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Member of Les Amis de l'ABC
NovelEditMarius was first introduced in book three of Les Misérables, where he lives with his rich grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand, a fierce supporter of the monarchy. Early on, he does not very much like his father, Colonel Georges Pontmercy, because he believes his father has abandoned him to his grandfather. In reality, his grandfather told his father that Marius would be disinherited if his father had any contact with him. Marius is ordered to write his father once a month, but his grandfather pockets all the replies without ever showing them to Marius. Shortly after Marius turns eighteen, Gillenormand tells him to visit the Colonel. Although he could have left that night and taken a public carriage straight there, Marius waits until the morning and takes two connecting public carriages to get there. He arrives seconds after his father's death. Marius isn't really bothered by the death, since he still believes that his father never wanted to see him and never bothered to write to him. Marius discovers a note written by his father instructing Marius to help Thénardier in any way possible, since the Colonel believes that Thénardier saved his father’s life at the Battle of Waterloo.
While visiting church, Mabeuf (the church warden) tells Marius that his father has been coming to mass regularly, hiding behind a pillar so as to not violate the agreement and cause his son to be disinherited. Marius is strongly touched by this proof that it was actually his grandfather who had been keeping them apart. He starts looking up his father in the official military histories and after learning that his father was a highly decorated veteran, intrinsically involved in numerous wars in Napoleon’s army and had been made a baron and a colonel by Napoleon Bonaparte (although neither the baronetcy nor the rank of colonel is recognized by the current regime). As a consequence, Marius develops an idol-worship of his father. After an argument between him and his grandfather, M. Gillenormand, Marius moves out refusing help from his family. His grandfather instructs Marius' aunt (who lives with M. Gillenormand) to send Marius a good amount of money every month, but Marius always mails it back. His aunt never tells his grandfather that she receives the money back each month.
Marius meets Courfeyrac, a fellow student. Courfeyrac introduces him to a society called "The Friends of the ABC", a political society believing heavily in social change. In the very first meeting that he has with the group, Marius argues with Enjolras, an anti-Bonapartist republican, then leaves the group. Despite this, Marius remains on good terms with the group, especially Courfeyrac. Marius descends further into poverty and, despite all his hardships, manages to complete his studies and become a recognized lawyer. On Courfeyrac's advice, he learns German and English in order to work for a publisher translating manuscripts into French.
Marius regularly goes walking in the Luxembourg Gardens and almost every time he goes he sees Cosette and Jean Valjean. Slowly, he falls in love with her. One day, Valjean purposefully leaves a handkerchief inscribed with the initial "U.F."—Marius thinks that it must belong to Cosette and that her name must be Ursula or something similar. When Cosette sees him kissing it from their bench in the park, she gives him a puzzled expression. Eventually, Marius starts spending more time watching Cosette and eventually follows Valjean and Cosette home, where he asks their doorman about Cosette. Valjean learns of this and moves away that week.
Having not seen Cosette for months, and not knowing where she might have gone, Marius is tormented over trying to locate her. One early February day, he is passed by two ragged and barefooted young girls (Éponine and Azelma) running away from the police. He discovers an envelope dropped by the girls and takes it back to his apartment. He examines the four letters and realizes that even though each letter is from four different people, the handwriting, and stationery are the same, and that each letter has the same misspellings.The next day, Marius is visited by Éponine at his apartment. She gives him a letter and begs for money. As he reads the letter, he realizes that the handwriting, paper, and words that are misspelled are identical to the four letters he read the previous night. Marius asks her if she can read and Éponine tries to prove that she's literate by reading aloud from one of his books and writing "The cognes (police) are here" on a sheet of paper. She then tells Marius that he is handsome, and also mentions that she has noticed him a number of times before. Changing the subject, Marius hands her back the packet of letters, and she happily takes them. She then reveals to Marius more information about her current life, that she had thought about drowning herself the previous winter and that she sometimes has hallucinations. Feeling sympathetic to her, Marius gives her his last five francs. She takes the money and thanks him in the argot slang.
