Serena van der Woodsen is described as being slim, ethereally beautiful, and "perfect". Serena dabbled in modeling before landing a starring role in Breakfast at Fred's, a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Serena has kept a steady string of admirers, including Nate Archibald, Dan Humphrey, Aaron Rose, and an entire a cappella group at Yale University.Serena longs for true romance, and initially seeks this with Nate, despite his relationship with her friend Blair. Serena is often criticized by her classmates who find her an excellent source of gossip, but resent her effortless good looks and her ability to get the attention of any male. At the end of the book series, Serena decides to stay in New York City, instead of attending one of the many Ivy Leagues schools into which she was accepted, so that she can she discover her life for herself.
Dan Humphrey is a thin, sensitive, caffeine-addicted poet who often sees the darker side of things. A romantic whose imagination runs off wildly at the worst times, he is also over-analytical and easily frustrated. He was in love with Serena for years before they met and briefly dated, and experimented with homosexuality, before he began dating Vanessa Abrams. He is a published writer of poetry and songs. At the end of the series, he is attending Evergreen State College in Washington.