|“||The very first Werewolves, a dangerous and infectious breed, created from Marcus's own flesh and blood: his twin brother, William. But these weren't the Lycans we know. Disgusting though your brethren may be, they, at least, are evolved. No, these were raging monsters, never able to take human form again.||”|
—Andreas Tanis, describing the Werewolf species
Werewolves are former humans who were infected by the first Werewolf or another of his victims. Unlike the secondary breed descended from them, called the Lycans, this early breed was described as dangerous, infectious and savage beasts seemingly incapable of thought or reason, and William's immediate victims were never able take human form again, even after death, but later, succeeding generations would be able to revert to their Human form a short while after death.
Powers & Abilities
Werewolves display a number of greatly enhanced physical attributes. As with their rivals, the Vampires, Werewolves are immortal. The original Werewolf survived over 800 years of captivity with no food or water in what appeared to be a type of hibernation. They possess enhanced senses of smell, hearing, and sight that are superior even to those of wolves, not just humans. Werewolves are also able to sense Vampires in close proximity to themselves and possess physical strength, durability, reflexes, and speed superior to those of most Vampires, and can break through solid concrete walls.
It should be noted that Werewolves seem to be far physically stronger than the Vampires, as every hand-to-hand confrontation between the two races under normal circumstances has ended with a Werewolf victory. A first-generation Werewolf is seen to be able to send a fully armored Vampire flying at least ten feet through the wall of a villager's hut, without even yet being fully transformed. Werewolves 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.
Werewolves possess superb physical resilience and remarkable regenerative abilities, however, their recovery abilities are hampered by the presence of silver in their bodies. It is mentioned in Underworld that silver is fatal if it penetrates the internal organs. Silver is the Werewolves' 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 Werewolf's bloodstream. Despite Ultraviolet ammunition being designed for killing vampires, in Evolution, Selene is able to kill several just-turned Werewolves with that type of weapon.
A special note should be made of William Corvinus, the original Werewolf. William possesses the same physical traits as his descendants, but to a far greater degree. His strength is such that he is able to engage his Hybrid relative, Michael Corvin, in combat, winning at first until Michael was able to wrap his hands around the Werewolf Elder's head and tear it apart - especially impressive as Michael had just killed several first-generation Werewolves with ease and William had not fed in over half a millennium. His agility and reflexes are such that he is able to leap dozens of feet and escape Selene's explosive shurikens without any major injury.
Generation-wise, the further one is from William, the first Werewolf, the weaker a Werewolf becomes (though its possible that this weaker thing refers only to the infectiousness of the the virus).
William, the first Werewolf
William Corvinus's form of lycanthropy is the most primitive, and also the most potent. He has the most lupine features, with a long muzzle and pointed ears, giving him a marked resemblance to a real wolf. He is also far larger than his descendants.
William was initially born as a pure Immortal, however, he was bitten by a wolf, causing the Corvinus Strain he had been born with to mutate, making him the first Werewolf. William is the most savage Werewolf seen, with an insatiable appetite for rampage. Like those he infected, he is unable to revert to his human form, something his father attributed to his uncontrollable rage, and remained in Werewolf form for the rest of his life. Unlike later Werewolves, he has a full pelt of fur all over his body. It should also be noted that while every other Werewolf seen in the films has black or gray fur, William's is white. He also has solid white eyes.
William doesn't fit into the first generation of Werewolves. Being white, larger, and much more powerful, separates him from his descendants, but as a unique specimen, he does not qualify for his own Generation and should be viewed as a special case.
1st generation: Original Werewolves
These Werewolves were created after being infected by William. Similar to William, they are complete savages and are thought to have no control over themselves, and are unable to take human form until death. Physically, they are more humanized, with a shorter snout (although still longer than the second-generation Lycans) and smaller less pointed ears. They have less fur than William, but more than their second-generation Lycan descendants, with more fur around the neck and arms (though in Rise of the Lycans they looked much more like William but were smaller). These creatures are often referred to as Werewolves by the Vampires, rather than Lycans, as they are thought to be little more than feral animals. It was not until Lucian was born that the 2nd generation was able to transform at will.
