Well, sometimes, I love Cosette more than Eponine... sometimes. I love Eponine as well, she's actually really interesting when she's not whining after Marius. I mean, she's educated, and I'm sure she's a feminist (just listen to the lyric where she says: "I could have been a student...")
She's educated? Erm.... hve you read Victor Hugo's book? She is illiterate and she only knows where people live because her parents sent her out to ask for money as a child. The movie glorifies her character even more than the play, whereas in the original work, Eponine is very clearly NOT some feminist or revolutionary, she is literally just a girl on the street.
Um, I hate to tell you this, but in the book, Éponine very explicitly said that she could read and write, and she was just so proud of it. Even, when Valjean gets captured by Thénardier and the Patron-Minette, it's a note she has written previously that Marius uses to save the day. Plus, when she stands up to her father and the gang later when they want to attack and rob Valjean and Cosette's house, she almost explicitly says that she doesn't want to end up like her mother, who is very much always obedient to her husband's will.
Ah yes, I recall now, she does even read a passage to Marius to show off that she can read. Still, if you can read, it does not mean you are literate in terms of being able to write.
In any case, the way Hugo wrote about the characters, settling for Eponine would have been almost equivalent as settling for a prostitute for someone of Marius's status and ambitions. I am not "for or against" any character or relationship, I am just making a point about how Eponine was written to be a side character and not a possible love interest as the new adaptations are making her out to be.
Plus, none of the recent adaptations stay true to Hugo's description of Eponine, in the 2012 version she is actually quite healthy-looking and attractive, whereas in the novel she was this ragged unsightly thing with missing teeth, bony face and body, drooping eyes and face of an old woman.
Another difference between the novel and adaptations, is that the main feeling Marius has for Eponine is pity while Broadway and the 2012 version really try to play up their supposed 'friendship' or 'comaraderie'...
You know, I'm absolutely not a Marius/Eponine shipper. I do believe them to be very badly suited to each other, and I think Marius totally belongs with Cosette. I also do acknowledge that Marius in the book mostly has pity for Eponine, and what makes me sad is that she was there saying all the time that he was so nice to her and everything while actually, he wasn't. And honestly, I'm not quite sure how I feel about Eponine/Marius being turned into a friendship in the musical.
The thing is, Eponine being caught in her misery, what pops out more about her is her self-pity and her pining-almost-obsession for Marius. Based on this, I have to admit Eponine doesn't interest me that much, and that I find the shuddered girl with the spirit of a lark and the heart of a bare-foot adventuress that is Cosette much more interesting, and I wish Hugo would have developped that side of her a lot more.
But when you dig about Eponine, she is interesting as well. That part where she's able to stand up to her father and Patron-Minette has always really impressed me.