gardienne: (Default)
OOC INFORMATION
Name: Lil
Contact: artemis_rose@live.com / pierette on plurk
Other Characters: None

CHARACTER INFORMATION
Character Name: Eponine Thenardier (/Jondrette)
Age: The novel is not clear about her age: Hugo gives it alternately as 16 and 18 (without 2 years passing) so I usually just say she’s in her late teens and has forgotten her birthday due to not celebrating it.
Canon: Les Miserables
Canon Point: The end of ‘The Watch dog’. Eponine has followed Marius to Cosette’s house, and watched him disappear inside. She has prevented a robbery on Cosette’s house by her father and his gang and effectively got herself disowned. If you know the musical better, it equates to ‘ A heart full of love’ and ‘The Attack on the Rue Plumet’.
Character Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Éponine
And because this isn’t particularly fabulous, there is a link to my journal with a more detailed history in it: http://gardienne.dreamwidth.org/6020.html

Personality: Eponine began life as a spoiled brat. She was an odious child, with long, dark braids and a plump, pretty face, dressed in the best clothes her mother could provide. Doted on and indulged by everyone, including the drunkards in the inn, Eponine grew used to getting her own way in everything. And she absolutely loved to show off in front of Cosette and make her jealous. She actively sought to get Cosette in trouble with her mother and found it funny when the poor little girl was beaten. She also established herself as a leader; her little sister looked up to her in admiration and followed Eponine’s lead. It was clear that at this early age, Eponine ruled the roost.

With her dramatic lifestyle shift, so too did her personality change. It was forced to. It is impossible to chart the events which made her personality change, because of the ten year gap in the narration of her tale, but it is, of course, possible to see how her personality affects her actions when the narrative begins again.

Eponine’s tough. She’s had to be. She has grown up in a hostile environment, where the philosophy of ‘every man for himself’ is predominant. She knows how to stand up for herself, and she is not one to back down in an argument. This is shown in the manner with which she deals with her father and the gang on the Rue Plumet. Her father calls her a bitch, the other men deride her and threaten her with knives and fists, and she carries on shouting back and jeering at the men. She lets their comments slide over her head, perhaps indicating she is used to the name calling. She carries herself well, and can talk to most people. Her chatter comes across as awkward at times, or even inappropriate. She flirts with Marius as best she can– but again, it comes across as awkward. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird flitting around Marius’ room, a melancholy and desperate sight. Uncomfortable amongst wealth now, she tries to fit in, but ultimately cannot. She is nervy. She speaks more than she should to people she doesn’t know, and is very open about herself and her life. Within minutes of meeting Marius, she tells him about her suicide consideration. Her words come without a great deal of thought, in a tangle of argot slang and French when she’s nervous. The more in control she tries to seem, the more ladylike she tries to act, the more it comes off as an act, a sham– sheer desperation. Hugo says that Eponine might have been gay and flirtatious, like any proper society miss, as her exuberance and feistiness bubbles from her, despite her drab life– but the reality of being poor has rendered her uneducated and out of her depth in social situations with her ‘betters’. Eponine longs to be a lady, but by the end of her story, she realises it’s something she’ll never be able to attain.

She’s not much use in a fight, and relies more on her tongue to get out of situations. When Eponine knows a person well, she’ll talk back at them, jousting with words, even if they threaten physical violence. She herself does not rely on physically fighting; she knows she is weak from starvation and in a world of men, she never has the power to win physically. Eponine reacts to danger by facing it head on and without flinching. She will accept violence against herself as well as she can, with her head raised high and a glare in her eyes. Eponine is very difficult to scare; her life has desensitised her to a lot of horror. She’s seen things, in prison and out, that no teenager should ever see, and she’s experienced more abuse and hardship than a lot of people will ever see. She is also very good at hiding any signs of her fear too. Fear is considered a weakness in the Underworld, and Eponine quickly learned to hide that particular emotion a long time ago. She will talk back at those who wish her harm, and she will unashamedly flirt and talk candidly to them. She lets insults wash over her head; she has heard so many insults in her time that they simply don't bother her any more.

Some would describe Eponine as cold– but she’s not, not really. It’s a show, an act she puts on, so people don’t try to mess her about. She seems to react with indifference to a lot of things– she’s world-weary and brow beaten so much that she finds it difficult to be enthusiastic enough to show her emotions in her actions. She can barely smile, barely cry. But deep down, Eponine is an emotional little creature. She’s completely in love– or no, not love, but lust. She’s in lust with Marius, a student, who doesn’t return, or even acknowledge her feelings. I say lust because I truly believe that Eponine’s life has stunted her emotional ability. She is unable to truly love because she has never known love. Marius, for Eponine, is an escape from her life. He is a living fairytale prince that she falls instantly for. He is generous, he gives her food and money, and he doesn’t offer her violence and name calling. Compared to her usual companions, he is soft and well spoken– and he reminds Eponine of the life she SHOULD have had. Eponine craves love though. It’s what drives her. Show her any hint of kindness, and she becomes a lapdog, eager to please and willing to do anything, even if it causes her physical or emotional pain– shown in the way she agrees to lead Marius to Cosette, despite quite wanting to keep the two apart for her own selfish gain. But, knowing Marius would be unhappy without Cosette, she agrees to show him the way. Eponine wants attention. She laughs inappropriately and says the wrong thing a lot of the time. She’s outspoken and will say what she thinks, regardless of the consequences.

Eponine is defiant. She hates what her father makes her do, but she has to participate. Still, she does it all with a glare in her eyes and her mouth pressed into a hard line. She often shouts back before giving in– demonstrated in her apartment. Thenardier wants Eponine to wait in the snow outside, and she is quick to point out that she has no shoes and her feet will freeze and she’s sarcastic– but ultimately bows to his wish. The exception is when she is protecting Marius. She stands up to her father and the Patron Minette properly for the first time and it costs her her home and her family alliance, essentially leaving her destitute. Eponine’s love for Marius is greater than any love or fear that she has for her Papa.

She does what she has to do to survive. She can be incredibly manipulative, if she thinks she will gain from it. Eponine says that most people believe what she says; I’m guessing that the exceptions tend to be those in authoritative positions in Paris. She is incredibly brave and doesn’t seem to have a great sense of personal danger. Eponine will face any adversity that comes to her head on; it is not really in her nature to hide. And she will face her fate with a straight back and a defiant glare. Nobody will feel pity for Eponine. She is brave till the very end. She is not stupid, though. She’s practical. If there is a way to avoid a beating, either through lies or staying away for a night, Eponine will take that option. After all, as she says, ‘there’s no point in looking for a beating I could avoid, is there?’ She is pretty much fearless though – the only thing that seems to truly scare her are the monsters in her head.

Eponine is loyal. If she feels obliged to someone, she will bow to their will, whether she agrees with their actions or not. This is seen particularly with her Papa and the Patron Minette. She is more loyal to those who show affection towards her than those who intimidate her, though. A lot of the time, she’s scared and she’s wary, and she has the same cautious expression as a hunted animal.

She doesn’t consider herself to be at all beautiful; she thinks she’s disgusting, and that she doesn’t deserve a happy life. Eponine loathes herself. She hates everything about herself, from the dirt she is encrusted in, to the criminal that her Papa has turned her into. She cannot see anything positive about herself at all; but she forces herself to continue with life. She loves mirrors, and will stand and stare at her reflection, pinking and preening, remnants of her childish vanity. This is evidenced when she goes into Marius’ room to check he is not there, and tells her father she is searching– whilst she is, in fact, staring at her reflection. Her self hatred is evident throughout. She makes a lot of self-depreciating remarks, and constantly refers to her social class as something shameful. She’s open about her imprisonment; it’s something almost expected of her after all, but again it fuels her hatred for what she has become, and the impossibility of her life.

She is somewhat bitter, especially towards those better off than her. Jealousy is one of Eponine’s biggest failures. She is jealous of Cosette when they meet again as adults, and this only intensifies when she finds that Marius loves Cosette. Cosette, for her, represents what Eponine’s life should be, and I think she thinks she is living Cosette’s destiny. It’s hard for Eponine to see Cosette, especially having everything, whilst she starves and freezes to death. She desperately wants a better life, but knows she will never have one. Eponine is not much of a fighter, though. As much as she hates her station in life, she has accepted it, and is willing now to ‘go with the flow’, to go where life takes her. She fights back at her end – she fights for her love – and it ends in her death.
Eponine has some psychological problems, although Hugo says that she is not mad. She has been known to suffer from hallucinations when she is very, very hungry. She tends to laugh as well, in very inappropriate places, a nervous reaction perhaps. She is also known to be quite suicidal; the winter of 1931, Eponine considered wading into the Seine to drown herself– she didn’t because she was scared that it wouldn’t work and it would be too cold. This is perhaps an indication that Eponine cannot cope with her life as well as she seems to on the surface.

Eponine can be sweet. She likes flowers; she finds them soothing after the horrors of Paris. She is somewhat of a dreamer, and likes to imagine herself as a proper lady, dancing with Marius. She can’t let the people she loves end up hurt. She’d literally rather take a bullet for them than let them be injured. Eponine likes to sing; she has always been told that she has an awful voice, but she doesn’t care. She likes to sing and often hums away to herself, singing old French ditties and raunchy ballads, and songs that she makes up herself. Her mother says she is a waste of space, but she isn’t really. She just… She wants to be able to learn. She wants to study with the scholars, but she knows that’ll never be. She can just about read and write her name, and is very proud of these facts as it shows her higher class breeding and makes her stand out in the crowds of destitute teenagers. It takes her a while to read, and longer to write anything beyond ‘Eponine’ and ‘the police are coming’. She’s very intelligent, and picks things up quickly. She is very street smart, and has the potential to be book smart too. Hugo says that Eponine could have been cheery and lively, a real society miss, had circumstances allowed her– and this gaiety CAN bubble through at times. She is vain, too, given half the chance. She spends as much time as she can in Marius’ apartment staring at herself in the mirror, preening, even to the extent that she lies to her dad about what she’s doing so she can continue, as noted previously.

Steadfast is also a word to describe her; she'll stick to the people she likes, no matter what they ask of her.

Eponine is naturally proud. She doesn’t want to be pitied, and hates the fact that people do pity her. She’s playful, and somewhat of a tease when she’s around people she’s comfortable with. She teases Marius, and Montparnasse too. With strangers, she’s more wary of ending up in trouble. Her speech is often colloquial; only when she talks of love does she become more poetic.

Eponine is obsessed with social classes. It’s something she feels acutely, probably because of her dramatic class shift. She’s the bottom of the pile, but she wishes she could climb higher. Throughout the novel, she takes every opportunity she can to show that she is of a higher class than she seems, but ultimately acknowledges and accepts her place in society. The shift comes after her imprisonment; possibly because of her experiences in jail and her realisation that she is a criminal and nothing more and will not be able to rise past that. It’s probably affected by the political situation in Paris too; girls her age and in her situation were often rounded up and accused of prostitution, without any evidence against them, and were submitted to degrading tests to check them.
The lack of food and clothes when she saw others warm and fat probably fuels her resentment too– and, of course, her father’s treatment of her as well, all adds up to a girl who has learned to hate herself and her social position and resent almost everybody in positions of power over her who subject her to this life. She would be absolutely gutted to learn that she had over 5000 years of debt to work off for her crimes – it’s not like she enjoyed committing them in the first place – and things like begging and trespassing she certainly wouldn’t recognize as a crime. She’d be so upset that she’d have no chance of finding true happiness, and because so much debt obviously indicates a big criminal. She hates that side of her life and longs to forget it and be better than what she is.

In all, Eponine craves affection. She wants to love and be loved. She wants a happy life. She wants Marius. She wants pretty dresses and a bath and the opportunity to learn. But she has no hope that she’ll ever get any of this. It’s there, she can see it, but for Eponine, it is going to be forever out of reach. And she’s accepted that. And she will face her fate bravely.

5-10 Key Character Traits: Eponine is brave.
Eponine is exceptionally loyal to people she likes or connects with (or wishes to connect with)
Eponine is resolute in her behaviour – jaded and basically just gets on with whatever life throws at her.
Eponine is often bitter and jealous, especially towards those she thinks are better off than her
Eponine is a chatterbox. She loves to talk and doesn’t always need anybody to listen.
Eponine can be incredibly manipulative.
Eponine really doesn’t like herself very much.
Eponine is desperate to be loved.
Eponine loves to have a laugh and a joke. She likes bawdy comedy.
Eponine is proud. She doesn’t like accepting charity, and she is certainly proud of her academic achievements.


Would you prefer a monster that FITS your character’s personality, CONFLICTS with it, or EITHER? Either. I am happy for whatever you want to give her

Opt-Outs:Naga, werewolf, werebear, minotaur, manticore

EDIT: Last time Eponine was in Ryslig, she was a faerie. I don't know if that affects this section of the app or if she'll be appointed a new monster… but just in case that needs to be taken into consideration too!


Roleplay Sample: She has been hungry before, of course. Of course she has. She remembers when she first moved here from Montfermiel when she was a child. She had been well fed, pampered even, when she was little. She remembers the taste of the chestnuts she had roasted over the fire. She remembers cheating Azelma out of her fair share. She remembers eating more than what she wanted, just so that there wouldn’t be a single one left over for Cosette. She remembers crying bitterly the first day she had to go without food.

Now it ‘s frequent, going without food. It’s usual for her to go one day, two, three, even four days without eating. By the evening of the fourth, she’s quite dizzy with hunger. She hates that – it seems to be then that her imagination comes to life, that she sees men lurking in alleyways that are really clear, that the houses begin to waver before her eyes, that the shadows swell and breathe fiery smoke that threatens to consume her whole. It makes her hurry her steps, and she staggers through the streets until she’s safe away from it all.


She sits next to a puddle today. The rain splatters on her face, drenching her, slicking her dark hair to her head, her rags to her body. She should go home. She longs to go home and curl up on that horrible itchy pallet under the coat with Azelma. Oh God, if she dares to! She’ll never complain again about a smashed window and bits of rain splattering on her head.

But she hasn’t made money in days now. With the nonstop rain, there hasn’t been many people on the streets, not many people to steal off. So she sits, staring morosely into the gutter that runs along the street. She tries to think – but so long, so long without even a crust – and she’s going dizzy, so she closes her eyes again, forcing herself to concentrate. She needs a coin – just one coin. Five francs, and she can go home and get warm by the fire. But where can she get one from? Where can she find someone willing to give her five Francs all in one go? She’s sure she’ll just fall asleep if any gentleman wants her favours in return.

She rubs her fist roughly across her cheeks, merging tears and drops of rain. She shivers. It’s cold in the damp – not as cold as the snow, she thinks, but cold enough. Oh for a pair of shoes. Stockings. Anything. She looks down at her toes. Are they turning black yet? They feel like they should be – but no. Well – she stands up from where she has fallen – when did she fall? Did she fall? – and staggers on.

Not for the first time, her mind goes to the river. She remembers what it was to sit by the river when they lost their room the winter before last. She remembers that cold – now that was a freezing cold, where their faces would be so frozen that it hurt to open her eyes. Sometimes she had wished that she just never had to open them again.


