‘Ship Wars: Gilmore Girls

Few things can cause a rift between my friends and me faster than a war – a ‘ship war, that is. We all have them – our absolutely favorite OTP (that’s One True Pair for those of you not in the know) – and there is nothing you can say that will change our minds.

I’m just going to tell you right now that this post will be full – and I mean full – of spoilers for Gilmore Girls. So if that bothers you, you should just skedaddle right now.

So here we go. This is the ‘ship war currently wrecking havoc on my twitter feed. Don’t worry. It’s all in good fun. I think.

I’ve written about her before so it’s probably no surprise that I have a special fondness for Rory Gilmore. She’s a total bookworm with a totally rad mom and a pretty stellar group of friends I kind of wish were mine too. And to top it off, over the course of seven seasons, she had a bevy of attractive boyfriends who complimented her in different ways.

Aside from, maybe, the question over who Doctor Who has loved/will love/does love, I cannot think of another ‘ship as contested as Rory and her paramours. I myself am a total Rogan fan.

Don’t stop reading just because you disagree with me. I will give them all fair treatment. For me though, the guy who complimented her best was Logan, her college sweetheart.

But let us go back to the beginning before I go into all the details of why I think Rory and Logan were best suited to each other. First, and longest, there was Dean.

Ah Dean. You were adorable in the beginning. The new boy in town. The mysterious and dreamy freshman with an eye for a girl constantly distracted by a book. If that doesn’t scream “perfect” to you, then clearly you do not read as much as I do. Dean was lovely and patient and kind. He took care of Rory and was a great first boyfriend, don’t get me wrong. And yes, the way their relationship ended the first time was crappy all around. He was exactly the kind of boyfriend that you get the feeling Lorelai wanted for her daughter.

Then there was Jess. He is the most hotly defended of Rory’s boyfriends by my friends. He was smart, totally bookish and rocked a leather jacket and bad boy demeanor well enough to attract the good girl and not fool Lorelai for a second. Plus, he was kith and kin to Luke, the resident father figure and all-around-good-guy in town. But he had an attitude and was dealing with his own baggage from the moment he showed up in town to the moment he climbed on bus and ran away.

And then there was Dean again. Yeah he came back. I scowl in the general direction of that entire musical montage and the bad decisions that were made all around.

And finally, there was Logan. Unlike her previous boyfriends, Logan was someone that her grandparents actually approved of but who made Lorelai’s skin crawl which was kind of fun to see. He perfectly represented everything that Rory’s mother had fled when she took her baby and ran at sixteen, and he had the smarts, polished manners, and general devil-may-care attitude to go along with it.
Rory’s beaus all come with pros and cons.

Dean is lovely and clearly cares about her deeply. Until he can’t control his jealousy (break up #1), can’t control his lust (makeup #1) and can’t handle Rory’s socioeconomic background (break up #2). Dean is flawed in multiple ways and the poor decisions he and Rory make over the years are actually somewhat realistic. They learn from them, and I like to think that they are probably both better (fictional) people for having had each other as first loves.

Jess is the first guy who seems to really challenge Rory. He forces her to step outside of her comfort zone in many, many ways, and he is understandably smitten and confused by her at the same time. But as I said previously, he has issues of his own that supersede a teenage romance (break up #1), and by the time he’s figured himself out and become a guy who understands himself, she’s in love with someone else. His strongest moments, in my opinion, are when he’s calling her on her irresponsible behavior and forces her to take steps to grow up too. (appearance #2) It’s kind of great.

What I think works best about Rory and Logan is that they actually challenge and force each other to grow in specific ways. Logan finds in Rory a girl who doesn’t just want him for his money, who won’t be a conquest and won’t be easily won. He’s forced to actually learn to have a real relationship with compromise and communication. On the flip side, Rory learns to navigate a relationship with someone who is socially, financially and intellectually on the same footing as she is – a situation she doesn’t find herself in with either Dean or Jess.

In the end, Rory ends up right where she belongs – at Luke’s Diner with her mother. She’s single again and about to set out on a grand adventure. As my friend Sarah said during my last battle of the ‘ship war on twitter, there is always the hope that Rory will go off to do her campaign journalism and will meet someone fabulous who totally deserves her and who she totally deserves.

Knowing what you do about her first three boyfriends, who would you hope she finds out there on the road?

Feature Image via Crushable; Dean Image; Jess Image; Logan Image

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