“Actually, I painted a picture of Rue,” Peeta says. “How she looked after Katniss had covered her in flowers.”
There’s a long pause at the table while everyone absorbs this. “And what exactly were you trying to accomplish?” Haymitch asks in a very measured voice.
“I’m not sure. I just wanted to hold them accountable, if only for a moment,” says Peeta. “For killing that little girl.”
Ok, moment of talking about this…
First off, you realize (at least in the books) Peeta never saw how Rue looked covered in flowers?! The Capitol never showed that footage, it was too inflamatory. So even when the Victor (or in their case the Victors) re-saw their games in the closing ceremonies, he didn’t see Katniss cover Rue in flowers (they showed her singing though), so he literally painted that by his memory of what Rue looked like and how Katniss described it, alone. And the Gamemakers knew what it was. They knew what he was doing and it scared them. While Katniss was always the shocking Girl on Fire, Peeta was the soft-spoken boy in love with her. That was what the Capitol’s image was of him… but right then, he shows to be just as angry, just as passionate and just as rebellious as Katniss. While Katniss has shocked everyone with her dresses, her actions against the Capitol in both games, and later the war, and has the government scared of her and trying to kill her because of it, Peeta’s thing runs even deeper in that moment. Peeta’s painting reminds them that Rue wasn’t just some little prop, some random tribute that Katniss covered in flowers and sang to at one point… she was a little girl. A little girl that they helped kill. And he didn’t even need to put it into words.
Seriously, Peeta is pretty badass and brave and anyone who says shit about him will feel my wrath.