They had been forced to live under the bridge; she and Azelma cuddled up together beneath their father’s old coat for a little warmth. She remembers watching the rushing water when she could not sleep. She remembered the rats nibbling at her toes. She remembers that numb, cold, numb feeling that had overtaken her. Azelma, always quiet, had fallen silent ages ago, but Eponine gradually did too. It took too much energy to even think about what to talk. So Eponine didn’t think. Not then. Her mind had become as numb as her fingers.

She remembers one night getting up, kissing Azelma gently. She remembers it almost as if it were a dream, or a nightmare. She remembers being convinced that she was already dead. She remembers realizing that she didn’t care.

It was freezing. Snow had fallen, was falling still, and stray flakes had found their way beneath the bridge. She had shivered, but even so, she had let her shawl fall from her bony shoulders. She had stepped closer to the river’s edge, feet squelching in the freezing mud as she had stared into the murky depths of the rushing river. From her viewpoint, it had looked quite still, but hadn’t she heard the stories about the vicious currents that could rip a man beneath the surface never to be seen again? She leaned in closer and closer. It was a mirror, and a peculiar creature, a goblin girl, stared back at her.

That scared her, the misshapen creature in the water, whose lank hair hung in tangles and whose eyes were sunk, whose cheeks sagged and mouth puckered. Had she the energy, had her tears not been frozen by the storm, she should have cried for her lost beauty. It made up her mind though. One, quick, fleeting command in the snowstorm blanketing her thoughts.

Step forward.

It was to be a horrible death. She tried to imagine the taste of the water in her mouth. It was sure to be dirty. She didn’t think about how it would feel for water to flood her lungs and pool there. It didn’t occur to her that it might make her panic as she struggled to draw breath. She saw death and she embraced it. It’d be quick. Not endless like this.

She had inched a toe into the water. It was deathly cold. Perhaps the shock alone of submerging herself would be enough to kill her? Quick and easy.
She had inched another toe in. And another and another. Her whole foot. And now the next. One step forward. Another. She had wobbled as she moved again, the current already tugging at her ankles. Her breath had come out in icy clouds, her chest had heaved as her legs burned with the cold. Nearly over. One more st-
“EPONINE!” A whispered cry from the bank had reached her over the roar of the Seine. Azelma’s cry would reach Eponine wherever she was. She had turned, falling in the water so she had sat chest high in the current. The shock had made her gasp – squawk with shock, and Azelma had begun a dismal wail.

“Shut up, shut up, shut up, you stupid. Do you wanna wake Papa? Do you want him to flay me?” Eponine had struggled to stand, and had ended up crawling back to the bank to sit with her sister. She had been soaked then, and shivering uncontrollably. She had sneezed. Azelma had put her arm about her sister, tried to hug her close, but Eponine had pushed her roughly away.

“What’s the use in the two of us being soaked?” She had muttered angrily. She hadn’t objected, though, when Azelma had placed first Eponine’s shawl, and then the coat, about Eponine’s shoulders. The sisters had sat in silence, both staring ahead, one with wonder, and one, regret.

“Why?” Azelma had broken the silence.

“I wanted a swim.” Eponine’s answer had been short; she had hacked a cough. “Oh God, I wanted a swim. A swim to hell and to stay there in the warmth.” She had coughed again, and sneezed. Azelma had been silent, and soon Eponine’s coughs had died away too.

“Don’t leave me alone, ‘Ponine.”

Azelma had leaned her head on her big sister’s shoulder, and Eponine had slowly extracted a hand from the tangle of coats and shawls she clutched at to stroke her sister’s hair. Almost in unison, tears had begun to roll down both children’s faces.

***

Eponine wakes, still on the street. The light is darker now, the clouds lower, much lower in the sky. Had she fallen asleep? No – no, her head pounds from where she had hit it as she slumped over in a dead faint. But what has woken her now? She looks around; surely not the rain? But then, she stops. Is that an apple?
She can see an apple. A bright red apple, dark and shiny skin glowing through the rain. But what is it doing on the street? How can it be there? “How can it be so?” she wonders aloud.

Hesitantly, she reaches out a hand, mentally preparing herself for it to be a hallucination, a vision, not real. But… she touches it and she smiles. Real. Oh, God, GOD! Real. Her hand curls about it and she pulls it to her, lifting it to her lips, sniffing the faint sweet smell. Oh God. Her stomach rumbles as she licks the skin, cautious. How can it be there? Is it a trick someone is playing on her – will they snatch it back? Well, she won’t give them a chance. Without further hesitation, she bites into the apple, crunching the juice, and almost as quickly, she swallows. Juice runs down her chin, and she wipes it with her fingers, sucking on them to get every bit of nourishment she possibly can from the fruit. Again and again she bites down, gnawing at the apple, sucking at it’s core, before crunching it, stem and all, until there is nothing left. She’s drenched – but she’s laughing.
“Oh God, oh, God, an angel gave that to me. An angel has given the devil strength. Perhaps today I shall not die. Oh God –“ She staggers to her feet, heaving her stiff bones from the pavement so she can shuffle home.

She doesn’t notice the bright eyed child peeping our from the alleyway behind her, watching his sister delight in his gift. Gavroche hums to himself as he pulls another apple from under his hat, throws it up and catches it deftly, taking a bite out of it as he goes.
gardienne: (Default)
History: Eponine was born in Montfermiel, which is a village on the very outskirts of Paris, around 1815. Her parents were relatively affluent innkeepers in the village; both well known crooks, and her Pa had been present at the Battle of Waterloo. During the battle, Mssr. Thenardier had been looting corpses, and accidentally saved the life of Marius Pontmercy's father, Georges. Not wanting to be revealed as a criminal, Thenardier claimed to be a sergeant with Napoleon and helped Marius’ father. After the battle, Thenardier embroidered the story into a daring rescue and portrayed himself as a hero. He had this painted upon his inn, and named it ‘The Sergeant of Waterloo’, essentially after himself. This was about as close to politics as the Thenardier family got. In accordance to the story, Thenardier claims himself to be a Bonapartist, and evidently teaches his children to mimic that – Eponine herself tells Marius of their political stance, though whether she understands truly what that means or is simply parroting what she has heard is debatable.



Eponine was very well looked after as a child; she was the eldest of (eventually) five children, though she is closest to her next sister down, Azelma. As a child, she enjoyed swinging on a tyre swing outside the inn; it is the sight of her and Azelma on the swing that persuades Fantine to leave Cosette with the family.


As Eponine grows up, she is adored and pampered by her parents – and in particularly her mother. She is described as being a very pretty child, and was dressed in pretty and warm clothes. She was doted on by her parents, worshipped by her little sister, and feared by their live-in servant, the young Cosette. Eponine was a horrible child for it. She liked to see Cosette in trouble and actively sought to see her mother shout at the poor girl. She always got her own way, and she lived without fear of going hungry or being beaten. Eponine as a child knew nothing of the wider world or the political shifts going on. It did not directly affect her life in Montfermiel and as happy children are wont to do, she regarded anything outside of influencing her life as unimportant. Her parents, whilst not fabulously rich were of the ‘upper lower class’, as we might say, half way between those unable to afford food and turned to theft, and the bourgeois. Hugo says that they are wealthy to perhaps just scrape into the lower bourgeois class – but their lack of education pushes them down into the bottom classes. Her parents use the inn to swindle customers and as a cover for other ‘illicit’ business – most of which, at this early period, Eponine is unaware of.



During the Christmas of 1825, when Eponine was around seven and a half years old, and Cosette about eight, she was present in the inn when the stranger, Valjean came to retrieve Cosette. She had been playing with her old doll alongside Azelma, until she abandoned it in favour of the cat, which she proceeded to squeeze into the doll’s clothes. Seeing the doll abandoned, Cosette began to play with it, but Eponine told her mother, purely out of spite for Cosette, and Cosette was sent to get water from the well in the woods as punishment. Valjean found Cosette, and brought her back, and presented her with a grand doll, far grander than Eponine’s tatty toy, whilst Eponine looked on jealously. Later that night, Cosette was taken away by Valjean.




When Cosette was taken away, Eponine quickly learned the way of the real world. Her father’s debts grew, and, unable to pay any more, the family were turned out of the inn. The family soon made their way to Paris, and settled in the slums of St. Michel. The political upheaval continued; soon after the family lost the inn, Charles X (1824-30) took over as King, and discontent amongst the poor grew, due to food shortages and drastic inflation. Without understanding truly what had happened, she found herself stripped of her pretty dresses and warm fire and snug bed, and instead living in a small damp room with her Mama and Papa and Azelma and all three of her little brothers. She wore the same dress day in and day out, and there were no shoes to replace hers once she outgrew them, so she was forced to go barefoot. I don’t think Eponine would truly have understood what was happening – just that she didn’t LIKE what was happening. St. Michel was a dog eat dog world, and Eponine would have been forced to adapt quickly. She seemingly learned how to thieve from her parents, both con-artists, and she seems to have learned how to beg as well.



During their years in Paris, Eponine moved around a lot, and she experienced poverty in the extreme. In the winter of 1831, the Thenardier family were evicted from their rooms and were forced to spend the winter beneath the bridge. This was not an uncommon experience and many people suffered the same fate as the Thenardiers.



In the novel, it is mentioned in passing that Thenardier at once aspired to join the most powerful and a dangerous gang, the Patron Minette. He seemingly rose through the ranks over the nine year interlude in Paris to become one of the leading members of the gang. Eponine is depicted as an informal member of the gang, used when they want a look out for the police, or a distraction in the form of a crying woman or thin hands to pinch things without notice. She is well known by the gang members, and they tease and berate the girl as much as her Papa does.



At some point in the interlude in Eponine’s life, she was introduced to the youngest gang member, Montparnasse. He was a good looking young man, described as a Macaroon, a dandy in his top hat and tails. But Hugo also says that he was violent and a murderer, targeting wealthy women to slit their throats. Hugo hints continually that Eponine is in a relationship with this man – for her part, she doesn’t seem particularly fond of him, and certainly isn’t in love with him – but Hugo nevertheless says that Thenardier regarded Montparnasse as his son-in-law. Their relationship may have been a stepping stone for Thenardier to gain wider recognition in the gang. Hugo also hints that their relationship was sexual in nature; Montparnasse ‘leads Eponine off’ down an alley whilst they’re supposed to be on watch – this is widely interpreted as him leading her off for sex. He is also the only member of the gang, beside her father, who she does not address with the title of ‘Monsieur’ before their name. This suggests an intimacy with Montparnasse; she is obviously closer to him than she is with the rest of the gang. Now naturally, underage sex was not an issue in 1830s France in the same way that we would regard it as a major issue and certainly her sexuality seems to have been exploited by her father, something that will be explored later in the history. Eponine’s relationship with Montparnasse seems to be one of abuse. He threatens her with his knife several times in the novel and says that he is ready to give her a clout. He is definitely not afraid of using his fists, which has given rise to this interpretation.



Indeed, in Paris, it is reasonable to assume that Thenardier also became more abusive towards his daughters. At one point, he thrusts Azelma’s hand through the window, purposely cutting it, and he sends both girls to sit on the pavement in the snow, bare feet and all. He constantly calls Eponine names, and seems completely nonplussed to see his daughter free from jail. Eponine also tells Marius that she often lies to her father, or simply sleeps rough for a few days, to avoid beatings from her father. Both girls come well down in his list of importance. When the family are re-introduced proper, mother, father and daughters are living together in a garrett in the Gorbeau tenement in St. Michel. Madame Thenardier has sold off her youngest sons to another family, and Gavroche has long ago been turned out to fend for himself. Eponine and Azelma are introduced as running away from the police; they bang unknowingly into Marius and Azelma drops her begging letters, which Marius pockets and examines. Shortly after, Eponine is sent next door with a begging letter for Marius. She walks boldly into his room, and doesn’t hesitate in looking at his possessions. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird, trying to exhume confidence, but actually quite scared and distressed. She is an appalling figure now, cheeks gaunt, skin sallow, a drunkard’s mouth – for she drinks brandy now – broken and missing teeth, dull eyes, matted hair. Her clothes are tatty; her chemise sags very low on her chest and her skirt is held up with a string. Still, she tries to flirt with Marius and tries to impress him by showing that she can read and write.




Marius represents the antithesis of Eponine’s life; he is almost like a fairytale prince for her, so perfect and lovely and generous, with all of his teeth. She tries to flirt, but bless her, she is neither attractive nor gracious of speech, and her actions are in vain. She confides in Marius, telling him about her hallucinations and her suicidal thoughts, and whilst he is repulsed by her, he also gives her five francs. She takes his crust of bread. From there, Marius watches his neighbours and overhears their plot to rob Valjean, after he and Cosette are brought by Eponine to see the hovel. Eponine recognises neither Cosette or the old gentleman, but Marius has already fallen instantly in love with Cosette and refuses to see her or Valjean hurt. He reports the plot to Javert, but ultimately throws Eponine’s writing into the tenement, warning them of the police’s approach to stop the plot.



The elder Thenardiers are arrested, along with the majority of the gang. Eponine and Montparnasse escape as they are in an alley, as discussed before.



Eponine is later picked up; she is well known as Thenardier’s daughter, and a gang member and both she and Azelma were both sent to La Madelonnettes, apparently the worst of all the French prisons. It was used for men waiting to be transferred to La Force and women, mostly prostitutes, and those serving short sentences. Here, men and women were kept together in small cells, which were lined with mattresses. Prisoners were kept shackled permanently at their hands and their ankles. They were never allowed outside and large guard dogs paced the grounds. Water was dirty, and prisoners suspected the small bits of meat they were given came from execution victims. Rats ran free, and burrowed into the mattresses, making sleeping on the moving, stinking things a horrible experience. In that jail, Eponine will have seen sights not fit for anyone’s eyes, let alone those of a teenager. As soon as she is out of jail, she is asked by the gang to find Valjean’s house, so that they can break in and rob it. She sends a biscuit to La Force, criminal shorthand to say that there is nothing doing on the Rue Plumet.



Once free, Eponine set off to find Marius. She doesn’t seem to care about her sister or her parents in jail. Instead, she looks for Marius and meets the Bishop, who tells her of Marius’ lineage. From then, it’s more or less confirmed in Eponine’s mind that he will never love her, but she cannot help but adore him anyway. Eponine finds Marius in the fields and is touched that he knows her name and remembers who she is. He too asks her to find Valjean’s house, and she leads him there. In a nod to their differing social classes, she warns him to walk a way behind her, for it would not be done for a gentleman to be seen in the company of a woman such as herself.



Eponine continues to watch Marius as he visits Cosette’s house, though she stays hidden. She tried to speak once, but choked on her words and he brushed her aside. The next time she forced a meeting, he again brushed her off, though she followed him and sat outside the house whilst he visited Cosette.



Meanwhile, Thenardier and the rest of the gang had escaped from La Force, with Gavroche’s help, and had come to rob the Rue Plumet house. Eponine stays hidden, but soon makes her presence known when she saw what they were about. She tried to convince the men to go, but they insulted her and threatened her so she laughed and jeered back at the men. She asserted that she didn’t care if she was beaten to death by her own Papa, implying again that this is something she is convinced Thenardier might do to her. He calls her a bitch and a slut, and Montparnasse uses many of the same terms to describe her. Finally, she threatened to scream to rouse everyone and have them all, herself included, nicked. Montparnasse threatens her again, but Thenardier, realising that Eponine was serious, pulled the other men away. From that moment, Eponine was basically disowned. She couldn’t go home to her Pa again; he WOULD kill her.

