|The Poor Unlucky Girl|
|Aliases||The Precious Little Girl|
The Timid Girl
The Little Princess
Joshua (by Wendy/Gregory)
Prince Joshua (by Wendy)
Filthy rat (by Hoffman)
Dirty wretch (by Martha)
|Social Rank||Beggar (initially)|
Princess of the Red Rose
|Hair color||Light brown or blonde|
|Voice actor||Jo Wyatt|
|“|| My dear friend... I never want to lose you again. I'll protect you... forever and ever until I die...
Jennifer is the main protagonist of Rule of Rose.
Very little is initially known about her in the beginning of the game, other than that she is a young woman who is described by the unseen narrator as a "poor unlucky girl". At 19, she is still a teenager, although her teen years are almost over and she is entering adulthood.
Jennifer is abducted while exploring the seemingly abandoned Rose Garden Orphanage, and subsequently trapped on a surreal airship by a ragtag mob of disobedient orphaned children known as the Red Crayon Aristocrat Club who force her to do their commands under the threat of death.
If the player did not catch it by the end of the game, it is revealed that Jennifer is actually lost inside her dark, disturbing and fractured amnesiac childhood memories in a psychologically-damaged version of her mental hell full of monsters and bullying. Rule of Rose is focused on Jennifer's stay at Rose Garden Orphanage and her post-traumatic stress disorder, and is focused on Jennifer remembering, processing, comprehending, understanding and accepting the suffering she experienced as a child.
Her Social Rank in the Red Crayon Aristocrat Club is the lowest in the aristocracy: Beggar, and later, Irritating.
|“||A silent scarecrow... It stands there quietly, not meddling in the affairs of others. It sways in the breeze, like me... a cowardly girl who was unable to assert her true feelings.||”|
Jennifer is a demure, passive, gloomy and scared soft-spoken young woman who believes herself to be a coward. Jennifer speaks very little and distances herself from her own emotions in an attempt to distance herself from others in turn. She is the type who is not very talkative and tends to only speak when necessary or when she has something she really wants to say, making her thoughts to the player often a mystery, making her a bit similar to Eleanor.
After discovering the truth about her backstory, it is revealed that Jennifer's behavior during the game is the result of a teenager processing her traumatic and painful memories. As such, Jennifer is emotionally-stunted.
She seems weak and can be easily pushed about and ordered by others, although this is understandable considering the situation she is forced in. If Jennifer disobeys and misbehaves, she will be killed, as mentioned by the prince; as a result, she is submissive and lets herself be bullied and tortured by the other ten members of the Red Crayon Aristocrat Club. In addition, one must also consider the time period Rule of Rose is set in and the expectations of women and their behavior (very outspoken women were frowned down upon).
Despite Jennifer's quiet, stoic demeanor, she is also exceptionally kind, good natured, and caring. She never bears any ill will towards her tormentors - she instead puts on an adult, mature, emotionally repressed front in order to cope with her fears and trauma instead of stooping to the level of her fellow orphans.
In addition, the game is set in Jennifer's mind and Jennifer was a child during the events of the game and it is unreasonable to expect a little girl to be able to stand up to a mob of other children, especially since some of them, like Diana, were older than her and Jennifer was the "new girl" at the orphanage.
Jennifer's lack of strength and inability to stand up for herself and being unable to say "no" to evil, wrongdoings and injustice led to Brown's death. This eventually taught her an important lesson about asserting her true feelings, confronting bullies and why they should be stopped instead of ignored, and refusing to accept abuse.
However, she is actually very determined and loyal, being able to endure the bullying and punishments. In this regard, she can be viewed as strong. By the end of the game, Jennifer eventually finds the courage to stand up for herself.
When Jennifer was a child, she was the orphan who was most aware of her surroundings. She seemed caring and thoughtful of the others. Even when the other orphans bullied her, she wouldn't retaliate. She is loyal to her friends, including Wendy and Brown, and even to those who do not like her, such as the Aristocracy and the adults in the orphanage, fulfilling their orders and demands. Jennifer states that she thought of herself as a grown-up compared to the other orphans, when, in reality, she was a child like the rest of them.
