On the Hunger Games trilogy

The Curious Case of Primrose “Everdeen”

By V. Arrow

On the first day of kindergarten for Katniss and Peeta, when Prim was between six months and one year old, Mr. Mellark told his five-year-old son that he had been in love with Mrs. Everdeen, but that she “ran away with a coal miner” and he “had to” marry Mrs. Mellark.

Why was this still so salient and so fresh in his mind that he shared it with his five-year-old child?

It’s easy to extrapolate that the reason for his confession was in the schoolyard that morning, being kissed good-bye by the girl in a red plaid dress. However, it’s not the only reason fans have considered.

The question of Prim’s parentage is a significant point of analytical fandom debate. Is blonde-haired, blue-eyed Prim really the “passes”-for-merchant biracial daughter of dark-haired Mr. Everdeen? Or should Prim really be Primrose Mellark? There are staunch supporters on both sides of the issue.

Katniss does not at any point overtly suppose that someone else could be Prim’s father, aside from noting the differences between her and Prim’s coloring, much less that Prim’s father is Mr. Mellark. But Katniss, as a first-person narrator, is unreliable; our understanding of Panem is limited by what Katniss herself knows and feels.

Katniss is the consummate “Daddy’s girl” and loved her father deeply, which colors much of her narrative regarding her family. And Mr. Everdeen died when Katniss was young enough that Katniss does not seem to have a sense of her parents’ relationship independent of their relationship to her. Her mother “must  …

More from V. Arrow

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS