ch;peeta

casualoddities  asked:

Been reading WtM since near the start and really really love the fic. Here's a food question; out of all the dishes that Peeta and Katniss make and enjoy together what's your favourite? Are there any that you've made yourself? Also what was your favourite one shot that you've written? (I think mine was the Threshing Floor.)

Awwww, you are so sweet!! Thank you so much! <3 Oddly enough, I was just looking back at Ch 6 yesterday - the part where Peeta makes toast-and-honey-topped hot chocolate (based on my own recipe :D) to welcome Katniss to her new home, which might be my favorite food moment (even though hot chocolate isn’t, strictly speaking, a “dish”). But there are so many others that stand out to me too!

  • Grandma Brognar’s fried chicken (someone asked me about that awhile back and I’ve been meaning to reply - I found a recipe similar to the one that inspired it, where you simmer the chicken in wine after frying)
  • The soup (basically, potato corn chowder) that Katniss falls asleep eating after hunting the New Year’s buck
  • The whole breakfast on the sofa in Ch 10 - the first time Katniss tastes bacon! (Cheese bun bacon sandwich dipped in a runny yolk!)
  • The fried peaches and cream that top the griddle cakes in Ch 7
  • The ginger cake with custard that they split at the end of Ch 8 (Katniss’s first supper with Peeta)
  • The rabbit stew Peeta makes from Katniss’s first haul (with wild rice, mushrooms, shallots, and garlic)
  • The peanut butter (and chocolate chunk!) cookie dough Peeta makes after they go skiing for the first time
  • The ginger “dove cake” with the orange curd filling and marzipan glaze
  • The post-New Year’s griddle cake bake :D
  • The entire breakfast Katniss makes for Peeta in Ch 14
  • Pretty much any occurrence of cold chicken or bread pudding!

Most of these came from my imagination, alas. I enjoy cooking and feel like I have a small knack for it, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunity/resources/training as yet. :( As a small child I loved to steal tidbits of cold chicken when my mom cut up a roast chicken (for adding to soup, Rice-a-Roni, etc.), and she made bread pudding (from stale loaves of grocery store white bread) a couple of times, which was so simple and delicious at once. I can make a decent batch of egg dumplings, though, and I think the closest I’ve come to making a WtM!Everlark dish in my real life is the chicken ‘n’ dumpling soup that Katniss eats in the bathtub after her first hunt in Peeta’s woods. :)  

Awww, I’m so flattered that you like The Threshing Floor! <3 It’s hard to choose a favorite between my babies (even though few of my pieces stay oneshots, so there aren’t that many to choose from)! TTF will always be a fave but I love The Steward and the Bow-Maiden so much too (I wore myself to a thread trying to make an Everlark fic read like Tolkien :P), and for all that Torchlight is Primko and Janek/Alys, it’s top of that list as well - and then there’s Breadcrumbs and Mockingjay-Maid…! 

But right now I think Embracing the Season might be my favorite. It was a challenging, even brave fic for me to write in a lot of ways and I was so happy with how it came together. It’s a little like The Steward and the Bow-Maiden in that I don’t think it especially stood out or made a big impression to readers in general but it hit me really hard - and then went off into the universe, carrying large pieces of my soul with it.

Thank you so much for your lovely note and questions! <3 *hugs*

Katniss’s strength

“All that remains of the design-team’s efforts are the flames on my nails. I decide to keep them as a reminder of who I am to the audience. Katniss, the girl who was on fire. Perhaps it will give me something to hold on to in the days to come.” THG, Ch.10.

“Peeta rinses the pearl off in the water and hands it to me. ‘For you.’ I hold it out on my palm and examine its iridescent surface in the sunlight, Yes, I will keep it. For the few remaining hours of my life I will keep it close. This last gift from Peeta. The only one I can really accept. Perhaps it will give me strength in the final moments.” CF, Ch. 25

“Sometimes when I’m alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena.” MJ, Ch.14.