THIS IS EPONINE’S CANON POINT!


(Eponine cautiously follows her father away from Cosette’s house, presumably sleeping rough for the night. The next day, she persuades a boy to swap clothes with her, and disguised as a working boy, she returns to Cosette’s house, and throws a note reading ‘Remove’ to Valjean, so that he would take Cosette and flee, saving them both from her father and splitting Marius and Cosette up. Cosette writes a note to Marius and gives it to Eponine to deliver, mistaking her for a workman. She takes the letter, but has absolutely no intention of delivering it.

She follows Marius to Courfeyrac’s house, to watch him, and decides that she shan’t let anybody else have him. She follows Courfeyrac to the barricades, before returning to the Rue Plumet to meet Marius. Still dressed as a boy, she persuades Marius to go the barricade – her plan is that both of them will die in the battle and be united forever. She follows him back.

During the battle, Eponine spots a soldier aiming a pistol directly at Marius. At the last minute, she puts herself in front of Marius, covering the pistol mouth with her hand. The bullet goes through her left hand, and back out, and through her chest, and back out of her back. Eponine falls unnoticed, and lies, dying slowly.

Later on, Marius returns to find the body of the boy who saved him. He instead finds Eponine, who confesses that she has saved his life, though she admits that she did it only because she couldn’t bear to see him die first. She admits that she will be glad that everybody will die. Fearful that he will be angry with her in the afterlife, she confesses to taking his letter, and hands it over. She also states that Gavroche, abandoned by her as well as by her parents, is her brother, and confesses her love for Marius. She begs him to kiss her when she dies, which he promises to do. In her last breath, she confesses her love. When she is dead, Marius kisses her forehead, as promised. Her body is seen with the rest of the fallen, before presumably being chucked in a mass grave (I can’t imagine Thenardier being interested in forking out money to see his daughter buried decently.). )


I want to add a quick note here– I am unsure if it fits in exactly with her history, but it is something which affects her and will govern her approach to certain situations.


There is wide debate, both in the fandom, and amongst academics, as to whether Eponine is a prostitute. Hugo never states that she is, but Hugo often hides character traits, and uses clues which those with knowledge of France at the time, would be able to unpick and reveal a deeper meaning– Jehan is a good example of this. It was common at this period too, for writers not to name their literary prostitutes as prostitutes, for fear of them losing sympathy– such as Charles Dickens’ Nancy.

A lot of clues are present, with Eponine. Her father’s begging letters are worded to hint that Eponine (or Azelma presumably as well) are at the recipient’s disposal for whatever they wish the girls to do. This has often been taken to hint at sexual favours.

As well as this, La Madelonnettes, the prison in which Eponine was incarcerated, was used at this time to house women on sentences of a month or less, men waiting transfer to La Force, murderesses and prostitutes. Now, Eponine is obviously not a man, nor a murderess– and she is incarcerated for 8 weeks, before being let go. This is either because she is too young, or there is no evidence (depending on whether you’re talking to Eponine or Javert). This rules out all of the reasons why she was incarcerated in La Madelonnettes, beyond being held on a charge of prostitution, as well as being suspected as taking part in the robbery. If she was only being held on that charge, why was she not sent to the same prison as her mother? Hugo specifies La Madelonnettes for a reason– and I believe it is to hint that Eponine is at least suspected as a prostitute.

Now, I do not believe that Eponine actively worked as a prostitute in the same manner as Fantine, but I do believe that she has had sexual relations with strange men in exchange for money on the orders of her father (via the letters). It’s not something that Eponine would be particularly eager to talk about in game– but it does form part of her background and thus will factor into decisions she makes from time to time.
gardienne: (Default)
Player Info
Name: Lil
Age: 24
Contact: artemis_rose@live.com
Characters Already in Teleios: none
Reserve: http://teleios-mods.dreamwidth.org/1551.html?thread=1638927#cmt1638927


Character Basics:
Character Name: Eponine Thenardier
Journal: gardienne
Age: 16-18ish. Hugo tends to fluctuate in reference to her age. But she is in the latter half of her teenage years, and looks older to boot.
Fandom: Les Miserables
Canon Point: At the end of the chapter, ‘The Guard Dog’. Eponine has followed Marius to Cosette, caught her father breaking in, stopped the robbery, and basically lost absolutely everything all in one go. This equates to ‘In my life-A heart full of love – attack on the Rue Plumet’ if you know the musical better than the book.
Debt:
Class A: 1
Treason/betrayal
Class B: 4213 years and 6 months
Theft (x like, 9 years worth of at least a few times a week so - 4212 years

Breaking and entering 1 yr 6 months

Class C: Class C: 10

Aiding and Abetting - 273 years
Attempted suicide – 1 month
Conspiracy/conspiracy to commit all manner of crimes, including kidnapping, theft, mugging, fraud, prostitution – 273 years
Disorderly conduct – 3 months
Fleeing the scene of a crime – 10 months
Stalking – 2 months
Trespassing – 3 months
Impersonation – 3 months

  • List crimes you’ve created for your character here.
  • Prostitution – goodness knows how many times – 100 years
    Stealing mail – 2 months
    Begging – 200 years
    Trying to split up true love – 1 month

    GRAND TOTAL: 5062 years and 7 months


    Canon Character Section:
    History: Eponine was born in Montfermiel, which is a village on the very outskirts of Paris, around 1815. Her parents were relatively affluent innkeepers in the village; both well known crooks, and her Pa had been present at the Battle of Waterloo. During the battle, Mssr. Thenardier had been looting corpses, and accidentally saved the life of Marius Pontmercy's father, Georges. Not wanting to be revealed as a criminal, Thenardier claimed to be a sergeant with Napoleon and helped Marius’ father. After the battle, Thenardier embroidered the story into a daring rescue and portrayed himself as a hero. He had this painted upon his inn, and named it ‘The Sergeant of Waterloo’, essentially after himself. This was about as close to politics as the Thenardier family got. In accordance to the story, Thenardier claims himself to be a Bonapartist, and evidently teaches his children to mimic that – Eponine herself tells Marius of their political stance, though whether she understands truly what that means or is simply parroting what she has heard is debatable.



    Eponine was very well looked after as a child; she was the eldest of (eventually) five children, though she is closest to her next sister down, Azelma. As a child, she enjoyed swinging on a tyre swing outside the inn; it is the sight of her and Azelma on the swing that persuades Fantine to leave Cosette with the family.


    As Eponine grows up, she is adored and pampered by her parents – and in particularly her mother. She is described as being a very pretty child, and was dressed in pretty and warm clothes. She was doted on by her parents, worshipped by her little sister, and feared by their live-in servant, the young Cosette. Eponine was a horrible child for it. She liked to see Cosette in trouble and actively sought to see her mother shout at the poor girl. She always got her own way, and she lived without fear of going hungry or being beaten. Eponine as a child knew nothing of the wider world or the political shifts going on. It did not directly affect her life in Montfermiel and as happy children are wont to do, she regarded anything outside of influencing her life as unimportant. Her parents, whilst not fabulously rich were of the ‘upper lower class’, as we might say, half way between those unable to afford food and turned to theft, and the bourgeois. Hugo says that they are wealthy to perhaps just scrape into the lower bourgeois class – but their lack of education pushes them down into the bottom classes. Her parents use the inn to swindle customers and as a cover for other ‘illicit’ business – most of which, at this early period, Eponine is unaware of.



    During the Christmas of 1825, when Eponine was around seven and a half years old, and Cosette about eight, she was present in the inn when the stranger, Valjean came to retrieve Cosette. She had been playing with her old doll alongside Azelma, until she abandoned it in favour of the cat, which she proceeded to squeeze into the doll’s clothes. Seeing the doll abandoned, Cosette began to play with it, but Eponine told her mother, purely out of spite for Cosette, and Cosette was sent to get water from the well in the woods as punishment. Valjean found Cosette, and brought her back, and presented her with a grand doll, far grander than Eponine’s tatty toy, whilst Eponine looked on jealously. Later that night, Cosette was taken away by Valjean.




    When Cosette was taken away, Eponine quickly learned the way of the real world. Her father’s debts grew, and, unable to pay any more, the family were turned out of the inn. The family soon made their way to Paris, and settled in the slums of St. Michel. The political upheaval continued; soon after the family lost the inn, Charles X (1824-30) took over as King, and discontent amongst the poor grew, due to food shortages and drastic inflation. Without understanding truly what had happened, she found herself stripped of her pretty dresses and warm fire and snug bed, and instead living in a small damp room with her Mama and Papa and Azelma and all three of her little brothers. She wore the same dress day in and day out, and there were no shoes to replace hers once she outgrew them, so she was forced to go barefoot. I don’t think Eponine would truly have understood what was happening – just that she didn’t LIKE what was happening. St. Michel was a dog eat dog world, and Eponine would have been forced to adapt quickly. She seemingly learned how to thieve from her parents, both con-artists, and she seems to have learned how to beg as well.



    During their years in Paris, Eponine moved around a lot, and she experienced poverty in the extreme. In the winter of 1831, the Thenardier family were evicted from their rooms and were forced to spend the winter beneath the bridge. This was not an uncommon experience and many people suffered the same fate as the Thenardiers.



    In the novel, it is mentioned in passing that Thenardier at once aspired to join the most powerful and a dangerous gang, the Patron Minette. He seemingly rose through the ranks over the nine year interlude in Paris to become one of the leading members of the gang. Eponine is depicted as an informal member of the gang, used when they want a look out for the police, or a distraction in the form of a crying woman or thin hands to pinch things without notice. She is well known by the gang members, and they tease and berate the girl as much as her Papa does.



    At some point in the interlude in Eponine’s life, she was introduced to the youngest gang member, Montparnasse. He was a good looking young man, described as a Macaroon, a dandy in his top hat and tails. But Hugo also says that he was violent and a murderer, targeting wealthy women to slit their throats. Hugo hints continually that Eponine is in a relationship with this man – for her part, she doesn’t seem particularly fond of him, and certainly isn’t in love with him – but Hugo nevertheless says that Thenardier regarded Montparnasse as his son-in-law. Their relationship may have been a stepping stone for Thenardier to gain wider recognition in the gang. Hugo also hints that their relationship was sexual in nature; Montparnasse ‘leads Eponine off’ down an alley whilst they’re supposed to be on watch – this is widely interpreted as him leading her off for sex. He is also the only member of the gang, beside her father, who she does not address with the title of ‘Monsieur’ before their name. This suggests an intimacy with Montparnasse; she is obviously closer to him than she is with the rest of the gang. Now naturally, underage sex was not an issue in 1830s France in the same way that we would regard it as a major issue and certainly her sexuality seems to have been exploited by her father, something that will be explored later in the history. Eponine’s relationship with Montparnasse seems to be one of abuse. He threatens her with his knife several times in the novel and says that he is ready to give her a clout. He is definitely not afraid of using his fists, which has given rise to this interpretation.



    Indeed, in Paris, it is reasonable to assume that Thenardier also became more abusive towards his daughters. At one point, he thrusts Azelma’s hand through the window, purposely cutting it, and he sends both girls to sit on the pavement in the snow, bare feet and all. He constantly calls Eponine names, and seems completely nonplussed to see his daughter free from jail. Eponine also tells Marius that she often lies to her father, or simply sleeps rough for a few days, to avoid beatings from her father. Both girls come well down in his list of importance. When the family are re-introduced proper, mother, father and daughters are living together in a garrett in the Gorbeau tenement in St. Michel. Madame Thenardier has sold off her youngest sons to another family, and Gavroche has long ago been turned out to fend for himself. Eponine and Azelma are introduced as running away from the police; they bang unknowingly into Marius and Azelma drops her begging letters, which Marius pockets and examines. Shortly after, Eponine is sent next door with a begging letter for Marius. She walks boldly into his room, and doesn’t hesitate in looking at his possessions. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird, trying to exhume confidence, but actually quite scared and distressed. She is an appalling figure now, cheeks gaunt, skin sallow, a drunkard’s mouth – for she drinks brandy now – broken and missing teeth, dull eyes, matted hair. Her clothes are tatty; her chemise sags very low on her chest and her skirt is held up with a string. Still, she tries to flirt with Marius and tries to impress him by showing that she can read and write.




    Marius represents the antithesis of Eponine’s life; he is almost like a fairytale prince for her, so perfect and lovely and generous, with all of his teeth. She tries to flirt, but bless her, she is neither attractive nor gracious of speech, and her actions are in vain. She confides in Marius, telling him about her hallucinations and her suicidal thoughts, and whilst he is repulsed by her, he also gives her five francs. She takes his crust of bread. From there, Marius watches his neighbours and overhears their plot to rob Valjean, after he and Cosette are brought by Eponine to see the hovel. Eponine recognises neither Cosette or the old gentleman, but Marius has already fallen instantly in love with Cosette and refuses to see her or Valjean hurt. He reports the plot to Javert, but ultimately throws Eponine’s writing into the tenement, warning them of the police’s approach to stop the plot.



    The elder Thenardiers are arrested, along with the majority of the gang. Eponine and Montparnasse escape as they are in an alley, as discussed before.



    Eponine is later picked up; she is well known as Thenardier’s daughter, and a gang member and both she and Azelma were both sent to La Madelonnettes, apparently the worst of all the French prisons. It was used for men waiting to be transferred to La Force and women, mostly prostitutes, and those serving short sentences. Here, men and women were kept together in small cells, which were lined with mattresses. Prisoners were kept shackled permanently at their hands and their ankles. They were never allowed outside and large guard dogs paced the grounds. Water was dirty, and prisoners suspected the small bits of meat they were given came from execution victims. Rats ran free, and burrowed into the mattresses, making sleeping on the moving, stinking things a horrible experience. In that jail, Eponine will have seen sights not fit for anyone’s eyes, let alone those of a teenager. As soon as she is out of jail, she is asked by the gang to find Valjean’s house, so that they can break in and rob it. She sends a biscuit to La Force, criminal shorthand to say that there is nothing doing on the Rue Plumet.



    Once free, Eponine set off to find Marius. She doesn’t seem to care about her sister or her parents in jail. Instead, she looks for Marius and meets the Bishop, who tells her of Marius’ lineage. From then, it’s more or less confirmed in Eponine’s mind that he will never love her, but she cannot help but adore him anyway. Eponine finds Marius in the fields and is touched that he knows her name and remembers who she is. He too asks her to find Valjean’s house, and she leads him there. In a nod to their differing social classes, she warns him to walk a way behind her, for it would not be done for a gentleman to be seen in the company of a woman such as herself.



    Eponine continues to watch Marius as he visits Cosette’s house, though she stays hidden. She tried to speak once, but choked on her words and he brushed her aside. The next time she forced a meeting, he again brushed her off, though she followed him and sat outside the house whilst he visited Cosette.



    Meanwhile, Thenardier and the rest of the gang had escaped from La Force, with Gavroche’s help, and had come to rob the Rue Plumet house. Eponine stays hidden, but soon makes her presence known when she saw what they were about. She tried to convince the men to go, but they insulted her and threatened her so she laughed and jeered back at the men. She asserted that she didn’t care if she was beaten to death by her own Papa, implying again that this is something she is convinced Thenardier might do to her. He calls her a bitch and a slut, and Montparnasse uses many of the same terms to describe her. Finally, she threatened to scream to rouse everyone and have them all, herself included, nicked. Montparnasse threatens her again, but Thenardier, realising that Eponine was serious, pulled the other men away. From that moment, Eponine was basically disowned. She couldn’t go home to her Pa again; he WOULD kill her.

