Spoiler Alert – I’m going to put this out there before we even begin. In this article, we are discussing the plot of The Hunger Games. There will be spoilers throughout the article.
The Hunger Games was first published in September 2008. These incredibly thought-provoking books deal with some very sensitive topics but they are arguably one of the best trilogies that have been written to date.
The books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and the books spent more than 260 weeks on The Times bestseller list.
These dystopian books take place in the future in a post-apocalyptic nation known as Panem. Panem consists of 12 districts and The Capitol.
The premise of the book for those who don’t know is that every year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 from each district are picked from a reaping where they must all fight to the death until there is one final ‘Victor’ for the entertainment of the Capitol.
The books highlight the evil and injustice that is seen within the system and follow the story of Katniss Everdeen, (see also: How Old Is Katniss Everdeen?) a girl who volunteered to replace her younger sister in the games.
But Katniss is no average girl, and she sparks the beginning of a revolution. Throughout the series, we see the hardships and brutality that come with this responsibility.
Who Is Gale?
Gale Hawthorne is introduced very early on in the book. He is Katniss’ best friend and hunting partner. The two of them often sneak off to places where they are prohibited from being, in order to hunt game and not starve to death.
Gale’s character is entirely based on his love for Katniss. He is fiercely devoted to both his family and Katniss’ and is often seen as the protector. When Katniss must partake in the games, it is his role to look after her mother and her little sister Prim.
The couple shares similar trauma and are very close. It is made evident that Gale’s love for Katniss is much more than platonic. However, Katniss is very clear that she has no interest in love or romance in a world so cruel and evil.
Katniss is programmed for survival and survival only, which is seen in the games where she fakes a relationship with Peeta to survive. This relationship also makes Gale quite jealous.
However, as you continue through the books, it can not be denied that Katniss does love Gale. She is seen kissing him on a couple of occasions throughout the series and his character is seen as one point of a love triangle.
Does Gale Die In The Hunger Games?
Death is a very prominent part of the series. And we say some very painful goodbyes throughout the series. Though it is undeniable that the final installment of the book requires a whole lot of tissues as many of the main characters die in the fight for a new world.
Beloved characters such as Rue, Finnick Odair, and most heartbreakingly Primrose Everdeen all lose their lives in the fight to overthrow The Capitol and President Snow. Gale Hawthorne, however, does survive all of the books. Gale does not die.
But just because he doesn’t die, that does not mean that he gets the happy ending he deserves.
In fact, if you’re looking for a set of novels where happy endings happen, this may not be the story for you. Each and every character is left with the pain, turmoil, and trauma of such a horrific life.
How Does Gale’s Story End?
The ending for Gale is rather tragic and leaves many many fans heartbroken. Gale and Katniss have such a close bond throughout the entire series and Gale is always seen as the protector of her family.
As he says in the book, it’s what he has going for him. It’s what keeps them close, that in all situations Gale ensures that Katniss’ family, in particular her sister, is safe.
So when it is revealed that Gale is responsible for Katniss’ sister’s death, it’s a really heartbreaking and devastating blow. There is some discussion between readers about just how responsible Gale is for the death of Primrose Everdeen.
But really, it doesn’t matter, because, in Katniss’ eyes, she will forever see Gale as the person that ended her sister’s life.
Gale is pretty integral to the fight and war against The Capitol. He even helps design some of the weapons that are used throughout the war.
Katniss and Gale are seen arguing earlier in the novel when Gale suggests the idea of a bomb that detonates a second time which will kill those that run in to attend to the injured.
Katniss sees this as cruel and wrong and is angry at Gale for suggesting something that brings them down to the level of their cruel oppressors. Whereas Gale has a one-track mind and believes that sacrifices must be made to ensure that the war is won.
At the end of the novel, it is this bomb design that kills Prim as she attends to the wounded as a nurse. While Gale didn’t intend for Prim to die, he is responsible for the idea that killed her, and Katniss cannot forgive him.
No one survives The Hunger Games. Not really. Each and every character is left with the pain and trauma that they caused. They all have wounds that will never heal. Those who live still must fight every day to get by.
Every character has consequences they must live with forever if they did not die. And while Gale does not die in the books, he does lose everything that is important to him.
These books are so thought-provoking and the themes throughout are mature and are hard to read at times. But they are so cleverly written and really talk about important issues. If you haven’t yet read these books, I cannot recommend doing so enough.