“But I do slip the pearl into the pocket of my uniform. A token of the boy with the bread.” MJ, Ch.18.

As I was rereading THG and reached the part when Katniss comments on her fingernails, I was struck with the parallel wording to her reflections on Peeta’s pearl. The contrast is revealing.

As Katniss faces the horrors of the first arena, she clings to the manufactured image of herself as a source of possible strength. Katniss tries to find courage by believing in this fiery girl persona that the audience has been conditioned to see in her. I find it revealing that the wording places it outside of herself and her own self-image. 

In parallel, she describes the pearl as something she hopes will give her strength in the QQ arena. But take a look at the contrast. She isn’t clinging to an image of herself. It isn’t even a matter of importance whether the ‘girl on fire’ image is true or not. What she is telling us is that she now draws strength from the source of her bond with Peeta, something that he has given to her in an act of sweet affection. It isn’t an image placed upon her by others. It is a gift given in love, in stark contrast to everything else that is going on around them.

So what does this tell us about Katniss’s evolution as a character? In the first case, she believes in the aggressive, destructive power of her fiery side as the thing that will serve her best in the arena. In CF, it is loyalty and devotion that she finds fuels her resolve. 

By the time we get to MJ, it is in the memory of who Peeta was as ‘the boy with the bread,’ and his selfless acts of compassion and devotion, where she finds comfort and courage to face what lies ahead. She may actually be ‘the girl on fire’ who inspires a nation, but it is a token of love that she carries close to her heart.

Writing Check-In: When the Moon, Ch 14

“Greedy gosling,” Peeta whispers, and his voice is thinner than a shadow. His eyes are dazed and dreamlike, and for a moment I wonder whether either of us is actually awake or even really here – but yes, the air is sharp and pure as ice against my face and my thighs are peppered with goosebumps on the sides not bolstered by bearskin, and the world is a gasping, blue-eyed cloud of flushed pink skin and sweet boy-musk and downy milkweed lashes.

“Greedy gosling,” he tries again; a little stronger, but only just. “What are you doing out of your nest? I-I haven’t even started your breakfast yet.”

“I don’t want breakfast,” I inform him. “Not yet. I just want you.”

His eyes go, somehow, wider still. “Well,” he says, a little hoarsely, “here I am.” 

Something crackles and flares in my heart; a fresh pine branch igniting with the love already kindled there and adding to the radiant heat of its glow.

Peeta spreads his arms in a gesture of surrender – I’m still pinning his torso firmly but he could throw me off with very little effort – and asks softly, “Now that you’ve got me, what are you going to do with me?”

I consider this quite seriously for a moment. I want to wrap him up in my fox fur coverlet beside the living room fire and kiss the chill from his nose and cheeks. I want to take his hand and lead him upstairs to my den of deerskin and down, where we’ll burrow together like newborn mousekins, all soft bare skin and eyes closed tightly. I want to sit in his lap, legs knotted around his waist, and toy with his curls, giggling as my small fingers make them bounce and spring back toward his scalp, and finally kiss him squarely on the mouth, right when he least expects it.

I want to roll up his trousers – or better yet, remove them completely – and spend the day lavishing love on what remains of his poor right leg with gentle fingertips and careful, lingering kisses. That much wasn’t a dream – the blunt, smooth knob of bone and warm tender skin nestling like a determined, oversized fledgling in the curve of my palm – and I remember all too well Peeta’s heartbreaking words about returning home damaged, unworthy of his sweetheart’s hand.

A cripple and a laughingstock. Weak. Maimed. Haunted by living nightmares.

I remember equally well the moment that led to that grief: the glossy wolverine, compact and snarling; his fanged maw closing around Peeta’s powerful calf and wrenching viciously. Wolverines have an angled back tooth to help them effectively tear flesh; they explained this – showed this – in the recap and I left the room, crying so hard that I threw up what little was in my stomach.

