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Tropes that apply to the gang as a whole.
- Five-Man Band:
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Ronan is choleric, Adam is melancholic, Noah is phlegmatic, and Gansey is sanguine.
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Adam and Ronan are the Cynics, Blue is the Realist, Gansey is the Optimist, and Noah is the Conflicted.
- Secular Hero: With the exception of Ronan, none of them are religious.
- True Companions: To the point that while writing the series, Maggie Stiefvater kept a note on her computer reminding herself that "the worst thing that can happen is they all stop being friends."
- Today is the day I stop listening to the future and start living it instead.
- Blessed with Suck: Blue's ability to enhance psychic powers. This is supposedly a rare and special gift, but Blue (for very legitimate reasons) fears that it means she'll spend her whole life on the sidelines, helping others do amazing things that she can never experience.
- Boyish Short Hair: Played With. She has a bob, but she keeps it pulled up with barrettes, giving her an even stronger appearance of this trope.
- Child of Two Worlds: Her mother is a human and her father is a Plant Person, causing her to not fully fit into either world.
- Deadpan Snarker: She can be quite snarky. Gansey is usually the victim of this.
- Decoy Protagonist: Downplayed. She is an important character, but the premise and first few chapters of the series make it seem as though she'll be the main protagonist. Instead, the series has an Ensemble Cast.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: She's fairly directionless, mostly because she believes everything she'd like to do (going to college, being magic herself rather than affecting other people's) is unattainable to her.
- I Just Want to Be Special: She wishes she could actually see something supernatural rather than "just hearing one side of the phone call".
- Kiss of Death: Of the literal, Magic Kiss variety. But it's only deadly to her true love.
- Muggle Born of Mages: The only non-seer in her family. Possibly subverted, as Gwenllian reveals in Blue Lily, Lily Blue that Blue is actually a "mirror" and may even be a witch.
- Nature Lover: She's fascinated by trees, animals, and nature, and wants to go to a special college to study ecology. In The Raven King, it turns out part of the reason she's so drawn to nature is because she's half-Plant Person.
- Plant Person: Half. Her father is a tree-light, essentially a dryad.
- The Runaway: Ran away from home at some point in the year before the story starts, though it didn't last.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: She's 5 feet tall and quite strong willed. Lampshaded when she says that if she were a bird, she'd be a pygmy tyrant.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She really likes yogurt. But not the kind with fruit on the bottom.
- Uptown Girl: Gender-swapped with Gansey. She's poor while he's described as "old Virginia money".
Richard Campbell Gansey III
- Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.
- Back from the Dead: Happened to him at age ten, kick-starting his obsession with Glendower. And happens again at the end of The Raven King.
- Bee Afraid: He's deathly allergic to bees, hornets, and wasps to the point that he considers his EpiPen useless because it's not powerful enough to overcome his reaction after even just one sting. His obsession with Glendower started after he was stung to death by hornets as a child, only to live because Noah was dying on the ley line at the same time.Gansey: You saw my EpiPen. Its for bee stings. Im allergic. Badly.Blue: Gansey! This is the countryside. Where bees live!
- Big Man on Campus: He's extremely popular with both students and faculty at Aglionby.
- Broken Ace: On the outside, Gansey is incredibly intelligent, charming, handsome, and wealthy, and does his best to constantly appear friendly and good-natured. On the inside, he's a mess of anxiety, sadness, resentment, and PTSD. He believes that his privileged upbringing means he needs to make a difference in the world and has no excuse to feel bad about anything, ever.
- Decoy Protagonist: Downplayed. Like with Blue, the premise and introduction of the series make him seem like he'll be the Deuteragonist, only for the series to turn out to be an Ensemble Cast. Lampshaded in The Raven King:The Gray Man: I've been thinking a lot about Adam Parrish and his band of merry men.Maura: That's a strange way of putting it. I would have said Richard Gansey and his band of merry men.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Acknowledges this as one of his major flaws. He tends to accidentally say offensive or condescending things, then make it even worse when he tries to explain himself.He wondered if it would make Blue feel better or worse to know that it was Helens helicopter, that he hadnt paid anything today for the use of it. Probably worse. Remembering his vow to at least do no harm with his words, he kept his mouth shut.
- Embarrassing First Name: He certainly thinks so; there's a reason he goes by Gansey.
- Foregone Conclusion: His death is this for the readers, Blue, the women of Fox Way, and, as revealed in The Raven King, himself.
- The Face: Ronan believes that Gansey "could even get the sun to stop and give him the time of day."
- Heroic Suicide: In The Raven King, he volunteers his life in order to kill the demon, because only a willing death can pay for an unwilling death.
- Overlaps with Someone Has to Die, as the willing death is required in order to stop the demon from killing everyone else.
