|“||I’m at work. Two hours from now, I’m going to my next job for another four hours. If you’re trying to convince me that I don’t need Aglionby after I have killed myself over it for a year, you’re wasting your breath. Be a loser if you want to, but don’t make me part of it to make yourself feel better.||”|
—Adam, to Ronan.
Adam Parrish is a scholarship student at Aglionby Academy. He is friends with his fellow students Richard Gansey, Ronan Lynch and Noah Czerny, and has a complicated relationship but strong bond with Blue Sargent.
He highly prioritizes his education as a means of future escape.
During the events of The Raven Boys, Adam relies primarily on his bicycle for transportation, and sometimes a lift from Gansey or Ronan, until he is given a car in The Dream Thieves. He prefers to hide the fact that he relies on them from his parents, who disapprove of Adam 'flaunting' his Aglionby life. He came to Aglionby as a scholarship student. He receives a partial scholarship to which he contributes $18,423 a year from his part-time jobs. Out of all of his friends, he is the poorest and dislikes talking about his financial situation.
While living at home, in a double-wide trailer, he used to skip school to avoid questions about the clear evidence of his father's physical abuse. Gansey and Ronan often covered for him. Because of the events between Ronan and Adam's father toward the end of The Raven Boys, Adam now lives in a room he rents from St. Agnes Church.
Adam is the first person to go into the Dreaming Tree in Cabeswater and have a 'vision'. In it, he sees himself (though it is unclear whether directly or indirectly) having killed Gansey, while Blue looks on in shock and Ronan shouts at him, grieving and furious. In the climax of The Raven Boys, Adam sacrifices his free will and control to Cabeswater in return for the waking of Henrietta's ley line; he says, "I will be your hands, I will be your eyes." He has since become Cabeswater's main line of communication with the rest of the group.
Adam is very intelligent and tops most of his classes at Aglionby, with the exception of Latin where his boyfriend Ronan is the top student. He is seen to be a very logical and pragmatic person. Adam cares more about his found family than his biological one (the Gangsey versus his abusive father and compliant mother), but he struggles with this throughout the series, at first believing that he owes something to his biological family despite their cruel treatment of him. He is seen to have inner conflict concerning invisible price tags on favors from his friends, even when they are well-meaning. This is likely due to his abusive home situation, of where his father and mother are shown to manipulate him through things they have done for him (e.g. allowing him to go to a private school). Adam is a thoughtful and perceptive person who is frequently preoccupied with other people's feelings, but often, when it suits him, he prefers to think about his own problems and the power other people have over him. He believes himself to be 'unknowable' and an 'ugly boy'. This contrasts with how he sees Ronan, who he believes creates "beautiful" things and has a genuine nature.
Adam keeps his private and school lives separate from his family and friends. He is able to attend Aglionby as a result of a generous partial scholarship and working multiple jobs and does not speak of Aglionby or his wealthy friends to his parents to avoid the appearance of 'flaunting' them in the face of their poor socioeconomic status. Although his friends are aware of the abuse he endures from his father, Adam refuses to disclose details of his home life, believing they wouldn't understand his situation, and ignores their pleas for him to press charges. However, in The Raven Boys, Ronan witnesses Adam's father throwing him down the front stairs and comes to Adam's defense and attacks his father. Adam refuses to let Ronan go to jail (and be subsequently kicked out of school and Monmouth) for defending him and bravely decides to press charges against his father, leading to his move into the church apartment and officially severing ties with his parents. Gansey and Ronan testify as witnesses of character.
Adam bases his decisions on logic, rather than emotions. He is an analytical thinker and didn't used to believe in the supernatural until he started witnessing it for himself during quests to find Glendower and the Henrietta Ley Line. He is suspicious of magic and the supernatural and doesn't trust it unless he is desperate. He is stubbornly self-reliant, reluctant to ask for help even when it is clear he cannot go on without it. He is shy and introverted, which is shown when Gansey had to talk to Blue as Adam's wingman. He is cautious when it comes to sharing details about his life with anyone but his closest friends and is overly concerned with creating a good first impression.
Adam goes through a significant character arc concerning the way in which he interacts with and trusts others. His perception of relationships and dynamics was greatly affected by his parents' abuse, of which cause him to develop trust issues. This reluctance to rely on others spread into his friendships, as seen in his pride issues - of which cause numerous conflicts within his relationships. However, this is a direct result of the toxic connotations surrounding gifts and favours that he learned to expect from his parents. He initially displays barely suppressed violent behaviours towards his friends, but later learns to disperse his anger and express himself in healthier methods.
Adam is described as tall and slim with blue eyes and unevenly cropped dusty brown hair. Blue once told Adam that his hair is the color of dirt, to which Adam replied by saying his hair knows where it comes from. He is unconventionally attractive. He has a fine-boned and tanned face. He had the typical Henrietta prominent cheekbones and deep-set eyes, but his version of them was more delicate. It was revealed in the first conversation between Gansey and Helen in book one that Adam was white. When he is at school, he wears second-hand Aglionby jumpers. Adam is noted to once wear a Coca-Cola shirt, of which Calla then uses in referral to him.
He has a Henrietta accent, which he constantly tries to cover up. He is deaf in his left ear due to his father's abuse - specifically, from a fight in The Raven Boys.
Richard Gansey Edit
Ronan Lynch Edit
Noah Czerny Edit
Blue Sargent Edit
- Tri-coloured Hondoyota, which was given to him by Helen in The Dream Thieves.
- His watch
- Rubber plant
- He is bisexual. He has shown attraction to Blue, Helen, Gansey, Orla, Greenmantle (before knowing) and Ronan.
- He hates it when people spend money like it's nothing and is resistant when Gansey tries to support him.
- He does not own a cell phone.
- He is described as "very loud" by Maura, Persephone and Calla when he came for his reading, along with Gansey and Ronan. They meant this in terms of psychic energy rather than literal volume of voice.
- Persephone has referred to him multiple times as 'The Magician', and, before that, 'Coca-Cola t-shirt'.
- Adam keeps his change in a cereal box under his bed.
- Adam seems to be slightly envious of Gansey. He admits to studying Gansey's mannerisms and easy-going gestures and it's the only master class that he has never gotten good at.
- Adam is aware of Ronan's crush on him as of some point between the end of The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily Lily Blue, most likely when he concludes that Ronan - not Gansey - paid his landlady to lower the rent of his church apartment to alleviate the financial strain of Aglionby's raised tuition costs.
- We find out in The Raven King that Adam returns Ronan's feelings, and by the end of the book they are a couple.
- He is an INTJ, and a Cancer sun sign.
- He is born on July 3rd, as seen in The Dream Thieves.