Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lestat, Continued

As promised, here is part two of my Lestat post, to add on to information of the character. Thus far, I've been following a loose timeline, in a way, which I will continue, but towards the end, I shall add on some facts that I lelt out of the timeline, due to the post's size.

Now, as said in my last post, Lestat and Loius had adopted a a sense. Lestat had always been tring to get Loius to feed, normally, rather than snacking on rats and other odd animals, but he, often, refused. However, one night, he was wandering about the city, when he heard someone crying; a child. He looked through a window and saw that it was a young child of about five or six years, trying to get her mother to wake up...she had died, however, so there was no waking for her. Lious was just overcome by the scene, and in a moment of personal weakness, he fed from the child, leaving her very near death.

Lestat, upon hearing of this event, goes out to find the girl, in order to turn her into a vampire. His thought was that if he turned her, and gave her to Loius to look after, it would bind him to Lestat, due to his fears that Lious would soon go off on his own, sick of Lestat's behavior. This plan does work, in a way, and Lious becomes almost like a mother to the girl, Claudia, with Lestat being much like a father figure, spoiling her, and the like. However, Lestat made a rather foolish mistake in turning her, because it damned her to a life of being such a young child, forever, but having the mind of a grown woman. She soon grows to hate Lestat for what he did, and for who he is, and tricks him into drinking from a boy who was dead from poison. She then slits his throat and stabs him, many times, in the chest. Then, with Lious help, they dump him in the swamp.

Needless to say, this did not work, and Lestat was soon back, along with a pianist that he turned. A struggle breaks out, but Lious and Claudia escape, setting the home they were living in aflame as they escape. Both of them have their own story, but this post was on Lestat, after all. Before he turned Nicolas, he turned his mother, Gabrielle, who was dying of a sickness, at the time, and to whom he shared a strong relationship. After turning Nicolas, and having him reject Lestat as his maker, out of maddness, Lestat brought him to Armand, then left Paris to explore the world, as did his mother. Due to his nature, he is often called the "Brat Prince" by the older vampires...which fits rather well. Lestat was also able to become a very powerful vampire, for his age, only being below those that out-age him by millennia, due to the events of the Queen of the Damned novel, which will be explained, at a later time. To end this, Lestat is the type that will, often, avoid speaking of his flaws, and will say about anything to make himself seem better than he is...but, at times, he does seem to be a good.."person", despite how he acts, at times.

Friday, January 25, 2008

He's French, and Here's His Post

I should apologize for a slight posting delay. But, here it is, and better late than never. In my last post I covered the Vampire Chronicles that Anne Rice it would only be right to cover some of the characters, as well. I'll cover a bit of them, but for now, as he often gets, it is time to give Lestat the spot light. Every fangirl seems to love Lestat, to their very core, and some of the fanboys, as well, I am sure, but who is he, really?

Lestat de Lioncourt, being his full name, lived in Franch in the 1700's, and was the seventh son to a nobel family...though, they were forced to live a rather poor life, due to poor choices by others within the family. The story of his name is said to be that his mother took the first letter of each sibling's name together to form it. A rather large moment in his life was when he went to hunt a pack of wolves that were bothering the town. They killed his hounds and horse, and nearly him, but he fought off and killed them, all...and this event seemed to effect him, deeply, and, really, was what made him become a vampire, in a way.

The wolf attack left him rather depressed, and he soon changed his path in life, heading to Paris to be an actor with his friend, Nicolas. Soon, Lestat is viewed by a rather old vampire named Magnus, who was looking for a young man with Lestat's look, with the blonde hair, and the like, and so, later abducts him. He killed many of the others he tried, but luckily for him, Lestat seemed to be good enough for him. Magnus gave Lestat the gift of vampirism, gave everything he had to him, then burned himself to ashes.

Lestat, much later, comes to Nicolas, but rarely shows himself, driving him to near-maddness. When he finally does see Lestat, again, and he refuses to share the Gift with him, it only serves to make him angry at Lestat, and drive his world view into an even darker state. However, he gets his wish, much later, when he his kidnapped by a group a vampires, and fed on, endlessly, without death coming, which is hell to him...but he is saved by Lestat, whom laters turns him, though, really, in my opinion, it would had probably been to end his stream of cursing, if nothing else. Lestat, later on, heads to the New Orleans, and gives the Gift to another, to gain use of his plantation, or out of a love of the man...depends on which view you have--Louis, but we'll cover him, later. Lestat brings his aged and blind father to the plantation, and they both live there, with Loius, until his father passes, and the plantation is burned down when suspicions of what the pair are gets the best of the slaves and they torch it.