- Last-Name Basis: "That's all there is."
- Nice Guy: His repressed trauma and tendency to be Innocently Insensitive notwithstanding, Gansey is an extremely polite and friendly young man. His kindness and deep love for his friends goes far beyond surface level; he wanted to use Glendower's favor to bring Noah back to life, despite knowing that he's dying himself.
- Old Money: His family is very wealthy and well-established.
- Princely Young Man: Wealthy, popular, aristocratic despite not being a literal royal—Gansey fits this to a T.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Downplayed. He's certainly shrewder than affluent young men often can be; however, Adam notes that Gansey possesses a great deal of naivety and a quite rose-tinted viewpoint. At first, it's hugely perceived as symptomatic of his loftiness, his status as a Princely Young Man from a distant world; but eventually is delineated as an admirable trait.
- Stepford Smiler: He has many severe personal issues (not limited to, but including PTSD after having died once at ten years old). Most people fail to see beneath his effortlessly handsome exterior and confident smile; he's often polite even when others expect him to be irritated, which Blue believes is a way of retaining power for himself.
- That Came Out Wrong: Offers to compensate Blue for spending time with him and his friends, as she would be missing part of her shift at work. She's quick to point out that "paying for her company" makes her sound like a prostitute.
- Uptown Girl: A gender-swapped version with Blue.
- Your Days Are Numbered: He knows he's going to die within the next year.
- Being Adam Parrish was a complicated thing, a wonder of muscles and organs, synapses and nerves. He was a miracle of moving parts, a study in survival. The most important thing to Adam Parrish, though, had always been free will, the ability to be his own master.This was the important thing.It had always been the most important thing.This was what it was to be Adam.
- Abusive Parents: His father beats him and his mother guilts him into not saying anything. He gets away from them at the end of the first book, but is left deaf in his left ear for it.
- Astral Projection: He's not the only character in the series to scry, but he does it the most.
- Bi the Way: He's very attracted to Blue throughout the series, but ends up falling in love with Ronan. He's also canonically attracted to Helen Gansey, Orla, and Colin Greenmantle at various points.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Absolutely despises being looked down upon due to his socioeconomic status to the point where he's had several fights with his friends regarding his acceptance of financial support.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Towards his parents in The Raven King. He offers to try to reconcile with them, but makes it absolutely clear that they did abuse him and he won't be talked into pretending it was normal anymore.
- Friend to All Children: He quickly and easily bonds with Opal when she's brought into the real world.
- Green Thumb: He has this power after he sacrifices himself to Cabeswater and becomes its magician at the end of The Raven Boys.
- Longing Look: Realizes in The Raven King that he's been sending these Ronan's way for months.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: While he'd already guessed that Ronan had feelings for him, it's not until Ronan kisses him that he starts seriously considering whether or not he feels the same way. He does.
- Pretty Boy: Has been described as elegant, beautiful, and fragile by numerous other characters.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Blue realizes in The Dream Thieves that she doesn't have feelings for him.
- Scholarship Student: How he's able to attend Aglionby. In a deviation from the usual trope, he only has a partial scholarship rather than a full ride and struggles to pay the portion of his tuition that the school doesn't cover.
- Screw Destiny: Choosing to become the Magician.No. Maybe this is the future. But it's not the end. I'm—I'm pulling another card.
- Seer: He's still psychic after Cabeswater dies.
- Self-Made Man: Aspires to be this and accordingly refuses everything he perceives as help or charity.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He grows noticeably less nice over the course of The Dream Thieves thanks to Cabeswater's new influence over him and his own unacknowledged trauma. Luckily, he recognizes this and gets help from Persephone to regain control over his mind.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Between The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. It's partially thanks to Persephone's help and partially a deliberate effort on his part to be more patient and understanding.
- I am being perfectly fucking civil.
- The Alcoholic: One of the first things we learn about him is that he "prefers his habits with hangovers".
- Astral Projection: Seems to do something like this while dreaming, given that he can interact with the real-world Cabeswater while he's asleep miles away.
- Broken Bird: According to Gansey, he was much friendlier and happier before his father's death.
- Call to Agriculture: Multiple characters note that between Ronan's money and his Reality Warper abilities, he could do pretty much anything with his life, but all he wants is to live on his family's farm.
- Cool Pet: His raven, Chainsaw.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He found his murdered father's body, and lost his mother, his home, and his friendship with his brother Declan shortly afterwards. The series explicitly states that he suffers from PTSD as a result, and he even attempted suicide at one point.
