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How The Gilmore Girls Revival Will Honor Richard After His Death

Lauren Graham opens up about losing Edward Herrmann

When the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life reboot hits Netflix this Thanksgiving, one beloved character won't be joining the family for Friday night dinner: Richard Gilmore. Edward “Ed” Herrmann, who sadly died of brain cancer in December 2014, played Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) grandfather and Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) father for seven seasons.

“To me, one of the aspects of this show that felt the same but different was in the wake of losing Ed [Herrmann], which was and still is a great loss for us personally,” Graham said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s biannual press tour. Graham, Bledel, Scott Patterson, and executive producers Dan and Amy-Sherman Palladino all spoke at the panel.

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“It was also part of our story that we are telling, which is the journey of how everyone is still recovering [from his death], and that gave the show depth and an emotional complexity,” Graham continued. “It felt to me like, here is the show, but grown up even more.”

She went on to explain that Richard’s death influences every character, particularly Lorelai. Despite her rocky relationship with her parents, he was still her dad, after all.

“[His death] plays into all of the choices the characters are making. Through dealing with that, [Lorelai] makes some decisions [about her love life].”

Lorelai’s relationship status is just as much of a mystery as Rory’s, but both Bledel and Graham promised that fans will get the answers they’re looking for come November. So who’s it gonna be: Rugged Luke? Childhood sweetheart Chris? Friendly neighbor Kirk (LOL)? We’re sure whoever she does or doesn’t choose, Richard would approve.