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Éponine Thénardier

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Éponine Thénardier
Biographical information
Also Known As

Jondrette girl



Eye Color


Hair color





June 5, 1832 (aged 17)

Cause of Death

A bullet shot through her hand and then came out through her back (novel)
Shot in the chest while climbing over the barricades (musical)


Monsieur Thénardier (father)
Madame Thénardier (mother)
Azelma (sister)
Gavroche (brother)
Two unnamed younger brothers


Marius (love interest; unrequited)

Behind the scenes

Marie-France Dufour
Marianne Mille
Frances Ruffelle
Loretta Bailey
Stéphanie Martin
Vera Mann
Kaho Shimada
Lea Salonga
Sutton Foster
Rena Sasamoto
Seiko Niizuma
Anza Oyama
Maaya Sakamoto
Lea Michele
Céline Purcell
Ashley Spencer
Danielle Hope
Carrie Hope Fletcher
Asia Argento
Samantha Barks

Éponine Thénardier is a character in the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. She is the cynical but resourceful eldest daughter and first-born child of Monsieur and Madame Thénardier.


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Natalya Angel Wallace as young Éponine in the 2012 movie

Éponine and her younger sister Azelma are first introduced as toddlers in Montfermeil, France in 1818. Their parents Monsieur and Madame Thénardier run their own business as innkeepers. When Éponine and Azelma first meet Cosette, also a toddler, the three of them play together. After taking in Cosette, the Thénardiers abuse her, sell her wardrobe, make her wear rags and force her to work for the inn. At the same time, Éponine and Azelma are spoiled by their parents. The two sisters wear pretty dresses, own many toys, and amuse themselves all day by playing. Following their parents’ example, Éponine and Azelma also mistreat Cosette and at times ignore her.

In 1823, on Christmas Eve, Éponine and Azelma look at a very pretty and expensive doll on display in a Christmas fair. Cosette had also looked at it, but discreetly. Later that night, Éponine and Azelma are playing with their own doll together, but then abandon it on the floor to dress up a kitten instead. Cosette then sees the doll and takes it. Éponine and Azelma suddenly notice Cosette with their doll and tell on her to their mother. After Jean Valjean sees this, he briefly leaves the inn, comes back, and gives Cosette the doll from the fair, as he had left to buy it for her. This results in the two sisters to express jealousy towards Cosette for the first time.

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An impoverished Éponine

Throughout the next eight years, the Thénardiers' inn goes bankrupt, and the family move to Paris. They become completely impoverished, and live in a dirty, run-down apartment at Gorbeau House. They also live under the surname "Jondrette." Éponine, now an adolescent, has become ragged, haggard and is prematurely aging due to living in poverty and has a hoarse voice due to drinking. She and Azelma help Thénardier to racketeer. Éponine falls blindly in love with her neighbor Marius, who lives next door to her and her family in the same apartment building. She first meets him at his apartment to give him a begging letter from her father. To try to impress him, she demonstrates her literacy by reading aloud a passage from a book and then writing a sentence, "Les cognes sont là" ("The police are here." "Cognes" is argot slang for "police"). She then opens up to Marius about her life and her hardships. He feels pity for her and gives her five francs, and she thanks him in argot.

Éponine then leaves to visit a nearby church to ask a philanthropist and his daughter to make a charitable visit to her family. Coincidentally, and unbeknown to Éponine, they turn out to be Valjean and Cosette. When they visit the Thénardier family, Marius recognizes Cosette. After Valjean and Cosette leave, Marius asks Éponine to find Cosette's address. Discovering that he is only in love with Cosette, she is unhappy with his request, but agrees to help him find her for him after making him promise to give her anything she wants as payment.   Later that day, Valjean comes back to the apartment alone with rent money. He is ambushed by Thénardier (recognizing Valjean) and a gang called the Patron-Minette, and they attempt to rob him. Éponine and Azelma participate in the crime by keeping watch outside for the police. When the men decide to kill Valjean, Marius stops them by throwing Éponine's literacy note through the wall. Thénardier reads it and thinks Éponine threw it inside as a warning. Thénardier, Madame Thénardier and the gang try to escape, but are stopped and arrested by Javert. Éponine and Azelma are also arrested, but both are released after two weeks.

