I just saw a post about how Marius can be such a badass who in some cases is actually more dangerous than Enjolras immediately followed by a post about how Marius would get frustrated because he would try to push pull doors and I feel like that’s a really accurate depiction of his character

The Department Of Grantaire Studies



There is a lot, a LOT, of really really good Grantaire meta out there. Seriously, it’s brilliant, and this is my attempt to get it all in one place, and semi-categorised.

I’ve done my best to credit all the authors for each thing, but Tumblr being Tumblr I may have got it wrong in places. Please tell me if I did! (…also tell me if you don’t want your meta linked here, for whatever reason)

Keep reading

I know for a fact I’ve not been the only one tantalised and frustrated by the amount of linkrot two years have wrought upon this excellent compendium post. However, most of the content is still out there somewhere, either under a new url or in reblogs. I think I’ve managed to track most of it down, and I hope @sarah531 won’t mind that I took the liberty of sharing the result of my detective work.

To make it clear what I’ve done, I’ve added little ridiculous symbols next to each of the links. I’m sure there was a better way of doing this, but it did not occur to me. Comments in italics are mine. All the rest is down to sarah531.

I’m not using a readmore because readmores make posts even more vulnerable – for example, there’s at least one post here that I’m pretty sure still exists except that the readmore has been made unreadable. 

Key to symbols:

👍 – the original link still works

✅  – link had rotted, now fixed to new url, if it exists, or else a reblog if I could find one

❌ – unfortunately I couldn’t fix this one

Grantaire’s cynicism/nihilism
👍 Grantaire and Diogenes (gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire is not a cynic (preliminarygaieties, punforrestpun, robertawickham)
👍 “He sneered at devotion in all parties” (plinytheyounger)
👍 Hugo sets Grantaire up for failure (preliminarygaieties)

Regarding ‘R’
✅  The obsolete word hère (oliszka)
👍  R for refusé (punforrestpun)
✅ Revolution, Romanticism and Robespierre (darkphoenext)

Grantaire and mental illness/neuroatypicality
👍 A conversation about Grantaire, depression and ADHD (nothingrhymeswithsquash, chain-of-prospit)
👍 Grantaire and processing thoughts (preliminarygaieties)
👍 Grantaire’s perception of himself (gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire and ADHD (nothingrhymeswithsquash)
👍 Grantaire, art style and depression (gauzythreads, pilferingapples, kingmundsroyalmurder) [I’m missing the first part of this conversation, anyone got it?]
👍 Speculating on how depression affects Grantaire (nothingrhymeswithsquash)
👍  Grantaire and hypochrondria (yourpontmercyfriend, nothingrhymeswithsquash, barricadeur)

Grantaire’s sexuality
❌ /??✅  R not being monosexual (sclez)  all sclez’s stuff seems to be gone. This may be a reblog of the post in question, but I can’t be sure.
👍 A little bit about Grantaire’s interactions with women (sarah531)
👍 R being confused over his feelings for Enjolras (rose-and-valerie)
✅ Grantaire’s misogyny (sclez) sclez’s posts are gone from their original location, but here’s a reblog link.

👍  E/R History Class (et-in-arkadia)
👍  The Obverse (tenlittlebullets)
❌ Why Enjolras is so frustrated with Grantaire (killjoyras) this person’s blog is now viewable to logged-in members only, which still results in anything under a readmore being unreadable by anyone, logged-in or no. Thanks, tumblr! You can still view the first half of the post, if you feel like frustrating yourself today.
✅  “Often, you give the heart, we take the body” (darkphoenext, nothingrhymeswithsquash)
Two sides of a coin/What Grantaire can offer Enjolras (chainsawpoet, swutol-sand-scopes, robertawickham, sclez)
✅   Chickens, eagles, humanity, determinism, and more! (gauzythreads, pilferingapples, darkphoenext)
✅  Grantaire’s happiness (pylades-funk, sclez, darkphoenext)
👍  The paradox of Grantaire needing Enjolras (melannen, pilferingapples, sinnaonthebarricade, darkphoenext)
✅ Romanticism, Revolution, and the Thematic Importance of E/R (darkphoenext)
👍 The bare bosom of Evadne [this is much more about Enjolras, but E/R features a lot] (tenlittlebullets)
👍 How Grantaire interacts with Enjolras (faucheleventt, gauzythreads, punforrestpun, tenlittlebullets)
❌ Why Enjolras and Grantaire are like Orestes and Pylades (ferain1832) user deactivated, content is gone. Unless someone has a reblog of this somewhere?
✅ Love is what will bring tomorrow (ladysaviours) No longer viewable on that blog, but I found a reblog link.

