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Heartwarming: Les Misérables

The novel

  • When Valjean does a Heel-Face Turn and is seen praying in front of the bishop's house.
    • Everything the bishop does to Valjean should count, considering how much crap Valjean gets from the rest of society.
  • Valjean giving Cosette a doll. When Cosette innocently asks if the doll really is for her, it moves Valjean to tears. Also counts as a Tear Jerker.
  • Valjean taking Cosette from the Thenardiers. Cosette's situation was so terrible, there wasn't a person reading who didn't want someone to rescue her, and he did it. A refreshing example of an inverted Break the Cutie...Heal The Cutie? Rescue The Cutie? Whatever you call it.
  • Gavroche after having seen how the old fellow lives in which garden he intends to spend the night overhears said old fellow - Mabeauf - berating Montparnasse for not getting up and a job instead of idling the days away. Minutes later he steals the big purse Montparnasse earlier stole - and leaves it on Mabeauf's night desk.
  • When Cosette reads Marius' letter and then meets him for the first time.
  • Gavroche taking care of two little boys left alone on the street. All of this is made of Fuzzy Feel but it gets even more fuzzy when you remember those boys are his little brothers. And he doesn't know.
  • When Enjolras finally accepts Grantaire and allows him to die with him.
    • Particularly in the 2012 movie version: you can see his defiant mask giving way to fear until he sees Grantaire coming towards him, and there's a brief moment when his face softens before his defiance returns when Grantaire is at his side, as if Grantaire gave him courage and comfort.
  • Gillenormand reconciling with Marius after the barricades fall.
  • When Marius realises Jean Valjean is a good man and rushes straight to see him, allowing him to see Cosette one last time before he dies.
  • Valjean watching little Cosette sleep and realizing he feels love for another person for the first time in his life: "All the passion and affection within him awoke, and rushed towards that child. He approached the bed, where she lay sleeping, and trembled with joy. He suffered all the pangs of a mother, and he knew not what it meant; for that great and singular movement of a heart which begins to love is a very obscure and a very sweet thing."
  • When Valjean and Cosette are living on Rue Plumet, Cosette is concerned about Valjean being cold and uncomfortable in his rooms and eating black bread. She says she'll come see him so often he'll have to have a fire, and she'll start eating black bread, too. Valjean then starts eating white bread so Cosette won't eat black bread.
  • When the dying Valjean is overcome with joy that Cosette has come to see him. He's been distancing himself from her since her wedding, but now he finally allows himself to express all the love he feels for her, calling her his "little Cosette" and his "sweet angel" and letting her call him "Father" again. Hell, I'd say the whole relationship between Valjean and Cosette qualifies as one big heartwarming moment.
  • Something often forgotten, Valjean spent 19 years in prison and became a hardened, bitter man. What was his crime? Stealing bread for his sister's child, something he knew could get him into major trouble, especially considering his past as a poacher.

The musical

  • The entirety of the Bishop of Digne. Just his first lines -
    Come in sir, for you are weary, and the night is cold out there,
    Though our lives are very humble, what we have, we have to share...
    ... Here's a bed to rest 'til morning, rest from pain, and rest from wrong.
  • Fantine's death scene, where Valjean assures her that "your child will want for nothing."
  • Even the Thénardiers toadying up to the rich Valjean can't change the heartwarming power of his claiming Cosette. "I shall not forsake my vow — Cosette shall have a father now."
  • "A Little Fall of Rain" is probably the most heartbreaking duet in musical theatre history.
    Éponine: Don't you fret, Monsieur Marius, I don't feel any pain, a little fall of rain, can hardly hurt me now, you're here, that's all I need to know.
  • "Bring Him Home". The whole thing.
  • Valjean sparing Javert's life at the barricade.
  • Valjean's death, which leads to a reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing."
    Fantine: Come with me, Where chains will never bind you, All your grief, at last, at last behind you. Lord in heaven, Look down on him in mercy.
    Valjean: Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to your glory.
    Fantine, Valjean, Éponine: Take my hand, and lead me to salvation, Take my love, For love is everlasting, And remember, The truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God.
    • The film version goes the extra mile by having the Bishop reappear during this scene as well.
      • And as an added moment, Colm Wilkinson who is pretty much THE Valjean and played him during the show's original run plays the bishop. Seeing Hugh Jackman as Valjean walking towards him was incredibly symbolic.
    • Special emphasis should be put on that reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" What was formerly a rallying cry to revolution is turned into a hopeful appeal for peace on earth, beautifully ending the show.
      Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night?
      It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.
      For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies.
      Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!
      We will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord;
      We will walk behind the plowshare, we will put away the sword.
      Our chains will be broken, and all men will have their reward!
      Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
      Somewhere beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?
      Do you hear the people sing? Say, do you hear the distant drums?
      It is the future that we bring when tomorrow comes!
    • Fantine thanking Valjean for taking care of Cosette.
  • In the 25th anniversary concert, you can see Javert singing in the final "Do you hear the people sing?"
    • Javert is also present during the finale in the Finnish production.
  • At the very end of the show, after the stage lights have gone out, and the curtain falls note , the candlesticks that the Bishop of Digne gave to Valjean are all the lights that are left, burning in the darkness, as though forever - just a reminder of what power one man's kindness can have. *snif*
    • The excellent 1934 French epic film ends like that as well, and it is very effective.
  • When done well,all of Marius and Cosette's interactions bring much needed light and sweetness to the story.
  • Every instance where Cosette calls Valjean "papa".
  • The couple of lines Marius has during the Wedding Chorale that show he did in fact care for Éponine.
    When I look at you, I remember Éponine
    She was more than you deserved, who gave her birth
    But now she is with God and happier, I hope
    Than here on earth!

Legends of LaconiaHeartwarming/LiteratureLiaden Universe
Jersey BoysHeartwarming/TheaterLittle Shop of Horrors

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