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""Then there's Dauntless. They're our protectors, our soldiers, our police. I always thought they were amazing. Brave, fearless, and free. Some people think Dauntless are crazy, which they kind of are.""
Tris explaining the factions

Dauntless is one of the five factions in the world of Divergent. They are the faction dedicated to courage, bravery, strength, intimidation, and fearlessness. It was formed by a group of people who blamed fear and cowardice as the cause of problems that society faces, genetic impurity. Their substance at the Choosing Ceremony is ignited coals, which symbolizes their unyielding dedication and bravery towards protecting society.

Dauntless leaders believe that preparation and facing one's own fears is key to overcoming cowardice, initiates, sixteen year olds who have chosen said faction at the yearly Choosing Ceremony, at Dauntless are worked to both physical and mental breaking points to achieve this. There are technically two 'subsets' of Dauntless, one believing in 'freedom from fear', or eradicating fear by performing more and more reckless acts. Another subest believes in 'fear under control', or boldness, standing up and doing things in spite of fear. This subset is generally less extreme, and closer to what the faction originally was. However, the Dauntless leaders at the time of Tris's initiation were mainly aligned with the more extreme 'freedom from fear' subset, which called for more intense training methods.

Members generally wear provocative or full black leather clothing (or other black materials), piercings, tattoos and are usually seen freerunning through the ruins of Chicago. The last leaders of Dauntless, Eric and Max (Four or Tobias, is often seen as leader of the official Dauntless but is not until the second book when the Dauntless at Candor elect him, Tori Wu and Harrison), are often in dispute of how Dauntless should be lead. Eric claims that initiates should be prepared to die for the faction, preferring much more dangerous tactics of training initiates - whereas Four will discretely go against Eric's methods - such as when he intentionally misses Tris in the knife-throwing range after Eric tells her to stand against the target.

Physical Description

The initiate entrance

The initiate entrance is the first place all incoming faction tansfers and Dauntless born see after the Choosing Ceremony. The only way into this place is by jumping off of a building and into a dark hole where a big net lies at the bottom. The room itself it a large room like cavern.

The Pit

The Pit is a large open cavern in the Dauntless compound and is the center of all Dauntless life. The pit is where the Chasm is located; a large underground waterfall that flows into an underground river. The chasm is the source of many suicides and though to jump off of the chasm is idiotic and cowardly, Eric sees the jump as heroic and brave, as shown when Al jumps after Tris refuses to forgive him for trying to throw her into the chasm himself.

The training room

The initiate training room is a large room that holds a shooting range, knife throwing targets, punching bags, and a wrestling mat. The training room is where initiates spend the most of their time before stage two of initiation. The Dauntless initiates spar in this room.

Single fear simulation room

The simulation room that is used in stage two of initiate training. The room is smaller than most rooms and areas in the Dauntless compound and is used for only a few weeks a year. In the middle of the room, a chair linked to a computer sits. During single fear simulations, the said initiate going through the fearscape is injected with a serum that links their brains and fears to the monitor next to the chair. The person watching the said initiates fear is connected to the computer by wires attached to his/her head.

Fear simulation room

The fear simulation room is a large room on the very top floor of the Dauntless compound and can be used by any Dauntless year round. The fear landscape simulation is the third stage of the initiate training and as a final test, the initiates are forced to live out all of their fears in a simulation. Beside this room is an observation room, where the Dauntless leaders can watch the simulation and the other initiates and can see the initiate in the simulation but not the simulation itself.



Dauntless was a faction formed by those who blamed cowardice for society's problems. They believed the only answer is to face your fears is through bravery.

The Elderly

When you become elderly and passed physical prime, they must leave the faction. There are two choices: death or becoming factionless. This is why there are no elderly Dauntless in the compound. The elderly often jump into the chasm as a sign of bravery for their death.

Divergent - Allegiant

Dauntless becomes an important faction in the plot as it is the faction the protagonist, Tris Prior, chooses. During Tris's initiation, it becomes apparent that Dauntless has steered away from its core belief of attaining peace through freedom from fear. With growing influence from Erudite, Dauntless evolved into a faction focused on preparing its members for violence and murder. The faction became instrumental in toppling the Abnegation-controlled government when Erudite made use of a simulation serum they had manufactured to control Dauntless members. 



