The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (A Fanfiction Screenplay Part 3)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

The Avengers: Caribbean Cruise Adventure (2015)

Act Two: Perceptions

Scene One – A Map

Interior – Cruise ship corridor, main control deck, lounge

Two cruise ship personnel in uniform come out of a door.  Both of the crew members are shorter. Tony and Steve are waiting for them in the hall.  Steve and Tony make quick work of knocking out their opponents. They drag the unconscious bodies back into the room from which they came. Tony and Steve then exit the same room now wearing the personnel uniforms. Tony’s uniform fits perfectly, but Steve’s pants are way too small for him. There’s a good 4 inches of leg showing between his socks and pants   He walks with an odd gate.

Tony: You alright, Captain?

Steve (tugging near his crotch): Yeah. I’ll be fine…in a minute.

Tony: That’s what you get for being tall and handsome.

Steve: I don’t understand. Clothes always fit in the movies.

Tony: Just hide behind me if someone comes. No one wants to see that.

Steve:  Shut up!  I’m sick of…

Steve grabs Tony by the throat and shoves him against the wall.

Steve:  Shut your damn mouth now.  If you mess up this mission…Let’s just say I don’t care what punishments Fury can come up with, but if this virus escapes…If you’re the one that screws it up, I will deal with you myself.

He releases Tony who shrugs him away.  Steve and Tony reach a locked door labeled “Control Room.”  There’s a card scanner to the side of the door. Tony searches his pockets and pulls out the personnel’s identity card. Looks at it.

Tony: Thank you…Wallis Becker.

He slides the card in the reader. A green light flashes on and Steve opens the door a crack.

Steve: There’s just one guy in there.

Tony: I’ll go in. Hopefully he won’t notice that I’m not Wallis. You wait out here and keep watch, Skinny Britches. Crow if someone’s coming.

Steve: Crow?

Tony puts on the crew members hat and walks inside. The door closes and Steve looks back and forth down the corridor.

Inside, Tony nods at the man at the control panel who looks up at his entrance.

Tony: How’s it goin’?

The man turns back to his work and Tony starts rifling through different things. He opens different cupboards and drawers.

Tony: Hey, do you know where I could find a…

Three large men walk in from another adjoining room.

Man: You’re not Wallis.

Tony: A map!

Tony yanks open one last compartment which is filled with blueprints. He grabs all of them.

In the hallway, Steve hears a number of bangs and shouts. He looks concerned, but doesn’t try to open the door. Tony emerges from the room into the corridor where Steve is standing. His hat is missing, his hair is mussed, and he has blood on his face. He still clutches the blueprints under one arm.

Tony: Crow!

The two men start running through the ship. The ship’s crew pursues them. They keep running. They knock things over as they go to trip up their followers. One of them goes down. Tony tears open a door which blocks the hallway behind them. The personnel run straight into it and one of them is knocked out. Tony and Steve rush into the ship’s bar and lounge which is full of people. They hide in the crowd and try to catch their breaths.

Steve: I think we got ‘em. Did you still have the maps?

Tony (whacking Steve with the blueprints): Yeah.

Steve: Let’s try to blend in.

Steve picks up an empty glass from a table just for appearances. Tony does the same. They move through the lounge. Nodding and smiling at the people they encounter. By the bar, they knock into Violet who is wearing a little black dress now. She looks at the cut on Tony’s head and then Steve’s too short pants.

Violet: Whoa.

Steve: They shrunk in the wash, ma’am.

Tony: Don’t mind him. He’s had one too many.

Violet: That’s okay. Laundry can be tricky. I turned all my clothes pink once. You never know. You might start a new fashion trend. You gentleman like some new drinks?

She grins at Steve.

Steve: No. Thank you, miss. We would love to, but we have other duties that we should get back to.

Tony: I might take you up on that later though. Tomorrow? Same time, same place?

Steve pulls Tony away toward the door when something stops them.

Scene Two – Fight

Interior – Lounge

Sly is at the bar getting a drink. Loki approaches him from behind and rips him away from his stool.

Loki: Who are you and why are you watching me?

Sly: I don’t know what you mean. I don’t know you. Security!

Flashback:  Sly and his wife are having lunch at a restaurant in New York City.  They are sitting at a table outside with a green umbrella over them.  They lean in close to each other, laughing and talking.  Sly feeds her a bit of his lunch from a fork.  The next moment, people around them are screaming.    Strange alien beast fly over their heads shooting at people as they scatter.  Sly grabs his wife’s hand and pulls her toward the restaurant.  A crushed car comes rolling at them from off-screen.  The car hits Sly’s wife and she is pinned underneath it.  She’s still alive.  He cries out to her and goes towards her.  Above them Loki and Thor are fighting at the top of Stark Tower.  The giant “K” gets blasted off of the building and falls.  The “K” lands between Sly and his wife, wreckage blocking his way to her.  Sly has to watch his wife die from a distance.  Another hover craft zooms over him.  On it is not an alien, but Loki.The-Avengers-Climax-Loki-the-avengers-34726348-1920-1080

Back on the cruise ship Loki punches Sly.  Sly falls to the ground and Loki pulls him back up again. Loki squeezes his throat. People around him yelp.

Loki: Do that again and I will make you wish you’d never seen this ship.  My brother’s friends will find you conveniently unconscious on the floor.

Sly:  And they would just let you go in the process?  How fast can you run?  How strong are you against Captain American and Ironman?  How clever do you need to be without your magic powers?

Loki presses in closer to Sly.

Loki:  What do you know?  How do you know I don’t want to be caught?

Sly:  You don’t.  I took your powers.  You don’t want to be caught until you get them back.  Not now.  You’ll wait until the right time.  And you won’t kill me until you know how to get them back.  Here they come.  So what now, Loki?

From across the lounge: Steve and Tony watch the two men’s encounter.

Steve: Is that…?

Tony: I think it is.

Steve: Loki.

Tony lunges forward at Sly and Loki.  Hearing his name, Loki looks over at Steve, loosening his hold on Sly. Sly twists out of Loki’s grasps.

Steve:  Tony!

Steve tries to stop his friend from attacking, but is too late.  Tony hits Loki with the empty glass he’s carrying.  Sly steps back, rubbing his throat.

Sly:  This man attacked me for no reason!  He should be locked up and taken off the ship!

Loki, Steve, and Tony continue to fight.

Violet:  Wait!  Stop!  Security is on the way.  Argh, men.  Stop hurting each other!

Violet throws her drink into the middle of the group.  Glass shatters onto all three of them.  Loki breaks free from the group and escapes through the crowd.  Security guards arrive and put handcuffs on Steve and Tony.

Scene Three – Speculations

Interior – Bruce’s cabin

Thor watches as Bruce conducts an experiment at a table that involves a Bunsen burner, beakers, a stop watch, and data sheets on a laptop.

Thor:  Is any of your memory coming back?

Bruce:  Do I remember that if something ticks me off I’ll turn into what Tony refers to as “a big, green rage monster”?  I still don’t remember how we got here on this ship though.  You?

Thor:  I come from a different planet.

Thor looks over Bruce’s shoulder.

Bruce:  Yes.  And shouldn’t you be planning sieges to unite your realms or something?

Thor:  Sorry.

Thor steps back.

Thor:  I do not blame you for misjudging me.  My people are great warriors, yes.  But we also value knowledge.  My father gave up his own eye for it.  I respect your profession.  Jane –

Bruce:  I appreciate your interest, but let’s just stop right there.  If you must know, I’ve taken the information from the files we were given on the zombie virus and I’m trying to figure some things out about how the virus might have been developed.  Now, I need to concentrate.

Bruce drips a liquid into the beaker with a pipette.

Tony and Steve enter Bruce’s cabin. They have lost the uniforms they’d been wearing.  Tony flops the blueprints out onto the table covering Bruce’s own papers.  Bruce flinches, squeezing all the liquid from the pipette into the beaker all at once.  He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath to try to calm himself.

Tony: We got plans of the ship.

Bruce: I see that.

Steve: What’re you working on, Dr. Frankenstein?

Tony: Hey, don’t talk to him like that.

Steve: Why shouldn’t I? You would do it.

Bruce: Ok, guys. Let’s just sit and talk.

Steve: No. I want to know why it’s okay for him to be an asshole to everyone, but as soon as anyone else tries to give him shit, he’s all righteous.

Tony: I can’t help that I’m such an awesome badass. But you shouldn’t take out your jealous rage on the doc here.

Bruce: Stop. Just stop it. You don’t want to make me angry.

Steve sits down and the others follow suit.

Bruce: What happened? What’s this really about?

Steve: We got the blueprints, but were pursued. We ended up at the lounge and lost our tail. Then Mr. Badass thinks it’s a good idea to start a fight. Security kicked us out of the bar. The guards have been given our id’s and photos in case we ever decide to go back there again.

Bruce: You got banished?

He looks at Tony.

Bruce: From the ship’s bar?

Steve: And now, thanks to Tony, our targets have access to a part of the ship we don’t. An extra advantage for the enemy. Plus our identities have gotten out to the ship’s security. They’ll be on to us for the rest of this trip.

Tony (to Bruce): If you saw what I’d seen, you would’ve done the same thing. It wasn’t just a fight, anyhow. It was Loki.

There’s silence while the men in the room look at Thor.

Bruce: What’d you mean? Loki’s floating around somewhere in the back alleys of the cosmos making connections with alien crime lords and who knows what else. But he certainly isn’t going on a family vacation cruise liner.

Thor: Where is he now? 

Steve: It was him. You don’t mistake someone’s identity when you’ve seen them do what Loki’s done. He was with some other guy too. They both got away.

Thor: Who was this other man?

Tony: We don’t know.  He said that Loki just attacked him for no reason.  They didn’t look like they were friends.

Steve: Loki doesn’t have friends.

Bruce: So the real question is: Is the enemy of Loki our friend? Is this mystery guy Zhivkov’s friend? Or the thief we’re looking for?

Steve: You think Loki and Zhivkov are connected? Maybe Loki is the thief?

Thor:  No matter if Loki and Zhivkov are allies, this man Loki attacked is important.  The man lied to you.  Loki does not attack for no reason.  If we find out who the man is, we will be able to find out why my brother is on this ship.

Steve: I think that it’s safe to say that an enemy of Loki is, unless we have evidence otherwise, our friend. We need to divide the ship into sections so we can split up and do a search for Zhivkov and our new mystery man.

Steve spreads out the blueprints.

Steve:  Thor, you take the ballroom/dining room and this surrounding area.  Bruce, you can have the lower decks in the bow area and the smaller auditorium here.  Tony, gets the stern lower decks…excluding the lounge.  I’ll take the upper decks and outdoor areas.

He looks around for confirmations or challenges.

Scene Four – Karaoke

Interior – Ship’s lounge – Three days before virus outbreak

Violet is on a stage singing karaoke. She has picked the song I’m the Only One by Melissa Etheridge. She is a little out of tune, but the passion for the song is there.

Violet (singing): Please baby can’t you see, I’m trying to explain. I’ve been here before and I’m locking the door and I’m not going back again. Her eyes and arms and skin won’t make it go away. You’ll wake up tomorrow and wrestle the sorrow that holds you down today.

View expands to include the bar where Tony is sitting in a disguise. He is wearing a fedora and sunglasses. He takes a drink and glances over towards Violet.

Violet (singing): But I’m the only one who’ll walk across the fire for you.

She points randomly at no one into the crowd of drunken listeners and dancers. A man hoots thinking that he’s been specifically chosen. Loki is there, eyeing Tony.   He glances behind himself when Violet points, and raises an eyebrow.

Violet (singing): I’m the only one who’ll drown in my desire for you. It’s only fear that makes you run, the demons that you’re hiding from, when all your promises are gone. I’m the only one.

She finishes the song. Tony takes another drink. She joins him at the bar.

Tony: Nice Singing.

Violet: Thanks. Do I know you?

Tony: Maybe.

Violet: You were here the other night in uniform. I saw what happened. You’re lucky you didn’t get your nose busted up or something. I always wondered what that would be like. What would I look like with a broken nose?

She turns towards him, waiting for an answer.

Tony: Like yourself. I don’t think I am who you think I am.

Violet: Yes you are. You wanted to have a drink with me tonight, so let’s have a drink. Same time, same place, remember?

Tony looks at the bar tender who is busy at the other end of the bar.

Tony: Don’t say anything.  I’m here against orders, but somebody has to do the dirty work.  And what you said…drinks.  Maybe you can help. I’m looking for this guy. Have you seen him?

He slides a picture of Zhivkov across the counter to her.

Violet: Ooo. Are you a detective? FBI? Undercover.

Tony: Yeah. You could say that.

Violet: I haven’t seen him, but I’ll keep an eye out. He’s got nice hair. What should I do if I see him?

Tony: Call me.

He gives her his calling card. She reads it, flips it over and reads the back.

Violet: Stark Industries. Ironman. Okay. Let’s drink. My dad always said I was good at making friends, but he never wanted to be mine. So, Ironman, let’s be friends. To fathers.

Tony: To fathers.

They clink their glasses together. There’s a time-lapse in which they are drinking and the two of them appear somewhat drunker. Violet isn’t as drunk as Tony. She’s been conserving her drinks.

Tony: How are you still sober?

Violet: Practice. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we sing a song together and while we’re at it, we can both search the crowd for your guy?

Tony: I don’t think that’s the best idea for me. I’m a wanted man.

Violet: Oh, come on.  You seem like such a confident man.  Or maybe that’s the problem?…  Besides, what are they gonna do if someone recognizes you? Clap you in handcuffs and make you walk the plank? You disobey orders, but you won’t sing a little song?  You’re scared.

Tony (jokingly): No. I’m not scared. I just want people to like me. And they wouldn’t like me if I got up and sang at them. The ‘O captain, my captain’ guy I was with the other night would really not like that. I don’t want anyone to know who I am, right now. That’s all. And karaoke is…kinda girly.

Violet: It’s not girly at all.

Tony: You’re a girl. A damn pretty one.

Violet: You’re just saying that.  Who cares if they like you or not? You say you’re not afraid, but here you are hiding your identity behind a costume. If people shoot you down, you have all the more reason to stand up strong for who you really are.

Silence then drunken ramblings.

Tony: You’re not the only one with daddy issues. If this boat had a daddy, it would have issues. You know, I remember something now. Drink is helpful. (To his whiskey) Thank you. I came here on a time machine from the future. Fury said I couldn’t have my suit. It’s not right, SHIELD. I don’t like it. I just want to make it right. So many things my daddy did. How can I make it right, if I don’t have my superhero suit?

Violet: You’re from the future. What’s it like? Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know what kind of alien takes over the world. Surprises are better. Ironman. That’s you’re superhero name. (She looks at Tony’s card again.) If your dad did so many bad things, how are you going to put it right if no one knows who you are? If you operate under an alias, does it matter if you put things right? An apology doesn’t mean anything, if people don’t know who it comes from.

Tony: They do know who I am. See the card. Both names.

Violet: And yet there’s this.

She reaches up to take Tony’s hat off. He grabs the hat and secures it against his head.

Violet: So what. You started a fight in here. You’re human even if you don’t want to be. You can’t change anything – people can’t like you for who you are – if you’re hiding. But see here, we’re friends. I like you anyway. Costume on or costume off.

She takes his fedora and this time he lets her. She stands up and tosses it over the crowd. A young man catches it and puts it on his head. Violet takes Tony’s sunglasses and sticks them on top of her own head.

Violet:   Now, come on. What song do you want to sing?

Tony: Ladies choice.

Cut to: Tony and Violet on stage together with microphones singing Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash.

Tony: It’s always tease, tease, tease. You’re happy when I’m on my knees. One day is fine, and next is black. So if you want me off your back, come on and let me know. Should I stay or should I go?

He sings more tentatively as he is busy skimming the crowd. He keeps singing as the camera focuses in on Sly who was spying on them for Fury. Sly is worming his way closer to Loki, but Tony doesn’t spot Loki.

Tony (whispers): I think I know that guy. SHIELD. (To Violet) This is girly. Why’d we pick this song?

Violet (to Tony): You didn’t want to pick it.

Violet: Should I stay or should I go, now? Should I stay or should I go, now? If I go there will be trouble. And if I stay there will be double. So come on and let me know.

Loki is scowling at Violet and Tony as they dance together while they sing. Violet is wearing his sunglasses now and they face each other on stage.

Tony and Violet: Split!

Scene Five – Let’s Dance

Interior – The ship’s huge ballroom – Two days before virus outbreak

There is live music and the place is full of people dancing. Violet dances enthusiastically by herself at the edge of the crowd. People clear a space for her so that she stands alone. Thor makes his way through the dancers, looking at each person to see if they are Zhivkov or Sly. He is not even pretending to dance or blend in as he moves past Violet. He examines her from a distance and she sees him staring at her.

Violet: Hey! Would you like to dance with me?

He puts up a hand to decline and then changes his mind. He goes over to her and begins swaying back and forth. Thor tries to copy the moves of another guy nearby. He looks at the guy instead of at Violet.

Violet (laughs): You’re good!

He looks at her questioningly.

Violet: I mean it!

