Anne Rice on the Vampires of True Blood

Anyone that follows legendary vampire author Anne Rice on Facebook knows that she is quite the fan of True Blood and often voices her opinions on the show. Not too long ago she asked her fans a question on the vampires of True Blood, a question that got me thinking.

“True Blood fans: Do you think the ancient immortals really demonstrate enough wisdom to be credible? We have yet to meet a philosophical vampire, am I right?”

It’s a great question, one that definitely makes you think on the actions and personalities of True Blood’s vampires, or any vampire in anything. An ancient being should have incredible wisdom and intelligence, they should have a certain level of maturity. Anne Rice nailed this in her novels, her vampires acted their age, which made them very real and believable. Take Marius for example, he was highly intelligent, perceptive and wise – the perfect mentor for a younger and more childish Lestat.

Vampires, like humans, grow and develop over the years – so after thousands of years they shouldn’t be acting like children (unless time has driven them insane of course). I mean, I have read a book where a 6000-year-old vampire acted like a 16-year-old high schooler, it wasn’t believable at all, a vampire THAT old should be somewhat knowledgeable and regal. Having a vampire that ridiculous in the story kind of ruined the whole book for me.

But back to Anne’s question, personally I don’t think the vampires of True Blood are believable – at least not all of them. Take Russell Edgington for example, he is 3000-years-old right? But does he act like a wise ancient being? No, he acts like a giant sack of crazy. Even before his beloved died, when he wasn’t so crazy, he still didn’t come off as 3000-years-old, he is too illogical and hotheaded. Eric on the other hand is believable to me. He wasn’t in the beginning, but in the most recent episodes he has shown his age, shown how time has affected him.

So overall, it’s a yes and no for me. Some of vampires pull it off, while others don’t. It depends on the character’s story and the actors portraying them.

But what do you guys think?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


  1. I believe Anne Rice butchered the vampire myth in her own way …. I mean sexless vampires ? when everything in the classic vampires is about temptation and sex (Carmilla, Dracula). Anne Rice’s vampires are wise because they are bored with life and a sexless eternity, lol ! No seriously Old AND Wise vampires are a bit of a cliché a lot of old persons are not wise at all, wisdom, in real life comes with a certain type of personnality, so I don’t think a crazy 3000 year Old Russel Edgington is unbelievable, because he is at heart an Hedonist, a man obsessed by his collectiion and who has had 3000 years to brood over his contempt for the human race (which tends to drive certain people over the edge anyway)

    1. Um, I am not sure I’m totally following this comment. I didn’t realize vampires are sexless? Is this board about the book or the show or both? In the show, Eric is definitely sexual, and it has shown him being caught in the act with some chick in the basment of fantasia, I believe.

      Also, I think you might want to rethink your definition of wisdom. You said wisdom in real life comes from a certain type of persornality. No it doesn’t. Wisdom is the accumulation of knowledge (and in some cases power as well) and learning how to use said knowledge appropriately.

      Now, while I disagree that wisdom only comes to those with a certain personality, I do believe it takes some (humans and vampires alike) longer than others to learn things or adapt to new things, and those who can acquire knowledge more quickly, can more easily comprehend the knowledge they’ve acquired, but also, as well, understand when the smart time to use the knowledge or information is. Also, because wise people typically are humble, they don’t brag. Therefore, unless you yourself are a genius, you might not know if you are sitting across the table from one unless they come out and say so..but from personal experience, its just not something people do.

      And of course, at 3,000 years old, anybody is going to be wise. Granted, I believe like you said, its possible they are already half-way crazy because of how long they have been alive. Eddington did already seem a little wacko even when he was first introduced. Yet, I think he is a cool character.

  2. I’m going to have to say it depends on the person. Regardless of age, your personality is still going to play a large part in how you act.

    Besides, what’s to say some of them don’t act a certain way in order to throw others off from the fact that they’re really another way? (Most likely not the case, but it would be interesting) This is going for any series that involves very old vampires.

