Serena van der Woodsen
Serena is described as 5' 7" with pale, long, blond hair and big, dark-blue eyes. She is slim and ethereally beautiful, often described as "perfect" in the books. She is very smart, but is often told that she is not working to her full potential. Her personality is not always as well regarded as her physical attributes. Like her sometimes best-friend Blair Waldorf, she and her family are prominent in New York society. Serena dabbled in modeling before landing a starring role in Breakfast at Fred's, a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany's. 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. She seeks this in Nate, although Nate has been known to prefer Blair. She has fallen in love many times, but nothing has been too serious. Serena is much less demanding and uptight than Blair; however, she has a tendency to be self-centered. She gets what she wants with very little effort which causes a lot of people to dislike her. She is practically worshiped by freshman Jenny Humphrey who aspires to be just like her despite their physical differences. Serena is often criticized by her classmates who find her an excellent source of gossip, but resent her effortless good looks and her ability to get the attention of any male. Her brother, Erik, attends Brown. Her parents rarely appear in the series. At the end of the book series, Serena decided to stay in New York City, instead of attending one of the many Ivy Leagues schools she got into, because she wanted to discover her life for herself. She is portrayed by Blake Lively in the TV series.
Blair Cornelia Waldorf is described as 5'4" and slender with brilliant blue eyes and a fox-like face. She is involved in extracurricular activities and is very intelligent and determined. For the first three books, she had long, chestnut hair, but chopped it into a pixie cut in Because I'm Worth It, before having it extended in Don't You Forget About Me. She is a hopeless romantic who idolizes Audrey Hepburn and has a sensitive side that contrasts her tendency to be bitchy and controlling. She loves to pretend her life is a movie and watches Breakfast at Tiffany's often. She is vain, although her friendship with it-girl Serena van der Woodsen causes her to be insecure at times. In the first book, when Serena returns, Blair is extremely reluctant to let her back into her life because it would mean giving up the "queen bee" position she held in Serena's absence. She also fears losing Nate to Serena since they slept together before Serena left. Blair uses her charm, money and social clout to get what she wants. Her father, once an uptight lawyer, now lives in a French chateau with his boyfriend, Giles, and their adopted Cambodian twins, Ping and Pong. He shares a love of shoes with Blair. He raised Blair under the impression that she deserves everything she wants. Her mother, Eleanor Waldorf-Rose, is a flaky, society-hostess, who married Cyrus Rose. She has a younger brother, Tyler; a stepbrother, Aaron and a baby half-sister, Yale (named after the college Blair hoped to attend, making her a good luck charm). She has a turbulent relationship with Nate Archibald throughout the series, losing him to other girls several times, including Jenny Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen. Blair now attends Yale University. She is portrayed by Leighton Meester in the TV series.
Nate is a wealthy, good-looking lacrosse player from St. Jude's school for boys. He is described as having wavy golden brown hair and sparkling, emerald-green eyes. His mother is a French socialite and his father is a former Navy captain. He smokes lots of marijuana and was once caught and sent to rehab after buying a dimebag in the park. He has dated a number of girls including Serena, Jenny, Georgina Spark, 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 Waldorf, his one true love. After stealing his lacrosse coach's Viagra, he relied on Blair and her alumnus father's connections to get accepted to Yale, although he eventually left to sail around the world with his father's Navy mentor because he is unable to choose between Blair and Serena. He is portrayed by Chace Crawford in the TV series.
Dan is a thin, sensitive, chain-smoking, caffeine-addicted poet who often sees the darker side of things and has said his favorite word is "death." Dan is a romantic whose imagination runs off wildly at the worst times. He over-analyzes and is 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 spent two years in love with Serena van der Woodsen. He has held several writing-related jobs, including a poem called "Sluts" published in the The New Yorker; an internship at Red Letter, a prominent literary magazine; and a short stint as songwriter/lead singer for indie-rock sensation The Raves. He has a close relationship with his sister, Jenny and his father Rufus. Before realizing he loved Vanessa, he was confused about his sexuality and experimented with a guy named Greg. His absentee mother returns in the final book because she believes that he is gay. Dan is now attending The Evergreen State College in Washington. He is portrayed by Penn Badgley in the TV series.
