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Maeve Wiley is one of the main characters in Sex Education. She is portrayed by Emma Mackey.

Maeve is an intelligent and sarcastic social outcast and “bad girl” at Moordale Secondary School, who befriends Otis Milburn in sixth-form when the two begin a sex therapy clinic to make money off of their peers. She is a member of the Aptitude Scheme and Quiz Heads.

Early Life[]

Maeve was almost exclusively raised by her older brother, Sean who also is addicted to drugs, in a trailer park in the small town of Moordale after their father left them, and their mother, a drug addict, was arrested for drug dealing. A few months before Maeve reached sixth-form at Moordale Secondary School, Sean similarly abandoned her, forcing Maeve to scrap for money by doing her peers’ homework for them in order to afford her caravan’s rent.

Four years before the events of the series, Maeve was invited to Claire Tyler's 14th birthday party. There, Simon Furthassle tried to kiss her, but she rejected him. In revenge, he decided to spread a rumour about Maeve that she gave him a blowjob and bit his scrotum, hence her nickname “cock-biter”, which swayed a large amount of people to turn their backs on her, and spread more rumours about her promiscuity or even harass her about performing sexual acts for money. This led Maeve to become an outcast within the school, as she distanced herself from the majority of people with few exceptions, such as Aimee, Jackson, and later Otis.

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

During her first day in sixth-form, Maeve befriends Otis when the two help Adam Groff overcome his sexual performance anxiety and subsequent abuse of viagra. Maeve then suggests that they begin a sex therapy clinic to help and charge money from other students at the school; while Maeve deals with business and appointment scheduling, Otis engages in sex therapy. Meanwhile, Maeve begins having casual sex with Jackson Marchetti before the two eventually start dating after Otis inadvertently gives Jackson advice on how to win Maeve over. When Maeve discovers that she is pregnant with Jackson’s child, she asks Otis to accompany her to get an abortion. She and Otis subsequently grow closer as the first season progresses, and the two secretly begin to develop feelings for each other. Maeve grows jealous when she sees Otis with Ola during the school dance, forcing her to come to the realization that she is in love with him. Jackson discovers this, and before breaking up with Maeve, he tells her that Otis was the one who told him how to win her. Maeve becomes angry at Otis for breaking her trust, but soon forgives him after he apologizes. Maeve is then expelled from Moordale Secondary when she takes the fall for her brother Sean, who returned after several months of absence and was caught selling drugs during the school dance. Later that day, Maeve decides to finally confess her true feelings to Otis, only to witness him kissing Ola. Maeve then mistakenly assumes that Otis does not feel the same way about her, unaware that Otis only entered a relationship with Ola due to similarly believing that Maeve did not love him back.

Season 2[]

A few weeks later as the new school term is about to begin, Maeve worked as a cashier waitress at a shopping mall. She is confronted by her mother Erin, who has had another daughter named Elsie since she abandoned Maeve years ago. Erin begs Maeve to let her and Elsie temporarily move into her trailer, to which Maeve agrees. Not wanting to become a failure and school dropout like her mum, Maeve returns to Moordale Secondary with proof that she was responsible for writing all of the school’s award-winning literature essays for her classmates, having been rejected of her return, she uses the microphone to expose the students that she helped write essays for, such as Ruby Matthews. She then threatens to reveal the truth if Headmaster Groff does not let her back in immediately. Upon being re-enrolled, Maeve is convinced to join the school‘s Aptitude Scheme and Quiz Heads group by her English teacher Ms. Sands to increase her chances of being accepted by a prestigious university after completing her secondary studies. Despite a rocky start due to her independent nature, Maeve ultimately helps the Quiz Heads win a tournament of competitions.

Meanwhile, Maeve befriends a new, paraplegic neighbour in her trailer park named Isaac. Isaac later informs Maeve that her mum has been lying about securing a job and secretly returns to the caravan to take drugs while Maeve is at school. Concerned for her half-sister’s well-being, a heartbroken Maeve reports her mum’s actions to social services, causing both Erin and Elsie to be taken away by the authorities.