Thor: In my…country we dance only at certain festivities. Weddings and rituals for our ancestors. But our dances are much different from yours. They are a bit more…orderly.

Violet: Oh, where are you from? No, let me guess. Finland? Netherlands? Australia? Greenland? Germany? Antarctica?

He shakes his head after each question as they continue to dance.

Thor: No, no. It is a place far away that I do not think you would know. Have you by any chance seen these men?

He shows her a picture of Zhivkov and one of Sly. She points at Sly.

Violet: He was at the bar while I singing karaoke. But he wasn’t doing anything. Just hanging around. You must know the hiding man.  I mean Ironman.

Thor: He is my friend. My name is Thor.  The man in this picture, Sly, works for the same …company – I think is the word – that I work for.  But he was not asked to come on this mission with us.  We believe he is a double agent.  If he speaks to you, you should not believe what he says.

Violet: I’ll watch out for him.  You know I had dinner the other night with a man who was also named after a Norse god.

Thor:  Loki.  He ate dinner with you?

Violet:  How did you know who I was talking about?

Thor:  He is my brother, but the last time I saw him, he was imprisoned in our dungeons.

Violet steps away from him.

Violet: Your family keeps your brother in their own personal jail?

Thor: It is not what you think. His cell is as finely furnished as any chamber on this ship. Loki is immeasurably evil and feels no remorse for any of his actions. He is cruel, treacherous, and holds childish grudges.

Violet: Perhaps because you lock him in his bedroom as if he were a naughty child you are ashamed of.

Thor: You do not know him as I do. He is in the dungeon not only to keep him from causing trouble, but also because I wish to protect him from himself and from the world.

Violet: First of all, no, I don’t know him well. He’s different, cold and distant, yes, but I tend to judge people by my own experiences. Not by what the world wants me to think of them. Secondly, how does what you just said make you any less sadistic than your brother? You’re like an evil stepmother and it doesn’t suit you.

Thor: That is the problem.  I do not want to be his mother.

Violet: Then treat Loki like an equal and not like a princess locked in a tower. You say you love him, but here you are on vacation with him – in the same space as this boat – and yet he is completely alone and you are off running around with your other friends. You say he is cruel and hateful and yet you take no responsibility for your own actions towards him.  No wonder he hates women, when you treat him like one and act like it’s your righteous privilege.  Do you ever think about what it would be like to be outcast by your own family?

Thor: He deserves what he has gotten. He turned on us.

Violet: I don’t doubt that. But it still doesn’t mean that it’s right to pretend like nothing’s happened when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings. You could tell him you’re sorry for what’s happened, even if you can’t change it.

Thor: He would not listen.

Violet: Not to you maybe. I’m an outside party, and perhaps you need mediator.

Thor: Why would you do that?

Violet: I know what it’s like to have family conflict. I judge fairly. I have emotions beyond happy and macho. And I do what I want.

Thor nods.

Thor: I must leave you now.

Exit Thor. Violet goes back to dancing and jumping around on her own. She whoops when the band finishes the song they’re playing, clapping her hands above her head.  Loki watches his brother walk away.  The song Believe by Mumford & Sons plays.

Say something, say something,

Something like you love me

Less you wanna move away

From the noise of this place.

Enter Loki. Violet sees him and he approaches her.  He nods once at her.

Violet: Hello. You have a striking face, you know. It stands out in a crowd. I mean that in a good way.

Loki: I can’t believe you enjoy this.

He gestures to the crowd.

Violet: Why wouldn’t I?  It’s freedom.  Anonymity.  I can be whoever I want to be in a dancing crowd and nobody cares because we’re all people having fun.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else?  Here’s your chance.

He looks at his hands which have been drained of their magical powers to disguise him.

Loki: No. Be one of these idiots?

Violet: I will take your initial disbelief that I would be here as a compliment, since it means you don’t include me with “these idiots.” Thank you, Loki. You’re very kind.

He snorts and looks around.

Loki: They don’t think, they just do whatever they’ve been told to do.

Violet: And of course there’s never been a time in your life when you’ve wanted not to think.  To just do something, strangle someone or laugh out loud.  Absolutely not. You could have never wanted that freedom before either.

Loki: You mock me. My brother has made you his friend and turned you against me.

Violet: Your brother…is an acquaintance of mine who I think has good intentions towards you. They’ve just been put into practice in unfortunate ways. He seems like he can be quick to anger, and yet there is an innocent charm to him that perhaps makes him more dangerous to women like me.

Loki: He’s nothing but a stupid, human-loving oaf.

Violet: Maybe. But like I told him, I tend to use my own experiences when judging people instead of thinking whatever I’ve been told to think.

They stand in silence.

Violet: I believe Thor would like to get along with you, but I don’t think he’s done a very good job at showing it. Perhaps he doesn’t know how to treat you. Perhaps he needs your help. I’d like to help you.

Loki: Then you’re wasting your time. Thor has made his choice. I’ve made mine.

Violet: I’m getting tired of this crap. Let’s dance.

Loki: No.

Violet: Okay.

She disappears into the mass of dancers.  For once more in his life, Loki is left alone.

Scene Six – Attention Seeker

Interior – Ballroom

Loki tears through the crowd, ripping men from their dance partners.  He punches one man in the face and his date screams.  People start looking at him and paying attention to what he’s doing.  He drags the yelling woman out of his way by her hair.  Then he knees another man in crotch before kicking him to the floor.  He knocks another woman’s legs out from underneath her.  She shrieks.  He realizes a good portion of the room is now looking at him.  His lips part in a satisfied smile as he glances around at the fear in the room around him, wondering if Violet is watching.  Hoping that she is looking and is terrified by him.

He doesn’t see Sly come up from behind him.  Sly injects something into the back of Loki’s neck.  Loki drops to the ground unconscious.

Sly:  Security.  I’m security.  Everyone stay calm.  Is everyone okay? 

No one responds.  The disheveled and bleeding crowd stares back at him like he must be joking.

Sly:  This man will be taken into secure confinement and released to authorities when we make the next port.

He drags Loki from the room.

Scene Seven – Prisoner

Interior – Storeroom

Sly pulls Loki into a storeroom and ties him up with a cord.  There’s a cargo container inside.  Sly opens the lid of the container and shoves Loki inside.  The container is small enough that Loki is stuck in the fetal position with his knees pressed against his chest.

Sly:  That injection should knock you out until tomorrow.  Then I’ll pay your little girlfriend a visit.

Scene Eight – Brain Magic

Interior – Magic show in small auditorium – One day before virus outbreak

The magician produces a wind blowing throughout the room.  A small sailboat is carried through the air on the breeze, returning a woman’s gold earrings to her which she never knew were missing.  She removes them from the boat with a gasp.

Violet:  You’ve got to be kidding me.

She walks around trying to get back to her seat with a new long island ice tea in her hand.  The liquid splashes out onto Bruce Banner’s sleeve.  He brushes at the wet spot with a napkin.

Bruce:  You’re tellin’ me.

Violet:  I’m sorry.  I feel like I’ve been running into people ever since I got on this boat.  Must have balance issues…Sea legs.

Bruce:  Why don’t you sit here?

Violet:  Oh, thank you.

She takes the empty seat at his table.  He doesn’t clap as the magician bows and the crowd cheers.

Violet:  I take it you don’t like magic?

Bruce:  It’s kind of against my beliefs.  If you have any scrap of logic in your brain, you can figure how the tricks are done.  It’s not magic to me.  It’s a puzzle. 

He looks around the room.

Violet:  And you’re looking for someone.  Are you friends with Thor and Ironman?  What’s your name?  The Puzzler?

Bruce:  I like it, but no.  You can call me Bruce.

The magician appears to be walking on the ceiling.

Violet:  Do you think he feels like he’s in The Poseidon Adventure?  What if he’s the right way and we’re wrong?

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, film (1979)

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, film (1979)

Bruce: Yup.  Magic is all about perspective.  Are you looking in the right direction at the right time?  Everything is about perspective really.  Ever heard the phrase, “It’s all in your head”?

Violet: Do you think I’ve lived in a barrel my whole life?

Bruce:  Sorry.  You never know.

Violet:  Are you suggesting that if you could change your mind, you could convince yourself that magic was real?

Bruce:  Why would I want to do that?

Violet:  Could I change my self-identity like the white lady who told everyone she was African-American and then believed it was true?  What about other abstract things like love, hate, or anger?  Could you can convince yourself that you love someone?

Bruce:  You could, but it would be difficult and possibly take years for the feeling or lack of the feeling to be genuine.  You would have to have a very strong will.  Theoretically, if you tried hard enough you could control all your emotions with your head.

Violet:  That seems like magic to me.  Also, if you still haven’t found this guy, don’t you think you’ve been looking in all the wrong places?  If I wanted to hide on a cruise ship, I wouldn’t go to a magic show or a bar.  I would stay in my room as much as I could. 

Bruce:  But then we wouldn’t be able to do all these fun things on our vacation.  You can’t be vigilant all the time.

 Scene Nine – Intruder

Interior – Corridor, Violet’s cabin

Sly picks the lock on the door to Violet’s cabin.  He goes inside.  The door slides open and Sly’s form is outlined by the lights outside the room.  Inside is darkness.  He moves further into the room.  There’s a bed where Violet is fast asleep.  He watches her for a minute to see how soundly she sleeps.

Sly (aside):  The zombie virus is within my grasp.  I just have to waiting for the right time.  At the last minute, I’ll switch out the machine’s cartridge containing the virus with a harmless one.  Then I will steal the real cartridge and bring it back to SHIELD.

He approaches Violet as she sleeps.  He starts to reach out to brush her hair off her forehead, but then stops.  Instead he kneels down at the head of the bed so that their faces are level.  He scoots her nightstand away from the wall, revealing an electrical outlet where Violet’s phone is charging up.  He takes out a screwdriver and removes the outlet cover.

Sly (to Violet)I’ve seen you with Loki.  Are you helping him?  But you were also with Tony, Bruce, and Steve. Could you possibly be another double agent?

He rises and then does run his hand down the side of her face.

Sly (aside): Not while I’m around.  There’s only room for one villain in this story.  If she’s not a double agent, then she’s Loki’s friend.  Loki killed my wife in New York, anyone who calls herself his friend deserves to die.

He takes a small device from his coat and acts like he showing it to the sleeping Violet.

Sly (to Violet):  See this?  It contains just enough of the virus to infect a single person.  I’ve chosen you to be the first host.  It’s an honor!  I’ll just leave it for you when you unplug your phone in the morning.  Then you will go around infecting all of your new little Avenger friends.  But Loki is mine, of course. 

He snatches the device away.

Sly (aside): Fury can have the virus if he wants it, but not until it’s done its work here.

He turns back to install the device into Violet’s outlet.  Sly leaves as quietly as he came.  When Violet’s door clicks shut, she jumps out of bed and tip-toes to the hallway.  She peers down the corridor and glimpses Sly turning the corner.  She follows Sly to the storage room where Loki is being kept.

Thank you to Marvel, Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and all the other writers, directors, and creative minds/hands involved in producing such a large number of enjoyable films.  And of course the actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth.

Ay Me! Romeo and Juliet In Education (Part 1 of 2)

Romeo and Juliet 1968

Romeo and Juliet. Film, 1968

I’m back at reading Shakespeare after about a 2-3 year break. I got stuck on Henry VIII, so I decided to skip that one for now and go on to Romeo And Juliet – a good place to start up again because it was my first experience with Shakespeare during my first year in high school. Romeo and Juliet is probably the best known of the plays, so I will look at it a bit differently by examining it through the characters rather than the plot. Then, in part two of this post, I will reflect on my experiences learning the play in school and think about the challenges of teaching Shakespeare to young people.

Background

According to my text edited by David Bevington, Romeo And Juliet was written in the mid 1590’s, within the first decade of Shakespeare’s career. There are a number of sources for the origin of the story including the Latin comedy of Plautus which featured similar characters such as the commanding parents, multiple suitors (Paris and Romeo), and the nurse. Other aspects of the play such as the sleeping potion were common in Greek romance of the 1400’s (Bevington, 1005). Bevington explains that Italians Luigi da Porto and Matteo Bandello wrote novellas presenting the lovers’ characters in the early 1500’s. Bandello’s novella was translated into French. The French version became the source for an English poem by Arthur Brooke in 1562. This English poem was most likely Shakespeare’s main inspiration (Bevington, 1006).

Romeo and Juliet are special characters compared to what is usual in classic tragic theater. The play itself is seen as more of a comedy up to the point of Tybalt’s death. Unlike other tragic characters, Romeo and Juliet are extremely young, Juliet not yet 14 when the story begins, and they belong to the wealthy merchant class rather than to nobility (Bevington, 1005).

Along with Shakespeare’s other plays written around the same time – Midsummer Night’s Dream, Merchant of Venice, and Richard IIRomeo and Juliet contains various rhyme schemes. Bevington states that some of the speeches are even written in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet (1005). The Prologue of the story is a good example.

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;

Whose misadventure piteous overthrows

Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-marked love,

And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,

Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend (1.0.1-14).

Most often readers and viewers of the play focus on the fact that it is a story of a great love ripped apart because of a meaningless argument between the lovers’ families. However, the play is also about the temporary nature of youth and youth’s passions – the brevity of young love within the endless stretch of time. According to Bevington, the real tragedy of the play then comes when old age and time fails to understand or realize the great passions of the youth it once had (1005). These passions include not only Romeo and Juliet’s fierce love, but also the violent hatred that arises between Tybalt, Romeo, and Mercutio (Bevington, 1007). In this story, love and hate go hand in hand with one another and are both strong emotions which are acted on in haste. Time and age are both important within the play. The great youth of the main characters is put in sharp contrast to the family feud that has continued through countless generations. The lovers themselves measure their relationship through the passage of time. How long will it be until they can see each other again? One minute to them can seem like twenty years when they are apart. Shakespeare uses the passing of celestial bodies as the main way of counting time. The sun comes up and Romeo must leave. How long again until the moon arrives and Romeo returns? The movement of the planets is something eternal while their passing marks merely a day for us. The feud has raged on for ages like the continuance of a planet’s orbit, while Romeo and Juliet are only the tiniest bit of it. And so is their love affair which begins and ends within the span of days because of an age-old conflict which, in the form of the old, adult characters, refuses to acknowledge their love.

romeo-the-perfect-romeo-and-juliet-3-30505957-1012-1438-1mjxbb2

Romeo + Juliet. Film, 1996.

Characters

Verona – The setting itself can be seen as an innocent character in the midst of the family feud. The citizens of Verona are on neither side of the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets, but yet it’s residents must suffer the unrest and discontent of the long-standing grudge they aren’t involved in. They are the affected by-standers of the tragedy. There are three scenes set in public of Verona at beginning, middle, and end of the play.  Each of the three scenes is one of violence and how the citizens of Verona react to that violence (Bevington,1007).  The first scene introduces the families’ conflict.  The second one results in the death of Mercutio and Tybalt.  At the end of the play Romeo and Juliet’s deaths reveal their love affair and end the conflict.  At the end of the show, it turns out that the entire community has suffered from the conflict including the Prince, an unbiased and innocent party, whose kinsmen was the murdered Paris.

Capulet – Juliet’s Father. He adds to the ridiculousness of the family grudge. He still feels urged to fight Montague even though he is too old to do so. He calls for a long sword and his wife somewhat mockingly cries, “A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword? (1.1.76)” Capulet represents the feud itself which has grown old and outlived its reasons for existence, but yet continues. He seems somewhat more sensible and open to peace than Montague in regards to the conflict.  He is a main player in forcing Juliet’s hand in marrying Paris.  HIs haste to marry Juliet to Paris reflects the lovers’ own haste for becoming man and wife; however, Capulet’s rushing Juliet to the altar is what causes her to feel trapped.  This haste and lack of choice (Marry Paris or we will kick you out on the street.) that her father gives her, leads Juliet to seek the Friar’s help in gaining her sleeping potion.  There is also the question of whether or not Capulet and his wife can be blamed for not understanding Juliet’s situation since she refuses to explain it to them.  Though is it her parent’s fault for not making her feel comfortable enough to explain her love for Romeo to them?

Capulet’s Wife – Juliet’s mother. She urges Juliet to marry Paris. She is also a great offender in keeping alive the enmity of the two houses. All she cares about is her own family and not necessarily the truth of a situation. When Tybalt is killed, she accuses Benvolio of lying about what happened in her nephew’s fight with Mercutio. Instead she makes her own story – that there seemed to have been twenty men fighting (perhaps against Tybalt?) and here he is dead. She makes up a story that suits her purposes (3.1.175-80).  She misunderstands the reason for Juliet’s grief after Tybalt’s death.  She believes Juliet is silly for crying so much, saying: “Some grief shows much of love, but much of grief shows still some want of wit (3.5.72-3).”  This misunderstanding and lack of sympathy eventually contributes to the lovers’ deaths.

Prince Escalus – Prince of Verona and relation to Paris. An outside moderator of the feud. An unbiased judge who doles out punishment to both families. However, these punishments are ineffective measures that do not solve the problems at the heart of the feud.

