Nate Archibald (Gossip Girl)

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Nate Archibald
Gossip Girl character
Nate Archibald Season 3.jpg
Chace Crawford as Nathaniel Archibald
First appearance Novel:
Gossip Girl
(episode 1.01)
Last appearance Novel:
I Will Always Love You
"New York, I Love You XOXO"
(episode 6.10)
Created by Character
Cecily von Ziegesar
Developed for Television
Josh Schwartz
Stephanie Savage
Portrayed by Chace Crawford
Full name Nathaniel Fitzwilliam Archibald
Nickname(s) Nate
Nathaniel (by his grandfather and Chuck)
Natie (by Serena and Blair)
Aliases N
Golden Boy
Gender Male
Occupation Novels:
Sailor and lacrosse captain
High school student
(at St. Jude's; graduated)
College student
(at Yale; later Deep Springs College)
High school student
(at St. Jude's; graduated)
College student
(at Columbia)
(at The New York Spectator)
Family Novels:
Captain Archibald
Mrs. Archibald
Howard Archibald
Anne Archibald
(mother; née van der Bilt)
William van der Bilt I
(maternal grandfather)
William van der Bilt II
(maternal uncle)
William "Tripp" van der Bilt III
(first cousin)

Nathaniel Fitzwilliam "Nate" Archibald is a character in the best selling Gossip Girl book series. He is portrayed by Chace Crawford in the television series of the same name.[1] In the novels, he is considered the primary male character, always being fought over by the two most prominent females, Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen.

Novel series

Nate Archibald is a lacrosse player at the elite St. Jude's School for Boys. His mother, Anne Archibald, is a French socialite, and his father, Captain Archibald, is a former Navy captain and a wealthy banker. His closest friends are Chuck Bass, Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf.

He has been dating Blair since middle school. However, Nate is shown to have deep, unresolved feelings for Serena. They have sex during the summer at a wedding. He reveals this to Blair in the first novel after Serena returns, and right before they were supposed to lose their virginity to each other, which causes their first breakup. He gets together with freshman Jenny Humphrey, but later dumps her for Blair for being too clingy. He and Blair have an on-again-off-again relationship throughout most of the novels.

Nate's family resides in a stately townhouse off Park Avenue on the exclusive Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, and his mother's French socialite family owns a summer chateau in Nice. He is a fan of sailing like his father, and wished to do that instead of attending Yale with Blair, although he expressed interest in attending Brown University. At the end of the series he sails around the world with a friend of his father's, Captain Charles "Chips" White to avoid getting in between Blair and Serena again. In I Will Aways Love You, on break from Deep Springs College, Nate chooses Blair in part I and then Serena in part II.

TV series

Nathaniel Archibald was born to Captain Howard Archibald, a successful business magnate, and Anne Vanderbilt Archibald, a member of the Vanderbilt family. On the surface, Nate seems to be the perfect "Golden Boy" of the Upper East Side. He is best friends with Chuck Bass, with whom he attends the elite St. Jude's School for Boys. Nate has been with girlfriend Blair Waldorf "since kindergarten". However, he secretly harbors feelings for Blair's best friend, Serena van der Woodsen. They shared a sordid one night stand before the show began, which caused her departure to boarding school. Nate's feelings for Blair are complicated by his ongoing infatuation with Serena and his parents' determination to keep him on a certain path. He later goes on to attend Columbia University.

Season 1

Season one begins with Serena van der Woodsen returning to New York, she fled after her tryst with Nate. Both parties initially manage to keep the affair a secret, allowing Nate to continue a long-term relationship with Blair Waldorf. He later reveals his secret to Blair right before they are about to sleep together. This leads to Blair temporary ending the relationship.[2][3]

