The Gossip Girl novel series was created by Cecily von Ziegesar and written by herself as well as by an unknown ghost writer. The name of the first novel in the series, Gossip Girl, is also the nom de plume of the narrator. It has also been adapted into a TV series airing on The CW and CTV. It spawned two spin-off book series, The It Girl and Gossip Girl: The Carlyles.
Published by Alloy Entertainment, the Gossip Girl series has been published in paperback with the twelfth in the series, prequel It Had To Be You, published in hardcover. The first eight books were written by von Ziegesar, while the remaining in the series were ghostwritten.
- 1. Gossip Girl
- 2. You Know You Love Me
- 3. All I Want Is Everything
- 4. Because I'm Worth It
- 5. I Like It Like That
- 6. You're the One That I Want
- 7. Nobody Does It Better
- 8. Nothing Can Keep Us Together
- 9. Only in Your Dreams
- 10. Would I Lie to You (written by a GHOSTWRITER)
- 11. Don't You Forget About Me (written by a GHOSTWRITER)
- 12. It Had to Be You (prequel to the series; written by a GHOSTWRITER)
- 13. I Will Always Love You (written by a GHOSTWRITER)
- Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer
- Gossip Girl: For Your Eyes Only
- Main article: Blair Waldorf
Standing at 5'4" and described as slender with brilliant blue eyes and a fox-like face, Blair Cornelia Waldorf serves as the novels' central character. Involved in a number of extracurricular activities, Blair is intelligent and determined. For the first three books, she is described as having long, chestnut hair; however, in the fourth novel, she chopped it off into a pixie cut before having it extended in Don't You Forget About Me.
Throughout the Gossip Girl series, Blair employs her charm, money, and social status in obtaining what she wants. A hopeless romantic, Blair possesses a sensitive side, which stands in contrast to her reputation of be controlling and manipulative. With Audrey Hepburn stated as her idol, she loves to pretend her life is a movie and often watches Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday. Vain, Blair's friendship with it-girl Serena van der Woodsen causes her to be insecure at times. Upon the return of Serena in the first book, she is shown to be extremely reluctant in letting Serena back into her life, mainly because it would signal an end to her reign as "queen bee" in Serena's absence but also because of her fear of losing her boyfriend, Nate Archibald.
Her father, once a lawyer, now lives in a French chateau with his boyfriend, Giles, and their adopted Cambodian twins: Ping and Pong Waldorf. He shares a love of shoes with Blair and raised her under the impression that she deserved anything and everything she wanted. Her mother, on the other hand, is a flaky socialite who married Cyrus Rose, whom Blair finds repulsing. In the novels, Blair is revealed to have a younger brother, Tyler Waldorf, an older stepbrother, Aaron Rose, and a baby maternal half-sister, Yale. Throughout the series, she has a turbulent relationship with Nate, losing him several times to girls such as Serena and Jenny Humphrey. At the conclusion of the series, Blair's dreams of attending Yale University are realized, though her relationship with Nate has come to an end.
Serena van der WoodsenEdit
- Main article: Serena van der Woodsen
Slim and ethereally beautiful, Serena van der Woodsen is often described as "perfect." Described as possessing a stature of 5'7" and long, perfect pale-blonde hair with huge, navy blue eyes, Serena is often told that she is not working to her full potential, though her personality is usually as well regarded as much as her physical attributes. In the books, Serena dabbled in modeling before landing the lead in Breakfast at Fred's, a remake of the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Like her sometimes best friend Blair Waldorf, she and her family are prominent in Manhattan society. Throughout the series, Serena has kept a steady string of admirers, including Nate Archibald, Dan Humphrey, Aaron Rose, and an entire acapella group at Yale. Despite the attention she receives from the opposite sex, Serena longs for true romance and originally seeks this in Nate. Throughout the books, she has fallen in love several times, but has never found anything long-term or serious. Getting was she wants with very little effort, Serena is much less demanding and uptight than Blair and is worshiped by freshman Jenny Humphrey, who aspires to follow in her footsteps. She is often criticized by her classmates, who resent her effortless good looks and her ability to catch the attention of any male counterpart.
While her elder brother serves as a minor character, Serena's parents are rarely encountered in the novels. At the end of the series, rather than attending one of the Ivy League schools she was accepted at, Serena opts to stay in New York City in order to discover life for herself.
- Main article: Nate Archibald
Nathaniel "Nate" Archibald is a wealthy, good-looking lacrosse player from St. Jude's School for Boys. Described as having wavy golden brown hair and sparkling, emerald-green eyes, his mother is a French socialite and his father is a former U.S. Navy captain. In the novels, Nate is depicted as smoking marijuana on a regular basis, even being sent to rehab after getting caught buying a dime-bag in one of the city's parks.
Throughout the series, Nate has been involved with a number of girls, from longtime girlfriend Blair Waldorf and childhood crush and first love Serena van der Woodsen, to Jenny Humphrey and Georgina Sparks. Other relationships include L'Wren from L'Ecole and Tawny from the Hamptons, but his only serious relationship has been with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Blair. Towards the end of the series, after stealing his lacrosse coach's Viagra, Nate relied on Blair and her alumnus father's connections to get accepted into Yale, though he eventually left to sail around the world with his father's Navy mentor due to his inability to choose between Blair and Serena.