Vanessa is a budding filmmaker. She is the polar opposite of her Constance Billard School for Girls classmates. Her parents are hippie artists who live in Vermont, while her sister Ruby is bassist for the band SugarDaddy. She's described in the books as pale, and she shaves her own head. She has a shaky relationship with Dan Humphrey. After Ruby comes back from a world tour with her new fiance, Piotr, Vanessa moves in with the Humphreys, further complicating her relationship with Dan. She is attending NYU at the end of the book series. She is portrayed by Jessica Szohr in the TV series.
The younger sister of Dan Humphrey, fourteen year old Jenny is the youngest of the Gossip Girl characters. She is 4'11" and has dazzling brown eyes and curly brown hair, is an aspiring artist and holds a secret desire to be a model like Serena van der Woodsen, whom she eventually befriends. She often tries to fit in with the rich girls at her school, even though she does not hold a place in their social sphere. She often goes on wild and embarrassing escapades to set an image for herself and once accidentally starred in a photo shoot for an article entitled "Does Breast Size Matter?" She also allowed a scandalous video of her and Nate Archibald to circulate on the Internet and spent a lot of time with a popular indie rock band called the Raves. After Jenny gets kicked out of Constance Billard School for Girls, she ends up going to a boarding school, Waverly Academy, to reinvent herself as the "It Girl", a la Serena. She is now the main character in a spin-off series of books called "The It Girl." She is portrayed by Taylor Momsen in the TV series.
 Secondary characters
Chuck is a rich, handsome, lust-driven, perverted antagonist whose list of the finer things in life is short: sex, alcohol, and rock and roll. He almost took advantage of a vulnerable Jenny Humphrey in a bathroom and on roof top and tried to sleep with an inebriated Serena van der Woodsen. Nobody is certain about his sexual orientation. Chuck has an obnoxious pet monkey named Sweetie, who can often be found perching on his shoulder and wearing coordinated outfits. He is largely despised by other characters, but because their families have been friends for generations and because of his wealth and good looks, they tolerate his egotistical antics and accept him for what he is: a rich party animal. After he was not accepted to any of the colleges he applied to, he ends up going to military college. He is portrayed by Ed Westwick as a primary character in the TV series.
Kati Farkas and Isabel Coates
They make up Blair's former clique before Serena returned to New York City. They are two alumna socialites of Constance Billard School for Girls. Isabel was accepted into Princeton University, but she turned the Ivy down for Rollins College in Orlando, Florida because she wanted to attend college with her best friend, Kati. They are portrayed by Nan Zhang and Nicole Fiscella in the TV series.
 Minor characters
Erik van der Woodsen
The older brother of Serena van der Woodsen. Once had a fling with Blair Waldorf. He is portrayed by Connor Paolo in the TV series as Serena's younger brother. She returned from boarding school to see him after had tried to commit suicide.
The herb cigarette-smoking and vegan step-brother of Blair Waldorf and son of Cyrus Rose. He drives a red Saab, and had a un-requited crush on his step-sister, Blair. Later on he dated both Serena and Vanessa, and was accepted to Harvard University.
The younger brother of Blair Waldorf and a student at St. George’s. He was a constant joke when Serena and Blair were best friends, even dropping him off and making him walk home from the Lower East Side.
Jenny's best friend and a student at Constance Billard. She discovers homosexual attractions - which will 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 had mutal attraction for each other until Blair found out that Owen was married and Elise is his daughter. She is portrayed by Emma Demar in the TV series.
A mentally insane ex-girlfriend of Nate’s from when they were in rehab together. She has been with Chuck Bass. She is portrayed by Michelle Trachtenberg in the TV series.
Charlie Dern, Anthony Prom and Jeremy Scott Tompkison
Nate's friends, also attends St. Jude's, they spend their time smoking marijuana and playing soccer at Central Park. They are not mentioned in the TV series.
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