Amidst criticism, Divergent series author Veronica Roth is responding at length to concerns over the big surprise at the end of Allegiant. Spoiler warning.
Roth took to her official blog on Monday to explain to readers how she came to decide that Tris had to die at the end of Allegiant which hit bookstores last Tuesday.
The author started her explanation by saying that she is not fighting readers with her response but is simply answering the question of why Tris died. It’s a question she says she heard many times on tour while promoting Allegiant the past few days.
“I’ve said before that this ending was always a part of the plan, but one thing I want to make clear is that I didn’t choose it to shock anyone, or to upset anyone, or because I’m ruthless with my characters—no, no, no,” she explains. “I may have been ruthless with other characters, in the past, but not with her, never with her. And I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.”
Roth says that the events that took place around Tris’ parents in Divergent were the beginnings of an eventual death for the lead character. “For me, Tris’s parents’ deaths made me realize that though Tris had tangibly abandoned her parents’ faction, she was never quite able to separate herself from them, never quite wanted to; that the true struggle of her character, the one she had never been able to let go of, was to figure out how to honor her parents while still maintaining her distinct identity. That was her struggle in Divergent in a more subtle way, but it was also her struggle in a far more obvious way in Insurgent,” she writes.
From there Roth explained that Caleb’s betrayal wouldn’t stop her from giving back to him just like her parents never stopped caring for them. “She had a conversation with David where she told him her beliefs about sacrifice, that it should come from love, strength, and necessity. That was a Tris who knew what she believed about selflessness. Who knew who she was. Who knew what she wanted to do. In each book she tried to emulate her parents’ sacrifice, and in each book she didn’t seem to understand what that sacrifice really was, until Allegiant. And it’s only in Allegiant, when she had a strong sense of identity, when she had a keen understanding of what she (and her parents) believed about selflessness, that her journey was over.”
At the end of her explanation Roth admits she considered stepping in and pulling Tris back from her death but ultimately decided that the story required it.
We only shared selections from Roth’s explanation in her blog post and encourage you to read the entire piece for the full reasoning.
Many readers have sounded off about the events of Allegiant in a previous article on Hypable where we asked you to discus with fellow readers.