|“||The Lycan horde scattered to the wind in a single evening of flame and retribution. Victory, it seemed, was in our grasp, the very birthright of the Vampires.||”|
Vampires are a sub-species of Immortals seen in the Underworld films. The series portrays them as living creatures infected with a virus granting immortality, superhuman physical abilities, enhanced resilience, and healing, but causing a severe weakness to ultraviolet radiation and a thirst for blood.
The Vampires play a heavy role in all Underworld films, novels, and other media.
Marcus Corvinus was the first Vampire, and it was he who spread the virus to others, creating the entire species. Despite Marcus's status, his twin brother, William, was a raging monster beyond control, a Werewolf who slaughtered all in his path. In an attempt to stop William, but not harm him, Marcus enlisted the help of a dying warlord named Viktor and a female warrior named Amelia. Together, they created an army of Vampire warriors known as Death Dealers, whom they used to track and contain William and all others infected by him.
The Vampires later embarked on an ill-fated scheme to turn the surviving Lycans (descendants of the the Werewolves who had now gained the ability to return to human form) into slaves, using them to guard their tombs during the daylight.
William was finally imprisoned in 1202 AD, but his capture created a rift between the three Vampire Elders. Viktor used the opportunity to seize power from Marcus, and he had William imprisoned in a dungeon for eternity. The three Elders then settled in as rulers of the Vampire Covens. Viktor gradually and subtly took control from Marcus, ensuring he would never have the strength or knowledge to free William.
However, after a romance between Viktor's daughter Sonja and a Lycan slave, Lucian, was discovered, Sonja was executed, and the war began again. The ensuing battle killed off almost the entire Vampire species, leaving only a few members of the species alive. Viktor forbade and erase any mention of Sonja or the Lycans' role as slaves, thus creating several generations of Vampires who know nothing of Sonja, and who believe that the Lycans started the war.
After some time, a Death Dealer named Kraven returned with proof of Lucian's death, and the Death Dealers were charged with hunting down any and all surviving Lycans. The Elders constructed the Chain system, which ensured one of them will rule for a century while the other two remained in hibernation. When the Chain was first established is never made clear. A Vampire Council that holds enormous sway in the Vampire community was created sometime before the fiasco of Sonja and Lucian. However, nobody suspected the truth: Kraven had struck a deal with Lucian, allowing him to gain power and a position as regent in the Coven.
In the present days, the Coven has become increasingly decadent under Kraven's leadership, with Amelia ruling from the Eastern Coven and, in the last years of her reign, from the New World Coven. It is then that Lucian strikes, killing Amelia and the Vampire Council, with the plan to turn himself into a Hybrid, leaving Kraven to rule the Vampires. However, his plan is derailed when Selene, a vigilant Death Dealer, awakens Viktor and alerts him to Kraven's treachery.
In the ensuing battle, Kraven betrays Lucian, killing him in the process. Viktor personally intervenes, but after the truth about his killing of Selene's family is revealed, he is slain by Selene with the help of Michael Corvin, a descendant of Corvinus who had become a Hybrid created from the bites of both Lucian and Selene. With these events, followed by Marcus awakening as a hybrid, the destruction of the Vampire mansion, Ördögház, and the slaying of Kraven by Marcus's hands, the Old World Coven is destroyed. Later, Marcus himself is killed by a newly hybridized Selene whom had recevied her new abilities after drinking the blood from Alexander Corvinus.
Six months later, government-controlled military groups launch a full-scale assault on the Immortals, nearly exterminating both the Vampire and Lycan species. The remaining Vampires are forced to scatter, and they form small Covens hidden from the eyes of the humans. Twelve years after the start of the human assault, 95 percent of the species is reported to be extinct, and the Lycans are thought to be completely extinct. However, Lycans have been running Antigen, a powerful biotech corporation, with the hopes of creating a cure for their silver allergy. Thomas's Coven, one of the few remaining Vampire Covens in existence, is nearly completely slaughtered in a Lycan attack led by Quint Lane, son of the director of Antigen and an enhanced Lycan. Selene is later able to destroy Antigen with help from a human Detective Sebastian, David and her own Hybrid daughter Eve, and she vows to take back the world for the Vampires.
