With a dreamy sigh about the description of Enjolras above (...taste the dawn indeed... *fangirls*), we turn to the legion of allusions in the passage describing Grantaire. This is my favorite part which seems to justify the E/R relationship on some level.
There are men who seem born to be the opposite, the reverse, the counterpart. They are Pollux, Patroclus, Nisus, Eudamidas, Ephestion, Pechméja. They live only on condition of leaning on another; their names are sequels, only written preceded by the conjunction "and"; their existence is not their own; it is the other side of a destiny not their own. Grantaire was one of these men. He was the reverse of Enjolras.
We might almost say that affinities begin with the letters of the alphabet. In the series O and P are inseperable. You can, as you choose, pronounce O and P, or Orestes and Pylades. ... Grantaire was an unaccepted Pylades.
: in Roman mythology, a son of Jupiter (Zeus) and the twin brother of Castor; in the Greek version of the tale, their names are Polydeuces and Kastor. Castor is the more-venerated of the two; he was a great horseman, while Pollux, more often ignored, was a boxer. When Castor was killed by jealous rivals, Pollux was so grief-stricken that he went to Zeus and petitioned him to bring Castor back to life. Zeus was so moved by Pollux's grief that he granted both brothers immortality. They now hang in the sky as the constellation Gemini, or the Twins.
: a famous Greek warrior who was a kinsman of Achilles, as well as his closest companion and lover (or so attributed by Plato and Aeschylus). Achilles and Patroclus went to Troy together, and Achilles, sulking over the loss of one of his lovers, refused to participate in the fighting. Patroclus dressed himself in Achilles' armor, led his men to battle, and was killed by Hector. It was his death that spurred Achilles to enter the fighting, though he was warned by a prophecy that he would die if he fought in the war.
: one half of a famous pederastic relationship from the Aeneid
. He is the older lover, a famous warrior, and his eromenos
Euryalus is described as the most beautiful boy in the Trojan army. They volunteered to go on a raid of an enemy camp, and were discovered. Nisus got away, but Euryalus was captured and killed while Nisus was rushing back to save him; Nisus threw himself on the body of his lover, just moments too late, and he was also killed.
: any one of three Kings of Sparta. The government of Sparta was unique in that there always had to be two kings: one from each of the lines of descent of Eurysthenes and Procles, the descendants of Heracles who first conquered the city. Sparta was also unique among the Greek city-states for its mandated pederastic relationships, which were thought to boost morale and provide role-models for boys and incentive to be virtuous for men, so it may be assumed that all of the Eudamidi played the role of erastes
(older lover) in such relationships at least through parts of their lives.
: known in the English-speaking world as Hephaistion; a Macedonian soldier, and more famously the companion and lover of Alexander the Great. Hephaistion is remembered as the most loyal of all Alexander's generals, and his best-beloved companion. One story goes that when Alexander's army passed through Troy, Alexander honored the grave of Achilles, while Hephaistion did the same at the grave of Patroclus. After Hephaistion's death from fever (or possibly poisoning), Alexander had his lover deified, held impressive funeral games, and even shaved his head as a sign of mourning. It might be worth noting that Alexander himself died just eight months after Hephaistion, ostensibly from malaria, but possibly also from poisoning. Their relationship is also notable because Alexander and Hephaistion appear to be of approximately the same age, making their relationship more egalitarian than the more-usual pederastic ideal.
: Jean (de) Péchmeja, a French writer and author of the didactic novel Télèphe
(1784); longtime companion and possibly lover of Jean Dubreuil, a respected doctor. The two spent their childhoods together, and separated but remained friends throughout adulthood. When Pechméja became sick, Dubreuil moved to Paris to care for him. According to contemporary reports, they were practically inseperable and shared everything, including a house and "good things, bad things, pleasure and pain", according to a friend. Dubreuil became sick with a pulmonary disease and Pechméja became his caretaker. When the doctor died in April 1785, he left his posessions to Pechméja, who died of the same illness less than a month later. The two were buried in the same grave and admired by their contemporaries for the example of a strong romantic friendship.
Orestes and Pylades
: Orestes was the son of Agamemnon of Mycenae and his queen Clytemnestra, but he was raised by Strophius, king of Phocis, along with Strophius's son Pylades. The two were like brothers, and when they were grown they went to Mycenae and killed Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus, who had murdered Agamemnon when Orestes was young. For helping his friend with this crime, Pylades was exiled by his father and sailed on different adventures with Orestes, accepting the curse of being a matricide along with him. They went to Tauris together, where the custom was to sacrifice all foreigners to the goddess Artemis. The head priestess, (who happened to be Orestes' sister Iphigeneia, though they did not recognize each other), wanted to have Orestes set free on the pretext that he was to carry a letter to Greece, but he refused to go and asked her to send Pylades instead, proclaiming that if anyone was going to be saved from death, it ought to be his loyal friend. In the same way, Pylades insisted that Orestes ought to save himself and that he would die in his place. They both ended up escaping along with Iphigeneia, and Orestes returned to Mycenae and became the ruler, with Pylades at his side. Their relationship is viewed as the strongest example of lifelong same-sex love in all of Greek mythology.
So there you have it. E/R is TOTALLY canonical.