“I’m going to put you somewhere you can’t get hurt,” I blurt.

Peeta ventures a small smile and gently brushes a gloved hand against my shivering leg where it brackets his hip. “You’ve found it, I think,” he murmurs. “I can’t imagine a safer shelter than beneath my songbird’s wings. But maybe we could move it someplace a little warmer?”

I cock my head at him, reluctant to relocate, despite the cold. I like this perch; like my boy safe and snug between my thighs. “What did you have in mind?” I wonder, and Peeta reaches shyly between us to unhook the fastenings on his bearskin.

“Ah,” I reply, echoing his smile, and shift a little, scooting back onto his thighs so he can reach all the clasps. Beneath the fur he’s still half in his pajamas, with a gray thermal undershirt above his corduroys. “You’re hardly outfitted for the weather yourself,” I chide lightly, brushing a hand over his ribs, then I tuck in my legs for a moment to let the bearskin fall open and scurry back up to blanket him with my small body.

“Oh, little vixen,” he sighs, curling his arms around me and enveloping us both in a dense cocoon of warm white plushness. “How does this suit you?”

“Very well indeed,” I reply, burrowing deeply into the crooks and hollows of his body, and press my face into the curve of his neck with a happy whuff of breath. “It’s a good day’s hunt when straight out of the den you bag a plump, unwitting gander.”

3

I don’t know if it’s the pods, or the fear, or watching Boggs die, but I feel the arena all around me.  It’s as if I’ve never left, really.  Once again I’m battling not only for my own survival but for Peeta’s as well.  How satisfying, how entertaining it would be for Snow to have me kill him.  To have Peeta’s death on my conscience for whatever is left of my life. – Mockingjay, ch. 21

Snow really messed Peeta up, you can see it in his face, and Katniss is so in-tune with him that she can tell almost immediately how upset he is by the broadcast…by Snow’s face.  But he’s with her, he’s safe, and she is never going to let Snow take him away from her again.

[Gifs made for me by the incomparable @pirateherokillian]

10

the hunger games || peeta mellark

“i just don’t want them to change me…turn me into something i’m not. i just don’t want to be another piece in their game, you know?…if i’m gonna die, i wanna still be me.”

2

Choosing Katniss - Real or Not Real?

“I might try to persuade him to run away… But he’s not alone and he’d never leave his family. Or me. CF, Ch.3

“Peeta would have nothing to come home to, anyway. Except me…” MJ,Ch.1

Gale tells Peeta in Tigris’s cellar that Katniss will choose whomever she can’t survive without. We often discuss Katniss’s decision, but Katniss wasn’t the only one who had a choice to make. She describes a loyalty and connection to both Gale and Peeta in the quotes above, but only one was ultimately true. Because only one was based on a Katniss that was completely real.

Not Real:

“In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale.” THG, Ch.1

The Katniss that makes this claim is the girl Katniss wants to be. Brave, self-sufficient, a skilled hunter and a successful trader. A girl who isn’t crippled by fear, who provides for and protects her loved ones. A girl who doesn’t need anyone. 

This is the Katniss that Gale knows and wants. The girl who only needs a hunting partner to complete her. A fellow rebel who hates the Capitol as much as he does and shares his desire to destroy Snow and his regime regardless of the cost.

But this image that Katniss creates for herself masks the fragile girl underneath. The girl who is afraid and distrustful. The girl who finds it easier to embrace the fires of anger than face her emotional vulnerabilities or risk immobilizing pain from rejection, abandonment or death of a loved one.

Gale is unfortunately unable to deal with a traumatized Katniss. When she doesn’t live up to his expectations, and begins to vocally disagree with his tactics, their friendship begins to suffer. He fails to recognize or respond to the hurt and desperation she is experiencing which should be apparent to him as a best friend.

