a list of sounds
- high heels clacking on the marble tiles of a church
- a soda can being opened
- a plastic-covered library book being pressed flat, crunching the binding
- a marble rolling on a wooden floor
- wood popping and crackling as it burns
- an orchestra tuning
you have no idea how much I love the orchestra tuning
it’s one of the best things
you can hear these in your head
OH DUDE THAT’S MY JAM. Seriously, I love you for bringing this up, because it’s a fascinating flaw in Gansey’s character that I’m still picking apart. He has this enormous gift of love and kindness, obviously. As Adam reminds us repeatedly, Gansey willingly chose people like Adam, Ronan, and Noah for friends, and never seems outwardly fazed by their darkness. Most people would consider him a saint for everything he does for Ronan in particular, despite the fact that Gansey’s method isn’t actually working. He’s a good guy, full stop, in so many ways.
And yet, Gansey’s love is, as you sort of imply, surprisingly conditional. I think it’s less about being rooted in the past though as it is extremely focused on only the positive, with the negative either childishly split off into a different, “evil” version of that person (“Remember the other Ronan”) or evaded entirely (refusing to discuss Cabeswater, the extraordinarily careful and precise way he takes in Kavinsky answering Ronan’s phone—after having received a text which clearly indicated Ronan was unclothed—and completely sidesteps it mentally). It’s like there’s a part of Gansey that can’t really comprehend a person being more than one thing, if those things contradict one another. Ronan can’t be that sensitive, buoyant boy he once knew and also this death trap of a being that can be set off with a harsh word; can’t want to bring everything he’s going through to a grinding halt and also be afraid of death itself. Adam can’t love and admire Gansey and also be horrifically envious of him; can’t be modest and unassuming and also selfishly ambitious. Once the first part takes hold (the good part that Gansey sees in them) the second part is just this glitch that he wants to eradicate, rather than just another part of the programming.
Gansey has a child’s idealism in many ways. In fact, the entire purpose of his quest for Glendower is that he can’t accept that a good accident merely happened. He wants it to have meaning, he wants his life to have meaning and not just be a pattern of fortunate circumstances from which he benefits—which may, in fact, be mostly why. I think Gansey has a narrative which he wants his life to follow, and in that narrative Ronan repairs himself (which to Gansey, means Ronan becomes who he once was) and Adam learns to trust him and stand by him and Noah lives and they find Glendower and everything works out because there is something more than what he sees in front of him. Something more than happenstance. Of course, that’s an extremely privileged way of looking at the world, but privileged is Gansey’s most defining trait. It’s what he constantly tries to overcome, and yet what controls him in ways he can’t at his age even begin to understand.