Peeta Mellark

Peeta Mellark is the deuteragonist of the Hunger Games trilogy and Katniss’ fellow tribute from District 12 in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games.

The Definitive Glossary for The Hunger Games

Peeta is a likable boy of 16 with many admirable qualities to his name. In the novels, Peeta’s character acts as a foil to that of Katniss’ as he is extremely different from her in every possible way.


Peeta Mellark Character Profile

  • Name: Peeta Mellark
  • Age: 16
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of origin: District 12
  • Height: 5’10 (according to the Tribute Guide)
  • Physical appearance: Blond hair, blue eyes, fair-skinned.
  • Skills: Painting, camouflage, baking, frosting cakes
  • Strengths: Strong and well-built, likable personality.
  • Weaknesses: Emotional, high-minded
  • Weapons: Knives, weights 
  • Loyalties: Rebel, although hijacked by the Capitol
  • Partner: Katniss Everdeen


Background

Peeta is the son of a baker from District 12. Although he grew up in relatively better conditions than the rest of District 12 (with a regular supply of food and resources from the bakery), he had a difficult childhood. While he had a kind father, his mother was extremely strict. She would beat Peeta and his two siblings for making mistakes at the bakery. Peeta was always strong, and during school, he won 2nd place in a wrestling competition, but his older brother took first place.

Personality

Peeta is one of the most likable characters in the Hunger Games. He is often described by Katniss as strong, steady, gentle, and reliable. He is also extremely charming and a good public speaker. Peeta has a way with words, which is why President Coin wanted to rescue him instead of Katniss after the Third Quarter Quell.

Peeta has a witty sense of humor, which he occasionally uses to make people feel better. He is also deeply caring, and he is ready to lay down his life for Katniss. Peeta is extremely trustworthy, inducing a sense of security in the people he loves.

Unlike most other tributes, Peeta is kind and non-violent. He is one of the few victors who won the Games without killing many fellow tributes. It is this attribute of Peeta’s that makes Katniss feel safe around him. Peeta burned two loaves of bread deliberately so the bakery couldn’t use them, and then gave them to a hungry Katniss.

Peeta has a strong sense of self and pride. He confesses to Katniss that he does not want the Hunger Games circumstances to change him in any way and that if he should die, he would rather die as himself than as a violent killer.

After being hijacked by the Capitol, Peeta becomes savage, suicidal, and homicidal. However, he is slowly rehabilitated into regaining his old personality, although he is visited by trauma and flashbacks regularly.

Key Moments

74th Hunger Games

Peeta Mellark is reaped as the male tribute from District 12 for the 74th Hunger Games. After receiving a training score of 8 which his prep team were pleased with, Peeta survived the Games by first, allying with the Career Pack, and second, by pretending to be star-crossed lovers with Katniss at the end of the games.

Peeta stalls for Katniss and saves her life by suggesting to The Careers (who are hunting katniss), that they should wait her out while she is trapped in a tree. This gives Katniss time to find the Tracker Jackers, and subsequently drop them on her attackers the next morning. After The Careers flee to the Cornucopia, and as Katniss re-collects her bow and arrows, Peeta warns her of an impending attack by Cato, who overhears this encounter and then cuts Peeta’s leg, severly wounding him. Cato leaves Peeta for dead and Peeta hides using his advanced camoflague technique, before Katniss finds him once again, shortly after Claudius Templesmith announces the new rule that there may be two victors from the same district.

At the end of the games at the Cornucopia, it is Katniss’ turn to save Peeta as she shoots Cato whilst he holds a knife to Peeta’s throat. When only Peeta and Katniss are left standing in the arena, Claudius Templesmith reverts the previously created rule, and the two of them decide to kill themselves to leave the Games with no victor. However, the Gamemakers panic at this open act of dissent and quickly name both Katniss and Peeta as the victors.

75th Hunger Games

Peeta is the male tribute from District 12 again in the 75th Hunger Games, which was also the Third Quarter Quell, in which previous victors were the only eligible Tributes (partially as a result of President Snow’s anger at the events of the 74th games). This time, however, he volunteers in the place of Haymitch Abernathy, to try and keep Katniss alive.

The Quell is set in a jungle setting with the tributes all starting in the water at the Cornucopia. He and Katniss form an alliance with some of the others in the arena. However, after planning with their alliance at the Cornucopia for some time, the 75th Games comes to an abrupt end when Katniss blows up the forcefield. While Katniss and some other rebels are rescued by District 13, Peeta is captured by the Capitol.

Second Rebellion 

After being taken hostage by the Capitol, Peeta is tortured for days on end. He is used by the Capitol to spread messages about peace, calling for a cease-fire to get the rebels to lay down their weapons. Peeta is also psychologically hijacked by Capitol doctors to believe that Katniss is a fearful muttation. He can no longer seperate real from fake information and is rage towards Katniss is a stark contrast to his personality. However, he is rescued by the rebels and rehabilitated. He later joins The Mockingjay and the other rebels in infiltrating the Capitol.

Relationships

Peeta forms several strong relationships with people during the trilogy, the major one being his friendship and relationship with his romantic interest Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay. Peeta is also notably jealous of Gale Hawthorne, who is the third part of a love triangle including Peeta and Katniss.