- Main article: Dan Humphrey
Daniel "Dan" Humphrey is a thin, sensitive, caffeine-addicted poet who often sees the darker side of things. Dan is a romantic whose imagination runs off wildly at the worst times and is described as over-analytical and easily frustrated. He is romantically linked to Vanessa Abrams, who appears to be the love of his life, but he hasn't always been the best boyfriend; prior to his relationship with Vanessa, he was in love with with it-girl Serena van der Woodsen for two years. Dan has held numerous writing-related jobs, from an internship at prominent literary magazine Red Letter to having a poem, titled "Sluts," published in the The New Yorker. He also had a brief stint as a songwriter for indie-rock sensation The Raves.
In the books, Dan has a close relationship with his sister, Jenny, and his father, Rufus. Before realizing his feelings for Vanessa, he was confused about his sexuality and experimented with a guy named Greg. His absentee mother returns in the final book due to her belief that her son is gay. By series' end, Dan Humphrey is attending Evergreen State College in Washington state.
- Main article: Jenny Humphrey
The younger sister of Dan Humphrey, fifteen-year-old Jennifer "Jenny" Humphrey is the youngest of the Gossip Girl characters. She is an aspiring artist who holds a secret desire to be a model like her idol, Serena van der Woodsen, whom she eventually befriends. Jenny often tries to fit in with the rich girls at her school, even though she does not hold a place in their social sphere. After getting expelled from Constance in the eighth book, Jenny ends up transferring to boarding school, Waverly Academy, in order to reinvent herself as the "it girl," a la Serena.
Jenny Humphrey serves as the central character in The It Girl series, the first spin-off novel series of Gossip Girl.
Kati Farkas and Isabel CoatesEdit
Socialites Katia "Kati" Farkas and Isabel Coates made up Blair's former clique before Serena returned to Manhattan, serving as her loyal sidekicks at Constance Billard. Isabel was admitted to Princeton University, though she turned the Ivy down for Rollins College in Orlando, Florida, in order to attend college with her best friend, Kati. They are portrayed as followers of Blair and Serena and are constantly trying to copy their fashion sense.
- Main article: Chuck Bass
A secondary figure throughout the novel series, Charles "Chuck" Bass is the handsome, lust-driven antagonist in the books. Despite his attempt to take advantage of little Jenny Humphrey and an inebriated Serena van der Woodsen in the first book, Chuck is implied to be gay throughout the remainder of the series. Chuck has a pet dog named monkey, who can often be found perching on his shoulder and wearing coordinated outfits. He is largely despised by other characters but never ostracized due to his wealth and power. At the end of the series, he goes out with Greg, the homosexual literary Dan had previously experimented with, and after not getting accepted to any of the colleges he applies to, he ends up going to military college.
Erik van der WoodsenEdit
- Main article: Erik van der Woodsen
The older brother of Serena, Erik van der Woodsen once had a fling with his sister's best friend, Blair Waldorf. A junior at Brown University, Erik has a close relationship with his younger sister and is described as looking like every other van der Woodsen: tall, thin, and blonde.
- Main article: Aaron Rose
The herb cigarette-smoking and vegan son of Cyrus Rose, Aaron Rose drives a red Saab and has an unrequited crush on his stepsister, Blair Waldorf. He later dates both Serena and Vanessa before being accepted to Harvard University.
- Main article: Tyler Waldorf
A student at St. George's and the younger brother of Blair, Tyler Waldorf was constantly the blunt of a joke between Blair and Serena when the two were best friends, going as far as to drop him off and making him walk home from the Lower East Side. He later begins dating a girl named Jasmine, who really only dates him because Blair is her role model.
- Main article: Elise Wells
Jenny's best friend and a student at Constance Billard, Elise Wells is incredibly tall, quite skinny and has 'thick, straw-like hair' and an upturned nose. She discovers homosexual attractions—which prove to be fleeting—and embraces Jenny. She falls in love with Dan who rejects her, but she eventually accepts his feelings and even encourages him to return with Vanessa, although she still loves him. Her dad, Owen Wells, is a Yale Interviewer, and interviews Blair. The two were attracted to one another until Blair found out that Owen was married and Elise is his daughter.
Charlie Dern, Anthony Avuldson, and Jeremy Scott Tompkinson were friends of Nate Archibald and students at St. Jude's. This trio spent the majority of their time smoking marijuana and playing soccer in Central Park. These characters do not appear in the television adaption.
- Main article: Gossip Girl (TV series)
The Gossip Girl television adaption aired on The CW Television Network from 2007 until 2012. Josh Schwartz, the creator of The O.C., and Stephanie Savage served as executive producers for the project.
In the television series, Blake Lively plays Serena, Leighton Meester plays Blair, Chace Crawford plays Nate, Ed Westwick plays Chuck Bass, Penn Badgely plays Dan Humphrey and Taylor Momsenplays Jenny Humphrey. The show is based on the books but does not follow the same story line.