les miserables

readin’ the BBC Les Mis shooting script

It’s online ya see. So, against my better judgement (since I thought the whole thing was awful and all) I decided to go look up the Grantaire bits.

AND WE’RE ALREADY OFF TO A TERRIBLE START.

I don’t think the Grantaire-Eponine bit made it to the actual TV screen but it definitely wasn’t in the books. And okay, I’ll concede that Grantaire is pretty shitty towards women in the book, but not this shitty. He goes out and parties with Marius and the others at the ball of “lost women” (which takes up one paragraph in the book rather than the entire sequence devoted to it it in the miniseries) but he doesn’t seem like the type to hire a prostitute:

“Oh! frightful old world. People strive, turn each other out, prostitute themselves, kill each other, and get used to it!”

-from “PRELIMINARY GAYETIES”

But the thing that possibly annoys me the most about this scene (apart from it also reducing Eponine to a quip machine, which I hate) is that if it had just stopped before that bit it would have actually been a good moment, because Eponine and Marius and Grantaire at this point are “in love with an angel”:

Grantaire admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras. To whom did this anarchical scoffer unite himself in this phalanx of absolute minds? To the most absolute. In what manner had Enjolras subjugated him? By his ideas? No. By his character. A phenomenon which is often observable. A sceptic who adheres to a believer is as simple as the law of complementary colors. That which we lack attracts us. No one loves the light like the blind man. The dwarf adores the drum-major. The toad always has his eyes fixed on heaven. Why? In order to watch the bird in its flight. Grantaire, in whom writhed doubt, loved to watch faith soar in Enjolras. He had need of Enjolras. That chaste, healthy, firm, upright, hard, candid nature charmed him, without his being clearly aware of it, and without the idea of explaining it to himself having occurred to him.

-from A GROUP WHICH BARELY MISSED BECOMING HISTORIC

Honestly (to me at least) the Grantaire/Enjolras relationship is one of the most tragic, romantic and interesting relationships in the whole of Les Mis, and for the life of me I can’t see why it was just… left out. There was time to show Marius having a wet dream about Eponine (ugh) but no time to explore the only bit of the book which depicts an (albeit one-sided) love between two men?

I assumed when I first watched this episode that “I have felt what you are feeling” etc was a veiled nod towards the relationship, but I kinda have second thoughts now.

Onwards…

I don’t hate this but it’s nowhere near what happens in the book:

He sat down, put his elbows on a table near the window, looked at Enjolras with indescribable gentleness, and said to him:—

“Let me sleep here.”

“Go and sleep somewhere else,” cried Enjolras.

But Grantaire, still keeping his tender and troubled eyes fixed on him, replied:—

“Let me sleep here,—until I die.”

Enjolras regarded him with disdainful eyes:—

“Grantaire, you are incapable of believing, of thinking, of willing, of living, and of dying.”

Grantaire replied in a grave tone:—

“You will see.”

-from NIGHT BEGINS TO DESCEND UPON GRANTAIRE

Okay this actually is in the book (though it’s more than Grantaire joining in) and yes it absolutely would count as sexual assault in today’s world. Sure it would have been nothing in the nineteeth century but now it is, which makes this all the odder:

So, ur…?

Disclosure! I once wrote a fanfic where (a pre-barricade) Matelote and Grantaire do indeed go to bed together, but there’s nothing really in the books to actually indicate she was attracted to him in the slightest. Or even liked him, really. (Can you blame her?)

We are now up to The Death Scene:

I’m glad they got some variation of “I am one of them” plus “Long live the Republic” in there. But here’s the kicker, here’s what They Did Not Get…

Grantaire doesn’t face the firing squad because he has “the courage of a very drunk man indeed,” the exact opposite in fact-

Grantaire rose to his feet with a start, stretched out his arms, rubbed his eyes, stared, yawned, and understood.

A fit of drunkenness reaching its end resembles a curtain which is torn away. One beholds, at a single glance and as a whole, all that it has concealed. All suddenly presents itself to the memory; and the drunkard who has known nothing of what has been taking place during the last twenty-four hours, has no sooner opened his eyes than he is perfectly informed.

