Jean Valjean (Les Miserables) on the road

Jean Valjean


Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables was published in 1862. It mixes realism and capital-r-Romantism in a sweeping description of the working class of contemporary France, with a large cast, action, drama, quasi-documentary descriptions, melodrama, out-of-the-blue asides about poverty or human nature, etc..

By any definition, it is a core novel in Francophone literature, and it remains popular 150+ years later.


Les Misérables was adapted umpteen times worldwide in various format. In 1980, an adaptation as a musical — not a common medium in France — was a huge success in Paris. By 1985 an Anglophone adaptation was an even larger success in London, and soon it became an even even bigger hit on Broadway. Which in turn led to a 2012 blockbuster movie.

The following isn’t a full profile for the main character, Jean Valjean. It’s more like character notes.


  • Real Name: Jean Valjean.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Cosette (step-daughter) ; unnamed cousin.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Montreuil-sur-Mer and Paris.
  • Height: 6’4” Weight: Around 180lbs.
  • Eyes: Dark Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

Having done forced labour for many years, Jean Valjean is a very strong man. He has also learned to survive in hard environments. As mayor of Montreuil, Valjean learned the ways of a gentleman, perhaps one of humble condition, but gentle indeed. That includes legal knowledge.

Valjean has also a focused will and an uncommon soul.



Valjean was a poor boy who “stole some bread to save his sister’s son. For 19 winters served his time, in sweat he washed away his crime.” (Valjean’s confession, Les Mis). After a meeting with a bishop in his way to receive his parole, Jean Valjean was convinced to begin a new life.

Years later, Valjean was the mayor of the village of Montreuil-sur-Mer. He began as a worker on a ceramic workshop. He eventually became became the owner and was chosen mayor of the town. His relationship with Fantine, a prostitute (and ex-worker of his workshop) made him take care of Cosette, her daughter, until she died.

To save an innocent he revealed his identity as Valjean. As a result he had to run to escape the police chief Javert, a hound always on his track. Valjean had to leave Montreuil, and leave Cosette alone.

Years later, with Cosette now a grown up lovely lady (again, not on the Thenardier’s concept of “Lovely lady”…), the Revolution exploded. Cosette fell in love with a young student, Marius, and Javert tracked Valjean through them. He infiltrated the revolutionaries, only to be captured by them.


Valjean managed to free Javert and ran away with a wounded Marius through the sewers. Javert went after him and finally caught him. But when Valjean saved Javert’s life something began to swell inside the human hound. His only exit was to leave Valjean free and commit suicide by jumping handcuffed into the Seine’s waters.


A tall, strong man, with dark features. As years go by he changes his body language (and his clothes), from a street thief to a worker, a town mayor, a gardener and finally a gentleman. But it’s more a matter of experience that any disguise skill ^_^ .


When Javert is ruthless, Valjean is compassionate. When Javert attacks, Valjean dodges. Jean Valjean is, in general, a good man, a great human being, and a bright spirit.

Although haunted — and hunted — by his past, whenever he finds somebody who needs him he can summon the strength to help them. His new life gave him that responsibility.


“Who am I ? Can I conceal myself forevermore ?”

DC Universe History

There was a Jean Jean de Jean on the early JLE numbers. I hope with all my heart that there is no link between them.

I think Valjean would fit as is in the DC Universe. Or perhaps in an Elsewords where Clark Valjean is hunted by Bruce Javert… Hmmm… Although others prefer the J’Onn J’avert idea…

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Jean Valjean

Dex: 03 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Running Man/Mayor
Inf: 08 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 015/013 HP: 045

Acrobatics (Climbing): 07, Animal Handling: 02, Detective (Counterfeit Recognition, Law, Police Procedures): 06, Medicine (First Aid)*: 03, Military Science (Camouflage): 03, Thief (Escape Artist, Forgery, Locks and Safes, Pickpocketing)*: 03, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee and Missile Weapons): 02

Area Knowledge (Montreuil, Paris), Omni-Connection, Popularity (Early, while Mayor), Scholar (Gardening), Sharp Eye.

Age (Old, later), Arch enemy (Javert), Authority Figure (Early, when Mayor), Dark Secret (Evicted), Dependant (Cosette), SIF (Being captured), Secret Identity.

By KalEl el Vigilant

Helper(s): Lord Sébastien Andrivet, Lord John Colagioia, Lord Christopher L. Cottingham and Dr. Sean MacDonald

Source of Character: Les Misérables novel, musical play and 1998 movie