Insurgent is currently in theaters, and us fans are going gaga over it (what can we say — it was amazing!). If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we highly recommend you do! In the meantime, Divergent series author Veronica Roth talked to NYLON about what makes Tris and Four’s relationship so special and meaningful
On Tris and Four’s relationship being a strong friendship:
I’ve always thought of Tris and Four’s relationship as a strong friendship first and foremost—not necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime romance. When you conceive of romantic relationships as friendships, at their core, you and your partner are able to bear up under difficulty in a way that you can’t if what you really want is swooning romance all the time. The strongest real-life relationships I’ve seen are between people who respect each other, have inside jokes, and know how to fight without fangs. Friends, in other words. It’s not about soul mates or fated lovers, not for me, and not for Tris and Four.
On the romance between Tris and Four:
The core of Tris and Four’s romance is an extension of what the faction system explores: choice. Tris and Four choose each other over and over again. They have different values and beliefs; they argue and yell and say things they don’t mean; they are even unkind and cold and relentless at times, but still, they keep forgiving and asking for forgiveness and reconnecting with what makes the other worthwhile. Many relationships break under the weight of loss or hardship, but Tris and Four thrive in stressful and intense circumstances. Their love for each other is deep; their respect for each other, profound; and their choice, free.
People don’t often describe love as effort—just the opposite—but I don’t find anything inherently unromantic about that idea. Effortless love often seems to come, in fiction, at the expense of freedom. The people involved are helpless in the face of their strong attachment, even if it proves harmful to both parties. But freedom, choice, commitment, forgiveness, honesty, and of course, vulnerability—those things are beautiful to me.
On avoiding writing explicit sex scenes between Tris and Four:
In the past, I’ve spoken clumsily of avoiding explicit descriptions of sex on the page, but really I just try to pay attention to what feels gratuitous, and what doesn’t. That will probably change with each book I write—in the future, I might get a little more concrete. But for Tris and Four, it was enough that in the third book, when she undresses, he calls her body beautiful—and she believes him. The fear, overcome, and her choice to be with him, made free of fear.
Head over to NYLON to read the entire Fourtris article!