Since we’re celebrating dads, here’s some inspiration to get us started.
‘My dad always told me to fight fire with fire….That got him kicked out of the fire department.’
Dad Jokes 101. Now you know where I get my poor jokes from.
Fathers and father figures are the most puzzling people in the universe. They are like clues to a crossword. They’ve got hints that show in their minor actions but you’ve got to use the clues to form their whole personality. And once you’ve got the word that is their personality, you’ll find that they’re one of the most unique creations of nature.
In this blog, Imma bring to you the different types of dads and father figures. I will be describing each type with a crossword like clue and then, I’ll be deciphering the word that sums up each personality by diving into the lovely world of fiction. The answer to each clue will be written in red at the end of each clue segment.
So, without further ado, let’s get puzzlin’.
1. Across: A hard nut to crack.
These dads are the ones that show the world a tough exterior that seems bulletproof but once you crack the shell and get to the core, there’s a beating heart and a buzzing brain. These fathers often come across as ‘unlikeable’ in fandom terms but once their true intentions are known, they do find a place of favour with everyone.
Howard Stark from the MCU is a fine specimen of this act.
Howard comes across as a rather cold father, especially when we look at him from his son’s aka Tony Stark’s point of view. We often hear tales of Howard going on about Captain America while berating Tony for being no-good and these accounts do tend to contradict what his colleagues have to say about him. After all, he is the founder of Stark industries and if it wasn’t for his invention of the Super Serum, Captain America would be a fragment of one’s dreams. However, a particular quote by Howard Stark that gives a glimpse into his heart comes from a video archive which is later viewed by Tony.
‘What is, and always will be my greatest creation… is you.”
His heart wasn’t so cold after all, he was just a person that was hard to understand and all one had to do was crack the shell.
Earlier, I mentioned that cracking open a dad’s tough shell can lead to a beating heart and a buzzing brain. We’ve got the heart in Howard Stark so now, it’s big brain time.
Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones has entered the chat.
The reason I find Tywin interesting as a ‘tough nut dad’ is because he is essentially an antagonist. He’s cruel, brutal, a complete jerk to his dwarf son, Tyrion but when you crack the shell of vices, there’s a man that is one hell of a lion. In all of Game of Thrones, Tywin was the one that was most fit to rule a kingdom by the way of wisdom.
A quote that shows this is his chide to his grandson, Joffrey; “Any man who must say ‘I Am The King’ is no true king.”
He is often seen scolding his children and grandchildren for their incompetence but when you get to a point in the series where everything has gone horribly wrong, you realise that Tywin had been right all along. He is also, no novice to recognising intelligence as well as showing sympathy and being a guiding light when his younger grandson Tommen ascends the throne after Joffrey’s death.
Despite his faults, he knew to put his family first and this complicated nature is what makes him a tough nut nominee.
After all, a lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep, eh?
Heart and brains, we’ve got ourselves a Walnut.
2. Down: The Seafarer’s Aid.
Here’s neat quote that I came across,
“When a father doesn’t have your hand, he has your back.”
While this was a quote on a cheesy Fathers’ Day card, the words really hit home.
Some fathers don’t always have the opportunity to be with their children, how much ever they desire it. I chose ‘seafarers’ as a metaphor for the children of such dads cause there’s no better wanderer than a sailor and not having your dad in front of your eyes can get you pretty lost. But what we don’t see is that these dads find a way to be a guiding light no matter where they are.
Mufasa and Marlin, I’m looking at you.
Mufasa, the King of Pride Rock, is a character that I consider to be the epitome of a good dad. While alive, he teaches Simba about the Circle of Life and the 101 of ruling a kingdom but what seems to break this bond is Mufasa’s untimely death.
Grief and depression, combined with a threat from his uncle convince Simba to escape and despite the help he receives from his new friends, aka Timon and Pumbaa, Simba never truly leaves the past behind. This leads to a perennial fear in his mind which prevents him from returning home and taking over as the new King and he chooses to run from his problems. However, a vision of his late father does its job of reminding Simba that he is the one true king and that he must take his place in the circle of life.
