13 Reasons Why Wiki
13 Reasons Why Wiki

Principal Garrett "Gary" Bolan is a recurring character on 13 Reasons Why. He is the principal at Liberty High School. He is portrayed by Steven Weber.

Early Life[]

Bolan has done activism and was arrested for protesting apartheid. He said that he has "walked these picket lines three times as a teacher."[1]

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

Mr. Bolan met up with Olivia Baker, and Mrs. Baker asked if Hannah was unhappy at school because they don't understand why she committed suicide. He told her that he can't talk with her because of the lawsuit. He talked with Kevin Porter about talking to the students who might know more about Hannah, and asked Mr. Porter if Hannah ever talked with him. Mr. Porter lied, and Mr. Bolan mentioned that if only they had known about how she felt earlier.[2]

Mr. Bolan and Mr. Porter held a presentation for parents about how to recognize symptoms of depression. Mrs. Baker came in and told everyone about what students have carved at the restroom walls. They go to the restrooms and discuss painting over the graffiti.[3]

When Mr. Porter began to listen to Hannah's tapes, Mr. Bolan interrupted and delivered the news that Alex Standall had shot himself in the head.[4]

Season 2[]

Mr. Bolan showed Barry Walker around the Liberty High sports fields. Mr. Walker asked him about the trial; Mr. Bolan told him they have everything well contained and are protecting the students.[5]

After Mr. Porter's testimony, Mr. Bolan was surprised he showed up at school the next day and forbid him to have contact with any of the students.[6] Mr. Bolan later told Mr. Porter that he's fired. Mr. Porter told him that he needs to do more to help students and accused him of paying sport coaches twice as much as counselor's. Mr. Porter gave him files of students he flagged as critical, who need a lot of attention. Mr. Bolan threw in on the desk, seemingly not planning to do anything with them.[7]

Season 3[]

Jessica was brought into Bolan’s office and accused of inciting the riot at the Homecoming Football Game. Jessica didn’t feel responsible as Hillcrest had started it.[8]

In a flashback, Bolan lead a student council meeting about the powder puff football fundraiser. Jessica started a discussion with Bolan about the importance of the fundraiser.[9]

Bolan allowed the police to search through the football team’s lockers for steroids as part of the investigation for Bryce Walker's Murder. Monty asked Bolan about their first amendment rights, but Bolan replied by saying that would be the fourth amendment.

Bolan confronted Jessica about the posters announcing a protest at Bryce Walker's Funeral. Jessica told him that they’re reminding people of what Bryce did when he was alive. Bolan told her that it doesn’t feel like activism and can’t support H.O. anymore if the protest goes through. He also revealed that he’s a feminist and did activism.[10]

In a flashback, Jessica tried to convince Bolan to cancel the homecoming game. However, Bolan refused as homecoming is a tradition and doesn’t tribute to sexual assault. Bolan thought that she wanted to cancel the game because Bryce would be playing and revealed that Bryce would possibly be re-enrolled in Liberty High.

Bolan held Jessica responsible after the protest at Bryce’s funeral went through; there will be an assembly with the Hillcrest High School football team and Jessica had to publicly apologize. He asked her if she thought the “stunts” she pulled had been in the best interest of the students and informed her that she’d be removed as president if she didn’t apologize.[11]

Season 4[]

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Some of the students and parents believe that Bolan isn't interested in hearing their concerns, but rather supporting and fulfilling the jocks' desires and beliefs, or the school's reputation.  Nevertheless, he is held in high regard by some esteemed members of the school community. He tends to be very strict on students who are not obeying the rules or what he instructs them to do. During the Bakers' lawsuit against the school, he had fired Porter because of his lack of concern for the students. He had also ignored Jessica Davis' attempt to prevent sexual assault on the school campus by going forward with the Homecoming game, also informing her that he would most likely let Bryce Walker return to Liberty High despite his actions. Throughout the third season, he reprimands Jessica over the events at the Homecoming game and the fallout, even threatening to take away her position as student body president. In Season 2, he admits to Clay that he didn't listen to the tapes, and seemingly does not listen to Mr. Porter's concerns about students who need more help than average, claiming per student spending as his reason. Kat states in her deposition that Bolan "feeds into" the corruption and favoritism toward athletes. 

Despite all this, Bolan is not simply a corrupt bureaucrat, and actually does care about the needs of the students. During Season 3, he provides HO with the resources they need to accomplish their goals. He also tells Jessica that he was arrested for protesting apartheid, and is a feminist. He also warns Jessica against protesting Bryce's funeral, which Jessica agrees with, as it is not activism. He forces Jessica to apologize for her actions at Homecoming, which Jessica does, while affirming her status as a sexual assault survivor and promising to help. Bolan is the first to clap, showing his support. 

Overall, it appears that he cares more about the reputation of the school as a whole than the students, but this does not mean that the students do not matter at all. 


