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Main characters are divided into two groups, original main characters and those who have been promoted to main character status since season two.
With the exception of injury to the actors, these characters have appeared in all episodes.
Lorelai Victoria Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham, is the only daughter of Richard and Emily Gilmore. She is the mother of Lorelai "Rory" Leigh Gilmore. She became pregnant at the age of 16 but refused to marry Christopher Hayden, Rory's father, because she felt that a marriage at such a young age would not work out. Instead she ran away to the town of Stars Hollow, which is half an hour away from Hartford. In Stars Hollow she meets Mia, the owner of the Independence Inn. She begs Mia to hire her though she has no experience of any kind. Mia gives Lorelai a job as a maid and allows Lorelai and Rory to live in a converted potting shed behind the inn, where they live for most of Rory's early childhood. Lorelai eventually becomes the executive manager of the inn, which is the position she holds when the first season of the show opens.
Later, Lorelai and her best friend Sookie St. James find an old run-down inn called the Dragonfly Inn. When its owner dies, they decide to buy it. However, the Independence Inn is in a point of crisis due to a recent fire, causing the pair to question the timing of their new endeavor. Further they lack sufficient money for the purchase and renovation costs, primarily because Rory is denied financial aid at Yale, and Lorelai must come up with the money herself. To alleviate the situation, Rory asks her grandparents to lend her money for her tuition at Yale so that Lorelai and Sookie are able to purchase The Dragonfly Inn.
Lorelai is very witty and full of pop culture references. She has a very specific taste in movies, music, and TV. She has said she is a fan of the bands U2, Weezer, Metallica, and The Bangles. On Karaoke Night in season seven, she sings the song "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton. Some of her favorite movies are His Girl Friday, Funny Face, and Casablanca, which she claims has "no bad parts." She is also addicted to coffee, takeout food, and she loves to shop for clothes and shoes. When her father gives her a check for $75,000 because the government was building a road on a property that Richard bought under her name, she exclaims, "That's 150 pairs of Jimmy Choos!"
Lorelai and the local diner owner, Luke Danes, have a close relationship throughout the show but don't start dating until the fifth season. They broke up due to the meddling of her mother and her ex, Christopher. They later got back together when Emily, Lorelai's mother, went to Luke and told him she would no longer interfere if they got back together. They end up reuniting, get engaged, and are a couple through the sixth season until the season finale, when Lorelai gives him an ultimatum and they break up. Throughout most of the seventh and final season of the show, they aren't together because Lorelai starts dating and then marries Christopher, but she and Christopher break up about mid-way through the season. Lorelai and Luke presumably get back together at the end of the season, as she kisses him at Rory's farewell party and the next morning, wears the necklace he gave her as she and Rory eat breakfast at the diner.
Lorelai Leigh "Rory" Gilmore, played by Alexis Bledel, is the only child of Lorelai Gilmore and the first-born daughter of Christopher Hayden, born on October 8, 1984 at 4:03 a.m. Rory shares her mother's taste in junk food, coffee, movies, music, and much more. They both exhibit a talent for witty, fast-paced, pop-culture-laden dialogue, and they are extremely close. Rory spent her childhood in the Independence Inn in Stars Hollow where her mother originally worked as a maid. Lorelai was later able to buy a house in town when Rory is 11, and they remain there through the end of the show.
The series pilot indicates that Rory harbours a long-held dream to study at Harvard University, and it is for this reason she transfers from Stars Hollow public high school to the prestigious Chilton Preparatory. She attends Chilton for her sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. Lorelai is forced to ask her parents for help to pay Chilton's tuition fees, ending their relative-estrangement since Rory's birth. Rory grows close to Emily and Richard, especially her grandfather, although she also comes into conflict with them periodically. The developing relationship between grandparents and granddaughter is also a source of contention between Rory and Lorelai.
Except on one occasion in the first season, in the 15th episode titled 'Christopher Returns', Rory has no contact with her paternal grandparents, Straub and Francine Hayden. At a Friday night dinner with the Gilmores at which Rory is present, Straub states that Lorelai's pregnancy ruined Christopher's future. Emily later reassures Rory that her birth is not a disappointment to them.
Before leaving Stars Hollow High School, Rory met schoolmate Dean Forester, who became her first steady boyfriend. Rory and Dean date during two and a half seasons before Dean ends the relationship, alleging she has been attracted to Jess Mariano, the nephew of Luke Danes, since he first arrived in Stars Hollow. As it turns out, he is absolutely correct, as Rory and Jess have a magnetic connection to each other. Rory and Jess date in season three, but trust and communication issues plague the relationship, and it ends when Jess departs for California shortly before Rory graduates from Chilton. Rory contends with Lorelai’s suspicion of her boyfriends; though her mother comes to accept Dean, Lorelai never warms to Jess. As part of her coming of age, Rory attends her first formal dance with Dean, makes her society debut with him, and, after a false-start, reciprocates his “I love you.” In her relationship with Jess, Rory is shown for the first time to be considering losing her virginity.
During her time at Chilton, Rory becomes engaged in a feud with close academic rival, Paris Geller. Though the two later become friends, their relationship remains characterised by a rivalry which continues into their university studies. At Chilton, Rory must often decide to what degree she will seek to fit in socially, as well as being subject to the strain of constant pressure to achieve academically. She receives her first bad grade, misses an important test and is reprimanded, first for being anti-social, and later, for joining Chilton’s secret sorority, The Puffs. Rory achieves much academic success, but anxiously studies for finals and SATs, and applies to Ivy League universities, Harvard, Princeton and Yale. She also reluctantly runs for student government with Paris and wins, and writes for the Chilton paper, The Franklin.
After graduating from Chilton as valedictorian, Rory attends Yale University in season four, having decided that the benefits of Yale outweighed her dream of studying at Harvard in season three. Rory resides in Branford College, the same residential college of her grandfather, Richard Gilmore. Rory majors in English and pursues her interest in journalism; she wants to be a foreign correspondent and her role-model is Christiane Amanpour. She writes for the Yale Daily News and is its editor towards the end of her studies.
During her first year at Yale, Rory has only one date, although Jess returns unexpectedly and tells her he loves her. He leaves before she can make any response. Rory also turns to Dean for support when she is stunned to be failing a class at Yale, and later, when she needs to be driven home from a bar after completing her finals for the year. The same night, Jess returns again, interrupting Dean and Rory at her dorm, just as Rory is confronting Dean about his marriage and their intimate friendship. Jess asks Rory to begin their relationship anew, away from Stars Hollow and Yale, and live with him in New York. Upset and confused after a tumultuous year and a burgeoning rapport with Dean, Rory declines and Jess leaves. Confiding in Lane soon after, Rory says she appreciates the dependability of Dean, reflecting that Jess was attractive in a number of ways, but that she no longer finds his unreliable and unpredictable nature appealing.
In the season four finale, Rory rekindles her relationship with Dean and loses her virginity to him. This choice is the subject of an intense fight between Rory and Lorelai, chiefly because Dean is married to Lindsay at the time. Rory leaves for Europe with her grandmother and barely communicates with Lorelai. Dean separates from Lindsay and the pair date during Rory's sophomore year in season five, though obstacles make the period difficult. Dean ends the relationship when Rory is late to meet him: she is detained at a party arranged by her grandparents to introduce her to the wealthy and eligible sons of their Yale alumni friends.
One of these bachelors, Logan Huntzberger, heir to the Huntzberger newspaper-publishing empire, had already begun to interest Rory before her relationship with Dean ended. She accompanied him to a woodland meeting of a secret society at Yale, The Life and Death Brigade, in order to prepare an article for the Yale Daily News. After waiting for him to ask her out, Rory decides to approach him at her grandparents’ vow-renewal. Their relationship begins casually as a "no strings attached" affair because Logan makes it clear he is averse to commitment in a relationship. However, as time passes, Rory grows dissatisfied with their open relationship, and after a day of drunken introspection, she suggests they should end their sexual relationship and be friends because she is “a girlfriend kind of girl.” Logan interprets this as an ultimatum and unexpectedly agrees to date her exclusively. At her first time to dinner at Logan’s family home, the Huntzbergers reject Rory as a fit girlfriend for their son because of her aspirations to work and her background. However, Logan affirms his commitment to their relationship, although the pressure exerted by the Huntzbergers continues to dog the couple.