-from ORESTES FASTING AND PYLADES DRUNK

He chooses to die alongside Enjolras because he’s in love with him, whichever way you wanna take that. Oh sure, the miniseries version of the death scene is snappy enough, and they did at least get the clasped hands in there in the finished version-

-but it doesn’t have anywhere near the power of the book. Why? Well honestly very little of the miniseries has anywhere near the power of the book, but leaving out the Grantaire/Enjolras story in a show that had more than enough time for it is just sort of galling to me personally… plus I notice that they managed to sexualise almost every relationship in the book (in increasingly gross ways) except the one same-sex one. Sigh.

five favourite fictional fathers

In celebration of today’s occasion here’s five of my favourite dads who are not real, in no particular order:


Harry Osborn

If you’ve only ever seen the Spider-Man movies you may not know that Harry Osborn is a Dad, but he very much is. He has two sons, Normie and Stanley. Normie is named after Norman (Harry doesn’t seem to have ever gotten a chance to rethink that, oh well) and Stanley is… possibly named after Stan Lee? Who knows. Stanley is also never drawn as mixed race even though his mother is black, sigh.

Yeah you can probably tell I don’t really do comics anymore but I love Harry in almost all his forms and he deserves more recognition of the fact that he managed to be a pretty good dad when his own childhood was abusive as hell.


Rory Williams

Rory is more on this list for what was, sigh, his eventually almost completely untapped Dad Potential. We knew he’d be a good dad. Amy knew he’d be a good dad. Then he BECOMES a dad and nothing. He gets one scene with a baby and barely gets more than a couple scenes with his magic time-travel now-adult daughter. It’s so terribly unfair, why? God season six of Doctor Who was a MESS.

Thankfully the showrunners did at least release one canon story of Rory being a dad, this from the Doctor Who Lockdown project. Arthur Darvill came back and everything. That’s something. But gah.


Jean Valjean

I shall ignore the BBC’s Les Mis adaptation, as you should, and focus instead on the JVJ/Cosette relationship as portrayed in the book and musical. It is probably not exactly HEALTHY but it is good. It is also of course very, very Miserable.

“And remember, the truth that once was spoken, to love another person is to see the face of God…”


Simon Petrikov

EVERY DAY I FEEL SORRY FOR SIMON PETRIKOV! He had SO MUCH bad stuff happen to him, not least the actual apocalypse, and yet he was still a good adoptive father to Marceline for as long as he was able. Please watch Adventure Time if you want to see one of the most tragic character arcs to ever exist in cartoon form.

(There are many people who think that Simon’s condition is a metaphor for Alzhemier’s or dementia and I’m among them. Sadly the real thing can’t be taken away the way it was in the show. :( )


Yondu Udonta

Ah, Yondu. Forever my problematic fave. He is not remotely deserving of a World’s Best Dad mug but hey, he knew that, and he did his best to apologize to Peter before the end, and basically just oh my god his death scene I can’t even now I just dissolve into a puddle of tears.

(There is so much meta about Yondu and his arc all over this blog, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.)



Bonus round! All the Star Wars dads. I can’t really choose between them because since Star Wars is basically a story about fatherhood they all have their roles to play. So a little shout-out to Anakin (the other problematic fave), Han Solo, Bail Organa, Qui-Gon Jinn (read Jedi Apprentice ok?), Jango Fett, Galen Erso, Lando Calrissian, Owen Lars, and so many more I forgot.

Happy Father’s Day!

Barricade Day

Today is June 5th, the date the June Rebellion started in France. Les Mis fans know today as “Barricade Day.” Which gets me thinking, the only reason we in the modern day know about the June Rebellion as any more than a footnote and a few illustrations is because Victor Hugo was there and he wrote about it. Documenting things is just so damn important.

This is why I absolutely cannot stand the “Look at those vaucous millenials filming everything!” school of thought. Hopefully recent events have demonstrated WHY you should be filming/documenting everything when dealing with the police etc, especially if they’re in the vicinity of black people, and why it’s so damn horrible that it got to that point. How do you think the world found out about the murder of George Floyd, because it sure as heck wasn’t police bodycams.