    THIS IS EPONINE’S CANON POINT!


    (Eponine cautiously follows her father away from Cosette’s house, presumably sleeping rough for the night. The next day, she persuades a boy to swap clothes with her, and disguised as a working boy, she returns to Cosette’s house, and throws a note reading ‘Remove’ to Valjean, so that he would take Cosette and flee, saving them both from her father and splitting Marius and Cosette up. Cosette writes a note to Marius and gives it to Eponine to deliver, mistaking her for a workman. She takes the letter, but has absolutely no intention of delivering it.

    She follows Marius to Courfeyrac’s house, to watch him, and decides that she shan’t let anybody else have him. She follows Courfeyrac to the barricades, before returning to the Rue Plumet to meet Marius. Still dressed as a boy, she persuades Marius to go the barricade – her plan is that both of them will die in the battle and be united forever. She follows him back.

    During the battle, Eponine spots a soldier aiming a pistol directly at Marius. At the last minute, she puts herself in front of Marius, covering the pistol mouth with her hand. The bullet goes through her left hand, and back out, and through her chest, and back out of her back. Eponine falls unnoticed, and lies, dying slowly.

    Later on, Marius returns to find the body of the boy who saved him. He instead finds Eponine, who confesses that she has saved his life, though she admits that she did it only because she couldn’t bear to see him die first. She admits that she will be glad that everybody will die. Fearful that he will be angry with her in the afterlife, she confesses to taking his letter, and hands it over. She also states that Gavroche, abandoned by her as well as by her parents, is her brother, and confesses her love for Marius. She begs him to kiss her when she dies, which he promises to do. In her last breath, she confesses her love. When she is dead, Marius kisses her forehead, as promised. Her body is seen with the rest of the fallen, before presumably being chucked in a mass grave (I can’t imagine Thenardier being interested in forking out money to see his daughter buried decently.). )


    I want to add a quick note here– I am unsure if it fits in exactly with her history, but it is something which affects her and will govern her approach to certain situations.


    There is wide debate, both in the fandom, and amongst academics, as to whether Eponine is a prostitute. Hugo never states that she is, but Hugo often hides character traits, and uses clues which those with knowledge of France at the time, would be able to unpick and reveal a deeper meaning– Jehan is a good example of this. It was common at this period too, for writers not to name their literary prostitutes as prostitutes, for fear of them losing sympathy– such as Charles Dickens’ Nancy.

    A lot of clues are present, with Eponine. Her father’s begging letters are worded to hint that Eponine (or Azelma presumably as well) are at the recipient’s disposal for whatever they wish the girls to do. This has often been taken to hint at sexual favours.

    As well as this, La Madelonnettes, the prison in which Eponine was incarcerated, was used at this time to house women on sentences of a month or less, men waiting transfer to La Force, murderesses and prostitutes. Now, Eponine is obviously not a man, nor a murderess– and she is incarcerated for 8 weeks, before being let go. This is either because she is too young, or there is no evidence (depending on whether you’re talking to Eponine or Javert). This rules out all of the reasons why she was incarcerated in La Madelonnettes, beyond being held on a charge of prostitution, as well as being suspected as taking part in the robbery. If she was only being held on that charge, why was she not sent to the same prison as her mother? Hugo specifies La Madelonnettes for a reason– and I believe it is to hint that Eponine is at least suspected as a prostitute.

    Now, I do not believe that Eponine actively worked as a prostitute in the same manner as Fantine, but I do believe that she has had sexual relations with strange men in exchange for money on the orders of her father (via the letters). It’s not something that Eponine would be particularly eager to talk about in game– but it does form part of her background and thus will factor into decisions she makes from time to time.

    Personality: Eponine began life as a spoiled brat. She was an odious child, with long, dark braids and a plump, pretty face, dressed in the best clothes her mother could provide. Doted on and indulged by everyone, including the drunkards in the inn, Eponine grew used to getting her own way in everything. And she absolutely loved to show off in front of Cosette and make her jealous. She actively sought to get Cosette in trouble with her mother and found it funny when the poor little girl was beaten. She also established herself as a leader; her little sister looked up to her in admiration and followed Eponine’s lead. It was clear that at this early age, Eponine ruled the roost.

    With her dramatic lifestyle shift, so too did her personality change. It was forced to. It is impossible to chart the events which made her personality change, because of the ten year gap in the narration of her tale, but it is, of course, possible to see how her personality affects her actions when the narrative begins again.

    Eponine’s tough. She’s had to be. She has grown up in a hostile environment, where the philosophy of ‘every man for himself’ is predominant. She knows how to stand up for herself, and she is not one to back down in an argument. This is shown in the manner with which she deals with her father and the gang on the Rue Plumet. Her father calls her a bitch, the other men deride her and threaten her with knives and fists, and she carries on shouting back and jeering at the men. She lets their comments slide over her head, perhaps indicating she is used to the name calling. She carries herself well, and can talk to most people. Her chatter comes across as awkward at times, or even inappropriate. She flirts with Marius as best she can– but again, it comes across as awkward. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird flitting around Marius’ room, a melancholy and desperate sight. Uncomfortable amongst wealth now, she tries to fit in, but ultimately cannot. She is nervy. She speaks more than she should to people she doesn’t know, and is very open about herself and her life. Within minutes of meeting Marius, she tells him about her suicide consideration. Her words come without a great deal of thought, in a tangle of argot slang and French when she’s nervous. The more in control she tries to seem, the more ladylike she tries to act, the more it comes off as an act, a sham– sheer desperation. Hugo says that Eponine might have been gay and flirtatious, like any proper society miss, as her exuberance and feistiness bubbles from her, despite her drab life– but the reality of being poor has rendered her uneducated and out of her depth in social situations with her ‘betters’. Eponine longs to be a lady, but by the end of her story, she realises it’s something she’ll never be able to attain.

    She’s not much use in a fight, and relies more on her tongue to get out of situations. When Eponine knows a person well, she’ll talk back at them, jousting with words, even if they threaten physical violence. She herself does not rely on physically fighting; she knows she is weak from starvation and in a world of men, she never has the power to win physically. Eponine reacts to danger by facing it head on and without flinching. She will accept violence against herself as well as she can, with her head raised high and a glare in her eyes. Eponine is very difficult to scare; her life has desensitised her to a lot of horror. She’s seen things, in prison and out, that no teenager should ever see, and she’s experienced more abuse and hardship than a lot of people will ever see. She is also very good at hiding any signs of her fear too. Fear is considered a weakness in the Underworld, and Eponine quickly learned to hide that particular emotion a long time ago. She will talk back at those who wish her harm, and she will unashamedly flirt and talk candidly to them. She lets insults wash over her head; she has heard so many insults in her time that they simply don't bother her any more.

    Some would describe Eponine as cold– but she’s not, not really. It’s a show, an act she puts on, so people don’t try to mess her about. She seems to react with indifference to a lot of things– she’s world-weary and brow beaten so much that she finds it difficult to be enthusiastic enough to show her emotions in her actions. She can barely smile, barely cry. But deep down, Eponine is an emotional little creature. She’s completely in love– or no, not love, but lust. She’s in lust with Marius, a student, who doesn’t return, or even acknowledge her feelings. I say lust because I truly believe that Eponine’s life has stunted her emotional ability. She is unable to truly love because she has never known love. Marius, for Eponine, is an escape from her life. He is a living fairytale prince that she falls instantly for. He is generous, he gives her food and money, and he doesn’t offer her violence and name calling. Compared to her usual companions, he is soft and well spoken– and he reminds Eponine of the life she SHOULD have had. Eponine craves love though. It’s what drives her. Show her any hint of kindness, and she becomes a lapdog, eager to please and willing to do anything, even if it causes her physical or emotional pain– shown in the way she agrees to lead Marius to Cosette, despite quite wanting to keep the two apart for her own selfish gain. But, knowing Marius would be unhappy without Cosette, she agrees to show him the way. Eponine wants attention. She laughs inappropriately and says the wrong thing a lot of the time. She’s outspoken and will say what she thinks, regardless of the consequences.

    Eponine is defiant. She hates what her father makes her do, but she has to participate. Still, she does it all with a glare in her eyes and her mouth pressed into a hard line. She often shouts back before giving in– demonstrated in her apartment. Thenardier wants Eponine to wait in the snow outside, and she is quick to point out that she has no shoes and her feet will freeze and she’s sarcastic– but ultimately bows to his wish. The exception is when she is protecting Marius. She stands up to her father and the Patron Minette properly for the first time and it costs her her home and her family alliance, essentially leaving her destitute. Eponine’s love for Marius is greater than any love or fear that she has for her Papa.

    She does what she has to do to survive. She can be incredibly manipulative, if she thinks she will gain from it. Eponine says that most people believe what she says; I’m guessing that the exceptions tend to be those in authoritative positions in Paris. She is incredibly brave and doesn’t seem to have a great sense of personal danger. Eponine will face any adversity that comes to her head on; it is not really in her nature to hide. And she will face her fate with a straight back and a defiant glare. Nobody will feel pity for Eponine. She is brave till the very end. She is not stupid, though. She’s practical. If there is a way to avoid a beating, either through lies or staying away for a night, Eponine will take that option. After all, as she says, ‘there’s no point in looking for a beating I could avoid, is there?’ She is pretty much fearless though – the only thing that seems to truly scare her are the monsters in her head.

    Eponine is loyal. If she feels obliged to someone, she will bow to their will, whether she agrees with their actions or not. This is seen particularly with her Papa and the Patron Minette. She is more loyal to those who show affection towards her than those who intimidate her, though. A lot of the time, she’s scared and she’s wary, and she has the same cautious expression as a hunted animal.

    She doesn’t consider herself to be at all beautiful; she thinks she’s disgusting, and that she doesn’t deserve a happy life. Eponine loathes herself. She hates everything about herself, from the dirt she is encrusted in, to the criminal that her Papa has turned her into. She cannot see anything positive about herself at all; but she forces herself to continue with life. She loves mirrors, and will stand and stare at her reflection, pinking and preening, remnants of her childish vanity. This is evidenced when she goes into Marius’ room to check he is not there, and tells her father she is searching– whilst she is, in fact, staring at her reflection. Her self hatred is evident throughout. She makes a lot of self-depreciating remarks, and constantly refers to her social class as something shameful. She’s open about her imprisonment; it’s something almost expected of her after all, but again it fuels her hatred for what she has become, and the impossibility of her life.

    She is somewhat bitter, especially towards those better off than her. Jealousy is one of Eponine’s biggest failures. She is jealous of Cosette when they meet again as adults, and this only intensifies when she finds that Marius loves Cosette. Cosette, for her, represents what Eponine’s life should be, and I think she thinks she is living Cosette’s destiny. It’s hard for Eponine to see Cosette, especially having everything, whilst she starves and freezes to death. She desperately wants a better life, but knows she will never have one. Eponine is not much of a fighter, though. As much as she hates her station in life, she has accepted it, and is willing now to ‘go with the flow’, to go where life takes her. She fights back at her end – she fights for her love – and it ends in her death.
    Eponine has some psychological problems, although Hugo says that she is not mad. She has been known to suffer from hallucinations when she is very, very hungry. She tends to laugh as well, in very inappropriate places, a nervous reaction perhaps. She is also known to be quite suicidal; the winter of 1931, Eponine considered wading into the Seine to drown herself– she didn’t because she was scared that it wouldn’t work and it would be too cold. This is perhaps an indication that Eponine cannot cope with her life as well as she seems to on the surface.

    Eponine can be sweet. She likes flowers; she finds them soothing after the horrors of Paris. She is somewhat of a dreamer, and likes to imagine herself as a proper lady, dancing with Marius. She can’t let the people she loves end up hurt. She’d literally rather take a bullet for them than let them be injured. Eponine likes to sing; she has always been told that she has an awful voice, but she doesn’t care. She likes to sing and often hums away to herself, singing old French ditties and raunchy ballads, and songs that she makes up herself. Her mother says she is a waste of space, but she isn’t really. She just… She wants to be able to learn. She wants to study with the scholars, but she knows that’ll never be. She can just about read and write her name, and is very proud of these facts as it shows her higher class breeding and makes her stand out in the crowds of destitute teenagers. It takes her a while to read, and longer to write anything beyond ‘Eponine’ and ‘the police are coming’. She’s very intelligent, and picks things up quickly. She is very street smart, and has the potential to be book smart too. Hugo says that Eponine could have been cheery and lively, a real society miss, had circumstances allowed her– and this gaiety CAN bubble through at times. She is vain, too, given half the chance. She spends as much time as she can in Marius’ apartment staring at herself in the mirror, preening, even to the extent that she lies to her dad about what she’s doing so she can continue, as noted previously.

    Steadfast is also a word to describe her; she'll stick to the people she likes, no matter what they ask of her.

    Eponine is naturally proud. She doesn’t want to be pitied, and hates the fact that people do pity her. She’s playful, and somewhat of a tease when she’s around people she’s comfortable with. She teases Marius, and Montparnasse too. With strangers, she’s more wary of ending up in trouble. Her speech is often colloquial; only when she talks of love does she become more poetic.

    Eponine is obsessed with social classes. It’s something she feels acutely, probably because of her dramatic class shift. She’s the bottom of the pile, but she wishes she could climb higher. Throughout the novel, she takes every opportunity she can to show that she is of a higher class than she seems, but ultimately acknowledges and accepts her place in society. The shift comes after her imprisonment; possibly because of her experiences in jail and her realisation that she is a criminal and nothing more and will not be able to rise past that. It’s probably affected by the political situation in Paris too; girls her age and in her situation were often rounded up and accused of prostitution, without any evidence against them, and were submitted to degrading tests to check them.
    The lack of food and clothes when she saw others warm and fat probably fuels her resentment too– and, of course, her father’s treatment of her as well, all adds up to a girl who has learned to hate herself and her social position and resent almost everybody in positions of power over her who subject her to this life. She would be absolutely gutted to learn that she had over 5000 years of debt to work off for her crimes – it’s not like she enjoyed committing them in the first place – and things like begging and trespassing she certainly wouldn’t recognize as a crime. She’d be so upset that she’d have no chance of finding true happiness, and because so much debt obviously indicates a big criminal. She hates that side of her life and longs to forget it and be better than what she is.

    In all, Eponine craves affection. She wants to love and be loved. She wants a happy life. She wants Marius. She wants pretty dresses and a bath and the opportunity to learn. But she has no hope that she’ll ever get any of this. It’s there, she can see it, but for Eponine, it is going to be forever out of reach. And she’s accepted that. And she will face her fate bravely.


    Powers/Abilities:

    Appearance: http://stagedoordish.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Sam-Barks.jpg - close up of her face

    http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=58829935 - Eponine’s outfit. Her skirt is ankle length and tattered. Her feet are bare. There is a high chance she smells badly and is encrusted with dirt. There is a good chance she has lice, too.

