As it’s Fathers Day today, I’ve been thinking about how paternal figures are represented in fiction. I read a lot of YA fantasy and sci-fi novels and I’ve noticed that father figures are often completely absent, which is a shame. Perhaps they are better represented in other genres such as romance and contemporary? If you read those genres I’d be interested to know your thoughts.
Anyway, I’m lucky to have grown up with not only a wonderful father whom I adore but also a stepdad and granddads that were great male role models for me. I’d really like to read about more father and daughter relationships, in particular.
Here are my five favourite fictional father figures:
- Danny’s dad from Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl-I adored this book as a child, mostly because of the wonderful portrayal of the relationship between 8-year-old Danny and “the most marvellous and exciting father a boy ever had.” They have so much fun together and he is so loving and supportive, even though he gets Danny into quite a bit of trouble!
- Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter-I love Mr Weasley’s eccentric obsession with the muggle world and how his gentle, laid-back personality complements his wife’s more fiery temperament perfectly. He raised his children to have respect for people from all walks of life and to stand up for what they believe, even if others look down on them. He loves them all fiercely and lets them get away with all sorts of mischief. Despite coming to harm in Chamber of Secrets, his loyalty to the Order never wavers and he always strives to protect Harry no matter what.
- Sirius Black from Harry Potter-Harry’s godfather was brave, roguish and funny. Harry could relate to his difficult past and how he didn’t really fit in anywhere. He could confide in him because Sirius understood what he was going through and didn’t judge him. Even though Harry wasn’t able to live with Sirius like they had originally planned, they keep in contact and Sirius is there for him when he needs it, as James would have wanted.
- Charlie from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer-Poor Charlie is treated quite poorly by Bella, in my opinion. She often says hurtful things to him and he has to put up with her secrecy and moodiness. But despite that, he always sticks around for her and does his best, even when he’s out of his depth. I feel so sorry for him and wish Bella wasn’t so mean! In the later books, Charlie has to accept how much Bella has changed and deal with all the strange supernatural things that are going on. He’s willing to put up with everything and accept that Bella can’t give him all the answers, he just wants to be part of her life.
- Alec from The Kill Order by James Dashner-Alec isn’t Mark’s dad, but he has a kind of paternal role in Mark’s life. Mark looks up to him and although ‘the old bear’ hides behind a gruff exterior, you can tell how much he cares for Mark and wants to protect him. The relationship between the two of them was one of the highlights of the book for me.
Before you go…
Who are your favourite fictional fathers? Would you like to read about more father-child relationships?