Title: All Hail The Queen: Blair Waldorf
Author: junkyatbest aka BadBoysAreBest
Fandom: Gossip Girl, Books & Television
Words: 6,843 (excluding recs / references)
Spoilers: All Books, All Episodes !!
"Upper East Side queens
aren't born at the top, they climb
their way up in heels no matter
who they have to tread on to do it."
Blair Cornelia Waldorf is the most critically acclaimed character of bestselling series "Gossip Girl" and the television show of the same name.
In the prequel, "It Had To Be You", Blair is introduced as a petite fifteen year old girl with a fox-like face and chestnut brown hair. Author Cecily von Ziegesar notes: "Blair is a girl of extremes." She's described in "Gossip Girl: A Novel" as the "the bitchiest, vainest girl in the entire senior class, or maybe the entire world". Her life revolves around two people: Serena Van Der Woodsen and Nathanial Archibald. The three characters live on the luxurious Upper East Side. Their personal affairs are scrutinized and documented by 'Gossip Girl', an anonymous blogger.
On the television show, Blair is romantically linked to Chuck Bass, a secondary character that was re-imagined for the show. The pair date in the final installment "I Will Always Love You", however the relationship is widely regarded in the fandom as out of character. Fueling more fire to the "canon creditability" debate, a ghost writer is responsible for "Only In Your Dreams", "Would I Lie To You", "Don't You Forget About Me" and "I Will Always Love You".
Why Blair Waldorf?
"One 95-pound, doe-eyes, bon mot-tossing, label-whoring package of girly evil"
"I'm the crazy bitch around here"
Many words can be used to describe Blair Waldorf, some not so flattering. She's an anti-heroine and people relate best to her flaws. Initially everyone is aware that she's the queen of young society in Manhattan. More importantly, she's got power and she likes it. She likes to wrangle people for fun or selfish reasons. She's often blunt to a cruel degree. She's arguably the funniest character of the cast thanks to her flair for dramatic irony. She loves to act in the movie about her life. Blair is that girl you love to hate, at least at first. It's part of the fan experience to learn that there's more than meets the eye. It's surprisingly easy to forget that she's just a fictional character.
BLAIR: Everyone's jealous of me, because my life is perfect and you've always been the most jealous of all.
NELLY: People aren't jealous of you, Blair. They hate you.
Blair is a chronic overachiever. She wants her life to be perfect, even though by most standards there's nothing broken to fix in her life. Best analyzed by Janet Malcolm of "The New Yorker": "Blair already has all the money and position anyone could want. She is pure naked striving, restlessly seeking an object, any object, and never knowing when enough is enough."
Blair is smart as in really smart both academically and socially. Blair's perfectionism is an invisible cage around her; every time her life is less than perfect, the outsider experiences her inner pain. Despite Blair's chilly and ruthless behavior, she's very loving to those in her inner circle. She's a loyal friend through thick and thin. At times she can be too forgiving of others, which in turn gets her hurt.
On the outside, Blair may appear prim and proper, but behind closed doors she's a sex kitten. She's nothing like her conservative image. The desire to lose her virginity is a reoccurring topic in the books and the show. Her sexuality shines on screen with her seductive behavior and costumes. She's a sexually aggressive female that's ever so amusing to watch when she's prowling for a man.
In high school, Blair has a flawless academic record, she excels at all subjects. In season two, she freaks out after receiving a "B" because she wanted to attend Yale. Unfortunately due to a series of mishaps, Blair's application is rejected and she attends NYU for a year. While at NYU she bashes the school repeatedly, showing her elitism for Ivies and by season four she transfers to Columbia. Blair's intelligence is apparent in her cunning wit and social scheming. Besides Chuck, Blair is the only character that can easily crack the deceptions of others. She is known to manipulate others by using basic psychology. She is speaks perfect French.
The Non-Judging Breakfast Club
The Non-Judging Breakfast Club is the group relationship of Serena, Nate, Blair and Chuck. This support system is a strength to all of them. When something truly dire happens to one of them, they rally despite any personal differences to solve the problem. Blair is the matriarch of the group and brings them together.
