What Makes a Vampire a ‘Real Vampire?’
A comment I hear on a fairly regular basis from readers here, friends, coworkers and others is that the vampires found in fiction nowadays aren’t "real vampires." Twilight vampires aren’t real vampires, Vampire Diaries vampires aren’t real vampires, and on and on. From what I am told, most vampires in modern fiction, particularly young adult fiction, aren’t real vampires. So I ask Dear Readers, what makes a vampire a "real vampire?" Why aren’t these modern day vampires considered vampires?
Personally, my definition of a vampire is any being that needs to drink blood in order to survive. It’s a pretty simple explanation of a vampire and one that works for me. With so many MANY types of vampires in fiction this one definition tends to cover them all. Vampires drink blood, therefore a creature that drinks blood is a vampire.
However, others don’t see it that way. Their definition of a vampire is much stricter, full of guidelines and rules – vampires must be reanimated corpses, vampires must feed on humans, vampires must be badass, vampires must be scary, vampires must fear holy items… etc. I think that’s a boring way to look at vampires. The amazing thing about vampires is that they are wide open to interpretation, they can transcend every genre, they can capture every single person in some shape or form. If you love romantic vampires, well, there are countless romantic novels surrounding vamps. If you’re a fan of horror, vampires have that covered as well. Vampires can be whatever they want to be, they just need to drink blood. Or at least, that’s how I see it.
Sure, vampires that sparkle is a ridiculous and lame idea. But that doesn't change the fact that they do drink blood. And yes, two vampire brothers fighting over a single human girl like love-struck puppies isn't as badass as other stories, but hey, those brothers drink blood. Makes them all vampires to me.
But what about you? In your opinion, what makes a vampire a vampire?