By the time they reach the Capitol all they have left is their well-honed teamwork as hunting partners which they effectively utilize in the Capitol mission, and his role as fellow protector for their families. Once the ‘last shot of the war’ is fired and with Prim’s death theoretically on Gale’s hands, the 'glue of mutual need that bonded’ them is gone. He finally sees a broken, depressed girl and can’t reconcile this person with the heroic hunter and fierce warrior that he wanted. And he is not capable of dealing with her pain in light of his own sense of loss. They both know they are no longer the two kids who would have run off into the woods if it was only with each other.

Gale chooses to leave Katniss.

Real:

“I do. I need you.” CF, Ch. 24

Peeta and Katniss’s relationship follows a more complex and less linear path. He finds himself in the unique position of being the person Katniss turns to when she is the one who is in need. He remembers the starving little girl who would have died without his intervention. He begins to see a Katniss who needs his support and comfort, not just for physical survival, but emotional stability. But he is also someone she pushes away when he gets too close. Her confusing coolness towards him coincides with his own issues around self-worth.  

He understands the concept of presenting an image for the world as a coping strategy. He no doubt learned to do it himself growing up with a less than ideal home life. He uses this strategy as he experiments with ways to get through to Haymitch, and then win over the audience and the Careers in the first arena.

While Peeta is able to see both the vulnerable and the dauntless sides of Katniss, his own struggles with self-image and self worth further complicate his relationship with her. Unlike Katniss, Peeta isn’t afraid to show his vulnerabilities, but given the chance to protect her, he discovers a noble purpose. However, in THG and CF, the very thing that feeds his sense of nobility in sacrificing for her sake, is also a point of weakness. He idealizes her to the point of believing that his life isn’t of much value in comparison, but it gains worth by his willingness to give up everything for her, even if she, unsurprisingly in his mind, probably doesn’t love him in return. 

Peeta eventually realizes the truth. Katniss reveals her vulnerability and need on the beach in the QQ. His hijacking is ironically cathartic in that it strips away the idealized vision of Katniss and allows him to see himself as a person of worth. He deserves the truth, and he challenges Katniss to be honest with him and herself, too. 

Katniss idealizes pre-hijacked Peeta, too, by the time time they are in the QQ. In MJ, Katniss alternately devalues herself as a 'fraud’ that he finally is able to see, and strikes out in anger at his post-hijacking accusations.   In the aftermath of the Capitol mission, Katniss eventually is stripped bare of her indomitable persona and her unjustified self-loathing, and she allows her whole and true self to be revealed. Peeta sees the fragile but fiercely devoted and heroic girl, who uses an image as a means of self-protection in a frightening world.

Peeta knows that they have shared a close, if at times confusing partnership. But it is because he understands her at the end, that he knows how broken she is. Where Gale leaves because she has not lived up to his needs and expectations, Peeta sees the real Katniss under the facade. He loves and accepts the whole Katniss. Peeta recognizes the reasons for her reluctance to love. He knows that if she will be honest with herself, she is capable of both deep affection and courageous spirit.

Peeta is prepared to build a relationship that recalls them at their best, but firmly rooted in reality giving them balance in their need and love. And Katniss, finally honest in acknowledging her needs and desires, chooses him, too. No longer a source of weakness for each other, they are stronger and better together. They just need to reassemble the pieces.

Peeta chooses to come home to Katniss.

The following evening, the newest member of our squad arrives. With no manacles. No guards. Strolling out of the train station with his gun swinging from the strap over his shoulder. There’s shock, confusion, resistance, but 451 is stamped on the back of Peeta’s hand in fresh ink. Boggs relieves him of his weapon and goes to make a call.

‘It won’t matter,’ Peeta tells the rest of us. 'The president assigned me herself. She decided the propos needed some heating up.’

Maybe they do. But if Coin sent Peeta here, she’s decided something else as well. That I’m of more use to her dead than alive.