Benvolio – A Montague and Romeo’s friend. Though he is close to Romeo, Benvolio is a fair judge of events. He recounts the facts of the public fights between the houses without making accusations one way or the other.  He attempts to cheer up Romeo by getting him to think of women other than Rosaline. Mercutio accuses Benvolio of being a hypocrite. How can you be a part of this feud “and yet thou wilt tutor me [Mercutio] from quarreling! (3.1.29)”

Romeo – In act one, Romeo is the middle of a whiney lament for a woman named Rosaline. Rosaline is a chaste woman who refuses to “put out” for Romeo despite his advances. She won’t love him. This echoes Shakespeare’s carpe diem (seize the day) sonnets – which make admonishments for refusing to love while one is young and beautiful because youth won’t last forever. Romeo states that Rosaline’s “sparing makes huge waste / For beauty starved with her severity / Cuts beauty off from all posterity (1.1.218-20).” Her beauty is a waste because she will let it fade instead of passing it on through having a child – preferable with Romeo. We can also deduce that Romeo has possibly had more love interests by Juliet’s comment, “You kiss by th’ book (1.5.111).” Or, “Romeo, boy, you know what you’re doing.”

Romeo also starts to realize that he doesn’t know real love, or rather the truth of love. He once thought that love was wonderful and beautiful, but now because of Rosaline’s refusal he sees that the reality of love can also be painful and tormenting. Romeo throws out a list of opposites to prove this point and show how love and hate are linked. “Why, then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything of nothing first create, O heavy lightness, serious vanity, misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, still waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this (1.1.176-182).” He does not know the meaning of true love because no one has ever given him true love. Therefore, he is inconstant in his love. He cherishes Rosaline one minute and Juliet the next. For all that he talks of love, he has no idea what undying and faithful love means. Knowing how to kiss by the book does not necessarily mean that the act is sincere, he’s just following the manual without the true emotions that should come with the procedure.

The famous balcony scene in act two becomes Romeo’s enlightenment in the nature of true and constant love. Juliet is his teacher.  Though she has much less experience in relationships than Romeo, her innocence gives her a purer understanding of the emotion as it exists separate from all the nonsense of wooing upon which Romeo relies. Juliet chastises Romeo for his inconstancy, telling him not to swear because promises may turn out to be false.  She states, “Oh, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circled orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable (2.2.109-11).” Romeo then becomes a representation of the moon and of the night. He is changeable and due to the fact that the lover’s relationship must be kept secret, he may only appear to Juliet in the night as the moon does. Juliet is then his “fair sun,” his guiding force, the illuminator of true love (2.2.4). His ultimate test comes when Juliet says, “If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow (2.2.143-4).” He passes his test as they are married at the end of the act.

After he kills Tybalt, it is again haste that nearly brings about Romeo’s death.  Because he is young, he is unable to see past his immediate situation.  He is unable to see his long future before him.  This brings him to focus only on his current banishment and desire for death.  Only Friar Laurence is able to talk him out of killing himself in act three.  Haste then indirectly causes his death as he rushes off to Juliet’s tomb with the poison.  If he had waited a bit longer, perhaps he would have gotten the Friar’s letter.  It is interesting to note that both Romeo and Juliet had been threatening to kill themselves since act three of the play.  Sometimes it seems as if they had always planned on dying.  Or Shakespeare could have used this ironic talk of suicide in his plot as foreshadowing the lovers’ later deaths.

west-side-story-1961-jets-vs-sharks-basketball-court-best-picture-review-academy-awards

West Side Story. Film, 1961.

Juliet – Related to the sun. She shares a bit of Romeo’s inconstancy, but is not nearly as changing as him. She at first seems indifferent to the idea of marriage put to her by her mother, but then immediately jumps towards marriage in her relationship with Romeo. I would account this inconstancy to her youth rather than something similar to Romeo’s ignorance of true love. Juliet is seen as mainly an object by the people around her – mainly her parents, saying that in marriage she will be as Paris’ fancy book cover where Paris is the pages inside (1.1.80-9). She is seen as being hid away and trapped within her room. She very rarely seems to go out of her conveniently balconied chamber. One of the times she does get to go out is her father’s party. She has just been told by her parents that she will most likely have to marry Paris, a man she knows nothing of and that she obviously does not choose for herself. In the freedom that her father’s party provides (everyone is masked and there is no difference between Capulets and Montagues), Romeo gives her attentions. And man is it fun! Juliet is freed for one night on the town and she’s going to make a bang out of it. No one has probably ever flirted with her before let alone wanted to kiss her! Why shouldn’t she enjoy herself? Taking Romeo’s love is something she can choose to do! Her heart is the one thing Mom and Dad can’t control. She makes the one free choice that she is allotted in her life and gives Romeo her heart and soul.

She later goes through a series of tortures. First she believes that Romeo is dead. Then that Romeo and Tybalt are both dead. Then that Romeo has killed Tybalt and Romeo is banished. Juliet is overcome by confusion. She keeps her faith in Romeo, believing that he is a good man. But then she can’t understand why Romeo would kill Tybalt. She must conclude that Tybalt tried to kill Romeo first. This is a comfort to her and she decides that she is upset because Romeo is banished.  While she is still grieving over the loss of Romeo, her parents trap her into a marriage with Paris.  This forces Juliet to be inconstant in her love and makes her feel as if she is being unfaithful toward Romeo who is her true husband.  Juliet has only one more person in her home that may help her – the Nurse.  The Nurse however, supports her parents wishes that she must marry Paris.  This leaves Juliet no other options but to take things into her own hands.  For her it is the lack of support and understanding from her family that leads her toward her death.

Mercutio – His name is related to the word “mercury.” Mercury is the planet closest to the sun which holds with Shakespeare’s use of celestial bodies in the play. The planet was named after the Greek/Roman god Hermes/Mercury. The god is related to delivering messages, communicating, traveling, and mercantilism. Mercutio is known for his wits and wordplay in communications, battling Romeo in a game of dirty jokes based on puns and euphemisms. There is hardly anything chaste nor dull that comes out of his mouth. Mercury is also an element which was once used as a treatment for syphilis, one of the STD’s most mentioned in Shakespeare as the French disease. This could also be related back to Mercutio’s dirty language. Mercutio seems to be the one youthful character who understands Romeo’s inconsistency in love for what it is. He calls Romeo out on his lament over Rosaline. Benvolio takes Romeo’s whining seriously and at face-value. When Romeo speaks romantically of dreams, Mercutio; however, tells Romeo how it is – that dreams are nothing but nonsense – that dreams are “more inconstant than the wind (1.4.100).” Mercutio’s name can come from “mercurial” or a person who is subject to unpredictable mood swings and inconstancy. Therefore Mercutio, unlike any of the other youthful characters is able see Romeo’s inconsistency in love and gives Romeo the most honest evaluation. He might even be classified as one of Shakespeare’s “wise fool” characters, seeming to have knowledge beyond his years, but he shows it through being a wit and joker. Only Juliet (the sun) is more enlightened about the true state of Romeo’s heart. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.

romeo_and_juliet_ver2_xlg

Romeo and Juliet. Film, 2013.

Tybalt – Where Romeo represents the youthful passion of love, Tybalt represents the youthful passion of violence and rage. He is the nephew of Capulet and Juliet’s cousin. His anger is somewhat exaggerated, nearing satirical as he will draw a weapon upon the smallest of provocation. He hears Romeo’s voice at the masked ball and is sent into a rage without even putting a face to his enemy. Capulet objects to his behavior, calling Tybalt a “goodman boy (1.5.78).” Being called a boy is belittling, but “goodman” is also an address used for any man beneath the rank of gentleman. Capulet allows Romeo and his friends to stay at the party. This insult given to Tybalt on Romeo’s behalf increases Tybalt’s rage and gives it a specific target – Romeo.

Montague – Romeo’s father. At Tybalt’s death he claims that Romeo should not be punished further because Romeo was doing the law’s job of doling out punishment for Tybalt murdering Mercutio. The Prince needs to do nothing more because at that point both sides are even. The problem here is that there is still no assurance that the killing will stop. The Prince explains this in the line, “Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill (3.1.196).” Leniency in this case will only lead to more killing later.  Montague suffers further with the death of Romeo and his wife at the end of the play.

Nurse – More of Juliet’s mother than her birth mother.  The Nurse’s own child died and so she was given the infant Juliet to nurse. It is unclear whether or not the nurse is sympathetic to Juliet’s relationship to Romeo or if she is as unable to understand the passionate love between the couple. In act two, scene five, she teases Juliet by withholding from her Romeo’s response to her marriage proposal. She could be ignorant as to how her behavior torments Juliet. Or she could be teasing Juliet on purpose. Nurse mentions in the previous scene that she upsets Juliet by telling her how good a man Paris is. Could she not be teasing Juliet the same way over Romeo?  The Nurse advises Juliet to marry Paris because the Nurse reasons that Romeo is not coming back.  Therefore how can Romeo be Juliet’s husband?  This leads Juliet to getting the Friar’s help in escaping her marriage to Paris.  It eventually leads to Juliet’s death.

Friar Laurence – A wise figure who acts in favor of the lovers.  He often advises Romeo to slow down and not be so hasty.  He wants Romeo to be thankful for what he has rather than lamenting his losses.  This advice however, is unsympathetic to Romeo’s passion. Though the Friar is a third-party helper and uninvolved in the larger family conflict, he still does not understand the couple’s young, passionate love. He chides Romeo for his changeability even though Romeo has decided to make a commitment of marriage. Laurence agrees to marry them not because he believes in their love, but because he hopes that their bond will help to end the conflict between the two houses.  In the same way, he provides Juliet with the sleeping potion not because he necessarily wants Romeo and Juliet to be together, but because he wants to prevent Juliet from killing herself in a hasty suicide.  The Friar’s plan to save the lovers would have worked if not for the accident that Friar John, who was carrying Laurence’s letter to Romeo, was detained from delivering the message because of an outbreak of plague.  Romeo, not receiving the knowledge that Juliet is just sleeping, runs off to her tomb with a cup of poison.  This accident follows Shakespeare’s comparison of short periods of time versus long periods of time.  An accident can happen in a mere second, while the effects of that accident can be deadly and permanent.

Paris – Romeo’s rival for Juliet’s hand and relation to Prince Escalus.  Juliet is his Rosaline.  Though Juliet rejects his love he is not a bad man.  He is concerned for her well-being after Tybalt’s death.  Up until the point of their marriage arrangement, Paris is very patient in his wooing and allows Juliet her own space.  He only agrees to the hasty marriage because Capulet claims that it will make Juliet happy once again.  We can also see Paris’ love for Juliet when he dies to defend her tomb from Romeo.

Source

Shakespeare, William.  “Romeo and Juliet.”  The Complete Works of Shakespeare.  Ed. David Bevington.  6th ed.  New York: Pearson/Longman, 2009.  Print.

Noah Czerny: Character Profiles in The Raven Cylcle (Part Three)

Note:  I’ve read the newest Raven Cycle novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater and have added my notes from this book to the character profiles I posted earlier.  Text in blue indicates that this content was derived from Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  The in text citations do not correspond to page numbers, but to locations used on my Kindle.  For some reason page numbers were not available on my eReader for this novel.  In addition, I’ve decided to give each character their own separate post.  This will hopefully make the posts shorter and easier to read.  It will also allow me to write about certain things in more depth without having to worry about going on for too long.  The fact that I don’t have as many length restraints means that there might also be new things to read in the black and green colored texts.   WARNING: Some of the spoilers at the bottom I’ve gotten rid of because they were somewhat irrelevant anyway.  However, the rest of the spoilers I’ve added back into the main text, so read with caution.

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Blue Text = Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Noah Czerny

Mustang-CopBlockAppearance/Traits/Quirks: Noah is gray, rumpled and faded.  He is very observant and good at finding things.  He is quiet, mild, content, loyal, and easy-going.  He is good at producing unexpected humor.  His hands are restless and moving.

He loves the gelato parlor, for some reason even though he can’t eat anything (687).

Transportation: Red Mustang

Tarot Card: N/A

Death: Noah is a ghost.  He was murdered seven years ago by who he thought to be his best friend, Barrington Whelk.  Whelk wanted to use Noah as a sacrifice to the ley line in order to wake the line.  At the same time Noah died, Gansey was also dying from hornet stings.  The line took Noah’s life in order for Gansey to live.  Noah is a shadow of what he used to be while alive.  Noah shows us that death is what we make of it because even though he is a ghost, to his friends he is not truly dead.  To Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Blue, Noah won’t be dead until his ghost disappears forever.

Noah discovered Ronan when Ronan was dying.

Noah declares that he is tired of decaying, but it seems like no one is sure what to do about it. Noah doesn’t want to be alive again because he doesn’t remember who he was while living, but he also doesn’t want to be really dead because that means leaving his friends.

Privilege:  He was once a student at Aglionby Academy, but now privilege doesn’t apply to him.

Family:  He has a mother, a father, and a sister.  His real family has become the friends who can see his spirit.

Beliefs/Dreams:  Even though he wasn’t religious while he was alive, he starts going to mass with Ronan (89).

Nature/Ley Line: Noah is related to nature by the fact that his body is literally in the earthNoah starts fading away and the friends decide that it is because his remains have been moved to a cemetery away from the ley line.  They move his body back to the ley line and Noah comes back.

Noah disappears entirely just like Cabeswater disappears.  He’s not even an invisible spirit.  His presence also depends on how much energy is flowing through the ley line.  Noah often re-enacts his own death without knowing it.  He doesn’t care about how his spiritual form exists or why.

Noah claims that he didn’t hear the voice speaking about Glendower that Gansey heard while Gansey was dying. This could very well mean that Gansey was hallucinating. Noah tries to reassure Gansey by explaining that Noah thinks that the ley line knew Gansey would be able to help wake it when Noah couldn’t. That’s why the ley line let Gansey live.  

Glendower: Noah is just along for the ride.  He is looking for Glendower because his friends are looking for Glendower and he wants to spend time with them.

Relationships with Others:  Noah seems to spend the most time with Ronan.  It seems that he enjoys observing Ronan’s activities and perhaps tries to live vicariously through Ronan.  The two of them are always experimenting with new stunts together.  Noah has a fascination with Blue’s hair and is always petting her head.  It is the other characters that make Noah what he is.

Without Blue there to make him stronger, without Gansey there to make him human, without Ronan there to make him belong, Noah was a frightening thing (371).

He tells Blue that he would ask her on a date if he were still alive.  Along with Ronan, it seems that Blue has also become one person that Noah enjoys spending most of his time with.  Their relationship is also stronger because Blue increases the energy that Noah’s spirit needs to remain visible.  He’s closer to being a real person with Blue than with anyone else.

Sources

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  New York: Scholastic, 2014. 

Adam Parrish: Character Profiles in The Raven Cycle (Part Three)

Note:  I’ve read the newest Raven Cycle novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater and have added my notes from this book to the character profiles I posted earlier.  Text in blue indicates that this content was derived from Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  The in text citations do not correspond to page numbers, but to locations used on my Kindle.  For some reason page numbers were not available on my eReader for this novel.  In addition, I’ve decided to give each character their own separate post.  This will hopefully make the posts shorter and easier to read.  It will also allow me to write about certain things in more depth without having to worry about going on for too long.  The fact that I don’t have as many length restraints means that there might also be new things to read in the black and green colored texts.   WARNING: Some of the spoilers at the bottom I’ve gotten rid of because they were somewhat irrelevant anyway.  However, the rest of the spoilers I’ve added back into the main text, so read with caution.

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Blue Text = Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Adam Parrish

4436260001_largeAppearance/Traits/Quirks: Adam is self-conscious about his appearance.  He wears a second-hand Aglionby uniform.  He is fine boned with blue eyes.  He looks fragile and has hair the color of dirt.  He is at the top of his class at Aglionby.  Adam is cynical and hard-working.  He is proud and a dreamer.  Adam enjoys fixing cars and works at an automotive mechanic’s shop along with two other jobs.

He has prominent cheek bones and deep-set eyes (8).  Adam feels self-pity and he has lost hearing in his left ear – an injury obtained because of his father’s anger.

The backs of Adam’s hands are chapped and he occasionally rubs them. Adam begins to see his self-worthiness. He has to make the decision to accept or decline Gansey’s help in the trial against his father.

Was it okay? Adam had turned down so many offers of help from Gansey. Money for school, money for food, money for rent. Pity and charity, Adam had thought. For so long, he’d wanted Gansey to see him as an equal, but it was possible that all this time, the only person who needed to see that was Adam.

Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth (3383).

Transportation: bicycle.  He gets a tri-colored, junky car from Helen, Gansey’s sister.  Ronan names Adam’s car the Hondayota.

Tarot Card: The Magician – This card represents someone who does what needs to be done and carries out a plan.  The magician is totally committed to a cause.  He has the power to draw on a variety of forces and use them in creative ways.  He is magic because his achievements seem to be miracles (Bunning, 112-3).

Death: In the hollow tree inside Cabeswater, Adam has a vision of himself causing Gansey’s death.  This is part of what prompts him to make his sacrifice to the ley line.  I think he sees his sacrifice as preventing his vision from coming true.

