True Blood and the Vampire Genre

November 20, 2009 by  

Bill-Compton-blue-eyes-newWe are all madly fascinated with our True Blood and with its undead characters. Our show is obviously not the first to showcase the vampire. Zap 2 It news recently wrote an article comparing the many facets of this up and rising genre. In each of these stories though, the vampires are portrayed with a variety of different abilities and weaknesses.

It all started with the original “Dracula”. A character taken from the pages of Bram Stoker’s novel the Count who could transform himself into a vampire as a way of escaping death. He had super strength, enhanced speed, could climb walls, and crawl across ceilings. He also had the power of hypnosis, mind control and could transform into animals and into an eerie mist. His weaknesses were lessened strength and abilities in the daylight, garlic, and crucifixes. He was forced to rest near Transylvanian soil.  In order to enter someone’s house, the Count needed to be invited.

Some of these traits sound familiar, huh? Some other notable qualities included the fact that he was able to come out in the sunlight and he did not cast a shadow or reflection. If a would be hero wanted to kill the Count, he would have to drive a wooden stake into his heart and then to be thoroughly sure the job was done, decapitate him.

From Dracula we move on to two shows that invited vampires into the world of television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. In these shows vampires are considered demons. Through the seven seasons on Buffy and the five seasons of Angel we met many varieties of vampires with many different abilities and weaknesses. Some of these powers included super strength, enhanced senses, speed, healing, and an immunity to psychics. The vampires didn’t need to breath either. The older and more powerful vampires had the ability to hypnotize and cloud the minds of humans. Weaknesses included amputation because they were unable to regrow limbs. They also could be burned by crosses, crucifixes, and holy water. They too had to be invited into a home in order to enter it. As for their sensitivities to sunlight, it was very inconsistent. It seemed some could go out in the daylight as long as they were shaded, such as Angel and Spike. Other vampires would burst into flames as soon as they were exposed to the sunlight. One notable attribute to these shows was that they could wear magic rings that gave them immunity to most weaknesses. In order to kill them, you would have to stake them in the heart with a wooden stake or you could burn them, but fire was not always the quickest option. Decapitation and the ingestion of large amounts of holy water could also do the trick.

Eric-NothmanThese shows in some ways paved the way for our beloved True Blood. The major difference between True Blood and the other vampires we have gone over is that in this story their existence is public knowledge. Yet humans are not aware of all their abilities or weaknesses. Our vampires have super strength, speed, and enhanced healing and senses. They can heal humans by feeding them their blood. They also have the ability to hypnotize, which we True Blood fans know as “glamoring”. Some of the vampires have the ability to fly and they have a strong connection to their makers and those that drink their blood. Their weaknesses include wood, the need to rest during the daytime, fire, silver, and hepatitis D. They too must be invited into a house before entering it. Sunlight is harmful to them, but the older vampires are much more vulnerable to it than younger ones. A twist that we see in True Blood is that the humans are after the vampire’s blood for its hallucinogenic and aphrodisiac qualities. In order to kill these vampires you would either expose them to sunlight or the classic, wooden stake through the heart.

Another popular vampire show is The Vampire Diaries. This show is fairly new with only a handful of episodes since they are still in their first season. The vampires we have met so far in this series are extremely attractive and brooding. We will not know the full extent of their powers until we watch the show unravel. Right now we know they have super strength, speed, and hearing. They have an ability to turn into birds. They have the ability to control minds and alter memories. All the vampires thus far in this series don’t all have the same powers. Their weaknesses also include wood, but the difference is they can also be injured if staked somewhere other than the heart. They are also sensitive to a plant called Vervain. The plant can protect the humans from the vampire’s mind control abilities and make their blood poisonous. They too, once again, must be invited in to a home in order to enter. One notable point about this series is that human blood magnifies the vampire’s powers. One of the lead characters, Stephan, only drinks the blood of animals but this weakens his powers. To kill them, you would again have to stake them through the heart.

Bill-Compton-Eric-NorthmanThis brings us to the fan obsessed Twilight film. This movie by far has reawakened the vampire genre, though these vampires are the least vampiric. Their powers include super strength, speed, and enhanced senses. They have an exceptional sense of smell and are invulnerable to most injuries. Some of the vampires possess special abilities such a reading minds or foreseeing the future. Their weaknesses include other vampires and werewolves. They are able to be in the sunlight but they sparkle like diamonds. The heavy cloud cover of Forks, Washington is enough to keep them from exposing themselves. The Cullen Clan doesn’t drink human blood, they feed off of animals, but this does not diminish their powers. They can cast shadows and be photographed. If you want to kill them you have to chop them into pieces and burn those pieces.

So now we have completed this small vampire journey and see that all these shows possess different qualities that make their shows what they are. With so many books, movies, and TV shows fulfilling our vampiric needs, it doesn’t look like this obsession is going anywhere, anytime soon.

SOURCE: Zap 2 It

(Photo Credits: HBO Inc.)