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National Geographic Offers Insights into the Hybrid Baby of ‘Breaking Dawn’

It appears that not even the wonderful National Geographic isn’t immune to the pull of the Twilight franchise. They recently interviewed a vampire folklorist on whether or not hybrids like Renesmee in Breaking Dawn exist in historical accounts. University of Arizona professor George Gutsche, who lectures on both vampires and werewolves, answered NG’s questions perfectly, explaining that there are vampire/human offspring in folklore, but that they are nothing like Renesmee.

Is there any record in folklore of vampires mating with humans?
Much of the folklore about human-vampire offspring originates from the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Dhampir, glog, svetocher, vampirdzhiya and vampirovic all refer to descendants of human and vampire parents.

Do human-vampire offspring have special powers or weaknesses?
Yes. In the relatively limited folklore records we have about them, they have special powers—usually the ability to detect otherwise unnoticeable (or shape-shifted) vampires and to destroy them. In folklore, vampires don’t shape-shift into bats. More often, they disguise themselves as pumpkins.

Also, hybrids don’t thirst for blood or possess the immortality of the “undead”. Although vampires safely expose themselves to daylight in folklore (Dracula walks the streets of London during the day in Bram Stoker’s novel), they are still associated with night and darkness. Hybrids, however, have no more affinity for darkness than ordinary humans.

Do the offspring have a closer bond with humans or with vampires?
They are closer to humans in folklore, since [the offspring], too, are alive—not reanimated corpses. Vampires tend to dislike them, and humans tend to view them (and their special powers) positively, because they can destroy vampires. Without the magical powers of hybrid offspring, humans have no way to detect these concealed vampires until it’s too late.

The offspring, who are usually male, are given a special status within the community. Some folklore also references female offspring, so evidence of [the child’s gender in Breaking Dawn] does exist.

Read the full interview HERE.

So what have we learned? That there are folktales on vampire/human children, but none of them are like what is found in Breaking Dawn. For more info on dhampirs check out this post HERE.

– Moonlight

breaking dawndhampirGeorge Gutschenational geographicThe Twilight Saga: Breaking DawnVampire Folklorist

Moonlight • December 7, 2011


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  • http://www.darkness.com Veritas

    I think we’ve learned that Renesmee is a pumpkin slayer.

  • http://vampiresyndrome.me/ Novus Vox Vampirum

    National Geographic?! Most impressive!

    Of course, their article operates under the assumption that vampires are “undead”.

    Addressing the procreation issues concerning living vampires would require writing an entirely different article.

  • Steve

    Interesting thought. Are the writers of Twilight perhaps pushing the envelope of suspended belief here? Is it humanly possible for Bella to give birth in one month’s time? What’s the hurry? Bella could die! Hey, let’s kick it up a notch and have her give birth to twins!

    I like the idea of a vampire and human having sex and making a baby. It’s the perfect love story. But if Edward is of the “Undead”, how can he impregnate Bella? Hmm.

    Maybe if Edward was an alien vampire, then I could believe it easier. The vampire has to be alive. Being the stronger trait, the baby would also be a vampire. It would be a part of the child’s DNA or maybe a virus-like transformation. The child would be all vampire though, not a half-human/half-vampire.

    Interesting thoughts though.