Analysis of the Thenardiers

Major Spoilers:

The Thenardiers are the true villains of Les Mis.


At the time, Cosette is lodging with the Thenardiers. At this point in the storyline, they are horribly abusing Cosette especially Madame Thenardier. The Thenardiers are scamming Fantine , Cosette’s mother, of money and lying to her and saying that Cosette is seriously ill. This basically shows how selfish and greedy the Thenardiers are. They appeared to love their daughter, Eponine and they use the money Fantine sends to spoil her. During the whole “Master of the House” scene, we learn that they are in fact pickpockets. During both “Castle on a Could” and “Master of the House”, we get an idea of the environment that Eponine is going to be growing up in.  Later Valjean arrives at the Thenardiers’ inn to take Cosette away from the Thenardiers’ and know that they are horribly abusing the little girl and they are basically lying to Valjean during the Bargain. Soon after Cosette was taken away, the Thenardiers’ inn became bankrupt and the family falls into extreme poverty



Years have passed and the Thenardiers have been treating Eponine even worse. Eponine stopped living in a loving family soon after Cosette was taken away. They horribly started abusing Eponine and she became the unloved, abused, and neglected teenager. They use their daughter to their advantage. They basically dragged Eponine into the criminal world and she became involved in her father’s schemes. She becomes the lookout for the law and warns her parents of when Javert shows up. The Thenardiers just do not love Eponine.

They even treat their son, Gavroche, poorly. He was kicked out of the house at such a young age. Monsieur Thenardier tries to rob Valjean during the attack at Rue Plumet and Eponine, despite being a Thenardier, prevents her father from robbing them. What makes matters even worse, both Gavroche and Eponine are killed during the uprising  and the Thenardiers don’t even care. They only care about themselves and later they even try to scam Marius out of money and try to make him believe that Valjean murdered a man. But that was how Marius learned that Valjean saved him at the barricades.

The Thenardiers are the most selfish, greedy, abusive characters ever in Les Mis. I have this love/hate relationship with them. I love them because they provide the much-needed comic relief and because I love their children, Gavroche and Eponine. I hate them due to how abusive, selfish, and greedy they are. They don’t even care or even love their children. They are terrible parents, but in my opinion, it is important that Gavroche and Eponine are part of the Thenardier family. It shows that even in your family, you can raise above your upbringing. You can be raised by people like them and still spark some kind of goodness, which is clearly shown through both Gavroche and Eponine.

Tomorrow’s analysis is for Enjolras, the students, and Gavroche.


Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

13 thoughts on “Analysis of the Thenardiers”

  1. I always think that it’s interesting that even though the Thenardiers are not really the antagonists of Les Miz they most certainly are the villains, kind of like Javert is the antagonist but not a villain. I also agree with your point about it being important that Gavroche and Éponine are Thenardiers.

    Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s analysis of Enjolras, the students, and Gavroche!


      1. Victor Hugo wrote the Thenardiers really well. I kind of wish that we got to see some more of the Thenardiers and the Patron Minette characters like Montparnasse in the musicals but I guess that it would have been just a little too much to cram into a musical so I understand why they couldn’t add all of those other characters and events.


      2. It is interesting though in a way. The Thenardiers are selfish, greedy, abusive and pickpockets and criminals. However Eponine and Gavroche are not like their parents because they both are not quite as selfish or cruel or greedy as their parents. That is an interesting thing about this family

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I 100% agree. One of my favorite parts about Les Miz is seeing how the Thenardiers turn Éponine and Azelma against Cosette right after Fantine leaves. I feel horrible for them that they had to grow up with parents that would teach them to be that way and treat them with kindness until hard times come. I can only imagine how that must have been for the Thenardier children, thinking that their parents loved and cared for them until they lost everything and became cruel towards them and forced them to steal and such.


      4. Despite that, some people in Gavroche’s and Eponine’s treated them with kindness. The students and Enjolras basically were like Gavroche’s family in a way and Marius treated Eponine kindly. Those two children never got love from their parents, but at least there was some light


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