Divergent Wiki

"The faction system is a living being, composed of cells. All of you. The future belongs to those who know where they belong."
— Jeanine

Jeanine Matthews is the leader of the faction Erudite solely because of her IQ score. She is the main antagonist in Divergent and Insurgent, and the ringleader behind the Erudite-Dauntless alliance against the Abnegation. She is one of the overall primary antagonists (alongside David) of the Divergent Series. She was killed by Tori Wu in the book and Evelyn Johnson-Eaton in the film.



Jeanine Matthews is the Erudite faction representative. She releases many propagandic articles about Abnegation in order to smear bad faith towards the faction. This tactic would lead to people doubting whether Abnegation is actually selfless but rather a faction hoarding greed and fresh supplies for themselves. She, along with Eric, began the second war. She created a serum that would allow her to control people into killing off every Abnegation member. Knowing that the serum didn't work on the Divergent, she creates a second serum, which she uses on Four, leaving him in a simulated state. She was motivated to do this because she knew the truth about the factions and did not want to go back to the rest of the world, but rather stay in the factions with Erudite in control so that they would never leave the city.


Jeanine continues her plans of hunting down the Divergent during the first half of the book, sending out the Dauntless traitors they have recruited to take them to the Erudite compound for testing. By blackmailing Tris, she is able to perform genetic experiments on her in order to find a serum that works on the Divergent. Jeanine creates simulations and scans Tris' brain. She is greatly frustrated during Tris Prior's testing because she is left unsuccessful up to the end, so she has Tris executed the next day.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 5.00

When the Dauntless and Factionless rebels attacked the Erudite compound, Tori Wu corners Jeanine Matthews in her laboratory, still bent on revenge for her brother's death. Tris tries to stop Tori, needing Jeanine to unlock and locate the file she and Marcus Eaton need on her computer. She is unable to though, as Tori eventually stabs Jeanine in the stomach with a knife, which leads to her death.

Before the Events of Divergent

Jeanine was good friends with Andrew Prior, until he saw her performing a terrible experiment on a factionless man whilst they were still both dependents. This prompted his choosing another faction and his hatred for Erudite.


Being part of Erudite, she possesses qualities that her faction upholds. Her IQ is the highest of the Erudite, leading to her selection as faction leader. She does not show emotion unless it is pain, apart from the point where she was so frustrated by Tris Prior's mind she grabbed Peter's gun and commanded her to "tell her how she does it". Jeanine also attacks Abnegation and targets Candor because they are not highly contributive to the faction system's survival (Amity supplies food, Erudite supplies technology and knowledge, Dauntless supplies protection). Her reasons for her experiments are pure logic and desire for knowledge, becoming frustrated when Tris' reaction to her simulations aren't reasonable. Jeanine often comments on the explanations for Tris' behavior. Tris notes how the Erudite treat her like a great teacher. She is also noted to be snobbish and arrogant, though willing to give in if she believes that the opposing side is correct (agreeing to show Tris her genetic data). The actress that portrays her, Kate Winslet, describes Jeanine as being a "female Hitler".[1]

Physical Appearance


Jeanine Matthews is portrayed by Kate Winslet

Jeanine is described by Tris as having a layer of pudge around her middle section and having a "cold" demeanor. She is blond and has watery "sharp-but-attractive" gray eyes, that look "like liquid metal". It is also noted that her extreme intelligence is able to be perceived externally - Will states that "she's like a walking, talking computer". Tris is reminded of her physical similarities to Jeanine throughout the books.


  • In The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the film adaptation of Insurgent, Jeanine's demise is different. Instead of being attacked and stabbed by Tori Wu, she is arrested and held in a cell. Jeanine's cell is visited by Evelyn Johnson-Eaton, and Jeanine is looking out the window. She wonders what lies outside the city after more than 200 years, and Evelyn remarks that Jeanine will never find out, before shooting Jeanine in the back of the head.


Current Leader/Representative: Jeanine Matthews
Known members:
Caleb Prior | Fernando
Known faction-borns:
Will | Cara | Myra | Edward