The Dauntless value the virtue of bravery over any other, as such they train to fight and use weapons to prepare their bodies to respond to threats and challenges, which is necessary if they want to survive life as a Dauntless member. The faction also emphasizes the idea of freedom from fear, and test this daily by attempting death-defying feats. Dauntless members and initiates are the only ones allowed to ride the train and do so in a daring way; jumping onto and off the train while it is moving. Most Dauntless children are known to choose the knife in the simulation of the Aptitude Test when facing the dog and they take the stairs in an act of wildness.


The Dauntless are the only faction that have their members, upon reaching a certain age that hinders their ability to uphold the virtue of their faction, become Factionless, or choose to die. Hence, the faction does not have a member that is of old-age.

When it comes to funerals, the Dauntless have it immediately after they are pronounced dead because they want to acknowledge the death as soon as it happens. It is more of a celebration and there is a lot of drinking. Every member gets a certain amount of points to spend per month, they spend their points on clothing and other resources as they see fit. The traditional jobs of Dauntless include but are not limited to: Fence Guard, City's security force, tattoo artist, weapon maker, fighting for entertainment, initiate trainer, or as a Dauntless leader. Some members volunteer to do jobs that traditionally belong to other factions in order to have them closer and not make members go far away (i.e. nurses).

Physical Traits & Clothing

Dauntless collage 1

The Dauntless

Dauntless members are all physically very fit so most (especially Dauntless-born) are quite tall, broad-shouldered and muscular.

Dauntless members clothes dress in black. Their clothes are hardwearing but also easy to move in - the most people wear a t-shirt with a jacket over the top, form fitting pants and boots. Many members also have piercings and tattoos. In more casual settings, women tend to wear skin-tight, provocative clothing items and sometimes dark makeup. Men usually wear a black shirt and fitted pants. Their hair is either practical and natural - such as in a ponytail or cut short, or in loud extravagant styles - such as bright colours or mohawks.


The people of Dauntless are in charge of the city's security, protecting its inhabitants from threats within and without as the city's peacekeepers. The Dauntless were previously responsible in policing the Factionless sectors of the city until the City Council voted to relieve them of that duty. Their main task is to guard the fence that surrounds the city. It is considered a dangerous job, but it is also a necessary one and it seems likely that this is part of the reason no other faction has a disagreement with Dauntless. They maintain the city gates which are locked from the outside.


Despite being the most warlike faction, Dauntless appears to have a smoothly neutral relationship with the other factions. While Erudite and Abnegation fight for government control and Candor and Amity fight over peace and deception, Dauntless are seen as the fighters. They prove to be good allies as they are trained in the art of fighting and honing physical skills.

Johanna Reyes of Amity states that  “Peace between Amity and Dauntless can only happen when we maintain our distance from each other.” Understandably, the Amity's pledge to promote peace is stark contrast of the Dauntless' confrontational nature.  Children born into Dauntless rarely leave the faction, as it is easy to remain brave if you were raised in a similar manner from childhood. Children born in Candor and Erudite are the most common transfers to this faction.

Abnegation transfers are rare, as there's only been two transfers in the past 20 years- Tobias Eaton and Tris. When most Abnegation transfer to Dauntless, they are often teased and called stiffs.


The Dauntless are fiercely loyal After Erudite place all of Dauntless under the attack simulation, it is revealed that all of the Dauntless leaders were traitors siding with the Erudite, the faction that enslaved their minds. The faction then divides into two groups, the Loyal Dauntless who side with their chosen faction, and the Dauntless traitors who align with Erudite to help carry out their plans. The loyal Dauntless elected three new leaders: Tori Wu, Harrison and Four (Tobias). Four is then forced to execute Eric, a former leader, for his crimes against humanity.




Former Members



Dauntless Manifesto



"We believe that cowardice is to blame for the world’s injustices. We believe that peace is hard-won, that sometimes it is necessary to fight for peace."


But more than that:

  • We believe that justice is more important than peace.
  • We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions.
  • We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
  • We believe in acknowledging fear and the extent to which it rules us.
  • We believe in facing that fear no matter what the cost to our comfort, our happiness, or even our sanity.
  • We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
  • We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them.
  • We believe that pain and death are better than cowardice and inaction because we believe in action.
  • We do not believe in living comfortable lives.
  • We do not believe that silence is useful.
  • We do not believe in good manners.
  • We do not believe in empty heads, empty mouths, or empty hands.
  • We do not believe that learning to master violence encourages unnecessary violence.
  • We do not believe that we should be allowed to stand idly by.
  • We do not believe that any other virtue is more important than bravery."[1]

Dauntless Initiation

Initiation is taken very seriously in Dauntless. When Tris went through Dauntless initiation, there were only twenty new initiates that made it to the compound after the Choosing Ceremony and only ten were accepted. The rest became factionless. The initiates are ranked together (Dauntless-born and faction transfers together) throughout the process and the higher the rank, the better job options there are.


