I watched the hunger games, and the hunger games - catching fire a week back.. But it was too hard to wait for the first part of Mockingjay till November, so I went for the novel.. all three of them.. just finished reading the last one this morning. I am trying not to give away any spoilers for those who haven't read the novel yet, and are still waiting for the movie..

Gale never returns to District 12. he takes another job at some other district.The book reveals no sign that he even tries to contact her?? was it because of the guilt that the bomb that killed Prim was made by him??? I am too perplexed about gale and his indifference towards Katniss in the end..

Can anybody please explain this to me..

  • If you use spoiler tags you can give a bit more information regarding the scenes you found odd. I'm sure a few examples would help. Mar 28, 2014 at 7:10
  • thanks.. I have joined a few minutes back. Haven't really explored my options yet.. Will make edits in a minute..
    – Shradha
    Mar 28, 2014 at 7:11

3 Answers 3


WARNING: There will be spoilers for the final book in this answer, I'm not going to use spoiler tags. If you haven't read the final book and don't want to have elements of the story spoilt then stop reading now.

I think it's a combination of factors.

The first is that he doesn't feel like he can compete with Peeta. Katniss loved them both in her own way and at different times, but despite Gale's history with her, he was never in a position to make the sacrifices that Peeta did. Volunteering to go back into the arena a second time, being willing to die to keep her alive, then being captured and tortured by the Capitol.

Then he says, “I saw Peeta yesterday. Through the glass.”

“What’d you think?” I ask.

“Something selfish,” says Gale.

“That you don’t have to be jealous of him anymore?” My fingers give a yank, and a cloud of feathers floats down around us.

“No. Just the opposite.” Gale pulls a feather out of my hair. “I thought…I’ll never compete with that. No matter how much pain I’m in.” He spins the feather between his thumb and forefinger. “I don’t stand a chance if he doesn’t get better. You’ll never be able to let him go. You’ll always feel wrong about being with me.”

Then there's his potential involvement in Prim's death. Katniss realises that the way Prim died was exactly the way Gale said he'd set up a trap: an initial explosion, wait for rescuers to be lured in, then trigger follow up explosions. Katniss never asks, so she doesn't know for sure, but there's still that fact lingering in her mind. That's going to damage any relationship.

So Katniss chooses Peeta, and that's the final (and possibly most important) reason. Gale loves Katniss, but she's chosen to be with somebody else. Somebody that Gale felt for quite some time he couldn't compete with. Watching somebody you're in love with be with somebody else can be incredibly difficult, so I expect he felt it would be easier for everybody if he was elsewhere and didn't have any contact with her.

  • yeah.. I guess Gale backed out not because he was mad at katniss or was selfish, but because he thought that Katniss would be better off with Peeta.. That Peeta would help Katniss "survive" better.. Thanks for your clarification...
    – Shradha
    Mar 28, 2014 at 12:08
  • 3
    The answer says, "Katniss never asks." But she does: 'finally I just say it. “Was it your bomb?” “I don’t know. Neither does Beetee,” he says.' Kindle location 3726.
    – kuzzooroo
    Jul 26, 2014 at 23:45
  • 2
    "she's chosen to be with somebody else" - but at the time Gale goes off to District 2, Katniss has nowhere near recovered from her incarceration after killing Coin. She doesn't really "choose Peeta" until long after Gale's gone.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 8, 2014 at 15:29

Remember at the beginning of the second movie, Katniss wants to run, Gale wants to fight. Katniss eventually concludes that war is the only solution, but she doesn't start there. Gale does. She isn't completely into the necessity of fighting until she witnesses a war crime, the bombing of the hospital. But Gale? He's capable of planning war crimes.

In the end, even though they are both the hunters, that rift is too wide. Even if there had been no Peeta, she could never have been with someone who embraced violence and killing like Gale did.

  • 1
    +1. She realises in the final chapter of 'Mockingjay' that "this would have happened anyway": she needs Peeta's gentleness and not Gale's fire; "I have enough fire of my own".
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 8, 2014 at 15:27

In addition; Gale is the one person who knows Katniss the best. There are many instances where he says things to and about her that she herself does not realise, e.g.:

"Yeah." I hear Peeta's handcuffs slide down the support as he settles in. "I wonder how she'll make up her mind."
"Oh, that I do know." I can just catch Gale's last words through the layer of fur. "Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can't survive without."
-The Hunger Games: Part Three: MockingJay, Chapter 23.

Gale himself recognises that Katniss needs a reason to love him; one of the reasons was that he was helping and protecting Katniss' family, and when that is no longer an option, he realises that he has no chance with Katniss:

"That was the one thing I had going for me. Taking care of your family," he says.
-The Hunger Games: Part Three: MockingJay, Chapter 26.

That was the last time that they talked.

Remember that Gale is a Rebel, through and through; once he has no reason to protect his family (they are safe now that the Capitol has fallen), or to be with Katniss - in love or to protect her family; he goes and does the one thing he is passionate about.

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