|“||Disgusting though your brethren may be, they, at least, are evolved. It was only these later generations that learned to channel their rage.||”|
Lycans are a second breed of Werewolves created in the 13th century, descended from William Corvinus's Werewolf bloodline. Once, normal humans who were infected by the firstborn Lycan or another of his victims, they are unlike the first breed in that they retain their human personalities while transformed, as well as being capable to take human form. In this article, "Werewolf" will be used to refer to both Werewolves and Lycans collectively (except where otherwise noted), for when both generations need mentioning at the same time.
Lycans are constantly at war with the Vampires due to their former status as oppressed slaves, and the Vampires begin a campaign to exterminate the entire species after the Lycans stage an uprising that nearly destroys the entire Vampire species in the 15th century. Although the war was believed to be a righteous cause of the noble vampires against the savage Lycans, in truth the war was instigated by Viktor out of hatred for Lucian for impregnating his daughter Sonja. The war has recently come to a temporary end, after the death of Marius.
Vampire warriors trained to hunt and kill Lycans are known as Death Dealers.
|“||They are born of beasts! And the savagery of this despicable fact cannot be bred away!||”|
In the Underworld franchise, Lycans and Werewolves are biologically immortal transgenics, as opposed to supernaturally immortal demons of pop culture. However, as in pop culture, the Lycans in the Underworld franchise are also carnivores, meaning that they feed on meat. They have even been shown to be somewhat cannibalistic, as they will feed off of humans and Vampires, despite the close relations they bear to both species.
In the novelizations, the Lycans are warm-blooded and have high body temperatures. The novelizations also state that Lycans, in their Werewolf form, are colorblind whereas in the films they are not. In their novelized Werewolf forms, Lycans foam at the mouths, much like a rabid animal. They also do not appear to have whiskers.
In all aspects of the Underworld franchise, Lycans are depicted as being highly allergic to silver. In the novelization of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, their eyes are also shown to be sensitive to any glare of light off of a silver surface.
In the films, Lycans' eyes are shown to change into a cloudy deep blue when they are partially transformed. In the novelizations, their eyes are described as changing into a solid cobalt blue, the same as the original Werewolves. In Underworld: Endless War, they are shown to turn a feral yellow. In Underworld: Awakening, they are all shown with solid black eyes, similar to the Hybrid forms of Michael Corvin and Marcus Corvinus. This may have been either a production goof, a design change by the producers, or these individuals had been given some of Antigen's so-called "antidote." And Marius, the Lycan Leader after the defeat of Antigen, has orange eyes.
As with all Immortals, Lycans become stronger and more powerful with age, both physically and socially. Other factors can also affect their strength, such as feeding. A well-fed Lycan will recover faster than a Lycan who has not fed for some time. Lycans who regularly overindulge will usually take mere moments to recover depending on the severity of the wounds.
Powers & Abilities
Lycans display inhuman physical strength, speed, reflexes, endurance, and agility comparable to their vampire counterparts. These traits seem to apply to Lycans even when in human form, as Lucian was seen to be able to catch up to a moving car, and subsequently survive being hit by it head on. Even in their human forms, Lucian and other Lycans also demonstrate other feats of superhuman strength, speed, and agility, such as catching crossbow bolts in midair, jumping extremely high and overpowering both humans and vampires in physical combat. It is very likely that they can enter a state of hibernation and survive without blood or oxygen for centuries.
They possess enhanced senses of smell, hearing, and sight that are superior even to those of wolves, not just humans, and are also able to sense Vampires in close proximity to themselves. It should be noted that when in their Werewolf forms they are stronger than when in human form, able to break through solid concrete walls, and seem to be stronger than most young Vampires, as every hand-to-hand confrontation between the two races under normal circumstances has ended with a Lycan victory, the few exceptions being the Vampire Elders Viktor, Selene, and David. Lycans can also use their claws and strength to scale sheer surfaces, having been seen to crawl along walls at great speed in pursuit of prey. They possess the ability to land on their feet without harm when falling from great heights, as evidenced by both Lucian and Michael Corvin. Other abilities include the ability to turn humans into Lycans through their bite, or possibly through blood transfusion. Some subjects of this do not survive, as the infection or damage caused can worsen due to the turning process. Lycans also display the ability to share memories through their bite, possibly through the virus affecting their brain and nerves and making their other tissues and fluids be obtaining bio-organic signals and information, which could explain the bodies healing ability.