Blair's minions are submissive to her. She enjoys being the queen and ruling as a monarch. She uses her minions to assert power over others. Her minions obey her commands, doing anything from buying presents to help ruin an enemy's reputation. The high school minions are Hazel Williams, Isabel Coates, Nelly Yuki, Penelope Shafai. Penelope is the only minion to betray Blair more than once, but continue following her through college. Jenny Humphrey is a former minion turned enemy.
Family/Reputation/Wealth: It's All The Same
Blair is a socialite by birth. Her family's name is respected in Manhattan. She uses her name to gain VIP status and socialize with others of the upperclass. On the show, Eleanor Waldorf is a famous fashion designer, which gives Blair an advantage over her peers. Blair attracts men of power such as Prince Theodore, Lord Marcus and Prince Philip. Besides "Gossip Girl", Blair's life is also documented by news sources such as "The New York Times", which give her moments of fame. During the episode "School Lies" (1x12), Blair pays Vanessa Abrams' rent for a year. Vanessa is shocked by the gesture and Blair reveals her elitist motivations. Blair doesn't want to be indebted to Vanessa after she destroyed an incriminating video. Blair explains to Vanessa that she's free to return to disliking her. This serves as a quintessential example of Blair's social elitism.
Fashions Fade, Style Is Eternal
Blair is named on countless of fictional and real life "Best Dressed" lists. She knows how to make dramatic entrances and statements that others remember. Blair style combines vintage and modern looks; Audrey Hepburn meets Matthew Williamson. On the show, she's acts as the fashion police, always critiquing what others are wearing. Her personal style is a strength because it makes her feel good and increases her amount of admirers.
When Blair falls for someone, she devotes everything to her significant other. In her case, being a hopeless romantic is a weakness because it blinds her to an extreme level. Blair isn't level headed when she falls in love. She allows the other person to exert emotional control, whether she admits it or not. Her romantic relationships destroy her emotionally when her significant other doesn't meet her high expectations of a (fictional) love story. Love is Blair's worst weakness because it's when she's most vulnerable.
Serena Van der Woodsen
Blair's turbulent relationship with Serena is the overshadowing arc of the series. Blair loves and hates Serena like a blood sister. The dynamics of their relationship are explained below under Serena's relationship profile. As for why Serena is her weakness, Serena is one of the few people that can tear Blair's fortress. Usually their problems are caused by Blair's envy and Serena doesn't understand the ways she hurts Blair. When the best friends are fighting, Blair becomes the worst version of herself. Blair doesn't have a moral compass when it comes to defending or protecting Serena. Blair is incapable of holding back her blinding love for Serena.
Blair suffers from bulimia nervosa, a well-known eating disorder among young women. Her bulimia is heavily referenced in the book series to a graphic degree. Blair uses bulimia as a coping mechanism when she feels nervous; she'll binge on food and then purge by vomiting. From a medical point of view, bulimics are likely to also suffer from an affective disorder such as depression or general anxiety disorder. The television show only references the eating disorder in one episode, "Blair Waldorf Must Pie!" (1x09). Through the seasons, an occasional dialogue line about Blair's eating disorder is said by Serena or Eleanor. It's implied on the show that Blair has now "fully recovered".
Growing up on the Upper East Side and the scrutiny of others has affected Blair's character. She feels the need to appear respectable at all times. She's very insecure about her public image, but does her best to hide her self-doubts from others. This weakness often causes her to behaves in a neurotic way. In season one, Blair almost flees the country because she can't face the rumors about her sex life.The need to maintain her public image is evident every time she applies to societies/clubs.
Serena sums up Blair's delusional habit in 1x13: "Whenever something happens that's not a part of your plan you pretend like it doesn't exist. You act like you're in this movie about your perfect life then I have to remind you the only one watching that movie is you." While comical to the viewer, Blair's delusions usually end up being catastrophic for her as a character.
In regards to the television show, Blair is introduced as a bitchy girl that doesn't care about others. It isn't until her interactions with Serena and Eleanor that her humanity is shown. "Bad News Blair" (1x04) is arguably the first episode which the viewer begins to feel for the character. In season one, the viewer watches Blair come out of her uptight shell by engaging in an affair with bad boy Chuck Bass (1x07). Throughout the season, Blair struggles to receive attention from both Eleanor and Nate, which shows her innate vulnerability. In the season finale, Blair is left broken hearted after Chuck abandons her.
