Jean Valjean in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
WHO doesn’t love a bad boy gone good? Convict-turned-hero Jean Valjean is probably one of the best fathers in literature.
Valjean may not be the biological father of Cosette, the young girl suddenly thrown into his care. Yet he still looks after her with love and devotion as a single father, just because he made a promise to her dying mother. And that gives him tons of extra Great Dad points (24,601 of them, probably?) in my book.
From his humble beginnings as an ex-prisoner, Valjean climbs the ranks, becoming a rich, compassionate, and noble man who manages to provide a wonderful life for Cosette.
Yes, he is a little overprotective when the lovestruck Marius comes to woo his daughter, but let’s face it, what father isn’t in situations like this?
And then he joins a revolution to find Marius even when it may cost him his life. Valjean’s got guts! Bonus traits are he’s super strong, is a good marksman, and (according to the musical) has a lovely singing voice. Any lovelorn lady would love to take him home (ahem) to look after their children together.
Valjean (Hugh Jackman) taking great care of Cosette (Isabelle Allen) in this scene from the movie adaptation of the book. — Universal Pictures