All of the children, except for Wendy, portrayed her as "filth" and called her "Filthy Jennifer." Ironically, Jennifer did the orphan's laundry. Hoffman didn't stop their bullying, even calling Jennifer a "filthy wretch" when he scolded her in his office. Hoffman's dislike of Jennifer was likely because she was often late and didn't care about being scolded for not doing her assigned chores. Additionally, Hoffman notes in his diary that it was after Jennifer's arrival that the other orphans began to act up uncontrollably. The maid Martha Carol was not fond of Jennifer either, but helped teach Jennifer how to clean.
Jennifer was born in England around the year 1921. In June 1929, Jennifer and her parents were traveling on an luxury airship headed toward India from Cardington, however, the airship crashed and everyone on the airship, except Jennifer, died. Jennifer claims she lost her memories, but it is unknown which memories she lost.
The media presumed that everyone on the airship was dead. However, Jennifer miraculously survived and, before the ruins of the airship were found by the police, a lonely pea farmer named Gregory M. Wilson found her and kidnapped her.
For about half a year, Gregory held her captive in the basement of his rural house located on the outskirts of Cardington, believing she was his son Joshua, even calling her by 'Joshua'. It is implied he made her dress in Joshua's clothing and cut her hair. He would also read her plenty of storybooks he wrote himself, and they would usually contain dark and sadistic plots. Gregory and Jennifer lived in poverty. Gregory was depressed, suicidal, and alcoholic, and seems to have become delusional after the death of his son, the real Joshua. Jennifer, who had lost her memory, pitied him and empathized with him, though he wouldn't allow her to leave.
In November 1929, a young girl named Wendy, a resident of the nearby Rose Garden Orphanage, saw Jennifer through the window of Gregory's basement. The two began exchanging letters (presumably through a crack in the window) and two became friends and then lovers. Eventually, in the spring of 1930, Jennifer fled Gregory's house with Wendy's help and they went to the orphanage. Just before they did, Wendy gave Jennifer her rose brooch in exchange for a stuffed bear.
The orphanage accepted Jennifer, and she was put under the care of Hoffman, Martha Carol, and Clara. Jennifer also became involved with the Red Crayon Aristocrat Club, and became acquainted with the orphans. Jennifer states that she "couldn't bear" playing airship with the other children as an airship's fatal crash caused the ill fate of her parents. Although Jennifer got along with Wendy the most, she also got along with Amanda, and there are implications she and Meg respected each other, and that Jennifer and Meg linked the friend circles with Diana and Eleanor. Jennifer and Susan were friendly, while Olivia is implied to have been mean.
In July 1930, Jennifer found a puppy and named him Brown, and decided to take care of him. Jennifer kept Brown in a shed located close to the orphanage. When Wendy found out about Jennifer's love for Brown, she became jealous, angry and hateful, especially when Jennifer spent more time with Brown instead of her. Jennifer had broken the promise she had made with Wendy known as the Rule of Rose; a pledge of everlasting true love. Even though Wendy despised Jennifer, she still believed that Jennifer would come back to her.
Unfortunately for Wendy, Jennifer never did stop caring for Brown. The Aristocrats began to bully Jennifer in several ways (some of these are implied), such as:
- Making a life-sized doll of her and using it as a punching bag
- Name-calling, such as filthy, disgrace, irritating, beggar, etc
- Giving her the silent treatment
- Blaming her for things she didn't do (stealing Hoffman's koi, tearing Meg's love letter, killing Eleanor's bird)
- Pouring cold water on her
- Locking her in a coffin, pretending she is dead and giving her a funeral
- Tying her up
- Stepping on her face
- Shoving her down a flight of stairs
- Stuffing her into a bag with insects called the "Onion Bag"
- Rubbing a rat on her face
- Stuffing her mouth with crayons
- Throwing paper balls at her with messages telling her to die, such as "APOLOGIZE BY DYING"
- It is implied Jennifer was locked in the orphanage's basement in a "cell"
- It is implied they stole her socks (after Jennifer appears at the orphanage for the second time, tied up in the filth room, her socks are missing. This may be another example of the girls bullying her, presumably stealing her clothing.)