While Nate wants to attend a college out West (with a preference for University of Southern California), his father pressures him to attend his alma mater Dartmouth College. He wishes to break free from his planned life, which includes an Ivy League education, and marrying Blair sometime in the near future.[4] Because of this, he is drawn to Carter Baizen, a former classmate who claims to have shunned his wealthy life and traveled around the world. At Carter's invitation, Nate attends a poker game where he loses quite a bit of money, and he soon realizes that Carter set him up. Chuck saves him from physical harm by paying his gambling debt, but when Nate tries to repay Chuck, he finds that his trust fund has been emptied.[5] Although the money is later returned, Nate is curious and raids his father's study for answers, where he finds a bag of cocaine. He tries to talk to Blair, but she is too preoccupied preparing for the annual masquerade ball. Serena comforts him instead, which causes his old feelings to resurface. Nate later mistakes Jenny Humphrey for Serena at the masquerade ball where he kisses her. His mother finds the cocaine and believes that it is Nate's; his father lies and lets Nate take the fall. Nate's father promises Nate that he only did drugs once, but Nate witnesses him purchasing them again. When he tries to tell his mother the truth, she does not believe him. He later confronts his father and accuses him of doing drugs, and his father (high on cocaine) punches him in the face. Nate has him arrested by a nearby cop, and it is revealed that in addition to the drug-related charges, he is being accused of embezzlement and fraud.[3]

His father goes to rehab, and now that he has been relieved of his familial pressures, Nate has more time to miss Blair. He notices that she seems lighter and happier, and he wishes to get her back. He asks her to attend the debutante ball with him, just as friends, and she agrees. He grills Chuck for advice on how to get Blair back. Chuck wants Blair for himself, so he plots to keep Blair and Nate apart by telling Nate that Blair is seeing Carter Baizen. Fueled by jealousy, Nate ends up getting into a fight with Carter at the ball and is kicked out. Blair realizes that Chuck engineered the fight and ends their affair. She later reconciles with Nate, and they have sex.[6]

After going to Monaco with Chuck over winter vacation, Nate returns and tries to reunite with Blair. Chuck though has developed for Blair, and threatens to tell Nate about her past indiscretions. Blair therefore gives Nate the cold shoulder. However, after he attempts to save her from expulsion and gets suspended in the process, the two begin dating again[7] until he learns of the secret fling between Blair and Chuck, breaking up with Blair and lashing out at Chuck, leaving him without a girlfriend or a best friend.[8]

In the final episode of the season, Nate's father buys a passport and skips town to avoid fraud charges. Nate has a short relationship with Vanessa Abrams, but they stay friends in the final episode because he realizes he has a lot going on in his life, and doesn't have time for a girlfriend. In this episode, he and former best friend Chuck also reconcile. Nate walks into Serena and they talk about their summer plans.[9]

Season 2

In season two, it is revealed that he and Serena have spent the summer pretending to be together. However it is only so as to hide the fact that Nate is having an affair with a much older, married woman Catherine Beaton,[10] who happens to be Blair's new boyfriend Lord Marcus Beaton's stepmother. Nate eventually turns to exchanging sex for Catherine’s money to aid him financially after the Archibald’s assets were cut off when Nate’s father fled the country.[11] After Nate attempts to break up with her to be with Vanessa, Catherine confronts Vanessa and threatens to reveal Nate’s father’s whereabouts to the police in order to stay with Nate.[12] Vanessa discovers that Catherine is also having an affair with her stepson, Marcus. She turns to Blair, but after deciding she doesn’t trust her, eventually gives the evidence to Catherine’s husband. After the scandal is revealed, Catherine and her family return to Brighton in England, sabotaging Blair’s attempt to blackmail her into paying off Nate’s debt.[13]

After a trip to Yale in the summer, Nate befriends Dan Humphrey who, after visiting Nate’s house, discovers that most of his possession have been seized by the FBI and Nate is now living in an empty house with just a few articles of clothing and a sleeping bag. Dan offers for Nate to stay at the Humphrey’s apartment, Nate is upset at first that Dan broke into his house and is making him feel like a charity case but eventually accepts and moves in.[14] Nate forms a strong bond with Dan’s sister Jenny who begins to develop feelings for him and after he rescues her from being taken advantage of by an older photographer, they share a passionate kiss. Nate helps Jenny with her Guerilla fashion show at Lily and Bart’s gala and ends up publicly kissing her, which ends up on Gossip Girl. This upsets Dan who kicks him out of the apartment, Nate packs his stuff to leave town after stopping to mail a letter he has written to Jenny.[15]

