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Parent & child relationships
Sunday 18th November 2007 3:11 pm

I've been meaning to write a post about this for ages. With the stuff I watch or read, I keep finding parent & child relationships where they're not actually related (or at least, don't have that direct relationship) fascinating. I've got a perfectly normal family going on, so there's no psychological reason like that, I just like it.

asked:
1. In your fandom(s), what are your favourite parent/child relationships? (biological or non biological parents and children) Why?
so I thought I'd answer here, rather than in a comment.

Anne and Marilla (Anne of Green Gables)
I'll start with this one because I read it a long time ago, although whether I picked up on this part of it I don't know. Probably part of the reason why I like some of the later books less is that there's not so much Marilla in it. It's Marilla that essentially brings Anne up and, given that she wanted a boy and certainly not a girl who talked all the time and had an imagination, she really comes to love her. And it's quite touching when she does show it, because it's so rare.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars)
You have to read the Jedi Apprentice books to get this one, really. At the age of 13 Obi-Wan basically leaves his school and his friends in the Jedi Temple to be brought up by Qui-Gon, and teach him more about being a Jedi. They obviously come to love each other - this is the only parent/child relationship where I don't mind it being shippy. I don't know what the difference is. It's interesting to see how different they are to start with, but how much Obi-Wan grows up to be like Qui-Gon (to start with Obi-Wan is a stickler for following the rules, but later on, post=TPM, he's just as much of a rebel as Qui-Gon ever was).

Estel and Elrond (Lord of the Rings)
Given that Aragorn's father died when Aragorn was 2, and Elrond took him in as his foster son, that goes a long way toward defining their relationship. Or it would if Elrond hadn't fostered rather a lot of Chieftains. Estel was different in being younger and fatherless, and the need to hide him in Rivendell. Elrond does call him 'my son', so I think that's probably a good indication of how he felt about him. I think Elrond taught him a lot about being a Ranger, as well as being Chieftain and being King. It's such a pity Elrond couldn't have stayed longer to see how good Aragorn was at the latter.

Seventh Doctor and Ace (Doctor Who)
The Doctor could certainly be said to be Ace's teacher. When they meet, Ace is only 16 and in need of some good parenting, considering she has no father and hates her mother. The Doctor becomes like a father to her. It's interesting that they're both fiercely protective of each other, and they both need each other.

Third Doctor and Jo Grant (Doctor Who)
It's probably quite interesting from a certain perspective, how much I'm getting parent/child from teacher/student. Jo obviously learns from the Doctor, and he enjoys teaching her. He protects her from the monsters and I think she makes his exile a little easier to cope with. It's clear from the end of The Green Death just how much he's fond of her and how much he's going to miss her.

Sarah Jane Smith and Aunt Lavinia (Doctor Who)
There's not really much of this, apart from a few mentions and Aunt Lavinia isn't even in K9 that much. But if you go by the official bio (which nothing has contradicted so far, on this point at least), Aunt Lavinia brought Sarah up after her parents were killed when she was 5. So Aunt Lavinia has been a mother to Sarah, and you can see where she got her feminist thinking from, and her scientific skills too. I wish she'd get mentioned in SJA.

Luke and Sarah Jane Smith (Sarah Jane Adventures)
Sarah proves herself to be a chip off the old block, adopting Luke. It'll be interesting what happens in The Lost Boy when I watch both parts tomorrow, but so far it's been good to see her struggling with how to be a mother and coming to love Luke. I wonder how many times she wished Aunt Lavinia was still alive so Sarah could ring her up and ask advice. Although at least Aunt Lavinia had the advantage of having known Sarah beforehand (I assume).

Buffy Summers and Giles (Buffy)
Buffy's dad was only in about two episodes, I think. Whether that was due to the availability of the actor, or not being able to fit it into the plots, or on purpose, I don't know. But Giles certainly filled that hole. He even slept with her mother! As her Watcher, he sort of had that role in her life anyway, it just sort of gradually shifted over time. When she goes to university, he tries to let her go, deciding she's grown up now, but just can't. Even later, when he goes back to England, he still comes back when she needs him.

Clark Kent and Jonathan & Martha Kent
One of the things I used to like about Smallville was seeing Clark's relationship with his parents. He doesn't remember his Kryptonian parents, so this example is slightly different to the others. But even so, that Clark's an alien makes it interesting enough to include. It was great to see how far they'd go to protect him, and vice versa. And how much they make him how he is, and how much that leads to him becoming Superman.

Josh Lyman and Leo McGarry (The West Wing)
They have known each other for a long time, which has something to do with it. And Josh's father is dead, so he looks to Leo for his fatherly advice. Because Leo's always slightly higher up in the world of politics than Josh, then it Josh is always looking to him for something Leo can give. In turn, Leo cares about Josh and helps him.


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