What happened to Gale Hawthorne after the events of the Hunger Games movie franchise? Actor Liam Hemsworth portrayed the character until the series ended with the fourth installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The movies were based on the book series by author Suzanne Collins.
Gale was introduced in The Hunger Games as Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) best friend. The pair, who lived in District 12, spent a lot of their time hunting illegally to provide food for their families. Like Katniss, Gale lost his father in a mining accident so he had no choice but to step up for his widowed mother and his three younger siblings. Secretly, Gale was in love with Katniss and it crushed him when she volunteered for the 74th Hunger Games. He notably saved nearly a thousand people during the bombing of his home before he became a fearless leader in District 13's rebellion.
Katniss was stuck in a love triangle with Gale and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) for most of the Hunger Games movie franchise. Despite the fact that she fully didn't reciprocate his feelings, Gale remained completely loyal to Katniss. He assisted in Peeta's dangerous rescue attempt from the Capitol and fought by Katniss' side until the end of the war. However, after Katniss' sister, Prim (Willow Shields), was killed in an explosion from a device that Gale invented, the relationship with his long-time best friend quickly deteriorated. Prim's death caused a rift in their friendship that carried well after Mockingjay ended.
In the Mockingjay movie, Katniss confronts Gale about his role in Prim's death, which he struggles to come to terms with. Katniss, unable to look at him the same way, lets him walk away without a word and eventually ended up living with Peeta. Shortly after, Gale moved to District 2 where he got a job with Panem's new government. It was stated that Gale was eventually promoted to a captain for the purpose of security and keeping order.
The Hunger Games books featured a similar fate for Gale but Katniss' feelings for him weren't as conclusive. She couldn't ignore the fact that Gale might have indirectly killed Prim but she took the time to wonder about their future together. In the end, she realized that she and Gale were too much alike so she let him go, believing there would be another girl for him. Like the films, Gale moved to District 2 to work for the military.
Knowing that Gale thrived as a protector, he probably never got over the guilt caused by Prim's death. Even if his feelings for Katniss eventually faded, it doesn't seem likely that Gale would be able to live his life without some sort of PTSD.
While Gale may not be featured in any future movies but the world of Panem could be returning to the big screen. A movie adaptation of Collins' forthcoming Hunger Games prequel novel is being discussed. Could we soon be meeting some of Gale's ancestors?