|“||If I could be a different person, I promise you, I would. Not because I want it, but because they do. And therein lies the catch.||”|
|— Rue's voiceover ("Pilot")|
Rue Bennett is a main character and the protagonist in the first season of Euphoria. She is portrayed by Zendaya, while her 4-year-old, 10-year-old, and 13-year-old counterparts are portrayed by Janice LeAnn Brown, McKenna Roberts, and Aliyah Conley, respectively.
Rue is a 17-year-old recovering drug addict struggling to find her place in the world. Fresh from rehab, Rue has no intention of staying clean and struggles to make sense of what the future holds — until she meets Jules, the eclectic, intriguing new girl in town.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
|“||I don't remember much between the ages of eight and 12. Just that the world moved fast and my brain moved slow.||”|
|— Rue ("Pilot")|
Rue Bennett was born on September 14, 2001, three days after the Twin Towers fell. Early in her childhood, she was diagnosed with OCD, ADD, general anxiety disorder, and possibly bipolar disorder. This would be leading to an inability to concentrate, persistent anxiety attacks, and constant manic and depressive episodes. Despite multiple mental issues, Rue remarked she had a pretty average childhood and wasn't abused. While attending preschool, Rue met and befriended a girl named Lexi Howard.
When Rue was 11, an anxiety attack caused her to be taken to the hospital and given liquid Valium to help her calm down. She described this event as "the feeling [she had] been searching for [her] entire life" and the first time she had "felt safe in her own head". After her father fell ill, she began taking care of him after school due to her mother having to work more. At age 13, Rue took Oxycontin for the first time via one of his pills. When she visited her father in the hospital, she began to secretly take his medication and, after his death when she was 13, latched on to drugs as a coping mechanism and became an full-blown addict.
Rue had her first kiss at the age of 12 with "a boy [she] didn't really like". She gave four handjobs in eight grade, two blowjobs in ninth, and lost her virginity while drunk and on Xanax at 15. Prior to her freshman formal, Rue tried to teach Lexi how to French kiss; afterward, when Lexi asked if she felt "really weird" or "uncomfortable". Rue responded in the negative. At her freshman formal, Nate Jacobs attempted to finger her on the dance floor without her consent.
Two months prior to the events of Euphoria, Rue overdosed and nearly choked to death in her own vomit, falling into a brief coma before being found by her sister, Gia Bennett. She was sent to rehab for "a good portion of the summer" in the hopes that she would straighten out, and was eventually released approximately two months later.
Throughout the Series[edit | edit source]
Pilot[edit | edit source]
In the beginning of the episode Rue tells us she was born three days after the September 11 terror attacks and was diagnosed with an array of mental health issues as a young child. The medication she took to treat her diagnoses slowed her down throughout her childhood. The extra focus she had on her breathing triggered panic attacks in class. Rue routinely pops her mother’s Xanax and overindulges in drugs and alcohol. After she overdoses at home Gia finds her unconscious, lying in her own vomit and she winds up in rehab the summer before her junior year of high school. Soon after returning, she goes to Fezco and tells him that she had no intention of staying clean, she continued using.
Back home late her mother waits for her by the counter, they have a argument and her mother demanded a drug test, and she ran to her friend, Lexi, for a clean urine sample to pass the test. While they wait for the result Rue apologizes to her mother for slamming the door earlier and she forgives her She passed the drug test and her mother gave permission for her to spend the night at Lexi’s house after she asked.
Later she winds up at the party at McKay's home and stays awhile. The spectacle of Jules and Nate grabs Rue’s attention and she follows Jules out of the house. She introduces herself and asks if she can go home with Jules. At Jules’s house, Rue bandaged her up, then they lay in bed together.
Specials[edit | edit source]
Rue begins the day by waking up Jules Vaughn with kisses, assuring her that she has plenty of time to prepare for her presentation. When Jules leaves, Rue does drugs, and then goes off to see Ali about her drug addiction. She starts by lying about her sobriety, attempting to focus on some newfound "general overall well-being" and "balance" that she has found; however, Ali soon trips her up and gets to the truth of the matter: she's high right now. Relenting, Rue reveals that she had some drugs for "emergency purposes", and she finally caved. She asserts that her emotions were "racing" and she was unable to control them while sober, relying on drugs instead.
