With the official Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) blog tour complete, it's time for another fictional favorites list! Hurrah!
In honor of Mother's Day, passed in the haze of the tour, and Father's Day, coming up this month, I'm devoting this month to my favorite fictional parents. These parents don't have to be perfect or even that good, but they do have to be full characters, deeper than sources of disapproval and plot obstacles, or of inspiration from beyond the grave, and their kids (or at least one of them) must also be full characters, more than sources of anxiety or McGuffins to be rescued.
This list was incredibly difficult to fill, and as a YA fan and author, I'm not the least bit surprised.
On behalf of my genre, sorry, parents!
First up, Eddard Stark.
****Book/Season 1 Spoiler Alert****
Well, he's not just a source of inspiration from the grave.
Like I said, this list was difficult, and it was even more difficult to fit in a couple dads. Of the fictional parents who aren't dead within the first few scenes, there are far fewer dads than moms who aren't downright evil.
At least we get the better part of a book with him alive, in which he and his children follow their own intersecting plotlines, long enough to get to know him well enough to be shocked to lose him so soon.
He's noble to a fault and is surprised not everyone else is. He's got no patience for how the titular game of courtly intrigue is played, and it's that lack of skill for unseemly politics and deception that ultimately comes back to bite him.
He loves his kids. He wants to teach them right from wrong but also, like any good parent, wants to set them up for good lives, in a world he's increasingly unsuited to survive in himself.
He's someone who wants his six- or ten-year-old son (book vs. TV timeline) to watch him perform an execution to learn responsibility,
She wants adventure. She hates needlework. She can't keep herself clean and pretty for the life of her. She refuses to be a lady.
Eddard feels responsible for raising her to be one, so here we've got a conflict that naturally casts her as the hero and him as the villain, but that’s not how it goes.
Yes, he wants her to be a lady. Partly because that's just the way things are done, and it's worked fine for him. He's married to a tough if traditional lady he loves. They have a good marriage and a proud house together, and he's not exactly the most imaginative, broad-perspective kind of guy.
But there’s more to it than blind traditionalism for the sake of traditionalism. What's a nontraditional girl from a noble family going to do in Westeros? Objectively, her best bet at a livable life is to be what she's expected to be, and Eddard knows that.
He tries to talk her into taking that safest bet, painting the role of ladies to her in the best, most respectful light possible, the way he sincerely sees it, but when it's clear she's not biting, he doesn't stop her from following her own much dicier path, going so far as to hire her a secret swordplay teacher.
Agree? Disagree? Comments are always welcome! Or keep up with my fictional musings by joining me on Facebook, on Twitter, or by signing up for email updates in the panel on the right!