Both Louis and Lestat escape, and spend much time traveling. Lestat views Lious as a student, of sorts, but, really, Lestat never had a teacher in the ways of Vampirism, so they are both learning as they go, in a sense. There is much more to cover, but it's all just too much information to fit in one post, so, I'm going to brake this one up. Tomorrow shall be on the rest of Lestat's information, namely the child he and Louis "Adopt", so to speak. Until then, farewell.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anne Rice

This post is, really, on the Vampire works of Anne Rice, as are several following posts. Her Vampire Chronicles are rather popular, and have many fans, along with some rather...sorted bits of mystery to them. I'll really not get into some of bits of the series, but just a basic breakdown of it. I would like to state that I am not a fan of the novels, but...that's a whole other thing.

Her book series is revolved around several vampires, their experiences, relationships with each other and mortals, and the like. Often, the books are told from the prospective of a certain vampire, for example, in the first novel, by Louis, to a reporter. Something that I found rather refreshing about the series is how the vampire are not shown as some evil, horrid monsters, more evil than people; it shows them as people, with all of the personality and flaws that entails.

Also, the series shows a far different view of the vampire than was shown, in the past. No garlic weakness, water is not an issue, and crosses cannot harm them; in fact, many of them are religious, themselves. Really, they have no true weaknesses, other than typical human flaws, and, for the younger ones, fire and sunlight. The ones that number in the thousands of years, in age, can even reform from ash. They, also, do not age, after turning, but, instead, become more like statues; smooth, hard, pale skin.

What I truly enjoy is the view on being a vampire, itself. For instance, the transformation is not sexual or romantic, or any of that novelist garbage; you get bitten, you turn, and you die...and, like with death, you soil yourself. No glamour or style to it, really...hard to make a soiled pair of pants look sexy, after all. And with these vampires, there are no spells or shapeshifting, no lack of reflection; all a vampire really is is a superbly powerful psychic, with inhumanly powerul speed, strength and agility. That's a bit of background on the stories, and over my next view posts, I'll cover some of the characters, so, enjoy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Final of the Three

As promised, here is the last of the three I listed, earlier, of a selection of Asian myths; Jiang Shi. The name means "Stiff Corpse", in Chinese, due to the nature of the creature, which is, being a reanimated corpse. It's often simply called the Chinese Vampire, by Westerners, but what is interesting about it is how different it is when compared to the Western idea of the Vampire; at least in how it looks and acts.

Jiang Shi are said to be caused by a soul that does not leave a person's body, be it from an untimely death, suicide, or simply wanting to stay behind to make trouble. What is odd about these is that, really, the are more in line with how people think of zombies, more than vampires. Their appearance can vary, from rather normal, to rotted and horrid, and, really, holding the typical signs of a long-decayed corpse, but each with long, white hair on their heads. However, the one odd things that they always seem to have is a furry, greenish-white skin, as if mold were growing. They, also, hop around, to travel.

Oddly, it is more modern folklore that has them as blood-drinkers, most likely added from the popularity of Western stories, like Dracula. Really, they seem to be, in older folklore, just general predators, more than pure vampires. In some of the modern movies, Jiang Shi are shown with extremely long tongues and razer-sharp fingernails. It seems that ways of defense for them is to hold your breath, due to them using a person's breath to hunt, or to, also, throw rice at them, because it will cause them to stop and count it. In Feng Shui, with Chinese architecture, a 6 inch threshold is said to keep them out of one's home. Typically, Jiang Shi are shows as mindless, basic creatures.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Myth That I Promised

Here is the post for the second myth that I promised to go over. Before I start, I'd like to thank anyone that has been reading, and if you wish, please, leave your comments. I cannot improve without criticism, or even compliments, so let either or both fly. I'd even love to hear any requests for what to cover, later on; see what the reader wants. I check this Blog, daily, and update it daily, as well. That said, moving on the the Kuntilanak, from Southeast Asia.

There are a few differences within the myth, depending on the area, but here are the details of the one I am covering. The Kuntilanak is said to often appear as a beautiful women, and men that are not careful will be killed, some opinions, a worse fate..castrated. When it attacks, it becomes a rather horrid creature, and is said to feed from a hole in the back of it's neck, that is, normally, covered by it's long, black hair. It is, also, known to eat babies and attack pregnant women, causing the loss of the child.

Kuntilanak are said to come from women that died in labor, and whom became undead to gain her revenge for such a tragic end. Now, to point out one of the other forms of this myth, popular within Malaysia, we have the Langsuir, which is similar, but rather than taking on the look of a beautiful women, it possess the body of it's victum and drains them from the inside, causing much more suffering, over a longer period of time. The Langsuir not only feeds differently, but looks far more different, being described as an angry, hateful, scary spirit, with long fangs, rotting face, claws, and red eyes.

