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Note: This article is about the character. For the episode of the same name, click here.

Marius Pontmercy
Marius Profile Picture

Gender

Male

Occupation

Lawyer
Revolutionary (former)

Born

1810

Eye Color

Brown

Hair Color

Brown

Family

Col. Pontmercy (father; deceased)
Mme. Pontmercy (née Gillenormand; mother)
Gillenormand (grandfather)
Maternal aunt
Jean Valjean (adoptive father-in-law)
Fantine (mother-in-law)
Félix Tholomyès (biological father-in-law)

Love Interest

Cosette

Children

Cosette's and Marius's daughter

Marius Pontmercy (born 1810) is a main character, and the love interest of Cosette. He fights at the barricade with Enjolras and The Friends of the ABC when Éponine tricks him into going to the barricade and (since he believes Cosette is lost to him) he resolves to die. He is the only one among the rebels at the barricade who does not die there (when Jean Valjean saves him).

PersonalityEdit

Marius is a rather naive, yet bold and caring student. He grew up under the care of his maternal aunt and his wealthy grandfather, Gillenormand, a fierce supporter of the monarchy. Marius's father, Colonel Pontmercy was threatened to have his son disinherited should he have any contact with him. With this, Marius initially disliked his father, believing his father abandoned him to his grandfather and aunt. When his father fell gravely ill in 1829 (1827 in the novel), he at first refused to attend to his father's side, but after an evening of debating it over, he arrived to the village of Vernon the next day just hours after his father's death. After reading his father's testament, and realizing his father had sent letters to him in the past (which were burned by his grandfather), Marius leaves his grandfather in a rage and becomes a Bonapartist.

Background/Role in the StoryEdit

Beginnings and Family IssuesEdit

Marius was brought up by his maternal aunt and wealthy grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand, from a young age, and lived a sheltered, carefree life, not knowing anything about poverty. During his adolesence, when he receives word that his father, Colonel Georges Pontmercy, is gravely ill, he initially refuses to travel to pay his respects, since he believed his father abandoned him to his grandfather and since he had never received any replies from the letters he sent him. In reality, his grandfather told his father that Marius would be disinherited if he had any contact with his son.

Later that evening, Marius hires a carriage to take him to Vernon, arriving the following morning just a few hours late of his father's death. He is greeted by an acquaintance named Mabeuf, who gives Marius his father's testament.

Later that day, at the Luxembourg Gardens, Marius reads his father's testament, which states that he passes on title of baron (which he received while serving Napoleon, along with the title of colonal) onto his son, and that he loves him, and believes he is suitable enough to succeed him. Surprised by this, Marius begins to study up on Napoleon when he first formally meets classmate Courfeyac. The duo talk about Marius's upbringing and his concerns, feeling as if he misunderstood his father up until now. It's in this conversation in which Courfeyac displays some of his disapproval with the current society looking down upon those who need help, particularly the poor, and the two become acquaintances.

While visiting church, Marius once again meets Mabeuf, who tells Marius that his father had come to mass regularly, hiding in the back 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, and he begins to idolize his father. After an argument with his grandfather, Marius moves out and remembers a passage from his father's will:  a general named Thénardier saved him at the field in the Battle of Waterloo, and should Marius ever have the chance to meet with him, he wishes Marius could show his appreciation towards his benefactor. Marius sets off looking for him over a period of months, eventually hearing of an inn in Montfermeil called the Sergeant of Waterloo, in which the innkeeper, named Thénardier, often boasted about how he saved a man during the Battle of Waterloo. When Marius arrives to the inn, he finds it abandoned and returns to Paris, moving in with Courfeyac at his apartment.

Marius begins to grow closer to both Mabeuf and Courfeyac over the next few weeks when one day, his aunt arrives at his apartment and pleads with Marius to return home, his grandfather having regretted his actions. She attempts to give Marius some money from his grandfather, but he rejects it, and sends her away. Having rejected the money, Marius finds it hard to support himself, and begins to sell items while also working as a translator as a means of earning money. Eventually, Marius moves to the Gorbeau House in the slums of Paris, where the rent is cheap, and the only amenity is having a roof over one's head. His neighbors at his new home are the Thénariders, living under the alias of Jondrette. During his stay, he often has run-ins with Éponine, and the two forge a bond. Éponine, meanwhile, harbors a crush on Marius, but believes a man such as himself wouldn't fall for a shabby girl like her.

