Here’s what actually happened after Katniss say Peeta on television, in case anyone forgot. Gale is the one who tells Katniss Peeta is trying to protect her, that he might have been tortured or persuaded. He never says anything like he said in the tv spot, but I guess canon doesn’t matter to this fandom when it’s making Gale look bad. All hail Francis Lawrence, right? He never deviates from the book, right?
Katniss says they can’t go back. Katniss says Peeta is wrong. Katniss says she’s going to become the Mockingjay. And yes, Gale agrees with her. How dare that boy want his freedom, right? But he doesn’t push her to do it. She even says in the book he doesn’t push her to do it. Gale very much wants to fight (and despite what this tv spots and trailers are trying to get across, that’s not a bad thing), but the way he was portrayed in the tv spot is just frankly incorrect.
(But P.S. All of you saying, “Ok Gale, but if you were hijaked blah blah blah what an asshole.” — It’s highly unlikely that anyone, including Gale and Katniss, knew he was hijaked at that point in time bye.)
"They needed Peeta, too, but they seem to have forgotten that," I say.
Gale’s expression darkens. “Peeta might have done a lot of damage tonight. Most of the rebels will dismiss what he said immediately, of course. But there are districts where the resistance is shakier. The cease-fire’s clearly President Snow’s idea. But it seems so reasonable coming out of Peeta’s mouth.”
I’m afraid of Gale’s answer, but I ask anyway. “Why do you think he said it?”
"He might have been tortured. Or persuaded. My guess is he made some kind of deal to protect you. He’d put forth the idea of the cease-fire if Snow let him present you as a confused pregnant girl who had no idea what was going on when she was taken prisoner by the rebels. This way, if the districts lose, there’s still a chance of leniency for you. If you play it right." I must still look perplexed because Gale delivers the next line very slowly. "Katniss…he’s still trying to keep you alive."
To keep me alive? And then I understand. The Games are still on. We have left the arena, but since Peeta and I weren’t killed, his last wish to preserve my life still stands. His idea is to have me lie low, remain safe and imprisoned, while the war plays out. Then neither side will really have cause to kill me. And Peeta? If the rebels win, it will be disastrous for him. If the Capitol wins, who knows? Maybe we’ll both be allowed to live - if I play it right - to watch the Games go on….
Images flash through my mind: the spear piercing Rue’s body in the arena, Gale hanging senseless from the whipping post, the corpse-littered wasteland of my home. And for what? For what? As my blood turns hot, I remember other things. My first glimpse of an uprising in District 8. The victors locked hand in hand the night before the Quarter Quell. And how it was no accident, my shooting that arrow into the force field in the arena. How badly I wanted it to lodge deep in the heart of my enemy.
I spring up, upsetting a box of a hundred pencils, sending them scattering around the floor.
"What is it?" Gale asks.
"There can’t be a cease-fire." I lean down, fumbling as I shove the sticks of dark gray graphite back into the box. "We can’t go back."
"I know." Gale sweeps up a handful of pencils and taps them on the floor into perfect alignment.
"Whatever reason Peeta had for saying those things, he’s wrong." The stupid sticks won’t go in the box and I snap several in my frustration.
"I know. Give it here. You’re breaking them to bits." He pulls the box from my hands and refills it with swift, concise motions.
"He doesn’t know what they did to Twelve. If he could’ve seen what was on the ground" - I start.
"Katniss, I’m not arguing. If I could hit a button and kill every living soul working for the Capitol, I would do it. Without hesitation." He slides the last pencil into the box and flips the lid closed. "The question is, what are you going to do?"
It turns out the question that’s been eating away at me has only ever had one possible answer. But it took Peeta’s ploy for me to recognize it.
What am I going to do?
I take a deep breath. My arms rise slightly - as if recalling the black-and-white wings Cinna gave me - then come to rest at my sides.
"I’m going to be the Mockingjay."