After Éponine is released, Babet assigns her to inspect a house. Discovering that it is Valjean and Cosette's house, she informs him the house has no worth. Éponine does not find Marius for six weeks. With the assistance of the churchwarden Mabeuf, she finds Marius in a park called "The Field of the Lark." With some reluctance, she tells him she found Cosette's address. Marius makes Éponine swear not to let her father know the address, and after some persuasion, she promises. She then tells Marius that she wants her payment, and he puts a five-franc coin in her hand. She opens her fingers and lets it fall to the ground, and tells him it is not money she wants.

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Éponine prevents her father from robbing Valjean's house

After Éponine shows Marius the house, he watches it for a few days. Marius soon meets Cosette in the gardens of the house and the two profess their love to each other. They meet with each other there throughout the past few weeks, and Éponine secretly watches Marius every time he walks to the house. One night, during one of Marius' visits with Cosette, Éponine is sitting on the ground by the gates of the house. She suddenly sees her father, Patron-Minette and Brujon attempt to break into the house. Éponine prevents the men from doing so by threatening to them that she will scream, alert the police and wake up the whole area if they so much as touch the gates. Hearing this, the men leave.
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Éponine disguised as a boy

The next day, Éponine disguises herself as a boy. She finds Valjean and anonymously throws a note to him, which tells him to move away. She also intercepts Cosette's letter to Marius so that Marius does not receive it (the letter includes Cosette's new temporary address and when Cosette and Valjean will leave France). The next day is the first day of the student uprising. Éponine, still in her disguise, hears about the barricades from Courfeyrac, and she comes up with a fatal idea: she and Marius will die there. She follows Courfeyrac to the barricades to learn its location, and then goes to Valjean and Cosette's house and waits. Marius arrives and discovers the house deserted. Staying hidden, Éponine lies to Marius by telling him that his friends are expecting him at the barricades. Devastated that Cosette is gone, and thinking she left the country, Marius goes, while Éponine goes back there as well.
A Little Fall of Rain

Éponine's death

Later that night at the barricades, Éponine sees a soldier from the National Guard about to shoot Marius. Wanting to die before Marius, she steps between him and the soldier and puts her hand on the front of the soldier's musket barrel, taking the fatal shot herself. After this, she calls out to Marius and tells him she is dying. She asks him to lay her on his knees and he does so. She then confesses to Marius her role in sending him to the barricades, and why she took the shot for him. She also decides to give him Cosette's letter, concerned that if she did not, he would hold the letter against her in the afterlife. Her final request to Marius is that after she dies, he kiss her forehead. With her last breath, Éponine confesses to Marius that she might have been "a little in love" with him, and dies. Marius kisses her forehead, as he sympathizes with her for her hard life.


Éponine is one of the musical's most beloved characters. In most productions of this adaptation, she is made to have a more romanticized, sympathetic, likeable and relatable presentation of her character and she is not as manipulative. In the novel, most of her beauty has been lost and she has a hoarse voice. In the musical, she is traditionally pretty and her voice is not hoarse, but she is still presented as ragged and poverty-stricken. She and Marius are also portrayed as friends. Her child self remains unchanged, but she does not sing or speak onstage.

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Éponine disguises herself as a boy in the 2012 movie (Samantha Barks)

In most productions, she is dressed in a dirty white/khaki colored sleeveless blouse, a brown belt, dirty deep brown skirt, a brown/red/black cap and brown/black boots/shoes. Her disguise consists of a khaki colored trench coat and dirty khaki colored pants.


