Éponine and Combeferre

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redmiserable
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Éponine and Combeferre

Postby redmiserable » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:36 am

The shower is a great place for brewing together ideas, if you guys weren't already aware of that.
This time my head turned towards the concept of the Éponine/Combeferre ship. I wanted to know why would Éponine be attracted to Combeferre out of all the fish in the sea? As well as we don't have a place to talk about these two.

A little theory:

I'm not going to get into why Éponine is attracted to Marius, there's enough speculation on that. Here I'm using the reason of financial security/a way out of her gamine life, the "she likes the idea of Marius, not Marius himself" notion. He's a guy who's nice enough to talk to her despite her socioeconomic status and not cast her off. Who doesn't like people being nice to them? Well, she obviously loses at the Marius game the second he sees Cosette.


This is all assuming she becomes more integrated in Les Amis, at least in some way that enables her to have more access to Combeferre. I think the person in Les Amis most similar to Marius is Combeferre. Kind, very smart, bookish, interested in a variety of subjects, possesses classy tastes, has more financial security than Marius when he is disowned (though when Marius does have money he's good at handling it).

Combeferre is like... an upgraded version of Marius. Forget that newcomer who is in rags one week and nice clothes the next. Wouldn't you look better on the arm of a sweet, even more mature, well-off gentleman who knows a lot and does a lot? A man that's the second-in-command of a group lead by someone who is equal to him in terms of the mind and is pretty much his best friend? The idea of Combeferre is way better than the idea of Marius (not putting Marius down!). I assume Combeferre would be nothing less than polite to Éponine and once again, she tends to like those who are nice to her.

He would provide more stability to her turbulent lifestyle than Marius could.

In cruder terms:
To Éponine, Marius is the lovesick boy who won't even look at her anymore because he's flounced after a bourgeois the second he saw her. A bit hypocritical though, hm? Combeferre is the mature, worldly gentleman that she could have tea with in a nice dress in a big library with lots of big thick leather books full of fancy-sounding words and languages. That's just one thing 'Ferre could give her.

I'm toying with the thought she could also use the relationship to show (off), "see, this is what I managed to get! My former social ties will have to respect me now!"
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby redmiserable » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:39 am

To add on to this. When I look at their relationship in terms of that theory, I don't foresee it working out.

Éponine, you can't go after intellectual men for their money. They're not into that! If you want a man for that reason alone, it's best to go after the stupid ones who will leave you in the house while they go out to play sports. Daisy from The Great Gatsby, anyone?
That relationship didn't work out either.
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby Gervais » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:54 am

I like this theory, but now I wonder how Éponine at the barricade would work out with Combeferre instead of Marius...She leads Marius to the barricade to be able to die with him because she's jealous, but Combeferre is there anyway and not named to be with a woman that I can remember, so her motive isn't entirely there, though the "If I can't have him, no one can!" mentality could be. Maybe on a smaller scale, though. So maybe she would go to be able to die with him, but out of a somewhat twisted attachment more than "Oh, he's so sweet, and I can't live without him because I love him!! *rainbows*" way of thinking.

(Though this also means that Marius and the powder keg probably wouldn't be at the barricade. Hmm.)
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby redmiserable » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:00 pm

Right. Combeferre is going to be at the barricade either way, as opposed to Marius who has to question himself.

If that was the case, would Éponine die later? Instead of dying early on in the action she might die when Les Amis is starting to lose. She could be shot by a guard because she's there and looks like a rebellious boy, not because she threw herself in the path of one for Combeferre.
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:57 pm

redmiserable wrote:Right. Combeferre is going to be at the barricade either way, as opposed to Marius who has to question himself.

If that was the case, would Éponine die later? Instead of dying early on in the action she might die when Les Amis is starting to lose. She could be shot by a guard because she's there and looks like a rebellious boy, not because she threw herself in the path of one for Combeferre.


THIS. That is very plausible. Or he'd make sure she'd get away, despite all her protests.

I am fine with this pairing in the sense that it's functional. And a lot less dramatic than Éponine/Marius or Éponine/Enjolras. :lol:
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby meow139 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:29 pm

Oh god. Now I'm starting to ship this, based on this thread alone. This is not good.
I change barricade boyfriends by the day.

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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby redmiserable » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:53 pm

~OR~ would Éponine still throw herself in front of the gun without thinking because she once cared (and perhaps still does) about Marius?

I agree, Aurelia! I would much rather read Éponine and Combeferre over Éponine and Enjolras every day. I don't want to read É/E butting heads until one side gives in.

Hi, Meow! That's perfectly okay! :D
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:00 pm

Combeferre is the progressive sort....and it works when dealing with someone as complex as Éponine since she's got a lot of potential but has been so warped by life. It will take a lot to change that.

