Today The Weinstein Company releases Vampire Academy, yet another YA take on vampires, but how do these bloodsuckers differ from your other varieties?
It's almost unfair to call the presence of vampires on the big screen a "trend," because, despite the enormous success of Twilight, humans have always been a little obsessed with vamps. But because vampires are legend, the legend can be rewritten, and so while many pop culture vamps share some commonality—they drink blood, for one obvious instance; most have fangs—they also have their differences. Because every single vamp isn't the same, it allows the creators of these fantasies to make comments on vampire history.
For instance, in True Blood, the thinking goes that all the vampire myths were made up as a form of vampire self protection. In the season five opener of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy meets Dracula, allowing the show's writers to wink at the lore around Bram Stoker's canonical work. (It also allows the Prince of Darkness to be crazy campy.). And in The Vampire Diaries, the vamps straight up mock the characteristics of vampires in other franchises. For instance, here's a snipped from The Vampire Diaries episode "Family Ties:"
Damon Salvatore: What's so special about this Bella girl? Edward's so whipped.
Caroline Forbes: You have to read the first book first, otherwise it won't make sense.
Damon Salvatore: Uh, I miss Anne Rice, she was so on it.
Caroline Forbes: Hey, how come you don't sparkle?
Damon Salvatore: Because I live in the real world where vampires burn in the sun.
Caroline Forbes: Yeah, but you go in the sun.
Damon Salvatore: I have a ring, it protects me. It's complicated.
The introduction of Vampire Academy—based on a series of novels by Richelle Mead—complicates the mix even more. The story deals with Dhampirs (half humans and half vampires) who protect the Moroi (good vampires) from the Strigoi (bad vamps). The vampire lore gets complicated in the Vampire Academy books with these two different sects of vamps. For instance, the Strigoi can only can only be killed by a silver stake, and has a stronger desire for Moroi blood than human blood. The Moroi are also, born rather than made, and are mortal. It's exhausting.
So, in order to get a better sense of different vamps' place in the vampire landscape we decided to see how they overlap. In the below graphic, Vampire Academy II refers to the Strigoi, while the Moroi fall in the same overlap as True Blood and Vampire Diaries.
Check out our Venn Diagram of vampire traits:
And now, delve further with our chart, which looks into details like whether they can come into people's homes without invitation and whether they have reflections.
|Show/Movie||Interview With The Vampire/Anne Rice||BTVS||Vampire Diaries|
|Garlic||No||Yes||No. BUT, they are repelled by Vervain, a plant|
|Sunlight||Yes (very old vampires may survive)||Yes, they turn into fire.||Yes, but they have rings to work around it.|
|Mind control||Powerful vampires can read thoughts.||Some vamps have this power, like Drusilla.||Yes|
|Staking||No||Yes||Yes (except for The Originals)|
|Beauty||Yes, the transformation enhances their beauty.||No (other than requisite WB hotness).||Everybody is hot in this show.|
|Super strength||Yes||Yes||Yes; depends on how they feed and age|
|Show/Movie||True Blood||Twilight||Dracula (Bram Stoker)|
|Garlic||Bill is irritated by garlic but it's not really a big deal||No||Yes|
|Sunlight||Yes||No, they sparkle.||Weakened during daylight|
|Mind control||Yes, called glamouring||Depends on their individual power||Yes|
|Staking||Yes||No, they have to be dismembered and burned.||Yes, but you have to decapitate him too.|
|Coffins||They use coffins, but don't have to.||They don't sleep.||Yes|
|Crucifixes||No; Bill goes to church.||No||Yes|
|Beauty||No. They look like they did as humans, just less healthy.||Yes||Yes|
|Super strength||Yes||Yes, but it decreases if they fail to drink blood.||Yes|
|Show/Movie||Vampire Academy I (Moroi)||Vampire Academy II (Strigoi)||Underworld|
|Sunlight||Yes, but they don't like it.||They burn in sunlight, but it doesn't kill them.||No|
|Mind control||Yes (some are stronger than others)||Yes, when they bite they release endorphins that hypnotize.||No|
|Staking||Yes, but you can break their necks and decap them.||Yes, but the stake has to be silver.||No|
|Coffins||No||No||Yes, the elders use them.|
|Super strength||Yes||Yes (only strigoi have enhanced speed)||Yes|
|Garlic||Yes/It's an allergy|