Olivia Pope

Olivia Pope

Photo Credit: ABC Press

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… primarily in prestigious boarding schools after the death of her mother when she was 12. Olivia has always been financially provided for by her father, but she has had to navigate herself through life on her own. Olivia’s upbringing is one reason she is so attuned to the needs of others. 

Living... in an upscale apartment in Washington, D.C., when she’s not spending her nights at the Pope and Associates office. 

Profession... crisis manager. As head of her firm, Pope and Associates, Olivia and her team of lawyers who don’t practice law operate as “fixers.” Billing her team as “gladiators in suits,” Olivia uses the media and other extralegal means to right the wrongs perpetrated by and against America’s political and social elite. Also, Olivia has been the Press Secretary for the White House, and the Campaign Manager for Fitzgerald Grant’s successful presidential bid.

Interests... eating bowls of popcorn and swimming laps at the pool. Aside from that, she is interested in “fixing” the problems of the people in her life, while trying to maintain a handle on the problems in hers. 

Relationship Status... complicated – very. Regardless of her official relationship status and with whom, which changes occasionally, Olivia carries on a torrid affair with President Fitzgerald (Fitz) Grant III. That relationship is an ongoing source of tension (understandably) for the President’s wife, Mellie Grant, and sometimes threatens the professional standing of both Fitz and Olivia. Yet they can’t seem to help themselves. 

Challenge…  keeping “wearing the white hat” while delving into the underbelly of D.C. politics. Olivia and her associates often exercise borderline illegal means to fix the problems of her clients. Working in this fashion often blurs the line between right and wrong, and Olivia has a harder and harder time staying on the side of right. Keeping her moral standing also becomes more difficult as she becomes more personally involved in the scandals that occur. 

Personality... tenacious overachiever who can be manipulative. Olivia uses her ability to read people and situations to maneuver those around her to her (and her firm’s) advantage. In her words, “My gut tells me everything I need to know.” And if her gut tells her that the person sitting in front of her is innocent or a good person who made a mistake, Olivia will stop at nothing to help. However, Olivia values honesty over everything, and if a person lies to her or tries to hurt someone she loves, she will use all the means at her disposal to bring that person down. 


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