‘Gilmore Girls’ 20th Anniversary: How ‘A Year In The Life’ Sparked a Wild New Fan Theory

It’s hard to believe, but it’s officially been 20 years since Gilmore Girls debuted on The WB. For seven seasons, fans followed the adventures of the fast-talking mother-daughter duo of Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore. Then in 2016 – to the delight of many fans – the show returned with the revival A Year in the Life.

Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life
‘Gilmore Girls’ stars Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham | Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Unfortunately, the four-episode Netflix mini-series received mixed reviews. Fans were excited to finally hear those famous four words at the end. But many felt that Rory and Lorelai were mean-spirited and acting out of character.  According to a wild new fan theory, there could be an interesting reason why the tone shifted between the original series and the revival.

Rory writes a book in the revival titled “Gilmore Girls’

The revival took place ten years after the original series came to an end. Fans will remember that the sweet, ambitious Rory they knew as a teenager had turned into a self-absorbed 32-year-old stuck in a dead-end job and loveless relationship.

Instead of being a successful journalist at a major newspaper like The New York Times, Rory had completely abandoned her career goals. She was broke and had a boyfriend named Pete who she always forgot about and treated terribly. She was also wandering around aimlessly between Stars Hollow and London and sleeping with an engaged man.

Towards the end of the revival – thanks to a suggestion from Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) – Rory finally finds a purpose.

“You need to find something to write that you’re passionate about,” Jess tells Rory. “You’ve gotta find the thing that makes you feel, so your readers feel it…You should write a book. And I know what you should write. You should write about you and your mom.”

Jess goes on to tell Rory that it’s a “cool story” with a point of view, and it’s something only Rory could write. After thinking about Jess’ advice, Rory writes a book titled Gilmore Girls.

A new fan theory argues that Rory Gilmore wrote the original series

According to Screen Rant, the twist in A Year in the Life that revealed Rory wrote a book titled Gilmore Girls has sparked a wild new fan theory. The theory argues that the original Gilmore Girls series is an adaptation of Rory’s novel. This means that the sweet tone of the original series is Rory’s re-telling of events from her childhood and college days.

What is the evidence supporting this theory? At the beginning of the original series, Rory is presented as a near-perfect teenager. There are numerous instances when Stars Hollow locals sing Rory’s praises. Everyone adores the “flawless” Rory, while her best friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) barely gets a mention.

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Even though Stars Hollow citizens are often at each other’s throats, they are united in their love for Rory. If she is the one writing the story, it makes sense that Rory would see herself as the perfect protagonist in her hometown.

Those who subscribe to this fan theory also point to the fact that Lorelai and Rory seemingly have the ability to ingest thousands of calories on a regular basis without gaining weight. Rory also excels at everything she does. She beats out Paris for valedictorian at Chilton. She also becomes head of the Yale student newspaper. As Rory gets older, flaws do appear. But they are downplayed and excused.

Why this ‘Gilmore Girls’ fan theory might not be right

If Rory was writing the original series from her perspective, it makes sense that she would want to present herself as a perfect teen and downplay her flaws. This also explains why Rory was so different in A Year in the Life. The theory goes that fans finally met the real Rory in the revival. This is why the tone is so different between the original series and A Year in the Life.

But not everyone is convinced. Some fans aren’t buying the theory because the original series does include Rory making some terrible decisions. For example, she runs off to Europe with her grandparents after sleeping with a married Dean (Jared Padalecki).

The show also features a number of B-stories about characters who Rory rarely interacts with, like Jackson and Kirk. It wouldn’t make much sense to have all of those subplots in a biography about her and her mother.

Another reason not all fans are convinced that Rory wrote the original series is that Rory’s best friend Lane Kim had a disappointing ending.

Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino could possibly bring these characters back for more revivals in the future. If she does, it’s possible fans will find out if this theory has any merit.

Season 1 through 7 of Gilmore Girls – plus A Year in the Life – are available on Netflix.