Created By: nemui10pm on October 26, 2012 Last Edited By: nemui10pm on November 10, 2012
Nuked

Bastards Are Always Sons

Illegitimate children are Always Male.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs a Better Name

Whether he's a Heroic Bastard or a Bastard Bastard, it doesn't matter - in TV land, Bastards Are Always Sons.

There are several possible reasons why this occurs, and most of them are related to the fact that bastards tend to pop up most often in historical and fantasy settings.

Firstly, these settings usually have a high male-to-female ratio across the whole cast with only a token female and some Shallow Love Interests, and that might be reflected in bastards.

Another reason is that the tension of having bastards often hinges on them being unable to inherit their fathers' titles and fortunes. In historic settings, all daughters are often unable to inherit, and the popular "illegitimate son vs. legitimate daughter" dilemma cannot happen with a bastard daughter.

Yet another possible reason is that father-son resemblances and parallels are often more noticeable than father-daughter ones.

It might also be related to Law of Inverse Fertility.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • October 26, 2012
    Khantalas
    I'm guessing this should only have examples where a bastard is the daughter and it is important for some reason, because otherwise this would be some sort of merging of the other two tropes with Bastard in the name.
  • October 26, 2012
    nemui10pm
    ^ Yeah, turning it into an aversion only trope was what I was thinking of.
  • October 26, 2012
    LancelotG
  • October 26, 2012
    captainpat
    YKTT Ws like this just end up attracting a bunch of aversions that disprove their point.
  • October 26, 2012
    Khantalas
    • Secret from Keychain Of Creation is an aversion. The highly formalized marriage customs in the Coral Archipelago where she was born prevent her father from recognizing or sheltering her after her mother dies, so he tries to protect her while hiding she is her daughter or indeed a girl. As we first meet Secret as an Abyssal, it is a foregone conclusion that it doesn't end well for her. They finally make up after Secret's father dies and Misho summons his ghost for Secret to face.
  • October 26, 2012
    LOAD
    So this is meant to be aversions?
  • October 26, 2012
    nemui10pm
    ^ yes.
  • October 26, 2012
    captainpat
    If your just collecting aversions doesn't that disprove your trope? We've had a topics is this
  • October 27, 2012
    Sligh_Br
    Yeah, it is very counter-intuitive to just list aversions. If that's what you're going for call it "Bastards Don't Have to Be Male" or something.
  • October 27, 2012
    Koveras
    If this is aversions-only...

    • Played With in A Song Of Ice And Fire, when Petyr Baelish claims that the now-orphaned Sansa Stark is his "baseborn daughter". She isn't, but it explains her sudden appearance in his life.
  • October 27, 2012
    Khantalas
    If we are to rename it to make it clear it is about the rare bastards that aren't male, a simplistic Bastard Daughter would be good.
  • October 27, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    Lobo gets assaulted by an army of his illegitimate children at one point. The leader, and the most badass of them is female.
  • October 27, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    "Yet another possible reason is that father-son resemblances and parallels are often more noticeable than father-daughter ones."

    This is interesting because maybe (in some cases) it depends on the parent that the series focuses on. Someone already mentioned The Scarlet Letter, Chocolat and Gilmore Girls are other examples where the story follows mothers with daughters born out of wedlock. Then again, on Gilmore Girls Luke found out he had an illegitimate daughter even though he is a main character and the daughter was only a recurring character. In Sense And Sensibility Colonel Brandon's first love had an illegitimate child who was also a girl. Emma from Friends was a girl, Krusty had an illegitimate daughter on The Simpsons and Grandpa had one of each (a son in Detroit whose mother was a prostitute, a daughter in England having slept with a girl as a soldier during WW 2).

    This trope is weird because someone suggested a while ago a trope about how all babies born on TV are boys. There were similar numbers of straight examples and aversions and I'd argue that the more works you list, the more the numbers even out, as in real life. Maybe this trope should be about inheritance issues rather than illegitimate sons in general?

    The use of the word "Bastard" is also confusing. Are we only listing examples where there's stigma attached to the child born out of wedlock or do modern examples where it's less controversial also count?
  • October 27, 2012
    SharleeD
    I think this may not be applicable all the time, but only if the child is an active character within the plot. If the illegitimate birth is something that takes place at the end of a story, a la Babies Ever After or Someone To Remember Him By, then its sex is usually irrelevant to the story and females are just as likely.
  • October 27, 2012
    lexicon
    If this is about illegitimate daughters then it should probably be about the bond between an unwed mother and her daughter. The opposite of Someone To Remember Him By as it seems that an unwed mother raising a child by herself will always be raising a daughter but the man will have a son to be remembered through.
  • November 10, 2012
    shimaspawn
    I think this whole thing is entirely missing the point of a trope and has a mistaken premise to start. There are so many female bastards in fiction that making this an aversion only trope is just silly. This is being discarded.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=uwltsurfgyzfezvm8w6e5au8&trope=DiscardedYKTTW