Éponine exits Marius' apartment, he takes interest in her family, the Jondrettes (who are also his neighbors). Peering through a crack in the wall, Marius sees Valjean and Cosette talking with Jondrette about returning to give a donation. After Valjean and Cosette leave, Marius tries to follow them but doesn't have enough to pay for a cab (since he'd give five francs to Éponine and only had a few sous). He sullenly returns to his room, only for Éponine to stop him at his door. Noticing his petulant mood, she asks him if she can assist him in any way. Marius then asks her to find Valjean and Cosette's address. Realizing that Marius has an interest in Cosette, Éponine reluctantly agrees to find it, but only if he agrees to do something for her. Marius agrees that if she finds Cosette's address, he will do whatever she wants. After she leaves, Marius overhears Jondrette talking about killing Valjean. Distressed, Marius visits Javert, who gives him two pistols and instructs him to fire them when the robbery reaches its peak.
When Valjean returns to Jondrette’s house, Jondrette and Patron-Minette attack and bind Valjean. Jondrette reveals that his name is actually Thénardier, a fact that shocks Marius. He does not want Valjean to die, but does not want to betray the man that "saved" his father at Waterloo. Eventually, Marius throws the slip of paper Éponine had written on earlier (the one that said "The police are here") through a crack in the wall. Thénardier reads the note and recognizes Éponine’s handwriting immediately. The Thénardiers and Patron-Minette throw a rope ladder out the window and are about to flee when Javert (who had become tired of waiting for the pistol shots) intervenes and arrests them all (except Valjean who escapes through the window). Marius then moves out of the Gorbeau tenement, due to the violence he witnessed and also so that he cannot testify against Thénardier.After her release from prison, Éponine finds Marius in a park called "The Field of the Lark." She tells him she found Cosette's address. Marius makes Éponine swear not to tell the address to her father, and she promises. She reminds Marius that he promised to give her something for finding the address. He hands her a five franc coin, but she lets it fall out of her hand, telling him she does not want his money. She then sadly leads him to the house. After spying on the house from the street for a few days, and leaving a diary (kept every day about his love for Cosette) on the bench in the garden, Marius finally jumps the fence and surprises Cosette in the dark. The end up professing their feelings for each other, share their first kiss, then learn each other's names. Their love blossoms for about six weeks, but Valjean shatters that bliss when he announces that he and Cosette will leave for England in a week. Marius goes to M. Gillenormand to try to reconcile and to get permission to marry Cosette. After Gillenormand suggests that Marius "make Cosette [his] mistress," Marius storms out of the house, insulted. He loves and respects Cosette too much. Marius returns to Cosette’s house, but finds the house no longer occupied. Advised by a voice (Éponine) that his friends are waiting for him, he goes to the barricades the Les Amis set up, hoping to die.
A young boy, who is Éponine in disguise, saves Marius’ life by placing her hand and body in front of the musket of a soldier who was about to shoot him. Not noticing this, Marius drives away troops by threatening to blow up the barricade. Marius goes to a smaller barricade to inspect, but finds it empty. As he returns to the other students, he hears a voice calling out to him. He sees that it is Éponine, lying on the ground fatally shot. She asks him that she lie on his knees, and he complies. Éponine then confesses to Marius that it was she who told him to go to the barricades, and saved his life because she wanted to die before him. She also tells him she has a letter for him, which she kept from him since the day before. She lets him take it so that he will not be angry at her about her keeping it from him "when we meet again so soon." She asks Marius to promise to kiss her on the forehead after she dies, which he agrees. With her last breath, Éponine confesses her love for him, and dies. He fulfills his promise and goes inside the tavern that the barricade is built around to read the letter (thinking it would have been inappropriate to read it beside her body). The letter reveals Cosette’s whereabouts. Marius writes a letter back to Cosette, saying since she left again with no forwarding address, he would fulfill his promise and die for her. He gives the letter to Gavroche, to deliver the next day to Cosette (thinking that this would get Gavroche out of the barricade before it was too late), but Gavroche delivers it that night to a "servant" at Cosette's address (which "servant" is actually Valjean).