In season two, Blair deals with her on-and-off relationship with Chuck. The viewer watches Blair put her heart on line, only to have it smashed by Chuck, when she says 'I love you' first (2x13). After she loses Yale, Blair experiments with her character, but Nate finds a way to ground her. Blair ends the season as Prom Queen, Yale-less and Chuck Bass' girlfriend.
Season three is a series of lows for Blair. She struggles socially at NYU (3x02) and invests most of her time being Chuck's girlfriend. She acts out of character by hanging out with call girls. Like never before, Blair is willing to pay any price for love by offering herself to Jack Bass (3x17). Blair's heartbreak continues until the finale when Chuck sleeps with Jenny.
Season four focuses on Blair recovering post-Chuck. Now that she's attending Columbia, she feels comfortable and confident. She schemes with minions and rooms with Serena. Her relationship with Serena brings out her best side (4x11). Blair's new obsession becomes 'powerful women' and she stalks a few. Finally, after her mother suggests fashion journalism as a career, Blair lands an internship/job at W Magazine (4x13). Her unusual relationship with Dan Humphrey is prominent this season. As for her relationship with Chuck, there's no telling what's to come by the end.
"Gossip Girl" airs on the CW, Monday nights.
In comparison to the character's growth in the book series, there are many similarities. Like the television show, Blair has to deal with Serena sleeping with Nate. Blair's love for Nate is tenfold in comparison to the television show. Most of Blair's motives in the book series regard her insecurity about Nate loving her. It's quite sad to read about her competing with Serena for Nate's attention. There are two other characters in the book series that build on Blair Waldorf's character, Aaron Rose (step-brother) and Vanessa Abrams. Aaron and Rose are on the television show, but unfortunately they were adapted completely differently, therefore don't hold any weight over Blair's growth.
Serena Van Der Woodsen
"The rules are different for the Serena Van Der Woodsens of the world. People expect you to party, and be wild, sleep with whoever you want, run away, come back. […] You shot your reputation to hell a long time ago. It doesn't matter what you do. But I'm a Waldorf." - Blair
Serena is tall, blonde, impulsive, shameless, outgoing, carefree... the complete opposite of Blair. Serena is effortless, making her the perfect character foil for Blair. She is also the most important person in Blair's life.
In the book series and season one of show, Blair and Serena fight over Nate. In both versions of the story, Blair forgives Serena for sleeping with her boyfriend. When it comes to forgiveness, Blair can overcome Serena's mistakes. No matter their differences, Blair has always put her life aside to help Serena. On the television show, it is implied that Serena is the only friend that helped Blair during her eating disorder period. Serena appreciates Blair because she doesn't try to change her. Blair is the only constant person in Serena's life. In "They Shoot Humphreys, Don't They?" (3x09), Chuck and Nate discuss the outrageous love between the girls.
Blair ins't capable of replacing Serena and doesn't want anyone else to have her either. This fact is evident on the show when Serena hangs with socialite Poppy Lifton. The best friends have major conflicts when Serena tries working at a PR company and Tripp's political campaign because Blair doesn't approve of her life choices. Blair also hates it when Serena picks boys over her.
Gossip Girl fan caitie analyzes their relationship dynamic: "In Paris, Blair spends her time reading and in museums, being a spectator of the stories she wants to star in. She gets "lost in a daydream" in front of Dejeuner, "transporting herself to the banks of that far away river." And while Blair is dreaming, Serena is out living those stories. She's the star. She's the muse. She's the Venus. She's the girl in Blair's favorite painting." - While this passage discusses the episode "Belles Du Jour" (4x01), it is an accurate explantion of their relationship structure. In both the book series and television show, Serena is always doing something that Blair only ever dreams of doing. For example, on the show Serena is chosen to be a model by Eleanor twice, leaving Blair out of the spotlight. In the books, Serena also models and Blair laments about seeing Serena "everywhere" in the city. Adding more salt to the wound, in the book series, Serena acts in a remake of "Breakfast At Tiffany's", Blair's favorite movie of all time.