At least partly as a conciliatory gesture, Logan’s father, Mitchum Huntzberger, who was not present at the dinner, offers Rory an internship at one of his newspapers, the Stamford Eagle Gazette. Rory accepts and after some initial difficulties, she looks forward to an assessment of her performance by Mitchum. To Rory’s chagrin, Mitchum informs her that she does not have what it takes to be a journalist, although she would make a good assistant. Upset and angry, Rory, cajoles Logan away from his sister’s engagement party, held at a marina, to steal a yacht and vent her frustration. When apprehended, Rory is sentenced to 300 hours of community service and rethinks her lifelong ambitions and current path at Yale. Her decision to take time off to consider her options precipitates the most sustained rift with Lorelai to date, beginning in the season five finale. She moves in to her grandparents’ pool house, and works at Emily’s branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Rory and Lorelai barely speak for months and are only reconciled mid-season six, in ‘The Prodigal Daughter Returns’.
Experiencing some problems with restricted liberty living with her grandparents, chiefly centering on her sexual relationship with Logan, Rory reassesses her life after another unexpected visit from Jess, who has achieved something with his own life by writing a novel and who encourages her to see that her current choices do not suit who she really is. However, Jess’s visit and Rory’s subsequent realization that she is doing nothing with her life precipitate an argument with Logan and the couple are estranged for some time. Rory doggedly pursues her former editor for a job at the Stamford Eagle Gazette, takes on extra courses at Yale to make up for her time away and is unexpectedly elected editor of the Yale Daily News, taking over from Paris.
Logan woos Rory back, but when she discovers he has slept with some of his sister’s bridesmaids during their time apart, she feels betrayed and their relationship experiences some difficulties as a result. This period of awkwardness coincides with an invitation to see Jess at an open house held at his place of work, Truncheon Books, Philadelphia. Jess and Rory’s visit ends with an aborted kiss between the ex-lovers, and Rory dispels Jess’s assumption that she is single by affirming her love for Logan despite their problems.
Rory and Logan reunite and cement their relationship despite his post-graduation spell working in London, England, and a failed business. She cultivates new friendships with girls involved in the arts and drama, Olivia and Lucy, although these relationships become fraught when Marty, a friend who had a crush on Rory in an earlier season, is revealed to be Lucy’s boyfriend. Having been unexpectedly elected editor of the Yale Daily News, Rory’s tenure later comes to an end and leaves her feeling deflated. She continues to work towards her goal, applying for the Reston Fellowship, to become an intern at the New York Times, as well as applying and interviewing for other jobs. She turns down one firm job offer, counting on getting the Reston Fellowship. When she is rejected, Rory is in turmoil, unable to concentrate on a final exam about John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost and generally experiencing great uncertainty about her future.
At Rory’s own graduation party, Logan unexpectedly proposes marriage and asks her to move to Palo Alto, California, with him. She considers his offer but ultimately declines, suggesting they try to maintain a long-distance relationship. She says that she relishes the openness of her life and the opportunities before her: marriage now would limit that. Logan, however, finds the prospect of “going backwards” in their relationship unappealing and issues the ultimatum that it is “all or nothing”. Rory wordlessly returns his engagement ring and Logan walks away.
In the series finale, Rory prepares hundreds of résumés to mail to prospective employers just before she and Lorelai are to embark on a summer-long vacation visiting roller coasters throughout the United States. During a networking meeting with the editor of an on-line magazine for which she had previously written articles, Rory is offered the opportunity to become a reporter for that magazine and to travel with other journalists covering Barack Obama's presidential campaign and his bid for the Democratic Party nomination, when another reporter drops out at the last moment. She accepts and faces the challenge of entering the world of work and leaving her mother behind in Stars Hollow.
Sookie St. James, played by Melissa McCarthy, is the loveable control freak and scatterbrain/klutzy best friend of Lorelai Gilmore. Sookie is the executive chef at the Independence Inn and later, the co-owner and head chef at the Dragonfly Inn.
Throughout the series, Sookie is Lorelai's business partner and cheerleader. Sookie shares a somewhat antagonistic relationship with Michel the hotel's front desk clerk. She is also the one person who consistently champions Lorelai and Luke's romantic relationship, long before they were involved.
She dates and later marries Jackson Belleville, a sweet but whiny vegetable farmer with an extremely odd family. They eventually have two children: Davey and Martha. At the end of the series, Sookie is again pregnant.
Alex Borstein, the real-life wife of actor Jackson Douglas, who plays Jackson Belleville, was originally cast in the role of Sookie St. James, but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts, mostly voicing Lois Griffin on the animated Fox series Family Guy. Instead, she has taken miscellaneous supporting roles throughout the show, including Drella, the harpist from Season 1, and Miss Celine in Seasons 3 and 5.
Lane Hyun-kyung Kim, later Lane Van Gerbig, played by Keiko Agena, was born and raised in Stars Hollow. She is the rock-and-roll loving child of strict Seventh-Day Adventist/Korean/Vegan parents. (Lane's father, known only as Mr. Kim, is never seen on camera, nor are his whereabouts ever mentioned; but Lane refers to her father in Season 1, Episode 1, and to her "parents" on many other occasions, and specifically refers to "my mother and father" in Season 2. On one occasion, a faceless man drives Lane to the airport to visit Korean relatives for the summer.) At a very young age, Lane was forced to start hiding her interests and hobbies from her family, and she uses loose floorboards and the back of her closet to hide her enormous collection of non-Christian music, books and cosmetics against her mother's strong disapproval. Lane and her best friend Rory Gilmore use hollowed-out books and a variety of other pretexts and subterfuge in an attempt to help Lane live a more mainstream life. She constantly complains of her mother's over-protectiveness and strictness, which she views as trying to control her life.
Lane attends Stars Hollow High along with Rory Gilmore until Rory leaves that high school and begins attending Chilton Academy in her sophomore year. Lane is a cheerleader and describes herself as a "dedicated audiophile," although this is a bit of a misnomer, since audiophiles, by definition, are most interested in the technical details associated with high fidelity recording and playback, whereas Lane is actually interested in the history of modern music, its production, and its influences on pop culture, which make her more of a music fanatic. Eventually, she joins a band consisting of Dave Rygalski, Brian Fuller, and Zack Van Gerbig (Todd Lowe). Lane and Dave begin a romantic relationship that largely involves intricate strategies for hiding their relationship from her mother and their bandmates until, in Season 3, they are forced by circumstances to make their relationship public and Dave is allowed to date Lane only because her mother believes Dave to be a devout Christian. The following year, Dave moves to California to attend college. Sebastian Bach's character, Gil, replaces Dave on guitar, and Zack replaces Dave as Lane's romantic interest. During the period of Rory and Lorelai's estrangement from each other in Season 6, Lane's relationship with her mother and with her band are featured more prominently than in prior years. In Season 6, the band splits up but later reunites when Zack proposes marriage to Lane while she is working at Luke's Diner, and they are married shortly thereafter. In Season 7, Lane becomes pregnant with twins. At the end of "Gilmore Girls Only" (Season 7, Episode 17), Lane gives birth to twin boys, Kwan and Steve.
