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Toby: Birthdays really aren't Jim's thing.
Blinky: For creatures with such a short lifespan, I thought they would be cherished.
Toby: Uh, not for Jim. They always remind him of the day when his dad disappeared.
Blinky: Interesting. I did not know Jim's father was a magician.
Toby: Hm, not "magic" disappeared, more like "walked out 'cause he's a dead-beat" disappeared. I just moved into the house across the street, and Jim's dad got him this
sweet bike kit for his fifth birthday, and then he just took off. The pieces laid there in the garage for years. Last I heard, the guy ran off with his girlfriend to be a ski-bum in Vermont.
Blinky: What a horrible tragedy. Made even more horrible that I had no idea.
Toby and Blinky about James Sr's disappearance[src]

James Lake, Sr. is an unseen character mentioned many times throughout Trollhunters.

He is the ex-husband of Barbara Lake and the father of Jim Lake Jr.

History

Backstory

Prior to disappearing, James and Barbara appeared to have a romantic relationship and they raised their son, Jim, together for a while. He would often make shrimp cakes for his wife and hug his son, tickling him with his beard.

On Jim's 5th birthday, James gave his son a bike kit as a gift. However, he then just took off without a word, which hurt both Barbara and Jim deeply. Since then, Jim always feels indifferent about his birthdays since they always remind him of his father disappearing on him (and Barbara's weak gift-giving skills don't exactly help him a lot either).

According to Toby (the last time he heard), James left his family because he was having an affair with another woman and became a ski-bum in Vermont.

Trollhunters

James is mentioned a few times by his son, Jim, and his ex-wife, Barbara, throughout the series.

In "Wherefore Art Thou, Trollhunter?", after returning home from his first visit to Heartstone Trollmarket and receiving a lecture from Barbara, Jim reminds her of the time when he was old enough to ask her about his father. She told that they'd just have to take care of each other without him.

In "Win Lose or Draal", after making dinner for his mother, Jim remarks some of his memories he had of his father: how he always made shrimp cakes, scratches Jim's face whenever he hugged him, made Barbara laugh... but how much he hurt them both when he left. Jim promises to his mom that he'd never leave her like that.

In "Bittersweet Sixteen", Jim is dealt with having to deal with the memory of his father walking out on him on his birthday. While Jim trains with AAARRRGGHH!!!, Toby explains to Blinky what happened with Jim's father on his fifth birthday and how it made Jim biased against his birthdays ever since. Blinky felt bad for his pupil, so to make it up to him, he gives him pieces of a Vespa as a birthday gift he always wanted.

In "The Battle of Two Bridges", Jim remarks that Bular just wants to see his father again, a feeling Jim understands himself, but not everyone always gets what they wants.

In "Blinky's Day Out", after Blinky was temporarily changed into a human and meets Barbara, he pretends to be Jim's new guidance counselor at school. He explains that Jim's recent distant behavior and trouble-makings were because of his father (to Jim's disagreement because he never even cared about the deadbeat for years).

In "Airheads", while on a date with Strickler, Barbara mentions Jim's father while talking about the new guidance counselor Strickler recently hired: Mr. Blinky (much to the changeling's surprise). Barbara then remarks how silly it is that she's on a date with another man and talking about her ex-husband.

In "In Good Hands", Jim tries to use his father as an excuse while trying to distract Uhl from seeing Strickler's old secret bunker in his office and allow Toby to escape with an Antramonstrum shell.

Rise of the Titans

While mourning over Strickler's death, Barbara mentions that Jim never give up on anyone and always sees things through, which differs him from his father. Jim brings up that they've never talked about his biological father much and always wondered why he left or what really happened. Barbara admits that there's not really much to talk about: no secrets, no "big reveal". As far as she knew, James Sr. just left and ceased contact with them.

Personality

It was implied that before his disappearance, James was a loving and devoting husband/father who cared about his wife and had a strong bond with his only son.

However, after his disappearance, he is viewed by his family as a world-class jerk. Even Toby described James as a "dead beat" who walked out on his family (and on his son's own birthday leaving only a bike kit, no less) just to be with another woman, however, whether or not he truly abandoned his family or simply disappeared under different circumstances is unknown.

Relationships

Romances

Barbara Lake

James and Barbara had a romantic, stable relationship as they took care of their son together for five years.

When James disappeared, however, Jim recalled how much Barbara was deeply hurt. When Jim was old enough to ask his mom about his dad, Barbara says that they would just have to look after themselves and each other, without James Sr.

Barbara seems to hold a grudge against her ex-husband for leaving her alone to raise their son alone, although it is evident she does miss him at times despite still holding him in bad regards.

Family

Jim Lake Jr.

As implied by Jim himself, he had a strong bond with his father when he was young.