In both the book series and television show, Blair is furious when she learns that Serena got into Yale. Serena has below average grades and seemingly gets into Yale on charisma alone. At the start of season four, Blair has trouble accepting that Serena will be attending Columbia with her instead of Brown. The envy that fuels these moments is based on Blair's resentment of Serena. Blair tries so hard to be the best, yet still fails to achieve her goals; while Serena simply does whatever is best for her and succeeds at everything.
Blair/Serena is a canon femslash ship in the book series. In the prequel, Serena is quoted saying "We're lesbians" (to manipulate Nate for fun). In the tenth grade, before Serena attended boarding school, Blair and Serena are drunk in the hot tub. Blair kisses her out of impulse. Blair comments in "Gossip Girl: A Novel": "Thinking about that kiss always made her feel hot and itchy and uncomfortable. That's another reason why it had been such a relief when Serena went away." For a brief period, Blair forgets about Nate completely while hooking up with Serena ("Can you imagine finding out your girlfriend was cheating on you with, like, another girl?"). In the final installment, "I Will Always Love You", Blair and Serena escape to Europe, ("That was it. They chose each other."), leaving a shocked Nate behind in New York.
Their shipper name is Walsden or Waldsen. Fans also ship the actors under the name Bleighton. Instead of listing Serena as an enemy, she is listed as a weakness above. The relationship is worthy of its own shipper manifesto.
Episodes: "Bad News Blair" (1x04), "Woman On The Verge" (1x17), "The Serena Also Rises" (2x05), "New Haven Can Wait" (2x06), "The Goodbye Gossip Girl" (2x25), "The Grandfather: Part 2" (3x08), "The Treasure Of Serena Madre" (3x11), Belles Du Jour (4x01), "The Undergraduates" (4x03), "The Townie" (4x11).
"I'm totally, completely in love with Nate. I've been in love with him forever. And I've just gotten to this point where if I can't be with him, I'm going to die." - Blair, "It Had To Be You"
In the book series, Nate grew up being best friends with Blair and Serena. In the fifth grade, Serena tells Nate about Blair's crush on him. Throughout the series, Nate is an indecisive heartthrob that's in love with both girls. He destroys their relationship by dating Blair and sleeping with Serena at the same time.
In season one of the show, Blair's attachment to Nate is heart-wrenching. She tries several times to lose her virginity to Nate, except he's unresponsive to her. When describing Nate to Jenny, Blair talks about marrying Nate and how she always knew that he was 'the one'.
Their initial break up is rough because Nate cant't forgive Blair for sleeping with Chuck. His actions anger fans since he's acting like a hypocrite. Blair suffers more public humiliation than he ever did for sleeping with Serena.
The couple briefly reunited, but Blair realizes at Prom that she outgrew her romantic love for him. Earlier in this period of time, Nate attempts to prove his commitment to her by asking her to move in with him. (Note: This is a Blair/Chuck scene in the books.) Blair's moral compass shifts when she makes a deal with Nate's grandfather: She'd convince Nate to go to Yale for a spot at Yale and at Tripp's wedding. When Nate finds out about the deal, he criticizes her for still being a "mean" girl.
Post-break up, Blair and Nate fall into an easy friendship, however the two don't share many one-on-one scenes on the show.
Nate represents Blair's past and childhood. She is often nostalgic about their memories together. In "The Grandfather" (2x19), Nate is responsible for helping Blair through her emotional breakdown. Later in season three, Nate is around for emotional support when she breaks up with Chuck. Nate picks Blair over Chuck in this season. Nate has a lot of potential to help Blair grow as a character, but the writers haven't explored this wholly.
In both the book series and television show, Blair and Nate have a rich romantic history. Their shipper name is Nair. Their tagline is: "Always Have. Always Will."
Episodes: "The Handmaiden's Tale" (1x06), "Victor/Victrola" (1x07), "Hi Society" (1x10), "A Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate" (1x13), "The Grandfather" (2x19), "Remains of J" (2x20), "Valley Girls" (2x24), "The Unblairable Lightness of Being" (3x18), War At The Roses (4x07), Panic Roommate (4x14).
