|“||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.
Student at Harvard University (Call Down the Hawk)
Thayer Hall, Harvard
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 is at the top of all of his classes at Aglionby. He is a pragmatic person who tries to base his decisions on logic rather than emotion, but he is also thoughtful and perceptive. He is stubbornly self-reliant and willing to argue this point at length with his closest friends, especially Gansey. He will always refuse anything he perceives to be a handout and disdains pity or charity of any kind. He feels like favors from his friends bear an invisible price tag, even when they are well-meaning, and will go to great lengths to avoid indebtedness.
Constantly comparing himself with his peers, Adam is a study in contradiction: his contempt for the arrogance and profligacy of his fellow Aglionby students is always at odds with his intense desire to share their world and blend in as one of them. His impoverished home life drives his ambition to pull himself out of Henrietta and toward a future where he is free to pursue whatever he wants, without the constraints of money or fear.
He assiduously separates his school life from his home life; he does not speak of Aglionby or his wealthy friends to his parents, who resent Adam's quest for personal betterment and likewise refuses to talk about his father's abuse with his friends, believing they wouldn't understand his situation. While Adam cares more about his found family of Gansey, Ronan, Noah, and Blue than his biological one, he struggles for some time with the belief that he owes something to his parents despite their cruel treatment of him.
Though he is usually confident in his intelligence, Adam is shy and introverted, and often doubts his ability to interact with others without betraying what he considers a shameful, pitiable upbringing. He is overly concerned with making a good first impression, often suppressing his Henrietta accent and dispensing with any other clues to his background. He studies others' behavior in order to learn how to be more at ease with people, though he acknowledges that he may simply lack Gansey's innate aptitude for outward congeniality.
An analytical thinker, Adam didn't believe in the supernatural until he started witnessing it for himself during the quest to find Glendower and wake the ley line. He is suspicious of magic and the supernatural and doesn't trust it unless he is desperate. For a while, especially after making his bargain with Cabeswater, Adam believed himself to be "unknowable", a refrain he hears in his mind when his otherness is particularly evident. He eventually comes to the realization that, really, he is not so misunderstood by his friends; rather, he does not fully understand himself. On one occasion, he has displayed barely suppressed violent behaviors towards his friends, but eventually learns to defuse his anger and express himself in a healthier manner.
Adam has a skinny and angular build, with features pretty enough to be remarked upon by multiple characters. His hair is, “the colour of dirt,” and looks self-cut. He’s tanned, with deep-set eyes, and a downturned mouth. He is deaf in his left ear after his father slams his head against a railing. Ronan thinks he has beautiful hands, with a jutting thumb, prominent veins, and long fingers. Adam is self-conscious of his second hand Aglionby uniform. In The Raven Boys, he is known to the 300 Fox Way psychics as “Coca-Cola shirt” on account of his iconic tee. He has a subtle Henrietta (Virginian) accent which emerges when he is angry or afraid. Though, in Call Down the Hawk, Adam works hard on concealing his accent; Ronan initially describes his voice as "a stranger's."
Adam and Ronan are good friends, but have a complicated relationship throughout the series, often fighting over many things. However, in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Adam begins to wonder if Ronan has a crush on him. He dismisses the thought as vanity, but the two boys begin to slowly take their friendship to a romantic level and share a number of personal and heartwarming moments. In The Raven King, Ronan kisses Adam at the Barns, revealing his feelings for Adam and later that night, Adam kisses Ronan, reciprocating those feelings. Adam is protective of Ronan and is constantly worried about Ronan's safety throughout The Raven King. It is also shown that he would die for Ronan. By the end of the series, the two are in a relationship and have been dating for several months.
When Adam and Blue first met, they both showed romantic attraction to each other. However, later on in the series, the two decided that they were better off just being friends. When Blue and Gansey begin to see each other in secret, Adam was angry that the two of them kept a secret from him, thinking that Adam would be jealous. However, later on in The Raven King, the two make up.
Adam and Gansey became close friends a few months after Adam started attending school at Aglionby Academy. Adam had noticed that the Camaro had broken down, and stopped his bike to offer help. Gansey readily accepted Adam's knowledge of cars, and they became fast friends. However, Gansey continues to offer money to Adam, which is something the latter despises. Gansey eventually accepts Adam's notion of independence, but the two often clash over the subject of money.
After sacrifices himself as Cabeswater's hands and eyes, Persephone attempts to teach Adam how to become a magician. She shows him how to scry and gives him her pack of tarot cards. She often reminded him to search outside himself while scrying as he would tend to "retreat inside himself" while divining. Adam was the last person to see Persephone alive. When she went missing, he scried and found that she had gone to the attic, where her dead body was found.
- Hondayota: This tricolour car was given to him by Helen in the The Dream Thieves and retries constant upkeep.
- Watch: Adam gave his old, battered watch to Opal when he first met her.
- Rubber plant: Gifted to Adam by Mrs. Gansey
- Tweed vest: Gifted to Adam by Mr. Gansey
- Red Coca-Cola shirt
- Dreamt gold watch: Ronan gave this to Adam as a gift. It's magical properties enable it to show the time wherever Ronan is.
- The Raven Boys (first appearance)
- The Dream Thieves
- Blue Lily, Lily Blue
- The Raven King
- Opal: A Raven Cycle Story
- Call Down the Hawk
- He is bisexual. He was attracted to Blue and showed attraction to Ronan even before his feelings were revealed.
- He thinks Ronan has nice eyelashes.
- 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 kept his change in a cereal box under his bed in his parent's trailer.
- 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 the balance on his rent at the 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.
- His Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is INTJ.
- Based on his birth date (July 3), Adam's Celtic astrology sign is the oak tree, and his star sign is Cancer.
- In the Raven Boys, he admits to Blue that he hates flying before they go on Gansey's helicopter.
- His favorite colors are Green and Orange