Peeta Mellark – All Around Nice Guy

Peeta-RiverI have seen Catching Fire  three times. Twice in the past week. And during each time I watch it, I become more and more enamoured by Peeta’s innocence and naiveté. I mean naïve in a good way. In the first movie, his love for Katniss blinded him to the fact that she was using him. Using him so that they could both survive, sure, but still she used him. He can’t even stay mad at her in Catching Fire because he knows that whatever Katniss did was to save him. Even though he had his heart broken in the process.

I was just watching the first movie to reacquaint myself with Peeta and Katniss in the beginning. The way he talks about her when he’s delirious from his injuries? And the look on his face when he’s rubbing that salve on her face? That right there is true love.

“We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair…it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out while we were waiting to line up. He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.’ And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings…even the birds stop to listen.’ So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.”

And the kindness and selflessness he exhibits is extraordinary. Katniss may be a fighter and strong to the point of almost invincibility, but Peeta’s ability to put himself last is amazing. First for Katniss and then for Haymitch. And to think that all of this selflessness came from a home life with, let’s face it, some horrible parents.  It’s demonstrative of his iron-clad sense of self: that he is a good person.

You know in the first movie when he knows that he’s not going to win so he allies himself with the Career Pack so he can look out for Katniss? And then in the second movie when he hands Katniss that medallion, to remind herthat she needs to live? Even if it means his death? It takes a special kind of person to be able to do that. Now, I’m not saying that Katniss isn’t selfless. As you know, she was the very first volunteer. No one else in all of Panem chose to sacrifice themselves for their siblings, but she did. What I am trying to say is that Peeta is strong. Just in a different way to Katniss. I think that’s why Collins wrote Peeta the way she did: to show that there are different kinds of strength.

“I just don’t want them to change me, if I’m going to die I still want to be me.”

Why am I pushing this point? Because I have seen a lot of articles online calling Peeta “weak” because of all the trouble he gets into in the second movie. He almost drowns in the water, blows himself up on the forcefield, and can’t outrun the poison. But you know what? That could have been any of those tributes. If any one of them had fallen on their run to the Cornucopia, it would have been them who almost died. And Katniss, and therefore the audience, only knew about the forcefield because Katniss had had the signs pointed out to her by Nuts and Volts. Without those two, Katniss wouldn’t have known what to look for. Let’s face it, District Twelve is not a particularly tech-savvy place. Slicing up that forcefield could have just as easily been Katniss’ mistake.
Then, because he almost died, Peeta was way more susceptible to that damn poison gas. It is actually more realistic that he would be the first to fall because of the trauma he had already experienced. There’s no way he could have outrun that gas. I was actually impressed that he made it as far as he did.

Everyone thinks that Katniss should end up with Gale in the end and I understand why. Those two are very similar people and grew up supporting each other throughout the hardships of Twelve. They understand each other. Peeta had a slightly more privileged upbringing, seeing as he worked around food. He didn’t quite understand what it was that everyone else in Twelve had to do to get the food that he was surrounded with every day. But is that his fault? He helped when he could, even though it could have gotten him in trouble. And he definitely wasn’t spoiled. When faced with that horrific pink potion that allows the people of the Capitol to be sick, so that they can keep eating, he is appalled. You can see that Peeta is just as committed to equality as Katniss. He just isn’t the symbol for the rebellion. He just happens to be in love with her.

catching_fire___peeta_and_katniss_by_echosong001-d5x9k8tBack to my original point, [SPOILERS] I like that Peeta ends up with Katniss in the final pages of Mockingjay. I mean, I hate how Gale’s story ends. It’s just brutal. But I think that Peeta and Katniss together makes more sense. He softens her edges and she makes him stronger. Plus, he is the only one that will understand what she has been through. And the same goes both ways. I feel that it’s Peeta finally getting some fair treatment. Because, let’s face it, he gets screwed over by Collins. Consistently. The next movie is going to be heart-breaking. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it.

This may come off as a rant, or even just a fangirl swooning over another male character, but that’s not my intention. Firstly, because my heart will always belong to Will Herondale. And secondly, because I want people to realise that Peeta is a strong character. No, he’s not Gale. He doesn’t hunt and doesn’t really know how to fight. But he is strong in different ways. Say, by sacrificing himself for the woman he loves. Even after she treated him so badly.

Thank you, Katniss, for waking up and realising just how amazing Peeta is. It just took you a little too long to see it.

“And then he gives me a smile that just seems so genuinely sweet with just the right touch of shyness that unexpected warmth rushes through me.”

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About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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12 Responses to Peeta Mellark – All Around Nice Guy

  1. I’m secretly fangirling like crazy over Peeta’s character. 😉 I think Gale is better-looking than Peeta in the movies but Peeta’s personality is lovely!

    When I read Mockingjay I was glad that Peeta and Katniss got to be together. But I agree with you that the ending Suzanne Collins gave to Gale is brutal. I can’t forgive Gale for what happened at the end, even if there is a 50% chance that it wasn’t his bomb. The next two movies (they are splitting Mockingjay in half) are definitely going to be very difficult to watch. I know I will be taking Kleenex with me!