Michel Gerard, played by Yanic Truesdale, is a French concierge who works at the Independence Inn with Lorelai and Sookie. He eats a very strict diet and is very style conscious. He has a history of having little patience for rude guests and can himself be rude when conducting business, throwing tantrums that Lorelai has to talk him down from. However, it is understood that he is highly skilled at his job and that Lorelai and Sookie consider him a valuable member of their team. During the time that Lorelai and Sookie are switching over to the Dragonfly Inn, Michel is worried that they aren't going to bring him along. They reassure Michel that they really do care about him. While Michel is typically indifferent or uncaring towards children and babies, he dotes on his Chow Chow dogs, brothers named Paw-paw and Chin-chin. Before the test run for the Dragonfly Inn he even asserted that he cared for his dogs as much as Lorelai cared for Rory. Though Chin Chin died later in the series, Michel continued to be devoted to the surviving dog, Paw-Paw. Michel is also obsessed with Destiny's Child, particularly shown when Sookie wouldn't let him take his blueberry pancakes unless he had sworn an 'oath' – "(may) Destiny's Child break up if (he) count(ed) these blueberries" – after which he responded that she should pick another group. The counting would be because Michel was only 'allowed' 12 blueberries per day, as his strict diet would prescribe him. When she declined, he left his pancakes. Michel shows an even greater fondness towards Celine Dion, as he has attended many of her concerts. Once he leaves Lorelai hanging without a male date to bring to Lane's wedding to Zach, even though she needed a date to go, so that he could attend a Celine Dion concert. He also has an appreciation for the "finer things," and therefore has a great respect for Lorelai's mother Emily and her lifestyle. In season 7 episode 3, Michel escorts Lorelai to her first cotillion, and dances with her. He has a giggly girlfriends-like relationship with his mother, which he insists is maintained by only discussing superficial topics and never divulging the details of his personal life. While he often expresses to the other citizens of Stars Hollow his contempt for them, this is an exaggeration, as he does occasionally let down his guard and enjoy their company. Throughout the series, he appears to have grown in affection for Lorelai, Sookie, Rory, and the other people of Stars Hollow, and has generally become more laid-back and friendly.
Lucas "Luke" Danes, played by Scott Patterson, is the owner of "Luke's Diner" in Stars Hollow. His mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise Luke and his sister, Liz. In season two, Luke reveals Liz left the town at the earliest opportunity and is a constant source of trouble to him, not least with her numerous ill-fated relationships and failed careers. By contrast, Luke is dependable, hard-working and somewhat of a traditionalist. After his father's death, Luke converted the family hardware store to the diner, having worked there in his youth. He keeps most of the original architecture intact as a way of honoring his father, with whom it is implied he was close.
Luke has a gruff, world-weary personality, but his image softens as the series progresses, and his willingness to help friends and family becomes apparent. He is close to both Rory and Lorelai, who are very frequent customers in his diner. He has grown very fond of them over the years and is shown offering them practical assistance in their home, at Lorelai's Inn and in moments of crisis. He notoriously disapproves of the mother and daughter's coffee-drinking and junk-food diet. Early in the show, he expresses concern for the environmental impact of golf courses and complains that American Revolution was a war fought to hold stolen land, but such remarks seem to arise from contrarianism more than political ideology.
In season one, Luke and Lorelai's relationship begins to grow from playful antagonism to true friendship, and it is evident that Luke has romantic feelings for Lorelai. However, his attempts to express his feelings are continuously thwarted, often by other people, such as Lorelai's on-again, off-again boyfriend Max Medina and Luke's similarly intermittent girlfriend, Rachel (played by Lisa Ann Hadley). Rachel is a photographer who travels the world for months at a time, and in the past she has returned to Luke and abruptly left him numerous times, causing him much heartbreak. She returns in season one, promising that she will remain permanently, but she leaves at the end of the season when it becomes clear that Luke has developed feelings for Lorelai.
When Lorelai announces her engagement to Max, Luke pretends to be happy for her but also draws attention to how little she knows Max. He later apologizes and presents her with a wedding gift: a chuppah for Max and her to stand under for the ceremony. He is very happy when the engagement is called off in season two.
Later in season two, Liz sends her son, Jess, to live with Luke. Jess has been in trouble in New York, though the details remain vague, and Liz is unable or unwilling to deal with the issue. According to both Luke and Jess, Liz is unreliable and unstable. Luke and Jess's relationship is difficult. They are in some ways very similar, sharing anti-social, sarcastic, and pessimistic traits. But Jess's problems with authority and Luke's inexperience at parenting cause communication problems and arguments between them. Luke sends an unresisting Jess back to New York after a car accident in which Jess is driving and Rory fractures her wrist. Lorelai blames Luke in an angry confrontation and they are estranged for some months.
Jess returns in the season two finale and promises to obey Luke's rules but their communication problems remain and Jess fails to graduate from high school – one of Luke's conditions for staying in Stars Hollow – missing too many days of school in order to work full-time hours at Walmart. Luke angrily issues the ultimatum that Jess retakes senior year and graduates, or leaves. Jess leaves to find his father in Venice Beach, California, and Luke feels he failed his nephew. Jess returns in season 4 and Luke and he argue about Liz's newest boyfriend; when Luke pressures Jess to intervene in his mother's life, Jess accuses Luke of attempting to change people for their own good but pressuring them too hard: when they fail, they feel worse because they also failed him. Luke is upset and it is one of the rare occasions when he gets drunk. Later in season four, he confronts Jess in New York for wasting his life and declining the invitation to his mother's wedding. Out of feeling for his uncle, Jess returns to Stars Hollow for the event, although the two come to blows during the bachelor party when Luke breaks up a fight between Jess and his new stepfather. Luke offers Jess romantic advice which Jess takes to heart and they part on good terms. Jess promises to pay Luke back and expresses his gratitude, while Luke promises he will always be there for his nephew. In season six, during an open day for Jess’s publisher and place of work, Truncheon Books, Philadelphia, Luke tells Jess he is proud of him and what he has achieved, and reluctantly accepts Jess’s check for “what’s owed”.
In season two, Luke buys the building next door to him in order to renovate his apartment and make it large enough for both him and Jess to live in. In season three, Taylor Doose, the town selectman and frequent antagonist to Luke, rents the store beside the diner. Luke consequently meets and dates Nicole Leahy (played by Tricia O’Kelly), Taylor's lawyer. His affection for Lorelai causes friction between them, and his difficulties with Jess result in Luke making a bad impression on Nicole’s parents. However, while on a cruise, they impulsively get married but decide to divorce when they return. Despite trying again with the relationship, it ends when Nicole has an affair. Luke is arrested when he takes his frustration out on the lover’s car. The relationship with Nicole brings a degree of distance between Luke and Lorelai, who is hurt by the suddenness of his decisions and his neglecting to confide in her. However, she bails him out of jail and repair their friendship.
In season four, after denying his feelings for Lorelai for years, Luke realizes that he is in love with her with the assistance of a self-help course. Luke invites Lorelai to his sister’s wedding and the two kiss at the season finale. They date for much of season 5, to the displeasure of Lorelai's parents, who dislike Luke's blue collar status. Emily encourages Christopher, Rory's father, to pursue Lorelai and oust Luke. At Emily and Richard’s vow-renewal, Luke, Christopher, and Lorelai discover Rory in a compromising position with Logan Huntzberger and Christopher and Luke argue about their respective importance and involvement in Rory's life; Christopher proclaims that Rory is his daughter, and Luke declares that he has cared more for Rory during her life while Christopher was absent. Luke lists that he took care of her when she was sick with chickenpox, attended her high school graduation and helped her move into Yale. Christopher affirms that he and Lorelai belong together, revealing Emily’s intervention and a previous meeting with Lorelai after the death of Christopher’s father which Luke was unaware of. Saddened and angered, Luke distances himself from Lorelai because of her lie of omission and because Christopher and her disapproving parents will always be in her life. He ends their relationship but after Emily reassures him that Lorelai loves him and they face no more opposition from Emily herself, he reunites with Lorelai. At the end of season 5, Lorelai proposes marriage to him when she sees how much he cares for Rory, who has stolen a yacht and dropped out of Yale. He accepts, although they delay marriage plans until Rory and Lorelai reconcile.
In season six, April Nardini (Vanessa Marano), age 12, appears at the diner and unexpectedly takes a sample of Luke's hair to determine who her father is for a science fair project. Luke is confirmed as the father and though April and her mother Anna Nardini (Sherilyn Fenn) initially want nothing from him, Luke feels both duty and desire to be in his daughter’s life. After some awkwardness, they become close. Unsure how to integrate April into his life with Lorelai, Luke deliberately hides April's existence from Lorelai until April herself unwittingly reveals the truth over two months later. Feeling betrayed and hurt that Luke broke his own injunction against secrets, Lorelai questions their future marriage. Luke asks to postpone the wedding to get to know April and excludes Lorelai from interacting with April until some undefined point in future. April’s mother also forbids Lorelai from becoming involved in April’s life until after they are married because April needs stability. Lorelai is upset and resentful of waiting in a relationship which has already taken so long to develop, although she feigns complacency. In the finale of season 6, Lorelai gives Luke an ultimatum: either elope and get married immediately or break up. Luke attempts to talk her out of it, and Lorelai leaves. Luke reconsiders and offers to make the relationship work on Lorelai’s terms, but when she reveals she slept with Christopher the night of the ultimatum, Luke is stunned. Their relationship is over and they are distant for some time.
