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William, the father of all Werewolves.

Underworld: Evolution novelization

William Corvinus was a member of the Corvinus Clan, the first Werewolf and the ancestor of all werewolves and Lycans. He is the secondary antagonist in Underworld: Evolution, along with his twin brother, Marcus Corvinus.


William was born sometime in the 5th century AD,[1] the son of Alexander Corvinus, the First True Immortal, and his mortal wife, Helena, and was the twin brother of Marcus Corvinus. William, along with Marcus, inherited the Corvinus Strain in its active state from their father, meaning that they were born Immortal.

It was William who was bitten first; the brothers were in the Carpathian Mountains when a large black rabid wolf lunged out of the shadows and attacked them: The wolf first attacked Marcus, who was unable to defend himself due to his panicking horse.[2] William jumped in front of it and was able to kill the wolf with his sword, but not before it bit his wrist through his chain mail in its death throes. Marcus took his twin to a nearby inn to have his wounds seen to, but as the night wore on, William became seriously ill, developing a high fever, and convulsions racked his body: The Corvinus Strain present in William's body reacted in an immune response with the Rabies virus and the wolf's DNA deposited by the animal's bite, causing it to mutate, changing William's entire physical composition: William began to sprout hair all over his body, and his face changed to reveal a more wolf-like appearance. Before the night was through, William had become the first Werewolf.[3]

Unlike the later generations of Lycans, William was incapable of transforming back to human form. His lycanthropy virus was much more infectious than his brother's Vampirism virus, even allowing his victims to transform post-mortem. Before being bitten, Marcus and William shared a bond that their father never truly saw, one so strong that even after his transformation, Marcus was the only one that William would not harm. Despite Marcus and Alexander's efforts, William's rage could not be controlled and he roamed the countryside, killing everything in sight. His lycanthropy virus spread across the land, turning hundreds of humans into savages Werewolves.

After being bitten by a bat, Marcus transformed into the first Vampire, but even then, he still could not stop William's killing spree. Desperate to control his twin, Marcus sought out a dying warlord, Viktor, and offered to make him Immortal in exchange for Viktor's help in finding and capturing William, Viktor accepted the offer, and later proceeded to infect his personal army, making them into the first Death Dealers, Vampire warriors trained to kill Werewolves in the Vampire-Werewolf War. A third prominent figure, Amelia, was made a Vampire, also to help with the capture of William. Together, the Vampires scoured the countryside, searching for any sign of William, and destroying any of his kind that could be found. Marcus brokered a deal with Viktor and Amelia, the terms of which stipulated that when William was found and subdued, he would not be killed or harmed in any way.

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William being captured

For 600 years, William evaded capture, and the Werewolf hordes continued to grow, as the Vampires' movements were restricted to the night.

In 1202 AD, William was finally captured by Death Dealers after he attacked a village and infected its residents, but had lingered in the surrounding area. Against Marcus's wishes, William was severely wounded while being taken into custody. This sparked an intense argument between Marcus and Viktor, at which point Viktor showed that the Death Dealers were loyal only to himself, not Marcus.

Fearing for the life of his brother, Marcus reluctantly conceded to allow William to be imprisoned in a fortress, far from his own reach. Marcus swore vengeance against Viktor and those loyal to him, intending to find and release William someday, regardless of the consequences. Despite his resentment of Marcus' authority, Viktor was nevertheless reluctant to kill William, due to Marcus having led him to believe that William's demise would bring the death of all Werewolves, including the Vampires' Lycan slaves, with the same rule allegedly applying to the Vampires if Marcus was killed. This was in fact a clever lie told by Marcus to protect his brother's life, as well as his own, but with the supernatural inclinations of the time, Viktor was hardly willing to put such a theory to the test.

William remained imprisoned for several centuries afterward.

Underworld: Evolution[]

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William recognises his brother

About 800 years later, William was freed from his dungeon by Marcus, who has located his brother's prison following the deaths of Viktor and Amelia. William initially attacked Marcus, but soon recognizes his brother's scent and his appearance, which calmed his rage. Marcus had recently become a Vampire/Lycan Hybrid, and intended to make William one as well once they escaped the dungeon. However, a Death Dealer named Selene, accompanied by a group of soldiers loyal to Alexander Corvinus, followed Marcus to the dungeon, intending to stop William's release.

Underworld - Evolution (2006) Michael vs William

William vs Michael

William proved to be a powerful opponent, despite his centuries of confinement with no flesh and blood to feed on, and he effortlessly killed and infected the Cleaners. Selene battled William herself, but her guns and shurikens proved ineffective against him due to his sheer speed and strength. A descendant of the third Corvinus son, a Lycan/Vampire Hybrid named Michael Corvin, attempted to help her, but was initially overwhelmed. As the conflict raged on, however, Michael gained the upper hand and succeeded in slaying William, tearing the powerful Werewolf Elder's head apart with his bare hands.

Underworld: Blood Wars[]

While viewing Amelia's blood memories, her son David witnesses her help in capturing William.

