What's the Difference between Les Miserables the Book and Les Miserables the Movie?

Musical

Les Miserables

49%
Released: 1862
Author: Victor Hugo

Les Miserables

51%
Released: 2012
Director: Tom Hooper
Characters
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In the Book In the Movie
Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean
Portrayed by: Hugh Jackman
Javert
Javert
Portrayed by: Russell Crowe
Fantine
Fantine
Portrayed by: Anne Hathaway
Cosette
Cosette
Portrayed by: Amanda Seyfried
Thénardier
Thénardier
Portrayed by: Sacha Baron Cohen
Madame Thénardier
Madame Thénardier
Portrayed by: Helena Bonham Carter
Marius Pontmercy
Marius
Portrayed by: Eddie Redmayne
Gavroche Thénardier
Gavroche
Portrayed by: Daniel Huttlestone
Enjolras
Enjolras
Portrayed by: Aaron Tveit
Éponine Thénardier
Éponine
Portrayed by: Samantha Barks
M. Myriel
Bishop of Digne
Portrayed by: Colm Wilkinson
M. Gillenormand
M. Gillenormand
Portrayed by: Patrick Godfrey
Fauchelevent
Fauchelevent
Portrayed by: Stephen Tate
Grantaire
Grantaire
Portrayed by: George Blagden
Courfeyrac
Courfeyrac
Portrayed by: Fra Fee
Les Miserables Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   A lengthy account of the Bishop Myriel's life is told, telling of how he gained his post via a chance meeting with Napoleon, once ventured into a path where a bandit was said to roam only to find that said bandit left a gift for him, had his last harrowing experience in the form of meeting a moribund member of the French Convention, among other things. The Bishop's backstory is left out of the musical.
   After being rejected by the people he tried to lodge with, Valjean takes refuge in a doghouse, where he is chased out by the dog itself, before a local woman points him out to the Bishop's home. The Bishop encounters Valjean while he is wandering about in the streets.
   After leaving Digne with the Bishop's silver, Valjean semi-consciously steals a forty-sou piece from a young Savoyard named Little Gervais, before snapping into an episode of regret, fruitlessly trying to find the boy again, asking a wandering cure if he had seen him, before finally deciding to fully redeem himself. Valjean's decision to become a better man is purely inspired by the Bishop's kindness.
   A section of the book is devoted to young Fantine's life with her lover, Felix Tholomyes, and three other couples, before the men abandon them, as well as a shorter section of her leaving Cosette with the Thénardiers before going to Montreuil and looking for work. Fantine first appears already working at the factory in Montreuil. Tholomyes never appears, and Cosette is not introduced until later.
   After a factory worker named Madame Victurnien spreads the rumour of Fantine having a child, the superintendent comes up to her one day and tells her that the Mayor has fired her. A factory worker snatches a request for money sent to Fantine by the Thénardiers, leading the others to insist that Fantine will bring trouble, convincing the foreman to throw her out.
   When Fauchelevent is being crushed by the cart, Madeleine/Valjean tries to convince someone to help lift it in exchange for money, then when nobody answers, crawls under the cart himself and attempts to lift it but succeeds only slightly, leading to all present helping him and lifting the cart together. Madeleine/Valjean lifts the cart by himself to let Fauchelevent out.
   When Javert tells Valjean about Champmathieu being judged at Arras, Valjean makes a journey to the courts along which he encounters multiple hardships which partially encourage him to turn back, but he ends up pressing on at every occasion. When he arrives, he finds that only by a stroke of luck did he manage to get there before the trial was completed. A very short transition represents Valjean's journey to the Assizes.
   Valjean spends a night questioning whether or not he should reveal his true identity to save Champmathieu, then does it again in the antechamber of the courts of Arras. Valjean only questions himself once on this matter, while he is still at Montreuil.
