Posted by: Ken Brown | October 16, 2007

Even Good Vampires are Bad?

An interesting discussion has sprung up over at Boundless Line, considering whether traditionally evil characters – vampires, dragons, witches and wizards – can be legitimately portrayed as heroes, or whether this inevitably blurs the line between good and evil. As you might expect, I tend to think they can, if redeemed (for aren’t we ourselves “good monsters”?), but the whole discussion is interesting, and Ethan Cordray in particular makes some important points for the opposite view:

The trouble with this is that even modern vampires are defined by an essentially evil quality: the need to consume the blood of others to sustain an artificial immortality. That is what makes them vampires, and that is what links them to the old folklore figures. No matter what their personalities or appearances might be, vampires still drink blood and live forever. That’s what makes them vampires.

To imagine a “good vampire,” then, is really an impossibility. Vampirism is essentially evil, and one who engages in it is thus a doer of evil. If being a vampire is the essence of a character — that is, if it’s what defines the character’s personality and behavior — then that character is essentially evil, and I think we can rightly demand that it be portrayed as such.

On the other hand, I think it’s possible to portray a vampiric character that contains goodness, or even one that is morally transformed within a story. This would require, however, that the “redeemed vampire” character give up vampirism, just as we would expect a redeemed criminal to give up crime.

HT: Evangelical Outpost



  1. Vampires do not necessarily have to give up their vampirism in order to become good. I am not a vampire and I don’t obsess over wanting to be one or anything, but, if I ever saw a vampire that was about to be attacked by a hunter, as a vampire lover, I would at least try to save them. I know that, if they do exist, a lot of vampires would probably be of the type that would only ever kill when absolutely necessary. They may well need to feed off of others in order to keep their lives, whether they be undead or not, or just to survive life-threatening situations.
    As for the religious arguments against them, I believe that the only reason why they are scared of crucifixes is because they are frequently stabbed with them. I also think that they may only get headaches from looking at them because they make them remember all of their friends and family that may have been stabbed by them. I also believe that something must be added to Holy water to make it burn vampires since just being blessed by anyone, even a priest or preacher, would not make it powerful enough to harm them. I have even heard that they may still be able to be Christians after they have been turned. All they would have to do is wear shades and fake body tan, not go to church on sunny days and avoid the Holy objects that could harm them.
    The vampire in the movie “Dark Shadows” certainly was not purely evil. He did kill a few people, but this was probably out of thirst, not out of brutality. He also saved a young girl from death by falling from a cliff.
    In the children’s film “The Little Vampire”, the main human character is saved by at least one vampire on two occasions; once from being hit by a truck and then again after he had been locked up in a coffin.
    There is also an old story that was written in 1914 called “Aylmer Vance and the Vampire”. This features a vampire that saves a couple from dying.
    Even old legends are not without good vampires. Although the idea of the Stregoni Benefici was used for the “Twilight” series, the legend did exist beforehand. These are good vampires that are archenemies with the evil ones, and these ones help sick people, too.
    Watch the documentary “Vampire Secrets”. On that one, they managed to use technology to prove that this one lady was definitely a psychic vampire (one that feeds off of the mental energy of others, as opposed to their blood). If she were really all that evil, would she not have been too dangerous to feature on the programme without being restrained? She was not restrained at any point in the documentary, by the way.
    Before we start bashing them for what they have supposedly done to humans, think about what humans have done to them. Throughout the years, according to movies, legends, books and other stories, humans have used Holy water to burn vampires, as well as tricking them and/or somehow keeping them in the sun, locking them in coffins and allowing them to suffocate, staking them through the heart and otherwise torturing, maiming and killing them. Think about it this way. You are a vampire. You are of the type that have vampiric traits in your appearance, such as pale skin and red eyes. You cannot go into any public place without experiencing persecution and having everyone else there afraid of you. You want to make friends, or even just ask someone something, but you cannot get near anyone without them backing away, insulting you and trying to ward you off, even though you have no intention of harming them. They just think that, because you are a vampire, you want to kill them. All you want to do is just ask them something or befriend them, and/or mind your own business, but you cannot do this because are so feared and persecuted. Everyone thinks that you just want to drain their blood, but you don’t.
    There are now loads of alternatives in which vampires can use to get the blood that they need to drink. Vampires can now drink fake blood, blood banks, animal blood* and even human blood that they will have collected or had collected from people, without killing them. Some vampires have even been known to heal any cut that they make after they have fed from the person. The person would probably then only get ill to the same extent as if they had the flu after that. They may even ask the person first before they feed and/or have a willing donor, if they are able to cope with their blood supply coming from just one person and not being all that varied.
    Just like with everything else, if they do exist, vampires could be friendly, peace-loving creatures as well. There is good and bad in everything.

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