|Actress Sharon Tate depicted Marnie in the webseries era|
|First Appearance||Chapter One, Book One|
|Cause of Death||N/A|
|Spouse/Partner|| Evan Blake
|“||I know what Evan told me. I know how beautiful she was and how special she was and how much everyone just loved her. It’s funny, you know. For the longest time, I thought I’d never get him to get over her. Joke was on me, wasn’t it? A ghost was the least of my worries!||”|
— Marnie Blake, Book Four
Margaret Helen Blake, née Adams (January 18, 1943 - ) is Evan's wife, the church secretary at First Baptist of Haven Park, and Jeff Howard's ex-girlfriend and close friend. She is largely regarded as the heroine of the story.
Marnie was the only child born to Henry Adams, the longtime mayor of Haven Park, and his wife Helen. From the day she was born, she's been a celebrity in town, with her birth making front page news in the Haven Park Examiner. Held to a somewhat higher standard than her peers, due to her father's prominent position in town, Marnie did not disappoint. She was winning beauty pageants by the age of 4, excelling in school, graduating with honors at 16 years old and working in city hall by the time she was 20.
Her beauty and poise attracted a number of suitors, but Marnie never seriously dated anyone until she met Jeff Howard. Per book two, their three-month romance in 1963 was the most serious she'd ever had, but they broke up rather abruptly. It is rumored that Jeff's infidelity was the reason behind their split, but neither Marnie nor Jeff have ever confirmed this. They remain close friends, with Marnie at times acting as Jeff's only friend. She vigorously defends him against the gossip in Haven Park, and is always quick to justify his actions, no matter how questionable they may seem. This led Mayor Clayton Pierce to remark, in book three, that Jeff is Marnie's weakness.
Having grown tired of Mayor Pierce's unwanted advances, Marnie resigned as press secretary at city hall, opting to instead become her friend Brett's secretary at First Baptist in 1964. A year later, Marnie embarked on her next serious romance, with widower Evan Blake. At first, they appeared to be quite a mismatch, but despite their differences, they remained committed to making their relationship work. For a year, they quietly grew closer, due to Evan's desperate desire to keep a low profile, and were abruptly wed in June of 1966, with only Marnie's mother Helen and her grandmother present at the ceremony.
Carol's murder and aftermath:
To say that Evan is emotionally scarred is a bit of an understatement. Marnie knew that he blamed himself for his wife Francine's untimely death, but during their first month of marriage, she finally realized how deeply his guilt ran. On the night of the 5th, the night after Carol Mathison was found dead, Marnie came home to find Evan heavily inebriated, lying on the living room and surrounded by photos of his late wife. For just a moment, he believed that Marnie was Francine, before snapping to his senses and profusely apologizing. Marnie did her best to patiently write off his strange behavior, even going so far as to affirm that she still loved him when he asked. Evan then uttered the cryptic phrase: "Marnie, look at me. Look at me. You're looking at a murderer."
Later that night, Marnie's newly widowed and very lonely mother Helen phoned her and they discussed the events of Carol's demise, including the fact that she was living with Marnie's ex Jeff at the time of her death. Helen reminded her daughter that she'd at one time said she intended to marry Jeff, then followed that up with the statement that she was very glad she didn't, otherwise it could have been Marnie that they found in the park. Shocked her mother would say such a thing, Marnie insisted that Jeff had no involvement in the crime, and paid him a visit the next day to see how he was doing. She could tell that he was taking Carol's death extremely hard, but he refused to talk to her and, unsure what else to do, she merely left.
A few days later, directly before Carol's funeral service, Jeff and Shane engaged in a brutal confrontation, and Marnie accompanied Jeff outside and again attempted to get him to open up to her about his feelings. Once again, she was rebuffed, however. The next time she saw Jeff was a few days later, when he dropped by the church to let her know that he'd moved out of Carol's home, and asked for a loan. Unable to agree, given the tight control that Evan liked having over their finances, Marnie suggested that Jeff talk to Brett instead, and Jeff grew immediately uncomfortable, making a hasty getaway. Marnie, feeling guilty for having put him on the spot, attempted to find him later and give him cash, but she was unable to.
Marital troubles, and the final straw:
That night, Marnie returned home defeated, and found Evan again in the midst of one of his episodes. Once more, he mistook her for Francine, and asked her when she intended to tell him she was pregnant. Horrified, Marnie realized that question could only mean one of two things: either the gossip hounds of Haven Park were at it again, or Francine had been pregnant when she passed away. She attempted to ask Evan about it, but he did not give her a straight answer, only rambling that he needed to "take care of something" for the both of them and leaving the house in a drunken state. For the whole rest of the night, Marnie sat up waiting for him, blaming herself for her inability to help him.