- Drawing on her clothing with crayon
- Killing her dog, Brown
Finally, in November 1930, Wendy ordered that Jennifer either let the Aristocrats kill Brown or die in his stead, hoping to force Jennifer to come back. Brown was killed by the Aristocracy who invited Jennifer to see her dog's body. This backfired when Jennifer, enraged, slapped Wendy to the floor in front of the other girls and shouted how much she hated Wendy, declaring her hate for Wendy and the club, claiming that they are the opposite of aristocrats and that she hates them all. Wendy, humiliated and devastated, fled the room in tears. Later, Wendy was demoted and Jennifer was invited to become the new Princess of the Red Rose by the other members.
Deranged and distraught, Wendy manipulated a mentally unstable Gregory as Stray Dog to come to the orphanage in December of 1930, in order to prove to them that Stray Dog was real, and to scare them for demoting her. However, Gregory ultimately killed everyone but Jennifer and Wendy. After realizing the intended consequences of her actions, Wendy apologized to Jennifer before she was pulled into the orphanage by Stray Dog and killed too. Gregory stopped himself from killing Jennifer during his rampage on the orphanage. When he came to his senses, he apologized to Jennifer, still convinced that she was Joshua, and completes suicides with his own pistol.
It was initially reported by the media that there were no survivors, however, an officer named Anthony Dolittle found Jennifer at the crime scene. It was then discovered that Jennifer was also the sole survivor of the airship accident that occurred a year and a half ago, and the media went into a frenzy and focused less on the orphanage murders until they were forgotten.
What happened in Jennifer's life afterwards remains a mystery. At 19 years old, Jennifer still carries Wendy's rose brooch with her. Jennifer became so traumatized that she repressed the memories of her childhood. Sometime later, it is presumed that Jennifer either fell asleep on a park bench or while taking a bus trip and the memories of her childhood slowly began coming back. This is when Rule of Rose begins, and Jennifer relives her childhood in the form of her older self, with Wendy disguised as Joshua acting as her guide.
Rule of Rose
- For the full plot of the game, see Rule of Rose (plot).
In the dead of night, Jennifer sleeps at the back of a bus traveling along a rural country road. At the front of the bus, a young boy sits, reading a handmade storybook. He awakens her and begs her to read the rest of story to him. Jennifer takes the book, but to her surprise, most of the pages are blank. The bus comes to a stop and the boy suddenly runs out of the bus and down the road. Jennifer yells for him to wait, and follows the boy off the bus which, immediately after, speeds away, leaving Jennifer all by herself.
The events of Rule of Rose begin and Jennifer explores her fragmented childhood memories. She is constantly attacked by monstrous Imps. The Imps attempt to stop Jennifer from recalling her lost memories. They are a hallucinations of Jennifer's; they represent her fear of discovering the truth. Jennifer weak heart is what attracted them.
Throughout the game, the narrator constantly refers to Jennifer as a "girl", rather then a woman. This subtle choice of wording can be seen as foreshadowing to the player that Jennifer was a child when the events of the game occurred.
At the end of the game, Jennifer finally remembers that Gregory was responsible for the orphanage massacre. If Jennifer kills Gregory through fighting, then the game ends on an ominous note. However, if the player gives Gregory his gun, he kills himself with it. Jennifer and Brown are then seen running into a bright portal, returning to an earlier time in Jennifer's memory.
The player can explore the "Once Upon a Time" chapter as child Jennifer, which is set in her memories, and a happier time before the massacre. Jennifer fully remembers her past, including her interactions with Hoffman, Martha, Clara, and the rest of the orphans. Jennifer decides to lock away her memories, including Wendy and Brown, deep within her mind so that she will never forget them until her death. In the shed, Jennifer creates a Bucket Knight which symbolizes that she is creating a save point so that she will never forget Brown and can return to her memory of him in her mind.
The name Jennifer is a Cornish form of the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar which is composed of the elements gwen meaning "fair, white" and hwyfar meaning "smooth." These characteristics can refer to Jennifer's physical looks and her gentle personality. The "white" meaning also appears in Wendy's name.
Another form of Gwenhwyfar is the French name Guinevere. In Arthurian legend, Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur. She engaged in an adulterous affair with Sir Lancelot and her betrayal of her husband with Mordred prompted the Battle of Camlann, which led to the deaths of both Mordred and Arthur. This legend reflects Jennifer's "cheating" on her friendship with Wendy when she starts to turn her attention to Brown, which later brings the death of Brown, Wendy, and the other children.
