The Hunger Games movies left out the fate of Peeta’s family, as well as the majority of details about the individual members. The only Mellark character included in the films, aside from Peeta, was his mother, who was seen as cruel and abusive. However, the books went a little deeper into the backstory of Peeta’s household, including what happened to them during the war between the Districts and the Capitol of Panem.


Of all the District 12 citizens, the Hunger Games movies focused on Katniss’ family the most. While this was more or less true for the books, the families of both Gale and Peeta were also explored to build a better foundation for what made these characters tick. This also created an interesting contrast between the two men in Katniss’ life. Gale, who had been hardened by survival, had a large and loving failing, while Peeta, who was kind and gentle, grew up in abuse. Unfortunately, the Hunger Games movies only superficially covered these concepts, while the books provided more profound answers.

The Hunger Games Movies Left Out Peeta’s Brothers & Father

Peeta Mellark laying down and looking sideways in The Hunger Games

It was common knowledge in The Hunger Games books and movies that Peeta Mellark was the baker’s son. However, the only ‘baker’ the films ever showed was Peeta’s unnamed mother. In the books, on the other hand, Katniss had a working business relationship with Peeta’s father before she was reaped for the Hunger Games, and she had been aware that the Mellark family had two other sons. Peeta’s brothers were only mentioned, and it seemed Katniss had never had any true interactions with them. However, Mr. Mellark was someone that the Girl on Fire knew pretty well.

Peeta’s father is described to be different from his cruel wife in every way. Every time that Katniss shot a squirrel, she knew the soft-spoken baker would trade her strawberries in return—as long as Mrs. Mellark wasn’t around. This was the extent of their relationship until Katniss was reaped for the Hunger Games and Mr. Mellark brought her cookies and promised that he would look out for Prim. This kindness deeply surprised her, especially considering she was Peeta’s opponent in the games.

Later, Katniss learned that Mr. Mellark had once been in love with her mother but that the woman had chosen a boy from the Seam—Katniss’ father—instead. This completely changed Katniss’ perspective of Peeta’s family. She realized that Mr. Mellark had always held on to that love for Mrs. Everdeen, which was why he would give Katniss strawberries for her squirrels and promised to look after Prim. Ultimately, it was the man’s silent affection that first led Peeta to notice Katniss when they were children.

Peeta’s Family Was Killed When President Snow Bombed District 12


After Katniss and Peeta won the Hunger Games, they each received a house in Victor’s Village. Katniss’ mother and Prim immediately moved from their home in the Seam, but Peeta’s family stayed at the bakery—so District 12’s boy tribute lived alone. Still, it was clear that Peeta cared for his family since he reminded Katniss’ of this when she suggested they run away to avoid President Snow’s wrath. Unfortunately, after Peeta left District 12 for the Quarter Quell, he never saw his family again.

When President Snow bombed District 12 after the arena breakout in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the town bakery was specifically targeted. When Katniss returned in Mockingjay to see the mountains of charred bodies, she saw the leveled bakery and knew that none of Peeta’s family would have survived. She thought about the abusive woman and the kindly man that had been Peeta’s parents and mourned for them—especially since Peeta was in no fit state to mourn for them himself.

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Why Peeta’s Family Was Important To His Hunger Games Arc

Peeta Mellark President Snow Johanna Mason Capitol Propo Hunger Games Mockingjay (1)

The story in Hunger Games carried on reasonably well in the movies without including Peeta’s family, but their absence did affect the nuances of his character arc. Long before Peeta risked punishment from his mother by throwing Katniss some bread, his father had pointed the girl out to him and explained to his son that he had once been in love with her mother. This demonstrated how Katniss and Peeta’s story—and therefore the beginning of Panem’s revolution—had started with the generation before them. The relationship between Katniss’ mother and Peeta’s father was the subtle spark that caused the conflagration.

Even after their deaths, Peeta’s family had a significant part in his story. The bombing of District 12 had been President Snow’s doing, and the evidence that he had specifically targeted the Mellarks made it even more despicable. However, he pushed the responsibility off on Katniss and used their deaths to fuel Peeta’s hijacking. In the District 12 boy’s eyes, the Girl on Fire had been the one to murder his family. Eventually, once he had managed to deconstruct the damage the war in The Hunger Games was done, Peeta could return and put his family to rest and find peace himself—and help Katniss to do the same.

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