There are far too many vampires out there. Okay, let me rephrase that statement before you rush off and start turning your broomsticks into stakes: there are an exorbitant amount of pop culture vampires roaming around our televisions and movie screens. And while most adhere pretty closely to vampire legend, with a few variations, one group of vampires is known for shirking much of the vampire lore we can recite by heart now. The Twilight Series presents an entirely different class of vampires, and it knows it. And one of the places the series differs is in the transition from human to vampire.
To help put it all in perspective, we pit the Twilight transition against its other teen vampire series, The Vampire Diaries, a show that also plays with vampire tradition. Which Young Adult vampire lore does it best?
Round 1: Where Did Vampires Come From?
Twilight’s Answer: No answer. As far as we’re concerned, the Twilight universe has always had vampires, and the population has grown as more vampires turned humans. We do know that the Volturi are really, really old, but alas, they’re not even close to being the first vampires ever.
The Vampire Diaries’ Answer: All vampires owe the Original Vampires their lives. The Originals can only be killed by the White Oak stake, and their creator: the Original Witch. Added bonus: if an Original dies, every vamp turned from someone in their bloodline dies.
Round 2: To Die, or Not to Die?
Twilight’s Response: Sort of. The transformation from alive to immortal is kind of seamless, rather than being a result that comes immediately after mortal death. A transitioning human's heart stops, signalling the beginning of immortal life. Of course, while a Twilight vamp doesn't necessarily die in transition, the process is a pain some vamps consider to be worse than death.
TVD’s Response: You have to die. All the way. In order to become a vampire, characters in The Vampire Diaries very clearly die and later wake up as vampires.
Round 3: Vampire-Creating Serum, What Art Thou?
Twilight’s Response: Venom. Vicious, painful venom. This substance swirls around in vampire’s mouths, ready infect their victims (willing or otherwise). The venom infects the blood, pumping through the veins until the transition is complete, burning the victim’s insides the whole time. It’s not a pleasant process.
TVD’s Response: The serum is simply vampire blood, and it must be ingested by the future vampire. The vampire blood has healing qualities and doesn’t viciously burn the body it enters.
Round 4: Does Vampiredom Bite?
Twilight’s Response: Generally, the process of becoming a vampire comes from a venom-injecting bite.
TVD’s Response: Nope. All that has to happen is that the potential vampire must drink vampire blood before they die, providing that they don’t die by extreme dismemberment or disfiguration, and boom: sexy vampire.
Round 5: Any Growing Pains?
Twilight’s Response: Other than the usual “What’s this? I can do what now?” reaction, being a new vampire in Twilightland is kind of awesome. New vampires are still full of human blood and they’re incredibly strong and powerful. Their biggest issue? Even the word “blood” can make them ravenous.
TVD’s Response: Get ready, future vamps of the TVD universe. Your life is about to become excruciatingly dramatic. Day one as a vampire is a 24-hour period in which the baby vamp must choose to feed or not to feed. Every hour they resist (or can’t find) human blood, they get weaker and weaker, inching towards death. (Fun, right?) Of course, once they transition, their challenge is trying not to pick fights with older vampires because TVD vamps get stronger with age. And just like Twilight vampires, the blood-craving is as high as a 15-year-old boy’s hormone level.
Round 6: Vampire Makeover Time!
Twilight’s Response: When a baby vampire is born, their human beauty is greatly magnified, making them captivating and enticing to humans. Their eyes are bright red, but may change as they age and depending on whether they continue to ingest human blood or animal blood. Let’s not forget the ridiculously pale skin and that whole sparkling-in-the-sun effect. Even when cloudy weather obscures their sparkle, a baby vamp's bright red eyes are a dead giveaway, forcing them to stay away from human society until they turn hazel with a healthy animal-blood diet.
TVD’s Response: If you were hot as a human, you’re still hot. If you weren’t hot, tough luck. Your eyes don’t change and as long as you’ve got a sunlight ring the sun won’t do anything but highlight your features, as it does for most people. The only time baby vampires, or any vampires, indicate their true nature is when they feed: their veins protrude, their eyes glaze over, and those oddly sexy fangs come out.
Here are the facts. Which vampire transition would you choose? Pain up front, like in Twilight or pain later, like in TVD?
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[Photo Credits: SummitEntertainment; CW]