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Beatrice "Tris" PriorThe 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.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel she is described as average looking, with a long nose. In the movie she is played by the gorgeous Shailene Woodley.
- Animal Motifs: Associated with crows and ravens.
- Death Seeker: In Insurgent she's looking for ways to die due to grief over the death of her parents and her guilt over being forced to kill Will.
- Doesn't Like Guns: As a result of shooting Will, Tris develops a gun-phobia.
- Famous Last Words: "I didn't come here to steal anything, David."
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Allegiant, she gives her life to stop the "reset" of Chicago by Laser-Guided Amnesia so that Caleb doesn't have to do it.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: After she shoots a brainwashed Will to defend herself in Divergent, she angsts about his death for the rest of the series after it happens, and never fully forgives herself.
- 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.
- Knife Nut: In Insurgent, she can't bring herself to use a gun, but has no problems using a knife.
- Meaningful Rename: She becomes known as Tris instead of Beatrice. While this is a nickname, it's meaningful because it is significant in the character adopting a Dauntless rather than Abnegation identity.
- Rasputinian Death: In Allegiant, 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.
- Spanner in the Works: Being Divergent makes her immune to the mind-control serum, which allows her to ultimately stop the attack on Abnegation.
- Took a Level in Badass: A major plot point of Divergent. She goes from receiving multiple no holds barred beat downs and languishing in the bottom ranks to a becoming a true Action Girl.
- Underestimating Badassery: She is a small teenage girl. Far too often, she's assumed to be a non-threat - even when she's pointing a gun at them.
- Waif-Fu: She is very slender, often described as one of the smallest in her class in Divergent. Does NOT stop her from kicking every kind of ass.
- Weak, but Skilled: Physically weaker than most of her fellow Dauntless, she learns to make up for her lack of strength with her intelligence and strategy. Although in the 1st movie, she gets beat both times by Peter and Molly rather than beating Molly, but learns later during the "Capture The Flag scene" which boosts her position and barely passing the physical stage.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Her blue eyes are said to be her best feature, contrast sharply with the rest of her plain self.
Caleb PriorTris's 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.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: His vision is fine. He wears glasses to look more Erudite.
Natalie and Andrew PriorTris's parents, who are killed in Erudite's attack on Abnegation.
- 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.
- Famous Last Words:
- "Be brave, Beatrice. I love you." Natalie Prior
- "Thank you. For protecting Caleb. Beatrice, I-" Andrew Prior
Edith Prior (Amanda Marie Ritter)
ChristinaTris's best friend in Dauntless, she transferred from Candor.
- 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.
- Commonality Connection: In Allegiant, She and Uriah become very close because both of them lost someone important to them.
Albert "Al"A friend of Tris's in Dauntless who is kind-hearted, though weak and quite emotionally volatile. He quickly feels intimidated by Tris's success and thus agrees to participate in a plan to murder Tris. When she doesn't forgive him for trying to kill her, he throws himself into the chasm.
- Butt Monkey: Nothing goes well for him. He is too afraid of hurting others to actually fight during the first phase of initiation, the fear serum destroys his mind in the second phase, he's attracted to a girl who'd much rather prefer their instructor, when he messes up said girl refuses to forgive him, and he commits suicide.
- Dirty Coward: Accused of being this after he almost kills Tris because he felt intimidated by her.
- Driven to Suicide: Peter somehow convinces him to help out in a plot to kill Tris. He feels guilty afterwards, and when she refuses to forgive him Al throws himself into the chasm and takes his own life.
- Gentle Giant: Al is much bigger than everyone else, yet is so afraid of hurting others he refuses to fight during the first phase of initiation.
- Nice Guy: He was the most sensitive of the Dauntless initiates, and therefore one of the kindest. Unfortunately, this is what led to his demise.
- Tears of Remorse: After he almost kills Tris, she next sees him bawling his eyes out with regret.
Peter HayesAn enemy of Tris's in Dauntless. Described as being "pure evil". And how.
- Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Played completely straight in Allegiant. It's heavily implied that losing his memories was more or less a cure for his sociopathy.
- Debt Detester: After bullying Tris mercilessly and molesting her, he saves her life in Insurgent because she saved his. Tris absolutely does not understand his perspective. Not at ALL.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He may be a sociopathic attempted murderer but he will not leave a debt unpaid, which is why he ends up saving Tris's life in Insurgent.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Looks naturally kind and innocent, but is actually a bully and Ax-Crazy.
