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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Power Grid

The 10 Greatest Vampire Archetypes


Allow Us To Explain

Allow Us To Explain

We’ve been in a vampir-ey mood lately. Perhaps its the success of Being Human on this side of the pond, the imminent end of the Twilight movie franchise, or maybe it’s Priest.

…naaaahhh, haha, it’s not Priest.

The Vampire is a mythological creature that can function as something of a Rorschach test: it is what you make of it. Vampirism has been a metaphor for pretty much any moral threat to the social collective. Originally, vampires weren’t sexy, pretty, pale people, tormented over their fate. (Or not.) Nor did they have a penchant for Egyptian jewelry or lying around on couches in cheap velvet listening to the Smiths. They were in many ways the original zombies. You know…re-animated bodies, crawling from the grave to feast on the blood of mortals be they sexy or no.

Today, Vampires can be whatever we want them to be: recovering addicts, stunted children, sinners seeking redemption, or the object of everyone’s uncontrollable lust.

Here we have listed, for your eternal pleasure, some of the most common, most famous, most versatile vein bursting bloodletters in our contemporary culture. And believe us when we say… they all suck.


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  • NarcoSleepy

    You could have just said White Wolf and been done with it.   Vampire: The Masquerade had a very rich history and each of the clans are representative of all of the archetypes you’ve covered here.  Just a great framework.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Everyone forgets Lord Ruthven and Varney… or don’t know about them at all, which in Varney’s case is fair; at 667,000 words it is literally a tome and sooooo long winded!

    However, Varney covers a huge chunk of vampire tropes; he is the hideous Nosferatu (right down to his shiny eyes) and the mindless zombie (when fully in blood lust mode), the dark lord (with his hypnotic powers, super strength and title), the sympathetic, sexy and romantic parasite who didn’t chose to be turned and just wants to find someone to love.

    Lord Ruthven covered some of these (then not) tropes first (1816); he uses the title “Lord’, he is sexy and alluring, likes to seduce and then kill pretty women but also likes to keep around a friend, to travel with and stuff.

    Hey, loss of geek cred points here; Spike’s disturbing backstory was first revealed in BtVS, you know, where he spent 6 seasons, on and off :P

    The word nosferatu was NOT made up for the 1922 film. It does in fact appear in Bram Stoker’s Dracula; http://www.gutenberg.org/files/345/345-h/345-h.htm (just ctr+f it). For more info; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosferatu_(word)

    Aside from that, interesting list. I never really considered the zombie-vampire, not in Western media, anyway. They’re either zombies, the infected (thank you Boyle) or they’re vampires. Drink blood? Vampires. Bite to pass on infection as well as consume meat? Zombie. Eastern media, of course, has different rules, as their vampires are of the same ilk as voodoo zombies (mindless automatons controlled by a magician of sorts) but also drink blood to stay animate.

    Western media needs to latch onto the idea of Eastern zombies more, and explore the notion of dead bodies controlled by another consciousness (human, parasite, spirit, E.T. whatever) that consumes blood to continue to function, that or may not be able to, shall we say at least converse. It’d make the recent surge of Zed films and shows more interesting.

    And if someone’s done this, point me in their direction. I fell out with vampire fiction quite a while ago. So hard to dig through the dross to find the shiny penny.

  • Leisan

    My favorite Nosferatu appearance is the “Hash Slinging Slasher” episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  There’s just something so fun in his trickstering and their response. 

  • Anonymous

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  • Anonymous

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amanda-Pike/1147648549 Amanda Pike

    There are a few things wrong with this article.

    1.  Nick (Forever Knight), his first victim was a woman in Paris, NOT a cow.   Otherwise he’d be a Carushe, which is a Forever Knight vampire that only craves animal blood.  Nick craves human blood, that’s the problem and why it’s a struggle for him to live on animal blood.

    2.  Anne Rice vampires have blood and it’s circulating, they just don’t reproduce sexually so the sexual reproductive organs are essentially dead.
     