The people Hugo wrote about didn’t exist, yeah, but they were stand-ins for people who did, so his publishing the book ensured we in the future got to know at least roughly what people in that era were thinking and feeling as what’s now history happened around them.

I’m really grateful we have the sort of technology now that allows us to document important things in real-time. We need to always use it for good. Always.

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate the occasion, here’s some of my favourite ladies from fiction!


Row 1: Amy Pond (Doctor Who), Sephy Hadley (Noughts and Crosses), Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Rose Tico (Star Wars), Elsa (Frozen/Disney), Melissa Chartres (The Last Man on Earth)

Row 2: Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth), Quinn Ergon (Final Space), The Thirteenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time), Jane Foster (Thor/MCU), Amy Santiago (Brooklyn 99)

Row 3: Brook Soso (Orange is the New Black), Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Erica Dundee (The Last Man on Earth), Kitty Winter (Sherlock Holmes), Rose Tyler (Doctor Who), Briony Tallis (Atonement)

Row 4: Meredith Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Missandei (Game of Thrones), Rey (Star Wars), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Carol Pilbasian (The Last Man on Earth), Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Disney)

Row 5: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Ash Graven (Final Space), Tiana (The Princess and the Frog/Disney), Sophia Burset (Orange is the New Black), Misty (Pokemon), Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)

Row 6: Bill Potts (Doctor Who), Mary Brown (Paddington), Mako Mori (Pacific Rim), Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man), Jackie Tyler (Doctor Who), Ursula Ditkovich (Spider-Man)

Row 7: Yaz Khan (Doctor Who), Mary Jane Watson (Spider-Man), Marceline (Adventure Time), Michelle (10 Cloverfield Lane,), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow/MCU), Mantis (Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU)

Row 8: Eponine Thenardier (Les Miserables), Mabel Pines (Gravity Falls), Sandra Kaluiokalani (Superstore), Padme Amidala (Star Wars), Martha Jones (Doctor Who), Jasmine (Aladdin/Disney)

Row 9: Beru Whitesun (Star Wars), Nakia (Black Panther/MCU), Diana (Wonder Woman), Chummy Browne (Call the Midwife), Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn 99), Leia Organa (Star Wars)

a-naddel:I got inspired by the @breadandbarricades podcast where they talked about the cart incident… — Fuck Yeah Les Miserables

a-naddel:
I got inspired by the @breadandbarricades podcast where they talked about the cart incident and how much time the two actually spend ignoring dying Fauchelevent

a-naddel:I got inspired by the @breadandbarricades podcast where they talked about the cart incident… — Fuck Yeah Les Miserables

Poor Fauchelevent, considered so unimportant by everybody that he didn’t even make it to the BBC adaption…

(at least I don’t remember him being in there)

Older stuff

Over the past few days I’ve been archiving lots of older stuff (from the bits of my old tumblr/twitter/facebook that the Internet Wayback Machine caught.) After all, the clue’s in the OVERLY DEVOTED Archivist name. So I thought I might post links to some choice older nonsense here, meticulously labelled, for your viewing pleasure.

Les Miserables

The saddest piecharts you will ever see (2013)
Long, rambling, very annoyed review of the BBC miniseries (2019)

Guardians of the Galaxy

Sean Gunn is the most underrated actor in the MCU! (2018)
A Theory about a GOTG scene (2018)
Ego and Yondu As Foils, Giffed (2017)
Snippets of interesting stuff from the GOTG Vol 2 commentary (2017)
The music of the GOTGs/Meredith Quill’s Subconscious (2017)
Yondu’s redemption arc (2017)

Spider-Man

Attn: MCU on Harry Osborn (2015)
On Parksborn (2014)
How The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did Harry dirty (2014)
Gwen Stacy’s actual personality (2014)

Old But Surprisingly Good Fanfiction

What’s Left Of You (GOTG)
Goodnight (GOTG)
The First Casualty (Star Wars)
Pretty Dresses (Star Wars)
Humanity in the Abstract (Adventure Time)
Don’t Ruin It (Steven Universe AND Les Miserables! Yes really.)