Although I was quite happy that Peeta and Katniss ended up together, I was quite disappointed with the lack of depth in their love story and how they simply "grow back together". Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting a fairytale ending.. but I was at least hoping for more than a page of their rekindled romance. I know they were both quite damaged after all they went through.. but I would have liked to see them grow from that and learn to love again. It almost seemed too rushed. I feel Suzanne could have made a whole other book with the last few pages. Thoughts?
I know, it felt so empty, but I think the ending was best put that way considering all that happend. I loved, LOVED, the last paragraph. I read it again and it makes me want to cry. It replays in my head. Somebody here mentioned that the pearl should have had more symbolism-that Peeta should have found it. I def agree that would have added meaning to the relationship if Peeta found it.
I had to think about this but considering all that they had to go through, it's a miracle that they were able to help each other heal a little bit and find some peace. I was emotionally drained at the end since I loved them both but I don't think she could have ended it any other way. That last paragraph was so moving. Another moment that I won't forget is when amidst his nightmares, Katniss says "stay with me" and he says " always."
Ugh Really ladys another love story ... Lets all thank the sweet baby Jesus this didnt turn into twilight. I think the amount of love sufficent ... Take a look at Katniss whos the person speaking throughout the enitre book ... Pretty much an A-sexual charecter .... Repulsed by love and couldnt stand the idea of having children ... ask yourself ... would she have wanted a Love story ... BLAH! Team Peeta FTW!
Originally, I didn't like the way it ended, sort of flat I thought. I think I was hoping for more of a reaction or decision when she sees Peeta in district 12 again. Then I reread the last part of the book, and I think that was a pretty symbolic moment. It is also completely within Katniss' character. Throughout the book Peeta is a catalyst for change and hope, and from that moment in the final chapter everything changes. She finally begins to really mourn her sister, which brings about the conclusion of why she was even in the hunger games in the first place. She feels relief that she won't see gale again, perhaps because she doesn't have to break his heart. Once her mourning is complete then she rebuilds her relationship with Peeta. To me, because that's a fairly cerebral approach to their relationship, it seems to be a strong foundation. It all felt a bit rushed though. Plus Haymitch and Gale got the shaft as far as the rest of their story goes, and killing of Finnick really was unnecessary.
I very much disliked the last book and especially the ending. I get that it's a war story and not a love story. But I think to have every character that the reader grew to care about broken beyond repair was disheartening, to say the least. And yes I do see Katness and Peeta broken that way. Perhaps if the epilogue was longer I would feel differently. But from the moment Prim's name was called, Katness would lose everyone and everything she loved. The Peeta she ended up with wasn't the Peeta she cared for, nor was Katness any longer the one he always loved. They ended up together and survived. But I guess I wanted more than that. Some spark of hope that it was all worth something. But I didn't feel that at all. Sure the Games ended and future children would be saved from that fate but we don't know enough about what the world would be like for them. I felt the ending was so rusahed and glossed over and again I feel like what was the point.
Mockingjay certainly seems to be the weakest of the three books, which is really unfortunate for the trilogy. I wonder if Collins was pressured by her publishers to finish the final book quickly. So much text is devoted to scenes of Katniss lying in a hospital bed, lying in the Training Center bed, holed up in the President's mansion, paralyzed in her kitchen, hiding in tiny, dark places - and then ½ a page to the resolution of their love! While the books are not ONLY a love story, it was always a critical feature of the other two books, and the story as a whole I would argue. It didn't have to be a sappy resolution, just more than a single, 6-word sentence on the last ½ page. In fact, I would say that such skimpy commentary actually trivializes their love. Sort of as if it's "just the way love goes!" and that's that.
Whether Collins gave a lot or a little detail, there would certainly have been complaints about how their relationship evolved. I wonder if, possibly under a time restraint, Collins decided to go with less detail and hoped the readers would fill in the details they way they each wanted it to be. But it really just comes off as a complete abdication of responsibility for one of the most critical parts of the story.
Collins does at least explain why Katniss falls in love with Peeta finally - because of his optimism (still a pretty selfish reason, but that was at least acknowledged in the "what I need to survive" comment - it's still not really about him). However, without more details about the post-torture Peeta it's unclear that he ever really regains that optimism. Does he ever come close again to being the positive, sensitive person everyone (including us readers) really loved? Does Katniss love him even in the absence of his original gentleness, or does he get it back?