    CR AU
    Game You’re Transferring CR from: N/A

    How has your character changed from their canon self? N/A

    Are they gaining any abilities from their time in game? Did the game setting take something from them?
    N/A

    Samples:
    Actionspam Sample:
    Like – like this, Sir?

    [She appears to be talking to someone off screen, because only her side profile is visible in the video. There’s gentle laughter, and Eponine turns properly to face the video. Colour has risen on her cheeks, and she bites her lip, eyes lowered, clearly embarrassed.]

    And now – now I can talk? Just here, like this – and people can hear me? Is that truly true, Sir? Or do you make fun of me? I do not like to be made fun of.

    [There are reassurances from the man, gentle laughter as he explains that he is not tricking Eponine, and encouragement for her to smile and explain who she is. Eponine nods, and laughs nervously.]

    Monsieur – or is it a Madame to whom I speak – I do not know – I am Eponine. Jondrette. Or just ‘Ponine – as you wish, Sir. I do not mind. I’m new here.

    [She looks back at the man helping her, and coughs hard]

    Just so, Sir?

    [She turns back to the camera]

    I hardly know what to say, Sir. Or Madame. We do not have such things as this where I am from. We have none of this indeed, Monsieur. Well, yes, such fancy things, but nothing magic. We had paintings. My Mama had one once, but we sold it a long time ago. A whole month’s rent, just fancy. And now, here, I am just handed one and it is mine – and magic. And the pictures move and talk! Our painting did no such thing, not even the one of Monsieur Bonaparte, and that one my Pa refused to sell, even when we had no wall to hang him on. I hardly dare to believe – but so many impossible things make me fear that I do not dream it at all.

    I had thought I was dead at first, you know, but perhaps that is not so. No, it is not so. I am not dead. But it is still very, very strange. Perhaps someone will explain – I will understand, you know, if you explain properly. I am not as stupid as I look. I might have been a student like Monsieur Marius and his friends, had I been a boy… and rich besides. But I could have been you know? I am quick – if you will take the time to explain than I will understand. I can show you I am quick – have I not already mastered how to use this…?

    [And with that, she smiles triumphantly. Yes, she has figured out the magic of the video.]

    Prose Sample:
    She has been hungry before, of course. Of course she has. She remembers when she first moved here from Montfermiel when she was a child. She had been well fed, pampered even, when she was little. She remembers the taste of the chestnuts she had roasted over the fire. She remembered cheating Azelma out of her fair share. She remembers eating more than what she wanted, just so that there wouldn’t be a single one left over for Cosette. She remembers crying bitterly the first day she had to go without food.

    Now it ‘s frequent, going without food. It’s usual for her to go one day, two, three, even four days without eating. By the evening of the fourth, she’s quite dizzy with hunger. She hates that – it seems to be then that her imagination comes to life, that she sees men lurking in alleyways that are really clear, that the houses begin to waver before her eyes, that the shadows swell and breathe fiery smoke that threatens to consume her whole. It makes her hurry her steps, and she staggers through the streets until she’s safe away from it all.


    She sits next to a puddle today. The rain splatters on her face, drenching her, slicking her dark hair to her head, her rags to her body. She should go home. She longs to go home and curl up on that horrible itchy pallet under the coat with Azelma. Oh God, if she dares to! She’ll never complain again about a smashed window and bits of rain splattering on her head.

    But she hasn’t made money in days now. With the nonstop rain, there hasn’t been many people on the streets, not many people to steal off. So she sits, staring morosely into the gutter that runs along the street. She tries to think – but so long, so long without even a crust – and she’s going dizzy, so she closes her eyes again, forcing herself to concentrate. She needs a coin – just one coin. Five francs, and she can go home and get warm by the fire. But where can she get one from? Where can she find someone willing to give her five Francs all in one go? She’s sure she’ll just fall asleep if any gentleman wants her favours in return.
    She rubs her fist roughly across her cheeks, merging tears and drops of rain. She shivers. It’s cold in the damp – not as cold as the snow, she thinks, but cold enough. Oh for a pair of shoes. Stockings. Anything. She looks down at her toes. Are they turning black yet? They feel like they should be – but no. Well – she stands up from where she has fallen – when did she fall? – and staggers on.

    Not for the first time, her mind goes to the river. She remembers what it was to sit by the river when they lost their room the winter before last. She remembers that cold – now that was a freezing cold, where their faces would be so frozen that it hurt to open her eyes. Sometimes she had wished that she just never had to open them again.


    They had been forced to live under the bridge; she and Azelma cuddled up together beneath their father’s old coat for a little warmth. She remembered watching the rushing water when she could not sleep. She remembered the rats nibbling at her toes. She remembered that numb, cold, numb feeling that had overtaken her. Azelma, always quiet, had fallen silent ages ago, but Eponine gradually did too. It took too much energy to even think about what to talk. So Eponine didn’t think. Not then. Her mind had become as numb as her fingers.
    She remembered one night getting up, kissing Azelma gently. She remembered it almost as if it were a dream, or a nightmare. She remembers being convinced that she was already dead. She remembers realizing that she didn’t care.

    It was freezing. Snow had fallen, was falling still, and stray flakes had found their way beneath the bridge. She had shivered, but even so, she had let her shawl fall from her bony shoulders. She had stepped closer to the river’s edge, feet squelching in the freezing mud as she had stared into the murky depths of the rushing river. From her viewpoint, it had looked quite still, but hadn’t she heard the stories about the vicious currents that could rip a man beneath the surface never to be seen again? She leaned in closer and closer. It was a mirror, and a peculiar creature, a goblin girl, stared back at her.

    That scared her, the misshapen creature in the water, whose lank hair hung in tangles and whose eyes were sunk, whose cheeks sagged and mouth puckered. Had she the energy, had her tears not been frozen by the storm, she should have cried for her lost beauty. It made up her mind though. One, quick, fleeting command in the snowstorm blanketing her thoughts.

    Step forward.

    It was to be a horrible death. She tried to imagine the taste of the water in her mouth. It was sure to be dirty. She didn’t think about how it would feel for water to flood her lings and pool there. It didn’t occur to her that it might make her panic as she struggled to draw breath. She saw death and she embraced it. It’d be quick. Not endless like this.

    She had inched a toe into the water. It was deathly cold. Perhaps the shock alone of submerging herself would be enough to kill her? Quick and easy.
    She had inched another toe in. And another and another. Her whole foot. And now the next. One step forward. Another. She had wobbled as she moved again, the current already tugging at her ankles. Her breath had come out in icy clouds, her chest had heaved as her legs burned with the cold. Nearly over. One more st-
    “EPONINE!” A whispered cry from the bank had reached her over the roar of the Seine. Azelma’s cry would reach Eponine wherever she was. She had turned, falling in the water so she had sat chest high in the current. The shock had made her gasp – squawk with shock, and Azelma had begun a dismal wail.

    “Shut up, shut up, shut up, you stupid. Do you wanna wake Papa? Do you want him to flay me?” Eponine had struggled to stand, and had ended up crawling back to the bank to sit with her sister. She had been soaked then, and shivering uncontrollably. She had sneezed. Azelma had put her arm about her sister, tried to hug her close, but Eponine had pushed her roughly away.

    “What’s the use in the two of us being soaked?” She had muttered angrily. She hadn’t objected, though, when Azelma had placed first Eponine’s shawl, and then the coat, about Eponine’s shoulders. The sisters had sat in silence, both staring ahead, one with wonder, and one, regret.

    “Why?” Azelma had broken the silence.

    “I wanted a swim.” Eponine’s answer had been short; she had hacked a cough. “Oh God, I wanted a swim. A swim to hell and to stay there in the warmth.” She had coughed again, and sneezed. Azelma had been silent, and soon Eponine’s coughs had died away too.

    “Don’t leave me alone, ‘Ponine.”

    Azelma had leaned her head on her big sister’s shoulder, and Eponine had slowly extracted a hand from the tangle of coats and shawls she clutched at to stroke her sister’s hair. Almost in unison, tears had begun to roll down both children’s faces.

    ***

    Eponine wakes, still on the street. The light is darker now, the clouds lower, much lower in the sky. Had she fallen asleep? No – no, her head pounds from where she had hit it as she slumped over in a dead faint. But what has woken her now? She looks around; surely not the rain? But then, she stops. Is that an apple?
    She can see an apple. A bright red apple, dark and shiny skin glowing through the rain. But what is it doing on the street? How can it be there? “How can it be so?” she wonders aloud.

    Hesitantly, she reaches out a hand, mentally preparing herself for it to be a hallucination, a vision, not real. But… she touches it and she smiles. Real. Oh, God, GOD! Real. Her hand curls about it and she pulls it to her, lifting it to her lips, sniffing the faint sweet smell. Oh God. Her stomach rumbles as she licks the skin, cautious. How can it be there? Is it a trick someone is playing on her – will they snatch it back? Well, she won’t give them a chance. Without further hesitation, she bites into the apple, crunching the juice, and almost as quickly, she swallows. Juice runs down her chin, and she wipes it with her fingers, sucking on them to get every bit of nourishment she possibly can from the fruit. Again and again she bites down, gnawing at the apple, sucking at it’s core, before crunching it, stem and all, until there is nothing left. She’s drenched – but she’s laughing.
    “Oh God, oh, God, an angel gave that to me. An angel has given the devil strength. Perhaps today I shall not die. Oh God –“ She staggers to her feet, heaving her stiff bones from the pavement so she can shuffle home.

    She doesn’t notice the bright eyed child peeping our from the alleyway behind her, watching his sister delight in his gift. Gavroche hums to himself as he pulls another apple from under his hat, throws it up and catches it deftly, taking a bite out of it as he goes.

    Player Info
    Name: Lil
    Age: 24
    Contact: artemis_rose@live.com
    Characters Already in Teleios: none
    Reserve: http://teleios-mods.dreamwidth.org/1551.html?thread=1638927#cmt1638927


    Character Basics:
    Character Name: Eponine Thenardier
    Journal: gardienne
    Age: 16-18ish. Hugo tends to fluctuate in reference to her age. But she is in the latter half of her teenage years, and looks older to boot.
    Fandom: Les Miserables
    Canon Point: At the end of the chapter, ‘The Guard Dog’. Eponine has followed Marius to Cosette, caught her father breaking in, stopped the robbery, and basically lost absolutely everything all in one go. This equates to ‘In my life-A heart full of love – attack on the Rue Plumet’ if you know the musical better than the book.
    Debt:
    Class A: 1
    Treason/betrayal
    Class B: 4213 years and 6 months
    Theft (x like, 9 years worth of at least a few times a week so - 4212 years

    Breaking and entering 1 yr 6 months

    Class C: Class C: 10

    Aiding and Abetting - 273 years
    Attempted suicide – 1 month
    Conspiracy/conspiracy to commit all manner of crimes, including kidnapping, theft, mugging, fraud, prostitution – 273 years
    Disorderly conduct – 3 months
    Fleeing the scene of a crime – 10 months
    Stalking – 2 months
    Trespassing – 3 months
    Impersonation – 3 months

  • List crimes you’ve created for your character here.
  • Prostitution – goodness knows how many times – 100 years
    Stealing mail – 2 months
    Begging – 200 years
    Trying to split up true love – 1 month

    GRAND TOTAL: 5062 years and 7 months


    Canon Character Section:
    History: Eponine was born in Montfermiel, which is a village on the very outskirts of Paris, around 1815. Her parents were relatively affluent innkeepers in the village; both well known crooks, and her Pa had been present at the Battle of Waterloo. During the battle, Mssr. Thenardier had been looting corpses, and accidentally saved the life of Marius Pontmercy's father, Georges. Not wanting to be revealed as a criminal, Thenardier claimed to be a sergeant with Napoleon and helped Marius’ father. After the battle, Thenardier embroidered the story into a daring rescue and portrayed himself as a hero. He had this painted upon his inn, and named it ‘The Sergeant of Waterloo’, essentially after himself. This was about as close to politics as the Thenardier family got. In accordance to the story, Thenardier claims himself to be a Bonapartist, and evidently teaches his children to mimic that – Eponine herself tells Marius of their political stance, though whether she understands truly what that means or is simply parroting what she has heard is debatable.



    Eponine was very well looked after as a child; she was the eldest of (eventually) five children, though she is closest to her next sister down, Azelma. As a child, she enjoyed swinging on a tyre swing outside the inn; it is the sight of her and Azelma on the swing that persuades Fantine to leave Cosette with the family.


    As Eponine grows up, she is adored and pampered by her parents – and in particularly her mother. She is described as being a very pretty child, and was dressed in pretty and warm clothes. She was doted on by her parents, worshipped by her little sister, and feared by their live-in servant, the young Cosette. Eponine was a horrible child for it. She liked to see Cosette in trouble and actively sought to see her mother shout at the poor girl. She always got her own way, and she lived without fear of going hungry or being beaten. Eponine as a child knew nothing of the wider world or the political shifts going on. It did not directly affect her life in Montfermiel and as happy children are wont to do, she regarded anything outside of influencing her life as unimportant. Her parents, whilst not fabulously rich were of the ‘upper lower class’, as we might say, half way between those unable to afford food and turned to theft, and the bourgeois. Hugo says that they are wealthy to perhaps just scrape into the lower bourgeois class – but their lack of education pushes them down into the bottom classes. Her parents use the inn to swindle customers and as a cover for other ‘illicit’ business – most of which, at this early period, Eponine is unaware of.



    During the Christmas of 1825, when Eponine was around seven and a half years old, and Cosette about eight, she was present in the inn when the stranger, Valjean came to retrieve Cosette. She had been playing with her old doll alongside Azelma, until she abandoned it in favour of the cat, which she proceeded to squeeze into the doll’s clothes. Seeing the doll abandoned, Cosette began to play with it, but Eponine told her mother, purely out of spite for Cosette, and Cosette was sent to get water from the well in the woods as punishment. Valjean found Cosette, and brought her back, and presented her with a grand doll, far grander than Eponine’s tatty toy, whilst Eponine looked on jealously. Later that night, Cosette was taken away by Valjean.




    When Cosette was taken away, Eponine quickly learned the way of the real world. Her father’s debts grew, and, unable to pay any more, the family were turned out of the inn. The family soon made their way to Paris, and settled in the slums of St. Michel. The political upheaval continued; soon after the family lost the inn, Charles X (1824-30) took over as King, and discontent amongst the poor grew, due to food shortages and drastic inflation. Without understanding truly what had happened, she found herself stripped of her pretty dresses and warm fire and snug bed, and instead living in a small damp room with her Mama and Papa and Azelma and all three of her little brothers. She wore the same dress day in and day out, and there were no shoes to replace hers once she outgrew them, so she was forced to go barefoot. I don’t think Eponine would truly have understood what was happening – just that she didn’t LIKE what was happening. St. Michel was a dog eat dog world, and Eponine would have been forced to adapt quickly. She seemingly learned how to thieve from her parents, both con-artists, and she seems to have learned how to beg as well.



    During their years in Paris, Eponine moved around a lot, and she experienced poverty in the extreme. In the winter of 1831, the Thenardier family were evicted from their rooms and were forced to spend the winter beneath the bridge. This was not an uncommon experience and many people suffered the same fate as the Thenardiers.



