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Marius Pontmercy
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Biographical information
Also Known As

Booby or noodle (depending on translation) by Jean Valjean (formerly)



Eye Color

Blue (2012 film)

Hair color

Black (novel)
Dirty Blonde (2012 film)




Luc-Esprit Gillenormand (grandfather)
Georges Pontmercy (father)
Mme Gillenormand-Pontmercy (mother)
Mlle Gillenormand (aunt)
Theodule Gillenormand (cousin)


Cosette (wife)



Behind the scenes

see list

Marius Pontmercy is the Deuteragonist from the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. He falls in love with Cosette and marries her at the end of the book/musical. He is one of the main characters the who survives to see the end of the novel.


Marius was the child of Col. Georges Pontmercy and Madame Pontmercy, the younger of the two daughters of Monsieur Gillenormand. Her father only reluctantly gave his consent for the marriage. Marius’s mother died in 1815 when he was five years old.  His maternal grandfather, M. Gillenormand, took the boy away from his father because he hated his son-in-law on political grounds (Col. Pontmercy was Bonapartist and Gillenormand was a Royalist) and refused to allow him to have any contact with his son  M. Gillenormand told Col. Pontmercy that he would disinherit Marius if he had any contact with his father.  Col. Pontmercy reluctantly agreed to this so his son could get his rightful inheritance. Marius was then raised by his maternal grandfather and spinster aunt, Mademoiselle Gillenormand. When his father was dying, Marius was instructed to see him, but he arrived too late, and his father had already died, so he attended the funeral. This was in 1827 when Marius was 17. 

Marius grew up thinking that his father didn’t care about him. Not long after his father's death, Marius made the acquaintance of Monsieur Mabeuf, a Church Warden who had known his father.  The Church Warden told him that his father had always loved him and that Mabeuf had helped his father hide in the church on Sundays to see Marius when his aunt brought him to church.  Marius then starts regularly visiting his father's grave.  Getting this new information about his father makes Marius change his political views to Bonapartism rather than his grandfather’s Royalist views which he had held previously.  All this caused a great fight between Marius and his grandfather, and Marius left.  Marius and his grandfather don’t see each other for 3 or 4 years after this, though his grandfather asks Mademoiselle Gillenormand to find where Marius is living and send him a monetary allowance, which she does.  Despite his poverty, Marius always sends back the money.  The day after Marius leaves Gillenormand's home, he meets Bossuet/L'aigle/Lesgle and Courfeyrac outside of the Café Musain who helped him find somewhere to live and introduced him to the rest of the Amis.

Marius regularly takes walks in the Luxembourg Garden, where he frequently sees Cosette and Jean Valjean. He becomes enamored of Cosette. Eventually, Marius follows Valjean and Cosette home, where he asks their doorman about Cosette. Valjean learns of this and, fearing that Marius is a spy working for the police inspector Javert, moves away that week.

Éponine exits Marius' apartment, he takes interest in her family, the Jondrettes, Thénardiers in disguise (who are also his neighbors at the Gorbeau House). Peering through a crack in the wall, Marius sees Valjean and Cosette talking with Jondrette about returning to give a donation. After Valjean and Cosette leave, Marius tries to follow them but doesn't have enough to pay for a cab (since he'd give five francs to Éponine and only had a few sous). He sullenly returns to his room, only for Éponine to stop him at his door. Noticing his petulant mood, she asks him if she can assist him in any way. Marius then asks her to find Valjean and Cosette's address. Realising that Marius has an interest in Cosette, Éponine reluctantly agrees to find it, but only if he agrees to do something for her. Marius agrees that if she finds Cosette's address, he will do whatever she wants. After she leaves, Marius overhears Jondrette talking about killing Valjean. Distressed, Marius visits Javert, who gives him two pistols and instructs him to fire them when the robbery reaches its peak.

When Valjean returns to Jondrette’s house, Jondrette and Patron-Minette attack and bind Valjean. Jondrette reveals that his name is actually Thénardier, a fact that shocks Marius. He does not want Valjean to die, but does not want to betray the man that "saved" his father at Waterloo. Eventually, Marius throws the slip of paper Éponine had written on earlier (the one that said "The police are here") through a crack in the wall. Thénardier reads the note and recognizes Éponine’s handwriting immediately. The Thénardiers and Patron-Minette throw a rope ladder out the window and are about to flee when Javert (who had become tired of waiting for the pistol shots) intervenes and arrests them all (except Valjean who escapes through the window). Marius then moves out of the Gorbeau tenement, due to the violence he witnessed and also so that he cannot testify against Thénardier.

Marius asks Éponine to find Cosette

After her release from prison, Éponine finds Marius in a park called "The Field of the Lark." She tells him she found Cosette's address. Marius makes Éponine swear not to tell the address to her father, and she promises. She reminds Marius that he promised to give her something for finding the address. He hands her a five franc coin, but she lets it fall out of her hand, telling him she does not want his money. She then sadly leads him to the house.

Marius first meets Cosette

After spying on the house from the street for a few days, and leaving a diary (kept every day about his love for Cosette) on the bench in the garden, Marius finally jumps the fence and surprises Cosette in the dark. The two end up professing their feelings for each other, share their first kiss, then learn each other's names. Their love blossoms for about six weeks, but Valjean shatters that bliss when he announces that he and Cosette will leave for England in a week. Marius goes to M. Gillenormand to try to reconcile and to get permission to marry Cosette. After Gillenormand suggests that Marius "make Cosette [his] mistress," Marius storms out of the house, insulted. He loves and respects Cosette too much. Marius returns to Cosette’s house, but finds the house no longer occupied. Advised by Éponine that his friends are waiting for him, he goes to the barricades the Les Amis set up, hoping to die.

