The Vampire Council, also known as the Elite Council, is a group of chosen Vampires that were overseen by the Vampire Elders. They are the most powerful Vampires within the Vampire society, second only to the Elders, and are responsible for deciding laws and political matters, as well as passing judgment on Vampires who have broken the Coven's laws.
The Council advises and helps guide the Vampire Elders through decisions that can affect the Vampire society as a whole, giving different perspectives and opinions for the Vampire Elders to consider, when choosing the future of their reign. When there are no Elders, Regents, or Coven leaders present, the Council rules the Covens as a group instead, as seen in Blood Wars where Cassius and the Council are viewed as the Vampire Leaders. They are also viewed with great respect among the Covens, considered the nobility of the Vampire society and having more privileges than the lower classes. They usually follow the Elders when they travel to different Covens unless the Elder demands to go alone, like in the case of Amelia and how she traveled to the Nordic Coven and secretly remained there while she gave birth to her son. They are the only ones that have the power to elect new Elders if all the previous Elders are dead.
By the end of the 14th Century, they serve as a kind of ruling organ of the Old World Coven, with Viktor at the top. At the time, there are twelve (fifteen when/if the three Elders are awake at the same time) seats on the Council, including the presiding Elder. The notary, a position held by Andreas Tanis at the time, is present during Council but does not hold a seat.
The hall where Council members met the humans accommodates ten seated Council members, five on each side. The ruling Elder sits on a throne in the center, and Sonja stands to his side. This would suggest that the ruling Elder is counted as one of the twelve council members.
The Regent, a position held by Kraven at the time of Underworld, most likely does not hold a seat but since being tasked to carry out the will of the Council may be allowed to attend and speak before them.
The Eastern Coven has its own Council and a meeting space that seated five: the Council itself may have five members unless one or more are obligated to stand, as Sonja was. This Council had issued a death warrant for Selene for the murder of Viktor, but agreed to grant her clemency in exchange for Selene teaching their new Death Dealers to fight the new Lycan leader Marius and his army.
The Council was tricked by Semira into believing that Selene was a traitor and Semira attempted to overthrow the Council after they refused to go to war with Marius approaching. The Council was then approached by David who revealed himself to be the son of Vampire Elder Amelia and thus the rightful ruler of the Eastern Coven. After viewing Amelia's blood memories, both the Council and the Death Dealers sided with David.
Following the deaths of Marius and presumably Semira, the Council elected Selene, David, and Lena as the new Vampire Elders.
The Council members are seen in the films Underworld, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Underworld: Blood Wars. At the end of Underworld, all but Marcus are dead at the hands of Lycans, at the end of Rise of the Lycans only the Elders have survived. Known Council members include:
- Viktor (deceased)
- Amelia (deceased)
- Marcus Corvinus (deceased)
- Sonja (deceased)
- Coloman (deceased)
- Orsova (deceased)
- Ulrik (deceased)
- Semira (formerly, presumably deceased)
- Hajna (deceased)
- Female council member
- Main article: Vampire Council/Gallery
- Andreas Tanis made a deal with Sonja for her seat on the Council in exchange for his silence about her affair with Lucian, however, Sonja died soon after and so the deal is never fulfilled.
- In the Underworld novelization, it was mentioned that the oldest Council members have attended many previous Awakenings.
- In the Underworld novelization, it was mentioned that distinguished Council members wore elegant attire adorned with badges and emblems that signified their illustrious status.
- "There are twelve seats on the Council." ~ Andreas Tanis
- "Now you'll be lucky if I can convince the Council to spare your life." ~ Kraven
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