Now, it is said that, to fight off a Kuntilanak, one needs a nail, which they shove into the apex of it's head, and then remove it. In another myth, it is said that one must only shove it's own hair into the hole from which it feeds to drive it off. And for the Langsuir, there is a way to bury the dead to prevent one from ever rising. The corpse's mouth is filled with glass beads, eggs are places under the armpits, and needles are placed into the palms. And, with that, another post is wrapped up. Again, any suggestions or requests, comments, et cetera, let the comments come. More to come, tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Asian Myths

As I said, I wanted to work on some cultural myths, for this post, and some, after. I'd like to focus on myths from the areas of Asia. For those only familer with the modern, western media image of vampires, it is a nice switch. The vampires in these myths range from corpses that feed on the living, to spirits. What I wish to cover are three examples: the Penanggalan, the Kuntilanak, and the Jiang Shi. I'll not go too deeply into each, not being anywhere near a cultural expert, but enough to give a fair bit of information. I'll cover each, over 3 days.

We first have the Penanggalan, which is a myth from around the Malaysian area. The name means, roughly, "to Detach", which fits, well, due to the strange way this being hunts. It will remove it's head, which will fly around, with organs, such as it's lungs, et cetera, hanging below, said to twinkle as it flies. The body, as a whole, is said to be that of a beautiful older or younger women, whom gained her looks from black magic or other supernatural means. Another myth is that a demonic curse caused this, by a midwife making a pact to gain powers, but brakes it by eating meat within 40 days, which was part of the pact. It is also said that as the head flies, the body is kept in a container filled with vinegar, and so, the smell is always with them, which is how they can be told apart from other women, during the day.

It is said to feed on human blood or flesh, but it prefers that of pregnant women and young chilren, like new borns. They will perche themselves outside of a home, as a women is giving birth, then shreik out. The Penanggalan will then work it's tongue into the home and lap up the blood. Whomever has their blood taken will soon waste away, and die. It is also part of the myth that, if it's entrails brush against a person, they get painful, open sores, which will not heal without the help of a shaman, or healer.

To prevent it's attacks, one can place plant thorns all around their window, if they are close to, or have given birth, so that if a Penanggalan tries to enter, it will catch it's organs on them, ripping them, and dying. Some myths say, though, that they can pass through walls, and even ooze up through floor boards, with the ability to use it's organs as tentacles, of sorts. The way to deal with the creature, more permanently, is to try and follow it back to it's lair, and identify the person they are pretending to be. Then, the next time it goes to hunt, fill the body with glass, so that when the creature tries to reattach, it slices apart it's organs and dies, or to sanctify, then burn, it's body, before sunrise. There are a few differences that can be found between similar myths, but these are the common themes. I hope someone learned something new, here, and, if interested, read, next time, for some new myths. Farewell.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dracula...You know this was coming.

We all knew this was start, I want to cover a rather well-known story; Bram Stoker's Dracula. There have been many things people have connect to this story, from whom the villain was based on, to the name. I'm not going to go too deep into it, but let's just give some insight into this, since this all about Vampires, and this is a widely popular Vampire Novel. Really, I'd rather go into the Myth of the Man that is believed to be the Dracula of the story.

This was a novel, writen in the later part of the 1800's(roughly 1897), and is set up as a series of diary entries, and the like, to tell the story. Count Dracula is the villain of the story, and is the rather classic view of Vampires. Now, I'd go into the characters, the setting, and all, but this is about Vampires, after all, not the novel. Now the name means, in my belief, "Son of Dragon" or, also, "Son of Devil". Many believe that the character was based on Vlad III, but this is seen as false, in fact, by many. Stoker's knowledge of Romanian history seemed to be fairly decent, and was used, often, in the novel, but nothing about Vlad was even hinted at.

Vlad III was known as Vlad the Impaler, and this was due to the fact that he enjoyed, often, impaling his enemies with a pike, and letting them bleed out. Now, he is often seen as a ruthless, evil man, but, that is all a matter of opinion. Some have also said he was a just prince, and defended his people, driving of the invading Turks, and the like. Really, he was ruthlessly cruel with his choice of torture, but, none the less, he was no monster, or vampire, and was never thought of as such, or intended to be seen as such.

All of that said, the Novel "Dracula" is still a classic story of good winning over evil, as people so love to read, and had a mixture of the old world lore and such, and raising technology, of the time. Since it was made, many movies have been released, involving the main villain, and even using his name. As for Vampire myths, really, the classic of Vampires not having a reflection, or being able to cross running water, were added to the original story by Stoker, and were never a apart of the Folklore. As for Sunlight being deadly, for Stoker, Dracula could enter Sunlight, but it removed his more...inhuman powers. Vampire's death, in sunlight, was more a theme added with the film "Nosferatu."

I believe this will due, for now. Until tomorrow, I hope all remain well. More novel depictions shall come, in time, but my next post shall be on a cultural Vampire myth, so I hope it is enjoyed. Farewell to all, and rest well.