Gloria Estabrook is Frank and Joe Hardy's grandmother and the head of one of three families within the Circle of the Eye.

History

The Death of a Daughter

Gloria speaks at her daughter, Laura's funeral after she died in a fatal car crash. She tells those in attendance how Laura was a fighter and how if she was there, she’d still be fighting for those she loved the most. After the burial, Gloria thanks Fenton for allowing her to speak and tells him that he can ask her for anything.

Gloria embraces Frank at the wake. He states that this entire ordeal doesn’t feel real. Gloria gifts Frank with a music box that belonged to his mother. Frank almost immediately discovers a secret compartment inside. Gloria is impressed and tells him that there’s more than one secret in that box.

After learning that the boys were moving to Bridgeport for the summer, Gloria unexpectedly stops by Trudy's with dessert and to tell them that she has arranged a “welcome to Bridgeport” barbecue at her place tomorrow night. With Frank and Joe having lived in the city all those years, Gloria hopes to show them around town. Gloria remembers when Laura first brought Fenton home, with who she was quite unimpressed. Gloria has already begun to make some arrangements to pad out Frank's resume in hopes of convincing him to attend Rosegrave Preparatory Academy. As for Joe, Gloria would like to teach him to ride horses.

The very next night at her barbecue, Gloria introduces Frank and Joe to the entire party. She then takes them into her study to show them a painting of her father, their great-grandfather. George Estabrook made the discovery that made everything possible for their family. Joe asks about the mounted head on the wall. Gloria explains that it’s the beast that got their Uncle Harry. Joe then opens the door and unintentionally lets Gloria’s dog, Peppermint, out. It's while they're searching for Peppermint that Joe is taken hostage by Ern Cullmore, who demands to speak with Gloria. Ern explains that he was on her fishing boat — The Astghik. Her boat was set on fire after two men got onboard and killed the entire crew. As he tells Gloria this, Joe stomps on his foot, allowing for him to break free and for Gloria’s servant, Stefan, to intervene, though Ern does manage to escape.[1]

Trudy shows up at Gloria's under the impression that the boys were with her. However, Gloria informs her that she hasn't seen them all day. Before Trudy leaves, Gloria advises her to show the boys who the boss is, otherwise they will run circles around her. She even suggests that the boys come stay with her until Fenton returns.[2]

Gloria calls Frank over so she can help him fill out his application to Rosegrave, which was founded by her father, George Estabrook. But first Frank asks his grandmother about the last time she spoke to Laura. Gloria admits that they spoke on the day she died. She claims they only talked about Frank and his future. Laura supposedly didn’t want him to go to Rosegrave. Gloria claims that she kept this from them because she was simply trying to spare them. Callie then arrives as Gloria has been helping her fill out her application to Rosegrave as well.[3]

Making Amends with Trudy

Gloria shows up at the Hardy residence to find Trudy painting. She’s come over to bury the hatchet, but Trudy is reluctant to trust her, as Gloria has never been kind to the Hardys. Until the boys moved to Bridgeport, she hadn’t even seen Gloria for two years. Gloria admits that she’s made mistakes and wants to mend what she can, though she can't change the past. Before leaving, she informs Trudy of her friends in the city who own galleries and might be interested in showcasing her work.

Later that evening, Gloria and Trudy have tea. Gloria suspects that Joe is a fairly accurate facsimile of a young Fenton. Trudy admits this is true. Fenton was such a terror as a child that Trudy could do what she wanted. And still, she was well behaved because she figured that someone had to be good. Gloria reminds Trudy that she’s still young and has plenty of time to explore, adding that one is ever obliged to be what people expect. Trudy admits that she’s worried about Joe, who has been acting out. Gloria reasons that he’s simply adjusting to the world around him. Frank on the other hand, Gloria says is more like Laura. He is exactly the same age Laura was when she decided to turn her back on Gloria. Laura was complicated, and Gloria wouldn’t allow for complications. It’s one of her biggest regrets — not being a good mother. Although, she’d like to be a good grandmother.[4]

Rosegrave Entry Exam

Gloria hosts the Rosegrave entry exam at her home, where she introduces Dean Mcfarlane to Frank and Callie. Gloria explains how Dean Mcfarlane has been a great asset to Rosegrave and that he knew Laura. The test begins soon thereafter, and by the end, Frank and Callie are the last two remaining. Gloria says that she’s proud of them and that the last test is for the two of them to figure out how to exit the room within the next 15 minutes. With less than five minutes to spare, Frank and Callie successfully solve the riddle. Gloria and Dean McFarlane applaud their performance and welcome them to Rosegrave.