A few years after the fall of Antigen, the Purges appear to have ceased completely. However, the Vampires face a new threat in the form of the Lycan Marius and his immense army. The Vampire-Lycan War has turned drastically in the favor of the Lycans under Marius's leadership and only the Eastern Coven and the Nordic Coven remain. Facing extinction, the Vampire Council reluctantly agrees to pardon Selene for killing Viktor if she will train their new Death Dealers. Due to a plot by Semira, Selene is framed for murder and is forced to flee to the Nordic Coven with David. At the Nordic Coven, David discovers his true lineage as the son of the Vampire Elder Amelia and thus her rightful heir. A battle ensues in which the Lycans learn that Selene does not know where Eve is and retreats.
As the Lycans prepare an assault on the Eastern Coven, David presents himself as Amelia's heir and the rightful leader of the Eastern Coven, foiling Semira's attempted coup at the same time. With the help of Vampire spy Alexia, the Lycans are able to breach the Eastern Coven's defenses and a great battle ensues in which the Vampires are at a great disadvantage. Finally, Selene arrives to help with the Nordic Coven, Selene's powers enhanced by the sacred ritual of the Nordic Coven. Selene is able to kill Marius with her enhanced powers and the surviving Lycans retreat. Semira is also apparently killed by David at the same time.
Following the battle, the Vampires begin a process of recovery and rebuilding while the Lycans are left leaderless once more with Marius's death. Selene, David, and the gifted Nordic Vampire Lena are chosen as the three new Vampire Elders, restoring a central leadership to the Vampire species for the first time since the deaths of Amelia, Viktor and Marcus.
In the Underworld franchise, Vampires are biologically immortal transgenics, as opposed to supernaturally immortal demons of identified in literature by Bram Stoker and current pop culture. However, as in this tradition, the Vampires in the Underworld franchise are also hemovores, meaning that they feed on blood. While they primarily consume human blood, Vampires, as well as Hybrids with the Vampire gene, have also been shown to feed from animals and even other Vampires, meaning they can be satiated by the blood of other Immortals. While they need to feed on blood, Vampires seemingly don't die from starvation, instead they continuously grown weaker, to the point where they become dried out husks.
Similar to Lycans, Vampires are capable of transforming their physical appearance when agitated, however, their transformation is relegated to their eyes and teeth. In their normal or "relaxed" state, a Vampire's appearance remains indistinguishable from a normal human's, except that they permanently sport overgrown teeth and at least a somewhat pale skin. When they become upset, their canines elongate, and their eyes turn either a shade of blue or gold with varying degrees of brightness. In the novelizations, the Vampires are cold-blooded and have low body temperatures and, in Underworld: Endless War, Vampires are shown with retractable canine teeth on their lower jaws.
In rare cases, vampires are able to sexually reproduce with other Vampires, creating a pureborn Vampire who inherits the sum of both their parents' Vampire strains, presumably making them more "pure" and respected than others of their species. Vampires are also able to reproduce with Lycans, given that Sonja became pregnant by Lucian. Underworld: Awakening shows that Vampires can also breed with Hybrids, as Selene gave birth to her daughter Eve whose father is a Hybrid of both species (Lycan-Vampire). It is unknown if Vampires are able to reproduce with humans, although it is likely possible.
Non-pureborn Vampires are former humans that survived being bitten by a Vampire, either by choice or by accident, as the transformative genetic material given by the bite can cause fatal infection or damage. The bite may sometimes leave permanent marks or scars, as Olivia checked Eve for such marks when trying to determine her origins. Also, like Immortals, it is possible that they can transfer blood and therefore, their transformative genetic material to a human and make them a vampire without the need to bite the host.