As the barricade falls, Marius has multiple head wounds and is shot in the collarbone. He falls back, but Valjean grabs him and carries him away from the soldiers, around a corner to the back part of the barricade. The only way out is through the sewers, so Valjean carries Marius for a few miles through the sewers (including a spot of deep quicksand). He gets to the outside gate, which is locked, and runs into Thénardier, who offers to go "halves" with Valjean (Thénardier believes that Valjean murdered Marius for his money and wants half of it). While looking through Marius' pockets, Thénardier secretly cuts a piece of Marius' jacket off. Valjean unlocks the gate and runs into Javert, who had been waiting to apprehend Thénardier. Valjean asks Javert to help him carry Marius home and Javert summons his carriage to take them to M. Gillenormand’s house. As it turns out, Marius is the only survivor from that barricade (there were others in Paris at that time).
After six months of raging fever, Marius regains consciousness. Gillenormand gives Marius permission to marry Cosette and the two men reconcile. The wedding day is a happy one.
After the wedding, Valjean visits Marius and tells him his past. Marius, who had had a shaky relationship with Valjean before the wedding, but had accepted him as a father afterward, is horrified. Shocked, Marius and Valjean agree that it would be best if Valjean never sees Cosette again. Valjean wishes not to be permanently separated from Cosette, so Marius grants him one visit per evening. Marius starts to think of Valjean as a criminal, and slowly pushes Valjean out of Cosette’s life, with her best interests at heart. A few weeks later, a disguised Thénardier visits the Baron Gillenormand (who is Marius), attempting to blackmail Valjean. Marius sees through the disguise and asks what Thénardier wants. Thénardier tells Marius the proof about Valjean, that Valjean had earned all his money honestly (albeit under an assumed name) and that Javert committed suicide—Valjean didn't kill Javert. Thénardier tries to convince Marius (who he thinks is the Baron Gillenormand) that Valjean killed a man named Marius, related to the Baron Gilenormand, showing Marius the piece cut off the coat as proof. Pulling out the old bloodied coat that he'd been saving in a safe, Marius accurately matches the piece of cloth to that of the coat he wore in the barricades and announces that he's the man who Valjean supposedly murdered. He then throws thousands of francs at Thénardier and orders him to leave France and travel to America (with a bank draft for 20,000 more francs, paying the debt to Thénardier that Marius' father believe he had). Realizing that Valjean had lived a completely honest life for years and years and wasn't actually a criminal or a murderer and had also saved Marius at the barricade, Marius and Cosette rush to reconcile with Valjean. They arrive at Valjean's and apologize just a few minutes before Valjean says he forgives them then dies.
Marius is featured in the musical based on the novel of the same name. In the musical, Marius is presented to be more easy-going, compassionate, sympathetic and supportive. His back story with his father and grandfather are cut, and the two are also not in the musical and not mentioned, although in the 2012 film, Marius' grandfather makes two brief cameos in the numbers "Look Down" and "Every Day." Marius is shown to be fully involved with Les Amis de l'ABC, and is more close to Enjolras than with Courfeyrac. He and Éponine are portrayed as friends, and he grieves over her death. When Valjean confesses his past to Marius, he tries to convince Valjean to stay, but then reluctantly agrees to Valjean's wishes.
- Look Down
- The Robbery/Javert's Intervention
- Éponine’s Errand
- ABC Café/Red and Black
- Do You Hear the People Sing?