Maeve continues to conduct the sex therapy clinic with Otis. Per the advice of her best friend Aimee, Maeve finally reveals her true feelings to Otis, who always liked Maeve but assumed that she did not feel the same way about him. This revelation forces Otis to choose between Maeve and his current girlfriend Ola. Otis opts to remain with Ola, only for Ola to break-up with him upon realizing that he is in love with Maeve while she is in love with Lily. During a house party, Otis drunkenly confesses to liking Maeve significantly more than Ola, but states that he initially chose to stay with the latter out of fear that he would end up becoming a cheater like his father. He then accuses both Maeve and Ola of being selfish and “playing with his feelings”. The next day, Maeve expresses her disappointment in Otis for his hurtful words and subsequent one-night stand with Ruby. After receiving some much-needed advice from his father on never letting go of a true loved one, Otis calls Maeve and leaves a voicemail in which he apologizes for his many mistakes and admits to his poor errors in judgement before confessing his love for her. However, a jealous Isaac, who has secretly developed feelings for Maeve, deletes the message from her phone before she has a chance to hear it.

Season 3[]

In Season 3, Maeve has a "breakfast club" with Isaac and his brother. She and Isaac have a connection that builds over time. During this time Maeve learns that Issac deleted Otis' voicemail for her, and despite being angry with him for a while, Maeve eventually forgives him.Isaac clearly is in love with her and Maeve starts to connect with him- emotionally and physically. They hook up.

Maeve is also having issues with her mom and sister. Her mom is ignoring her calls, furious that she called the police on her. Elsie was put in foster care with a nice woman called Anna. Maeve goes to visit Elsie at this house and runs into her mother there.

On the France school trip, Maeve and Aimee fight because Aimee paid for Maeve's school trip fees without her knowledge and thought it was Anna this whole time. They both exchanged words including that she is completely different from Aimee and she doesn't have to worry about paying bills cause she was already rich and Aimee accuses her of pushing everyone away like she did with Otis. Maeve then struck back saying that she doesn't get a say in her love life as she is too much of a people pleaser to breakup with Steve. Maeve and Otis then get stranded at a petrol station when going to the bathroom after the bus leaves and they open up to one another- Maeve admits that Isaac deleted Otis' voicemail and she never received it. They kiss when the bus came to fetch them right at the moment.Maeve is confused about her feelings for him and Isaac.

Elsie gets taken by her mom and Maeve tries to help the police track her mom down. Eventually she finds her mom and takes Elsie home. Erin comes back and offers Maeve some money for the America program and she accepts it.

Isaac finds out about Otis and eventually takes himself out of the running, saying he wants someone who just wants him. This opens the door for Maeve and Otis to finally be together. However, Maeve gets into the America program and decided to not go until Aimee convinced her to.

Relationships[]

Love Interests[]

Isaac Goodwin[]

Maeve’s next-door neighbor at the trailer park in which she resides, Isaac attempts to spark a friendship with her upon realizing that they were both abandoned by their respective parents at a young age. Isaac later helps Maeve to spy on Erin when she suspects her mother of lying to her. After Erin’s unwilling departure, Maeve goes to Isaac for comfort. However, Isaac develops obsessive romantic feelings for Maeve, and deletes a voicemail message on her phone left by Otis in which the latter confesses his love to her. However he later on admits this to Maeve, causing her to ignore Isaac for weeks as he broke her trust, but the two later reconciled and eventually had sexual intercourse. During Erin's supposed kidnapping of Elsie, Otis and Isaac volunteered to stay by Maeve's side, but Isaac saw that something was going on between them and eventually left Maeve to sort the kidnapping on her own. Maeve later moved out, and said goodbye to Isaac.

Otis Milburn[]

A shy and introverted fellow student at Moordale Secondary, Otis starts out as Maeve’s friend and business partner for their sex clinic. Maeve and Otis soon realize that they share far more in common than they had originally thought, and before long Otis becomes one of the only people whom Maeve can confide in and rely on. As time progresses, the two begin to secretly develop romantic feelings for one another, although neither of them act on their impulses out of fear that the other does not feel the same way. It is only in the subsequent school term that Maeve and Otis confess to loving each other, and their respective poor timings in doing so once again hinders them from entering a romantic relationship yet.

