Beartown

Peter Andersson Character Analysis

Peter is Kira’s husband and the father of Isak, Maya, and Leo. He is the General Manager of Beartown’s hockey club. Peter was Beartown’s most talented hockey player before Kevin Erdahl, and he was first discovered and mentored by Sune. He grew up with an alcoholic father who was sometimes abusive, and hockey became his refuge. Peter and Kira have a loving marriage, although their personalities are very different and Kira is the more dominant spouse in some ways. Peter is soft-spoken, socially awkward, and conflict-averse. Even when he was playing hockey, he avoided fights. Many in the hockey club are displeased with Peter’s reserved leadership style and want him to fire Sune, even though the two of them were responsible for building up the junior team to its present success. Though he’s dedicated to the hockey club, Peter is most devoted to his children and rethinks aspects of the club’s culture after Maya is assaulted.

Peter Andersson Quotes in Beartown

The Beartown quotes below are all either spoken by Peter Andersson or refer to Peter Andersson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Beartown published in 2017.
Chapter 14 Quotes

There’s a constant threat of violence hidden just beneath the surface of a certain type of person in this town that Peter never noticed when he was growing up, but which struck him all the more plainly after he came home from Canada. Neither hockey nor school nor the economy ever managed to find a way out for these people, and they emanate a silent fury. They’re known as “the Pack” now, even if no one ever hears them say that themselves. […] The Pack has scared their opponents away from coming to Beartown, but sadly the same thing applies to sponsors. The twentysomething men at the Bearskin have become the most conservative people in town: they don’t want a modern Beartown, because they know that a modern Beartown won’t want them.

Related Characters: Peter Andersson, The Pack
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
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When the kids were little she saw so many other parents lose control in the stands at the rink, and she couldn’t understand them, but now she does. The children’s hobbies aren’t only the children’s hobbies— the parents put just as many hours into them, year after year, sacrificing so much, paying out such huge amounts of money, that their significance eats its way even into adult brains. They start to symbolize other things, compensating for or reinforcing the parents’ own failures. Kira knows it sounds silly; she knows it’s just a silly game in a silly sport, but deep down she’s nervous too, as well as feeling nervous on behalf of Peter and the juniors and the club and the town today. Deep down she could also do with winning at something.

Related Characters: Peter Andersson, Kira Andersson
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 30 Quotes

Even then, in the police station in Hed, she knew she would survive this. Even then she knew that her mom and dad wouldn’t. Parents don’t heal. […] There will be days when Maya is asked if she really understood the consequences, and she will nod yes, and of all the feelings inside her then, guilt will be the greatest. Because of the unimaginable cruelty she showed toward the people who loved her the most.

They sat there in the police station. She told them everything. And she could see in her parents’ eyes how the story made the same terrible sentence echo through them, over and over again. The one every mom and every dad deep down most fear having to admit:

“We can’t protect our children.”

Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
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Peter Andersson Character Timeline in Beartown