—  Mockingjay, ch. 18
Peeta’s Leg

Because of this post about Peeta’s prosthetic leg and it’s portrayal in fanfiction (not even going into the lack of it in the movies), safeinpeetasarms​ and I realized it’s never directly mentioned in the series if he puts it on or takes it off.  Here’s all of the mentions…for your reference… 

The Hunger Games

“I take about three steps and fling myself into his arms.  He staggers back, almost losing his balance, and that’s when I realize the slim, metal contraption in his hand is some kind of cane.  He rights himself and we just cling to each other while the audience goes insane.” – Ch. 27

“When Caesar asks Peeta how his ‘new leg’ is working out.
‘New leg?’ I say, and I can’t help reaching out and pulling up the bottom of Peeta’s pants. ‘ Oh, no,” I whisper, taking in the metal-and-plastic device that has replaced his flesh.
‘No one told you?’ asks Caesar gently.  I shake my head.
‘I haven’t had the chance,’ says Peeta with a slight shrug.
‘It’s my fault,’ I say. ‘Because I used that tourniquet.’
‘Yes, it’s your fault I’m alive,’ says Peeta.
‘He’s right,’ says Caesar. ‘He’d have bled to death for sure without it.’” – Ch. 27

Catching Fire

“Then, as if I can’t stand it another second, I start running.  He catches me and spins me around and then he slips – he still isn’t entirely in command of his artificial leg – and we fall into the snow, me on top of him, and that’s where we have our first kiss in months.” – Ch. 3

“I watch as Peeta positions his artificial leg.” – Ch. 4

“I know Chaff by sight because I’ve spent years watching him pass a bottle back and forth with Haymitch on television.  He’s dark skinned, about six feet tall, and one of his arms ends in a stump because he lost his hand in the Games he won thirty years ago.  I’m sure they offered him some artificial replacement, like they did Peeta when they had to amputate his lower leg, but I guess he didn’t take it.” – Ch.15

“Peeta’s artificial leg catches in a knot of creepers and he sprawls forward before I can catch him.  As I help him up […]” – Ch. 21

“He begins to move through the jungle, and although I know he’s trying hard to be quiet, this has never been his strong suit, even when he had two sound legs.” – Ch. 21

“I don’t like the plan any more than Peeta does.  How can I protect him at a distance?  But Beetee’s right.  With his leg, Peeta is too slow to make it down the slope in time.” – Ch. 26

“’I’m here!’ He won’t make it.  Not with that leg in the night.  He will never make it in time.  ‘Peeta!’” – Ch. 26

Mockingjay

“The foot of his prosthetic leg taps out a strange irregular beat.” – Ch. 9


So those are all of the direct references to Peeta’s leg, one way or the other, but the closest we get to knowing whether it was surgically attached (given the Capitol’s medical advancement we really have no idea how futuristic his artificial leg is) or he has to put it in.  She makes no other mentions to his leg than that.  ~ And I used my iBooks search feature, so I know it’s not anywhere else.

But I think it’s safe to conclude that Katniss was very aware of his leg, and at the most, felt guilty for it.

However, the last mention of legs at all in the books is in the epilogue…

“…struggling to keep up with her on his chubby toddler legs." 

Between Katniss and Peeta they lost one leg, and gained four more.

3

(gif via seaquell)

The Color Orange

On the topic of colours and their use and symbolism in THG, I thought I’d post about orange in the series.

Katniss’s backpack: “I sprint to retrieve a bright orange backpack…” THG, Ch.11

and “…it’s sturdily made although a rather unfortunate color. This orange will practically glow in the dark. I make a mental note to camouflage it first thing tomorrow.” THG, Ch.11

and “…grind up part of a charred branch and set about camouflaging my orange pack.” … “Tomorrow I’ll stay here, resting, camouflaging my backpack with mud…” THG, Ch.12

“add a layer of mud to my backpack. It seems bent on reverting to orange no matter how many times I cover it.” THG, Ch.16

Tracker Jacker hallucination: “I trip and fall into a small pit lined with tiny orange bubbles…” THG, Ch.14 (foreshadowing of Peeta and hijacking?)