Marius holds Eponine as she dies.

Éponine, disguised as a boy, saves Marius’ life by placing her hand and body in front of the musket of a soldier who was about to shoot him. Not noticing this, Marius drives away troops by threatening to blow up the barricade. Marius goes to a smaller barricade to inspect, but finds it empty. As he returns to the other students, he hears a voice calling out to him. He sees that it is Éponine, lying on the ground fatally shot. She asks him that she lie on his knees, and he complies. Éponine then confesses to Marius that it was she who told him to go to the barricades, and saved his life because she wanted to die before him. She also tells him she has a letter for him, which she kept from him since the day before. She lets him take it so that he will not be angry at her about her keeping it from him "when we meet again so soon." She asks Marius to promise to kiss her on the forehead after she dies, which he agrees. With her last breath, Éponine confesses her love for him, and dies. He fulfills his promise (the reader is reassured by Victor Hugo that Marius, in doing this, is not acting unfaithful to Cosette) and goes inside the tavern that the barricade is built around to read the letter (thinking it would have been inappropriate to read it beside her body). The letter reveals Cosette’s whereabouts. Marius writes a letter back to Cosette, saying since she left again with no forwarding address, he would fulfill his promise and die for her. He gives the letter to Gavroche, to deliver the next day to Cosette (thinking that this would get Gavroche out of the barricade before it was too late), but Gavroche delivers it that night to a "servant" at Cosette's address (the "servant" is actually Valjean).

Marius is rescued by Valjean

As the barricade falls, Marius has multiple head wounds and is shot in the collarbone. He falls back, but Valjean grabs him and carries him away from the soldiers, around a corner to the back part of the barricade. The only way out is through the sewers, so Valjean carries Marius for a few miles through the sewers (including a spot of deep quicksand). He gets to the outside gate, which is locked, and runs into Thénardier, who offers to go "halves" with Valjean (Thénardier believes that Valjean murdered Marius for his money and wants half of it). While looking through Marius' pockets, Thénardier secretly cuts a piece of Marius' jacket off. Valjean unlocks the gate and runs into Javert, who had been waiting to apprehend Thénardier. Valjean asks Javert to help him carry Marius home and Javert summons his carriage to take them to M. Gillenormand’s house. As it turns out, Marius is the only survivor from that barricade (there were others in Paris at that time).

After six months of raging fever, Marius regains consciousness. Gillenormand gives Marius permission to marry Cosette and the two men reconcile. The wedding day is a happy one.

Marius and Cosette at their wedding

After the wedding, Valjean visits Marius and tells him his past. Marius, who had had a shaky relationship with Valjean before the wedding, but had accepted him as a father afterward, is horrified. Shocked, Marius and Valjean agree that it would be best if Valjean never sees Cosette again. Valjean wishes not to be permanently separated from Cosette, so Marius grants him one visit per evening. Marius starts to think of Valjean as a criminal, and slowly pushes Valjean out of Cosette’s life, with her best interests at heart. A few weeks later, a disguised Thénardier visits the "Baron Gillenormand" (Marius), attempting to blackmail Valjean. Marius sees through the disguise and asks what Thénardier wants. Thénardier tells Marius the proof about Valjean, that Valjean had earned all his money honestly (albeit under an assumed name) and that Javert committed suicide—Valjean didn't kill Javert. Thénardier tries to convince Marius (who he thinks is the Baron Gillenormand) that Valjean killed a man named Marius, related to the Baron Gilenormand, showing Marius the piece cut off the coat as proof. Pulling out the old bloodied coat that he'd been saving in a safe, Marius accurately matches the piece of cloth to that of the coat he wore in the barricades and announces that he's the man who Valjean supposedly murdered. He then throws thousands of francs at Thénardier and orders him to leave France and travel to America (with a bank draft for 20,000 more francs, paying the debt to Thénardier that Marius' father believed he had). Realizing that Valjean had lived a completely honest life for years and years, wasn't actually a criminal or a murderer, and had also saved Marius at the barricade, Marius and Cosette rush to reconcile with Valjean. They arrive at Valjean's and apologize just a few minutes before Valjean says he forgives them, then dies.


Marius is featured in the musical based on the novel of the same name. In the musical, Marius is presented to be more easy-going, compassionate, sympathetic and supportive. His back story with his father and grandfather are cut, and the two are also not in the musical and not mentioned, although in the 2012 film, Marius' grandfather makes two brief cameos in the numbers "Look Down" and "Every Day." Marius is shown to be fully involved with Les Amis de l'ABC,and is more close to Enjolras than with Courfeyrac. He and Éponine are also portrayed as best friends, and he is heartbroken over her death; in some productions refusing to let his fellow students take Éponine's body away after she dies. When Valjean confesses his past to Marius, he tries to convince Valjean to stay, but then reluctantly agrees to Valjean's wishes. 


Act I[]

Act II[]


  • He can hear the other members of his group song at the end of the film, due to, without Jean Valjean's help, would have died, along with his friends.
  • At the end of the film, when the camera pans out to show the enormous barricade, Marius and Cossette can be seen on the left in ordinary day clothes. This is because the enormous barricade represents the future, the revolution of 1848 which was successful in bringing in a republic. 1848 was sixteen years after 1832 and Marius and Cossette would still have been alive then. The people of Paris can be seen joining the large barricade and standing behind it. Apparently, there was a barricade as big as that in 1848.
  • Marius knows how to speak English and German.
  • Marius knows Cosette's real name, as Cosette told him this on their second date. Marius however, thinking the name is ugly, still refers her as Cosette.


2012 Film[]


Other Film Versions[]

2019 Mini Series[]