Bertram Gilfoyle (refered simply as Gilfoyle by most characters) is one of the main characters of Silicon Valley, appearing in every season of the show. Portayed by Martin Starr, Gilfoyle is a Canadian man living in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California, staying at Erlich Bachman's Hacker Hostel and working for Pied Piper, which he was one of the founding members.
Like Dinesh, Gilfoyle is quick-witted and merciless, but in contrast, highly apathetic, sardonic and brutally honest. He often bickers with Gilfoyle and competes with him when it comes to everything, and often wins, much to the chagrin of Dinesh. He is an brilliant and confident talented self-taught coder, and enjoys manipulating Dinesh by preying on his insecurities. He also enjoying making jokes on Dinesh ethinicity, not because he is racist but because it gets a rise out of Dinesh. He has a penchant for hurting people deeply through his savage insults and unsettling stares. He is stoic and claims to be an anarcho-capitalist but mostly likely pays taxes. He likes heavy metal. Truth be told, Gilfoyle and Dinesh often argue and bicker because of how similar they are in terms of talent and ability but and Gifoyle only wins so much Dinesh because just less self-assured and slighly less talented. Gilfoyle and Dinesh are subconsioucly each others best friends. He is an LaVeyan Satanist.
Like most of the other main characters, not much is known about Gilfoyle's history before the first episode of the season One. We do know that he was originally born in Toronto, Canada and at some point illegaly entered and started living the United States some time before the start of the show.
In Season Two, Russ Hanneman comes to the house to meet the team for the first and when he reaches Gilfoyle he says "I wanna know what kinda fucked up childhood this guy had" which causes Gilfoyle to stare at him and walk away insead of his usual biting comebacks. There are other hints that he doesn't get on with his family like in "Fiduciary Duties" when he calls his Mom a "backstabbing bitch".
By the time of the first episode he is living in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California, staying at Erlich Bachman's Hacker Hostel where the other main characters live. When Richard rejects the cash offers for his compression algorithm, He forms a company named Pied Piper and hires Gilfoyle on to the team as the companies network engineer and system architect. Gilfoyle credits himself as an online security expert, and as such is responsible for system administration and server configuration at Pied Piper.
He is arguably the most talented of the main cast and is very confident in his abilities and has proven his worth to the Pied Piper team on multiple occasions, such as building the server farm "Anton", to save the company the struggle of paying for generic, mediocre servers in an office space. Unlike the other members of the cast he has been shown to be skilled in both Hardware and Software side of IT, working on both through out the show.
Due to this, Gilfoyle takes great pride in his security tech, becoming very nervous and confused whenever his tech is compromised. He is shown to have a great reputation in the Silicon Valley as when he leaves Pied Piper in Season three, he is almost immediately swarmed with requests from recruiters after he switches his LinkedIn status. They are still sending him gifts to entice him even when he is turning down their meetings.
In season 5, Gilfoyle is promoted to senior management along with Dinesh with the title of "Chief Systems Architect". By Season 6, Gilfoyle is promoted to VP of Architecture at Pied Piper but refuses to take anyone under his management, preferring to work on the Systems Architecture by himself. This leads to continual conflict with Head of HR Tracy Robertson. After Pied Piper was shut down, Gilfoyle and Dinesh began to run a large cybersecurity firm together.
Gilfoyle has a girlfriend Tara (Milana Vayntrub) who is also a LaVeyan Satanist, with the two having an open and long-standing relationship, though Tara still lies to Gilfoyle about sleeping with other men.
Gilfoyle often plays mocking pranks on Dinesh, but the two do appear to be friends or at most, frenemies despite this, with the two often bonding over their shared moral ambiguity. The two spend a lot of the series competing againts each other in such things like who is able to code faster or complete tasks faster. In the Series Finale, when Dinesh informs the Pied Piper that their plan to sabotage their own launch is compromised, he insists they trust him to upload the correct code into their network, despite telling them earlier not to trust him. When Richard fails to decide if he can trust Dinesh or not, Gilfoyle takes the initiative and grants Dinesh access back into the network.
Gilfoyle also respects Jared for his business development skills, business sense and savviness, dependability, and reliability. Describing him as "sharp" and "can do things in this house nobody else can." This was proven correct when it was seen how Erlich was jealous of Jared's skills.
While he is usually indifferent to Richard and lacks loyalty toward him, Gilfoyle highly respects Richard as a coder and admits that Pied Piper is nothing without Richard. In later seasons of the show he is shown to have struck up a frienship with Monica Hall.
- It is unknown how old Gilfoyle is, but it is assumed that he is in his 30s.
- Gilfoyle is one of the only main characters to not have a Twitter account.
(See article "Gilfoyle roasts" for more quotes)
Season One quotes
- "What do I do? System Architecture. Networking and Security. No one in this house can touch me on that. But does anyone appreciate that? While you were busy minoring in gender studies and singing acapella at Sarah Lawrence, I was getting root access to NSA servers. I was a click away from starting a second Iranian revolution. I prevent cross site scripting, I monitor for DDoS attacks, emergency database rollbacks, and faulty transaction handlings. The internet, heard of it? Transfers half a petabyte of data a minute, do you have any idea how that happens? All of those YouPorn ones and zeros streaming directly to your shitty little smart phone day after day. Every dipshit who shits his pants if he can't get the new dubstep Skrillex remix in under 12 seconds. It's not magic, it's talent and sweat. People like me ensuring your packets get delivered unsniffed. So what do I do? I make sure that one bad config on one key component doesn't bankrupt the entire fucking company. That's what the fuck I do."
- ―Gilfoyle, "The Cap Table"
- "I just masturbated to heighten my focus. I have a 15-minute refractory period."
- ―Gilfoyle, "Signalling Risk"
- "Every day feels like I've died and gone to Hell."
- ―Gilfoyle, "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency"