[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Psion Valur.]
Let me first say that this article is written for fun, no offence meant, although I don’t feel it is offensive and I think that it might shed some light for other ‘mundanes’ out there.
I guess I need to mention what fictional vampires I’m going to be dealing with here, my ‘inspiration’ comes from various old style vampire movies (eg: John Carpenters “Vampires”), some new style vampire movies (eg: Blade) and the teen vampire movies (eg: Twilight) and also the Twilight and True Blood books (the True Blood tv series is horrendous in my opinion, very much a common, trailer park trash version of the books, which I enjoyed).
Having spent some time now in the Vampyre Community, I have learnt a lot about REAL VAMPYRES and so that is what I base my (fun) comparison on.
Firstly the older movies etc – the fictional vampires can’t go out in the sun, if they do, they burn to death, they are also afraid of garlic, crosses and holy water, they sleep in coffins (sometimes containing earth from their birthplaces). They drink blood. They can drain people of blood, killing them or ‘turn’ them into vampires. They do not age from the time they were turned into a vampire and provided they stay away from sun and vampire hunters, they are immortal. There seems to be a continual amount of vampire hunters after them.
On the other hand, REAL vampyres can go out in the sun and if they get burned, its just cause they are like any other normal person and the sun is harsh. If they can’t go out in the sun, its probably because they have a rare medical condition, not because they are vampyric. I’m sure most of them like garlic and if they don’t, its probably personal choice not because of any other reason. I’ve never asked them about crosses and holy water LOL, but I’m certain that they don’t run screaming from them J I’m pretty sure that most REAL vampyres don’t sleep in coffins although then again, if they did, it would be from personal choice and not because they have to. REAL vampyres if they are Sanguine do drink blood but not at the volumes of the fictional ones. REAL vampyres don’t drain anyone of blood, or if they do, it would be because they are murderers not because they are vampyric. They also can’t ‘turn’ people into vampyres, athough they tend to be so nice that people just wanna hang out with them anyway. REAL vampyres do age LOL I know some of them might wish they didn’t have to, but they do and they are definitely not immortal in the physical sense of the word.
The new style vampire movies have some of the same characteristics of the older ones, it’s just that some of the vampires can go out in the sun for various reasons, and as I’ve said before, all REAL vampyres can go out in the sun unless they have a rare medical condition. (hmmmm, here I wonder if in fact there are any REAL vampyres with that medical condition – it would be interesting to say the least) This is where the fictional vampires start seeming a bit more like REAL vampyres, but its still not exact.
And now we come to the teen vampire movies and books and it now starts looking a lot more ‘real’. We’re talking Twilight and True Blood in this case. First Twilight – Here the vampires can go outdoors during the day, but they do tend to only do it on overcast days, so they are still sort of staying away from the sun, but not for the reasons you would think – ITS BECAUSE THEY SPARKLE PEOPLE – *SIGH* how pathetic is that…. These vampires can and do drink blood, but the ‘nice’ ones drink animal blood and the ‘bad’ ones still drink human blood. They have superhuman strength and speed. They do not age and are also immortal unless they are killed in one the ways that fictional vampires are killed. These fictional vampires can in fact sire children, although it is an aberration rather than the norm (I’m still trying to figure out how a supposedly ‘dead’ person can have viable sperm, but that is beside the point here).
This is then where the REAL and the fictional come close. REAL vampyres can definitely go outside in full sun or overcast and they definitely aren’t sparkly (thank goodness). REAL vampyres do drink blood if they are sanguine, but only small amounts and as far as I can find out, only human blood. They do not have superhuman strength and speed, they do age and are certainly not immortal. They definitely can sire children and certainly don’t have undead sperm or eggs LOL.
Lastly onto True Blood and here is where things take an interesting turn for me. These fictional vampires do drink blood and the ‘nice’ ones only drink blood from a willing donor or they drink a synthetic blood. They do have superhuman powers and speed and strength and are also immortal (unless killed in the usual vampire type ways) The ‘bad’ ones do all the same stuff the fictional vampires through the ages have done. What I found most fascinating in these books was the Vampire Community and the hierarchy that goes with it. The Kings and Queens the courts the Sheriffs, the groups, the all the intrigues, conspiracy, and paranoia that goes along with those things.
With REAL vampyres it is really similar in a lot of ways. I’ve already discussed most of the reasons why real vampires are different to these fictional ones, so we won’t go into that. However, the hierarchy is where things start getting really interesting. REAL vampyres have similar systems in place. They have a formal group (SAVA – South African Vampyre Alliance) which ‘governs’ any community which is registered with it. The hierarchy (very basically stated) is as follows:
Halo – (the provinces in the country)
House – the different groups within the Halo
Each House has a Magister and a Secundus which keep it running and various members.
Each Halo has a Primus, which is the representative at Council for all the Houses in that Halo.
This is all quite similar to the True Blood hierarchy and I’m pretty sure that the same kinds of intrigues, conspiracy and paranoid is likely to go on here, because that is the very nature of the human condition and REAL vampyres are human after all.
I’m aware that I haven’t mentioned the Psi’s and the Hybrid’s here and that is simply because they don’t really feature in vampire fiction.
So Bite Me.