Act IEdit


Act IIEdit

List of PortrayersEdit



  • Original French Concept Album – mentioned only
  • 3 actresses, names unknown – Original Paris stage cast
  • Danielle Akers, Gillian Brander, Juliette Caton – Original London cast
  • Chrissie McDonald – Original Broadway cast
  • Heather Brown, Niki Holt, Ilana Miller – Original Canadian cast
  • Nadia Henry, Samantha Ladak – 1987 Glasgow cast (also played Little Cosette)
  • Talì Destounis, Nicole Remenick – 1988 1st USA Tour
  • Claire Caldwell, Erika Smith – 1988 2nd USA tour
  • Eugenia Andysiak, Basia Bukoski – 1989, Musical Theatre in Gdynia (also played Little Cosette)
  • Complete Symphonic Recording – mentioned only
  • Kichi Takahama – Original Japanese Cast
  • Isabella Gopaul, Evergreen McFadden – 1988 West End production
  • Kazuko Takahashi, Natsumi Yoshida –1989/1990 Japanese tour (also played Little Cosette)
  • Vanja Birgit Horn – 1989 Vienna tour
  • Emily Antoniades, Geneva Young – 1989 Broadway production
  • Taylor Ferlatte, Meredith McDonald – 1990 Fredericton cast (also played Little Cosette)
  • Cindy Redmond – 1990 Broadway production
  • Yvette Dupont, Avril Lécuyer, Gisèle Traverse – 1991 Paris revival
  • Dasha Besshaposhinikova, Avery Taylor – 1991 Broadway production
  • Greetje VanHessel, Claudia Victor – 1991 Dutch Cast
  • Jessie Gutierez, Alexandra Ma – 1992 Broadway production
  • Ovochioma Ironawusi, Zoë Krantsberg – 1993/94 West End Production
  • Nikolina Brunswick, Amanda and Lauren Sussac – 1993 Broadway
  • Ran Kato and Shinobu Kobayashi – 1994 Japanese Red Cast
  • Emi Hashimoto, Kasumi Hisakawa – 1994 Japanese Blue Cast
  • Madison Davis, Elena Sangester-Newberry – 1995 Broadway
  • Fiona Headley, Olivia Liang – 1996 Broadway
  • Gaby Tsoulis – 1996 Philadelphia tour
  • Gali Joung, Gina Katznelson– 1996 West End production
  • Olivia Jeftic, Lara Kidd – 1997 West End production
  • Jenny Bordain – 1997 Florida cast
  • Mami Akiyama, Moriko Nishimura – 1997-1999 Japanese tour
  • Bersabhe Bulger, Celia Solomon – 1998 Toronto tour (also played Little Cosette)
  • Madeline Dudtschack, Danielle Poole – 1998 West End production
  • Natalie Green, Jordana Lay – 1998 Dover tour (also played Little Cosette)
  • Fabianne Lamar – 1998 Québec cast
  • Camille Giroux – 1999 Antwerp Tour
  • Chloe de la Rua – 1999 Dublin Tour
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher – 1999 West End cast
  • Aurora Espinosa – 2000 Argentina, Bueno Aires Spain Tour
  • Katrina Baxter – 2000 US tour
  • Nikoleta Alexandra Agryis – 2001 Malta tour
  • Salisha Keene, Alison Jefferson – 2001 Broadway production
  • Camilla Itziar Huerta – 2002 Commissioning Mexican scene
  • Takara Nakomura, Keiko Yukimora – 2003 Japanese Violet and Light Blue Cast
  • Kyo Maki – 2003 Japanese Green and Orange Cast
  • Sonya Isujaf, Rivka Irvine, Ashley Kuper, Rina Knaus– 2002 West End production
  • Sofia Jovanoic, Natasha Kaye – 2003 West End production
  • Rachel Jafari, Paradie Kluck – 2004 West End Production
  • Anastasia Alexis, Dominique Zakharova – 2005 West End Production
  • Muaki Minami and Yua Shizuki – 2005 Japanese tour
  • Elizabeth Hamilton, Erica Lee – 2006 West End Production
  • Tara Ding – 2006 Washington DC tour
  • Tess Adams, Kylie Liya Goldstein, Carly Rose Sonenclar – 2006: Broadway revival (also played Young Éponine)
  • Anelie Heindrich – 2006 Berlin cast
  • Alana Johnson, Shannon Kaye – 2006-2007 West End Production
  • Elda Hum, Ashley Kusuri – 2007 Broadway cast
  • Polina Issakov, Diana Kosareva – 2007-2008 West End Production
  • Miri Basic – 2008 Wichita Tour
  • Chloe Finlay, Margie Morgan – 2008 Vancouver Youth Production
  • Mila Vinitski – 2008-2009 Hollywood Bowl Cast
  • Jolin Hall, Keana Liu – 2009 West End Production
  • Kristen Barnett – 2009 TexARTS production
  • Phoebe Roberts  – 25th anniversary UK tour
  • Chantal Ambre – 2009 Quebec tour
  • Mareike VanDaele – 2008-2009 Dutch Revival cast
  • Marita Daniel, Tania Schmidt – 2009-2010 West End Production
  • Sofia Glover, Hannah Licata – 2009 St. John's cast (also played Little Cosette)
  • Esther Green, Emily Matthews – 2010 West End production
  • Victoria Bruce, Nicole Sypher – 2011 West End Production
  • Kyra Van Weert – 2011 Florida cast
  • Tsubaki Anagwchi – 2011 Japanese tour
  • Lara Arriola – 2010/11 Madrid cast
  • Yukiko Takeda, Tsukino Chikasada and Kurumi Harada – 2013 25th anniversary Japanese cast
  • Priscilla Dinklo, Ashley Douglas, Olivia Privitera,  Marilot Rebelo – 2010-2011 West End production
  • Abby Daniels, Dushana Scott – 2011-2012 West End production
  • Julia Węgrowicz – 2010-11 Roma Theater in Warsaw
  • Erin Cearlock, Ava Della Pietra, Abbey Rose Gould – 2011: 25th Anniversary US Tour
  • Elise Blake, Annabel Parsons, Ellie Simmons – 2012 English Regional cast (also played Little Cosette)
  • Shay Budgell, Elsie Stilman – 2012 US tour
  • Madeleine Haynes, Ella Owens, Lara Decaro – 2012/13 West End cast
  • Fioralba Loreto Cremaschi – 2012 Bologna tour
  • Scarlett Evans, Matilda Hopkins and Darcey Snares – 2013/14 West End cast
  • Ella Ballentine, Saara Chaudry, Madison Oldroyd – 2013 Toronto cast (also played Little Cosette)
  • Angeli Negron, Mckayla Twiggs, Mia Sinclair Jenness – 2014 Broadway cast (also play Little Cosette)
  • Ana Pérez Segura, Martina Vidal, Chiruca Baez Seoane – 2013-2014 Los Miserables: Spanish Tour (also play Little Cosette)
  • Irene Galea – Lawrence Park CI's 2014 school edition


