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Tris first encounters Marlene when they end up in the same team for capture the flag under Four. When she turns on a flashlight Uriah Pedrad teases her about being afraid of the dark, but turns the flashlight off anyway. On their way back to the compound, she commends and compliments Tris on her decision to climb the Ferris wheel to find the other team, saying it was 'Erudite-smart'. She then allows Uriah to shoot a muffin off her head in a dare. She picks the muffin off the floor and eats it, amusing Uriah and Tris. She has been good friends with Lynn ever since they were young, which is why they are often seen together. When Tris arrives at the fear landscape testing, she witnesses Marlene undergoing her fear landscape. Marlene ranks 4th in Dauntless initiation.
After Erudite's attack on the Dauntless, she was seemed to develop a strong relationship with Uriah. For a while, they stayed at the Candor headquarters and later moved back to the Dauntless compound. At one point, Lynn snaps at Uriah and her, telling them to just come out with their obvious relationship, which she responds with by kissing Uriah. Shortly after the loyal Dauntless regroup to appoint new leaders, Marlene nominates Tris for one of the leaders, but eventually other members are chosen. She was killed in a simulation by Jeanine Matthews as a plot to get a Divergent 'rebels' for her to experiment off. She delivers the simulation message and then walks off the top of a Dauntless building.
DeathEditThe Dauntless traitors and Erudite had attacked the loyal Dauntless while they were still staying with Candor. They injected a long-lasting transmitter into their arms that allowed them to be under a simulation whenever the Erudite wished. On the first night of their return to the Dauntless compound, she was among the first three who were put under the simulation. She, along with Hector and a young girl, named Kee, were brought up involuntarily to the roof to deliver a message, that if they do not hand over two Divergent, more people under a simulation would die like she would every two days. With that, she walked off the roof; Tris and Christina were only able to save Hector instead of her. Tris wished she could have saved her, but knew Lynn would be broken without Hector.
Marlene is the friend of his older sister Lynn.
It is hinted in Divergent that Uriah, Marlene, and Lynn knew each other growing up, as they were all Dauntless-born. When they are undergoing the initiation to remain in Dauntless, the pair engage in light banter and encourage one another to do silly challenges, such as shooting a muffin off Marlene's head without her flinching. Uriah and Marlene start dating during Insurgent, shortly before her death. Tris saw them kissing during dinner in Dauntless headquarters.
Marlene was close friends with Lynn even while they were kids in Dauntless. When they were initiates, they could often be seen together. Lynn was devastated after Marlene's death. When Lynn was dying, she confessed to Uriah she had loved Marlene, even though it was known that Marlene couldn't love her back because she was dating Uriah.
In Divergent, Marlene met Tris during the Dauntless initiation. Tris notices that Marlene was picked by Four for his Capture the Flag team, flirtatiously asking where Four's team hid the flag last year. After Tris and Four scout the other team's flag location, she compliments Tris for her act, saying it was "Erudite smart." The pair get to know each other through mutual friend Uriah, who invites the pair and Lynn to unwind with fun activities like shooting a muffin off Marlene's head or playing card games.
During Insurgent, Tris reunites with Marlene and the other loyal Dauntless members at the Candor headquarters. When the loyal Dauntless vote for new leaders, Marlene nominates Tris, the latter declining the position. Unlike some of the other Dauntless, Marlene continues to be friendly with Tris when the latter's Divergence is revealed; at times Marlene compares it to a special trait or super power, which Tris claims it isn't. She accompanied Tris with other Dauntless to the Dauntless headquarters prior to succumbing to Jeanine's simulation that results in her suicide.
Marlene and Tris weren't as close as she was with Lynn but they were still friends.
Marlene is described to have a 'childish joy' about her. She's easy going and has a good sense of humor. It is also described by Tris that Marlene has a "flirtatious smile". Tris noted a change in Marlene's demeanor as a result of the simulation in Divergent: she remarks that she used to walk with a 'skip in her step' and that her stride had grown more elegant and grown-up, which leads Tris to wonder what she'd done during the simulation that had caused her to lose her 'innocence'.
Marlene was portrayed by British model and actress Suki Waterhouse in Insurgent (2015).
- Marlene was not featured in the Divergent Film due to scripting or casting issues.
- The friendship between Tris and Marlene was not explored in the Insurgent film, likely due to filming cuts or maintain pacing.