Introduction to the Friends of the ABC and an Encounter in the Luxembourg GardensEdit

One day, Marius runs into Courfeyac again, who introduces him to the Friends of the ABC, a political society committed to social change. In the very first meeting he has with them, he argues with their leader, Enjolras, an anti-Bonapartist republican, then leaves the group. Nevertheless, he remains on good terms with the group, especially Courfeyac. After leaving the group, Marius takes a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens and spots Jean Valjean and Cosette sitting on a bench, and, out of the blue, the two adolescents fall in love with each other at a glance. The next day, Marius returns to the Gardens holding a marigold flower in his hands and leaves it on the bench that Cosette and Valjean frequent. After a few minutes, the father and daughter arrive as Marius is about to leave, and Cosette keeps a hold of the flower. It is starting with this moment that Marius frequently attempts to approach the two and introduce himself, only to be intimidated by Valjean and back off at the last moment. During one of these moments, Valjean intentionally leaves his hankerchief behind bearing the initials U.F. (for Ultime Fauchelevent), which Marius mistakens as Cosette's, and assumes her name is Ursule. He keeps it with him, cherishing it often, and follows them home to learn of their address. After frequent encounters at the Gardens, Valjean and Cosette move out, due to the former thinking that Marius is a spy for Javert. This leaves Marius in a state of depression, and having nowhere else to go, as well as needing some support, he occasionally visits the Friends of the ABC.

Incident in the Gorbeau House and Blossoming LoveEdit

Six months later, he overhears the commotion of the Jondrettes ransacking their own apartment in order to over-emphasize their poverty to a benefactor coming later that day to deliver food. Watching through a small opening in the walls between their rooms, Marius sees that the benefactor is actually Valjean, and is even more surprised to see Cosette accompanying him on the visit. He listens in to hear Jondrette lie about the monthly rent, and make an arrangement to have Valjean return later that evening with half-a-year's rent. A few hours later, Marius overhears Jondrette talking to one of the members of the crime gang Patron-Minette about setting up an ambush when Valjean returns in order to extort more money. Marius quickly heads to the police and notifies Javert of the situation, making an arrangement to stay quiet in his apartment and fire a gun into the air once all of the members of the Patron-Minette have gathered. When Valjean returns to Jondrette's apartment, he and Patron-Minette attack and bind Valjean. Jondrette reveals that his name is actually Thénardier, a fact that shocks Marius; he doesn't want Valjean to die, but also doesn't want to betray the man that "saved" his father at Waterloo. Eventually, Marius throws a slip of paper Éponine had written on earlier (which read "The police are here") through a crack in the wall. Mme. Thénardier reads the note and recognizes Éponine’s handwriting. 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.

Marius once again moves in with Courfeyac, and it is also during this time that he asks Éponine if she can find Ursule's address, to which she relunctantly agrees, and succeeds in finding for him. Over the next few days, Marius visits the home and eventually meets Ursule in the courtyard. Marius returns Valjean's hankerchief to her, thinking it was hers, to which the duo laugh, introduce each other's names, and their relationship blossoms for weeks by nightly visits in the courtyard. Their bliss lasts until Valjean announces to Cosette that they will be leaving for England in a week (in part due to Marius's frequent visits leaving noticable evidence that someone has been invading their property, and due to the fact that Thénardier and Patron-Minette have broken out of prison). On one of Marius' visits with Cosette, Thénardier and Patron-Minette attempt to rob Valjean and Cosette's house, which Éponine prevents by shouting in the street. Eventually, Cosette tells Marius about the move, causing much distress for the pair. Marius goes to Gillenormand to try to reconcile and to get permission to marry Cosette. However, after Gillenormand simply rebuffs his love as a passing fling, Marius storms out of the house, insulted. Marius returns to Cosette’s house, but finds the house no longer occupied. Advised by someone (Éponine, disguised as a boy) that his friends are waiting for him, he goes to the barricade that the Friends of the ABC have set up, deciding to fight with them, since he believes Cosette is lost to him.

The June RebellionEdit

On the night of June 5th, Marius is ambushed by a police officer. Éponine takes a gunshot for him and confesses her background to him (including that the young street urchin taking part in the battle, Gavroche, is her younger brother, and that she and Cosette lived with each other during their childhood), hands him a letter written by Cosette which includes their new address (in France), and proclaims her love for him before dying in his arms. After taking in Éponine's body, Marius reads Cosette's letter and write a reply, which he then requests Gavroche to deliver to Cosette. As Gavroche rushes to deliver the letter he bumps into, and recognizes, a disguised Javert and exposes him in front of the Friends of the ABC. Marius confirms this, and aids in tying up Javert to one of the poles at the Corinthe. When Valjean arrives at the barricades to aid the Friends of the ABC (as well as to protect Marius for Cosette), Marius informs the Friends of the ABC of Valjean as a philanthropost when he arrives under the guise of a National Guardsman.

On June 6th, the barricade falls, with all of the Friends of the ABC dead. Valjean carefully exits the scene carrying an injured and unconscious Marius over his shoulders through the sewers of Paris, eventually reaching the exit. Once there, Thénardier lets the two of them go after Valjean gives him some spare change he "stole" off of Marius (who Thénardier believes was murdered by Valjean), but not before the former rips of a piece of Marius' bandana. Once Valjean leaves the sewers, Javert is waiting for him, to which Valjean pleads to bring Marius home to Gillenormand's before being taken away, to which Javert agrees. Once his task is complete, Javert lets Valjean go, much to his surprise.