- In My Life
- A Heart Full of Love
- The Attack on Rue Plumet
- One Day More
- Building the Barricade (Upon These Stones)
- At the Barricade (Upon These Stones)
- A Little Fall of Rain
- Night of Anguish
- Drink with Me
- Bring Him Home (silent)
- The Second Attack (Death of Gavroche)
- Empty Chairs At Empty Tables
- Every Day
- Valjean's Confession
- Suddenly (Reprise) (2012 film only)
- Wedding Chorale
- Valjean's Death
List of PortrayersEdit
- Richard Dewitte – Original French Concept Album
- Gilles Buhlmann – Original Paris stage cast
- Michael Ball – Original London cast, Complete Symphonic Recording, 10th Anniversary concert
- David Bryant – Original Broadway cast
- David Malek – Original Canadian cast
- Goro Noguchi, Motomu Azaki – Original Japanese Cast
- Michael Drik – 1987 Glasgow cast
- Edmund Jabłoński, Dariusz Siastacz, Tomasz Steciukv – 1989-2000, Musical Theatre in Gdynia
- Tashiro Hasao – 1989-91 Japanese tour
- Conor Metcalfe – 1990 Frederciton cast
- Jérôme Pradon – 1991 Paris revival
- Kazutaka Ishii – 1994 Japanese Red Cast and 1994-2001 Japanese Tour
- Hiroshi Miyakawa – 1994 Japanese Blue Cast and 1994 Japanese Tour
- Ricky Martin – 1996 Broadway cast
- Noah Tyler – 1997 Florida cast
- Ishikawa Zen – 1997-1999 Japanese tour
- Samuel Paisley – 1998 Dover tour
- Glenn Carter – 1999 West End cast
- Katsumi Toi – 1999-2001 Japanese tour
- Matt Rawle – 1999 Dublin tour
- Fabrizio Faniello – 2001 Malta tour
- Ernesto D'alessio – 2002 Commissioning Mexican scene
- Kevin Kern – 2002 West End production
- Hadley Fraser, Ramin Karimloo – 2002-2003 West End cast
- Kohki Okada – 2003 Japanese Violet and Orange Cast and 2003-2006 Japanese Tour
- Yohei Izumi – 2003 Japanese Light Blue Cast and 2003-2004 Japanese Tour
- Adam Jacobs – 2006 Broadway revival
- Jon Robyns – 2008/09 West End cast
- Jamai Loman – 2008-2009 Dutch cast
- Adam Akerewusi, Sean Wren – 2008 Vancouver youth production
- David Farberman – 2009 St. John's cast
- Alistair Brammer – 2009-2011 West End cast
- Naoto Nojima – 2011 Japanese Tour
- Gareth Gates – 2010-2011 West End Production, 25th Anniversary UK Tour
- Nick Jonas – 2010 West End Production & 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2
- Guido Balzaretti – 2010-2011 Mardid/Barcelona cast
- Marcin Mroziński – 2010-2011 Roma Theater in Warsaw
- Craig Mather – 2011-2012 West End cast
- Justin Scott Brown, Max Quinlan – 25th Anniversay US Tour
- Jamie Ward – 2012/13 West End cast
- Rob Houchen – 2013/14 West End cast
- Ben Cisneros – RGS High Wycombe 2013 School Edition
- Perry Sherman – 2013 Toronto Cast
- Guido Balzaretti – 2013-2014 Spain Tour
- Euan Doidge – 2014 Melbourne cast
- Michael Radden – Lawrence Park CI's 2014 school edition
- Fergus Dale – Bedford Modern School 2014 School Edition
- Andy Mientus – 2014 Broadway Revival
- Chris McCarrell – u/s 2014 Broadway Revival
- Arbender Robinson – u/s 2014 Broadway Revival
- Gabriel de Gravone – 1913 film
- Harry Spingler – 1917 film
- François Rozet – 1925 film
- Jean Servais – 1934 film
- John Beal – 1935 film
- Aldo Nicodemi – 1948 film
- Cameron Mitchell – 1952 film
- Giani Esposito – 1958 film
- Roberto Bisacco - 1964 mini-series
- Vivian MacKerrell – 1967 mini-series
- François Marthouret – 1972 mini-series
- Luis Torner – 1973 series
- Christopher Guard – 1978 film
- Franck Cabot-David – 1982 film/1985 mini-series (credited as Frank David)
- Hans Matheson – 1998 film
- Enrico Lo Verso – 2000 mini-series
- Anri Katsu - Shōjo Cosette 2007 anime
- Eddie Redmayne – 2012 film