The Modern Vampire
Vampires of past tales have always been portrayed as scary monsters that are evil beyond belief. They were believed to be horrible creatures with no souls who preyed on humans without feeling. In all the past literature, such as Dracula, the 1987 novel from Bram Stoker, a vampire was an evil night hunter who drank human blood. A vampire was a murderer who not only killed people but stole their souls as well. They were the stuff of nightmares and horror stories.
In today’s world, vampires are seen in a much different light. Although many stories still portray vampires as evil horror story creatures, others project them in an entirely different way. Many vampires in the modern world are heroes and love interests in many stories. They no longer exist only to consume and destroy normal human beings, but are shown to be compassionate beings capable of intense feelings of love. No longer does the modern vampire appear to be soulless, but often they are portrayed to have many redeeming qualities.
Vampires of the past were often ugly misshapen creatures with long menacing fangs, sallow, pallid skin and sharp finger nails. They had extra ‘powers’ to enable them to attract human beings to them more easily, such as a hypnotizing gaze, enhanced strength, the ability to fly or turn into bats, and a single-mindedness that made them focus only on murdering their victims.
Today, the modern vampire can still have some of the enhanced powers of the old-fashioned vampires, but are not always portrayed as disturbing monsters. Fangs on the modern vampire are usually retractable or non-existent. The pallid complexion, in many modern cases, actually adds to the ‘beauty’ of the vampire’s appearance. The ability to turn into bats or fly has been replaced with speed and strength. In some modern vampires, they still may have the ability to hypnotize their human prey, but many modern vampires do not have this skill.
In many of today’s stories, vampires have turned into the hero of a story, rather than a villain. Vampires are often portrayed as ‘good’ beings, although they are still considered dangerous. In fact, often the appeal of a vampire hero is that he must often overcome his natural dangerous nature to enable him to be with his love interest. In many vampire romance stories, the danger aspect enhances the attraction of the hero for the audience. It is perceived that the vampire is willing to overcome any odds in order to be with their chosen love. This makes the vampire better than a human hero because he has to overcome so much more to be with the one he loves.
There are many stories and authors where the modern vampire has been advanced into a hero role rather than a monster. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga, on of the most famous vampire romance books in today’s vampire market, depicts Edward and his family of vampires in just such a role. There are other vampire romance authors who also depict vampires in a good light. The Argeneau Series of vampire romance books by Lynsay Sands is another example of how the modern vampire has evolved into a hero. Other vampire romance authors depicting vampires as heroes include, Jeaniene Frost, Kimberly Raye, Kerrelyn Sparks and Michelle Rowan. Charlaine Harris, of True Blood fame, and L. J. Smith, author of The Vampire Diaries, have the vampires in their stories depicted as both good and evil.
If you are interested in vampire stories, you may be surprised at how the modern vampire has evolved. They are not always shown as monsters as they were in the past. Many modern vampire stories have the vampire depicted as the hero rather than the villain. Vampires in the modern world have become the stuff of romance rather than frightening soulless monsters.