Jackson Marchetti[]

An athletic swimmer at Moordale Secondary, Jackson and Maeve begin having casual sex at the start of sixth-form. While Jackson sought to solidify their relationship, Maeve expressed no interest in having him as a boyfriend. It is only when Otis inadvertently advises Jackson to start taking an interest in Maeve’s hobbies and to stage a grand gesture does Maeve agree to be his girlfriend. Their relationship does not last long, however, as Jackson soon comes to the realization that Maeve is truly in love with Otis when he notices the former’s jealousy upon seeing the latter with Ola at the school dance. Accepting that Maeve will never be able to fully reciprocate his feelings for her, Jackson decides to break up with Maeve and remains hostile towards both his ex-girlfriend and Otis in the subsequent school term.

Family[]

Sean Wiley[]

Maeve’s older brother who took care of her in the trailer park after their parents abandoned them. Sean originally attended Moordale Secondary also, but was expelled for disruptive behavior and drug dealing, causing him to abandon Maeve for many months as well. Upon returning, Sean was once again caught selling drugs at the school but Maeve takes the fall for him this time, only for Sean to abruptly leave her yet again.

Erin Wiley[]

Maeve's mother, Erin, finally returned after being clean for 13 months with a 3-year old daughter, Elsie. Claiming to have her life sorted out, Maeve agrees to let her live with her in the caravan. After being told by Isaac that her mum is secretly sneaking back into the caravan, Maeve catches her mum to which Erin admits that she was fired but is looking for work, Maeve issues Erin a final warning.

Maeve reports Erin to social services, after getting proof from Isaac that she is using again, in fear of her Elsie's safety. Erin and Elsie are both taken in by social services, with Erin making it to Maeve that she will never forgive her for what she has done.

All throughout season 3, she and Maeve eventually reconciled, providing her the fees to go to America to further her studies after Maeve helped her escape the police.

Elsie Wiley[]

Maeve first meets her 3-year old half-sister, Elsie, when her mum returns to visit her at work. At first, Maeve was not fond of Elsie, but this quickly changed after spending time with her. Maeve babysit Elsie, alongside Cynthia, while her mum was at work or NA meetings. In fear for her sister, Maeve reports her mum to social services after discovering that she is using again, resulting in both Elsie and Erin being taken in.

Friends[]

Aimee Gibbs[]

Maeve’s best friend who was originally a member of the school's “Untouchables” clique and thus, refused to be seen with the “unpopular” and “cock-biting” Maeve in public. Aimee later abandons her more sociable and popular friends out of loyalty to Maeve, and the two begin hanging out outside of school as well. When Aimee is sexually assaulted on a bus in the subsequent term, Maeve accompanies her in reporting this incident to the police, and eventually supports her in overcoming her fear and anxiety over taking the bus again.

Steve Morley[]

Aimee's gentle boyfriend who later becomes Maeve’s teammate on the Moordale Quiz Heads. After Steve expresses concern over Aimee’s behavior following her sexual assault, Maeve reassures him that Aimee still loves him but just needs some time to cope and get back to normal.

Emily Sands[]

The English teacher at Moordale Secondary School who supports and encourages the initially unenthusiastic Maeve to aim higher and strive for excellence. Maeve is Ms. Sands’ most favored student due to her nature as a “brilliant writer”, and the latter even helped the former to get re-enrolled into the school after she was expelled. Ms. Sands later recruits Maeve for the school’s Aptitude Scheme and Quiz Heads team to help increase her chances of getting into a prestigious university after her secondary studies.

Enemies and rivals[]

Ola Nyman[]

Maeve first saw Ola kissing Otis and later formally met in the hallway during the school dance. Maeve slowly begins to dislike Ola and Ola notices that Otis and Maeve are not simply friends. Both of them had a tension very early on, when Ola and Otis were going to have sex,Maeve texted Otis and Ola saw, later wanting him to cut ties with Maeve.

Simon Furthassle[]

Simon is the boy who started Maeve's nickname "cock-biter" by telling everyone that she bit his scrotum in the middle of a blowjob when in truth, she pushed him away while he tried to kiss her at Claire Tyler's 14th birthday party.