Adam sees death as something that makes everyone equal.  “Only death couldn’t be swiped away by a credit card” (65).  Adam starts to see ghosts.  The spirits are messages the ley line is trying to send him, but he doesn’t understand what they are telling him.  He has to learn how to communicate with the ley line.

Adam finds out from Blue that Gansey is going to die even though Adam made his sacrifice.

Privilege: Adam is part of the lower-class and lives in a trailer.  He has to work three jobs in order to afford to pay tuition at Aglionby.  He fears that Gansey will in a way own him if Adam accepts Gansey’s charity.  This is a problem because, “success meant nothing to Adam if he hadn’t done it for himself” (132).  Privilege is something Adam has to earn on his own.  Adam experiences a fierce wanting for everything in his life (41).

JT_RockPileAdam is convinced that it is Gansey who is responsible for lowering his rent at his new apartment at St.Agnes Church (64).  This causes more arguments between him and Gansey.  Adam is also convinced that the people at Gansey’s party will somehow know that he lives in a trailer – that his poverty is something people just know because of how he acts or looks.  Adam states that he will only help Gansey in the search for Glendower if they can help each other as equals (282).

He believes that his grades have to be perfect in order to make up for the fact that his poverty excludes him from being a true raven boy at Aglionby (907). Adam definitely has a change of heart about his pride. He relates this to growing up and becoming wiser. He states, “It seemed like a silly bit of principle now, completely divorced from the point of anything. He wondered if he was going to go through each year of his life thinking about how stupid he’d been the year before” (3326).

Family: Adam’s father is an alcoholic and sometimes beats Adam.  They are a proud family in the way that what happens in their family stays in their family.  Adam and his mother don’t want to talk about the behavior of their father/husband.  Adam’s family is also a part of his strong wanting.  Adam desires to find a place where he belongs.

He was full of so many wants, too many to prioritize, and so they all felt desperate.  To not have to work so many hours, to get into a good college, to look right in a tie, to not be hungry after eating the thin sandwich he’d brought to work, to drive the shiny Audi that Gansey had stopped to look at with him once after school, to go home, to have hit his father himself, to own an apartment with granite counter tops and a television bigger than Gansey’s desk, to belong somewhere, to go home, to go home, to go home” (370).

Like the other boys, Adam faces the challenge of not becoming like his father.  This is more difficult for Adam than it is for Gansey and Ronan.  Adam has previously described himself as having Stockholm Syndrome, which means that he empathized with his father even though his father’s beating Adam was horribly wrong.  First Adam must learn to stop blaming himself for being beaten before he can free himself from the way of life that his father has taught him.  He has struggles to control his anger and has to remind himself not to fight with Blue and Gansey (66-7).

Adam has to face his father in court. Also, Adam grew up believing that what happens in your family is private. Therefore he respects the privacy of his friends’ family business (1497).  He doesn’t pry and this might be why Ronan feels more inclined to reveal his family secrets to Adam rather than anyone else.

Beliefs/Dreams:  It is hard for Adam to believe in the supernatural.  He has too many worries about the reality he is living to think too much about magical possibilities.  Sometimes he feels that he is sleepwalking in the life he lives with Gansey.

His work with the ley line has made Adam much more understanding of the supernatural. He has to listen to Cabeswater and communicate with it; doing so requires that he put his doubts aside. His experiences in communicating with tarot cards and scrying in order to fix the ley line has increased his confidence in the supernatural. This has made him more like Gansey.

img-thingNature/Ley Line:  Adam sees images of nature when Gansey tells other people about Glendower.  He sacrifices his hands and eyes to the ley line in order to wake it up or bring its energy to full power.  With all the new energy, it is supposed to be much easier to map the ley line and find Glendower’s tomb.  When Adam wakes the line there is an earthquake.  Adam also believes that waking the ley line will somehow make him equal to Gansey.

The ley line is messing with Adam’s senses, trying to send him a message.  He has an episode of what is called transient global amnesia (306).  He walks somewhere and he can’t remember why he’s going there or for what purpose.  He is aware that he can’t remember, but yet he can’t stop walking.  He now has the ability to detect the location of the ley line without using any electronic devices.  He learns with the help of Persephone that, because he gave his service and part of his free will to the ley line, it is now his job to maintain the line.  His task is compared to what a priestess might have done at Stonehenge – taking care of the ley line through rituals.  The earthquake that occurred after his sacrifice caused energy leaks along the ley line.  This has created power surges and drainages of energy along the line, which have been increased by Ronan and Kavinsky’s dreaming.  It is Adam’s job to find and fix the leaks so that Cabeswater will have enough energy to return.  He also has to restore the ley line in time for Ronan to be able to save Matthew.  Persephone teaches Adam how to communicate with the ley line by using tarot cards and scrying.

The bargain Adam has made with the ley line protects him from danger. The ley line needs Adam to take care of it, so the ley line takes care of Adam. This is useful to the friends because Adam can enter an unknown area in Cabeswater first, explore it, and come back unharmed. Adam’s bargain also allows him to work alongside Ronan’s dreams. Adam can ask Cabeswater to do certain things for Ronan while he is dreaming. Adam discovers that there are more areas like Cabeswater and wonders what would happen if they were all connected (3535). He also likes to think that he was one of the three sleepers that were predicted to rest on the ley line (4370). I think this has to do with the fact that his new discoveries about himself – his new self-confidence, and his new belief in the supernatural – have been like an awakening to him.

Glendower: Adam wants to find Glendower in order to be granted the favor from the king.  He hopes the favor will help him obtain some of his many wants.

He sees finding Glendower as a part of growing up.

Eyes forward, Adam. Soon it would be behind him. Soon this school year, too, would be behind him. Soon they would find Glendower, soon they would all be kings. Soon, soon (1180).

Now that Adam no longer lives with his father and can see new worth in himself, he no longer feels like he needs the favor from Glendower. Instead, he wants to ask Glendower for Gansey’s life.

stream

Relationships with Others: Like Blue, Adam realizes that there are multiple versions of Gansey.  Adam thinks that Gansey should get out of Ronan’s business and let Ronan make his own decisions.  Gansey and Adam have a relationship in which Adam is trying to get away from Gansey and Gansey is always trying to draw nearer because he fears that Adam will leave him.  Adam is also bitter and envious of Ronan.  He’s envious of Ronan’s privilege and bitter because Ronan seems to be wasting it.

Adam is still attracted to Blue.  He says, “Blue Sargent was pretty in a way that was physically painful to him” (58).  We learn more about the history of the boys’ friendships.  Gansey met Ronan first before Ronan’s father died.  After the death of Niall, Ronan moved in with Gansey.  Sometime after that Adam stopped to help Gansey with the Camaro which had broken down on the side of the road.  Adam thought Gansey would be cruel to him and didn’t want to help at first, however, they became instant friends after they started talking.  Adam believes that Ronan is unable to express emotions with words so Ronan uses actions to express himself – like kicking things, driving too fast, or occasionally doing kind things for other people.  The sacrifice Adam made to the ley line sets him apart from his friends.  They will never be able to understand Adam’s new connection to the ley line.

Adam describes himself as lonesome, but not alone. His connection to Cabeswater sets him apart from the others in a way his friends can’t understand, but yet he now knows that his friends will always be there for him.

There a few more things I can say regarding equality between the friends’ relationships.   Throughout much of the story Adam and Gansey have been on an uneven footing due to their differences in privilege. However, Adam is slowly starting to see Gansey as his equal. The fear Gansey shows inside of Cabeswater’s cave has a humanizing effect on Gansey. Gansey’s experiences with hornets in a way comes to equal Adam’s experiences with his father (357).

Adam also sees Gansey as more of an equal because Adam is surer of himself. His confidence is due in part to Ronan’s affections or his perception of Ronan’s affections. The two of them have a very subtle relationship. Are they just closer friends or is some other attraction between them? Are Ronan’s attentions towards Adam because he needs his friend’s help for revenge or because he likes to spend time with him? Does Adam care for Ronan in the same way, or does he just like the idea that Ronan might care for him and so imagines that there is more to Ronan’s actions than just friendship?  There a few things about Adam’s actions towards Ronan that stand out to me.  First of all, Adam seems to accept payment from Ronan without complaint, but does not accept the same thing from Gansey.  Adam thought that Gansey had lowered his rent and so got in a fight with Gansey.  However, it was actually Ronan who helped him.  When Adam made this discovery, there was nothing more than an acknowledgment made between them.  It also seems that when Adam gets angry with Ronan it is because Adam desires Ronan to be able to express his true emotions without having to destroy something.  Adam must feel like they have an intimate enough relationship that Ronan should share his inner self, and when Ronan doesn’t, Adam feels cheated.

 

maj01

Sources

Bunning, Joan.  Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners.  San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1998.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  New York: Scholastic, 2014. 

Ronan Lynch: Character Profiles in The Raven Cycle (Part Three)

Note:  I’ve read the newest Raven Cycle novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater and have added my notes from this book to the character profiles I posted earlier.  Text in blue indicates that this content was derived from Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  The in text citations do not correspond to page numbers, but to locations used on my Kindle.  For some reason page numbers were not available on my eReader for this novel.  In addition, I’ve decided to give each character their own separate post.  This will hopefully make the posts shorter and easier to read.  It will also allow me to write about certain things in more depth without having to worry about going on for too long.  The fact that I don’t have as many length restraints means that there might also be new things to read in the black and green colored texts.   WARNING: Some of the spoilers at the bottom I’ve gotten rid of because they were somewhat irrelevant anyway.  However, the rest of the spoilers I’ve added back into the main text, so read with caution.

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Blue Text = Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Ronan Lynch (Greywaren)

black-bmw-110-wallpaper-hd-wallpaper-and-download-free-wallpaper-72gke6b6Appearance/Traits/Quirks:  Ronan has a sharp nose, thin mouth, blue eyes, and buzzed hair.  He has a tattoo on his back and neck.  He’s described as handsome.  He is of Irish origin.  Ronan likes to make other people feel uncomfortable by creating awkward silences and by staring at people for too long.  Ronan also tends to be insincere when he knows that everyone else is being serious.  He tells the blunt truth even if you don’t want to hear it.  Ronan is true to his word.  If he says he will do something, then he will do it.  He acts like he despises everyone.  He likes Latin, loud music, boxing, and swearing.  Ronan is a dare-devil and enjoys doing stunts and drag racing.  He is very nurturing toward animals and his pet raven, Chainsaw which he brought back from a dream.

He chews on his leather wrist bands.  Ronan despises cell phones and suffers from insomnia.  However, unlike Gansey who can’t sleep because his mind is busy with Glendower, Ronan doesn’t sleep in order to avoid his dreams.  Ronan and Gansey have a lot of midnight gatherings with one another.

Like Gansey, Ronan puts on a mask, but it is a mask of insolence. He pretends to be a bad boy and in a way that makes him a liar. This is contrary to what Ronan claims and is proud of – that he always tells the truth. Adam observes Ronan, “Returning to his desk, he threw his feet up on it. This was forbidden, of course. He crossed his arms, tilted his chin back, closed his eyes. Instant insolence. This was the version of himself he prepared for Aglionby, for his older brother, Declan, and sometimes, for Gansey. Ronan was always saying that he never lied, but he wore a liar’s face” (924-7).

‘In my experience,’ the Gray Man said, ‘the badasses are the most scared’ (3106).

I must also mention the Murder Squash song, something that went viral on the Internet which Ronan and Noah love. Everyone else hates it, so Ronan uses it often when he wants to annoy someone. (Squash one, squash two, squash three…)

Transportation:  A black BMW which belonged to his father.  The vehicle is actual something that his father dreamt (both Ronan and his father have the ability to bring objects from their dreams into reality).  Ronan takes the car after his father’s death.

Tarot Card:  N/A  Ronan tries to stay away from tarot cards as much as he can because he sees Blue’s family as being involved in the occult or black magic.  He opposed tarot readings due to his Catholic background.

Death: His father, Niall Lynch, was murdered and Ronan found the body in the driveway.  Ronan had a near death experience in which he almost bled out.  Noah found his body and Gansey assumed the incident was attempted suicide.

The Orphan Girl from Ronan’s dreams tells him that she is a psychopomp (127).  A psychopomp is a creature or spiritual being which guides the souls of the  deceased from earth to the after life.  In some cultures, a raven is also a psychopomp.  The Orphan Girl is maybe a dream personification of Chainsaw (?).  We learn that Ronan’s near death was not suicide, but his wounds were a result of being attacked by his night terrors in a dream.  Upon waking, Ronan brought the injuries with him into reality.  He let Gansey believe it was suicide because he doesn’t want to tell anyone about his abilities. When Ronan starts dreaming with Kavinsky (another Aglionby student who can also makes dream objects reality), Kavinsky gives him a little green pill for which, “dying is a boring side effect” (312).  The pill throws them into sleep. 

tumblr_static_cowPrivilege:  Ronan’s money comes to him from the fact that his father died and Ronan was given money in his father’s will.  This maybe is the reason for Ronan’s bitterness towards his privilege.  He hates the stereotype of being condescending and self-centered that Blue assigns to him. The world expects him to be a certain way because he is rich, but Ronan refuses to meet these expectations.  However, he still doesn’t know what he wants for himself.  He tells Gansey, “I don’t know what I want.  I don’t know what the hell I am” (75).  The only way that Ronan meets the stereotype of being a privileged individual is in his love for the Latin language.  Latin is not a language that’s used for any practical function, so learning it fluently is something that someone with time and money might do.  Like Gansey has the leisure time to search for Glendower, Ronan has the time to learn Latin.  Latin in a way also represents the privileged education that Ronan is receiving at Aglionby.

We learn that Ronan has actually inherited 3 million dollars from his father along with their family property.  However, he cannot access it until he is 18.  If Ronan ever returns to his home, the money will be forfeit (34).  Returning home also includes never seeing his mother again.  Unlike Gansey’s family home which is rich in an untouchable and an intimidating way, Ronan’s family home is what he calls “shabby rich” (155).  Ronan’s family is rich not because they own shiny, breakable things, but because they can afford to buy every warm and comfortable thing you could imagine.  Instead of Gansey this time, Ronan secretly helps Adam with Adam’s rent.  This seems like part of a turning point for Ronan.  It perhaps means that he is becoming more comfortable with who he is and who his privilege has made him.  Instead of being stuck in confusion about his identity, he is now acting on it and maybe using Gansey as a guide for the person he wants to be.  Church is the one place where Ronan actually feels privileged to hate himself for the sins he’s committed. 

Ronan gave in to the brief privilege of hating himself, as he always did in church.  There was something satisfying about acknowledging this hatred, something relieving about this little present he allowed himself each Sunday (91). 

Family: Ronan is the middle of three sons.  He has an older brother, Declan, and a younger brother, Matthew.  Declan controls Ronan’s funds until Ronan turns 18.  Ronan hates Declan.  Their mother stopped speaking after the death of their father.

Ronan’s family has lots of secrets.  Niall had a mysterious job for which he spent a lot of time traveling.  Like Ronan, Niall could bring objects into reality from his dreams.  Like Gansey shares his father’s name, being able to create dream objects gives Ronan the curse of being just like his father.  We learn that Ronan’s family farm is called The Barns because all of the many barns on their property.  Ronan feels guilt at not discovering his father’s body in time to save his father (91).  He realizes that Gansey is more of a brother to him than his real brothers (154).  Declan is incapable of telling anyone the truth and Matthew is slow of mind, but everyone’s sweetheart including Ronan’s.  His mother is also one of his father’s dream objects.  When a dreamer dies, any living thing they’ve brought into reality is sent into a sleeping stasis.  “Non mortem, somni fratrem” (146).  Not death, but his brother sleep.  Sounds like Glendower.  Therefore Ronan’s mother along with all the animals at The Barns are living in a type of fairy tale.  Like Glendower, they are in a state of sleep.  In order to wake up, Ronan’s mother must go back inside of a dream.  Or in other words, Ronan must take her into Cabeswater.

When Ronan was three years old, he dreamt Matthew and didn’t know it (1905). Declan gave him this information which has sent Ronan on one of his own quests – to wake the sleeping animals at The Barns without having to take them into Cabeswater. He is worried that if something happens to him, Matthew will be sent into the sleeping stasis and won’t be able to live a normal life outside of Cabeswater.  He wants to be able to protect Matthew.  Since Matthew was created out of Ronan’s child-mind, Matthew is a representation of everything Ronan was as a child before his father was murdered – sweet, gentle, and innocent.  If anything ever happened to Matthew, Ronan perhaps would lose that part of him forever.

mouse close up isolated on white

Beliefs/Dreams:  We learn that Chainsaw the raven is something that Ronan took out of his dreams.