Post-Revolution and Benefactor SearchingEdit

A month later, Marius is still bedridden, and desperate to know of the status of his compatriots, unaware that they have all been killed. He also ponders how he ended up back home, and who brought him back. One day, Cosette is allowed to visit Marius, to which the duo share a happy and tearful reunion. During this time, Marius also attempts to gain information about the barricade through her, to which Cosette relunctantly confesses that his compatriots all perished at the barricade. Marius demands to visit the barricade for himself, to which Gillenormand agrees, so long as Cosette accompanies him, which she does. At the Corinthe, Marius feels that he has betrayed everyone, for not having stuck through until the end, during which he has a vision of Enjolras, who informs him that he survived because there are tasks he has yet to accomplish, and for him to "witness their future". Cosetts consoles him further by mentioning that although her mother died before she could see her, she still talks to her of the sad and happy times, as well as of Marius, and that as long as she is alive, nothing has ended in terms of their relationship. Marius thinks this over, and accepts that the Friends of the ABC will always be will him in spirit, and that their relationship hasn't changed, despite the group's death. 

A few months later, Marius and Cosette set off around Paris to find Marius' benefactor. After asking around the carriage drivers, they finally locate Guillaume, the carriageman who escorted Valjean, Javert, and the unconscious Marius back to Gillenormand's. Guillaume marvels to see Marius alive, and states that it was Javert who flagged down his carriage at the Seine, taking them first to Marius's place, then Cosette's. He also mentions that as it was dark out, and what with the chaos of the revolution, he didn't get a good look at his savior's face. Later that night, Marius notes how the location of the barricade compared to where he boarded the carriage are too far apart, which leads him to wonder if it were possible if a strong man such as Valjean might have carried him through the sewers. The next day, Marius and Cosette reunite with Gavroche at Cosette's, much to Marius's surprise to find him alive. While waiting for Valjean to arrive back home, he reveals the death of Éponine, much to their sadness and disbelief. When Valjean arrives some time later, they ask him if he was the one who saved Marius, to which he lies and states no, despite the evidence. Later during sunset in the Luxembourg Gardens, despite their dead end, Marius vows to continue the search for his benefactor, and declares that once he passes his upcoming bar exam, he will move out of Gillenormand's to live independantly and use his status as a lawyer to help the poor people, stating that he is sure Enjolras and the other Friends of the ABC would approve of this. Marius then proposes to Cosette, to which she accepts.

The Wedding and AfterwardsEdit

In February of 1833, the wedding occurs, and the day after the ceremony, Valjean requests to see Marius alone. It is then that Valjean reveals his past life to Marius, along with his true identity as Jean Valjean. Marius is unsure of how to respond to the revelation, as Valjean states that he must leave Paris, and that Cosette must not know of his whereabouts just yet. Marius doesn't have much of a chance to respond, as he is momentarily distracted by his aunt, and, once his back is turned for a moment, Valjean has gone. A few days later, Thénardier, disguised as the "Baron du Thénard", attempts to blackmail Marius, claiming he knows secretive information, as well as the whereabouts of Valjean. Marius sees through every claim Thénardier makes, but as a final proclaimation, Thénardier claims that Valjean murdered and stole from someone on the day the barricade fell, and reveals the torn half of Marius's bandana he took while in the sewers. Shocked, Marius quickly swipes the cloth out of Thénardier's hand and matches it with the other half he had been saving, confirming his suspicions that Valjean was the one who saved him at the barricade. Thénarider is arrested by Javert soon afterwards. One year later, Cosette receives a letter from Valjean requesting that she and Marius travel to the village of Auvergne. There, they meet a terminally ill Valjean, who finally reveals his past life to Cosette and bequiths his silver candlesticks to Marius and Cosette before he peacefully dies.

Around three years later, Marius and Cosette are seen walking down the same pathway Cosette had with her mother at the beginning of the series, but with their own daughter, bringing the story to the end at full circle.

Differences from the NovelEdit

  • Appearance-wise, Marius has straight golden brown hair, while in the novel, he is described as having short dark curly hair
  • After Valjean reveals his past, Marius doesn't have much time to say anything in response before Valjean leaves while his back is turned, distracted. In the novel, Marius cuts off most of the bond between Cosette and Valjean after the revelation for Cosette's safety, but allows Valjean to visit her once per day
  • In the novel, it is unknown if Marius and Cosette ever have children (as the novel ends with Valjean's death), while in the Anime, they are shown to have one daughter at the end of the series
  • In the novel, when Marius asks for Gillenormand's permission to marry Cosette, he suggests to make Cosette (Marius's) mistress. In the Anime, he rebuffs Cosette's love for Marius as a passing fling, and that she is only paying attention (to Marius) in order to receive the Gillenormand fortune. Both cases, though, lead to an enraged Marius storming out of the mansion, vowing never to return or ask favors from his grandfather again

QuotesEdit

"As long as I'm alive, everyone will... As long as I'm alive, the future..."

"I, who do not know much of the world, might have been deceived by your words. But I have learned that I cannot judge by what someone says. I have to see the person's actions before I can understand the person's true character."- Marius confronting Thénardier after discovering that Jean Valjean saved him at the barricade

Gallery Edit

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