Their most unique ability is their ability to turn at will, though they usually turn at night. The moon could only affect and forcibly transform a Lycan that had not yet learned to control their transformations, though they could use the moon's influence to change when weakened, such as when Lucian was restrained in silver for a day and escaped when the moon rose in the night sky. Their transformations are quick and painless when they are in control but when the Lycan has not learned such control, the transformation is slow and painful, taking several minutes to finish instead of a few seconds like other Lycans.
Lycans also possess superb physical resilience and remarkable regenerative abilities: both Lucian and Raze are wounded by silver bullets and Selene's shurikens respectively, yet they bear no marks or scars when they reappear later. Their recovery abilities are hampered by the presence of silver in their bodies. However, to older Lycans, the silver is rarely fatal. Lucian displays the ability to force Selene's silver bullets out of his body through muscle strength, although it is mentioned in the first film that the silver is fatal if it penetrates the internal organs. Silver is the Lycans' only weakness, as they seem to be violently allergic to it. A new variation on this is the use of silver nitrate bullets to inject the silver directly into a Lycan's bloodstream. In Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, a wild Werewolf dies after taking two shurikens with silver blades from Sonja in the chest, whereas Raze not only survives four silver shurikens thrown by Selene but continues to walk in his human form with the shurikens stuck in his chest for quite some time in Underworld. This may imply that Lycans possess greater resilience and healing abilities against silver than their Werewolf predecessors, possibly due to the greater human portion of their genome, or it could be due to more exposure and acquired resistance to silver, or question of the Werewolf being younger than Raze was in the first film, (or a continuity error). Although originally Lycans could only transform at the full moon, it is explained that the older a Lycan becomes in age, the more control they can exert over their transformation, to the point that they can change at will, possessing full mental control of their wolf form. In their wolf form, Lycans also have access to powerful jaws and razor-sharp fangs and claws, making them deadly close-quarters combatants. They can also run with great speed and efficiency on four legs as well as two legs in their wolf form.
Lucian, First of a New Breed
|“||Viktor would use Lucian's infectious blood to his benefit, taking advantage of the child's thirst, pitting it against him as he was forced to feed off humans: Viktor's slaves. Instead, he created a new race of Immortals, Lycans: Werewolf, but also human. Unlike the others, this new breed could be harnessed, enslaved to guard them in the daylight hours of their Masters. Or so Viktor thought, so very long ago...||”|
Lucian was born to an unknown captive female Werewolf who was likely pregnant when she was turned and thus passed the werewolf gene onto the growing fetus. Born in human form, Lucian's Vampire owner, Viktor, initially intended to slay the infant, but decided against it when he saw in Lucian the possibility of creating a new race of slaves - a new breed of Werewolf: Lycans. Viktor slew Lucian's mother and had him branded with Viktor's mark, then raised him as his own personal pet. Lucian rose to become the Lycan commander under Viktor's command.
Though most likely physically weaker than first-generation Werewolves, Lucian possesses abilities superior to any descended from himself and can transform at will, unlike William Corvinus and his first-generation Werewolves who were stuck in werewolf-form. He possessed strength similar to his predecessors and a focus unknown to his violent werewolf kin. Though it took a hundred years before he could channel his rage enough to trigger the change. Although he used his Werewolf form to a great extent in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, unlike the other Lycans has seen in Underworld, Lucian never transforms while engaged in combat, instead of using such technology as wrist-mounted blades to engage his enemies. Despite this, by the time of Underworld, he is shown to possess an ability never seen in other Lycans: when he is shot with silver bullets, he is able to expel them from his body by forcing the transformation. He first expels silver from his body after Viktor kills his lover, Sonja; in a rage, Lucian expels silver bolts that were meant to prevent his transformation to lupine form. Lucian also manages to survive for several minutes after being shot with a silver nitrate round passing out temporarily and becoming weakened. Though it is stated by Selene that a single silver round will prevent the change, Lycans can die from fatal amounts of silver exposure to organs or by direct exposure into the bloodstream via silver nitrate or similar compounds. Theoretically, Lucian has developed a resistance to silver over the centuries due to greater exposure than his compatriots, similar to how humans can develop a tolerance to arsenic over time. Similarly, Lucian's status as the First Lycan may give him a genetic metamorphic advantage over his descendants which affords him limited resistance to silver. This however did not prevent blood toxicity from occuring upon successive rounds of silver nitrate exposure into the bloodstream, resulting in Lucian's demise.
