Team Gale or Team Peeta? That is the question. We sat down to try to hash it out. (A few warnings: we basically got nowhere, Nikki nearly spoils the whole end of the trilogy (so consider this your *SPOILER ALERT*), and Lauren is almostalmostalmost done with the 3rd book. But not quite. Page 144/290 at press time.)
Nikki: Well one of the things I actually love about the book is that sex isn’t mentioned, really. Like, they’re too busy surviving to bone. I’m so relieved I don’t have to be worried about its message to teens to either not have/ or have sex.
Lauren: Yeah, every time it does mention sex it’s like “hold up, what? something is wrong here?” But you can’t ignore the sexual tension, even if it’s been way amped up by the viewers and readers…
Nikki: Well these are attractive young men, but the book is about a woman who is too busy being good at archery to mess around with silly dating.
Lauren: Yeah yeah but okay I need to know. Are you team Peeta or team Gale?
Nikki: I am team Peeta. I mean, I don’t think he represents a real male in any way, but given the fictional circumstances, I am team Peeta. But maybe, if it was me I would have picked Gale. But from the outside, I advise other women to choose Peeta.
Lauren: Well when I first met Gale, I thought I had fallen for him. He’s handsome and he’s capable. He’s a hunter. By the way, I think hunters are sexy only when they hunt NOT FOR SPORT. My whole family is from a steel town in Western PA and I feel attracted to these blue collar, hard working guys who lift heavy things and are probably really good at football and maybe got into some fights. That’s Gale, right?!
But the thing is, nobody loves anybody else like Peeta loves Katniss. That cannot be overlooked. Plus, after what Katniss and Peeta went through together, it would be hard for them to make sense with anybody else.
Gale is obviously not as wonderful as Peeta. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad dude, he’s a more normal dude. He just looks like a dick next to Mr. Perfect over there. Like, he didn’t want Peeta to go into the woods with Katniss and him when they were planning to run away from the Capitol. That is a pretty legitimate response to this terribly sucky situation and I’d probably do the same. But Peeta would definitely have been like, “you can bring anyone into the woods that you want because I love you.”
Nikki: But I always thought Peeta was like, you know, a pushover or something.
Lauren: Yeah he is a bit of a siss and I’m not convinced he’d be able to care for Kat’s family.
Nikki: And Gale isn’t that bad. He’s actually wonderful. He’s just angry. And I know you haven’t finished the books, but you have to think, they live in end times.
Lauren: Yeah Gale is just a dude. Yeah, I am still not QUITE done with book 3 but can we talk about how he’s obviously banged like 13,000 chicks and Katniss is all like “you’ve kissed other girls?!?” Like I think he was a total player until he met Katniss and he’s trying this whole wholesome thing out and he might get sick of her? I mean, I can totally see him being like “we should just be friends.” “I’M NOT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING SERIOUS.” He says that he fell for her that one time at Greasy Sae’s out of jealousy. Maybe he’s just a competitive dude who is like “oh wait, Katniss is desirable? I have to hit that.”
Nikki: Well it seems like Gale is the one person Katniss jokes with.
Lauren: I know, I’m not giving him enough credit. He does have a lady’s name though. That’s silly.
Nikki: Haha I was just thinking about that! Like, what a hot name, maybe I will name my son Gale. But then I was like, he needs to be insanely good looking for that to work out.
Lauren: Right… he’d need to be ultra masculine.
Nikki: See, Gale is the one who represents edge in the Gale vs. Peeta thing. But Peeta DOES KILL PEOPLE…
Lauren: …Gale WOULD…
Nikki: …and also, Gale’s edge isn’t that he’s mean to Katniss. He does get emo in book 3 with the whole, “you don’t love me Katniss, feel guilty.” But really he’s very good to her and his edge comes from his revolutionary rebel thing, which I identify with. Katniss’ struggle is understandable. Could I take up the burden of the mockingjay? No. But I felt ready to help the revolution before she was. So for me, I identified with Gale.
Lauren: Yeah and you could sleep at night knowing Gale was helping you with the revolution. If Peeta was helping you, you’d be like “oh my god stop stomping in the woods and getting in the way of my arrows.” It’s also unfair because we don’t know how Peeta would have reacted in Gale’s situation.