- Identity Amnesia: In Allegiant, he willingly rids himself of all his memories of who he was and what he's done, because he doesn't want to be that person anymore, but he knows he won't do the work to become a better person on his own. Tobias notes that Peter even needs to be reminded of his own name after he wipes his mind clean.
- Jerkass: He goes out of his way to make Tris's life miserable, from throwing petty insults to outright sexually assaulting her and trying to kill her.
WillOne of Tris's friends in Dauntless and eventually Christina's boyfriend. Towards the end of the novel, he runs into Tris while under Mind Control and she is required to shoot him.
Uriah PedradA Dauntless-born initiate who eventually befriends Tris. May or may not harbor romantic feelings for her.
- Commonality Connection: In Allegiant, he and Christina become very close because both of them lost someone important to them.
MarleneA friend of Uriah's and Lynn's, and eventually Tris's. She has purple hair.
- Sacrificial Lion: She is killed by Jeanine in Insurgent, driving Tris to sacrifice herself and turn herself in at Erudite HQ.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has purple hair, it's a pretty common Dauntless thing.
LynnDauntless-born girl. Started out cold and mean, then ended up somewhat... less cold and mean.
- Bury Your Gays: She comes out of the closet after being fatally wounded.
- Dying Declaration of Love: Admits her feelings for Marlene before dying.
EricThe youngest of the Dauntless leaders who was in the same initiate class as Four. He was originally from Erudite and is plotting to destroy Beatrice's home faction.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, Eric is described as having a frightening and repugnant appearance. In the film, he certainly still has an intimidating presence, but is actually pretty good looking.
- Defiant to the End: His last words are a sneer directed at Four.
- Famous Last Words: "What, afraid the Dauntless are going to change their minds about you? Realize that even though you've only got four fears, you’re still a coward?"
- Foil: To Four. He preaches all-out combat with no mercy rules, while Four preaches fair fights with protective rules.
- 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, defenceless Four to state his jealousy come to mind.
- Nerves of Steel: In Divergent, he describes his method of overcoming fear as using rationality and reason to remain level-headed. Indeed, he is completely rational and calm when facing his death in Insurgent.
- Would Hurt a Child: In Insurgent, he shoots a Candor child in the head at point blank, simply because at his age, his Divergence wouldn't be developed enough, making him useless to Jeanine.
Four/ Tobias EatonTris's 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 beaten with a belt by his father as a child, the reason why he transferred.
- Abusive Parent: Tobias's worst fear is his own father who used to beat him as a child. Which is why he transferred.
- Birds of a Feather: He and Tris are both Divergent, both transfers to Dauntless from Abnegation, and both had council members as parents.
- Claustrophobia: He is afraid of small spaces, which is from a childhood punishment.
- Face Your Fears: Subverted. He has exactly 4 fears, but doesn't overcome any of them and instead just makes sure they don't dominate him.
- Foil: To Eric. He preaches fair fights with protective rules, while Eric preaches all-out combat with no mercy rules.
- Good Is Not Soft: From not letting up in his training of Tris to begin with to shooting Eric, he's a good guy, but not particularly coddling.
- 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: 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.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Uriah 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.
- Meaningful Rename: He decided to call himself Four because he only has four fears in the fear landscape, which is notable as most people have at least ten. His original name was Tobias, but as he was abused by his father that's also one reason he wanted to abandon that identity.
- Tattoo as Character Type: Has tattoos of all the faction insignias to symbolize that he wants the traits of someone from all factions.
ToriDauntless tattoo artist and later Dauntless leader. Was the one who originally tested and discovered that Tris is divergent.
- All for Nothing: Her Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge her brother George’s death in Insurgent and death in Allegiant amount to this, after The Reveal that her brother George is alive and outside the fence.
- Revenge Before Reason: In Insurgent, she becomes so obsessed with avenging her brother, she ignores Tris's pleads to spare Jeanine and kills her. Even after her revenge is complete, she brands Tris (a girl who she's interacted friendlily with in the past) a war criminal, instead of hearing her out.
Zeke (Ezekiel Pedrad)Older brother to Uriah and Shauna's boyfriend.
