Q&A 254: Father’s Day: Who is a favorite fictional father?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

Who is a favorite fictional father?


ANIKA

This is Mr. Darling:

Peter Pan (2003)

This is what Mrs. Darling says about him:

There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams. He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer… He does. And that is why he is brave.

Here he is running to save his children instead of his reputation:

Peter Pan (2003)

He tells these guys:

Peter Pan (2003)

He does believe in fairies:

Peter Pan (2003)

I do, I do.

He fosters imagination in his children, he tries to improve himself but never at the expense of his family, he agrees to adopt a handful of little boys who literally fall from the sky. The dreams he put in his drawer manifest themselves in Captain Hook:

Peter Pan (2003)

A man he is, and will never be. And that is why he is brave. And my favorite.


JENNIFER

MTV’s Teen Wolf has a lot of flaws, but one of the things it does consistently well is the depiction of relationships between parents and children. The fictional Beacon Hills, California, is full of parents — often single parents — who do their best to support their kids, despite mounting challenges of both the natural and supernatural sort. Perhaps the best father on the show is Sheriff Stilinski, father of fan-favorite Stiles, who, since the death of his wife years earlier, has been responsible for the care and protection of an entire county in addition to a son who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Before the Sheriff even knew about the town’s supernatural problems, he acted as a stabilizing force for Stiles, able to dish out compassion and discipline simultaneously. He accepted his kid’s weirdness with grace and playful sarcasm and took Stiles’ run-ins with the law in stride, always defending him even when he disapproved. Since learning about the werewolf issues, however, he’s only gotten better at both fatherhood and sheriffing, extending his protection and mentoring to Stiles’ friends and using his new knowledge to reevaluate old cases, to make sure justice has truly been served. Sheriff Stilinski is a mere human in a world of monsters and demons, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing his job — and being an excellent father at the same time.


JESSICA

I think I’m going to have to go with Commander Adama from Battlestar Galactica. It feels like a bit of a cop out, because it’s more that I just really like him rather than I really like him as a father, but his deep love for his sons Zak and Lee did add a new dimension to his character. Zak dies before the first season even starts, but the hole he leaves in his father and brother’s lives is a driving force throughout the series. Watching Adama and Lee struggle to repair their relationship is one of the most compelling storylines of the whole series.

Battlestar Galactica (2003)

Editor’s note: Plus he’s a great dad to his whole crew and especially Kara.


MARIE

Rumplestiltskin from Once Upon a Time .

Once Upon a Time

As a father, Rumple has some really damning flaws–flaws that certainly won’t put him in the running for Father of the Year. He’s made terrible mistakes, usually at the expense of others, and unfortunately a lot of the choices he makes ends up hurting those closest to him. That said, I suppose what makes me root for him anyway is his capacity for love and the possibility for redemption. It’s like he’s driven by love, but doesn’t know how to express it without causing pain. Still, there’s something very compelling in watching his character rise and fall to the occasion. He may not be an excellent father, but watching him try to make up for his lapses in judgment is something that’s relatable for everyone. There’s no perfect parent, and it’s always interesting to see things from the other side of the spectrum.


So what about you? Who is a favorite fictional father?

  • Jenny Sessions

    Aral Vorkosigan. This snippet from the Vor game sums it up well.

    The former Lord Regent was the man who used to take a two-hour lunch every day, regardless of any crisis short of war, and disappear into his Residence. Only Miles knew the interior view of those hours, how the big man in the green uniform would bolt a sandwich in five minutes and then spend the next hour and a half down on the floor with his son who could not walk, playing, talking, reading aloud. Sometimes, when Miles was locked in hysterical resistance to some painful new physical therapy, daunting his mother and even Sergeant Bothari, his father had been the only one with the firmness to insist on those ten extra agonizing leg stretches, the polite submission to the hypospray, to another round of surgery, to the icy chemicals searing his veins. “You are Vor. You must not frighten your liege people with this show of uncontrol, Lord Miles.” The pungent smell of this infirmary, the tense doctor, brought back a flood of memories. No wonder, Miles reflected, he had failed to be afraid enough of Metzov. When Count Vorkosigan left, the infirmary seemed altogether empty.