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VAMPEDIA

The Modern Predator

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The archetypal vampire, a fiendish denizen of darkness, was born in the prototypical sense via Count Dracula, at the hands of Bram Stroker. Mirrored quite vividly in The Vampyre, the character had maintained a certain set of invariable traits, paramount amongst them was a sort of primal sense of oneness, an egocentric point of viewing his existence. And as the vampire character and myth changed with time, this sort of primal nature turned into an insatiable need to feed and a disregard for life, traits almost indistinguishable from the idea of a vampire. Count Orlok, the brutish glutton, is amongst the earliest truly violent portrayals, and deeply set-in the man-eater archetype of vampires, which until last couple decades persisted strongly. Starting in late 1900’s, the vampire portrayal began to garner more depth and suddenly the unidimensional creatures were more human than monster, birthing characters like Angel in the Buffy series. Angel is shown to be benevolent and at least neutral from his introduction, and the main cast quickly move past his vampire identity once they weight it against all the apparent good he’d done. Despite being a vampire, Angel is treated like a person and given the benefit of the doubt. In comparison, the other competing personifications of the vampire character are the master from season 1 and Dracula from Buffy vs. Dracula. Despite being presented as nefarious characters and obvious villains, they are still given a fair share of depth, with the master’s character being delved in to in detail through circumstances and interactions with other characters, such as his merciful nature when dealing with his subordinates or his being trapped in a metaphysical cage of sorts, symbolizing of loss of power in the vampire myth and its ability to scare. Dracula is featured as a one episode villain and even still is humanized to be probably one of the gentlest vampire presented throughout the show (see Angel killing Ms. Calendar or Spike doing anything he did the first 3 seasons), sparing Xander to use as a puppet and attempting to woo and tempt Buffy instead of killing her outright. Despite still being shown as vicious and violent creatures, vampires have grown significantly from their demonic roots and now exist in a romanticized space much closer to humanity.

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