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30 Times Peeta Mellark made us swoon in the Hunger Games trilogy

In Suzanne CollinsHunger Games trilogy, Katniss found love in a hopeless place when Peeta Mellark decided it was worth a whipping to char a little bread for the girl he’d carried a torch for for so many years.

Throughout all three novels, he proves his real, undying love for her again and again – the boy who gave her hope to go on and reminded her that she is worth loving and capable of love.

We all know Peeta is a master of words, so here are 30 times when he made us swoon across the trilogy.

1. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood 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.”
The Hunger Games

2. “Having an eye for beauty isn’t the same thing as a weakness,” Peeta points out. “Except possibly when it comes to you.” 
Catching Fire

3. “You’re still trying to protect me. Real or not real,” he whispers.
“Real,” I answer. “Because that’s what you and I do, protect each other.” 
Mockingjay

4. “If he’s going to help you, he has to know what you’re capable of. Don’t underrate yourself.” 
The Hunger Games

5. “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.”
The Hunger Games

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6. “My nightmares are usually about losing you,” he says. “I’m okay once I realise you’re here.”
Catching Fire

7. “Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s all right to kiss me anytime you feel like it.”
The Hunger Games

8. “I like to watch his hands as he works, making a blank page bloom with strokes of ink, adding touches of colour to our previously black and yellowish book. His face takes on a special look when he concentrates. His usual easy expression is replaced by something more intense and removed that suggests an entire world locked away inside him. I’ve seen flashes of this before: in the arena, or when he speaks to a crowd, or that time he shoved the Peacekeepers’ guns away from me in District 11. I don’t know quite what to make of it. I also become a little fixated on his eyelashes, which ordinarily you don’t notice much because they’re so blond. But up close, in the sunlight slanting in from the window, they’re a light golden colour and so long I don’t see how they keep from getting all tangled up when he blinks.” 
Catching Fire

9. “Let me go!” I snarl at him, trying to wrest my arm from his grasp.
“I can’t,” he says.
Mockingjay

10. I clench his hands to the point of pain. “Stay with me.”
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dialate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. “Always,” he murmurs.
Mockingjay

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11. Peeta volunteers to get me to bed. I start out by leaning on his shoulder, but I’m so wobbly he just scoops me up and carries me upstairs. He tucks me in and says goodnight but I catch his hand and hold him there. A side effect of the sleep syrup is that it makes people less inhibited, like white liquor, and I know I have to control my tongue.
But I don’t want him to go. In fact, I want him to climb in with me, to be there when the nightmares hit tonight. For some reason that I can’t quite form, I know I’m not allowed to ask that.
“Don’t go yet. Not until I fall asleep,” I say.
Catching Fire

12. “In stark contrast to two nights ago, when I felt Peeta was a million miles away, I’m struck by his immediacy now. As we settle in, he pulls my head down to use his arm as a pillow; the other rests protectively over me even when he goes to sleep. No one has held me like this in such a long time. Since my father died and I stopped trusting my mother, no one else’s arms have made me feel this safe.”  
The Hunger Games

13. “She has no idea. The effect she can have.” 
The Hunger Games

14. “I was jealous of him before I even officially met you.”
Catching Fire

15. “I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”
Catching Fire

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16. “We had never even spoken. The first time I ever talked to Peeta was on the train to the Games.”
“But he was already in love with you,” says Cressida.
“I guess so.” I allow myself a small smile. 
Mockingjay

17. “He’s her cousin.” Peeta’s got my other arm now, but gently. “And she’s my fiancée. So if you want to get to him, expect to go through both of us.” 
Catching Fire

18. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” 
The Hunger Games

19. “I’m sure they didn’t notice anything but you. You should wear flames more often,” he says. “They suit you.”
The Hunger Games

20. “So what should we do with our last few days?”
“I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you,” Peeta replies.
Catching Fire

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21. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.”
“Without success,” I add.
“Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck.” 
The Hunger Games

22. 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.
Catching Fire

23. I look at Peeta and he gives me a sad smile. I hear Haymitch’s voice. “You could do a lot worse.” At this moment, it’s impossible to imagine how I could do any better. The gift…it is perfect.
Catching Fire

24. “I keep wishing I could think of a way to… to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games,” says Peeta.
The Hunger Games

25. He manages to wake me and calm me down. Then he climbs into bed to hold me until I fall back to sleep. After that, I refuse the pills. But every night I let him into my bed. We manage the darkness as we did in the arena, wrapped in each other’s arms, guarding against dangers that can descend at any moment.
Catching Fire

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26. “Winning…won’t help in my case,” says Peeta.
“Why ever not?” says Caesar, mystified.
Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. “Because…because…she came here with me.”  
The Hunger Games

27. “If you die, and I live, there’s no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You’re my whole life.” Peeta says. “I would never be happy again.”
Catching Fire

28. “No one really needs me,” he says, and there’s no selfpity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on…. I realise only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.
“I do,” I say. “I need you.”
Catching Fire

29. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
Mockingjay

30. Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips.
Mockingjay

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