It’s also possible Gale and his family were watching the games with Mrs. Everdeen and Prim in Victor’s Village.
I considered that as well, but given what we know about the night - that Gale and some of the others pushed over the fence in the Meadow, which Katniss tells us early on is close to her old house in the Seam, I don’t think it logistically makes sense. Though it all depends on the set up of 12, really. If Victors Village is closer to the Seam than the town square, that is certainly a possibility. :)
I suppose it’s possible, but you have to remember that Gale was one boy in a population of 8,000+ people. I’m sure he went after certain people first, namely his own family and the Everdeen’s… but in this situation, I don’t think Gale really had much of a choice to do more than that. The night the bombs fell on 12 was likely a night of mass chaos and confusion. The people who were more likely to get out were the people closest to the edges of town, where they could make an easy escape. Merchants more likely went down because they were near the center, and it was harder for them to get out. Gale wouldn’t have had the time to save the Merchants, regardless of whether he wanted to or not.
What this DOES make me wonder about is where the Everdeen’s were living by that point. Part of me wonders if they had moved back into their house in the Seam. I know that the bombs didn’t hit Victors Village, but remember when Katniss mentions at the beginning of the book that if she were to die, they would have to move back? Katniss obviously wasn’t dead yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Mrs. Everdeen and Prim were forced to move back anyways, as mandated by the Capitol, since they weren’t assigned to live in that house. That could be another reason they managed to escape with Gale’s help, along with his own family.
That sounds right. We know that Annie Cresta won when Katniss was 12 years old, 4 years prior to her and Peeta’s Games. (As an aside, notice how Annie is from D4, as are Mags and Finnick’s, and her Games took place before Katniss’s. Katniss and Peeta also participated in the 74th Games. Finnick won his Games when he was 14, and is 24 in Catching Fire. And Annie won hers when Katniss would have been 12 years old. Those two numbers are echoed a LOT through this series, and later we’l explore why.) So we know it wasn’t when Katniss was 12, or 7. Remembering what I considered to be “little” when I was 17 myself, I doubt it was much past 10 or 11 anyways. I think I would have them either win the two consecutive years before (the 64th and 63rd Games), or the two years immediately after (the 66th and 67th Games.) I doubt it was much before the 63rd Games, though, because Katniss likely wouldn’t remember too far before that. Though I guess she could be remembering history more than she might be her own memories of their Games.