At Thanksgiving Nate goes to live with his mother and discovers his father is back in town and claiming to want to take them with him to start a new life as a family. Meanwhile, Vanessa calls Chuck after being approached by a FBI agent regarding Howard Archibald. They arrange to meet Nate at Vanessa’s café, and the FBI agent informs them that Nate’s father was planning on holding him and his mother hostage and then ransoming them off to Nate’s grandparents. Upset by this fact Nate confronts his father and eventually convinces him to give himself up, Nate’s dad goes to jail and Nate and his mother reclaim their possessions. Nate and Chuck’s friendship is restored, and Nate and Vanessa’s relationship develops further, causing her to steal Nate’s letter to Jenny confessing his feelings for her.[16]

Nate later asks Vanessa to the Snowflake Ball, she accepts and they share a kiss, which is caught by a passer-by and posted on Gossip Girl. Jealous of their relationship, Jenny confronts Vanessa, which results in a massive argument. Jenny proceeds to conspire with Blair’s minions to humiliate Vanessa at the Snowflake Ball. Feeling guilty, Vanessa eventually reveals to Jenny that she stole Nate’s letter before Jenny had a chance to read it. Too late to change her mind Jenny’s plan is a success but it ends up alienating Nate who proclaims he’s glad she never got his letter and pushes him closer to Vanessa.[17]

While Nate reconciles with Dan, his mother attempts to reconcile with the rest of her family, the Vanderbilts. At a party thrown by his grandparents, Nate finds Blair drunk and out of control, devastated by Chuck’s rejections and her failure to get into Yale. After she breaks down, Nate comforts her and the two grow close and rekindle their past friendship.[18] Chuck doesn’t believe that their new-found relationship is merely friendship and relays his suspicions to Vanessa. She too believes that he and Blair are more than just friends, and confronts Nate, who is upset that Vanessa doesn’t trust him and breaks up with her. Nate then renews his relationship with Blair and they become a couple again.[19]

Nate and Blair’s relationship becomes deeper and he tells her he loves her and asks her to move into an apartment with him afraid that she will simply return to Chuck. Blair fails to answer him and they eventually break up at their prom, feeling that they’ve outgrown each other on a romantic level.[20] After graduation, Nate decides to accept an internship at the mayor’s office, but eventually quits after the deputy mayor makes a pass at him. He asks Vanessa if he can still go with her on their European backpacking trip they had planned a while back which she agrees to.[21]

Season 3

Nate returns from his travels with a mysterious woman. Shortly after he finds out she is Bree Buckley, whose family and his own are political rivals; despite this he still likes her and even invites her to a party. At the party, she is introduced to his grandfather.[22] While Bree and Nate's relationship grows, Blair dislikes her and thinks she is up to something. Eventually, it is discovered Bree wants to take down Carter for leaving her cousin at the altar. Nate finds out, and even though Bree apologizes, he says it's not enough and breaks up with her.[23] Nate decides to call Serena and tell her where Carter is. It turns out he only used her to get back at the Buckleys, and Serena decides to get revenge. Vanessa releases a scandalous tape to the news involving Nate's family.

Serena starts to date Olivia's ex-boyfriend and co-star, who needs a formal invite to Nate's cousin's party. Tripp, Nate's cousin, is running for congress. Nate decides to intervene, turning it into a "dirty" election. A man rescued unwittingly by Tripp brands him a hero. In "The Last Days of the Disco Stick," Serena asks Nate for advice about falling for his married cousin Tripp. While helping Serena, he tells her that he used to love her. As they're about to kiss, Tripp interrupts them, and Serena leaves Nate heartbroken.[24] In "The Treasure of Serena Madre" Tripp decides to leave his wife encouraging Serena to be with him. While leaving to go away with Tripp, Serena is caught by Nate who tells her how he feels. She once again leaves him heartbroken, choosing Tripp.[25]

However, he eventually wins her over in “The Debarted”, when supporting her in the hospital after Tripp leaves her in a crashed car.[26] They officially start dating in episode 13 "The Hurt Locket.", but Jenny, whose feelings for Nate are renewed when he saves her from potential rape at a bar, attempts to sabotage the couple. Jenny’s lying and scheming causes friction between Nate and Serena; however, when Serena walks in on her trying to kiss him, Nate discovers her deception and kicks her out of his apartment.[27]

