Anne Rice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dolls, Halloween, House of Night, Lost Boys, Monster High, Vampire A to Z, Vampire Lestat
It’s day 7 – our final day on the Vampire A to Z where I geeked out for a week in celebration of Halloween.
But it’s not over yet. Draculaura and I are so happy to have ONE MORE DAY!
Oh! and Happy Halloween!
With that said, let’s get to it.
W is for Watcher, which, regardless of your thoughts on Buffy, I think was an excellent addition to vampire lore.
In the Buffyverse, where “into every generation, a Slayer is born….” that chosen one is assigned a Watcher, who is a member of a secret organization called the Watchers’ Council, whose goal is to prepare the Slayer to fight the forces of evil.
Buffy’s first and main Watcher is Rupert Giles, who is also Sunnydale High’s librarian for the first three seasons. In addition to normal high school fare, his library also houses numerous books on the occult which no one except the Scoobies generally ever notice because who hangs out in the high school library?
When Giles is fired by the Watcher’s Council Wesley Wyndam-Pryce takes over the job for a while, but Giles is still there and helping (because, well – school librarian!) and eventually gets reinstated so Wesley can join the spin-off show Angel.
After high school, Giles goes entrepreneurial and opens a magic shop in town. Along with Buffy and the gang he continues to help to save the world. A lot.
He is also very clearly Buffy’s father figure. On that note, please enjoy the following number from the episode in Season 5 where a demon made them do a musical where they had to sing the truth:
X is for ….
(come on, I know as soon as I started this EVERYONE tried to figure out what the heck X would be…)
Xander Harris. I know. Again. Buffy.
I’d say I was filling a letter if this character didn’t so perfectly personify many of the (non-dinner) humans in vampire fiction – and the type of person I hope many aspire to be.
He’s one of Buffy’s best friends and, as the series progresses, the only one in the group not to possess any supernatural abilities.
Despite that, he muddles through (muggles through? Should I punny go there? If this isn’t yet an established term it should be!) time and time again and finds ways to help out with his own completely non supernatural skill set.
I know as a woman I was supposed to identify with Buffy. But I also identified with Xander.
I once had a swim coach in my teens who told me I did very well for someone with no natural ability.
Shall we flesh that out a bit? Humour me, it goes to theme.
Thanks for coming to elite outdoor swim camp in Florida and working so hard.
I noticed how you swam right through Hurricane Andrew and the freezing weather when half my national qualifiers got out of the pool due to hypothermia/not really “wanting it.”
And I also noticed you keeping up to those who hadn’t wimped out yet.
If you remain that determined you might make nationals. That would be a really good goal.
So I get how it feels to be unexceptional when you want so very badly to excel – and to be told so.
I know many of us do. And so it’s hard not to love Xander.
Over the years I’ve also come to love that comment. I like to think – like Xander – I do pretty well at a number of things for which I had no natural ability.
Take that Hurricane Andrew!
I’m going to leave X with this quote from Xander to Dawn – Buffy’s non-slayer sister – when she momentarily thought she’d been chosen to be a slayer, before realizing she hadn’t, and so wasn’t special:
Seven years, […] Working with the Slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. […] All of them. And I’m the guy who fixes the windows.
They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn’t chosen, to live so near to the spotlight and never step in it.
But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.
That brings us to Y and one of the main attractions of this whole myth: Eternal Youth.
Like the Lost Boys said:
Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never Die. It’s fun to be a vampire.
Kind of sums it all up, yeah? It’d be fun, right? Eternal youth. Forever replay whatever moment you hold in your head as “the best you”. An entire beauty industry works full-time to give it to us; we have stores called Forever 21, teen fiction and high school dramas are watched and read by millions north of 30 and here’s the myth that offers the solution!
Of course, many stories talk about the double-edged sword that is eternal life. Anne Rice tells of Claudia who is turned as a child and so never grows up. This clip rather poignantly sums that up:
Rice’s vampires also lose interest in life for periods of time and must go to ground, sometimes for decades, before re-surfacing again to be able to deal with the reality of living forever and seeing the world change when they do not.
Other stories tell of the painful realities of watching your loved ones grow old and die. There are vampires who dream of becoming human again. Twilight has the joke that the family collects high school diplomas because the children – forever 17 – have graduated SO. MANY. TIMES.
Regardless, the attraction of eternal youth isn’t going to die anytime soon. If you really want to freak yourself out Google Vampire Therapy or Vampire Facelift. Twenty-five vampires and counting and THAT’S what creeps me out.
So let’s finish this. The final entry to our gallery is the second new vampire to me; the second new book I bought to “educate” myself prior to posting.
We’re ending firmly in genre which – good or bad – seems to currently dominate: vampire teen fiction.
Z is for Zoey Redbird, the 16-year-old vampyre fledgling in P.C. Cast and daughter Kristin Cast’s House of Night Series.
The series, which started with Marked in 2007, is planned to include 12 books and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The vampire lore here is that a small percentage of teenagers change into vampires when puberty triggers a strand of otherwise junk DNA. When the change is triggered, a Tracker finds and marks them with a blue crescent-shaped tattoo on their forehead and they must then leave normal life and attend a “House of Night” boarding school where they remain for the four years required to complete the change from human to vampire. During that time they take courses to learn about their new lives.
