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Madame Thénardier
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Biographical information


Hair color

Ginger (novel)




1832 (novel)

Cause of Death

Dies in jail


Éponine (daughter)
Azelma (daughter)
Gavroche (son)
Two unnamed younger sons


Monsieur Thénardier (spouse)


Innkeeper's wife

Behind the scenes

see list

Madame Thénardier is the female secondary antagonist in the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. She is the wife of Monsieur Thénardier. She mistreats Cosette until Jean Valjean takes her away. In the movie and musical, she is seen again at Marius and Cosette's wedding stealing silverware (this does not happen in the book, where she is arrested, eventually dying in prison after her family is incarcerated).


In the book Madame Thénardier is ugly, tall, fat and huge woman, about 30 years old in 1818 and 12 or 15 years younger than her husband. She is totally subordinated to Thénardier (though in Master of the House she is disapproving of Thénardier); together own their inn (known as "the Sergent of Waterloo"). She has five children (including Éponine and Gavroche), but she loves only her daughters, whom she therefore spoils. Later Fantine meets her and leaves her daughter, Cosette, in her care, after believing she is a good mother. Both Thénardiers treat Cosette badly, but Fantine is unaware, and continues to send the couple money.

Several years later, Valjean visits the Waterloo inn to take Cosette into his own care. The Thénardiers attempt to con Valjean with a double price room and other extra fees regarding Cosette's care. However, after Valjean presents a letter from Fantine, Thénardier keeps his promise and erases all fees. Valjean uses the threat of Madame Thénardier returning for her to ensure Cosette travels quickly through the convent.

After the Thénardiers' inn goes bankrupt, the family, under the name Jondrette, travels to Gorbeau House and joins the Patron-Minette gang. Finally, the Thénardiers are arrested by Javert. Madame Thénardier dies in jail.



Act 1[]

Act 2[]



2012 Film[]


Les miserables 2000[]


2018 mini series[]