Hope[]

Hope Haddon was Maeve's former guide throughout school as the new headmistress, giving Maeve the promise to help her in getting the funds for her scholarship if Maeve follows the rules. However, much to her shock Maeve discovers Hope's negative side, after she commits horrible acts of atrocities towards students, and giving them the wrong sex advice. Maeve tries to get Otis to help her on this, to which he initially declines. However, he eventually agrees to help her, and eventually Hope is kicked out of Moordale.

The Untouchables[]

Ruby[]

Ruby is always on the front line when it comes to making fun of Maeve or calling her by her cruel nickname even after she has helped her without expecting any compensation. During episode 2.1, Maeve, irritated by Ruby's behavior, revealed to the whole school via the loudspeakers that she was one of her many clients for writing false essays. Although the animosity between them has so far never been more than a deep mutual contempt, the revelation of Otis having his first sexual intercourse with Ruby may have changed the situation as it seems to have particularly affected Maeve.

Others[]

Similar to Ruby, Olivia and Anwar often mock Maeve and calling her a "cock-biter" all the time, bullying her whenever they can. It seems as though Olivia and Anwar hate Maeve because of her rivalry with Ruby.

Michael Groff[]

The Headmaster of Moordale Secondary School that holds a grudge against Maeve because of her brother Sean. He later expels Maeve from Moordale for supplying drugs on school campus during prom, as she was taking the fall for her brother and protecting him and Otis. Mr Groff reluctantly reinstates Maeve after she and Miss Sands both threaten to expose that Adam's award winning essay, amongst others, was written by Maeve.

Personality[]

Pessimists outlive optimists.
— Maeve to Otis, in 1.06

Maeve is a highly intelligent teenager with a bold and sarcastic personality who generally keeps to herself. Described by Otis as a pessimist with “gems of nihilistic wisdom”, she possesses a sardonic and morbid sense of humor - commonly mocking and insulting her peers, a lot of the time. She is distrustful of almost everyone, which can be traced back to her upbringing and scarcely reliable family.

Despite her harsh and “mean” exterior, at her core, Maeve is a kind soul who likes to help people in need. She has proven capable of demonstrating extreme acts of kindness and compassion towards those closest to her, such as Otis and Aimee. Due to her mother abandoning her and her brother, Sean, along with the bullying she sustains, she is a quite defensive person, rarely opening herself up. However, as she begins to be in company with people like Otis and her best friend Aimee, she begins to reveal a softer side to her tough nature.

She has demonstrated a high aptitude for English literature, history, and philosophy, among other subjects. She is an avid reader and writer who enjoys literary novels by authors like Jane Austen, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Roxane Gay, and Jhumpa Lahiri. According to Otis, Maeve also has a "great taste in music" and listens to bands like Joy Division, Nirvana, Sløtface, and Bikini Kill. Maeve deeply enjoys feminist literature, often drawing inspiration from them, and applying it to her life.

Appearances[]

Season One (8/8)[]

Season Two (8/8)[]

Season Three (8/8)[]

Quotes[]

Are you a complete moron?
— Maeve to Otis[src]
That was a rhetorical question.
— Maeve to Otis[src]
See ya later pet.
— Maeve to Aimee[src]
I think I know what the hymen is but thanks.
— Maeve to Otis[src]
Twelve. Wish I knew who the father was.
— Maeve to a cashier[src]
Complex female characters.
— Maeve to Jackson[src]
You waited
— Maeve to Otis[src]
I have a hatchet and I know a good place to hide a body.
— Maeve to Otis[src]
That men are dicks and selective castration is our only hope.
— Maeve to Jackson[src]
That makes me sick.
— Maeve to Otis[src]
...I don't do boyfriends.
— Maeve to Otis[src]
Disappear again and I'll stab you in the eye.
— Maeve to Sean[src]
Yeah of course, I'm not a troglodyte.
— Maeve to Jackson[src]

Trivia[]

  • Maeve's number is [900453|07700 900453] as revealed in Season 3.[2]
  • Maeve's locker number is 120, as shown throughout the series.
  • When Maeve was a baby, her mother called her The Michelin Man due to how large Maeve was.[3]

Gallery[]

Season 1[]

Season 2[]

Season 3[]

References[]

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