#Wyrd and Wonder: Father figures in Game of Thrones - some of my favourite scenes!


This year I'm joining in with Wyrd and Wonder (get involved at There's always room for one more, Dear geek place and Jorie loves a story) and today's prompt is a #trope tuesday - "I never knew my father" (May the fourth, be with you!) Absentee fathers are a big thing in fantasy (and one of Game of Thrones's big reveals does centre on the discovery of a main character's biological parent.) However, there are a LOT of father figures in the books/series - as you'd expect with such a huge cast of characters. Ranging from the good to the very, very bad, both biological and found fathers, the parent/child bond as explored on Game of Thrones is complicated and always interesting. So, here's a list of some of my favourite scenes between (and about) Westerosi dads and their kids. 


(Quite Spoiler-y!)


Davos and Shireen



Davos and Shireen's friendship is one of my favourite relationships in the series. He's not actually her father (the less about him the better...) but he's lost a son, she's practically alone in the world and they look after each other. She's teaching him to read, he's a friend for her when she really needs one and the chemistry between the two actors feels very genuine. I love Shireen so much. It boils my blood that that red witch never got her comeuppance.  



Ned, Arya and Sansa



Ned is the most prominent example of a good dad in Game of Thrones. Although he's not perfect, he always tries to do the right thing by his children and the love there is evident. After his death, Ned's legacy lingers on until the very last series. He was such a huge presence and influence on all the Starks. Yet we see very few scenes between Ned and his boys. It's the relationship with the girls that makes the impression. Especially Arya - when he gets her the 'dancing master'! In the show they have a really great father/daughter chemistry too.



Ned, Balon Greyjoy and Theon


As much as Theon was an awful human being, this scene always breaks my heart. It's after all the stuff at Winterfell, he's already betrayed the Starks, ordered the deaths of some kids, beheaded the master at arms and brought about the deaths of countless others, people he's known from childhood. And it's all to impress his horrible biological father, Lord of the Iron Islands. In this scene he realises that his real father was someone else entirely. 


Tywin and Arya 


While Tywin Lannister is probably one of the worst fathers in Game of Thrones (and he's got three very messed up kids to prove it) some of my favourite scenes featuring Tywin are in season two - when he's at Haarenhall with Arya. He doesn't know who she is, but she's posing as his cup-bearer and their relationship is really interesting. Tywin shows here that he could be a great dad if he wanted to. It's weird, because Arya has every reason to hate him, but on the surface they appear to get on. Charles Dance said in an interview that these were some of his favourite scenes to film, and how impressed he was with Maisy Williams's acting. I think that definitely came across on screen. 


Tywin and Tyrion


Despite those cute scenes with Arya, when you think of Tywin as a father, the first relationship that comes to mind is the abominable way he treats Tyrion. The Lannisters are all scarred by Tywin, he's still very much the head of the family, despite the fact they're grown and Cersei is an actual queen. They still crave his recognition and his respect, even though he treats them like dirt. And Tyrion gets the brunt of his father's disappointment. This above scene is the one that sticks in my head, it's Tywin revealing the most cruel and petty side of himself and although we know he's a bad guy, it still shocks us. The acting here from both of them is great.  


Jaime and Joffrey 


This is an interesting scene as Joffrey doesn't know that Jaime is his father. But would he behave any differently if he did know? Probably not. He's such an evil little brat. Jaime has lots of self-esteem issues surrounding his life as a Kingsguard and his missing hand, and Joffrey goes straight for the jugular. I'm not a Jaime stan, but he's very good at making you feel sorry for him.  


Jaime and Myrcella


In comparison to the scene with Joffrey, the above scene just underlines the difference (not like it needed highlighting) between Joffrey and his sister. Myrcella works her parentage out for herself and the first thing she does is to make Jaime feel validated. How did she turn out so well anyway? I wish they'd had more time together. 


Stannis and Shireen 


Okay, so I know I said I didn't want to talk about Stannis. But before he did what he did, he was really growing on me. I really love this scene between him and Shireen, they both act it so beautifully and I found it really touching. Cruel, cruel writers. 


Roose and Ramsay Bolton 


Are these two really on this list? Yes. Because their dynamic is so poisonous, but also interesting, in that it parallels the relationship between Jon and Ned. Both Jon and Ramsay are bastard sons of Northern lords, longing for their fathers to make them legitimate. In this scene, Ramsay actually gets his wish and although he is the most evil, twisted, depraved human with no redeeming qualities, I actually felt pleased for him. Game of Thrones is full of sons feeling like disappointments to their fathers - Tyrion, Theon, Jaime, Sam, Jorah, even Joffrey (with Robert.) Ramsay actually gains his father's respect. And what does he do once he's achieved the ultimate goal? He sticks a knife in him. Obviously.  


Jon and Gendry talk about their fathers 


The later series' of Game of Thrones are filled with reunions and meetings between characters that we'd long hoped for. But this one - between Gendry and Jon - was one I hadn't thought of or expected, and I really enjoyed it. It echoes the meetings between Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, and the two bastard sons of the old best friends have a spark straight away. Plus, it's nice to see Jon smile, as he doesn't do it much post series five.   


Which Game of Thrones father is your favourite? 



Comments

  1. Ooh this is a great topic! The Shireen thing is HORRIBLE. I want Melisandre to pay for that too, and I'm hoping that it happens differently in Winds of Winter although I'm not optimistic. The dynamic between Ned, Balon and Thoen is fascinating.

    Tywin is not super interesting to me in the books but Charles Dance was awesome as him on the show. I agree, those scenes with Maisie were primo.

    I love Jaime in the books even though he's awful. :)

    Stannis is another one. He does some TERRIBLE things but in the books (and occasionally on the show ha ha) I find myself liking him? Kinda? :) But he better not do that to Shireen in the books!!!!!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah fingers crossed in the books (if he ever finishes them) the Shireen thing will go differently! She seems important as she's the only Baratheon heir I can think of but it did seem to be going that way :( Charles Dance is so great on the show - I think the actor who plays Jaime does a really great job too.

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    2. Yes, the Shireen thing- have you read the sample chapters? The hints we get about Stannis' storyline are so intriguing. Not optimistic we'll see the books though sadly. :(

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    3. I did a while ago but can't remember much! The Stannis stuff did sound interesting though. If we get one more book at least that's something.

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  2. This is so fun! I still haven't forgiven them for Shireen - especially because it made NO SENSE. But whatever. Her relationship with Davos was one of the best things about the whole series.

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    1. Thanks! I love Shireen and Davos too, I'd give the last series a pass if just for that one moment with Davos and Gilly and the little girl with the marked face - when they played Shireen's music !! :(

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  3. Ned. He was an excellent father! Davos was a good father figure to Shireen, Jon and Gendry. He was always a favorite. It's sad that we never got to see Jamie be the father he had the potential to be.

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    1. I know I wish we'd had more Myrcella, that dynamic was interesting! I love Ned so much. And Davos, I hadn't thought of his being a sort of father figure to Jon but I suppose he was - Jon had loads, I could have included the Lord Commander too!

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  5. As a huge GOT fan, recalling those father/son dynamics scenes was so wonderful. Even the Boltons get a place here. Now I feel like watching the show all over again.

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    1. I've really felt like re-watching lately too, trying to make myself leave more of a gap!

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