Friday, August 6, 2010

Why Vampires Are Traditionally Aristocrats

I know, I know, modern vampires are counterculture rebels or an oppressed (how?) minority; enchanting demigods with just a hint of "bad boy". But back when vampires were something to fear, they were frequently presented as aristocrats. Nowadays, of course, we live in something more like a plutarchy...

...but the metaphor holds up surprisingly well.

I can haz torches and pitchforks, pleaz?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Without looking too deeply into the ravings of a syphilitic Irishman...

    There are plenty of great reasons for this, in addition to those illustrated in the article. I'm thinking primarily of historical context and practical sense.

    Historically, the wealthy are associated with eccentrism. This is why Count Dracula's strange manner is hardly questioned by his guest in the original story: he's just another weird, rich guy. It's not hard to see how living an insular life among the aristocracy would lead to strange behavior, especially when the wealthy can get away with just about anything.

    Then there's the historical examples of aristocrats indulging in essentially vamnpiric practices, and I need not bore you with the specifics of the woman who bathed in blood to stay young or the ever popular Vlad who impaled people on pikes. Historically, aristocrats are indeed quite cruel, even by today's standards. If anything, modern aristocrats can't hold a candle to their pre-Enlightenment counterparts.

    In a practical sense, a vampire would be rich and powerful. Even if the vampire were simply robbing each blood victim, what else could become of an immortal? Plus, what are they going to spend their money on, anyway? The centuries of experience and accumulated wealth alone would have an inevitable outcome.

    You know what a great movie would be? A world where zombies attacked and took over the vampires. It's like a Zombunist Revolution. You know, cause zombies are poor people...

  3. I would totally pay to see that movie.

    Are you acquainted with Last Blood? Vampires protecting humans from the Zombie Apocalypse... 'cause you have to preserve the food supply.

  4. I'm not really into the genre. I read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in like 3rd grade, because me and Stoker have the same birthday (November 8th), and I'm the kind of person who does that stuff. It went way over my head, but I had to read it again later twice for school.

    Beyond that... I like the movies "Interview With the Vampire" and "Shadow of the Vampire," but not most others. My wife is really into "True Blood," and even reads the Sookie books, but I am only mildly interested in the story (I would write the whole thing centered on Eric, the viking vampire, and would have killed off Sookie Stackhouse in about 5 minutes).

    I'm hesitant to delve too deeply into Last Blood, since graphic novels never appealed to me, and frankly I don't read much anymore. I read very slowly, to be honest, and there isn't much joy for me in reading. I like reading non-fiction, and I'm currently trying to push my way through the Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran. Next up: the Book of Mormon.

    The idea is interesting, and as you said, I would totally pay to see that movie.

  5. oh, the vampire. that darkling beauty to cause every young woman's heart to flutter, unsure whether she is in fear of the Beast, or in lust with the Beast...
    etc etc bullshit etc.

    i first read vampire stuffs around age 10 - because i have porphyria, and it's called "the vampiric disease".

    there 3 types of vampire characters i DON'T HATE.
    1. ACTUAL VAMPIRES who are old, cunning, rich, savvy, hedonistic, and evil - in short, vampired who have embraced being evil*
    2. ACTUAL VAMPIRES who have spent their ENTIRE "undeath" wrestling with themselves, doing all they can to stay human*



    * i'm a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig believer in Free Will - and if vamps were real, and i was so cursed tomorrow, i would fight to NOT become an evil monster. i'm smart and stubborn and i believe i am a good person, i would make the choice to continue being good and stick with it. period.

    also: i probably shoulda waited til i slept to post, sorry if it's garbled or something...

  6. @ Ginx - Yeah, at this point you have to do something fairly unique - or, at the very least, exceptionally well - to interest me in a vampire story. I don't have anything against them, but I've read an awful lot of them and I just don't see where there's much to add to the genre.

    @ Denelian - Yep. I wouldn't miss daylight that much, but there has to be a way to avoid killing people in order to survive.

  7. i started play "Vampire: The Masquerade" when i was 16 or so - despite the fact that i *hate* play "evil" characters, and *hate* playing "the bad guy"

    because i V:TM, you can NOT kill. you HAVE to drink blood [and human blood, at that - animal blood will sorta work, but only sorta...] but it's like a PINT of blood a night. and you can drink blood bank blood! stored! *MUCH* better!!!

    ways and ways... :)

  8. I was usually a Gangrel - though honestly the most fun I had with a V:tM character was actually a Caitiff. He was a supremely unwilling participant, but he had a younger sister to protect...

  9. oh, Caitiffs can be TONS of fun!

    for the first couple of years i played, i played a Salubri - i was *obsessed* with the "turned into an evil soulless bloodrinking monster, Saulot [the "founder"] atoned for his evil by creating a Bloodline that HEALS". plus easier to reach Galconda :) i must've played a half- dozen Salubri or Salubri-wanna-bes until my-now-ex-husband [metaphorically] smacked me for it...

    the character i had the most fun with, hands down, was this modern-day Southern Belle, raised in an eccentric, but old money [Southern Aristrocrat] family that threw up psychics almost every generation [in fact, they bred themselves to do so - at some point, pre-Revolution, a Georgian plantation owner, and his wife [who was barren] discovered that some of their slaves could DO THINGS. and she offered A) freedom and B) adoption of offspring if these slaves with have children with her husband or his sister...]. one of those first children was Embraced Tremere when he was 30ish. he was *going* to embrace my character's father, who was telepathic, but then he was killed in a car accident - but he still had this permission to create a childe, and my character had psychometry [spirit's touch], so...

    i started with NO Thaum, but maxed out Auspex [because psychometry is level 3, so due to my background that's where i started...]. and i was rich. and genteel. and "A Lady".
    after 2 months to establish the character [it was LARPed] i stopped going in full costume - i *HATE* high heels!

    but, DAMN it was fun, to screw with EVERYONE!!!

    [babbling again... sorry!]

  10. Don't apologize; I can bore people with roleplaying stories all day. I don't, as a general rule, but I certainly enjoy chatting about it with fellow enthusiasts.

    The fun thing about that Caitiff was that, given the choice, he'd have gone into hiding, kept a low profile, and stayed out of everybody's way. But because he needed to provide for his sister, he kept getting sucked into vampire politics. Drove him absolutely crazy...

  11. and the having to bow to the Prince, and remember titles, and USE them, and be nice to assholes, and not complain when people hurt you because that *proves* that they CAN... sigh

    lots of fun, being a rebel and yet having to follow the rules anyway :)


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