Fun with wordplay
👍 Swallowing a revolution the wrong way (punforrestpun, gauzythreads)
👍 Lost women (sarah531)
👍 Gross yeast infection metaphors! (gauzythreads, viventlespeuples, pilferingapples)
👍 Dick jokes (gauzythreads)
👍 The capitoul and master of the floral games (punforrestpun, pilferingapples, oliszka)

Grantaire’s art studies
👍 What studying under Gros was like (punforrestpun)
👍 Grantaire and art and more! (gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire’s art styles (gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire, Enjolras & l’art pour l’art (punforrestpun)

Grantaire’s other talents
❌ Grantaire’s fighting style (sclez, toastandbrokenpromises) this is very gone, and I can’t find any reblogs that look like it.
👍 Who taught Grantaire fencing? (sarah531)

The Barriere du Maine
❌ /✅ What might have happened at the Barriere du Maine (et-in-arkadia, seenonlyfromadistance) So, this is gone, and I can’t even definitively identify the beginning of the conversation on et-in-arkadia’s blog, but here’s a post detailing et-in-arkadia’s interpretation of this scene, and here’s a bonus ficlet on the topic which gets kinda bdsm-y. What seenonly had to say on the topic is lost to history.
👍 Fog and dominoes (swutol-sang-scopes, pilferingapples)
👍 Striking marble (tomisnom, pilferingapples)

Preliminary Gaieties (and the big speech contained therein)
👍 Different translations of the speech (gauzythreads)
✅ R, Joly and Bossuet (preliminarygaieties, punforrestpun, nothingrhymeswithsquash)
👍 Does it have to be you, too? (gauzythreads, pilferingapples)
❌ /✅  Analysis of Grantaire’s speech (sclez) so this is gone, but you can read a longish conversation that followed from it.
👍 More analysis, and some boobies (not that kind) (gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire’s drinking in this scene (punforrestpun)
👍 More puns (punforrestpun)

Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk
✅  Two birds with one stone (sarah531, henryclervals) I think the link in the original post was broken, it was the same url as the one below. However, I’m pretty sure this was the post intended.
❌ Alcohol, rebirth and symbolism
(spurioussymbols) gone, can’t find reblogs.
✅  The comfort in chaos (etre-libre-dit-combeferre, nothingrhymeswithsquash) – reblog link.
👍 Seeing things clearly (sarah531, dancetaire, punforrestpun)
👍 Classical allusions (nothingrhymeswithsquash, sinnaonthebarricade, dancetaire)
✅  The meaning of ‘drunk’ (darkphoenext)
✅  How someone falls when they’re shot (darkphoenext)
👍 Seeing each other as people (sarah531)
👍 Important things keep falling at Enjolras’s feet (sarah531)
👍 This fellow is one of them/Biblical references (sarah531, midshipmankennedy, pilferingapples)
👍 Redemption (jehans, landofalwayswinter, edwarddespard)
👍 More redemption (sarah531)
👍 Why Grantaire dies (doeskin-pantaloons)
👍 Two stories (pilferingapples)
👍 God and the fallen man (fizzygingr)

Deleted scenes from the book (no really!) / Victor Hugo’s original notes
✅ Thank you (oliszka)
👍  Take my hand (flo-nelja, tansy-91, sarah531)
👍  I am a swine (flo-nelja, tenlittlebullets)
👍  What Hugo thought R looked like! (plinytheyounger)

