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Lena is the main protagonist of the novel and film Annihilation. Her goal is to investigate what is going on in the field an alien known as the Shimmer is creating after his impact with Earth after her husband Kane gets sick when he goes into the field.

She is portrayed by Natalie Portman, who also portrayed Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Nina Sayers in Black Swan, Evey Hammond in V For Vendetta, Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Novalee Nation in Where the Heart Is.


A US Army veteran, Lena is Kane's wife and a cellular biology professor. Lena is at first thrilled when her husband returns from his mission into a mutated area. Unfortunately, Kane starts to feel sick, and the government officials have to quarantine him. Lena is worried about her husband's fate, and she and a psychologist named Dr. Ventress explain that something weird has happened in the lighthouse where an asteroid struck. They, two scientists named Josie and Cassie, and a paramedic named Anya then form a new team to enter the Shimmer to follow Kane's previous team.

Along the way, Lena and her team encounter trouble after trouble. First, Josie gets ambushed by an alligator-shark hybrid while she explores an abandoned house, which they kill as the monster creeps from his den. They do find an abandoned military base where they find a recording of Kane's mission. Then, a bear sneaks into the abandoned military base where Lena's team found the recording of the previous mission, and Cassie becomes his unlucky target as she tries to fend him off. The team finds Cassie's remains and pronounce her as deceased.

Later, in an abandoned city, the team finds a forest with overgrown plants; their form being roughly humanoid. Josie, that evening, states that the region can refract DNA.

Unfortunately that night, Anya turns traitor. The team tries their best to escape or sedate her wrath, but she still captures them, stating that talking to her is banned, but she herself can still talk to them. At the same time, the same bear that was Cassie's murderer returns, his brain having been refracted to vocalize her screams, so the team at first thinks she is crying for help, which Lena denies quickly, since Cassie died. The bear burders Anya as she fights him, but the rest of the team kill the bear via gunfire.

Ventress goes on ahead of her team, her insinuation being that she wants to complete the journey before she changes. Josie then notices that her own body is changing into plant matter, so she runs off, refracting into flowers, which kills her.

Lena then goes on her own. She finds the light house and walks inside, where she sees, much to her horror, a recording where Kane (presumably) lost his sense of identity because of his mutations, and this has caused him to self-destruct with a phosphorous grenade. Lena presses on, whereupon she finds that Ventress is in a chamber in the lighthouse. Ventress has lost her eyes, and her DNA is now warping. She tells Lena that that she has been infected by a creature called the Shimmer and that everything will be destroyed by the alien being, at which point the irate monster reveals his true form, disintegrating Ventress and absorbing her ashes in the process, horrifying Lena as she sees him materialize. Lena is then sicced by the Shimmer against a humanoid being which she attempts to kill. However, it absorbs Lena's shots, so she makes a run, only to be cornered. After a brief battle, Lena kills the construct by putting a phosphorous grenade in his hands and pulling the trigger. She then makes a run as the being collapses, taking the Shimmer down with himself and destroying everything else created by him.

Lena returns home where she is interrogated on the Shimmer and his properties. She admits that the being was creating something new. Then, she and a healed Kane meet up. They question each other's identities for a while, and embrace, their eyes changing colour somehow.