The Hunger Games Movies Cut Gale’s Key Ability (& Made A Katniss Problem)


The Hunger Games movies cut one of Gale Hawthorne’s most defining abilities, entirely changing his later conflict with Katniss. In the books, the two had grown up together in District 12 and developed a strong trust and reliance upon each other. Yet, as the war with the Capitol progressed, Katniss began to see one of Gale’s skills as a concern. Her fears were later confirmed when Gale’s talent took him down a dark path, leading to The Hunger Games’ most significant death.

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In The Hunger Games movie, Gale and Katniss remain steadfast partners throughout all four films. The most significant conflict between them is Katniss’ relationship with Peeta, which causes Gale to become immediately jealous. Still, they were always on each other’s team. Disagreements were minor, and they fully understood one another regarding battle. However, when Prim was killed in the Capitol bombing, Katniss questioned her old friend about whether President Coin was to blame and definitively dismissed him from her life, but why?

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Gale Was a Genius At Strategy (But The Hunger Games Movies Didn’t Show It)

Gale looking intense with Peacekeepers in the background in The Hunger Games.

Early on in the Hunger Games book, Katniss reveals that Gale was a genius when it came to snares. He could think like his prey and determine their actions and choices to achieve his kill. This was a quality that Katniss respected, but when these skills were applied to war, she grew more concerned. Gale’s strategic talent helped him rise quickly among the ranks of District 13, and he became essential in planning battles. However, the result of his genius was the death of hundreds, and Katniss hated it.

While in District 13 in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay book, Gale had been excited to formulate some of his best snares into grand-scale war strategies, and he and Beaty wrote out several for hypothetical, future use. Katniss observed that one of these plans involved setting off a bomb in a public area and allowing others to come to the aid of the injured before setting off another bomb, therefore increasing casualties. Katniss was disturbed by this, but when she voiced her concern, Gale reminded her that it was war.

Hunger Games’ Changes Made Katniss Blaming Gale For Prim’s Death Confusing

Hunger games Gale responsible for Prims death

In the Hunger Games books, when Prim was killed by a bomb precisely like the one from Gale’s plan, Katniss began to suspect that it was District 13 and President Coin that were responsible for the bombing of their own people. Then, when President Snow reveals Coin’s deceptions, the finer details of her situation settled into place. Katniss’ beloved sister, the only one she had ever really cared about protecting, was killed by a bomb that her best friend had designed.

The final scene between Gale and Katniss in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 happened in the book as well, but it had the background context of Gale’s bombs, Katniss’ concern that her friend was taking things too far, and her clear realization that the bomb was exactly like the one Gale had described. Without this, Katniss’ decision to part ways with her oldest friend makes little sense. With it, however, audiences understand that she would never be able to look at him again without seeing Prim’s terrible death, and Gale knew it too.

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What Happened To Gale After He And Katniss Part Ways?

The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1-Cressida-and-Gale

The end of Gale and Katniss’ friendship was confusing for audiences of Mockingjay- Part 2, and it was made all the more unsatisfying by the fact that they never hear anything more about what happens to Liam Hemsworth’s character. However, in the book, Katniss hears about Gale’s fate from Greasy Sae, and it brings a satisfying close to not only his character arc but the Team Gale vs. Team Peeta argument.

The final chapters of Mockingjay reveal that Gale had gotten a fancy military job in District 2. Katniss reflected that it was a fitting job for her old friend and imagined he had already found another girl’s lips to kiss. Gale had been manipulated and used by Coin’s military just like Katniss had, but he didn’t mind. He believed that these evils needed to be done for the greater good, and though he regretted Prim’s death, the strategy had freed Panem. Ultimately, Gale’s military job proves that he and Katniss could have never ended up together in The Hunger Games. After her traumas, Katniss needed peace, and all Gale had to offer was more chaos.

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