|“||But let me tell you a little something about your beloved dark father. He's the one who killed your family. Not the Lycans. Never could follow his own rules. Said he couldn't abide the taste of livestock. So every once in a while, he went out and gorged himself on human blood. I kept his secrets, cleaned up the mess. But it was he who crept room to room dispatching everyone close to your heart.||”|
|“||Some history is based on truth, and others on deception. Viktor was not the first of our kind, as you were led to believe. He was once human, the ruler of these lands. Toward the end of his ruthless life, when the next breath meant more to Viktor than silver or gold, Marcus came with an offer, a reprieve from sickness and death. Immortality. And in return, Viktor was to use his army turned Immortal to help him.||”|
Viktor was a Hungarian general and warlord born sometime in the 5th century. According to Andreas Tanis, Viktor was a ruthless and cruel feudal Hungarian warlord and is described as having ruled over his domain with an iron fist.
As Viktor was nearing the end of his life, Marcus Corvinus, the first Vampire, came to him with an offer: Immortality in exchange for Viktor's military expertise and army in combating the Werewolves, spawn of Marcus's own twin brother, William. Marcus turned Viktor, who then proceed to turn his army which became the forerunners of what would later be known as the Death Dealers. With his newly turned army of immortals, Viktor launched the Vampire-Werewolf War.
In 1202 A.D., the Vampires were finally able to locate and capture William. Viktor promised Marcus he would not harm William, despite the Werewolf's uncontrollable nature. In order for him to deal with the problem without breaking his word, Viktor had Amelia, the third Vampire Elder, deal with William. Viktor and Amelia finally managed to find William and the Werewolf was captured. Viktor then betrayed Marcus, giving orders to keep William as far away from Marcus as possible. Viktor locked William away in a fortress, where he could not harm anyone or create more of his kind. However, with the Death Dealers loyal to Viktor, Marcus could do nothing. Viktor kept two keys to William's dungeon; the smaller one he kept in plain sight as a necklace worn by his daughter, Sonja, the larger one, however, he kept with him at all times, going as far as to have a bronze frame welded to his rib cage to hold within him, where Marcus could never take it, as Viktor knew well that Marcus would free William if given the chance.
The relationship between the two Vampire Elders was always strained. Viktor, with Amelia's support, undercut Marcus's power as ruler of the Vampire Coven, ensuring Marcus would never have the strength to free his brother. However, Viktor never staged an outright coup against Marcus, as he had been told that should Marcus ever die, all in his bloodline would follow him to the grave - including Viktor. To prevent this from happening, the Chain was constructed, a system in which only one Elder ruled while the other two slumbered. Viktor even domesticated a new breed of the Vampires' enemies, a humanized version of the Werewolves known as Lycans, which he used as watchdogs to guard the Vampires during the daylight hours. Eventually, Viktor was at the center of sparking a new war with the Lycans.
Around 1210 A.D., Viktor had a daughter named Sonja with a woman named Ilona. Much of Viktor's relationship with Ilona is unknown. Ilona died in labor.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Almost 200 years after her birth, Sonja falls in love with a Lycan slave named Lucian and becomes pregnant. Viktor eventually discovers this and fears the blending of the species that would result should the child be born. He and the council condemn Sonja, Lucian, and their unborn child to death. Sonja is burnt alive by exposure to sunlight while Lucian, chained to the floor, is forced to watch.
Before his own execution, Lucian uses the full moon to transform and escape – but not before taking Sonja's pendant with him. He then summons his Lycans and original Werewolves to battle, during which time Viktor personally duels Lucian. Although the Vampire Elder is more powerful, Lucian makes use of Viktor's weakness, sunlight, to incapacitate the Elder, and stabs Viktor through the mouth. Viktor manages to survive and retreats with Andreas Tanis and the other Elders while the rest of the Vampire Coven are slaughtered by the Lycans. These events marked the beginning of the Vampire-Lycan War.
Viktor determined to keep the location and map of the dungeon a secret from both Marcus and Lucian, slaughters the family of the man he had commissioned to design it. He spares one of the blacksmith's daughters, Selene, due to her striking resemblance to Sonja. He turns her afterward. The war rages on and eventually draws to a close after Lucian is seemingly killed by a Vampire named Kraven. After this, Viktor gathers more power for himself, making himself the leader of the Old World Coven, Ördögház, and going so far as to alter history. In the revised version of history set out by Viktor, he, not Marcus, is the original Vampire. In time, he exiles the Official Historian Andreas Tanis, who knew that Marcus was the first Vampire.
