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Peeta Mellark is the male tribute chosen to represent District 12 in the Hunger Games, and Katniss's closest companion during the event. The son of a baker, Peeta belongs to the merchant class of the district. Peeta is an extremely kind boy, and once gave Katniss bread when they were much younger, a moment that she considers crucial to her survival in the period after her father's death. He has been in love with Katniss since he first saw her on their first day of school.