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Papa Wolf / Literature

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  • As the H.I.V.E. Series goes on, Dr. Nero displays more and more of this. He promises Cypher that he will protect Wing, and all of his students with his life, and when Wing is executed he takes it as an act of war. In book six, when Wing is injured during the climax, he insists on accompanying Shelby on the remainder of the infiltration.
  • Admiral Lockwood towards his daughter, Persephone, in The Admiral's Daughter, which comes back to bite Kydd in the rear later in the book when Kydd falls for a daughter of a country squire named Rosalynd instead.
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  • This is the entire premise behind John Grisham's A Time to Kill. After a brutal first chapter detailing the rape of his 10-year-old daughter by a couple of rednecks, Carl Lee Hailey (played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson in The Film of the Book) goes berserk on the two and opens fire on them with an assault rifle (even though they were already on trial), catching a court deputy in the process. The deputy forgives him, as does the jury when they acquit him of murder charges by reason of "temporary insanity."
  • Woe betide whoever dares to abduct Popsy's grandson in Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
  • Conan the Barbarian: Although being mostly an Anti-Hero he won't hesitate to shed blood to save his family from any danger.
  • The Jungle Book:
    • Akela, who acts as a father for Mowgli despite not necessarily being his adoptive father, and is a literal wolf. Akela stood up for him when he was brought to the pack as an infant (after Raksha saved him from Shere Khan).
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    • Baloo and Bagheera qualify as Mowgli's guardians, a bear and a black panther, respectively. Bagheera bought his life and protected him ever since, and Baloo taught him the ways of the Jungle - and when he's kidnapped by the monkeys, they join with Kaa to make it a day and a night the poo-flinging rabble will not live to regret...
  • Mists of Everness by John C. Wright: Peter Waylock. Don't harm his son. Don't harm his son and pretend innocence. And don't beg for mercy, because Peter Waylock is a Person of Mass Destruction and you won't get any.
  • The father in Cormac McCarthy's The Road is exclusively defined as his role as this.
  • The Discworld franchise is not short of this trope.
    • Sam Vimes in Thud!! is very protective of his son, Sam Jr. He loves his son and will go to extreme lengths to protect him and read to him each night. After he is possessed by an ancient spirit of vengeance and finds the dwarves who sent men to kill his family he brutally screams, THAT! IS!! NOT!!! MY!!! COW!!! and attacks the men with all his might. It only because his inner sense of justice is strong enough to halt him from killing a defenseless person do they survive.
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    • Willikins, Sam Vimes' butler and friend, shows his protective side in Snuff when he finds the man Sam nearly killed in the climax had survived a boat crash. Rather than let the man live to plot his vengeance, Willikins kills him to protect the family he lovingly serves.
    • Sergeant Jackrum from the earlier book Monstrous Regiment is an example, being A Father to His Men who regularly kills, injures, or otherwise incapacitates anyone stupid enough to threaten one of his Little Lads. Until we find out that "he" is actually a she who's been masquerading as a male soldier for longer than she can remember, technically making Jackrum a Mama Bear.
    • Subverted in Wyrd Sisters, in which the late King Verence tries to charge ferociously to the rescue of his son, but is balked because he's now a ghost and can't leave the castle.
    • Mustrum Ridcully is, in spite of all their failings, strongly loyal and protective of his faculty. For example, he is willing to summon DEATH to find Rincewind's whereabouts, and orchestrate a ritual to teleport him half-way across the world to get him home. Also, his reaction when the Librarian appears to have been poisoned is one for the books:
    "[I]f anyone has poisoned our Librarian, then, although I am not, by nature, a vindictive man, I will see to it that this university hunts down the poisoner by every thaumic, mystic and occult means available and makes the rest of their life not only as horrible as they can imagine it, but as horrible as I can imagine it. And you can depend on it, gentlemen, that I have already started work on it."
  • Hector Malot's Sans Famille. The travelling musician Vitalis practically purchased lead character Remi Barberin as his apprentice, but he genuinely cared for the boy and became his mentor and example. His "Papa Wolf" side shows more strongly when he discovers that the old man whom he was going to ask to look out for Remi in the winter actually abuses his protegees and forces them to steal for him, and later when he protects Remi from dying in a snowstorm... in a Heroic Sacrifice. And he was also hinted to be one in his first apparition, when he "buys" Remi... after witnessing how horribly his abusive stepfather Jerome treats him, therefore choosing to "purchase" Remi half to have an apprentice and half to protect him.
  • Individual names are not given but in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar Tetralogy, the Alien Fleetlord is amazed at reports of suicidal Tosevite (read: Human) attacks by both genders on his forces. Its stated that the few humans that actually survive indicate their actions are because of harm done to a Mate or Hatchling by his forces.
    • We do get to see the lengths Liu Han (a POV character) went to over the course of several books to recover her daughter Liu Mei from the Race psychologist Ttomalss. Although this may cross over into Mama Bear.