   Valjean has to appeal to three convicts he used to know, Brevet, Cochepaille and Chenildieu and mentions that he still keeps the forty-sou piece he stole from Little Gervais in order to convince the court that he and not Champmathieu is, in fact, Jean Valjean. Valjean yells out his prisoner number, then asks the magistrates to consult with Javert to assert his identity.
   Javert seeks to condemn the revealed Valjean because of his robbery of Little Gervais. Javert seeks to re-apprehend Valjean because the latter broke his parole.
   It is explained that Javert was born in prison to a fortune teller whose husband was in the galleys. Javert casually mentions that he, like Valjean, was born among poor people and criminals.
   Fantine is fatally shocked when Javert yells out Valjean's true identity, which leads to Valjean claiming Javert murdered her. Fantine passes away peacefully while thinking about Cosette.
   Valjean accompanies Javert when the latter rearrests him, but escapes by breaking a bar in his cell window and dropping from the station roof. Before leaving Montreuil, he returns to his old quarters, where Javert looks for him but a colleague named Sister Simplice helps conceal him. Valjean jumps out of a window after his confrontation with Javert, and swims away.
   Valjean is recaptured in Paris a few days after fleeing Montreuil and brought back to the Toulon galleys. He escapes by pretending to drown after saving another prisoner from falling into the sea. This is not shown, as Valjean seemingly goes to Montfermeil immediately after fleeing Montreuil.
   Cosette first meets Valjean when, while carrying the bucket of water back to Montfermeil, he grabs hold of the handle and helps her carry it. She feels at ease around him. Cosette hears Valjean approaching while carrying the bucket back and runs to hide behind a tree before Valjean assures her that he means no harm and offers to help her.
   At Cosette's request, Valjean gives the bucket back to her just before they reach the inn. Valjean stays for one night, giving Cosette some gifts and helping her to stay out of trouble with Madame Thénardier before offering to take her away. Valjean takes the bucket all the way to the inn and hands it to Madame Thénardier himself, then offers to take Cosette away immediately.
   Valjean gives Thénardier 1500 francs for Cosette after the latter mentions that he has a debt that big. However, he is not satisfied, and runs off after them once they've left to try and coax more money out of them, unsuccessfully. Valjean arbitrarily gives Thénardier 1500 francs in exchange for Cosette. The innkeeper does not try to chase after them.
   Valjean buys the doll Catherine for Cosette after he sees Madame Thénardier raising a fuss over Cosette taking her daughters' doll. Valjean buys the doll for Cosette as a gift after taking her away from the Thénardiers.
   Valjean and Cosette stay for some time at the Gorbeau house in Paris before Javert picks up on their trail and forces them to try and find a new home. Javert surprises Valjean and Cosette at a police checkpoint as they are arriving in Paris.
   Fauchelevent helps sneak Valjean and Cosette out of the Petit-Picpus convent in a coffin and a fruit-basket before convincing the prioress to admit them as a gardener and a pupil, saying that Valjean is his brother and Cosette his niece, in return for helping to secretly bury a recently deceased nun. This is not shown.
   The book tells of Marius's childhood and how he was raised by his bourgeois grandfather to have a conservative mindset but became a revolutionary once he learned the story of his father. Marius is already a revolutionary when he first appears.
   Marius's father, Col. Georges Pontmercy, was accidentally rescued from the battlefield of Waterloo by Thénardier (who was there to rob the dead), which led him and later Marius to hold Thénardier in some respect. This later comes into conflict when Marius sees Thénardier's kidnapping and attempted extortion of Valjean. The relationship between Marius and Thénardier is not clarified.
   Marius first sees Cosette and Valjean during a walk he takes in the Luxembourg gardens, and intentionally continues to see them until he tries to follow them home, leading to Valjean suspending their visits to the gardens. Marius sees Cosette and Valjean once, across a nonspecific street, and doesn't see them again until he visits the Rue Plumet.