They reconcile however and in the season finale, Nate wakes up after spending the night listening to Jenny’s problems and being both supportive and understanding, leaving their friendship in good terms. Nate later discovers from Jenny via Gossip Girl that Serena and Dan shared a kiss. He finds it in his heart to forgive her; however, Serena breaks up with him, saying that while she does love him, she "needs a break" from them. Nate, hurt, ends all connections to Serena, and tells Vanessa (who is currently away in Haiti) about what happened between her and Dan compromising their relationship, and ends the episode moving on from Serena with two different women in his arms.[28]

Season 4

During the summer Nate had numerous one-night stands thanks to "Chuck's little black book". Before he returns to college he meets Juliet Sharp (Katie Cassidy), who helps him realize that he still has feelings for Serena that these make him act reckless. He and Juliet begin a short-term relationship.

Later Nate's father is released from prison and arranges from him to stay with him and Chuck. However, the Captain begins working for Russel Thorpe, who is trying to purchase Bass Industries, and he leaves the Empire. Blair asks Nate to seduce her boss Epperly so she will be in a good mood for Blair's performance review, but Epperly she goes off with an old friend.

Chuck asks Nate to spend the day with Raina Thorpe, to try to get her to reconcile with him. Spending a day with Nate convinces Raina she no longer wants to be with Chuck. Instead, she and Nate start dating. Nate helps her look for her mother Avery, but Chuck tells him Avery died in a fire started by Bart. Against Chuck's wishes, Nate tells Raina. When he witnesses Chuck being violent towards a newly engaged Blair, Nate agrees to help Raina get revenge on him. However, Jack Bass convinces him to instead expose Russell as the person who really started the fire. Nate tells Raina, which results in Russell kidnapping Blair. After Nate, Raina and Chuck rescue her, Raina goes back to Chicago. Nate suggests he and Chuck, both being single again, spend the summer travelling together.

Season 5

The season begins with Nate and Chuck in Los Angeles, where Serena has a summer job working on a movie, living on a yacht that Chuck won in a card game. Nate accompanies Serena to a Hollywood party where he pretends to be the host and ends up sleeping with the actual host, Diana Payne (Elizabeth Hurley). On returning to New York, Nate learns that Diana is the new editor of the Spectator and arranges an interview for her with his mother in exchange for sex in an alley. Diana offers him an internship at the paper but he begins to worry she is only keeping him around to sleep with him. Diana asks him to ask a senator a question at a party which ends up causing an argument between the senator and his wife. Nate reluctantly helps her steal the phones of everyone at the event (but leaves Blair's and Dan's) and, with help from Chuck, helps Ivy Dickens break into the van der Woodsens' safe but again refuses to use it.

When he learns Diana is dating another editor, Nate takes Ivy as his date to a party and kisses her in front of Diana, only to learn that Ivy had to kiss him as part of a challenge to be Blair's bridesmaid. However, when Diana suggests they have an open relationship despite going public, Nate finds himself drawn to Ivy, only for Diana to put a stop to it by causing Nate to see Ivy kissing her ex-boyfriend Max Harding (who she thought was Nate).

Nate is initially unfazed that Dan's novel, a satire of the Upper East Side, portrays the character based on him as gay, until he learns it is because he has been amalgamated with Serena's brother Eric. With the Spectator competing with Gossip Girl, Nate gets hold of Gossip Girl's e-mails but decides against publishing them when Serena points out it would hurt her and all their other friends who have given information to Gossip Girl (although Nate himself never has). When the information is posted anyway, Nate assumes Diana was responsible (in fact, it was Blair's fiancé Louis Grimaldi). Nate's grandfather William, an investor in the paper, uses it as an excuse to fire Diana and make Nate editor-in-chief.

