Guest Post: Queer Representation in The Raven Cycle


Hello everybody! I hope everyone’s having a good time with the readathon, and that I’m not the only one so excited for Blue Lily, Lily Blue that I’m having trouble breathing! Today, I am here to talk at you all about something very near and dear to my heart: queer representation. You might have seen me around, either here on Amber’s blog or shouting on Twitter, and those of you that have will know just how important to me personally this subject is. So gather round, young ones, and let me show you all about how awesome Maggie Stiefvater is, especially with regard to queer representation.

gather round

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle on Tumblr fairly recently in The Raven Cycle fandom, with many fans seemingly confused over the sexuality of one of Maggie’s characters. It had even gone so far as small arguments breaking out, while others looked on in bafflement. I was one of those onlookers because, people, this thing is not up for debate. Ronan Lynch is, without a doubt, textually, canonically, completely and utterly, gay. This is not interpretation, this is not wishful thinking; it is pure, undeniable, fact.

The only reason why some people seem to be a bit hesitant over this issue has nothing to do with the books themselves and everything to do with the heteronormative society we currently live in. Has Ronan stood up in front of a bunch of people and shouted “yooooo, I’m gay!”? No, he hasn’t. But then, Gansey hasn’t grabbed a megaphone and announced that he’s straight either, and yet we all know he is. And why is that? It’s because we’re used to seeing it. You can’t turn on your computer without tripping over a thousand heterosexual relationships on your way across the room, and all this has done is enforced the idea that the only way a queer character can be canonically queer, is for the text to hand out a Public Service Announcement. I’m here to show you that this is a complete misnomer, and to inform you that what Maggie has done here is prove that fact, and point out how she’s done it.

invalid argument

Now I’m not going to lie, I do tend to spend an awful lot of my reading time giving a queer slant to characters. I have to, because it’s the only way for me to find representation for myself within the kind of stories I like to read about (ie: not Queer Fiction). I pick up a book, and usually within the first few chapters I will have found an oblique reference or line that I can use to imagine a particular character as queer, and then use that headcanon for the rest of the story. If The Raven Boys had been one of those books, I probably would have used this quote:

“I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what the hell I am.” – TRB, pg 85

This is Ronan, talking in respect to himself, and it’s the sort of line that I would have picked up on immediately and used for my own queer purposes. There are others, particularly in his interactions with another boy, that I could also use, but this line is pretty much indicative of the kind of thing I would be looking for generally. It speaks of hesitance, of personal unrest, of worry over who he is; all things a queer person growing up in our society understands and has gone through some degree of. And to be honest, most of The Raven Boys is like this with respect to Ronan; he is seen through the lens of other voices throughout the first book, and so all references to his sexuality are by necessity subtle, although they do get progressively more overt as the characters get to know one another better:

Ronan said, “I’m always straight.”

Adam replied, “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.” – TRB, pg 231

Granted, this little exchange is in response to Gansey’s request that they all be honest with each other, but really, is there a single reader who didn’t look at that line and raise an eyebrow? We all know the connotations of that phrase, some of us have probably even used something similar in a joke with our friends. And even though it’s meant as a joke within the context of the scene, everyone who reads that also knows that there is a very different interpretation that could be used there. Spoiler: Maggie knows it too, which is exactly the reason why she wrote it.

brand new info

If I’m honest though, a lot of the queer hints I see in The Raven Boys are probably me just mis-remembering what I saw during my first read-through; it’s hard for me to see Ronan as anything other than gay in this book after the textual confirmation we get in The Dream Thieves. It’s also made more difficult due to the fact that Ronan doesn’t have his own voice in the first book; until the second installment, all we see of him are glimpses through the eyes of other characters, who have their own emotions and agendas clouding his presentation. Basically, if The Raven Boys was still the only book out in the series, then the discussion over whether or not Ronan is queer would have more merit. I would still argue in the affirmative, but I would really only have the above quotes to go on, as well as the quote Maggie uses at the very beginning:

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. – Oscar Wilde (TRB)

Now, the quote itself (which is describing Wilde himself as the dreamer) wasn’t what caught my eye at first; it’s widely known as being related to the hedonist movement that Wilde was firmly entrenched in during his life. It was more the fact that Wilde was quoted at all. Anyone who knows Wilde enough to quote him knows exactly what he’s most famous for; being queer. Of course, by the time we get to the very end of the book, we find out that Ronan is a dreamer, which connects the vague quote to this specific character (and we all know how Maggie likes to bookend her stories, don’t we?).


