Top Five Dysfunctional Families in Geekdom

My cousin is getting married tomorrow, which means a lot of fun–but also a lot of crazy family members.  After the awkward and resentful family dinner we had on Sunday, this means only one thing:

It’s time for my list of the top five dysfunctional families in geekdom!


1. House CleganeA Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones


The obvious choice in the ASoIaF and GoT is the Lannisters, but that’s too obvious. Everyone knows that the Lannister family is completely messed up.  Instead, let’s consider the Cleganes. Both children are sociopaths, and the Hound is bitter and hateful on top of that.  As a child, Sandor lived in terror of Gregor (who brutalized him)–and their father explained away this behavior, hiding it from those around them.  The Hound delights in the thought of his brother’s death, and frequently talks about killing him.  At the Hand’s Tourney in the first book/season, the brothers attack each other without a moment’s hesitation.  If Robert Baratheon hadn’t stopped it, at least one of them wouldn’t have walked away.

2. The EndlessThe Sandman

the endless


When you belong to a “family” of the most powerful beings in the universe, there’s bound to be a certain level of dysfunctionality in your life.  And the Endless–well, they’re pretty good at providing it. Sure, there are the good relationships, like the one between Death and Dream.  This, of course, can be juxtaposed with the relationship between Death and Desire–where Desire even plotted Dream’s death, seemingly for the fun of it.  The Endless will constantly meddle in the affairs of the others, which usually results in some almost-catastrophe that needs to be averted.  These larger-than-life characters tend to bring an equally huge amount of conflict with them.

3. Fire Lord’s FamilyAvatar: The Last Airbender


I can’t decide which relationship is worse–the father/son relationship between Ozai and Zuko, or the brother/sister relationship between Zuko and Azula.  Zuko had a good relationship with his mother, but then she disappeared.  Finally, even though Ozai favored Azula, there were certainly issues between the two.  Poor Uncle Iroh is even a victim of the loathing that is standard in his inter-familial relationships.

4. The GordonsBatman/Batgirl


You know a family is bound to be a little messed up when the parents name both their children after themselves. It tends to be even messier when they live in Gotham.  While the Commissioner and Babs have a pretty good relationship (ignoring her secret career as a vigilante), the New 52 family is cursed with an absent mother and a sociopathic/murderous son.  Too much detail would give away too much of the storyline, so I’ll just say this: the dysfunction in this family is explosive. 

5. Every Family Ever in X-Men


I tried to choose one. I really did.  But when you have to choose between the Lensherrs, the Xavier/Markos, the Summers, the Howlett/Creeds and the Mystique family, there’s really nothing you can do.  And this is only a selection of the most famous of the X-Men families (how about them Guthries?) I’m pretty sure that a normal, healthy family just doesn’t exist in the X-Men universe.


Do you agree with my list? What families would you add? Let me know in the comments!

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