Luke's relationship with April is threatened when Anna announces she is moving to New Mexico to be with her ailing mother and taking April with her. Luke fights for partial custody and wins with the help of a letter by Lorelai about his merits as a friend and father.
In the final episode of the series, Luke throws a surprise going-away party for Rory and stays up the entire night sewing tarpaulins together to protect it from the expected rain. Sookie informs Lorelai about Luke's efforts and Lorelai thanks him. The couple kiss when Luke confesses he wanted to make Lorelai happy. In the series’ final scene, Lorelai returns to her former habit of flirting with Luke, wearing a necklace he gave her, strongly implying that the pair rekindled their romance.
Emily Gilmore, played by Kelly Bishop, is the mother of Lorelai and grandmother to Rory. Emily had very limited contact with her daughter for most of her adult life, and though they have gotten to know each other better as adults, they still have a somewhat strained relationship. One constant source of discord between them involves the matter of Christopher Hayden, Rory's father. Despite Chris's shortcomings, Emily always pushed Lorelai to pursue a relationship with him in their adulthood, so that their family can finally be together, only to be frustrated as either Lorelai or Christopher failed to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Emily always dotes on Rory (she being their only grandchild), however, and she and Richard made it financially possible for Rory to attend the exclusive Chilton Preparatory school as well as Yale University.
Emily was raised by a strict social code and graduated from Smith College, lived in Talbot House, with a degree in history. She has a sister named Hope, who lives in Paris. Since her marriage, she has dedicated herself to furthering her husband Richard's career. As a result, she spends much of her time arranging charity events, and she is very concerned with propriety and appearances. She is difficult to please, and is incapable of keeping a maid very long no matter how well she pays them. They quit or are fired in rapid succession for reasons like singing or walking too heavily. Many people have judged her to be a snobbish, haughty and highly opinionated woman. There is a softer, more caring side to Emily, but it is often obscured by her aforementioned snobbish persona.
Emily is heavily involved in Hartford society. Besides being a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she is also a member of the Symphony Fundraising Committee, the President of the Horticultural Society, and a Co-Chair of the Starlight Foundation. She is a board member on the Hartford Zoological Silent Auction, the Mark Twain House Restoration Fund Luncheon, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Literacy Auction.
In season 4 it is revealed that Richard had been having yearly lunches with Pennilyn Lott (his ex-girlfriend) since his marriage to Emily, which damages her marriage with Richard, almost leading to divorce. Emily and Richard were separated during Season 5, and Emily even tries dating another man. Though the date went well, it primarily makes Emily realize how much she misses Richard. They soon reconcile and renew their vows.
In Season 6 Emily and Richard take Rory into their house after she drops out of Yale and has been arguing with Lorelai. When Rory moves out again, she gets into a conflict with her grandparents, and her grandmother in particular, partly because Rory feels controlled by Emily, just like her mother had many years earlier. Emily is very upset and describes it as being how she felt when Lorelai had left years earlier.
Some of the issues that had to be worked out were somehow solved in episode 6.13 "Friday Night's Alright for Fighting", but things still are not completely all right between them. When the series ends and Rory goes off to begin a reporting career, Emily believes that their routine Friday night dinners will end since Lorelai and Rory no longer needs her money for any tuition. However, Lorelai tells her mother that she will continue going to dinner every Friday night, implying that she will maintain a friendly relationship with her parents.
Richard Gilmore, played by Edward Herrmann, is the father of Lorelai and grandfather to Rory. He has a relatively more comfortable relationship with Lorelai than does his wife, Emily, which is highlighted in episode 5.16 "So..good talk" when Lorelai agrees to meet with him even though she is angry at Emily for breaking up Luke and her. He is an alumnus of Yale, where he sang with the Whiffenpoofs, and plays a pivotal role in persuading Lorelai as well as getting Rory admitted there.
He and Rory have an adorable grandfather-granddaughter relationship which serves to ease the frequent tension between Emily and Lorelai at the Friday Night Dinners. Emily and Richard themselves have a very conventional husband-wife relationship which has often served as an example of uptightness of Lorelai's previous social circles. They separate at the end of the fourth season, only to reconcile midway through the fifth.
Richard works as a top-level executive in an insurance company until the second season, when he becomes frustrated after noticing that he is gradually being phased out. After a brief flirtation with retirement, Richard quickly becomes bored and goes back into insurance work for himself, and soon takes on Jason Stiles as a business partner. His old company welcomes him back in the 5th season, and he finally returns to Yale to teach an economics course in the 7th season. He suffers a heart attack during a lecture, which Rory was attending. When he recovers, it brings the family closer together.
The following characters have been promoted to main character status since season 2. All additional main cast are only credited in episodes in which they appear.
|S 1||S 2||S 3||S 4||S 5||S 6||S 7|
|Liza Weil||Paris Geller||11|
|Jared Padalecki||Dean Forester||14||8||9|
|Milo Ventimiglia||Jess Mariano||4||2|
|Sean Gunn||Kirk Gleason||9||16|
|Chris Eigeman||Jason Stiles|
|Matt Czuchry||Logan Huntzberger||18|
Paris Eustace Geller, played by Liza Weil, is introduced in the second episode of Season 1 and makes her last appearance in the penultimate episode of Season 7. The child of wealthy, Jewish parents, she was raised almost completely by her Portuguese nanny. Paris was originally Rory's main rival at Chilton Academy, partially because she felt threatened by Rory's academic prowess, but more because of the attention that Tristin Dugray (Chad Michael Murray), the school's popular and rebellious heartthrob, paid the new transfer from Stars Hollow High. Her two best friends at Chilton are Madeline and Louise, although their focus is fashion and dating in contrast to Paris' dedication to academics. Paris and Rory's rivalry continues unabated and periods of hostility arise, but after Paris and Rory bond at a Bangles concert in New York they slowly become close friends. Both Paris and Rory share a dream of studying at Harvard, but both attend Yale in season four: Paris is heartbroken when she is rejected by Harvard, the university her family has attended for generations.
In season three, Paris starts her first romantic relationship with a Princeton student, Jamie (Brandon Barash). Rory is her reluctant adviser about dating and counsels Paris when she loses her virginity to Jamie. Paris ends the relationship with Jamie in season four when she starts an affair with a much older man and a Yale professor, Asher Fleming (Michael York). The affair ends when Asher dies. Paris starts to date the Yale Daily News editor Doyle McMaster (Danny Strong) and eventually moves in with him, though involuntarily as her parents fled the country to avoid tax evasion charges at the start of the sixth season, leaving Paris without any financial means outside of loans and a closed trust not yet opened due to her age. Paris attends Yale also and is roommates with Rory for all four years. She is finally accepted into Harvard Medical School in season seven. Paris is consistently nervous about meeting standards and is often angry when annoyed, having an extreme Type A personality.
The character of Paris was originally created for a three-episode guest arc by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Gavin Polone at the beginning of the show's first season to introduce the high pressures, competitiveness and stress of Rory's transition from small public high school in Stars Hollow to the elite institution of Chilton. This character was created in consolation for Weil after a strong audition for the role of Rory which eventually went to Alexis Bledel. Weil was known to Polone through her work in film Stir of Echoes, which he and his company produced. Weil had to dye her hair from brown to blonde for the part of Paris to highlight the contrast between Paris and Rory. The character proved to be the ideal foil to Rory, and the role of Paris was expanded through the first season until Weil became a series regular in the second season.
Dean Forester, played by Jared Padalecki, is a main character in seasons 2 and 3, and recurring in seasons 1 and 4 through 5. He is introduced as the new guy in town in the "Pilot". He entered into a relationship with Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) after she shows him around Stars Hollow. Rory in turn quickly becomes infatuated with him, and he becomes the first serious boyfriend for Rory. Later, however, Jess Mariano is introduced. Although the couple was having problems before Jess, their relationship is further strained after Rory spends more time with Jess. Dean is eventually driven to jealousy by Jess' presence and this leads to the end of his relationship with Rory. His parents names are Barbara and Randall and he has a sister named Clara, played by Scout Taylor-Compton. It is also suggested that he may have an older sibling.
