It’s Mother’s Day at the end of the month! (well…for all of us in the UK and Ireland, anyway.) So Andy had the idea that we should do a post for most memorable fictional mothers.
This was surprisingly hard. Mother’s are largely absent from YA fiction!
Lily Evans/Potter is basically the reason the series exists. Her sacrifice set everything in motion and her and James continue to lend love and strength to Harry long after they’re gone.
Lily is far from perfect but that doesn’t make her any less awesome. Harry seems to have a very idealised view of both his parents (until his 5th year when he realises that James was a bit of a bully) but it always seems to be more so with Lily. It’s not hard to do. Even though we see Lily frequently through the pensieve, Mirror of Erised and so on, Lily remains a mostly enigmatic and mysterious character. It is only in the 6th and 7th books that Lily is more of a prominent character through her relationship with Snape and as Harry returns to Godric Hollow.
She is known for being just as fiery as Ginny, with a sharp tongue and quick wit. Although she is gifted at potions and charms, there are clues in the series that suggest she is not very studious. Perhaps a case of Gifted but Lazy? Regardless, Lily was a gifted enough witch to join the Order of the Phoenix. At school Lily seemed to be very popular and even Slughorn, the head of Slytherin house at the time Lily was at school, calls her his favourite student and muses that she should have been in Slytherin.
Lily’s sacrifice was so powerful that it continues to protect Harry long after her death. Even knowing that she was standing before an immensely powerful dark wizard, with no chance of winning, she refused to leave her child and chose death rather than let Harry die. To make this even more of an impact she was 21 years old at the time. At 21 she made a very mature and selfless choice to protect her child even over her own life.
TLDR: Lily is an underappreciated BAMF and combines motherly love with moral snarkiness.
Molly Weasley is my number one fictional mum. Not only to her own children; Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny (and it takes a special woman to raise seven Weasley’s!) but to Harry as well. She accepts him wholeheartedly into the Weasley clan without fanfare, treating him to the same love and care that she shows to the rest of her children – although Harry is able to avoid her wrath is ways that Ron can’t. For Harry first Hogwarts Christmas, she sends him one of her infamous knitted jumpers, which she makes for each of her children every single year. When Sirius Black escapes in Prisoner of Azkahban, she argues against telling Harry that Black might be out to kill him – she sees him as a child in need of her protection; a Mother’s protection.
Not only does she mother-hen with the best of them – her dinners are legendary – but she’s a strong woman in her own right and a powerful witch. She never gives up; she supports the order of the phoenix, protects a wanted fugitive, she raises her children to ignore pureblood zealotry, and when she loses Percy to the ministry she still carries on. She suffers and grieves with the rest of them; the near death of her daughter, Percy’s rejection of his family, and the death of Fred. She endures. And when the final battle comes, Molly Weasley is not to be overlooked. When Hogwarts burns and the school becomes a battlefield, Molly stands between Ginny and death eater Bellatrix Lestrange, and duels her, ending with Bellatrix dead and Molly triumphant.
“You will never touch our children again” – Molly Weasley
TLDR: Molly is both fluffy and hardcore and I love her.
For a really great piece on the awesomeness of Molly, Sarah Gailey’s piece for tor.com is filled with awesome:
Cath and Wren’s mother in ‘fangirl’
Cath has issues with her mother and it seems rightly so. Their mother left when they were tiny children, clearly leaving both girls with an assortment of abandonment issues. Cath is still so traumatised that she refuses to speak to her mother at all and is horrified when Wren is open to reconnecting with Laura. This only further drives a wedge between the twins. While Cath is perfectly justified in wanting to protect herself, it is up to Wren whether she wants to get to know their mother. However, it is entirely possible, Cath wants to protect Wren from Laura abandoning them if – or when – she inevitably will again.
She left because she struggled with the stress of being a mother and when she returns she tries to be a friend to her kids, and not the mother they still need. This is evident when Wren is admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning. Laura waits with her until Cath arrives and then promptly blows out of there. Cath is quite rightly disgusted. Laura has once again failed her children and shown that she cannot handle big responsibilities. She may have come back as she thought that it would be easier with her children grown, but unfortunately that is not the case.
TLDR: Laura is a flake and cannot mother a cactus.
Game of Thrones Cersei Lannister is a violent, self entitled, somewhat charming, narcissist and I think those things get in the way of her ability to mother.
Her eldest son, Joffrey, is a violent sadist whose behaviour she does nothing about. This only becomes a problem for her when Joffrey becomes king, effectively out-ranking her, and by then it’s far too late. Joffrey is the sort of boy who would have tortured and mutilated small animals as a child, and as a young king he tortures and murders a prostitute in his room. Cersei raises a monster – she acknowledges his monstrous nature with her brother in a rare moment of honesty, wondering whether it’s a cosmic punishment for the incestuous union that created him (and her other children). She even favours Joffrey over her other children, meaning Tommen (the youngest son) is weak and easily manipulated, leading to disaster when he succeeds Joffrey as King.
Cersei only shows love for Jamie – her lover/twin – and her three children. It could be argued that her love for her kids in an extension of herself. She’s a powerful narcissist, she may only be capable of loving people as an extension of herself. When Joffrey becomes betrothed, Cersei suffers from extreme jealousy – another woman has gotten her claws into her son and she cannot stand to be replaced.
TLDR: it takes more than love to be a good mum.
For an interesting article about how Cersei displays narcissistic personality disorder, click below!
Happy Mother’s Day folks!