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It starts in 1815.

Jean Valjean, 19 years prior, had stolen a loaf of bread for his starving nephew, but he was caught and he was sentenced to 5 years in jail. He tried to escape 4 times which made his total sentence 19 years. After the 19 years he's being released and then the Police Chief Javert tells him that he'll be on parole and have a badge of shame on his papers. Because of this "badge of shame" on his papers he can't get good jobs, if any, and people dont trust him. However, a bishop lets him stay for the night and gives him food. Valjean during the night steals the bishop's silver but he's caught and taken back. The bishop, however, tells the police that he gave the silver to Valjean so they let him go. Then the bishop gives Valjean his silver candlesticks too. Valjean then begins to question himself and decides to start his life over. Now skip forwards 8 years, and its 1823. In that time valjean has become mayor of a town and created a factory which employs many people so the town is doing good. Fantine has left her child with the Thenardiers who are con people and she sends them money each month to pay for Cosette. The father of the child has long since abandoned them. Now, Fantine works in one of Valjeans, who goes my Monsieur LMayor, factories. All the other women in the factory find out she has a child, but she's unmarried which is considered a crime then. (They find this out through the letter the Thenardiers sent Fantine claiming that Cosette is ill and needs medicine.) All of the women in the factory turn against her and the foreman fires her Now, at this same time Javert is visiting Valjeans factor, though Javert doesn't know he's Valjean. Outside of the factory a man is trapped under his cart and Valjean, who was known for his superior strength, lifts the cart off of him which causes Javert to remember Valjeans strength. Now cut back to Fantine. She sells her hair, a couple of teeth, and her locket for money which she sends to the Thenardiers for her child. She then has no choice but to sell herself into prostitution. Now, Valjean is out giving money to the poor and sees a man trying to force himself onto Fantine, who in turn, scratches him. The man tells Javert that she attacked him and Javert is ready to arrest her when Valjean steps in. He realizes that he recognizes her and Fantine says that his foreman fired her and because of him that shes sunken so low. Valjean then takes her to the hospital and says that he will find her daughter and bring her to Fantine. Now cut to the Thenardier's inn. Cosette is now 8 years old, and the thenardiers abuse and neglect her while pampering their own children Eponine and Azelma (Azelma does not make an appearance in the musical). Madame Thenardier sends Cosette to the woods to get water despite her protests. Then you see how the Thenardiers con and steal from all of the people that go to their inn. You find out that they're caught "Jean Valjean", and Javert tells Valjean this since he made a false report saying that he thought that Monsieur L'Mayor was Valjean. Javert then tells Valjean to press charges against him, though the latter tells Javert he was just doing his duty. Valjean then has to decide between turning himself in and keeping quiet. He realizes that if he does turn himself in all the people he employs will be out of job but he cant let an innocent man go to prison so Valjean tells the court who he is and where Javert can find him. At the hospital, after Valjean promises to find her daughter, Fantine dies. There javert confronts Valjean and Valjean begs Javert to give him time to save Cosette, but Javert expresses his belief that people cannot change. Valjean escapes from Javert and finds Cosette in the woods. He then buys her from the Thenardiers for 1500 francs. While they're leaving town, Valjean sees that Javert is checking all of the carriages so the two flee on foot. The two manage to escape since the old man who Valjean saved from under a carriage helps them. The two stay at the convent until the old man who helps them dies. Javert swears that he will find Valjean no matter what. Then cut forwards 9 years to 1832. You're introduced to Gavroche and the Les Amis who is a group of (mostly) rich young men fighting for the poor. Gavroche is a young street urchin who is friends with the Amis. His parents were the Thenardiers but they abandoned him. The Amis (or barricade boys) plan to bring a new revolution to France and equality to all. At this time theyre gathering in front of General Lamarque's (who supports the poor) house. Enjolras (the leader of the revolution aka Aaron

