Another look at Marius

Just like Fiyero from Wicked, Marius is more complex than he seems. In addition, the two of them are the romantic male leads of Wicked and Les Mis. Marius is a revolutionary, who is part of a love triangle- Eponine and Cosette take up the other two thirds. Now I will talk a lot more in detail about him. Marius gets a lot of hate from Les Mis fans for the most absurd of reasons- I do not agree with what a number of others say about him.

Major Spoilers:

Marius, in general, is a kind, sweet, romantic, compassionate, awkward, and brave revolutionary- not the jerk everyone claims that he is (the real jerks of musical theatre are the villains). He is close friends to both Enjolras and Eponine. He is a member of the Friends of the ABC, which Enjolras is leader of. Well- I have heard people say he did not treat Eponine fairly- well, I disagree once again. I believe he was a good friend to her: he was kind, and he was someone that she needed in her life- his kindness moved her to fall in love with him: she was never shown kindness growing up. While other people in Eponine’s life were cruel towards her, at least she had Marius even though he only loved her as a friend. He was in love with Cosette- their love brought a lot of hope into Les Mis- they were meant for each other. Yes, he asked Eponine to find Cosette for him, but he never treated her unfairly: even Eponine would say that. He might have been oblivious to Eponine’s love for him- but that does not mean he should have fallen in love with her. The love he had for Eponine was as a friend more than anything.

Marius was struggling between his love for Cosette and his passion for the uprising. At the same time, he had a political conflict going on with his grandfather. All of this combined does make him more complex than he seems on the surface.

You strongly saw Marius’ bravery and compassion in act II. At the beginning of the uprising, he saw Eponine there. He actually was worried about her and for her safety. That is why he sent her away with that letter to Cosette. He was trying to protect her from getting hurt or worse killed from the uprising. Right when Marius saw that Eponine did actually come back to the barricade- he did ask why she came back- that was because he was worried. It was a few moments later when Eponine collapsed in his arms (a few scenes back, she sacrificed herself for him). This totally devastated him once he saw she was shot and noticing how severe it was- he knew he was going to lose her. You realized that she did mean something to him. In this scene- Marius could have left her to die alone- but he didn’t. He stayed there to hold her and comfort her- that is compassion (how can some people not see that). Marius knew she lived a tough life- after she died, he said “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”. Marius was Eponine’s light in her life.

Even after losing Eponine, he still had to fight- so his bravery comes from being a revolutionary. What happens to Marius at the barricades is quite traumatic for him- first he lost Eponine and later Enjolras and the rest of his friends. He is the only survivor- he was only able to come out alive due to Eponine and Jean Valjean- it was Jean Valjean, who ultimately saved his life after being severely injured. Survivor’s guilt happened to him while still being happy with Cosette- those two do not deserve to be hated at all. Cosette took care of Marius while he was recovering from his wounds at the barricades-that does show her love for him. It might seem as if Marius and Cosette have their happily ever after, but they still have their tragedies. Marius only has Cosette at the end- Cosette suffered as a child and lost her adopted father. These two have to be together especially because Cosette represents hope and light- Les Mis is so carefully planned out that if you get rid of one tiny thing, the entire story falls apart.

Of all the survivors in Les Mis, Marius is my favorite character.

A bit of recap on Tale of the Cattail Forest

I decided to recap people about Tale of the Cattail Forest because I assume there are some people reading my blog who have no idea what I am talking about. Earlier, I did an update saying I am on my 4th draft, but to some people they might be thinking what on earth is this book I am working on. That is why I will bring things up again.

Sparkle befriends Marge, which begins a cycle of friendship between the Fairy Frogs and Toads. What happens when Sarge tries to get in the way?

The Cattail Forest- What is It?

