The parents, grandparents and siblings we’d love to borrow from the realms of pop culture. Lannisters need not apply!
“I sustain myself with the love of family.”
― Maya Angelou
At MBRB, we are luckier than most, in that we have warm loving families. They have their share of dysfunctions, and long simmering feuds, and complicated histories – but they also have love and forgiveness in spades, and a lot of laughter. And we wouldn’t change them for anything in the world.
But that doesn’t stop us from looking at the world of pop culture around us for surrogate families that we can lose ourselves in, for as long as it takes to reach the last page of the book. Here, then, are some of our favourite fictional family members. We don’t want to trade our lived-in relationships and histories for theirs, but we can’t help admire them from a distance!
Our favourite Fictional Mother: Sarah Connor from Terminator 2
The world of books and movies is filled to the brim with mothers who make selfless sacrifices for the well being of their children. There is also a smattering of those who scheme and plot to help their children achieve their destinies. But only one mother that we know of has converted herself in a muscled, ferocious warrior to save her progeny from the Skynet. Sarah trusts no one but herself to keep her son from harm, and is willing to run, maim or even kill to ensure that he is protected and the world saved.
For her commitment to cause, and for being so remarkably focussed, she is our favourite fictional mother.
Honourable Mentions: Catelyn Stark for her protective instincts , Margaret March for her warmth.
Our Favourite Fictional Father: Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mocking Bird
The MBRB editors have often struggled to come to terms with perfection, but if there is one case where we’re willing to make an exception, it has to be Atticus Finch. As a widower raising two young children, Atticus strikes the perfect balance between protecting his kids at all costs and ensuring that it is not acceptable to compromise on your ethics, however unpopular that choice may be. For his compassion, his moral fortitude, his unflappable composure, his passion for fairness and his love for books, Atticus Finch is The Complete Man and our favourite Papa from the world of fiction!
Honourable Mentions: The Father from The Road for his ferocious protective love; Ned Stark from Game Of Thrones for his courage and ideals; Hans Hubermann (Papa) from The Book Thief for being the best foster father ever!
Image via Pinterest
Our favourite Fictional Sister: Elinor & Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility
Despite several contemporary sisters – such as Rose & Maggie from In Her Shoes – the most endearing sisters in fiction belong to the 19th century, to the world of the Dashwoods & Bennets & Marches. But when it comes to choosing a sister we’d love to grow up with, it has to be the responsible and sensible Elinor for the role of Big Sis, and the stubborn, often confused but always loyal Marianne as the Little Baby.
Honourable Mentions: Rose & Cassandra from I Capture The Castle for their eccentric bonhomie; Iris & Laura Chase from The Blind Assassin for an unusual – and disturbing – take on sisterhood.
Image: The movie version of Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet (Columbia pictures)
Our favourite Fictional Brother: Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye
We’ve already shared a list of our favourite Bollywood brothers and sisters in an earlier post, but our favourite brother of all time has to be Holden Caulfield. He is clearly crazy, and has Issues with a capital ‘I’. His misanthropy is of the type that stops appealing once you turn 15. But what one can’t dispute is his strong love for his siblings. For poor wonderful Allie, whose death he’s still recovering from, for precocious Phoebe who he may just love most of all, and even for “Sell out” D.B who he clearly idolizes.
Salinger created wonderfully realized sibling relationships (although we are a little scared to be part of the Glass family!), but Holden may just be the big brother we need.
Honourable Mentions: Fred and George Weasley for how much fun they’d be, and Mycroft Holmes!!!
Our Favourite Fictional Grandparent: Jay Pritchett from Modern Family
The show is clearly not as funny as it used to be, and many of the relationships have begun to look oddly sour. But Jay Pritchett remains the coolest grandfather in town. He is the kind who has “life experiences” (including a late-in-life marriage to a Colombian bombshell), the best stories and a gruff no-nonsense attitude that hides deep reserves of love. He also comes in handy when you want to dismiss some of your parents’ nonsense. And you can be sure, that whether its your first cigarette, or your first tyre change, he will be the one holding your hand through it!
Honourable Mentions: Prem Chopra in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries (For being Julie Andrews!)
Our Favourite Fictional Uncle: Galahad “Gally” Threepwood from Summer Lightning & the other Blandings books
When it comes to aunts and uncles, we dream about someone who is cool enough to hang out with, but sensible enough to get us out of trouble. And no one plays that part better than Galahad Threepwood – except the times when he’s trying to extricate himself from the latest scrape. Gally goes through life drinking and laughing at the Pelican Club, fixing the love lives of his countless nieces and nephews and hobnobbing with crooks and burglars. That he is a bachelor – he wanted to marry a lounge singer but the match was denied by his father – only adds to his charm. But the best part about Gally is his ability to stand up to his formidable sisters with his nimble thinking and clever repartees. Yes, Gally is certainly the Uncle we’d have loved to grow up with!
Honourable Mentions: Uncle Ben from Spiderman and Joe Gargery from Great Expectations, who excelled at depicting kind hearted father figures.