After the Choosing Ceremony, the new Dauntless initiates will head towards the Dauntless compound via the train, which they all - including faction transfers - must get on the moving train, and then jump out of it onto the roof of a seven story building, which they then have to jump off and land in a net that they can't see. Anyone left behind immediately become factionless. The initiates that have arrived are then separated into the Dauntless-born and faction transfers. The faction transfers are given a tour before dinner.

After dinner, a Dauntless leader or high-ranking member leads the faction transfers to their dormitory, where they all share the same room. They introduce the rules and stages of initiation. There are three stages of initiation: primarily physical, emotional, and mental, respectively.

Stage One - Physical

In the first stage, the Dauntless-born and faction transfers are trained separately. The faction transfers are taught how to fight and use weapons, and made to fight one another to improve their ranking. Winning or losing the fights will increase or decrease an initiate's points. If you win against a higher ranked initiate, you receive more points and they will lose more points. Capture the flag is also played alongside the Dauntless-born at night and with paintballs. When the training methods were changed after Eric came into power, he decided that at the end of this stage, four of the lowest ranked initiates would be cut and made Factionless. Visiting Day also usually occurs during Stage One. The initiates are reminded to feel or show as little attachment to their families as possible.

Stage Two - Emotional

The Dauntless-born and faction transfers are trained together from Stage Two onwards. The initiates are 'trained' in a simulation similar to the one used for the Aptitude Test, but more advanced. The initiates face their fears in the simulation and must learn to control their emotions in the midst of frightening situations. This is also training for the simulation they must face in Stage Three.

Stage Three - Mental

In the final stage, the mental, there is only one test. The initiates are put into their fear landscapes, which reaches for every fear within the person subjected to it and creates a simulation in which they must face each one. This time, they are aware that it is not real. They go in reverse order of the current ranking, so the lowest ranking initiate goes first. The person being tested are observed by the Dauntless leaders, who can see the fears the person is facing, and the waiting initiates can see the person being tested in their fear landscape, but not what fear they are facing. They are timed and the shorter the time it takes to face all their fears, the higher the points they receive for the final ranking.

Initiation Day

Initiation Day is anticipated by many members of the faction as well as the initiates, and occurs on the same day as the final test. A Dauntless leader gives a small speech and the final rankings of Dauntless-born and faction transfers are announced. It used to be that all initiates who succesfully completed initiation were allowed in, but Eric has since changed it so only the top ten are accepted as members. The higher the ranking, the better profession opportunities, which they choose on the following day as their first act as Dauntless members. The bottom five usually end up as guards.


  • Common foods in Dauntless include muffins and toast for breakfast, burgers for lunch or dinner.
    • Chocolate cake is the preferred Dauntless dessert.
  • The paths in the Dauntless compound are treacherous and hard to climb. Physical endurance and capability is required to be a member. Once members can no longer climb them, they cannot be a member of Dauntless. When members pass their physical prime, they are asked to leave in one way or another, either by death or becoming factionless.
  • An old Dauntless derogatory term was "Pansy Cake" but it died out since they thought it sounded stupid or that of a twelve-year-old according to Lynn.
  • In order to perform a Dauntless execution, three leaders of Dauntless must have one gun each, and only one of the guns has a bullet while the others are empty. The guns are then put down and shuffled, after which each leader picks the gun in front of them, aims their gun at the head of whoever is to be executed and pulls the trigger. It doesn't matter who shoots the gun but mostly who's lucky enough.
  • The specialty serum of the Dauntless is the simulation serum. They use it in stages' two and three of their initiation process.
  • After being given new clothes when joining Dauntless, new transfers must throw their old clothes into a pit where they are burned.


  1. Roth, V (2011) Divergent

See also

Current Leaders: Four | Tori | Harrison
Known members:
Tris Prior | Tobias Eaton | Christina | Will | Tori | Uriah | Marlene | Amar | Rita | Lauren | Lynn | Eric | Max | Zeke | Harrison | Shauna | Peter
Known faction-borns:
Uriah | Marlene | Max | Lynn | Zeke | Shauna |
Max | Eric | (Countless pasts leaders/members)