Ronan is what is called the Greywaren.  It’s a title that Cabeswater gives him.  There are many people who can steal objects out of their dreams, but only Ronan can speak the language of dreams.  When Ronan dreams he enters Cabeswater where the Orphan Girl helps him take dream objects into reality.  The Orphan Girl wants Ronan to take her out of the dreams, but he doesn’t.  Some other dream objects include: keys to The Pig, a remote control air plane that runs without batteries, blue lilies, the translating puzzle box, and his night terrors which are creatures that I imagine to be part raven, part man, part demon.  He has repeated dreams about driving to The Barns and multiple nightmares about bad things happening to Matthew.  Some other dreams include Gansey being attacked by hornets and Adam being overcome by a mask.  The dream about Adam can symbolize how Adam feels about sacrificing himself to the ley line or Adam’s relationship with himself in general.  A mask belonging to Ronan’s father gets stuck on Adam’s face.  The mask becomes his face.  Adam tries to pull it off, but he can’t.  Only Ronan can pull it off for him.  The mask is described as being a prison only to Adam (129).  Therefore I determined that perhaps the mask represents Cabeswater or represents the lack of self-worth that burdens Adam (It would be interesting to think about how this dream might contribute to Ronan and Adam’s new closer relationship in Blue Lily, Lily Blue).  The dream beasts that Kavinsky and Ronan summon to fight each other reflect the characters’ self-hatred.  Ronan describes Kavinsky’s beast, “He could feel how it hated him.  How it hated Kavinsky, too.  How it hated the world” (412).  The beasts come infused with the feelings and desires of their makers.  When Ronan creates his own night terror to fight Kavinsky’s, the creature is now white instead of black – a significant change in color.  The Orphan Girl asks, “‘Why do you hate you?'” Ronan responds in the dream after much thought, “‘I don’t'” (417).  With this knowledge, Ronan is able to protect what he loves (Matthew) from Kavinsky (which is also symbolic considering what I wrote about Matthew earlier under “Family”).

Ronan is Catholic and believes in heaven and hell.  He believes that he once saw the devil talking to his father inside of a barn.

Nature/Ley Line:  Chainsaw reveals to us what Ronan might have been like before Niall died.

Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare (304).

Ronan can speak in Latin to the trees of Cabeswater.

Taking things from his dreams is like the power nature has to produce new life.  Again we see Ronan’s true heart through the respect and love he has for animals.  We find out that creating dream objects sucks the energy out of the ley line.  Ronan’s and Kavinsky’s dreaming has been adding to the erratic behavior of the ley line with bursts of energy followed by no energy at all.  Their dreaming contributed to Cabeswater disappearing.

We learn that it was the death of Ronan’s father, which caused the sudden appearance of Cabeswater. The fact that Niall was dreaming so often had made the forest disappear, but after Niall’s death, Cabeswater had enough energy to return (1825).  Niall’s death made it possible for Gansey to find Cabeswater.

Arkansas_Red_Barn_HDRGlendower:  Ronan wants to find Glendower because Gansey wants to find Glendower (21).  Ronan imagines that finding Glendower will be like dying in the sense that it will be similar to finally seeing God.

Relationships with Others:  It seems that Ronan enjoys spending time with Noah more than any other character does.  Ronan seems to be the only person who went through a grieving process for Noah after they find out that Noah had been murdered (285).

Ronan sees that Gansey is pretending that Adam did not disobey him by waking the ley line.  Gansey is just ignoring the fact that he’s mad at Adam because Adam decided to go his own way, stepping further away from Gansey.  Ronan also notices that Gansey is attracted to Blue when Gansey himself doesn’t know it yet (141).  Ronan loves when Gansey acts like a normal boy – Gansey’s opposite extreme from the formal and polite mask which Gansey wears.  His relationship with Gansey is a reminder of what Ronan wants to be.  He’s concerned about what Gansey may think about his actions.  Destroying The Pig is like destroying Gansey.  Ronan thinks that Adam doesn’t feel right if Adam’s life isn’t agony (71).  Ronan is disgusted by Blue’s clothes.

Ronan is not so much of a jerk actually.  He even might be a little bit in love with Adam. He is always doing nice things for Adam and giving him small gifts, which are surprisingly thoughtful.  He asks for Adam’s help in avenging his father and in finding a solution for waking up The Barns.  After Adam discovers that Persephone is dead, Gansey goes to find Blue, and Ronan goes to sit with Adam.

We also see Ronan’s softer side when he admits to dreaming up EpiPens and hiding them all over his and Gansey’s apartment just in case Gansey might get stung by a bee. Ronan has new respect for Blue as well. He calls her Sargent, her last name, as if she were a boy from Aglionby – an equal (4207).

Both his new treatment of Blue and Adam act as further equalizers in the friends’ relationships.  Ronan places more worth on Blue which makes her more of a part of their group which had existed for some time before she came along.  In addition, the secretive and ambiguous nature of Ronan and Adam’s relationship somehow makes Gansey and Blue’s secret relationship okay.  Neither Adam nor Ronan will feel that Gansey and Blue are playing favorites as long as they have each other as well.

 

Sources

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  New York: Scholastic, 2014. 

Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III: Character Profiles in The Raven Cycle (Part Three)

Note:  I’ve read the newest Raven Cycle novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater and have added my notes from this book to the character profiles I posted earlier.  Text in blue indicates that this content was derived from Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  The in text citations do not correspond to page numbers, but to locations used on my Kindle.  For some reason page numbers were not available on my eReader for this novel.  In addition, I’ve decided to give each character their own separate post.  This will hopefully make the posts shorter and easier to read.  It will also allow me to write about certain things in more depth without having to worry about going on for too long.  The fact that I don’t have as many length restraints means that there might also be new things to read in the black and green colored texts.   WARNING: Some of the spoilers at the bottom I’ve gotten rid of because they were somewhat irrelevant anyway.  However, the rest of the spoilers I’ve added back into the main text, so read with caution.

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Blue Text = Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III

1973camaroAppearance/Traits/Quirks:  Gansey is clean and well dressed.  He wears very expensive clothes with ease and his school uniform looks perfect.  He is tan with tousled brown hair and hazel eyes.  He wears glasses when he doesn’t have his contacts in.  He is a leader and a control freak.  He is oblivious to how other people feel about his money and his attitude, but is trying to pay more attention to the reactions of others.  People say he is much older than he looks – an old soul or both young and old at the same time.  Gansey has made scholarship into an art form.  He smells like mint because of all the mint leaves that he chews.  He also unconsciously rubs his bottom lip with his thumb.   He suffers from insomnia possibly because his mind is always busy with his obsession with Glendower.  Gansey is a member of the Aglionby rowing crew.

Gansey is persuasive (36).  We see more of his masks and this could be related to the fact that he has grown up in a family with politicians.  Gansey is very good at appealing to whomever he meets.  In order to do this, he puts on the mask that will most suit the individual with whom he is speaking.  He quits the rowing crew to devote more time to Glendower. 

Gansey is all about his outward self either masking or revealing his inner self. The day after his fight with Blue he wears “a brown sweater that looked exactly on the outside like Gansey felt on the inside” (2366).  We now learn more about whom Gansey was before he came to Henrietta.  Dr. Malory describes the Gansey that he knew in England as mercurial or having temperamental, changing moods. While in England, Gansey had more nightmares and anxiety attacks because of his near death experience with hornets. His use of masks therefore can also be attributed to wanting to hide his distress from other people (2764).  “The old floor by the door was buckled by the weight of tradition and required a hefty, familiar shove to close it; Gansey did it without thinking” (3281). This shows Gansey’s fight against becoming the stereotypical privileged person who has been a part of Aglionby’s long history. We also see Gansey as being a king himself more than we having in the other novels. He becomes concerned with the ethics and methods of leading other people and asks some questions including: Do the risks of danger to my friends outweigh the results of my quest? And: Do I want to lead by demanding things or requesting things of others? Glendower is a model on which he bases his own kingliness. The fact that he is a king is also reinforced by people’s willingness to follow him – Ronan for example seems to regard Gansey’s orders even when Gansey is not around. It also takes Gansey’s command to wake the animals in Dittley’s cave (4071).

Transportation: A classic 1973 orange Camaro with two black stripes down the middle.  Gansey calls it The Pig.  The car is constantly breaking down.  The Pig is similar to Glendower in the way that it is always dying and then being revived again.   Ronan wrecks Gansey’s car and brings back an identical version of The Pig which Ronan has taken from his dreams.  The friends find a tire from The Pig in a man-made pond, but the tire is several hundred years old.

A car is a wrapper for its contents, he thought, and if he looked on the inside like any of the cars in this [his rich father’s] garage looked on the outside, he couldn’t live with himself.  On the outside, he knew he looked a lot like his father.  On the inside, he sort of wished he looked more like the Camaro (295).

13-DeathTarot Card: Death – This card can represent someone in a state of change or transition.  They are closing one door and opening another.  They are going into the unknown from something familiar and shedding old attitudes.  Not very often is this card actually interpreted as literal death.  Like for Glendower, death is not permanent, but simply heralds a new type of life.  However, the death card can mean that you are faced with a challenge that is inevitable (Bunning, 136-7).

Death: First of all, we know that Gansey will die because Blue saw his spirit on St.Mark’s Day.  In regards to Glendower, Gansey sees death as something that is not permanent.  He believes that Glendower is similar to King Arthur and will someday come back to life or wake up (45).  According to Gansey, it is the fact that Glendower is buried on the ley line which keeps him from being entirely dead (215).  We also know that Gansey has died once already.  He is deathly allergic to bees.  When he was 10 years old, a swarm of hornets attacked him.  While he was dying he had a vision concerning Glendower – a message from the ley line.  We learn that Gansey was brought back to life in exchange for Noah’s life which was given as a sacrifice to the ley line.  This near death experience makes Gansey like Glendower who has died and will come back to life.  His experiences can also explain his concern for Ronan who he believes has attempted suicide.  Gansey has to remind himself that, “death isn’t as close as you think” (111).  He sees death as possibility – it is a look at what may happen.  This fascinates him and Ronan finds him staring at a bee in their apartment.  His second chance at life makes it more important that he do something meaningful like finding Glendower.

Gansey is frozen by fear in Cabeswater’s cave when he believes there are hornets swarming at the bottom of a giant hole. This seems very un-Gansey like. He is showing rather raw vulnerability. His masks are gone and revealing a very unsettled Gansey that has so far been hidden. The fact that he was able to hide his fear of death for so long makes seeing it even more alarming.  The thought of Glendower sleeping rather than being dead now also seems unsettling to Gansey when before it didn’t bother him. “This inspired a shivery, unpleasant thought, of imagining you were being sent to sleep and instead being sent off to a trusting, accidental death” (1556).   For Gansey, death is not that far off.

Privilege: He was born into a family of millionaires. Gansey feels the need to take care of his friends’ financial burdens because he has the means to do so.  He is somewhat careless with material objects because he knows he can just go buy a new one.  Gansey believes that he owes it to the world to discover Glendower again because he has the time and the money to do research while others do not (24).  He does not always realize that while he sees giving away his money to people as kindness and love, others see it as condescending and insulting.  However, he becomes more aware of other people’s perspectives on his privilege after meeting Blue who is always angry with him for throwing around his money.  Gansey starts to worry that all people will see of him is his money.  He states, “I am only my money.  It is all that anyone sees, even Adam” (133).

Gansey begins to relate privilege to not only being rich in money, but rich in love.  He compares himself and Blue; who have had loving families, to Adam who has had to experience domestic abuse (362).  Gansey starts to see that he has been blessed in more ways than one.  He no longer tries to give Adam or Blue money.

In this novel, Gansey is bothered with the fact that he will not be able to know how many of his achievements occur because of his money and status or because he is talented and brave (1756). He gets to a point in his quest in which he is close enough to finding Glendower to realize that no one is worthy of discovering Glendower. The glory and magic he is looking for is bigger than anyone. He asks, “What are we doing? We of all people?” (2469)  Gansey is growing up and seeing more of the reality of his quest.

Duca_(corona)

Family:  His father is a congressman and his family lives in a mansion in Washington D.C.  He has a sister named Helen whom he gets along with.  They are equals through the fact that they both have the problem of sharing the same parents.  Gansey shares his father’s name and he hates it.  This is why he won’t allow anyone to call him Richard or Dick.  Gansey fears becoming like his father who doesn’t think twice about the fact that he’s a millionaire.  Visiting home causes him to compare himself to his family and he feels the weight of everything he hasn’t yet achieved.  His family reminds him that he is becoming more like the masks that he puts on rather than his true self.  His real family is his friends and anyone who is helping him to find Glendower.

His mother is also running for congress which means that Gansey has to appear a certain way so that his mother can appear a certain way to the public.  More masks.

Beliefs/Dreams: Gansey believes that in to make new discoveries, you must believe in what you are looking for.  He does not believe in coincidence.  Everything happens for a reason or it happens as a result of cause and effect.  Inside the hollow tree in Cabeswater, Gansey sees a vision of what Glendower will look like when/if they find him (289).

He believes that finding one impossible thing makes it easier to find more impossible things (187).

Gansey seems to be losing control and confidence. In these two areas, it appears that he has switched places with Adam. Like Adam was at the beginning of the series, Gansey is losing faith in Glendower or the power of the supernatural. As I mentioned earlier, he is becoming unsettled. “ ‘Everyone says, Just find Glendower,’ Gansey said suddenly, ‘but all around me the cave walls are crumbling’” (1142). He feels that he has been stuck on finding something so immense and beautiful that he has lost interest and appreciation for making small discoveries. He is seeing what lies within reality and is disappointed with it.  Adam and Gansey are talking about Dr. Malory. Gansey states:

‘He’s all starry-eyed over it.’

‘You were once,’ Adam reminded him. They both had been. How ungrateful they’d become, how greedy for better wonders (1145-8).

Nature/Ley Line:  Gansey is connected to nature by the fact that his near death experience was caused by an insect.

Gansey is disturbed by Cabeswater’s disappearance.

Glendower:  His obsession with Glendower is a painful longing.  He has documented his entire search inside of a journal which has become part of his being.  He has put so much love and work into the journal that he feels incomplete without it.  Glendower is the one thing that Gansey wants that does not come with a price tag.  He wants to find Glendower in order to prove that he is more than just his money.  His search is also the result of the fact that his privilege gives him the leisure time and means for the quest. 

Since Noah died for him, Gansey decides he wants to use Glendower’s favor to bring Noah back to life. The other big doubt in Gansey’s mind is the thought of what will happen to him after he finds Glendower.  Gansey talks to Noah about it. “Because it was Noah and no one else, Gansey could admit, ‘I don’t know what I’ll do if I find him, Noah. I don’t know what I’ll be if I’m not looking for him. I don’t know the first thing about how to be that person again” (1594). It’s okay to tell Noah this because unlike the others, Gansey’s doubts won’t be a betrayal of the efforts everyone has put into the search. It’s a betrayal because it was Gansey who asked them to follow him.

Gansey is also obsessed with Glendower because he feels like he needs to prove that what he heard when he was dying was not just an hallucination. This raises the question of what it would mean if it were an hallucination.

Wasp-or-hornetRelationships with Others: Gansey sees Ronan as trouble.  He is afraid that Ronan will learn to be nothing.  Gansey wants to find the Ronan that he was friends with before Ronan’s father died.  He believes that Adam works too hard and is concerned for Adam’s health.  It’s hard for Gansey to see Adam with injuries that Gansey knows Adam’s father gave him.  However, Gansey cannot offer Adam help without Adam feeling like Gansey is being condescending.  Gansey thinks that Adam is a genius who is too busy feeling sorry for himself.  He wants Adam to realize how great and fantastic Adam really is.  Gansey thinks Blue is evil, but yet he still wants her to like him because her approval will prove to himself that he is not just an arrogant Aglionby bastard.  He calls Blue “Jane.” (They are collectively now Dick and Jane).  In general, Gansey feels like his friends do not appreciate him in the same way that he cares for them.

In the end he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan.  Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him.  Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.  They were always walking away from him.  But he never seemed able to walk away from them (351).

His opinion of Blue has improved.  He now sees her as fanciful, but sensible (77).  Blue becomes a representation of Henrietta for Gansey.  She is everything about the town that he has come to love.  When he wants to think about Henrietta he calls her instead of his other friends.  And she tells him what is happening at her house (288).  Helen is always teasing Gansey that the town of Henrietta is Gansey’s girlfriend.  Blue has become the personification of that relationship.  Henrietta is meaningful to him because he has spent so long traveling here and there and has, until Henrietta, not found a place where he feels he belongs.  His home is not with his family, so where is it?  Where he will find Glendower, or Henrietta which also means Blue.  Gansey has a fight with Adam at Gansey’s house.  Afterwards Gansey is convinced that Adam hates him (287).  Adam has undermined Gansey’s wishes that they not wake the ley line.  This is a betrayal of Gansey that no one else seems brave enough to make.  It disrupts Gansey’s control and begins to put Adam on more of an equal footing with Gansey, which Gansey is not used to.

Gansey feels guilty about his relationship with Blue. He does not want to be seen playing favorites – that it would somehow be unfair to the others who have followed him with no questions asked (442). A king cannot have favorites. He tries to keep the romantic aspect of their relationship a secret (though I’m pretty sure Ronan knows something, but doesn’t care). The other problem with having favorites is that it seems that all of the friends need to play an equal role in order to complete their quest. Everyone’s talents are needed and no one is any more important than anyone else. Equality between them seems absolutely necessary in order to see Glendower wake. In order for them to lift the lid from Gwenllian’s grave, they all had to be helping each other (2479).

