Thoughtful Thursday: The Barbarian’s Guide to Childrearing

I have an almost three year old son.  He is very good at being almost three years old, which means I spend a lot of time telling him to get his finger out of his nose, and to stop hitting. This is the constant background to whatever else I am doing, including reading books.  My latest read featured a guy who liked to wander around on the crenelations of old castles while drunk, and a woman who was known to cut off peoples’ hands when she got angry.  Put those things together, and I start wondering: What would Conan do?

So, dear reafantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsders: What would your favorite fantasy character’s most important parenting advice be?

I’ll start it off: From Bilbo Baggins, “Stay out of my jewelry box!”

In keeping with the topic, we’re going to give away some YA fantasy books today. The commenter with the best advice, as judged by our own Greg Hersom (who has some experience with Barbarian childrearing practices), wins copies of Patrick Carman’s multi-media Ghost in the Machine and Skeleton Creek.  We’ll announce the winner on Monday.

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RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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  1. From Rand Al’Thor: “Don’t talk to strangers”

  2. From Phedre no Delaunay: Don’t play with knives!

  3. Oooohh, this is a good one! Here’s one from Xena: “Eve, darling, don’t play with mommy’s chakram; you might slice your fingers off!”

  4. From Skulduggery Pleasant (Bk. 1 – although, the whole series is great for this kind of advice.):
    “Don’t be jealous of my genius.” (Skulduggery to Valkyrie)

    and an extra one, because it’s great if you have Valkyrie’s answer, but you don’t have to count this as an entry if you don’t want to:
    “If you pay attention to your bad dreams, they can help you.”
    “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind next time I’m asleep.”

    Thanks, guys. Great giveaway and discussion idea. :)

  5. Best Served Cold’s Caul Shivers: “When you swing steel in a crowd, you can’t duck the blame for the results.”

  6. from Matrim Cauthon:

    “Don’t worry about what your mother says. Just have some fun, and kiss as many girls as you can…”

    and for free, from Jaime Lannister:

    “Don’t peek in windows…”

  7. HaHa Angus! I like Jaime’s advice!

    From Alice: “Don’t chase animals”

  8. From Dru (Strange Angels) Don’t let your father go hunting monsters alone.

  9. From Betsy: Sweets, do NOT and I mean DO NOT drool on your new shoes!

  10. I thought of Nynaeve: Touch that pie, Lan Jr. and I’ll thump you so hard …

    But honestly, the first person I thought of was Anita Blake trying to be a mom. I haven’t come up with any non-yicky advice, but I can’t get it out of my head now. Thanks a lot, Ruth.


  11. This was a cute giveaway! I love the idea of fantasy heroes giving parenting advice!

    Taran’s, a character from my favorite young adult fantasy series The Chronicles of Prydain, advice to parents and children: “Always rely on the buddy system when traveling through strange and exotic places that are away from home. In fact, these experiences are safer and more enjoyable when family and friends are near.”

    This is another advice from Taran, but you don’t have to include this as an entry. I didn’t notice if double entries were accepted. I just thought this one was funny: ” Spoiled princesses, or girls in general, do not have cooties.”

  12. Queen Gorgo from 300, “Only Spartan women give birth to real men.”

  13. From Harimad – Sharing your oatmeal with the cat is a good idea.

  14. @Stephen: I think Anita is a “do as I say, not as I do” sort, so she would say to her daughter, “You’re not dating till you’re 35!”

    @Angus: LOL!

  15. Sauron: You’ll put your eye out with that thing

  16. *Groan* That’s bad, William. :D

  17. Well I have to say I think Justin’s quote from Best Served Cold seems to show a barbaric way of thinking, but he’s a reviewer.

    And then I like Stacy’s line from 300, of which I’m a huge fan of myself, but isn’t 300 more historical fiction then fantasy?

    I especially like Rasberry’s second quote from Skulduggery Pleasant, but it just seems a little too deep for a barbarian.

    So I guess I’ll have to go with Nicole_Hadaway’s Xena line. I imagine any good barbarian would have plenty of bladed weapons laying around at any given moment which would cause issues with child rearing.

  18. Pippin: If you can get it in a pint do it.

    Gimli: Never have a drinking contest with an Elf.

    Then again these are very normal and easy concepts, but Sarah stole mine.

  19. Hmmm. I wonder what Gregor Clegane would say?

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