Not all fledglings survive. About one in ten die, so the students every now and then get to watch their classmates whose bodies reject the change, die.
Zoey very quickly rises in the power structure at her House of Night in Tulsa and it becomes clear she is a fledgling of exceptional power. I’m currently mid-way through the second book and I’m enjoying it. Well written, and I loved the anti-bullying/be yourself messages in the first book. The other characters are engaging as well: mean-girl Aphrodite isn’t just straight-up evil; her mentor Neferet provides support and vampire history to help move the plot along; and of course there are hot vampire boyfriends like Erik Night and hot teachers and drama with parents and all the good stuff which makes vampire high school coming of age fiction both fun and poignant.
Let’s give our dolly co-host a round of applause!
And for those wanting a full list, here you go!
I hope you had as much fun as I did. Any other favourites I missed? Let me know!
Today’s photo credits: Giles and Buffy are from the Buffy Wiki; Xander is from (and I love this site name) The Nerd Cave which I found via a search for “free Xander Harris pictures”; the Lost Boys are via Wikipedia; and Zoey is from the House of Night Wiki – and specifically the cover of Hidden. Finally, the Draculaura gifs are from here and here.
Very good A-Z on vamps….. I am of cause the hugest Buffy fan so yea 🙂
And Underworld too right? U WAS for Underworld 🙂
Thanks very much – it was fun to do!
yea, Underworld too….. I generally like Vampy stuff.. But I find that nowadays the Gene is being milked alot…
Agreed. I was a big fan of all things vampire until Twilight came out and Anne Rice stopped writing in the genre for a while. Then I just stopped following for a bit.
I’m glad I rediscovered the genre though – and I kind of love that so many are writing in it because, while sure, it means a lot of vampire fluff because its trendy, it also means there are some really great new twists to the folklore/genre that come out as a result.
And I have to admit I’m glad I forced myself to try other teen vampire fiction through this – because otherwise I think I’d still be lumping it all with Twilight, which really isn’t fair.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Reese Speaks said:
Oh, the end has come. 😦 I am happy that 2 out of the 4 letters featured in this installment were Buffy-filled! I love Xander. His character was so much fun to watch. Oh, and Giles! He was great, too.
Oh, to have eternal youth! I have often thought about living forever at the age when turned into a vampire. If I was ever to be turned, I think I would have wanted to be turned at 21. That was a great time for me, young and a little wilder than I am now, and with no responsibilities for me worry about for all eternity (or when I eventually get “staked”). What about you? If you were turned into a vampire, at what age would you want this to (have) happen(ed)?
This was a fabulous series, Louise! Do you already have something in mind for next year or Christmas?
19 is the age I’d do forever if I had to pick one (without knowing what’s to come). Looking back, I loved 19. Just enough freedom, with the security of knowing someone would bail me out if I got in big (non-vampire) trouble; no real responsibility yet; and the world filled with possibility before me. Good times.
As for 2 out of 4 Buffy – I was starting to worry it was “too Buffy” – but … meh … my blog.
Thanks so much for following along and for the kind words of encouragement! As for Christmas – hadn’t thought on that – have you? I must admit, Christmas doesn’t do it for me quite like Halloween. As for other series – I have some ideas … and will certainly think on what I might do next Halloween 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Reese Speaks said:
I loved your response about the Buffy characters in your blog, “As for 2 out of 4 Buffy – I was starting to worry it was “too Buffy” – but … meh … my blog. ” It’s how every blogger should feel about their blog!
I also enjoyed following this feature. Yes, I have been compiling videos and ideas for Christmas all year! Though I love Halloween, I love Christmas even more.
I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next Halloween!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Okay – so I’m now waiting to see what YOU do for Christmas 😉
I must admit I was an ask for contributions to “an activity a day” for Christmas link up (ie: do ONE post about a kiddy activity for Xmas) and I’ve been mulling it over for OVER a day, which I think means it isn’t my holiday. I like it. We’ll bake cookies, do turkey, maybe I’ll find advent calendars for them … okay wait, never mind – sorta getting into it now 😉
*bows down* I’m so impressed with your A-Z list! Wow. You far surpass my vampire knowledge. This was kind of amazing.
The funniest thing? While I’m reading this, Interview with a Vampire is on in the background, and later tonight the same channel is doing Bram’s version. Yesssssss
it’s a vampy evening. 🙂
Thanks so much and so glad you came back for a read! I thought of you as I included the Townsend video with L for Lestat :).
It was a fun series to do – and with all the new vamp “leads” for other reads I might even have enough to do it again next year…
As for vampire movie night? Enjoy!
Reblogged this on Baby Gates Down and commented:
Here was the concluding post from 2014’s Vampire A to Z on Baby Gates Down. I hope you enjoy it! Tomorrow please join us as we launch the 2015 A to Z featuring 26 new vampire entries for the week leading up to Halloween.
Pingback: 2015 #Vampire O to R | Baby Gates Down