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The Vampire Chronicles are a series of novels by Anne Rice that revolve around the adventures of an ever-changing coven of vampires. Throughout the series the protagonist, Lestat, seeks the origin of the vampire species and tries to fit his need for blood into a workable moral system.

Books in this series:

Related books (The New Tales of the Vampires):

  • Pandora
  • Vittorio the Vampire

These books provide examples of:

  • A God Am I: Akasha was worshipped as a god for centuries, and came to believe it.
  • Agent Peacock: Lestat
  • Ancient Tradition: The Talamasca
    • The vampire cult that Armand leads...at least until Lestat shows up.
  • And I Must Scream: Akasha had Mekare's tongue cut out, and then sealed her inside a coffin that she set adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.
    • Many vampires also believe that if they are left in the sun or burned, and their ashes are left unscattered, they will experience this.
    • And then there was the Parisian vampire tradition of burying their criminals alive.
  • Anti-Hero: Lestat becomes a Type V after "interview".
  • Anti-Villain: Lestat in Interview. He's controlling, egotistic, selfish, and proud; he also proves to be Claudia's main obstacle to freedom and Louis goes between tolerating him and flat-out hating him. But at the same time he's easily the most fascinating character in the story and his attitudes set him apart from other actual antagonists encountered later.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Quinn Blackwood becoming part of Lestat's coven
  • Author Avatar: Lestat is sometimes this for Anne Rice, but sometimes he's based on her husband.
  • Berserk Button: Lestat's abduction by Akasha in Queen of the Damned was one for Louis, considering they'd just reconciled before that.
  • The Big Easy
  • Blue and Orange Morality: EXTREMELY old vampires are sometimes depicted as having lost the ability to understand human morality or emotions, instead making decisions based on their own philosophies.
  • Body Snatcher: Predictably in "The Tale of the Body Thief"
  • Breakout Character: Interview With The Vampire is Louis's story, with Lestat as a villain and supporting character (he's actually absent for a good chunk of the novel midway). But thanks to all the positive feedback he got in Interview, Rice saw fit to not only make the sequel from Lestat's POV, but to pretty much make him the protagonist of the whole damn series.
  • Byronic Hero: Lestat, Marius, Armand and Marahet.
  • C-List Fodder: Once unleashed, Akasha kills off most of the vampire race except, conveniently, for every single major character in the series, and plots to exterminate all men on earth.
    • This (except for the "exterminate all men" part) is justified in that Lestat's cadre of friends is the upper echelon of vampires who have been around for hundreds to thousands of years and who have very aggressively marked out their territory. They've gotten that old by being very clever and by learning how to move around in vampire society (i.e. learning who to not piss off). The vampires that Akasha kills are the young ones barely out of their first century, and considering how few older vampires are actually out there it seems reasonable to assume that even if she hadn't gone on a killing spree, most of them would still have died competing with one another for supremacy in a process of natural selection.
    • Not to mention, Akasha states that she spared some of the vampires who were not old and powerful yet because Lestat loved them. Louis and Gabrielle fall under this category.
  • Can't Grow Up: Claudia.
  • Can't Have Sex Ever: Once you're a vampire, you can't have actual sex. However, everything else practically becomes a substitute. Even the pattern on a carpet can bring rapturous pleasure to one's enhanced senses.
    • Though this is possible Fanon since the books never actually say or show that vampires are incapable of having sex, but rather implies that they lose interest in it because isn't as intimate as killing or exchanging blood.
      • There are several moments in the series where the characters seem to have PLENTY of interest in sex but actual intercourse never occurs. The Vampire Armand is a shining example of this.
    • There is no Word of God regarding vampire impotency in the series and the events of the series never solidly confirm or disprove it.
    • Actually, Lestat does in fact specifically note that male vampires' "equipment" no longer functions in The Queen of the Damned. This is why one of the first things he does when transferred into a human body in The Tale of the Body Thief is have sex with a woman (without her consent it should be noted).
  • Character Filibuster: Arguably Roger in Memnoch the Devil.
