and claims to have chosen Gale - when in fact she is in love with Peeta all along.

Katniss loved Gale too, but she didn't choose him. Why? Because she didn't love Gale enough that she could overlook the fact that he had an indirect involvement with Prim's death. Katniss can forgive him, but she can never separate him from that moment. She will always look into Gale's eyes and remember Prim, and that will never make their relationship work.

(THIRD SPOILER: Gale is involved with Prim's death)

But even so, even without Prim's death, I don't think Katniss ever saw him in a romantic light. At the beginning of the series, it is obvious that Katniss cares a lot about Gale, but with all the circumstances she never really gets to ponder over her feelings about him. But I do think that although she loves Gale, it was never really anything romantic to begin with. I think this one clears it out.
Gale, who I have never seen cry, has tears in his eyes. To keep them from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his. We taste of heat, ashes, and misery. It's a surprising flavour for such a gentle kiss. He pulls away first and gives me a wry smile. "I knew you'd kiss me."
"How?" I say. Because I didn't know myself.
"Because I'm in pain," he says. "That's the only way I get your attention." He picks up the box. "Don't worry, Katniss. It'll pass." He leaves me before I can answer.
I do believe this is a moment when Gale actually knows for himself that he was a goner. Maybe Katniss could have fallen in love with him if circumstances were different, but she didn't.

When Gale left District 12 at the end of Mockingjay, I think that was the moment when he just knew that the small chance Katniss would choose him was gone. He knew Katniss would choose Peeta, and he just left.

Many have said that if The Hunger Games never happened, Katniss would've chosen Gale. If Prim hadn't died, she would've ended up with Gale. BUT FACE IT - IT DID HAPPEN. EVERYTHING HAPPENED.

Even if Katniss has repetitively said that she doesn't want to get married or have kids, I do think that her ending up with someone in the end is very logical. The reason why she never wanted to get married in the first place was because of the Games and she didn't want to have her children suffer. But I think by the end of Mockingjay, the Games were no more, and it was finally a peaceful time that starting a family with Peeta seemed the right thing to do for them to continue living and move on with their lives - and to be finally happy.

Katniss choosing Peeta means a lot to today's society, and to female empowerment. If Katniss had chosen Gale, the whole point of the character being independent and feminist would be gone, as Gale is the manly man, fitting into the stereotype of what a man apparently should be constituted of. He is aggressive, strong, a hunter; whereas, Peeta is kind, gentle, a baker, a painter - traits that do not fit the spectrum of what is considered masculine. Katniss on the other hand is a mixture of both female and male traits. She is a protector and both a hunter at the same time, and her choosing Peeta at the end of the story means that it's okay for men to exhibit feminine traits, and it's okay for women to become whoever they want to be and be with whoever they want to be with. They need not be in a patriarchal family with the man as the head, it can be the woman or both of them. It opens up to new point of views and opportunities.

Well, that's about it. I hope this clears things out.

Catching Fire is out on theaters since November 22, 2013. Make sure to see it! :)

(all pictures are not mine, and credits to the owners)

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2015 Reading Challenge
Kimi has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.