- Driven to Suicide: Zig-Zagged. The Raven Boys states that he tried to kill himself six months prior to the start of the series, but in The Dream Thieves, it turns out that it was actually the result of being attacked in his dreams by night horrors. However, at the end of the book, Ronan discovers that the night horrors' attacks are a manifestation of his own self-hatred, and he realizes in The Raven King that he actually did want to die back then. Basically, it was a suicide attempt, but he didn't know it until long after the fact.
- Fighting Irish: Irish-American and a very skilled fighter.
- First Kiss: After he kisses Adam in The Raven King, the latter notes that that was most likely Ronan's first kiss.
- Foil: To his older brother Declan, who is a sociable, conventional, popular Jerkass womanizer, whereas Ronan is a reclusive, standoffish, Straight Gay punk.
- Also to Kavinsky—both boys love cars and alcohol, struggle with their sexuality, and have unavailable mothers, absent/dead fathers, and the ability to pull objects from their dreams. However, Kavinsky uses all of this as an excuse to be utterly selfish, hedonistic, and evil, while Ronan tries to be a good person.
- Friend to All Children: He's gruff to her, but he clearly cares for the Orphan Girl. At the end of The Raven King, he apparently adopts her and names her Opal.
- Friend to All Living Things: He raises a raven as a pet, holds tiny mice to his cheek, and feeds deer.
- Gayngst: He struggles with significant self-hatred in The Dream Thieves, at least part of which has to do with his repressed sexuality.
- Heroic BSoD: After his mother is killed, he spends hours just sitting in the driver's seat of his car, staring blankly down the road, waiting for Gansey to tell him what to do.
- Hidden Depths: A swearing, racing, drinking, sarcastic Jerkass who actually just wants to live in peace at the Barns.
- Homoerotic Dream: Has one about Adam and Kavinsky in The Dream Thieves.
- Incompatible Orientation: Subverted. He appears to be attracted to Gansey several times in the second book while he's struggling with his sexuality, but when Kavinsky tells him that Gansey is never going to be with him, Ronan responds that he sees Gansey as a brother, even though he can't deny "swinging that way". Instead, he turns out to have feelings for Adam.
- It's All My Fault: He was the one who discovered his father's body and blames himself for not looking for him earlier.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Several scenes in The Raven Boys paint him that way, but it's his POV chapters in The Dream Thieves that firmly upgrade him to this.
- Longing Look: Sends a lot of these at Adam in Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King.
- The Perfectionist: Surprisingly, Ronan is this. He agonizes over recreating the Pig perfectly after wrecking the original in The Dream Thieves, and the short story in the US paperback of The Raven King reveals that he spent months making excuses for why he couldn't manifest a new form for Cabeswater because he was afraid he couldn't make it as good as the old one. His poor schoolwork is also typical of someone with perfectionist tendencies, as many perfectionists refuse to put any effort at all into something if they don't think they can be perfect at it.
- Raised Catholic: Subverted. While at first it seems that he and his brothers just go to church out of habit, it turns out he genuinely believes in heaven and hell, refuses to get readings from the women at 300 Fox Way because it's against his beliefs, and worries about the spiritual implications of his godlike Reality Warper powers.
- Reality Warper: As the Greywaren, he can create things out of dreams.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Adam thinks Ronan actually sounds harsher when he doesn't swear.
- Stepford Snarker: Any time Ronan is feeling some genuine emotion, expect a snarky comment to quickly follow.
- Straight Gay: He comes to accept this about himself in The Dream Thieves.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's the tallest main character, described as handsome by almost everyone who meets him, and is extremely sarcastic and cynical.
- Token Religious Teammate: The only main character with a defined religion, and he takes it seriously.
- It's easy to know a lot of things when time goes around instead of straight.
- Dead All Along: Killed by Barrington Whelk seven years prior to the start of the series.
- Deader Than Dead: Noah effectively ceases to exist, even as a ghost, near the end of the fourth book.
- Demoted to Extra: He has fewer and shorter scenes as the series progresses, reflecting his soul's gradual decay. By the time The Raven King rolls around, he barely exists at all, and when he does show up, he's nothing like the sweet, friendly Noah of the earlier books.
- Electromagnetic Ghosts: Like all magic things in the series, he can affect technology.
- First Kiss: For Blue, since she can't kill him again.
- The Fog of Ages: Has apparently been succumbing to this ever since his death. His POV chapter in The Raven King mentions that he can remember playing skip rope at some point, but not who he played it with.
- Friendly Ghost: He's quite sweet and amiable as long as he's in control of himself.
- Ghostly Chill: He needs to pull energy from the living in order to be visible, producing this effect.
- Ghostly Goals: Closer to type A, but not at all a traditional example. The reason Noah sticks around after he dies is due to a combination of being a Non-Linear Character, needing to play his role in Gansey's life, and simply being scared to let go of the living world.
- Herald: The voice that told young Gansey that he would live because of Glendower was actually Noah himself, in his very last act before fading away entirely.