  3. I think she has a point, but at the same time methinks people age in different ways. While Godric struck me as someone who’d grown contemplative with age, Eric seems someone who focuses on the here-and-now, on the task at hand rather than diving into philosophical notions. Lorena, who seems several centuries old, came across as someone slowly destroying themselves. Russell seems a more complex person, one with multiple layers of ambition and patience–but again, like Eric, tending to focus on the present. The Magister on the other hand seemed a sadist and a workaholic, with a narrow-minded focus to help relieve of the boredom of centuries in which he has found little of real interest.

    Haven’t we all seen people who as they got older got more petty, more selfish? Or get squirrelly? Still others become genuinely wise, kind, etc. Yet it also seems to me that with great age would come great skill–and THAT various True Blood vampires of great age have demonstrated. Eric, Godric and Russell have all shown considerable understanding of events (from their particular POVs) and acted in startling yet effective ways.

    On a personal note, though, I’d like to see some truly old vampires who are wise rather than myopic.

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  8. I am not sure why Ms Rice thinks ancient vampires should be evolved. I do not remember Lestat or Lakasha in Queen Of The Damned as being particularly evolved or philosophical.

    In fact, I remember them killing other vampires, killing humans to in order to survive and Lakasha trying to take other the world. They would not have been very interesting is they had been so highly evolved and philosophical.

  9. Age doesn’t make you wise. Being an ancient vampire doesn’t guarentee you profound wisdom – it could just mean you’ve been stupid for a very long time.

  10. I agree with you and also with some of the comments here. The thing the made Russell unbelievable for me, though, was his utter gullibility. Time may not make one more mature, but I can’t imagine someone his age falling for Eric’s scheme so easily.

  11. I’m not sure I completely buy the “age brings wisdon” idea. Don’t you know someone older then you, who is a total mess? Don’t you know someone younger then you who has it way more together then you?

    Age brings wisdom *IF* you have a certain personality. The kind of personality that learns from mistakes,that uses free time to think,and that applies the lessons learned to his life. Regrettably, not everyone has this attitude.

    Also, depending on the mythos, would a truly wise, evolved being chose to continue living if he were a vampire? Would he chose to continue to live by killing? One could argue only those with a streak of self absorbtion or pettiness, a myopic nature, chose to go on when doing so means endless killing. Being wise and seeing others as real people might not be a survival trait for a vampire. Remember, True Blood is a new invention. This is one reason I’m not sure I buy the concept of the vampire as an “ancient and wise” being.

    As an aside, Anne Rice’s vampires sound very wise when you listen to their internal dialogue, but act like petty and violent thugs. Regrettably, theoretical wisdom that is never applied is not at all unrealistic.

    If Anne Rice’s books had come out today, I would have thought they were a clever, biting inversion of the traditional vampire romance. Sexless vampires…stories focusing on the relationships betweem mae vampires…at least Anne Rice did something unique.

    1. Ok, another person talking about wisdom that i have to comment on. Granted there are people who are younger who have their “lives together” (based on this self-destructing society’s laws) much more than those that are older. That hardly has ANYTHING to do with wisdom. Throwing around the word wisdom is dangerous, because then everyone suddenly is wise. Age does bring wisdom through experience. I don’t care how many degrees you have on your wall, nothing takes place of actually getting your butt out there doing some work yourself and gaining some experience. Wisdom is a combinaton of intelligence (which is based partly on genetic as well as early intellectual stimulus), the accumulation of knowledge, and then, most importantly, experience. You can’t have experience at a young age, therefore, you aren’t going to be wise. Wisdom can and does come with age. Get your facts straight people.

  12. I totally agree with you if you refer only to the Russell that apears in True Blod, because the Russell that it’s descibed in the books it’s very different.
    A vampire that has seen and lived in this world for 3000 years is definitely like described in the books.

    If you take Godric for example, in this case I prefer the character in the show, since is much more like an elder should be, not a crazy suicidal maniac.

    As for Eric, he definitely behaves like a 1000 year-old vampire should, at least in the books he does, and more or less in the tv show too..

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