Powers and Abilities
The Vampire virus causes biological changes in the hosts that endow them with heightened senses and greatly-increased physical abilities. Vampires possess superhuman physical powers, including strength, speed, agility, reflexes, endurance, durability and accelerated healing. Selene and several other Death Dealers are seen leaping from very high places - at least 10 stories in some places and landing without injury or harm as if their bodies and bones elasticity is enhanced to inhuman levels. Throughout the series, Vampires are shown exhibiting tremendous strength and speed, which they use to engage Lycans, humans and other Vampires in combat. Their raw strength is sufficient to single-handedly lift a grown man off the ground with ease. Their build, height, and mass no longer determine their strength, as Selene has overpowered and lifted up humans larger and with more mass than her and is shown moving with enough speed to evade gunfire and capable of outrunning Raze, a Lycan, in his Wolf form. Their physical abilities increases with age, to the point where a Vampire Elder, Viktor, was able to effortlessly break the arm and neck of a transformed Raze with his bare hands.
Certain Vampires also display the ability to obtain memories through blood ingestion, possibly through the virus affecting their brain and nerves and making their other tissues and fluids capable of obtaining bio-organic signals and information, which could explain their healing abilities. It can be assumed that all Vampires possess various degrees of these abilities, depending on their age, generation and experience. Their heightened senses manifest in acutely increased depth perception, sense of smell, hearing, and night vision which manifests as electric blue or yellow eyes. Selene, Erika and an unnamed female in Underworld: Awakening are shown to be able to cling to flat surfaces. Other abilities include the ability to turn humans into vampires through their bite, or possibly through blood transfusion. Their feeding allows them to maintain their physical abilities, especially their resistance to injury and pain, and their recovery abilities, though age strengthens these abilities further than feeding can. Some subjects of this do not survive, as the infection or damage caused can worsen due to the turning process.
A vampire is also able to change their appearance like Lycans can, but less drastically; their skin being more pale and white, their fanged canines and lateral incisors extending and being more pronounced from the mouth, and the vampire's irises being either bright electric blue or yellow. This transformation can be willed by the vampire or brought on by intense emotions such as anger, especially when the vampire is in danger or combat. It is possible that this transformation can enhance a Vampire's abilities in a similar way to a Lycan's transformation, as Selene and other vampires are shown "transforming" just before battling others with similar strength.
Var Dohr's Sacred Ritual
When a Vampire undergoes the Nordic Coven's Sacred ritual, their speed, strength and endurance is enhanced, as well as gaining some more unusual abilities, like "reading " another person's soul. When they move at supernatural speeds, they appear as moving distorted blurs that resembles teleportation. The ritual itself seems to be connected with one's spiritualism, however, not much is know about how these changes happen or what triggers them. Most Vampires seemed to be unaware of this ritual and what exactly it does. How the Nordic Vampires discovered this Ritual is also a mystery.
Despite their immortality and regenerative abilities, Vampires can die and suffer permanent damage from severe physical trauma, including amputation, dismemberment, decapitation, mutilation and severe blood loss. Many Vampires are shown dying after being mauled by Lycanthropes, and Selene passed out and nearly dies after losing a great amount of blood after being stabbed through the shoulder by Lucian, possibly causing damage to or near her heart. Vampires in the series also suffer from a highly aggressive and acute form of photo-sensitivity: they are allergic to the ultraviolet radiation inherent in natural sunlight. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause them to start burning, with prolonged exposure incinerating their flesh in fire and embers until they are reduced to charred corpses or a pile of ash. Indirect exposure to sunlight is enough to hurt their eyes if they look at it, though it cannot burn them. However, only being damaged by the sunlight before getting to safety will only leave a Vampire weakened until they can feed, which heals their injuries completely. While they are highly vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, Vampires do not possess any of the other mystical weaknesses of mythological Vampires (crosses, holy water, garlic, stakes, etc). It is also possible for Vampires to die in childbirth (presumably from hemorrhaging), as demonstrated with Sonja's mother, Ilona. It is also revealed in Underworld: Blood Wars that nightshade is highly poisonous to Vampires - if a weaker Vampire got nightshade into their bloodstream or ingested it, they would die, while more powerful Vampires, such as Corvinus Strain Hybrids, are shown to suffer crippling pain and temporary paralysis from Nightshade.
Only a small fraction of the human population can be turned into Vampires, as most humans die from infection of the Vampire virus within an hour of being bitten by a Vampire.
Generation-wise, the further one is from Marcus, the first Vampire, the weaker a Vampire becomes. The same can apply to Selene, as her status as the first Vampire-Corvinus strain Hybrid.
