The kind, artistic, and self-sacrificing Peeta is most notable for his essential goodness. Peeta is never violent or vindictive, no matter how horrible his situation may be. At one point during the Quarter Quell, Katniss is shocked to see how willingly the tributes kill one another, even though they’ve been friends for years. She thinks how Peeta in the same situation would try to talk to everyone to prevent any violence. Finnick also notices this quality in Peeta. He says to Katniss that none of the previous victors won their Games by chance, except maybe for Peeta, which Katniss takes to understand that only Peeta of all the tributes has no capacity for violence. Peeta also never punishes Katniss for lying to him during the previous Games about her feelings for him. He makes it clear that she hurt him in doing so, but he never expresses any desire to hurt her back. The thought of deliberately hurting anyone seems beyond him, and never does he waiver from a commitment to help the people around him, even at times at his own expense.

There is more to Peeta than his goodness, however. He’s also a clever strategist and gifted speaker who can effortlessly connect with an audience. By making up the lie about him and Katniss already being married and Katniss being pregnant in the tributes’ interview with Caesar Flickerman, Peeta effectively convinces the audience that the Games are unjust without explicitly speaking out against the Capitol. The Capitol can’t publicly accuse him of being a rebel, and at the same time he manages to use one of the Capitol’s greatest publicity tools—his and Katniss’s popularity—against it. This ability shows that he’s extremely intelligent, and like the other tributes, he’s not afraid to try to hurt the Capitol.