‘Gilmore Girls’: Christopher Hayden Wasn’t That Bad

Most Gilmore Girls fans seem to agree that Lorelai Gilmore and Luke Danes made the perfect pair. They also generally agree that Christopher Hayden was an absolute villain for the majority of his time on the series. Christopher, who fathered Rory with Lorelai when they were just 16, certainly has some less-than-admirable qualities, but he might not be as bad as he seems. In fact, maybe Lorelai was partly to blame for the way Chris acted.

Did Lorelai keep Chris away from Rory?

Christopher was a pretty awful father to Rory. That much is obvious. He didn’t show up when he should have, and he seemed to be pretty hands-off. Luke pointed out how little he did for Rory during her childhood in season 5 of the series and fans point to the fact that Chris did absolutely nothing to get involved when Rory dropped out of Yale as proof that he was a terrible dad, but that might not have been entirely Chris’s fault.

Lauren Graham and David Sutcliffe during CW Launch Party
Lauren Graham and David Sutcliffe portrayed Lorelai Gilmore and Christopher Hayden on ‘Gilmore Girls’ | Chris Polk/FilmMagic

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It was stated, time and time again, that Lorelai was the one who refused to marry Christopher, and she seemed to be the one who kept him at arm’s length as much as possible. If anyone was going to tell Christopher that Rory had dropped out of Yale, it would have been Lorelai, but she didn’t fill him in because she was angry with him. Christopher was deeply flawed, and actively avoided confrontation, but Lorelai probably could have been a bit more communicative with him.

Christopher knew he couldn’t compete with Luke

Deep down, Chris seemed to know that Lorelai was supposed to be with Luke. He wooed Lorelai fresh off the heels of her breakup, and married her knowing full well she wasn’t over her previous engagement. Yeah, that was a bad look on his part, but one can almost sympathize with him a bit. He saw an opening, and he took it, knowing that he would always be the runner-up with Lorelai. That can’t possibly feel good.

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Chris and Luke fighting over Lorelai in the town square seemed to cement the notion that Chris knew he wasn’t the one, but rather, was a convenient option when Lorelai was feeling low and lonely. Luke’s behavior was also profoundly flawed during season 7, but most fans forgave him because he was feeling betrayed. Perhaps, Christopher felt the same way.

Chris seemed to suffer from seriously low self-esteem

Chris’s flaws were very real and were not qualities that anyone would look at admirably, but if you look at it from a different angle, it’s pretty obvious that Chris suffered from some seriously low self-esteem. That fact seemed to carry over into the revival. When Rory asked Chris if he thought Lorelai raising her alone was the right choice, he said he thought it was. It seems as though Chris’ biggest flaw as a father was that he didn’t think he would make a good one, and simply thought Lorelai was better than him.

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It was the perfect night for a secret wedding.

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If you explore his absentee relationship in that light, you almost feel a bit bad for Christopher. His own troubled relationship with his father, where he never felt like he was good enough, deeply stunted him, making it almost impossible for him to be a good father to his own child.