Grantaire

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Character
Name: Grantaire
Occupation:
Title/Rank: Member of Les Amis de l'ABC
Location: Paris, France
Status: deceased
Relationships: Les Amis de l'ABC
Fandom: Les Misérables
Other:
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Grantaire is a minor character from the 1862 Victor Hugo novel Les Misérables and its subsequent adaptations. He is a drunk and disruptive member of Les Amis de l'ABC who admires Enjolras.

In French his name sounds like grand 'r' (aire), meaning big 'r', and as such he is often referred to as R which is also the reason he's represented as "R" in pairing name initialisms, notably E/R. [1]

Common Pairings

Enjolras/Grantaire is by far the most common Grantaire ship. He is sometimes shipped with other members of Les Amis de l'ABC as well, most commonly with Jean Prouvaire and Combeferre. He's also occasionally paired up with Montparnasse or Éponine.

Fanon

Characterisation

A lot of fanwork surronding Grantaire focuses on his canonically poor mental health, resulting in a lot of angst and hurt/comfort in fanfic, fanart and edits, with the later being particularly common on Tumblr in the fandom surronding the 2012 movie adaptation.

Another common focus is his feelings for Enjolras, with a lot of fanworks portraying his feelings as one-sided outside of actual Enjolras/Grantaire fanworks.

Artist Grantaire

Grantaire is often portrayed as an artist in fanon. This idea has its origin in a canon reference Grantaire makes to having studied under Gros (ie, French artist Antoine-Jean Gros), though whether Grantaire was being serious and literal is sometimes called into question:

there are a couple of things i like to keep in mind here (keep in mind this is just my own interpretation):

1) grantaire can be an unreliable self-reporter, because he is so prone to exaggeration and rhetorical tricks to make his points. so we can’t exactly take his statements at face value, nor expect that he intended us to. the rest of what we know of him (libertine ideals, considerable classical training) does fit with an artistic background, however.

2) gros was a painter of some renown who seems to have been afflicted by depression at least partially stemming from creative criticisms and failures; he drowned himself in the seine in 1835. quoth wikipedia, “from a paper which he had placed in his hat it became known that he was ‘tired of life, and betrayed by last faculties which rendered it bearable, he had resolved to end it.’” gros was a man known to have “sought refuge in the gros[ser] pleasures of life” while alive, and was marked by his tragic death. sound familiar?

it’s quite possible that by referencing gros in les miserables, published nearly 30 years after the painter’s death, victor hugo was choosing a familiar figure his readers could associate with the sort of melancholia he gives grantaire. if we are to understand grantaire as “a student of gros” in his inclinations, hugo is telling us about grantaire’s state of mind.[2]

This is the only canon reference to Grantaire being a former art student, while fanon often portrays him as a practicing artist or, in Modern AU, a current art student. Grantaire is often portrayed as sketching or even painting Enjolras without his knowledge in pining Enjolras/Grantaire fanworks.

Common Tropes in Fanwork

  • While the brick describes Grantaire's appearance only to say he's ugly, in fanon he's often portrayed as looking like his actor from the 2012 movie, George Blagden, who certainly can't be considered ugly.
  • Grantaire is often portrayed as pining for Enjolras, regardless of the type of fic he appears in. It's an almost ubiquitous portrayal of the character, as it's based on subtext in both the book, the 2012 movie and some stagings of the musical.
  • Musician Grantaire, based on his 2012 actor George Blagden and, in particular, the Enjolras/Grantaire cover of I Will Follow You Into The Dark he put on Youtube in 2013.[3]
  • Grantaire's alcoholism is often problematised in fanfics, with many including elements of him having to become sober, such as The Golden Mean (see Fanworks).
  • Grantaire being good friends, sometimes room mates, with Éponine, whom he doesn't interact with in any canon aside from some productions of the musical. They often bond about their pining for Enjolras and Marius, respectively.
  • Grantaire is usually referred to as bisexual within fandom and portrayed as such in fanworks, though he will sometimes be portrayed as gay, instead. Many fans consider his attraction to men (ie, Enjolras) canon although this is a widely argued subject, see the Enjolras/Grantaire page.
  • Due to his nickname being "R", whenever a fanwork gives Grantaire a first name, it's likely to start with an R.

Fanworks

Edits

les mis documentary A Modern AU pining Grantaire edit.

Fanfic

Ill-famed and Suspected by Elspethdixon, Seanchai a Canon Era hurt!Grantaire fic based on a kinkmeme prompt.

The Golden Mean by KateAtTheClose, a Canon Era fic about Grantaire fighting his alcoholism.

Archives & Fannish Links

References

  1. Grantaire canonically signs his name "R". At least one English translation of the novel adds the explanation that this signature is "a play on the pronunciation of his name, grand R [or 'capital R']" (Penguin Books, 2003; brackets in original).
  2. “i spent my time pilfering apples”: did grantaire study art? by et-in-arkadia on Tumblr, 2013.
  3. George Blagden's E/R Cover
  4. http://just-french-me-up.tumblr.com/post/133291589001