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It’s no secret that Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe) was not the best father to his daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Christopher was frequently absent from his daughter’s life and oftentimes seemed to prioritize his relationship with Rory’s mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) over Rory. So did Christopher truly love Rory in Gilmore Girls?

David Sutcliffe
David Sutcliffe | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Christopher chose Gigi over Rory

At the start of Gilmore Girls, Christopher calls Rory about once a week and visits infrequently. At the end of Season 2, he makes plans to get back together with Lorelai so that he can be a family with Lorelai and Rory.

This all changed in the finale of Season 2 when Sherry (Mädchen Amick), his girlfriend, reveals she is pregnant. Instead of staying with Lorelai and Rory and breaking up with Sherry as planned, Christopher goes back to Sherry to “do the right thing.”

Rory views this as a betrayal, and she refuses to speak to Christopher for some time. Sherry gives birth to a daughter named Gigi, and after Sherry breaks up with Christopher he raises Gigi as a single father. Even though Rory and Christopher are on speaking terms by the time Gigi is born, their relationship never truly recovers.

Christopher seemed to prioritize Lorelai over Rory in ‘Gilmore Girls’

Sometimes in Gilmore Girls, Christopher made more of an effort with Rory when he was attempting to get together with Lorelai. He misses big milestones in Rory’s life including her high school graduation, and there is often a disconnect between him and Rory.

“Chris loved Rory-in a, ‘you can love your ex’s kids’ kind of way. He mentally just never separated her from Lorelai. She was Lorelai’s daughter 1st. Almost like he wasn’t Rory’s bio dad but someone who was in their lives after Rory was born,” a Reddit user wrote.

“I think Chris loved Rory but was in love with Lorelai. To me, it seemed like he considered Rory to be an accompaniment to his need to be with Lorelai,” wrote another Reddit user. “I think he loved Rory out of obligation of being her father and of wanting to be close to Lorelai. Chris loved Rory the daughter, not Rory the person.”


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Christopher simply does not take initiative in ‘Gilmore Girls’

While Christopher was an absent father to Rory, assuming he did not love her does come across as harsh. He does show profound moments of caring for her and wanting to be involved with her life, but he is unable to follow through because of his own character flaws and his dynamic with Lorelai and Rory.

Christopher is oftentimes considered a coward or “weak” by people in his life, and this relates to his parenting style. While Lorelai always left the door open for Christopher to parent Rory, he was too insecure to ever take initiative and push through even though he did not know where he fit into Rory’s life.