    • Lestat does this from time to time, the worst example being all of Chapter 16 in Blood Canticle, wherein he stops the plot to explain why he's in love with a character despite their complete lack of chemistry.
    • Lestat also takes time in the preface of Blood Canticle to complain about the fans' reaction to Memnoch the Devil, saying more or less that he gave them a glimpse into the mysteries of Heaven and Hell and all they wanted was "the fancy fiend" with glamorous leather and heavy motorcycles. He assures them that there's plenty of traditional badassery to go around but that he'll get to it when he's good and ready. Then again, that might be a full-on Author Filibuster, as well as Chapter 7 of the same novel, which has nothing to do with the plot or the series, but is a three page rave about the new Pope and some Saint in Mexico.
  • Creator Breakdown: Coming and going. Rice started writing the books to work out her feelings about her daughter's death(which led to her leaving the Catholic church), and stopped the series(and all but disowned them to boot) after experiencing a religious awakening that led her back to her faith. She has since left organized Christianity due to its opposition to homosexuality, birth control, feminism, and other liberal positions.
  • Creepy Child: Claudia
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: YMMV, but Gabrielle's last appearance in The Vampire Lestat was pretty damn awesome; as was Mekare's moment in Queen of the Damned.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The vampires have eternal youth, super speed, super strength, telepathy, telekinesis and the power of flight, but still they see their existence as a curse.
    • Though this is averted (kind of) since Lestat admits (after the events of Tale Of The Body Thief) that, if he's really honest with himself, he would much rather be a vampire than a human.
      • Despite the the bad things he's been through as a vampire.
    • Some of the vampires view immortality as a curse and some don't and think the ones that do are ridiculous. The series stresses (at least in the beginning) that there are many different philosophical perspectives from which a vampire can view his situation, all of them equally valid.
    • To be fair, the focus of the series is usually on the incredible psychological strain of living for hundreds, or even thousands, of years and the toll it can take on ones sanity.
    • But at the same time, their society is either anarchic and devil-may-care or conformist and stifling, and the characters are deeply flawed by their emotions and frustrations brought out by the transformation.
    • And not to mention that sunlight and fire can (and does) easily immolate them.
      • But even that gets mitigated with age. A sufficiently old vampire can, in fact, withstand exposure to daylight, at least for a time. The very oldest can even handle a full day out with minimal worry.
  • Driven to Suicide: The overwhelming majority of vampires end up this way, because they can't handle the continuous changes in human mindset and lifestyle.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Merrick
  • Drowning My Sorrows - Louis and Quinn. Daniel sort of, although he's trying to drown his on-coming madness from the knowledge that vampires exist.
    • Nicolas in The Vampire Lestat.
  • Enfant Terrible: Claudia. Her favored method of hunting is taking advantage of her cuteness to trick people into thinking she's lost and helpless, and then ripping their throats out.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Armand, so, so much.
  • Everyone Is Bi - Sort of. Vampires don't have actual sex, but the enhanced senses make them Sense Freaks to a point where rubbing against any sufficiently interestingly-textured surface makes an orgasm seem rather dull. Additionally, gender isn't an issue for romantic or sensual purposes; things become beautiful (to them) because said things are alive. So, everyone is Bi-romantic, bi-sensual and extremely hedonistic.
  • Eye Scream: Akasha had Maharet's eyes cut out. Maharet's solution is to steal the eyes of her victims, pop them into her eye sockets, and let her vampire blood work its magic and allow her to see. Better Than It Sounds.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "The Tale of the Body Thief."
  • Great White Hunter: David Talbot is an old Brit who keeps fondly recalling his youth, much of which was spent in the jungles of India and South America as this trope.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Pretty much all of Rice's characters are morally ambiguous.
    • Though some are lighter shades of grey than others.
  • Hemo-Erotic
  • Hermaphrodite: Petronia from Blackwood Farm (s/he seems to prefer being a woman though)
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Either Trope Maker or Trope Codifier.
  • I Love You, Vampire Son
  • Incest Is Relative: Turns out Quinn and Mona are related.
