The trilogy's heroine, Beatrice was born in Abnegation, one of the five factions and the one dedicated to the virtue of selflessness, and always felt overshadowed by her selfless brother and parents. Luckily for her, at the age of sixteen, everyone is given the option to switch faction. A day before the big ceremony, though, everyone must take a test to find out which faction they belong in. There Beatrice learns that she is Divergent, meaning that she is not suited to one particular faction but rather three very different ones — her own, Erudite, and Dauntless. In a rush of impulsiveness, Beatrice chooses Dauntless.In the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice (or now Tris) must undergo numerous tests of bravery. Along the way she meets a lot of new friends, a lot of new enemies, and sparks a romance with the mysterious and elusive Four.
A Lesson Learned Too Well: Tris goes from calling herself selfish in Divergent, to a well-intending Death Seeker in Insurgent, to someone who understands the true meaning of bravery and selflessness in Allegiant by sacrificing her life.
The Immune: Tris is able to resist serums, like most Divergents. She is notably able to fight off Candor's truth serum in Insurgent, and cannot be killed by the Bureau's death serum in Allegiant. At multiple points, it is mentioned that her ability to resist is beyond that of most Divergents.
Rasputinian Death: A non-villain example of this trope. The bureau fails to catch her and kill her before she starts her plan, the death serum doesn't work despite her not being inoculated against it - it takes an undignified cheap shot to kill her for good.
Tris' elder brother whom she resents slightly but still loves. He transfers to Erudite but later leaves them prior to their attack on the Abnegation. His defection was fake as he was really working as a spy for Jeanine.
Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Natalie was not born Dauntless; she was born in freaking Wisconsin, asked to join the community in Chicago by the bureau partially because of her "undamaged genes," and partially to serve as The Mole. How did no one find this out? The Bureau wiped the memories of everyone in Dauntless to make them believe she had always been there.
Happily Married: In order to get together, both left their original faction, Natalie against her superior's orders.
Black Best Friend: She's a better example than most, since she is a pretty well-rounded character that interacts with and has strong friendships with people other than Tris. However, she isn't a very flawed person.
A friend of Tris' in Dauntless who is kind-hearted, though weak and quite emotionally volatile. Tris' success makes him feel weak and he is lured into a plan to try to kill her. Tris refuses to forgive him and he throws himself into the chasm that night.
Deadpan Snarker: As Christina says, normal conversation is nearly impossible with him.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He slips into a coma, brain damaged beyond hope after being caught in the rebellion attack in Allegiant. Four blames himself, since he participated in the attack, and like Tris with Will he never really lets go of his guilt.
Kick the Dog: Several instances - putting Christina in the chasm for 5 minutes, preparing to throw knives at Al's head and trying to shoot a mindless, defenseless Four to sate his jealousy come to mind.
Vigilante Execution: The Candor Court decided to spare his life, but Dauntless decides, on its own, to kill Eric for his crimes, and the execution is performed by them. So technically, may count as a subversion, since Eric was a Dauntless.
Tris' main love interest, an eighteen-year-old Dauntless boy and instructor. We learn later that he originally transferred from Abnegation and was subject to being beat with a belt by his father as a child, the reason why he transferred.
Horrible Judge of Character: Played with. He has no problem identifying Marcus as a bad person or Tris as strong or brave, but becomes the Unwitting Pawn to multiple characters in the series. In the cases of Evelyn and Nita, they try to make it up to him, however.
I Just Want to Be Special: Egregiously played with. He sees his Divergent status as something special that makes him different, but the reveal in Allegiant that he ISN'T actually Divergent greatly hurts his pride. Given The Reveal about Divergence in Allegiant, this more falls in line with I Just Want to Be Normal.
The Lancer: To Tris, but by the third book he sort of ascends to a secondary hero role.
Tattoo as Character Type: Gets tattoos of all the faction insignias to symbolize that he wants the traits of someone from all factions.
Cool Big Sis: Veers towards this in some of her interactions with Tris; is very much this to Four during his initiation in The Transfer. This might be because she has a dead younger brother. Or at least thinks he's dead.
Face-Heel Turn: Subverted - was really working as a spy for the loyalists
Older sister to Lynn.
The series' Big Bad and the leader of Erudite, the rival of Tris' old faction. She believes that the Abnegation, despite enforcing The Evils of Free Will, hoard food and plan to take over the other factions.
Defacto leader of the factionless and mother of Tobias. Was presumed dead due to childbirth. Though, if she died in childbirth, who was hanging the coats in the closet when Tobias says, "My mother kept our winter coats in our closet." during his first fear hallucination. And if that is not his mother, who does he have to kill in the fourth fear episode?
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Comes off as the loving mother of Tobias who regrets leaving him as a child. But Tris has her suspicions of her, which are confirmed at the end of the second book when she betrays the Dauntless and chooses to establish an oppressive government of her own.
Military Coup: ensures that the Factionless are armed and leads an insurrection, becoming the de facto new leader of the Chicago walled community.
You Are Worth Hell: Ultimately, she would rather have Tobias around as her son than to exact revenge on her husband and controlling the city. Even if that means swallowing her pride and having to face her abusive husband and possibly be put at risk herself.
A former Dauntless trainee. Dropped out after losing his eye to an attack by Peter. Later becomes a major player in the factionless.
Representative of Amity and longtime friend of Marcus Eaton. Becomes a major player in Insurgent, and particularly in the final novel, where she leads the Allegiant and brokers peace between them and the Factionless.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted. While her scar is obvious, ugly by most standards, and even impedes her speech, both Tobias and Tris say it somehow makes her more beautiful and strong.
Domestic Abuse: Says she knew Tobias was telling the truth about his father because she experienced it herself.
But Now I Must Go: Due to her conscience conflicting with the group decision, she leaves Amity in Insurgent.
Odd Friendship: She is the representative of the faction that values peace. Marcus is, well, Marcus.
Fully known as The Bureau For Genetic Welfare, supported by the Fallen States of America. It is the organization responsible for the walling off of Chicago and has been in existence for at least eight generations after the Purity War that killed half the population.
Super Breeding Program: People who entered the Bureau's walled off community in Chicago had to agree to have as many children as possible, with the purpose of eventually making "genetically pure" or "genetically healed" humans, known as Divergents.