Books, Films

Vampires

Have you noticed how drastically the images of many of the creatures in the fantasy fiction world have changed? Let’s jump right into more of such characters like witches and fairies which we discussed as both antagonists and protagonists. You’ll see how their perception has changed from the beginning of their characterization to present.

When the name vampire comes up, fangs, claws, devilish and nocturnal blood thirsty immortals immediately pop up in mind. Movies and shows such as ‘An Interview with the Vampire’ portrays a devilishly handsome Tom Cruise or fans of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ may have exceptional recollections of the romantic but eternally opposite behaving Salvatore brothers. Such shows have been able to show the more human-side of these fictitious creatures, which makes one think, ‘Should I consider this vile and callous monster’s side of the story too?’, ‘Maybe they aren’t as evil as the picture painted of them’. What of their existence? Could there be a possibility of their discreet existence amongst us? Such questions give a rise to curiosity that can only be satiated when one learns the origins of vampires.

The inspiration

The discussion of vampires is incomplete without mentioning Dracula. Famous for being the first is Count Dracula, which is actually the given name of the vampire in the book by Bram Stoker. The character of this vampire seems to have been inspired by the bizarre chronicles of the fifteenth century Romanian Prince Vlad Tepes who was also infamously known as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad was a real Prince of Wallachia and a savage, merciless ruler. He was known to have his enemies staked and impaled for punishment, and was very creative with his methods of torture and murders. With Vlad the Impaler no one knew what punishment was coming their way, but a slow excruciating death was to be expected. There were speculations of him drinking the blood of his enemies. As for the name Dracula, it originated from his father’s name Dracul, meaning the dragonist and Dracula, meaning the son of dragon. Thus, Stoker’s character was all those things the Prince of Wallachia was known for and more.

Dracula’s Evolution

With changing times, Dracula’s character was adopted in many other literary works, series and movies, which led to his image evolving into a night walker, who, although drinks blood, struggles between life and death, but is charmingly handsome or is bewitchingly alluring if it’s a female vamp. The wicked personification of the character also seems to have evolved too – not all vampires are evil and with practiced control they can freely live among and be friends with humans.

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