Vampire Morality: The Need to Feed

Very few people want to cheer for a villain.  And that’s how bloodsucking vampires are traditionally seen.

But somewhere in the literary evolution of the monster, vampires have become heroes.  But how can a creature who feeds on innocent people be seen as heroic?

It’s not so bad if they don’t feed on the innocent, right?

Lestat, the central character of Anne Rice’s novels, one day decides he’s only gonna feed on criminals.  In the readers mind, this isn’t so bad.  Why, it’s even heroic!  Good for Lestat for taking the law into his own hand and making those fiends suffer.  Ever see the show Dexter?  Dexter Morgan, the homicidal murderer with a sense of justice primarily kills other criminals, and we all love him.

I’ve mentioned before Anne Rice’s vampires even save the world in Queen of the Damned. But as soon as the threat is over, Lestat and the others return to murdering at least one human a night, reclaiming their status as the top predator of the human race.  These vampires even create an island for themselves filled with high art and luxury shopping centers to draw humans in.  But as long as their only feeding on criminals, who cares right?

One of the most consistent traits of a vampire, regardless of who is writing them is “the thirst.”  The penalty for disobeying this ranges from fatigue to psychotic episodes.  With an urge so powerful, it’s almost noble for a vampire to limit their diet to the people we don’t want in society.

What if the vampires don’t have a thirst?

In Communion, I play around with morality a lot.  For one, I remove the THIRST for human blood.  My Dhampir still require human blood to use their superhuman abilities.  But, rather than having a thirst that would constantly drives them to feed, each of my Dhampir makes a conscious choice rather or not they will feed on a human.

As I mentioned in the previous post, some authors escape this problem by having their vampires not feed on human blood at all.  In my next post, I look at other alternate food sources authors have used.

(P.S. In this post, I refer to criminals in a sarcastic, crass manner.  Let’s remember everybody, vampires aren’t real.  And, if they were, any lives they take (whether innocent or criminal) would be a problem.)

About B. Patterson

Avid Reader. Relentless Writer. Lover of Wisdom. Author of Communion.

Posted on August 1, 2013, in Vampire, Vampire Morality and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I always believe that the hero makes the story and the villain makes the hero. CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR NOVEL!

    • Haha, thanks. Just two months. I can hardly believe it 🙂

      I totally agree that villains make the hero. Heroes are meh. The hero can be bland, but if the villain is totally awesome or has a very sinister scheme, that could really make the story for me.

      • Hahaha, gonna be telling everyone I am friends with a novelist. Hahahahahaha!

        I love great villains. I love to hate them! Maybe that’s the reason I like jerk heroes better. LOL.

        I bet your novel has sinister schemes. Ooooh!!! I can’t wait. Really. Hahahha

      • My novel has sinister schemes done from good intentions.

        I was reading through it this past weekend and found an awesome phrase:
        “Sometimes to stop the worst kinds of evil, we must become the worst kind of good.”

      • Ooooohhh. I love it!!! I’m gonna quote that after your book launch.

  2. I will repeat this a thousand times – Twilight ruined vampires. They are supposed to be scary and bloodthirsty, OR somewhere along those lines.

  3. Sorry my comment is unfinished, I had some problems posting a comment. Anyway, can”t wait for Communion to get out. Dhampirs seem interesting and I want to see how you imagined them.

    • Ha, it’s cool. It took me a minute to find it. Yeah, I really wanted to make my dhampir stand out compared to what people traditionally think of as vampires. There’s some similarities, but several critical differences. It’ll be out soon 🙂

  4. Cool! I like that you’re playing around with traditional rules. I’m doing that with my horror serial, too. Some won’t care for it, but I think that’s the way to make zombies and vampires fresh and interesting.

    • Yeah, there’s always traditionalist in every genre who think a creature (whether zombie, vampire or even unicorn) has to be a certain way. But, I have much more fun doing things my way and I think I have enough unique ideas that most will enjoy reading it.

      How’s serialized fiction working for you? I’ve heard mixed things about serials, slightly more negative than positive.

      • I want to serialize everything I do now. (I won’t but I want to.) It works great. Mind you, I know some authors have tried it and decided it was a failure. There are too many variables to assume that’s why sales falls down or succeed for individuals, I suppose, but I’ve found great advantages to serialization. This Plague of Days is moving.

    • (For some reason I can’t reply to your other comment)

      Eh, there’s always those unknowns and things you just can’t account for.

      I’ll check yours out and see what I think. I’ve never been much into zombies (although I once said that about vampires…), but I worked at a school with Autistic kids, so I’m very curious to see how you wrote yours.

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