   A disguised Thénardier tricks and kidnaps Valjean, wanting to extort money from him for taking Cosette with the help of Patron-Minette, a gang of criminals, but is foiled at the last minute by Marius, who slips them a warning note in Éponine's handwriting, and Javert, whom Marius had warned earlier. All this happens on a street rather than the Gorbeau hovel, and it is Éponine herself who tries to warn them.
   Montparnasse is the leading member of the Patron-Minette gang absent from Valjean's kidnapping. It is Gueulemer who is absent.
   Though Éponine and the Thénardiers have been living next door to Marius for some time, it is not until shortly before Valjean's kidnapping that they meet formally. Éponine appears to have been working with the revolutionaries for some time.
   Marius visits the Rue Plumet several times before finally speaking with Cosette, and more time passes before Thénardier and Patron-Minette attempt to rob it. All of this happens in one night.
   Thénardier and some members of Patron-Minette are imprisoned in La Force, and have to break out before attempting to rob Valjean's house. Thénardier is never imprisoned.
   Thénardier and Patron-Minette are dissuaded from robbing Valjean's house by Éponine, who threatens to scream and refuses to let them pass, something that Brujon counts as a sign of bad luck which drives them away due to their being extremely superstitious. Thénardier and Patron Minette don't listen to Éponine, which leads her to scream and attract some policemen, forcing the criminals to flee.
   Éponine inspires Marius to go to the barricade as a death-seeker after he believes he has lost Cosette. Marius goes of his own accord, to fight with the revolutionaries.
   Marius goes to the barricade at night, after they've already been established. Marius is present at Lamarque's funeral and takes part in the initial revolt of the June Rebellion.
   Javert quietly joins the revolutionaries as they head to the barricades, appearing to them as an unremarkable man in the Rue des Billettes. Javert volunteers to try and spy on the National Guard for the revolutionaries.
   Gavroche points Javert out to Enjolras, saying that the policeman has attempted to apprehend him on a few occasions. Gavroche points out Javert's true identity when the latter tries to give the revolutionaries false information concerning the intended attacks.
   Marius threatens to blow up the barricade with a gunpowder barrel during the first attack, uncaring of what will happen to him. Marius only attempts it as a desperate measure, not being shown to be suicidal.
   The dying Éponine tells Marius to stay with her quietly as she dies, hoping to not be seen by her brother Gavroche, and tells him to only look at Cosette's note after she dies. Éponine gives Cosette's note to Marius as soon as he notices her, and is seen dying by everyone at the barricade.
   A police spy known as Le Cabuc shoots down a man looking out of a window near the barricade, and is executed by Enjolras. A nameless National Guardsman shoots down an innocent woman at Lamarque's funeral, sparking the revolt.
   Courfeyrac is knocked down during the first attack at the barricade, but Marius helps him recompose himself quickly enough to survive. This happens to Courfeyrac at Lamarque's funeral, and it is Javert who helps him up.
   Gavroche meets Valjean outside the Rue de l'Homme Armé to deliver Marius's message. Gavroche meets him in the stairwell inside the bulding.
   Valjean shows up at the barricade during a dispute over five men who wish to leave the barricade with only four National Guard uniforms available, offering his own as a fifth. Valjean shows up claiming to be a volunteer, and is threatened by the revolutionaries until Gavroche vindicates him.
   Valjean is allowed to take care of Javert because of his silent contributions to the barricade. Valjean helps shoot down a team of enemy snipers, which is why he is allowed to deal with Javert.
   Gavroche climbs over the barricade to gather ammunition from the dead during the second attack. Gavroche does so while there are National Guardsmen posted outside the barricade, who only attack once they see him.
   Gavroche is killed by a single shot. Gavroche is shot twice, the first shot not being lethal.
   A cannonade is used by the National Guard against the barricade during the second attack, but proves ineffective. The cannons are brought out during the final battle, and thin the barricade out enough for the National Guard to invade it.
