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Erin McAuliffe | Monday, December 2, 2013

The days of Team Edward and Team Jacob have (thankfully) passed, but there is a new love triangle on the rise. Gone is the useless, melancholy character we had in Bella. Katniss, a headstrong, insurgent protagonist has taken over. (This also means we have ridded the red carpets of Kristen Stewart’s grimace and replaced it with J-Law’s hilarious banter – woop woop!)

Although I was thoroughly Team Jacob during my brief stint with the Twilight series, I have switched allegiance from the tall, dark and handsome. I admit Peeta is short, pale and not Hemsworth Hot, but that doesn’t hold him back. Bella, a dependent, sad protagonist, needed the lively, relatively carefree counterpart found in Jacob. Katniss, however, is an independent woman who, realistically, doesn’t even need a man. However, there are two guys fighting over her, and they provide a good distraction from her otherwise dismal world, so she’s like, “Okay, I guess I’ll go for it.” Peeta is the man she doesn’t necessarily need but should accept, since he is there and stuff.

Peeta has experienced the Hunger Games, so he can empathize with her -something Gale will never be able to do. Gale is super needy. He’s all, “Katniss, I never see you! Love me!” and she’s all, “Gale, I was forced to go kill people, so I did that. And then Peeta was there, and we formed a friendship to save our lives. And you’re like totes needy, back off.” Then he just kisses her where people can see, which is romantic-ish, except President Snow has some creepy cameras lurking all around. So Snow is all, “Aha! She never loved Peeta!” and Gale just selfishly ruins everything they worked so hard for. But Peeta is chill. 

Peeta does not push for Katniss to love him. He acknowledges the presence of Gale in her life and stays in the shadows when they are home. He allows Katniss to confide in him but doesn’t ever guilt-trip her into loving him. However, he does know when to make his affections known. For example, in the middle of the Hunger Games, he finds a pearl in an oyster and gives it to Katniss. Too presh. Peeta, you are the shiny, sensitive pearl in the middle of the ugly oyster that is the Hunger Games. 

Peeta is so sensitive and emotional, just like me at the Catching Fire premiere. I was literally in tears from the moment Peeta and Katniss visited District 11 and honored Rue and Thresh, until the superb Coldplay song in the final credits finished. Peeta exhibited just that much emotion during the time when the tributes could impress the judges, painting a beautiful portrait of Rue in defiance of the Capitol.

Also, can we take a minute to remember that Katniss might not even have survived the Hunger Games if Peeta hadn’t pulled the bread move? Somehow, the act of him throwing bread to starving, young Katniss as if she were a swine became forever known as one of the most romantic acts in recent Young Adult novel history. Classic Peeta.

Oh, and their couple name would be pretty epic. (You can figure that one out for yourself.)

If you still have reservations about joining Team Peeta, think about this: Gale legit just ended his engagement to Miley Cyrus. Um hello, Miley and Katniss are total opposites. You cannot try to tell me that someone could love people so different and still be genuine. I mean, one twerks for a living, while one fights every day to stay alive. So stick your tongue out at that Team Gale. Pass the hummus – Team Peeta for the win!

Contact Erin McAuliffe at emcaulif@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.