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Rory Gilmore’s Inevitable Downfall: A Brief Character Analysis

If you have a mood board to motivate you when studying, chances are that you have an image of Rory Gilmore somewhere in there. Bonus points if it’s the scene where she famously says, “Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?”

Like Elle Woods, Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls became an icon for those who are in an institution of higher education. A quick scroll through TikTok will let you know that Elle and Rory appeal to the younger demographic as well. However, when comparing both characters to one another, you will notice that one seemed to have had a much more successful life than the other.

Like anyone else, after watching the entirety of the original 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, I researched what people thought of Rory. As I had expected, many fellow watchers voiced their disappointment in this character, and some felt strongly about how she handled a myriad of situations. It reached a general consensus; they viewed her as spoiled, coddled, and entitled.

Nonetheless, many fail to realize that she is not completely at fault for being raised this way. She was incessantly held to a high standard by her family and the whole community of Stars Hollow. She was put on a pedestal that she was bound to fall off of. That said, Rory had her own unconventional family problems at home. Her grandparents desperately wanted her to be the daughter they wished Lorelai was. On the other hand, Lorelai lived vicariously through Rory, and wanted her to avoid the mistakes she did as a teenager. Furthermore, Lorelai treated her the way she would’ve wanted to be treated as a teenager. This meant that Lorelai coddled her when she was rightfully criticized by other characters, but Lorelai presumably did this because she wished someone would’ve had compassion towards her when she was younger. Since coddling and praise is something Rory had only ever known, everything came crashing down on her when she faced real life and learned that the world wouldn’t bend backward to accommodate her. Her golden child image was shattered the moment she was not a flawless person that is incapable of committing mistakes. She was not given the safe space to learn from her missteps.

As a result, we see something like a domino effect following her into her older years on the revival miniseries of Gilmore Girls. There are some situations that I can’t support older Rory with, and I strongly feel that there are things she should be held accountable for, but I feel a lot of sympathy for her younger self in the original series. I hope Amy Sherman-Palladino would consider making a second season of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life to understand the characters thoroughly and obtain more information about the small cliffhanger she left us with. Give the fans what they want, Amy!

Frida is currently a junior at University of Texas at San Antonio. She is pursuing a B.A in English and Politics & Law. She is driven by passion for justice. She enjoys watching films, discovering new music, and spending time with her loved ones.
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