    In the novel, it is mentioned in passing that Thenardier at once aspired to join the most powerful and a dangerous gang, the Patron Minette. He seemingly rose through the ranks over the nine year interlude in Paris to become one of the leading members of the gang. Eponine is depicted as an informal member of the gang, used when they want a look out for the police, or a distraction in the form of a crying woman or thin hands to pinch things without notice. She is well known by the gang members, and they tease and berate the girl as much as her Papa does.



    At some point in the interlude in Eponine’s life, she was introduced to the youngest gang member, Montparnasse. He was a good looking young man, described as a Macaroon, a dandy in his top hat and tails. But Hugo also says that he was violent and a murderer, targeting wealthy women to slit their throats. Hugo hints continually that Eponine is in a relationship with this man – for her part, she doesn’t seem particularly fond of him, and certainly isn’t in love with him – but Hugo nevertheless says that Thenardier regarded Montparnasse as his son-in-law. Their relationship may have been a stepping stone for Thenardier to gain wider recognition in the gang. Hugo also hints that their relationship was sexual in nature; Montparnasse ‘leads Eponine off’ down an alley whilst they’re supposed to be on watch – this is widely interpreted as him leading her off for sex. He is also the only member of the gang, beside her father, who she does not address with the title of ‘Monsieur’ before their name. This suggests an intimacy with Montparnasse; she is obviously closer to him than she is with the rest of the gang. Now naturally, underage sex was not an issue in 1830s France in the same way that we would regard it as a major issue and certainly her sexuality seems to have been exploited by her father, something that will be explored later in the history. Eponine’s relationship with Montparnasse seems to be one of abuse. He threatens her with his knife several times in the novel and says that he is ready to give her a clout. He is definitely not afraid of using his fists, which has given rise to this interpretation.



    Indeed, in Paris, it is reasonable to assume that Thenardier also became more abusive towards his daughters. At one point, he thrusts Azelma’s hand through the window, purposely cutting it, and he sends both girls to sit on the pavement in the snow, bare feet and all. He constantly calls Eponine names, and seems completely nonplussed to see his daughter free from jail. Eponine also tells Marius that she often lies to her father, or simply sleeps rough for a few days, to avoid beatings from her father. Both girls come well down in his list of importance. When the family are re-introduced proper, mother, father and daughters are living together in a garrett in the Gorbeau tenement in St. Michel. Madame Thenardier has sold off her youngest sons to another family, and Gavroche has long ago been turned out to fend for himself. Eponine and Azelma are introduced as running away from the police; they bang unknowingly into Marius and Azelma drops her begging letters, which Marius pockets and examines. Shortly after, Eponine is sent next door with a begging letter for Marius. She walks boldly into his room, and doesn’t hesitate in looking at his possessions. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird, trying to exhume confidence, but actually quite scared and distressed. She is an appalling figure now, cheeks gaunt, skin sallow, a drunkard’s mouth – for she drinks brandy now – broken and missing teeth, dull eyes, matted hair. Her clothes are tatty; her chemise sags very low on her chest and her skirt is held up with a string. Still, she tries to flirt with Marius and tries to impress him by showing that she can read and write.




    Marius represents the antithesis of Eponine’s life; he is almost like a fairytale prince for her, so perfect and lovely and generous, with all of his teeth. She tries to flirt, but bless her, she is neither attractive nor gracious of speech, and her actions are in vain. She confides in Marius, telling him about her hallucinations and her suicidal thoughts, and whilst he is repulsed by her, he also gives her five francs. She takes his crust of bread. From there, Marius watches his neighbours and overhears their plot to rob Valjean, after he and Cosette are brought by Eponine to see the hovel. Eponine recognises neither Cosette or the old gentleman, but Marius has already fallen instantly in love with Cosette and refuses to see her or Valjean hurt. He reports the plot to Javert, but ultimately throws Eponine’s writing into the tenement, warning them of the police’s approach to stop the plot.



    The elder Thenardiers are arrested, along with the majority of the gang. Eponine and Montparnasse escape as they are in an alley, as discussed before.



    Eponine is later picked up; she is well known as Thenardier’s daughter, and a gang member and both she and Azelma were both sent to La Madelonnettes, apparently the worst of all the French prisons. It was used for men waiting to be transferred to La Force and women, mostly prostitutes, and those serving short sentences. Here, men and women were kept together in small cells, which were lined with mattresses. Prisoners were kept shackled permanently at their hands and their ankles. They were never allowed outside and large guard dogs paced the grounds. Water was dirty, and prisoners suspected the small bits of meat they were given came from execution victims. Rats ran free, and burrowed into the mattresses, making sleeping on the moving, stinking things a horrible experience. In that jail, Eponine will have seen sights not fit for anyone’s eyes, let alone those of a teenager. As soon as she is out of jail, she is asked by the gang to find Valjean’s house, so that they can break in and rob it. She sends a biscuit to La Force, criminal shorthand to say that there is nothing doing on the Rue Plumet.



    Once free, Eponine set off to find Marius. She doesn’t seem to care about her sister or her parents in jail. Instead, she looks for Marius and meets the Bishop, who tells her of Marius’ lineage. From then, it’s more or less confirmed in Eponine’s mind that he will never love her, but she cannot help but adore him anyway. Eponine finds Marius in the fields and is touched that he knows her name and remembers who she is. He too asks her to find Valjean’s house, and she leads him there. In a nod to their differing social classes, she warns him to walk a way behind her, for it would not be done for a gentleman to be seen in the company of a woman such as herself.



    Eponine continues to watch Marius as he visits Cosette’s house, though she stays hidden. She tried to speak once, but choked on her words and he brushed her aside. The next time she forced a meeting, he again brushed her off, though she followed him and sat outside the house whilst he visited Cosette.



    Meanwhile, Thenardier and the rest of the gang had escaped from La Force, with Gavroche’s help, and had come to rob the Rue Plumet house. Eponine stays hidden, but soon makes her presence known when she saw what they were about. She tried to convince the men to go, but they insulted her and threatened her so she laughed and jeered back at the men. She asserted that she didn’t care if she was beaten to death by her own Papa, implying again that this is something she is convinced Thenardier might do to her. He calls her a bitch and a slut, and Montparnasse uses many of the same terms to describe her. Finally, she threatened to scream to rouse everyone and have them all, herself included, nicked. Montparnasse threatens her again, but Thenardier, realising that Eponine was serious, pulled the other men away. From that moment, Eponine was basically disowned. She couldn’t go home to her Pa again; he WOULD kill her.

    THIS IS EPONINE’S CANON POINT!


    (Eponine cautiously follows her father away from Cosette’s house, presumably sleeping rough for the night. The next day, she persuades a boy to swap clothes with her, and disguised as a working boy, she returns to Cosette’s house, and throws a note reading ‘Remove’ to Valjean, so that he would take Cosette and flee, saving them both from her father and splitting Marius and Cosette up. Cosette writes a note to Marius and gives it to Eponine to deliver, mistaking her for a workman. She takes the letter, but has absolutely no intention of delivering it.

    She follows Marius to Courfeyrac’s house, to watch him, and decides that she shan’t let anybody else have him. She follows Courfeyrac to the barricades, before returning to the Rue Plumet to meet Marius. Still dressed as a boy, she persuades Marius to go the barricade – her plan is that both of them will die in the battle and be united forever. She follows him back.

    During the battle, Eponine spots a soldier aiming a pistol directly at Marius. At the last minute, she puts herself in front of Marius, covering the pistol mouth with her hand. The bullet goes through her left hand, and back out, and through her chest, and back out of her back. Eponine falls unnoticed, and lies, dying slowly.

    Later on, Marius returns to find the body of the boy who saved him. He instead finds Eponine, who confesses that she has saved his life, though she admits that she did it only because she couldn’t bear to see him die first. She admits that she will be glad that everybody will die. Fearful that he will be angry with her in the afterlife, she confesses to taking his letter, and hands it over. She also states that Gavroche, abandoned by her as well as by her parents, is her brother, and confesses her love for Marius. She begs him to kiss her when she dies, which he promises to do. In her last breath, she confesses her love. When she is dead, Marius kisses her forehead, as promised. Her body is seen with the rest of the fallen, before presumably being chucked in a mass grave (I can’t imagine Thenardier being interested in forking out money to see his daughter buried decently.). )


    I want to add a quick note here– I am unsure if it fits in exactly with her history, but it is something which affects her and will govern her approach to certain situations.


    There is wide debate, both in the fandom, and amongst academics, as to whether Eponine is a prostitute. Hugo never states that she is, but Hugo often hides character traits, and uses clues which those with knowledge of France at the time, would be able to unpick and reveal a deeper meaning– Jehan is a good example of this. It was common at this period too, for writers not to name their literary prostitutes as prostitutes, for fear of them losing sympathy– such as Charles Dickens’ Nancy.

    A lot of clues are present, with Eponine. Her father’s begging letters are worded to hint that Eponine (or Azelma presumably as well) are at the recipient’s disposal for whatever they wish the girls to do. This has often been taken to hint at sexual favours.

    As well as this, La Madelonnettes, the prison in which Eponine was incarcerated, was used at this time to house women on sentences of a month or less, men waiting transfer to La Force, murderesses and prostitutes. Now, Eponine is obviously not a man, nor a murderess– and she is incarcerated for 8 weeks, before being let go. This is either because she is too young, or there is no evidence (depending on whether you’re talking to Eponine or Javert). This rules out all of the reasons why she was incarcerated in La Madelonnettes, beyond being held on a charge of prostitution, as well as being suspected as taking part in the robbery. If she was only being held on that charge, why was she not sent to the same prison as her mother? Hugo specifies La Madelonnettes for a reason– and I believe it is to hint that Eponine is at least suspected as a prostitute.

    Now, I do not believe that Eponine actively worked as a prostitute in the same manner as Fantine, but I do believe that she has had sexual relations with strange men in exchange for money on the orders of her father (via the letters). It’s not something that Eponine would be particularly eager to talk about in game– but it does form part of her background and thus will factor into decisions she makes from time to time.

    Personality: Eponine began life as a spoiled brat. She was an odious child, with long, dark braids and a plump, pretty face, dressed in the best clothes her mother could provide. Doted on and indulged by everyone, including the drunkards in the inn, Eponine grew used to getting her own way in everything. And she absolutely loved to show off in front of Cosette and make her jealous. She actively sought to get Cosette in trouble with her mother and found it funny when the poor little girl was beaten. She also established herself as a leader; her little sister looked up to her in admiration and followed Eponine’s lead. It was clear that at this early age, Eponine ruled the roost.

    With her dramatic lifestyle shift, so too did her personality change. It was forced to. It is impossible to chart the events which made her personality change, because of the ten year gap in the narration of her tale, but it is, of course, possible to see how her personality affects her actions when the narrative begins again.

    Eponine’s tough. She’s had to be. She has grown up in a hostile environment, where the philosophy of ‘every man for himself’ is predominant. She knows how to stand up for herself, and she is not one to back down in an argument. This is shown in the manner with which she deals with her father and the gang on the Rue Plumet. Her father calls her a bitch, the other men deride her and threaten her with knives and fists, and she carries on shouting back and jeering at the men. She lets their comments slide over her head, perhaps indicating she is used to the name calling. She carries herself well, and can talk to most people. Her chatter comes across as awkward at times, or even inappropriate. She flirts with Marius as best she can– but again, it comes across as awkward. Hugo describes her as a trapped bird flitting around Marius’ room, a melancholy and desperate sight. Uncomfortable amongst wealth now, she tries to fit in, but ultimately cannot. She is nervy. She speaks more than she should to people she doesn’t know, and is very open about herself and her life. Within minutes of meeting Marius, she tells him about her suicide consideration. Her words come without a great deal of thought, in a tangle of argot slang and French when she’s nervous. The more in control she tries to seem, the more ladylike she tries to act, the more it comes off as an act, a sham– sheer desperation. Hugo says that Eponine might have been gay and flirtatious, like any proper society miss, as her exuberance and feistiness bubbles from her, despite her drab life– but the reality of being poor has rendered her uneducated and out of her depth in social situations with her ‘betters’. Eponine longs to be a lady, but by the end of her story, she realises it’s something she’ll never be able to attain.

    She’s not much use in a fight, and relies more on her tongue to get out of situations. When Eponine knows a person well, she’ll talk back at them, jousting with words, even if they threaten physical violence. She herself does not rely on physically fighting; she knows she is weak from starvation and in a world of men, she never has the power to win physically. Eponine reacts to danger by facing it head on and without flinching. She will accept violence against herself as well as she can, with her head raised high and a glare in her eyes. Eponine is very difficult to scare; her life has desensitised her to a lot of horror. She’s seen things, in prison and out, that no teenager should ever see, and she’s experienced more abuse and hardship than a lot of people will ever see. She is also very good at hiding any signs of her fear too. Fear is considered a weakness in the Underworld, and Eponine quickly learned to hide that particular emotion a long time ago. She will talk back at those who wish her harm, and she will unashamedly flirt and talk candidly to them. She lets insults wash over her head; she has heard so many insults in her time that they simply don't bother her any more.

    Some would describe Eponine as cold– but she’s not, not really. It’s a show, an act she puts on, so people don’t try to mess her about. She seems to react with indifference to a lot of things– she’s world-weary and brow beaten so much that she finds it difficult to be enthusiastic enough to show her emotions in her actions. She can barely smile, barely cry. But deep down, Eponine is an emotional little creature. She’s completely in love– or no, not love, but lust. She’s in lust with Marius, a student, who doesn’t return, or even acknowledge her feelings. I say lust because I truly believe that Eponine’s life has stunted her emotional ability. She is unable to truly love because she has never known love. Marius, for Eponine, is an escape from her life. He is a living fairytale prince that she falls instantly for. He is generous, he gives her food and money, and he doesn’t offer her violence and name calling. Compared to her usual companions, he is soft and well spoken– and he reminds Eponine of the life she SHOULD have had. Eponine craves love though. It’s what drives her. Show her any hint of kindness, and she becomes a lapdog, eager to please and willing to do anything, even if it causes her physical or emotional pain– shown in the way she agrees to lead Marius to Cosette, despite quite wanting to keep the two apart for her own selfish gain. But, knowing Marius would be unhappy without Cosette, she agrees to show him the way. Eponine wants attention. She laughs inappropriately and says the wrong thing a lot of the time. She’s outspoken and will say what she thinks, regardless of the consequences.

    Eponine is defiant. She hates what her father makes her do, but she has to participate. Still, she does it all with a glare in her eyes and her mouth pressed into a hard line. She often shouts back before giving in– demonstrated in her apartment. Thenardier wants Eponine to wait in the snow outside, and she is quick to point out that she has no shoes and her feet will freeze and she’s sarcastic– but ultimately bows to his wish. The exception is when she is protecting Marius. She stands up to her father and the Patron Minette properly for the first time and it costs her her home and her family alliance, essentially leaving her destitute. Eponine’s love for Marius is greater than any love or fear that she has for her Papa.

    She does what she has to do to survive. She can be incredibly manipulative, if she thinks she will gain from it. Eponine says that most people believe what she says; I’m guessing that the exceptions tend to be those in authoritative positions in Paris. She is incredibly brave and doesn’t seem to have a great sense of personal danger. Eponine will face any adversity that comes to her head on; it is not really in her nature to hide. And she will face her fate with a straight back and a defiant glare. Nobody will feel pity for Eponine. She is brave till the very end. She is not stupid, though. She’s practical. If there is a way to avoid a beating, either through lies or staying away for a night, Eponine will take that option. After all, as she says, ‘there’s no point in looking for a beating I could avoid, is there?’ She is pretty much fearless though – the only thing that seems to truly scare her are the monsters in her head.