Other events he likely altered or erased altogether. To what extent he erased the history concerning Sonja is unclear, or whether he shared this information with the Elders. Obviously, her absence had to be explained, and perhaps some high ranking members, namely the Elders, Kraven and Tanis, were notified. Selene did not know it, nor was it permitted for anyone to dig into Vampire history. The knowledge may not have been so public if no one else survived the Lycan attack on the castle, in which case only Viktor and Tanis knew the full story. Other revised events included responsibility for the war, which he blamed entirely on Lucian.
In 2003, Viktor is hibernating, not to be awakened for another 100 years. However, Selene awakens him ahead of time, convinced that Lucian is still alive and that Kraven has made a deal with him. A furious Viktor confronts his protege, condemning her to be judged. Notably, Viktor seems to be more upset by Selene's relationship with a Lycan named Michael Corvin than her claims of Kraven's treachery. Viktor orders Selene be locked away until Amelia and the Council can arrive and decide her fate, which Viktor knows will doubtless be a death sentence. A tearful Selene begs Viktor to allow her to provide proof of her claims, but he ignores her.
Later, with the help of a Vampire maid named Erika, Selene escapes the mansion, determined to find proof and clear her name. Selene returns later that night with proof of not only Kraven's treachery but Lucian's plan to use the blood of Michael to create a Hybrid by blending the blood of the two species. Upon learning the truth of Selene's claims, and learning that Amelia has been assassinated by the Lycans, Viktor becomes enraged with Singe, the Lycan captured by Selene. Viktor punches Singe, tearing open half of his face and killing him instantly. A guilty Viktor apologizes to Selene for not believing her and the two leave to pursue Kraven. However, neither Vampire pays any mind to Singe's blood spreading over the floor of the Elders' Chamber, unaware of the consequences that would ensue.
Viktor promptly launches a full-scale assault on the Lycan lair, effortlessly breaking the neck of a transformed Lycan named Raze when the Lycan charges towards him, then driving his sword through his chest. Kraven attempts to escape but is forced to run and hide each time he sees Viktor. Viktor eventually comes upon Selene, who is in the process of biting Michael, making him a Hybrid to save his life. Furious, Viktor tosses Selene away from Michael and throws the latter through a wall and into the flooded courtyard. Unknown to him, Kraven had revealed his duplicity in the death of Selene's family just moments earlier. Selene tearfully confronts Viktor, accusing him of killing her family and murdering Sonja. Viktor protests that he has given her immortality in return, a gift he insists is far more important than her family. When confronted with Sonja's death, Viktor claims that he loved his daughter dearly, but he was forced to kill her to protect the Vampire species. Selene still clearly disagrees with Viktor's actions and he abandons her so that he can find and kill Michael. Viktor is then confronted by his ultimate fear: Selene's bite has reacted with the Lycan virus and the Corvinus Strain in Michael's body, causing traits of both Lycan and Vampire to appear.
Michael attacks Viktor, initially showing speed and strength unmatched by even the Vampire Elder. However, Viktor, using Michael's lack of combat experience to his advantage, is able to subdue him. Viktor's bodyguards come to finish off the Hybrid but Selene kills them. She is then punched aside by Viktor. Michael rushes to her aid but is overtaken by Viktor, who begins to strangle him. Upon seeing this, Selene makes the decision to kill Viktor. She slices his head in half with his own sword, saving Michael and avenging both her family, Lucian and Sonja all at the same time.
Later, Viktor's body is retrieved by the Cleaners, an organization dedicated to cleaning up after the Vampire-Lycan war, led by the original Immortal, Alexander Corvinus. Alexander extracts the key from beneath Viktor's flesh, only to later have it snatched by his son, Marcus. Viktor's dead body is most likely destroyed when Alexander Corvinus's ship is blown up.