Gloria meets with Kanika, who is under the impression that Gloria has come into possession of the stone that her father had lost so many years ago. Gloria doesn't answer, merely changing the subject to the Tall Man, who Gloria presumes is an affiliate of the Khans, but Kanika insists that he doesn’t work for her. Gloria has already lost her father and daughter to the exigencies of their business. She refuses to allow anything to happen to the boys. Kanika reminds Gloria that they’re not the only ones involved. There’s another party to be considered.

Chief Collig warns Gloria that the Tall Man escaped his cell and is currently on the loose. Gloria replies that this is bad news for everyone.[5]

The Circe of the Eye

Gloria finds Joe being held hostage by JB Cox. JB reveals Joe knows where the piece is. Gloria distracts him long enough for Stefan to sneak up on JB and knock him unconscious. Gloria then asks Joe if it’s true, but Frank tells Joe not to say anything until she answers their questions. Frank asks if the piece from the idol is what led to Laura's death. This is the first Gloria has heard of Laura having been murdered, and she becomes upset. They also reveal how Mrs. Khan hired Fenton to find her nephew, Rupert, as he and Laura were working on a story together. When Chief Collig arrives to arrest JB, Gloria informs him that her daughter was murdered according to Frank and Joe. She then tells him that he knows what to do.

Gloria admits that she has sheltered them from some harsh truths, but she’s going to be honest with them moving forward. her father, Ahmed Khan, and Sergei Nabokov, found an ancient artifact of unknown origins in the mines. And the mines collapsed when they disturbed it. The piece that Joe found inside the idol is called The Eye, because with it, one can achieve all their desires and insight into the outcome of all things. So the Estabrooks, the Khans, and Nabokovs became three of the wealthiest families of the world. They called themselves the Circle of the Eye. And Frank and Joe’s mother was aware of all of this. It's because of this that she rejected the Estabrook name and fled Bridgeport.

Gloria goes on to explain to Frank and Joe that Laura had already had her suspicions about her father, but after hearing a conversation between the Circle, she didn’t want any involvement Gloria’s father realized that the Eye was too powerful to be in any one person’s possession. So, he divided it into three pieces. One for each founding member, each with an equal fraction of the power. It was while he was flying his piece overseas that his plane crashed. After George’s death, the Circle continued to protect their interest abroad, as well as their wealth and power. Frank then asks about the door behind the bookcase. Gloria says that it’s the repository of her father’s studies into the Eye. She hasn’t been in that room since he died and presumes that the key got lost with him in the crash. And any attempt to open the door without the proper key will trigger an explosion to destroy everything behind it. Gloria explains that it’s important for them to keep their piece safe which is why she needs Joe to tell her where it is. If they can assemble all three pieces of the Eye, then with its full power it might lead them to Laura’s killer.

Gloria receives an unexpected visit from Kanika Khan, who tells Gloria that her piece of the Eye was stolen. With Victor dead, the Nabokov line should’ve died with him. The question they now have to find the answer to is who else knows enough about the Circle to move against them. Gloria later learns from Stefan that the Estabrook piece of the Eye was stolen from Joe.[6]

Gloria is asked by Frank about the Nabokov’s piece of the Eye. Gloria presumed that it was in Victor’s possession, but she learned recently that he died, supposedly of natural causes, but Gloria isn't convinced. Frank suspects that he was killed by someone who wanted his piece of the Eye, perhaps Mrs. Khan or even Gloria, though she denies having anything to do with Nabokov's death. Gloria explains that she’s been looking for her piece to the Eye with such ferocity because she’s been thinking about her successor, that being Frank.[7]

Meeting Anya

Gloria learns from Frank that Joe and Biff are in the tunnels at Demon's Paw. He goes on to reveal that they found the key to her father’s study. Gloria enters the study for the first time in decades and is overwhelmed with joy. Gloria suspects that whatever Joe found in the study sent him into the tunnels. Frank explains they took a map with ley lines and George’s journal. Frank questions if George had a secret entrance to the tunnel. Gloria isn’t sure, anyone who would know is either dead or working against them.

