femme_a_soldat: (Madame)

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Created on 2014-01-08 00:03:56 (#2144111), never updated

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Name:Madame Thénardier
Some things that may be said about Madame Thénardier:
  • she is tall and blonde and angular, a rough working class woman taller than her husband
  • she likes only her daughters, not sons
  • she reads cheap pulp novels and named her daughters Éponine and Azelma for some exoticised romance characters she liked at the time
  • she can be quite harsh and heartless
  • she is described as an 'ogress' andd does not appear to have any redeeming qualities at all.

At first, we see her as the wife of the innkeeper of the cook-shop 'Au Sergent de Waterloo' in Montfermeil, near Paris. Victor Hugo remarks that the entire story hinges on her the first moment we see her, as she is sitting down and not appearing as scary as she would had she been standing at her whole height, so Fantine finds her trustworthy and leaves little Cosette in her care; had she been standing, the entire subsequent plot would have disappeared (he says, in a moment of breaking the fourth wall and being aware of AUs/alternative histories hinging on a tiny detail).

She mistreats Cosette, and does not hesitate to sell her to Jean Valjean when he appears to save the little daughter of dead Fantine; later, they have second thoughts, think to extract more money from that gentleman (as they constantly did from Fantine, who worked herself to death for the Thénardiers' demands), and jump at any chance to get more money from Valjean, whom they vaguely blame for their downfall and the loss of the inn, in the nonsensical way of blaming whoever is available some people tend to have that feel entitled to have their cake and eat it.

In the novel, Madame Thénardier dies in jail after the Thénardiers and the Patron-Minette gang were arrested by Javert in the incident at the Gorbeau tenement (where Jean Valjean saved himself by a jump from the window); we are yet on the fence on where we are going with our Thénardiers about that. We feel that boh Thénardiers are needed for the most effective interaction, and they are really there to pester the rest of the Les Mis contingent. We shall see where that goes, and I will update here once that has been decided.

Both I and the mun of [personal profile] le_sergent are mainly playing the Thénardiers from the novel by Victor Hugo, as with most of the other Les Misérables characters in Milliways. Unlike most, though, we don't take the icons from the 2012 musical movie, because the musical Thénardiers don't really reflect the sheer nastiness and menace that these characters present in the novel. Everybody in that novel is a person with their own thoughts and feelings, and ultimately salvageable -- except the Thénardiers, who are clearly beyond redemption. Monsieur Thénardier, one of the few characters to actually survive beyond the end of the novel, is said to have become a slave dealer in America later, as a clear illustration of how heartless, cruel, and irredemable he is! We did not feel that Borat and Bellatrix do these characters justice, really. The Thénardiers ae definitely not comic relief! That said, the Les Mis contingent in Milliways will still recognise them as the Thénardiers they know, no matter where they take their icons from. That said, we will not play the Thénardiers as fully-rounded characters with their own journey to complete as they enter Milliways, but the ugly blueprints they are in the novel and as foils for the other Les Mis characters. They are likely to cheat, lie and deceive wherever they go, end up in the cells often, smarm up to you and insult you behind your back. They are also liable to blame other people for all and everything that goes wrong. In turn, we promise not to be offended at all if you snark at and dislike them; that is what they are there for.

Madame Thénardier is from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and thus in the public domain; however, her icons are taken from the 2000 French mini-series of the same name, so the images are property of name of TF1. She appears here solely for the purpose of role-playing in [community profile] milliways_bar, from which no profit whatsoever is being made. The mun behing the curtain is [personal profile] yakalskovich

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