- Limited Wardrobe: Always seen wearing his Aglionby Academy uniform because it was what he was wearing when he died. Though he does try on one of Gansey's sweaters over it at one point.
- Loss of Identity: Most of what made Noah Noah was either lost when he died or disappeared as his soul decayed.
- Nice Guy: He's possibly the one of the sweetest characters in the series as long as he's in control of his supernatural nature.
- Non-Linear Character: When Noah died on the line, his soul opened up to every moment he ever had or ever would experience.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: He seems to be solid and obey most of the rules of living people—he can't float or move through walls, generally travels by car, and is capable of touching living people. However, only certain people can see him, he can appear and disappear more or less at will, he doesn't eat or sleep, was unhurt after Ronan threw him out a window, is able to read minds, and experiences time in a non-linear manner. He's also the only ghost to appear in the series because he died on a ley line.
- The Reliable One: As long as the supernatural elements of Henrietta aren't messing with him, he's very calm and levelheaded, and often gives the other characters advice. Also fits the trope because despite technically being a main character, he gets only one POV chapter in the whole series and is the least likely to tag along on trips outside Monmouth Manufacturing.
- Sacrificial Revival Spell: At the end of The Raven King, it turns out that he turned his own murder into this by choosing to let Gansey live instead of him.
- Undeath Always Ends: At the end of the series, his spirit finally moves on.
- Undying Loyalty: He's very loyal to his friends and even defends Barrington Whelk simply because they used to be best friends. For the record, this is a friendship that ended with Whelk beating Noah to death in a failed attempt to wake the ley line.
- Walking Spoiler: A lot of information about Noah is tied to vital reveals throughout the series.
300 Fox Way
Maura SargentBlue's mother.
- Barefoot Sage: Noted to not wear shoes very often, and her sagacity comes with the territory of being psychic.
- Earthy Barefoot Character: The Gray Man wonders if she's this, and she somewhat fits.
- Hands-Off Parenting: While she's there for Blue, she doesn't believe in giving direct orders and generally lets her do her own thing.
- Hippie Parents: Displays shades of this—she's a psychic and tends to wander around barefoot.
- Magical Barefooter: Overlaps with Barefoot Sage.
- Sage Love Interest: For the Gray Man.
Calla Lily JohnsonOne of Maura's best friends.
- Action Girl: She's very muscular and knows a lot about self-defense, even sparring with the Gray Man just to sharpen her skills.
- Ambiguously Brown: Her skin is described as dark brown, but beyond that she's given no specific racial markers.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's definitely abrasive, but ultimately she's a good person who loves the other characters a lot.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is purple, though it's presumably the result of dye.
Persephone PoldmaA mysterious, waif-like woman and another one of Maura's best friends.
- Astral Projection: Doing this is what ends up killing her.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Downplayed. She has some concept of right and wrong, but for the most part, she seems to be operating on an entirely different rulebook than everyone else.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Described as having very pale white-blonde hair, and has a very quiet and gentle temperament.
- Killed Off for Real: In Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
- Mystical White Hair: Has very pale hair, and is far and away the most otherworldly character.
- Ambiguously Brown: Like Calla, she's only described as having brown skin, with no other racial markers.
- The Glorious War Of Cousinly Rivalry: The Beautiful One to Blue's Smart One, despite the fact that Orla is 4 or 5 years older than her.
- Incompatible Orientation: She doesn't actually pursue him, but it's shown several times that she thinks Ronan is attractive.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Even for the women of 300 Fox Way, she's quite into spiritual harmony and cleansing bad energy. She's also apparently fond of hallucinogenic herbs.
Neeve MullenBlue's half-aunt, famous for doing loudly what her sisters do quietly.
- Demonic Possession: Something like this happens to her while scrying under the beech tree, probably courtesy of the third sleeper. She snaps out of it pretty quickly, but she still doesn't know what possessed her.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: She realizes her mistakes and tries to warn others about the demon destroying Cabeswater, but is killed before she can actually help anyone or redeem herself.
- Kubrick Stare: This look is her trademark.
- Put on a Bus: Disappears without a trace at the end of the first book.
- The Bus Came Back: Reappears in the cave with Piper in the final scene of Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
- Wild Card: It's never clear exactly whose side she's on, or if she's her own side.
Gwenllian Glen DwyrA strange woman Blue and her friends find in a cave in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. She is Glendower's daughter and was buried as a witch in a false tomb for him, but somehow stayed alive and conscious for centuries. She also claims to be a "mirror" rather than a psychic, and says that Blue is the same way.
- Girl in a Box: Stayed alive and conscious in a false tomb of her father Glendower for more than 600 years.