    • Don't forget Lestat and Gabrielle.
      • Lestat and Gabrielle are unusualy close for a mother and son, but they never have sex and their relationship never seems romantic in nature, so the presence of this trope is debatable.
      • Though it's hard to make an argument for the presence of incest when most of the characters are incapable of having sex.
  • Inherent in the System: Lestat's maker Magnus warns him several times that he should not drain his victims completely; he should drink enough to sate his thirst and then let them die. The reason for this doesn't become clear until Lestat actually kills his second victim and and begins feeling guilt because he felt the man die instead of just watching it.
  • Jerkass: If you asked Lestat he'd tell you it was Armand, if you asked Armand he'd tell you it was Lestat.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: And HOW! Trope Codifier.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Marius in The Vampire Lestat, and many other examples. Marius tends to do this a lot.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: The core five books (Interview with the Vampire and all those featuring Lestat in a main character capacity) are written by Lestat and distributed as works of fiction, except for the first, which was dictated by Louis and distributed as a work of fiction.
  • Long Running Book Series
  • Mega Crossover: Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle cross over characters and stories from both the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches.
  • Monster Progenitor: Akasha.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Let us count the ways:
    • No vulnerability to religious artifacts
    • Stakes through the heart do not work
    • Do not need to sleep in a grave or coffin. Anyplace free of sunlight will do.
      • But the books do imply that the belief that vampires need to sleep in coffins is a commonly held superstition among some groups of vampires (specifically those of the "old world") or, in some cases, a practice based more in tradition than actual necessity.
    • Unaffected by garlic (although they cannot eat it, nor any other kind of food)
    • They have reflections
    • They cannot shape shift
    • Pretty much the only vulnerabilities they have in common with most depictions of vampires are fire and sunlight and if they're old/powerful enough, not even that will kill them
    • They have heart beats (though their hearts beat considerably slower than that of a living person)
    • They breath (though it's implied that this is more out of habit than actual need for oxygen)
      • They also need air in their lungs to speak.
    • They cannot have "sex" as such. At least not the males anyway. Their phalli do not actually work anymore. Females could obviously be penetrated, but it is unstated if they could have an orgasm.
    • Their powers are wholly psychic in nature, even physical ones such as Flight, Super Reflexes, Super Speed and Super Strength are rationalized as being telekinesis, which is essentially the force that animates the vampires in the first place.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire Gift.
  • Plot Induced Stupidity
    • Lestat is a skilled computer hacker in Tale of the Body Thief, but doesn't know how to use email when it becomes a plot point in Blood Canticle.
      • Also in Blood Canticle, Lestat forbids Quinn to create a website for fear that it would expose vampires to humans...even though he himself was once a rock superstar who wrote many books about his vampire life. Uh, huh.
    • When Louis falls improbably in love with Merrick, it never occurs to David that something supernatural is going on, even though he's an expert in magic and he knows she's a witch.
  • Purple Prose: every book without fail.
    • YMMV, but this is one of the few times when the ridiculously lavish dimensions of a text actually work to the advantage of the novel. This could be due to one of three reasons: 1) the writing itself is actually good quality (unlike some books), 2) it works to illustrate how hedonistic and sensual Lestat's Point of View is, or 3) it's a triumphant example of So Bad It's Good. Personal preference may determine where and if it crosses the line.
  • Pyromaniac: In the first book alone, Louis burns down two houses and a theatre, sets Lestat on fire and says that he could "spend hours just staring at the candles."
  • Rage Against the Heavens
    • In the earlier books, it could be called Rage Against the Fact That There is No Heaven. The absence of God or underling moral justice in the universe is a source of a lot of the characters' angst.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: All the vampires. Especially Claudia.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Armand. Lestat tries at the beginning of Memnoch the Devil but it doesn't quite work.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Marius is described as this. He just wants to be a scholar but he went to war when he was a human
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Akasha and Enkil, who had taken the odd step of basically sealing themselves
  • Sense Freak: The Vampires. Justified Trope; the spirit animating their bodies is itself a Sense Freak. This is why said vampires get off over practically anything.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers : Marius and Pandora. Poor Marius in general has the worst luck in that department, all of his greatest loves are taken away from him at some point. Usually by Santino.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: Attempted by Louis, Lestat and Armand.
