Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf Gossip Girl Portrayed by Leighton Meester First appearance Book Series: Gossip Girl TV Series: "Pilot" Created by Character Cecily von Ziegesar Developed for Television Josh Schwartz Stephanie Savage Profile Gender Female Occupation High School Student Socialite Queen Bee (former) College Student Residence East 72nd Street Penthouse (book series) Newport, Rhode Island (family summer house, book series) [show]Relationships Blair Cornelia Waldorf is the main character of the Gossip Girl book series, also appearing in the television adaptation of the same name. In addition to being the protagonist of the original novels, she is the most widely publicized figure from the television series, and the most critically acclaimed character of both. Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the series, has labeled Blair its most complex figure. The television character, played by Leighton Meester, has gained a degree of notability for her popular wardrobe. As a result, her styles and outfits have received real-life coverage or recognition from various periodicals. A privileged young woman born to high society, Blair is presented as the beautiful Queen Bee of Manhattan's social scene. Due to her status on the Upper East Side, Blair's actions and relations are under constant scrutiny from the mysterious Gossip Girl, a popular blogger. Both the author and television actress have openly commented on the character's motivations. According to Meester, some of Blair's biggest vices are her "insecurities" with regard to her social status, which often make her an overachiever. This is partly due to a certain degree of jealousy she feels toward her friend and occasional rival, Serena. At times, these insecurities create what von Ziegesar labels "flaws and complexities" which contribute to character development. In Meester's view, the true Blair is a "good girl" who possesses a sensitive and good-natured center. Contents [hide] 1 Book series summary 2 TV series summary 2.1 Season 1 2.2 Season 2 3 Reception 3.1 Novel series 3.2 TV series 4 References Book series summary
Blair was born to high society on Manhattan's exclusive Upper East Side. She is described to be 5'4" and petite, with cobalt blue eyes, long wavy chestnut-coloured hair (for the first four books), and a foxlike face. Blair is a student at the Constance Billard School for Girls, a small, elite, all-girls school situated at 93rd and Madison Avenue, and aspires to attend Yale University. At the beginning of the series, Blair's former best friend Serena van der Woodsen, returns from her boarding school Hanover Academy in Hanover, New Hampshire. Blair, from the start, doesn't want to give up her spotlight as being the "most happening" girl in the room just yet. She and boyfriend Nate Archibald who have dated for about a year are in the middle of a passionate scene when Serena shows up, and entertains all the guests with stories about her wild summer adventures and what it was like to be at boarding school, kicking Blair out of the spotlight again. Eventually, Blair finds out Nate had sex with Serena right after sophomore year, hence why Serena felt the need to escape to boarding school and not come back for a year before she was kicked out for returning late in the beginning of the school year. When Jenny Humphrey, a freshman with a hearty bosom steals Nate away from her on her birthday, which is also the day that her then pregnant mother marries Cyrus Rose, Serena and Blair make up once again and go back to being the best of friends, while ignoring Nate and his new girlfriend. When Blair's mom marries Cyrus Rose, she meets her new step brother, Aaron Rose (a vegan with an endless supply of herbal cigarettes and an unrequited crush on Blair), comes the day Blair has been waiting for all her life—her Yale interview. Blair messes up her college interview at Yale by telling her interviewer about the train wreck her life has become, and then kissing him on the cheek upon dismissal. Blair's father donates a multi-million dollar vineyard to Yale, but it is still not enough to clear her mistakes, and she is wait-listed at Yale. She is known to move out of her home frequently, first trying to live at Serena's penthouse before they left for Sun Valley, then taking a suite at The Plaza Hotel (to the chagrin of Constance Billard's headmistress), moving into Brooklyn with her shaven-haired classmate Vanessa Abrams, living with Serena at the original apartment where Breakfast at Tiffany's was shot, and moving into designer Bailey Winter's East Hampton home as a muse. She also lived in the Yale Club of New York City for a short time, where she held her high school graduation bash. After Nate, her relationships with other men have been quite rocky. She started a brief fling with her Yale alumni interviewer, only to end it when she finds out that he was married and has a daughter also studying at Constance. She also had a thing with Serena Van der Woodsen's older brother, Erik, while they were skiing at Sun Valley for spring break. After another messy break-up with Nate, she starts a brief affair with a British lord she met at the Yale Club, however, this was ended upon learning of his relationship with his stepmother. Blair is eventually accepted into Yale. She and Nate go on a month-long boat trip around the world over the summer and return a week before college starts, only to discover Serena waiting. Nate realizes he also loves Serena, but not wanting to hurt Blair he chooses neither of them. At the end of the final book, Blair and Serena make up after Nate leaves them both to sail across the world with his father's Navy mentor, Captain Chips White, to figure his life out. TV series summary
