enjolras x grantaire

Enjolras started braiding her hair, secretly pleased at the way Grantaire was looking at her. (Am i late for the sentence meme???) -googoodreamers

“You have but one flaw, my lady,” said the other woman. “You are vain.”

“Think you so?” asked Enjolras, putting down her hairbrush.

“Yes,” said Grantaire, “but you have every reason to be.”

representativecharacters:

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Character: Grantaire

From: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Representation: LGBTQIA+, addiction, mental illness

Their Importance: Oh, Grantaire. Where to start with Grantaire? He’s a MLM, an addict, a sufferer of depression and in my heart the unquestionable winner of the Greatest Pre-20th Century Book Character (Who Appears In 20 Pages Or Less) Award.

So! A few paragraphs before we’re introduced to Grantaire we’re introduced to Enjolras, leader of the student revolutionaries and object of Grantaire’s affections. Hugo, god bless him, uses hundreds of words to tell us what the key deets are: Enjolras is HOT but SCARY and casts women aside with “astounding and terrible glance[s]”. Good to know!

Onto Grantaire. Take it away, Hugo:

However, this sceptic had one fanaticism. This fanaticism was neither a dogma, nor an idea, nor an art, nor a science; it was a man: Enjolras. Grantaire admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras.

[…]

There are men who seem to be born to be the reverse, the obverse, the wrong side. They are Pollux, Patrocles, Nisus, Eudamidas, Ephestion, Pechmeja. They only exist on condition that they are backed up with another man; their name is a sequel, and is only written preceded by the conjunction and; and their existence is not their own; it is the other side of an existence which is not theirs. Grantaire was one of these men. He was the obverse of Enjolras.

One might almost say that affinities begin with the letters of the alphabet. In the series O and P are inseparable. You can, at will, pronounce O and P or Orestes and Pylades.

Wondering who Orestes and Pylades are? These guys. Pay attention, that’ll be important later!

Anyway, for the next few chapters we get to know Grantaire even more. He’s very clearly an alcoholic (although the concept as we know it hadn’t really been invented back then) and also very clearly suffering from depression (ditto. Also, damn, does he talk about his depression the same way I think about mine.) Enjolras “disdains” him, largely because he can’t generally be trusted with simple tasks, and also because to be fair he can be a dick at times. But every time Grantaire looks at Enjolras it’s with “great gentleness” or something similar. IT’S SO SAD, BUT IT’S ABOUT TO GET SADDER.

Come the summer of 1832 the June Rebellion took place and seeing as Grantaire lives in a book literally called “the miserable” you can probably guess it doesn’t end well for him. BUT. Okay. As the student revolutionaries are taking their places at the barricades, Grantaire drinks so much he passes out, although not before Enjolras harshly tells him, “You are incapable of believing, of thinking, of willing, of living, and of dying.” (Woe.) So while Grantaire is out of it history takes its course and lovable revolutionary after lovable revolutionary is cut down until only Enjolras is left. BUT THEN:

The chapter where Enjolras and Grantaire die is called “Orestes Fasting [sober] and Pylades Drunk”. Enjolras is cornered in the room where Grantaire is waking up, about to be shot by a firing squad. Grantaire comes round and immediately realizes what’s happening. Let’s hear it, Hugo:

“Long live the Republic! I’m one of them.”

Grantaire had risen. The immense gleam of the whole combat which he had missed, and in which he had had no part, appeared in the brilliant glance of the transfigured drunken man.

He repeated: “Long live the Republic!” crossed the room with a firm stride and placed himself in front of the guns beside Enjolras.

“Finish both of us at one blow,” said he.

And turning gently to Enjolras, he said to him:

“Do you permit it?”

Enjolras pressed his hand with a smile.

This smile was not ended when the report resounded.

Anyway. Few things give me hope the same way Grantaire gives me hope.

I think he’s important largely because the force of his love for another man is what transforms him in the end, and gives him belief and power. It’s almost presented as something holy. Back in 1862! Well done, Victor Hugo. May you rest well in French Heaven.

Issues: Although many actors add their own longing looks etc to their Grantaires on stage (and George Blagden also did so in the 2012 movie) his story isn’t really included in the musical. Granted, this is probably because the average musical is only 165 minutes long.

Thank you to @sarah531 for the write up!

grantairelibere:

Concept:
Enjolras/Grantaire modern AU fic but written as Victor Hugo would have done

Example:
Chapter III: In which Enjolras and Grantaire encounter the crowd at the Louvre

Enjolras, striding imposingly up stairs with Grantaire at his heels, exited the Tuileries métro onto the rue de Rivoli. They followed the road east, alongside the Jardin des Tuileries, past the statue of Jeanne d’arc, then crossed through the Jardin…[etc]…and finally arrived in front of the Pyramide du Louvre.

‘It is no less busy than usual,’ remarked Enjolras, his youthful beauty striking even in the crowd of hundreds. 

‘That is what I said; even on a Tuesday morning on such an ugly day the tourists will flock to this grand triangle for the purpose of a single photograph. To have such motivation! Had I but an ounce of it for such a thing, my own portrait would be smiling on the wall alongside Mona Lisa herself,’ replied Grantaire. ‘But no matter, we are here for the heart, not the skin. And which is more important? Let us enter. If it is alright with you.’

Enjolras gently clasped his hand with a smile. ‘It is.’

Chapter IV: The Louvre

A few words on the Louvre. 

[9000 words redacted] 

I love this with ALL MY HEART.

chocolaticida:

I watched Les Mis in the Queen’s Theatre and I’m still crying.

When they sang “here’s to pretty girls who went to our heads”, Grantaire snorted and looked at Enjolras.

Enjolras touches Grantaire more than any other character (mostly trying to derail him, but still).

This Grantaire stood his ground repeatedly, it was lovely. Like, dirty looks when Enjolras is winding up Gavroche. Not letting him get to Marius when he needed a moment. Constantly trying to lighten the mood. Arguing with Bahorel to the point Enjolras has to mediate (which mostly consists on the derailing mentioned above but I’m not complaining).

Before Enjolras climbed the barricade for the last time, they held hands and as they were letting go, Grantaire kissed Enjolras wrist, desperately.

They don’t hold hands as they die though. Grantaire sees Enjolras fall. I can’t get over that. Not getting over that. Ever.

Acting-on-pining recs

et-in-arkadia:

star-anise:

Are there… stories one can read out there, about a character with low self-esteem who’s been pining for an unreasonable length of time, who finally acts on the pining, indicates sexual/romantic attraction to the person they’ve been pining for, and initiates a happy relationship thereby?  Is that a thing anybody’s written?

Asking for, you know. A friend.

this is amazing because literally 75% of responses are “hello and welcome to enjolrasgrantaire” we have what you are looking for

Heck, even the original Les Amis parts of the novel Les Miserables are almost that.

……..Almost.

domedomini:

“Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very near the Café Musain. He went out, and five minutes later he returned. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre waistcoat. “Red,” said he as he entered, and he looked intently at Enjolras. Then, with the palm of his energetic hand, he laid the two scarlet points of the waistcoat across his breast.“(Les Misérables)