It seems that in many ways, Gansey has switched roles with Adam. Gansey is now with Blue and he harbors doubts about his future, which Adam possessed when he was living at home with an abusive father. His has lost faith in the supernatural, which is similar to how Adam felt at the beginning of their journey.    

img-thing

Sources

Bunning, Joan.  Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners.  San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1998.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  New York: Scholastic, 2014. 

Blue Sargent: Character Profiles in The Raven Cycle (Part Three)

Note:  I’ve read the newest Raven Cycle novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater and have added my notes from this book to the character profiles I posted earlier.  Text in blue indicates that this content was derived from Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  The in text citations do not correspond to page numbers, but to locations used on my Kindle.  For some reason page numbers were not available on my eReader for this novel.  In addition, I’ve decided to give each character their own separate post.  This will hopefully make the posts shorter and easier to read.  It will also allow me to write about certain things in more depth without having to worry about going on for too long.  The fact that I don’t have as many length restraints means that there might also be new things to read in the black and green colored texts.   WARNING: Some of the spoilers at the bottom I’ve gotten rid of because they were somewhat irrelevant anyway.  However, the rest of the spoilers I’ve added back into the main text, so read with caution.

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Blue Text = Blue Lily, Lily Blue

olympia_blueBlue Sargent

Appearance/Traits/Quirks:  She’s five feet tall and has short, black hair.  Her style is trashy chic.  She is vain about her appearance.  She is sensible for a teenager.  Blue is judgmental and prejudiced against raven boys or students that attend Aglionby Academy.  She is creative – her room is decorated in feathers, leaves and paper trees.  Most of her clothing is something she’s made herself or altered.  Blue also likes to help people.  We can see that in her many odd jobs some of which include being a waitress at the pizzeria, Nino’s (where raven boys frequent), teaching penmanship to third graders, walking dogs, and helping elderly ladies with their gardens (57).

She has a short temper (11).  Blue is a tough one even if her appearance doesn’t suggest it.  Her sensibility doesn’t allow her much patience with other people’s non-sense, especially her cousin Orla’s need to impress anything which is male.  This prompts Blue to jump into a lake clothed to retrieve a piece of Glendower’s shield while Orla wastes time floating about in a bikini complaining that she can’t dive deep enough (190-1).

BeechLeaf_iStock_000013408445XSmallGansey’s friend from England, Professor Malory, finds what is thought to be an ancient lost flag.  The flag was believed to be something the English had stolen from Glendower’s men.  The flag depicts three woman with red hands.  According to Gansey, the red hands are a symbol associated with the Welsh title Mab Darogan which was used for legendary individuals or a “son of destiny” similar to the British King Arthur (484-9).  Malory explains that before he rediscovered the flag, everyone thought that as an insult the English had turned it into nightgowns for Henry IV (495).  However, the important part is that the women on the flag share Blue’s face.  The significance of this resemblance remains a secret, but it is attached to the fact that in The Raven Cycle time is seen as something that loops back on itself.  Somehow the characters exist in different times – events have happened in the past (the faces on the flag), but haven’t yet happened for the characters in the book (Blue doesn’t know how her face got there).

All Blue eats is yogurt, but she doesn’t like the fruit at the bottom – this she gives to Gansey.  This lack of eating could be attributed to stress Blue is experiencing at the disappearance of her mother.  It also attributes to why people think she is tiny.  Jesse Dittley calls her “ANT” because she apparently doesn’t eat her greens (2047).   

We learn that she has a blue aura.  Blue hopes that this didn’t contribute to why her parents chose to name her “Blue.”  The blue aura indicates clairvoyance.

Transportation: bicycle

cups11Tarot Card:  Page of Cups – represents someone who is open to opportunities, new experiences, and new relationships.  She is ready to receive guidance and advice from others.  She is defined by togetherness and thoughtfulness.  This card is related to reaching out to someone and mending relationships (Bunning, 206-7).

Death:  To Blue death is part of a reverse fairy tale because of the prophecy that she will kill her true love by kissing him.  She doesn’t put too much weight on the prophecy until she meets the living Gansey for the first time when he comes for a card reading at her house.  After seeing him alive, the consequences of killing Gansey seem more real.  Any romantic relationship that Blue may have will in some way be related to death.  She struggles to tell her prophecy to anyone she might be romantically interested in.  Telling her crushes about the prophecy also comes with the assumption that they are her true love.  This becomes a problem when she doesn’t love them.  The only way she gets her first kiss with Noah is because Noah is already dead and she doesn’t have to worry about killing him (244).

After the death of Persephone, she learns that death can come at a moment with no ceremony.  This changes her view of the world.  “And there would now forever be two Blues: the Blue that was before, and the Blue that was after.  The one who didn’t believe, and the one who did.” (3743)  This is part of  Blue’s journey to becoming an adult, like the other characters she is starting to see the reality of the risks they are taking in a quest based on legend and magic.

Privilege:  Blue and her family are most likely middle-class.  She is not as rich as Gansey, but she is probably richer than Adam.  She is prejudiced against the raven boys because of their wealth and assumes that they are all arrogant and self-centered.  She’s made two rules: “One, stay away from boys, because they were trouble.  And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards” (10).  This influences her relationships with Gansey, Ronan, Noah, and Adam.  When she first meets Gansey, he asks her to sit with the guys at a table at Nino’s.  He makes the mistake of offering to pay her to do it.  She responds appropriately, “I am not a prostitute” (62).  She does not accept charity from the condescending raven boys.

She starts to see privilege differently.  Privilege is instead an act of kindness and allowing someone into her life.  When Gansey comes to her house he is now a “privileged tourist” (98).  You can make someone privileged by giving them something special.  However, Blue also starts to see herself as separate from the raven boys because she is a girl.  She will never be able to share their experiences at the all boys school of Aglionby.  She wants the boys to treat her like an equal friend despite her gender.  She tells Adam, “Well, I don’t want to be just someone to kiss.  I want to be a real friend, too.  Not just someone who’s fun to have around because – because I have breasts!” (345). 

Blue sees her economic status as a roadblock that will narrow her possibilities for the future.  She can only afford to go to certain colleges.  Her guidance councilor bases the advice she gives Blue on the factor of money rather than Blue’s own abilities to achieve great things (This awful councilor is unfortunately named Mrs.Shiftlet.  It is not hard to imagine what high school students like Ronan might call her simply by moving the “f” to the 2nd to last letter in her name.)   On the other hand, Blue’s status opens doorways to communities that are inaccessible to the raven boys.  Her appearance and behavior allow people to trust her in a way they do not trust the raven boys because of the boys’ money.  Gansey lives in a world that many “normal” people do not understand, but they do understand Blue’s world.  For that reason, along with Blue’s gardening skills, the raven boys gain access to Jesse Dittley’s cave.  Without Blue being herself, this wouldn’t have happened.

Family:  Blue has a very large family of female psychics.  She lives in a house with her mother, Maura, her mother’s two friends, Calla and Persephone, her half-aunt Neeve, her aunt Jimi, and cousin Orla.  There are probably more relatives who are unnamed.  Her home is full of warmth and chaos.  Out of all the characters, she has the most positive experiences with her family.  There are some negative aspects, however.  Blue often feels like her family uses her like a tool because of her ability to magnify psychic energy.  She feels like she has no talents that she can call her own and is always looking for what she calls her something more.  Blue doesn’t know much about her father except that his name is Artemus,  that he might have come out of Cabeswater, and that he disappeared.

Neeve has left a negative energy in her home.  Blue sees her family as whoever belongs inside of her house.  This now includes the raven boys. 

For Blue, there was family – which had never been about blood relation at 300 Fox Way – and then there was everyone else.  When the boys came to her house, they stopped being everyone else (98).

Blue’s mother is lost somewhere in a cave looking for Artemus and Glendower.  Blue is overrun with worry for her mother and anger that her mother would leave her when she is in the midst of her own dangerous quest and in the midst of her senior year of high school.  What if her mother doesn’t get back for her graduation?  Her mother’s vanishing also puts a strain on her relationships with Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah.  She starts seeing their friendships as temporary – the boys will soon leave her and go off to expensive universities which she can’t afford to attend.  This increases her fear for Gansey’s impending death which she cannot stop.  We also learn that Artemus was involved in punishing Glendower’s illegitimate daughter, Gwenllian, by putting her in Glendower’s false grave, and perhaps Artemus is responsible for putting Glendower to sleep.

Beliefs/Dreams:  Blue thinks that most people do not believe in psychics and so she has always felt that other people see her as being crazy.  She also thinks that it is better not to know the future.  She sees Cabeswater as the dream world that it is.  Stiefvater writes, “She felt like she was a part of a dream this place was having, or it was part of a dream of hers” (225).  In Cabeswater, the friends find a hollow tree.  When they go inside of the tree, Gansey, Blue, and Adam each have their own dream or vision.  Blue’s vision shows her what it might be like to actual kiss Gansey.  This brings into question of whether or not the visions tell a definite future or can they be changed?

Blue is having a hard time following her dreams for the future as far as college is concerned.  She believes that the quest for Glendower has given her false hopes about the possibilities that are available to her.  She starts seeing the world in a more realistic way.

FeatherNature/Ley Line:  Blue’s favorite place is outside under the beech tree in her backyard.  The inside of her house is so busy that for her the outdoors is the only place she can have privacy.  There is a strong connection between nature and psychic energy.  Stiefvater uses images of nature when she describes Blue watching Neeve scrying (34-5).  Blue’s bedroom is also decorated like a forest.  The trees at Cabeswater knew what her name was – another example of time being a loop.  We do not know how the trees knew her, but possibly Blue met them in a past that hasn’t happened yet.  Blue’s relationship with the ley line mainly consists of the fact that she can increase its energy.  This makes it easier for Gansey to map out the pathways of the ley line.

Blue learns a considerable amount about her own powers in manipulating psychic energy.  She can cut it off just as easily as she can enhance it (847).  She learns some things from Gwenllian who has the same talents.  Her powers can be symbolized by a mirror.  Blue reflects the energy over and over again to make it stronger like a candle’s light in a mirror (3184).  Mirror magic seems to have no effect on her perhaps because she can cut off the energy flow.  There is no danger of Blue getting lost in Neeve’s double mirrors/portals, and Blue can turn off the frightening images shown to her in the lake in Cabeswater’s cave.  She is closer to finding her special something more.

Glendower:  Blue feels an attraction to Gansey’s journal about Glendower because it represents new possibilities to her.  She feels that finding Glendower is something that runs deeper than just getting the favor from him.  She has become involved in the search for Glendower because it was her fate.  She will find him because she is meant to find him.

She would only remember that this was the fall her mother vanished.  This was the year of Glendower (650).

Relationships with Others:  Blue thinks that her half-aunt is intense.  She is curious about Gansey at first, but then finds him to be “annoyingly impressive.”  She calls him President Cell Phone.  After a while, she starts to see that Gansey has a mask that he takes on and off.  One Gansey is polite, formal, and condescending; the other Gansey she doesn’t know very well, but wants to know more.  She also has nicknames for the other boys.  Noah is Smudgy Boy.  Ronan is Soldier Boy.  Adam is Elegant Boy.  She sees Adam as attractive and endearing – not at all like the other raven boys.  I think that most of her interest in Adam is because he is the first boy to show a romantic interest in her.

She realizes that she is physically attracted to Gansey, but still doesn’t love him (7).  She likes having the boys at her house because it gives her the upper hand since they don’t know much about psychicsBlue realizes she has a crush on Gansey and not Adam (240).  I think Gansey makes her feel like more of an equal participant in their friend group.  Adam can’t do this because he himself feels inferior to Gansey.

In this novel like never before, the characters share a strong bond with one another. Blue sees Cabeswater as one of the factors that connect them. This is because they have all dreamed of Cabeswater or have had dreams while inside Cabeswater. “She knew it was not true, but it was both comforting and thrilling to imagine they were so connected, that Cabeswater represented something they all thought of when they closed their eyes” (171).  Equality between the friends has been key to their relationships and in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, they are closer than ever before to being equal.  I believe that being equal is also an essential ingredient that is needed if they are to wake Glendower.  Ronan has become more respectful of Blue, which I think is not necessarily because they have gotten to know each other better, but because Adam has lost interest in Blue. She’s no longer his rival for Adam’s friendship which Ronan has come to value.  She has staring contest with Ronan and showing her fearlessness might also be what has earned his respect (208). Ronan also saves her when they are inside Cabeswater’s cave. He also gives her his dream light inside the Dittley’s cave (4156).

Her mother’s disappearance makes Blue become worried about the temporary nature of her relationships with the raven boys – in particular Gansey. She is more worried about his eminent death and frustrated with the fact that she can’t stop it from happening. She gets angry at Gansey because she can’t save him, but she also can’t tell him that he’s going to die.

Orla said. ‘I think it’s crazy how you’re in love with all those raven boys.’

Orla wasn’t wrong, of course. But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other (1202).

france-beech-tree

Sources

Bunning, Joan.  Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners.  San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, 1998.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  New York: Scholastic, 2014. 

Developing The Raven Cycle: Character Profiles (Part Two)

Key

Black Text = The Raven Boys

Green Text = The Dream Thieves

Red Text = Spoilers (see bottom of post if you want to read spoilers)

Blue Sargent

Appearance/Traits/Quirks:  She’s five feet tall and has short, black hair.  Her style is trashy chic.  She is vain about her appearance.  She is sensible for a teenager.  Blue is judgmental and prejudiced against raven boys or students that attend Aglionby Academy.  She is creative – her room is decorated in feathers, leaves and paper trees.  Most of her clothing is something she’s made herself or altered.  Blue also likes to help people.  We can see that in her many odd jobs some of which include being a waitress at the pizzeria, Nino’s, teaching penmanship to third graders, walking dogs, and helping elderly ladies with their gardens (57).

She has a short temper (11). 

Transportation: bicycle

Tarot Card:  Page of Cups – represents someone who is open to opportunities, new experiences, and new relationships.  She is ready to receive guidance and advice from others.  She is defined by togetherness and thoughtfulness.  This card is related to reaching out to someone and mending relationships.

Death:  To Blue death is part of a reverse fairy tale because of the prophecy that she will kill her love by kissing him.  She doesn’t put too much weight on the prophecy until she meets the living Gansey when he comes for a card reading at her house.  After seeing him alive, the consequences of killing Gansey seem more real.  Any romantic relationship that Blue may have will in some way be related to death.  She struggles to tell her prophecy to anyone she might be romantically interested in.  Telling her crushes about the prophecy also comes with the assumption that they are her true love.  This becomes a problem because she doesn’t love them.

Secret*1

Privilege:  Blue and her family are most likely middle-class.  She is not as rich as Gansey, but she is probably richer than Adam.  She is prejudiced against the raven boys because of their wealth and assumes that they are all arrogant and self-centered.  She made two rules: “One, stay away from boys, because they were trouble.  And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards” (10).  This influences her relationships with Gansey, Ronan, Noah, and Adam.  When she first meets Gansey, he asks her to sit with the guys at a table at Nino’s.  He makes the mistake of offering to pay her to do it.  She responds appropriately, “I am not a prostitute” (62).  She does not accept charity from the condescending raven boys.

She starts to see privilege differently.  Privilege is instead an act of kindness and allowing someone into her life.  When Gansey comes to her house he is now a “privileged tourist” (98).  You can make someone privileged by giving them something special.  However, Blue also starts to see herself as separate from the raven boys because she is a girl.  She will never be able to share their experiences at Aglionby.  She wants the boys to treat her like an equal friend despite her gender.  She tells Adam, “Well, I don’t want to be just someone to kiss.  I want to be a real friend, too.  Not just someone who’s fun to have around because – because I have breasts!” (345). 

Family:  Blue has a very large family of female psychics.  She lives in a house with her mother, Maura, her mother’s two friends, Calla and Persephone, her half-aunt Neeve, her aunt Jimi, and cousin Orla.  There are probably more that are unnamed.  Her home is full of warmth and chaos.  Out of all the characters she has the most positive experiences with her family.  Blue often feels like her family uses her like a tool because of her ability to magnify psychic energy.  She feels like she has no talents that she can call her own and is always looking for what she calls her something more.  Blue doesn’t know much about her father except that his name is Artemus,  that he might have come out of Cabeswater, and that he disappeared.

Neeve has left a negative energy in her home.  Blue sees her family as whoever belongs inside of her house.  This now includes the raven boys.  “For Blue, there was family – which had never been about blood relation at 300 Fox Way – and then there was everyone else.  When the boys came to her house, they stopped being everyone else” (98).

Beliefs/Dreams:  Blue thinks that most people do not believe in psychics and so she has always felt that other people see her as being crazy.  She also thinks that it is better not to know the future.  She sees Cabeswater as a dream world.  Stiefvater writes, “She felt like she was a part of a dream this place was having, or it was part of a dream of hers” (225).  In Cabeswater, the friends find a hollow tree.  When they go inside of the tree, Gansey, Blue, and Adam each have their own dream or vision.  Blue’s vision shows her what it might be like to actual kiss Gansey.

