Motherly figures are amazing when they’ve been portrayed correctly. The matriarch of the family can be strong-willed, strong in general or sometimes just mentally in-tune to their children’s needs. As tomorrow is Mother’s Day, today is the perfect day for us to take a look at some of the amazing mothers in film, tv, video games and comics in this week’s motherly loving Top 10.
10) Alien Queen
So many children, so many hungry mouths to feed, but when your the sole parent to a host of infamous carnivorous ultra-predators you can only do your best to make sure they’re prepared for the big wide world. Consider that she spent many a year chained up in the basement of a temple where her children were hunted for sport, and that an insignificant cattle species keeps sending angry versions of itself to come and shoot at her and her family, and that one of them seems to be really, really mean!
While the queen’s role in any hive ought to be that of breeding stock for the purposes of mass production ensuring the survival of the hive as a whole, this queen is no swollen pushover to be carted around and doted on by slaves. Any who turn on her drones must fear her arrival, because she is quite prepared to tear herself free from her distended abdomen to get down to some real revenge-killing. She’s bigger, stronger, scarier, and commands the blind devotion of an army of children.
9) Piper Halliwell – Charmed
One of the Charmed ones, Piper is also a fantastic mother. She puts her child before she puts herself and she happens to be one of the lead protagonists in the series. Piper has to deal with a lot of emotional stress, on top of being hunted by demons on a regular basis. Couple this with the fact her husband is a whitelighter, Piper has to deal with a lot of supernatural problems.
She goes above and beyond on many an occasion. She may always be thought of as one of the Charmed ones first, a powerful witch, but she is really so much more than that. She’s a fantastic mother that anyone would be proud to have as their mum – And it’s not like she had just one kid – She ended up with two boys, Wyatt and Christopher and one girl, Melinda. I have no idea how she managed to juggle being a powerful witch and a mother.
8) Mrs. Gump – Forrest Gump
Run Forrest, run!
His mama always said life was like a box of chocolates, in one of the most famous phrases in film history. Mrs. Gump is a fantastic mother, looking out for Forrest through the thick and thin of it all. She knew he was talented, even when others wouldn’t acknowledge him in the way he should be. So she encouraged him to use his talents, she looked after him, she loved him very dearly.
In one incredibly emotional scene, Mrs. Gump doesn’t make it until the end of the film… And Forrest’s whole life is changed forever. The amount of love and care she gave her child was remarkable, so much so that when she’s gone, he doesn’t really know how to deal with it. But she taught him so much in life, that he was ready and he was able to continue. Mrs. Gump is a mother that all people should look up to.
I’m sorry if you’re surprised by the revelation in the last paragraph, or if you are upset at this partial spoiler… But, you know, this is a pretty old film now!
7) Joyce Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Mother to Buffy, Joyce Summers is an incredibly kind and caring mother, who grows tired at the distance between her and her daughter. When Buffy is unveiled to be a slayer, Joyce doesn’t take to it very well – She was worried as to why her daughter was hiding so much from her. Relationships, including sexual encounters, as well as this dangerous life of being a slayer – and she knew none of it.
In all honesty, you have to sympathise with Joyce. Sure, Buffy tries her darndest, but this is a simple situation of Buffy being in a compromising position and Joyce being left in the dark. No matter what, Joyce loves her daughter and she shows this time and time again. She’s a pleasant character who always manages to make people feel at ease. Plus, who can’t like a lady who searches for her daughter by way of a group called the “Scooby Gang”?
A vampire, probably.
6) Sariatu – Kubo and the Two Strings
They say that the essence of parenthood is sacrifice for your children’s sake, and of everyone in this list Sariatu has possibly given the most. She actively fought against her grandfather and sisters to save the life of her son, and in the process lost her husband, and exhausted herself with the effort of keeping them both safe and hidden. She keeps magical wards on Kubo at all times, and seemingly enormous reserves of power to keep him protected, up to the point of committing to the ultimate sacrifice, and laying down her life to protect her son from her own family.
She travelled a stormy sea alone with the infant Kubo, who at such a young age had already lost an eye to his grandfather, the Moon King. Now, while it may seem that she is the one being taken care of, and while her son works tirelessly to keep her fed, she battles daily with trauma both physical and mental to be a doting mother and tireless protector to her son.
Sidenote, if you ever need inspiration for a bard character you really can’t get better.
5) Toriel – Undertale
Adoptive mother of the protagonist, Toriel is effectively the mother of all of the monsters (although not biologically). She is easily the best mother figure you’ll meet in the game and indeed in many video games. As well as being the protagonist’s adoptive mother, she is the actual mother of Asreal Dreemur, who is one of the purest individuals in the game… Oh and he’s the final boss of the pacifist route of the game.
Back to Toriel, she is a loving, caring monster and she wants you to succeed. You, the adoptive player character, are able to keep her around – Or you can do the most heartless thing and kill her in the genocide route. No matter what you choose, she chooses to love you no matter what and it’s heartbreaking. Toriel is a wonderful person, don’t you dare choose the genocide path, you heartless human!
4) Helen Parr – The Incredibles
Among the harder families in our list to preside over, a husband in the middle of a midlife crisis trying to relive his glory days, a tearaway son with a classic attitude problem, a daughter experiencing the worst teenage hormones have to offer, and a baby, the classic 2.5 kids family unit that pops up a hell of a lot (don’t look down just yet), but now give them all super-powers. If Helen didn’t have some of her own it’d be a hell of a job. Stretching and morphing makes her a potent force in combat and the dinner table.
