for non french speakers: basically Mahé suffers from a very rare disease since she was born, until a strange alien breaks into the hospital’s window and gets into her body. curing her instantanely and giving her special abilities, which is super cool. But now all the scary TV people want her, which is super uncool. Fortunately the alien is still here, in her wig, preventing her from eventual danger.
Enjolras is Sol, the Sun, trapping the planets in his gravity; the body that provides them both daylight and warmth. But it’s dangerous–a star determines the fates of its planets, and a light that burns so fiercely can’t burn forever.
Grantaire is Mercury, the smallest planet and nearest to the Sun, named for the god of messengers. When facing Sol, the planet warms, reaching over 400 degrees Celsius. When turned away, the already-barren surface becomes cold and dark; dropping below -170.
Though it is so close to us on Earth, much about it remains a mystery.
Jehan is Venus, the hottest planet, named for the goddess of love and beauty. It is unique in its movements, rotating in the opposite direction of the other planets. The brightest object in our sky apart from the Sun, poets and songwriters alike, for centuries, have been calling Venus the ‘morning star’ and ‘evening star’.
Feuilly is Earth, the ideal planet, and our home. Earth is favoured by Sol, being the only planet in the narrow range of distances from the star that allows life to exist. It’s not the biggest planet, nor the warmest, nor the one with the largest moon, but its averageness itself made it perfect.
Bahorel is Mars, named for the god of war for of its reddish glow. Though on first glance Mars seems unforgiving and cold, with a closer look, it was found to be the most conductive to life. The names of the rovers landed on it seem to reflect the essence of the planet itself–’Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’.
Courfeyrac is Jupiter, the largest planet, nearly a star in its own right for the number of moons it has trapped in its orbit due to its immense gravity. It was named for the god of thunder, fittingly so–the storm in the massive red spot on its surface has been raging for centuries.
Combeferre is Saturn, often considered the solar system’s ‘jewel’ for the rings that made it a source of scientific fascination since its discovery. The strength of its gravitational influence is bested only by that of Jupiter and the Sun. It was (most aptly) named for the god of agriculture and liberation.
Bossuet is Uranus, named for the god of the sky, and the planet that expanded the celestial horizons of humankind–the first to have been discovered with a telescope, while the previous five were known since antiquity (though first mistaken for a comet). The planet orbits perpendicular to the rest, most likely due to a collision with a planet that knocked it on its side.
Joly is Neptune, named for the god of the sea for its vivid blue colour. It is often mentioned in the same vein as Uranus due to their shared characteristics (similarities in size, colour, composition) and is like the former in that it was discovered. Its discovery was special–a collaborative effort in which the planet was mathematically predicted before it was seen.
Marius is Pluto, a dwarf planet named for the god of the underworld, whose true planetary status is still debated by many. In any case, it orbits Sol like all the rest, though on a different plane. Pluto has a moon, Charon, who we may see as Cosette–the two objects are tidally locked, the same face permanently turned toward each other.
As the night fled over the sphere of the world, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg snapped Bolivia from her vantage point out in space. The cordilleras Oriental and Occidental are clearly visible, with the huge white patches of the Salar de Uyuni sandwiched between them. The shadows of the western chain stretch halfway across Chile towards the Pacific Ocean. What a wonderful place our only world is, catches my throat every time I pause to pay attention to it….