The next morning, she found her husband asleep in the car, in the driveway, and tore into him for what he'd put her through. Evan was heavily battered, and his clothes were smeared with dried blood, but he refused to tell her where he'd been the night before, no matter how angry she got. A few days later, after the town learned about Lance's murder, Evan brought the mail to the church, along with flowers. He said he'd been thinking about life and death and dying and his marriage. Marnie used the opportunity to bring to the table a few suggestions for improving relations between them: 1. He needed to stop drinking. 2. He needed to see a counselor to help him sort out the trauma of Francine's death. 3. He needed to start being more honest with her. 4. He needed to take down the shrine to Francine he kept in the living room. Evan easily agreed to all but the last one, angrily firing back that he'd rather she ask him to cut off a limb. Marnie tried to say that he could do it one photo at a time, but Evan wouldn't hear of it at all, leaving angry.
The whole rest of the day, Marnie found herself in a horrible mood, though she realized that the fact she'd gotten him to concede to anything she offered up was nothing short of a miracle. When she got home, she planned to tell him that she was silly to suggest that he take down the photos of Francine, but found that he already had. Emotionally, Evan confessed that he'd been scared to love her for a long time, afraid that would mean he no longer loved Francine, but he was ready to make the leap and move forward, if that was what was best for his marriage. Touched by the gesture, Marnie again offered to let him accomplish this one at a time, but Evan felt that they all needed to go, telling Marnie to take them (along with a letter he'd been writing Francine when she walked in) and put them in the attic, without telling him where they were. She immediately complied.
Meeting Michael and realizing the truth about Jeff and Julia:
The next morning, Marnie held the fort while Brett slept off his night of heavy drinking at Shane's place. Detective Michael Goldman showed up, intent on speaking with Brett, but took the opportunity to "get to know her a little better." He immediately put her on edge with how he appeared to be leering at her, and only alienated her further with his very forward questions about Carol's relationship with Jeff. Marnie denied knowing anything about it, and at that point, Michael revealed everything he'd learned about her from the townspeople - including that she and Jeff were once a very serious item, and remained incredibly close friends. Furious, Marnie placed a call to Mayor Pierce to complain about Michael's behavior and immediately warned Jeff about him when he dropped by the church later in the day.
Jeff seemed nervous about how a detective from Laramie could go from wanting to see Brett one minute to asking questions about him the next, but was quickly distracted talking about a woman he called his "Aphrodite." He lamented having blown his chance with her, and told Marnie how desperately he wanted her back, and Marnie surprised them both with her advice to try and make another go of the relationship. Jeff insisted that it wasn't that easy, because his Aphrodite was a very married woman. Marnie then advised Jeff to speak with Brett on the matter, repulsed that she'd just advised him to have another go at a married woman. Jeff said that he couldn't do that, because it was Brett's wife he was talking about. Immediately, Marnie remembered the conversation she had with Carol at Hazel's Diner, the day she died. Carol told Marnie at the time that Jeff was sleeping with Julia and she'd furiously defended them, and felt like a fool for not realizing that Carol was actually right.
The arrival of Harold and the reveal:
Terri's abrupt return to Haven Park unintentionally gave Marnie an afternoon off and she found her husband was already home when she got there. They spoke for a while about how she was a fool to believe Jeff, and then the phone rang. Marnie, expecting her mother or maybe Jeff, found a British man on the other end of the line, and he asked to speak with Evan. Evan did not seem pleased to get this call and angrily berated the man, then told his wife that Harold was unstable and was not to call there again. Confused, Marnie tried to ask him what happened, but Evan was not willing to offer much more than that, only saying he was sorry she had to see that, because he'd tried very hard to keep it from her.
The next day, Marnie asked her mother Helen about Harold, and found out that he'd had a wife named Prudence, who passed away several years ago. Prudence and Francine were close friends, to the best of Helen's recollection, but before she could say much more, Brett arrived at the church and Marnie shifted her focus to him. She longed to tell him what Jeff had told her yesterday, but realized she could not devastate him that way, especially when his life was such a mess already. Within a few minutes of Brett's arrival, an irate Caleb placed a call to the church, demanding Terri's whereabouts and telling Brett he would kill him if he didn't tell him where she was. Brett immediately left to check on his sister, but not without leaving Marnie the strict instructions to call Shane and lock the door behind him.
