Katniss' best friend and hunting partner. He is the oldest of four siblings, and his family used to be dependent on the game that he and Katniss would catch in the woods in order to survive. However, when he turned 18, he had to work in the coal mines of District 12. He is no longer able to hunt, so Katniss now provides the game for his family to ensure they still receive plenty of food to eat.
Katniss has always been confused by her feelings for Gale, though she used to insist she didn't think of him as more than a friend. She knows that her romance with Peeta must upset Gale, but she is still shocked when Gale kisses her in the woods after she returns home from the Games. However, when Gale tells Katniss that he loves her, she does not know how to react, and their relationship suffers significantly as a result. Katniss realizes Gale is brave and selfless, while she has been a coward who wants to run away from everything and leave everyone behind. Despite their damaged friendship, he is the only one who is able to reach Katniss at the end of the novel when she is too broken, angry, and sad to speak to anyone.