Marius is impervious to other people’s persuasions, choosing love over the Revolution despite having devoted himself to that cause, fighting with his grandfather and refusing to reconcile with him once he insults Cosette, choosing the life of a Revolutionary and a peasant, out of a refusal of his grandfather’s money, etc. He wants to make his own way in life, be his own person, and be independent, yet is torn between his at times callous judgments about people (he agrees with Valjean that he ought to disappear, because he is not a “good man” with no thought for Cosette or her feelings; instead, all Marius can see is his own desire to love and protect her, and get rid of this problematic man), and his kindness – he often gives away more money than he ought, to help Eponine and her family, and is willing to love and offer forgiveness to those he loves, whether they deserve it or not. His actions are often not fully rational, but always driven by passion – such as his quick thinking in threatening to blow everyone to kingdom come on the barricades, which causes the army to back off and allows him and his friends to live a few more hours. He is an idealist and a revolutionary, excited to bring about a new Paris order … that just happens to be a dim reflection of a previous regime. He spends all his time with other dreamy idealists. He is bookish, falls in love with the idea of Cosette as much as she herself, and can be naïve and unrealistic in his wide-eyed dreams about the future. The raw awfulness of war horrifies him, especially when it comes to the loss of “all my friends.” He can be a bit stubborn and stuck in his ways, but is able to live without most of the comforts he grew up to expect in a lavish house. He has enough good sense to leave a note hoping it will find its way to Cosette, and that his body will be delivered to his grandfather. Marius initially switches political sides out of loyalty to his father.

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Marius is a romantic in his heart and soul, often more in love with the idea of love than with love itself, highly idealistic, romantic, and sweet, but withdrawn, more aware of his own feelings than other people’s, and inclined to be somewhat judgmental about people’s actions. He feels drawn to Cosette and pursues her quickly and easily, becoming lost in his own intense feelings about her and merging into her, wanting to disappear inside her and be ‘one’ with her. But he also feels a strong need to be true to his friends, to contribute to their greater social welfare, and to right the wrongs done by his family. Eponine sends him strong signals of her affections through her 2ish “helpfulness” as a way to earn his love, but he’s clueless that she loves him until she flat out saves his life and tells him to his face. Marius has a somewhat critical 1 wing, willing to walk away from Valjean for his criminal activities, but also needing and wanting to do the right thing, be appropriate, and stand for something good.