  • Dr. Radcliffe Emerson, the Egyptologist-detective husband of Amelia Peabody, is always short-tempered and becomes absolutely volcanic at any threat to his family. Since he is regularly described by his narrator-wife as "Herculean" in build, the results are impressive. For that matter, his son Ramses inherits this trait. Guess what? Their wives are definite Mama Bears; it's a close-knit family.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Anton. Zilwicki. Messing with his kids is the last mistake entire secret societies ever make. The entire planet Mesa and its Ancient Conspiracy may yet fall through the chain of events set off the first time they tangled with him.
    • Anton's best buddy Victor Cachat and Victor's mentor Kevin Usher, who got off their asses and did something about the corrupt Havenite ambassador, because of Zilwicki's daughter kidnapping. Honor herself has her moments -- the surest way to get her to kill you, is to mess with somebody in her care. In fact the whole series is full of Papa Wolf and Mama Bear moments, from the lowly Aubrey Wanderman to the Queen herself, to the whole nation of Grayson which are all, 2 billion of them, a bunch of Papa Wolves.
    • Nimitz. He may be a Ridiculously Cute Critter most of the time, charming people's socks off to glom some more celery, but if anyone harboring murderous intent gets within spitting distance of Honor, he'll instantly transform into a six-legged, self-propelled, furry berserking buzzsaw with absolutely no mercy. (He's also probably older than Honor's father, so he qualifies under the "Papa" portion of the trope as well.)
    • Treecats as a whole can be this when one of their own is threatened. Bear in mind that one treecat outnumbers six gunmen; when a hexapuma, an apex predator from the treecats' homeworld, corners one 'cat and the human he'd adopted, his clan's answer to his distress call is a Zerg Rush which turns that predator into hamburger. In Mission of Honor, the Mesan Alignment kills an entire treecat clan via a Colony Drop. The other treecat clans are strongly hinting they want in on the counterattack.
    • All Sphinxians are in turn Mama Bears and Papa Wolves to Treecats in general.
  • In Perry Moore's Hero, Hal Creed, a 100% normal (granted of the badass variety) Human, beats the shit out of a Superman expy for threatening his son.
  • Burrich in both the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies. Just how awesome can a grumpy old man be? Trek across a glacier and kill a deranged stone dragon for the adopted son who let you think he was dead for 15 years, that's how awesome.
  • Raptor Red's consort pulls a Papa Wolf to save one of Raptor Red's nieces from an acrocanthosaur. He has mixed feelings about doing so: he gets several cracked ribs, the chick isn't related to him, and Raptor Red didn't even see his heroic actions. It does, at least, mend his relations with Raptor Red's sister for a time.
  • Most David Eddings characters fall into this at some point: if you go after their wives, kids, fiancees, or friends, they begin throwing around phrases like "boiling oil," "wring him out until his hair bleeds," and "kill him just a little bit." Then they catch you. Then you discover this was them being nice.
    • This trope applies especially to Belgarath. He not only has a few Wolf-themed nicknames, but also likes to turn into a wolf whenever he has the chance, and is even married to one. It works especially well because most of the time he prefers to give off the impression of a lazy drunken hobo. Barak on the other hand is scary enough in his normal form, but whenever Garion's life is threatened, he goes into a berserker rage and turns into a bear.
      • Belgarath certainly qualifies, particularly given the following exchange after Chamdar/Asharak the Murgo has killed - by burning them alive inside a stone house - Geran and Ildera, the parents of Garion and both of whom were much loved by both Belgarath and his daughter Polgara. Who are also two, it must be said, of the most powerful beings currently walking the earth:
        Khonar (about Asharak): Our agent reported that he seemed a little nervous about something.
        Belgarath:I can imagine. He's done something that offended me. I want to talk with him about it, and he'd rather avoid that conversation — since it's very likely to involve my hanging his entrails on a fence someplace.
      • When his turncoat brother kills Durnik, the 'son in law' figure, Belgarath Takes A Level In Badass and commits Zedar to the earth; literally. When he returns from the surface to the point that the book describes him as NOT what he was throughout the entire Belgariad, but "Belgarath the Sorcerer in all his fury."
      • Polgara says herself that Asharak likely crawled under a rock someplace deep and dark and very well-hidden to hide, solely to escape from the wrath of her vengeful father. A man who, it must be said, is considered by Asharak and his people to be the equivalent of the Devil. Skilled Angarak sorcerers are terrified of being within fifty miles of facing him, and she has also admitted that his power is one of the only things in the world that has held the Angaraks back from just overrunning the west with sheer numbers. Not the sort of Papa Wolf you want chasing after you with a single-minded purpose so strong that he can literally ignore rest, food, and the other necessities of "mere mortals" for weeks or even months at a time.
      • As Polgara once put it: He has his faults, but once he gets down to business, he's as inexorable as the tides.