W & J Letters
- "Dear Wendy, my visitor in the window, thank you so much for writing to me. The man calls me Joshua, but my name is Jennifer. I've been in this room ever since he saved me. He's a nice person… but he won't let me leave."
- "Thank you Wendy. I want to fly away from this room and run with you in the fields... But the man is so lonely, so sad. I can’t just leave him alone."
- "I, Jennifer, pledge to the fair Princess Wendy: Everlasting True love I am yours"
- "How are you, Wendy? You haven't said anything to me since I showed you the surprise… Do you like my cute little puppy Brown? Let's take care of him together."
- "My dear Wendy, this little guy is just so adorable. When I call his name, he comes bounding to me. I know you'll like him too."
- "How are you doing, Wendy? Are you alright? We'll always be friends, and Brown can be our friend too. I know you don't understand, but I can't just abandon him."
- "You've got it all wrong, Wendy. This isn't how it's supposed to be. I never expected you to react this way. All I wanted is for us to live happily ever after together."
Rule of Rose
- "My name is Joshua. I will serve you, Princess. Just... kiss me, please." (to Wendy in the intro)
- "Wait! Please! ...Where are you going?!" (to the mysterious "boy")
- "It wasn't me, honest!" (discovered by Eleanor with Eleanor's dead bird)
- "My friend... GIVE ME BACK MY FRIEND!" (slapping Wendy)
- "LIAR! GO AWAY! Just GO AWAY! I'll NEVER forgive you! Not EVER!" (to Wendy about Brown)
- "And as for the rest of you... how could you believe all those LIES?! ARISTOCRATS?! You're just the opposite! I HATE YOU! And I HATE YOU! AND YOU! And I hate myself the very most! For playing YOUR stupid games, and not having the strength to stand up to you! It's all just hideous!"
Once Upon A Time
- "Tied to this pillar, unable to move, I was all alone. It took a while, but I finally freed myself. I was always the slow poke... But, that won't happen again. I'll never let myself be tied up again."
- "When I came here, this suitcase was the only luggage I had. I lost everything in the accident. My mother, my father, all my possessions, and even my memories."
- "The nights were lonely and cold, but you'd always greet me in the morning... Only you greeted me warmly. Thank you so."
- "A brat, a know-it-all, an introvert, a crybaby, and an elitist... I know misfortune, because I tolerated them all. I thought I was the only grown up, but we were all just kids, myself included. But what does it really mean to be a grown-up? Will I ever become one?"
- "I learned many things at this orphanage... The alphabet... words... how to clean and do laundry... But the most important thing I learned... was the lesson I received in exchange for my dear friend's life... I finally came to understand myself. My beliefs and the will to stand up for them... I don't want to lose those ever again."
- "Jennifer, are you happy now, considering how bad it was for you, back then? ...That tragedy you wanted to forget. Now that you remember everything, how do you feel? Is the answer inside you? Think carefully, Jennifer."
- "A silent scarecrow... It stands there quietly, not meddling in the affairs of others. It sways in the breeze, like me... a cowardly girl who was unable to assert her true feelings."
- "It all started here, when I dug up the mound... I sensed that something precious to me was buried here... and I couldn't stop myself... The old me... the one who didn't understand herself... I lost my friend because of her. If... If I could go back... I'd try to save him... but what has happened can never be undone. I'll never break a promise again."
- "All of us loved red roses. Even the name of the orphanage was befitting of an Aristocrat... It wasn't until I swore the oath of the rose that I learned roses have thorns."
- "A red crayon and... a red broach... A red rose and... red blood... Red is the most beautiful color, yet it comes at a price. It is my most favorite color and my most hated color."
- "Adults are so selfish..."
- "I'm sorry everyone. You don't deserve to be forgotten... But I'll remember you. Thank you all for the precious memories."
- "Wait for me, Brown..."
