The following parody is inspired by the recent brouhaha over Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, sparked by the deadspin article, “Manti Teo’s dead girlfriend, the most heartbreaking and inspirational story of the college football season, is a hoax

That got me thinking: What if Snow decided to leak the information that Peeta was lying during his pre-Quell interview?  It would serve to discredit him as well as distract the populace from the serious issues (like, full-scale WAR).   Also, note that the Capitol public went from pretty much eating out of Peeta’s hand in CF, to being so enraged against him, that an angry mob lynched a blond man who had a passing resemblance to him at best.   Why?  Well, if they found out he had punked them, I can certainly see them responding angrily to that.  Yeah, he did other things, too, like give away the Capitol plan to bomb D13 on national TV, that might also get them upset.  Not sure about the Capitol footage of him attacking Katniss, maybe the Capitol people would actually count that in his favor.

But this is the Capitol we’re talking about.  And their treatment of the Victors seem quite similar to how we treat pro athletes in the US (and other countries too).  Can’t you just imagine a Capitol version of the Lamar and Khloe Show, starring Enobaria and her string of boyfriends, who all eventually head for the hills  because they’re scared to death of her?  Or an X-rated version starring Finnick (likely only available on a very expensive premium channel)?

So, I now present to you, an excerpt from the Daily Capitolian!

Peeta Mellark’s Pregnant Wife, the Most Heartbreaking and Inspirational Story of the Quarter Quell, is a Hoax


District 12 Victor Peeta Mellark, you all know, participated in the recent Quarter Quell under a terrible burden.  He volunteered for the event in place of fellow Victor (now disgraced traitor) Haymitch Abernathy, to protect not only his lover Katniss Everdeen, but to ensure that her unborn child, the fruit of their passionate, star-crossed love, would live.  Mellark even claimed that he had married Everdeen in a traditional District 12 ceremony.  Mellark’s deteriorating psychological state, after being apparently abandoned by his lover, was disheartening to watch, even as he valiantly tried to convince the rebels to lay down their arms.  His recent abduction from protective custody by rebel forces has even inspired Capitol citizens to hold candlelight vigils in hopes for his safety.  No doubt, Peeta Mellark is a much-loved figure in the Capitol.

Did you enjoy the uplifting story, of a man who responded to adversity not by selfishly shirking his responsibilities, or even choosing the relatively safe role of Mentor to his love, but who volunteered for what he expected to be certain death, so he could let his “wife” and unborn child live?  Who continued to defend Everdeen as an innocent girl, essentially abducted by the rebels and forced to become their winged mascot?  Did he, perhaps, inspire you to protect YOUR loved ones against the rebel horde by joining the hallowed ranks of our honored Peacekeepers? If so, stop reading.  (And even if you don’t; please don’t let the shocking revelations to come distract you from your plans to join our helmeted heroes!  Remember, a half-time enlistment contract of 10 years is still available!)

It may not be a surprise to you that, despite many other Capitol publications referring to Everdeen as Mellark’s wife, that no official record of their marriage exists.  Granted, District 12 was almost utterly destroyed in the epic battle between Capitol and Rebel forces that mark the unofficial start of the “Mockingjay Rebellion” (unorganized insurrections had been occurring for some time before, though easily suppressed by our heroic Peacekeepers).  So it is not  impossible that a marriage license was lost forever to the flames of war.  However, it is a Panem policy that copies of all official documents issued in District Justice Offices, be sent to the Capitol within one week.  Considering that Mellark claimed that their marriage occurred BEFORE the announcement of the Quarter Quell rules, it appears that if it had been official, then a copy should have been available in Capitol archives.  In any case, Mellark himself did admit that “we didn’t go the Justice Building or anything”.  However, this unofficial marriage does matter in terms of the timeline.

Note that the traditional marriage ritual described by Mellark does exist, and is mentioned in the chapter on District 12 in the famous anthropological work, “Coming of Age in the Districts”.  It is also not uncommon in many Districts for couples to “marry” in a traditional ritual (such as District 11’s “jumping over the broomstick backwards”), months or even years before obtaining an official marriage license, especially in large Districts such as 7 or 11 , where residents often lack the time or means to travel to the Justice Building.  Records of births have also been notoriously slipshod in some Districts.  Note that since most District residents do not take advantage of assisted reproductive technology, that records of conception are usually not kept at all, with rare exceptions in Districts 1, 2, and 4.