Underworld: Blood Wars
Selene has had a death warrant placed upon her by the Vampire Council for killing Viktor. Due to the threat of the new Lycan leader Marius, the Council agrees to grant Selene clemency for killing Viktor if she will train their new Death Dealers. At the insistence of David, Selene believes the invitation when it comes from his father Thomas who had no love for Viktor. However, the invitation turns out to be a trap by Semira who covets Selene's power for herself and wants revenge for Viktor's death. With the help of her lover Varga, Semira frames Selene for the murders of the Eastern Coven's Death Dealers and gets the Vampires chasing her once more.
Following the deaths of Marius and Semira, Selene, David (revealed to be the son of Amelia) and Lena are made the new Vampire Elders, taking the places of Viktor, Amelia, and Marcus. In an ending narration, Selene notes that she was once hunted for killing an Elder and she has now become one herself.
In the non-canon novel Blood Enemy, Viktor is awakened in 1400 by Marcus shortly after the death of his wife, Ilona, who was killed in a raid of mortals led by the charismatic but insane monk Brother Ambrose. Having led the Vampires and Lucian, who is still a servant of the Vampires at this time, against Ambrose's village, Viktor bites Ambrose, intending to make the monk his Immortal servant if he transforms, although he is satisfied when Ambrose dies of a violent allergic reaction to the Vampire virus. Although Viktor subsequently attempts to arrange a marriage between Sonja and Marcus's son, Nicolae, his plans are ruined when news of this match prompts Sonja to admit her feelings for Lucian. With Sonja dead, Viktor permits Nicolae to lead a Vampire raid against a silver mine that Lucian had recently captured, but this assault, while destroying most of the Lycans, results in Nicolae's death when Lucian transforms without the aid of the moon for the first time.
|“||The dangers of the forest are not greater than those of the council. You [must] learn the dance of politics. To be ruthless and cunning.||”|
—Viktor, on his approach to ruling.
Although not a pure-born Vampire, Viktor is nevertheless obsessed with the purity of the bloodlines, as shown in his attempts to establish a hierarchy by trying to arrange for Sonja to become an Elder. His fixation on blood purity is so great that he considers his victory over various Lycans to be the only natural, as he views them as nothing more than animals and slaves (a view that is shared by most other vampires but to a slightly less extreme degree). Due to this, he views the possibility of a Hybrid as an "abomination" and takes extreme measures to prevent such a creature from ever existing. Viktor also views immortality as a gift above all others, as seen when he tries to reason with Selene when she discovers he had killed her family, that his "gift" to Selene should more than make up for what he took from her. This interest in blood purity is also exhibited in Viktor's false claims that he and Amelia are pure-born Vampires.
In both Underworld and Rise of the Lycans, Viktor is shown as a skilled but authoritarian leader for the Vampire race. He is also power-hungry and quite manipulative, as he takes steps to alter Vampire history books into viewing him as the first and most powerful of the Vampires. He rules over Marcus and undermines his power at every turn with Amelia as his ally, even banishing Vampire historian Tanis, the only Vampire who knew the truth. However, he is also extremely arrogant and equally as brutal towards anyone who disobeys the rules created by himself and the Council. This is arguably the driving factor of Lucian's rebellion against the Vampires and causes Viktor to gain a fair share of enemies, even among those of his own kind (such as Tanis, Marcus, and Coloman, among others). As noted by Tanis, Viktor is not known to express gratitude for anything. In spite of this, he forces other Vampires to strictly follow the Council rules and is quick to punish or kill anyone who disobeys those rules.
Viktor is also shown to be a caring father to both Sonja and Selene. With Sonja, he trains her as a warrior and frequently lets slip Sonja's constant absences from Council meetings and her constantly disobeying him. He is even willing to work the Council into sparing her life after discovering her affair with Lucian, but refuses when he learns that she is pregnant with Lucian's child. Despite ordering her execution, Sonja's death haunts Viktor for the rest of his life. This immense guilt led him to spare Selene from the murder of her family due to her striking resemblance to his daughter, raising her as his heir in all but name. However, Viktor places the integrity of the Vampire bloodline above all else and takes no qualms in having Sonja executed after discovering her pregnancy and trying to kill Selene for her relationship with Michael, who was a Lycan at the time. Despite this, he does show genuine (if momentary) signs of sadness over these actions. However, he views Lucian as the one responsible for his daughter's death, despite Lucian having always been a loyal servant to the Vampires and saving Sonja's life on more than one occasion.