Gloria and Frank arrive at Anya Kowalski’s shop. Anya always wondered what she would say to Gloria the day they finally met, as it was her father's expedition that led to the Estabrook's becoming as wealthy as they are. She also mentions how she and her mother were forced off their own land many years ago by George’s bank. Gloria admits that her father was manipulative and deceitful. And when he died, she carried on as if she learned nothing from his wicked ways and apologizes to Anya, who decides to help them. Anya asks what Joe is looking for in the mines. Frank claims that he is simply curious and asks Anya if her father ever mentioned there being another entrance to the mines. Anya explains that from the moment they started digging, each man wanted their own entrance because they did not trust each another. Anya’s father was supposed to be the leader of that expedition, but he was just being used. Gloria inquires further and is willing to pay for more information. Anya is insulted and accuses Gloria of being like her father.

Stefan returns to the Estabrook estate while Gloria is in her father's study, and he reports that while JB was successful in retrieving the Eye, he now wishes to keep it for himself.[8]

Reunited with the Estabrook Piece

In 1961, Gloria's father, George Estabrook, announces his plan to leave town, as the Circle is coming for him. He goes into his study and places the idol in a steel box. Gloria offers to help him. He says that he will always love her but that she will never be part of the Circle of the Eye. He hopes that one day she’ll understand and forgive him.

Present day, after learning from JB that he lost the Khan piece, she hires him to retrieve her piece from her grandsons, which he does successfully. Unfortunately, Frank arrives just as Gloria is compensating JB. Gloria reasons that she grew tired of being patient. Gloria takes Frank into the study and explains that they didn’t leave her with any other choice but to steal it. Frank claims to understand why she did what she did, reasoning that the Eye is bigger than everything. He then returns the map and George’s journal. Moving forward, Gloria says they are to protect the family legacy and reclaim their place in the Circle.

1961, Gloria slams shut Laura's music box and tells her to leave to room as Ahmed Khan and Sergei Nabokov enter the office following George’s funeral. George’s ideas threatened The Eye, which is why they appreciate Gloria reaching out as she did, despite the fact that she wasn’t George’s chosen successor. Until the Estabrook piece of the Eye is accounted for, they cannot discuss Gloria's future in the Circle. Gloria doesn’t know where the piece is but intends to find it. Her father never respected her opinion and treated her like an outsider. But the Circle is bigger than all of them, which is why she called the other families when George tried to flee with his piece. They mustn’t let their past differences get in the way of their future. She assures them that she won’t repeat his mistakes.

Gloria takes her piece of the Eye and places it in a safe behind a picture. She then tells Frank how happy she is that he’s decided to join her. Kanika Khan and Anastasia Nabokov, better known as Stacy Baker, arrive. Gloria informs them that not only is Frank her successor but that the Estabrooks have retrieved their piece of the Eye, which Gloria wants to reassemble. Stacy asks who killed her father, stating that he was poisoned. He told her that neither Khan nor Gloria can be trusted. For the last 30 years, their families have worked against each other, but Gloria wants to come together.[9]

Reassembling The Eye

Gloria takes Frank into her father’s study to look through his findings. She learned about the Circle when she was Frank’s age. Gloria believes that The Eye corrupted her father. However, she doesn’t blame it for losing her father or her daughter. Gloria them mentions Stacy and how she's going to come after their piece. Joe then arrives to inform them that Stacy wants to make a trade for Callie and their piece of The Eye. Gloria is pleased to hear this, as it means that Stacy is desperate and bound to make a mistake. Gloria wants to trap her, where as Frank simply wants to give her the piece.

Gloria meets with Stacy in The Eye of the Chamber after she was tricked by Frank, who managed to recover Callie without giving her the piece. Gloria and Stacy have come to a truce and agree to reassemble The Eye together. Frank, Joe, Callie, and Fenton arrive and reveal that they have Gloria on tape admitting to having killed Stacy’s father. A fight ensues, but Gloria still manages to reassemble The Eye in the Chamber, which emits a blast that knocks Frank unconscious. Frank awakens and reveals that he saw their mother and that Stefan killed her in order to protect the Circle. Gloria can't believe this and escapes the mines as it starts to collapse. She makes her way back to the surface, where she is arrested by Jesse for Victor Nabokov's murder.[10]

Personality and traits

Official character bio from Hulu's press site:[11]

GLORIA is elegant and graceful in a way that screams “old money”. Educated, wealthy and privileged, Gloria is drawn to people who she thinks have exceptional qualities. Gloria always pushed her daughter to achieve greatness, and now seeks to do the same with her grandson Frank. But pushing them to greatness can also mean pushing them too hard. Gloria is extravagant in her persona and her actions – but deep down, she believes everything she does is what’s best for her family. She has a deep affection for Frank, who she sees as her successor.

Appearances

Fun facts and trivia

  • Gloria is a character created specifically for the series.

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References

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