In our last “Character Assault” we took an in depth look at Peeta, and the reasons why fans of the series can’t help but love “the boy with the bread.” This month we are turning our attention to Katniss’s best friend and hunting partner Gale Hawthorne, or as some fans of the series have dubbed him “the boy with the snares.”
Gale is described as having straight black hair, olive skin and gray eyes, and resembling Katniss so much he could be her brother. Our first introduction to him is through Katniss’s thoughts as she remarks that he is “the only person with whom I can be myself.” Throughout the series, we learn many more sides to Gale’s character, he’s strength, bravery, and his almost reckless desire to stand up for what he believes in.
In The Hunger Games, Katniss discusses how she knows that other girls in the school “want him,” but what is it about Gale, that makes readers of the series care for him? We put out a request on the site and twitter, wanting to hear fans thoughts on why Gale appeals to them in five sentences or less. Many expressed how difficult it was to condense their thoughts to so few words, but we received many fantastic responses. Here are some of our favorites:
Gale is such a strong and passionate character and he deserves more credit. He gave Katniss the long term gift of independence, survival, and reassurance that her family would never need worry as long as she was with them. He had to sit back and watch as she was stripped away from his life and became romantically involved with a complete stranger. If that wasn’t nearly enough he then had to continue as if nothing was wrong and keep hunting so that both his family and Katniss’ family could survive, aware that Katniss either wouldn’t return to share this with him or return and things never be the same between them. During the District 12 bombing he had the strength and courage to lead the people out of there; he believed in freedom, and he fought for it. – Summer
I love Gale because he’s strong, smart and he cares about Katniss. He would do anything for and he would risk his life for her. Who doesn’t love that? He loves Katniss and fights for her. Gale takes care of her family and helps them in any way he can. He would do anything to protect her and shows that in Mockingjay (no spoilers). He’s the kind of guy friend every girl wants. I love Gale and no one should pick favorites between him and Peeta. (Even though I’m infatuated with Peeta.) – AshleyWillis97
Just with reading the books you can tell there’s fire and bravery in his blood. … with Gale’s urge to survive, there also is a sensitive side to him. He’s Katniss’s bestfriend, more than a bestfriend as Katniss mentions. He shares his secrets, all of his knowledge to Katniss, as well does Katniss to Gale. Gale and Katniss are trying to keep their families alive. They’re a team… And nothing can keep that bond from breaking, until the 74th Hunger Games begin. – Emma826
Gale is a strong, independent loving character, who cared so much his family, as well as Katniss’s. He was an amaaing, skilled hunter, and did it all for his family, and Katniss. Gale tried so hard to save Katniss, but things were just out of his reach. The only thing that matters is that he cared enough to try, and even if he knew he would fail or get hurt, he still tried. Gale is a wonderful person that anyone would be happy to know! – @ladybug3197
I love Gale because he’s so brave and smart. He’s smart enough to know that Katniss will never love him the way she loves Peeta. He’s brave enough to help the people of Distroct 12 to the woods when they’re bombed, rather than just fending for himself and his family. He’s also real, as shown when he ran to District 2 when he didn’t want to face Katniss. Gale is really quite admirable in my opinion. –Cara
…He was a survivor who took his family’s needs before his and made sure that they were always fed as long as he lived. If anything, Gale was passionate and strong. He is a hunter and a best friend and soldier and was just as pragmatic (which I think is good) and heated as Katniss was. Gale is not just a “hottie” he was a survivor and friend, a thinker and a snare, a visionary and a flawed teen just like the rest: but that’s why I loved him. -- Poppy
1. He is the one person that knows the real Katniss.2. No matter what kind of trouble she gets herself into, he will always be there to bail her out.3. He will always love Katniss even if its not the way he intended to.4. He does his best to like Peeta even though it hurts him to see Katniss with him.5. He’s super HOT! – Lexxi
Katniss may be called the “Girl on Fire” but Gale to me is truly the one that is ruled by his passion. He cares deeply for his family, including those, like Katniss, who have been adopted in over the years. Gale fights strongly for what he believes in, almost to the point of recklessness, but this is what makes him a great character, he is not perfect he is flawed. When the time comes he is strong enough to leave and start anew knowing that his presence will cause those he loves pain. He is a brave soldier, who fought for freedom and love. – Theresa
So, what makes you love the boy with the snares? Add your own thoughts in the comments, and see if you can do it in five sentences or less. Though if you go on a bit more, we understand, we know it’s tough!
Thank you to everyone who emailed us their five sentences. We loved reading and sharing your love for Gale.
Be on the look out for another character assault next month as we’ll discuss “The Girl on Fire” herself.