"Only a masochist could ever love such a narcissist." - Blair
In the book series, Chuck is a secondary character that is only liked for his fortune. He dresses flamboyantly and often carries a pet monkey with him. He is bisexual and constantly horny. Blair dislikes him throughout the series. Blair never loses her virginity to him. However, in "All I Want Is Everything", Chuck does proposition Blair to have sex with him, but she ignores the offer.
Chuck doesn't date Blair until the final installment "I Will Always Love You". Chuck approaches her at a bar and she's surprised by his appearance. He's back from California a changed man. Blair confides in Chuck about Nate always fucking up her life. Blair eventually agrees to date Chuck. Regardless of their solid relationship, Blair never gets over Nate. "What was she doing fantasizing about Nate when she had Chuck—Chuck, who made her feel like a princess, and never, ever fucked with her—just down the hall?" They almost break up because of Blair's triangle (B/N/S).
At a dinner party - over a year into the relationship - Chuck's mom mentions marriage to Blair and she freaks out. She wants a job after graduation, not a wedding ring. Blair and Chuck are separated at times, because Chuck attends Oxford. When Chuck returns to New York for Christmas, he asks her to move in with him after graduation. Blair is instantly overwhelmed by the progression of their relationship ("It was the life Blair had always wanted… but did she really want it so soon?").
Things come to an end, when Blair announces at brunch that she can't be in the relationship anymore. "For once in her life, the movie in her mind wasn't playing. She had no idea what her next line was or how she should exit. She had no idea if any man was waiting in the wings. Blair scraped her chair back and stood up. [...] The last thing she wanted was to find herself in ten years having the same conversation about Hamptons homes with Chuck."
The series wraps up with Blair and Serena attending Chuck's New Year's Eve party at the Bass suite, since it was their tradition. Chuck personally invites Blair to come regardless of their breakup. In Chuck's last scene, he's seen talking to Rain Hoffstetter, while Serena and Blair are in the hot tub.
Blair and Chuck are arguably the most tortured relationship on the television show. This is a brief overview. Chuck believes they are inevitable as a couple (2x07). There are complex layers to their personalities that determine why they do what they do to each other. Starting at the surface, both characters come from broken families with demanding parents.
In season one, the characters are introduced with similar vices. Both are elitist, shallow, manipulative, schemers and the list goes on. Chuck serves as Blair's partner for scheming; nobody does plotting better than them. Chuck suddenly finds himself directly in between Nate and Blair.
The dynamic of their relationship changes in "Victor/Victrola" (1x07) when a newly single Blair strips for Chuck at his club. They close the evening in the back of his limo and that's how she loses her virginity. The following morning, Chuck is very interested in Blair, which is unusual for him because he always loses interest in a woman after sex. Blair dismisses him in favor of making up with Nate. But Nate never shows on her birthday and she's stuck with Chuck. Blair is startled to learn that Chuck is crushing on her. Chuck is equally startled, but proceeds to woo her. In "Hi Society", the triangle re-emerges when Blair refuses to attend cotillion with Chuck and favors Nate as her date, even though they're broken up. Chuck's jealousy emerges in this episode and his scheming causes Blair to end things. Chuck refuses to watch Blair fall for Nate all over again and begins to blackmail her. Blair and Chuck's relationship spirals for the rest of the season and Blair is single for most of it. In the season finale, Chuck confesses his love for Blair to Nate. Nate is shocked that his best friend has finally fallen in love. The couple almost reunite, but Chuck is unable to make the an exclusive commitment to Blair.
The events of season one with Chuck dramatically change Blair's character. With Chuck, Blair begins to act less uptight to the point where even Nate notices the difference in her behavior. Blair acts real around Chuck and that's the appeal in their dynamic. The couple owns up to being sick/twisted by embracing their darkest sides at times.
The season two opener introduces them equally troubled. Blair returns to New York with a boyfriend, Lord Marcus. Meanwhile, Chuck is once against facing jealousy and attempts to persuade Blair to stay with him. However, Blair asks him to say 'I love you', but Chuck fails and loses Blair. It's a mess of emotions between Blair and Chuck for the rest of the season with mind games centered around seduction. Blair's character grows when she decides to take a leap and confess her love to Chuck knowing the risks. Unfortunately, Chuck isn't in the state of mind to deal with love problems after the death of his father. For the first time, Chuck is shown truly vulnerable to Blair and she's shown as the loving caretaker. The couple continues to hurt each other by engaging in relationships (or sexual relations) with other people. Blair is devastated when Chuck lies about his feelings, but in the finale, Chuck finally says the three words she has been waiting to hear.