Marcus, the first Vampire
Marcus Corvinus is one of the three sons of Helena and Alexander Corvinus. He, along with his twin brother, William, inherited the same virus which had previously transformed their father into the first true Immortal. While William was bitten by a rabid wolf, which resulted in him becoming the first Werewolf, Marcus was bitten by a bat, which transformed him into the first Vampire. These transformations were possibly due to their genetics being unstable due to their father's virus.
At the end of Underworld, Marcus is awakened by the blood of a Lycan, causing him to transform into a Vampire-Lycan Hybrid. Through the blood memories, Marcus then learns of Kraven's treachery, and he embarks on a killing spree, intent on finding and freeing his brother. During a flashback sequence, Marcus is shown to be a powerful Vampire, but displays no superhuman abilities different from those of Viktor or Amelia. Regardless, as the second-generation Immortal son of Alexander Corvinus, and first-generation Vampire, Marcus was likely the strongest Vampire in physical aspects with the exception of Selene, David and Lena (due to them being infected with Alexander's purest strain). He displays a mastery in the ability to assimilate blood memories from a variety of creatures (e.g. he easily mastered, or at least displayed proficiency in, 21st century technology after a two-hundred-year sleep and draining the blood from a guard). It is stated that Alexander Corvinus was the only one strong enough and experienced enough to actually kill Marcus. However, since Alexander refused to fight and hurt his own son, is unknown if he could have single-handedly defeated Marcus.
First Generation: Viktor and Amelia
In order to capture his rogue and bestial brother, William, Marcus turns to an aging warlord named Viktor for his skills as a warrior and to Amelia for unknown reasons. Though not as powerful as Marcus, Viktor and Amelia far surpass any later generation of Vampires with the exception of the new generation of Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrids.
Viktor easily defeats Raze, a powerful Lycan, and survives a battle with Lucian while being sporadically exposed to daylight. He is also able to survive being stabbed through the mouth by Lucian's sword, although it seems to weaken him. Viktor, as seen in the first film, is able to stop Raze in his Werewolf form; with one hand around the throat, and the other being used to break his arm, before violently breaking his neck and impaling him with his sword. In the prequel film, Viktor lifts a human by his throat, then throws him against a pillar, killing him instantly. He casts aside Selene with one arm, and moments later, throws Michael Corvin through a solid concrete wall and out into the flooded courtyard of the Lycans' Den. He is also shown to be able to take on Michael once he is in his Hybrid form, with the two appearing evenly matched, Michael having only recently become a Hybrid and Viktor's experience giving him the edge. Physically, it can be assumed that Amelia has comparable physical abilities to Viktor, while her combatant skill-set is unknown.
They both, in addition to Marcus, have the ability and skill to organize their blood memories into a cohesive vision, a detailed record of their reign and the reign of the previous Elder who ruled, which they then pass on to the next Elder. This is known as the Chain, which aids in their ability to "leapfrog" through time. If someone that is not an Elder awakens an Elder, the awakened Elder can be plagued by incoherent thoughts and memories, which are difficult for a non-Elder to organize. They can also sleep in a state of hibernation similar to suspended animation.
As of the end of Underworld: Evolution, all three Vampire Elders are dead and their Coven is destroyed.
2nd Generation: Death Dealers and other Vampires
The second generation consists of the other Vampires beneath Marcus and the Elders. These Vampires are the common Vampires and also possess incredible strength and healing powers, but not on the level of the Elders. The Death Dealers and the other Vampires are members of this generation, created by Viktor and Amelia initially to face against Willam Corvinus and his Werewolf legions. Vampires of this generation created by the Elders themselves may be stronger than other members of their generation as a result of an Elder turning them, as suggested by Selene's superior strength over some Vampires of this generation and how she can so easily kill lesser Vampires.
Newly-made Vampires are called "Fledglings", "Newborns" or "Baby Vampires". When new Vampires are inducted into a Coven, they start out at the bottom of the of the Vampiric pecking order, with pureborns being the exception. The Vampire hierarchy is based largely on seniority, and Vampires don't rise in social status until they have at least reached a full mortal lifespan in age, or they can shortcut to the upper echelons of Vampire Society if they have gained a reputation as a war hero. Many young Vampires are servants and maids.