Nature/Ley Line:  Blue’s favorite place is outside under the beech tree in her backyard.  The inside of her house is so busy that for her the outdoors is the only place she can have privacy.  There is a strong connection between nature and psychic energy.  Stiefvater uses images of nature when she describes Blue watching Neeve scrying (34-5).  Blue’s bedroom is also decorated like a forest.  The trees at Cabeswater knew what her name was.

Glendower:  Blue feels an attraction to Gansey’s journal about Glendower because it represents new possibilities to her.  She feels that finding Glendower is something that runs deeper than just getting the favor from him.  She has become involved in the search for Glendower because it was her fate.  She will find him because she is meant to find him.

Relationships with Others:  Blue thinks that her half-aunt is intense.  She is curious about Gansey at first, but then finds him to be “annoyingly impressive.”  She calls him President Cell Phone.  After a while she starts to see that Gansey has a mask that he takes on and off.  One Gansey is polite, formal, and condescending, the other Gansey doesn’t know very well, but wants to know more.  She also has nicknames for the other boys.  Noah is Smudgy Boy.  Ronan is Soldier Boy.  Adam is Elegant Boy.  She sees Adam as attractive and endearing – not at all like the other raven boys.  I think that most of her interest in Adam is because he is the first boy to show a romantic interest in her.

She realizes that she is physically attracted to Gansey, but still doesn’t love him (7).  She likes having the boys at her house because it gives her the upper hand since they don’t know much about psychicsSecret*2.

france-beech-tree

Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III

Appearance/Traits/Quirks:  Gansey is clean and well dressed.  He wears very expensive clothes with ease and his school uniform looks perfect.  He is tan with tousled brown hair and hazel eyes.  He wears glasses when he doesn’t have his contacts in.  He is a leader and a control freak.  He is oblivious to how other people feel about his money and his attitude, but is trying to pay more attention to the reactions of others.  People say he is much older than he looks – an old soul.  Gansey has made scholarship into an art form.  He smells like mint because of all the mint leaves that he chews.  He also unconsciously rubs his bottom lip with his thumb.   He suffers from insomnia possibly because his mind is always busy with his obsession with Glendower.  Gansey is a member of the Aglionby rowing crew.

Gansey is persuasive (36).  We see more of the masks and this could be related to the fact that he has grown up in a family with politicians.  Gansey is very good at appealing to whomever he meets.  In order to do this he puts on the mask that will most suit the individual with whom he is speaking.  He quits the rowing crew. 

Transportation: A classic orange Camaro with two black stripes down the middle.  Gansey calls it The Pig.  The car is constantly breaking down.  Secret*3  The Pig is similar to Glendower in the way that is always dying and then being revived again.

A car is a wrapper for its contents, he thought, and if he looked on the inside like any of the cars in this [his rich father’s] garage looked on the outside, he couldn’t live with himself.  On the outside, he knew he looked a lot like his father.  On the inside, he sort of wished he looked more like the Camaro (295).

Tarot Card: Death – This card can represent someone in a state of change or transition.  They are closing one door and opening another.  They are going into the unknown from something familiar and shedding old attitudes.

Death: First of all, we know that Gansey will die because Blue saw his spirit on St.Mark’s Day.  In regards to Glendower, Gansey sees death as something that is not permanent.  He believes that Glendower is similar to King Arthur and will someday come back to life or wake up (45).  According to Gansey it is the fact that Glendower is buried on the ley line which keeps him from being entirely dead (215).  We also know that Gansey has died once already.  He is deathly allergic to bees.  When he was 10 years old, a swarm of hornets attacked him.  While he was dying he had a vision concerning Glendower – a message from the ley line.  Secret*4.   This experience makes Gansey like Glendower who has died and will come back to life.  His experiences can also explain his concern for Ronan who has attempted suicide.  Gansey has to remind himself that, “death isn’t as close as you think” (111).  He sees death as possibility – it is a look at what may happen.  This fascinates him and Ronan finds him staring at a bee in their apartment.  His second chance at life makes it more important that he do something meaningful like finding Glendower.

Privilege:  He was born into a family of millionaires. Gansey feels the need to take care of his friends’ financial burdens because he has the means to do so.  He is somewhat careless with material objects because he knows he can just go buy a new one.  Gansey believes that he owes it to the world to discover Glendower again because he has the time and the money to do research while others do not (24).  He does not always realize that while he sees giving away his money to people as kindness and love, others see it as condescending and insulting.  However, he becomes more aware of other people’s perspectives on his privilege after meeting Blue who is always angry with him for throwing around his money.  Gansey starts to worry that all people will see of him is his money.  He states, “I am only my money.  It is all that anyone sees, even Adam” (133).

Gansey begins to relate privilege to not only being rich in money, but rich in love.  He compares himself and Blue; who have had loving families, to Adam who has had to experience domestic abuse (362).  Gansey starts to see that he has been blessed in more ways than one.  He no longer tries to give Adam or Blue money.

Family:  His father is a congressman and his family lives in a mansion in Washington D.C.  He has a sister named Helen whom he gets along with.  They are equals through the fact that they both have the problem of sharing the same parents.  Gansey shares his father’s name and he hates it.  This is why he won’t allow anyone to call him Richard.  Visiting home causes him to compare himself to his family and he feels the weight of everything he hasn’t yet achieved.  His family reminds him that he is becoming more like the masks that he puts on rather than his true self.  His real family is his friends and anyone who is helping him to find Glendower.

His mother is also running for congress which means that Gansey has to appear a certain way so that his mother can appear a certain way to the public.  More masks.

Beliefs/Dreams: Gansey believes that in to make new discoveries, you must believe in what you are looking for.  He does not believe in coincidence.  Everything happens for a reason or it happens as a result of cause and effect.  Inside the hollow tree in Cabeswater, Gansey sees a vision of what Glendower will look like when/if they find him (289).

He believes that finding one impossible thing makes it easier to find more impossible things (187).

Nature/Ley Line:  Gansey is connected to nature by the fact that his near death experience was caused by an insect.

Gansey is disturbed by Cabeswater’s disappearance.

Glendower:  His obsession with Glendower is a painful longing.  He has documented his entire search inside a journal which has become part of his being.  He has put so much love and work into the journal that he feels imcomplete without it.  Glendower is the one thing that Gansey wants that does not come with a price tag.  He wants to find Glendower in order to prove that he is more than just his money. 

Relationships with Others: Gansey sees Ronan as trouble.  He is afraid that Ronan will learn to be nothing.  Gansey wants to find the Ronan that he was friends with before Ronan’s father died.  He believes that Adam works too hard and is concerned for Adam’s health.  It’s hard for Gansey to see Adam with injuries that Gansey knows Adam’s father gave him.  However, Gansey cannot offer Adam help without Adam feeling like Gansey is being condescending.  Gansey thinks that Adam is a genius who is too busy feeling sorry for himself.  He wants Adam to realize how great and fantastic Adam really is.  Gansey thinks Blue is evil, but yet he still wants her to like him because her approval will prove to himself that he is not just an arrogant Aglionby bastard.  He calls Blue “Jane.” (They are collectively now Dick and Jane).  In general, Gansey feels like his friends do not appreciate him in the same way that he cares for them.

In the end he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan.  Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him.  Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.  They were always walking away from him.  But he never seemed able to walk away from them (351).

His opinion of Blue has improved.  He now sees her as fanciful, but sensible (77).  Blue becomes a representation of Henrietta for Gansey.  She is everything about the town that he has come to love.  When he wants to think about Henrietta he calls her instead of his other friends.  And she tells him what is happening at her house (288).  Gansey has a fight with Adam at Gansey’s house.  Afterwards Gansey is convinced that Adam hates him (287).

img-thing

Ronan Lynch (Greywaren)

Appearance/Traits/Quirks:  Ronan has a sharp nose, thin mouth, blue eyes, and buzzed hair.  He has tattoo on his back and neck.  He’s described as handsome.  He is of Irish origin.  Ronan likes to make other people feel uncomfortable by creating awkward silences and by staring at people for too long.  Ronan also tends to be insincere when he knows that everyone else is being serious.  He tells the blunt truth even if you don’t want to hear it.  Ronan is true to his word.  If he says he will do something, then he will do it.  He acts like he despises everyone.  He likes Latin, loud music, boxing, and swearing.  Ronan is a dare-devil and enjoys doing stunts.  He is very nurturing toward animals and his pet raven, Chainsaw.

He chews on his leather wrist bands.  Ronan despises cell phones and sufferes from insomnia.  However, unlike Gansey who can’t sleep because his mind is busy with Glendower, Ronan doesn’t sleep in order to avoid his dreams.  Ronan and Gansey have a lot of midnight gatherings with one another.

Transportation:  A black BMW which belonged to his father.  Secret*5

Tarot Card:  N/A  Ronan tries to stay away from tarot cards as much as he can because he sees Blue’s family as being involved in the occult or black magic.

Death: His father, Niall Lynch, was murdered and Ronan found the body in the driveway.  Had a near death experience in which he almost bled out.  Noah found his body and Gansey assumed the incident was attempted suicide.

The Orphan Girl from Ronan’s dreams tells him that she is a psychopomp (127).  A psychopomp is a creature or spiritual being which guides the souls of deceased from earth to the after life.  In some cultures, a raven is also a psychopomp.  Secret*6  When Ronan starts dreaming with Kavinsky, Kavinsky gives him a little green pill for which, “dying is a boring side effect” (312).  The pill throws them into sleep. 

Privilege:  Ronan’s money comes to him from the fact that his father died and he was given money in his father’s will.  This maybe the reason for Ronan’s bitterness towards his privilege.  He hates the stereotype of being condescending and self-centered that Blue assigns to him. The world expects him to be a certain way because he is rich, but Ronan refuses to meet these expectations.  However, he still doesn’t know what he wants for himself.  He tells Gansey, “I don’t know what I want.  I don’t know what the hell I am” (75).  The only way that Ronan meets the stereotype of being a privileged individual is in his love for the Latin language.  Latin is not a language that’s used for any practical function, so learning it fluently is something that someone with time and money might do.  Knowing Latin seems to me like something a snobby scholar would wave in the face of another scholar.

We learn that Ronan has actually inherited 3 million dollars from his father along with their family property.  However, he cannot access it until he is 18.  If Ronan ever returns to his home, the money will be forfeit (34).  Returning home also includes never seeing his mother again.  Unlike Gansey’s family home which is rich in an untouchable and intimidating way, Ronan’s family home is what he calls “shabby rich” (155).  Ronan’s family is rich not because they own shiny things, but because they can afford to buy every warm and comfortable thing you could imagine.  Instead of Gansey this time, Ronan secretly helps Adam with Adam’s rent.  This seems like part of a turing point for Ronan.  It perhaps means that he is becoming more comfortable with who is and who privilege has made him.  Instead of being stuck in confusion about his identity, he is now acting on it and maybe using Gansey as a guide for the person he wants to be.  Church is the one place where Ronan actually feels privileged to hate himself for the sins he’s committed.  “Ronan gave in to the brief privilege of hating himself, as he always did in church.  There was something satisfying about acknowledging this hatred, something relieving about this little present he allowed himself each Sunday” (91). 

Family: Ronan is the middle of three sons.  He has an older brother, Declan, and a younger brother, Matthew.  Declan controls Ronan’s funds until Ronan turns 18.  Ronan hates Declan.  Their mother stopped speaking after the death of their father.

Ronan’s family has lots of secrets.  Niall had a mysterious job for which he spent a lot of time traveling.  Like Ronan, Niall could bring objects into reality from his dreams.  Like Gansey shares his father’s name, being able to create dream objects gives Ronan the curse of being just like his father.  We learn that Ronan’s family farm is called The Barns because all of many barns on their property.   Ronan feels guilt at not discovering his father’s body in time to save his father (91).  He realizes that Gansey is more of a brother to him than his real brothers (154).  Declan is incapable of telling anyone the truth and Matthew is slow of mind, but everyone’s sweetheart including Ronan’s.  His mother is living in a type of fairy tale.  Like Glendower, she is in a state of sleep.  In order to wake up she must go back inside of a dream.  Or in other words, Ronan must take her into Cabeswater.

Beliefs/Dreams:  We learn that Chainsaw the raven is something that Ronan took out of his dreams.

Ronan is what is called the Greywaren.  It’s a title that Cabeswater gives him.  There a many people that can steal objects out of their dreams, but only Ronan can speak the language of dreams.  When Ronan dreams he enters Cabeswater where the Orphan Girl helps him take dream objects into reality.  The Orphan Girl wants Ronan to take her out of the dreams, but he doesn’t.  Some other dream objects include: keys to The Pig, a remote control air plane that runs without batteries, blue lilies, the translating puzzle box, and his night terrors which are creatures that I imagine to be part raven, part man, part demon.        He has repeated dreams about driving to the barns and multiple nightmares about bad things happening to Matthew.  Some other dreams include Gansey being attacked by hornets and Adam being overcome by a mask (the dream about Adam can symbolize how Adam feels about sacrificing himself to the ley line).  The dream beasts that Kavinsky and Ronan summon to fight each other reflect the characters’ self-hatred.  We find out that when a dreamer dies, all of their dream objects that are living fall into a sleep (The Barns seems to be under a sleeping spell since Niall died).  “Non mortem, somni fratrem” (146).  Not death, but his brother sleep.  Sounds like Glendower. 

Ronan is Catholic and believes in heaven and hell.  He believes that he once saw the devil talking to his father inside of a barn.

Nature/Ley Line:  He has a pet raven named Chainsaw.  Chainsaw reveals to us what Ronan might have been like before Niall died.  “Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare” (304).  Ronan can speak in Latin to the trees of Cabeswater.

Taking things from his dreams is like the power nature has to produce new life.  Again we see Ronan’s true heart through the respect and love he has for animals.  We find out that creating dream objects sucks the energy out of the ley line.  Ronan’s and Kavinsky’s dreaming has been adding to the erratic behavior of the ley line with burst of energy followed by no energy at all.  Their dreaming contributed to Cabeswater disappearing.

Glendower:  Ronan wants to find Glendower because Gansey wants to find Glendower (21).  Ronan imagines that finding Glendower will be like dying in the sense that it will be similar to finally seeing God.

Relationships with Others:  It seems that Ronan enjoys spending time with Noah more than any other character does.  Secret*7

Ronan sees that Gansey is pretending that Adam did not disobey him by waking the ley line.  Gansey is just ignoring the fact that he’s mad at Adam because Adam decided to go his own way, stepping further away from Gansey.  Ronan also notices that Gansey is attracted to Blue when Gansey himself doesn’t know it yet (141).  Ronan loves when Gansey acts like a normal boy – Gansey’s opposite extreme from the masks Gansey wears.  His relationship with Gansey is a reminder of what Ronan wants to be.  He’s concerned about what Gansey may think about his actions.  Destroying The Pig is like destroying Gansey.  Ronan thinks that Adam doesn’t feel right if Adam’s life isn’t agony (71).  Ronan is digusted by Blue’s clothes.

Adam Parrish

Appearance/Traits/Quirks: Adam is self-conscious about his appearance.  He wears a second hand Aglionby uniform.  He is fine boned with blue eyes.  He looks fragile.  He is at the top of his class at Aglionby.  Adam is cynical and hard working.  He is a proud and a dreamer.  Adam enjoys fixing cars and works at an automotive mechanic’s shop.

He has prominent cheek bones and deep set eyes (8).  Adam is feels self-pity and he has lost hearing in his left ear.

Transportation: bicycle.  He gets a tri-colored, junky car from Helen, Gansey’s sister.

Tarot Card: The Magician – This card represents someone who does what needs to be done and carries out a plan.  The magician is totally committed to a cause.  He has the power to draw on a variety of forces and use them in creative ways.  He is magic because his achievements seem to be miracles.

Death: In the hollow tree inside Cabeswater, Adam has a vision of himself causing Gansey’s death.  This is part of what prompts him to make his sacrifice to the ley line.

Death is what makes everyone equal.  “Only death couldn’t be swiped away by a credit card” (65).  Adam starts to see ghosts.  The spirits are messages the ley line is trying to send him, but he understand what they are telling him.

Privilege: Adam is part of the lower-class and lives in a trailer.  He has to work three jobs in order to afford to pay tuition at Aglionby.  He fears that Gansey will in a way own him if Adam accepts Gansey’s charity.  This is a problem because, “success meant nothing to Adam if he hadn’t done it for himself” (132).  Privilege is something Adam has to earn on his own.  Adam experiences a fierce wanting for everything in his life (41).

Adam is convinced that it was Gansey who is responsible for lowering his rent (64).  This causes more arguments between them.  Adam is also convinced that the people at Gansey’s party will somehow know that he lives in a trailer – that his poverty is something people just know because of how he acts or looks.  Adam states that he will only help Gansey if they can help each other as equals (282).

Family: Adam’s father is an alcoholic and sometimes beats Adam.  They are proud family in the way that what happens in their family stays in their family.  Adam and his mother don’t want to talk about the behavior of their father/husband.  His family is a part of his strong wanting.  Adam desires to find a place where he belongs.

