I found him. Quite by accident, but I found him. I bet you didn’t think he existed. That you thought they were first. The missing link. The beginning.
The very first sparkly vampire!
I have no problem with sparkly vampires. It’s perfect for branding. Whenever you hear “sparkly vampires”, you think “Twilight.” (Whether you think “yay Twilight” or “oh god no Twilight” is another issue.)
As I thought about it, I remembered there’s a reason that vampires are the classic choice. There’s so many ways to interpret them. There’s still a few rules to obey:
- they don’t like sunlight
- they die when their heart and/or head is destroyed
- they drink blood
- they were once humans, but are not undead.
Beyond that, authors can (and do) make their versions stand out.
Gabriel Fitzpatrick experimented with one old Slavic myth: that vampires turn into butterflies. Could that still be Bram Stoker’s Dracula kind of scary? It would be tough, but nothing is impossible.
The vampires in Shiki were classic and scary, except for a few vampires called “werewolves”, who could basically be human, walk in the sun and eat food, but only gained their strength by drinking blood. Werewolves made it extremely difficult for the vampire hunters.
In Chibi Vampire, vampires are born that way, grow up and have children of their own. As some part of their puberty, they lose the taste for food and gain the taste for blood. They can only feed on a certain emotion, like lust or jealousy, and they drain it away from their human victim.
Vampires called purebloods are also born as vampires, grow up and have children of their own in Vampire Knight. Or they can be a human victim made into a vampire. The whole “pureblood vs nonpureblood” adds conflict.
Vampire Princess Miyu is the protector of the world from shinma, blood-drinking demons. When she feeds from a human, she gives them a good dream that they can stay in forever.
Blood: the Last Vampire and Blood+ (both HIGHLY recommended) take the same vein, with Saya and her twin as the actual vampires (born that way), while they can turn others into a sort of blood-drinking demon who can then turn others and wreak havoc.
You can even have psychic vampires — vampires that don’t drink blood but drain their victims of their energy. It could be energy in general, sexual energy (like incubi) or fear.
In my God Cursed world, vampires are the worst sinners in the world, and for the Fallion empire, the thing that represents all evil. Jealous of the gifts that the god Adrian’s Blessed Children enjoyed, a band of humans attacked and devoured Adrian’s twin brother, who they had worshipped and helped hide away from his brother.
Adrian was the light and love in the world, while his brothers was the darkness. They died from eating his flesh, but it always brought them back, becoming vampires. Adrian became Le Chasseur when he swore that he would hunt each and everyone of them down until he wiped their existence away forever. They are the God Cursed.
What is the most diverse vampire interpretation that you’ve seen or read? Do you think authors should experiment more or stick closer with the classic definition?