Okay, here’s a question: where would our favourite heroes be if not for their mothers? We somehow tend to ignore the role mothers play in shaping a protagonist’s character, and rather imagine a character as a composite whole unaffected by parental upbringing. But think about this: Harry wouldn’t have survived the Killing Curse had it not been for his mother [and we’re not just talking about Snape’s fascination with his eyes!].
So here’s to all mothers out there — who’re working hard to raise their kids, and who love their kids despite all their flaws. We’ve also got a superb Mother’s Day bundle available on the Juggernaut App which could make the perfect gift. We raise a toast to them, and bring you our selection of the most memorable mothers in fiction:
Cersei Lannister from the Game of Thrones books
Okay, okay — we hear you: ‘How can you include someone like Cersei in a list of memorable mothers?’ Come on, if you look at her actions, everything she has done since the beginning of the book has been to protect her children, even if it means resorting to the most despicable acts, such as killing Robert Baratheon’s bastards. And even after the entire empire hates Joffrey, she is the one person who still loves him. What a mother!
No longer part of the rat race, Bernadette Fox is at a loose end, tearing up floorboards and antagonizing neighbours as she hides behind dark glasses and eventually escapes to Antarctica. However, along with all her quirks, she never stops being a mother. She agrees to forgo her reclusive way of life and embark on a journey as a present to her 15-year-old daughter, and though everyone believes this is what sent her over the edge, Bee’s unshakeable faith in her uber cool mother convinces us that she’s always had her progeny’s best interests at heart.
Molly Weasley from The Harry Potter books
The Weasley matriarch from the Harry Potter books has been criminally ignored for her role; not only does she raise six, nay, seven Weasley kids, but she also keeps her husband in check, acts as a surrogate-mother to Harry himself, and manages a household on a meagre budget! How much more can a mother do? Turns out, she’s an equally competent fighter, as Bellatrix Lestrange found to her dismay.
Satyavati from the Mahabharata
The most famous mother in Indian writing, Satyavati was the matriarch of the entire Kuru clan; she’s the mother of Vyas, the sage who is credited to have written the Mahabharata; she’s also queen to Shantanu, and forces his son and heir Devavrat to take a vow of chastity — thus earning him the moniker Bhishma. She bore Shantanu two sons, the second of whom, Vichitravirya, was the father of Dhritarashtra and Pandu — the fathers of the Kauravas and the Pandavas respectively. Satyavati is so memorable that even Wikipedia acknowledges her by saying, ‘While Satyavati’s presence of mind, far-sightedness and mastery of realpolitik is praised, her unscrupulous means of achieving her goals and her blind ambition are criticized.’
Raksha from The Jungle Book
Mowgli’s wolf-mother, who decides to raise the little frog as her own cub, is the mother we all fear! Fiercely protective, and a fighter to the core, she raises Mowgli despite the opposition of her clan — and there’s also Shere Khan, who she will fight to the death if he dare lays a hand on Mowgli. The Jungle Book has many memorable characters, but Raksha stands tall even amid Bagheera and Baalu.
Demeter from Greek Mythology
Imagine a mother so pissed off she starves the whole earth! That’s exactly what Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, crops and fertility, did when Hades, the god of the underworld, kidnaps her daughter Persephone. Identified as Ceres in Roman mythology, Demeter only relents when Zeus intervenes and asks Hades to return Persephone — but as she’d eaten a few pomegranate seeds while in Hades’ captivity, she must return to him for a few months a year. Those months, Demeter spends in grief — and winter is upon us.