Fair warning: this post does contain spoilers for all the Hunger Game’s books. When I first started writing this, I’d only completed the first, but as I finished the other two within the next three days, I didn’t have time to finish this post, and now there are way more reasons why I love Katniss ‘Motherfuckin’ Everdeen.
Katniss is a heroine that exists without a prophecy to propel her forward, to guide her, and to inspire others to help her unlike in the world’s of Harry Potter and Buffy. I love both Harry Potter and Buffy dearly (as well as many other stories that utilized prophecies as a plot device). I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with having a prophecy as a prominent plot point, I actually don’t take issues with clichés unless they are done poorly or bring absolutely nothing new to the table. However, that Katniss happens upon her role as a hero because of a mixture of chance and her character makes her, and her story, all the more compelling for me. Yes, there are adults who maneuvered Katniss into becoming the Mockingjay, their symbol for the revolution, but there were actions that she decided upon herself that spurred this on as well. No one told her to take Prim’s place. No one told her to take Rue on as her ally, to care for the girl, to sing to her, to hold her while she died and cover her in flowers. No one told Katniss to hand the berries to Peeta and get the best of the Capital. No, she didn’t deem herself “the girl on fire”, but she certainly embodied that because of who she is at her core. Her anger, her determination to survive for her sister, her conviction that she would not kill Peeta in the end and allow the Capital to fuck with her like this—that was all who she is.
Her confusion about Peeta and Gale is heartbreakingly real. Love was never something she gave herself time to think about, and marriage and children were out of the question in her mind because she would never want to put them through the Reaping. She’s practical and has real, sensible priorities that she doesn’t compromise. No, she’s not great at articulating her feelings to anyone, not even herself most of the time, but you know what’s pretty cool about that? It’s real. Because real people are frustrating and imperfect, but also full of amazing things, because sometimes she does say the perfect thing. And sometimes Peeta and Gale act really entitled and ignorant of the fact that she is dealing with really tough shit and them whining about which of them she is kissing is fucking stupid and irrelevant and they need to stop acting so butt hurt about it.
I also love that she accepts help from others and, yeah, sometimes she resents it, but if it helps her survive she does it. Buffy accepted help from her friends to a point, but she had a weird complex where she felt both inferior to and better than her friends all at the same time. That is some complicated shit, yo. And I think that’s an interesting character trait for Buffy, but I like that Katniss (from what I can recall) never thinks she’s better than anyone else. She accepts help from Peeta, Haymitch, Cinna, Gale, Finnick, and many more because she does what she has to to survive. And she genuinely cares for people. She comes across as cold to people because she feels so fucking much, and she keeps losing them. Again, Gale and Peeta are great but also idiots. And also 16-20 year olds (Peeta and Katniss start out at 16 I believe and are 18 for most of Mockingjay, and Gale is two years older. So, shockingly, my math seems correct here) can be really immature, so this is also realistic. So yes, part of the reason I love Katniss is because she embodies all these adult qualities, but also acts her age in a lot of ways.
SHE IS A SURVIVOR!
She is super pissy and sassy. But also can charm the world.
She is really really smart and observant.
In the last book, she actually uses her badass skills with her bow and arrows to fight, instead of just dicking around for the cameras. And she’s damn good at what she does.
Oh, and she actually realizes Peeta is wonderful and marries the shit out of him. Some people think this was because her sister died or because she was desperate to be with someone. But I think that’s bullshit because she went back to district 12 on her own, Peeta ended up there, and Katniss is really bad at faking shit when a camera isn’t on her and she’s not doing it for the greater good or to protect someone. So I’m going to go ahead and say that some of my love for her stems from choosing Peeta.
This started off as more detailed and deep, and then all I could think was, god, she is so baller. I want to hang with Katniss. So there you have it people, my freaking hero, Katniss Everdeen.