Some interesting contrasts between Kylo and Hux’s childhoods from the novels:
“Brendol Hux is not a popular man. He isn’t army, he isn’t navy. He’s cold, smug, stubborn. He spends his time alone. Even his own son stays away from him—and that boy has no friends here, either. With the fall of the Empire, Hux and his son have been increasingly alienated.” - Empire’s End
“His expression reminded her a little bit of Ben’s when he was little, running in after an afternoon of roughhousing with his friends, hair mussed, absolutely filthy, and proud of himself.” - Bloodline
”He has a child, a bastard boy, as I understand. Not born of his wife, Maratelle, but of some … kitchen woman” - Life Debt
“On the day the Instruments of Surrender are signed, a child is born on Chandrila to Leia Organa and Han Solo. Friends and family gather. Rumors fly about who was there and who was not. Some say that the golden boy, Luke Skywalker, made an appearance and then was gone again, off on some untold mission. Others say his absence was conspicuous. Missing, too, was Solo’s copilot, who is said to have finally found his own Wookiee family on Kashyyyk. Stories of the birth range from the dramatic and fortuitous to the utterly inauspicious—one story suggests that the birthing chamber was occupied for three whole days while Leia struggled. Another tells the tale that it was fast and painless: She merely needed to calm herself and meditate to make the moment as untroubled as a mountain lake. Some say the boy was born with a shock of black hair, others that he had a full set of teeth, others still that he was just a baby like any other, sweet one moment, screaming the next, and nestling at his mother as any healthy child does.
What is known is this: The child’s name is Ben, and he takes his father’s last name, even as Leia keeps only her own family name, Organa.” - Empire’s end
“But of course you should! None of the Elder Houses adjudicates succession through strict bloodline inheritance.” Privately Lady Carise held some reservations about this. Bloodlines had to matter somewhat, otherwise the very concept of royalty would be discounted. However, she believed that inner nobility could be demonstrated through action, and despite her political disagreements with the princess, Lady Carise felt nobody could deny Leia’s courage was the equal of any monarch’s. “You must succeed Lord Mellowyn, just as your son must someday succeed you.”
For a moment Princess Leia looked weary, as if she had aged between one sentence and the next. “I can’t see Ben taking much interest in the governorship, either.” - Bloodline
Parents and “mentors”
“Armitage is a weak-willed boy. Thin as a slip of paper and just as useless. But I’ll teach him. You’ll… you’ll see. He has potential.” - Life Debt
“Hm. Brendol does not much like you, I suspect.”
Tears line the boy’s eyelids as he nods in agreement. “I suspect that is correct, sir.” - Empire’s End
“The months for Sloane are hard and lonely. The Imperialis is a cold, impeccably designed ship, and she shares it with a pack of wild children and the haggard, haunted remnant of the man named Brendol Hux. The early days of the trip were spent worrying about whether or not one day Hux would rally his vicious orphans to slay her while sleeping. But once she saw that the children listened to Hux’s own son—a pale slip of a boy with a tousle of red hair—she went to him and asked young Armitage to make a deal with her. She said to Armitage: “If you’re willing to keep me safe from the children, then I will keep you safe from your father. Do we have an accord?” The boy nodded and said that they did.” - Empire’s End
“He nodded. Smiling through tears. Blubbering that he was her man. Then she added, “Your son. Armitage. I know you don’t like him. I suspect you hurt him— psychologically or physically, I don’t know, and I don’t care. You will leave him alone. And you will teach the boy everything that you know. Are we clear?” More blubbering, more nodding. That solved that problem.” -
“There! There it is. Washing over her and through her — an awareness unlike any she’s ever felt before. A pulsing glow, flickering and strong.
It’s not the plant. It’s not Luke. It’s not even Han.
It’s her child.
This isn’t just a mother’s recognition of the life inside—that, she already knows. She’s already well aware of the bump and tumble of that little person she carries. (And she already knows about the heartburn, and the pre-breakfast nausea, and the post-breakfast nausea, and the post-post-breakfast hunger)
This goes beyond all that. This is something separate from her. It isn’t a physical feeling. It is all around her. It suffuses her like the perfume from a jungle of flowers. As such, she is suddenly aware of her child’s mind and spirit: She senses pluck and wit and steel blood and a keen mind and by the blood of Alderaan is this one going to be a fighter!” - Life Debt
“Princess Leia’s baby, he knows, will have a good life. The best life. A family kept together, a father and mother who love him…” -
“The dark, now lit with stars. One by one, like eyes opening. Comforting at first, then sinister as she worries, Who is out there, who is watching us? Hands reach for her, hands of shadow, lifting her up, reaching for her throat, her wrists, her stomach— Inside, the child kicks. She feels her baby turning inside, right-side up and upside down, struggling to find his bearings, trying so hard to find his way free of her. It’s not time, she thinks. Just a little longer.
