Gwen Sawicki is a senior parapsychology student at Duke University who comes to Mystic Falls to complete her dissertation. During her time in the town, she disguised herself as "a private investigator who is hired by an anonymous client". She was compelled by Caroline to leave the town, however, she was wearing vervain at the time and remained protected.
Gwen comes from a wealthy family, so she was looking for a job which didn't require hard work to make money. Being a psychologist, where all she was required to was sit and listen to people, seemed like a good option, so she applied to Duke University to study psychology. Later, she got interested in being a writer, so when it was time to choose her major, she chose forensic psychology, where she would study criminals and figure out why they have gone bad. But after one of her teachers, Isobel Flemming, showed her her researches about supernatural, she was fascinated by it. Convinced that they are really out there, she switched to parapsychology. According to Vanessa, Gwen was Isobel's favorite student and protegee, who, according to Elena, spent more quality time with her mother than she ever did.
Gwen first appeared at the end of Game Over as a private investigator who is hired by an anonymous client to investigate the explosion at Gilbert House, which led Sheriff Forbes to allow her into the scene. After a brief investigation, she noticed unusual phenomena that don't add up, which prevented Sheriff Forbes from labeling the incident as "accident". However, when she attempted to question Caroline and Bonnie, Caroline compelled her to leave town and never come back. Without Caroline's knowledge, Gwen was holding a vervain flower, which blocked the compulsion. This, while revealing that she knows about the supernatural, also forced her to go into hiding, if not leave town. She hired a hotel room just outside the town with the alias Jenny Finley, and continued her research there.
She was forced to go out of hiding when the rent she paid had expired. On her way back, she had a very dangerous encounter with Caroline, and was saved just in time by Stefan and Damon.
She once again came out of hiding when kitsunes' new weapon, the malach, caused an epidemic and turned the whole town against each other. Her being out of town at the time malach stroke, Bonnie's connection to kitsune Misao, and Damon's expertness at controlling his anger led to the trio being the only ones who remained unaffected, which led to an unwilling partnership that the town's fate depended on. Their mission was a success, but as a result, Gwen was forced to reveal who she really is, what she really is doing in Mystic Falls, and her deep - and occasionally flawed - knowledge about the supernatural world.
She revealed that she is not a private investigator at all, and that her badge and ID are fake. She is actually a parapsychology student at Duke University, who came to Mystic Falls to work on her dissertation because her old teacher once told her that Mystic Falls is "the town to go" to work on the supernatural. When asked, she revealed that her teacher was Isobel Flemming, Elena's biological mother (without her knowledge). Isobel was who inspired her to choose parapsychology as her major over forensic psychology, after she showed her her research about vampires, witches, werewolves and several other supernatural species. That was before she became a vampire and stopped teaching. Upon finding out she's harmless, the gang let her stay as long as she stayed out of their way.
After Matt returned from the Dark Dimension, she got closer to him to get information on the Other Side due to his connection to ghosts as a medium. However, soon a romance sparked between the two, which led Matt to decide to stay in town.
When the Elemental Witches arrived, she, along with Stefan and Elena, returned to Duke to go through Isobel's researches hoping to find a weakness of them. There wasn't anything to help, but Stefan and Elena insisted that she stay there and look at other sources to find anything that might help.
She didn't appear after that until the epilogue scene at the end of series finale, The Final Conversation. It is revealed that after one year, she and Matt have been engaged. Aside from his work as a talent hunter for the school's football team, he also runs the Mystic Grill, which he was able to afford thanks to the financial support from Gwen.
Trivia & NotesEdit
- Gwen was taught and inspired by her old teacher Isobel Flemming, Elena's birth mother. According to Vanessa, she was Isobel's favorite student, which is the reason she was allowed to go through Isobel's researches when no one else was.
- The character is named after her novel namesake, but is not based on her in any way. In the novels Gwen had a significantly smaller role, where she was introduced as Matt's attorney.
- After the character's story was written, an idea was brought up to change her name to Celia Connor, another character from the novels who's story is more fitting to the character's. However, eventually the idea was scrapped and the name Gwen was kept.