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The Real Reason We Don't See The Son On How I Met Your Father

In the short few weeks since it premiered, "How I Met Your Father" is already shaping up to be a worthy successor to the beloved comedy series "How I Met Your Mother." In a similar premise to the original show, "How I Met Your Father" follows a single woman named Sophie (played by Hilary Duff) and her friends as she searches for love in New York City. The new series also carries over another unique hallmark from its predecessor: its special future framing device.

In "How I Met Your Father," an older Sophie (played by Kim Cattrall) is revealed to be telling the events of the show to her son in the year 2050 to explain how she met his father. This concept was also done in "How I Met Your Mother," though there is one crucial difference between how the new show handles this element versus how it was done on the original. Fans of "How I Met Your Mother" will recall that the older Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget) explains the events of the show off-screen to his on-screen kids, Luke (David Henrie) and Penny (Lyndsy Fonseca). "How I Met Your Father" flips the script, with the older Sophie shown on-screen during these segments, while her son speaks off-screen. As it turns out, this change was made for a very purposeful reason.

The son's anonymity boosts the central mystery of the show

Some of the appeal of the original "How I Met Your Mother" was that it kept the identity of the mother a secret until the very last episode of the show, leaving audiences to speculate just which character was going to turn out to be Ted's ultimate love interest. "How I Met Your Father" seeks to replicate that mystery while also tweaking the show's approach by changing the structure of the "future" segments.

According to Hilary Duff in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the choice to keep Sophie's son's name and appearance a secret from the audience was to stamp out any unintentional clues as to the identity of the father. Duff explained that seeing Ted's kids in the original show from the very first episode tipped viewers off that the mother was ostensibly going to be white. The approach that "How I Met Your Father" is taking means that Sophie's son could have any possible racial heritage, thereby not ruling out any potential candidate for the father based on appearance.

It seems that the show's creators are committed to keeping the identity of the father a secret for as long as possible. If "How I Met Your Father" manages even a fraction of the longevity as its predecessor, it could be several years before this mystery is solved. For now, fan speculation on who will end up being Sophie's special someone rages on.