The timeline below shows where the character Peter Andersson appears in Beartown. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
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...is her first love and what helps her put up with Beartown life. Her father, Peter, is the general manager of the town’s hockey team, and although Maya hates hockey, she... (full context)
Chapter 3
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In a small house in the center of town, Peter Andersson gets ready for work. He’s barely slept, and he’s been sick twice. He knows... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...From the outside, the president seems to be in charge. He appoints the general manager (Peter), who recruits players and hires coaches. In reality, the president answers to board members and... (full context)
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Peter Andersson grew up in Beartown and has occupied most of the hockey-related roles in the... (full context)
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When Sune and Peter set the goal of rebuilding the junior hockey team to become the best in the... (full context)
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In his kitchen, Peter finds Maya’s best friend, Ana. She’s making a huge mess while preparing a smoothie. She... (full context)
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When Kira finally appears in the kitchen, Peter desperately asks her about the car keys. Kira explains that she’s taking the Volvo to... (full context)
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Back at the club, the president assures the sponsors that Peter always does what’s best for the club and won’t disrupt the sponsors’ plans. The president... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...Maya joke around, while up front, 12-year-old Leo tunes them out. He asks his dad, Peter, if he will make it to watch him train today. Peter says he’ll try, but... (full context)
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...guilt about continuing her law career full time. While Kira always says what she means, Peter always worries about what people think. But she puts up with Beartown because she loves... (full context)
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...to “seeing a cherry tree in bloom in a frozen garden.” The first talent was Peter Andersson, more than 40 years ago—he was a scrawny kid with bruises from his alcoholic... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...of the fact that, once, he was more promising than Kevin Erdahl, even better than Peter Andersson. (full context)
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After Peter drops the kids off at school, he feels his nervousness more keenly. He hopes the... (full context)
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After Peter returned from Canada to become the hockey club’s General Manager, he realized that “a hockey... (full context)
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Robbie Holts watches Peter drive through town. He remembers that, when he and Peter were 17, Sune had insisted... (full context)
Chapter 9
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When Peter gets to the club president’s office, his stomach is in knots. The president forthrightly informs... (full context)
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The club president wants Peter to break the news to Sune after the juniors’ final game. If they lose the... (full context)
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...at the framed photos of her family, she remembers the early years of her marriage. Peter had twice broken his foot and had to work his way back up from the... (full context)
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Peter is grateful to see that Sune’s office door is closed. He thinks about something Sune... (full context)
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Peter remembers the night he met Kira. After they’d won silver, the team had gone out... (full context)
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...family to be. But she still can’t fully face the grief. And to this day, Peter wonders what he might have done differently to protect his family—if he had given up... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...from her family—Leo needs a ride in the afternoon, Maya needs new guitar strings, and Peter will be home late. Then her boss needs Kira for to come to another meeting.... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...David how to be a coach. Sune had hoped that his two proteges, David and Peter, would complement one another, but instead they hate each other. David has always been jealous... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Kira knows that sometimes she makes Peter feel browbeaten, because she calls him so many times a day to check whether he’s... (full context)
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...they hadn’t been living in Beartown for very long. The children were off school, and Peter took Maya and Leo to go tobogganing. Watching them go, Kira felt “bereft” and cried... (full context)
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While Peter was injured in Canada and Kira was at work, Peter found himself home alone with... (full context)
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That long-ago snowy day, Kira kept calling Peter. Uncharacteristically, he didn’t answer. Panicked about the weather, she sped home from work, finally stopping... (full context)
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Sune sees Peter sitting in the stands during the juniors’ practice and reflects that he’s never told Peter... (full context)
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Later, after Peter returns to his office, Fatima comes in to empty the trash cans. Peter is surprised... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Peter drives to the garage owned by his childhood friend, Hog, with whom he’d once played... (full context)
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Ramona sees Peter approaching and asks him if he wants some whisky for his nerves. Peter likes Ramona,... (full context)
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One of the reasons Peter doesn’t frequent the Bearskin is because of “The Pack.” The Pack consists of about 30... (full context)
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Peter and Ramona sit at the bar and talk about hockey. Peter wonders if the town... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...Kira looks down at the ice, she thinks about the happiest time in her life—when Peter was selling insurance part-time and neither playing hockey nor working as a GM. After Isak... (full context)
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As Peter nervously walks around the rink, he blunders into Tails. Tails is a huge, loud ex-hockey... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...as people pour onto the ice after the game in a celebration they’ll remember forever. Peter finds himself embracing and laughing with Robbie Holts. Afterward, he asks Robbie to come by... (full context)
