They’re the parental heroes to the heroes.
Game of Thrones’ Stannis Baratheon definitely isn’t one of them, and Star Wars’ Darth Vader screwed his chances of making the list a few times.
Arrow’s Malcolm Merlyn may have good intentions, but definitely not the right execution, while Ragnar in Vikings is a little too hot and cold when it comes to his offspring.
Luckily, not all fathers in film and TV are as disappointing as the above, some are scripted to do the parenting thing the right way (just to be clear, we’re not judging anybody’s parenting style, the ‘right’ way varies in life and we’re not saying we expect any parent to be like those in the list below).
So on Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand, here is our list of the 11 best dads in sci-fi and fantasy across film and television.
Ned Stark – Game of Thrones
In a time where horses are the primary mode of transport, children born out of wedlock are punished for their parents choices and ‘masters’ exist, Ned Stark with his good morals, big heart and loyalty, managed to raise (alongside Catlelyn Stark) six brave and for-the-most-part sensible children (yes, one is a nephew).
His kids went on to prove that those influenced by Ned not only make great leaders, but are able to change the GoT world for the better. #TeamSnowForTheThrone
Jaime Lannister – Game of Thrones
Yes, we judge him for his romantic decisions, however, when it came to being the father of his sister’s children, Jaime tried to do what he thought was best.
He kept his distance so as to keep the truth of their true parentage a secret (which would be a difficult decision), while staying as close by as he could to ensure their safety.
Hawkeye – The Avengers
Clint may be a bad ass with a bow, but he’s also pretty incredible when it comes to his family.
He keeps his wife and two children a secret, even from his Avenger friends, for their own safety and has Fury set them up in a cosy and completely off-the-grid house.
Jor-El – all film and TV adaptations of Superman
Imagine placing your newborn baby inside a spacecraft and sending him on an extensive journey to another planet, knowing you will never see him again and relying on pure faith that he will be cared for.
It would take a lot of strength to send your child away for their own safety and survival (also the survival of your people), which is why we had to put Jor-El on the list.
Jonathan Kent – all film and TV adaptations of Superman
Jonathan, alongside Martha, found a baby, named him, raised him and shielded his origin from the world so as to protect him. Not only was he an incredible carer, but a great role model who instilled the Man of Steel with good morals, strength and a humble attitude.
Sirius Black – Harry Potter
So he wasn’t exactly Harry Potter’s father, but Sirius along with Dumbledore were close (short term) alternatives for the boy who lived.
Joe West – The Flash
The struggles of solo parenting didn’t stop Joe from taking in a young Barry Allen when his mother was tragically killed and his father wrongly shipped off to prison.
All on his lonesome, he raised Barry and his daughter Iris, to become well-rounded and independent adults. The extent of his good parenting didn’t stop there, he embraced Barry’s meta-human abilities and went out of his way to build a relationship with his long lost son, Wally.
Teal’c – Stargate SG1
The Jaffa may have left his son at a young age to fight alongside the Tau’ri, but he left Rya’c with natural leadership abilities and the determination to become a key figure in the fight against the Goa’uld.
Also, Teal’c instilled a bit of equality into his son. Although hesitantly at first, Rya’c goes on to marry a female warrior who refuses to bow down to him at the alter and insists on fighting post-marriage (#loveher).
George Kirk – Star Trek (reboot)
He sacrificed his life so that his wife, son and crew could live… dad of the decade.
Godric – True Blood
Technically not a father, but unlike other vampire ‘makers’ on True Blood (especially compared to Bill who really had no idea what he was doing), Godric was loved and praised by his progeny Eric Northman and Nora.
Erik – X-Men: Apocalypse
If there’s anything in the world that can distract a mutant from killing off his human enemies, it’s a child. Erik aka Magneto put his ‘evil’ side to bed for a few years in X-Men: Apocalypse to help raise his daughter in Poland.
He seemed super sweet with her, but that quickly came to an end when his wife and child were murdered. We’ll just have to wait and see how he reacts to finding out he’s the father of the fully grown Peter aka Quicksilver.
There are so many more we could name, but they’re our top picks for today.
Also, a big Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.