    • This applies to Garionas well, but only in the sequel to The Belgariad, The Mallorean, in which the entire plot revolves around Garion turning the world over to get his son back from an evil sorceress, leading to a very satisfactory pay off when he finally catches up with her
    • Eddings seems quite fond of these graphic descriptions. As pointed out by Xanetia in The Tamuli, after Zalasta, former advisor and supposed ally, reveals that he has been working for the Big Bad Cyrgon since before the start of the series itself. And he has been deceiving and betraying Sephrenia, Team Mom and beloved by all the characters, for that same length of time, all in the hopes of killing the goddess she worships — also Sephrenia's younger sister via reincarnation - and possessing her out of lust. Boiling oil, hooks (nice long ones with sharp barbs on them) and their like are mentioned by several of the main characters. The quite civilised and cultured Sarabian is somewhat unnerved, asking them all if they have to be so graphic. He is told in no uncertain terms:
      Kalten: Zalasta hurt Sephrenia, Your Majesty. There are twenty-five thousand Pandion Knights — and quite a few knights from the other orders as well — who are going to take that very personally. Zalasta can pull mountain ranges over his head to try to hide, but we'll still find him. The Church Knights aren't really very civilised, and when somebody hurts those we love, it brings out the worst in us.
      Sparhawk: Well said.
      • Oh, and that goddess? She also happens to be Sparhawk's daughter (via another reincarnation as a favor). She's immeasurably more powerful than him (without Bhelliom, that is), but he takes threats sent in her direction very... personally.
  • In The Dresden Files, several characters fit this bill.
    • Ebenezar McCoy is a Mentor-type. He is Harry’s teacher for the last two years of Harry’s apprenticeship.
      • In Summer Knight, he is fiercely against Harry taking up Mab’s request, despite it being a necessary action if they are to fight in a war and Harry to save his own life, because Harry is a child compared to the ancient, manipulative, and deadly Mab.
      • In Death Masks he drops a Russian satellite on the headquarters of a vampire who had threatened and fought with Harry.
      • In Changes, he at first orders Harry to ignore one girl getting kidnapped, citing The Needs of the Many. Then he finds out that this girl is Harry's daughter and his great-granddaughter. Ebenezar's response is to lead the Grey Council in a Big Damn Heroes moment, including killing hundreds of people who dared to mess with little Maggie.
      • When confronted by Lara Raith on Demonreach, Lara makes a few veiled threats towards Harry. Ebenezer tells her she can try, if she doesn't mind her family having nothing except a pair of $500 shoes to bury. Later, when she tries again, he effortlessly pulls off a Psychic Strangle.
    • Michael Carpenter is a sword-wielding knight of God. He wields the Sword of Love. In the words of Archangel Uriel, hurting Michael’s family is the one thing that could quickly push him across the line.
      • In Proven Guilty he stands ready to protect his daughter from the White Council of Wizards for breaking the laws of Magic, despite just having helped some of the Senior Council escape alive from serious threats.
      • When a Well-Intentioned Extremist targets Harry and Michael by means of kidnapping Michael’s other daughter, Alicia, Michael responds though... nine words (note that Michael never, ever swears). "That son of a bitch hurt my little girl."
    • Harry Dresden is very much this, even to children who aren’t his blood
      • While Ivy, aka the Archive aka the repository of all human written knowledge for the past millennia aka Little Miss Badass, can kill hosts of fallen angels and vampires with no effort, Harry is still fiercely protective of her current host, a young girl.
      • Irwin Pounder, scion of a human woman and a Bigfoot named Strength of a River in his Shoulders, gains Harry's protection from some school bullies, a warlock siphoning his life energy to regrow his hair, and the father of the girl Irwin falls for, who is also a White Court noble.
      • When Michael’s kids are threatened, he will move to protect them as well.
      • When Molly is kidnapped by Mab’s henchmen, he charges into Mab’s home with Molly’s mother to save her and later risks his own life to spare hers from the White Council.
      • When the above incident with Alicia happens, Harry joins with Michael to save her.
      • In Changes, the Red Court of vampires takes the daughter Harry never knew he had with the intent of sacrificing her to fuel a massive curse that will kill her entire bloodline. He responds by joining forces with Mab and becoming her Knight, sacrificing two people on altars, and destroying the entire freaking Red Court. He states that if the world came between him and his daughter, it could burn to death and they would sit roasting marshmallows upon its roaring flames. In Skin Game, when Harry and Michael are discussing the events of Changes, Michael points out that even if Harry didn't mean to at the time, he sent a rather impressive message to anyone who may have future ideas about threatening his daughter.
      • And just to be clear, he picks who he did because this one is the least evil option, but he was perfectly willing to call up a Fallen Angel and make a literal Deal with the Devil if he needed to. And if that didn't work, he was ready to invoke the Darkhallow, which would kill everyone in Chicago and allow him to eat their souls to become an unstoppable necromancer.
      • It can safely be assumed he will go to the same lengths for his new spirit daughter born at the end of Skin Game.
