Is Rory Gilmore Broke? I Doubt It

Share

Earlier, when I wrote my commentary on Rory Gilmore’s storyline, I talks with some fans in online commentary about my hypothesis that Rory had already spent her trust fund. In Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, we see Rory leading what appears to be a global lifestyle. She had an apartment in New York that she rarely used, instead spending her time flying around the world chasing stories. Few of which were published. 

In the 9 years since Rory graduated from Yale, she didn’t appear to have many sources of income. Certainly she would have been paid a consistent salary while on Obama’s campaign trail, but after that she seems to have led the life of a freelance journalist. This means she’s only paid when she writes a story. And would that pay check even cover the cost of her current lifestyle? My guess is no.

I myself am a freelance writer, and quite a successful one. I write mostly corporate content, but I write every day. As a freelance journalist, Rory would need to be writing regularly. She would not be given a travel budget or an expense account. And single bylines in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, or GQ would not be enough to support a modest living (and clearly Rory is not living modestly). As you know, I took issue with Rory’s drive, as she showed very little understanding of what it takes to be a writer for a living

And that’s the key. I think Rory was pursuing her passion as a writer, fully funded by her trust fund. Writing didn’t have to pay her way, and so the pressure to succeed was different. Rory had the financial backing to “wait” for the right pitch to land in her lap or to be picky about her stories. To write what she wanted and only when she wanted. Sometimes that worked. More often, it did not. As Vulture has pointed out, this made Rory a bad journalist, even if she wasn’t technically a bad writer.

So, did Rory have a trust fund? You bet. It’s just a matter of from whom and how much. Richard Gilmore said in season 6 that Rory had a trust fund, but the amount is unspecified. Perhaps it was the trust fund from Trix (Richard’s mother) that was possibly still on the table. It could also be a trust fund that was always in her name, care of the Gilmores. If her trust fund was modest, under $300,000, she could easily have spent that in 9 years on airfare, hotels, dining out, her New York apartment, etc. Clearly she flew to London often and rarely stayed for long. 

The Rory we meet now is broke. She has no money. And yet she accepts a job at the Stars Hollow Gazette for… no money. It’s clear to me that Rory isn’t used to having to pay her own bills based on the work she does. I truly believe she’s spent anything she was left, but so recently that she doesn’t truly understand what that could mean. 

But is Rory truly broke? I doubt it. We are not told, but my guess is she was left a sizeable sum from Richard Gilmore. Her dad, Christopher, is also quite wealthy. Given the cliffhanger of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, she may even have some support coming her way from Logan. And we know her book will succeed, perhaps her first independent financial success.

At the end of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, we are told that Rory has come “full circle” back to where Lorelai began. In some ways, that’s true. In other very important ways, it is not. Rory is not penniless, despite what we are told. She has not separated herself from her family (and their ample support) the way that Lorelai did. Her path forward will not be paved with the same struggles. 

What do you think?

Share

15 thoughts on “Is Rory Gilmore Broke? I Doubt It

  • January 4, 2017 at 10:04 am
    Permalink

    What if the baby is the wokie she hooked up with???

    Reply
    • January 5, 2017 at 8:21 am
      Permalink

      Rod: the timing isn’t right. She would be practically ready to pop if it was the Wookie’s.

      Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 10:11 am
    Permalink

    Spot on, Lorelai will always give Rory whatever she needs as would Emily. Christopher with his buckets of cash would just give her money rather then try and parent. I think Rory’s biggest problem is that she was never forced to grow up in the way many of us have had to. She’s still everyone’s golden child even though she’s not a child.

    Reply
    • January 4, 2017 at 8:39 pm
      Permalink

      Spot on! I completely agree!

      Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 11:11 am
    Permalink

    Remember folks, this is a TV show. The writers can make anything happen that they want. You will never know the answer because the writers don’t want you to. Let your imagination run wild and think whatever you want.

    Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm
    Permalink

    Rory got 500k-1mil from Trix, Richard’s mother. I was rewatching season one and she definitely left Rory a trust fund or inheritance of some sort of that much. Besides the other large trust-funds I’m sure she received between Christopher, Emily and Richard, or whoever. Logan, Luke, Lorelai, Emily and Richard, and anyone in Stars Hollow would definitely help Rory afford whatever she needed. Having the affair with Logan would help pay for her flights, plus free miles, and her own money could definitely take her between Hartford and London whenever she felt like it. I doubt she’s broke, but her version of broke would be a very different situation than Lorelai’s. When Lorelai decided to raise Rory by herself all she had was Mia to help her. Rory will have the support of the father (presumably Logan), Lorelai (assuming she’s supportive, but if they were fighting Lorelai would of course still be involved), Emily (who has come a long way during the show, especially in the revival), not to mention the entire town of Stars Hollow! I can’t imagine that Rory could ever find herself in a situation like Lorelai’s with the overwhelming amount of support she has. In the very unlikely situation that she does, she has a great work ethic when she decides to use it and could make a living, whether it be as a writer or something else, i know that if she tries hard enough she can accomplish great things.

    Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm
    Permalink

    There never was any real attempt to make lifestyles match budgetary constraints even when it was just the Lorelai’s during Rory’s Chilton time so to expect it now seems unrealistic. However, if we wish to play this game it seems Rory never held a steady job in either HS or Yale, nominally to keep her GPA on the top shelf and grease the ladder to climb higher, but that was a dangerous precedent to set
    as it left her with minimal practical experience in interviewing for jobs or needing to stay cash-flow positive.

    Then with college debts paid in full by Chris, she had the luxury to take a first job that might be interesting but was probably no better than financially break-even. If she did well enough with the campaign, Hugo would probably keep her on assignment a bit longer to take her up to age 25. At that time the Trix endowment kicks in and probably gets her through age 28 relatively debt-free even if she is not productive as a writer. One also assumes during this time that Chris was probably providing some allowance money for “expenses and fun” that if husbanded correctly could maybe buy her another year or two and almost get her to the present time where her Grandfather’s endowment could kick in.

    The fact is there was always a perceived floor of support that she could access, however compromised that made her feel at times. Then the more often she dipped in the trough ; be it provided by Trix, Logan, Chris, the Grandparents or even Lorelai; the easier it became to take it for granted and she became a bit of a habitual mooch almost without realizing it.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 12:10 am
    Permalink

    What about the Wookie = Jess theory?

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 6:33 am
    Permalink

    Tbh Rory will never be broke. She is a trust fund kid. Opportunities will fall on her lap one way or the other. All of this is because at the end of the day she is rich, and we all know rich people have better lives. And us poor people will never know.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 7:32 am
    Permalink

    Remember when she was graduating from Yale that was the beginning of her downfall she didn’t get the internship at the Times and missed out on a job with a promising journalism career. I am OK with having money given to her she struggled long enough when she was young very disappointed with relationship with logan

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 8:25 am
    Permalink

    Christopher had previously expressed he has more money than he could ever possibly hope to spend, so there is no way that Rory is actually broke–even with a global lifestyle. I would imagine “broke” to her at this point in her life is pretty meaningless. It might mean she can’t have *all* the things she wants, but she is covered on all the things she needs, I am certain.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 10:41 am
    Permalink

    We know her trust fund from Trix is $250,000. In the episode where Trix was going to give it to her early to pay for Chilton, but then didn’t because of Emily and Lorelai’s fighting, Lorelai told Rory that Rory missed out on a quarter of a million dollars that day. But I imagine Richard also would have left her something. And surely Christopher would have set something up for her too.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 11:21 am
    Permalink

    I wondered the same thing about her monetary situation. I just figured Logan paid for her to go to and from London, similarly to when he bought her tickets when they were together. I also sort of figured Chris put her up in an apartment, he’d offered something of the like before when he first came into money. All that being said, I agree that ASP rarely took into consideration lifestyle budgets. Like how on earth does a single parent afford to eat out multiple meals a day (for both herself and her child)? And a backpacking trip around Europe for 2 in addition to breaking ground on a new Inn (which she could abrely afford with Rory’s tuition, pre-grandparent involvement)? Seems unlikely. Plus the sponteneous trips to NYC to see shows, etc. She didn’t really take Lorelai’s paycheck into consideration, I don’t think.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm
    Permalink

    Didn’t Rory intend to pay back her grandparents for Yale, just as Lorelai paid them back for Chilton when she got the check from Richard’s investment? Or, should we just assume that Rory coveniently just “forgot” to do that? Around $250k before Chris picked up the tab.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm
    Permalink

    I always assumed when Chris put up Rory’s Yale expenses for the last 2 years that he put in trust the first two years for her to pay back the grandparents [and let them know that]. Otherwise the residual debt would be a continuing bone of contention and emotional blackmail between Rory and Emily for the duration, but we never heard peep one about it beyond the terrific Friday night argument once Chris started picking up the tab–

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *