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Eleanor appeared in 34 episodes.
Eleanor is the mother of Blair. After divorcing Harold Waldorf, she remarries Cyrus Rose and gives birth to their baby daughter, Yale, soon after. Her relationship with Blair is often strained at times but she tries hard to be an understanding and open minded parent.
She is shown to be a little absent minded and not as put together as Blair likes to be; a fact that annoys Blair at times. Unlike her daughter, Eleanor isn't as obsessed with perfection.
2007 Television Series
Eleanor is introduced in Pilot when she throws a party at her penthouse. When Blair is getting ready for her Kiss on the Lips party, Eleanor advises her that she will never be as beautiful as she is at that moment and that she shouldn't waste her youth. In Bad News Blair, Eleanor chooses Blair to be the new face of Waldorf Designs. However, her colleague Laurel and her hired photographer encourage her to enlist Serena van der Woodsen to be the face instead. Eleanor then lies to Blair to hide the fact that she chose Serena instead, a fact that hurts Blair when she finds out.
In The Handmaiden's Tale, Eleanor agrees to let Howard Archibald take her company public. However, she regrets this decision and backs out when he is arrested for embezzlement and fraud soon after (Victor Victrola). On Thanksgiving, she lies to Blair that Harold isn't coming because he's too busy to leave Paris. But the Waldorf housekeeper, Dorota Kishlovsky, tips off Blair that Eleanor lied to her. Blair calls Harold and learns that Eleanor purposely uninvited him. She confronts Eleanor about it and she admits that only did so because he sent her divorce papers and she couldn't face seeing him during the holidays.
Harold and his boyfriend, Roman Garrel, come for Christmas. Eleanor is surprised by Roman coming and isn't very friendly towards him. Meanwhile, she meets a man named Jack Roth, who she connects with instantly. They have a one-night stand, which cheers her up.
In The Dark Night, Eleanor returns from spending the summer overseas and finds Jenny Humphrey, who interned at Waldorf Designs all summer, making brutally honest comments about her clothes. Offended, she fires Jenny but the city undergoes a blackout before she can leave. During the blackout, Eleanor admits that spent all summer meeting with potential buyers for her line and felt like a fat cheerleader. By the end of the night, Eleanor realizes that Jenny is talented and hires her back.
After Jenny drops out of Constance to become homeschooled to work for Waldorf Designs full-time, Eleanor agrees to let her meet with buyers with her. However, she never holds up her promise; which angers Jenny. The final straw comes when Eleanor orders Jenny to remake a dress she designed so that she can sell it to the buyers but when Jenny brings her a flawed version, Eleanor rudely tells her that she can't come to the meeting. Jenny then leaves Waldorf Designs (Pret-a-Poor-J) and Eleanor has nothing to show her buyers.
In Bonfire of the Vanity, Eleanor introduces Blair to her new boyfriend, Cyrus Rose. Blair takes an instant dislike to him and finds out that he cheated on his first wife, Alice, and fell in love with the other woman. She informs Eleanor, who breaks up with Cyrus when she finds out. However, Blair and Cyrus make amends and he and Eleanor get back together. He also moves into their penthouse soon after. They get engaged in The Magnificent Archibalds, which Blair supports.
On Thanksgiving in The Treasure of Serena Madre, Eleanor returns from Paris for the holiday but Blair suspects her of keeping a secret. When she discovers a pregnancy test in the penthouse and that Eleanor is changing her will again, she mistakingly assumes she pregnant. She confronts her about it during dinner but Eleanor denies it, revealing instead that she and Cyrus are moving to Paris full-time.
When Dorota gets married, Eleanor is shocked when Cyrus decides to buy her and Vanya an apartment in Queens as a wedding present. Cyrus says that Dorota practically raised Blair and is family, which Eleanor takes offense to. However, she later realizes that he was right and that Dorota is a part of their family (The Unblairable Lightness of Being).
In Last Tango, Then Paris Dorota names Eleanor and Cyrus the godparents of her daughter, Anastasia.
In The Kids Are Not Alright, Eleanor offers Blair an internship at Waldorf Designs. However, Blair turns it down to pursue one with Indra Nooyi instead. When she learns that Eleanor is dressing Indra for a party, Blair takes Eleanor up on her offer to meet Indra. However, Eleanor figures out that Blair was using her and fires her. Later that night, she tells Blair that her perfect job would be working for a high fashion magazine and offers to help her find one.
In Yes, Then Zero, Eleanor helps Blair plan the wedding, alongside Louis' mother, Sophie Grimaldi. She later finds a book on pregnancy in the penthouse and asks Blair if it hers. However, Dorota reveals that she is expecting her second child and that the book is hers.