A little while later, while Marnie again ranted about Michael's unprofessional behavior to Shane, Jeff arrived at the church and again, he and Shane briefly squared off. Marnie was quick to drag Jeff out of the situation, and he told her about Michael's visit that morning. As much as she wanted to be angry at him for what he'd done with Julia, Marnie still felt compassion toward him, but unfortunately, she could not really advise him on his current predicament. All she could tell him to do was call Julia before Michael showed up to ambush her, and that he needed to leave before Brett caught him there.
That night, she arrived home to a very normal Evan and marveled at how well he'd been doing. Evan affirmed that he was committed to being a better man for her. The next morning, Marnie awoke to the news that Brett had been stabbed, and immediately raced to the hospital to support her friend Julia. Marnie admitted that she knew about Julia's affair in a rather roundabout way -- she told Julia that she knew she would never hurt Brett on purpose, and insisted Brett knew the same. Before Julia could react, a doctor emerged, advising them to both pray very hard, because Brett was in bad shape.
Later that afternoon, Marnie got a surprise visit from Harold, who said he'd come by to see Evan. She was taken aback by him coming there, but quickly deduced he must be lonely and indulged his questions about how long she and Evan had been married and if she knew Francine. Harold confided in her that Francine was a beautiful, if emotionally fragile, woman and remarked that Marnie seemed to be a far more together girl than she was. He advised her to take good care of Evan, because Evan deserved to be happy for a change.
That night, Marnie awoke in the middle of the night to find that Evan was not beside her. She found him outside, and briefly thought to leave him alone, as she thought he was sharing a moment of quiet time with Francine. However, she quickly resolved that they were in this together and swung the door open to find him in a compromising situation with Harold. Stunned, Marnie demanded to know what was happening and Evan tried to deny it, before Harold let out the truth: Harold and Evan were lovers, and had been for more than a decade.
Moving on with Shane:
A few days later, Marnie was joined at the church office by Jeff, and did her best to deflect his concern for her well-being. She'd had to contend with judgment from her mother and many of her friends in the aftermath of her breakup with Evan, and refused to talk about it to anyone. That night, after having been on the receiving end of another of Helen's stern warnings, Marnie found her way to the bar and spent much of the evening drinking away her troubles with Shane. The more the two drank, the more intimate their conversation became. Shane asked her the reason that she'd left her husband and again, Marnie refused to talk about it. This left Shane to speculate that this sort of thing seemed to happen a lot -- an obvious reference to her unsuccessful relationships. Marnie pointed out that one could say the same about Shane, and by the end of the evening, she'd parked herself in his lap. She suggested that they take the party somewhere a little more private and Shane said that he would have to be a fool to say no to her.
The next morning, Marnie awoke to find Shane on the phone with Michael. Horrified, she realized that she'd spent the night with him, and did her best to come up with a cover story so Mother would not be aware. Shane told Marnie that he didn't want things to be awkward between them, something she agreed to, and confided that Harold was at the station, giving Michael an earful. Realizing that Harold was spilling the beans and exposing her private pain to the world at large, Marnie broke down. Shane attempted to console her with the revelation that he viewed her as his dream girl, but it didn't seem to help at all. Marnie went home to ease her hangover, feeling defeated.
That evening, Marnie paid Shane a visit to discuss what Harold had told him earlier. Shane asked her a series of questions about what she knew about Francine's death, and Marnie swore that she didn't believe Evan would've intentionally hurt his wife. She told Shane about some of his darker secrets, including the shrine to Francine and the fact he'd drunkenly mistaken her for Francine more than once. Shane found her vulnerability appealing and moved forward, as if to kiss her. Marnie quickly backed out of the situation, reminding him that he'd said they were both adults and that he didn't want anything to be awkward between them. Shane did his best to apologize, but Marnie still left angry.
The next morning, she saw Shane again at the church and tried to brush off his attempts at an apology, telling him that the church was not the proper place to discuss those matters. Shane said she was right, and asked if she'd like to get coffee with him later. Marnie accepted the invitation, but was quick to point out that she'd only done so because she didn't want to go back home to her mother. Later, Michael showed up at the church and attempted to ask her about the conversation he'd had with Harold, but Marnie refused to tell him anything. Evan stumbled into their conversation and drunkenly demanded that she go into the office to talk with him. Michael attempted to intervene, but Marnie still conceded, rather than let Evan make a public spectacle of himself.