- Jennifer could be considered an LGBT protagonist to a degree, as Wendy was her childhood girlfriend. The game includes scenes of Jennifer and Wendy telling each other they love each other and kissing. However, Jennifer's sexual orientation as an adult is left ambiguous, and it could be argued that it's "puppy love". Another (albeit rather one-sided) lesbian relationship is between Meg and Diana. Although Rule of Rose could be considered progressive for its time, the game still uses the "bury your gays" and "dead lesbian syndrome" and "psycho lesbian" (i.e. Wendy) tropes, which if characters are in an LGBT relationship, there is a high chance one or both of them are doomed to die at the end of the story, or their relationship becomes unhealthy.
- Although Rule of Rose was a controversial game, the lesbian elements were one of the least controversial elements. Despite all the lesbianism in the game, Rule of Rose nor Jennifer are currently mentioned on "List of video games with LGBT characters" on Wikipedia. One could also imagine the game would receive far more backlash if Jennifer, Wendy, Diana and Meg were gender-swapped, and if the game featured boys saying they love each other, plus kissing. It could be considered a double standard between LGBT girls versus boys and how society is often harsher on gay men instead of lesbians.
- Wendy drew a picture of herself with Jennifer dressed as Joshua, found in her airship room.
- In the game's original prototype, Jennifer was originally supposed to be a boy, but the producer rejected it, possibly due to stigma of children being protagonists and in danger/hurt in horror games. The game also featured ghosts, but the developers changed the protagonist and storyline entirely.
- Because the game is set in Jennifer's mind or dream world, this could explain many nonsensical things in the game, such as:
- The player can have Jennifer hug and pet Brown using the O button. Jennifer and Brown must be aligned, with Jennifer standing directly in front of Brown. A light tap on the button will result in a pet, while pressing the button down longer and harder will result in a hug.
- The Little Princess implies that Jennifer may have intentionally given Brown as the monthly gift. It says: "The girl was to sacrifice her very special friend. And when she did, she became a princess." Of course, it's extremely unlikely that Jennifer would have given Brown as the monthly gift if she knew he was going to be killed as a result.
- Jennifer has five unlockable costumes: gothic lolita, nurse, octopus, rag doll, and tennis instructor.
- Jennifer owns a tennis racket, but admits to never having used it.
- Jennifer's main render is misleading as it features her with a gun, despite on a first playthrough, she only obtains it at the very ending. A more "accurate" version depicts her with a steel pipe which the player will most likely use for most of the game (as seen in the gallery).
- Jennifer is most likely intentionally designed to seem weak and awkward in combat as possible, in order to fit the story and tone of the game. Her body language in the game often evokes fear and exhaustion. She often covers her eyes in panic when fighting with knives.
- An unused storybook shows a different version of Jennifer's story in which she finds herself in hospital after the airship crash (and her parents death) and is next sent to the orphanage, most probably by members of her own family who wanted to appropriate Jennifer's parents inheritance.
- It is kept ambiguous if Jennifer was able to forgive the orphans and Gregory for what they did (apart from Wendy, who Jennifer told, "I'll never forgive you! Not ever!"). At the very least, Jennifer feels that they don't deserve to be forgotten.
- Jennifer is similar to Alessa Gillespie from Silent Hill. They both were bullied and ostracized by children, and they are trapped in their own nightmare. Jennifer's Imps are also similar to Alessa's Grey Children.
- Jennifer is similar to Fiona Belli from Haunting Ground. They both are protagonists of PlayStation 2 survival horror games, blonde (although Jennifer may be interpreted as light brown), teenagers, become orphans, have demure personalities, have English accents, and both have dogs: Brown and Hewie.
- There is much of Jennifer's history, as well as the game story, that shares similarities with Lord of the Flies, although the creators have stated that they did not base their story off of the book.
- Jennifer may be inspired by the character of Peter Pan. Both Jennifer and Peter Pan have friends named Wendy (to Wendy, Jennifer/Peter Pan acts as a sense of escapism). Jennifer/Peter Pan and Wendy communicate by a window, and the existence of this window is how they meet. Both Jennifer and Peter Pan are depicted wearing green and have psychological issues with "growing up". The Aristocrat Club can be compared to the Lost Boys, and Jennifer eventually becomes the leader of the Aristocracy, much like how Peter becomes the leader of the Lost Boys. There is also the matter of Jennifer pretending she was a boy for the sake of Wendy. Peter Pan can also fly, and Jennifer once rode on an airship as a child, and during the game, Jennifer finds herself flying on an airship.