In the era of Lucian's early adulthood, the Werewolves seemed to gain more of their original rational/human way of thinking. After several attacks by Vampire warriors, they began to form a strategy, learning to bide their time, arrange group ambushes, and even set up crude and simple traps to better help them defeat the Vampires.
When Lucian outright confronted them in his wolf form during one such trap, roaring loudly, they willingly stood down and left peacefully, a response that Raze described as obedience. Later, when Lucian came into their main den in human form, the older Werewolves inspected him and understood that he was a Lycan. They even accepted him into their pack and aided him against the Vampires when he called for them. During this aid, they came into contact with even more second-generation Lycans in human form and seemed to understand that they were their brethren. They went on to fight effectively with each other and with their Lycan kin to soundly defeat Viktor and the Death Dealers. Then they made their escape. Unfortunately this resulted in Viktor ordering the extermination of the entire species.
- Like the Lycans, the werewolves roars are that of big cats, such lions and leopards, but also camel and one of the classic dinosaur roars.
- In the Underworld franchise, Werewolves are biologically immortal transgenics, as opposed to supernaturally immortal creatures of pop culture.
- In the novelizations, all Werewolves have cobalt eyes and foam at the mouth, much like rabid animals.
- In Underworld: Evolution, the 1st generation Werewolves turned by William Corvinus before he was captured and after his release are not as hairy as he is, and their appearance resembles transformed Lycans. In Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, the wild 1st generation Werewolves are completely covered in fur and their appearance is much more wolf-like, to the point they look almost identical to William, albeit physically smaller and black instead of white. This suggests that there is either an inconsistency in the designs of Werewolves in the Underworld series, or 1st generation Werewolves develop more wolf-like features over time after the initial transformation.
- In Underworld: Evolution, Marcus wanted to turn William into a hybrid like him, in hopes of restoring his brother sanity. Since Marcus was the first Vampire, and the descendant of Corvinus, he was able to become a Hybrid. His twin brother, William, was the first Werewolf, and also a descendant of Corvinus, however, he was never turned into a hybrid due to being killed by Michael before Marcus could hybridize him, thus, its unknown what variation of Hybrid William (or any Werewolf) would have become.
- According to Greg Cox's Underworld: Evolution novelization, few Immortals can survive being burned alive. This is supported in other installments. In all versions of the second installment, Death Dealers are ordered to make sure that all of William Corvinus' victims are burned to ash before they can 'Turn'. Likewise, in "Rise of the Lycans", any and all of the "Werewolves of William's Kind" are also disposed of by fire after death. In Awakening, after identifying 'Infected' individuals, they would then be cremated, (pyres are seen during the opening sequence). In real life, it is actually standard procedure that all dead bodies and medical waste in which the presence of virus' has been confirmed be disposed of by cremation.
- "A vile ichor, infected with the Lycan taint, oozed from the Werewolf's wounds. This time, he would not rise again. His transformed body retained its bestial aspect. Not even death could restore his Humanity." ~ Underworld: Evolution novelization, chapter 2
- "Was the beast truly dead? Viktor waited a moment or two, just in case the fallen creature was feigning death, until he saw her thick black pelt begin to recede into her mottled hide. The prone body of the Werewolf contracted as much of her size and weight evaporated into the ether. The creature's grotesque exterior melted away until only the naked body of a dead peasant woman remained, sprawled lifelessly amidst a spreading pool of blood." ~ Underworld: Rise of the Lycans novelization, chapter 1
- "Two centuries ago, Viktor would have worried about the murdered mortals coming back to life as Werewolves, but, thankfully, William's curse had grown less infectious with each successive generation. Now only those who survived a Werewolf attack risked joining their loathsome ranks. Still, there was no point in taking chances." ~ Underworld: Rise of the Lycans novelization, chapter 8
- "[Samuel] wondered how many Vampires had perished in the conflagration. Few Immortals could with stand being burned alive. He slowed the footage down to the standard speed, allowing the smoking ruins to smolder in real time. Had any of the Mansion's inhabitance managed to escape the blaze" ~ Evolution novelization, chapter 7
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