Movie/musical exclusive meta
✅ Ascending stairs (thelibrarina, lesbianjolras, sclez) – reblog link.
✅ The hug during Drink With Me (sclez, darkphoenext)
👍  Grantaire’s scream after Gavroche’s death (nothingrhymeswithsquash) added 16/2/14

✅  Why Grantaire’s important (darkphoenext)
👍 Some analysis of “A Group That Barely Missed Becoming Historic” and R in particular (swutol-sang-scopes)
👍 Lots of canon facts about Grantaire (spoopyrac, gauzythreads, angualupin)
✅  Grantaire representing Paris (darkphoenext)
✅ Les Amis liked R (ladyjolras, sclez) – not in original location, reblog link
👍 Grantaire as the Reader (punforrestpun)
✅ Hugo doesn’t believe in ‘lesser’ (darkphoenext)
👍 Grantaire vs Tholomyes (sarah531)
👍 Grantaire’s flaws/lots about Floreal and women (les-amis-de-labuttc, sarah531, gauzythreads)
👍 Grantaire and The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock (nothingrhymeswithsquash, etre-libre-dit-combeferre)
👍 Statues, Grantaire and Matelote (sarah531, nothingrhymeswithsquash)
👍 Grantaire’s ugliness (leyichka, 0fficialgrantaire, punforrestpun, pilferingapples)
👍 Grantaire’s rambles (lecapunk, pilferingapples)
👍 Unpaving hell (nothingrhymeswithsquash)
👍 Meeting R for the first time (sarah531, angualupin)
👍 Imitation and French education of the time (punforrestpun)
👍 We’re never as bad as we think we are (athousandswifts)

A little bit of extra stuff from me (ie from sarah351, the OP)
👍 Fictional characters who shaped my life
👍 A post I am legitimately proud of

Now all we need is another set of links to the last two years’ worth of Grantaire meta!

“Je crois à toi” vs “Je crois en toi”


As it turns out, grammar does matter, and Hugo knew it damn well. Something has always bothered me about this sentence, and now I know why. The difference doesn’t exist in English translations, because both “à” and “en” translates to “in”, hence Grantaire’s “I believe in you”. But it isn’t the case in French :

“Je crois à toi” isn’t grammatically correct. In French, you don’t believe “à” someone, you believe “en” someone. “Je crois à” is restricted to things and fictional beings, as in :

  • Je crois à la Petite Souris (I believe in the Tooth Fairy)
  • Je ne crois pas à la Révolution (I don’t believe in the Revolution)

There are a few exceptions (because otherwise grammar wouldn’t be grammar) but one thing is certain : “à” can not be used to introduce a noun or pronoun referring to a real person :

  • Je crois en lui (I believe in him)
  • “Je crois à lui” sounds wrong, as wrong as “I believe to him” sounds

Then, why does Hugo use both? Because Grantaire knows the difference as well. Grantaire is good with words and proves it more than once. Remember this quote : “Who has been unhooking the stars without my permission, and putting them on the table in the guise of candles?” ? Grantaire says it drunk. DRUNK. If this man can be that lyrical while smashed to high hell, why would he forget fundamental grammatical principles, all of a sudden?
Answer : he wouldn’t. He does it on purpose.

He’s mirroring Enjolras’s speech :

“Tu ne crois à rien.”
“Je crois à toi.”

This may sound insignificant and, yes, considering the length of the brick, it may be but bear with me. Grantaire is having a laugh, in this passage. Yes, he is serious, he does want to prove his value to Enjolras, but at the same time, he’s Grantaire. He can’t help himself but to play with words. And my best guess is that he’s teasing Enjolras, hence the “Be serious” “I am wild” that comes soon after.

Then what about “Je crois en toi”? Well, it’s a question of context. Look at the description preceeding Grantaire’s declaration :

“Grantaire,” [Enjolras] called, “go and sleep your wine off somewhere else.
This is a place for intoxication but not for drunkenness. Don’t dishonor
the barricade.”