But the real question is why does Peeta love Katniss? What makes her deserving of such a wonderful person's love? Many of the other threads discuss her numerous personality failings. His original love may have been more infatuation or even obsession - triggered by his father's affection for her mother. Does he manage to revive his former infatuation/love from recreated memories? Or does he bond with her over their common history/tragedy (a fairly normal thing to occur in traumatic situations)? Or does he learn to love her for other, evolving reasons: her eventual strength, her strong love for certain people, her commitment to fairness and justice? Whatever the answer (and I too really hope Collins will weigh in eventually), I think Peeta's ability to love her again despite her long-standing uncertainty about him, her lingering fascination with Gale, and torture that nearly killed his mind, really speaks to his strong, mature, and sensitive character.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that wonders where the pearl went. I held out hope that at the end Katniss would maybe give it to Peeta and they could connect over that..but then it was lost. I really feel the ending was incomplete.
Hey, I wanted to talk about a few of the things that you said. Feel free to agree/disagree, just wanted to discuss.
1) All those things that you though there was too much yext devoted to, well, I think this series was meant to go beyond the surface of events. The things that happened (even in the first book) were very serious things with very serious implications and resulted having very serious impacts. I think SC was showing the effects of post traumatic stress, etc. She said actually, that a lot of those passages came from her experiences and those of her father after having been in the Vietnam war. And unless this mockingjay revolution included the aftermath somewhat realistically, it would sort of be a pointless story. So while I agree that the last book had a different tone than the first, I think it was not an abdication of responsibility, but more of a realistic and completely intentional piece of writing. The differences though between the first and the third (mostly love vs. mostly political) makes for an interesting juxtaposition (though maybe misleading, especially for younger readers).
2) I feel that Peeta does eventually return to his original self. Even when he was hijacked, he sort of switched back and forth between the crazy hijcked version and the old true Peeta. He was never a blend of the two personalitites. He spent time being both people. And I think that as he got better, the time spent as the old Peeta increased and the hijacked nightmares became fewer and further between.
3) I too, thought that Peeta's love for Katniss was just infatuation (because the parent thing and things that happened whe they were 5). And so I shrugged off his "love." But the thing that changed my mind was that after Peeta told the story about her singing etc., Katniss asked "so you never noticed any other girls since then?" and he said that he noticed lots of other girls, but none of them ever made a lasing impression. This shows that he wasn't crazy about her since they were kids, but more like he kept noticing things about her personality over and over as the years went by and only fell more in love with her. Whatever he noticed doesn't really matter. Why does anyone like the people they like? They just like them for their own reasons. But all those reasons you mentioned: the bond they formed during their common history/tragedy, her strength, love, loyalty, commitment to justice, etc.- Those all seem like good plausible reasons to me.
And about the pearl. Get over it guys. You want every sweet little thing about the story wrapped up in a nice bow? It's just not important. The fact that she kept it- that's important. The fact the she thought of Peeta- that was important. The fact that it meant something to her- also important.
Where the little token got lost in the midst of their war-torn events, doesn't really matter. Honestly, if it somehow appeared in a happy ending in which the pearl had some sort of a symbolic super meaning for Peeta, I would felt pandered to. The meaning behind the pearl (and all the feelings that were behind the meaning)- that was all still there and that's what matters.
@ Jamie - Why let the author off so easily? She spent a book and a half reminding us of the importance of that stupid pearl and then never mentions it again. It's just lazy writing and bad editing. It's a lack of attention to detail and just sucks. It was such a shame to see a series that began with such promise end up in this hot mess. And while I'm at it, was anyone else totally annoyed that she called the "Star Team" or whatever, Unit 451? And then repeated that 4 times in 3 pages? We get it. You read Bradbury. Jesus.
I enjoyed the movie and all of the books, even Mockingjay. I was really happy she ended up with Peeta, but I wish there was more to the HEA. I just think after all they have suffered, there should have been more happy at the end. That's just the romance lover in me talking, I guess.
