Katniss and Peeta, The Hunger Games trilogy
First Encounter: It began with a loaf of bread and an act of kindness…. Though Peeta, a baker’s son, made his first lasting impression on Katniss when he threw her a loaf of burnt bread that allowed her hungry family to eat, the two don’t really get to know each other until they are sent to compete in the nationally televised fight-or-die reality show/sacrifice ritual, The Hunger Games. Defining Moment: With Peeta injured, ill, and on the verge of death, Katniss kisses Peeta knowing cameras will capture their courtship and sponsors will send them food and medical supplies. It’s her version of returning the favor. Relationship Challenges: Because of her hard-scrabble background Katniss almost unwaveringly looks out for herself, so there’s little room for anyone else in her heart or mind — though a certain rugged hunting partner named Gale does confuse her feelings. Later in the series, a drastic shift in Peeta’s personality (after he’s tortured with tracker jacker venom) complicates the showmancers’ yin-ang-yang dynamic further. Why They Work: Peeta is a fundamentally good-hearted, smooth-talking person with sensitivity that balances out Katniss’s edge, self-consciousness, and lack of social propriety. He truly loves her, which she needs and appreciates — even if it takes her a little while to realize it.