Vampires have really changed over the last ten years or so in fiction. What started out as a serial killing monster, a creature of the night to be loathed and feared, has somehow transformed into an intriguing enigma, a sensual wonder that draws many like moths to a flame.
It seems that in hit TV shows and bestselling novels the vampires tend to be broken down into two character types: brooding and bad boy. This isn’t really a new concept. Anne Rice started doing it back in the 70s with Louis and Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. However, in recent years this vampire duo type has exploded in popularity.
Example 1: Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel was the resident brooder (when he wasn’t evil of course), so much so that there were several jokes injected into the series about his constant brooding. Yet people loved him and wanted nothing more than the happy ending series creator Joss Whedon tends to deny fans of. Spike was Angel’s polar opposite. Loud, crude and a killer that enjoyed it. From the moment I met Spike in Buffy TV land, I was smitten. And I know I wasn’t the only one.
Example 2: Stefan and Damon Salvatore from book and TV series The Vampire Diaries. Stefan is our brooder in this pair. He’s actually rather depressing at times (in my opinion) and I find him only bearable because of his brother who is a total bad ass that makes me laugh. I’m not a fan of young adult vampires in any way but Damon makes the show fun and brings a level of classic vampire evil that is necessary in doing vampire fiction of any kind justice.
Example 3: Bill Compton and Eric Northman from the book and TV True Blood series. Maybe not everyone will agree with me but I find Bill to be a bit of a brooder. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the books and have only seen the show. But I find Eric to be the bad ass out of these two. When he tore that guy apart and then asked if there was blood in his hair, I laughed but I was also a little taken aback. We don’t see many vampires like that anymore and we should!
So which vampire do you prefer? The brooder or the bad ass? I myself love the bad ass vampire, the one that is all about the hunt and the kill. As an author of my own vampires, I tend to prefer they act like vampires, not depressed vegetarians. But hey, those brooders sure get their share of the ladies so they must be doing something right.