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A little later, Peter is surprised to find Amat still in the locker room, picking up scraps of tape.... (full context)
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Amat isn’t sure what Peter means until he goes outside. People cheer when they see him, wanting to shake his... (full context)
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Peter goes into the president’s office and scolds Tails for taking alcohol into the boys’ locker... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Later, Peter and Kira will hate themselves for waking up happy the next morning. They think Maya... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Peter sits in the locker room and thinks about his childhood. Sune and the sport had... (full context)
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Peter walks past the president’s office and hears sponsors making sexual comparisons to illustrate the hockey... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Peter looks at the resignation papers awaiting Sune’s signature. He thinks about the fact that, while... (full context)
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Peter is interrupted by a call from a Canadian NHL scout, an old friend of his.... (full context)
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Peter has sometimes had to make moral compromises, like signing players to seven-month contracts and having... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Peter and Leo are preparing for the trip to the capital, where they’ll stay overnight for... (full context)
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Kira gets home from her errands as Peter and Leo are getting into the other car for the trip to the capital. Just... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Kira shouts and makes phone calls, while Peter holds Maya’s hand and feels powerless. Having grown up in the shadow of Isak’s death,... (full context)
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Peter, who feels completely incapable of violence, nevertheless wants to watch someone else harm Kevin. That’s... (full context)
Chapter 31
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When Peter arrives at the hospital, he wants to triumphantly announce Kevin’s arrest, but when he sees... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Kira and Peter are sitting on the front steps of their house. The feeling of distance between them... (full context)
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...loves her, but that the Anderssons need to be together as a family right now. Peter drives Ana home, wishing he could say something comforting, but unable to lie. After she... (full context)
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Back at home, Peter and Kira cry together, unable to figure out how to help Maya through this, suspecting... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...He claims this is what happens when you give a GM too much influence. Now, Peter thinks he owns the club and is losing his power with Sune’s firing, and so... (full context)
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...David and Kevin. He explains that it’s a choice between the two of them and Peter Andersson—somebody will have to leave the club. Maya lied, for some reason, and it doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Peter sits at his office desk, thinking about “the right sort of guy”—a phrase that suggests... (full context)
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...of hearing that when something bad happens, it’s “hockey’s problem.” Finally he goes and tells Peter that maybe he should go home until the controversy dies down. Peter is already packed.... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...that hockey allows the town to dream, but if the town stagnates, it will die. Peter comes into Tails’s supermarket then, but he shakes his head when Tails starts to approach... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Peter comes home from the grocery store and hugs Kira, promising her that he can get... (full context)
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...a meeting; a group of parents and sponsors are insisting on holding a vote about Peter. They want the club to fire him. Ana is furious—how could people be acting as... (full context)
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Maya cries and apologizes for causing Peter all this trouble. He reassures her that it’s not her fault and that, somehow, they’ll... (full context)
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...see the rock, which has BITCH written on it in red letters. Before Maya or Peter can react, Kira has run out to the Volvo. Four young teens are walking down... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...longstanding sponsors, and he tells her about the upcoming meeting and the need to vote Peter out as GM. When Ramona says that Erdahl is making it sound as if his... (full context)
Chapter 43
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At the meeting, Peter waits until everyone else has gone inside before entering himself. It feels like the whole... (full context)
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...rink hallway, having ventured out for the first time in a decade, and she sees Peter. She tells him that someday, the town will be ashamed for blindly believing a boy’s... (full context)
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...The guy admits he doesn’t know if he can get the others to vote in Peter’s favor. The man gazes at Mr. Erdahl and thinks about seeing Amat in the Hollow... (full context)
Chapter 44
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...that David has an A-team job now. He also says that he “can’t accept what [Peter] stands for.” He explains that he saw Peter standing by and watching as Kevin was... (full context)
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...own A-team, since all the sponsors had invested with the expectation of a Beartown A-team. Peter still has his job. So it’s good news for Peter, except that within a year’s... (full context)
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...be a dad, and they talk about parenthood and coaching. David says that he believes Peter doesn’t just want justice for Maya; he’s looking for revenge. Sune tells David that when... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Later, Peter gets home and cries from shame that they’ve had to give up the case. But... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...Ramona a question. She thanks her for convincing The Pack to vote in support of Peter, but she doesn’t understand why she did it. Ramona just tells her that people in... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Benji limps into the Beartown rink on his crutches and finds Peter. He tells Peter that his foot should be healed in time for the first A-team... (full context)