Season 1 Main article: List of Gossip Girl episodes In Season 1 of Gossip Girl, Blair is introduced as the Upper East Side's beautiful and popular Queen Bee, possessing an exquisite sense of style, long, glossy chestnut hair, and her trademark headband. She is dating Nate Archibald (whom her friends joke that she has dated "since the kindergarten"), best friends with Serena van der Woodsen, and also close friends and plotting allies with Chuck Bass. When Serena returns home from boarding school, she tries to reconcile their friendship, but Blair learns from her boyfriend, Nate Archibald, that he and Serena slept together. Blair, upset, tries to retaliate after learning from Chuck that Serena has been visiting a rehab hospital. But when it turns out that it was Serena's brother Eric who was an inpatient there after trying to commit suicide, Blair is repentant and remorseful, and she and Serena make up. Soon to find out that Nate doesn't love her anymore, and thay break up so she falls for and sleeps with Chuck Bass. Blair's fashion designer mother convinces her to model her fashion line. But Blair is convinced that Eleanor enjoys Serena's company more than her own, an insecurity that is furthered when Eleanor chooses Serena over Blair to model her clothing line without telling her. After uniting with Blair and Nate once more to save their mutual friend, Serena, from Georgina Sparks, Chuck realizes his feelings for Blair and implies this in his speech at his fathers wedding. This wins her over, she realizes that she loves Chuck too, and the two plan their Summer in Tuscany together. Unfortunately for the pair, Chuck is given cold feet by his father at the last minute and stands Blair up. Season 2 Main article: List of Gossip Girl episodes A good portion of Blair's storyline in season 2 revolves around her love-hate relationship with Chuck Bass. At the beginning of season 2, Chuck tries to win her back, but Blair is preoccupied with her new fling, a British Lord by the name of Marcus Beaton. In the middle of a blackout at a party he puts on a fake English accent and kisses Blair. Marcus walks in on the two of them, and Blair admits she knew he was Chuck. With Marcus out of the picture, she comes back into her clique of friends but as it turns out, in the little time she was preoccupied with dating Marcus and getting rid of him, Serena, her best friend, has regained her original spot as Queen Bee and acquired the favor of the girls in their clique once more. During Fashion Week, Blair, annoyed that Serena is the one in the spotlight and hurt that once again her mother has chosen Serena over her, tries to ruin things for her and Jenny, who tried to get in the way of her sabotage to stage a good show for Eleanor. Jenny then wins her sympathies back by telling her that she, like Blair, works for everything she achieves, while Serena just glides through life. When interviewing at Yale University, the culmination and end of the feud occurs when Serena and Blair get into an actual fight after Blair tells the Dean that Serena killed a person. Eventually, however, the two apologize for their ill feelings and resume being best friends. Blair then regains her social status. Blair and Chuck maintain a relationship as convenient allies and temporary enemies as the season progresses. All the while, they remain conflicted and confused by their romantic feelings for one another. In the episode "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?", Chuck reels from the news of his father's death. Blair drops all their games in an instant and does what she can to be there for him, finally telling Chuck that she loves him. However, he is still mourning his father's death and leaves her only responding "Well, that's too bad." Blair turns to Cyrus Rose for support, and finally accepts him as part of her family. Cyrus marries Eleanor Waldorf. That night, Chuck appears in Blair's bedroom, destroyed and wordlessly asking her to comfort him. They fall asleep together, but in the morning she wakes to find him gone, having left her a note saying that he is sorry for everything, she deserves much better, and that she must not go looking for him. The episode ends with Blair sitting on her bed, in tears and alone. In the episode "In the Realm of the Basses," a drunken Chuck stands on a ledge and is on the verge of suicide. However, Blair arrives and talks him down, saying "I'll always be here." Afterward, they share a moment of affection. Later, however, the two stop seeing each other. Meanwhile, a new young teacher named Miss Rachel Carr arrives at Constance Billard. Tensions abound between she and Blair when Blair feels that her prospects at getting into