One of the reasons I like Friday Night Lights is because the writers think like I do, or I think like they do. In Friday’s episode, young quarterback J.D. McCoy is in the throes of first love and his dad can’t stand it. He’s losing control over J.D. The kid is growing up and he’s not so malleable to his father, whose overriding goal is that his son becomes a star quarterback in the NFL. Nothing less than that is acceptable, and no high school slut is going to stand between Joe McCoy and his goal for his son.

So here’s what happens: the girl, Madison, who JD is going out with, tells him that J.D.’s dad called her parents and told them that she was never to see J.D. again. She thinks it’s a joke, and says, “Don’t worry about it. I didn’t get in trouble or anything.”

But after the game, when the Dillon Panthers won but JD didn’t play the game according to how his dad told him to, and he defies him about continuing to see his girl, Joe McCoy ends up beating his son up.

It’s incredibly shocking — I don’t get too overwrought over television, but I was sitting there jaw-dropped.

In Gordath Wood, Lord Terrick has the same conversation with Kate after catching her and Colar kissing:

‘I don’t know what my son was thinking,’ he said. ‘His pledge is not his own to make. Where he cannot give his hand, it is not right that he give his heart. He wanted to tell you this himself, but I thought it best it come from me. There. It is done.’

He glared at her as if to dare her to contradict him. She looked down…willing her tears to dry up.
‘It’s okay, Mr. Terrick,’ she said. ‘My parents wouldn’t want us to get married either.’
His expression grew thunderous and she felt a flash of self-satisfaction. She hadn’t meant it, but she had just turned the tables on him. Terrick rejected Mossland, and now Mossland rejected Terrick.

And then:

Colar and his father dressed for battle in silence, helping each other with their harness. … It hadn’t taken long for Colar’s return to camp before he heard the news about Kate. He didn’t know what he felt. Anger. Confusion. Guilt. Had the general seen their kiss?

Did my father tell him? He felt a great swelling up of rage and yanked hard at the buckles on his father’s breastplate.

“Boy,” the old man snapped. He caught Colar’s arm. Colar tried to step back but his father’s grip was like iron. Old or no, Terrick was like a bull.

“Let me go,” Colar said, his voice as low as he could make it.

“Show me respect, boy, or you will sit out this battle with a cracked head.”

“Let me go, you doddering old man,” Colar said. “I don’t have to listen to you.”

The next thing he knew his father had cracked him across the face with his heavy gauntlet. Colar sat heavily, legs splayed, blood spraying. He put his gloves to his face, trying to hold back the blood and the tears. His father watched over him for a moment and then walked out, leaving him alone.

Friday Night Lights is all about how we raise young men. Gordath Wood is about — well, a lot of things, especially horses, but one thing I wanted to explore was, what would a caring father act like in a medieval world?

I guess he would be like an obsessed football dad.


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