Anybody who has read The Hunger Games has probably wondered at some point what the outcome would have been if Gale had been chosen as the male tribute for District 12 instead of Peeta. If you think about it, it certainty would have changed everything. In fact, I'm not so sure that Katniss would even still have even survived because Peeta had saved her so many times in more ways than she knew.
So, lets say that Gale's name was drawn from the bowl as the male tribute. Katniss was able to save her sister from a terrible fate but she can't save Gale.
They travel on the train to the Capitol. I can't imagine how Katniss would have treated Haymitch if Peeta hadn't been there. Maybe she really would have stabbed him in the hand with the butterknife instead of the table.
They arrive at the Capitol. During his private evaluation, Gale would probably score high enough to become a target to the other tributes.
The interviews provided a large plot twist that was to Katniss's advantage throughout The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. However, if Gale had been chosen instead, the star-crossed lovers angle would have never happened. I could never see Gale confessing his love to Katniss on national television. In fact, if Gale ever did confess his love to her, Katniss would be the only one who knew.
Now, no star-crossed lovers equals no sponsors, which is bad news for both Katniss and Gale. Not to mention, neither of them is particularly charismatic.
I could also see Gale saying something discriminating towards the Capitol during his interview. If that happened, Gale would probably be arrested and perhaps even be executed. He also may have been turned into an avox. However, for the sake of this blog, we'll pretend that he wasn't punished and he's still going to participate in the Games.
Now, its time for the 74th annual Hunger Games to begin! While on the pedestals, Katniss probably would have still glanced at Gale and in an attempt to protect her, I could see Gale nodding towards the forest. However, even if Katniss hadn't been distracted, I doubt that she could have made it far enough to grab the bow and arrow inside the cornucopia.
There's a good chance that she and Gale would have been separated during the bloodbath. Gale would have probably had a plan to get a weapon while Katniss nabbed the backpack and raced towards the forest, just as it happened in the book.
Katniss still would have found the outskirts of the arena and would have been burned. Even though she has a fair chance at winning, with the star-crossed lovers angle non-existent, Katniss may not have received the ointment from her sponsor(s) that healed her burns. Nonetheless, Haymitch could have played his charisma skills and convinced someone to sponsor her.
Unfortunately, Peeta isn't present when the Careers find Katniss and I highly doubt that Gale would have teamed up with them to divert their attention away from Katniss. Not to mention, Katniss and Gale would be pretty large targets.
This would have meant that they would have continued to attack Katniss in the tree. If she was lucky, Gale might have come to her rescue or she could have come up with some other cunning plan. However, since she couldn't saw the branch off that was connected to the Tracker Jacker nest, she never would have come into possession of the bow and arrow, leaving her defenseless still.
Because Katniss never had the opportunity to saw off the Tracker Jacker nest, she never would have met Rue. Perhaps, District 11 would have never revolted and Katniss wouldn't have been saved by Thresh when Clove tried to kill her. Of course, Katniss wouldn't have even been in that position since Gale probably wouldn't have been stabbed in the leg and gotten an infection.
Okay. Okay. I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. Its likely that she and Gale would have met up again and conspired to take out the Careers' food supply the way she and Rue did. However, we have to remember that Katniss still doesn't have a bow and arrow, so it would have been much more difficult.
We know that the rules wouldn't have been changed by the gamemaker since Katniss and Gale aren't star-crossed lovers.
Now, lets say that they survived long enough to make it to the end of the Games. Gale would have never been stupid enough to pick the suicide berries. This means that Foxface wouldn't have died either since she wouldn't have known to pick them.
When the mutts showed up, Katniss and Gale would have both run to the cornucopia, seeing how it was the only safe place. Assuming that Katniss still didn't have a bow and arrow, killing Cato would have been much more difficult. However, Gale likely wouldn't get into the same compromising position that Peeta got into. There is also a chance that Gale had some kind of weapon like a knife or a sword. They may have even fought Cato with hand to hand combat.
Now, lets say that they managed to kill Cato. What are they supposed to do since there are no suicide berries? We have no idea how Clove would have died at this point and Foxface is probably still alive since she didn't eat the berries. The gamemakers would have had to produce some kind of twist to move the Games forward.
Obviously, Katniss and Gale wouldn't be able to kill each other, which would create a problem. To protect Katniss , Gale probably would have offered to sacrifice himself. Of course, Katniss would never accept that.
This just leaves everything up in the air. To be honest, I couldn't even imagine Peeta not being a part of the series. He was one of my favorite characters. Despite this alternative, I'm not sure if either Katniss or Gale could have survived The Hunger Games. Gale can be too ruthless and impulsive and Katniss. . .well, I'm not sure. I just know that many of Katniss's actions revolved around Peeta and Peeta saved her life many times, even if she didn't know it.