Luckily for us, though, The Dream Thieves is already here, and it’s in this book that we’re given textual confirmation that yes, Ronan Lynch is indeed queer, please feel free to take off your queer-reading glasses because they are not needed for this series, thank you for this gift, Maggie. I mean, you all know the quotes I’m talking about, right? Like, this one, for example:

[Blue] wore a dress Ronan thought looked like a lampshade. Whatever sort of lamp it belonged on, Gansey clearly wished he had one.

Ronan wasn’t a fan of lamps. – TDT, pg 143

Or how about the sex dream:

That night, Ronan dreamt of his tattoo.

[…] Adam was in the dream, too; he traced the tangled pattern of the ink with his finger. He said, “Scio quid hoc est.” As he traced it further and further down on the bare skin of Ronan’s back, Ronan himself disappeared entirely, and the tattoo got smaller and smaller.

[…] Ronan woke with a start, ashamed and euphoric. – TDT, pg 235-236

(For those of you interested, the Latin means I know what this is. I bet you do, Adam. I bet you do.)

Or the very obvious:

“Don’t say Dick Gansey, man. Do not say it. He is never going to be with you. And don’t tell me you don’t swing that way, man. I’m in your head.”

“That’s not what Gansey is to me,” Ronan said.

“You didn’t say you don’t swing that way.”

Ronan was silent. Thunder growled under his feet. “No, I didn’t.” – pg 422

I mean, seriously, Maggie would have to grab a microphone and scream it in everyone’s ears to make it any more obvious. Thankfully, she doesn’t do that (because I prefer it when my ears aren’t bleeding, really). Instead, she attaches most of Ronan’s inner conflicts to another boy, Adam Parrish, and gives us lovely little hints about a possible queer relationship happening at some point down the line.

the gay

Now, admittedly, the relationship aspect is a little bit more open to interpretation, because thus far, although Ronan is definitely queer, Adam has expressed a romantic interest only in Blue. But, although there are some people who would suggest that this makes him straight, there are others who are less likely to jump on the bisexual erasure train. Because Adam could be bisexual, or even just unsure about himself and what he wants. In fact, if Ronan wasn’t a character at all, then Adam Parrish would most likely have been the character I would have latched onto to give a queer reading of for myself. Because there is some inference within the text that a lot of what makes up Adam is his need to be constantly playing a role, rather than being himself. He’s the poor boy at the rich boy school, and he won’t take handouts because he doesn’t want to be pitied (although, funnily enough, he’s fine with Ronan helping him out, hmm). He wants to be one of them, one of those boys with their expensive cars and expensive accents, with a different girl on their arm every week (also it was a boy who looked like Ronan that made him decide to go to Aglionby in the first place, and now Ronan is all he sees when he thinks about that decision, weird, huh?). There’s also the fact that, for all Adam talks about Ronan in a seemingly dismissive way, he does still seem to spend an awful lot of his time thinking poetical thoughts about him:

The former two were problematic only when they took time away from Aglionby, and the latter was only problematic when it was Ronan Lynch.

Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves. – TRB, pg 43

Or like this:

From the passenger seat, Ronan began to swear at Adam. It was a long, involved swear, using every forbidden word possible, often in compound-word form. As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear.

Ronan finished with, “For the love of … Parrish, take some care, this is not your mother’s 1971 Honda Civic.”

