Was Tristan The Original Logan On 'Gilmore Girls'? The Similarities Are Endless
Before Logan Huntzberger came along in Gilmore Girls with his secret society, Birkin bag presents, daddy issues, and yacht fixation, there was another rich bad boy in Rory's life, and his name was Tristan. During the first season of the series, Tristan represented the world of elitism and money Rory had been thrust into when she began school at Chilton, and her subtle attraction to him went hand in hand with her first foray to that world. Of course, their relationship was broken before it even started: Just as Rory was beginning to soften to Tristan, he was sent to military school by his father, never to be seen again. In real life, of course, that was because the actor who played him, Chad Michael Murray, had been cast in One Tree Hill — but, I have to wonder, if Tristan had stayed on the series, what would have been different? Tristan's similarities to Logan are pretty noticeable — so, if Murray had never left Gilmore Girls, would Tristan have been the Logan in Rory's life instead of Logan himself?
Stay with me here. If Tristan hadn't been shipped off to military school, he would have been a part of Rory's life throughout high school. It's possible that their relationship definitely would have blossomed beyond a stolen kiss and a canceled concert date. Given the striking similarities between Logan and Tristan, it is not hard to imagine Tristan falling into the Logan role and becoming a much more important part of Rory's story. She was always going to be attracted to Tristan and Logan's world — the fact that Tristan was no longer in Rory's life meant that the writers needed someone else to take his place, so it makes sense that Logan was created for the series when he was.
Tristan already holds the special distinction of being the first guy to push Rory way out of her comfort zone. While Rory found sanctuary with Dean back in the safety of Stars Hollow, Tristan was always waiting at Chilton to challenge her. He brought out her inner desire to debate, and he also inspired in her the desire to "fix" his problems — a theme that recurred throughout Rory's relationships with Jess and Logan.
I would go so far to argue that even if Tristan had still left in Season 2, after a bit of maturing, there is an excellent chance he would have been exactly like Logan. Think about Tristan and Logan's stories — they both had issues with their fathers, they both acted out to avoid living up to their potential, they were both snarky, and they even both had nicknames for Rory. They were basically the same person.
The only thing separating Tristan and Logan was Tristan's earnestness. Tristan was much quicker to open up to Rory than Logan was, but he was still always as quick to hide behind crazy adventures and snarky comments as Logan was.
Rory was always going to end falling for a man who came from a life of privilege and wealth — even when she was with Jess, she flirted with that world. If Rory had never had a Tristan or a Logan in her life, she never would have been pushed to see the world her mother left behind, and make up her own mind about the kind of life she wanted to live. The interchangeability of Logan and Tristan is not meant as a jab at either character, but rather as an illustration of a type of man Rory had to encounter on her path toward adulthood.
I absolutely believe if Murray had never left or if he had been available for a return, Logan would not have been introduced to the show. These characters are way too similar for it to be a coincidence. Logan simply picked up where Tristan left off, as Rory explored a whole new world and saw just how little happiness money can buy.
This is one Gilmore Girls conspiracy I have believe — Tristan totally would have been the Logan in Rory's life if only Murray had stuck around.
Images: Warner Bros. Television; halpertjames/Tumblr (3)