A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 25: Fantasy Squad – Vampires

VThe origins of the vampire myth are difficult to pinpoint, but certainly vampires have been around for centuries. There is a belief that vampires were born of sorcery in ancient Egypt – the summoning of a demon into our world. The Chinese jiangshi are wrathful dieties who attack people to drain their life essence. They appear in a variety of works, such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Vampire by KaloqnStoqnov Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Illustrations / Conceptual©2007-2015 KaloqnStoqnov
Vampire by KaloqnStoqnov
Digital Art / Drawings & Paintings / Illustrations / Conceptual©2007-2015 KaloqnStoqnov

There are many elements of the lore people associate with vampires, but interpretations vary considerably. Some consider them shape shifters, able to turn into bats or wolves. In some tales they have a reflection, in others they don’t – a fact which helps to identify their true nature. There are differing views and depictions on sunlight, and holy water, and the ways in which people defend against the creatures are also many and varied.

There is no doubt that writers enjoy to play with the rules, as it were. The one reoccurring theme, which is rarely deviated from, is that vampires drain a body of its life energy – normally blood. The idea that you become a vampire by being bitten is a one of the modern interpretations. Earlier beliefs relate to a vampire being identified at birth.

Superstition clearly plays a role in the creation of vampires, especially in their association with death. The most famous vampire is perhaps the character created by Bram Stoker. This interpretation could be based on the Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, who is actually viewed by some, not as a blood sucking monster, but as a hero who defended his people.

Besides Stoker, vampires were also used in the Penny Dreadful serial publication. Vampires play an important part in classic horror films, including Nosferatu and the 1931 film Dracula, staring Bela Lugosi.

There are a multitude of references in film, literature, gaming and television. Rather than listing them, I’d prefer hear from you. What’s your favourite depiction? Let’s talk vampires!

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Mel

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21 thoughts on “A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 25: Fantasy Squad – Vampires

  1. Guess with vampires almost anything goes these days. It’s funny how much variety is found within them and people are still so adamant that a vampire ‘must be . . .’ something. I’m still fine-tuning the Windemere vampires myself, which led to a lot of research. The critters are all over the map. Killed by sunlight, immune to sunlight, weakened by sunlight, the effect that shall not be named in sunlight, etc. There’s one kind that drains life through a victim’s breath. Since that life-draining is the thing that seems to be universal with vampires, maybe they stem from an ancient fear of growing old and weak.

    1. That’s true – so much variation. I prefer it when they are unique in some way. I like a twist! I tried to do something different in The Contract but I have a tendency to overcomplicate things! I’ll look forward to learning about your vampires in the Windemere series 🙂

      1. I think I’m the same way. My vampire system is getting complicated. There are two species and the newer one, Dawn Fangs, are giving me a slight headache. They can be born from being bitten or natural birth, harder to kill, 3 unique powers each, etc. The older species is closer to Dracula.

      2. Ooh…I love Dracula! I’ve always favoured his portrayal. Maybe it’s because Gary Oldman was so good in the movie! I have so many notes for my recent series I need notes to keep track of the notes! 😀

  2. Vampires definitely seem to be the more versatile of the mythological creatures. It’s interesting how many different interpretations there are in media and the way they seem to have really caught people’s imagination.

  3. (I think your post title needs an edit!)

    Otherwise, yes, vampires are awesome. Hard to avoid them in some elements of fantasy. 🙂

    1. Oops! Thanks so much for pointing that out! That’ll teach me for copying and pasting the title while half asleep 🙂 I’ll fix it tomorrow. You’re right about not being able to avoid vampires – but they are such fascinating creatures!

      1. It’s fine, I was just wondering why there were two undines in my inbox, haha. 😀

        They are. I’ve fallen under their lure and have created my own as well.

  4. My favourite version of a vampire – now that is a hard question 🙂 There are so many to choose from. I very much liked the structure and society created in Underworld, but I also really love the chaos and virus like nature of the death of a town in Salem’s Lot. I’m not sure I have an absolute favourite since there are so many great interpretations, but vampires should have fangs IMHO 🙂
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    1. Ooh – great choices 🙂 I can’t choose either. Lost Boys always pops into my head for some reason! And I love Gary Oldman so I enjoyed his creepy yet somehow sensual portrayal!

    1. Ooh – that’s a tough one! I’m useless at choosing favourites 😉 I’ll go with the first thing that popped into my head, which is Nalini’s vampires from the Guild Hunter series. That might be because I’m obsessed with venom! Please, please, please let there be a book about him in the future! 🙂

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