Adam lifted his head and said, “They didn’t start making the Civic until ’73.” – TRB, pg 263

(Notice how as soon as Ronan stops his ‘musical’ swearing, the first thing Adam does is say something to annoy him all over again? Yeah, I noticed that too.)

There are many other instances throughout the two books so far that hint towards these two boys feeling more for each other than what’s actually on the page: the fact that they both speak Latin so well; how they work together to save Cabeswater; the fact that they save each other, Ronan saving Adam from his father and Adam saving Ronan from being arrested. But the thing that ties them together the most, is also the thing that proves Ronan’s queerness irrefutably; the bookending of The Dream Thieves. The beginning:

There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.

And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about.

[…] Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret.

[…] Ronan told him, “I know where the money comes from.”

“Don’t tell anyone,” his father said.

This was the first secret.

The second secret was perfect in its concealment. Ronan did not say it. Ronan did not think it. He never put lyrics to the second secret, the one he kept from himself.

[…] When he opened his hand, the keys lay in his palm. Dream to reality.

This was his third secret. – TDT, pg 1-5

And then the end:

Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret.

His first secret was himself.

[…] Ronan’s second secret was Adam Parrish.

[…] The third secret was the cavern itself. – TDT, pg 447-449

I mean, really, this can only mean one thing. I’m actually pretty good at removing my queer-glasses when I need to for the sake of analysis, but even when I do that, I cannot think of a single way this could be interpreted other than Ronan is gay and has a humongous crush on Adam.

Let’s be honest, I could throw in about a hundred more examples that point to both the definite queerness of Ronan Lynch, and the likelihood of a future queer romance, but some people just aren’t going to get it. And that’s fine, I don’t mind arguing until I’m blue in the face that the earth revolves around the sun, because convincing people like that isn’t the point. No, the point is that Ronan Lynch is a perfect example of the type of representation queer people would like to see. His queerness isn’t his storyline, but it is a part of who he is. His feelings for Adam aren’t what the story is about, but neither are they overshadowed by the other relationships. He is obviously queer without there being a need for a PSA about it, and without making us go looking in the Queer Fiction section of a bookstore to find it. Ronan Lynch, in short, is exactly the type of queer character that I have been waiting far too long for. I don’t need my queer characters to grab a megaphone and tell the world their sexuality, because that’s not what representation is. Real representation is treating queer people as actual people, and this is what Maggie has created in The Raven Cycle. Ronan Lynch is an Irish 17 year old boy who can make things out of his dreams. He’s full of sharp edges and soft spots, he’s unflinchingly loyal and his swearing sounds like music.

And he’s also gay.

That, my friends, is representation. Thank you, Maggie.

mic drop

(Seriously though, if Ronan and Adam don’t get together by the end of the series, I swear to God I will find you, Maggie. I will find you and then make you watch as I drown myself in tears. /shipper moment.)

(NB: I’ve been using the term ‘queer’ in this post to represent anything non-conformative to cis-het ideals; I apologise if the use of this term is offensive to anyone.)

applause aladdinIf you want to find Lauren and tell her how awesome this post is, you can leave a comment or you can find her on Twitter!

We’re now in the homerun of the (re)readathon, and I’m getting a little bit emotional over here. It’s been a fantastic couple of months filled with excitement, enthusiasm, craziness, and many brilliant people. Thanks to everyone who has taken part, but don’t leave yet because there is still so much more to do! In less than 7 days, Blue Lily, Lily Blue will be out and we will be reading like crazy. I expect I will already be finished with it. But until then, we have a Ravenagram, a Q&A, and another Twitter chat to get through!

ravagramThis week you will have the opportunity to look through the eyes of the most important character in the Raven Cycle series: CHAINSAW! Time to get creative with your photos, and don’t forget to tag them with #trcreadathon!