ShaunaOlder sister to Lynn and Zeke's girlfriend.
JeanineThe series' Big Bad and the leader of Erudite, the rival of Tris's old faction. She believes that the Abnegation, despite enforcing The Evils of Free Will, hoard food and plan to take over the other factions.
- Disc One Final Boss: Is murdered by Tori at the end of Insurgent, before The Bureau makes its entrance in Allegiant.
- Famous Last Words: "That’s right! It is on that computer, Beatrice, and only I can locate it. If you don’t help me survive this, it will die with me."
CaraOlder sister to Will and member of the Erudite who switches sides.
- Bearer of Bad News: In Allegiant, she's the one who tells Tobias that Tris died.
Marcus EatonLeader of Abnegation and father of Tobias. Also Divergent.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In Allegiant, after the peace treaty is formed, he leaves Chicago and no one knows what happens to him.
Evelyn Johnson-EatonDefacto leader of the factionless and mother of Tobias. Was presumed dead due to childbirth.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In Insurgent, she 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 when she betrays the Dauntless and chooses to establish an oppressive government of her own.
- Love Redeems: In Allegiant, when given the choice between reclaiming her son Tobias's affection or holding on to power in the city, she chooses Tobias. And she's much happier for it.
- Missing Mom: For Four. In Four: A Divergent Collection, it's presented in the traditional "my kind mother is gone", but by the time of the main series, after Four discovered that Evelyn disappeared on purpose, he's much more bitter and prefers for her to stay that way. No longer so, after the events of Allegiant.
- 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 in Allegiant.
EdwardA former Dauntless trainee. Dropped out after losing his eye to an attack by Peter. Later becomes a major player in the factionless.
- Eye Scream: He is on the receiving end of one via a butter knife because he ended up first on the initiate ranking. Peter does not like being in second place.
- Like a Son to Me: Seems like this to Evelyn, given her strained relationship with Tobias and her reaction to his death.
Johanna ReyesRepresentative 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.
- But Now I Must Go: Due to her conscience conflicting with the group decision, she leaves Amity in Insurgent.
- 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.
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.
- Last of Their Kind: The Bureau that oversees Chicago is the only one that still survives and kicking. Others (including the ones overseeing Milwaukee and Indianapolis) had failed in their jobs and allowed the citizens in their respective cities, be them genetically damaged or pure, to commute in and out. Eventually, Chicago's Bureau also meets their fate.
- Man Behind the Man: Allegiant reveals that the Bureau gave Erudite the attack simulation used to kill members of Abnegation in Divergent.
- 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.
DavidThe head of the Bureau outside Chicago.
- Affably Evil: His polite and Nice Guy tendecies are genuine, and he really does care for Tris, especially since she is the daughter of his crush, Natalie. Which just makes his complete 180 degrees opposite characterization in the second part of the novel all the more shocking, since, even with all the fiasco that is attempting to wipe the memories of his subjects and killing Tris, he is just a hard-working man with a misguided agenda.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: All he wants is for humanity to return back to their natural state, which is done by having more genetically pure children born from genetically damaged families inside the walled cities. Yet he's willing to take away the free will of hundreds and thousands of people, many times over, just to achieve it.
NitaA member of the Bureau and one of the GDs. She wanted to rebel against the Bureau because of their discrimination against "Genetically Damaged" people like her, but ultimately fails.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her full name is Juanita.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants to stop the Bureau from further discriminating against the genetically damaged like herself (especially when the reader finds out how extreme they, or rather just David, go to uphold it), though her method to do it isn't nice to say the least. She even designs a bomb with Four which indirectly causes Uriah's brain damage and eventual death.
MatthewA scientist in the Bureau and a GP friend to Tris and Nita.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: He was once in love with a GD girl who died before they could fully realize their relationship. Even if she didn't die, they couldn't be together anyway, due to the society's unbelievable discrimination against the GD.
AmarFormer Dauntless instructor who now works for the Bureau. Is Divergent. Was Four and Eric's instructor during initiation.
- Blind Obedience: Is a staunch believer in what the Bureau teaches about genetic damage and genetic purity, despite living with "genetically damaged" people for most of his life.
- Survival Mantra: "Adapt!", which is what he would say to initiates.