Homeless Peeta

Mockingjay Part 1 had some significant changes from the book. The biggest is Effie in District Thirteen, and I think we all love that.  There was another change that’s insignificant in Part 1 but raises some questions for the ending of Part 2.

The Capitol destroyed Peeta’s house!

Movie Catching Fire already changed where Peeta’s house was a little – making him live directly across from Katniss instead of “three houses away.” The closer proximity made for a more cinematic snow kiss reunion scene, so that makes sense.

It’s clear from the short scene in Mockingjay Part 1 when Katniss returns to District 12 that the houses across the way from Katniss’s home are destroyed. This is another change from the book, where “the grass has been scorched and the gray snow fell here as well, but the twelve fine houses of Victor’s Village are unscathed.”

Sorry, Peeta. In the movie you not only lose your mind and your family, but you lose your house too (on the bright side, you got to keep your leg!)

VV MJP1

As mentioned, this change has no bearing on Mockingjay Part 1, but it does raise questions about the ending of Part 2 when Peeta returns to District 12. Does he live with Haymitch first? I can’t really imagine him planting the Primroses and then saying to Katniss, “I planted them for her. Can we shack up now?” Nah, that’s got to take a little more time.

The nearly total destruction of the Victor’s Village could indicate that they’re going to make the ending stray even more from the books, but I don’t really want to wrap my mind around that possibility yet. For now, I’m just going to assume that Peeta stays with Haymitch for a while, continuing to recover, as Katniss and Peeta “grow back together” and then shack up, maybe even in a new house eventually. Because in the end, I can’t imagine Katniss and Peeta choosing to live in a house given to them by “winning” the Hunger Games if they could live anywhere else. I think they would want to start fresh in a different home as soon as they were able to get out of there.

I hope Haymitch’s oven is still working. Boy’s gotta bake.

JJ

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16 comments

      1. There should be six to a side. you only have a view of two to the unburned side, but the camera does not turn far enough to see if there are any more. Saw movie multiple times and never had a clear view, so there could be 2-6 on the unburned side.

  1. Thanks for this post. This scene bothered me so much the first time I saw the movie. I thought what are they doing! The book clearly states the victors homes weren’t bothered. I wondered about Peeta too. Personally, I hope they don’t have him stay with Haymitch. I agree it would be hard for them to live in Katniss’s house, somehow I thought they would end up in Peeta’s home, no bad memories there. Never thought about them making a new place all their own. I like that idea.

  2. Very interesting! Not only did I not notice this change, this is the first time I have seen it mentioned that “I can’t imagine Katniss and Peeta choosing to live in a house given to them by “winning” the Hunger Games if they could live anywhere else.”

    Well, at least, from most of the fanfics I have seen that speculate about this period, tend to assume that Peeta and Katniss remained in the VV homes, though some posit that they eventually gave away one. I also assume that the other intact homes were used to house at least the early returnees.

    I also wonder, JJ, do you think that Katniss, Peeta, and the other Victors continued to receive their winnings after the war? Many fanfics assume they did. The same arguments could be made as to whether they did or didn’t. On the one hand, you could argue that the winnings represent “blood money”, and that they wouldn’t want to be dependent even on the new regime, but on the other hand you could argue that considering everything the Victors suffered, they were entitled to some financial compensation.

    1. “It’s night when we land on the green of the Victor’s Village. Half of the houses have lights in the windows, including Haymitch’s and mine. Not Peeta’s.” – Chap 27

      So yeah, since there’s no Twelve left, people lived in the VV until things get up and running. It probably helps that once house could fit several families from the Seam.
      Though that raises the issue about the pace of the cleanup in the district.

      Anyways, more likely than not, MJ2 probably aren’t even going to address where Peeta’s living due to conservation of detail.

      As for winnings: personally my headcanon is that not only do victors get their stipend, so do the direct family members of deceased victors AND tributes as a compensation.
      Frankly, despite the issue of “blood money” and being “indebted” to the Capitol, most victors would also be pragmatic about things.
      Though I also think that both of them not only get jobs, but Peeta rebuilds the bakery and they move out of the VV to their own home.

    2. Yes, many fanfics surprisingly don’t address the weirdness of Katniss and Peeta living in the VV house forever. Initially, they have no choice, but once District 12 becomes more rebuilt I definitely think they would be out of there.

      I do think they continued to get winnings. Maybe not at the level they got as victors but some kind of continued payment as recognition for the pain and suffering etc. I’d like to think they used much of that money to invest back into rebuilding the District 12 community. That would make them feel better about taking the money.

      1. Especially since, IIRC, Katniss mentions that the houses feel too big. And that’s with Prim and her mother present.
        It makes you wonder what it was like for Peeta to live alone in his house.

        I do like to think that when they build their new house, Peeta includes a suspicious amount of extra guest rooms.

  3. Huh! I didn’t catch that! Thanks for bringing it up…now I will be on the lookout for how they resolve it in MJ Part 2.

  4. That’s a curious choice they’ve made.

    In the book Katniss speculates about why the Victors’ Village is left unscathed, but the discovery of the white rose in her bedroom implies Snow had sent people to the house in search of her family as the town was being bombed.

    Of course, in the movie, the rose we see is the one given to Katniss by Snow in Catching Fire.

    1. That is not Snow’s rose from CF. There has been a lapse in time of 6-8 months, at least. In the books, Katniss says that Snow had left the rose for her, the same way he left lots of roses after the bombing of District 13.

  5. I didn’t notice this until you pointed it out! (Time for me to watch it a 3rd time in the big screen — it’s “research” ;)). I wonder why they chose to show some of the Victors’ houses destroyed?

    However, I don’t know if this will even come up in MJ2 — there is so much to pack in, they might never really show where Peeta goes home to when he’s not in a scene with Katniss. And even if they did, they’d probably just have him live in another house in Victor’s Village, even if that untouched house was not shown on screen in this scene on MJ1.

    Though how fun would it be if a healthy(er) Peeta lived with Haymitch? That would be a hysterical fanfic!

    1. Re: even some of the Victors’ houses destroyed
      Because as it was stated in Catching Fire, even the Victors are not immune – that the Capitol no longer discriminates between victors and villagers. Except Katniss. Literally have hovercrafts drop bombs anywhere.

      1. In the book, Katniss explicitly says that the whole VV is left unscathed.
        When you think about it, it wasn’t magnanimity or a simple oversight. If anything, it was to rub salt in the wound: that this place where only three houses were partially occupied (and likely could have housed several families each) was the only place standing.

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