Other things to look out for:

+ October 17, 2014: The Dream Thieves Twitter Chat @ 8PM GMT/3PM EST
+ October 19, 2014: Q&A with Maggie Stiefvater
+ October 20, 2014: Blue Lily, Lily Blue Speculation Post @ Books of Amber and Readers in Wonderland
+ October 21, 2014: Event Wrap Up and BLLB RELEASE DAY!

I hope you’re all having a grand ol’ time, and that you enjoy these final few days of the readathon!

36 comments on “Guest Post: Queer Representation in The Raven Cycle

  1. I love this post! For me, the way Ronan is just kind of made me wonder if he really was gay because of his proclamation that he’s always straight. I mean, hello, clue alert. Kudos to you for discovering that the Oscar Wilde’s quote in the beginning relates to Ronan. So then I read The Dream Thieves and I knew from the subtle-yet-not-so-subtle quotes like ‘Ronan wasn’t a fan of lamps’ that hell yeah, he really is one.

    Maggie Stiefvater is basically the queen of representation.

    P.S. Someone asked Maggie this question about why wasn’t it said outright that Ronan’s gay and her reply pretty much just blew my mind. Another reason to love her, basically.


    • Lauren 16/10/2014 5:12 pm

      when that post came up on my dash, I nearly ripped my hair out lmao! Come on, Maggie, give me a chance to publish this post before you go STEALING ALL MY LINES it’s so not fair! 😉

      Well exactly, it is fairly obvious that Ronan is indeed gay, and it is astounding to me that some people either don’t see it, or think that it’s just subtext even now (because they do think that, I have seen many people expressing this view). I mean, what? Are you even reading the same words as me? But that’s the problem with heteronormativity, I guess *le sigh*


  2. Meg 16/10/2014 2:05 pm


    I’m especially loving your dissection of Adam’s mind space because YES. Obvs I am unable to comprehend that anyone could argue about Ronan’s sexuality but I can def. see where Adam could be up for debate. That said, HE IS SO OBVIOUSLY OBSESSED WITH RONAN. Like, seriously. The way he thinks about/acts around Ronan vs the way he thinks about/acts around Gansey is so fascinating and beautiful and loaded with subtext. Clearly you know this bc you’re pointing it all out but whatever.

    “His queerness isn’t his storyline, but it is a part of who he is.” <– THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS FOREVER THIS

    I can't even comment intelligently on this because all I want to do is scream SUCH TRUTH over and over again. So consider this a standing ovation to your brilliantly put and referenced post. You are brilliant, Maggie is brilliant, these books are brilliant and I love everything.

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 8:51 pm


      OHMYGOD, Adam is SO OBSESSED. I could literally dissect him for days because dude, all the boy does is play a role and go for the things he SHOULD want, like Blue for his Henrietta girl of the week which, hello, Blue and Ronan are SO ALIKE it’s actually hilarious. I might have to meta it tbh

      I don’t know about myself, but Maggie is definitely brilliant, and so are you *squishes you* <3

      • Meg 16/10/2014 9:41 pm


  3. Heidi @ YA Bibliophile 16/10/2014 2:23 pm

    I love this post! Also, yeah, I thought it was pretty darn clear that he is NOT straight. He is my favorite Raven Boy so I did spend a lot of time thinking about his character but even if I hadn’t….

    Well done! Thank you for this post.

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 8:53 pm

      He’s my favourite too!!! it’s okay though, we can share him (with Adam, obviously!). But yep, it’s SO CLEAR, and it’s literally only heteronormativity that is stopping some people from seeing it, or at least, making them worry that they’re reading too much into it. Which I can sort of understand, I mean, I’ve been burned before too, lol!

  4. Judith 16/10/2014 2:32 pm

    Hi, this post is amazing and so are you. Reading this series is different for me because I went into it after everyone had already told me Ronan was gay and so I spent a lot of time paying attention to his character. If anything, I love that Maggie doesn’t throw labels around because I hate labels more than anything. And omg the thing Sana linked where Maggie said that she’s not going to make Gansey say “btw I’m gay”. Yes yes yes. All of the yeses. “I’m always straight.” “The biggest lie you’ve ever told.” I just read this part in the story. I need to continue.