3rd Generation: Evolved Vampires
In order to defeat Marcus and William, Selene drank the blood of Alexander Corvinus and became the first Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid. Later, she gave her blood to the young Vampire David to save his life, turning him into a Vampire of this generation in the process. Semira drained and drank Selene's blood, becoming one as well in order to take the Eastern Coven by force and become more powerful than any Vampire within the Coven, even Cassius. After being revived by Lena, as gratitude for saving her life, Selene presumably gave her some of her blood, turning Lena into this type of breed also.
This new type of Vampire is physically more powerful than any previous generation, Elders included. In addition, Vampires of this generation possess a total immunity to sunlight, allowing them to walk in the middle of the day without consequences. For the rest, they maintain the same characteristics of the previous generations, though their other abilities are enhanced. They can also turn other Vampires into this breed by giving them some of their blood (and possibly bite them, as well). It's very likely that they can turn humans into this kind of Vampire also.
The Vampires have a law which is decreed in their Covenant. Some of these laws include:
- Vampires are to conceal themselves from humans at all costs unless to turn them
- Vampires are not allowed to drink human blood directly
- Vampires are not allowed to fraternize or interact with Lycans in any way
- Vampires are not allowed to delve into certain parts of the past
- Breaking these laws require a judgment from the Council
The Vampire community has been split between two great covens, one referred to as the Old World Coven, housed in Ördögház in the center of Budapest, and the New World Coven in New York, although some form of reunion was set to commence with Marcus' awakening in 2003. After the war with the humans starts, some of the surviving Vampires branch off into smaller, weaker Covens.
Apparently, after the crowning of the new three Elders, some of the original rules were abandoned, while others were only modified or left intact.
- According to the novelization for Rise of the Lycans, Vampire births are rare and celebrated events among the Covens.
- In the first novelization, the Vampires as a whole are referred to as "the Vampire Nation," and their motto is "Vitam et Sanguinem" (lit. "Life and Blood").
- In the novelizations, Vampires are written as using oaths such as "By the Elders", "Praise the Elders", or "In the Name of the Elders", while Elders Amelia and Viktor use the oaths "In the Ancestor's name" or "By the blood of the Ancestor." Vampires also use the prayer, "May the Elders preserve us!"
- It is known that Werewolf/Lycan bites and blood can induce a deadly infection to Vampires 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 Vampire 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 dominant virus before it had the chance to cause death.
- The pale appearance of the Vampires is achieved via D.I., done in the post-production phase of the film.
- When struck by direct sunlight, Vampires ignite and burn as they bodies expels blazes of fire, which displays a natural fire coloration. However, when they are hit by UV bullets, the Vampires's bodies still burn, but the blaze expelled by their bodies has a blueish coloration.
- In Raze's homeland of Sudan, in East Africa, Vampires were known as the Obayifo.
- The novelizations contain several statements about the Vampire species that contradicts what is seen in the films. In the films, Vampires are shown to be able to cling to surfaces with palms down flat on them. According to the novelizations, however, Vampires have retractable nails/claws, which they use to adhere to surfaces. In the novelizations, Vampires cry "crimson tears", which means they cry blood. This contradicts the movies, which show Vampires crying normal tears. In the first novelization, their eyes are described as turning white, matching the sclera (white) of the eye, and have been compared to white quartz, or reptilian in look. The novelizations refer to the Vampires as being undead, however, this is a mistake that contradicts each of the films.
- Unless you count Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrids, vampires can be seen to lack a sub-species unlike Werewolves, which eventually evolved into Lycans.
- Main article: Vampire/Gallery
- ↑ "[Sonja's] birth, eight winters ago, had been a time of both celebration and mourning. Her mother, the lady Ilona, had perished giving birth to Viktor's only child." ~Rise of the Lycans novelization, chapter 1
- ↑ "[Sonja] prayed that, despite everything, news of his heir would soften her father's heart. Vampire births were rare and treasured events, and even more so where the nobility was concerned." ~Rise of the Lycans novelization, chapter 19
|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 - 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|
|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|
|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|