Countdown to The Return is a series of guest posts by Vampire Diaries fans on topics they’re pondering as we head into Season 2. Blogger Lee MacOdrum looks at the history of werewolves in folklore and pop culture and ponders how Vampire Diaries will make its mark in lycanthrope legend.
In folklore, we know him as vaukalak, hombre lobo, lupo mannaro, loup-garou, lycanthropos. In pop culture, we know him as Lawrence Talbot, David Kessler, Will Randall, Lucian, Jacob Black, Alcide, George Sands. He is the lukos anthropos: the werewolf. And in a few short days, the names of Mason and Tyler Lockwood will be added to his legend. I can’t wait! Ever since Tyler’s wolf-tastic yellow eye peered up at that perplexed paramedic, this particular arc has had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for Season Two to begin.
One of the things that initially drew me to The Vampire Diaries was the way in which the show’s writers cleverly combined traditional folklore and pop culture perceptions with a pinch of their own original spin to create the show’s vampire lore. Now they have the same opportunity with werewolves and I am stoked.
To date, we know our Lockwood lycanthropes will shift into “real wolf” forms (nod to folklore) and their change will be dependent on the full moon (nod to pop culture), but if the residents of Mystic Falls are going to make it out of this one alive (well, some of them anyway), two vital questions still need answering: How does one become a werewolf? And how does one kill a werewolf?
While we wait in fevered anticipation for The Vampire Diaries reveal, I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at how folklore and pop culture werewolf mythology has answered these questions before.
Countdown to The Return is a series of guest posts by Vampire Diaries fans on topics they’re pondering as we head into Season 2. Blogger Erin Brown is having a fangirl crisis and a certain Lockwood’s animal magnetism is to blame.
For the record, I’m a Stefan girl; I’ve always been a Stefan girl.
I’d like to blame David Boreanaz for all of this, of course – Angel/Angelus, aka the Original Captain Brood – for instilling my love of a tortured expression on a handsome face, but in truth, I’ve always loved a good moper with supernatural abilities and chiseled features; one who is ever-searching for his redemption by playing the good guy and being the better man…or at least an undead version of.
Paul Wesley, playing Stefan Salvatore, of course filled all of these expectations. The eyes, the abs, the forehead that has more acting skills than all the Baldwin brothers put together (what are there, like a million? Forgive me, but I lost count at William) and the smouldering, bruised expression? If we were going on stereotypes, it made more sense than chocolate and peanut butter: Stefan Salvatore had me well before hello.
But as the premiere of the next chapter in Mystic Falls history draws nigh, I find myself needing to make a confession.
It’s the eve of a new season and I am being seriously courted by another team.
I’m looking at YOU, Tyler Lockwood. With your cougar-loving, bad boy, my-daddy-issues-have-issues ways, and anti-emo-Jeremyness…ness.
Countdown to The Return is a series of guest posts by Vampire Diaries fans on topics they’re pondering as we head into Season 2. First up, author Dianne Sylvan examines why the relationship between Stefan and Damon is so compelling and why she hopes the tension will continue throughout the new season.
Vampire romances these days are less than a dime a dozen – they’re becoming almost a parody of themselves. Take one misunderstood teen girl, one immortal hottie, add a quirky best friend. Add clueless adults, a heaping helping of angst, some kind of bad guy to cause the couple problems (preferably bad vampires or, better yet, werewolves), and stir.
What, then, sets The Vampire Diaries apart from the rest? Why does it have us all salivating over the upcoming season…even jaded old ladies like myself, who cheerfully admits she avoids most vampire fiction like the plague (even though I write it myself)?
I think we all know the answer to that one…and no, it’s not Damon…or, not just Damon. As much as we all love a bad boy like Damon (Okay, “bad boy” doesn’t quite cover it, given that he’s a murdering sociopath), or a redeemed (sort of) bad boy like Stefan (who, let’s not forget, has killed at least one person that we know of, and probably more before he had whatever Great Revelation that made him give up the people-juice), both character types are hardly unique these days.
Yes, I’m dying to see the havoc Katherine wreaks on Mystic Falls…in fact I’m hoping she’ll blow the place apart and get away scot free, just to shake up the idea that the powerful female character always has to get it in the end. (Please note Exhibits A-E: Lexi, Bree, Grams, Pearl, Anna.) Yes, I’m looking forward to learning more about Tyler’s…um, animal control issues. And yes, I’m eager to see the development of Damon as an individual, and worried, I admit, that he might get a little too human, too soon. But what I’m really looking forward to is that very thing that makes TVD so fascinating: the relationship between the brothers Salvatore.
I have a theory. It could be demons? No, not that one. We all know the saying “Nice guys finish last.” Well, I have a theory that most of those “nice guys” are not actually “nice,” but rather, losers. “Nice” is very often the adjective applied to someone about whom we have nothing else to say. It is the default adjective for our dealings with people out in the world—anyone who is not completely awful or absolutely fabulous is “nice,” causing the word to lose all meaning. Thus, “nice” often means mediocre, or okay-looking, or no-personality-but-at-least-he-didn’t-piss-me-off. I think that if there were an actual nice guy, he would definitely not finish last. In fact a girl (or boy) might be prone to forgetting all about “the bad boy” in favor of this rare specimen. Matt Donovan (or Matt Honeycutt to the book fans), I would argue, is one of these rare truly nice guys—“nice” in the very best sense of the word.
There are a number of different standard character roles in literature, film, and television, and amongst them is “the nice guy.” “The nice guy” role often overlaps with “the best friend,” “the sidekick,” “the everyman,” or sometimes, “the geek.” “Nice guys” usually have unrequited feelings for a “nice girl,” who, of course, should not be confused with the “nice guy,” since “nice girls” are a totally different deal. Yes, the world isn’t fair. The “nice guy” is usually overshadowed by a friend with special abilities—sometimes athletic, musical, or super-powered.
We’ve been wanting to feature guests posts here at Vampire-Diaries.net since we founded the site and A.M. Hartnett, who follows us on Twitter, provided the perfect impetus to kick off the venture. Beware of spoilers through Nightfall!
I love the CW. They’ve given me Jensen, Jared, and Jeffrey Dean, not to mention the five seasons of Angel, and for that they shall always hold a special place in my heart. However, they seem to be walking a very thin line when it comes to The Vampire Diaries. We could be treading into angry-ex territory very quickly.
You see, back when I was about 14/15 years old I read L.J. Smith’s series. When I was in university I used to joke about how I didn’t become a woman when I hit puberty, but instead when I read Wuthering Heights. A re-read of The Vampire Diaries reminded me of the error of this statement. Heathcliff Earnshaw hit the right buttons, but Damon Salvatore got there first.