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 8:55 pm

      lmao, i read that post of Maggie’s and got SO CROSS BECAUSE I’D ALREADY WRITTEN THAT, COME ON MAGGIE GIVE ME A CHANCE HERE! lol

      And yes, you do need to continue, because it only gets better and better! <3

  5. Sarah G. 16/10/2014 4:24 pm

    Chiming in to say that I think what ALSO works so well here is how this plays with reader expectations in terms of queer readings and conventions of the closet:

    The reader who, like you and like me, was picking up on the clues that Ronan is gay from TRB onward, thinks that this is his great secret: that he is gay. And lots of narratives train us to think this way, where being gay is treated as a secret or an open secret. As readers, we think, “I have picked up the clues! I have guessed the big reveal! I know the truth!” Here, we learn that yes, Ronan is gay — we were right about that — but the secret, his BIGGER secret IMO, is actually about his dream ability. And I think that in playing with our expectations this way, the novel actually makes us reconsider our stereotypes and expectations for narratives about queer people: it does not invalidate notions of the closet, or of open secrets, because they are surely realities for many people, but it makes us reconsider them as the only possible narratives.

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 8:58 pm

      You definitely have a point about the secret thing and how it pertains to possible narratives. I know some others think differently, but it has always been my interpretation that Ronan’s second secret wasn’t so much that he was gay, but that he has feelings for Adam. So in that way, his story doesn’t actually include notions of ‘the closet’ but neither does it negate them either, which I think is really clever.

  6. Nikki 16/10/2014 5:54 pm

    I found out just recently that there were people in the world who actually think it’s debatable that Ronan’s gay. I’ve tried to wrap my head around that since then, but I just can’t. This post is flawless, and lays down the law. I love it.


    • Angie 16/10/2014 6:31 pm

      WAS THIS THE ADAM SHIP YOU WERE TEXTING ME ABOUT? I am so glad I am not alone in my Ronan/Adam shipping. So. Glad.

      • Nikki 16/10/2014 11:34 pm


    • Lauren 16/10/2014 9:01 pm

      It’s weird, right? I mean, I understand that heteronormativity can make us a bit gun shy when it comes to spotting actual gay characters, but in this instance, the worry is really not warranted; it literally couldn’t be any clearer.


      • Nikki 16/10/2014 11:37 pm

        YES LIKE OXYGEN. RONAN/ADAM NEEDS TO HAPPEN ughhhhhhh i can’t deal with our lack thereof

  7. Angie 16/10/2014 6:31 pm


    That is really the only thing I have to add to this because this post expresses all of my feels perfectly.

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 9:03 pm

      Heeeeeeeeeeeee thank you! <3

  8. Morgan @ Gone with the Words 16/10/2014 7:26 pm

    Loved your post, it was so thoughtful and so RIGHT ON. I love this especially: “Ronan Lynch is an Irish 17 year old boy who can make things out of his dreams. He’s full of sharp edges and soft spots, he’s unflinchingly loyal and his swearing sounds like music.

    And he’s also gay.

    That, my friends, is representation. Thank you, Maggie.”

    I’ll admit the first time I read The Raven Boys, I didn’t pick up on Ronan’s sexuality much, but I did a little more reading The Dream Thieves. After reading Maggie’s post, and especially after rereading the two books, it was so obvious to me that I couldn’t believe I was so oblivious the first time around. Even though I’m a straight white girl (about as boring as you can get), I really love diversity in the books I read because I know so many different kinds of people. I love that being gay is just a part of Ronan. It doesn’t need to be spelled out in those three letters for it to be true. I have a couple people very close to me that are gay and they’ve never spelled it out because there’s no need. They just live their lives. Like you said, Gansey doesn’t go around shouting about being straight. The lampshade line, btw, is one of my favorites! It’s so funny and telling. I’m also curious about Adam, I hadn’t thought of him and Ronan as a possibility but you (and Meg’s comment) are so right… he’s awfully obsessed with Ronan. I can’t wait to see what happens. SAIL, SHIP, SAIL.