Helen switches between mother and commanding officer with astonishing effectiveness! When situation demands she is in full control, ready to swing into action and keep her family safe with a dramatic shift in tone of voice. Situational awareness bred of dealing with supervillainy on a daily basis makes her a very capable mother, although perhaps not fully ready to cope with the battery of powers her baby Jack has demonstrated, Bob had to live through that discovery, but if anyone has the skills to make it through that battle, it’s got to be Helen Parr.
3) Marge Simpson
Mother of TV’s first family, an end approaches for the Simpsons, so let us give thanks to the greatest animated mother of all time. When the curtain finally drops on Evergreen Terrace marge will have suffered thirty long years of a loving but incompetent husband, a would-be hoodlum delinquent son, an insurrectionist over-achieving daughter, and an eternal baby with early evidence of murderous psychopathy. And she has gone through just about every coping mechanism, drink, gambling, shoplifiting, steroids, and a variety of outlandish escapades.
And through it all her love has been unbroken, not unbent or unwavering, but resilient, and ultimately indestructible (take that Millhouse!) and she remains in love with her husband, and faithful in her children, in the face of merciless criticism from her sisters, and at times the condemnation of the entire town. They are ever united, and while siblings turn on one another, and father turns against son, mother Marge remains the ultimate anchor, who fearlessly defends her family against all criticism.
2) Lily Potter & Molly Weasley – Harry Potter
For once, not a versus, but rather a joint mention as both equally deserve the love they give.
Lily Potter’s power was, for real, love. She sacrificed herself in hopes to save Harry from being brutally murdered by Voldemort. When someone makes that kind of sacrifice, it protects the loved one with a powerful barrier of love. If there’s anyone who deserves to be mentioned for how much she’s sacrificed, it’s definitely Lily Potter. She made the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep her son alive, even being a guiding, inspirational force throughout the series.
But then we have Molly Weasley. She has many children and she doesn’t hesitate to bring Harry into her fold, as it were. Molly acts as the first real mother figure to Harry, when you consider that Aunt Petunia wasn’t exactly the nicest of folk. To the rest of her children, Molly believes in maintaining that they don’t use too much magic where it’s unnecessary – But she doesn’t punish them for developing. She’s a real motherly figure, always wanting the best for her children… And Harry.
1) Morticia Addams – The Addams Family
The undisputed queen of mothers, Morticia is exactly what you should look out to be. Okay, she’s unorthodox, but that’s kind of why we love her so much.
Morticia is a dark, brooding, sometimes morbid woman. Her views on life are incredibly romantic, as are her views of her husband Gomez Addams. Oh sure, they get up to some less than normal activities behind closed doors, but in front of her children Morticia is the perfect matriarch of the Addams family. She isn’t quite as strange as some of them, but if you cross her or her children, you will know it.
Morticia doesn’t resort to any violence, or anything even vaguely menacing – But when she needs to protect her children, she is fiercely protective. She’s loving and caring, always embracing her children’s unique assets. She encourages them to grow in a way that only a truly good mother can – and all in all, we love Morticia for this. I don’t know how you can call this family kooky, when all together, they’re a perfect family.
We’ve seen the best of the best of mothers that media have to offer. Now, we turn our attention to more mothers, who have to work tirelessly. These next examples are all very powerful women, who are also mothers on top – And they’re excellent at both, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister & Catelyn Stark – Game of Thrones
Quickfire round! George RR Martin has been thoroughly praised for his depiction of women in his work, presenting some of the most nuanced and widely varied women in fantasy literature, and amongst them, some of the best mothers:
Daenerys Targaryen – She lost her husband and her son to witchcraft and the revenge of a scorned goatwife, but she loved so deeply that she went into the funeral pyre with them, and emerged with three new children. Those children have been through a troublesome rebellious phases recently, and are fire breathing monsters the size of busses.
Cersei Lannister – The mother of two kings, both of whom are now dead, so is their sister, all of whom are illegitimate and fathered by their uncle, but that didn’t stop Cersei from “reforming” a church and laying waste to an empire in the name of her children.
Catelyn Stark – Hell of a lot of children, among them, two kings, a queen, a shapeshifting assassin, a prophet, and an undead lord… well actually that last one isn’t hers, and both of the aforementioned kings are dead, and she really hated Jon Snow… y’know what, forget Catelyn Stark.
Ok, so her son hates her, but she is a feared and respected secret agent, and to be entirely fair, so is she. Head of independent covert ops agency ISIS (no affiliation) and mother to its most dangerous agent (technically true) Sterling Archer, Malory got to where she is now through a lifetime of acquiring information, earning favours, and no small amount of “romantic entanglement”, not to mention a whole lot of murder, some of which may have been government sanctioned.
She’ll be earning no awards for mothering, but credit where credit is due, Sterling is a polyglot, expert marksman, an adept with a wide variety of armed and unarmed combat forms, and a host of other surprising skills besides. I suppose a lifetime of neglect and gifting your son with a doting if drug-addled butler and the best education money and blackmail can buy ultimately yields results, even if it comes with a collection of severe emotional and interpersonal defects.
With Mother’s Day so close, I’m glad this was the Top 10 list that was picked. We really enjoyed this one, as it allowed us to feel all warm and fuzzy. As ever though, make sure you do what your mother told you to do, so you have some chores to do now folks. Most specifically, remember that your mother always told you to vote for next week’s list on GeekOut South-West. I think..? Anyway, vote away folk:
Are there any other mothers in fiction that we forgot to mention? We covered a relatively broad range of subjects, but I admittedly couldn’t find one to mention from anime. If you know one, share it with us. Alternatively, did you like our list, or did we get the order completely wrong? Is Morticia the best mum? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.
WAIT: Before we end this one, I wish all of the mother’s who read this a very happy Mother’s Day on Sunday 31st. You deserve it!