    • An odd example from the series is "Gentleman" Johnny Marcone, the local Mafia boss who is essentially a Papa Wolf to every child in Chicago. If Marcone catches a person doing anything to hurt children in his city, he will personally execute said person. You don't want that. Harry even invokes this when he needs help saving a child.
    • Strength of a River in his Shoulders, a Bigfoot standing near 9ft tall, covered in long stringy muscles and has a magical aura on par with Harry, doesn't involve himself in his son's life, letting him be raised by his human mother. This is explained by the fact if he acknowledged Irwin, he would have had to take him from his mother to raise in the old ways. That doesn't mean he doesn't love his son dearly. He hires Harry a few times to help protect his child. The third time he needs Harry's help, River Shoulders does get involved personally to save his son from his succubus girlfriend, who was being pushed hard by a mental attack to kill Irwin by sex, by her White Court noble father. River Shoulder's involvement starts with throwing a car through a wallnote  and takes on twenty powerful ghouls. Harry narrates it was a Curb-Stomp Battle in favor of River Shoulders.
  • In Danny, the Champion of the World, it's revealed that Danny's father's main reason for disliking Hazell is because he threatened Danny. Later on, when Danny gets caned by his teacher, his father threatens to go down to the school and beat the teacher.
  • In Deltora Quest Barda is like this towards Lief and Jasmine, protecting them from Grey Guards, Sand Beasts, Vraals and Ols. Jarred aka Endon is like this to his son Lief and Doom aka Jarred is eventually like this to Jasmine his daughter.
  • A slightly twisted variant occurs in Dexter By Design: Dex, of course, is already a Serial Killer masquerading as Just a Nice Guy, but it wasn't until relatively recently that he decided that he had feelings of love-ish for his stepfamily and foster sister (or, you know, anyone). So, when a rival slasher decides to mess with Domestic Daddy Dexter by stabbing Debbie and trying to kidnap his stepkids, out comes Deadly Defensive Dexter.
  • Adam Hauptman, from the Mercy Thompson series. Bonus points for being a literal papa werewolf; mess with his daughter Jesse and you. Will. Die. When Jesse was bullied at school for her father being a known werewolf, Mercy had to hide the identities of the bullies from Adam so that he wouldn't murder them.
    • The above also applies to Mercy. To make it worse, Adam runs a private security firm, so when he got worried about Mercy's safety, he installed an expensive security system in her house without asking her permission. Mercy didn't complain too much about it because it saved her life when her house was attacked.
  • Waylander the Slayer from the Waylander series of books by David Gemmell is a rather evil version of this. Having returned home from the war to find his wife and child killed, he spends the rest of his life and wealth hunting down the eight men responsible and killing them in ways that'd make even the most villainous of villains shriek.
  • In Charlotte's Web the Gander threatens Templeton the Rat with serious bodily harm if he even thinks about bothering one of his goslings.
  • One of the recurring themes in The Catcher in the Rye was Holden Caulfield's desire to protect children from the bad things in the world.
  • There are some of these in Star Wars Legends.
    • In Shadows of the Empire, set some time before Return of the Jedi, the real villain of the book, Prince Xizor, does not get along well at all with Darth Vader. But they don't start to openly oppose each other until Vader finds that Xizor is trying to arrange for Luke Skywalker's death.
    • By the time of a civil war between Corellia and what used to be the New Republic, Wedge Antilles is about sixty years old and has a pair of twenty-something daughters, Syal and Myri. Myri gets to stay with him on the Corellian side, where he spends about half of the series, but Syal is on the other side. And Wedge respects this, although it saddens him. He's very close to his daughters, and very protective of them.
      Thrackan: "General Antilles, acting as Chief of State and Minister of War for Corellia, I hereby order you to communicate with your daughter Syal and do your genuine best to persuade her to follow whatever course of action I recommend to her. Is that clear enough?"
      Wedge: "Absolutely."
      Thrackan: "And?"
      Wedge: "Go to hell."
      Thrackan: "Antilles, you've refused a direct order given during a military crisis, and I have it on record. Should I choose to, I can have security agents haul you away right now. I can conduct your trial within the hour and have you executed by morning."
      Wedge: "Of course you can. You could also have me assassinated in a time of peace for having nicer hair than you. If I worried about that sort of thing, I'd never get any sleep."
    • Woe to you if you mess with anyone in Mandalorian Kal Skirata's biological or adopted family.
      • Speaking of Mandos, Boba Fett in Bloodlines is this. So is Han. They team up.
      • Speaking of Boba Fett, he was never a very good father (or husband), but he did his best to get close to his granddaughter, Mirta Gev. When he learns that a young Mandalorian is planning to marry Mirta, he gives his assent, but warns "Break her heart and I'll break your legs."