Dean later starts dating a girl named Lindsay Lister (Arielle Kebbel). Although his attraction to Rory remains so strong that, at a party, when he discovers that Jess made her cry, he violently attacks Jess, resulting in a brawl between the two (in the end, Dean threw the first punch of the fight, and the last), Dean and Rory do not rekindle their relationship as Dean remains with Lindsay and soon impulsively marries her. However, it is still obvious that he carries strong feelings for Rory. On the night before his wedding to Lindsay, Dean expresses to Luke that he feels Rory is the only girl he can marry, later forgetting the statement. Dean remains too close to Rory and, when it becomes clear to him that he's made a mistake in marrying Lindsay, he goes to Rory and starts an affair; Rory's first sexual experience.
Lorelai accidentally finds out about the affair (as she comes home while Dean is leaving Rory's room) and becomes angry with their actions, saying she did not raise Rory to be "the type of girl who sleeps with someone else's husband", which briefly complicates things with Rory. Dean and Lindsay's relationship is later ended, Lindsay having found out about their affair (through a letter Rory sent to Dean while she was away with her Grandmother in Europe). Although it seems unclear if Rory and Dean will get back together (due to Dean's guilt and the turmoil in which his marriage was ended) he decides to rekindle his romance with Rory (even though she now lives at Yale). This aggravates many people in their lives including Luke and Rory's grandparents (who judge Dean unworthy of Rory) and Dean's parents (who are seen as being courteous to Rory but with much effort as they are upset over the situation). To make matters worse, Dean and Rory find their lives heading in completely different directions. With Rory rarely in Stars Hollow due to her life at Yale and Dean holding three jobs at once to make ends meet, the two of them rarely find time to spend together; both cancel date after date due to their commitments and somewhat problematic living situations.
The two finally find time for a date; it would be planned that Dean would pick Rory up after a party that her grandparents planned to throw for her. However, the party was thrown with the sole purpose of introducing Rory to other prospective blue blooded boyfriends with business aspirations, including Rory's next boyfriend, Logan Huntzberger. Rory enjoys herself at the party so much that she briefly forgets about her planned outing. She eventually remembers, and by the time she walks out to a furious Dean, the two realize that their lives were heading in different directions, and Dean ends their relationship for good.
In his final appearance in "To Live And Let Diorama", Dean does not see Rory, but rather Luke. Dean relates his faulty relationship with Rory to Luke's relationship with Lorelai, saying that ultimately, Luke would hold Lorelai back from whatever potential she may have. With this statement, Dean is never heard from again.
Jess Mariano, played by Milo Ventimiglia, was a main character in seasons two and three, and recurring afterward in seasons four and six. He first appears in the episode "Nick & Nora, Sid & Nancy", arriving in Stars Hollow from New York. He is sent to live with his uncle Luke by his mother and Luke's sister, Liz (Kathleen Wilhoite), who raised him as a single-mother after the departure of Jess's father, Jimmy Mariano (later played by Rob Estes). Although the reasons for his move remain vaguely defined, Luke reports that Jess had been "getting into some trouble", including "staying out late, getting rowdy" and possibly "heading for something bad", so Liz is sending Jess to Luke to "straighten him out." Stars Hollow subsequently plays host to his pranks, petty theft, caustic attitude and schoolyard fights. Rebellious and resentful, Jess appears a typical 'bad boy' but is revealed to be a great reader with similar eclectic tastes in music and pop culture to Rory. Though similarly intellectually inclined, his low scholastic ambition contrasts with Rory's aspiration, but the two become friends despite others' disapproval.
In addition to the townspeople's general dislike, Lorelai and Rory's boyfriend Dean are particularly suspicious of him after each experience early confrontations with Jess’s risky behaviour and bad attitude. Luke and Jess have a difficult relationship fraught by Jess's resentment and Luke's unpractised attempts at parenting, although the tension between them is often relieved by humorous mutual antagonism. Luke’s care for his nephew is shown, for instance, when he attempts to conceal the fact that Liz does not want Jess back in New York for Christmas. Jess sees through the deception and his hatred of his mother surfaces periodically.
Jess pursues Rory with differing degrees of subtlety while she is in a relationship with Dean, and Rory struggles with the split in her affections and loyalties as her attraction to Jess mounts. A car accident during an illicit break from a tutoring session leaves Rory with a fractured wrist and Jess back in New York. Rory uncharacteristically skips school in an unplanned trip to visit him in Washington Square Park. Jess similarly unexpectedly returns to Stars Hollow in the season two finale and Rory impetuously kisses him and leaves, begging him to be silent about it. The two are separated over the summer and in the season three premier Rory returns home from a student government stay in Washington to find Jess dating another girl and angry at Rory's lack of communication with him.
Jess and Rory begin dating after the town's annual dance marathon, where Dean breaks up with Rory over her barely concealed attraction to Jess. The couple experience problems with jealousy and communication, and Jess and Dean's mutual enmity causes tension in their relationship. Lorelai and Jess do not warm to one another. Rory’s grandmother Emily also questions Lorelai’s permission for the relationship when Jess’s first and last appearance at Friday night dinner is marked by his lateness, curtness, and an unexplained black-eye which culminates in an argument with Rory and him leaving, stranding Rory at the Gilmore mansion overnight.
Jess is shown attending school less often, working increasingly long hours, secretly at first, for Walmart. Though Jess says he has the situation under control, Luke is concerned enough to secretly steal Jess’s car to encourage him back to school by preventing him from travelling to work. However, Jess is informed he missed 31 days of school and cannot graduate unless he retakes his senior year, which he is unwilling to do. Jess’s life grows more difficult after a fight with Rory, when she tries to find out why he's upset, but he tries to find physical comfort rather than tell her he's failed out of school. Confused by his emotional withdrawness, Rory leaves their encounter in tears, causing Dean to pick a fight with Jess. Rory and Jess don't know how to approach each other after their fight. A visit from his estranged father Jimmy prompts an angry exchange between Jess and Luke, and Luke issues an ultimatum: Jess must retake senior year and graduate, or leave. Jess leaves for Venice Beach, California to stay with his unwitting father, and without telling either Luke or Rory. The WB was originally going to continue Jess's storyline in a spin-off called "Windward Circle", intended to debut mid-season in January 2004. The Gilmore Girls episode 3.21 "Here Comes the Son" acted as a backdoor pilot. However, the network canceled the show before it aired, citing high production costs to shoot on location in Venice Beach as the reason. The premise was for Jess to build his relationship with his estranged father and befriend some local skateboarders.
Jess returns to Stars Hollow in season four to steal his car back from Luke on intelligence from Liz. Luke and Jess argue over his earlier disappearance. Another more heated exchange is sparked by Luke’s attempt to encourage Jess to intervene in his mother’s lovelife, when Jess speaks angrily of his resentment of Luke’s paternal interference and his own feeling of failure. Jess also sees Rory on several occasions, but he leaves each time without speaking to her. Eventually, he unexpectedly declares his love for her, but leaves again without her replying. A few months later, Jess returns again to Stars Hollow to attend Liz's wedding on Luke’s request. Jess visits Rory’s dorm at Yale and asks her to run away with him, saying they are meant to be together and affirming that he has changed and she can rely on him. Rory declines and later acts on a growing closeness with married ex-boyfriend Dean. She confides in friend Lane that Jess was appealing in his tastes and attractiveness, but contrasts his unreliability unfavourably with Dean's dependable nature. Jess and Luke reconcile after an argument at T.J.'s bachelor party and some shared romantic advice.