  • Well, from the title it is obvious there is something important to that location. Well, my entire story takes place there. Deer, birds, chipmunks, butterflies, and lastly The Fairy Frogs and toads. Why did I put Fairy Frogs and Toads last- they are the ones who create all 13 characters of my book. Graysloup is home to the Toads and Fairy Creek is home to the Fairy Frogs (they first lived in a Cattail Marsh). Let me explain the location and what these creatures are further:

Fairy Frogs

  • They are deeply compassionate, clever, and naturally gifted in the arts. They are spring green with translucent wings with a gold trim. Starting at age 3, they start to figure out what their craft is- sometimes it is age 3 they find it and at the latest they discover it at age 5. It can be a different craft- some are dancers, some are singers, some are performers, some are woodcarvers, some are painters, some are potters: get the picture. Here’s how they figure out their craft: they usually are paired with a Fairy Frog from the age of 12-18, and by spending time with them: the older ones can easily see if they have the talents in their craft or not. The average age tends to be four. Even though ALL Fairy Frogs are deeply compassionate, clever, and artists, they still have their own distinct personalities.

Fairy Creek

  • It has various creeks lined with pebbles that the Fairy Frogs painted. Floating in the creeks are yellow flowers. In the middle of where they live is a grove of trees, which has treehouses. The treehouses are where they sleep and do some artwork: there is actually one bigger one: to do a big project for when it rains for instance. The treehouses are round with some moss on them. Connecting these trees are blue and pink bridges. At the bottom of the trees, there are small red mushrooms with white dots. To the left, there is a Daisy-shaped Gazebo.

Fairy Frog Characters:

Sparkle: I listed her first because she is the main character of the book. She is a 12-year-old drawer frog who discovered her craft at age three. She has blue eyes that sparkle like a pot of gold in the sun and has magenta wings. She and Misty have been best friends since they were five. She is usually seen with a gold and silver backpack with a pink “S” in the middle- it holds colored pencils, pencils, pens, sketchbooks, and paper in it. She is very invested in her draft- she will literally draw anything- really. She is my adventurous, courageous, stubborn, and rebellious frog. She does not listen well to authority-she easily can get in trouble by Aries, their leader. She really does not working with Tweetsie due to how energetic she is. That has already happened a lot in the past- getting in trouble. The plot actually really started when she got really invested in a Graysloup drawing (it is against the rules to be in Graysloup). As a result, she discovered Marge and found out about Marge’s situation with Sarge and the truth about the toads. So, she went above and beyond with her compassion.

Misty- Same age as Sparkle. She is a singer frog, who discovered her craft at age five, but close to six. She is wearing a dress. She is quite protective of Sparkle meaning she does not want her friend to get in trouble. When she knows that Sparkle may not be telling the truth or even in Graysloup or can’t find her- she may not even go to Aries, but to Darcy and Felipe first (they are two of the older Fairy Frogs- still only teenagers). She is the one most likely to discover her friendship with Marge and that she was in Graysloup before anyone else.

Aries- In his 30s. He does act as three things in my book: he is actually their leader, he is head carpenter, and uncle of Darcy (his sister is Darcy’s mother). He is a confident and good leader, but can easily doubt himself at times so he has to go Darcy at times for advice. He does wear a red carpenter hat with a white “A”. He came up with the rule of “do not interact with the toads or enter Graysloup” to protect them. At the time though, he did not know what was really going on. So, Sparkle kept on not listening to him: she did go to Graysloup, befriended Marge, among other things that are not allowed. However, he eventually warmed up to the toads and their situation.

Darcy- He is 15 years old and his best friend is Felipe. He has a craft for sculpture: not clay sculptures, but abstract sculptures. He does have to give his Uncle Aries advice at times. He is usually wearing a belt that has pieces of a sculptures on the belt itself and in the slots has sculpture supplies. He and his best friend are kinda of similar, but yet different.

Felipe- He is only 14 years old. Like I already said, He and Darcy are best friends. He is my woodcarver Fairy Frog. Just like Darcy, usually seen wearing a belt, but his working belt has the finish look- he would have woodcarving tools in his belt. What ignores Felipe the most is when Celeste asks to borrow one of his tools because usually she does not bring them back or does lose them.

Celeste- She is only 8 years old. She has started the age of experimenting a lot more with your craft. She is my potter and she has started to learn about making pots- that is all she knows how to make now. I have decided she will wear an apron so she wouldn’t get clay all over herself. Since she only has just a few pottery tools, she has to borrow tools from others- for some reason, she has to ask from Felipe. Even though Felipe is a woodcarver and she is a potter, she still asks from him. It is true- she sometimes does forget to return them or does lose them- do you blame her: she is eight. She is allowed to leave Fairy Creek, but not allowed to go far since she is still young.