Luke, she wants to cry out. But her words won’t come. Her mouth is sealed, a hand pressed over it. One by one, stars go dark again, winking out of existence as if by a hand slowly closing over them—” - Empire’s End
“But her baby boy? Him she can effortlessly feel inside her. Not just the way that all mothers can feel the living creature within, but she can feel him with the invisible hands of the Force: With it she senses the margins of his burgeoning mind, she knows his mood, she can tell that he’s healthy. He is less a human-shaped thing and more a pulsing, living band of light. Light that sometimes dims, that sometimes is thrust through with a vein of darkness. She tells herself that it’s normal—Luke said to her, Leia, we all have that. He explained that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.
Right now her son is upset, tumbling inside her as if he can’t get comfortable. His light, flickering with the dark. She centers herself and concentrates. The walls of the room fall away. Everything is white and then it’s black. Then she’s in the calm, airless void. As Leia finds her peace, so does her son.” - Empire’s End
“While Leia is in the other room taking a shower, Han says in a low voice: “Hey. It’s you and me, kid. Whole damn galaxy against us but we’ll make it through okay. I’m not always gonna be the best dad—c’mon, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here. I can barely take care of myself. But I’ll always keep us pointed in the right direction…even if we zig and zag a little to get there. There’s your first lesson: Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t mean following a straight line. Sometimes you gotta—” He takes his hand and gestures with it like it’s a fish swimming this way and that, left and right and up and down. “Don’t tell your mother I said that.”
He stoops down and gingerly reaches for his son. He hoists him up and Ben twists and turns in his grip. He’s so small. Han thinks how easy it would be to break him. Or to drop him. The boy is vulnerable to everything. And so he does what feels most natural—he protects the kid by bringing him close to his chest. And just like that Ben stops crying. The boy nuzzles up against his collarbone. He burps once, his dark eyes pinch shut, and he’s out like a light.” -
“Leia called upon her memories of Ben as she smiled at them.” - Bloodline
“We’ve lost our son, forever.”
Leia bit her lower lip, refusing to concede. “No. It was Snoke.”
Han drew back slightly. “Snoke?”
She nodded. “He knew our child would be strong with the Force. That he was born with equal potential for good or evil.”
“You knew this from the beginning? Why didn’t you tell me?”
She sighed. “Many reasons. I was hoping that I was wrong, that it wasn’t true. I hoped I could sway him, turn him away from the dark side, without having to involve you.” … I thought I could sheild him from Snoke’s influence and you from what was happening.” Her voice dropped. “It’s clear now that I was wrong. Whether your involvement would have made a difference, we’ll never know.”
He had trouble believing what he was hearing. “So Snoke was watching our son.”
“Always,” she told him. “From the shadows, in the beginning, even before I realized what was happening, he was manipulating everything, pulling our son toward the dark side.” - The Force Awakens Novelization
“The gift. You want to know about the gift. Here it is, Armitage: You will lead these children. They will serve you. And one day soon your father will pass down his teachings to you, and you will learn to do what he did. It will be your life’s work to take children like these savages and hammer their malleable minds into whatever shape you so require. They will be tools built for the work at hand. That is my gift to you, boy. One day your father will die. One day soon, I fear. And you will take his place.” -
“They train every day here on board the ship at the urging of both Brendol and his son Armitage. Armitage has grown more vicious during these months, even for such a small boy. Sloane likes him. But she worries about him, too.” -
“And then, the black edging of the dark side encircles her bliss like a noose. Because what rides swift on the heels of hope but fear — a fear that stretches out far and wide like a growing shadow. Fear of having a child in an unstable galaxy. Fear of whether or not Han is alive — or Luke, too. Will the child grow up with a father? An uncle? A mentor? What is her legacy and what will her boy’s legacy be?” - Life Debt
“The baby turns inside her again, troubled by something she cannot feel and cannot yet understand.” - Empire’s End
“Leia can’t do what Luke can do and maybe never will, but she can quiet the kid with but the faintest of gestures. He hates to admit it, but he’s jealous of that. Han will never have that with Ben. They’re connected in a way he can’t even begin to understand. “You know. Use the Force.” -
“One day she would have to reveal all this to her son. The truth of Vader’s identity had shattered her; she could not imagine what it might mean to Ben. At least Luke could tell Ben the most important part—that Vader had, in the end, been redeemed. Anakin Skywalker had returned; the dark side had been defeated by the light.” - Bloodline
“She needed to explain to Ben that they’d kept from telling him because they’d wanted to find the right moment. She realized now that she’d been fooling herself. Luke, too. There could be no good time to learn news this devastating.” - Bloodline