‘Gilmore Girls’: Fans Argue That Jess Mariano Was More Similar to Christopher Hayden Than Logan Huntzberger Was

Jess Mariano and Logan Huntzberger were, arguably, Rory Gilmore’s two biggest loves. Because of their importance in Rory’s life,  Gilmore Girls fans have spent years debating the merits of each guy. Some fans strongly believe that Jess is to Rory what Luke Danes is to Lorelai Gilmore. In short, they think he is her true love. The same fans argue that Logan, Rory’s college beau, has striking similarities to Christopher Hayden, Rory’s largely absentee father, and Lorelai’s on-again-off-again love interest. If you inspect the situation from a different angle, you could argue that Jess actually has more in common with Christopher than Logan does. 

Jess Mariano and Christopher Hayden both seemed hung up on the past 

Team Jess fans often argue that Jess Mariano offered Rory options that Logan never could, just like Luke offered Lorelai something that Christopher never could. The similarities kind of end there, though. The similarities between Jess and Christopher are a bit more encompassing. Perhaps most importantly, Christopher and Jess were both hung up on the past, and both viewed their respective relationships with an intensity that was likely a bit overblown. 

Milo Ventimiglia and Scott Patterson as Jess and Luke in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' on Netflix. They're sitting at a table in Luke's Diner. Jess is a part of one of the Gilmore Girls plot holes fans are still taking about.
Milo Ventimiglia and Scott Patterson in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Lorelai and Christopher dated briefly in high school, and then Lorelai got pregnant. The relationship seemingly ended there. Still, decades later, he was pining for Lorelai and imagining a connection that wasn’t exactly rooted in the reality of the situation. Christopher even begged Lorelai to marry him after they hadn’t seen each other in years. 

Similarly, Jess viewed his high school relationship with Rory with an intensity that didn’t match the length of their teen romance. Jess and Rory dated for six months as high school seniors. A year later, he showed up at her dorm and asked her to run away with him. Two years after that, he claimed to know Rory better than “anyone.” Jess critics argue that his claims were arrogant and, frankly, a little delusional. When you think about it, Jess’ take on his relationship with Rory aligns almost perfectly with how Christopher viewed his connection to Lorelai. 

Jess Mariano and Christopher Hayden both fought against authority but eventually became responsible adults 

Jess and Chris weren’t just similar in the way they interacted with the objects of their affection. The two, who never actually met, had very similar personalities. Chris and Jess both fought against authority and refused to take school seriously. Both refused to do what their families wanted them to do.

Jess Mariano and Rory Gilmore sit in her office in Stars Hollow in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Jess Mariano and Rory Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

Jess refused even to attend Stars Hollow High School regularly. Christopher had a troubled high school record, too. In the season 6 episode, “You’ve Been Gilmored,” Christopher notes that he was kicked out of multiple prep schools. While Logan also bounced around to several schools, he landed at Yale and seemed to do reasonably well. Christopher never mentioned attending college. He certainly didn’t attend Princeton, as his family had hoped. 

Jess and Christopher both appeared to have rootless young adult lives. Christopher eventually gets it together, settles down, and becomes a responsible adult. He even took over raising his second child when her mother left for Paris, but not before traversing the country and bouncing from job to job.

David Sutcliffe as Christopher Hayden and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore
David Sutcliffe as Christopher Hayden and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore | Netflix

Jess also eventually figured things out. After jumping around the country, he settled in Philadelphia, published a book, and worked for a publisher. When fans caught up with Jess in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, he seemed to have himself in order. The same was true for Christopher. 

Logan Huntzberger was more like another important man in Rory Gilmore’s life 

While Logan did have some of Christopher’s personality traits, he seemed to be more like Richard Gilmore than Christopher. Logan Huntzberger was a young man from money who, while not entirely thrilled with his destiny, understood his family’s expectations. Logan Huntzberger also matured and became committed to succeeding professionally. Perhaps most importantly, he refused to allow his family’s feelings to interfere with his relationship with Rory. 

Alexis Bledel stands in front of Matt Czuchry as he adjusts his tie on 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' in 2016
Alexis Bledel and Matt Czuchry on ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Richard was very much like Logan as a young adult. While a professional with a stellar reputation by the time fans met him, Richard alluded to being rather rebellious during his time at Yale. Richard also refused to let his family’s thoughts on Emily Gilmore dissuade him from marrying her. Richard, like Logan, was there for his love when she needed him most. 

So, does that mean Logan Huntzberger was Rory’s true love and not Jess Mariano? It’s hard to say. Logan and Rory certainly seemed to have more in common than Rory and Jess, and their relationship was more developed, regardless of which characters seemed the most similar.