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Team Peeta, Team Gale… Team Katniss?

The release date for the third HUNGER GAMES book, MOCKINGJAY, is getting closer, and the question I most often see people speculating about is, “Which boy will Katniss end up with?” And I thought, it’s interesting that what engages many people most about even a book that includes revolution and gladiator-type tournaments and government oppression is the romantic element.

And then I thought, is that really true? Or do readers only react that way because Katniss is female, and popular culture generally defines finding “true love” as the most important goal for a woman? A lot of people wondered who Harry Potter would be dating, for example, but the most pressing questions for him seemed to be ones like “How will he defeat Voldemort?” and “Will he survive?”

What do you think? If the HUNGER GAMES trilogy were about a boy who went into the games in his younger brother’s place, would the main topic of discussion be which girl he’d end up with?

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
I think it's a valid question to pose, but I wouldn't say that readers are inappropriately focusing on the romance in this fabulous series. After all, the romantic entanglements have been a prominent feature of the plot from day one. If the character is thinking about it- then so are we ;-)
For lots of readers- love is just as important as life or death.
May. 2nd, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
That's very true! I don't think there's anything wrong with people focusing on it, I just thought it was odd that the first thing (and often the only thing!) most people seem to talk about is the romance, when I'm wondering things like, what are they going to find in District 13?
May. 2nd, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Sorry, the above comment was me--I don't know why it logged me out!
May. 1st, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
That is such an interesting question -- and I think you're completely right. With women, for some reason, the romance is the focus of the story...but yeah, I don't think anyone really cared about Harry and Ginny that much, as long as he and Ron and Hermione made it through!
May. 2nd, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
Exactly! I don't think it's the sex of the fans--there are *tons* of female fans of HP. But I didn't see them focusing on Harry's romantic life the quite same way they do Katniss's.
May. 1st, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm going to need another cup of coffee as I figure out my answer for this doozy of a question.

Like the posters before me said, this is an interesting and valid question.

I think when you toss a romantic element into a story like this it becomes more potent. Not because of any swoon factor but because it puts the lead in a tricky position and forces them to account others into their decision. I was pulled in when Katniss' little sisters name was originally drawn and we saw how instantly Katniss offered herself in lieu of her. If she was an isolated lone wolf that wouldn't have happened. Then when Peeta was tossed in and the whole romantic element of his professed love was started, it again forced her decisions to become more than they would've been. For me it adds more layers and with this story; with the oppressing government and tournaments of horror it makes all her choices harder and more vibrant.

Of course all of this is deleted if the female isn't a strong character. When I read a book/series/saga with a female lead I don't want to read some weepy girl that NEEDS love to feel validated.

I think boys aren't always willing to read the book with the female lead, they want a male lead and generally they aren't looking for any romantic element, especially teen boys. They are geared totally different than girls. With that said I don't think young girls should be raised into thinking that without a man you are nothing. The whole Prince's kiss saves you is rubbish and considering how much culture has changed it's not really applicable.

With Collins series I don't think she ever plays the romantic cheese card. I feel like the romantic element is just a part of this story. The whole series is just this awesome story of a girl trying to fight for her life and other people's choices being pushed on her. She is trying to figure it all out. How to keep her family safe, how to keep those she loves safe, how to win and stay alive. If she's ready to fight the government and how much she's willing to lose by doing that. The love angle is just a piece of this giant consuming journey.

I would toss Twilight into the category of 'true love' being the most important goal and at the same time for not really writing a strong female lead. Meyer wrote a good story and this isn't a slam against her, but I think it could've been better if Bella wasn't so wrapped up in Edward being her validation of worth. Without his love she was so lost and gave up, she needed him in a sorta unhealthy way. I think that saga is a prime example of putting too much on love, especially since the book was teen/ya genre.
May. 2nd, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I totally agree with you--I think Collins does an amazing job of handling the romance, and not letting it take over the main storyline! What I'm talking about is how so many *readers* focus on the romance as if it was the main storyline, even though there is so much else going on. That's what I find interesting.
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
Mockingjay: would the series change to much if katniss was male?
For me I think that the whole story plot behind the hunger games trilogy is about love. I don't know about anyone else but for me it seems like the only reason she's stayed alive in the arena is because of her strong bond to peeta he's kept her safe and alive-- i think that the story would take a different view if katniss had ended up being male character ( I'm not being sexist so don't take affence to this peoples) I think the story would be more about the survival and the different allies that the new male charcter would choose and the different ties to different charcters and the different stratagies used. I think that their would maybe a little romance if there was to be another book. So in conclusion I do think that the story would be different if the main charcter were male.Before I leave I wanted to say that I think these books are the best iv ever read. one more thing is I'm totally team peeta I hope peeta wins the fight over katniss... Your truely, hungergames<3er
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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Earth & Sky
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Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
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A Sky Unbroken
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Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
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Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
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Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
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Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
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self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
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Henry Holt, 2009

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