If you are all up to date and ready to carry on, great!
Draculaura and I gave great consideration to these next four in the series and we hope you like them!
For I, we pretty much pick up where we left off yesterday, still comfortably in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I is for The Initiative, the secret US Government agency tasked with the capture and research of vampires and demons for military purposes.
Buffy discovers the Initiative in Season 4, because they have a facility underneath UC Sunnydale where Buffy and her friends have started college and their commandos run around campus in a sort of sneaky, but pretty obvious kind of way.
They capture vampires, study them and, among other things, put chips in their brains so they can’t hurt humans.
The Initiative is run by psychology professor by day Maggie Walsh who, when outlining the differences between the Initiative and the Slayer noted
We use the latest in scientific technology and state-of-the-art weaponry, and you, if I understand correctly, poke them with a sharp stick.
Buffy dates one of the Commandos, Riley, and eventually joins the Initiative, only to discover the darker Dr. Frankenstein like purpose of Maggie Walsh, who is busy secretly building Adam – a mega monster. Suffice to say that doesn’t end well.
That brings us to J and a man who actually knew the woman who successfully created Frankenstein.
J is for John Polidori, author of The Vampyre.
You may recall my passing qualifier two days ago to Bram Stoker being the originator of the modern vampire vision.
That was a reference to this guy.
Polidori was the English Romantic Poet Lord Byron’s personal physician.
In 1816, Lord Byron and Polidori spent the summer at a villa by Lake Geneva with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley where one evening they famously challenged each other to a ghost story writing competition. The end result here for Mary Shelley was Frankenstein, published in 1818. Lord Byron wrote a fragmentary story about the mysterious fate of an aristocrat while travelling in the Orient. This story, and Byron’s own wild life, were then the basis for Polidori’s short story The Vampyre, which tells the tale of Aubrey, a young Englishman, who meets Lord Ruthven, a vampire of mysterious origins who enters London society. There’s travel, intrigue and well, lots of death by blood loss. The tale was published in 1819, making it the first published modern vampire tale.
Our choice for K brings us back to modern times.
K is for Katherine Pierce from the television series the Vampire Diaries.
If you think she looks familiar you’d be right. Katherine and Elena are both dopplegangers and, while she is first introduced as a “bad guy” as it turns out, because she is a doppleganger, the Originals (the “even badder guys”) initially wanted to kill her – like they keep trying to kill Elena – to achieve their own goals (which I won’t get into, because if you want to watch the show it would sort of ruin it).
Oh – and she’s a vampire. Born to a wealthy Bulgarian family in the 1400s she is turned into a vampire due to her initial run in with Klaus (one of the “even badder guys” referenced above) and is then the vampire responsible for turning both of the Salvatore brothers – Damon and Stefan (the show’s two main vamps) into their eternally attractive selves. Both brothers also loved her once upon a time, which just adds to the tension and confusion with Elena.
She is calculating, crafty, ruthless and a great character. According to the story – she is also one of the most notorious and infamous vampires in history.
That said, I am of the humble opinion that my next choice firmly takes the prize for vampire notoriety.
L is for Lestat, the Brat Prince of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
Born in 1760, Lestat de Lioncourt is the seventh son of the relatively impoverished marquis d’Auvergne in France.
When he leaves home and heads to Paris to become an actor his performances attract the attention of Magnus, who turns him into a vampire before killing himself and leaving Lestat with no mentor as he starts his undead life.
Like any good son, he turns his mother into a vampire and, until she basically dumps him, brings her along for the ride. He also turns his best friend into a vampire and a couple of decades later, after leaving France for the New World, turns Louis of Interview With the Vampire fame into a vampire. Over the centuries he becomes famous in vampire circles as the vampire who doesn’t really care for the rules. He becomes a rock star in the 1980s because he’s tired of (un)living life in the shadows and wants to scream what he is from the rooftops. Of course no humans actually believe him. But most of the undead community ain’t thrilled. He also wakes the Queen of all the Vampires (more on that a bit later).
So that brings us almost halfway through the alphabet. But before leaving, I feel the need to leave you with a bit of vampire rock music. So here’s The Vampire Lestat live from the 2002 movie Queen of the Damned.
If you like that, I posted another selection from Rock Star Lestat on my Halloween Music post from last year.
So here’s who we’ve covered to date:
Let me know if I’ve missed any of your favourites so far. If I did, maybe I at least capture them somewhere on my vampire Pinterest board. If I don’t, do tell me about them.
Todays photo credits: The photo of the Initiative comes from the Buffy Wiki. John Polidori is from Wikipedia. Katherine Pierce joins us from Fanpop and the Brat Prince is from the Vampire Chronicles Wiki.