    • This is part of the reason why Jacen Solo turned to the Dark Side and became the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, in addition to the Well-Intentioned Extremist trope: When he saw into the Pool of Knowledge and saw a man clad in Dark Armor (later revealed to be Darth Krayt) sitting on the Throne of Balance and seeing Allana, his daughter, standing by his side, he decided to become a Sith Lord in order to prevent that future from occurring, or at the very least prevent the part of the future where Allana is evidentially serving Krayt as his right-hand servant.
    • In Galaxy of Fear, Hoole is... not a great uncle to Tash and Zak. He's pretty distant and gets irritable when they ask questions. However, he does take their welfare seriously and will readily threaten anyone who seems like a danger to them. Hoole is also a shapeshifter, and his favorite "strong form" is that of a Wookiee.
    • Booster Terrik is a Jerkass in general (especially to Corran Horn), but he cares very deeply for his daughter Mirax and his adopted son Wedge Antilles. He'll do what he can to help them... and woe to you if you threaten, hurt, or kidnap either of them. What's more, he's got a Star Destroyer, which may or may not be fully armed and dangerous...and you probably don't want to take the chance that it is.
  • Howl is this after his son Morgan was threatened. He punched the guy twice. Not to mention his wife, Sophie is a Mama Bear also. In other words, don't mess with Morgan ever.
  • Sadrao from Ursula Vernon's Black Dogs is not the protagonist, Lyra's, biological father, but he's a more than competent replacement after her real father is massacred along with the rest of her house. Sadrao's extremely badass and is very protective of her, even going into a berserker-like rage when she's physically threatened.
  • The Acts of Caine: Caine. Even if you're a god, fucking with Faith will get your ass beat.
  • Harry Potter books:
    • Hagrid’s probably the most prominent example as he not only towards the students but also towards the young monsters he tends to raise. But it’s his unconditional care for Harry that puts him on top of the list being the first person to show Harry any genuine affection, and scaring the shit out of Dursleys when he learns they mistreated him for ten years. Hagrid is an explicit Papa Wolf during the escape from Privet Drive in the Deathly Hallows when a Death Eater comes towards Harry, and Hagrid leaps off the flying motorbike and tackles the Death Eater falling god knows many stories to the ground. And survives.
    • Dumbledore. Harm one of his students, and he'll return the favor. This is beautifully demonstrated when Dolores Umbridge shakes Marietta Edgecombe violently in an effort to make her spit out enough info to get Harry expelled in Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore magically pushes her away, jumping suddenly from calm and polite to highly angry. "I cannot allow you to manhandle my students, Dolores." (For context, this is right in the middle of Umbridge making her move — because Dumbledore has done nothing worse than tell the truth to the media, she is in the middle of a plot to not only strip him of his various honors, oust him from his job, and take over his beloved school, but also lock him up in prison, an idiotic move that could quite literally get them all killed. Seeing Umbridge get physical with one of his students is the first and only thing on that list that actually makes Dumbledore angry.)
    • This is also demonstrated when Barty Crouch, Jr. attempts to kill Harry after the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire. Dumbledore doesn't take it very well.
    At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore’s face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore’s face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
    • Happens even earlier in the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hermione tells Harry that seeing Dumbledore flip out after the Dementors nearly killed him was really scary. It was the first time she had ever seen him so angry. It probably didn't help that Dumbledore already hated Dementors before the incident.
    • It seems to run in the family: Dumbledore's father, Percival, tortured a group of Muggle hoodlums for “beating up” and mentally breaking his daughter Ariana. When put on trial, he claimed that he did it out of Fantastic Racism towards Muggles and was jailed for life for it, because admitting the truth would have led to Ariana being sent to a mental institution. The old guy was willing to face Dementors for the rest of his life to protect his daughter. Damn!
    • Papa Wolves are fairly prevalent in this series: Sirius Black does not like seeing Harry hurt, and neither does Remus Lupin.
    • Mess with Draco Malfoy when he's at school, and the next person you'll have to deal with is his favourite teacher and godfather-of-sorts Severus Snape, or worse still, Lucius Malfoy, his actual dad, with the power of the school governors, as well as the Ministry of Magic behind him (and not to mention, Lucius's love for his family is pretty much his only good trait).
    • Arthur Weasley, while usually overshadowed by his Mama Bear wife, in Deathly Hallows, threatened Kingsley Shacklebolt (trained Auror, later takes on freakin' Voldemort) to his face when he heard that one of his sons had been badly injured and Kingsley was trying to question him. Earlier in the series, Ron mentions that the only time he ever saw his dad get really angry was when Fred and George tried to make Ron perform an Unbreakable Vow, a ritual that kills the oathbreaker, as a prank. (Arthur is particularly worth noting because Word of God states that he was supposed to die. Rowling intended for him to not survive beyond the fifth book. She ultimately chose to let him live because he's such a good and loving father.)
    • Of course, this mercy is also what motivated J.K. Rowling to kill off Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, which left poor Teddy Lupin without ever really knowing his parents.
    • Xenophilius Lovegood was ready to hand Harry to the Death Eaters if it meant having Luna back.