Nikki: Or what Gale would have done in Peeta’s. It’s fair to say that Katniss sort of, had emotional puberty while Peeta was right there, so Gale didn’t get the face time. Like in book 3, my friend thinks Peeta is a “pansy”. So that, I think, supports your theory.
Lauren : Well in book 3 he is brainwashed, but I think he’s a pansy in book 3 based on what i know from book 1. There is NO WAY he could survive the games alone, but I think that’s okay. It’s okay if your boyfriend isn’t He-Man. It’s unfair to expect that guys should be like Gale. Do you think Peeta’s love for Katnis is real? Would you WANT that kind of love? He is just 100% dedicated to Katniss so infallibly that he’s almost like a LOVE ROBOT. Like, does he even have a bad bone in his body? How is that possible? Wouldn’t it get annoying to date someone who is PERFECT? I can just see it now — I get home on a Saturday night drunk, with one shoe, hair’s a mess, and I accidentally kissed some other guy in a bar, and meanwhile Peeta has been baking and knitting me a quilt that is a tapestry of Peeta’s favorite qualities of me. I mean, the guilt of living with Mr. Perfect would make it too difficult.
Nikki: I do think it’s weird that we find his love (is it his love? what is it?) for Katniss emasculating. Or is it his baking? Because I f*cking love cookies. Well it’s like Romeo and Juliet, right? They’re like 17 years old and in a murder zone. But if I suspend my disbelief, yes I think his love for her is real. But it’s interesting that the book portrays that as both a blessing and a burden.
Lauren: HAHAHHA. HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA. Also, do you think there is a slight chance that Gale is just like “I can’t believe this girl is helping me hunt, sure, why stop this?” It’s like they are friends with benefits. Hunting benefits.
Nikki: No I think he really cares about Katniss and is impressed by her and wants her to grow.
Lauren: Yeah, God this is tricky. I seriously don’t know.
Nikki: What team are you on? Because you said Gale before but now it sounds like you think he’s awful.
Lauren: Well Gale is the risky choice, and whenever I have tried to date the risky choice it’s always sucked. It’s so common for girls to date jerks that aren’t nice enough to them, and they grow up and see the light and get with someone who really actually loves them. So you know, can my stance be what you just said, because that is how I feel. I would advise Katniss to choose Peeta but every girl kind of wants Gale. At first I thought Peeta was a lame-wad. When I saw who was playing him in the movie I started rolling around the floor barfing.
Nikki: I saw a pic today of the cast. Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta, is like, 5 ft tall.
Lauren: I know, that seems totally wrong.
Nikki: He was a dwarf around the rest of the cast. WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS? WHY DO THEY WANT US TO THINK PEETA IS DUMB?
Lauren: AWWWW wait that is f*cking ADORABLE, that makes me love him more!
Nikki: One thing I like about Gale over Peeta is that he lets Katniss make her own choices. Peeta has his whole, “I will protect you”, “I will tell the world we are dating” thing.
Lauren: That’s true, but Peeta made decisions because it was best for the games.
Nikki: Yes, it was for the best ultimately. But I like that Gale never acts like he knows better than Katniss.
Lauren: But if you were dating Peeta you could know that absolutely everything he says and does is in your best interest.
Nikki: But if you were dating Gale you know that he would always think you were capable of making your own mistakes, and that you could live with them and sort them out on your own. He’s there as a safety net, taking care of Prim and the mom but that’s it. Holding your hand when you ask for it and telling you what he really thinks. That is the best friendship right there. Complete trust. Even the worst of each other. You trust and believe in them.
Lauren: GAHHHH I HATE THIS YOU ARE TURNING ME INTO TEAM GALE AGAIN. Yeah that whole hunting thing they have. Hunting = their harmonious partnership blahablablah. “We take turns shooting the middle bird in the V.” If my boyfriend and I were shooting birds I would be on the floor covering my ears screaming.
Nikki: Well you’re a vegetarian! That’s a side issue! I also have a preference for brunettes which may have something to do with my liking for Gale.
Lauren: Yeah I don’t like blondes. But I pictured Peeta as dark in the book. I am so confused. I need a drink.
