My first encounter with vampire novels was The Twilight Saga, and yes, I was team Edward. But after having completed the saga, I noticed a peculiar dynamic in Vampiric literature that I would later see in other novels like that of the Vampire Academy series, the Dark Heroine series, and Fledgling.
This peculiar dynamic was one that involved the urge to protect their loved ones, an incredible display of loyalty. In Twilight, Bella’s prime motive, besides falling in love with a 100-year-old vampire stuck in high school, was the urge to protect her father from the very killers she sought out. In New Moon, the second book in the series, Edward is so adamant about protecting Bella, that he abandons her for her own good. Yet, when Bella finds out that Edward is endangering himself, she drops everything she is dealing with to protect him from himself. In third book Eclipse, Edward and his vampire family all ban together to protect Bella from the battle between new-born evil vampires and themselves. In the fourth book, Breaking Dawn Bella marries Edward, has a half vampire-half human baby, and is ready to send her daughter away to protect her from her enemies. In this particular novel, Vampires from all over the world gather together and form one dynamic unit, loyal to this miracle child, ready to sacrifice their own lives to protect one of their kind.
In the Vampire Academy series, the protagonist Rose, is a hybrid vampire, similar to Bella’s daughter, born from a human mother and vampire father. Her best friend, Vasilisia, is a royal blood vampire. The role Rose plays in all of the novels is protectorate for Vasilisia. Her unwavering devotion and constant obsession with keeping her friend safe is very similar to the dynamic initiated in Twilight. Rose is willing to put her life on the line, to ensure the safety of Vasilisia, and agrees to this bond for the rest of her life. Rose’s loyalty to Vasilisia, is not considered abnormal in the world created by Richelle Mead, in fact all half-human, half-vampire people are taught from a young age, to learn specific training skills to protect their vampiric counterparts from other vampires. Richelle Mead’s world of Vampires are far more developed and complex than that of the characters in Stephanie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga, because there is much to consider when analyzing the role loyalty plays within these novels.
Taking a closer look into Richelle Mead’s novel, there are four categories designed for specific characters. The first type are the Moroi, who are the true blood, royal vampires, this is the category Rose’s best friend, Vasilisia, falls into. The second type are the Dhampir, these are the half-human, half vampires born to protect their Moroi as Guardians. The third type are the Strigoi, these are the evil vampires, vampires who become evil by choice when they drink the blood of their victims. Lastly, the fourth type are the Feeders, these are humans who are designated as blood bags, and food sources for the Moroi.
The Dhampir and the Feeders are similar to Octavia Butler’s symbionts in Fledgling mostly because Dhampir guardians will die if their Moroi are killed, especially if they are bonded in the way Rose and Vasilisia are. Similar to the symbionts, these characters are linked to one another for life. They share a bond unlike any other. The human feeders are also similar to the symbionts because when they are bitten and fed on by the Moroi, they experience a chemical reaction, almost like a sedative that numbs their senses but leaves them wanting more. This is also an issue of consent, that we can further discuss at a later time.
In another vampire novel, the Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire by Abigail Gibbs, the protagonist, Violet Lee is kidnapped by a Vampire clan in London because she witnesses a murder that they have just committed. Like all the other Vampire novels, romance is a given, and Violet is taken away by Kasper Varn, a dangerous and ever-brooding vampire. I like to call him Edward 2.0. He is the new and improved, and a far more interesting and alluring character than Edward could ever be. Kasper takes Violet against her will and brings her to his clan’s mansion, in an attempt to protect his kind from human invasion. Fearful that if Violet returns to her father who works with the British government, their family, their clan, and their kind will all be under siege. Kasper is unbent, he puts his kind before anyone else, thus taking Violet as his prisoner, and sooner than later, Violet develops severe Stockholm Syndrome, falling head over heels in love with her mysterious captor.
However, getting back to the reoccurring theme of loyalty, Octavia Butler’s vampires are similar to those in The Twilight Sage, Vampire Academy, and The Dark Heroine because they all go to drastic lengths when the lives of their kind and loved ones, are in danger. Shori’s ability to think clearly, strategize against her enemy, and put the lives of her symbionts and Vampire kind, above herself, make her a suitable protagonist for vampiric literature.
Loyalty, above all else, is the epitome of a vampire’s character.
Below, you can find all three series mentioned below.