His intransigence and unwillingness to compromise prove to be his downfall. Due to getting his own way and being power hungry, he is bad-tempered and violent. Most of the time he is selfish, vindictive, cruel, and hypocritical. He is not completely amoral, nor is he a true sociopath, though his attempts to paint himself as the first Vampire would suggest an extreme case of narcissism. Likely his black and white thinking, unstable relationships, uncontrollable anger and accusations of betrayal/abandonment hint at borderline personality disorder. He does have traits such as affection and loyalty, examples being Sonja, Selene, and Lucian at one point. And in cases such as the murder of Selene's family and the death of Sonja, he quietly acknowledges that he was wrong. But the security of his power he placed above all priorities and moralities.
Viktor loved his daughter Sonja dearly, though he was also rather controlling of her and didn't seem to care much for her personal desires or wishes. Viktor was adamant she join the Council and was grooming her to become an Elder. He was frustrated by her lack of interest in Council matters and her defiance of him, seeming to expect that she be completely obedient to him. When Viktor discovered that Sonja had not only helped the Lycan slaves to escape but was in a relationship with one too, he was furious with her, striking her across the face in anger and placing her under arrest.
Despite this, Viktor seemed willing to forgive Sonja out of love for her and was prepared to make the Council release her. However, after she revealed she was pregnant with Lucian's child, Viktor was disgusted, even stating that he "regretted the day your Sonja's mother died to give you life". Viktor was even prepared to sentence Sonja to death for her subversion, not so much as glancing at her in the moments before her execution. However, during her execution, he was shown to have a privately anguished expression on his face, showing that killing her was devastating for him. He still mourns for Sonja centuries later and confirms that he loved her, but tells Selene that he viewed her death as being 'necessary' for the survival of the Vampires. Viktor never speaks of Sonja, with most Vampires ever even knowing she existed. Viktor perhaps did this to erase the 'Lycan taint' from his family name; however, it is also possible that her death was so painful for him, that Viktor couldn't bear to be reminded of her.
Viktor's continuing love for Sonja and grief over her loss later motivated him to spare and turn Selene. Viktor clearly views her as his surrogate daughter - a replacement for Sonja - though he takes careful steps to ensure she is completely loyal to him and his cause, starting by telling her that Lycans killed her family, causing her deep-rooted hatred of them.
However, for a second time, Viktor's obsession with Vampire superiority and the law takes precedence over his affections for his loved ones. When he learns Selene has woken him early and has also supposedly been 'fraternizing' with a Lycan, he is immediately suspicious and has her placed under house arrest. He later strongly implies that he will kill her for treason - albeit reluctantly - and was outraged by her obvious affection for Michael and by her defiance of him. Nevertheless, he cared enough to bear some guilt over hiding the truth from her. When she confronted him over the murder of her family, in a rare moment of sorrow, Viktor was silent and endured her scorn.
Viktor harbors a great deal of hatred for Lucian. He blames him for Sonja's death, claiming he "defiled her". In the early stages of Lucian's life, Viktor claimed to think of him as his "son" and appeared to have some respect for Lucian. However, his attitude towards him appeared to be more that of a master to a loyal dog, than a true equal. He even had Lucian whipped for disobeying his orders not to transform, despite the fact that Lucian did it to save Sonja. He is deeply disappointed with Lucian's subversion, telling him that he has "stung me with your Lucian's betrayal".
When Viktor decides that Lucian has become a potential threat to keeping the Lycans subdued, he orders him to be disposed of without a second thought and is seemingly untroubled by it. Viktor grows to truly despise Lucian after his successful rebellion against the Vampires, and the revelation he had been in a relationship with Viktor's daughter. Viktor even went as far as saying he "should've crushed you (Lucian) under my heel the day you were born!" Viktor was very grateful to Kraven when he killed Lucian (though this was later revealed to be a ruse). When he discovers Lucian's body, Viktor looked over it with nothing but contempt, before pulling Sonja's pendant from around his neck.
Viktor had a complicated relationship with Marcus. He appeared to view Marcus as an equal, but derided his attachment to his Werewolf brother William and thought nothing of deceiving him to capture William, though he claimed it was for the good of the Vampire species he also resented the idea of answering to an impetuous youth. Viktor also took steps to undermine Marcus's power and ensure he could never find and release William, implying that he was suspicious of his sire and never fully trusted him.