I agree with Jamie, but also BradV. I think that the ending was bad editing and a rush to complete the story quickly. There were so many wonderful details in the first two books that made the readers love the characters and then they were all summerized into a one page ending. Not what I would have expected of such a talented author. I understand that it was a war and people suffer from war for the rest of their lives, so I wasn't expecting an ending with hearts and flowers, but more details as to who they became, did Katniss' mother ever see her grandchildren, what did they do to earn a living (or did they need to), did Katniss ever say more then "real" to the boy who loved her so much, did Haymich move back to be with them or did he stay in the capitol. Just a few questions that would have resolved the Peeta/Katniss story and given me more of the ending I needed.
I understand why a lot of people wanted to see a happier ending or see Katniss and Peeta grow back together. But in reality, after a situation such as the one they all lived through, it would take a very long time time to grow back together. It would be long and, I think, somewhat uneventful. The characters weren't all cheery and cute like in the beginning. They were a bit beaten and the love they ended up with was deeper and more real, but maybe understated and without the dramatics or the fireworks. I don't really think writing more about the relationship rebuilding would actually say more. The way that she worte it (in a matter-of-fact minimalistic way) was in my opinion, a perfect way of wrapping up the story. Now don't get me wrong, the Katniss-Peeta love stuff is a lot of what I loved so much about the first book. And I was, myself, really looking forward to seeing it able to happen again at the end (and to honest, I expected that too.) But after letting it sit and reflecting, I feel like the author was much smarter about it than I would've been. I think she showed a very intelligent perspective and a deeper understanding of what a real situation like this would be like. Her points were poignent and the ending was perfect.
Also, I'm certainly not letting the author off with not mentioning the pearl at the end. Just the opposite actually. I already said why I think that Katniss keeping the pearl was the act that was of significance. And why it didn't need to show up later. Again, I'm going to say it showed a good perspective and great editing. A more formulaic author/editor would've insisted that it come back as the glowing symbol for their love and commitment. But like I said, I appreciated the unidealistic aspect throughout these books.
I kinda agree Jaime. My initial reaction was shock, as in how could it just end and that's it?? But I do think it's true Collins did give the realistic ending which ultimately showed Peeta and Katniss' deep love for one another. It's definitely the type of ending it takes time to accept, because you get so invested in these characters and then it's just over.
I'm not unhappy with the ending, but I do wish Collins would have spent some more time developing the "new and changed" Katniss and Peeta. The way the book ends, you almost feel like Peeta returned to 12 (and to Katniss) because that's what the "old" Peeta would have done. I guess I wanted to know if Peeta returned to the old Peeta and regained his hijacked emotions, or did the new Peeta pursue Katniss because he knew at one time he had feelings for her and was supposed to love her and then fell in love with her again? I guess my question for Collins is did Peeta retrieve his hijacked love for Katniss, or did he develop a new love for Katniss?
@Julie Your post made me think of the movie "The Vow" (based on a real life story) where she loses her memory and he pursues their "love". She never regains her memory of their first love story but she falls in love with him....again. And he makes the statement in the movie that "everything he fell in love with is still there...." . I think that is the same for Katniss and Peeta.
Regarding the pearl, I agree with Jaime that the fact that Katniss kept it with her--even to possible death--is the most important aspect, not what happened to it. Given that she was burned over most of her body, we can presume the clothes she was wearing, and the items in her pocket, were destroyed. For me, what is a more poignant and significant aspect is the emphasis on bread. I know this is going to sound like a senior theme paper, but bread is symbolic of life in these books--when they were 12, in the arenas, in their recovery. "Panem". "The boy with the bread." For me, it was obvious from the beginning that the boy with the bread would be the one to fulfill Katniss. As for Peeta's love, I think Ms. Collins is saying that although terrible, terrible things happen to people, they survive and carry on. The capacity to love is infinite, and Peeta, in particular, embodies this notion. I have no doubt he was able to work his way through his pain and come to find his love for Katniss. It was always his intention to get back to her--from preventing her from taking the nightlock to telling her the doctor wouldn't let him return to district 12 until he was satisfied he could handle himself. I read these books in a week and they are amazing (obviously, or we would not be talking about them!). I read an interview of Ms. Collins where she stated she had the entire story mapped out from the get-go; reading them together, I can definitely see that and am totally satisfied with how it ends.