Tweetsie- Actually, when I first had a list of characters, she wasn’t even on there. So originally Celeste was going to be my youngest. Tweetsie is only five years old and still does not know her natural gift in the arts: same situation Misty found herself in- it can be frustrating. She will be wearing a pink bow. She is the most energetic of the batch. You might think that is all there is to her since she is only five, but there is more: she is actually a brave character as well. Might be minor, but love her.

Toads

  • They are grey green. Some have warts and others do have bumps. They actually have no real talent of their own. My book focuses a lot more on the Fairy Frogs since Sparkle is the main character after all.

Graysloup

  • Think about what it is like to sleep underneath a highway where it is humid, muggy, and murky all the time. It has a lot of mud, big rocks, creeks (but not clear), and ditches/trenches. That is the toads reality all the time. They are mistreated a lot and are quite lonely. Only one toad can see the reality of Graysloup. The toads’ leader is not really being much of a leader at all: he actually is the antagonist of my novel: Sarge.

Toad Characters

Sarge- Talking about him can be heartbreaking. He is my antagonist. He is only 17 years old and never had a a proper family growing up. His mother left him at age 4, which left him with an abusive and cruel father. He was left mistreated from 4-13. At age 13, his father left him leaving him to be in charge of Graysloup. He is actually supposed to be leader of the Toads. He is confused, conflicted and jealous (of both the Fairy Frogs and his cousin). He even still has nightmares about his past. He only had one source of comfort growing up: “The Bog”- the one place his father never knew existed: he made that a playground of sorts.

He is still quite bitter and angry about what happened- he put his pain on others and his easiest target was Marge, his 12-year-old cousin. His father and Marge’s father were brothers: both were raised by loving parents: Marge ended up with a loving father so what happened? How did one end up with a loving father while the other ended up with this monster? He wants to break up a friendship from being created: the one between Sparkle/Marge and the one that began to be created through the Fairy Frogs/Toads. What Sarge needs more than anything is the right type of affection: he can’t see the compassion and love that is obviously right in front of him during the events unfolding.

Norg- He is only 19 years old. He is actually one of the most interesting characters of my book. I had a hard time understanding why Sarge trusted Norg and why Norg somehow knew Sarge’s father. There had to be explanation. Norg is kinda of a secondary antagonist since he does act as Sarge’s spy in the beginning but later after an incident with Sarge, Norg sides with the Fairy Frog. It is an interesting development. Still, there had to be a reason for some things happening-that is why it made perfect sense why Sarge and Norg had a short friendship. It seems as if Norg forgot about that and remembered who Sarge’s father was. It all makes sense to me and seems to develop both Sarge and Norg further.

Marge- She is only 12 years old and is Sarge’s younger cousin. Unlike the situation with Sarge, she grew up with loving parents. You would think her father would take Sarge in, but it is not that simple. Marge’s father only couldn’t take Sarge in because he did not want Marge’s uncle to hurt Marge- see what I mean by “it’s complicated”. Marge is truly the main toad who knows what it really going on in Graysloup. She knows how lonely all of the toads are and that all of them need to be shown some compassion. She is Sarge’s easiest target, and she was mistreated by Sarge since she was 8.5. Being related to Sarge made her feel like an outsider and actually made the other toads misunderstand her. At such a young age, she ended up having this incredible amount of wisdom- she was able to stand up to her cousin and knew what Graysloup desperately needed. All she truly wanted was to be shown compassion and have a friend- that was why it was important for Sparkle to enter her life. It was their idea for all the Fairy Frogs to befriend the toads. Marge was the one who actually told Aries about the full situation in Graysloup.

Claude- He is only 15 and does end up becoming friends with Darcy/Felipe since all three of them are about the same age. It is not in his heart to mistreat anyone: he only does it because he is demanded to: so he is a perfect example of how Sarge runs Graysloup.

