Top Ten Worst Fictional Mothers:
10. Norma Bates: The Bates Motel
Have you been watching this great TV series? If you are a horror fan, you should. We are given a glimpse into the early life of Norman Bates of the movie Psycho. His mother Norma, is the perfect infuriating combination of overbearing concern, self-pity and cray that leads Norman to strange hobbies like…taxidermy. You know the rest.
9. Gemma Teller: Sons of Anarchy
As the ranking matriarch of a motorcycle club founded by her late husband and later led by her son, there are no lengths Gemma won’t go to in order to protect her kin and extended family. Kidnapping, arson, and murder? Not a problem. Just don’t get in her way. You’ll never look at a serving fork the same way again.
8. Ingrid Magnussen: White Oleander
Ingrid is sent to prison for poisoning her lover after he tried to leave her and 12-year-old Astrid is left abandoned and motherless as she navigates her way through years of foster homes and their varying levels of care. A haunting book.
7. Margaret White: Carrie
Domineering, abusive, fanatically religious and insane: check.
6. Lady Macbeth: Macbeth
Lady Macbeth is never shown with any children, but she has this to say:
“I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.”
Yikes. Bonus: Life Tips from Lady Macbeth
5. The Other Mother: Coraline
She looks a little bit like Coraline’s real mother and at first she seems better, letting Coraline skip school and get a new wardrobe. But she hides her true face until it’s almost too late and before you know it, she has stolen your soul and replaced your eyes with buttons.
4. Adora Preaker: Sharp Objects
In Gillian Flynn’s great novel, Camille Preaker is a reporter in a scandal-rag type of newspaper and is sent on assignment back to her hometown to investigate a series of murders of young girls. She moves back into her childhood bedroom and snoops around town while making friends with her much younger half-sister. Meanwhile, Adora the queen of passive aggressiveness enjoys inflicting illnesses on those she “loves” so she can nurse them back to health. Camille discovers that the murderer is closer than she thought. Soon to be a movie starring Amy Adams as Camille.
3. Beth Jarrett: Ordinary People
In Judith Guest’s debut novel, Conrad Jarrett recovers from a deep depression stemming from the belief that he is responsible for his brother’s death. His mother Beth, cold and distant, keeps her emotions as rigidly organized and compartmentalized as their tidy home. And Conrad’s dad is caught in the middle.
2. Mary Jones: Push (book) Precious (movie)
Mo’Nique won a well deserved Oscar for her heart-wrenching portrayal as Precious’ mother who turned a blind eye to the abuse that her daughter suffered for years. Mary also abused Precious, who tried to connect with a caring teacher and social worker before finding out that she has contracted HIV from her father.
And the winner: 1. Selyse: Game of Thrones
Selyse and her husband Stannis’ thirst for power and the Iron Throne is so cavernous they are willing to follow the advice of Melisandre and sacrifice their only child, Shireen, to the lord of light. Poor Shireen, barely a teenager and afflicted since infancy with the greyscale disease is helpless as she is lead to the pit where she will be burned alive. Her parents listen to her screams as she cries out to them for help. Selyse watches heartlessly without saying a word. She makes Cersei Lannister look like mother of the year.