In the non-canon novel Blood Enemy, Viktor and Marcus have a more positive relationship, with Marcus comforting Viktor over the recent murder of his wife and Viktor also betrothing Marcus's son to his daughter.
Not much is known about Viktor's relationship with Amelia, though they appeared to have a mutual respect for one another and both allied themselves against Marcus, sharing the common goal of capturing William to preserve their species. Viktor appeared to be saddened when he learned of Amelia's gruesome death at the hands of the Lycans. It is likely that Amelia was his only true ally, a relationship that he did not break or damage in any way. However, in Blood Wars, Amelia is shown to have had a relationship with the Vampire Thomas and went to great lengths to stop Viktor from finding out about their son David, apparently worried about Viktor's reaction, suggesting that Viktor would not have been happy about a potential threat to his power.
In Rise of the Lycans, Amelia, though making no physical appearance in the story, there was an unspoken allusion that Viktor was plotting to get rid of her and replace her with his daughter, Sonja: Viktor kept saying "When you are an Elder" to Sonja rather than "If", but never alludes to a future "when" he would be gone, and touting the bonds of family and blood being stronger then anything else; as he sought to further increase and re-inforce his own powerbase within the Vampire Nation, and believing Marcus' lie about how his death would mean the immediate deaths of all Vampires, and that, as his own flesh and blood (and having been planning-out her whole life for her), Sonja would be a more loyal ally then Amelia, if Amelia should ever side with Marcus against him (as Amelia had with Viktor against Marcus over William's sentence), Viktor, paranoid and ambitious as ever, likely sought to replace Amelia with his daughter, Sonja, only to sentence Sonja to death for her affair and pregnancy with Lucian, abandoning this plan. Whenever Amelia ever suspected anything about this is unknown, but would give credence to Amelia's later efforts to keeping the existence and birth of her son from Viktor and his followers (and, indeed, the Vampire Nation at large).
Viktor seemed to hold Kraven in a high regard, likely due to his belief that Kraven had killed Lucian. He placed a great deal of trust in Kraven, making him regent of his Coven during his hibernation. He was also willing to believe Kraven's version of events over Selene's. Despite this, he never truly viewed Kraven as an equal; he treated him with disdain and came to view him as incompetent for his failures. Viktor likely felt a great deal of animosity for Kraven after learning he had betrayed him, with Selene being certain that Viktor would kill him.
At some point prior to 1402, Viktor turned Semira in unknown circumstances. Viktor later (presumably after Sonja's death) began to favor Semira in particular, even trusting her to act as his regent in the Budapest Coven. However, around the time that Selene was turned Viktor sent Semira away, to the Nordic Coven. She would later leave the Nordic Coven for unknown reasons.
Since Semira vaguely bears some resemblance to Sonja (though Selene favors Sonja to a greater extent) it is possible that Viktor treated her in a similar way to he would later treat Selene; as a protegé or possibly even a surrogate daughter. Regardless of the specifics, Viktor clearly inspired a great deal of loyalty in Semira, as centuries after being dismissed by Viktor she was still willing to follow his orders (or, at least, orders from his current regent, Kraven), as indicated when she and her troops were sent to investigate Amelia's disappearance from vampire society in the early 1990s. Semira attempted to avenge Viktor's death by killing Selene; the attempt was unsuccessful.
Thomas was stated to have no love for Viktor and was forgiving towards Selene for killing him as a result. Some of this may have stemmed from his secret relationship with Amelia and their secret son, David.
In the films, next to nothing is known of Viktor's relationship with his late wife. He apparently loved her or at least cared for her, as he tells Sonja that he regrets she died giving birth to her. In the novelization of Rise of the Lycans, Viktor mentions he sees it as a blessing that Ilona did not live to see what became of their daughter, so it's possible the two bonded over similarly held ideas and beliefs in regards to Vampire purity.
In the non-canon novel Blood Enemy, Viktor is shown to love his wife dearly and is devastated by her death, executing the monk responsible in revenge for her murder.
- "...Viktor was a haughty, ostentatious Vampire Elder over 1,400 years old." ~ Underworld: Evolution production notes, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans production notes, Underworld: Evolution official site
- "Viktor is a haughty, ostentatious Vampire overlord nearly 1,000 years old." ~Underworld: Rise of the Lycans official site
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