In season six, Jess returns to give Rory a copy of a short novel he has written called The Subsect. He finds her at the Gilmore mansion during her period of estrangement from Lorelai over dropping out of Yale. Jess describes his life in Philadelphia working for the publisher of his book, Truncheon. He attributes getting his life on track to her and tells her he “couldn’t have done it without you.” Their plans for dinner are interrupted by the early return of Rory’s boyfriend Logan from a visit to one of the Huntzberger newspapers in Omaha. A tense evening is cut short when the escalating hostility between Jess and Logan results in Jess storming out of the restaurant. When Rory follows him and tries to make excuses for Logan's behavior, Jess confronts her about her life choices. He insists he knows her better than anyone and "this isn't you". The two part awkwardly, though he wishes her a belated happy birthday. Jess’s final appearance is in season six in "The Real Paul Anka", where he and Rory meet in Philadelphia at an open house for Truncheon. Luke also attends and introduces his nephew to his daughter April, while Jess presses a check on his uncle to pay him back "what's owed." Later, Rory praises Jess's novel and two talk about her role as editor of the Yale Daily News, leading Jess to observe that she is happier than when he last saw her. Jess says he's happy Rory came and they share a kiss, but Rory confesses she is still with Logan. At first, Jess is hurt and angry at being used, but he calms down enough to tell her that he isn't sorry that she came to see him, despite what's happened. Rory later tells her mom she went to see Jess in Philadelphia because he's her friend now. Although the character of Jess does not return again, Luke, Lorelai, and T.J. infrequently refer to him.
Kirk Gleason, played by Sean Gunn, is a quirky and good-hearted but emotionally stunted, very odd man who until later seasons lives with his mother (when he's not sleeping on park benches or in other people's RVs). By the end of the fourth season, Kirk reveals that he has night terrors that cause him to go streaking through the town naked when they attend the dry run of the Dragonfly Inn. In Season 2, Ep. 13, Kirk tells Jackson Belleville that he was one of thirteen children (and, it is implied, his mother's least favorite).
Sean Gunn appeared in early episodes as different characters. In Season 1, Ep. 2 "The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton", Sean Gunn was the DSL installer, named Mick; and in Season 1, Ep. 3, he is credited as the Swan Man. Kirk becomes a permanent character in Season 1, Ep. 5, when he is introduced as a new citizen of Stars Hollow (Miss Patty, who knows everyone in Stars Hollow, asks who he is, when meeting him in Doose's market). However, in Season 2, Ep. 14 Mrs. Kim says: "I know you’re Kirk. I’ve known you since you were two." There are several hints that Kirk has lived in Stars Hollow for years, including going to high school with Luke.
Kirk has had dozens of jobs, such as assistant manager of Doose's Market, cashier at the beauty supply shop, delivery man for various businesses, waiter at Weston's coffee shop, various entrepreneurial activities, photographer, assistant at various town functions, DJ, mailman, employee at the Stars Hollow movie theatre, and realtor-in-training.
He had a crush on Lorelai for a while, and asked her out in Season 3, Ep. 2 "Haunted Leg", but was gently rebuffed.
He started dating his brother's ex-girlfriend Lulu in Season 4, Ep. 6 "An Affair to Remember." Kirk bid on the historic Twickham house in hopes that he and Lulu might someday raise a family there, but the town elders decided to sell the house to Luke (who later reconsidered and revoked his bid). Kirk later on tells Luke he's thinking of breaking up with Lulu, and Luke threatens to beat him up (Luke's way of saying that Kirk has a great thing going with Lulu, and that breaking up with her would be a stupid thing to do). Kirk and Lulu remain together throughout the rest of the show.
Jason "Digger" Stiles, played by Chris Eigeman, is the son of Carol (Catherine McGoohan) and Floyd Stiles (Lawrence Pressman). Jason and Lorelai know each other from a camp, where Jason received the nickname "Digger," which stuck. When they met again by chance in early Season 4, Jason soon renewed his acquaintance with Lorelai and began pursuing her romantically. He was persistent in the face of her repeated rejection, and wore her down. They hid the relationship from Lorelai's parents for five months, until the night Floyd informed Richard and Jason that he was suing them because of the clients Jason took with him when he left his father's business - and revealed that he had hired a private investigator to tail Jason.
Richard and Floyd made a deal behind Jason's back that allowed Richard to create a boutique company under the umbrella of Gehrmann-Driscoll, and Richard bad-mouths him to clients and other companies, and Jason finds himself blacklisted. When Jason told Lorelai he was suing her father, she broke off their relationship. Though he tried to win her back, even showing up at the Dragonfly Inn on the night of its test run, Lorelai had already moved on to a relationship with Luke Danes. That night, to get Jason away from the Dragonfly Inn, Sookie and Michel call his cell pretending to be somebody else and tell him his condo is on fire so Jason leaves to go see his home. He is not seen again.
Logan Huntzberger, played by Matt Czuchry, is the second child of Mitchum and Shira Huntzberger (portrayed by Gregg Henry and Leann Hunley). Born in 1982, he is heir to the Huntzberger Publishing Company, a national newspaper conglomerate. He has a tense relationship with his father for his father seems to view him more of a commodity than a son. His mother has expectations and wants him to marry a trophy wife, even though she doesn't come from money herself. He has an older sister, Honor. He attended many prestigious prep schools, most of which he got kicked out of for the stupid pranks that he played, in the Massachusetts area including Rivers, Groton, and Andover, where it is speculated that he had graduated from. Logan first appears as a traditional chronic ladies man who is more interested in partying than studying. Logan appears to be very well read and versed in pop culture, as he understands most of the references Rory throws his way; and even though he prefers a good time he does have a talent in newspaper writing and has a vast knowledge of journalism. Due to his wealthy upbringing, he is well traveled, and seems to enjoy heavy and dangerous risk taking. His two best friends are Colin and Finn, both of whom are rich, party loving guys like himself.
Logan first encounters Rory when he and his friends pass by her and her friend Marty. At first, Logan's friends tease Marty and pay little attention to Rory. However, when Logan meets Rory again in the hallway of her dormitory, she takes the opportunity to lecture him on his treatment of Marty. Logan continues to debate with her and promises that he will remember her instantly the next time they meet. Rory's first impression of Logan is not very favorable, viewing him as a typical lazy rich boy. However, she goes to him when she needs help on an article about a secret society that Logan is in, called the Life and Death Brigade. She is fascinated by the club and is convinced by Logan to take a dangerous jump off a tall structure, causing Rory to reconsider her initial impression of him. Logan eventually winds up comforting Rory at a party after her break-up with Dean. Rory soon develops a crush on Logan, and while Logan has feelings for her too, he makes it clear he is not a commitment guy, so they agree to a no strings attached relationship. During their relationship there are signs that both want more, and Rory eventually decides the relationship is too much for her so she tries to end it. However, Logan takes this as an ultimatum, and agrees to a monogamous relationship. Despite family members disapproval and Rory dropping out of Yale, their relationship continues until a break-up in season 6. Logan was threatened by the return of Jess in Season 6, even more so when he found out that Jess and Rory had been "high school sweethearts". He treated Jess the same way Jess treated Dean in the past, but wound up alienating Rory further as Jess simply walked away. After Rory argued with Logan about his behavior towards Jess and the aimlessness of their life together, they decided to "take a break". However, Logan saw this as a break-up and proceeded to sleep with his older sister's friends for comfort. Logan attempted to make amends through grand gestures, which included purchasing a coffee cart and barista for Rory's own personal use. Rory accepted the gifts but didn't give in until Logan went to Lorelai for help. He convinced Lorelai that they both had something in common causing Lorelai to agreed to help him. Lorelai wrote a letter and Rory agreed to give Logan another chance. Logan later wound up helping Rory save the Yale Daily News under Paris's tyrannical reign. Rory and Logan moved in together after Paris kicked Rory out because she is mad that Rory is made editor of the paper after Paris is ousted from the position by the newspaper staff. They also go to Martha's Vineyard with Luke and Lorelai. Luke, who has been aloof around Logan, looks at him in a new light when he helps Luke with a Valentine gift for Lorelai. All is well until Rory finds out about his sleeping with his sister's friends during their breakup just before Honor's wedding, which causes a more serious rupture. The rupture ends when Rory realizes that she can't cheat on Logan with Jess because she still loves him. Logan and Rory's relationship continues through season 6 when Rory takes care of him after a base jumping accident involving the Life and Death Brigade. At the end of Season 6, he is sent to London by his father to take charge of his family's business and, according to Mitchum, "set him on a path." Season 7 sees him acquiring an interest and penchant for his work (in London, then in New York). Despite the distance between them, Rory and Logan continue their relationship. Logan surprises Rory with a moonlight picnic on the roof and, despite the distance and an attractive co-worker remains faithful. Logan supports Rory when Richard has a heart attack, borrowing a helicopter and rushes to her side. He also tells Rory that he trusts her when Rory admits she has a crush on Richard's T.A.
