Thursday, July 2, 2009
Why does our culture have such a fascination for vampire romances? And why do they all involve good guy vampires and innocent human girls? My good friend Erin and I discussed this the other day and decided I should write a book about an evil female vampire that a human guy falls in love with (I promised to dedicate it to her if published). But seriously. Vampire Diaries. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Twilight. True Blood. They all tell the same tale, and it seems audiences everywhere just fall for the same dangerous love story (myself included). I decided to blog about this phenomenon a bit by putting together mini profiles for the couples fitting the typical storyline. I've organized them chronologically. You'll see they are a lot more similar than you originally thought....
Note: When writing this, I am assuming you have seen or read the stories for these characters. Therefore, it will be a spoiler if you haven't. Skip profiles you don't want to know the ending to.
Elena and Stefan from The Vampire Diaries Book Series (1991) and TV Series (2009)
How They Meet: Stefan moves to Elena's town, Fall's Church, and starts attending her high school. She has recently dumped her boyfriend because they were better friends, and instantly decides such a mysterious and attractive guy has to be hers. Since she is the most popular girl in school, she doesn't see this as a challenge.
How She Finds Out His Secret: He shows a lot of strength when he fights off a guy being a little rough with Elena, but she doesn't figure it out until she sees him later on the roof feasting on a bird. He then confesses his entire life story.
How They Fall in Love: Not a lot happens before they start throwing around the "L" word. Stefan is hooked after he sees her because of her similar features to his first love. Elena intensely likes him as she tries to pursue him and decides he is her's forever after their first kiss.
The Other Man: Stefan has a brother, Damon, who is also a vampire. He is enticingly dangerous and he and Elena are attracted to each other because they both exhibit powerful personalities. She doesn't ever really fall in love with him, but they share a few brief intimate moments.
Supernatural Powers: Not much besides a powerful aura. In Dark Reunion, though, she is able to contact the living from another realm and heal those who are mortally wounded as a spirit.
Drama Highlights: Damon and Stefan's first love comes back to kick some ass, killing Elena in the process. Elena wakes up a vampire and shows favoritism towards Damon before remembering her love for Stefan. Elena dies...again....to save the brothers, and then warns her friends of an evil force haunting Fall's Church. Her friends are able to defeat the force with her help, and she is brought back to life as a human.
Werewolves: Tyler, Elena's attacker from The Awakening, appears as a werewolf in Dark Reunion. He is following a greater evil that shows him the way to embracing his ancestry as a werewolf.
Chances of Staying Together: At the end of Dark Reunion, they have just been reunited and Damon isn't getting in between them anymore, so maybe that is a good sign. I haven't read the newest installment, but the cover suggests Stefan leaves, so I would say 50/50.
Buffy and Angel from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Series (1997)
How They Meet: The Whistler tells Angel about Buffy, and lets her see him when she is called as a vampire slayer. He starts popping up randomly after she moves to Sunnydale and warns her about various dangers coming her way.
How She Finds Out His Secret: Buffy is instantly attracted to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, but they don't become close until they are both fleeing from a triple vampire attack. Buffy nurses Angel's wounds and insists he stays with her until the danger is gone. They share their first kiss, and it is at this point that Angel puts on his vampire face. Her research then fills her in on Angel's history.
How They Fall In Love: After realizing they can't kill each other, they become allies and fight side by side for awhile. They eventually date and become very close. On Buffy's birthday in Season 2, the couple almost dies. Thinking they could have lost each other forever, both confess that they love each other and sleep together that night.
The Other Man: Buffy dates Riley (regular GI Joe type guy) for awhile while at college, but at this point, Angel has already left. She also eventually becomes involved with Spike (only other vampire with a soul) in the last 2 seasons, but the connection is never as strong.
Supernatural Powers: Obviously, Buffy has slayer strength. Being the slayer also gives her the tendency to have prophetic dreams, which sometimes give her warnings about Angel.
Drama Highlights: Where to start? Buffy dies right in front of Angel in Season 1, but is brought back to life. Angel loses his soul when they sleep together and torments Buffy as Angelus. Angel gets his soul back right after Buffy has no choice but to kill him to save the world. Angel comes back in Season 3 by some miracle, but decides he should leave to give Buffy a chance at a normal life. When Buffy visits him in LA, Angel is turned human by demon's blood. He and Buffy share a passionate day, but he is forced to give up his mortality so that Buffy won't die early trying to save him (since he is without superhuman strength).
Werewolves: Oz becomes a werewolf in season 2, but doesn't harm or interfere with the couple.
Chances of Staying Together: This one's tricky. When Buffy's series concluded, she had survived saving the world. Angel's series ended with him running into an impossible battle which he would surely lose, but who knows. I think they are destined to be reunited. Maybe in the Season 8 comics for Buffy?
