If you’ve ever wondered what kind of conversations librarians have in their group chats late at night, you are in the right place. Spoilers ahead for various series…the danger of listing them is their presence on the list itself kind of spoils it, so we’ll put the titles/series in white text and you can highlight to see what’s on there at your own risk.

Final Fantasy XV

Harry Potter series

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Coco

Horizon Zero Dawn

Marvel Cinematic Universe/Avengers: Endgame

The Dragon Prince

The Book Thief

The Flash (CW)

Les Miserables

Fullmetal Alchemist

The Last of Us

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Doctor Who

Avatar: The Last Airbender

RWBY

The Legend of Korra

SPOILERS START HERE, I REPEAT SPOILERS START HERE

I wish I could give you the context for how this conversation got started…but there honestly was no context, I just opened the group chat with this, and Lindsey, bless her heart, immediately knew where I was going with it and the conversation snowballed from there.

King Regis Lucis Caelum, Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix 2016)

So, without further ado, the Best Fictional Dead Dads ™ and why, as ranked by your local librarians (at midnight), starting with Best Dead Dad ™ Regis Lucis Caelum from Final Fantasy XV:

Brittany: Best dad, he just loves his kid so much

Lindsey: Honestly? Best video game dad, we stan fantasy dad

B: Best video game dad hands down. Potentially best fictional dad who dies for narrative purposes. Like, definitely top 10

L: I would accept that argument…If only because I can’t think of a better one

B: Right? Like, James Potter (Harry Potter series) is also up there…but at the moment I’m not sure who else…Hoenheim (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)? Though maybe he’s just an honorable mention, since while he loves them and he tries, he’s kinda crappy at being a dad

L: I mean, like Jeralt (Fire Emblem: Three Houses) is a good dad, and I was sad when he died, and he’s probs in top 10, but I don’t think he even remotely comes close to Regis. Hoenheim is good

B: …See I don’t think Jeralt is top 10

L: Okay, but I can’t even think of 10 so he’s automatically there. That’s how I’m basing that

B: He was dealt a tough hand with Byleth but he made some questionable choices in their upbringing

L: He made the smart decision to keep them from Rhea though. That earns him some points. He’s at last place of everyone I can think of. This is true though

B: He did, but then never explained anything to them ever about anything, except how to fight. Maes Hughes (Fullmetal Alchemist) also honorable mention, not in top 10 cause he’s not the dad of the main characters

Maes Hughes and daughter Alicia, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

L: Honorable mention for Hughes, yes

B: Rost (Horizon Zero Dawn) is up there

L: Rost is pretty good. I feel like explaining things to Aloy would have helped with a lot of plot things. Also he’s not really there for long

B: Of definitely, but Rost at least had the excuse of he was a believer in their religion/rules and that’s why he didn’t tell Aloy as much as he could’ve…

L: This is fair, even though they were both outcasts…we can’t even think of 10

B: They kill moms more often than dads, that’s why

L: I mean, true, but I can’t even think of many dads in general

B: I’m coming up with a bunch of dads/dad like mentor figures but they’re all either alive or the main character…or on occasion they’re just bad dads

L: If either of us cared about The Last of Us, Joel would probably make the list

B: Yeah, probably, but since I have not consumed that media, it don’t count

L: Yep

B:…Rodrigue (Fire Emblem: Three Houses) is not on the list

L: …no, Rodrigue is the worst. Barret (Final Fantasy VII Remake) is a good dad and he died for like, 5 minutes

B: But he came back, so maybe honorable mention?

L: Honorable mention

B: Remus Lupin (Harry Potter series)? Does he count or is he also honorable mention cause not dad to a main character?

L: He is a father figure though

B: Sirius Black (Harry Potter series) is not on the list

L: WHAT. THAT’S A HOT TAKE

B: As much as I love him, he was a bad dad figure

L: I mean…

B: Good godfather. Had potential to be a good dad

L: Died too soon?

B: Screwed by his own trauma. Started seeing son figure as replacement best friend figure

L: True true

B: Book 5 was not kind to Sirius in a lot of ways

L: Lupin I think is honorable mention. We never really get to see him be a dad, but he would’ve been a good one

B: Yeah, and he was a teacher more than dad to Harry most of the time. Would’ve been a great dad, since he works through most of his hang-ups before Teddy is born

L: Are there any good dead Disney dads?

B: Tiana’s (The Princess and the Frog)? He seemed good

L: Honorable mention since we see so little of him?