Effa/Rudy- They are twin identical sisters, who are only 10 years old. I like to call them “peas in a pod”. They are usually seen together and are that close to each other. They end up becoming friends with Celeste.

Conclusion

Yes, I do have 13 characters. Each are meant to be in my book. I think the main theme found in my book is friendship. It is in the power of friendship that keeps it alive. What I learned from writing is that sometimes characters write part of the story themselves. That can surprise me because they might do something that you thought was not possible.

Not Expecting Someone to Enter your Life

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post. Yes, it will be connected to another Les Mis character. This time instead of Jean Valjean, our protagonist, it will be Eponine, who is one of the lead characters.

I do not think Eponine was expecting someone like Marius to enter her life. Think about it: she was raised by unloving, abusive, neglectful, and criminal parents. She had a better life as a child- than after Jean Valjean rescued Cosette, her life started to become even worse. Her parents did not care about her or love her. They were only being cruel and abusive towards her and using her for their advantage. She was raised as a thief and criminal- being watchdog for the law. She was not expecting anyone to show kindness or compassion towards her.

MAJOR SPOILERS:

Than Marius entered her life. He ended up showing her kindness. She had never come across someone like him before. He was not treating her poorly. The kindness he was showing her led her to fall in love with him. Yes, the love was unrequited. However, they became close friends. He was the only light and goodness in her life. He was the only good thing in her life. Even when he fell in love with Cosette, he still was an important part of Eponine’s life. The love she had for Marius was deep and strong- Eponine would do anything for Marius. You realize just how strong it was during “On My Own”. She was the reason why Marius and Cosette got together, why her father was not able to rob Valjean’s house, and she would go as far as sacrificing her life for him at the barricade. Literally, at the barricade, Eponine gave her life for Marius.

Marius was devastated when he found that Eponine was dying. However, he did not leave her side. This does show just how compassionate Marius is. This was actually Eponine’s happiest moment of her life: the fact that she ended up dying in Marius’ arms. You have to understand Eponine to fully understand the bittersweet nature of “A Little Fall of Rain”. So Marius is quite important to Eponine’s life.

What do I love about Eponine

Eponine is the third and final wing of the love triangle in Les Mis.

Eponine: Major Spoilers

Part of what makes you love a character connects to their backstory. Eponine and Cosette are mirrors of each other. Eponine is one of the Thenardier children. During “Castle on a Cloud”, you discover that The Thenardiers are abusive and during “Master of the House”, you realize that they are in fact pickpockets. So during those two moments, you begin to get a general idea of the environment that Eponine is going to be growing up in. When she is a child, you think she is loved by her family. She also does mistreat Cosette due to following her parent’s lead. Everything changes for Eponine once Valjean rescues Cosette. The Thenardiers begin treating Eponine in the same way they treated Cosette.

Growing up, Eponine was raised to be a thief and criminal. She was forced to be a part of her father’s schemes. She ended up living in extreme poverty. She ended up this abused, neglected, and unloved teenager. She lives a dark and tragic life. She was not shown kindness by anyone except for Marius. She fell in love with Marius because of the kindness he showed her. Where does my love for Eponine fit into any of this?

My love for Eponine comes from her bravery and strength. It also comes from how she responds to her unrequited love. It is a deep and strong love. She will do anything for Marius no matter what. She needed him in her life, or else there wouldn’t be any kind of light in her life. There is a reason why she helped find Cosette for him; why she stood up to her father; why she went to the barricade; and why she sacrificed her life for him;- it all had to do with her love for him. People might see her love for Marius a weakness, but in reality it is her greatest strength. “On My Own” shows just how strong and deep her love for Marius is and that she accepts that Marius will never be hers. Even though she does die in the end, at least Marius was there.

Eponine (Samantha Barks)- "On My Own" from the Les Mis Film
Eponine

Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter- Friends

I did once mention that those who love Harry Potter will also love the Lord of the Rings series. Both have a number of parallels. One of the many parallels comes from Frodo and Harry Potter’s best friends. What is in common between Sam, Ron, and Hermione?

Spoilers:

Okay- would Frodo have made it to Mordor without Sam? In addition, would Harry have defeated Voldemort without Ron and Hermione? Here’s what I think- I do not think that would be possible. In both cases- they had to depend on their best friends. Frodo had to destroy that one ring and Harry had to destroy the horcruxes in order to destroy the dark lords.

Here was the challenge with the ring and the horcruxes. The ring can easily corrupt and weaken the ringbearer. The horcrux can easily corrupt as well-the other challenge is where to even find them and figuring out how to destroy them. There are multiple horcruxes to destroy.

Both Harry and Frodo wanted to do this challenge alone, but Sam, Ron, and Hermione would not allow it. They knew there was no way Frodo and Harry would not easily do it alone. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Ron and Hermione stayed loyal to Harry- they were with him every step of the way. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to do more than just destroy the horcruxes- sometimes it meant going down the trap door or going into the Chamber of Secrets to destroy the monster snake or when Umbridge wasn’t going to teach them Defense the Dark Arts do it instead- so when something happens, they were always there. Their hardest task though was destroying the horcruxes.

Frodo really did not want Sam to be with him after Fellowship of the Ring. He wanted to continue on the Quest alone. Sam would not allow it. Sam was with Frodo every step of the way.

The Ultimate Song About Friendship

Coming off of yesterday’s post about what makes me love a friendship in a musical, there are love songs connected to friendship. Is there an ultimate song about friendship?

Major Spoilers:

I believe there is, and I think it is “For Good”, the one found between Elphaba and Glinda. Wicked is NOT about Elphaba, but it is actually about Elphaba and Glinda. It is about their friendship. Their friendship is powerful and beautiful, and the two of them are best friends. “For Good” is the most emotional song in the musical- before this song, the two have realized that this is the last moment they will ever see each other and have realized how much they have changed each other. Glinda was Elphaba’s only friend and Elphaba was the only friend that truly mattered to Glinda.

Their bond is so strong that they do not let a boy in the way of their friendship- I believe that is why there is a love triangle in the first place: it strengthens their friendship and shows their loyalty to each other. They each deal with unrequited love for Fiyero, but do not pursue him or steal him away from each other. I think the unrequited shift is important in that way.

As “For Good” says- “I have been changed for good”. It truly is the ultimate song about friendship. It easily is a tearjerker especially if you get an brilliant Elphaba and a brilliant Glinda- my last Elphaba (Standby Mary Kate Morrissey) and Glinda (Amanda Jane Copper) were like that- they are my favorite Elphaba and Glinda.

What makes me Love a Friendship in a Musical

One type of love found in a musical is friendship. What exactly makes me love the friendships I do love? That is a tough question. I will try to answer. Only one of these friendships- I have no idea what made me fall in love with them, who are Lumiere and Cogsworth.

Bond- this is key. Multiple friendships I do love share a close bond. That is what the Newsies, Friends of the ABC, Elphaba and Glinda, and the Rent Batch have in common. It is their close bond that made me fall in love with them. To a further extent, in Newsies, there is a more intimate bond, which is found between Jack and Crutchie.

Good Friends- I do not know where to put Omar, Babkak, Aladdin, and Kassim; and Eponine and Marius. I think this is part of it. They are amazing friends to each other. They are there for each other when they need it- Aladdin’s three friends (SPOILER) do try to rescue him when Jafar actually captures Aladdin and locks him up: that is where the song, “High Adventure” shows up.

I know Marius and Eponine is an unpopular opinion, but I love that Marius is in her life: he is her light in her life and the only person to show her kindness, and is there for her when she is dying (“A Little Fall of Rain”)- that is compassion. He was devastated- but at least he stayed with her. I believe he sent her off with that letter in hopes to protect her, and when she returned, he was worried. He was a good friend to Eponine- he knew her life was tough, and I am glad he was part of it.

Emotional Connection- this is the most important thing to loving any character. In all of these friendships, I found myself emotionally connected. None of these characters were horrible friends to each other- if they were, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with these friendships. They were always there for each other when they need it the most. Of all these friendships, my all-time favorite one is Elphaba and Glinda.

What makes you fall in a love with a friendship in a musical?