Of all musical theatre characters, Elphaba is my favorite. She even parallels two musical theatre characters- one from Disney and one from a classic. Those two characters happen to be Elsa and Eponine. MAJOR SPOILERS
Elsa and Elphaba
The most obvious thing in common between the girls is their magical powers. The problem with the powers is that they struggle to control them. Elphaba’s powers show up in anger while Elsa’s show up in fear. Both of them are seen as monsters, which makes both girls misunderstood. They also happen to be the eldest sibling in their family. “Let it Go” and “Defying Gravity” are very similar songs- empowering and staying true to yourself.
Eponine and Elphaba
Both of these girls are the eldest in their family, but the sad truth is they come from unloving families. Elphaba was unloved just because she was born “different” due to the color of her skin. In Eponine’s case, her parents didn’t love any of their children- not just Eponine, but the others as well. They also were taken advantage of- Elphaba by the Wizard and Eponine by her parents.
In many ways, for you think about it, Eponine’s family was worse. The Thenardiers were abusive, unloving, and pickpockets. Eponine grew up being taught the ways of a thief and criminal. Her entire family even fell into extreme poverty. No one showed her kindness at all- only one person did, who she met later in life.
Then, there is the love triangle aspect. Eponine and Elphaba both went through unrequited love, but would things improve for one of them? Back at Shiz, there were signs that Fiyero and Glinda weren’t meant for each other——–eventually Elphaba ended up with Fiyero (there were clues in act I- their strong chemistry starting at The Lion Cub Scene). But with Eponine, she would be stuck with unrequited love, but Marius was the only person who showed her kindness- why do you think she continued to love him-he was the only good part of her life. That does explain why she was happy dying in the arms of Marius.