On Blair's wedding day in G.G., Eleanor feels as if she has forgotten something but can't figure out what. At the church, she realizes that it is Chuck Bass and goes to The Empire to find him. She admits to him that Blair is a nervous wreck and that she deserves to get her happy ending in her first marriage before asking him to come with her to stop the wedding. She later apologizes to Blair for bringing Chuck, but Blair says she understands why she did so. In The Backup Dan, Sophie grills Eleanor on where Blair is after she disappeared from the reception but Eleanor truthfully admits that she doesn't know. Rufus Humphrey later tells her where Blair is, and Eleanor plans not to share that with the Grimaldi's. She tells Louis that his family cannot control hers before discovering Blair is getting ready to depart with him on their honeymoon. When she learns this, she hugs Blair and promises her support.
In The Return of the Ring, Eleanor tells Blair that she wants to retire from Waldorf Designs and she wants to appoint her as the new CEO. Blair gratefully accepts and returns to Paris with her for the summer to begin working.
After Blair turns Waldorf Designs into a sexy and provocative design business, Eleanor returns to reassume her position in charge and demotes Blair. However, Blair resigns because she feels she cannot succeed in running the company. Later, she realizes that her dark side is what will earn her success and suggests to Eleanor that she create a line based on her personal style to add a twist on school uniforms. Eleanor agrees that it's a good idea and they begin working on it together. (Where the Vile Things Are).
In the series finale, New York, I Love You XOXO, Eleanor is present when Blair marries Chuck. In the five year time jump, Eleanor is shown to still be married to Cyrus and to be close with her grandson, Henry Bass.
2021 Television Series
Eleanor is still a fashion icon in the New York scene, as is now the head of the CFDA. She is in charge of dispersing grants to designers in need or designers who are starting new lines. Last year, she retired from the business side of Waldorf Designs, leaving everything to her daughter Blair. Despite this, Eleanor still maintains a legacy line and a healthy relationship with her husband, the entertainment lawyer Cyrus Rose. Eleanor hosts her annual Hannukkah dinner with her husband Cyrus, having invited his client Gideon Wolfe to attend, as the families are long-standing friends. She shows disapproval over having to live in Cyrus's deceased mother's house, since the renovations on their home have have been ongoing for over two years. Eleanor has also been taking Yiddish at the local youth center and is working to become a more active member of the Jewish community. As she fusses over getting everything perfect, she scolds Dorota Kishlovsky for working the event instead of attending as she should be. Dorota justifies her actions as the wait staff having done so much wrong that she had no choice but to correct them. As they group sits for dinner, Eleanor brings up Cyrus representing three of the women coming forward against Davis Calloway, though Cyrus can't discuss it.
- "Bendel's will legitimize this company. It will take everything to the next level. You know how hard I have worked for that. You've always been my biggest supporter, my biggest fan-" -Eleanor
- "I'm your daughter." -Blair
- "And as my daughter I knew that you would forgive me. In time. But if my company had lost this deal because of you... I'd never forgive myself." -Bad News Blair (1x04)
- "This is an absolute disaster." -Eleanor, on the Archibald scandal
- "It must be awful for them." -Blair
- "I meant for me!" -Seventeen Candles (1x08)
"But what I am surprised about is how it makes me feel. He was my husband, after all. My Harold. For almost twenty years. I couldn't face him during the holidays. It was always our happiest time." -On her divorce from Harold, Blair Waldorf Must Pie (1x09)
"Friends don't steal other friend's husbands." -Roman Holiday (1x10)
"Waldorf women are NOT socialites!" -Seder Anything (2x21)
"Is it just me, or does my daughter just seem to get crazier and crazier?" -The Treasure of Serena Madre (3x11)
"Now that I realize your childish games are actually who you are and not a phase, I wouldn't want someone like you wanting to be like me. And you are fired." -To Blair, The Kids Are Not Alright (4x12)
"Testing a good man who loves you never ends well." -Yes, Then Zero (5x01)
"And for future reference, the Waldorfs do not give into threats. Your family cannot control mine." -The Backup Dan (5x14)
- After her divorce with Harold, she lost 15 pounds and got an eye lift.
- Her cellphone number is (212) 555–0169.
- She loves Cyndi Lauper and used to reenact Vibes with Blair.
- She used to love ice skating when she was young.
- She takes Valium, which is a medicine used for treating anxiety.
- She loves champagne.
- Blair was her first dress model.
- She believes that anyone who lives anywhere besides New York City is fooling themselves.
- When she married Harold, she was so nervous that the beginning of the wedding was delayed until her anti-anxiety meds kicked in.
- She was in labor with Blair for 23 hours.