Hmm, I think that comparing Peeta's situation to "the Vow" is quite an exaggeration in terms of the amount of memory loss. Some readers seem to think that the Capital performed the technological equivalent of the Harry Potter Obliviate spell and magically erased all of his real memories about Katniss and implanted a whole new set of completely made-up ones. I don't think Collins ever meant it for his hijacking to be a complete memory wipe like you might do to a SW droid. Yes he does have "shiny" fake memories, but they didn't completely replace the real ones. And in between his bouts of homicidal insanity, he is actually fairly lucid. The discussion he has with Katniss about her being a "piece of work" when she states that she doesn't need permission to kiss anyone sounds much more like Scorned Lover than Crazed Killer, and his accusations against her in that scene aren't that far removed from reality. He remembers the bread incident enough to say that "I must have really loved you" . And by the time he and Gale have their admittedly Twilighty conversation about who Katniss will pick, he is capable of carrying on a rational conversation about her, and he specifically brings up the whipping incident to Gale as something he remembers, not questioning the realness of it. He seems to have a fairly good recollection of the QQ Beach Scene when Gale brings it up, though he interprets Katniss's actions as "just for show". Though I think that Gale being so protective of Katniss yet pretty much acknowledging that she might end up with Peeta even though he's still handcuffed just in case so he goes crazy and tries to kill Katniss again is...odd. Anyway, I think that the fact that Peeta even bothers to discuss himself as a possible match of Katniss at this point, indicates that he retains some feelings for her.
So, I think it's quite plausible that by the time he is cleared by his psychiatrist (likely as "no longer a danger to himself or to others"), and returns to D12, that he has a good recollection of what his real memories are, and can identify the false ones much more easily. Though I agree that the description of the post-war Peeta-Katniss relationship is so vague it's hard to say for sure as to whether he was already back in love with her by the time he arrives, or if he has to fall in love all over again.
What I personally would have enjoyed finding out is whether Katniss and Peeta ever learn to fight fair with each other. I think that a lot of the rage Peeta spews at Katniss post-hijack isn't just externally forced into him by the Capitol's torture, but comes from a dark part of his own psyche that he's managed to suppress for most of the story. Remember, this is the same Peeta who ignores Katniss for six months after HG 74 due to his anger at her for having tricked him about her true feelings, even though she saved his life in the process -- and she was under the impression that Peeta was faking it too, it's not like she set out to seduce him and break his heart. But I can see Peeta once again trying to suppress legitimate grievances against Katniss post-MJ out of fear that any anger he expresses toward her will result in another episode. I've never seen Peeta as some plastic saint, but a teenage boy who really doesn't have any more experience with healthy relationships than Katniss does. I would have liked to see more of what it takes to make a real relationship work, not just having the pairing makes sense from a thematic level, the raging fire versus the hopeful dandelion.
I agree--the pain and torture that was involved with the manipulation of memory cannot be compared to these other examples of memory loss. To your point, it wasn't complete, either, so the memories are there, just warped and conflicting. People recover from being "brainwashed", but that is a long process. People work through PTSD, too, but that is a life-long process. No, Peeta is not a plastic saint, which is why he's my favorite character. In some ways, I would have liked more interaction between the 2 at the end. On the other had, the last 2 sentences are really priceless.
Yeah, I really don't understand people who see Peeta as "too good to be true". He is a decent guy at the core, but he also has tons of flaws, which is what makes him a great character for me. He has a tendency to rationalize selfish decisions and deceive himself so he can believe what he wants to believe, hence how he thinks in HG 74 that Katniss actually is falling for him and not just playing to the cameras, even though Katniss is not portrayed as a great actor. He's also quite emotionally manipulative, right to the end of MJ, when he asks Katniss "after" what I assume is sex or something close to it, if she loves him. Do I think he consciously thought, "okay we just had sex, her defences are down, this is the best time to guilt her into confessing she loves me?" No, but that's essentially what he's doing. Almost reminiscent of how Finnick gets information from his lovers/clients, even though they don't care for him as a person at all. And it also is what many teenagers do in real life, though stereotypically, it's girls who sleep with guys in hopes this will lead to love.
I definitely agree with you on all your points. Your idea about the bread symbolism is very interesting. As for Peeta, I found it very telling that he was the one to stop Katniss from killing herself and basically telling her that he can't let her go. That is pretty much what she was saying to him earlier when he begged her to kill him. I was satisfied with the ending also.
Satsuma, I understand what you are saying, but I'm going to cut Peeta a break there. After everything he went through, I think he had the right to know. And she needed to say it for her own peace of mind. Perfect way to end the book!