Season 1[]

Season 2[]

Season 3[]

Season 4[]


Mr. Bolan: "I know you think I'm the bad guy in this whole story. But, I've been educating kids for 30 years, and the most important thing to me is keeping you safe, keeping you alive."
Clay: "I'm alive."
Mr. Bolan: "And the most dangerous thing would be to believe somehow that Hannah's suicide is more than a tragic death. She's not a hero. She does not have lessons to teach us. And we need to recognize the sad and simple truth that she is dead and gone forever."
Clay: "I recognize that."
Mr. Bolan: "No, I don't think you really do."
―  Mr. Bolan informs Clay about the reality of Hannah's suicide[src]


See also: Category:Images of Gary Bolan


  1. Shang, Helen (writer) & Dowling, Kevin (director). (August 23, 2019). "There Are a Few Things I Haven't Told You". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 11.
  2. Son, Diana (writer) & Shaver, Helen (director) (March 31, 2017). "Tape 2, Side A". 13 Reasons Why. Season 1. Episode 3. Netflix.
  3. Higgins, Thomas (writer) & Shaver, Helen (director) (March 31, 2017). "Tape 2, Side B". 13 Reasons Why. Season 1. Episode 4. Netflix.
  4. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & Alvarez, Kyle Patrick (director) (March 31, 2017). "Tape 7, Side A". 13 Reasons Why. Season 1. Episode 13. Netflix.
  5. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & Araki, Gregg (director) (May 18, 2018). "The First Polaroid". 13 Reasons Why. Season 2. Episode 1.
  6. Moore, Kirk A. (writer) & Candler, Kat (director). (May 18, 2018). "Smile, Bitches". 13 Reasons Why. Season 2. Episode 10.
  7. Cerar, Jo Marissa & Higgins, Thomas (writer) & Yu, Jessica (director). (May 18, 2018). "The Box of Polaroids". 13 Reasons Why. Season 2. Episode 12.
  8. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & Morris, Michael (director). (August 23, 2019). "Yeah. I'm the New Girl". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 1.
  9. Tyler, Hayley (writer) & Yu, Jessica (director). (August 23, 2019). "The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 3.
  10. Smith, Trevor Mart (writer) & Hughes, Bronwen (director). (August 23, 2019). "Nobody's Clean". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 5.
  11. Shang, Helen (writer) & Dowling, Kevin (director). (August 23, 2019). "There Are a Few Things I Haven't Told You". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 11.
List of Characters Navigation
Characters in bold joined in that Season
Season 1

Clay JensenHannah BakerTony PadillaZach DempseyJessica DavisJustin FoleyOlivia BakerBryce WalkerAlex StandallTyler DownLainie JensenKevin PorterAndrew BakerMontgomery de la CruzMatt JensenCourtney CrimsenSheri HollandMarcus ColeRyan ShaverGreg DavisDennis VasquezGary BolanSkye MillerDeputy Bill StandallKaren DempseyMrs. BradleyJeff AtkinsMr. DownAmber FoleyBrad
Minor Characters
PrattersMrs. AntillyJane ChildsMr. CantrellMrs. CantrellLauraJamie GarrisonTodd and Steve CrimsenRobert WellsMason PorterHarris AtkinsMrs. AtkinsJaven ReynoldsNoelle DavisPeter StandallMrs. DownSeth MasseyTracy Porter

Season 2

Clay JensenHannah BakerTony PadillaZach DempseyJessica DavisJustin FoleyOlivia BakerBryce WalkerAlex StandallTyler DownLainie JensenKevin PorterAndrew BakerMontgomery de la CruzMatt JensenCourtney CrimsenSheri HollandMarcus ColeRyan ShaverGreg DavisDennis VasquezChlöe RiceGary BolanSonya StruhlNina JonesCyrusSkye MillerBill StandallJackieScott ReedCalebKaren DempseyMackenzieNora WalkerMrs. BradleyJeff AtkinsMr. DownRick WlodimierzAmber FoleyNoelle DavisMrs. DownBarry Walker
Minor Characters
Peter StandallThe PriestJudge Franklin PurdyErica CharlesTommy ShusterChad MooreSeth MasseyTracy PorterTamikaLuke Holliday

Season 3

Clay JensenAni AcholaTony PadillaZach DempseyJessica DavisJustin FoleyOlivia BakerBryce WalkerAlex StandallTyler DownLainie JensenKevin PorterMontgomery de la CruzNora WalkerMatt JensenCourtney CrimsenAmara Josephine AcholaGreg DavisCasey FordCharlie St. GeorgeDennis VasquezChlöe RiceGary BolanCyrusSheriff DiazBill StandallCalebKaren DempseyMackenzieMr. DownCoach KerbaMrs. DownBarry WalkerSeth MasseyWinston WilliamsDr. Priya SinghMr. de la Cruz
Minor Characters
Graciella PadillaMelody ScottDean HolbrookHarrison ChathamTim PozziLuke Holliday

Season 4

Clay JensenAni AcholaTony PadillaZach DempseyJessica DavisJustin FoleyBryce WalkerAlex StandallTyler DownCharlie St. GeorgeZach DempseyLainie JensenMontgomery de la CruzNora WalkerDr. Robert EllmanDiego TorresChlöe RiceGary BolanMatt JensenWinston WilliamsLuke HollidayDeputy StandallCalebEstela de la CruzSheriff Diaz