He was full of so many wants, too many to prioritize, and so they allfelt desperate.  To not have to work so many hours, to get into a good college, to look right in a tie, to not be hungry after eating the thin sandwich he’d brought to work, to drive the shiny Audi that Gansey had stopped to look at with him once after school, to go home, to have hit his father himself, to own an apartment with granite countertops and a television bigger than Gansey’s desk, to belong somewhere, to go home, to go home, to go home” (370).

Adam lives in an apartment above St.Agnes church rectory.  Like the other boys, Adam faces the challenge of not being like his father.  He has struggles to control his anger (66-7).

Beliefs/Dreams:  It is hard for Adam to believe in the supernatural.  He has too many worries about the reality he is living to think too much about magical possibilities.  Sometimes he feel that he is sleepwalking in the life he lives with Gansey.

Nature/Ley Line:  Adam sees images of nature when Gansey tells other people about Glendower.  He sacrifices his hands and eyes to the ley line in order to wake it up.  When this happens there is an earthquake.  Adam believed that waking the ley line would somehow make him equal to Gansey.

The ley line is messing with Adam’s senses, trying to send him a message.  He has an episode of what is called transient global amnesia (306).  He walks somewhere and he can’t remember why he’s going there or for what purpose.  He is aware that he can’t remember, but yet he can’t stop walking.  He now has the ability to detect the location of the ley line without using any electronic devices.  He learns with the help of Persephone that, because he made his sacrifice, it is now his job to maintain the ley line.  His task is compared to what a priestess might have done at Stonehenge – to take care of the ley line through rituals.  The earthquake that occurred after his sacrifice caused energy leaks along the ley line.  It is Adam’s job to find and fix the leaks so that Cabeswater will have enough energy to return.  He learns how to communicate with the ley line by using tarot cards.

Glendower: Adam wants to find Glendower in order to be granted the favor from the king.  This will grant him some of his wants.

Relationships with Others: Like Blue, Adam realizes that there are multiple versions of Gansey.  Adam thinks that Gansey should get out of Ronan’s business and let Ronan make his own decisions.  Gansey and Adam have a relationship in which Adam is trying to get away from Gansey and Gansey is always trying to draw nearer because he fears that Adam will leave him.  Adam is also bitter and envious of Ronan.  He’s envious of Ronan’s privilege and bitter because Ronan seems to be wasting it.

Adam is still attracted to Blue. “Blue Sargent was pretty in a way that was physically painful to him” (58).  We learn more about the history of the boys’ friendships.  Gansey met Ronan first before Ronan’s father died.  After the death of Niall, Ronan moved in with Gansey.  Sometime after that Adam stopped to help Gansey with the Camaro which had broken down on the side of the road.  Adam thought Gansey would be cruel to him and didn’t want to help at first, however, they became instant friends after they started talking.  Adam believes that Ronan is unable to express emotion with words so Ronan uses actions to express himself.  The sacrifice Adam made to the ley line sets him apart from his friends.  They will never be able to understand Adam’s new connection to the ley line.

maj01Noah Czerny

Appearance/Traits/Quirks: Noah is gray, rumpled and faded.  He is very observant and good at finding things.  He is quiet, mild, content, loyal, and easy-going.  He is good at producing unexpected humor.  His hands are restless and moving.

Transportation: Red Mustang

Tarot Card: N/A

Death: Secret*8

Discovered Ronan when Ronan was dying.

Privilege:  He was once a student at Aglionby Academy, but now privilege doesn’t apply to him.

Family:  He has a mother, father, and sister.

Beliefs/Dreams:  Starts going to mass with Ronan (89).

Nature/Ley LineSecret*9

Glendower: Noah is just along for the ride.  He is looking for Glendower because his friends are looking for Glendower and he wants to spend time with them.

Relationships with Others:  Noah seems to spend the most time with Ronan.  He has a fascination with Blue’s hair and is always petting her head.  It is other characters that make Noah what he is.  “Without Blue there to make him stronger, without Gansey there to make him human, without Ronan there to make him belong, Noah was a frightening thing” (371).

He tells Blue that he would ask her on a date if he were able.

Mustang-CopBlock

Spoilers

1.  In The Dream Thieves, Blue is able to have her first kiss with Noah because he is already dead (244).

2.  Blue realizes that she has a crush on Gansey and not Adam. (Thieves, 240).

3.  Ronan wrecks Gansey’s car and brings back an identical version of The Pig which Ronan has taken from his dreams.  Also in The Dream Thieves, the friends find a tire from The Pig in a man-made pond, but the tire is several hundred years old.

4.  We learn that Gansey was brought back to life in exchange for Noah’s life which was given as a sacrifice to the ley line.

5.  His father’s BMW is also a dream object that Ronan’s father created.

6.  Ronan did not attempt suicide, but was attacked in his dreams by his night terrors.  He allowed Gansey believe that he had tried to kill himself (135).

7.  Ronan seems to be the only person who went through a grieving process for Noah after they find out that Noah had been murdered (Raven, 285).

8.  Noah is a ghost.  He was murdered seven years ago and his death was a sacrifice to the ley line.  His death is what brought Gansey back to life after Gansey was attacked by hornets.  Noah is a shadow of what he used to be while alive.  Noah shows us that death is what we make of it because even though he is a ghost, to his friends he is not truly dead.

In The Dream Thieves, Noah disappears entirely.  He’s not even an invisible spirit.  Noah often re-enacts his own death without knowing it.  He doesn’t care about how his spiritual form exists or why.

9.  Noah is related to nature by the fact that his body is literally in the earth.  The presence of his spirit depends on the fact that his body is buried on the ley line.

Noah’s spirit vanishes like Cabeswater vanishes.  His presence also depends on how much energy is flowing through the ley line. (Thieves, 123)

Sources

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Raven Boys.  New York: Scholastic, 2012.  Print.

Stiefvater, Maggie.  The Dream Thieves.  New York: Scholastic, 2013.  Print.

Developing The Raven Cycle: The Novels of Maggie Stiefvater (Part One)

imagesIt was one in the morning.  A Yankee candle burned on the table next to me, the scent of home filling the room, it flickered small in the darkness of empty space.  The night itself nor the time mattered since they fell beyond my bubble of light, which shone on the book in front of me.  I saw then in a deep part of my mind as I read the words in front of me,  that discovering a story that I loved was kind of like the cliché that when you kiss someone – and the kiss is really, really good – then the entire world disappears and it’s just you and the person you’re kissing.  With that realization, the emptiness of the world vanished and I was just someone sitting next to a candle with a book.  The book was called The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, the first novel in her series The Raven Cycle.

After much thought I’ve decided that the best way to describe Stiefvater’s books is by stating that they are a combination of the student camaraderie and youthful community of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter,  the mixing of European and American folklore of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and the strong sense of place and the shared experiences of growing up surrounded by paranormal events in Stephen King’s It.  The story is about five teens who all live in Henrietta, Virginia.  Four of them; Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, are students at the all boys private boarding school called Aglionby Academy.  The school is home to boys who come from extremely wealthy households – the sons of politicians, bankers, and possibly criminals.  Gansey, the leader of their friend group, harbors a leisure and money fueled obsession of finding the tomb of the Welsh king, Owen Glendower.  Whoever finds and awakens the king will be granted a favor.  Historical and supernatural theories have led Gansey and his search to Henrietta.  Gansey believes that Henrietta lies on what is called a ley line, or a pathway of spiritual energy running through the earth which connects locations of importance such as Stonehenge and Washington D.C. (Derry, Maine as well. :) ).  Each of the boys have their own reasons for finding Glendower which have entangled them together.

The fifth main character in the story is Blue Sargent.  All of the women in her family have psychic abilities and they all live in the same house.  From the time Blue was born, her family had assigned to her a prophecy that Blue would kill her true love if she kissed him.  Blue doesn’t put too much weight on her fortune until St. Mark’s Day.  On the night of St.Mark’s Day, Blue goes with her half-aunt, Neeve, to a ruined church where spirits arise and walk the ley line.  These are not the spirits of those who have died, but the ghosts of who will die within the year.   Blue’s family records the names of the spirits so that they can inform their clients of who will be dying.  Blue herself cannot see the apparitions.  Her only psychic talent is increasing the energy sensed by other psychics.  However, this year, Blue sees the ghost of a boy.  She asks the spirit what his name is and he tells her it is Gansey.  Neeve later explains to Blue that there are two reasons why she could see him: one, he’s Blue’s true love; or two, Blue will kill him.

After Gansey, Adam, and Ronan seek advice on the supernatural from the Sargent household, Blue is inevitably caught up in the boys’ quest to discover Glendower.

In my opinion, characters are the most interesting part of Stiefvater’s novels.  They are definitely not perfect people, but I love them anyway.  I don’t think I’ve read many young adult novels that feature relationships between characters that are as complex and deep as what I find in The Raven Cycle.  For this reason, I’ve been trying to come up with a way of posting information about each character in a way that shows connections between the characters and connections between the character and important ideas in the novels.  It has taken me forever to find the right way to do this.  Anyway, what I’ve done is created a profile for each of the five characters.  The categories I’ve included in the profile are important motifs from the books.

The categories on the profiles include: appearance/traits/quirks, transportation, tarot cards, death, privilege, family, beliefs/dreams, nature/ley line, Glendower, and relationships with others.  I’ll explain some of the categories to you and the reasons why I’ve picked them.   I’ve chosen to write about transportation because cars become an essential part in describing the people who own them.  The novels are about rich, teenage boys who can buy whatever car they want.  Therefore, they pick vehicles that tell us exactly what type of people they are. As for the tarot card category, some cards in the tarot deck, both the face cards and the major arcana, are used not only to represent ideas or actions, but can symbolize a literal person.  If you work with tarot cards at all, you may find that one card in particular represents yourself (mine is Temperance for example).  In the same way, Steifvater has assigned different cards which are used to represent the characters.  By “privilege” I’m referring to the fact that some of the characters were born with wealth and an extravagant lifestyle while other characters have to work in order to earn everything that they own.  Privilege is not something the characters ask for, but they are given it when they are born.  Therefore, each character has a relationship with and opinion of their own privilege.  Each character also reacts differently to the fact that other characters are more privileged than they are.  Privilege changes how they feel and interpret each others actions.   I’ve chosen to pair “nature” and “ley line” together because the two things seem to be strongly connected.  The ley line is essentially part of the earth.  Natural objects like rocks and streams seem to increase or define its energy.  The forest called Cabeswater is located at the most powerful point of the ley line and Cabeswater’s presence depends on the line’s energy.  No energy, no forest.  A character’s relationship with nature describes their relationship with the ley line.  The rest of the categories I think are more self-explanatory.

I’ve created these profiles for each of the five characters, but they also span the space of what is for now two books (The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves), the first two books of the series.  This will document the development or changes in the characters after they experience events in the novels.  Anything on the profiles that is in black text refers to The Raven Boys while any text in green refers to The Dream Thieves.  In addition, I wanted the profiles to be complete without revealing too many spoilers to those who haven’t read the books.  For that reason, I’ve marked certain things on the profiles as “secret” followed by a number.  The secrets are then listed at the bottom of each profile with their corresponding number.  That way you can choose to read the spoilers or not.  If you don’t read them, you will still know that there is some information in a category that I have left out.  I will have the profiles posted tomorrow before the release of the third novel on Tuesday.

As far as I know the Raven Cycle is projected to be a four book series.  The third book, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, will be released on Tuesday October 21, 2014.  I will be adding more to my profiles and re-posting them as more of the books become available.  Thanks for reading.  I hope you follow my progress with the character profiles.

Obsession in Austenland: A Book Review

Having seen the film earlier, I picked up Shannon Hale’s novel, Austenland, expecting an entertaining but typical piece of chick lit. with a Jane Austen twist.  I was surprised to find an intelligent discussion of modern women who, like myself, are involved in some type of fandom.

An American woman, Jane Hayes, has had a long stream of what she sees as utterly failed relationships.  She uses this as an excuse for her embarrassing obsession of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.  None of her real life relationships can live up to her fantasy of falling in love with Mr. Darcy.

This all changes when Jane is given an opportunity to go on a three-week vacation to a Jane Austen theme park in England called Pembrook Park.  Here Jane gets to live out her fantasy.  She gets to wear corsets, embroider, read, play pianoforte, and play whist – all of which is done within the proper manners of 1800’s society.  A number of actors are provided as company to the guests and work to move along a drama similar to what might transpire in an Austen novel.  That’s not all.  Pembrook Park promises that each female visitor will experience the romance of falling in love with a gentleman (an actor) who will propose to her at a ball at the end of the three weeks.

Jane soon finds that her fantasy isn’t as great as she hoped it would be.  She becomes bored with the evening activities of playing whist and gossiping.  Jane escapes the company of the high society gentlemen and wonders through the gardens.  Here she meets up with a gardener named Martin.  Martin is quite willing to share his modern contraband luxuries of TV and McDonald’s hamburgers with the thankful Jane.  Like never before, spending time with Martin makes Jane feel like she is truly happy with a “real” man.  That’s until Martin tells her he doesn’t want to see her because he’s worried his employer suspects he has a television (the two of them had been watching it so often).

Being faced with yet another failed relationship, Jane decides that she must redouble her efforts at overcoming her Mr.Darcy dream.  Jane throws herself wholeheartedly into the game of Pembrook Park, hoping that she will exhaust her interest in the fantasy.    She divides her time between trying to befriend another female guest – the perfect Miss Heartwright – and horribly teasing a gentleman called Mr. Nobley.

Jane gets to know the stick-in-the-mud, stubborn Mr.Nobley and is left with the perplexing question of whether their relationship is a fiction – that Mr.Nobley is simply an actor playing a part – or if she is getting to know the real man behind the waistcoat and breeches who is called Henry Jenkins.

Hale’s novel does a wonderful job of highlighting some main issues that women face in modern relationships by comparing contemporary romance to past ages in which women didn’t have as many choices in the love department.  One of the problems Jane has is that she feels a tremendous pressure to be involved in a serious relationship.  In Austen’s day, middle-class women such as Elizabeth Bennet had no choice in marriage.  They either married a man with an estate or lived rather poorly.  Today, many women choose not to marry at all, but there is still a high pressure put on us by society.  We assign ideas to unmarried women that are seen to be negative.  An unmarried woman is a lesbian, afraid of commitment, perhaps she likes sleeping around, or has poor self-esteem.  This haunts Jane to the point at which her desire to have a serious relationship makes her clingy, uptight, and easily hurt by rejection.  Towards the end of her experience at Pembrook Park, Jane comes to recognize, “In her old self more of the anxious, marriage-obsessed Mrs. Bennet than the lively Elizabeth.”  Despite the fact that she obsessed about being in Elizabeth’s shoes, Jane had become nothing that resembled the desired role.

Austenland further points out that having idyllic fantasy relationships can be harmful to the men involved as well.  When Jane leaves the company of Mr.Nobley and the other gentlemen to spend time with Martin, Hale writes the dialogue: “‘So,’ Martin said, digging in his spade.  ‘You’ve come to find me again when there is no one else to flirt with.'”  The hope and search for what we think is a perfect man leaves real men with the pressure to fill the shoes of our Mr. Darcy’s.  And if men don’t fulfill the impossible role, they may come to feel like they are second choice.

I liked the fact that Jane had a defined idea of what she wanted in a relationship.  Hale describes her ideal man as, “A real man.  A tall man!  Someone to kiss and make her feel sexy and fun.  Someone who didn’t insist on more than she could give, who allowed her to live in perfect moments, who made her want to smile instead of fret about future what-ifs.”  The great part about Jane’s character was that she knew what her problems were.  She realized that the pressure she put on her relationships (“the future what-ifs”) was what was keeping her from enjoying who she could be with another person.  She knew that Darcy was not real.  It was this awareness that allowed Jane to move forward and relearn her attitude/feelings about relationships.  Another important step in her growth as a character was the comprehension that; in fact, it wasn’t even the character Mr.Darcy from the book she wanted, but the representation of the character by Colin Firth.  This came to have more meaning when reflected in her conflict between being attracted to Mr.Nobley the character, vs. Henry Jenkins, the man playing the part of Nobley.  I also found it interesting to note that she realized that if Mr. Darcy were a real person, he would be a darn unpleasant one to spend time with.

There was only one thing about Hale’s book that I didn’t care for: Jane’s going back and forth in thinking she was going to give up men.  I didn’t completely understand why it was such an issue for her.  Perhaps I didn’t like it because the idea of giving up men altogether was just way too dramatic.  The obvious and positive message to give would be that you don’t have to have a man to be happy, but that didn’t seem to be considered in the novel.  It was either you had to have a relationship – good or bad – or Jane didn’t want to have anything to do with men at all.  Extremes like this in general tend to annoy me. Very few things in real life are one extreme or another.  But maybe these drastic measures of man dieting do more to describe Jane’s character.

I would recommend Austenland by Shannon Hale to anyone who loves Austen’s original novels or to anyone has some sort of fan obsession/fantasy about a fictional character.  With my next post, in the spirit of Austenland, I’d like to do an experiment in which I will attempt to rid myself of my own fantasy obsession.