Study Guide

The Raven Boys Exploration

By Maggie Stiefvater

Exploration

All night he'd sat outside the monstrously modern Church of the Holy Redeemer, recorder running, ears straining, waiting for—something. The atmosphere had been less than magical. Possibly not the best place to try to make contact with the future dead, but Gansey had maintained high hopes for the power of St. Mark's Eve. (2.17)

Doesn't Gansey have any normal teenage hobbies, like playing video games or making out with girls or something? Nah, this guy seems to spend all his time sneaking around creepy churches and using an energy reader.

But the fact was this: Gansey had spent the last four years working with the thinnest scraps of evidence possible and the barely heard voice was all the encouragement he needed. His eighteen months in Henrietta had used some of the sketchiest scraps of all as he searched for a ley line—a perfectly straight, supernatural energy path that connected spiritual places—and the elusive tomb he hoped lay along its path. (2.60)

Gansey's not one to give up on his quest easily. Even the mere suggestion that he may have picked up on some supernatural activity on St. Mark's Eve is enough to keep him going.

More than anything, the journal wanted. It wanted more than it could hold, more than words could describe, more than diagrams could illustrate. Longing burst from the pages, in every frantic line and every hectic sketch and every dark-printed definition. There was something pained and melancholy about it. (8.46)

Even though Blue doesn't exactly know what Gansey's journal reveals, she can tell that he wants to find something very badly. It's obvious that all this researching and exploring is meant to lead him to his life's goal.

Whelk stood back and crossed his arms, studying the dozens of marks and notations he'd made on the maps over the course of his search. Czerny's impossible handwriting, always in red, noted energy levels along the possible path of the ley line. Back then, it had been a game, a treasure hunt. A play for glory. Was it true? It didn't matter. It was an expensive exercise in strategy with the East Coat as the playing field. (10.10)

Like Gansey and friends, Whelk used to look for the ley lines for fun. He didn't really care about the outcome; it was all about the adventure. But now he's desperate to find them so that he can be the most powerful Latin teacher ever.

"I'm the only person in my family who's not psychic. You heard my mom; I just make things easier for people who are psychic. If magic exists, I just want to see it. Just once."

"You're as bad as Gansey," Adam said, but he didn't sound as if he thought that was very bad at all. "He doesn't need anything but to know it's real." (21.26-27)

Blue doesn't care about the hunt for Glendower or anything like that. She just wants to be in the middle of the action when something magical goes down. Is that so much to ask?

Gansey, energized, set the boys out on Glendower-related tasks for the next three days, and to Adam's surprise, Blue managed to come along for each of them. Though she never said as much, it was clear she was keeping them a secret, because she never contacted the boys by phone or met up with the near 300 Fox Way. Despite their lack of formal planning and psychic ability, they all had schedules largely dictated by school, so they managed to meet up to explore with remarkable precision. (25.1)

How do these kids find the time after school to go exploring in creepy woods and to research Glendower at the library? Don't they have homework and exams to study for?

If he'd been Ronan, he would've kept going. The thing about Ronan was that he knew no limits, no fears, no boundaries. If Gansey had been Ronan, he would've crushed the gas pedal to the floor until the road or a cop or a tree stopped him. He would cut class tomorrow to go see the forest. (33.12)

Ronan is pretty fearless, which makes him a great fellow adventurer. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any sense of responsibility, unlike Gansey. Gansey's into the idea of exploring forever, but he knows that he needs to pause and take care of his other pressing engagements.

Gansey continued, "I'm going back to Cabeswater. He took my journal, but I'm not letting him take Glendower, too. I'm not going to stop looking just because he's looking, too. And I'm going to fix Noah. Somehow." (35.53)

Gansey certainly doesn't give up when it comes to his quest to find Glendower. Now that he's being threatened by Whelk, he's even less likely to slow down. He's got to find that dead king before Whelk does… it's his destiny.

I'm not betraying him, Adam thought. We're still doing this together. Only, when I come back, we'll be equals.
His friend didn't stir as he let himself out of the door. As he left, the only sound he heard was the whisper of the night wind through the trees of Henrietta. (41.55-56)

Gansey is not going to be happy when he finds out that his best friend tried to go find Glendower without him. That's Gansey's official goal in life, and Adam is taking it away from him.

"They said there've always been rumors of a king buried somewhere along this spirit road," Ronan said. His eyes held Gansey's. "They think he may be yours." (47.31)

Hey—the trees have perfectly set up the raven boys and Blue for the next installment in the Raven Cycles series. We now know what they're going to do in the next book—find Glendower.