The whole parental influence in fiction—particularly the lack of—is one that is spoken about a lot, especially when it comes to YA books. I think we can all agree father figures play an important role in fiction so we have put together our four favourites (which really shouldn’t have been as hard as it was).
Mr Bennet: Pride and Prejudice
This is a father that is unashamedly flawed. He shows his love for his family more than a man of that era should. Indulges his wife’s, and on many occasions daughter’s, every whim, and he didn’t have the foresight to provide for a household of woman in a time where that was the man’s responsibility.
But there’s no denying he’d move the world for his family, and his subtle humour that sparks throughout the book is a welcome relief to Mrs Bennet’s melodrama.
Arthur Weasley: Harry Potter
This is a father who is overshadowed by a formidable wife, and could easily be perceived as weak. From the start of the series, he’s a man who comes across as naïve and at times, immature, due to his love of muggle artifacts that he clearly knows nothing about.
But this love and passion is part of his strength. He is a character who is the ultimate morale compass. There’s never any doubt that he’d put himself between the greater good and the death eaters and this quality is one that is mirrored in each of the Weasley children (except Percy. But we don’t talk about Percy).
Haymitch Abernathy: The Hunger Games
Written as a man who is in many ways the opposite of Arthur Weasley. He’s a drunk recluse who often encourages the worst aspects of Katniss’s personality. He’s also real in his struggles and portrays the type of man who has fallen to his lowest point, and is forced to reinvent himself. He pushes Katniss out of her comfort zone and forces her to make the hard choices she would have otherwise shied away from.
He proves over again throughout the series that he’s in Katniss’s corner, and even when he makes the wrong call in her eyes, it’s come from a paternal place. Collins has portrayed a believable friction and power struggle between Haymitch and Katniss that teens are able to relate to.
Albus Dumbledore: Harry Potter
Dumbledore, right from the beginning of the series, is portrayed as the ultimate father figure. He’s set up as the person Harry can rely upon the most. As the series progresses though, we’re provided with more depth and complexity to the choices he’s faced with and the decisions he makes.
Dumbledore, while caring greatly for Harry, is focused on the Greater Good, and how to amend for his past transgressions. The responsibility he feels for the creation of Lord Voldemort leads him to willingly gamble Harry’s life. He makes the most common mistake a parent can make in not trusting Harry to make the right decision for himself, and relies on deception and half truths to lead Harry to the result he desires.