Over the years, the popularity of vampires has risen and fallen in waves. And while some have remained popular years later – Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, specifically – there have been several more vampire shows, movies, and books that haven’t managed to stand the test of time. Maybe they’re following the same boring tropes that we’re tired of seeing; perhaps the stories are just lackluster in and of itself. But one thing’s for sure: First Kill on Netflix implemented some changes in the stereotypical vampire-human love story well enough that I think vampire media is about to change for the better. You may be asking, “What are these changes?” Let’s get into them.
First and foremost, I’m so tired of seeing ancient vampires already in tune with their enhanced abilities and immortal lifespan. And in most shows, new vampires are able to adjust quickly – a little too quickly, considering most of the transitioning vamps don’t want to be undead.
When it comes to vampire lore, I would much rather see a newly turned vampire learning to use their new abilities – super speed, hearing, and strength – with a few mess-ups here and there. Legacies did this exceptionally well with Lizzie’s transition in its final season.
While I’m on the topic of newly turned vampires, let’s talk about the transition humans go through to become vampires in many shows. Twilight had a painful transition that can take days to complete as it kills you slowly; The Vampire Diaries instead has a human die with vampire blood in their system.
I really want to see more of the “you have to be buried and dig yourself out on your own” transition seen in The Shadowhunters Chronicles. I like the dirty transitions more than the romanticized versions we see nowadays.
And on a similar note, why don’t we have more born vampire stories? The only series I’ve honestly enjoyed where vampires were born more often than created were Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Night World by L.J. Smith.
Why are there so many fictional vampires that hate being a vampire? Other than the bloodlust and some other stereotypical side effects (being burned by sunlight), what are the downsides? I’d love to have all the time in the world to read with the curtains closed every day.
I want to see more human characters searching out ways to become a vampire – and not just to live forever with their significant other. We need more eager and less angsty vampire stories nowadays. Even better, give us vampires that are also just optimistic about what they’ll see in their eternal life.
I really don’t understand why so many vampire stories involve vampires that become doctors. I get they want an easy way to get blood that doesn’t involve biting a person, but they have super speed! Just run in, grab what you want, and run out – simple as that.
If there are other reasons for them being a doctor, like wanting to help people, there are different ways to do that. Become a scientist and find cures for diseases, become a social worker, become a teacher – there are so many other options than becoming a doctor (or going back to high school).
This is more of a critique of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries than anything else, but I might as well talk about it now. In Twilight’s illustrated guide, Stephenie Meyer pretty much said POC could become vampires, but they’ll turn white or light olive-skinned. And in The Vampire Diaries universe, there wasn’t a main POC vampire until The Originals.
I want more POC vampires who run the show. Legacies dropped the ball on this for the most part, but they were finally getting the hang of it in seasons three and four. Sadly, the show ended, so now the newest adaptation of Vampire Academy is my next hope for this change.
See related: Ranking the Most Famous Movie Vampires
Why do so many vampires who are centuries old go after naïve teenagers? And yes, this happens way too often. I’d much rather read about two old vampires falling in love – or a newly turned vampire falling for someone close to their age.
And if we still want the ancient vampire to fall for a human, why not make the love interest an adult instead of a teenager or a twenty-something? It just doesn’t make sense – and this isn’t just limited to vampire-human love stories Sarah J. Maas’s books are full of this stuff, too.
Another thing I constantly see in vampire shows, books, and movies is the lack of variety. It’s either just vampires, or it brings in only two other supernatural creatures: witches and werewolves. Maybe that’s why I liked Legacies and The Vampire Diaries books so much.
If vampires, werewolves, and witches can exist in urban fantasy media, why can’t other supernatural creatures? Give us more fairies and mermaids co-existing with the more common fantasy creatures. I’d even settle for half-vampires-half-human characters at this point.
While I’m on the topic of other supernatural creatures commonly seen with vampires, let’s talk about the all-too-common werewolf and vampire rivalry. Nearly every time it’s mentioned in media, it’s said the two creatures are “natural enemies” without an explanation.
I’d love for that explanation to be explored. Even better, maybe the “natural enemies” thing was just a hoax created by old vampires to avoid cross-breeding and creating a new and powerful creature that could take them down. (Now I need someone to write that book.)
Again with the werewolf-vampire rivalry. Why does that rivalry usually end up with a love triangle? I already talked about my disdain for most love triangles before, but let’s get into this specific type of relationship.
Nearly every time there’s a love triangle, it’s a protective vampire against an alpha wolf. I’m tired of it. I want the human to choose neither – or (even better in my eyes) have the human turn into a vampire and then choose neither love interest. It’s just too overdone and needs to go away.
Speaking of overdone tropes in vampire media, we need more LGBTQ+ love stories. Whether that be between a vampire and a human or two vampires (or a vampire and another supernatural creature), I just want more. First Kill did this amazingly.
Instead of talking about how media could implement this, I’d rather highlight my favorite LGBTQ+ couples from vampire media. First off, First Kill’s Calliope and Juliette were great; secondly, The Vampire Diaries universe did LGBTQ+ couples dirty, but they were cute while they lasted.
When I say breaking tradition, I mean twisting the pre-established vampire lore to fit the narrative. I’d much rather have the pre-established stuff thrown out entirely and a new legend created from scratch than picking and choosing pieces of what is typically deemed “vampire” myth.
For one, if you’re going to have them not be able to enter houses without permission, they should also not have reflections, weaknesses against sunlight and holy water, and so much more. If that’s not the take a show is going for, there should also be ways to explain the lore away.
See related: The Top 10 Volturi Vampires from ‘Twilight’ Ranked By Power
When it comes to vampires of present-day media, my first thoughts go to beautiful yet scary. But before Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, we had Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And those vampires are anything but beautiful when they’re showing off their vampire side.
While I love the thought that vampires can be both beautiful and scary, I would love to see the soulless creatures mentioned in Dracula. I’d even love for vampires to just look like the ordinary humans they were before they turned.
While we’re on the topic of stereotypical vampire tropes, what happened to the “vampires can turn into bats” thing? I feel like nobody’s talked about that in a while, and I want more of it.
I just find the thought of these strong creatures with super-sight turning into near-blind bats. Can you imagine reading a book where you got to read the thoughts of vampires in that form? I’d love it.
I’m so tired of the “evil” vampires just being misunderstood or “broken.” Give me the evil vampires who are that way just because they can be. Give me the humans who seek out turning into a vampire just for the power, not because they want to live with their loved ones forever.
In Twilight, the Volturi weren’t necessarily “evil,” but they did use their powers to keep control just because they could. I loved that about them. However, in The Vampire Diaries, I don’t think there was an evil character who was that way just to be bad – there was always a tragic backstory. I’m tired of it.