Yale are threatened. Eventually, Blair gets rejected by Yale, and is devastated at the mess her life is in. However, she finds unexpected encouragement from Nate. Later, she is accepted into NYU. When Georgina accompanies Chuck back to the Upper East Side, she hopes to reconcile with Blair and earn her forgiveness for the things she's done in the past. However, her return was not welcomed by anyone, especially Blair who refuses to believe Georgina has changed for the better. Georgina, eager to patch things up with Blair, reluctantly agrees to help with the group's scheme to take down Poppy who had conned hundreds of thousands of dollars from Serena van der Woodsen's family and friends. As the police arrive though, Serena is the one who gets arrested instead. Not knowing that it was actually Serena's mother Lily who had issued the arrest to stop her daughter from doing anything stupid, Blair accuses Georgina for being the culprit and verbally attacks her for being the same villainous person she's always been and that nobody, not even Jesus, would ever forgive her. Because of Blair's accusations, Georgina is reminded of her old ways and reverts back to her old self. As the episode concludes, she calls Blair and tells her "You can tell Jesus that the bitch is back." In the last episode of the season, everyone finds out Blair slept with Chuck's uncle Jack on New Year's and that Chuck had slept with Vanessa Abrams, Dan's best friend. Chuck is initially angered and rejects her again, and disappears to Europe. He later comes back to New York and meets Blair with a pile of present from his travels, finally telling her "I love you too." Laughing, Blair asks him to repeat it. He does and they kiss. Blair crowns Jenny as the new queen of Constance. Meanwhile, Georgina Sparks requests to be roommates with Blair at NYU in the coming year, boding no good. Reception
Meester's portrayal of Blair has met with critical acclaim. The actress prepared by reading Gossip Girl. Novel series While covering the book series, Fresh Online, which interviewed Cecily von Ziegesar, called the creation of Blair "a masterstroke," asserting that "her selfishness, stubbornness and complete self-obsession make her the focus of much of the humor, but while she is the most flawed of the series' main characters, she is also the most likable." The reviewer went on to state that the character was "satisfyingly human" despite her bravado, also asserting that the things Blair desires represent "normal teenage issues," and that "she is far more than the stereotypical Barbie rich girl who creeps into much teenage fiction." The New Yorker labeled the character "an antiheroine of the first rank," and asserted that "the series belongs to awful Blair, who inspires von Ziegesar's highest flights of comic fancy." TV series The show's breakout character, Blair Waldorf has garnered much media recognition. Yahoo! proclaims Blair a member of "television's pantheon of razor-witted, solipsistic high school Alpha females." While commenting on Meester, New York magazine's 2008 cover story of the series states, "Her villain-you-want-to-root-for is the most sophisticated performance on the show." In another 2008 article, People magazine commented that "Meester has burst out of this ensemble to stardom." Variety acclaimed her performance as similar to that of "a predatory junior Joan Collins who practically breathes fire out of her pinched, perfectly WASP-ish nostrils." FHM Online ranked the actress the "Hottest TV Star" of autumn 2008, stating that as Blair Waldorf, "Leighton Meester has stolen the spotlight with her mind-blowing good looks and amazing performance." In a 2008 recap of the show, Rolling Stone cited Blair as "the reason we love the back-stabby soap most." Regarding the fictional fame of Blair's friend Serena, a writer for Entertainment Weekly asserted that "Serena may be the star of the media but Blair is quickly becoming the star of this show." While citing Serena's long-revered allure, Glamour and its readers compared the two characters in 2008, with Blair being recognized as more beautiful than Serena. In April 2009, TV Guide ranked Blair Waldorf #1 in its listing of TV's top royals. In May 2009, Blair received attention from Forbes, which interviewed her via the series' writers. Television Without Pity lists Meester in their "Golden Globes 2009: Overlooked TV Shows and Performances" article, labeling Blair "so multi-faceted, well-dressed and beautifully played that she elevates this teen soap to something we don't even feel guilty about admitting we love." In August 2009, Meester won a Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress Drama. The character's wardrobe (credited to designers Abigail Lorick and Eric Daman) is popular, earning mentions from periodicals such as InStyle and New York, along with recognition from Websites. TV Guide listed Blair among its "Best-Dressed TV Characters of 2007." Entertainment Weekly named Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass the "Most Stylish" characters of 2008. Lifetime Television ranks Blair #1 in its listing of "The Top 10 Best-Dressed TV Characters," while Glamour has named her among its best-dressed TV characters of all time.