Jim also had a lot of fond memories of his father, like how his father used to hug and tickle him with his beard, implying that they had a loving and caring relationship.

However, Jim was seemingly hurt and betrayed when his father left him on his fifth birthday, leaving him and his mother to look after themselves. Prior before his father's disappearance, he only gave Jim a bike kit as a birthday present. Jim even hates most of his birthdays because they always remind him about his father's disappearance. He holds a deep resentment and grudge towards his father for his abandonment, although whether or not there is more to this than Jim lets on is unknown.

In "Blinky's Day Out", Jim admits to Blinky that he doesn't care about his father.

Jim seems to care about his father to some extent. Like for instance: he admits to Bular that, like him, he wants to see his father, too. But again, not everyone gets what they want. He also often uses his father as an excuse to hide his troll related missions, and to protect his secret identity as the Trollhunter.

Episode Appearances

Trollhunters

Trollhunters Part 1
"Becoming: Part 1"
Absent
"Becoming: Part 2"
Absent
"Wherefore Art Thou, Trollhunter?"
Mentioned
"Gnome Your Enemy"
Absent
"Waka Chaka!"
Absent
"Win Lose or Draal"
Mentioned
"To Catch a Changeling"
Absent
"Adventures in Trollsitting"
Absent
"Bittersweet Sixteen"
Mentioned
"Young Atlas"
Absent
"Recipe for Disaster"
Absent
"Claire and Present Danger"
Absent
"The Battle of Two Bridges"
Absent
"Return of the Trollhunter"
Absent
"Mudslinging"
Absent
"Roaming Fees May Apply"
Absent
"Blinky's Day Out"
Mentioned
"The Shattered King"
Absent
"Airheads"
Mentioned
"Where Is My Mind?"
Absent
"Party Monster"
Absent
"It's About Time"
Absent
"Wingmen"
Absent
"Angor Management"
Absent
"A Night to Remember"
Absent
"Something Rotten This Way Comes"
Absent
Trollhunters Part 3
"Night Patroll"
Absent
"Arcadia's Most Wanted"
Absent
"Bad Coffee"
Mentioned
"So I'm Dating a Sorceress"
Absent
"The Exorcism of Claire Nunez"
Absent
"Parental Guidance"
Absent
"The Oath"
Absent
"For the Glory of Merlin"
Absent
"In Good Hands"
Mentioned
"A House Divided"
Absent
"Jimhunters"
Absent
"The Eternal Knight: Part 1"
Absent
"The Eternal Knight: Part 2"
Absent

Film

Top Nav Rise of the Titans.png
Mentioned


Trivia

  • In the books, Jim's father was overprotective and did not leave. It was the mom who left them. He also was the one who found the amulet.
    • Jim's father was also a victim of losing his brother to a troll.
  • Apparently, Jim's father is some sort of military hero (judging by the portrait), whereas, in the books, Jim looked down upon him.
    • However, Aaron Waltke confirms that the portrait of the soldier was originally going to be Jim’s father, but that idea was eventually scrapped and they decided that it was rather an uncle or grandfather of Jim (and, by extension, a brother or father of Barbara).[2]
  • In an interview with Guillermo Del Toro, Kevin and Dan Hageman wanted to bring James Sr. into the plot of Trollhunters Part Two to reveal that he was a knight who was also a Trollhunter. Also, James Sr.'s girlfriend was a young instructor. The idea was scrapped because Guillermo wanted nothing to do with James Sr. and just wanted him to be a father who left.
  • In Angor Reborn, it was revealed that Barbara has stored some silly old clothes of James Sr, which was later worn by Merlin. It contained: high-top sneakers, a baggy parachute pants, a Papa Skull T-shirt, sunglasses, and a porkie hat.
  • Originally, more was going to be learned about James Lake Sr. in the final season of Wizards. However, the creators settled on making it a limited series instead. Therefore, and as pointed out by Aaron Waltke in a Twitter page, James Sr. was deemed irrelevant to the whole plot.
    • It can be presumed that his involvement was moved to the upcoming Trollhunters film, Rise of the Titans.
      • In fact, according to Marc Guggenheim when asked if Jim's father will appear in the movie, he said James Sr. will "come up".[1] Like in the series, James Sr. is mentioned, brought up by Jim and Barbara while in Camelot. Barbara admits that, as far as she knew, there's not much she could talk about her ex-husband, even while Jim always wondered for years.
      • When asked on Discord what had happened to Steve’s father before the divorce with his wife, Aaron Waltke responded that he joined a club for ski bums in Vermont with a second member. This suggest that the second member might be in fact James Sr., as this was hinted by Toby in Trollhunters based on a rumor he had once heard.[3]

References

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