Grew Up… raised by her adopted parents, Larry and Anna Sawyer. Peyton’s otherwise happy childhood was truncated by the tragic death of her mother in a car accident. Peyton’s already somewhat distant father Larry became even more aloof after the loss of Anna, leaving Peyton emotionally ostracized and often alone.
Living… in the home of her largely absent father. Larry works away from home on a trudge boat, leaving Peyton on her own for weeks at a time. As a result, Peyton is independent to the point of being lonesome. She drives herself to and from school, goes to cheer practice, and generally manages her time as she sees fit.
Profession… junior at Tree Hill High School. Peyton is on the cheerleading squad, and holds something of an unlikely ‘queen bee’ status around campus. Though Peyton outwardly appears to be the typical popular girl, she’s much more than that. She acts like a cheerleader around her friends, in particular Brooke Davis, but carries with her a secret sadness.
Interests… punk rock, drawing, and her 1963 Mercury Comet convertible. Peyton’s real interests are where she finds meaning. They diverge strongly from her public life. In her words, “What difference does it make if you get with the popular guy or go to the right parties, or you know the moves to some moronic cheer to do at some … game, which I could care less about! Because at the end of the day none of it matters!”
Relationship Status… dating Nathan Scott, star basketball player at Tree Hill High. Peyton is aware that Nathan doesn’t treat her well, but she lets him get away with it. But she seems to be tiring of his antics when she meets Lucas, Nathan’s estranged half-brother. Lucas is more thoughtful, and it probably doesn’t hurt that Nathan considers Lucas his biggest rival on the hoops team and the thought of Peyton being with Lucas would drive him crazy.
Challenge… resolving the trauma of her past and finding happiness in her future. Peyton has troubles she can’t solve on her own, yet ones that can’t be solved by a boyfriend either. Somewhere in the struggle to find love, she must make time to find peace and meaning – in short, to find herself – which will inevitably come down to so much more than choosing the right guy to be with.
Personality… rebellious, headstrong, and somewhat depressive. She can be firm with her friends, but she’s hardest of all on herself. As she once says, “People are going to disappoint you, I get that, I kind of expect that but, what happens if one day you wake up and realize you are the disappointment?”
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