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|“||It has to get better. The way we treat each other and look out for each other. It has to get better somehow.||„|
|~ Clay to Mr. Porter.|
|“||I want to show you something super cool. Look at these lockers. They all look alike, right? Not this one. This one is special. It belonged to a girl who killed herself. You see all these “don’t kill yourself” posters up on the wall? They weren’t up before. They put them up because she killed herself. And why did she do it? Because the kids here treated her like sh*t! But no one wants to admit it, so they paint over the bathrooms and put up a memorial, because that’s the kind of school that this is. Everyone is just so nice until they drive you to kill yourself. And sooner or later, the truth will come out! It’s gonna come out! Welcome to Liberty High.||„|
|~ Clay Jensen's famous speech.|
Clay Jensen is the deuteragonist of the novel Thirteen Reasons Why and the main protagonist of its 2017 Netflix adaptation. He is a 17-year-old resident of Liberty who lives with his parents. He attends the local high school, Liberty High.
In the first season Clay is mourning the loss of his close friend and love interest Hannah Baker. He receives a set of thirteen tapes, each containing audio from Hannah. In the first tape she reveals that she created the tapes before she killed herself and each tape contains one of the thirteen reasons she killed herself. Each reason is a person and the tape subjects are to all receive the set in order of the arrangement of the tapes. Her close friend Tony has been entrusted to ensure everyone receives the tapes. In the fourth season, he slowly becomes a protagonist villain.
He is portrayed by Dylan Minette, who also played a young Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men, a young Michael Scofield in Prison Break, Anthony Cooper in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Godd, Very Bad Day, Zach Cooper in Goosebumps and Alex in Don't Breath.
Clay listens to each of the tapes, anxiously awaiting his own. He lashes out at the tape subjects after hearing their tapes. He even goes as far as to take a photo of Tyler Down while he is naked and sends it around the school as payback for him taking a photo of Hannah kissing a girl and distributing it across the school as revenge for Hannah not going on a date with him. He also keys Zach Dempsey's car believing him to have known about Hannah's struggles and just ignored them.
Clay is guided in his listening to the tapes by Tony. Clay and Tony become close friends over the course of the series.
Clay particularly takes Justin Foley's second tape seriously as it reveals that Bryce Walker raped Jessica Davis, another student at Liberty High, Justin's girlfriend. The twelvth tape which is for Bryce reveals that Bryce also raped Hannah. Clay shows more anger at Bryce than any other of the tape subjects and takes it upon himself to have Bryce bought to justice by confronting Bryce about the incident and secretly recording their conversation. He then gives the tapes and Bryce's confession to the final tape subject, Mr Porter, Liberty High's school counsellor.
In season two Liberty High is bought to trial by Hannah's parents after they hear the tapes. Clay takes it upon himself to have Bryce convicted for his crimes. He and Tony search for Justin Foley, a witness of Jessica's rape so that he can testify against Bryce. When they find him Clay sneaks Justin into his house and secretly keeps him there. His parents find out but allow Justin to stay.
During the trial of Liberty High it is revealed that Zach and Hannah briefly dated over the previous summer vacation. Zach however kept the relationship secret from his friends, as Hannah was unpopular at the school and he did not want his reputation to be dragged down. Clay lashes out at Zach in a fit of jealousy and anger.
Clay travels to Bryce's house and attempts to murder him until he is talked down by Justin. Clay and Tyler Down become close friends. In the end Clay's parents adopt Justin and the two become brothers. During the school dance at the end of the year "the night we met" by Lord Huron plays; a song Clay and Hannah danced to. Clay breaks into tears. Clay and his friends discover that Tyler Down has a gun and is driving to the dance to kill everyone. Clay tells everyone not to call the police and when Tyler arrives Clay goes to confront him. Clay persuades Tyler not to go forth with the mass murder and takes his gun off him. Tony arrives in his car, Tyler goes in and Tony drives off.
Season 3 is split into two storylines: the events leading up to Bryce's murder and the aftermath of it.
In the events leading up to the murder Clay and Tony dispose of Tyler's guns by throwing them into a river to cover up what he tried to do. Clay befriends a new student named Ani Achola and develops feelings for her. To his horror she ends up having feelings for Bryce and as a result Clay becomes very hostile toward him, even threatening to murder him. Clay drives to Bryce's house after stating he will murder Bryce. It is unknown if Clay was truly planning on going through with the murder.
In the aftermath Bryce's murder is being investigated by the police. It is shown that Clay and Justin have become extremely close as brothers. Clay and Ani look into Bryce's murder and try to find out who the killer is. Upon finding out that Clay was close to the location Bryce was murdered and texted Bryce stating he would murder him, Clay becomes the prime suspect in the murder. In the end Clay and Ani discover that the murderer was actually Alex Standall, a close friend of theirs. In order to prevent Clay or Alex being prosecuted for the murder Ani frames the recently deceased Montgomery De La Cruz who had been convicted of raping Tyler, for Bryce's death. Clay and Ani start dating at the end of the series.
- His favorite genre of novels are fantasy and science-fiction.
- Clay is the only person on Hannah's tapes who is not considered to be one of the reasons why Hannah committed suicide.
- He was also on Hannah's list twice for reasons to live.