  • Marie-France Dufour  – Original French Concept Album
  • Marianne Mille – Original Paris stage cast
  • Frances Ruffelle – Original London cast, Original Broadway cast
  • Kaho Shimada – Complete Symponic Recording, Original Japanese Cast and 1994 Japanese Red and Blue cast and 1987-2001 Japanese Tour
  • Mikiko Shiraki - Original Japanese cast
  • Loretta Bailey – Original Canadian cast
  • Caitlin Kyprianou – 1987 Glasgow cast
  • Shlomit Aharon - 1987 Tel Aviv Highlights
  • Susan Tilson – 1988 1st USA Tour
  • Michelle Nicastro* – 1988 2nd USA tour
  • Kelli James, Natalie Toro – 1988 Broadway Cast
  • Aniko Nagy - 1988 Budapest Highlights
  • Jane Comerford – 1989 Austrian and Vienna Tour
  • Katarzyna Cygan, Magdalena Woźniak, Anna Sztejner - 1989-2000, Musical Theatre in Gdynia
  • Julia Fine – 1990 Fredericton cast
  • Jennifer Naimo, Shanice – 1990 Broadway Cast
  • Maria Rydberg - 1990 Stockholm cast
  • Stéphanie Martin – 1991 Paris revival
  • Vera Mann – 1991 Dutch Cast
  • Miura Kumiko -1988 -1990 Japanese tour
  • Hiki Rie - 1991 Japanese tour
  • Jessica Boevers, Brandy Brown – 1991 Broadway Cast
  • Silvie Paladino – 1992 West End Production
  • Catherine Brunell – 1992 Broadway Cast
  • Lucie Bílá - 1992 Czech Republic Prague Cast
  • Brigitte Raaberg - 1992 Original Denmark Cast
  • Deborah Gibson – 1992 Broadway Cast
  • Lea Salonga – 1993 Broadway Cast Replacement, 1995/96 London Cast, 10th Anniversary Concert
  • Park Min Kyoo (Kim Bo Na) - 1993 Korean Highlights
  • Andrea McArdle – 1993 National Tour
  • Margarita Marban - 1993 Madrid Cast
  • Kanako Irie - 1994 Japanese tour
  • Gemma Wardle – 1994, 1997,1998, 2004 West End production
  • Christeena Michelle-Riggs – 1996 West End Production
  • Annika Edstam - 1996 Varmland, Swedish Highlights
  • Sanni Luis - 1996 Duisberg Cast
  • Rose McLauren – 1997 Florida cast
  • Minako Honda* – 1997-2001 Japanese tour
  • Linzi Hateley – 1998 West End Production
  • Jessica Snow Wilson – 1998 Toronto Tour
  • Yvonne Haar – 1998 Dover tour
  • Chadia Cambie - 1998 Antwerp Highlights
  • Sutton Foster – Broadway Theatre, Imperial Theatre, 3rd National Tour
  • Alex Sharpe – 1999 Dublin Tour
  • Rona Figueroa – Broadway Theatre, Imperial Theatre
  • Amanda Salmon, Jane Horn – 1999 West End Production
  • Sandra Kim – 1999 Antwerp Tour
  • Joanna Ampil – 2000-2001 West End Production
  • Pili Artaza – 2000 Argentina Bueno Aires tour
  • Laura Michelle Kelly, Dana Meller – 2001 West End Production
  • Leila Benhariz – 2001 Malta Tour
  • Ma-Anne Dionisio – 2002 San Fransico Tour
  • Diana Kaarina – 2002 West End Production & Final Broadway Production
  • Caroline Sheen - 2001-2002 West End Production
  • Sophia Ragavelas – 2002/04 West End Production
  • Maaya Sakamoto – 2003 Japanese Violet Cast and 2003-2009 Japanese Tour
