Thresh was born and raised in District 11. He had a grandmother and a sister. The family likely was not fed well, as Thresh looked healthier and stronger after entering the Hunger Games than he did beforehand.
The 74th Hunger Games
Thresh is reaped into the 74th Hunger Games, along with the female tribute from his district, Rue. Viewed as the physically strongest tribute in the entire Games, the Career Tributes attempt to recruit him for their alliance during the training sessions, but he refuses to join them. In training, he scores a 10, but in the film, he scores a 9.
- "He ignores Caesar's attempts at banter and answers with a yes or no or just remains silent. If only I was his size, I could get away with sullen and hostile and it would be just fine! I bet half the sponsors are at least considering him. If I had any money, I'd bet on him myself."
- ―Katniss on Thresh, during his interview[src]
During Thresh's interview, Caesar Flickerman tries to help him be more comfortable and talk. However, Thresh only answers in curt, single-word answers and remains surly. This, coupled with his physical appearance, causes him to become a favorite among the Capitol for the games. Katniss is extremely impressed with this and envies Thresh, as he shows such silent, deadly physical power and has no need to make the Capitol like him with an angle.
Thresh survives the initial Cornucopia bloodbath. He stands on the last pedestal. When the gong rings, he is one of the first people to get inside the Cornucopia. After retrieving a water container, backpack, and a crescent sword, he is quickly confronted by the District 7 male. The District 7 male tries to stab Thresh with a spear, but he easily knocks the spear out of his hands and slashes part of his face off with his sword, killing him. He is then seen running toward the forest while looking back at the District 3 male and the District 7 female.
- "Then there's Thresh. All right, he's a distinct threat. But I haven't seen him, not once, since the Games began. I think about how Foxface grew alarmed when she heard a sound at the site of the explosion. But she didn't turn to the woods, she turned to whatever lies across from it. To that area of the arena that drops off into I don't know what. I feel almost certain that the person she ran from was Thresh and that is his domain."
- ―Katniss's thoughts during the Games[src]
In the film, he is seen near the southern part of the Cornucopia. He finds a field of wheat, which he uses to his advantage by using the wheat for food and a source of cover. The Careers know where he is, but see the field as a threat, as Thresh would be at a major advantage if they were attack, so they avoid him.
Thresh comes out of hiding during the feast to claim his backpack, which contains what he needs the most. While at the Cornucopia, he overhears Clove threaten Katniss and taunt her about Rue's death. Furious, Thresh attacks Clove, pulling her away from Katniss and yelling at her, effortlessly holding her a foot above the ground. Due to Clove's words, Thresh accuses her of killing Rue, which Clove truthfully denies. When Clove sees Thresh holding a large rock, she screams for Cato.
In the book, Thresh smashes the rock into her temple, cracking and denting her skull. In the film, he slams her headfirst against the Cornucopia twice, cracking her skull. In the book, Clove dies of this injury a short while later. Thresh then asks Katniss what Clove meant about Rue being her ally. Katniss tells him that Marvel killed Rue and that she sang to her as she died. To honor Rue and to repay Katniss for protecting her, Thresh tells her he'll let her go once, but that he will owe her nothing after that. He then tells her to run, as Cato is approaching the clearing. As Thresh leaves, he takes not only his own backpack, but Cato's as well, forcing Cato to chase him instead of Katniss, putting her in less danger. Meanwhile, Cato tries in vain to revive Clove until the canon signaling her death fires. He then pursues Thresh.
However, in the film, Thresh dies after Foxface, resulting in him earning 4th place. Thresh is heard screaming as mutant wolves are released into the arena and attack him. A cannon sounds, and his picture appears afterward to confirm his death.
Thresh's muttation is said to be the biggest of them all due to his massive build. Katniss can tell it is Thresh because of his powerful back legs, since no other tribute could have leaped so high. His mutt is killed by Katniss when it tries to leap on top of the Cornucopia as Cato, Peeta, and Katniss try to stay away from the rest of the pack.
- "I only ever spoke to Thresh one time. Just long enough for him to spare my life. I didn't know him, but I always respected him. For his power. For his refusal to play the Games on anyone's terms but his own. The Careers wanted him to team up with them from the beginning, but he wouldn't do it. I respected him for that."
- ―Katniss commemorates Thresh[src]
Once Katniss and her district partner, Peeta Mellark, arrive in District 11, Katniss sees Thresh's grandmother and sister standing on the platform for the tributes' families. Peeta gives a commemorative speech in which he speaks of how both Thresh and Rue made it to the final eight and helped keep Katniss alive. He then offers to give a month of their winnings to Thresh and Rue's families every year, which shocks the crowd.
