A Definitive Ranking of 'Game of Thrones' Dads From Worst to Best, Because All Of These Guys Need Some Serious Advice
Father's Day in Westeros must be crazy complicated. The Seven Kingdoms are full of dads, but most of them are deeply questionable individuals who really don't deserve ties or new sword sheaths... or whatever presents dads get there, I don't have a fantasy middle ages gift guide! These men have done everything from agreeing to sacrifice their children to denying their very existence. Everyone in Westeros has daddy issues, and no one can blame them. Tommen is going to have to whip up a Happy Funcle's Day card for Jaime; Father's Day would throw the remaining Stark kids into an even deeper funk than usual; the older Lannisters would surely have questionable feelings about the day, but still have to endure brunch with Tywin (R.I.P.); honestly, I don't even want to contemplate what happens at Craster's house.
It is Father's Day, though, so let's get down to honoring and shaming (mostly shaming) the men who raised Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Sam Tarly, Ramsay (may The Seven help us), and Tyrion Lannister. Because sorting the bad dads is much more difficult than sorting the good, I'm starting with the men who shouldn't even get an e-card today and working my way up to the rare father who definitely earned their "Westeros' Best Dad" award.
Let's get started, and remember the night may be dark and full of terrors, but Father's Day isn't exactly a walk through the Riverlands (actually, maybe it is — that place is mad dangerous) for the people of Westeros either.
The very worst father on all of Game of Thrones is hands down Craster. He may have given shelter to The Night's Watch, but he also rapes all of his daughters and sacrifices his sons to the White Walkers, bolstering their undead army. The man has no regard for his offspring and only brings them death, pain, and deep psychological damage. Even worse, thanks to his policy on leaving his sons for the White Walkers, he is directly responsible for the horde that is no doubt going to ravage Westeros. Great job, dude.
11. Stannis Baratheon
Stannis let his sweet daughter Shireen be burned at the stake on the off chance that he might win the war. Not only was he selfish, he let zealotry and a hunger for power take away the only good thing he had in his miserable life.
10. Randyll Tarly
Sam's father has not been seen on the show yet, but I've heard enough about the guy to know he is a miserable human being. Not only was he ashamed of Sam because he was more interested in learning and knitting than fighting, he threatened to murder him if he didn't go to The Wall. Given that Sam has one of the purest hearts in Westeros, it is clear Randyll did not deserve to be his father, or anyone else's.
9. Walder Frey
Walder is a horrible man. He broke sacred laws in order to orchestrate The Red Wedding along with the Boltons and Tywin. He was also super nonchalant about his seventh wife being murdered right in front of him. But is he a bad dad? He can't be great, but he seems committed to arranging marriages for his many offspring and he hasn't killed any of them... so horrible human, passable father?
8. Tywin Lannister
Don't let his cute chat with Arya confuse you, Tywin royally screwed up his children. Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion have spent every minute of their adult lives craving approval from their father and not one of them got it. Jaime was not enough like him, Tyrion was too much like him, and Cersei was a woman. All offenses worthy of annoying Tywin. Add in his constant reminders to Tyrion about how he killed his mother and shames their name, and it is easy to see why his children are all so damaged.
7. Balon Greyjoy
I am conflicted about Balon. Had he not been so cruel to Theon, his son would not have been tortured by a psychopath and probably wouldn't have decided to prove himself by taking Winterfell. On the other hand, he respects Yara and treats her with kindness. However, how much of that is because of his guilt over giving Theon over as a hostage to Ned Stark? Either way, he's not winning any awards for his parenting skills.
6. Roose Bolton
Maybe I'm crazy, but as horrible as Roose is, he's not a terrible father. First off all, he claimed his illegitimate son and raised him. That is not something many of the men of Westeros are willing to do. He made Ramsay his heir and even seems to love his son. Now his son is a raging sociopath, and Roose has done nothing to stop him, but it's not like Roose is inattentive? I don't know, guys.
5. Jaime Lannister
Jaime hasn't had much of a chance to be a father to his children, so it's hard to judge him as a dad. As their uncle, he could have played a larger role in their lives without raising suspicions, but he chose not to. He wasn't particularly torn up over Joffrey dying, but losing Myrcella gutted him. He has potential. Maybe he can prove himself with Tommen.
4. Robert Baratheon
Robert was an inattentive father, for sure. However, he did at least try to discipline Joffrey and he wasn't cruel. His children lived good lives when he was around. Robert was decent enough as a father. His illegitimate kids probably thought differently, though.
Davos loved his son, and he was more of a father to Shireen than Stannis ever was. He is definitely one of the good ones.
2. Ned Stark
Not only did Ned love all of his children, he spent actual time raising and shaping them into the people they would become. He was loving, fair, and kind. The Starks were in good hands. If only Ned had refused Robert when he asked him to be The Hand, Ned would have been close to perfect. Unfortunately, his political mistakes led to a lot of heartache for his kids.
1. Oberyn Martell
I didn't need to see Oberyn's dad skills in action to know he was a great father. None of his children were legitimate, but Oberyn raised the Sand Snakes. He made sure they knew they were family, that they were loved, and valued. He let them be who they wanted to be. That's why his death brought out such anger in them. Oberyn was a good man and a good father, a true rarity in Game of Thrones.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and may your parenting skills be nothing like those shown on Game of Thrones. This show is for watching, not inspiring, okay?
Images: HBO; Giphy (12)