The sharp rebuke had a remarkable effect on Grantaire, as though he
had received a splash of cold water. Suddenly he was sober. He sat down
with his elbows on a table by the window, and looking with great
sweetness at Enjolras called back:

“Tu sais que je crois en toi”

“Go away.”

Grantaire is serious this time. This isn’t a joke anymore. This is real declaration he’s making here. Enjolras is yelling at him, and yet, Grantaire’s attitude is all but belligerent. I would even argue that “great sweetness” is far from the reverent and loving “inexprimable douceur” from the French text.

Unfortunately, Enjolras is so used to his lack of faith and seriousness that he dismisses it. Grantaire has disappointed him more than once by that point in the brick, so his attitude is understandable. But if Grantaire lacks faith in the cause, he doesn’t lack any in Enjolras. The tragic thing is that Enjolras doesn’t realise it and Grantaire’s serious profession of faith is dismissed. One last nail in your coffin? Look at what comes after :

“Grantaire, you are incapable of believing or thinking or willing or living or dying.”
“You’ll see,” said Grantaire gravely. “You’ll see.”

A (Printer’s) only son, and wealthy: an alternate Enjolras interpretation


A couple nights ago, @robertawickham and I were complaining that Hugo took so much from Charles Jeanne’s story to make his Ideal Barricade Hero (Enjolras) and then class-bent him to be a bourgeois student, instead of the working-class guy  Jeanne actually was. 

And then we realized Hugo doesn’t ..actually say… Enjolras is a STUDENT. Just “an only son and wealthy”.  And he LOOKS like a student (a ‘college escapee’)  but that’s in the same sentence that claims he looks like a pageboy and we’re all pretty sure he’s not that.  And hey, workers can BE wealthy! Class often correlated with income (very often) but it wasn’t dependent on that; it was dependent on what sort of work a person did– manual labor was working-class, intellectual labor was bourgeoisie, to oversimplify a ridiculously complicated social strata.  So after like five minutes of shouting TO HECK WITH YOUR CLASS ISSUES, HUGO, WE’RE TAKING ENJOLRAS BACK FOR THE WORKERS we realized we…needed a plausible profession? 

@amarguerite mentioned that printers could, depending on their job and position, be quite wealthy, and gave us a bunch of wonderful details and info which are included under the cut. And lo, IT IS GOLD.  All of it goes together to make Enjolras being the wealthy  only son of print-shop owning family work SO WELL?!? 

A SMALL  AND  ONLY  PARTIAL list of the ways   that Enjolras being the son of a printshop-owner makes Everything Better and Nothing Worse 

-As a printer Enjolras is a logical point of connection for many interest groups; people need printing done! I cannot even believe how easy this makes plothooks! 

-Also as a printer, Enjolras would be in a position to earn trust very quickly, despite his age and appearance, by printing illicit materials, serving as a message center, and so on. 

-Wealthy or not, he likely wouldn’t have the formal education needed to be student; but he would have access to a lot of books and a professional advantage in learning what he could. This explains his occasional slips with Latin and the like, as well as why he’s apparently managed to get an education that so much inspires his Republican convictions–he chose his own reading material, apart from the standardized curriculum. 

– He WOULD be in a position to have the kind of knowledge we see him display in Enjolras and His Lieutenants–awareness of who’s ramping up their revolutionary discussions, who’s getting cold feet, what the general mood of the radical groups in the city are. He’d know because THEY WOULD TELL HIM, with the kind of work they give him and how often and what the tone of it is. He’s  as close to an internet hub as they’ve got. A GREAT person to help organize your activist group! 

– Printers, whatever their more abstract politics, could hardly help knowing and caring about the various censorship and speech laws, which directly affected their business. A printshop owning family wouldn’t have to totally support Enjolras in his more dramatic views to agree with him taking dramatic action, especially in 1830; but they could still like Louis-Philippe, be more conservative– or very radical! So many options! (more on this under the cut)

– Printshop culture generally leaned heavily on the sort of jokes and teasing and goofing around the Amis are seen to love, and narratively applauded for, at least equally an evolution of working-class culture (which it really should be) as of student culture (which it still would be!)