  • Anonymous

     vipshopper.us

  • Nosferatu

    Hard to believe a list like this without a single mention of True Blood. Not a huge fan myself (too soap opera-like), biut many people are and in that trope, vampires live among us, they are just misunderstood & many live in the closet. They are also somehow related to fairies or pixies or some crap. Whatever, it’s another spin on the ”sexy boyfriend/girlfriend” vampire.

    And, also no mention of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? 

  • Anonymous

    vipshopper.us

  • AO

     Loved the mention of The Confessor!  Thanks.  

  • Meryc

    They mentioned both Spike and Angel.

  • Anonymous

    WHAT!! Nothing about the show with the hottest, sexiest, baddest vamps around right now, The Vampire Diaries.  Klaus is so bad and his brother Elijah are the first vampires EVER, then the other brothers Damon, the one I cry over, and Stefan the “good” one that is turning bad. This show packs more into each ep than most shows do all season. The writers are awesome and it is not a show you can ever know what is going to happen, did I mention how HOT Ian Somerhalder is as DAMON. LOL Sigh.

    Spike was my first vamp love and when Angelus showed up you knew the show was going to heat up.

    Other shows with vamps I liked: Kindred the Embraced, Being Human(both BBC and Syfy),  Daybreakers, The Lost Boys, True Blood and of course Moonlight, Interview with a Vampire, Buffy, Angel, Forever Knight, the Twilight movies are just funny with bad acting..to me, and vamp DON’T sparkle. lol 

  • Anonymous

    WHAT!! Nothing about the show with the hottest, sexiest, baddest vamps around right now, The Vampire Diaries.  Klaus is so bad and his brother Elijah are the first vampires EVER, then the other brothers Damon, the one I cry over, and Stefan the “good” one that is turning bad. This show packs more into each ep than most shows do all season. The writers are awesome and it is not a show you can ever know what is going to happen, did I mention how HOT Ian Somerhalder is as DAMON. LOL Sigh.

    Spike was my first vamp love and when Angelus showed up you knew the show was going to heat up.

    Other shows with vamps I liked: Kindred the Embraced, Being Human(both BBC and Syfy),  Daybreakers, The Lost Boys, True Blood and of course Moonlight, Interview with a Vampire, Buffy, Angel, Forever Knight, the Twilight movies are just funny with bad acting..to me, and vamp DON’T sparkle. lol 

  • Anonymous

    Moonlight took place in Los Angeles. They were never that subtle about it (or anything else).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=679599520 Kevin Wells

     How would you classify Barnabas Collins from the original Dark Shadows. He wasn’t really romantic or sexy, a lord or a child, a teetotaler, a beast like the Nosferatu or a parasite. He may be a different stereotype as the accursed trying to stop his wicked appetites and even cure his vampirism.

  • Emma

     Terry Pratchett’s vampires only do away with human blood. Some of them work in kosher butcher shops or like Lady Margolotta drink bull’s blood. They require the extra hemoglobins in their blood.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=525535616 Bridget Marie Blodgett

    The concept of the parasite totally got me to thinking of Gerald Tarrant from the Coldfire Trilogy. I think the concept of the parasite is played out so nicely in how it is detailed in this series.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4NGMQRN4TANXXUUDXMKJASMOZ4 Letty

    Barnabas Collins, as played by Mr. Frid, was a VERY romantic character.  His romantic nature is what got him into his darkest trouble as a mortal in 1795.  It also became evident in his courtly relationships with women throughout various time periods, often giving them gifts from his past life such as volumes of poetry or a certain prized music box.  He was gentlemanly, even in vampire mode.  He could be seductive–through voice and mannerisms–and had the most compelling eyes.  An example, in point, is when he appeared in the bedroom of young Roxanne Drew of 1840 Parallel Time, and said these extremely seductive words to her:  “I  am the dark stranger you spoke of…I shall love you as no one ever has…I cannot help myself.”   What made Barnabas Collins a tragic, haunting, even romantic figure was his lonely existence, exemplified by his repressed fervor.  It was a fact of his curse that were he to truly love anyone, they would die.  Eventually, through the jealousy of Angelique, once again, this exact fate was bestowed upon Roxanne.