The Feast medicine pack: “On the table sit four backpacks… and a tiny orange one…" THG, Ch.21

Favorite colours: "A smile creeps onto my lips. ‘Green. What’s your?’ 'Orange,’ he says. ’Orange? Like Effie’s hair? I say. 'A bit more muted,’ he says. 'More like… sunset.’" CF, Ch.4

”'And yours is orange.’ ’Orange?’ He seems unconvinced. 'Not bright orange. But soft. Like a sunset,’ I say. 'At least, that’s what you told me once.’ 'Oh.’ He closes his eyes briefly…then nods his head,'Thank you.’“ MJ, Ch.19

"Cinna comes in with a pretty orange frock patterned with autumn leaves. I think how much Peeta will like the color.” CF, Ch.4

This is already a long post! I just wanted to focus on the backpacks in THG. What struck me as I was gathering these passages, is that first it’s Peeta’s favourite colour. And it contains things that help save Katniss’s life. But also that Katniss spends a lot of time trying to cover up the colour because it makes her feel exposed. But it just persists on reappearing, refusing to be ignored.

Hmm, Very Interesting…

Plus Katniss risks her life to retrieve the medicine pack that saved Peeta’s life, which just happens to be orange, too.

Orange -> persistent/life-saving and revealing/won’t be ignored

ReTHG, Ch.20 - Katniss and Peeta observing each other

“I have to laugh as I ease him back down. ‘You were worried about me? Have you taken a look at yourself lately?’” THG Ch.20.

“’Besides I like watching you sleep. You don’t scowl. Improves your looks a lot.’ This, of course, brings on a scowl that makes him grin.” THG Ch.20

Their situation is so dire, and yet Katniss and Peeta still manage to gently tease each other, lightening the mood. The way they playfully mock each other feels so intimate, because there is no indication of insult. The reader can see the comfortable rapport that exists between them, even after such a short time.

Now have a look at the contrast in this parallel moment from MJ:

“’You’re not very big, are you? Or particularly pretty?’ I know he’s been through hell and back, and yet somehow the observation rubs me the wrong way. ‘Well you’ve looked better.’ Haymitch’s advice to back off gets muffled by Peeta’s laughter. ‘And not even remotely nice. To say that to me after all I’ve been through.’” MJ, Ch.16

Peeta’s hijacking has placed a wall between them. Now the defensive way they observe each other is filled with hurt and cruelty. 

Though we don’t get to see the return of their playful banter in MJ, I have to believe that the same sweet rapport that got them through those first Games, in time, returned. I like to think that one day Peeta said something that made Katniss scowl, and then he gave her a knowing smirk, which made her laugh despite herself. 

Thanks for this ask, hinkevanabbema.

everlarked&always, I love your blog! Curious about your opinion on Gale being the first to volunteer to rescue Peeta in MJ. Is this because he accepts that Katniss loves Peeta, or is it his way of trying to show her his love. Or maybe both?

This is a great question.  I read the question over a few times and I had to ask my husband what he thought. He sees things pretty clearly and can sometimes verbalize things better than I can. His answer was spot on. We both think that it was neither. It wasn’t that Gale volunteered because he accepted Katniss’s love for Peeta or was doing something heroic to show his love for her by rescuing Peeta.

I think he wanted to be on the front lines of the fight, similar to how he didn’t want to leave District 12 to stay and fight in Catching Fire. We know that he’s a great hunter, a strategist and is essential to the intellectual warfare against the Capitol. We know that he’s fiery, kindled with rage and hatred. All these things add up to him wanting to engage in the actual warfare that was happening.

I believe that part of it was pride. Now, this isn’t necessarily a negative trait. It can cause one to do his or her best work or propel one to achieve more. I think Gale had pride in the fact that he was good at this warfare stuff. He wanted to bring Peeta home for Katniss, not out of love, but out of proving that he had the ability to do it.