  • ANZA Ooyama – 2003 Japanese Light Blue Cast and 2003-2006 Japanese Tour
  • Seiko Niizuma – 2003 Japanese Green Cast and 2003-2009 Japanese Tour
  • Rena Sasamoto – 2003 Japanese Orange Cast and Current in Japanese 25th Anniversary Cast
  • Natalia Sosa - 2003 Mexico City Cast
  • Vera Bolten - 2003 Berlin cast
  • Allyson Brown – 2004 Copenhagen Denmark Tour
  • Dianne Pilkington – 2004 Powderham Castle Tour
  • Leona Machalkova - 2004 Prague Bidnici Cast
  • Shonagh Daly - 2005-2006 West End Production
  • Amanda Jane (AJ) Callaghan – 2005-2006 West End Production
  • Melissa Lyons – 2006 Washington D.C. Tour
  • Celia Keenan-Bolger – 2006 Broadway Revival
  • Sabrina Aloueche – 2006 London West End Production
  • Megan McGinnis, Cassandra Compton – 2007 West End Production
  • Miyuki Kanbe* - 2007 Japanese Tour (Original - but due to her higher illnesses and later her sudden death in 2008 - her part had been given up)
  • Rina Chinen - 2007-2009 Japanese tour
  • Lucy Scherer - 2007 German production
  • Natalie Caswell – 2008 West End Production
  • Desi Oakley -2008 Wichita Tour
  • Jackie Finkelstein, Ellie Nestico – 2008 Vancouver youth production
  • Sophie Tremblay – 2009 Quebec Tour 
  • Lea Michele – 2008 Hollywood Bowl
  • Céline Purcell – 2008-2009 Dutch Revival
  • Nancy Sullivan – 2008-2010 West End Production
  • Ashley Spencer – 2009 Pittsburgh CLO Production
  • Carli Lindow – 2009 St. John's cast
  • Samantha Barks – 2010-2011 West End Production, 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 (also the 2012 film)
  • Jennifer Perri, Azusa Hirata - 2011 Japanese tour
  • Lydia Fairén – 2010-2011 Madrid, 2011-2012 Barcelona, 2013-2014 Spanish Tour
  • Ewa Lachowicz, Malwina Kusior – 2010-2012 Roma Theater in Warsaw
  • Alexandra Burke – 2012 One Off Performance for Children in Need
  • Alexia Khadime – 2011-2012 West End Production
  • Helen Owen – 2012 West End Production
  • Chasten Harmon – 2011 25th Anniversary US Tour (Original)
  • Brianna Carlson-Goodman – 2012 25th Anniversary US Tour (Current; original Éponine u/s)
  • Natsumi Kon - Current Japanese 25th Anniversary tour
  • Aya Hirano - Current Japanese 25th Anniversary tour
  • Sayaka Watabiki - Current Japanese 25th Anniversary tour
  • Rosalind James – 25th Anniversary UK Tour
  • Beatrice Berdini - 2012 Bologna tour
  • Lily Frazer – 2012 West End production
  • Danielle Hope – 2012-2013 West End Production 
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher – Current West End Production
  • Melissa O'Neil – 2013 Toronto Cast
  • Park Ji Yeon - 2013 South Korean 25th Anniversary tour
  • Kerrie-Anne Greenland – 2013 current Austrailian Cast
  • Kirsten Bazet – 2013-14 Louisiana Tour Cast
  • Nikki M. James – 2014 Broadway Cast
  • Andrea Pavloic – Lawrence Park CI's 2014 school edition
  • Kerry Moran - Voted Best Eponine/Lovely Lady Ever!!!



