Since June is the month of Father’s Day, I decided to create this list to celebrate some fictional dads. (Just for reference, I’m using the term father here refers to a male character who is either biologically related to another character or related by marriage, but a father-figure refers to any male character who serves as a predominant parental figure to a character but is not related to the character.)
Now let’s get started. 🙂
Admirable or Heroic Father/Father-Figure: Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
While readers of my blog know that I’m not a Twi-hard, I’m also not a hater. One noteworthy character from the series comes in the form of Carlisle Cullen. Carlisle is a capable physician who also happens to be a reformed vampire. He’s lived with his condition for centuries and has done his best to adhere to a noble code of not hunting Humans for blood. He also has taken sympathy upon others who were either near death or suffered his same fate, resulting in his expansive adopted family. Carlisle also has proven to be a fearless leader as well as a good negotiator, so, all in all, he makes for one pretty admirable dad! Not to mention good-looking (in my head) – hey, most ladies might fall for Edward but I like the Doc. He’s closer to my age. 😉
Father/Father-Figure Who is a Tad Mad: Rappaccini from Rappacini’s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Rappaccini is definitely one mad (read: crazy) dad! Not only is he a mad scientist by trade, he also likes to experiment by crossing botanical properties and people. Why does he do it? Well, for the same reasons most mad scientists give: personal glory and just because. I won’t say more lest it spoil this great short story, but his dark experiments, especially on his own daughter, are truly creepy.
Father/Father-Figure You Wished had been a Character: Katniss Everdeen’s father from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss’ unnamed father is clearly a source of great influence and comfort for her. While I know why he probably wasn’t included in the novels (though Katniss talks about his backstory at times throughout the trilogy), maybe it would have been interesting to witness Katniss’ dynamic with her dad in real time. After seeing the type of person her mother was, I’ve always been curious as to the type of person her father was to see where Katniss gets her steely nerve. Plus, I’ve often wondered how her father might have reacted to seeing his own daughter serve as one of the final victors of the Games as well as a rallying point for the revolution. But for now, the world will never know.
Handyman Father/Father-Figure: Henry Branwell from the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare
One thing is for certain, Henry knows his gadgets! His dynamic with his wife, Charlotte, and his children as well as his extended/adopted family of fellow Shadowhunters is fun and fascinating. But it’s his love for mechanical devices and harmless experiments that makes me love his quirky, inventive nature. Seriously, what lucky wife wouldn’t want such a handy handyman inventor in the house?
Intelligent Father/Father-Figure: Mr. Benedict from the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy by Trenton lee Stewart.
Mr. Benedict counts as a father-figure as he’s not related to any of the children he recruits to help him topple the villainous Ledropatha Curtain. But Mr. Benedict is a genius who can devise and solve the most complicated of puzzles and is willing to match wits with nearly any evil-doer. He definitely possesses some serious brain power but doesn’t try to act like a know-it-all. Instead, he’s a great paternal figure and role model for the four kids, and he even adopts one of them, thus proving his smarts are also nicely balanced by a giant heart.
Non-Human Father/Father Figure: Papa Bear from the Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I adored the Berenstain Bears books as a child and I ended up collecting all of them (that had been published at that time, that is). From the start, I loved Papa Bear: he’s fun-loving, kind, and hard-working. While he can be a bit of a bumbler at times, he’s not a dumb dad as he works hard for his family and loves them all very much.
Quirky Father/Father-Figure: Lord Goth from Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell
Ada Goth’s father is an absolute hoot! Not only is he a widower poet (formally married to a tightrope walker) who likes to sequester himself inside his sprawling mansion, he’s also “mad, bad, and dangerous to gnomes.” (And, yes, this novel is littered with similar literary puns – it’s hilarious!) His other traits include a fondness for cycling and requiring that his daughter, Ada, be “heard and not seen,” which is why she wears clunky boots. Though it’s hard not to feel sorry for him as he still mourns his wife’s death, but it’s all done in a manner of cheeky dark humor.
Sympathetic Father/Father-Figure: Matthew Cuthbert from the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery
Matthew Cuthbert is technically a father-figure as he and his sister, Martha, adopt Anne, initially believing she is a boy who can be used as a hired hand on their farm. But where Martha was resolute in wanting to send Anne away, Matthew gets props for wanting to keep her and raise her. Matthew’s heart is softer than his sister’s, which is why I love his character so much. He’s easy to sympathize with because he has a warm disposition that is willing to give people second chances and extend the benefit of the doubt.
Worst All-Around Father/Father-Figure: Kymera’s father in Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
How can you not hate a father who experiments on his own daughter, keeps her a prisoner at home, and uses her like a minion to do his bidding? (Well, at least maybe he and Rappaccini might get along!) That’s exactly how poor Kymera is treated, and she’s essentially the epitome of his weird experiments. Kymera’s father never gets a name in the book but, quite frankly, he’s so despicable, he really doesn’t deserve one.
Best All-Around Father/Father-Figure: Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
When I think of the perfect fictional father, how can I not go with Arthur Weasley? He’s a kind-hearted, fun-loving, intelligent, vigilant father who’s not afraid of a fight and will do anything to keep his family and friends safe (as he views his friends as near-family). Not to mention his chemistry with his wife, Molly, is hilarious and heart-warming. They are definitely two lovebirds even after so many years of marriage. They don’t always see eye-to-eye as Molly tends to be a little more pragmatic though Arthur is by no means an idiot. Overall, Arthur Weasley earns my top spot for being a very realistic dad – he’s not perfect but he most certainly would have your back!