Tveit) and Marius are giving a speech trying to rally the people when the police come and they all scatter. Marius is confronted by his rich grandfather who he was raised by, but left and refuses to take a penny from. His grandfather begs him to come back but Marius refuses. Marius is living in a small apartment building (as hes very poor refusing to take any money he hasnt earned) and is talking to Eponine (the Thenardiers daughter). The Thenardiers have since been found out as cons and their inn went bankrupt leaving them dirt poor and nearly living on the streets. Eponine is abused and their family runs cons and crimes. Now, Eponine is secretly in love with Marius, but he sees Cosette and the two fall in love at first sight. The Thenardiers try to con Valjean but they realize who he is and a scuffle on the street start. Javert then arrives and breaks up the fight. Valjean and Cosette run away and Javert finds out it was Valjean. Marius asks Eponine to find out who the girl was and she agrees and she remembers how she was horrible to Cosette as a child. It cuts to the ABC Caf (or Caf Musain) which is where all the young revolutionaries (barricade boys) meet. They make fun of Marius for falling in love and Enjolras tells Marius that he needs to get his head out of the clouds. They find out that General Lamarque has died and speak of how theyre going to start their uprising. Eponine tells Marius she has found Cosette, so she takes him to her. Cosette and Marius talk and they're both profess their love for each other while Eponine sadly watches realizing that she never did have a chance with Marius. Valjean then calls Cosette inside so she reluctantly leaves Marius. Then Thenardier and his gang show up ready to rob Valjean's house but Eponine screams, despite the danger, and scares them off. Valjean, believing that Javert has found him, tells Cosette that they're going to move to England the next day and that theyre going to stay in another house for the time. She protests but he doesn't listen and she only has time to leave a letter for Marius and before they leave. Eponine takes the letter, and when she gets back to where Marius is staying, he realizes that something is wrong so he goes back to Cosette's house and realizes that they're gone. Then there's "One Day More" during which Marius and Cosette sing about how much they love each other, Eponine prepares to join Marius at the barricade because she loves him no matter what, Enjolras sings about the revolution, Javert sings about how he's going to infiltrate the revolution, the Thenardiers sing about how they're going to con people, the barricade boys sing about revolution, and Marius makes the decision to join his friends instead of going after Cosette. The next day, General Lamarques funeral is being held and during it the barricade boys hijack the funeral parade. They all begin waving flags and then the National Guard comes prompting them to run to the designated area (in front of the ABC cafe) and they build their barricade. All around Paris barricades go up but that does matter since it focuses on this single barricade. Javert pretends to be supporting them and says that he'll find out the plan for them. When he comes back they find out he's with the police and they knock him out and put him in the caf. Then the National Guard comes and they're open fire and everyone is shooting. Marius is on top of the barricade and Eponine, disguised as a boy, throws herself in front of a gun aimed at Marius and is shot, saving Marius' life. Then Marius threatens to blow up the entire barricade, along with himself, if the Nation Guard doesn't retreat, so they do. The barricade boys have mixed reactions to Marius actions including telling him that hes saved them and that *their+ life is not *his+ to risk. Marius realizes that Eponine is shot and she dies in his arms after giving him Cosette's letter and telling him she loves him. Marius writes to Cosette and has Gavroche (who is in fact Eponines little brother) bring the letter to Cosette. He gives it to Valjean who realizes that Cosette isn't just his anymore. He knows that if Marius lives Cosette will no longer be his, but he cares too much about Cosettes happiness so he decides to go to the barricades to save Marius. When he arrives at the barricade, Gavroche vouches for him and he asks that he get to kill Javert which Enjolras allows. He instead lets Javert go free telling him that people can change, but pretends to kill him. That night the barricade boys talk about their lives, Marius realizes that his life doesnt matter without Cosette, and Valjean prays that Marius lives even if it means giving up his own life.

The next morning they realize that theyre the only barricade left standing and that the rain from the previous night ruined their gunpowder. Gavroche is taking gunpowder off of the dead bodies when he gets shot and killed. The National Guard gives the barricade boys one last warning telling them that the people of Paris, who they are fighting for, have abandoned them and not risen, but they don't have to die. Believing that one day the people will rise, they all stay, and then one by one they're all killed until it's just Enjolras left. Before the National Guard can kill him, Grantaire, who is constantly drunk and doesn't believe in the revolution wakes up from his drunken slumber and asks to be shot with him and they're both shot. Valjean saves Marius, who has been shot several times and is unconscious, by carrying him through the sewers. In the sewers Valjean finds Thenardier robbing the bodies that have made their way into the sewer after the Rebellion. Thenardier manages to take Marius ring, not recognizing him or knowing that hes still alive. They get out and Valjean finds Javert blocking his way out, but Valjean tells Javert that he needs to save Marius' life and Javert lets him go. Javert realizes that he cannot live anymore knowing that Valjean spared his life when he could have killed him so he commits suicide. Marius wakes up in his grandfather's house and visits the ABC caf. Then Marius, in the caf, cries about his friends, and suffering from survivors guilt, he questions why only he lives while all his friends are dead. Valjean tells Marius his story about how he used to be a criminal but begs him not to tell Cosette, as it will break her heart and then Valjean leaves. Cosette is deeply saddened by her fathers sudden leaving, but Marius promises he will never leave her. Later that day Marius and Cosette are married, but the Thenardiers arrive part way through the wedding. Thenardier shows Marius the ring he took from his body (not knowing it was Marius) and how he took to from a corpse Valjean was carrying. Marius realizes that it was Valjean who saved him and makes Thenardier tell him where Valjean is. As the Thenardiers are carried out, they express how theyre left standing unlike everyone else. Marius and Cosette leave to go to the convent where Valjean is. Valjean is dying and the spirit of Fantine is with him. She tells him that he's taken care of her daughter when she couldn't and that shes thankful for that. Cosette and Marius arrive before he dies and she begs him not to die. Valjean tells her that she was the best thing to happen to him before dying and then the spirit of the bishop arrives to take him to heaven. In this heaven, all of the barricade boys Valjean, Fantine, and Eponine, are on a barricade in heaven along with the people, as this was their heaven. A world in which everyone was equal and the people didnt abandon them. This is why theyre all finally happy, because as Gavroche had previously said, everyones equal when theyre dead.