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For those of you who have no idea who Peeta or Gale are, then you should go do two things: leave my blog and go to the library where you should beg, borrow or steal a copy of “The Hunger Games” (or at the very least hop onto the mile-long waiting list).

For those of you who have read The Hunger Games books, welcome! I assume you’re all as excited for the release of Mockingjay as I am (which is to say, pretty freaking excited).

I was on the phone with my sister exchanging last-minute theories (what happened to Cinna? How are they going to rescue Johanna** and Peeta? What the hell is going on in District 13???) when she interrupted me. “I just need to verify… are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?”

“UM, I’m Team Peeta, do you even need to ask me that?”

Megg said that she just had to make sure that I was Team Peeta (tune in next week for a blog post on how annoying the “Team” thing is when I write about Eight Ways Stephanie Myer Has Ruined Fandom Forever. It’s going to be pretty much legendary) and we continued our discussion.

But it got me thinking. Why am I on Peeta’s side? It’s not because it’s canon (sort of :p), because I generally reject canon pairings as lame and predictable (except for Spike and Buffy). What’s so awesome about Peeta? What can he give Katniss that Gale can’t?

ANSWER: HEALING.

Think about it! Peeta has been through everything Katinss has. He was sent to the Arena twice, he’s seen all of the districts and the Capitol (and all the craziness that THAT entailed, like the liquid that makes you vomit so you can keep stuffing your face) and he’s come through it all with remarkable grace and stability. He channeled all his grief and anger into a healthy outlet: his paintings.

I would bet anything that if Peeta hadn’t survived the Arena the first time around (and thus been around to keep Katniss sane) then our dear heroine would have become just like Haymitch–angry, drunk and sleeping with a weapon. Because what would Gale offer her? Anger and resentment toward the Capitol. They would have kept hunting on Sundays, bitching about the government, and Katniss would never be able to heal from the wounds (mentally, of course) inflicted on her by the Hunger Games.

For the Doctor Whovians in my imaginary audience, think of it like this: at the end of “The Stolen Earth” (revived series, season 4 finale), what does the Doctor tell Rose? That the other Doctor was “born in battle, full of blood and anger and revenge. Remind you of someone? That’s me when we first met, and you made me better. Now you can do the same for him.”

That’s what Peeta can offer Katniss–the one thing that Gale can’t do. He can let go of his anger and direct it toward healing, toward peace, toward love. I think that Gale is too much like Katniss–too much a product of the Seam and of hunger and of want–to offer that to her.

For more Peeta vs. Gale awesomeness, check out Forever Young Adult’s “The Great Peeta vs. Gale Debate”. Between me and FYA, feel free to draw your own conclusions. As long as they’re the right conclusions, which is that, while Peeta may not be better than Gale, he’s better for Katniss than Gale is, so Gale can just go marry Johanna Mason or something OH MY GOD THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.

**If I were Suzanne Collins, Johanna would be gonzo. I mean, she’s awesome and badass and one would assume that, given the amount of time she spends stripping off her clothes, she’s pretty hot, but if Suzanne is looking for a nice fatality to impress upon the readers that this is SRS BIZNS, then Johanna’s death would be perfect. Especially if she dies trying to help Peeta escape or something. Except now that I’m all over this Gale/Johanna pairing, I don’t want her to die anymore…