With Father's Day coming up on Sunday, we thought it'd be a perfect time to take a break from the frantic purchasing of mugs and Home Depot gift cards in order to honor some of the great literary dads of our time. Why? Well, they're not going to honor themselves now, are they? They're too cool and humble and all-around amazing for that. So the deed falls on us to celebrate some of the best book dads, like...
Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice—He may not have been the most responsible legal guardian in the whole world, but he did have that one glorious line where he trolled Mrs. Bennet: "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." This triggered me shouting "SCHOOLED" gleefully and then high-fiving everyone in the vicinity, the vicinity being the waiting room at the orthodontist's office where I did most of my reading. (This was at a time when "schooled" was still borderline acceptable. As in, it garnered eye rollings but not yet face slappings.)
Arthur Weasley from Harry Potter—Is there a single human being on this earth who didn't like Mr. Weasley? Did anyone not have an epic meltdown when he was attacked by Nagini? He was that fun-loving dad that's always tinkering with Muggle stuff and asking about airplanes. (Didn't we all know one of those growing up?) Not only that, he was loyal, he was eager, he collected plugs and batteries, and he once got into a fistfight with Lucius Malfoy in Flourish and Blotts. So, in a word... COOL.
Remus Lupin from Harry Potter—He may not have technically been a dad for very long, but he served a very dad-like role for Harry in the years leading up to the call to arms at the Battle of Hogwarts. Plus, he died trying to create a better world for his kid, and seriously, what's more noble than that? Suffice it to say that Lupin would've been an absolutely spectacular dad, sitting around telling stories about his rebel days as a Marauder and... oh boy. Shut up, I'm not crying. I am WEEPING. It's DIFFERENT. Crying is what I do all the time. Weeping is what I do when fictional characters ruin my life, and that only happens thrice weekly, tops.
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird—Atticus was like the moral compass of humanity. He was respectable and wise and he regularly handed out gems of knowledge. He was a CLASS ACT. He lawyered up for Tom Robinson even in the face of probable defeat, he taught by example, and he could shoot a gun with deadly accuracy but often chose not to, because being the human embodiment of integrity and perfection just wasn't enough.
Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief—Liesel's papa was a quiet hero not unlike Batman, if Batman had been around during World War II and played the accordion not with impeccable skill but with warmth and love... and also if Hans had painted over all those anti-Semitic slurs on Jewish-owned shops in the Batsuit. Seriously, from helping Liesel with her nightmares to teaching her to read and write, Hans took the "awesome dad" trope and ran with it. Or at least ambled at a leisurely pace, rolling a cigarette and quietly opposing Hitler.
Jean Valjean from Les Misérables—I mean, come on. He braved the Paris Uprising of 1832 and dragged his daughter's boyfriend through the sewers of Paris to get him home safely. "World's Best Dad" mugs have been doled out for much less.
Who's your favorite fictional father?