- The Ophelia: She's described as a "regal beauty," very tall, pale with dark hair, and she gives out prophecies in cryptic sing-song. It's quite likely that centuries of being awake in a tomb had driven her mad, though perhaps she was already that way before.
- Older Than They Look: More than 600 years in a cave don't seem to have aged her much, as she's described as having black hair and looking to be in her mid-twenties.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's been alive for over 600 years.
- The Unpronounceable: Gwenllian is a real Welsh name, but the double Ls make a sound more or less unpronounceable to non-Welsh speakers.note
ArtemusBlue's long-lost father.
Barrington WhelkThe young Latin teacher at Aglionby Academy.
- Foil: To Gansey. Whelk was also once a rich, handsome, well-liked Aglionby student who dragged his best friend and roommate Noah Czerny into a quest to find the local ley line. Unlike Gansey, Whelk was something of an amoral Jerkass who, after losing all of his money, killed Noah in an effort to wake the ley line. Noah confirms the connection by saying that he didn't expect Whelk to kill him because that would be like Adam, Ronan, or Blue expecting Gansey to kill them.
- Jerkass: As a teenager, he was arrogant, lecherous, and self-centered; as an adult, he's bitter and amoral.
- Meaningful Name: A whelk is a type of sea snail, a spineless mollusk that hides in a shell. An appropriate name for someone who murdered his best friend and then spent the rest of his life stuck working at his old high school, unable to leave his protective shell because he is penniless.
- Admittedly, this trope is unintentional, as Maggie Stiefvater has said she named him after a real estate agent whose name she found amusing.
Joseph KavinskyA fellow Aglionby student with a talent for crime and an unhealthy interest in Ronan.
- Depraved Bisexual / Depraved Homosexual: He's clearly attracted to Ronan, but it's not made clear whether his reputation with women is genuine or just him compensating. The "depraved" part comes from his utter hedonism and disregard for the health and safety of himself and those around him.
- Domestic Abuse: Zig-Zagged. He and Ronan aren't in a relationship and refuse to admit they're attracted to each other until the end of The Dream Thieves, but there's nonetheless a clearly romantic/sexual tension to their relationship. The "abuser" part is much more straightforward—Kavinsky drugs Ronan, violates his personal space, constantly insults him and makes homophobic comments, stalks him, and kidnaps and tries to kill Matthew.
- Foil: He and Ronan have incredibly similar backgrounds, interests, personalities, and abilities, but Kavinsky ends up a drug-addicted criminal with no concern for his own life or anyone else's, while Ronan cares for and loves his friends and family and makes a genuine effort at doing the right thing.Gansey: The difference between us and Kavinsky is that we matter.
- I Have Your Wife: Kidnaps Matthew to manipulate Ronan.
- Jerkass: It'd be easier to list examples of times he doesn't act rude, vindictive, or downright abusive to other characters.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies at the end of The Dream Thieves.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Kavinsky's... complicated feelings for Ronan seem to have a lot to do with his breakdown at the end of The Dream Thieves.
- Reality Warper: He can steal things from dreams, though he usually uses this power to create cars and drugs.
- Sinister Shades: Wears a distinctive pair of white-rimmed sunglasses.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: One of his many similarities to Ronan.
- Troubled Abuser: He comes from a pretty terrible home life and clearly struggles a lot with self-hatred and drug addiction. However, it's made clear that this doesn't excuse his abuse of Ronan.
The Gray Man/Mr. Gray/Dean AllenA hitman who comes to Henrietta searching for something called the Greywaren.
- Act of True Love: He's willing to give up the happiness he found in Henrietta in order to protect Maura, Blue, and the other protagonists from people like Greenmantle. This actually happens twice: first in The Dream Thieves, where it ends up getting subverted by allowing him to stay after all, and then again in The Raven King, where it's played straight.
- Big Brother Bully: His older brother was an outright sociopath. Facing him is one of the only things Gray is truly afraid of.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His brother physically tortured and emotionally manipulated him when they were children.
- Decoy Antagonist: Set up as the antagonist of The Dream Thieves, but he has a quick HeelFace Turn and Kavinsky steps up as the true antagonist.}
- HeelFace Turn: Pulls one after falling in love with Maura.
- Hitman with a Heart: Befriends the women at 300 Fox Way, falls in love with Maura, comes to see Blue as a daughter, and risks his own life to protect Ronan from Greenmantle.
- Parental Substitute: Fills in for Disappeared Dad Artemus.
- Professional Killer: Surprisingly open about being a hitman.
Colin GreenmantleA collector of unusual supernatural objects.
- Collector of the Strange: His whole deal is that he collects odd, dangerous magical artifacts.
