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This Is The Greatest Betrayal On Gossip Girl

"Gossip Girl" was a show marked by constant backstabbing and betrayal, but one character's deception is clearly the worst one in the entire series. Spoilers for "Gossip Girl" ahead!

Throughout the series, which spans six seasons and over one hundred episodes, the wealthy, privileged main characters — Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) — live extravagant lives in New York City, tailed constantly by an omniscient blogger known only as Gossip Girl (voiced by Kristen Bell). As these way-too-mature teens get into all sorts of high-drama relationships and try to handle their parents' sky-high expectations throughout high school and college (the latter of which the characters on "Gossip Girl" very casually attend, judging by the amount of time they spend out of class), Gossip Girl keeps tabs on all of them, and as the series continues, the gang tries to uncover her identity.

Besides the overall concept of Gossip Girl, the series has plenty of huge betrayals, whether a stranger from Florida is posing as a member of the van der Woodsen family, a Prince of Monaco is trapping Blair in a sham marriage, Serena is sleeping with Blair's boyfriend Nate, or Chuck is selling Blair for a hotel (yes, all of these really happen in "Gossip Girl"). However, the biggest betrayal in all of "Gossip Girl" is definitely the reveal of Gossip Girl's identity... and all of the implications that come along with it.

The identity of Gossip Girl is the biggest betrayal of all

In the series finale, the gang finally learns who has been behind the Gossip Girl blog all along... and as fans now know, the show reveals that Dan Humphrey, the "outsider" from Brooklyn (where he and his family live in a massively expensive loft in one of the borough's trendiest and priciest neighborhoods), has been running the website all along. Despite the fact that he's been tormenting his friends and loved ones since before the series even began, operating through a shadowy chain of insiders who send him "tips" so that he can reveal the deepest secrets of the people he calls his friends, everyone basically forgives Dan immediately (Blair is the only one who even starts to get upset, and is shot down by every single person in the room).

To make all of this worse, Dan ultimately marries Serena, the girl of his dreams, despite the fact that she was one of Gossip Girl's most frequent targets; throughout his tenure as a teenage gossip columnist, Dan spreads rumors that Serena is pregnant, has sexually transmitted diseases, is "irrelevant," and generally paints her as pathetic, desperate mess. After all of that, why exactly would she marry him?

Serena isn't the only person who should feel victimized by Dan. From the time he tells the world that his younger sister Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) is a drug dealer to outing his illegitimate half-brother to several other horrible secrets and rumors, Dan betrays every single person he knows just for social clout. Gossip Girl's tagline might be "you know you love me," but nobody should love Dan when he reveals his ruse.

Gossip Girl's identity doesn't actually make any sense

Ultimately, the reveal that Dan is Gossip Girl left a lot of fans feeling unsatisfied... which makes sense, since that wasn't originally the plan. After his success on fellow teen soap "The O.C.," creator Josh Schwartz teamed up with eventual showrunners Joshua Safran and Stephanie Savage to adapt "Gossip Girl" from Cecily von Ziegesar's novel series — and according to Safran and Savage, Dan wasn't originally supposed to be Gossip Girl at all.

Initially, the creative team behind "Gossip Girl" knew who would be behind the blog: Eric van der Woodsen (Connor Paolo), Serena's unassuming younger brother. However, when real-life internet sleuths figured out the twist way before the show came to a close, the writers rushed to figure out an alternative — and though they reportedly considered Nate, they eventually settled on Dan, the show's resident writer.

Dan tries to explain away some of the weirder inconsistencies of his role as Gossip Girl during the series finale, but some of the examples from early seasons — where Eric was, presumably, still supposed to be Gossip Girl — are pretty jarring. For instance, Dan spends a lot of the show's earlier seasons reacting to Gossip Girl blasts while he's completely alone, which would mean that he's pretending to be shocked over a Gossip Girl blast that he released himself. Watching the series and tracking every time Dan couldn't possibly be Gossip Girl, from his weird reactions to the fact that he frequently airs his own dirty laundry to the time he sends out a blast while standing on an altar at Blair's wedding (and obviously not using his phone), just proves that this reveal makes zero sense.

"Gossip Girl" is available to stream on HBO Max.