Later, after a bad business venture that brings a lawsuit, there is tension between Logan and Rory until Logan quits working for his father. Logan apologizes to Rory for neglecting her and his work. They go to Stars Hollow and Lorelai finally appears to accept their relationship. In season 7, Logan asks Lorelai's permission to ask Rory to marry him. Logan proposes to Rory in the next episode, but Rory, caught by surprise, asks for time to think. Logan makes the offer one last time in the penultimate episode, at Rory's graduation from Yale, saying it's all or nothing. Rory rejects the offer, saying that even though she loves him, she wants a wide-open future. Logan takes the ring back, and walks off after that. Logan does not appear in the final episode, and the series ends with them still broken up.
Jackson Matthew Belleville is played by Jackson Douglas. Although Jackson's name has regularly been "Melville" (mentioned specifically in season 1's "Christopher Returns"); there are several episodes (most recently season 6's "Always A Godmother, Never A God") where it has been "Belleville". The discrepancy is unexplained. Jackson is Stars Hollow's preeminent produce supplier. He takes great pride in providing a top-quality, organic and pesticide-free products to his customers.
Sookie is even more particular about her ingredients than Jackson is, and they frequently argue over the quality of the food. Shared passions and mutual attraction led them to start dating during the first season, and they were married in an outdoor ceremony at the Independence Inn during Season 2, Ep. 22 "I Can't Get Started". Jackson's father was best man, and pressured Jackson into wearing the same kilt that his father and grandfather had worn at their weddings. Lorelai and Rory were bridesmaids.
Jackson has a very large family, including his cousin Rune, who went on a disastrous blind date with Lorelai and stayed with Jackson for a while, until he overstayed his welcome. Sookie begged Lorelai to give him a job and lodging at the Independence Inn, and she hired him as an (incompetent) handyman.
Jackson is the father of David "Davey" Edward Belleville (Born at the end of Season 4, Ep 7 - The Festival of Living Art) and Martha, middle name Janice Lori Ethan Rupert Glenda Carson Daisy Danny Belleville. (Born Season 5, Ep. 21 - Blame Booze And Melville). His Christian family (denomination unknown) pressured him into baptizing both children at the local church. When the family showed up for the baptism, his mother informed him that he, himself, had never been baptized, and pressured him into going through with the ceremony at the same time as his children. Rory is godmother to Davey, and Lorelai is godmother to Martha. Martha has so many middle names because Jackson had originally planned to have more children. When he and Sookie agreed to stop at two, they decided to use all of the names Jackson planned to use on future children as Martha's middle name(s). In episode 7.12 "To Whom It May Concern" Jackson finally tells Sookie that he didn't get a vasectomy and that she is pregnant again.
Jackson has a tendency to be argumentative and is very protective of his wife, and his plotlines often involve chasing down various members of the Stars Hollow community who have unwittingly wronged her. This usually occurs when Sookie is in a hormonal pregnant state. Much of the comedy of Jackson's character comes from his outrageous reactions to seemingly mundane events.
Jackson and his family live in the house that Sookie owned before she met Jackson.
He is also a notorious fan of band Creedence Clearwater Revival and the show frequently references them.
Mrs. Kim, played by Emily Kuroda, is a conservative Korean woman living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and she is the mother of Lane Kim, Rory Gilmore's best friend. Notable aspects are her Seventh-day Adventist faith and her vegan diet (although references are made to her and Lane attending church on Sundays, which is at odds with the SDA belief that the Sabbath is on Saturday, though her church has also been shown to have services backing onto the Jewish temple service (they share the same building and swap the cross with a star of David). Mrs. Kim is owner of Kim's Antiques, which has a "you break, you buy" policy. Mrs. Kim also rebelled against her mother: Mrs. Kim is a Christian while her mother is a Buddhist. This was revealed during the sixth season. She has appeared in every season of the show.
Mr. Kim never appears in any of the episodes, including Lane's wedding, however Lane specifically mentions her father when her parents plan to send her to Korea (s.2 ep.1). Mrs. Kim mentions Mr. Kim when reminiscing about her wedding night.
Tristan DuGrey, played by Chad Michael Murray, was a classmate of Rory's at Chilton. He teased Rory in her first weeks at the school ("The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton," "The Deer Hunters") by calling her 'Mary', meaning a virgin. He then attempted to attract her, consequently upsetting her classmate Paris, who had a crush on him dating back since childhood. Louise, one of Paris' best friends, later refers to her as "Mary" but saying "Not virgin, Typhoid" when she and Paris believe that Rory is going with Tristan on a date to a concert. In ("Rory's Dance") he became something of a romantic rival to Rory's first boyfriend, Dean, trying to ask her to a dance and then picking a fight with Dean, who had escorted her instead. During a short-lived breakup with Dean, Rory and Tristan kissed at a party ("The Breakup, Part 2"), causing her to burst into tears in emotional confusion. Tristan later asked Paris for a date ("The Third Lorelai"), on Rory's advice to find a different type of girl than the kind he usually dated, though he decided afterward that Paris was not his type. In the season-one finale ("Love, Daisies, and Troubadours") he caused friction between the two girls by lying that Rory had accepted his invitation to a concert, but after watching Rory's passionate reunion with Dean, he walked away alone.
Tristan appeared for the last time in a second-season episode ("Run Away, Little Boy") in which he fell in with a group of troublemakers pulling pranks throughout the school and shirked off his studies, much to the anger and dismay of Paris, who needed him as Romeo in a class Shakespeare project. After spending the week torturing Rory with veiled threats to reveal their one-time kiss to Dean, Tristan found himself forced by his father into a military school in North Carolina after the pranks went too far, thus leaving Paris to be the Romeo to Rory's Juliet. Before he leaves, Tristan says he would've kissed Rory but Dean was right there. His last words on the show were; "Take care of yourself....Mary." Rory sighed a laugh as he left. (The plot development actually reflected Murray being cast as Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill, which filmed in Wilmington.)
Max Arthuro Medina, played by Scott Cohen, was a recurring character in Season 1, and made guest appearances in seasons 2 and 3. He was Rory’s English teacher in her sophomore year at The Chilton School, and he went on to become romantically involved with Lorelai.
Max met Lorelai at a parent-teacher meeting ("The Deer Hunter"), where he assured Lorelai that Rory was a fine student and person who would do well in her new school. However, when Rory subsequently overslept and arrived late to his class after studying all night for her English exam, Max initially refused to allow her to take the test, thus incurring Lorelai's wrath. After some initial coldness in a later encounter at a school bake sale, Lorelai agrees to meet him at a coffee shop to talk, away from the Chilton context. Their early attempts to date were hampered by Lorelai's having to cancel in order to attend a wake for her neighbor's beloved cat ("Cinnamon's Wake"), but later they managed a date when his car broke down in her town and he ended up sleeping on the sofa due to heavy snowfall ("Love, War, and Snow"). The couple separated and reunited various times — once leading to a kissing session during Parent's Day at the school — before Max proposes in the season-one finale ("Love, Daisies and Troubadours"). The beginning of Season 2 saw Lorelai accepting the proposal ("Sadie, Sadie"), preparing for the wedding ("Hammers and Veils"), and then cancelling the engagement after comparing her own lack of excitement to her mother's nostalgic memories of her own engagement ("Red Light on the Wedding Night").
Max continued to be Rory's English teacher after the breakup, a situation they discussed briefly when she was assigned to interview him for the school paper ("Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy"). He is not seen again that season, but returns to Chilton in Season 3 after teaching at Stanford University for a time; he claims he has recovered from his heartbreak, but a kiss with Lorelai reveals he is not "over" her, prompting Max to decide they should not see each other anymore ("The Big One," "Keg! Max!"). He does not appear again, though he is occasionally mentioned in later episodes.
Taylor Doose is played by Michael Winters. Taylor is the Town Selectman for the town of Stars Hollow, and holds a number of other positions in town government and public organizations. He is largely responsible for organizing Stars Hollow's many events and festivals. He is also the owner of Doose's Market, where he employed Dean Forester for the first five seasons, and Taylor's Old Fashioned Soda Shoppe. He is staunchly conservative and provincial in his thought and temperament.