Blair's moral compass shifts to extremes in reaction to their relationship. There are two particularly notable moments. In "Chuck In Real Life" (2x07), Blair asks Chuck to destroy and seduce Vanessa for the prize of sex with her. Vanessa informs Blair that Chuck "might actually be a good person" when he's not around her. Blair replies "I seriously doubt that", alluding that she doesn't think Chuck is a good person. In "The Goodbye Gossip Girl" (2x25), Chuck learns that Blair slept with Jack. When Chuck asks why, Blair explains that it was the only way to get him back from Thailand. This shows how far Blair will go for a loved one, that she'd be willing to trade her body for favors. Sadly for Blair's sake, she's almost traded for sex again in season three.
At the start of season three, Blair and Chuck are blissfully in love and having fun in their unconventional relationship. They use scheming as foreplay and also love role-playing. At times Chuck neglects Blair for business which makes her ruffled because she's needy after hating NYU. In "Dan de Fleurette" (3x04), Chuck schemes with Jenny to put Blair back on the appropriate social ladder. His scheme causes a slight rift in their relationship, but they reunite by the end of the episode.
Chuck manipulates Blair's relationships with people in season three. The most notable being her relationship with Serena. In "They Shoot Humphreys, Don't They?" (3x09) with the help of Nate, Chuck traps Blair and Serena together in an elevator to settle their fight. Chuck succeeds in getting the best friends to talk.
Blair provides emotional support in season three for Chuck when he attempts to reunite with his birth mother. When things go sour, Blair reminds Chuck that he's her family (3x13).
Sorrow continues for the couple later in the season, in "Inglourious Bassterds" (3x17), Chuck offers a night with Blair to his uncle Jack in return for the deed to the Empire Hotel. When Blair confronts Chuck about the deal, he justifies it by saying it was his darkest moment and he expected her to accept it. Blair is horrified to learn the truth; that Chuck had schemed against her. She cries out to him: "All I ever did was love you." It's important to note that Blair's moral compass shifts again for Chuck, when she admits: "I would've done anything to help you. All you had to do was ask." She's angry because he went behind her back, but given a different situation, she would have seduced Jack if Chuck had asked.
As a consequence of Chuck's deal, Blair becomes disillusioned about her relationship with Chuck, not knowing if it's the "right" kind of love. In the following episode "The Unblairable Lightness Of Being" (3x18), Chuck attempts to satisfy Blair by throwing an impromptu dream wedding for Dorota, but the gesture isn't enough to repair the damage done. Blair breaks up with Chuck because they hit "rock bottom". She realizes that she doesn't like the person she has become while loving Chuck.
Chuck refuses to lose Blair and attempts to get her back in the final episodes of season three. He proposes that they meet at the top of the Empire State building, much like the movie "An Affair To Remember". He plays into her hopeless romantic side. Due to complications, Blair doesn't make it and Chuck sleeps with Jenny out of hopelessness. Chuck and Blair almost make up before she learns about his tryst. The end of season three causes some fans to jump ship.
At the start of season four, Blair and Chuck return to their mind games. For the first few episodes, there isn't any character development for Blair; instead she regresses to pettiness and bouts of jealously. Their games motivate Nate and Serena to issue a treaty (4x07). Things kinda backfire for the couple when they engage in "hate sex" and fall into an "enemies with benefits" pattern. In "The Witches Of Bushwick" (4x09)", the couple flirts with the idea of getting back together, but Blair ultimately decides it's not the best idea at the moment. As for growth, this is the first time Blair pushes her heart aside. Yet problems of the heart still plague Blair as seen in "It-Girl Happened One Night" (4x15) when she overhears Chuck's heartfelt speech to Raina.