Peeta ends up liking both Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinket, depsite getting off to a rocky start on the first night on the train with Haymitch.

Family

Peeta is a baker’s son. His father is kind, while his mother is strict. He has two unamed older brothers who presumably worked with him at his family bakery.

Peeta and his family were never close to each other. When Peeta is reaped for the Games along with Katniss, Peeta’s mother believes more in Katniss’ ability to win the Games than Peeta’s. Peeta also mentions during the Third Quarter Quell that his family would not be too bothered if he died.

The only known anecdote we have of Peeta’s family is when his father tells him that he loved Katniss’ mother. However, when Peeta wonders at the fact that anyone would want to marry a coal miner instead of a baker, Mr. Mellark explains that Mr. Everdeen had the special quality of making birds listen to him when he sang. Then, one day in school, Peeta hears Katniss sing and notices that the birds stopped to listen to her as well. This is when he begins to develop a crush on her.

After the Second Rebellion, Peeta and Katniss start a family themselves. They have two children, a boy and a girl.

Friends

Opportunities for friendships were limited in the districts of Panem, as almost everyone was more focused on surviving the harsh conditions set by the Capitol. As such, Peeta did not have any close friends until the 74th Hunger Games. He is noted, however, to go around with a large group of people at school. After winning the Games, Peeta becomes close to Katniss as well as Haymitch Abernathy and Effie Trinket.

Victims

Peeta has two kills to his name in the 74th Hunger Games. His victims include the District 8 female, whom he kills as a part of the Career Pack, and Foxface, whom he kills accidentally with nightlock berries. In the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta kills Brutus right before Katniss blows up the forcefield. Peeta kills Mitchell during the Battle of the Capitol by unintentionally kicking him into a pod.

Peeta and Katniss’ Love Relationship

Peeta’s love for katniss has been there for almost all his life. When picked as her fellow tribute for the 74th Hunger Games, he thinks of it as “lucky” in a twisted way since he finally gets a chance to get to know her. Despite training together, Peeta decides to prepare for his interview with Caesar Flickerman seperately, and at the advice of Haymitch Abernathy to get sponsors, declares he is in love with Katniss, and that they are star-crossed lovers. Caesar Flickerman and many others in the Capitol relished this news and enjoyed hearing about their blossoming relationship, both at this point and in the future.

During the Games, Peeta joins the Career Pack to deflect them away from Katniss. However, Katniss believes that Peeta has betrayed her. Later, when it is announced that two tributes from the same district can become victors together, Katniss and Peeta join hands. This is when the duo reconcile with each other and begin their act of ‘star-crossed lovers.’

However, for Peeta, this is not an act. He is truly in love with Katniss and is hurt when he finds out that Katniss was simply pretending to keep them alive. The two decide to become friends as they go on the Victory Tour while they put on a show of being engaged and expecting a baby. 

When Peeta and Katniss go back into the arena for the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta does not hide the fact that he wants to keep Katniss alive. Later, he is kidnapped and tortured by the Capitol after Katniss blows up the forcefield.

During the Second Rebellion, Peeta’s mind is ‘hijacked’ into believing that Katniss was an awful muttation created by the Capital. He, therefore, grows fearful of her and almost strangles her to death when he sees her. However, he is rehabilitated by the rebels and learns to distinguish his real memories from the false ones. Peeta then remembers how much he loved Katniss and begins to feel the same way again at the end of the Rebellion.

It is not known whether Katniss and Peeta get married. However, they become life partners who support each other through the terrors and trauma of the Games after the Rebellion. The couple has two children together, a boy and a girl.

FAQs

Does Peeta sleep with Katniss?

Yes, Peeta and Katniss sleep together at the end of the novel Mockingjay. The couple also become life partners and go on to have two children together after the Second Rebellion.

Who is Peeta Mellark in love with?

Peeta Mellark has been in love with Katniss since the day he heard her singing a song at school. He was five years old then. Peeta’s love for Katniss grew manifold when the two of them participated in the Games together.

Why is Peeta in love with Katniss?

Peeta is in love with Katniss because she is bold and unapologetic in everything she does. He witnessed this first-hand when he first heard her singing in school. He also loves her for her fierce independence and will to survive.

Is Peeta an amputee?

Yes, Peeta is an amputee. A part of his infected leg had to be cut off after the 74th Hunger Games. As a result, Peeta walked with a prosthetic aid (that gave him a slight limp) for the rest of his life.

Who is the father of Katniss’s baby?

Before the 75th Hunger Games, Peeta lies to everyone saying that Katniss was pregnant with his baby. While this was not true at the time, he and Katniss go on to have children in the future.

What are Peeta’s flaws?

Some of Peeta’s flaws include a sense of righteousness and pride. These traits most likely stem from the fact that Peeta lives as a baker’s son and is therefore financially better off than Katniss and others who grew up at the Seam. Peeta also wears his heart on his sleeve, which makes it easy for the Capitol to hijack his mind.

Who plays Peeta Mellark in the film adaptions?

Josh Hutcherson plays Peeta in the Hunger Games film series.

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