– but as an expected heir and future manager of the shop he’d still be used to interacting with bourgeois clients and businesses! And probably dress quite well when out of the shop, in a subdued, professional way. 

-Gavroche is mentioned as doing the occasional odd bit of work in a printshop.  If anyone  wants, this gives a really easy hook for Gavroche and Enjolras’ interactions at the barricade. 

– Wait! (I panic.) Isn’t Feuilly the only workingman in this group of students?? **checks**! Wait, no, Hugo doesn’t actually say that! He only says that Feuilly IS a worker.  Enjolras ALSO being a worker takes away nothing from Feuilly; a wealthy shop-owner’s  only child and obvious heir will have dramatically more advantages than  an orphan. But it does acknowledge that the working class wasn’t a homogenous block or single sort of life experience. 

-Enjolras and Feuilly’s relationship is so much more interesting this way?? and it stops Feuilly being the Token Worker in a city full of workers in a worker-led movement.  Seriously, Hugo, screw your class issues so much. 

 -I have an excuse to draw Enjolras in a printer’s apron with his sleeves up. :Like, ALWAYS.   That is SO what I’m doing today. 

Below the cut: Longer discussion and more explanation, and some  Q&A with Amarguerite (shared with permission!)  for the use of anyone else who wants to adopt this headcanon/alternate reading!  (please consider sharing this headcanon it’s so great I am so happy right now)  Warning: VERY LONG. 

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In regards to Hugo and his name puns….would you be able to make a masterlist of all of them? (the known ones at least). if you have the time :3


WHOOOWOW that  is a big order 
But here, I have done what I can !

Notes: This is more or less in the order of character appearance.I’ve only included puns and references , not direct translations or name meanings (like “Felix” meaning “lucky”).  I also haven’t sourced everything, because then I would really take forever answering this’; I’ve tried to get SOME sources linked in; if there’s any source someone’s especially curious about, let me know and I’ll add it. 
ALSO I am in NO way saying this is a complete list of references or puns. I know right now Im’,  missing some really good references about Fantine and Eponine!   It is possible it will never be complete. But if anyone would like to help complete it, and sees a reference or a joke I’ve missed, please message me and let me know!  I want to know about these things too! 
Anyway. Here goes: 

Keep reading


one of my fave things about grantaire is his passive aggressive speech at joly and bossuet ‘wow why do young men go marching off to their deaths when they could be HAVING SEX ?? right? you––they, I mean they, i’m talking hypothetically this is all hypothetical, they could be off in the hay instead of getting shot, what dumbasses’

he’s a fucker but it’s notable that he tosses some sweetness enjolras’ way when even his last minute plea for his bffs to save themselves is sassy

be grateful OFPD didn’t end with ‘lmao see I’m capable of dying’

on the Thenardier women and cultural narratives



Keep reading

Aaah I’m so glad I got to find this again;  it’s still one of the best pieces on Eponine, Azelma, their mom, and what might be going on with those “silly romances”  I’ve ever come across. Very recommended for anyone interested in more of the cultural context around Eponine and her family! 
(standard Thenardier Family warnings apply: discussion of abuse, sexism, etc.) 


Bossuet has no luck and so makes good ‘luck’ for others. When Marius does not come to class, what good luck he has that Bossuet always answers for him in roll call. When Grantaire is sad, what good luck he has that Bossuet always brings him to the Musain and sits him down with Joly. When Combeferre loses his spectacles, what great luck he has that Bossuet is interested in his daily happenings and would like to accompany him to all of them. Bossuet is everyone else’s good luck charm and he is so on purpose.



do you ever think about how feuilly spent his two hours of rest on the barricade carving “vivent les peuples” on the wall because i do and i start crying.