A cause of much frustration in the fandom is Chuck's overall treatment of Blair. He's seen capable of acting romantic and loving for his other girlfriends yet not for his so-called love of his life. Examples of this issues are evident after studying Chuck's relationships with Eva and Raina. On the flip side, both relationships were built on lies that Chuck created. Chuck acts delusional (like Blair), he can easily pretend to be a good boyfriend instead of actually being a good boyfriend.
Their shipper name is Chair. Their tagline is: "Three Words. Eight Letters."
Episodes: "Poison Ivy" (1x03), "Victor/Victrola" (1x07), "Seventeen Candles" (1x08), "Hi Society" (1x10), "A Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate" (1x13), "Much I Do About Nothing" (1x18), "Summer Kind of Wonderful" (2x01), "The Dark Night" (2x03)", Chuck In Real Life" (2x07), "O, Brother, Where Bart Thou?" (2x13), "The Goodbye Gossip Girl" (2x25), "The Hurt Locket" (3x13), "Inglorious Bassterds" (3x17), "Last Tango, Then Paris" (3x22), "Double Identity" (4x02), "War At The Roses" (4x07), "The Witches Of Bushwick" (4x09).
"You will never be more beautiful or thin or happy than you are right now. I want you to make the most of it." - Eleanor
Eleanor is an absent mother in Blair's life. Her portrayal differs in the television show. On the show, she's the CEO of her own fashion label, which causes her to be often in Paris. Eleanor is a harsh critic and puts a lot of pressure on Blair. Blair desperately wants her mother to recognize her success.
Episodes: "Bad News Blair" (1x04), "Bad Waldorf Must Pie" (1x09), "The Serena Also Rises" (2x05), "O, Brother, Where Bart Thou?" (2x13), "The Unblairable Lightness of Being" (3x18), "The Kids Are Not All Right" (4x12).
Blair Versus Brooklyn
"Brooklyn. I think it's in New York." - Blair
During season one of the show, Blair tries her best ignore the Brooklyn characters (Dan, Jenny, Vanessa).
Dan and Jenny Humphrey were originally from the Upper West Side in the book series, but the show creators set them in Brooklyn for dramatic purposes.
It's difficult to elaborate on how these characters have changed Blair because they have strayed from the book series. On that note, none of the actors physically resemble their book counterparts.
Jenny Humphrey aka "I didn't see that one coming."
The character with the least changes to television is Jenny Humphrey. In the book series, she's an aspiring artist with a desire to model and somewhat obsesses over Serena. She has trouble fitting in with rich girls of Blair's social circle and eventually gets kicked out of school.
The television show follows a similar format with Jenny's storyline. In season one, she is introduced as a young girl that worships Blair and Serena. She's seemingly willing to do anything for them and becomes "Little J". However, Jenny quickly learns that following the Queen B isn't at all what she imagined. She continually feels like an outsider, no matter what she tries to do. In season two, the girls end at a good place when Blair hands over the crown of the high school to Jenny. Jenny follows Blair's lead by asking Nate to be her cotillion escort. Jenny's life spirals in season three and by the season finale she's committed the worst crime in Blair's eyes. Jenny loses her virginity to Chuck in a moment of loneliness, which leads Blair to banish her from the city.
Jenny has surprised Blair from time to time, which is rare for anyone to do. Jenny has interfered in Blair's love life more than once, which causes her stress/annoyance. There are also moments when Blair is envious of Jenny's relationship with Eleanor, because they share a passion for fashion design.
Episodes: "The Handmaiden's Tale" (1x06), "The Serena Also Rises" (2x05), "Remains of J" (2x20), "The Goodbye Gossip Girl" (2x25), "Last Tango, Then Paris" (3x22), "The Witches Of Bushwick" (4x09).