Lastly, I think that often times Gale is very self-centered. I’m honestly not trying to pick on him. Go through the dialogue that he has with Katniss and often times, he brings it back to himself, never really putting Katniss first.

Examples, you ask:

Mockingjay:

Look at the differences in their perspectives:

“She loves you, you know,” says Peeta. “She as good as told me after they whipped you.”

“Don’t believe it,” Gale answers. “The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell…well, she never kissed me like that.”

“It was just part of the show,” Peeta tells him, although there’s an edge of doubt in his voice.

“No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that’s the only way to convince her you love her.”

Gale & Peeta, Ch. 23

And I will never be able to separate that moment from Gale. My silence is my answer.

“That was the one thing that I had going for me. Taking care of your family,” he says.

Katniss & Gale, Ch. 26

Catching Fire:

“No! We have to leave here before they kill us and a lot of other people, too!” I’m yelling again, but I can’t understand why he’s doing this. Why doesn’t he see what’s so undeniable?

Gale pushes me roughly away from him. “You leave, then. I’d never go in a million years.”

Katniss & Gale, Ch 7

These are small glimpses into the character of Gale. I’m convinced we could do a whole series of quotes on “Everthorne” and how it actually doesn’t exist. I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe Gale’s character exists to be a direct comparison juxtaposed against Peeta’s character. 

What do you think? Am I being harsh? As always, I want to know what you think. Thanks for reading.

Camp Nanowrimo Sneak Peek - ‘Silver Thaw’

for @thequillcircle :-)

Set during the Dark Days rebellion. A Capitol gold-medal biathlon athlete and hunting guide is enlisted to hunt down and capture a mysterious rebel troublemaker in the snowy mountains of District 13. Excerpt from Ch.2:

Peeta was only a few yards away when he stepped clear of the trees and raised his rifle.

But before he could take aim, the girl must have sensed his presence. Her back stiffened, and she whipped around. Peeta caught a glimpse of something blue in her clenched fist, but instead of dropping it in order to arm herself, inconceivably she took that precious second to stuff it back into her pocket. She stood, wide-eyed, frozen, unsure what to do.

He had her trapped.

Peeta took advantage of her hesitation. With his rifle trained on the girl he closed the distance. He could see in her eyes that she knew there was no way to arm her bow faster than he could take her out with the stun dart. They stood staring at each other breathing heavily as adrenaline pumped through both their bodies.

She glanced quickly over her shoulder at the waterfall behind her, and he knew immediately what she was considering. Alarmed, he took a step forward just as she took a step back. And then the layer of snow broke away and it must have startled the girl, too, because her mouth opened in a gasp and her eyes grew wide in surprise.

Just as she slipped over the edge, Peeta threw his rifle to the ground, leapt forward and, landing on his stomach, he managed to grasp her wrist before she went over the edge. It was the first time he’d been this close to notice her eyes. If he hadn’t been so focused on holding on, he’d have had time to admire how beautiful they were: fierce, like clouds during an electrical storm, but also a little haunted. Not what he had expected. But right now the primary thing on his mind was the twenty or so feet between the ledge and the foaming white caldron at the bottom of the falls.

He gritted his teeth and muttered, “Hold on.”

She shot a panicked look down at the river churning below, but when she turned her face back to him, he saw resignation. He knew the look well. It was the moment when prey realizes there is no escape. Even after all these years it felt like a stab in his heart, but he’d learned to bury such emotions.

However, the girl had other ideas. She glanced down at the frigid water again as he tried to improve his grip to drag her back up from the precipice. This time when she met his gaze, she was calm. A hatred, as cold as the icy water, lived in her eyes. With a snarl, she twisted and writhed to free herself from his grasp.