    • Bec Graham says:

      I cannot believe they’re splitting the movie. I read that last night and almost hit something. I mean, I’m glad we get more Lawrence and Hutcherson but still, that is so annoying.

      I love Peeta! He’s beautiful all-around. He kind of reminds me of Jem from Infernal Devices. The pure soul always eclipsed by the brighter flame of the good-looking one. Not that Peeta and Jem aren’t good-looking but you know what I mean.

      Katniss and Gale were so close! It sucks so bad what happened. Especially cos they were each other’s strength growing up. Collins is a cruel, cruel woman. Poor Peeta. That is going to be awful. :’-(

      • Yeah, I’ve known for a while that they are splitting it. Obviously the studio want to maximise the revenue they get and it has become almost like a trend to split the last movie in half in big franchises. For example, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was split in two, and Breaking Dawn was as well.

        It is definitely annoying that we have to wait so long between movies but I hope that dividing Mockingjay in half will result in a faithful adaptation which isn’t too rushed. There are a lot of scenes in the Catching Fire adaptation which are skipped over too quickly. And they missed out my favorite line in the book: “I wish I could freeze this moment right here, right now and live in it forever.”

        One of my niggles about Mockingjay is that Gale’s story ends so abruptly. I wish we heard more from his character. Collins should write a sequel from his POV.

        May the odds be ever in your favor! 🙂

      • Bec Graham says:

        I had my suspicions that they would split the movie, but I hoped that they wouldn’t do that to us. Damn them and their trends. But I’m pretty sure they’re going to end Mockingjay Part One after they find Peeta. I hope they don’t, but I have a feeling the moment Peeta looks at Katniss with hatred and attacks her? That’ll be the end. That is going to be so hard!

        I haven’t read Hunger Games in so long. After reading all the books I have to read, I am going to re-read them. My mum’s reading them at the moment. She’s a slow reader haha.

        I actually love the Hunger Games adaptations. They’re the most loyal cinematic adaptations I have seen of any book that I love. But I’ve forgotten all those awesome moments between Peeta and Katniss. Definitely need to re-read.

        Oh. My. God. Million dollar idea. She could definitely write Gale’s story! People would love that. And another Liam Hemsworth movie? They will pay for that! I hope Collins is actually doing this 🙂

  2. Pingback: Recensione Hunger Games – La Ragazza Di Fuoco (Catching Fire Review) #THG | TV And Comics

  3. I still firmly stand by my opinion that Katniss didn’t deserve Peeta, even in the end. He is my absolute favorite character in the series, and I always rooted for him more than I did Katniss. I think I identify more with him most of the time, so that’s probably why. I love that you compared him to Jem, I couldn’t agree more. They have the same selflessness and loyalty.

    • Bec Graham says:

      I absolutely loved that line in the movie:
      “You could live a hundred lifetimes and still not deserve that boy.”
      Because it is so true. She doesn’t deserve him. Peeta is too kind and too gentle for someone as ruthless (in a good way) as Katniss. But that’s part of Peeta’s awesomeness: he still wants her anyway. After all the shit she put him through, and even after having his love for her used against him, Peeta still chooses Katniss. He is easily one of the best literary men I have ever read. 🙂

  4. Charl says:

    Team Peeta, without question. He was my favourite as soon as his character was introduced and I completely agree when you say him and Katniss balance each other out nicely. Gale is a little too spontaneous and reckless (?) for Katniss’s character. I always felt that they clash more than compliment each other.

    • Bec Graham says:

      (hopefully I haven’t posted this twice. My computer’s being weird).
      Peeta’s just amazing. There should be more people like him in real life. There are very few legitimately good people in the world that Peeta was instantly likeable because he was one of the very few.
      Gale was reckless. That’s what caused the horrible end to his story in Mockingjay. He had a good heart, but he was a fanatic for the revolution. Which was understandable and everything but Peeta would never have caused that accident to happen.
      I think Gale riled Katniss up, made her want to act without thinking and basically rush about and try and save the day. Peeta was a calming influence. And Katniss really needed that after the Games.

      I could ramble about Peeta all day >.<

  5. Charl says:

    haha I’m glad there’s someone else who is a Peeta lover! I don’t like it when people say he’s wimpy or boring. Give me a guy like Peeta ANY day. Just followed you on Twitter btw!

    • Bec Graham says:

      I know! I’ve been reading those articles and it’s like “come on guys, pretty sure you’d fall down a lot too if you’d just been electrocuted!”. People prefer Gale cos he’s all chiseled and stuff I think. People are shallow.
      And I saw that! Thanks so much 🙂 My internet’s been playing up, but heading to Twitter now to follow you too!

  6. blogtosuccess2014 says:

    I’ve watched the uncut movie scene inside the cave! I should say if they did not removed that scene, They can double they’re gross movie sales.LOL If you are interested to watch that Leaked/Uncut Scene, I found it here >>  http://goo.gl/sazXNt  I hope they still not taken it down.

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