B: Yeah, but we know next to nothing on all Disney parents, dads included, so they’d all be honorable mentions at that rate…Tadashi Hamada (Big Hero 6) gets an honorable mention and I will die on this hill

L: (haha) I’m sorry I asked. Can we count Rory (Doctor Who)?

B: The honorable mentions list is longer that the actual list…Rory Williams?…I mean…technically he is a dad…and he has died and stayed dead at least once….we never actually got to see him BE a dad, you know?

Rory Williams and Amy Pond (Doctor Who)

L: Ok, but he literally storms a space base in Roman gear to save Amy and Melody

B: …He does kinda dad the Doctor in series 7…

L: Uncle Iroh!

B: …but he’s not dead…

L:…depends on what series you’re watching

B: …so, honorable-est of honorable mentions because he doesn’t die for narrative purposes, or within the first series where his son figure is a main character but is such a good dad, he deserves mention anyway?

L: Yes. Also, Hector from Coco

B: But-

L: He’s dead!

B: But we see him the whole story!

L: But he dies and isn’t able to be there for Coco!

Tony Stark and Peter Parker (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

B:…I suppose…IRON MAN(MCU)!

L: (long pause), oh right, he’s dead! Yes, he was a good actual dad and a good father figure

B: Harrow (The Dragon Prince)! He’s a very good dad and step dad, and as far as we currently know, is actually dead

L:…I’m still convinced he’s in the bird, but yes, as far as the characters and narrative are currently concerned, he is a dead dad, so he counts. Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief

B: I’ve never finished it, so I will take your word for it. On the list he goes.

L: Anyone who’s read that book knows that this is true, best adoptive father.

B: I’m trying to think of anyone from the Percy Jackson series but they’re all either gods, so not dead, or bad dads…Hades? He’s the god of the dads

L: God of the dads?

B: Be quiet, you know what I meant, god of the dead

L: Yeah, I wouldn’t count him though. While a good character, not really a good dad.

B: But he is the best dad of the Olympians

L: I mean, Poseidon cares about Percy

B: But just about Percy

L: …yeah…Hawkeye (Marvel Comics) is a good dad figure to Kate…wait no I’m going to back that train up

B: Yeah, she dads him as much as he dads her

L: This is too many dads, but not enough dads

B: Oh Taiyang (RWBY)…wait no he’s alive

L: oh yeah

B: I’d say Ozpin (RWBY) but he’s not great

L: Yeah, he’s shady and doesn’t tell anyone anything…Weiss’ dad, Jacques (RWBY) is terrible…Blake’s dad, Ghira (RWBY) is good

B: And he is also alive

L: Dang it….ok think of shows from your childhood…Goofy is a good dad!

B: Goofy’s not dead!

L: AHH…I’m just trying to find any dad at this point

B: HENRY ALLEN! From the CW Flash

L: You’re right, he’s a great dad…is he dead?

B: Last time I checked, yes. And that’s all that matters.

L: Oh! Jean Valjean (Les Misérables), he wades through the sewers of Paris to save his adopted daughter’s boyfriends, that’s gotta put him on the list…he’s also played by Hugh Jackman some of the time, so bonus points.

B: Sure! I’ve seen pieces of that, he seemed good.

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean

L: These are the thoughts we have, instead of, you know, sleeping…

B: And that’s my cue, I’m for bed.

And that was where we left it. If you’ve got anymore awesome dead fictional dads who you think should be on our list (or if you disagree with our lists), please let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

For those playing along at home lists are currently as follows:

Best Dead Dads

Honorable Mentions

Honorable-est of Honorable Mentions

Not on the List

Regis Lucis Caelum (Final Fantasy XV)

Maes Hughes (Fullmetal Alchemist, all versions)

Uncle Iroh (Avatar: the Last Airbender, Legend of Korra)

Sirius Black (Harry Potter Series)

James Potter (Harry Potter Series)

Joel (The Last of Us Part 1 and 2)

 

Rodrigue Fraldarius (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

Jeralt (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

Barret (Final Fantasy VII Remake)

 

 

Rost (Horizon Zero Dawn)

Remus Lupin (Harry Potter Series)

 

 

Hector (Coco)

Rory Williams (Doctor Who)

 

 

Tony Stark/Iron Man (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Tadashi Hamada (Big Hero 6)

 

 

King Harrow (The Dragon Prince)

Van Hoenheim (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and manga)

 

 

Hans Hubermann (The Book Thief)

All dead Disney Dads not otherwise mentioned

 

 

Henry Allen (CW the Flash)

 

 

 

Jean Valjean (Les Misérables)

 

 

 

 ~~Brittany, Youth Services

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