- The Collector: The Gray Man warns that Greenmantle is willing to be this if he finds out that the Greywaren is Ronan.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He ends up turning tail and running shortly before the climax of the third book, and his wife Piper steps in as the true villain.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-Universe, but Zig-Zagged. Blue doesn't think he's particularly handsome when she first meets him, while Adam is clearly attracted to him before he learns Greenmantle's name.
- Evil Teacher: Mr. Gray refers to him as "the professor" in The Dream Thieves, and he becomes the new Aglionby Latin teacher while he's in Henrietta. Apparently, murdering one of your students' fathers doesn't disqualify you from teaching.
- Hot Teacher: Adam certainly thinks so anyways.
- Killed Off for Real: In The Raven King, Piper has the demon kill him.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Gray Man's boss.
- Narcissist: He and Piper agreed to get married because they both understood that they loved themselves more than other people.
Piper GreenmantleColin's wife, who shares his interest in the occult and supernatural.
- Collector of the Strange: She and Colin are this.
- Dragon Ascendant: Colin gives up on Henrietta, so Piper steps in to finish the quest herself.
- Evil Is Sexy: In-Universe. She's gorgeous, overtly sexual, and likes tight, skimpy pink clothing.
- Narcissist: May even veer into The Sociopath territory. Piper just does not care about anyone but herself.
The Third SleeperSomeone or something that sleeps in a cave and creates an overpowering desire to wake it in anyone who approaches its tomb.
- Our Demons Are Different: It's a giant black wasp that destroys dream magic and was formed from the violence committed on the ley line.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Blue Lily, Lily Blue makes it clear that it was put to sleep along with Glendower and Gwenllian, and we really don't want to wake it up.
- Wicked Wasps: It looks like a wasp, except that it's pitch black and about a foot long. The "wicked" part comes with it being a demon and the main villain of the final book.
LaumonierA set of triplets who traffic magical items and behave as one person.
The Lynch Family
Niall LynchRonan's father, beaten to death by the Gray Man with a tire iron roughly two years before the start of the series.
- Disappeared Dad: By way of death.
- Fighting Irish: He's Irish and it's mentioned a few times that he's the one who taught Ronan and Declan how to box.
- Parental Favoritism: He openly favored Ronan over Declan and Matthew due to Ronan being the only one who inherited the ability to take things from dreams.
- Posthumous Character: He died before the start of the series, but receives a fair amount of characterization and screentime through flashbacks, dreams, and other characters' opinions of him.
- Reality Warper: Had the power to create objects and even people out of his dreams.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: He was gone most of the time when Declan, Ronan, and Matthew were growing up. Not a very traditional example of this trope, as the only child he actually cared for was Ronan and his trips were shady or criminal in nature.
Aurora LynchRonan's mother, who he is forbidden from seeing by his father's will.
- Angst Coma: Played With. She is apparently comatose or catatonic after Niall's death, but this is because as a dream creation, Niall was essentially her life force, as he channeled the ley line's energy into her. Bringing her to Cabeswater is the only thing that wakes her up.
- Flat Character: Zig-Zagged—she seemingly has no personality beyond loving everyone since that's what she was created to do, but it's also suggested that she was much more dynamic and complex when Niall was alive.
- Good Parents: Aurora is unfailingly kind and loving to everyone she meets, and, according to Ronan, was an unfailingly reliable mother. It's because Niall specifically created her to be that way.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's blonde and loves absolutely everyone she meets, and expresses that love in ways best befitting each person's personality.
- Killed Off for Real: In The Raven King as a result of the demon unmaking the dream magic.
- Living Dream: Niall dreamt her into being using his powers as a dream thief.
- Meaningful Name: Aurora, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty.
Declan LynchRonan's older brother and the enforcer of their father's will, which keeps him and his brothers from visiting their mother and childhood home. He and Ronan have strongly disliked each other ever since Niall's death.
- Aloof Big Brother: He's more successful than Ronan and Matthew, and isn't a particularly warm and friendly person.
- Fighting Irish: Like Ronan, he's a very competent boxer.
- Foil: To Ronan.
- Promotion to Parent: After Niall dies and Aurora falls asleep, he is left in charge of his brothers and the family finances.
- Raised Catholic: Unlike Ronan, it's unclear how strongly he actually believes in the church, and a big part of his motivation for going to mass every week is just to check in on his brothers.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Despite not having the ability himself, he turns out to know way more about Ronan and Niall's powers than he lets on. He's the one who reveals that Matthew was Ronan's first dream creation. It's also briefly implied that he's aware of Ronan's sexuality even before Ronan himself is.
- The Unfavorite: Ronan was Niall's favorite and Matthew Aurora's, which left Declan as no one's favorite family member. Though Matthew still cares about and gets along with Declan, and he and Ronan were friends before Niall's death.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Each successive book reveals more of Declan's softer side and his love for his family.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He really just wanted Niall's approval.