Whereas William is the patient-zero or alpha-specimen of the first generation of werewolves; Lucian, is the progenitor to the second generation: Lycans. It is theorized that Lucian was able to transform back to human form because his mother was pregnant with him when she was infected, preventing inheritance of the full werewolf gene.
2nd Generation: Lycans
These are modern Lycans descended from Lucian. Viktor forced Lucian and substrates to propagate more of this type for the purpose of a subservient working-class to the Vampires. The form of virus carried by Lucian was spread to humans, creating a large group of Lycans capable of taking both human and werewolf form. Due to their scent, first-generation Werewolves seem to recognize them as their kind rather than human beings, even when in human form.
They are able to transform back to their human forms and change into Werewolf forms when the moon is full. Those who have been Lycans for several centuries have learned to transform at will regardless of the moon, as they have learned to channel their rage. They resemble first-generation Werewolves, but their faces are shorter, and the least wolf-like in appearance. They also have far less fur than the earlier Werewolves. They are mostly hairless, aside from a thin mane of fur running down the center of their backs, with the exception of Lucian, who has the same amount of fur that first-generation Werewolves sport (at least in the first 3 movies). In Underworld: Endless War, Lycans have fur all over their bodies except the face and ears.
After the first purge, some of the surviving second-generation Lycans went into hiding, and without feeding they became weaker, hairless and skinnier in appearance.
3rd Generation: Evolved Lycan Variants
By injecting the Corvinus Strain of Eve's blood into a Lycan, Jacob Lane turned his son into the first enhanced Lycan. Later, he started to inject himself with the Strain although he was only at the start of the treatment. Quint was eventually killed by enhanced Vampire Selene while Jacob was killed by Eve with some help from David.
This variant type of Lycan is physically far larger and stronger than any previous generation, William and Lucian included. In addition, Lycans of this generation possess at least a partial immunity to silver, allowing them to be shot and stabbed with weapons made of silver without major consequences and heal almost instantly.
Later, using the blood of Michael Corvin, the new Lycan leader Marius turned himself into an immensely powerful enhanced Lycan but he required the blood of Eve to cement his transformation and occasionally had to drink small vials of Michael's blood to keep his transformation intact. He was killed by Selene after she received enhanced powers from the Nordic Coven.
- Some of the Lycan roars are that of big cats, such lions and leopards.
- The word "Lycan" is derived from the word "lycanthrope," meaning someone who suffers from lycanthropy; "the professed ability or power of a human being to transform into a wolf, or to gain wolf-like characteristics."
- In all incarnations of the franchise, a group of Lycans is called a "Pack," or a "Clan." The Leader of a Lycan Pack or Clan is called an "Alpha."
- Originally, the term "Lycans" is used to describe all werewolves, be it William, or the first generation Werewolves turned by him. In the third installment of the franchise or the prequel film, it was redefined as the term coined by Viktor specifically for the immortal species who are both human and Werewolves, or Lucian and the second generation started by him, that has the ability to transform between human and Werewolf forms.
- According to the first installment, when a Lycan transforms into their Werewolf form, it is referred to as "the Change." Whenever a Lycan has been shot with silver, it prevents them from making the Change. During their enslavement by the Vampires, Lycans were outfitted with "Moon Collars," with silver spikes on the inside to prevent them from making the Change during the full moon.
- Only a small percentage of the human population can be turned into Lycans, as most humans die from infection of the Lycan virus.
- Despite their immortality and regenerative abilities, Lycans can die from severe physical trauma without silver, such as decapitation or destruction of the heart. Michael Corvin and Eve have killed Lycans or Werewolves by tearing out the lower jaw, breaking the neck, ripping apart their heads, and claw-punching through the chest from the back. The same is true of Vampires.
- It is known that Vampire bites and blood can induce deadly infection to Werewolves/Lycans and vice versa, as the viral strains of each species are incompatible and destroy each other at the cellular level. However, it is unknown why Werewolves/Lycans are unaffected when feeding off of Vampires, or why Selene was able to feed off of Michael Corvin's blood when she infected him with her Vampirism strain to save his life. It is possible that considering an unscathed or not critically injured Vampire or Lycan wouldn't have their viruses focused on healing heavy damages inflicted to their systems, the invading virus would be destroyed by the unstrained dominant virus before it had the chance to cause death.
- Director Len Wiseman requested that the Lycans be depicted with less hair because he wanted to show them with muscular builds under all the hair. In the following installments, he changed his mind and thought that more hair and fur was a better look.
- In the first three movies, the Lycans are portrayed by actors in animated costumes. In Awakening, most of the Lycan scenes are entirely computer-generated.
- Technically Werewolves and Lycans are the same species.
- According to Selene in Blood Wars, Lycans are at their most vulnerable in their transformed state. Selene tells the raw Death Dealer recruits that in this state, they are driven only by bloodlust and lose much of the intelligence, rationality, and ability to use any weapons they possess in their human forms. It is unclear how much of it is true though; considering Victor's anti-Lycan propaganda, which led most younger vampires - including Selene - to believe Lycans are nothing more than savage beasts, this is likely but a vampiric underestimation of the Lycan species.
- Main article: Lycan/Gallery
|Lucian - Sonja - Viktor - Raze - Andreas Tanis|
|Soren - Sabas - Orsova - Coloman - Kosta - Luka - Xristo - Sandor - Ivan - Ilona - Casmir Janosh - Covasha family - Malvina - Ulrik - Lucian's Mother|
|Weaponry of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - Silver - Shurikens - Swords - Crossbow - Knives - Whips|
|Vampire - Lycan - Immortal - Human - Werewolf|
|Castle Corvinus - Elders' Ship|
|Corvinus Strain - Vampire Council - Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - The Chain - Blood Memories - Budapest Coven - Moon Collar - Vampire-Lycan War - Vampire-Werewolf War|
|Items - Soundtrack - Score - Novel - Comic - Quotes - Videos - Images|
|Selene - Eve - David - Jacob Lane - Quint Lane|
|Thomas - Lida - Alan - Michael Corvin - Detective Sebastian - Olivia - Edward Vronski - Officer Kolb - Corvinus Clan|
|Vampire - Lycan - Hybrid - Immortal - Human|
|Weaponry of Underworld: Awakening - Swords - Sleeping Gas - Silver Nitrate Bomb - Beretta 92FS - Whips - Shurikens - Silver - Silver Bullets|
|Antigen Headquarters - Thomas's Coven - Cryogenic Chamber - Army Surplus Store - Pier 9 - Abandoned Building|
|Corvinus Strain - Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - Blood Memories - The Purges - Antigen - Infected Persons Unit - Vampire-Lycan War|
|Music - Quotes - Images - Soundtrack - Score|
|Selene - David - Marius - Thomas - Semira - Lena|
|Varga - Cassius - Michael Corvin - Vidar - Hajna - Istvan - Alexia - Gregor - Eve - Amelia|
|Vampire - Lycan - Hybrid - Immortal - Human|
|Weaponry of Underworld: Blood Wars - Swords - Beretta 92FS - Scorpion EVO 3 - Nightshade|
|Nordic Coven - Eastern Coven|
|Var Dohr Cocooning Ritual - Corvinus Strain - Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - Vampire-Lycan War - Marius's Army|
|Music - Comic - Quotes - Images - Score|
|Selene - Lucian - Sonja - Viktor - Kraven - Nicolae - Soren - Leyba - Brother Ambrose - Grushenka - Ilona - Leonid Florescu - Marcus Corvinus - Yoshio - Diego|
|Vampire - Lycan - Immortal - Human|
|Silver Mine - Castle Corvinus - Crypts - Strasba - Keep - Ördögház - Budapest|
|Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - Budapest Coven - Blood Memories|
|Selene - Michael Corvin - Krandrill - Darius - Vregis - Kraven - Lord Clovis - Krandrill's Harem|
|Vampire - Lycan - Hybrid|
|Swords - Silver Nitrate Spray - Silver|
|Paris Mansion - Tati Hotel - Belfry|
|Death Dealer - Crimson Moon Ceremony - Vampire-Lycan War|
|Quotes - Images|
|Vampire missions - Lycan missions|
|Characters and Species|
|Selene - Erika - Raze - Kahn - Lucian - Vampire - Lycan - Hybrid|
|Death Dealer - Vampire Elder - Vampire-Lycan War|
|Images - Videos|
|Selene - David - Semira - Quint - Gregor - Detective Sebastian - Marius|
|Eve - Thomas - Jacob Lane - Olivia - Varga - Istvan - Hajna - Cassius - Dr. Lida - Edward Vronski - Nurse Sebastian - Lena - Vidar - Alexia|
|Vampire - Lycan - Human - Hybrid|
|Images - Videos|