Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Provocative assertion

At tor.com, a post from Emily Asher-Perrin: We Can Safely Say That Sarek of Vulcan is Sci-fi’s Worst Dad

I bet he’s not. I bet we could think of a top ten list of dads who are much worse, starting with Denethor and Jaime Lannister and Darth Vader and going on from there. But sure, I’m intrigued. Lay out your case, Emily:

…Okay, it’s a long post, with spoilers for Discovery (Which I haven’t watched yet but probably will eventually). But I must admit, Emily does lay out quite a few points where Sarek fails as a father. I guess I’d forgotten those eighteen years where he refused to talk to Spock. And then there’s this:

The best part? Sarek was in the room (again, according to the alternate Kelvin timeline, which has no particular reason to diverge from the main timeline in this instance) when Spock turned down his spot at the Vulcan Science Academy. And the reason why he walked out and straight into a Starfleet recruitment office? It was because he could not accept the outright bigotry that the Vulcan elite displayed toward his human heritage—particularly the fact that they referred to his human mother as a “disadvantage.” Spock did a very brave and loving thing that day, making the choice to separate himself from people who viewed himself and his mother as far beneath their regard. And Sarek still chooses to express disappointment that his son wouldn’t shrug off Vulcan prejudice and direct insults to his own wife, all for the sake of following in his footsteps and making good on a bad decision he already made on behalf of his children….And the sad part is, it never really gets any better. Whether Sarek ever makes good regarding Michael remains to be seen, but his relationship with Spock is permanently damaged.

It’s a fun post. Click through and read the whole thing.

But still. Worst ever? Not even close.

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5 Comments Provocative assertion

  1. SarahZ

    Nowhere near the worst dad- the only argument I’d entertain is “worst dad who isn’t usually considered bad”.

    Heck, in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Ego is definitely a terrible dad. (Spoilers: deadbeat, killed his kid’s mom, wants to destroy all life except them)

  2. Elaine T

    Nowhere near the worst, not even in American TV/movie worlds. Odin from MCU and Ego definitely are worse.
    Can’t opine on any from GoT as I don’t watch & only read book 1.
    And Fullmetal Alchemist (either 1st or 2nd anime series or the manga) has at least two candidates for real awful fathers:Hohenheim and Tucker. One abandoned family for ten years and comes back to open with insults to his sons. The other experimented on his 4-year-old to keep his position/income.
    THere’s another anime referred to a Sekirie (sp) with a father into human experimentation on people, and his kids & victims don’t know he’s dad, either. Or something like that, I’ve picked this up through cultural osmosis from Teen, not from personal reading/watching.

  3. Rachel Neumeier

    Lauria’s father in Kritzer’s Freedom’s Gate trilogy uses her as a servant, spy, and all around tool…sets her up to be abused…then tries to dispose of her when she rebels. There’s a lousy father.

  4. TheFavorista

    Even if we’re just keeping it to recurring characters in Star Trek, Garek’s father in Deep Space Nine is all kinds of awful. Sounds like he’s cut from the same cloth as the Freedom’s Gate character above.

    And that’s before you get into Dukat and his first inclination after rediscovering his illegitimate daughter, but he spends most of the series as a self-absorbed villain so that’s a bit different.

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