'Allegiant' controversial ending: Veronica Roth speaks out

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[SPOILERS ABOUND: This post is all about the ending of Allegiant, which you don’t want spoiled for you if you’ve yet to read it.]

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the woman who created Tris Prior isn’t afraid of much.

But author Veronica Roth signed on for a whole new level of Internet infamy when she [Seriously. Spoilers] killed protagonist Tris at the ending of Allegiant, the trilogy-ending book that is currently being turned into a hopeful movie franchise starring Shailene Woodley.

If you’ve spent your time hoping for a happily ever after between Tobias and Tris, or obsessing over what’s next or, heck, just assumed after reading Hunger Games and all the other similarly themed stories that protagonists are off-limits for body counts, well, it’s no surprise readers aren’t pleased. At all.

This morning, six days after the book’s release, Roth wrote a lengthy blog post addressing upset fans. “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 explained.

Roth outlines that she sees the central plot of the books as Tris’ journey figuring out where she belongs — a specific faction, a factionless society, or just with the people she loves. “It’s just before her mother gives up her life that Tris figures out how those identities fit together, combining selflessness and bravery and love for her family and love for her faction all together under one umbrella: Divergent. It’s a moment of triumph followed by a moment of total devastation, when Natalie dies so that Tris can escape.”

In Allegiant, Roth continues, “She was still struggling with her beliefs about selflessness — but this time, she was wondering whether Caleb, when he volunteered to go on the one-way mission to the Weapons Lab, was motivated by love or guilt. She struggled with whether it was ethical to let Caleb’s sacrifice happen throughout the rest of the book.”

When Tris dies in the Weapon lab, it’s because her journey is complete and she’s making a sacrifice for the right reasons — as opposed to Caleb, or as opposed to her younger self in Insurgent. “At the end, 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.”

Roth concludes her post, writing, “I will miss her, that Tris voice in my head. But I’m so, so proud of her strength.”

If you’ve read Allegiant, what did you think of the ending?


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