It seems that one cannot turn around these days without running into a billboard or poster featuring beautiful fanged actors. Vampires are most definitely “In” at the moment.
One of the most popular vampires currently is of courseEdward Cullen from the Twilight saga, portrayed by Robert Pattenson. The hysteria surrounding this series defies all rational comprehension. The craze reached the point that Robert Pattenson was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people of the world. An astounding title considering Mr. Pattenson is known almost singularly for this one character. Time would perhaps have been more accurate to name the vampire himself, Edward Cullen, to the top 100, rather than the actor.
And that is the power and influence that vampires currently have over our society: their mysticism and eroticism are so overwhelming as to make a previously unknown, untalented actor be considered one of the most influential people in the world. The Pope didn’t even make the list, and that is no small cause for contemplation.
But despite possessing incredible influence over the realm of mortals, Edward Cullen does not have right to the title of Coolest Vampire Ever. That title belongs to a vampire from True Blood: the 2,000 year old Godric. Edward doesn’t even get second place, as the runner up to the title also resides in True Blood: Eric Northman the 1,000 year old viking played by Alexander Skarsgard.
True Blood is currently in its third season and the second season was just recently released on DVD. As a vampire series it explores all the traditional vampire themes, including human/vampire relationships. It adds a dimension of social commentary, however, that none other has explored because in True Blood, vampires have “come out of the coffin” and live beside humans openly, but not without a great deal of friction and hate crimes that parallels historical aspects of human race relations. Within this context True Blood develops some of the most fascinating vampire characters ever to be seen on screen and introduces us to Godric, the Coolest Vampire Ever, in season 2.
Godric earns the title not simply by being young, amazingly hot (he is played by Danish actor Allan Hyde), and covered in Celtic tattoos, but by also exhibiting a very un-vampire like measure of self-control, thoughtfulness, and wisdom. Godric possess all the normal vampire characteristics which we humans find ourselves so easily seduced by, but has seemingly attained enlightenment, and as a result inspires an awe and respect unmatched in any TV or film character, whether vampire, human, or divine. Godric’s time in True Blood is limited to only 5 episodes, unfortunately, but he will stay with viewers long after the show is over.
Eric Northman, the runner up for the Coolest Vampire Ever title, happily remains a fixture on True Blood and is developed to more depth than can reasonably be expected of an undead character that is supposedly pure evil. Eric is not a vampire the viewer is supposed to sympathize with, but for some intangible reason he becomes a protagonist that viewers will root for, even with the image of him holding a severed arm and drenched in blood fresh in the mind. And there lies the crux of the mystery with humans’ fascination for vampires: they are dead, the feed of human beings, and by most accounts are evil. But we can’t help but envy their immortality and love their pale skinned, lawless, hedonistic nature.
So what if they can’t enjoy the summer sun? At night they get to do whatever the hell they want.