This isn’t about Team Gale or Team Peeta or anything of the sort. Why? Because for me, and I suspect for Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games trilogy isn’t at all about the relationship triangle.
In fact, until the recent spate of movie publicity and subsequent hype, it never occurred to me that anyone could see this as any sort of romance-oriented story. Sure, there are relationship issues, but they are as far from a standard romance trope as one can get.
For me, the books are about:
- doing what you must to survive
- making the hard choices
- the overpowering presence and influence of mass media
- the corruption of the few, the over privileged and their willful ignorance
- becoming the hero – however reluctantly
- accepting reality and doing one’s best to make it work
The series is bleak, troubling, with no fluffy happy ending–which made sense to me considering the established world.
That’s actually one of the things that bothered me the most about the Harry Potter books. As much as I loved them, the epilogue was too pat, too perfect. Where was the PTSD? The consequences of having been fighting/at war since age 11? I know that this is part of the reason I read Harry Potter fan fiction, to satisfy that need in me to see more.
I don’t need to read fan fiction with Hunger Games, because Suzanne Collins fulfilled my expectations. It wasn’t a happily-ever-after, but a “we’ve survived and it’s good” ever after. I’m okay with that. In that world, I think this was the best possible outcome.
Here’s a fabulous web comic from Faith Erin Hicks that encapsulates a lot of my feelings. Note: the comic does have spoilers!
Will the movie reflect what I think is important in the story? I hope so. I really hope they didn’t choose to emphasize the Gale vs. Peeta aspect of the overall plot. It’s important, yes, but IMHO, only as it impacts on Katniss’ ability to make the correct choices for her own survival.
What are your thoughts?