This scene not only shows that dads always have your back but it also drives home the fact that the ones who love us never truly leave us, even in death. Like Rafikki the baboon tells Simba right before this scene that his father is indeed alive and that he lives in Simba’s heart.
Marlin, from ‘Finding Nemo’ shows the lengths to which a dad can go to bring their kid to safety. Before Nemo gets kidnapped, he has a fight with his father and their parting is cold but despite being apart for so long, Marlin always has his son in mind and beats all odds to get him back.
‘Finding Nemo’ shows that sometimes fights tend to cause a distance but despite the cold atmosphere, dads always have their kids in mind and that one fight does not diminish their love. I think this is a really important message, especially today when a single fight serves as a catalyst to end a relation. What we often tend to ignore is the love that we have and breaking a loving relation over a trifle only leads to unsaid words and heartbreaks and it’s always better to move on and carry on with love cause that’s all one needs to move forward.
These dads are quite a Lighthouse.
3. Across: A Knight’s Essential.
As a wise man once said; Guns don’t kill people, dads with pretty daughters do.
Fathers often have a tendency to turn into full blown bodyguards when it comes to their little girls and this can get a wee bit out of hand.
Triton, Dracula, where you lads at?
Triton, I feel, is an underrated character in ‘The Little Mermaid’. Ariel’s dad is all that a great father should be but when it comes to her liking for the human Prince Eric, there’s suddenly no place in Atlantis that escapes from Triton’s disapproval. Ariel’s forbidden trip to Prince Eric’s shipwreck blows the fuse and in his rage, he ends up destroying Ariel’s treasures, including a statue of Prince Eric.
While his actions lead to Ariel running away(literally) from home and an entanglement with the sea-witch, one can’t totally disregard his intentions which came from an instinct of protection. For Triton, humans are evil as he’s had a brutal history with them which led to him losing his wife and when we look at the situation from his shoes, his disapproval is rather justified. Agreed, he should have listened and given his daughter a chance but the intentions aren’t from a place of spite.
The same goes for Dracula from ‘Hotel Transylvania’. His daughter Mavis is intrigued by the human world but Dracula knows humans to be pitchfork-wielding savages who want vampires on a spike and have been instrumental in killing his wife. His fear and distrust leads him to plotting and sabotaging his daughter’s trips to the human world, leading to cold consequences but one’s got see that the old vampire has a point.
These dads are like Armour, their protection can get uncomfortable but they are just doing their job, aka protecting.
4. Down: Ball Tosser
These dads are the multi-tasking folks who often bear the brunt of society or their children for being absent minded, eccentric or even non-understanding. These dads are a bit different than a traditional idea of what a father should be and like all things different, they have a tough road to stardom.
Roll Call: Goofy, Maurice and Mr Ping. Put your hands in the air.
Let’s begin with Goofy. ‘A Goofy Movie’ is a cinematic marvel that is rather underrated, showing the beloved Disney character taking on the role of a father to a teenaged son. Goofy’s son, Max Goof thinks his father is a boring, non-understanding person and wants to break free, as is the tendency with teenagers, but it takes a long road of music, reminiscing and tears for him to fully appreciate how much his father actually cared for him despite all the hurdles that come with being a single dad dealing with a passion driven teenager.
Mr Ping from Kung Fu Panda is the epitome of how caring adoptive fathers can be. He took in Po, a lonely baby panda without a second thought and raised him while single-handedly running a noodle shop. He didn’t let the comments of passersby as well as Po’s friends deter him from loving his son and despite being a goose in charge of a panda, he always stayed strong for Po, no matter the time and place.
Mr Ping really shows that anyone can have a child but it takes love and being a great dad to raise a good one, despite all hurdles.
Our last dad for today is Maurice, from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Belle’s father was termed as ‘crazy old Maurice’ by the entire village and almost locked up against his will but he kept supporting his daughter despite being ridiculed and didn’t let the haters get to him. He set out alone to protect Belle when no one would help him and besides that, he was a brilliant inventor with quite a flair for the sciences.
These dads are quite the Jugglers and they do a fantastic job of it:)
Finally, here’s a few quotes from some famous dads of fiction as the icing on the cake.
And that is a wrap!
Until next time,
Wishing all the dads out there a very Happy Fathers’ Day in advance:)