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Since his inception in Brom Stroker’s Dracula, the character has changed so many times and in so many ways that he hardly seems to be the same nefarious man Stroker set out to portray him as. Starting with Stroker’s work, Dracula is originally portrayed as a meticulous and cunning villain who is worthy of the opposition of legendary Van Helsing, but also rich and romantic. He exudes a sort of charm and has a vulnerable way of disarming Johnathon with intimate stories. Ultimately still, Dracula is a murderous fiend who wreaks havoc on the characters of the novel. Moving forward to Count Orlok and Lord Ruthven, we begin to see a rift in the perceptions of the iconic character with one path capitalizing on his monstrous portrayal, Count Orlok and one on his more romanticized image, Lord Ruthven. Although Lord Ruthven still portrayed some of the darker sides of Dracula’s personality, he is vehemently portrayed as a quirky man of odd interest. Count Orlok is monstrous in appearance, and murders and feeds on countless individuals throughout the film. Moving forward to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we can see which characterization more strongly survived the test of time, the aristocratic, aloof Dracula of means. By the time of Buffy vs. Dracula’s creation, the character had essentially become an overused trope, and Buffy was keenly aware of this. Showing off every power, save for canine transformation, that Dracula had possessed across several iterations, the episode expertly showed an affluent Dracula that relied of his bag of tricks over his might to challenge the slayer. But, due to him being an overused figure in even the Buffy universe, his thrall was more comically than nefariously presented, even enlisting the cosmic joke that is Xander. From his birth to now, the character of Dracula has birthed many mythological creatures, such as vampires and werewolves, but his ability to change throughout time and grow as society does makes him the ultimate shapeshifter.

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