    • And Harry's Uncle Vernon, who - though he often falls into the categories of Abusive Parents (toward Harry, of course), Muggle and Bumbling Dad - is very protective of his own wife and son and is even willing to shield them from Hagrid. Note that because of the strict gun laws in the United Kingdom, he almost certainly would have obtained the gun illegally.
    • James Potter as well. It may not have worked, but he was willing to risk certain death against Voldemort if it gave Lily and Harry time to run. He would also do anything to help his friends in his school days, even if he was a Jerk Jock to everyone else at the time.
    • Neville Longbottom is normally content to be a shy, quiet boy who tends to plants and doesn't get noticed. Every time he felt that his friends were in imminent danger or knew they were going to be in danger soon, he Took a Level in Badass in response. He fully embraces this trope in the final book, where it's revealed that he essentially abused the Purebloods-are-superior laws against the Death Eaters by planting himself firmly between them and the students at every opportunity.
  • Twilight: Jacob Black is a rather literal example (boy turns into a wolf) when it comes to Renesmee Cullen, the girl he's imprinted upon. Actually, this would apply to any wolf who has imprinted on a child.
  • Don Pendleton's The Executioner series has Mack Bolan wipe out major crime families with dozens of thugs at their disposal after most of his family is killed due to the Mafia. When his girl-friend and younger brother are kidnapped by another crime family to try to get to him, he goes absolutely coldly berserk, terrifying even his friends and allies who have seen him in action many times.
  • Matthew Reilly's Huntsman series. The adopted daughter of Jack West Jr. is threatened many times by many powerful people over the course of the books. Many people have died very graphic, painful deaths.
  • In the Back Story of John C. Wright's The Golden Age, Helion had stayed on the Solar Array long past the point of safety to protect his son — and his ship, but the priority was clear:
    "Damn your ship." Helton's voice grated. "It was you. You were aboard at that time. Outside of the range of the Mentality, beyond the reach of any resurrection circuit."
  • Catherine Webb's Horatio Lyle. He is not related to Tess or Thomas by blood, but hurt either of them and he will come after you with his pockets full of explosive chemicals, his home-made tazer, and, if all else fails, his frenzied but anatomically-precise application of teeth, nails, and knees.
  • Robert Crais's Elvis Cole. Kidnap the son of his girlfriend? Elvis and his Psycho Sidekick Joe Pike will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and back again.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea In 2D, C. J. gets into the fight because his son is in danger.
  • Good ol' Jim Davenport in Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey. Lets everyone push him around. But point a gun at his child and you will be very, very sorry, but not for very, very long.
    • Again, in a sequel, When Elves Attack, don't think you can try to rape his daughter and not regret it.
  • Rao is this to Shakuntala in the Belisarius Series. As he was hired by Shakuntala's father to teach her how to be a warrior, that would make her father an indirect Papa Wolf.
    • Damadora and Rana Sanga actually start a civil war because the Malwa empire was a threat to their families.
  • Nastily subverted in Rick Hautala's The Mountain King. The protagonist sees his daughter torn apart and eaten by monsters, but is too terrified to leave his hiding place.
  • In Death: Detective Sergeant Frank Wojinsky from Ceremony In Death. When his granddaughter Alice Lingstrom told him that she had been drugged and sexually exploited by an entire coven of Satanists and she had witnessed the leaders murder a young boy, he went Papa Wolf to try to take down the coven. Unfortunately, it made him sloppy and the cult leaders murdered him with a combination of drugs which sent him into cardiac arrest.
  • Marcus, of Time Scout, will go through hell for his little girls. So will Armstrong.
    • As soon as he finds out Margo's his granddaughter, Kit becomes very protective of her. Skeeter, having tried to scam Margo before anyone knew, walks very, very carefully around both ever after.
  • The short story Monsters Tearing Off My Face has a particularly gruesome one. At the climax of the story, the little girl who drew the true picture of blue monsters tearing off her face turns out to really be a blue monster in a human disguise...when her mother tears it off of her, while her father tears the flesh from the bones of the foster parents who were about to rape her.
  • Buster Beasely in 1635: The Dreeson Incident. "I'm coming, Princess Baby!" To the rescue, that is. And does he ever, on a Harley and with a .45 and a knife.
  • Shellheart of Warrior Cats: Crookedstar's Promise is a Papa Cat, defending Crookedkit from his own mate, Rainflower. When she coldly tells him she blames her son for breaking his jaw, Shellheart is quick to defend him and even breaks up with her. And when Rainflower tells Oakheart that Crookedstar would never be as good as him (during Oakheart's warrior ceremony, no less), Shellheart defends him by telling her to shut up. Even Oakheart agrees with Shellheart, telling Crookedstar that it was her own problem for not caring for him.
    • Graystripe himself shows this in The Darkest Hour, helping his kits flee from Nazi-like TigerClan and attacking any enemy warrior that tries to hurt them.
