Peeta Mellark

Peeta Mellark

    The Hunger Games
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in the dysfunctional home of bakers with an abusive mom. Once when Peeta burned a batch of bread, he got whacked with a rolling pin. Despite his less-than-perfect upbringing, he grew into a chivalrous romantic. When Peeta first heard his childhood crush, Katniss Everdeen, sing in class, he instantly fell in love with her.

Living… in the merchant area of Panem's District 12 with his mom, dad, and two brothers. District 12, located in Appalachia in the dystopian future, is home to Panem's coal mining industry and is also the country’s most impoverished section.

Profession… tribute in the 74th annual Hunger Games. Every year Panem's 12 districts send one boy and one girl to enter a booby-trapped arena in a brutal fight to the death as sacrifices, or “tributes,” to the Capitol for a past rebellion. Twenty-four enter, but there can be only one Victor. Out of all the names that could have been randomly selected, Peeta’s is called to enter the horrors of the arena. Things are made even more complicated when his crush, Katniss, volunteers as Tribute when her younger sister Prim's name is also called for District 12.

Interests… baking and camouflage. While the other tougher Tributes, known as the Careers, were busy showing off their weaponry skills during their training, Peeta was learning how to make himself disappear into his surroundings using the artistry he gained from decorating cakes. Peeta is also very strong from lifting bags of flour from his days at his family's bakery.

Relationship Status… completely in love with Katniss. It's complicated since technically they're opponents in this death match. At first Katniss is angry that he publicly admitted on TV to all of Panem that he had a crush on her, but then she seems to fall for him in the arena. But is the romance real to her, or is she just using it as leverage to keep herself alive?

Challenge… competing in the Games, while making sure Katniss survives. Peeta doesn't really think he has a chance at winning, plus he does have genuine feelings for Katniss. So if only one of them can win – and thus survive – Peeta is willing to sacrifice himself to make sure it’s her. But will that be enough?

Personality… charming, strong, and level-headed. He's also a great public speaker, an ability which helps him gain more points with potential sponsors who can send gifts into the arena that could mean the difference between life and death. Despite being thrust into the violent Hunger Games, Peeta is still principled: "I just keep wishing I could think of a way to show them that they don't own me. If I'm gonna die, I wanna still be me."


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