Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys, Notre Dame de Paris

Fleur de Lys de Gondelaurier is Phoebus’ fiancee. She is a young noblewoman.

Fleur de Lys means lily and is the symbol of France and part of the royal family heraldry.    Lilies denote  purity but a theory on her name indicates that it signifies how alike she is is to the rest of her social class. That she is a stereotype, a symbol of the greater populace.

Her surname is Gondelaurier and it doesn’t seem to be a real surname. It can be broken down to Gond meaning “hinge” or Hinge pin” as a  in a door and laurier meaning laurel tree. The Laurel  tree is her house sigil. One could surmises that the hinge means that she is the door to Phoebus’s social climbing and it “hinges” on her. The laurel imagery also reflects on Phoebus as it has connections to Apollo. Very simply, Apollo fell in love with a nymph named Daphne. Apollo pursued her. She begged her father to help and he turned her into a laurel tree. Apollo took the laurel leaves and made a crown. The connection is that when Fleur de Lys avoids Phoebus, he pursues but only to to get respectability, the crown of laurels.

watercolor of Phoebus and Esmeralda picture image

watercolor of Phoebus and Esmeralda

By the novel’s own admission, Phoebus’ name comes from the Greek God Phoebus Apollo. Apollo was the god of many things including light, prophecy, poetry, music and healing. While Apollo’s name roots are uncertain, Phoebus means light in Greek. Phoebus’ name reflects Esmeralda’s love the sun and brightness. Phoebus himself is a darker character than his bright name suggests as he likes to engage in deceit and debauchery.

As an added little bonus, Parnassius phoebus is a species Swallowtail butterflies found in Eurasia and North America.

Then their his surname de Chateaupers, This is a real surname but it’s meaning is near impossible to ascertain. The “de” is common in French Surnames, it means “of.” It is often given to high ranking families. Chateaupers came be broken down to Chateau meaning “castle” and “pers” which could mean person. So his name could mean person of the castle. Perhaps it reflects his family being stewards for the Chateau family or steward in a castle. After all Phoebus wasn’t of a high noble family which why he has to marry Fleur de Lys.