    Also, I don’t like to spam but if any cares to read it, I wrote a 500 word Ronan/Adam fanfic after my recent reread. I love it a lot. Maybe Pynch shippers would too 😉

    • Lauren 16/10/2014 9:33 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      I don’t blame anyone for not seeing any of the hints in TRB, or even on their first read-through of TDT; it is written subtly, after all. But the thing is, everything Maggie writes is subtle – there were things I didn’t pick up about Blue/Gansey or Maura/the Greyman my first time round. But for people to continue to vehemently deny it, or to keep asking the question over and over, that’s where I draw the line, because either they’re blatantly ignoring what’s there, or we’re somehow reading totally different books, lol.

      Oh, Adam and Ronan are going there, at this point I am like 98% certain, and it’s going to be glorious! And i don’t know about anybody else, but I am definitely going to have a look at your ficlet, because i need these two like burning!

      • Morgan @ Gone with the Words 16/10/2014 9:52 pm

        You’re so right, I picked up on more of everything the second time around! I think the first time around I was getting used to Maggie’s writing style and cadence, and just how strange and wonderful everything was. There were things about Blue’s father, and Neeve, and the Greyman, and even Kavinksy I had never noticed. So Ronan falls into that category too.

        Oh yeah, that’s completely ridiculous. I hope your article dispels some of the “confusion”.

        Eeee thank you! None of my friends or family have read the series so it’d be awesome to have a fan read my little fic 🙂

  9. Bec @ Readers in Wonderland 17/10/2014 8:40 am

    BRILLIANT post!!

    I used to be one of those people who thought Ronan wasn’t gay (when TRB first came out at least). I had a few moments I read that made me maybe consider it, but it wasn’t a realisation I actually came to until I read TDT. And rereading the books now with this knowledge has made Ronan’s character and strange statements/actions SO much clearer. I can understand him a lot better now. And, like you, I’m very happy with the way his character his written.

    Adam I don’t entirely know what to think of yet. Before everything in his life was hectic, he’s probably been told things by his father that made him scared to be anything but straight. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in the next few books because after the events at the end of TDT he seemed to be a lot more calm and comfortable with himself (if I’m remembering correctly… Haven’t gotten to rereading that part quite yet)

    I’m pretty sure I worded half of that terribly but anyway. Thanks for contributing such a great post to the readathon!

    • Lauren 17/10/2014 10:49 am

      I think you make a very good point about Adam and his background, and I also think he’s spent so much of his time concentrating on being an ‘Aglionby boy’ and all that that entails – expensive clothes and cars, expensive accent, a local girl to hang on his arm, etc – that the possibility of anything else just hasn’t occurred to him. But as you say, by the end of TDT, he’s becoming more comfortable with himself, which would allow him the space needed to evaluate his wants against his needs and desires.

      Thanks for the lovely comment, I’m glad you enjoyed my post!

  10. Mel@thedailyprophecy 17/10/2014 9:53 am

    Seriously, there are people out there who don’t think Ronan is gay? I thought it was very obvious when you read The Dream Thieves (I didn’t see it in The Raven Boys to be honest) and I think it’s great! I actually don’t like it when an author makes his character scream ‘gay/bisexual/other preferences. I like it when it’s more subtle, because it’s not something you need to put a focus on. It doesn’t define someone’s personality, it’s just part of that person. And I see Adam/Ronan coming together. I was really shipping Adam/Blue in the first book, but after Dream Thieves I’m not so sure anymore.