    Eponine is loyal. If she feels obliged to someone, she will bow to their will, whether she agrees with their actions or not. This is seen particularly with her Papa and the Patron Minette. She is more loyal to those who show affection towards her than those who intimidate her, though. A lot of the time, she’s scared and she’s wary, and she has the same cautious expression as a hunted animal.

    She doesn’t consider herself to be at all beautiful; she thinks she’s disgusting, and that she doesn’t deserve a happy life. Eponine loathes herself. She hates everything about herself, from the dirt she is encrusted in, to the criminal that her Papa has turned her into. She cannot see anything positive about herself at all; but she forces herself to continue with life. She loves mirrors, and will stand and stare at her reflection, pinking and preening, remnants of her childish vanity. This is evidenced when she goes into Marius’ room to check he is not there, and tells her father she is searching– whilst she is, in fact, staring at her reflection. Her self hatred is evident throughout. She makes a lot of self-depreciating remarks, and constantly refers to her social class as something shameful. She’s open about her imprisonment; it’s something almost expected of her after all, but again it fuels her hatred for what she has become, and the impossibility of her life.

    She is somewhat bitter, especially towards those better off than her. Jealousy is one of Eponine’s biggest failures. She is jealous of Cosette when they meet again as adults, and this only intensifies when she finds that Marius loves Cosette. Cosette, for her, represents what Eponine’s life should be, and I think she thinks she is living Cosette’s destiny. It’s hard for Eponine to see Cosette, especially having everything, whilst she starves and freezes to death. She desperately wants a better life, but knows she will never have one. Eponine is not much of a fighter, though. As much as she hates her station in life, she has accepted it, and is willing now to ‘go with the flow’, to go where life takes her. She fights back at her end – she fights for her love – and it ends in her death.
    Eponine has some psychological problems, although Hugo says that she is not mad. She has been known to suffer from hallucinations when she is very, very hungry. She tends to laugh as well, in very inappropriate places, a nervous reaction perhaps. She is also known to be quite suicidal; the winter of 1931, Eponine considered wading into the Seine to drown herself– she didn’t because she was scared that it wouldn’t work and it would be too cold. This is perhaps an indication that Eponine cannot cope with her life as well as she seems to on the surface.

    Eponine can be sweet. She likes flowers; she finds them soothing after the horrors of Paris. She is somewhat of a dreamer, and likes to imagine herself as a proper lady, dancing with Marius. She can’t let the people she loves end up hurt. She’d literally rather take a bullet for them than let them be injured. Eponine likes to sing; she has always been told that she has an awful voice, but she doesn’t care. She likes to sing and often hums away to herself, singing old French ditties and raunchy ballads, and songs that she makes up herself. Her mother says she is a waste of space, but she isn’t really. She just… She wants to be able to learn. She wants to study with the scholars, but she knows that’ll never be. She can just about read and write her name, and is very proud of these facts as it shows her higher class breeding and makes her stand out in the crowds of destitute teenagers. It takes her a while to read, and longer to write anything beyond ‘Eponine’ and ‘the police are coming’. She’s very intelligent, and picks things up quickly. She is very street smart, and has the potential to be book smart too. Hugo says that Eponine could have been cheery and lively, a real society miss, had circumstances allowed her– and this gaiety CAN bubble through at times. She is vain, too, given half the chance. She spends as much time as she can in Marius’ apartment staring at herself in the mirror, preening, even to the extent that she lies to her dad about what she’s doing so she can continue, as noted previously.

    Steadfast is also a word to describe her; she'll stick to the people she likes, no matter what they ask of her.

    Eponine is naturally proud. She doesn’t want to be pitied, and hates the fact that people do pity her. She’s playful, and somewhat of a tease when she’s around people she’s comfortable with. She teases Marius, and Montparnasse too. With strangers, she’s more wary of ending up in trouble. Her speech is often colloquial; only when she talks of love does she become more poetic.

    Eponine is obsessed with social classes. It’s something she feels acutely, probably because of her dramatic class shift. She’s the bottom of the pile, but she wishes she could climb higher. Throughout the novel, she takes every opportunity she can to show that she is of a higher class than she seems, but ultimately acknowledges and accepts her place in society. The shift comes after her imprisonment; possibly because of her experiences in jail and her realisation that she is a criminal and nothing more and will not be able to rise past that. It’s probably affected by the political situation in Paris too; girls her age and in her situation were often rounded up and accused of prostitution, without any evidence against them, and were submitted to degrading tests to check them.
    The lack of food and clothes when she saw others warm and fat probably fuels her resentment too– and, of course, her father’s treatment of her as well, all adds up to a girl who has learned to hate herself and her social position and resent almost everybody in positions of power over her who subject her to this life. She would be absolutely gutted to learn that she had over 5000 years of debt to work off for her crimes – it’s not like she enjoyed committing them in the first place – and things like begging and trespassing she certainly wouldn’t recognize as a crime. She’d be so upset that she’d have no chance of finding true happiness, and because so much debt obviously indicates a big criminal. She hates that side of her life and longs to forget it and be better than what she is.

    In all, Eponine craves affection. She wants to love and be loved. She wants a happy life. She wants Marius. She wants pretty dresses and a bath and the opportunity to learn. But she has no hope that she’ll ever get any of this. It’s there, she can see it, but for Eponine, it is going to be forever out of reach. And she’s accepted that. And she will face her fate bravely.


    Powers/Abilities:

    Appearance: http://stagedoordish.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Sam-Barks.jpg - close up of her face

    http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=58829935 - Eponine’s outfit. Her skirt is ankle length and tattered. Her feet are bare. There is a high chance she smells badly and is encrusted with dirt. There is a good chance she has lice, too.

    CR AU
    Game You’re Transferring CR from: N/A

    How has your character changed from their canon self? N/A

    Are they gaining any abilities from their time in game? Did the game setting take something from them?
    N/A

    Samples:
    Actionspam Sample:
    Like – like this, Sir?

    [She appears to be talking to someone off screen, because only her side profile is visible in the video. There’s gentle laughter, and Eponine turns properly to face the video. Colour has risen on her cheeks, and she bites her lip, eyes lowered, clearly embarrassed.]

    And now – now I can talk? Just here, like this – and people can hear me? Is that truly true, Sir? Or do you make fun of me? I do not like to be made fun of.

    [There are reassurances from the man, gentle laughter as he explains that he is not tricking Eponine, and encouragement for her to smile and explain who she is. Eponine nods, and laughs nervously.]

    Monsieur – or is it a Madame to whom I speak – I do not know – I am Eponine. Jondrette. Or just ‘Ponine – as you wish, Sir. I do not mind. I’m new here.

    [She looks back at the man helping her, and coughs hard]

    Just so, Sir?

    [She turns back to the camera]

    I hardly know what to say, Sir. Or Madame. We do not have such things as this where I am from. We have none of this indeed, Monsieur. Well, yes, such fancy things, but nothing magic. We had paintings. My Mama had one once, but we sold it a long time ago. A whole month’s rent, just fancy. And now, here, I am just handed one and it is mine – and magic. And the pictures move and talk! Our painting did no such thing, not even the one of Monsieur Bonaparte, and that one my Pa refused to sell, even when we had no wall to hang him on. I hardly dare to believe – but so many impossible things make me fear that I do not dream it at all.

    I had thought I was dead at first, you know, but perhaps that is not so. No, it is not so. I am not dead. But it is still very, very strange. Perhaps someone will explain – I will understand, you know, if you explain properly. I am not as stupid as I look. I might have been a student like Monsieur Marius and his friends, had I been a boy… and rich besides. But I could have been you know? I am quick – if you will take the time to explain than I will understand. I can show you I am quick – have I not already mastered how to use this…?

    [And with that, she smiles triumphantly. Yes, she has figured out the magic of the video.]

    Prose Sample:
    She has been hungry before, of course. Of course she has. She remembers when she first moved here from Montfermiel when she was a child. She had been well fed, pampered even, when she was little. She remembers the taste of the chestnuts she had roasted over the fire. She remembered cheating Azelma out of her fair share. She remembers eating more than what she wanted, just so that there wouldn’t be a single one left over for Cosette. She remembers crying bitterly the first day she had to go without food.

    Now it ‘s frequent, going without food. It’s usual for her to go one day, two, three, even four days without eating. By the evening of the fourth, she’s quite dizzy with hunger. She hates that – it seems to be then that her imagination comes to life, that she sees men lurking in alleyways that are really clear, that the houses begin to waver before her eyes, that the shadows swell and breathe fiery smoke that threatens to consume her whole. It makes her hurry her steps, and she staggers through the streets until she’s safe away from it all.


    She sits next to a puddle today. The rain splatters on her face, drenching her, slicking her dark hair to her head, her rags to her body. She should go home. She longs to go home and curl up on that horrible itchy pallet under the coat with Azelma. Oh God, if she dares to! She’ll never complain again about a smashed window and bits of rain splattering on her head.

    But she hasn’t made money in days now. With the nonstop rain, there hasn’t been many people on the streets, not many people to steal off. So she sits, staring morosely into the gutter that runs along the street. She tries to think – but so long, so long without even a crust – and she’s going dizzy, so she closes her eyes again, forcing herself to concentrate. She needs a coin – just one coin. Five francs, and she can go home and get warm by the fire. But where can she get one from? Where can she find someone willing to give her five Francs all in one go? She’s sure she’ll just fall asleep if any gentleman wants her favours in return.
    She rubs her fist roughly across her cheeks, merging tears and drops of rain. She shivers. It’s cold in the damp – not as cold as the snow, she thinks, but cold enough. Oh for a pair of shoes. Stockings. Anything. She looks down at her toes. Are they turning black yet? They feel like they should be – but no. Well – she stands up from where she has fallen – when did she fall? – and staggers on.

    Not for the first time, her mind goes to the river. She remembers what it was to sit by the river when they lost their room the winter before last. She remembers that cold – now that was a freezing cold, where their faces would be so frozen that it hurt to open her eyes. Sometimes she had wished that she just never had to open them again.


    They had been forced to live under the bridge; she and Azelma cuddled up together beneath their father’s old coat for a little warmth. She remembered watching the rushing water when she could not sleep. She remembered the rats nibbling at her toes. She remembered that numb, cold, numb feeling that had overtaken her. Azelma, always quiet, had fallen silent ages ago, but Eponine gradually did too. It took too much energy to even think about what to talk. So Eponine didn’t think. Not then. Her mind had become as numb as her fingers.
    She remembered one night getting up, kissing Azelma gently. She remembered it almost as if it were a dream, or a nightmare. She remembers being convinced that she was already dead. She remembers realizing that she didn’t care.

    It was freezing. Snow had fallen, was falling still, and stray flakes had found their way beneath the bridge. She had shivered, but even so, she had let her shawl fall from her bony shoulders. She had stepped closer to the river’s edge, feet squelching in the freezing mud as she had stared into the murky depths of the rushing river. From her viewpoint, it had looked quite still, but hadn’t she heard the stories about the vicious currents that could rip a man beneath the surface never to be seen again? She leaned in closer and closer. It was a mirror, and a peculiar creature, a goblin girl, stared back at her.

    That scared her, the misshapen creature in the water, whose lank hair hung in tangles and whose eyes were sunk, whose cheeks sagged and mouth puckered. Had she the energy, had her tears not been frozen by the storm, she should have cried for her lost beauty. It made up her mind though. One, quick, fleeting command in the snowstorm blanketing her thoughts.

    Step forward.

    It was to be a horrible death. She tried to imagine the taste of the water in her mouth. It was sure to be dirty. She didn’t think about how it would feel for water to flood her lings and pool there. It didn’t occur to her that it might make her panic as she struggled to draw breath. She saw death and she embraced it. It’d be quick. Not endless like this.

    She had inched a toe into the water. It was deathly cold. Perhaps the shock alone of submerging herself would be enough to kill her? Quick and easy.
    She had inched another toe in. And another and another. Her whole foot. And now the next. One step forward. Another. She had wobbled as she moved again, the current already tugging at her ankles. Her breath had come out in icy clouds, her chest had heaved as her legs burned with the cold. Nearly over. One more st-
    “EPONINE!” A whispered cry from the bank had reached her over the roar of the Seine. Azelma’s cry would reach Eponine wherever she was. She had turned, falling in the water so she had sat chest high in the current. The shock had made her gasp – squawk with shock, and Azelma had begun a dismal wail.

    “Shut up, shut up, shut up, you stupid. Do you wanna wake Papa? Do you want him to flay me?” Eponine had struggled to stand, and had ended up crawling back to the bank to sit with her sister. She had been soaked then, and shivering uncontrollably. She had sneezed. Azelma had put her arm about her sister, tried to hug her close, but Eponine had pushed her roughly away.

    “What’s the use in the two of us being soaked?” She had muttered angrily. She hadn’t objected, though, when Azelma had placed first Eponine’s shawl, and then the coat, about Eponine’s shoulders. The sisters had sat in silence, both staring ahead, one with wonder, and one, regret.

    “Why?” Azelma had broken the silence.

    “I wanted a swim.” Eponine’s answer had been short; she had hacked a cough. “Oh God, I wanted a swim. A swim to hell and to stay there in the warmth.” She had coughed again, and sneezed. Azelma had been silent, and soon Eponine’s coughs had died away too.

    “Don’t leave me alone, ‘Ponine.”

    Azelma had leaned her head on her big sister’s shoulder, and Eponine had slowly extracted a hand from the tangle of coats and shawls she clutched at to stroke her sister’s hair. Almost in unison, tears had begun to roll down both children’s faces.

    ***

    Eponine wakes, still on the street. The light is darker now, the clouds lower, much lower in the sky. Had she fallen asleep? No – no, her head pounds from where she had hit it as she slumped over in a dead faint. But what has woken her now? She looks around; surely not the rain? But then, she stops. Is that an apple?
    She can see an apple. A bright red apple, dark and shiny skin glowing through the rain. But what is it doing on the street? How can it be there? “How can it be so?” she wonders aloud.

    Hesitantly, she reaches out a hand, mentally preparing herself for it to be a hallucination, a vision, not real. But… she touches it and she smiles. Real. Oh, God, GOD! Real. Her hand curls about it and she pulls it to her, lifting it to her lips, sniffing the faint sweet smell. Oh God. Her stomach rumbles as she licks the skin, cautious. How can it be there? Is it a trick someone is playing on her – will they snatch it back? Well, she won’t give them a chance. Without further hesitation, she bites into the apple, crunching the juice, and almost as quickly, she swallows. Juice runs down her chin, and she wipes it with her fingers, sucking on them to get every bit of nourishment she possibly can from the fruit. Again and again she bites down, gnawing at the apple, sucking at it’s core, before crunching it, stem and all, until there is nothing left. She’s drenched – but she’s laughing.
    “Oh God, oh, God, an angel gave that to me. An angel has given the devil strength. Perhaps today I shall not die. Oh God –“ She staggers to her feet, heaving her stiff bones from the pavement so she can shuffle home.

