Ursula_F wrote:I think 23623 was saying that Fantine doesn't have black hair in the book, and that it's not biologically possible for a black-haired mother to have a blond child. Black is a dominant gene.
Actually, just to step in with a little biological input: because black is a dominant gene, it is entirely possible for someone with dark hair to produce offspring with either dark or blonde hair, depending on their own genetic make-up.
-> My maternal grandfather had dark hair so he gets an R.
-> My maternal grandmother had light hair, so she gets an r.
-------> My mother inherited their genes, so she's Rr.
-------> For my dad, same story. Dad with dark hair, mom with light hair, so he's Rr as well.
-------------------> When I was born, I got one allele from my mom and one from dad. I'm either Rr or RR, so I have dark hair.
-------------------> For my little brother, same story, he's either Rr or RR.
-------------------> But when my sister
was born, she got my mom's r and my dad's r, and she's rr and that means she's blonde! Even though both of our parents have dark hair!
If Tholomyes were blonde (or one of his parents was blonde), and one of Fantine's parents blonde, then Cosette could be blonde from a dark-haired Fantine. The biologically improbability** comes from two blonde people producing a dark-haired child. Because they would only have r's to give, and thus their child would be rr and also blonde.
**An improbability because random genetic mutation is a thing and it can affect those R's or r's, so nothing is a sure thing anyway.
But given how common it is to cast Éponine with a black actress while the Thenardiers are white, I suspend disbelief on genetics in "Les Mis."
Technically the same rules above apply, if the Thenardiers had any sort of ethnicity somewhere in their background that could have been passed down dormantly over the generations, but that turns into this whole debate about whether race is the result of phenotypes or genotypes and it doesn't really have any bearing on how a musical is or should be cast. But the science remains!tl;dr in which Havvy hijacks the unpopular opinions thread to talk about s c i e n c e.