‘Gilmore Girls’: A Fan Theory Suggests Sookie and Lorelai Were Arsonists

For seven seasons, fans watched as Lorelai and Rory Gilmore grew up together. The mother-daughter duo may have been the main focus of Gilmore Girls, but the supporting characters were just as important. Sookie St. James, Lorelai’s, best friend and eventual business partner, was undoubtedly a fan favorite. A wild fan theory, however, takes the happy-go-lucky Lorelai and Sookie and suggests they could have been arsonists.

A fan theory suggests Sookie St. James and Lorelai Gilmore were arsonists

A Reddit user suggested that, perhaps, Lorelai and Sookie purposefully set the fire at the Independence Inn when they realized their plans to open a business together had moved from a daydream to a potential reality. While the theory is, obviously, just for fun, there are a couple of moments in the series that actually makes it plausible, or, at the very least, plausible in an alternate reality where Gilmore Girls was a harder-hitting drama.

Lauren Graham and Melissa McCarthy
Lauren Graham and Melissa McCarthy | Chris Polk/FilmMagic

Lorelai and Sookie, when ready to open their own inn, faced a couple of significant problems. Not only did they not have a potential property, but they both knew buying The Independence Inn from Mia was not going to be an option. The existing, successful business would have been far too expensive. Finding another local property wouldn’t have been all that difficult, but opening a new business while a longstanding, successful one already existed would have been problematic.

According to the fan theory, Lorelai sets fire to the property to assuage her guilt about leaving, to ensure she never has to see anyone else run the place, and finally, to rid the market of competition when she finally opened her own business. With The Independence Inn out of the picture, The Dragonfly Inn would have been the only game in town. The only other similar property mentioned during the run of Gilmore Girls was The Cheshire Cat, a bed and breakfast that catered to a different type of clientele.

The Independence Inn burns down at an awfully convenient time

When an electrical fire set The Independence Inn ablaze, the time was undoubtedly fortuitous for Lorelai and Sookie. The chef and inn manager were beginning to solidify their plans to open their own inn. In fact, the fire happened right around the time the duo decided that they were absolutely ready to move forward with their plans. It also happened not long after Mia expressed and interest in selling the business.  

The timing might have been convenient, but it’s important to note that the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, though. While Lorelai and Sookie had plans to open their own inn, they hadn’t yet secured the property that would become The Dragonfly. The Inn burned down in Season 3, Episode 17. The death of Fran Weston did not occur until Season 3, Episode 20. Fran, who owned the property that became The Dragonfly Inn, had made it clear she had no intention to sell the property while she was alive.

The Independence Inn was never mentioned again

Lending some credence to the wild theory is the fact that the Independence Inn was never mentioned again. After Lorelai and Sookie closed up shop, and commence work on the Dragonfly Inn, their former place of employment was never mentioned again, at least not by Lorelai or Sookie. In fact, the only person who referred to The Independence Inn after the fire was Tobin, and that was only in passing.


‘Gilmore Girls’: How Much Would Sookie St. James Have Made?

Presumably, even if Mia had sold, a new investor would have purchased the property and continued its operation. Richard Gilmore once suggested that large corporations are happy to buy small boutique properties and retain the former employees to operate it. That didn’t happen with the Independence Inn, though. Fans are led to believe that the inn, which had been in the town for at least 20 years, was wiped from the map. While it’s incredibly unlikely that Lorelai and Sookie secretly set the inn on fire, it would have been a surefire way to ensure they didn’t have any competition in Stars Hollow. One question remains, though, what ever became of the Independence Inn?