Gale, Katniss' 18-year-old hunting partner, is well-liked by many girls in the District 12. When he first meets Katniss in the woods, he believes that her name is Catnip, and so this becomes his permanent nickname for her. Gale's father died in the same mine explosion as Katniss' father and, like Katniss, is very poor and struggles to survive in the Seam. He must take care of two little brothers, his little sister, and his mother, but has told Katniss that he wishes the two of them could run away together in the woods, that they'd have no problem surviving out there. When they hunt, Gale is very vocal about his hatred for the Capitol; only later, in the Games, do his words take true root in Katniss' mind. She thinks of Gale often during the Games, how she is completely at ease with him and tells him everything, and how she wishes he could be there to help her, though she falls short of admitting that she loves him.