Physical Appearance[]

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After fully transforming into his Werewolf form, William took the appearance of a standard Werewolf, except he was much larger and had white fur instead of black, indicating he was an albino. Even his eyes were white. He was large enough to tower over other werewolves, and it took multiple Death Dealers to finally capture him after 600 years of eluding them.

Powers & Abilities[]

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William in combat

Werewolf Physiology: As the first of the Werewolf species, William was easily one of the most powerful creatures in the Underworld mythos and the most powerful member of the Werewolf species. As the first true Werewolf, William cannot return to his human form and his transformed state shows more prominent wolf traits, such as a larger muzzle, superior size and white colored fur. He can also turn others into Werewolves, and his strain of the infection is noted to be far more fast acting, even turning recently deceased individuals into Werewolves.

  • Superhuman Endurance: Despite his centuries-long confinement without feeding, William was able to withstand multiple injuries while remaining mostly unfazed. He survived a series of assaults from the Cleaners and being shot with a light machine gun without slowing. He was tough enough to withstand a greater amount of silver than his descendants.
  • Superhuman Strength: William was more powerful than his descendants are. He was strong enough to pull a chain so hard that it sends a Death Dealer flying toward him. He also easily kills multiple Death Dealer Vampires at the time of his capture and is only restrained after several others overwhelm him. It is implied he killed many more with equal ease during the many centuries it took to capture him. Even when weakened from a centuries-long confinement without meat or flesh to feed on, he was still able to break stone apart with his bare hands and overpower Michael in his Hybrid form on a few occasions.
  • Superhuman Senses: In addition to the senses William possesses as the first and most powerful Werewolf, his bond with his twin brother enabled him to recognize Marcus despite centuries of imprisonment and his savage nature.
  • Superhuman Agility: Despite his large size, William can jump large distances, and was able to easily evade Selene's shurikens.
  • Superhuman Speed: William can move at considerable speeds and can catch foes off-guard.
  • Superhuman Healing: He was capable of healing wounds, possibly more than others of his kind. Interestingly, it seems that his centuries of confinement without food and water didn't weaken his healing ability much, as, during his battle with Selene and the Cleaners, he has sustained many wounds that seemingly healed mid-fight. It is also likely because of this sustained regeneration that William was able to go such an extreme amount of time without sustenance and still live.


  • William's name is from the Old Norman form Williame, corresponding to the French spelling Guillaume, and is a cognate from the German Wilhelm, and of Germanic origin: wil = "will or desire." Given that William's "appetite for destruction" was insatiable, it is an appropriate name.
  • It has never been revealed whether William or Marcus is the older twin and if they are fraternal or identical twins.
  • Before his mutation or transformation into the first Werewolf/Lycan, William, along with his twin brother Marcus, is the first born Immortal in the Underworld franchise.
  • William's human form is never shown in the films; however, since he and Marcus are twin brothers, it is likely they were identical before William's transformation, meaning William's natural hair color would be red.
  • William is the only Werewolf/Lycan in the main canon with white fur and eyes; all other Werewolves/Lycans have black fur and black eyes.
  • Interestingly, William has proven to be immensely powerful, far more than any other immortal, as he was rather a challenge for Michael Corvin, a Hybrid, who typically managed to kill Werewolves/Lycans with ease (and indeed easily overpowered and killed a newly-turned Werewolf just before his fight with William). This is particularly noteworthy since their encounter occurred shortly after William was released from the coffin in which he was trapped for approximately six centuries, without any nutrition. It would not be a stretch to assume that, had William been well-fed and nourished prior to their encounter, he would have been able to defeat Michael.
  • It is likely that William was capable of entering a state of suspended animation or hibernation that is similar, but superior to those of Vampire Elders. This is shown by lower Lycans who lost their fur due to constant starvation, and Vampire Elders who became desiccated from blood fasting and require hours of blood infusion to regain their strength. By comparison, William showed no signs of physical deterioration or loss of fur from his long imprisonment, which implies he was perfectly preserved.
  • William was the first Immortal whose victims turned or transformed after they died.
  • In the novelization of Underworld: Evolution, Selene deduces that despite his savage nature, William must possesses great cunning as he managed to evade the original Death Dealer army for 600 years.
  • William is the only character that participated in the final battle of Underworld: Evolution who was not hybridized or given enhanced powers from the blood of another Immortal species.
  • Of all known immortal children and descendants (either born or turned) of Alexander Corvinus, William is the only one that has never been turned into a hybrid.
  • William's actor, Brian Steele, appears as an enslaved Werewolf/Lycan in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.



  1. "After sixteen centuries, William, the father of all werewolves, was dead." ~Underworld: Evolution novelization
  2. "Ivory fangs glistened in the moonlight as the beast leapt at Marcus, who was taken unawares by the wolf's savage attack. His horse reared in alarm, whinnying in terror. All but thrown from his saddle, Marcus clung frantically to the rains of his panicked mount, unable to defend himself. The wolf snarled loudly as it went in for the kill, its hot breath steaming the cold night air." ~ Rise of the Lycans novelization, Prologue
  3. "On that terrible night, before the shocked eyes of [Marcus], William became the first Werewolf, a soulless monster with a bottomless appetite for slaughter." ~ Rise of the Lycans novelization, Prologue

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