Please welcome Mandy W. to the Smarty Pants stage! She's Canadian, and her drug of choice is ice cream. She's a major word nerd, but since her chosen profession is engineering, she's had to find other creative outlets. And thus, this Smarty Pants post was born.
I'm way late to the Hunger Games party, having only finished them a few weeks ago -- and now suffering through major TEABS. I've try to cure my affliction, by reading Divergent (inadvertently adding to my growing list of YA addictions), doing a little YAngelism (Bonus points! Friend converted from Gale to Peeta, because croissants are never not the answer) and just generally scouring FYA to get my YA fix... but I'm jonesing real bad. Like morphling bad.
Instead of arguing for Team Whichever (oh who am I trying to kid -- of course it'd be Team Peeta), I've decided to go with the Marry/Boff/Kill variant.
Let's start with an easy one....
It is impossible to find a still in which Liam Hemsworth A) has his mouth closed and B) does not look constipated.
OK, I know that my one-word argument is already pretty air-tight, but I'll elaborate to stop this piece from derailing into a complete Peeta lovefest. It'll just be an 85% Peeta-thon.
(Side note: The Peeta-thon! Contestants demonstrate their artistry in frosting, as well as baking breads, baguettes, and of course, croissants. That's your real Hunger Games right there.)
Full disclosure, though -- I started reading the books after the movie was cast, so knowing that Mr. Miley was portraying him meant that Gale was already at -12938. But his brother is also Thor, so this is becoming quite the mathematical quandary.
Anyway, my main problem with Gale is can be summed up by a line from Bring It On 3: All or Nothing -- "I'd rather show you than tell you." (Yes, it exists -- there are at least 5, of which I own 4 -- and yes, I'm using any excuse I can to parlay that movie into casual conversation; I suggest you do the same.)
It's a byproduct of the setting of the story, but during the course of the books, Katniss just spends a lot more time with Peeta than with Gale. We see her relationship with Peeta develop, from schoolyard familiarity to a symbiotic alliance, to her confusion of distinguishing 'real or not real'.
With Gale, I just always felt like I was being told of how great he was, and never really seeing it for myself. He gets props for supporting his family after his father's death, and for getting Family Everdeen out of District 12; but in terms of his relationship with Katniss, I don't see him showing much affection towards her until he's in danger of being Friend Zoned.
(Feel free to reassemble words from that last sentence as necessary, to complete the Kenny Loggins homage.)
Gale's hotness may get him an upgrade to Boff, but the other candidates have survived two Hunger Games each -- I can't subject them to more suffering! Sorry, Gale, but you're clearly just more killable.
When I initially thought of using this M/B/K concept (I say "using", you say "ripping off"... potato, tomato), it seemed like a foregone conclusion: kill Gale, marry Peeta, boff whoever's left.
And of course, when you think of boffing in Panem, you think of Sex God Finnick Odair.
But then I read Mockingjay. Oooh boy.
It feels dirty to use Finnick for sex, given his past. And he and Annie are just so tragic. I didn't actually cry during the series, but I came closest when Finnick died.
Awww Finnick. I just want to take care of you.
But for husband material, I want someone to take care of ME.
(Yeah, I know that Katniss is super capable and less useless than me, but she usually uses those abilities to put others before herself -- she needs someone to make sure she's taken care of, too.)
Peeeeeta! (Like there was ever any doubt. Though I was surprised that I could consider anyone else for longer than a heroin heartbeat.)
Katniss, you're awesome and kick-ass and RAWR RAWR GIRL POWER Arrow Spice and all that, but lady, you're just not a very good girlfriend or wife. All Peeta wants to do is love you and take care of you -- WHY WON'T YOU LET HIM!? (And then once you did, why did you only reluctantly have his babies, when there are so many of us that are willing!? You know, if he wasn't a fictional teenage baker. Minor obstacle.)
The ending was so hollow to me, since it felt like Katniss chose Peeta by default and settled. Peeta deserves better!
Ignoring the whole "Whoopsie, I may have helped bomb your sister" kerfuffle, if Katniss chose the path of incredibly poor decisions and picked Gale, I wouldn't be surprised if he developed some weird inferiority complex. He's always been the brooding, hunting manly man, taking care of his gaggle of siblings... how would he adjust to living off of Katniss' money in the Victor's Village? I don't want Katniss to be trapped in a sad marriage with a resentful husband.
On the other and better mutant hands, Peeta and Finnick both have their own money, and they'd be used to living in the Victor's Village. Emasculation avoided!
("But it's the future and everyone's progressive and blah blah guys wouldn't be threatened by their wives' success!" Tell that to the Oscars Best Actress curse. Anyway, I'm not saying the wife can't be more successful, but being too many tax brackets apart could cause tension. Says the never-married 20-something idiot.)
There's also incremental nutritional value in marrying Peeta over Finnick or Gale. There's only so much rodent one needs in their diet -- although I do love me some seafood... but Katniss has meat covered. The clear choice is Peeta; even the food pyramid agrees!
(I've even learned to love his stupid name, because how can you NOT love a homophonic pun!? I love my Peeta bread. Marketing gold, Lionsgate!)
Lastly, I'm going to let a Gale supporter make my point for me. In Henri's musical analogy of Peeta and Gale, he said "[Peeta] loved Katniss before he knew her". That's straight out of Savage Garden's playbook, aka the soundtrack of my junior high soul! ARGUMENT WON.