So, I read a review of Mockingjay Part 2, and I was somewhat troubled by the idea that there should be “romance” happening at the end of the movie (especially, since, really, there wasn’t one happening in the books).
While I understand the review of the movie is somewhat “separated” from the book, I also know Katniss’s character is the same in both. Because of that, and because Katniss has been classified both as an ISTJ and INTJ, I have to call a bit of a foul on expecting a little bit of “that rebellious fire [to] extend to her love life.”
First, no matter which way you “type” Katniss, she always ends up an Introvert. So am I. So I know that I don’t broadcast my feelings—romantic or otherwise, really—for everyone to see. Why? I don’t want to. Those moments, like many others in my introverted life, are private. I don’t think it’s a mistake that Suzanne Collins and Francis Lawrence chose to let on-screen Katniss keep those intimate, romantic moments—that intimacy, that sharing of herself—private. We may fight tooth and nail for the people we love, and kick other people’s teeth (or other body parts) in to keep those we love safe, but we’re not the most emotionally effusive bunch, really.
So, when “[t]here’s no attempt at a kiss, no movement towards intimacy, no sign that Peeta and Katniss’s relationship is turning into a romance,” I was not surprised. I didn’t expect there to be. Katniss is very much characterized by this (as, ironically, I am):
What that means is, I knew—more from her words in the epilogue of the book, but also in part from her expression in the code of the movie—that Katniss was the most happy and at peace she would ever be. She is surrounded by people she loves, and she is moving forward even if she still feels fear that her peace “could be taken away.” We all live with that fear, constantly; to deny it would be ridiculous. And especially after the trauma she experienced before and during the Hunger Games—losing her mother, Peeta, losing Prim, and finally losing Gale—you can expect someone that has experienced that level of loss to be especially reserved in expressing feelings. I know I would be.
Not only that, but there should not be the expectation that every YA book—or movie—have some sort of romantic connection, triangle, or climax. A young woman can be strong on her own—without the help of a romance or a romantic counterpart to back her up. Given the recent controversy over “Morally Complicated YA,” isn’t it more morally complicated when a woman—which is what Katniss is—doesn’t need a romance to flesh out her character, so to speak?
While it’s true that “Mockingjays need love, too,” I am confident in my feeling that Katniss has the love she needs. Her level of comfort with it is clear in that she doesn’t dance around with ribbons celebrating it; she exists with it—and with the people she loves—exactly as she wants to. That’s what introverts do. We quietly appreciate, love, and celebrate the things we hold most dear, even if it doesn’t seem to everyone around like we do.
But when we do love people, look out. We’re here to hold you tight and prove it. But just to you—not everyone else needs to see.