Bella and Edward from the Twilight Book Series (2005) and Movie Series (2008)
How They Meet: Bella moves to Forks, Washington to be with her father and enters the high school Edward is attending mid-semester. She is assigned to be Edward's lab partner in Bio, but he can't look at her without hatred on the first day.
How She Finds Out His Secret: Bella's friend Jacob tells of his tribe's legends about "The Cold Ones." She researches this lead after Edward miraculously stops a van from hitting her in the parking lot with his own arm. Bella eventually puts it together after he saves her again and shows other signs of being a vampire (cold skin, zero food consumption, etc.). He confirms her suspicions when she confronts him about it.
How They Fall In Love: I don't really even know. At the beginning of getting to know each other, Edward takes her to a meadow and says "So the lion fell in love with the lamb" and that's it. Basically, once Edward overcomes the desire to eat her, they are pretty much inseparable and claim they would follow quickly if one of them died. Kind of overdramatic for being 17, huh?
The Other Man: Jacob loves Bella pretty much from day one, but this relationship grows immensely after Edward leaves Bella in New Moon. Bella almost allows herself to feel the same way, but Edward is thrust back in her life before she has a chance to sort out her feelings. In Eclipse, she finally admits to loving Jacob and insists she would be with him if her tie to Edward wasn't so strong. This obviously becomes a moot point after Jacob imprints on Renesmee.
Supernatural Powers: Bella is immune to vampire powers that invade her mind as a human, and develops the ability to project this immunity on others after she becomes a vampire.
Drama Highlights: Bella catches the attention of a deadly hunter, James, and just narrowly escapes him after numerous injuries. A few months later, Edward decides to leave Bella after an accident involving his own brother attacking her. Bella goes catatonic from this for a bit, and just when she is about to move on, she must chase Edward down to prevent him from killing himself. The hunter's mate seeks revenge on Edward for killing James, and decides to do this by killing Bella. With the help of a pack of werewolves, Edward and his family are able to eliminate the threat. The couple eventually marries, but the honeymoon is cut short when Bella discovers she is pregnant with a half vampire/half human child. After the birth, Bella is turned into a vampire so she can live on. The Cullen family then has to fight together to protect the new baby, Renesmee, from the Volturri, the royal family of the vampire world.
Werewolves: Jacob becomes a werewolf in New Moon, and his pack eventually grows to 10 after almost all the boys (and one girl) on the reservation make the transformation. The wolves are supposed to fight off vampires, but since the Cullen family lives as vegetarians, the two sides end up joining forces to fight off the true evil harming Forks.
Chances of Staying Together: 100% They live happily ever after at the end of the series after surviving the Volturri. Even though more danger probably would have come if the series continued, Bella was finally indestructible as a vampire and the couple had a good group of allies to back them up. Plus, they go on and on throughout the whole series about not wanting to be with anyone else.
Sookie and Bill from the True Blood TV Series (2008)
How They Meet: "Of all the gin joints..." Okay, so not quite the same as Casablanca. Bill moves to Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana, and walks into the bar where Sookie works. She is excited to meet her first vampire, and shows no hesitation when she introduces herself.
How She Finds Out His Secret: Vampires aren't a secret in this series. They have been identified as a race two years ago, but are still facing prejudice. Sookie senses Bill's presence when he enters the bar and figures it out on her own instantly.
How They Fall In Love: Sookie likes being around Bill because he keeps things quiet in her head, and they become close after she saves him from some vampire blood dealers. They get really intimate when Sookie's grandmother is killed and she runs to Bill in the middle of the night for comfort. After that, she considers him her boyfriend
The Other Man: Not too much competition, but Sookie's boss Sam has held a torch for her for awhile. When she and Bill get distant, she gets closer to Sam for awhile, but soon moves on once Bill comes back.
Supernatural Powers: Sookie can hear people's thoughts. She has had this ability since she was a child
Drama Highlights: People start dying from episode one, and the town begins to suspect their new vampire inhabitant, Bill, might be behind the murders. Sookie has to defend him while dealing with her own grief over the victims, especially her grandmother. At one point, Sookie is recruited to use her mind reading abilities to find a thief at a vampire bar. When the vampire culprit is revealed, it lunges to kill Sookie. Bill stops him and then is tried for killing a fellow vampire. He is forced to sire a new vampire, a whiny teenager named Jessica, who becomes a nuisance to the couple. The town murderer is eventually revealed when he goes after Sookie, and Bill almost burns alive as he tried to come to her aid. Luckily, he survives and the couple's bond is reformed and strengthened.
Werewolves: Sam is kind of like a werewolf. He is a shape shifter who takes the form of a dog, and he uses this ability to watch after and protect Sookie.
Chances of Staying Together: The series has only aired 15 episodes so far, so I'm sure there are a lot of problems that the couple will face before they can live in peace. When I left off on episode 14, Sookie and Bill had resolved a lot of their issues and seemed strong, but they also had to deal with Jessica at the same time.