Nikki: There there, Lauren.
Lauren: Also I don’t even like baked goods. I DEF don’t like baking. Cupcake wars was on the other night and iI was like “ehhh so tedius, ew awful gahhhhh.”
Nikki: See we are opposites. Me + Peeta with a dye job, eating cakes all goddamn day and cuddling.
Lauren: But maybe that means I need someone to bake for me? Things that are good about dating bakers: They bring you bread in bed, they wear aprons, they have strong arms (right? or am I just picturing a hot guy with strong arms lifting cookie trays?), they are good with their hannnnnnnds, they make sure I don’t starve, they hate Atkins just as much as I do, they probably smell good.
Nikki: But you don’t like sweets. You’re probably better off eating plant roots you and Gale found in the woods.
Lauren: Oh thanks, I get PLANT ROOTS.
Nikki: I was going to say turkeys! But then I remembered you don’t eat meat!
Lauren: I don’t think there can be vegetarians in the Hunger Games. Can we PLEASE get REAL HERE? JESUS.
Nikki: Yes we’re being distracted. But I LOVE CAKE.
Lauren: You do.
Nikki: Also rage against the machine. So I have a real tough choice here.
Lauren: I feel like a dizzy school girl.
Nikki: I dunno Gale just gave up in the end though.
Lauren: WHAT HE GIVES UP WHATTTTTTTT.
Nikki: Uuh sorry.
Nikki: WHAT YOU SHOULD FINISH THAT DAMN BOOK BEFORE WE HAVE A GALE V PEETA TALK.
Lauren: Fine let’s talk about something else. Jesus. Okay what about Haymitch as a boyfriend?
Nikki: For some reason I was like, no Haymitch is ooold! I mean, I guess technically Gale is 17 and that is gross for us. Haymitch is actually probably more appropriate.
Lauren: But oh my god, who would date Haymitch? I’m not saying it’s because of his personality so much, maybe he was loveable before the games. But I think he is so f*cked up he will be unable to have relationships of any kind. Haymitch needs a really cute puppy. Cinna? Wait seriously, is Cinna gay? Not that it’s important. I am on Grindr now.
Nikki: Seems possible.
Lauren: Yeah I don’t want to rely on stereotypes too much but I feel like he is. Straight men cannot style women like that. President Snow?
Nikki: Who would date President Snow? He has oral herpes (that might be a spoiler but he does).
Lauren: AHAHHAHAHAHHAHA I definitely haven’t gotten to that part yet. You know Snow is such a horn ball, though. He f*cks 14-year-old Egyptian princesses and calls it a “business deal” with her father. Or wait… is he just f*cking little boys? Which is it?
Nikki: Well we could say President Snow = Berlusconi probably. Although Berlusconi didn’t murder any children that we know of. I hate Berlusconi. Hate hate hate him. Actually Snow may be more Quaddafi, who had an abortion room btw, in his chambers.
Lauren: OHHHHH he DEF had an abortion room. That’s where Snow GOT THE IDEA for the abortion room. Also, let’s go through the rest real fast. Caesar is Regis Philbin. Does regis Philbin f*ck anybody? Thresh? Everyone should date a Thresh once in their lives. He’s SUPERMAN. God he’s like, the coolest. He would literally be the best boyfriend ever because he is SO CAPABLE and kick ass (Gale) yet still a great guy (PEETA) but not a pansy at all (Not Peeta.) I want to go back to 1999 when I was a sophomore in high school and bring him back and date him. He would stand up for me and everyone would be jealous. I bet if you got stuck under a car, Thresh could throw the car off of you and save your life. And Cato. Cato is the biggest d-bag ever to grace the Hunger Games. God I just wouldn’t even want to make eye contact with him. I’m sure he thinks all girls want him. Also, I don’t usually like it when people die, but when he died, that was an amazing moment. You realize that the Capital can do whateverthef*cktheywannado. It’s like yeah Cato, you thought you could like skip class and do beer bongs all day and flex your sexy muscles and still get a job after college. But in reality, you can’t. You’re pumpin’ our gas.
Nikki: All we really know about Thresh is that he killed somebody.
Lauren: I have to see the movie.
Nikki: You have to finish the book. Talk to me when you finish the book.