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Gavroche is also a French beer, produced by Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre.
Gavroche is a fictional character from the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.



Gavroche is the eldest son of M. and Mme Th√©nardier. He has two sisters, √Čponine and Azelma, and two unnamed younger brothers. He is also technically unnamed; the reader is told he chooses the name for himself, but is not provided with his real name. Mme. Th√©nardier only loves her daughters, and M. Th√©nardier shows no affection for any of his children. Gavroche is told by his parents to live in the street, because he would have a better life there.

The Thénardiers sell (or rent) their two youngest sons to a woman named Magnon. Due to a freak accident, the two boys are separated from Magnon without identification, and encounter Gavroche purely by chance. They are unaware of their identities, but Gavroche invites them to live with him and takes care of them. They reside in the hollow cavity of a giant elephant statue, conceived by Napoleon as a fountain, but abandoned unfinished. This was no imaginary construction; located at the Place de la Bastillemarker, it had been designed by Jean-Antoine Alavoine. The two boys soon leave him the next morning. They are last seen at the Luxembourg Gardensmarker retrieving and eating discarded bread from a fountain. It is unknown what has happened to the two after that.

At dawn, Gavroche helps his father, Patron-Minette and Brujon escape from prison due to the request of Montparnasse.

During the student uprising of June 5-6, 1832, Gavroche joins the revolutionaries at the barricade.

After an exchange of gunfire with the National Guards, Gavroche overhears Enjolras remark that they are running out of cartridges. He decides he can help. He goes through an opening in the barricade and collects the cartridges from the dead bodies of the National Guard. In the process of collecting the cartridges and singing a song, he is shot and killed.


Argot is the slang used by thieves, criminals, and others who live in the streets. Victor Hugo was one of the first to note the slang and write it down. The character of Gavroche is used to introduce the concept of argot to the reader. The word "argot" has actually come to be the current French and Spanish term for "slang".


Differences in the musical

There are a few notable plot differences in the Cameron Mackintosh stage musical.

  • The playbill for the musical indicates that Gavroche's parents are the Th√©nardiers, but this is not indicated in the context of the musical itself.
  • Gavroche's two younger brothers and his sister Azelma are cut completely.
  • Marius gives a farewell letter to √Čponine to deliver to Cosette. In the novel, it is Gavroche who delivers it.
  • The musical changes the song that Gavroche sings at the barricade. (The version on the French concept album, however, is the same as in the book.)


Gavroche sings in the following songs in the musical:



Notable actors who have played Gavroche onstage:

Screen Adaptations

Notable actors who have played Gavroche on film:

Cultural References

  • In French, the word "Gavroche" has come to mean "street urchin" and "mischievous child."
  • There is a homeless organization in Varnamarker, Bulgariamarker named the Gavroche Association.
  • There are several restaurants across the world which use the name, including onemarker in Londonmarker run by the Roux brothers, Michel and Albert, which was the first in Britainmarker to be awarded three Michelin stars.
  • There is a French-language magazine about Thailandmarker named Gavroche.
  • While it predates the novel by three decades, the boy brandishing the pistols in Eug√®ne Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People is often associated with Gavroche. Gavroche fires a pistol in the novel; it is possible that Hugo meant to allude to the painting.
  • Bulgarian poet Hristo Smirnenski has a poem called The Brothers of Gavroche.
  • A famous Polish punk/ska group Alians named one of its albums 'Gavroche'.
  • Nobby Nobbs takes the place of Gavroche in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Night Watch, which is loosely based on Les Mis√©rables.


  • Les Mis√©rables, Victor Hugo. (Marius, Book I; Saint Denis, Book VI; Jean Valjean, Book I)


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