  • Tears of Blood: Anne Rice vampires don't weep salty water. They weep blood.
  • The Musical: Lestat, a merging of The Vampire Lestat and Interview with the Vampire.
  • The Trickster: Lestat is actually referred to as this by another character at one point in the series.
  • To Hell and Back: Memnoch the Devil.
  • Retcon / Retool: Lestat, due to...
  • Ubermensch: Lestat, himself.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Lestat that appeared in Interview with the Vampire was not merely the antagonist; he was a stupid, cruel and petty villain. The (vastly different) Lestat of the later books claims he was spitefully misrepresented by Louis.
    • Although it can be debated whether Vampire Chronicles fits this trope at all, as we're not talking about one narrator who is inconsistent, we're talking about two completely different narrators within the series (not counting the multiple points of view of The Queen of the Damned). Of course a depiction of Lestat from the perspective of Louis (who resents him) is going to be more harsh and critical, and a depiction of Lestat from his own point of view is going to be more forgiving. No one sees themselves as being "stupid, cruel and petty." Lestat knows and fully understands the motivations behind his own action and Louis doesn't, which would account for any seeming inconsistencies in Lestat's characterization.
    • The simplest explanation is that Lestat went through a lot of personal change as the series progressed, which explains why he became a very different character in the later books than he was in the early ones (toward the end he even starts to believe in God.)
    • It is worth noting that Louis is self-absorbed to the point where, unlike most vampires, he almost never seems to exhibit any significant telepathic ability. Thus his point of view is entirely his own. Lestat, in contrast, makes extensive use of telepathy, particularly as his powers grow, and many of the observations in the stories he narrates came directly from the thoughts and memories of other characters. Thus he is to some extent an omniscient narrator.
  • Vampire Monarch: Akasha, also known as the Queen of the Damned.
  • Villain Protagonist: The main characters are all vicious murderers, but it's OK because they feel bad about it.
    • Debatable: Many of the main characters do not kill humans, but instead survive by the "little drink" (taking small amounts of blood from several humans instead of completely draining one) or at least only kill people who seem to deserve it (murderers rapists etc.) and a vampire who kills without discretion is usually depicted as being (at least somewhat) worse than one who is selective about who he kills.
    • This is usually chalked up to the fact that a vampires mind simply doesn't work the way a humans mind works and the fact that, if you look at it subjectively, humans really are below vampires on the food chain. Lestat himself alternates between idealistic and pragmatic on the matter throughout the books.
    • They don't always feel bad about it, in fact some of them never do.
      • Armand in particular exhibits little guilt over killing humans, although he is not always cruel to the victim when he does it. Gabrielle flat-out states "I will be a goddess to those I slay." when she decides to venture into central Africa (then largely unexplored by Europeans).
      • Marius encourages ethical feeding habits, but is not above a killing when it is convenient.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Akasha wants to create a peaceful world by killing almost all males.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The whole corner stone of the series, at least until it Jumped the Shark (though when exactly this happened is debatable) is that eternal life really isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Yaoi Guys: Lestat and Louis, Armand and Louis, Lestat and Nicki, Armand and Marius (and HOW!) , and so on...
    • The love vampires feel for each other is usually just depicted as a generically romantic sort of love, not distinctly sexual, though Rice's tendency to use somewhat sexually suggestive language to convey the intimacy of certain moments doesn't help.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Aimed at Dracula in the series, the series itself is probably the second most common after Dracula to receive this treatment in other works.
    • Though this didn't seem like genuine criticism on the authors part, but more as a means of illustrating how her vampires are different than Bram Stokers Dracula (who is most commonly regarded as the "traditional" model of a vampire.)
    • Given that Louis expreses the desire to be able to turn into mist this seems like more of an Our Vampires Are Different than a Your Vampires Suck.
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