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Character Deep Dive: Lorelai Gilmore

Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore GIrls
©WB/CW

Portrayed by: Lauren Graham
Show: CW’s Gilmore Girls

She was fast-talking and quick-witted, but more than anything, Lorelai Gilmore had a plethora of heart. She grumbled, she complained, and she was “a whole mood” all throughout Gilmore Girls’ seven-season run, but because she cared so profoundly, we cared just as much too.

Gilmore Girls isn’t a perfect show, yes, it’s joyous and delightful to re-watch, but there are countless problems throughout the series—however, Lorelai Gilmore’s arc isn’t one you’ll ever hear me complain about. At least not extensively. In short, it was lovely, raw, and acutely presented through the kind of storytelling that worked to put the character front and center.

She was many things, she said even more, and she loved so fiercely, it’s the reason the town of Stars Hollow always benefited from knowing her despite how much they’d drive her bonkers. She was resilient, brave, and so profoundly loving, I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t adore her when they watched.

Lorelai Gilmore, The Mother

As far as identities go, Lorelai Gilmore is many things, but first and foremost, she is a mother. That’s the role we know without a shadow of a doubt, she loves most, and that’s the role the viewers are meant to appreciate most. She got pregnant when she was 16 and then, she was abandoned. In truth, the older I get, the more I can see just how much Emily and Richard Gilmore tried to patch things up with their daughter, but when I was younger, Lorelai’s resilience is what meant the most to me.

She brought Rory Gilmore into the world, and every little detail about her is a testament to who Lorelai was as her mother. She loved so fiercely, and she cared so fervently that despite the hiccups, Rory grew up to be the kind of kid who’d understand just what it took to be raised by a mother like her. She’d know that she is who she is because of the woman who raised her. The woman who’d given her life for her, and the woman who chose to be her friend because she loved her with such colossal fervency, she wanted to know every bit of the real woman her daughter turned out to be.

She would give the world for Rory Gilmore because the love in her heart is so big, so vast and encompassing, there’s nothing she wouldn’t have done to ensure that her daughter not only had the best life, but that she learned what mattered in life. She built her up in such a way where she’d be lacking of nothing and ultimately, that’s the best thing we can all wish for.

The Resilience

Lorelai Gilmore comes from money, but she never relied on it to work towards what she wanted. She gave everything that she had because she wanted to know she had worked for what was given to her. She was a product of more rules and regulations, and she took the vibrant energy and placed it into endurance. The DragonFly Inn was her second baby in more ways than one because so much of what it became directly resulted from her perseverance.

Lorelai grew right alongside viewers as a character who tirelessly messed up but continued to learn along the way. 

In every way that mattered, she tried—and it was those very efforts, however wrong they may have been, that drove the story all throughout the seasons. It was as much of a learning process for Lorelai Gilmore as it was for the viewers.

The fact is, it’s difficult to encompass all that Lorelai was throughout the seven-season run in a single deep dive. Still, the gist of it all comes down her traits and the ways in which she continuously tried to deal with everything head-on, even while there were blurred lines in front of her.

No one is perfect, and certainly, no character is perfect; otherwise, that’d make them boring. She was a good friend even while she made mistakes. She was a good mother even as she learned alongside her daughter’s life. And she was a good daughter even when her relationship with her parents was so jaded. 

She was the perfect kind of ambivert. Time with her friends and the town was joyous, but as was a movie night with Chinese food and quality time spent with Rory. Whatever she loved, Lorelai Gilmore was always wide-eyed in front of it, unabashedly outspoken about all the reasons why—Rory, coffee, and snow, on the top of the list. 

She was broken in more ways than one, but so often, she pushed her pain back, and with the conversations surrounding mental health in media today, I would’ve loved to see how she’d handle therapy. Lorelai talks fast and a lot, but she could’ve also talked a bit more about the pain inside her. In a sense, much like Friday Night Lights’ Tami Taylor, there was always something so comforting about Lorelai Gilmore on our screens, and so few characters hold that position. 

As most of my favorite characters tend to be, Lorelai Gilmore was complex and multi-faceted. She cried and she laughed and she fought like hell for the things she believed in. She didn’t give up on those she loved and whatever she felt, she felt it hard—the frustrations, the happiness, the heartaches, the betrayals, the love.

In every way, Lorelai Gilmore was the kind of character whose personality would be remembered by all viewers. She is beloved because of the person she chose to be in every area of life.And a character like Lorelai Gilmore could not have been brought to life by any other actor except Lauren Graham, who grew to care for her just as deeply as the audience did. Episode after episode, Lauren Graham was the kind of actress whose innate embodiment of the character came from her heart. And as a massive fan of her book Talking as Fast as I Can, I grew to appreciate Lorelai even more after reading.

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