Ali eventually questions whether Rue believes that there is any power greater than herself. She earnestly rattles off several examples, such as the ocean or music, but Ali, being a devout Muslim, discards all of this and asserts that she genuinely doesn't think there's anything higher than herself, implying that it's a flaw in her mindset that's keeping her hooked on drugs. As Ali continues into his theology, Rue eventually becomes angry and threatens to walk out, so Ali changes the subject to race politics in America. He explains to her that modern revolutions have been ineffectual because they lack a genuine commitment to radical change, to spirituality, bringing the argument back around to his main point without using religious doctrine to do so.
Rue absorbs this, in silence mostly and sometimes in surprise, until Ali goes out to call his family. When he returns, he asks another reformed addict whether she had to sacrifice romance to truly become clean; the reformed addict confirms this to be the case, implying that Rue may have to let go of Jules to get clean. Rue seizes on this, blaming Jules' cheating as the reason for her relapse. Ali asks after her relationship, when they spoke of it becoming official, but for Rue everything was implied, which Ali pushes her to realize is part of the problem.
As the conversation comes to a close, Rue recants how she once threatened to kill her own mother with a piece of glass, and how she considers herself a horrible person because of it. Ali counters that drugs fundamentally change who you are as a person, and that you can still be a good person at the end of the day even if you sometimes fail to live up to your ideals. He admonishes her not to think of herself as worthless, otherwise it'll simply justify more damaging behavior that violate her beliefs, that she must consider what kind of person she wants to be when she finally dies. Rue, however, doesn't intend to live much longer, but Ali manages to cheer her up with a joke and then they drive off together.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rue is sarcastic and introverted. Her battles with mental illness and drug addiction often times highlight the more negative aspects of her personality, such as when she's rude (telling her mother's date to "Go fuck [him]self"), self-isolating (shutting Lexi out). As for example in episode 7 we see Rue discovering that she's bipolar. We see her laying in bed saying that "[she's] watched 22 straight hours of Love Island over a 2 day period, and yearning for more" in a depressive episode after halloween. While we also see her in a manic episode which inspires her to find out why Jules testified for Nate Jacobs at the police station and that Nate cat-fished Jules, also calling herself a genius. That being said, Rue is far from being anti-social. She is able to get along with many people, and has several acquaintances. Rue has had a complicated relationship with her sexuality and struggled with compulsory heterosexuality, and uncomfortable sexual situations with boys when she was younger (being "emotionally coerced" in to a blowjob) before realising that she is a lesbian. Her younger sister Gia takes notice of her feelings for Jules, and Rue talks about her feelings for Jules with her mother, establishing they are already aware of her sexuality, and that she has likely come out prior to the show's timeline.
Rue's sense of humor is generally straight-forward and borders on crass, which is easily depicted in her monologues throughout the show. She usually delivers her jokes in a deadpan and sarcastic manner. She is usually not animated/over-the-top though she can be (i.e. her lesson on solicited vs. unsolicited dick pics.)
Although Rue puts on a front of being apathetic and cool-headed, beneath the surface she is shown to be deeply emotional and caring, which is brought out in her relationships with Jules, Fezco, and her younger sister Gia. She is even shown to be wearing the clothing her father wore before he fell ill and passed, showing just how difficult his passing was on her, and how she still hasn't healed from it. On many occasions, she’s argued with her mother, but is also shown to be extremely caring for her.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Rue and Jules formally meet after a party. A fight broke out between Nate and Jules, where Nate tries to intimidate Jules. Worried that things may turn violent, Jules grabs a knife that is nearby and cuts herself, claiming that she is invincible, after which she introduces herself to the onlookers. This catches Rue's attention so she introduces herself to Jules and they go home together, where Rue patches up Jules' arm and they get high together.
Their friendship continues to evolve over the following two episodes, with Jules looking after Rue after she takes Fentanyl. Seeing Rue in this state upsets Jules, with her telling Rue that she's not trying to be best friends with someone who's going to kill themselves so Rue assures her that she'll stop using drugs upon her request.