    • Lauren 17/10/2014 10:55 am

      I think it’s fair to say that during TRB, Ronan’s sexuality could be interpreted as gay, while still leaving room for other perfectly valid interpretations (asexual, aromantic, or even just straight and still suffering through grief, etc), so when people say they don’t see it in TRB I find it perfectly understandable. But it WAS obvious in TDT, and it was given as much weight in the narrative as Gansey’s straightness, which makes it obvious that it was never meant to be just one of many possible interpretations by that point. And I agree, I think Adam/Ronan is a VERY likely thing to happen; it’s as likely to me as Gansey/Blue ending up together (which, come on, we all know that’s gonna happen, lol).

  11. Renee Bookboyfriends 17/10/2014 8:17 pm

    SO GAY! 😀 TOTES CALLED IT! First time I read The Dream Thieves, I suspected Ronan was gay. 😀 and then Maggie confirmed it and now…. ^_^ I hope he and Adam, or Adam and Chainsaw when she’s not a raven (Psychopomp form) get together. 😀
    WHOOP WHOOP!! now… the END!
    ooh and 1 more week until the final clue for the scavenger hunt!!! 😀
    I’M SO READY!!!

  12. Jae 27/03/2016 5:26 am

    I love this! I’m only halfway through the second book and even though Adam showed interest in Blue, I started entertaining the idea of an Adam x Ronan relationship and decided to google it! Also, in the beginning of the book before Adam meets Blue, I think there are a few subtle hints of bisexuality, just in his analysis of Gansey and Ronan. “He ran his thumb back and forth across his bottom lip, a habit he never seemed to notice and Adam never bothered to point out. Catching Adam’s gaze, he said, ‘Christ, now I feel dirty.'” (page 44 of my copy) There’s also a similar moment like this with Adam towards Ronan, but I can’t find the exact quote right now! Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but under first impression it had sounded to me like he was checking them out slightly, in that way when you’re friend is hot.

  13. Danica 11/08/2016 5:58 pm

    Hey Lauren,
    a (belated) thank you for this awesome post!
    “Raven King” is long out there already, of course, but I only just read it. And when I did, and reached the Barns that night, all I wanted was to go find Maggie and hug her.
    What she’s done, it’s awesome. It’s the most beautiful love story I’ve ever read (including Kirith Kirin, Darkest Part of the Forest and Arrows of the Sun) and that’s down to Maggie’s incredible skill, empathy and susceptibility.

    Maybe one day, when I’ve published the one I’m currently working on on my Blog, you’ll take a look and tell me if I’ve gotten the “representation” thing right. (It’s not meant to sound like self-advertisement or anything, even though it is, I’m just always very happy to find like-minded people…)

  14. Mariko 19/08/2016 9:55 am

    Sorry if my English is bad, it is my second language 🙂 This is such a great post and I had a feeling that he was queer whilst reading the Raven boys. I’m just going through the second book rn. I found another little hint in TDT even though I think you have all the evidence here already in your post.
    In page 98 of TDT Kavinsky calls him a derogatory term for a queer person starting with an “F” to this Ronan replies back to Kavinsky with “Russian” (Kavinsky is a Russian name). It’s like Ronan had retorted back by pointing out the obvious because Kavinsky remarked at him with the obvious just before.

  15. Helen 09/12/2016 6:38 pm

    Ronan is the gayest™!! I love him so much and I agree – there is no way that you could even try and say that he’s straight?? (even taking off our “queer-glasses”)

  16. wynne 07/03/2017 12:24 am

    I went into the books with Ronan’s sexuality accidentally spoiled, and the hints *were* there in the first book. It’s masterful because they’re very subtle for the reasons you listed, and I don’t think I’d have caught them on the first go if I hadn’t known beforehand, but they’re definitely there.

    Re. Adam, the line that always stuck with me was when he casually described Ronan as the handsomest boy in the school. I think it’s in TRB or TDT? Now, of course people are generally aware when their friends are attractive and it’s in the context of him wanting to belong at Aglionby, so it doesn’t necessarily a bisexual make, but it was definitely a moment where, knowing Ronan’s secret, you pause and put your hand under your chin and go, “HmmmmMMMMMMMM?”

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