me - every morning
katnisspeetabread asked: Hi! When did you realise Katniss loved Peeta, why do you think Katniss ended up with him, I just want your opinion. thanks :)
Oh man, this is a really difficult question to answer because Katniss is oblivious to her own feelings a lot of the time, especially in the beginning of the series. She builds up a lot of walls and defenses, and it’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment because it was so gradual - it really ‘snuck up on her’.
I think she always sort of felt something for him since he threw her the bread, and then afterwards, when she caught his eye before noticing the dandelion (which reminded her of the plant book that had helped keep her family from starving). Not gonna say it was love, exactly, but she kept tabs on him throughout the years after that, whether she was consciously aware of it or not, such as taking note of him wrestling (even so much as to remember his brother beating him in a match), him throwing sacks of flour (obviously thinking how strong he is), how popular he was at school (which I think intimidated her a bit), and how their eyes would meet briefly at school before one of them would look away… among other things, just a lot of small moments that add up and speak volumes. It’s safe to say she quietly admired him. He sparked a curiosity in her, if only for the fact that she didn’t understand why he’d taken a beating to give her bread and keep her from starving. I’d go so far as to say she had a crush on him, even if she’d never admit to it. She didn’t have time to really entertain the idea, and/or didn’t really want to since she had convinced herself she didn’t want marriage or children early on.
Anyway, I think there was a huge change in the dynamic of their relationship in the cave in THG. Some of it was an act, but not all of it. He had to mean something to her in order for her to risk her life by getting him medicine and again with the nightlock berries. After all, she had no idea if they’d be stopped, but she took the chance of committing suicide so she wouldn’t have to kill him, even with her mother and Prim waiting for her back home. Regardless of what she felt for him, though, she chose to ignore it when they got home due to PTSD and other things. She just wanted everything to go back to the way they were in order to forget the games ever existed, and unfortunately the sight of Peeta reminded her that they did.
Then Catching Fire starts, and they have to pretend to be lovers. I think she really began falling for him when they started sleeping together on the train and comforting each other through nightmares. I have no doubt that she loved him by the time they shared the day on the roof before the Quarter Quell. Peeta hitting the forcefield and almost dying caused her to really reflect on how she felt, and by the time the beach kiss happened, I think she was fully aware of her feelings for him. Or at least she let herself finally and fully give into them.
Mockingjay proves how much she loves him. I think it’s telling that even when he’s hijacked and tries to kill her, she’s more upset that Snow had made him forget he loved her. I think that hurt her on a deeper level than his hands around her neck had. But she didn’t dispose of him like many expected her to… no, she stayed by his side and at his worst remembered and reminded him of who he was at his best. Many passages in Mockingjay state that she loves him, too, such as saying she only wanted Haymitch to comfort her because ‘he loves Peeta, too’. And then there are moments like when she’d place the pearl to her lips and pretend she was kissing him.
So basically she had a sort of crush on him before THG, developed feelings for him in THG, fell in love with him in Catching Fire, and fully realized/accepted her love for him in Mockingjay.
As for the two of them ending up together and why, there are so many reasons I could go on forever. They love each other, share an experience and bond that no one else can really relate to, they bring out the best in each other and even each other out, they saved each other’s life many times, and need each other to survive happily. Really, I think Katniss explains her need to be with Peeta perfectly in the end of Mockingjay:
But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
It’s such a beautiful ending for both of them, how after so much horror and tragedy they’ve witnessed and endured, they finally found solace in each other. And how anyone can make something so uplifting into a negative thing is beyond me.