    She doesn’t notice the bright eyed child peeping our from the alleyway behind her, watching his sister delight in his gift. Gavroche hums to himself as he pulls another apple from under his hat, throws it up and catches it deftly, taking a bite out of it as he goes.
    gardienne: (Default)
    PERMISSIONS;

    [ooc]
    Backtagging: Always welcome!
    Threadhopping: Do as ye wish, mes amies!
    Fourthwalling: Tell me if your character wants to tell Eponine that she's dead or something, but otherwise, definitely go for it
    Triggery matters: I don't get triggered by anything much so really do not worry! Just go for it. Eponine should come with a trigger warning plastered on her forehead anyway!

    [ic]
    Hugging / Touching / Flirting/ kissing/ hitting/ fighting in general/ minor injuries: I'd like to handle all of this ICly so -- no permission needed!
    Major injuries/ Killing: I am generally ok with any of these if our story arc is heading that way - just let me know first!

    Anything not covered here - feel free to drop a PM!



    General plotting / anything else is welcome also on this post.

    Memories

    Oct. 9th, 2013 02:47 pm
    gardienne: (Default)
     The prison is dark and dirty. There’s a plain stone floor, scattered about with old, dirty straw.  The walls are plain stone too, grey, rough blocks. At the far end, an arched window, devoid of glass, looks out into a walled courtyard. Thick, heavyset bars line the window, making it impossible to climb through – nearly impossible for a woman of average girth to stick even her arm through. The floor is lined with mattresses; there are three thin double mattresses laid next to each other in a row, and four rows of these. Each mattress is dirty, the covers on them ripped and stained with blood and urine and goodness knows what else. Straw spills from the openings. Perhaps, most horrifically, they’re moving. Rats run between them, snuggling into the paltry stuffing. At one end of the cell, the open toilet overflows. The stench of human waste, rotting meat and dirty, unwashed bodies is overpowering. From somewhere outside, dogs set up their ferocious barking.

    The cell is crowded. Women of all ages, from around seventeen right through to the late sixties, are crammed into the squalid cell. Most have heavy, thickset manacles on their wrists and at their feet, the chains connecting their four limbs clinking ominously as the women move. Most sit listlessly, a grey pallor to their skin, staring at the walls, or at the floors. A few lucky ones crowd the window, greedily gulping in the fresh air from outside. Men are locked in there, too. A few, not as many as the women. One man sets a younger girl screaming, and Eponine’s head, for she is amongst the women there, shoots up. Is it Azelma?

    No. No, it’s another girl having the unwanted advances of a man forced upon her. There would be no pay for her favours here. No pay for any of them. Eponine’s head drops again. She’s been locked up in here for a week now, a week in which she had been robbed of the couple of sous she had had in her pocket, a week in which she’d had to give in to a man, a week in which she had ate nothing but a slice or so of bread, for the meat, they whispered to her, came from the guillotined men. She was cold, she was hungry, she was upset – she had no idea where Azelma was, but she worried for her little sister, locked up either here or with her Mama in Saint Lazare. Eponine could survive this, but Azelma would not be able to stand the men if she were here. Eponine rubbed her hands together, her chains clanking as she moved, and she tugged her tattered skirt down low over her knees, and tucked the edges as well as she could under her curled toes to keep them warm. She put her face down into her knees, trying her best to sleep through the barking of the dogs, the chatter of the women, the screams of the unfortunate girl, and the chortling of the guards.

    ***

    They took her to a small room after her first week. Two guards, one on either side of the teen, holding her tight by the arms as they marched her through the crowded jail. They pushed the men who had to live on the stairwells away as they passed, clearing a way through the corridor, until they reached the hospital wing. They locked the door, but they removed her manacles, so Eponine was grateful even for that. She was bade sit on a wooden chair, whilst the doctor began to fire questions at her. Name. Where she lived. Who her parents were. Her age – he chortled when she insisted that she was fifteen, winking at the guards and chuckling that the whores got younger as he grew older. She hated that – whore. She wasn’t a whore. Not really. Not like some of the women in here who stood on street corners and enticed the men. Eponine hardly ever did it – only when her Papa made her, and never on a street corner. Always with the rich men he sent begging letters to. At least it was a chance to sleep, at least for a while, in a proper bed again.

    And perhaps Montparnasse. But was that considered whoring, if he stole money from her when she did it?

     

    She missed what the doctor said to it, lost in her indignation. But she was brought back to reality by the guards, who jerked her to her feet, bade her undress, who led her to the table so that they might examine her to ascertain their charge against her. She closed her eyes, moving as they bid her, but nothing more. Her knuckles whitened as she gripped the edge of the table. She winced and bit down on her lip as something was inserted, turned, opened. In her head, she sang a song – the same song she always sang. “A la Claire fontaine, m’en allant promener, j’ai trouve l’eau si belle que je m’y suis baigne…”

     

    It was over soon. Soon over, and she sat up and tucked her old chemise back into her skirt, securing the waistband with a bit of string. The men were igoring her for the moment, concentrating on the card they wrote, the entry in the big book.

    “You. Girl. Can you write? Make your mark here.” A pen was thrust into Eponine’s hand, and wobbily, she printed her own name onto the card. No, not card. Licence. It was a licence to whore. She wanted to cry. But Eponine didn’t – couldn’t. Silently, she pocketed the card when it was handed to her. Listlessly, she held out her wrists, lifted her feet obediently. She was marked now. Marked. Would he ever be able to love her now?

     

                                                                                                    ***

    She had been hungry before, of course. Of course she had. She remembered when she first moved here from Montfermiel when she was a child. She had been well fed, pampered even, when she was little. She remembered the taste of the chestnuts she had roasted over the fire. She remembered cheating Azelma out of her fair share. She remembered eating more than what she wanted, just so that there wouldn’t be a single one left over for Cosette. She remembered crying bitterly the first day she had to go without food.

     

    Now it was frequent, going without food. It was usual for her to go one day, two, three, even four days without eating. By the evening of the fourth, she would be quite dizzy with hunger. She hated that – it seemed to be then that her imagination came to life, that she saw men lurking in alleyways that were really clear, that the houses began to waver before her eyes, that the shadows swelled and breathed fiery smoke that threatened to consume her whole. It made her hurry her steps, and she staggered through the streets until she was safe away from it all.

     

    She sits next to a puddle today. The rain splatters on her face, drenching her, slicking her dark hair to her head, her rags to her body. She should go home. But she hasn’t made money in days now. With the nonstop rain, there hasn’t been many people on the streets, not many people to steal off. So she sits, staring into the gutter that ran along the street. She needs a coin – just one coin. Five francs, and she can go home and get warm by the fire. But where can she get one from?

    Not for the first time, her mind goes to the river. She remembers what it was to sit by the river when they lost their house the winter before last. They had been forced to live under the bridge; she and Azelma cuddled up together beneath their father’s old coat for a little warmth. She remembered watching the rushing water when she could not sleep, as the rats nibbled at her toes. She remembered getting up, kissing Azelma gently, kicking out at her Pa with her bare feet as she crept from the bank and down to the water’s edge. It was freezing. Snow had fallen, was falling still, and stray flakes found their way beneath the bridge. She shivered, but even so let her shawl fall from her bony shoulders. She stepped closer, feet squelching in the freezing mud as she stared into the murky depths of the rushing river. From her viewpoint, it looked quite still, but hadn’t she heard the stories about the vicious currents that could rip a man beneath the surface never to be seen again.

    But at least it’d be quick. Not endless like this. She inched a toe into the water. It was deathly cold. Perhaps the shock alone of submerging herself would be enough to kill her. Quick and easy.

    She inched another toe in. And another and another. Her whole foot. And now the next. One step forward. Another. She wobbled as she moved again, the current already tugging at her ankles. Her breath came out in icy clouds, her chest heaved as her legs burned with the cold. Nearly over. One more st-

    “EPONINE!” A whispered cry from the bank came to her over the roar of the Seine. Azelma’s cry would reach Eponine wherever she was. She turned, falling in the water so she sat chest high in the current. The shock made her gasp – squawk with shock, and Azelma began a dismal wail.

    “Shut up, shut up, shut up, you stupid. Do you wanna wake Papa? Do you want him to flay me?” Eponine struggled to stand, and ended up crawling back to the bank to sit with her sister. She was soaked now, and shivering uncontrollably. She sneezed. Azelma put her arm about her sister, tried to hug her close, but Eponine pushed her roughly away.

    “What’s the use in the two of us being soaked?” She muttered angrily. She didn’t object, though, when Azelma placed first Eponine’s shawl, and then the coat, about Eponine’s shoulders. The sisters sat in silence, both staring ahead, one with wonder, and one, regret.

    “Why?” Azelma broke the silence.

    “I wanted a swim.” Eponine’s answer was short; she hacked a cough. “Oh God, I wanted a swim. A swim to hell and to stay there in the warmth.” She coughed again, and sneezed. Azelma was silent, and soon Eponine’s coughs died away too.

    “Don’t leave me alone, ‘Ponine.”

    Azelma leant her head on her big sister’s shoulder, and Eponine slowly extracted a hand from the tangle of coats and shawls she clutched at to stroke her sister’s hair. Almost in unison, tears began to roll down both children’s faces.

     

    Eponine wakes, still on the street. The light is darker now, the clouds lower, much lower in the sky. Had she fallen asleep? No – no, her head pounds from where she had hit it as she slumped over in a dead faint. But what had woken her now? She looks around; surely not the rain? But then, she stops. Is that an apple?

    She can see an apple. A bright red apple, dark and shiny skin glowing through the rain. But what is it doing on the street? How can it be there? “How can it be so?” she wonders aloud.

    Hesitantly, she reaches out a hand, mentally preparing herself for it to be a hallucination, a vision, not real. But… she touches it and she smiles. Real. Oh, God, GOD! Real. Her hand curls about it and she pulls it to her, lifting it to her lips, sniffing the faint sweet smell. Oh God. Her stomach rumbles as she licks the skin, cautious. How can it be there? Is it a trick someone is playing on her – will they snatch it back? Well, she won’t give them a chance. Without further hesitation, she bites into the apple, crunching the juice, and almost as quickly, she swallows. Juice runs down her chin, and she wipes it with her fingers, sucking on them to get every bit of nourishment she possibly can from the fruit. Again and again she bites down, gnawing at the apple, sucking at it’s core, before crunching it, stem and all, until there is nothing left. She’s drenched – but she’s laughing.

    “Oh God, oh, God, an angel gave that to me. An angel has given the devil strength. Perhaps today I shall not die. Oh God –“ She staggers to her feet, heaving her stiff bones from the pavement so she can shuffle home.

    She doesn’t notice the bright eyed child peeping our from the alleyway behind her, watching his sister delight in his gift. Gavroche hums to himself as he pulls another apple from under his hat, throws it up and catches it deftly, taking a bite out of it as he goes.

    ***

     

    “Get ‘ere, ‘Ponine.” Montparnasse beckoned her over to where he sat at the back of the inn. With a sigh, the skinny girl stood up, shrugged away from her sister and the other girls, and went to sit with Montparnasse.

    “What d’you want, ‘Parnasse. We were ‘aving fun.” She looked reluctantly over at her friends, even as he pushed a beaker of brandy her way.  She curled her hands about it and lifted it to her mouth, drinking deeply. He watched her carefully.

    “How much did you get today?”

    She put the cup down. “That’s for me to ‘ave.”

    “And for me to take. Hand it over, ‘Ponine. I know you’ve got some. I saw you talkin’ before. I saw you behind them toffs before.”

    She glared at him for a full minute. He watched her, his expression unmoving. Reluctantly, she put her hand into her pocket, pulling out around half of the coins she had collected and poured them into his outstretched hands. He counted them and laughed.

    “And the rest.”

    She pursed her lips. “I need ‘em. Pa said –“

    “Your old man said you can’t go home without the money. Same old story, Eponine.” He flexed his hand, waiting for the money.

    “I’m not giving it to you.” She got up, pushing away the empty beaker, and began to make her way back to her friends.

    “OY!” he grabbed her even as she moved, pulling her back to him. He twisted her so that she faced him, hip to hip, his knife pressed flat to her chest to keep her there even as he stooped to kiss her…

     

    “You’re lucky you have me, you know? I coulda had any girl in Paris and I chose you, ‘Ponine. You’re lucky.” He dragged his fingers through her tangle of hair. “There are prettier girls than you, you know? Beautiful girls who giggle at me and wave their fingers and sway their hips when I glance at ‘em. Makes me wonder sometimes, why I bother with you.” His fingers tightened on her hair.

    “D’you like that?”

    Sat on the floor, Eponine tried to shake her head, but her hair was pulled too tight for her to move. Tears smarted her eyes. What made him think that she would enjoy having her hair pulled, having his cruel words burrow into her heart.

    “You’re ugly, Eponine. But I still love you. I’m the only man who will ever love you.” He twisted his hand, forcing her to strain her neck higher, to struggle onto her knees.

    “I love you, Montparnasse.” The words came automatically, but she meant it as well. This man who caused her pain, who insulted her and threatened her and made her thieve and hand over her money – she loved him all the same, and she hated herself for it. But they both knew the truth. She was not going to do better than Montparnasse, and she needed that pain. She needed it as much as she needed oxygen. It was a reminder in an otherwise numb world that she was not a ghost, that she was real, that she was still capable of feeling.

     

    ***

    She watches him through the bars to the garden. He is so lovely, Marius. So, so lovely. She tilts her head, shivering slightly in the cool evening. It’s always cold when he is not there. What does he see in her? In Cosette?

    Silly question. She is everything that Eponine is not. She is softly spoken and graceful. Her gowns are of silk and muslin. She can read and write properly, and Eponine bets that she knows all of her numbers, right up to a thousand, perhaps more. She has lovely hair – she probably has a brush AND a comb, and a bath every week – no! Every night! She probably knows all the names of the flowers and how to make a pretty bouquet. She has dinner every night, and breakfast as well, and Eponine presumes she knows how to use all of the cutlery for it. Just like Marius.

    They ARE suited to one another. They are. But that doesn’t make watching them any easier for Eponine.

    It should be her. She’s the innkeeper’s daughter. She’s of better blood than Cosette. Or… or else, they are both as bad as one another. At least Eponine’s legitimate.

    She shifts on the stone, kneeling up so that she can see better through the bars. Her wrists, visible now she stretches out to clutch the bars separating her from happiness, bear angry red weals from the manacles she had been forced to wear. That’s her life. Jail and homelessness and starvation and theft, and jail all over again until they have enough of her and hang her or chop her head off. That’s Eponine’s destiny, or else to die of starvation first – but it is unhappiness and death. Nothing lovely. Nothing magical. She can wish all she wants, but – she sighs.

    What’s the point?

    She turns away from the happy couple embracing in the garden, a sick feeling in her stomach. She loves him, she loves him so much it feels like it’s tearing her in two.  She wants so desperately to be the one he notices, the one he looks at adoringly. She wants his arms around her so that she can feel pure and whole all over again. She wants peace and comfort and to be beautiful. Is that too much to ask.

    Her father’s voice, and those of the Patron Minette, planning their break-in, answer that question for her. 

    gardienne: (scared)
    I don't know how to turn an IP off - But I also don't know how to look and I am certainly not going to check through zillions of IP addresses... so if you wanna leave crit, feel assured that you'll still be anonymous!
    ... I think anon is on... (you can see I am good at this!)

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