   Marius is described as being covered in blood by the time he is taken away by Valjean, having been incapacitated by a shot that broke his collarbone. Marius is wounded, but appears comparatively unharmed.
   Valjean escapes into the sewers by way of a loose grating in the ground. Valjean enters the sewers through a grate found in a wall at the end of an alley.
   Grantaire is asleep throughout most of the conflict in the barricade, only waking up once the National Guard has cornered Enjolras. Grantaire is seen taking part in the earlier attacks.
   Once Javert is freed by Valjean, he returns to the streets and does not revisit the barricade. Javert returns to the Rue de la Chanvrerie once the barricade has been captured, giving a medal to the dead Gavroche and seeing Valjean disappear into the sewers.
   Valjean encounters Thénardier at the end of his trek through the sewers, where the latter offers to open the way out in exchange for the money in Marius's pockets. Thénardier finds Valjean at the point where the latter fell into the sewers, and only tells him which way the exit is.
   Thénardier cuts a strip of cloth from the unconscious Marius's coat. Thénardier takes a ring from Marius's hand.
   Javert happens to be situated outside the sewers when Valjean emerges, having tailed Thénardier to that point earlier, and does not initially recognise him. Javert is outside the sewers expressly waiting for Valjean when the latter emerges, recognising him immediately.
   Valjean pleads with Javert to have Marius delivered to his home and given the care of a doctor, then going to his own apartment at Rue de l'Homme Armé. Javert calls on a cab and fulfills both of his requests. Valjean asks Javert to let him take Marius home, saying he will return afterwards. Javert lets Valjean go while he stays behind.
   After getting Valjean home, Javert returns to the Seine to think, then goes to a police station to leave a note containing his final thoughts before throwing himself into the river. Javert stays by the river close to the sewer exit, jumping into the river after one final revery.
   Marius stays at his grandfather's home for months to recover from his wounds, then is entirely focused on his wedding with Cosette. Marius returns to the Café Musain to grieve his fallen friends.
   Valjean confesses his true identity to Marius in order to avoid the risk of having it tarnish his and Cosette's wedding, leading to Marius mistrusting him. Valjean mentions his past to Marius, but the latter is not happy to see him go.
   Valjean retreats into his apartment at Rue de l'Homme Armé during his final days, his absences from the Gillenormand home being attributed to journeys that Marius's servant Basque tells him about. Valjean tells Marius himself to give Cosette the false tale of him being away on a journey.
   Marius believes Valjean to have obtained the fortune which he gave them through dishonest means until Thénardier unwittingly reveals the truth. Marius is not shown to distrust Valjean.
   After Marius and Cosette have been married for some time, Thénardier visits Marius to try and coax money out of him in exchange for a 'dark secret' concerning Valjean, but ends up letting Marius know that not only did Valjean not kill or rob anyone, but that he is the one who carried him away from the barricade. Thénardier attempts this during Marius's wedding.
   In the end, Thénardier and his daughter Azelma use the money Marius gave him to travel to New York and become slave traders. Madame Thénardier had died in prison earlier. Madame Thénardier survives, and Azelma does not appear. The Thénardiers are not shown to have received money from Marius, and their fate is uncertain.
   Valjean writes Marius and Cosette one final letter explaining the means through which he earned his fortune, meant to prove his honesty. Valjean leaves Cosette one final message explaining the story of his past.
   Valjean spends his final moments in his apartment at Rue de l'Homme Armé, being accompanied by Marius, Cosette, a doctor and a portress. Valjean dies at the Petit-Picpus convent, with Marius and Cosette by his side.
   Javert gets Valjean a carriage and accompanies him on the way to take the wounded Marius home, even stopping to wipe the blood off of Marius's face with his own rag. Javert let's Valjean past him at the sewers to carry Marius home, and then takes his own life.
   Valjean is buried in an unmarked grave at a distant corner of the Pere-Lachaise cemetery. This is not shown.
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