I have always loved vampires ever since I was a little girl.
Are people feeling “vampire fatigue” because of ALL the media that was inspired by the Twilight boom? Of course.
Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rich genre tradition of amazing vampire characters to appreciate! There is a reason why we keep going back to our fanged friends again and again.
So I’m going to name my Top Six Favorite Vampires, whether you’ve heard of them or not.
Let’s get started, and I present these in no particular order.
Dracula from Dracula
Please. Like we couldn’t have a list of great vampires without mentioning Dracula. It would be like doing a list of werewolves without mentioning the Wolfman, or a list of mad scientists and not mentioning Frankenstein.
There have been numerous versions of Dracula over the years. They each have their own charms (or issues), but the one I will always go for is the 1931 Bela Lugosi version. Why? It’s like the definitive version of Dracula. Before Lugosi, vampires in film were all monsters like Count Orlok in Nosferatu. Lugosi made them sexy, and vampires have (mostly) remained sex symbols since then.
Carmilla from Carmilla
In literature, Carmilla is widely agreed upon to be one of the first vampires in fiction. The novella which debuted the character predates Dracula by 26 years. It’s also a depiction of a lesbian vampire, and is a very sexual tale. Go read it like now. It’s great.
The version of Carmilla I would have to recommend is from the web series. With an nearly all female cast and a lot of LGBT representation, it has proven to be a major hit with fans. The show itself spins a great mystery and a touching relationship between Carmilla and her human roommate, which blossoms into love. The web series is just one of the most interesting shows out there, and definitely needs more attention and praise.
If Carmilla doesn’t hit you in the feels, then you are not watching it right.
You can watch it on Vervegirl TV.
Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time
Marceline from Adventure Time is the definition of cool. Her guitar is literally made from an axe. How can you not love that?! Not only is Marceline cool, and utterly certain of herself. She also is concerned with having a good time and hanging out with her friends. It makes her a little more settled of the vampires on this list.
But don’t take her laid back nature as a sign of a doormat. Girl will mess you up in a second.
She also doesn’t drink blood, but the color red. Marceline is the definition of taking the lore, and making it work for you. It also shows how, when used correctly, the vampire lore can be used in amazingly cool ways to create great characters.
Blade from Blade
Technically? Blade is a dhampyr, a half-vampire/half-human. Still he’s a badass character, so he gets to be on the list.
A guy who has all the positives of being a vampire with none of the drawbacks? It’s a very heady character to play with. Add in the fact that Blade is on the path of revenge for the death of his mother? You have a recipe for something amazing to go on. Blade is definitely a character that lives up to all of his potential.
Without the success of the Blade movies? It wouldn’t have lead to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the comic book film renaissance we’re in now. When those movies came out? It was pretty much considered to be a dead genre.
So we can thank this dhampyr for bringing new life to a genre that everyone thought was dead.
Spike from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer/Angel
I was always a Spike fan. I didn’t even necessarily ship him with anyone. I just liked his character and his snark. Trust me, my teenage years were spent nursing a very large, very embarrassing crush on Spike. (And a lot of vampires.)
I think what interests me most about the character is how he stands for reinvention. Usually in vampire media, the vampires are very much…the same. It’s hard to explain. Spike went from telling terrible poetry to being part of the Scourge of Europe to becoming a character who wins his soul back. He changes and reinvents who he is, showing that immortality doesn’t mean you cannot grow s a person.
Plus, he had the best song in the Buffy musical episode.
Selene from Underworld
I can safely say that I definitely wished I was as cool as Selene growing up. She could handle any situation, kick any ass, and didn’t have to vulnerable.
In fact, she had to learn to be vulnerable again. It was really interesting for me to see a female character have to go through this. Usually, lady vampires are depicted as being insane or overtly sexual. Yeah some of the shots in the film are fanservice, but Selene’s emotional journey was really compelling.
It shows the numbness that can occur with such a long undeath, and how it changes a person. It also shows how emotions are not a weakness, but a strength.
Plus she’s just badass to the nth degree and I have such a huge crush on Kate Beckinsdale that it’s not even funny.
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