Was I supposed to wait an entire day before posting this? WELL TOO BAD. Now that I've finished, I agree with all the commenters from day one who just wanted us to read faster so we can talk about everything. So here we go:
This post is going to be spoilerific for every single aspect of Mockingjay. Don't read this until you've gotten through the acknowledgements and know who Suzanne Collins wants to thank the most. Okay? Okay.
NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT:
Soooo many things to touch on here. Before going into the whole Peeta thing again, though, I just want to say
GOD DAMN IT, FINNICK!!
And then there's a whole list of god damn its that could go out to Coin and Prim and Beetee and on and on. But their motivations all made sense.
So back to the hijacking and the way that would inevitably lead to Peeta and Katniss being together. I didn't see The English Patient, Erin, but that's because I could tell it was gonna be weak sauce from the trailer alone. So I agree that she had to do something to make it confusing and get Peeta into that state of kind of hating Katniss. But it would have been sooooo much more interesting if there hadn't been venom involved, just actual doubt.
The only thing that would have worked was the "Peeta as potential weapon" device, but there was never any real tension in that for me, because clearly it wasn't really going to come down to that.
Although, speaking of what things came down to, was anyone else a little bit disappointed by the way it ratcheted up at the climax and then just fell flat? Katniss was just kind of wandering in the streets, then there was a collection of kids, then some bombs, then... we wake up later. Then Katniss assassinates Coin and... we wake up later. Then she goes to sleep again, and then Peeta's there, and then... we have an epilogue.
BUT WHAT AN EPILOGUE!!!
I mean, in actuality, looking at it as the end of a beloved trilogy, the epilogue kind of blew. But it's exciting to me, because it proves what I've been saying all along: choosing Peeta = choosing a lame ass life of sucking.
I mean I get that rationale that Katniss needs a dandelion or something, but I still think that it's sort of sad for her that after everything she's been through she just hangs out back in the Shire making a memory book like she's Bilbo Baggins or something. She has that fire, damn it, and instead of getting to go out and do something else to make the world a better place she's just hanging out with KIDS THAT SHE NEVER WANTED TO HAVE until that stupid whiny baker talked her into it.
Again, go back and read that first paragraph: IT TOOK HER FIVE, TEN, FIFTEEN YEARS TO AGREE TO IT. That is some PUSHY baking business. Now she doesn't even care about their names, just calls them boy and girl (to be fair, though, Suzanne may have run out of crazy sounding names, and the FYA Hunger Games name post probably wasn't up when she was writing that). La la la, save the world, hang out in a meadow, always worried that the girl is going to be scared of mommy's night terrors.
Meanwhile, who knows what Gale's important job in District 2 is? It's tough to say, but you can be damn sure that after his plan killed Prim and took Katniss away from him forever he's not interested in restocking the nuclear defense system. I bet he's using his hunting instincts to build a new system of moving necessary supplies from district to district, and applying what he knows of human behavior to create a strong new economic model that can thrive under a true democracy. In other words, GENERALLY BEING AWESOME.
I'm also a little disappointed that he wasn't mentioned at all in the epilogue. Real or not real as Katniss's love for Peeta may be at the end after that love creeps up on her, Gale was still her best friend. I hate it when romantic entanglements make people lose their best friends, and after a few years I'm sure Gale would be over her and happy with someone else who crept up on him. Couldn't they meet up after a decade, go hunting, and exchange stories? Although I'm sure it would have been heart breaking for Gale to see the shell she became thanks to a lousy choice in a lover...
I'm glad we didn't get an epilogue for Annie, though. That would just be tooooo sad.
Ultimately, though? Yeah, TEAM GALE all the way.
After he was gone, I kept going back to my Gale = Han from the original debates. And if Katniss had stayed with him, she could have truly become Princess Leia, using the fire that burned within her to ignite a passion for rebuilding from the smoldering ashes that used to be Panem. Helping the rest of the population, all of whom no doubt had suffered losses just as tragic as her loss of Prim, to see that there was a point to fighting on, because we have to fight on, because as soon as we stop fighting we turn back to bread and circuses - BREAD and circuses, you crazy baked goods fans and citizens of the Capitol - and we leave a gap for the next President Snow to walk back through.
The Girl Who Was On Fire would not be content to just let that fire spread, either, she would be the Girl Who Became a Phoenix, and she would have lived a life full of meaning and fulfillment instead of just sitting in a meadow every day, trying to remember some times when she saw people displaying goodness.
Seriously, is Suzanne Collins a Mormon as well? Or do YA authors just hate women? Because for an author who created a character as awesome as Katniss, she sure did consign her to an old school woman's role straight out of the Mad Men era. I think it's safe to say that the best thing the movie studio can do now is cut her off, hand over the entirety of the creative control to Joss Whedon, and let him turn Katniss into the badass that she really needs to be.
And I think this is what I was always arguing for when I started being Team Gale - Katniss's ultimate fulfillment. Yes, I framed most of that debate in the terms of sexual fulfillment, but there's so much more to it than that. And a life spent hunting with your best friend, seeking out meaning in the world, and living up to your potential is so much more fulfilling than a life spent with a fricking dandelion.
Also, I still say that the sex would be way better with Gale. But that's what happens when you pick the one who dotes all the time; that's all they know how to do. "Are you okay, honey?" "You sure you're okay? What can I do to help?" "Don't worry, it'll be okay as long as we have each other." GAH.
All right, fire away on everything you want in the comments.
Erin, I trust you'll take my hurried words here and be more eloquent as always. But I hope you don't feel it necessary to cling to your so obviously misguided opinions on Peeta just because you were wrong before. It's okay to acknowledge that that was a mistake, you didn't know how meaningless life with him would be for Katniss, and to congratulate me on my victory.
"I want you to rethink it and come up with the right opinion."
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