It was Peeta’s turn to panic realizing that, if she succeeded, she could die. The Capitol needed her alive. With a final determined wrench of her body, she flashed him a defiant sneer filled with bitter satisfaction, and she slipped from his grasp. She clamped her hands over her mouth just before she was lost in the white foam of water below.

Peeta’s eyes frantically searched the boiling water, and released a tense breath when her head popped up down river. Her arms were flailing, fighting the current as it carried her away. He didn’t have much time to react. He doubted she could fight the strong current for long. She would drown or be lost under the ice and he would have failed. And failure was not an option.

In a single, fluid motion, Peeta rose to his feet, shrugged out of his back pack, and slung the rifle securely across his back. He zipped up his parka around this throat as his eyes darted down at his gear. He was loath to leave it behind, but he’d just have to find a way to come back for it later. He glanced once more at the girl disappearing down the river and then back to the pool below.

“Shit,” he muttered through gritted teeth and, without further thought, he stepped off the ledge and plunged into the icy foam.

When I passed the baker’s, the smell of fresh bread was so overwhelming I felt dizzy. The ovens were in the back, and a golden glow spilled out the open kitchen door. I stood mesmerized by the heat and the luscious scent until the rain interfered, running its icy fingers down my back, forcing me back to life. I lifted the lid to the baker’s trash bin and found it spotlessly, heartlessly bare.
— 

The Hunger Games, Ch. 2

But Peeta…

lord-of-the-crumpets  asked:

Hi! I reread THG some time ago & was wondering about something, that you may have a theory/opionion on. You're like the THG bible (You're freaking awesome) That time Katniss is sitting in the tree, & the careers & Peeta come past, & they kill that girl from 8. The careers aren't sure if they completely killed her, Peeta volunteers to kill her of. When he comes back, the sound of canon is heard. Do you think that Peeta really killed her? Sorry if this has been asked before. Thanks a lot :)

First of all, thank you so much. You flatter me a ridiculous amount by your compliments. I adore you.

Great question and a great way that SC made you question Peeta’s character in that moment.

The conversation in THG about the girl goes:

An argument breaks out until one tribute silences the others. “We’re wasting time! I’ll go finish her and let’s move on!”

I almost fall out of the tree. The voice belongs to Peeta.

THG, ch11

And then,

The sound of Peeta returning silences them.

“Was she dead?” asks the boy from District 2.

“No. But she is now,” says Peeta. Just then, the cannon fires. “Ready to move on?”

THG, ch12

I do think Peeta killed the girl or at least finished the job. We don’t know exactly how much more was needed for her to actually die. My guess is not much. I can’t see the Careers killing someone who was basically defenseless and slightly dense (making a fire, really?) and them not killing her with ease. My speculation would be that she was bleeding out and hadn’t quite died.

Why did Peeta volunteer to kill her? I think we have to consider his character here. Why would he want to finish killing someone? I think it benefits him in that it garners favor with the Careers. He could also show some mercy to this girl, that the others may not have, by ending her life quickly and painlessly. 

I think Peeta as a Tribute is in itself an act of rebellion against the Capitol’s system. He is completely selfless. He does everything in his power to save Katniss’s life—even at the cost of his own. His mindset is one that understands how the Games are being played and probably has an idea of what the future moves are going to be like a brilliant chess player. 

This whole instance immediately makes me think of his conversation with Katniss on the roof.

“Do you mean you won’t kill anyone?” I ask.

“No, when the time comes, I’m sure I’ll kill just like everybody else. I can’t go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol that they don’t own me.That I’m more than just a piece in their Games,” says Peeta.

THG, ch.10

It’s this conversation that helps Katniss to understand that she can be more, that she is more than just another pawn—from her and Peeta’s relationship to her caring for Rue to the berries that help them both win. She is playing her own Game the same way Peeta does by loving Katniss, painting that picture of Rue and sacrificing all he is. Not just a piece to be manipulated, but someone who is in power and is actually in the game.

Thanks for this ask, friend. I’d love to hear what you think.