Just prior to the finish of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 (2015), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) wakes from a nightmare and abandons her bed come crawl into a cuddle with her long-time games partner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Together she rests her head on Peeta’s chest, he asks her, “You love me. Real or not real?” Katniss answers, “Real.” the taken her four movies (or 3 novels), yet she has finally resolved the story’s love triangle by realizing that Peeta, no Gale (the original romantic frontrunner, played by Liam Hemsworth), is her true love.

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The an initial installments, The Hunger games (2012) and The Hunger Games: recording Fire (2013), told united state the opposite: Gale was Katniss’ “real” (private) love, and Peeta was she “fake” (public) romantic acted because that the cameras. End the food of the story, this dynamic shifts, and the performance of her love v Peeta grows right into a reality.

So what has actually changed? for one, Gale is revealed to be not the person she believed (nor, perhaps, the human he formerly was). The war has made the ruthless and cold in his search of his initially noble cause. Gale suggests an assault strategy the involves bombing civilians, leaving a brief pause so other civilians will certainly think it safe to come have tendency the wounded, and also then setting off a second bomb. Once rebel chairman Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) supplies Gale’s battle strategy to killing Capitol kids (in a strategic political relocate to reprimand Donald Sutherland’s angry President Snow and also turn his very own soldiers versus him), the bomb likewise kills Katniss’ sister, Prim. Every along, Gale has actually taken on the role of protector of Katniss’ family members – this to be his factor for not volunteering for the an initial Games with Katniss. Currently it is glaringly apparent that he has actually failed in his role as Prim’s protector, together Prim has actually died. Gale, arguably, has actually killed her or had actually a function in she killing. After ~ the battle Gale, proper able to look Katniss in the eye, tells her he walk not understand whether it to be his bomb that eliminated Prim – yet he can’t refuse the delayed battle strategy was his idea. That knows the he and Katniss can have no future, as the idea will always be in Katniss’ head the he may be responsible. The event gives Katniss certainty as she walks far from Gale, yet her orbit was already moving away from his and also toward Peeta’s.

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Despite the dark duration their partnership has entered in Mockingjay – part 2, Katniss and also Peeta proceed to affirm their duties as every other’s protectors. They repeat their mutual story: “We store each other alive. It is what we do.” in ~ the start of the film, a deeply disturbed Peeta has actually been brainwashed versus Katniss through Snow’s torture, which mixed real memories with falsified ones. Peeta “can’t tell what’s real and what’s do up,” therefore Peeta and Katniss develop their game of “Real or not Real” to verify Peeta’s memories until he recovers. Making up this game together is a installation illustration of how relationships are at some point an act of mutual storytelling.

While Katniss has long kept that she loves Gale, she actions with time reveal the she and Peeta room bound with each other – with circumstance, compatibility and most that all mutual experience. In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - component 1 (2014), Finnick tells Katniss, “After your an initial games, I thought the whole romance to be an act…we all supposed you to continue that strategy. The wasn’t until Peeta’s love stopped and he almost died that ns knew i misjudged you. Girlfriend love him. I’m no saying in what way—maybe girlfriend don’t even know yourself. Yet anyone paying attention deserve to see it.”

Discover magazine says that Katniss’ falling because that Peeta stems indigenous the link between anxiety and arousal – researches have shown that ladies are more likely to loss for a guy when they experience dangerous situations together, because their arousal activates a sex-related response, and Katniss and also Peeta are together for the scariest moment of their lives. One of two people way, Peeta becomes the one human who understands what Katniss has lived—as she is for him. Somewhere follow me the way, your performance that love stops being a strategy and also becomes the living, breathing thing.

The love story in The Hunger gamings is subtle and also mature for a blockbuster romance. Significantly, the love story does not excessively dominate the story. This is the story of a distinct young woman leading the disempowered come fight a war versus their oppressors, which, secondarily, attributes a love story. Gale points out in a steal conversation v Peeta in Mockingjay – component 2 that the concern of whom Katniss will choose is likely academic; the chance that all 3 in the love triangle will make it through is slim. If somehow they do, Gale remarks, that “her problem.” This is no the overdramatic, even-death-won’t-part-us rhetoric we’d expect if The Hunger gamings were a sibling of Twilight. Even the two guys fighting to win Katniss’ heart placed the romance second to the bigger objectives of the liberty struggle —as they should.

Second, we genuinely don’t understand for a an excellent portion that the stare which male Katniss is going to choose. The earlier installments convince us that Kale’s heart lies with Gale. At that point, the an option between the two men is much more a concern of love versus duty. As time goes on, her fixation Peeta is increasingly obvious, however the story still implies that her devotion to Peeta is nearly sisterly, born the duty and gratitude, another self-sacrifice rather than the ultimate desire that true romance. Also for much of Mockingjay – part 2, which suggests numerous times the Katniss may need to kill the brainwashed Peeta because he has both struck Katniss and killed one more troupe member, we space not sure of the specific nature that Katniss’ feelings.

So, walk she love Peeta from the start and also learn it end time? Or perform Katniss and Peeta fuse with each other irrevocably as result of the extreme circumstances they are required into? do all 3 members the the original love triangle change fundamentally and also become altogether new selves in the crucible that the Games? These questions – right here as in life – are unanswerable. It is impossible to separate ourselves native the experiences we have lived. The question of even if it is Katniss would have actually married Gale, if she had actually never unable to do to the Hunger Games, is nonsensical. Even if the story indicates that pre-Games Katniss would have chosen Gale (through the parallel of Mrs. Everdeen’s choice to get married Katniss’s coal-miner father instead of Peeta’s father, who was also in love with her), the yes, really Katniss does walk to the Games and also become the mockingjay. She and also her romantic interests space tested, changed, and also revealed through lived events.

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If our selection of who to love is the can be fried reflection of who we are, then we cannot “choose” any more than we choose ourselves. Katniss’ love for Peeta expose the worths she most holds dear: proceeding kindness and goodness even after we witness the ugliest of what humankind deserve to do. In the an initial novel, Katniss expresses the photos she associates with Peeta: “ the bread that gave me hope, and also the dandelion the reminded me that i was no doomed.” Peeta is the flower the renews ~ death and also the loaf of bread the stole because that Katniss’ family, knowing the act would result in his beating. Later, in Mockingjay, she understands clearly why she demands Peeta and also not Gale: “What I must survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled v rage and also hatred. I have plenty the fire myself. What I require is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that method rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life deserve to go on, no matter how bad our losses. The it deserve to be an excellent again.”

In the last scene that Mockingjay - part 2, Katniss speak her baby daughter about the game she dram to journey away her nightmares: remembering every an excellent thing she’s seen civilization do. After the hell Katniss has lived through, she requirements Peeta to remind her the there is a light next to life and also to assist her rebuild an presence based on an excellent things. The is the ever before self-sacrificing, renewing, pure-hearted human who offers her reason to go on after ~ the life nightmares of the gamings have ended.