Despite the series coming to an end many years ago, The Hunger Games remains popular, not unlike fellow YA series, Harry Potter. Although, The Hunger Games is decidedly darker in tone. While romance was never the main focus of The Hunger Games books due to all the death, destruction, and its dystopian setting, there were some glimmers of love in the franchise.
What wasn’t found in canon, fans turned to fanon to create more unique pairings that were never explored in the series. Here are a few we wish had become canon at some point.
10 Katniss x Gale
When young adult book adaptations were all the rage, it was an unwritten rule that every single franchise should have a love triangle at its epicenter. Even though Peeta and Katniss become the main couple in the series, many fans were rooting for Gale and Katniss.
The two did share some romantic moments throughout the series, but ultimately Katniss chooses Peeta. Gale Hawthorne has an intense following, though. He is still a very prevalent part of The Hunger Games fan fiction. Some of this is likely because he was portrayed by Liam Hemsworth, who is known for being a Hollywood heartthrob.
9 Cato x Clove
Surprisingly, the pairing between Cato and Clove is incredibly popular with Hunger Games fans. It’s one of the most written about ships on popular fanfiction websites like Archive of Our Own. The two characters were career tributes from the first book in the series and thought little of anyone outside of themselves. Thresh murders Clove as revenge for Clove killing Rue.
She cries out for Cato while it happens, but he’s unable to get to her in time. Even though they aren’t explicitly stated to be romantically involved, there are some substantial implications. It might have been interesting to see how the career tributes would have handled a legitimate romantic relationship against their need to win.
8 Katniss x Finnick
Finnick Odair is one of the most popular characters in the entire franchise. The fact the dashing Sam Claflin played him certainly helped make that happen, although he was already tremendously popular from the books, too. In the films, Claflin and Jennifer Lawrence had excellent chemistry together. Finnick is a naturally flirtatious character, as is.
It’s easy to picture Finnick and Katniss together. He was very different from both Peeta and Gale. His outgoing nature might have helped bring Katniss out of her shell. Either way, they surely would have had a steamy romance given how well they do eventually get along after Katniss learns they’re allies and not enemies.
7 Darius x Katniss
Darius is a minor character in the franchise, but he’s a notable one. He was one of the only kind Peacekeepers and stood against everything that Thread wanted the Capitol regime to become. He even tried to intervene during a whipping at one point. Katniss and Darius used to chat together on occasion.
Eventually, Darius is punished for his insolence against the Capitol and turned into an Avox. But many fans liked the sweetness between Katniss and Darius and liked the idea of seeing them together because he was genuinely kindhearted. Katniss also didn’t see him differently or as beneath her when he became an Avox as that is not in her nature.
6 Peeta x Johanna
The idea of Peeta and Johanna is appealing for many of the same reasons that Katniss and Finnick are appealing. The two have somewhat opposite personalities, and yet it’s endearing to see Johanna tease Peeta at times.
The infamous elevator scene also comes to mind when thinking of reasons these two might make a good pairing. The moment when Johanna strips down in front of Katniss and Peeta is still considered one of the funniest moments of Catching Fire. It would have been amusing to see Peeta and Johanna at least go on a date. It also helps that the two of them were both tormented by the Capitol, a sad encounter but one they would have to understand about each other that no one else would have.
5 Finnick x Annie
Finnick and Annie Cresta actually were a canon couple. However, the reason we included them on this list is that their story is so painfully tragic it almost feels like they might as well have been the stuff of fanfiction.
For starters, Annie was kidnapped and tormented by the Capitol for a long time before Finnick was finally able to rescue her. Then they are reunited, they get married, and they experience bliss, but only for a short time before Finnick is killed. After that, we discover that Annie is pregnant with Finnick’s child. It’s a heartbreaking story. The two of them truly deserved better.
4 Cressida x Katniss
The idea of Katniss and Cressida together is appealing to many fans because of the actresses involved. Natalie Dormer is very popular, especially with LGBT+ fans, since many people read her Game of Thrones character Margaery Tyrell as queer.
The same can be said for her character Cressida, who already proves herself a fan of Katniss after deciding to take on the directorial job and take video footage of Katniss being the Mockingjay. The two women share several great scenes in the movies, and it helps to know that Dormer and Lawrence are also good friends in real life.
3 Gale x Peeta
Surprisingly, The Hunger Games doesn’t have plenty of slash ships in the fandom, but perhaps one of the biggest ones is Peeta and Gale. As two points in the central love triangle, it’s not at all surprising that the two of them are paired together often in fan fiction and fan fantasies.
Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson are also friends in real life. In fact, all the cast members from the triangle are close. There have been plenty of online quizzes and articles weighing the two characters and trying to figure out who is the best choice for Katniss, but there are many who prefer to think about what the two would be like together instead.
2 Katniss x Johanna
Katniss and Johanna is another tremendously popular Hunger Games pairing in fanfiction. It helps that in the movie, many of their interactions give you that love-to-hate vibe between the two of them. Plus, the actresses have good chemistry.
It also helps that Johanna Mason is another popular character in the franchise, on par with Finnick Odair. Due to their bubbling tension, many would have liked to see Katniss and Johanna hook up in the franchise. There is a lot of fan art and fan fiction about the two of them out there.
1 Madge x Katniss
Madge Undersee was Katniss’s best female friend back in District 12. Madge was the daughter of the mayor, and she was one of the few people that Katniss genuinely liked to be around.
Sadly, the two of them were separated after the Hunger Games began and even more so that Madge was left out of the film series entirely. Many fans are still sad about that as they wanted to see the relationship depicted between the two characters on the big screen.