Who is Javert?

Javert is one of the most complex antagonists. One of the most complex protagonist/antagonist dynamics is Jean Valjean and Javert.

Major Spoilers:

Javert was born inside a jail. He is a policeman who strictly follows the law. He has the motto of “once a criminal always a criminal”. He does not think any person can possibly change. That is how he feels about Jean Valjean. Once Valjean breaks parole, Javert feels like he must bring Valjean back to prison. He just does not realize that Valjean is trying to become a better person.

Not only is Javert struggling with his idea of criminals, he also is struggling with mercy and forgiveness. He does not know how to show mercy to others. You first see this through Fantine. All Javert sees is that Fantine is a prostitute not a prostitute with a child. Javert should have arrested this man not Fantine, who attacked him in self-defense. So mercy is just something that Javert does not know how to show.

In “Stars”, Javert lays than his beliefs and principles. Javert makes you know that he wants to capture Valjean. In many ways, the law is his religion. Javert strictly follows it so much.


He came to the barricade to spy on the students, but Gavroche caught him. Well, Javert was surprised that Jean Valjean let him go. That changed the way that Javert believed all of his different beliefs. Even though, he was given an incredible act of mercy, for some reason, he was not able to receive it. He was in a middle of a inner turmoil- he released that Valjean has become a better person- Javert realized that his motto of “once a criminal always a criminal” is not exactly sure. Javert felt like he had no purpose so he killed himself in the end. 

4 thoughts on “Who is Javert?

  1. Javert’s a really interesting character. I love seeing different portrayals of him so that I can pick out different aspects of his character. I feel like there’s still so much to be learned about him!


    • Javert can drive me nuts with portrayals though. It is hard to feel sympathy for Javert= only one actor could do that, too bad other actors weren’t able to do that so far.

      I wish some people would realize that Javert is not a villain, but just the antagonist of Les Mis.


      • Definitely. People tend to jump to the conclusion that Javert’s the villain simply because he’s the antagonist but that simply isn’t the case!


      • Javert is a character who is trying to do the right thing. He is not a villain at all.


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