Dan Humphrey aka "Cabbage Patch"
Dan and Blair bash each other for the first three seasons. Dan is often judgmental of Blair's lifestyle and openly criticizes her. In "Bad News Blair" (1x04), Dan is the unlikely source of comfort for Blair after Serena and Eleanor betray her. From that moment on, Dan is aware that Blair has a heart underneath her cold exterior. Blair corrupts Dan for the first time in "Much I Do About Nothing" (1x18), when she asks him to act out a plan against Georgina. Their scheme succeeds. In season two, Dan is shocked to learn that she loves Chuck, but he encourages the relationship. Their relationship hits a low point in "You've Got Yale!" (2x16) when Blair attempts to out his affair with a teacher. In the biggest twist of their lives, Blair ends up at NYU with Dan. There are a few scenes at NYU when Dan helps Blair out (4x02). By season four, order is restored when Blair transfers to Columbia. Their relationship deepens in "The Kids Are Not All Right" (4x12) when they take a road trip for Serena's sake. It's their mutual love for Serena that brings them closer. Blair and Dan share common interests, but have different opinions on a fundamental level. They are the most educated characters on the show, therefore parallels can often be made. Their relationship is a work in progress. Their shipper name is Dair.
Episodes: "Bad News Blair" (1x04), "Much I Do About Nothing" (1x18), "You've Got Yale!" (2x16), "The Freshman" (4x02), "The Kids Are Not All Right" (4x12), "While You Weren't Sleeping" (4x16), "Empire of the Son" (4x17).
Vanessa Abrams aka "That Little Troll"
Vanessa Abrams is the Brooklyn-based character that is practically non-existent on Blair's radar on the television show. Vanessa doesn't attend high school with her, so she isn't forced to socialize with her. It was only when Vanessa starts spending time with Nate or Chuck, that Blair bothers to scheme against her. Vanessa has a habit of gathering confidential information about Blair, which always ends badly. In "Chuck In Real Life" (2x07), Vanessa attempts to blackmail Blair into being a "nicer" person, which goes to show her character's priorities.
In the book series, Vanessa has more contact with Blair. Vanessa dates Blair's step-brother Aaron Rose, which causes them to be in closer proximity. After the birth of Blair's baby sister, Blair moves out of her Upper East Side apartment and wanders around a bit. In "Nobody Does It Better", Blair suggests moving into Vanessa's Williamsburg apartment and they form an odd friendship. Some of Blair's most hilarious moments come from this period of time in her life ("Nobody did a dinner party better than Blair Waldorf. Even if it was just a chic little bohemian Brooklyn dinner party."). She matures by seeing how people without personal cooks and drivers live every day.
Episodes: "School Lies" (1x12), "Chuck In Real Life" (2x07), "Enough About Eve" (3x06), "The Last Days of Disco Stick" (3x10), "The Witches Of Bushwick" (4x09), "Gaslit" (4x10).
Dorota is Blair's most trusted confidante. Even if Blair loses everyone in her life, she will always have her. Dorota is Blair's faithful Polish maid. Dorota is in charge of managing every aspect of Blair's life. Blair is often ordering Dorota to help her carry out schemes. Occasionally, Dorota interjects her own opinion on matters and Blair's reaction varies. It is directly and indirectly mentioned that Dorota has been a better mother to Blair than Eleanor. Eleanor has been envious of their tight bond.
Episodes: Dorota has catchy one liners in most episodes. "Bonfire Of The Vanity" (2x10), "The Freshman" (3x02), "The Empire Strikes Jack" (3x16), "Inglorious Bassterds" (3x17), "The Unblairable Lightness of Being" (3x18), "Touch Of Eva" (4x04).
Georgina Spark(s) is Blair's enemy in both the book series and the television show. Georgina enjoys mocking Blair for being uptight and straight laced. She appears for the first time in "I Like It Like That" by befriending Nate in rehab. Georgina is a bad girl living the fast life and doesn't care about the repercussions of her actions. Georgina tends to be Serena's enabler to get high and party. Blair doesn't like Georgina's influence over her best friend. Blair is responsible for ending Georgina's "fun times" in New York.
Episodes: "Desperately Seeking Serena" (1x15), "Much I Do About Nothing" (1x18), "The Wrath Of Con" (2x23), "The Lost Boy" (3x03), "The Undergraduates" (4x03).
Blair Waldorf has been my favorite character since I read the series as a teenager. She's my favorite non-supernatural female on television of all time. Blair's unique personality keeps her storylines intriguing and hard to predict. I can relate to her on different levels. She's a character that's capable of making me both cry and laugh with her. She's a timeless anit-heroine that I won't ever forget. I hope my character essay reflects her depth.
"Life isn't a fairy tale and happy endings are few and far between. - xoxo Gossip Girl"