Therefore, when attempting to track down a possible conception date for the supposed child, we must rely on Mellark’s statements.  There is no indication that Mellark or Everdeen were associated with the extreme naturophile movement that eschews both assisted reproductive technology and contraception.  Therefore, it seems logical to extrapolate, that his statement of ” I’m sure we’d never have done it after we knew” , refers not only to marriage, but also to attempts to conceive a child.  The latest the child could have been conceived, then, is the eve of the Quarter Quell announcement.

This means that  Everdeen SHOULD have been no less than three months pregnant at the time of the Quell, as exactly three months passed between the announcement and the Reaping.  However, our extensive review of Reaping and other ceremonial footage, as well as the Games themselves, show no significant change in Everdeen’s appearance compared to footage of the Wedding Dress Selection Special, which was broadcast the same day that the Quell theme was announced.  There is no sign of a “baby bump” in this image of Everdeen at the start of the Games:


Also to compare, here are pictures of an actual three months pregnant woman (especially for those of you who rely on artificial wombs or gestational surrogates and may not be familiar with what one looks like).

Three Months Front Closeup

Three Months Front Closeup (Photo credit: spaceninja)

Three Months Profile Closeup

Three Months Profile Closeup (Photo credit: spaceninja)

What does this all mean?  Could it be possible that Everdeen was never pregnant?

Unfortunately for those who might cling at straws such as “Twelvers are all small and thin, maybe the baby just wasn’t big enough for a bump”, we have exclusive confirmation from Dr. Pergamon, whose name appears in your Hunger Games commemorative programs as a staff physician, that he found no evidence, based on information obtained from Everdeen’s tracker chip during the Quell, that there was any sign of a detectable fetal heart rate (note that the fetal heart starts beating 21 days after conception), cells containing DNA separate from Everdeen’s, or any other biological markers indicating pregnancy.

So, what could Mellark’s motive have been for making such claims?  Certainly, it is possible that he did sincerely believe a claim of pregnancy that actually originated with Everdeen.   Mellark may also have been deceived by Everdeen regarding her knowledge of the rebel plot to disrupt the Quarter Quell and abduct Tributes from the arena.  However, it would be naive to deny the very real possibility that Mellark himself was not an innocent party in the hoax.  Certainly, the claims made the “star-crossed lovers” more sympathetic to sponsors, and improved the chance that they would survive until the rebels intervened.

Note that fellow tribute Enobaria has made numerous statements that she was repeatedly approached by former Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (now disgraced and exiled) with entreaties for her to collaborate with the rebellion, and that Heavensbee also made implicit threats that if she did not, she would be first to fall in the arena.   Consider the suspicious nature of the deaths of some of the other tributes, especially Propella from District 6, who appeared to be actively trying to protect Mellark, though there was no sign of their having made an alliance.  Is it really  plausible that neither Everdeen or Mellark knew anything about the rebel plans?

Note that during the Quell, Mellark made a gift of his arena token to Everdeen.  While you may recall the moment significantly for the rather entertaining display of physical affection that followed, note that in his pleas to Everdeen to let him sacrifice himself for her, he made almost no mention of her pregnancy!  Consider that Everdeen would never have been involved in the Games in the first place, if she hadn’t volunteered for her sister.  She may have been willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her lover, but to sacrifice an innocent child?  Unless, of course, there was no child to save.

The photographs Mellark chose to enclose in the locket raise further disturbing questions.    His plea to Everdeen that “your family needs you”, certainly would account for the inclusion of photographs of Clara and Primrose Everdeen, who would have lost the right to remain in the house awarded to Everdeen after the 74th Games in the event of her death.  However, what would account for the photograph of Gale Hawthorne?  While Hawthorne was presented as Everdeen’s cousin during the Elite Eight family interviews during the 74th Games,  no Everdeen or Hawthorne family members has ever clarified the exact nature of the family relationship.

As noted in “Coming of Age in the Districts”, some degree of inbreeding has been essentially inevitable in District 12 due to their small population and isolation of the region, dating back to the ancient days when the region was called Appalachia.  It is certainly possible that Everdeen and Hawthorne are indeed cousins, yet for that relationship to be distant enough, that romance or even marriage between them, would be considered socially acceptable in District 12.  The rebellious nature of D12, also makes it plausible that large numbers of the population, including disgraced Mayor Undersee, would have conspired to keep the true nature of their relationship a secret.  Was Mellark the victim of Everdeen’s duplicity?  Or was he aware of it all along?  Were the “star-crossed lovers” ever for real?

Consider this, as you await the publication of The Daily Capitolian’s exclusive upcoming interview with former D12 Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread, who reveals the presence of secret surveillance footage of Everdeen and Hawthorne being VERY close, reminiscent of the unusually close sibling relationship between two recently deceased District 1 victors!