Matthew LynchRonan's younger brother, a sweet, sociable, and earnest teenager. Actually a dream creation of Ronan's.
- Flat Character: Like Aurora, he doesn't have much in the way of personality beyond being cheerful and loving, because like Aurora, that's what he was created to be.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Unlike Ronan and Declan, Matthew has curly blond hair and a kind, earnest personality.
- Living Dream: Ronan created him when he was three.
- Nice Guy: He's just a very nice kid. Adam wonders if it represents what Ronan used to be like or wish he was like.
The Gansey Family
Helen GanseyGansey's older sister.
- Cool Big Sis: She somewhat intimidates Gansey's friends with how polished, elegant, and accomplished she is. She can also fly a helicopter.
- Non-Idle Rich: Zig-Zagged. She currently has a job as a wedding planner, but according to Gansey, she only does it because it lets her stick her nose in other people's business professionally.
Richard Campbell Gansey IIGansey's wealthy father.
- Education Mama: Tells Gansey that if he doesn't succeed in private school, he'll be cut out of the will.
- Old Money: The Ganseys have been wealthy for a long time, and accordingly look down on Nouveau Riche like the Czernys.
- Uncle Pennybags: Zig-Zagged. He's a generally nice person and is very supportive and friendly to Adam, but he can be quite judgmental about... well, pretty much anyone or anything that doesn't fit into his Old Money idea of respectability, including his own son's Camaro.
Mrs. GanseyGansey's politician mother.
- Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Technically her party affiliation and hair color aren't stated, but the presence of Republican donors at her campaign event in The Dream Thieves pretty strongly suggests she leans conservative.
- Non-Idle Rich: She works as a politician despite already having enough money to not need a job.
The Parrish Family
Robert ParrishAdam's physically abusive father.
- Abusive Parents: He regularly hits Adam, which often causes him to miss school.
- Put on a Bus: He's arrested near the end of The Raven Boys, with Adam finally deciding to press charges.
- The Bus Came Back: He tracks down and threatens Adam shortly before his trial in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
- Redemption Rejection: Adam offers to try to rebuild their relationship in the epilogue of The Raven King, an offer which Robert refuses.You've grown up into someone I don't like very much, and I'm not afraid to say it.
Mrs. ParrishAdam's mother.
- Abusive Parents: While she never hit Adam, she always took Robert's side and tried to convince Adam it was his fault Robert hit him. When Adam finally decides to press charges against his father, he has to move out because his mother refuses to forgive him. Adam also recognizes in the epilogue to The Raven King that she emotionally abused him.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Her few scenes show her to be a pretty cold person, and she wears glasses.
Joseph KavinskySee "Antagonists" folder.
Henry ChengAn acquaintance of Gansey's who will play a significant role in The Raven King.
- Ambiguously Gay: He never overtly makes a pass at characters of any gender, but some of his comments definitely seem intended to make the reader wonder. He also describes himself as "Henrysexual" and it's anyone's guess what that means.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Downplayed. While initially Gansey is the only main character who particularly likes Cheng, Blue ends up warming up to him after she gets to know him, and Ronan and Adam make a few jokes at his expense, but ultimately are more disinterested in him than they are hostile. And the epilogue of The Raven King implies that they, too, eventually accept him as a friend.
- Innocently Insensitive: He makes some less-than-savory comments that earn him Blue's ire, but he's really a nice guy, just clueless.
- The Nicknamer: He's a seemingly endless fountain of nicknames and euphemisms for other characters, particularly Gansey.
- Self-Deprecation: He tells Blue that he makes jokes about his race so he can get there before anybody else does.
- The Sixth Ranger: Ascends to this position in The Raven King.
- Soapbox Sadie: He's introduced protesting Aglionby's lack of a student government. He and Blue actually end up bonding over their shared outrage at an injust world in The Raven King.
Tad CarruthersA student in Gansey, Adam, and Ronan's Latin class.
- Innocently Insensitive: He makes homophobic comments at Adam's expense and cuffs the back of his head by coming up on his deaf side, but his biggest flaw is that he can't tell that Adam doesn't like him.
- Loving Bully: He's a jerk to Adam, but it comes across more like terrible flirting than actual dislike.
CabeswaterA sentient, magical forest on the ley line.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Despite being an ancient, often terrifying entity which none of the main characters fully comprehend, the gang loves it and it loves them.
- Genius Loci: It's a living, intelligent thing that manifests as a location on the ley line.
- Living Dream: Ronan dreamt Cabeswater's current form, though he didn't dream the entity itself.
- The Lost Woods: Takes the form of a highly magical forest, though who knows if that's the only way it can appear.