In the office, Evan apologized to Marnie and begged her to come home. Marnie told him that she did not want to come home to someone who lied to her, and Evan told her that she had to forgive him, because he'd already forgiven her. When asked for what, Evan replied, "For sleeping with that cop." Though she was horrified that he knew of her dalliance with Shane, Marnie still chose to say nothing of it and attempted to tell Evan that what they shared was over, because she could not trust him. Over the course of the conversation, Evan got crazier and crazier -- which eventually caused both Shane and Brett to intervene. Shane attacked Evan when he made a reference to how whomever stabbed Brett should've finished the job, and Evan quickly saw himself out. Marnie followed him to the door and Evan told her that her new boyfriend couldn't have her, because he was not giving up that easily.
Later, Marnie waited for Shane at the diner and struggled to rationalize all of the turmoil of the past few weeks. She thought about what Evan had done, and wondered how he could've known about her rendezvous with Shane. She also considered what Brett's resignation would mean for her future at the church, before being joined by Jeff. Marnie was very happy to see him, even though she expressed disapproval over the way he'd acquired enough cash to leave the waitress a five-dollar tip, mere days after telling her he was broke. Jeff refused to admit where the money had come from, and before Marnie could press him any further, Michael showed up, intent on finishing his earlier conversation with her. All over again, Marnie told Michael that she had nothing to say to him, but that didn't stop him from continuing to antagonize her. When Jeff confronted Michael about handing over his supposedly confidential statement to Stan, Michael denied it, saying that it was possible Shane had done it, given that Shane didn't like Jeff very much anyway. Marnie knew quite well that it was a possibility, but still did her best to calm Jeff down as he raged that he was going to kill that son of a bitch.
Another Place and Time:
In part one of the Another Place and Time interlude, taking place in the alternate timeline of 1981, Marnie is divorced from Shane, and the mother of his two children: twelve-year old Courtney and nine-year old Trey. She continues to work alongside her ex-husband, serving as an advisor for his mayoral campaign. This infuriates Shane's current live-in girlfriend, Carol. While Marnie is not seen in the interlude, Carol fumes about her nonetheless, saying how helpless she is when it comes to the children, how she relies on Shane for advice too often, among other things.
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (the prequel):
Book 4.5 finds Marnie working at a clothing store, alongside a young lady named Alice, who routinely complains about her beau and announces her intention to break up with him. Marnie's morning goes from bad to worse when Carol arrives, seeking a dress for her housewarming party. Marnie's conscience gets the best of her when Carol asks her opinion on a particularly glaring (yet expensive) ensemble, and she tells her the truth, costing Alice a sale. A short time later, Jeff shows up, being the beau Alice referred to, and attempts to tell her about his good fortune, but Alice ignores him in favor of her customer. This leaves him to talk to Marnie instead, and she tries her best to hide her flushed reaction to his attention. When he is finally able to tell Alice about his financial windfall, she forgets all about her anger and agrees to leave with him, but not before Carol voices her displeasure about the situation, then dresses Marnie down for not knowing her size. Jeff intervenes, making small talk to turn Carol's attention away from Marnie, which makes her heart swell even more. After Jeff and Alice leave, Marnie is surprised when Carol takes it upon herself to offer her a little advice: Jeff is trouble, and she'd best not try to pursue a relationship with him, because he is worthless. Marnie quickly denies being interested.
Character conception and representation:
In the original version of the story, Marnie didn't differ from the version seen here. She was a strong, yet caring and compassionate young lady, with a heart for those around her and an unexplainable weakness for Jeff. The only real difference between the two versions of Marnie is I believe the current incarnation is just a bit more headstrong. I doubt the Marnie of old would have stood up to her husband the way that this Marnie has, and it's made for a more compelling story, by far.
During Independence Day's webseries era, actress Sharon Tate served as Marnie's visual representation.
I am something of a Sharon Tate fanatic (anyone who knows me could tell you how much I adore her), and when I originally put ID online in 2009, I had to do quite a bit of justification to my burgeoning audience about the use of Sharon's image. Once more, just to be on the safe side: Sharon is not Marnie, nor vice versa. I never wanted to try and capitalize on what happened to Sharon in any way, shape or form and I would never do something to intentionally dishonor her memory. In fact, Marnie is one character that comes through the entire story without a single hair on her pretty blonde head harmed in any way -- though it's something of a spoiler, it needs to be stated. I had (and have) no intention on capitalizing on a very real tragedy and maligning Sharon's image, just so we are all clear. This has been a public service announcement.