How Is Chuck Bass Different on Television’s Gossip Girl vs. In the Books?
Chuck Bass has changed alot over the six seasons of Gossip Girl — both aesthetically and emotionally. But those transformations barely scratch the surface of the character’s differences.
For those of you who have read the Cecily von Ziegesar novels that spawned the show, you know that the Chuck we have come to love and loathe through Ed Westwick’s portrayal of him is a far cry from the one we read about years ago.
Parents: In the novels, Chuck lives with his parents, Bart and Misty Bass. On the television show, Chuck’s mother is said to have died in childbirth and his heartless father “dies” while Chuck is still a minor.
Role in the group: In the novels, Chuck is an antagonist who is only kept around because he has money and his parents are friends with the parents of the other upper crusters. On TV, Chuck starts out as an annoyance, but is legitimately friends with his cohorts. Throughout the seasons, he becomes less of a playboy and more of a friend to lean on — particularly for Nate (Chace Crawford) and Blair (Leighton Meester).
School: In the books, Chuck attends Riverside Preparatory School for Boys on the Upper West Side with Dan (Penn Badgley), who is there on scholarship. On the show, he goes to St. Jude’s with Nate (and Dan too). Also, in the books he fails to get into college because he is lazy and has poor grades. On the show, college is never really discussed at length because he has great business sense and takes over Bass Industries after his father dies.
Dating life: In the novels, Chuck flits around and hooks up with whomever he pleases — women and men. Although he does have a relationship with Blair, it’s not until later in the series and it doesn’t have nearly the impact on him that the televised B Waldorf does. On the show, Chuck messes around a lot in the beginning — and has a couple other real relationships throughout — but his love life centers largely around Blair throughout.
Fashion sense: He is described in the books as having a flamboyant fashion sense and he has a thing for scarves. On TV, well, that’s sort of true too. However, his ridiculous first and second season outfits get a haute treatment later on, with “brutish, Wall Street” suits replacing less-tailored and less coordinated ensembles.