  • Gilberte Savary – 1934 film (uncredited)
  • Roberta Mountjoy - 1935 film (uncredited)
  • Elisabeth Süssenguth – 1958 film (uncredited)
  • 1972 mini-series (uncredited)
  • Rocío Brambila – 1973 series
  • Agathe Ladner – 1982 film/1985 mini-series
  • Sylvie Koblizkova – 1998 film (Note: Éponine only appears as a child in this film)
  • Julia Portoghese – 2000 mini-series
  • Yūki Ōtomo - Shōjo Cosette 2007 anime
  • Natalya Angel Wallace – 2012 film


  • Mistinguett – 1913 film
  • Dorothy Bernard – 1917 film
  • Suzanne Nivette – 1925 film (credited as Nivette Saillard)
  • Orane Demazis – 1934 film
  • Frances Drake – 1935 film (Note: Appearance and history is different from the novel)
  • Delia Orman – 1948 film
  • Silvia Monfort – 1958 film
  • Angela Cardile – 1964 mini-series
  • Elizabeth Counsell – 1967 mini-series
  • Hermine Karagheuz – 1972 mini-series
  • María Rojo – 1973 series
  • Candice Patou – 1982 film/1985 mini-series
  • Asia Argento – 2000 mini-series
  • Yūki Sasamoto – Shōjo Cosette 2007 anime
  • Samantha Barks – 2012 film (also the 2010-2011 West End Production)


  • In the musical, Éponine was one of the spirits (the other being Fantine) who greeted Valjean during his death. In the 2012 film, she is replaced by Bishop Myriel.
  • The actress who plays Éponine in the stage version also plays one of the prostitues in "Lovely Ladies" and in some productions one of the factory workers in "At The End of The Day"
  • In some stage productions, the actresses who play young Éponine and young Cosette switch roles every other production to give them more range.
  • Many film adaptations cut Éponine and her plotline, including the 1978 film and 1998 film.
  • Polish form of her name is "Eponina"
  • So far, Carrie Hope Fletcher is the only actress to have portrayed both Éponine as a child and adolecent onstage.
  • So far, Michelle Nicastro, Minako Honda and Miyuki Kanbe (who was originally going to play Eponine in 2007) are the only musical portrayers of Adolescent Eponine to pass away.

External LinksEdit




2012 filmEdit

To see more photos, click here.

Non Musical Adaptations and NovelEdit

1998 VersionEdit

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