Tough Traveling is a fun meme that aims to tour all the tropes big and small, abhorred and loved that are littered across the fantasy landscape. It was conceived of and is hosted by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn and here's how it's explained on the blog:
Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week's trope is Fathers:
Comes in two types in fantasyland. Either a semi-mystical figure proving impossible to live up to or the overbearing type who doesn’t understand why his daughter doesn’t accept the traditional princess role. He may be tough to get along with but usually does think he has his kids interests in mind.I like dads. I like fantasy fiction. Let's investigate where the two overlap.
- King Neptune from The Little Mermaid
This is an odd one to start with I know because I am specifically referring to Ariel's dad in The Little Mermaid film not in the heartbreaking Hans Christian Andersen source material. King Neptune is like the epitome of the "overbearing type" described above. The thing is even as a teenager, when I LOVED this movie, I really felt for Neptune. He loves his daughter and just wants to keep her from being hurt. He gives himself up to the sea witch to save his daughter and ultimately learns to accept Ariel for who she is. * sniff, sniff * I'm such a sap.
Kate's dad is a REAL piece of work. He is kind of like the dad mentioned above who is impossible to live up to but in this case that's probably a good thing. This whole series (at least up through book 5 which is the last one I've read) is about Kate working up to confronting her father and taking his evil ass down.
- Terciel from the Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix
SPOILER ALERT! Terciel got around which led to him to being the father of not one but TWO Abhorsens one of which is also a remembrancer. He leaves quite the legacy and while he and Sabriel spend much of her childhood apart, they have a really touching, if complicated relationship. Book one in the series is all about Sabriel trying to find and save her father.
Fables Series by Bill Willingham
Since I featured Snow during the Mothers topic, I thought I should also feature my favorite incarnation of the Big Bad Wolf. It can't be easy being dad to 7 part wolf/part human kids who can fly one of which is invisible. As a bonus, Bigby has a complicated and not terribly friendly relationship with his own father, The North Wind. It's all surprisingly adorable and touching.