That's why I try not to write E/E in acrimonious relationships!
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby IBelieveInYou » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:38 pm

Oh this must become my favorite thread! I'm fascinated by the idea of actually finding reasons for a ship with so much potential. I agree that Combeferre could be seen as an upgraded version of Marius but at the same time that would place Combeferre in a bigger distance, making him unreachable.
I'm mostly with Aurelia's idea, Combeferre would definitely try his best to convince her to leave.
Plus, I don't know how I got this headcanon, but especially after reading all the Éponine metas on the forum, I strongly feel that somewhere hidden under Éponine's resignation to her fate and complete consciousness of her situation, she longs to be educated and she actually does give education a significant importance. (The obsession to show Marius she has at least the ability to read, as her only way out of the desperation of what's become of her). In canon era fics and even in modern AUs (I'm not ashamed to read them, as many of them do an excellent job with the characterizations but there still aren't many which focus on the dynamics of their relationship) I like to see her attracted in him because he is so intellectual, and accepting his help to be educated herself.
What about Combeferre's possible attraction towards Éponine? Believe me, I can see that, especially if he happened to witness the "daughter of the wolf" scene. Éponine has a very strong, complex personality and I could easily see Combeferre fascinated by it.
As for them in the barricades, I think that her feelings for Marius are still strong enough to not meddle with her feelings for Combeferre yet. :? It would make more sense to me for Combeferre to be attracted in a peculiar way in her than vice versa. But I would be glad if I found a way to make it work.
This is an excellent fanfic. Absolutely excellent and it has formed my headcanon for their relationship in many ways.
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4081765/1/Playing-Pygmalion
Something more. People. Éponine might have lost a great extent of her dignity when it comes to dealing with her ranks (family, Patron Minette, going around handing letters aware of the fact that they might ask any sort of services for the money they will giver her) but in my head, she still makes an effort when it comes to her higher class object of affection. She is completely aware of the dynamics between them (The "you wouldn't want to be seen with a girl like me" part) but Éponine seems to still have some dignity as a remainder of her previous life, and believe me, I simply can't see a broken, whiny Éponine waiting to be saved by Combeferre. I have written much about them and I really try and hope that nothing can be interpreted in such a way. Éponine needs to be seen, not fixed. But then again, that's just me.
I love this thread. Because it makes my obsession for Éponine/Combeferre less guilty.
Last edited by IBelieveInYou on Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:42 pm

I miss that fanfic.

And Éponine with her dignity? Yes!
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby Gervais » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:47 pm

She is completely aware of the dynamics between them (The "you wouldn't want to be seen with a girl like me" part) but Éponine seems to still have some dignity as a remainder of her previous life, and believe me, I simply can't see a broken, whiny Éponine waiting to be saved by Combeferre. I have written much about them and I really try and hope that nothing can be interpreted in such a way. Éponine needs to be seen, not fixed. But then again, that's just me.

I second Aurelia; yes, her with leftover dignity! :D

As for Combeferre, I could see him more fascinated with her than in love, at least at first. I could see him maybe tutoring her with reading or writing, possibly being attracted to her only after he realizes more of what dignity she has and/or her being more, eh, polished (for lack of a better word). Though him happening to see the "daughter of a wolf" exchange could make her dignity the thing that fascinates him, rather than her want to learn, and maybe gradually falling for her from there, though again, not necessarily properly 'falling' until she's a bit more polished.

(I'm sorry, but I just can't see Combeferre being totally attracted to her as she is. I think he'd help to her clean herself up, if you will, and then it would go from there.)

meow139 wrote:Oh god. Now I'm starting to ship this, based on this thread alone. This is not good.

The same. :lol:
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby redmiserable » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Gervais wrote:As for Combeferre, I could see him more fascinated with her than in love, at least at first. I could see him maybe tutoring her with reading or writing, possibly being attracted to her only after he realizes more of what dignity she has and/or her being more, eh, polished (for lack of a better word).

(I'm sorry, but I just can't see Combeferre being totally attracted to her as she is. I think he'd help to her clean herself up, if you will, and then it would go from there.)


My feelings exactly! I think in these sort of relationships, Éponine will always be more attracted to the person than the other way around (at least at first).


And good thinking, Liv, especially with the education bit! I think that's why she's attracted to the higher class in the first place - there's sophistication and education there.
I'd love to see whatever you've written about them as well!
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby SpiritOfDawn » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:40 pm

It's an interesting thought experiment, actually. If I weren't neck deep into other fics... ;-)

As far as I'm concerned, getting Éponine into any functional relationship, no matter with whom, requires quite some development on her part.

As to Combeferre, I think that would depend much on the circumstances they would get to know each other more closely.

I could imagine if one goes down that road, how she tries to scramble together what is remaining of her inkeeper's daughters' life (still being able to read, for example), that could be somewhat his thing...

It is pretty easy in modern AU, I would say. For canon day, I have seen few good ones, but I think it could be a very interesting set of character developments...
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Re: Éponine and Combeferre

Postby MamzelleCombeferre » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:23 am

(I'm sorry, but I just can't see Combeferre being totally attracted to her as she is. I think he'd help to her clean herself up, if you will, and then it would go from there.)


Ah, but this is where my issues with the pairing come in. I don't think Éponine is type who would want to be saved like this necessarily. I think she's definitely more in love with the idea of someone who could raise her up from her current standings and status then she would be with the actual practice of it.

One of the few Combeferre/Éponine stories I've read has Combeferre in an almost Pygmalion type role, where he's trying to raise Éponine up, save her from her circumstances, and then sort of falls in love with his own "creation" persay. The idea that he couldn't be totally attracted her before he cleaned her up makes me feel like this wouldn't be an entirely healthy relationship on either side. If anyone is interested the fic is Playing Pygmalion by TheHighestPie on ff.net.

This isn't to say I don't still love this pairing. It's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. :)
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