  • In Felix Salten's Bambi's Children (yes, it's that Bambi), he sees a poacher taking aim at his son, and attacks.
  • In Tim Dorsey's novel Electric Barracuda Serge Storms is told that he's a father. Hint to the child molester on the playground: you really don't want to try to entice the child of a serial killer.
  • Charles Leeds, the husband and father of the second family of victims in Red Dragon, had his throat slashed in his sleep by Francis Dolarhyde. As he and his wife lay bleeding to death, Dolarhyde went down the hall to kill the children. With his throat cut open, artery spraying his lifeblood on the wall with every step he took, Leeds ran down the hallway after the killer and fought with him to protect his children.
  • Lieutenant Panga in Someone Else's War will do anything, absolutely anything, to keep the children around him safe.
  • God in The Bible is this to his followers. A huge portion of the Bible is an endless loop of the Israelites being a Face–Heel Revolving Door, being God-fearing one minute and worshiping idols the next. Yet every single time they cry out to God for help, he answers them.
    • Joseph got his wife Mary and his foster son Jesus to Egypt and back on a freaking donkey to protect them from the Romans.
    • Jesus inverts this in the New Testament. The one and only time he truly gets angry is when he goes to his Father's temple and finds it desecrated. He sits down, braids a whip, then (metaphorically) unleashes hell.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Do not harm Valkyrie Cain.
    • There's also her father Desmond who flings a mugger through a shop window for attacking his wife and infant daughter.
  • Although his relationship with Rue is never defined, Thresh is one towards her in The Hunger Games. When he overhears Clove taunting Katniss about Rue's death, his Berserk Button is pressed, actually breaks his calm demeanor and shouts furiously and it didn't go well for Clove.
    • Haymitch displays these traits from time to time regarding Peeta and Katniss.
    • Averted by Peeta's father. He seems like a nice man but he doesn't intervene when his wife hits his children. The books imply that she even whipped them at times.
  • In the Dale Brown novel A Time for Patriots, when the FBI agents hurt and threaten Brad, Pat pays them right back, forcing them to bug out.
  • Henry Grimm, in The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley, attacks Grendel (Yes, that Grendel) unarmed, and wins. He also beats up his much-loved brother in both cases to protect his daughters.
  • In The Dog Stars, the main character meets an old man living with his daughter on a farm After the End. It turns out that the guy is a former Navy SEAL and is more than capable of protecting her. The main character refers to him only as "Pops."
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Kalak is just as protective of Ben as Daniar.
  • Forever Gate: The reason Hoodwink does anything is to keep his daughter out of harm's way.
  • The Last Dragon Chronicles: Rune to Grella.
  • In the Ukiah Oregon series, Max and Rennie (and by extension the rest of the Dog Warriors) are this for Ukiah, and either one will kill without hesitation to protect him (on several occasions they nearly kill each other, when using different values for 'protect'). In Rennie's case it's literal, due to the Pack's wolfen nature.
  • Abe Mazur from Vampire Academy, will do anything to protect his daughter Rose, including breaking her out of prison and laying out elaborate escape plans.
  • The Wheel of Time: Tam al'Thor may be an old shepherd with no magical abilities (though he is a blademaster and an incredible archer) but his response to his son Rand almost erasing him from time is to go and yell at Cadsuane, the woman who pushed Rand into not trusting anyone. A woman who is a notably intimidating Aes Sedai (that is to say, among magic-using women known for manipulating and bullying monarchs, she's considered especially scary). She hangs him upside down in mid air and he doesn't even blink, just calls her a bully, and asks her what she was thinking.note 
  • In the HitRECord story Moonflowers, Ned Song is both figuratively a Papa Wolf (very protective of his daughter Alima, who thinks he and her mother are dead) and he's literally a wolf due to being cursed by the Hunter, leader of The Wild Hunt in Ireland. On finding out that the Hunter's planning to kill Alima and six other people in a serial-killing spree on Halloween, Ned immediately swears a Blood Oath to kill him before that happens.
  • In Out of the Dark, Shongairi soldiers attempt to surrender, but when Buchevsky sees the children they have killed, he is reminded of his own killed daughters, and tells his men to Leave No Survivors.
  • In The Dead Zone, Johnny initially doesn't want to help solve the murder/rape cases, although he feels guilty, because he's afraid of being put back in the spotlight. When the next victim is a nine-year-old girl? He picks up the phone before the news item is over.
  • Stephen King gives us an unusual posthumous example with Jack Torrance, as we see in Doctor Sleep, when our example helps kill off the Big Bad, thus saving the lives of his son Dan and granddaughter Abra (whose mother was the result of an extramarital fling of Jack's).
