Regarding Vampires

One of the things that stands out the most from the first season of True Blood was how vampires die in the show. Now I’m probably just biased from all the Buffy and Angel that makes up the vast majority of my vampire knowledge base, but it seems turning totrue-blood-staking dust and/or withering away is the standard result of a stake to the heart. True Blood went a decidedly gorier way with it, involving the vamp vomiting out all their blood, then just sorta popping like a balloon, leaving lots of blood, some chunks, and the clothes they were wearing.

As I said, most of my vamp lore comes by way of Whedon (and Moonlight, but off the top of my head I only remember one vamp death in the series, and that was getting decapitated by a roller coaster. The only staking happened when the victim was human) so it could be a widely accepted method of vampire death, but it was new to me.

While the explody-vamp style is visually really striking, I also think it fits True Blood perfectly, considering how they’ve developed their version of the vampire mythos. A vampire’s organs and systems are all shut down when they die, and it’s the magical properties of theirtrue-blood-aftermath blood (the same that make it a potent drug) which keep them going. Everything they are is because of their blood, which is why things like crying blood are cool touches that reinforce this central aspect of a TB vamp. So it makes sense that their death would revolve around the loss of that blood, which in turn obliterates the last remaining bits of their corporeal form.

I think from a logical point of view I like the explody-vamp style more than dusting, too. To me, dusting came about because when a vamp’s heart is pierced, the magical essence that’s been keeping them going disappears, and the accumulated decades or centuries of wear and aging instantly manifest themselves. Which makes sense to me, unless you’re dealing with a recently turned vamp. They should (at lest to me) merely fall down dead, body more-0r-less intact.

Though I guess if Buffy had to deal with explody-vamp style, her job would be a lot messier. And the Sunnydale cemetary would just be gross.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on January 19, 2009.

5 Responses to “Regarding Vampires”

  1. I cant seem to remember moonlight either but something tells me it was messy because they bothered to have that clean up crew which I thought was both awesome and.. well awesome even if she kinda looked like the keepers of the continum transfunctioner

    I think Sam and Dean need some friends like that.

  2. I remember that the cleaner was a different actress each time she showed up. And I think it was more about making the bodies disappear so the existence of vampires would remain hidden, both those of the vamps and of people they killed.

  3. Adding in my limited knowledge of vampire deaths, I think the dusting is a more standard practice. This is what happened in Blade and, if I’m remembering correctly, From Dust Till Dawn.

    In the roleplaying game Vampire: the Masquerade there were more methods to killing a vampire (cutting their heads off). A stake through the heart killed a vampire, but only as long as the stake remained in the heart. A sort of stopping the evil blood from flowing sort of thing. A friend of mine said he played this one time where he stumbled into a crypt full of vampires and looted the corpses not realising he was putting himself into a world of hurt.

  4. That reminds me, in Moonlight a stake to the heart just paralyzed a vamp.

  5. Much. More. Messy.

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