ValJean's Tattoo

mesmerized24601
Broadway Star
joined:7/1/04
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:29pm
Hi... I havent been active on this board for YEARS....... however after my latest trip to NYC last week something has been bothering me non stop and I knew where to come for my answer! hopefully!!!

What the heck does Valjean's Tattoo say and what does it mean???? I always thought it was 24601 but this one is clearly letters of some sort?? I know there must be something I'm missing... help!!!!
...and still you hold on, to every old song... - Adam Pascal
trpguyy
Broadway Star
joined:2/25/05
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:37pm
This has always been a problem with me, as it seems most school and regional productions put a big "24601" across his chest, which is idiotic. If they went around branding the prison number onto the prisoners, then they'd clearly know that the man they had in custody was NOT Valjean, because his number didn't match.
mesmerized24601
Broadway Star
joined:7/1/04
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:46pm
oh so your thinking that man has a "brand" just not a number, they just all have the same one? But then how would Valjean exposing his prove who he is?
...and still you hold on, to every old song... - Adam Pascal
SnoopyQc
Swing
joined:5/23/14
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:50pm
The Tattoo is the letters "GAL". It's from the french word "galÚrien" (galley slave or convict).
Maybe I do not speak English as well as you, but I can perfectly pronounce the names of all characters of Les MisÚrables.
Updated On: 7/8/14 at 05:50 PM
trpguyy
Broadway Star
joined:2/25/05
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:52pm
Well historically, they did not tattoo the prisoners with numbers. Putting that aside, a generic brand (or tattoo) is pretty much the only option that doesn't create a plot hole where there wasn't one.
Valjean exposing his brand, along with his admission of guilt, proves who he is.

Updated On: 7/8/14 at 05:52 PM
mesmerized24601
Broadway Star
joined:7/1/04
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 05:55pm
Thanks! true true!!
...and still you hold on, to every old song... - Adam Pascal
SnoopyQc
Swing
joined:5/23/14
ValJean's Tattoo
Posted: 7/8/14 at 06:03pm
In the novel, Jean Valjean proves who he is by telling things about the witness (other convicts) that only the true Jean Valjean can know. But it was a little bit too long to be include in the musical. So the creators take a shortcut (Valjean shows his brand).
Maybe I do not speak English as well as you, but I can perfectly pronounce the names of all characters of Les MisÚrables.