Afterward, Katniss commemorates Thresh by recounting the time he had spared her life. She explains that she had respected him for refusing to play the Games on anyone's terms and for rejecting the Careers' offer to join their pack. This causes Thresh's grandmother to smile.
When the Peacekeepers begin shooting, Katniss worries that Thresh's family will be injured or killed. Peeta reacts with anger to the situation, worrying that the families will not receive a portion of the winnings and that they will be punished instead.
Later, Seeder assures Katniss that neither Thresh's nor Rue's families were harmed.
In the Hunger Games, Thresh only had one known tactic; to occupy a portion of the arena and to seldom leave its boundaries. In the film, Thresh is seen participating in the Cornucopia bloodbath. Thresh chose to enter a field of wheat that was as tall as Peeta's shoulders, seeing the area as both a threat and a source of food, shelter and safety. He saw it as a place of safety particularly because it resembled his home District 11.
Peeta stated that the Careers didn't want to attack Thresh while he was there since he would have a major advantage.
During the feast in the book, Thresh kills Clove, the female tribute from District 2, by smashing her skull in with a rock since he hears Clove taunt Katniss about Rue; though in the film, he kills Clove by pinning her against the Cornucopia and then slamming her into it, causing her neck to break.
In the film, it is shown during the Cornucopia bloodbath that Thresh killed the male tribute from District 7 by knocking away the attacker's spear and slashing his throat with his curved sword before running off. It is likely that he only did this because the tribute was trying to kill him, If he didn't attack Thresh, he wouldn't have killed anyone in the bloodbath.
Thresh is a physical giant, being the largest tribute in the 74th Hunger Games. He rivals Cato in terms of brute power and strength, and is regarded by Katniss as very physically intimidating. Katniss thinks of Thresh as a "physical wonder." Like his district partner Rue, Thresh has dark skin, though Katniss describes his eyes as being a strange golden-brown.
It is noted that Thresh looks even bigger and more well-fed since before the Games. Being from District 11, a poor district, it is likely he did not get much to eat. In the film, Thresh is shorter than both Marvel and Cato, and less muscular than the latter, but still more muscular and somewhat taller than the other tributes.
Thresh shows mercy towards Katniss when they met in the arena, even at a time when he had the advantage in terms of combat, as he believed that he owed her for being in alliance with Rue, the young female tribute from his district. Through this action, Thresh is shown as having a certain degree of honor and dignity. By attempting to avenge Rue, Thresh also showed a side of kindness, which, in this case, is directed towards an innocent twelve-year-old girl. Another aspect of Thresh's personality is that he is vengeful. Other of Thresh's actions that reveal his personality include his choice of solitude throughout the duration of the Games, demonstrating his preference to work alone.
Thresh was one of the main competitors in the 74th Hunger Games. Being as strong and huge as he was, it was apparent Thresh would pose a threat he were to be faced. He commanded respect and was feared by virtually everyone in the arena, even the whole Career pack due to being taller, bigger and physically stronger than them. Being from District 11, his knowledge of plants helped him in the field, where no one else dared to go, and it became a hide-out as well as a potential food source. Katniss herself had thought that if she were a sponsor, Thresh would be who she would sponsor. He was definitely someone not to be underestimated. Thresh's physical aptitude was often complemented by Katniss. It is also revealed in training that when the Career Tributes asked him to join their pack, he refused as he didn't want to be viewed as a "capitol lapdog" like them.
- "Just this time, Twelve. For Rue."
- ―Thresh to Katniss about Rue[src]
- "You better run now, fire girl."
- ―Thresh to Katniss[src]
During the Victory Tour, Katniss honored Thresh by including him in her speech. She stated that she didn't know him, but deeply respected him for his strength and his refusal to play the Game on anyone's grounds but his own. Katniss also thanks Thresh for sparing her life.
Like many other characters in The Hunger Games series, Thresh's name has an actual meaning. "Thresh" is a method of harvesting grain that involves flailing the plant around.
- His odds of winning change in the movie, decreasing from 10-1 to 11-1 and after increasing from 11-1 to 8-1. Thresh is one of the few tributes shown with changing betting odds. It is unknown why they dropped, but it could have been when he rejected the offer to be a part of the Careers.
- In The Hunger Games: Tribute Guide, his height is 6'0.
- Thresh, Rue and Marvel are the only named deceased tributes from the 74th Hunger Games to appear in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire .
- In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Katniss states that Cato killed Thresh. However, this is is not in-line with the film continuity, as Thresh was killed by the mutts in the first film.