I think it’s very unlikely Hugo didn’t at least intend Grantaire to be in love with Enjolras. And since I’m way too passionate about this, let’s make a non-exhaustive list of my favorite “#nohomo” brick moments :
- “Grantaire admired, loved, and venerated Enjolras”
- “No one loves the light like the blind man”
- Hugo writing on actual paper that Grantaire and Enjolras are part of a whole, two sides of the same coin and that Grantaire can not live without Enjolras (spoiler alert : He can’t)
- Comparing them to Orestes and Pylades because ~~alphabetical affinities~~. Notice he says here Grantaire is “an unaccepted Pylades” because Enjolras “disdained this sceptic”. We’ll come back to this later
- “Grantaire, in the presence of Enjolras, became someone once more.”
- Grantaire saying of Enjolras : “What a fine marble"
- Now bear in mind that all of the above happen in the scope of TWO PAGES. TWO PAGES that are used to highlight Grantaire’s love and admiration for Enjolras. Call me delusional but that’s not insignificant
- Grantaire being described as “soft” and “gentle” whenever Enjolras is involved
- “I believe in you”
- 19th century blowjob euphemism #gentlemanbrojob
- “Grantaire, will you do me a service?” “Anything.”
- Grantaire “eyes intently at Enjolras” and “whispers in his ear” in the scope of 3 lines like wow man personal space much
- Remember that Orestes and Pylades business? That Grantaire wasn’t accepted as Pylades? Well, not only does this comparison comes back in the chapter in which they die, but Grantaire gets accepted as Pylades by his Orestes
- Now let’s switch to French for a minute because this is very important to me. That holding hands thing? In French, it’s specified that Grantaire “regarda Enjolras avec une inexprimable douceur” or “se tournant vers Enjolras avec douceur” depending on your version. The first one literally translates to : “Grantaire looked at Enjolras with an ineffable softness”. That in itself is a huge red flag but that’s not all. Let’s talk about the word “douceur” for a bit. In French, using the word “douceur” isn’t meaningless. You don’t specify “avec douceur” unless you really want to focus on the feelings of your character. It seems very unlikely as a sign of friendship, considering all the above.
I’m pretty sure Hugo knew where he was going with that. Plus, let’s not forget all the homoerotic greek figures thrown in from time to time. Hugo was one cultured man. One reference can be called a coincidence but the thing is… there are way more than one.
Hugo was also very ahead of his time, morally speaking, so I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that YES, he did intend Grantaire to have deep amorous feelings for Enjolras