Jules starts talking with Nate through an online dating app, who she thought was a boy called Tyler. This starts to create some tension between the two, as Rue begins to develop a crush on Jules, though Rue does help Jules further her relationship with Tyler, until Jules announces that she's going to meet up with Tyler after the carnival at night, which worries Rue as she does not think it is safe. When Rue expresses concern over Jules' safety, a fight breaks out between Rue and Jules, during which they do not talk for a short period of time. The fight ends when Rue visits Jules at her house and explains that the only reason she wasn't supportive of Jules meeting Tyler after the carnival was because she cares for her and doesn't want anything bad happening to her. Rue then kisses Jules and Rue leaves crying, thinking she's ruined their friendship.
Jules and Rue then meet at the carnival where Jules assures Rue that it wasn't weird but they agree to act as though the kiss never happened as per Rue's request.
After the carnival, Jules meets "Tyler" and upon realising that Nate is Tyler, she says that she cannot have a relationship with him because she does not trust him. He proceeds to blackmail her into not saying anything about their interactions, using the nude photos she sent him.
Jules visits Rue after her meeting with Nate and sleeps over. Rue asks her what happened with Tyler to which she responds "he didn't look like his picture." Rue proceeds to comfort Jules and Jules kisses Rue.
Rue and Jules get matching lip tattoos which say Rules (an amalgamation of their two names).
2 Episodes later at a halloween party of Daniel, Jules feels upset because of Nate showing up at her house blackmailing her. Which leads to her rejecting a kiss Rue initiated. At the party Jules takes some shots of tequila causing her to get drunk and then telling Rue that "[she] should have been [her] chaperone, but now [she's] drunk." Then later falls into the pool speaking out a monologue from Romeo and Juliet after which she pulls Rue into the pool with her. While being under water they kiss. Causing Rue to be upset and as she leaves she tells Lexi that she feels like she is a Burden. When Lexi tells Jules she and Rue are gonna leave. Jules calls Rue and Lexi but also the town boring. Rue changes her mind and say's that she can't leave Jules alone at the party.
At winter formal, Rue and Jules nearly run away to the city, until Rue begins to think about her mother and Gia and says she can't do it. In tears, Jules leaves for the city while Rue stays behind.
Fezco is Rue's dealer, but they also have a friendly (and complicated) sibling-like relationship, with Fezco feeling worried after Rue's overdose. Fezco refuses to sell Rue drugs when she turns up at his house, which angers Rue as she tells him that he did this to her (referring to her addiction). She later apologises for yelling at him and thanks him for not selling her drugs, to which he says they're good and that he didn't take what she said to heart as she was looking for her next fix. Rue also seems to be comfortable enough to claim that Fez was “covering” her drug purchases, as she did when she returned from rehab and bought some drugs from Ashtray.
Fezco and Rue are protective of each other with Fezco threatening to kill Nate if he didn't stop messing with Rue and her friends and Rue threatening to burn Nate's world down if he messed with Fezco again (after Nate tipped the police off about Fezco's illegal activties).
Gia is Rue's younger sister and the two have a very close bond. Gia is stated by her mother as "idolizing Rue", viewing her as someone she deeply admires and wants to be like; though this at times upsets Rue because she fears she's not setting a good example for her little sister.
Gia brings out Rue's protective side. There are several times when Rue has prevented Gia from serious harm or gotten her out of sticky situations. The first is when Rue prevents Gia from smoking marijuana with Roy and Troy, who jokingly call her "mom" because of this; and the next is afterward when she prevents their mother from finding out Gia smoked so that she wouldn't get into trouble. Rue also confronted one of the twins during Halloween, citing characters from “The Wire” as violent rehab friends she wouldn’t hesistate to call up for favors.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Rue is seen with dark brown eyes, a heart shape face and wavy brown hair that she sometimes keeps untamed over her shoulders, but also likes to pull it into a ponytail or a bun. Her skin complexion is brown-beige, as she is mixed racial and comes from one parent who is black and another who is white. However, she seems to appear as pale and sickly due to the after-effects of drug addiction and lack of care from her mental issues with dry lips and dark rings under her eyes. Rue seems to like to wear makeup at times, usually eyeshadow and glitter under her eyes, which she tends to not remove and leave smeared on.
