Katniss and Peeta were the romantic endgame of the Hunger Games series, but the movies left out important details that made their relationship so impactful in the books. This mostly came down to the changes in Katniss’ personality in the movies, since the nuances of her inner dialogue that book readers were made privy to were impossible to adapt fully onscreen. Without understanding what Katniss thought about Peeta through every stage of her journey with him, one particular flavor of their book connection was unfortunately lost in the movies.
In the Hunger Games movies, Katniss and Peeta started their time together rather amicably, and it stayed that way for most of the first film. Through Katniss’ flashback, audiences were able to see that Peeta had once given her bread when she was starving, so it immediately became clear that he was a kind and caring person. Peeta announcing his love for Katniss in his interview was their only problem. Katniss yelled at him and shoved him against a wall, but everything was forgiven once it was explained that he had done her a favor. That was not entirely the case in the Hunger Games books.
Katniss Didn’t Trust Peeta During Their First Hunger Games In The Books
In the first Hunger Games book, Katniss was immediately distrustful of Peeta. She certainly felt conflicted since she knew the boy had been kind to her in the past by giving her bread. Since he had become a contestant in the Hunger Games, however, Katniss assumed that Peeta would put aside that kindness for the sake of his own survival. Katniss maintained that anything Peeta did was a manipulation to lure her in and make her easier to kill. She was entirely oblivious that Peeta truly did love her, even after he announced it to the world. Katniss could not understand that it wasn’t just a tactical move.
When Peeta took care of Haymitch after he passed out drunk, Katniss assumed he was trying to win their mentor’s favor. When he told everyone he was in love with her, Katniss believed he was trying to make her look weak. The night before they entered the arena for the first time in the Hunger Games book, he told her that he did not want the Games to “change him,” and Katniss was angry because she thought he was trying to make her feel morally inferior. Overall, she was entirely oblivious that someone could be genuinely kind, because all she had ever known was selfish survival.
Katniss’ Guilt Over Her First Hunger Games Shaped Her Book Series Arc
In the first Hunger Games book, Katniss began to realize that Peeta legitimately cared about her while in the arena together. However, since his survival depended on her, and they had a Capitol audience watching their every move, she still could not be sure he wasn’t doing the same thing she was – trying to survive. Katniss convinced herself she was not leading him on with her kisses and affection, and they were both just doing what they needed to survive. This suspicion and the guilt Katniss felt thereafter ultimately shaped her entire Hunger Games arc.
When the rule stating two members of the same District could live was reversed in the Hunger Games book, Katniss immediately aimed her bow at Peeta. She assumed he would attack her, but Peeta threw his knife away. The shame she felt in that moment was overwhelming, and it carried on into the subsequent books. Katniss’ decision in the Quarter Quell to keep Peeta alive at her own expense was a way for her to make amends for that selfishness. Peeta had shown Katniss in The Hunger Games that there was more to life than survival. Without Katniss’ inner narration, this failed to come across as effectively in the movies.