  • The Sandokan saga has two examples:
    • British captain Corishant's daughter Ada was kidnapped by the Thuggee cult, who made her a slave priestess. The captain's reply? Change his name to MacPherson so he wouldn't be connected to her and starting to systematically dismantle the cult, culminating in storming their main temple and kill off half the Thuggee there as soon as Tremal Naik told him where it was and that Ada was there. It cost him his life, as it gave the Thuggee the chance to finally kill him, but he effectively crippled the cult. And Ada, in the end, was free and married to Tremal Naik.
    • Later, after Ada's death by childbirth, the Thuggee kidnapped her daughter Darma so she'd take her mother's place. Knowing that he didn't have the resources to take on the Thuggee in spite of how tough he was, Tremal Naik (who used to hunt tigers for a living) summoned Sandokan to help and, in the meantime, started killing all Thuggee he could find. Then Sandokan arrived, and by the time they were there was no Thuggee cult anymore: their main temple had been raided and destroyed, most of their numbers had been killed by the British (the Mutiny of 1857 was raging and the Thuggee, already outlaws, had sided against the British) and the Tigers of Mompracem, and their leader got killed by Sandokan in single combat once he was finally cornered in the besieged Delhi. And then, to stay on the safe side, Tremal Naik left India with his daughter to stay away from survivors and taught her to shoot a gun (she became a crack shot, and deadlier than the tiger she was named after).
  • Scavenger Alliance: Wall, leader of Manhattan division, has a small army of children that he refers to as "nieces and nephews", but he's a loving father to them. Braden is also trying to reach Beta sector to care for his nieces and nephews, orphaned some time before the start of the series, and he's going through hell to do it.
  • Codex Alera
    • Gaius Sextus has several moments of this in the series.
      • When the Marat brutally massacred his only son Septimus and his legion, about 10,000 men strong, Sextus and his personal legion rode in and he killed all the Marat with little effort.
      • Later in Captain's Fury and Princeps' Fury he, after waiting 25 years, kills both the High Lords who played a role in his son's death. The first he kills in a Shoot the Dog moment because of the insane gambit the High Lord set up. The second he sacrifices in a war to be devoured and destroyed not unlike his son was killed in battle.
    • High Lord Cereus in First Lord's Fury flies into a giant monster's mouth and blows himself up when the lumbering monster is about to fall on his last surviving daughter and his deceased sons' grandchildren.
  • Officer Lenny Walker in Undertow by Michael Buckley. He'll do whatever he thinks is necessary (which usually involves his fists, gun, or badge,) to protect his wife, daughter, and the daughter's best friend in the extremely dangerous place that Coney Island has become.
  • In Wolf Hall, the shadow of Thomas More looms over all of Thomas Cromwell's Protestant associates and one of his apprentices says he didn't open a letter from Tyndale so that he'd have nothing to say in case of arrest and interrogation. Cromwell tells him that if that happened, he'd beat More's head against the cobbles to get some of God's love in there. Another time, when someone is going on about Thomas Wyatt's infatuation with the queen, Cromwell shuts it down in a rather threatening manner. (The Wyatts are family friends, and old Henry had asked Cromwell to look after his wayward son—this is also why Tom Wyatt escaped Anne's fall unharmed.)
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Tasio is known as the "Grandfather of Elves" because of his role in transforming Arin into the first elf. He is referred to and addressed as "grandfather" by the entire race, such as when they pray for his help against ordercrafters. Smiting ensues.
    • Dengel is one to his student and surrogate daughter, Asuna. According to her, he once fought off an entire army for her sake.
    • Basilard goes for the throat when his blood daughter is harmed. When her life was weighed against how he feels about all his other relatives, it wasn't even a comparison.
  • In The Mental State, a burly inmate called 'Big Billy' Crane is revealed to have a daughter on the outside. Zack takes full advantage of this and provokes him by threatening to use his connections to send unscrupulous people over to his house and 'play' with her. He instinctively punches Zack as hard as he can in the gut.
  • When Wulfgar hits Catti-brie because of a trauma-induced flashback in Paths of Darkness, Bruenor has to be held back by his friends so that he doesn't bash his head in. A rather strange example, too, since Wulfgar is also an adopted child of his.
  • In Void City, the vampire Eric is incredibly protective of his adopted daughter Greta. Threatening her is a certain way to send him into an Unstoppable Rage. In Staked, when she is kidnapped, he summons a massive swarm of bats to block out the sun so he can come to her rescue during the daytime; in Crossed, upon sensing that she is in pain, he rushes halfway around the world to come to her rescue and smashes the building she's trapped in to pieces from the foundations up.
  • In Renegades, Captain Chromium doesn't hesitate to pull a burning library apart with his bare (though, admittedly, Nigh Invulnerable) hands to rescue his son.
  • The Last Dogs:
    • Max is very protective and loving towards his child owners Charlie and Emma. So much so that he travels across half of the country on paw to find them, not giving up until he would find them again.
    • Hank the possum gets threatened by the alligators that they would eat his kids if he didn't lure any prey towards them. He does end up leading Max and his friends to the gators to save his children, having a change of heart once he and his children save them.


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