Rue is skinny and has a lean figure, but seems to slouch her shoulders lazily as she seems to not care much about her posture in front of other people. She has tall and slender legs and thin arms.
Unlike her more colorful friend, Jules, Rue’s outfits rarely vary. While Jules’ outfits are more closely organized, Rue’s outfits are more casual and comfortable, relying closely on her father’s hoodie, baggy shirts, loose button ups and shorts. She typically wears Converse sneakers for footwear. While wearing a corset dress for winter formal, Rue stated she felt “deeply uncomfortable” with it, hinting that she doesn’t find feminine wear appealing to wear.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Season One (8/8)
- Stuntin' Like My Daddy
- Made You Look
- Shook Ones Pt. II
- '03 Bonnie and Clyde
- The Next Episode
- The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed
- And Salt the Earth Behind You
Quotes[edit | edit source]
|“||And then it happens. That moment when your breath starts to slow. And every time you breathe, you breathe out all the oxygen you have. And everything stops: your heart, your lungs, then finally, your brain. And everything you feel, and wish, and want to forget, it all just sinks. And then suddenly... ...you give it air again, give it life again.||”|
|— Rue's voiceover ("Pilot")|
|“||(...) And when it hit me, I thought... This is it. This is the feeling I have been searching for my entire life, for as long as I could remember. Because suddenly... ...the world went quiet. And I felt safe, in my own head. Two years later, he was gone. Panic attacks stayed. And I found a way to live, so... Will it eventually kill me? Maybe. Fuck, maybe not. I don't know. You still gonna be my dealer, Fez?||”|
|— Rue to Fezco ("Pilot")|
|“||I know you're not allowed to say it... ...but drugs are kind of cool. I mean, they're cool before they wreck your skin... ...and your life... and your family. That's when they get uncool. It's actually a very narrow window of cool.||”|
|— Rue's voiceover ("Stuntin' Like My Daddy")|
|“||All I know is, life is not a Nicholas Sparks novel.||”|
|— Rue describing her first experience with sex ("'03 Bonnie and Clyde")|
|“||But the absolute worst part of depression is that even though you know you're depressed, you're unable to stop yourself from getting worse.||”|
|— Rue's voiceover ("The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed")|
|“||I'm Morgan fuckin' Freeman and this is the beginning of the third act.||”|
|— Rue to Lexi during a manic episode ("The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed")|
|“||There is not a thing on the planet Earth that compares to fentanyl. Except Jules. Jules is a close second.”||”|
|— Rue's voiceover ("'03 Bonnie and Clyde")|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- As a child, Rue was a fan of Britney Spears. She is also a current fan of the female rapper Young MA and has a poster of her in episode 4.
- Rue is afraid of certain carnival rides, including the Gravitron and the Ferris wheel.
- Rue is known to have tried opiates (including ES 7.5 Vicodin), and Fentanyl in the past.
- Rue enjoys binge-watching reality television due to it being "pure, effortless entertainment". She is known to have watched at least Season 4 of the 2015 dating show Love Island, as contestant Laura Anderson's voice can be heard from her laptop.
- Rue's maroon hoodie was originally her dad's, which is why she holds onto it so much. She took it from his bed after he passed away.
- According to Euphoria makeup artist, Doniella Davy, Rue’s glitter makeup is said to be evocative of tears and due to her personality, are less structured and more rough than other characters such as Maddy and Jules
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- See also: Category:Images of Rue Bennett
References[edit | edit source]
|Characters of Euphoria|
|Rue Bennett • Jules Vaughn • Cassie Howard • Lexi Howard • Nate Jacobs • Cal Jacobs • Maddy Perez • Kat Hernandez • Gia Bennett • Chris McKay • Fezco|
|Aaron Jacobs • Ali • Amy Vaughn • Ashtray • Barbara • Coach • Daniel • David Vaughn • Ethan • Hernandez • Leslie Bennett • Leslie Bennett • Mouse • Hayes • Robert Bennett • Robert Bennett • Roy McKay • Sonia Perez • Suze Howard • Ted Perez • Ted • Troy McKay • Tyler|
|Custer • Johnny • Luke Kasten • Minako • Trevor • Wes|