- Mind Hive: Numerous tree-lights live within Cabeswater, though Cabeswater itself is a different being.
- Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Cabeswater sacrifices itself to bring Gansey back after his second death, but due to its control over time, it can't truly die, just lose its corporeal form and disappear to another moment on the ley line.
- Non-Linear Character: All times are the same to it and it can speed, slow, or stop how the people in and around it experience time, as well as changing the time of day or year within its boundaries at will.
- Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Has one last goodbye with Blue, Ronan, and Adam before sacrificing itself to save Gansey.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Does this the first time the protagonists explore it. However...
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: This is another potential effect of its time-bending nature.
Professor MaloryAn elderly British professor who spent a year researching Glendower with Gansey prior to the start of the series.
- Aura Vision: He can see other people's auras, which is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. He gets along with Gansey because he has a "pleasant and neutral" aura.
- Canine Companion: Has a service dog for his anxiety.
- Eccentric Mentor: He's extremely smart and very adept at guiding Gansey on his quest, but also gets distracted easily, thinks Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas are all the same state, and is obsessed with tea, pigeons, and complaining.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: For the first two books, he only appears via phone conversations with Gansey. Subverted in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, when he comes to Henrietta to help Gansey in person.
- Old Windbag: Given the slightest chance, he will launch into a solid half-hour rant on how the British healthcare system murdered his mother.
- Spot of Tea: He constantly tries and fails to find a satisfactory cup of tea in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.
Jesse DittleyA local who owns a cursed cave connected to Cabeswater.
- Gentle Giant: He's enormous, but very kind and friendly.
- Killed Off for Real: Piper shoots him when he tries to stop her from entering the cave.
- No Inside Voice: Its not that hes yelling, hes just so huge that his voice is incredibly loud. All his dialogue is written in capital letters.
- Odd Friendship: Blue ends up really liking him and is very hurt by his death, even though she knew it was coming.
GlendowerThe mythological Welsh king Gansey has dedicated his life to finding.
- Dead All Along: In the final book of the series, Gansey finally finds Glendower, only to discover that he's clearly been dead for centuries. It's implied Artemus or one of his companions conducted the ritual to put him in stasis incorrectly, thought it's also possible that he was already dead and really had only been brought over to hide his body from the English.
- King in the Mountain: Unlike the Real Life myth of Glendower, however, the mountain in question is in rural Virginia.
- Sealed Good in a Can: The problem is finding said can.
Orphan Girl/OpalA mysterious young girl who regularly appears in Ronan's dreams.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In The Dream Thieves, she begs Ronan to take her with him when he wakes up so she won't have to live with his nightmares anymore. In The Raven King, Ronan accidentally pulls her out of his dreams, only for her to find that the demon has made the waking world even worse than Ronan's nightmares.
- Boyish Short Hair: Has a blonde pixie cut.
- Constantly Curious / Curious as a Monkey: Enjoys chatting with Ronan about the meaning of his dreams. After being brought into the real world, she develops a habit of chewing on things she finds interesting—and she finds everything interesting.
- Extreme Omnivore: Will apparently eat just about anything, including chicken bones and pieces of garbage.
- Fauns and Satyrs: Presumably this, as she has hoofed feet and the eating habits of a goat.
- Has Two Daddies: Her situation with Ronan and Adam has shades of this by the end of The Raven King, though it's not played fully straight as she's not really a child.
- Living Dream: In The Raven King, when Ronan accidentally pulls her from a nightmare.
- Meaningful Rename: Ronan renames her Opal after more or less adopting her.
- Switch to English: She has to continually be reminded to do this, as she prefers to babble in Latin or the language of trees, both of which are difficult to understand outside of dreams.
- Tagalong Kid: To Ronan in his dreams, and to the gang as a whole in The Raven King.
- Troubled Child: Due to spending most of her existence in dangerous, fearful environments: first Ronan's head, then the real world as it's being corrupted by the demon.
- Wild Child: A minor example. Her behavior is somewhat feral or animalistic, but she's still able to interact with Ronan and other humans, and she's fully capable of speech.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Occasionally displays shades of this, most notably during the climax of The Dream Thieves.It's only you. Why do you hate you?
SeondeokAn art dealer, trafficker of magical items, and Henry Cheng's mother.
- Collector of the Strange: As a magical trafficker and collector.
- Mama Bear: She's Henry's mother, and she is very invested in keeping her son safe. Even if that takes the form of aggressively negotiating with his kidnappers while maintaining she "doesn't pay for damaged goods".
- Seer: Gained psychic visions after a year of being mad.
- You Can Keep Her: When Henry was kidnapped as a child by Laumonier, she refused to pay the ransom. However, it was just a bluff to discourage anyone else from kidnapping her children.