As Stars Hollow's most powerful citizen, Taylor often uses his positions in a rather self-serving manner. He is a stickler for making sure town rules and statutes are followed to the letter. He also has his own opinions about how people should live. Often this brings him in conflict with other members of the community, most often Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore. He also is in charge of the frequent town meetings (held at Miss Patty's studio), which he often uses as a forum to air his personal grievances.
During the fifth season, Taylor was briefly voted out of the Town Selectman office after Jackson Belleville ran against him for the office. However, Jackson realized he did not want the job, and resigned.
He remains single throughout the series and never seems to even date (the implication seeming to be his aggressively fussy and self-serving behavior alienates anyone around him of either sex).
Christopher Hayden, Rory's father, played by David Sutcliffe, first appears at the very end of season 1, episode 14, "That Damned Donna Reed," as an introduction to the next episode "Christopher Returns." He has never visited the girls in Stars Hollow, but surprises them. Rory is thrilled, but Lorelai is reserved. He lies that his business is doing well, but cannot buy an Oxford English Dictionary for Rory. The tension and chemistry between Lorelai and Christopher is apparent throughout Chris's visit and Rory begins to hope that her parents might get back together. Things go fine until Lorelai's mother, Emily, finds out that Christopher is staying with the girls and decides to throw a dinner party with Christopher's parents. After an argument between the grandparents, Lorelai and Chris seek seclusion from their families on the balcony (supposedly the site of Rory's conception). They end up sleeping together, which Lorelai almost instantly regrets. The next morning Chris asks Lorelai to marry him, but she says "no," thinking that he is not ready for the responsibilities of being part of a family.
Christopher reappears during Season 2 when he is invited to escort Rory at her coming out party and brings her a copy of the book he tried to buy before as a gift. While in town, he proves that he is more capable of settling down than before, having found a steady job as a consultant for a computer company in Boston and a Volvo. Lorelai begins to think that now is the time for them to pursue a relationship, but, Chris states that his girlfriend, Sherry (Mädchen Amick), is the reason for his stability. Sherry and Christopher come to a debate of Rory's and the girls, a little blind-sided, decide that Sherry and Rory should spend some time together bonding, while Christopher joins Lorelai at their Friday night dinner. Emily is mad that Christopher gets his life together for someone other than Lorelai and treats him rather coldly at dinner. Christopher then appears when Rory breaks her arm and is the support Lorelai needs. At that point, Chris and Sherry have broken up as have Lorelai and Max, so Christopher and Lorelai agree to try to be a couple. Their happiness is cut short when Christopher gets a call from Sherry, saying that she is pregnant. Lorelai and Rory are mad at Christopher and estrange themselves from him. Rory begins to secretly converse with her father after a few months have passed and both are present at the birth of his daughter Georgia aka Gigi. Christopher misses Rory's high school graduation because of work.
Christopher does not appear in season 4. In season 5, Lorelai comes to the rescue when Christopher calls, needing help with his baby daughter, Gigi, after Sherry has left him for a job in Paris. Lorelai is in a happy relationship with Luke at this time and Rory does not want Christopher messing that relationship up, so she tells Chris to stay away from Lorelai. When Christopher's father dies, both Lorelai and Rory realize that he is lonely and that he needs contact with both of them. At Richard and Emily's vow renewal, after being manipulated by Emily before hand, a drunken Chris lashes out at Luke, saying that Lorelai belongs with him and not Luke. Christopher causes drama between Luke and Lorelai as Rory had feared. Luke did not know that she was still in contact with him and becomes very hostile. Lorelai and Luke split temporarily because of this.
In Season 6, Christopher has inherited much money from his recently deceased paternal grandfather and asks Lorelai and Rory if there is anything he can do as something of an apology for all his years of neglect. Christopher ends up paying for Rory's Yale tuition thereby upsetting Emily, who thinks Rory and Lorelai will no longer stay in touch. After they assure her that isn't the case, she and Richard are very happy that Christopher is more involved in Lorelai and Rory's lives. An episode deals with how much Christopher spoiled Gigi. Chris goes with Lorelai to Lane's wedding and Lorelai gets very drunk and makes an embarrassing speech about never getting married to Luke. In the Season Six finale, Lorelai gives Luke an ultimatum to marry her and when he says he doesn't like ultimatums, she breaks up with him. In the last scene, a distraught Lorelai goes to Christopher for comfort and in the season-ending cliffhanger, is seen waking up in Christopher's bed. Christopher and Lorelai begin dating. When Sherry sends a letter saying she has changed her ways and would like Gigi to visit her in France, Christopher invites Lorelai to accompany him. In Paris they have a romantic time and Christopher impulsively proposes to Lorelai, and they get married in Paris. Christopher and Lorelai's relationship becomes strained again when Christopher says that he wants to have children, but Lorelai said she isn't ready for that now. One night on his way home, Chris gets into a fist fight with Luke, from which neither one emerges the victor. In the end, Lorelai realizes that she has never stopped loving Luke and cannot remain married to Christopher. Christopher makes a final appearance at Rory's college graduation, where he and Lorelai appear to be on good terms.
Dave Rygalski, portrayed by Adam Brody, is presumably from the Hartford area although his place of residence is never stated. He is a guitarist in the original "Hep Alien" along with Lane Kim, Zach Van Gerbig, and Brian Fuller. Dave is originally introduced in the episode "Application Anxiety" where he is responding to Lane's "drummer seeks rock band" ad.
When Brody left the show to star in The O.C., his character's absence was explained by sending Dave to college in California (where The O.C. was set); bandmate Zach became Lane's new love interest and eventual husband.
The Rygalski character was inspired by, and named after, the real-life husband of Helen Pai — the show's co-producer, the inspiration for the character of Lane, and whose name is an anagram for the band name, Hep Alien. The real Dave Rygalski shares his namesake's musical hobby and was the inspiration for many of the character's acts of devotion, such as participating in religious activities to please Lane's mother.
Marty, portrayed by Wayne Wilcox, was briefly introduced in the season four episode "The Hobbit, the Sofa and Digger Stiles" as a student at Yale who "had an unfortunate experience with a keg and a party and a need to take [his] clothes off and fall asleep in a hallway." After Rory tells this story to her mother he is nicknamed "naked guy". He is also adopted.
Shortly after, in "The Fundamental Things Apply", Marty reappeared, fully clothed. He invited a late and dishevelled Rory to eat breakfast with him and a group of his friends, who had adopted the name 'The Breakfast Crew' because it 'wasn't an official club or anything'. Marty appeared once more in that season, albeit briefly.
He made several appearances in season five, including an appearance that seemed to be his last. During this, he went to dinner with Rory Gilmore, Logan Huntzberger and a group of Logan's well-to-do friends, some of whom had treated Marty with a lack of respect in the past asking him 'how he could be so big but yet so very small'. Marty had a horrible time and ended up not being able to afford his split of the bill and begrudgingly accepted Rory's offer to pay for it, promising to pay her back. On return to Rory's dorm, Marty revealed what many had already known, that he had romantic feelings for Rory. Rory rebuffed him, informing him of another fact many (including Marty, to a degree) were already aware of: she liked Logan.
Marty was not seen for nearly two years, until the November 14, 2006 episode, "French Twist". He was shown briefly, near the end of the episode, and was revealed to be in a relationship with Rory's new friend, Lucy (Krysten Ritter). In a move that confused Rory, Marty pretended that he and Rory did not know one another when Lucy introduced the two. When Rory asks him why he relays that he feels it would be weird if Lucy knew they were once friends. Though Rory is still confused, she does not tell Lucy she knows Marty.
In "Knit, People, Knit!", Marty bartends Lucy's birthday party, which Rory attends. Rory took initiative and they smoothed things over, but the newfound peace was quickly ruined as Marty made it obvious that he still had feelings for Rory. In the next episode, "Merry Fisticuffs", Logan, Rory, Marty and Lucy were enjoying dinner together when Lucy inquired as to how Rory and Logan met. Logan answered, honestly, that Marty introduced them because he knew that he still had feelings for Rory. Logan later admitted that he was a bit jealous. Lucy was upset after realizing that both Marty and Rory had been lying. She and Marty end up breaking up. She and Rory become friends again after Rory writes an apology letter to her, and Lucy ultimately realizes the situation wasn't Rory's fault.