Nate learns that Tripp's wife Maureen has confessed to having an affair but quickly realises it is a lie to gain sympathy for Tripp before he runs for governor. He learns William was behind both the lie and Diana hiring him, but William tells him he is the future of the family and invites him to Camp Allen. On the night he is due to leave, Nate tries to help Blair and Chuck avoid paparazzi when Gossip Girl announces she is leaving Louis for him, only to see their car crash, causing Blair to have a miscarriage. A tip-off from Gossip Girl leads Nate to realise the brakes were tampered with and he was the intended target, having accidentally switched cars with Blair. He, Serena and William force Tripp to confess he was responsible, hoping Nate would have a minor accident and miss the camp. Tripp agrees to turn himself in but Nate also blames William for pitting them against each other and announces he will manage on his own and organise new investors for the paper.

Depressed that he doesn't have a date for Blair and Louis' wedding, Nate becomes friendly with caterer Lola Rhodes (Ella Rae Peck) and briefly enlists her help when Blair disappears from the reception. He backs off when he finds out she is lying to her mother about where she is going to college, while she is unsure about being part of the Upper East Side lifestyle. Chuck hires Lola for a party at the Empire so Nate can see her again, and when she learns Serena is her cousin and her mother lied about her having no family, Lola turns to Nate and they begin a relationship.

Lola tells Nate that she heard Ivy agreeing to pay money to Serena's father William, the executor of their grandmother CeCe's estate. Nate tells Serena but stops her writing about it in the Spectator without more information. Instead, Serena posts it on Gossip Girl, losing the Spectator an investor since they failed to deliver an exclusive. Nate fires her and is forced to accept Diana as an investor. She quickly tries to take over his office and the paper. Nate and Lola set her up to be filmed having sex with Lola's underage friend Adrian, but Diana points out they can't use it without being guilty of posting child pornography, and offers to run the paper with Nate.

When Lola loses an audition because of a malicious Gossip Girl post, she determines Serena is Gossip Girl but her attempt to prove it to Nate see her accidentally broadcast Diana telling Serena she is Chuck's mother on the site, causing her and Nate to fall out. Nate suspects Diana is lying and gets hold of a photo showing Elizabeth Fisher pregnant with Chuck. He seduces Diana to explain away being in her hotel room, then steals her day planner. A code in it leads Nate, Chuck and Blair to a travelling high class brothel run by Diana. Lola shows Nate a letter to Serena from Georgina Sparks giving her the instructions to fill in as Gossip Girl, and they help the real Gossip Girl steal Serena's laptop and take back the site; unfortunately, this stops Serena exposing Diana. Nate and Lola resume their relationship.

Chuck arranges a job for Diana in London but Nate and Lola are unhappy about her getting away with everything and send a tip to the New York Times, inadvertently ruining a deal that would have helped Bart come out of hiding. While Chuck and Blair expose the people trying to kill Bart, Nate has to keep Diana occupied so she doesn't smuggle Bart out of the country. Convinced she is genuinely trying to build a new life, he helps her leave town with her secret intact. He asks Lola to move in with him but she instead decides to take a touring job with a theatre company. At the climax of the season, Nate receives security footage of the hooded Gossip Girl from Diana.

In other media

Nate is the subject of the song 'Nate Will Not Return' by British post-punk band The Fall on their 2011 album Ersatz GB.[29]


  1. ^ "Gossip Girl - Cast - Chace Crawford". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  2. ^ "The Handmaiden's Tale Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Victor/Victrola Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Poison Ivy Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  5. ^ "Bad News Blair Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Hi Society Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  7. ^ "School Lies Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  8. ^ "The Thin Line Between Chuck and Nate Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  9. ^ "Much 'I Do' About Nothing Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  10. ^ "Summer, Kind of Wonderful Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  11. ^ "Never Been Marcused Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  12. ^ "The Dark Night Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  13. ^ "The Ex-Files". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  14. ^ "Chuck in Real Life". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  15. ^ "There Might be Blood Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  16. ^ "The Magnificent Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  17. ^ "It's a Wonderful Lie Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  18. ^ "The Grandfather Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  19. ^ "Remains of the J Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  20. ^ "Valley Girls". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  21. ^ "The Goodbye Gossip Girl Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  22. ^ "Reversals of Fortune Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  23. ^ "Rufus Getting Married Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  24. ^ "The Last Days of Disco Stick Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  25. ^ "Treasures of Serena Madre Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  26. ^ "The Debarted Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  27. ^ "Dr. Estrangeloved Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  28. ^ "Last Tango, Then Paris Episode Recap". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  29. ^ "Nate Will Not Return - Reformation!".