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When you’ve got a large group of intelligent predators, there’s usually someone they have to answer to. With vampires, this is usually a queen or a king. Often, all the vampires in the world are descended from them. They sometimes come with spouse, though it's becoming more rare in recent years.
They’re almost always the most powerful of their kind, because they have to have kept their throne somehow. If not, he or she almost certainly has the loyalty of those who are, or can control the minds of their progeny.
Traditionally this was Cain and Abel, but thanks to Bram Stoker is more often Dracula these days. Often in fiction, when a vampire turns a person into one of them, the new vampire is subservient to the creator, resulting in a sort of hierarchical family tree of vampires owing their allegiance back to the originator, who rules them all. A common variant has it that destroying a given vampire reverts all those turned by him back to human (or just kills them).
You will do what they say, or face dire consequences. Because after all, doesn’t a parent know what's best for their children?
Sometimes crosses over into Cute Monster Girl for the queens.
- Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund.
- In Vampire Hunter D, Count Magnus Lee. And in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Carmilla.
- In Trinity Blood, Empress Augusta Vradica the First is the leader of the Methuselah vampires of "The New Human Empire". In reality, she is the childlike Seth Nightroad, a Crusnik Vampire and is Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
- The Record of a Fallen Vampire has a queen (Adelheid) and a king (Akabara).
- In the extended Nasuverse, Brunestud of the Crimson Moon. He served as the template for the natural-born True Ancestor vampires and held sway over both them and the formerly-human Dead Apostles. After his death at the hands of Zelretch, the closest things he has to a successor are the "King of the Dead Apostles" Trhvmn Ortenrosse, the "unstable" Altrouge Brunestud, and the last True Ancestor Arcueid Brunestud.
- In Van Helsing, all the vampires and werewolves answer to Dracula, who presumably was the first vampire.
- In Underworld, Marcus Corvinus is the first of the vampire elders.
- In The Lost Boys, according to legend, if you kill a "head vampire", all the "half - vampires" turned by vampires under his command are restored to human form. This fails when the protagonists kill David - because Max is the head vampire.
- The Big Bad from the horror movie The Hunger, who's also a Lesbian Vampire and Stalker with a Crush who actively tries to seduce the main heroine. And succeeds. Sort of.
- Lothos in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie
- Akasha from The Vampire Chronicles, otherwise known as the Queen Of The Damned. She also had a king.
- Betsy the Vampire Queen has... Betsy, the vampire queen, along with her king, Eric.
- The Dresden Files has three (possibly four) vampire "Courts": the Red Court has an actual King (who is killed along with the rest of the Court in Changes); the White Court consists of three clans, each of whom has their own Lord and the Lord of the currently most powerful clan is considered King by the rest; and the Black Court is currently decimated to the point where only a few powerful individuals exist, so no mention of their King was ever made.
- In Anita Blake, Marmee Noir, Mother Of All Darkness, leader of all vampires, and head of the Vampire Council, the first (or one of the first) vampires in existence.
- All the vampires in The Icemark Chronicles are ruled over by two ancient vampires known only as their vampiric majesties.
- In The Saga of Darren Shan and the prequel, The Saga of Larten Crepsley, the Vampire authority are the Princes, and to a lesser extent, the Generals.
- Neferet in The House of Night is this to the school.
- Rupert Giles in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel "The Lost Slayer". A Face Heel Turn from his character in the onscreen series.
Live Action Television:
- In Doctor Who, "State of Decay", the head vampire is an Eldritch Abomination. Once the doctor stakes it with a rocket ship, the other (human) vampires crumble to dust.
- The Master in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- LaCroix in Forever Knight probably fits this trope.
- The Charmed episode "Bite Me" has the girls fight the Vampire Queen, an enemy of the Source. Killing her rehumanizes Paige, who was temporarily turned into a vampire.
- Caine from Vampire: The Masquerade, though he is not particularly interesting in ruling his vampiric descendants. That task falls to the Antediluvians, thirteen ancient vampires who survived the Deluge and spawned the thirteen vampiric clans.
- In a more literal sense, most cities with Kindred presence have a "prince" who exists to enforce the rules of the Camarilla (primarily the titular The Masquerade).
- Dracula is the leader of the Vampire Nation in Halt Evil Doer! He's also the first vampire, even though there were vampires long before he died; it's a bit timey wimey.
- No list on this would be complete without mentioning Dracula from the Castlevania series, lord of all vampires and mortal enemy of the Belmont clan.
- Remilia Scarlet is Gensokyo's resident Queen of the Vampires.
- Artix Entertainment's series of games have Safiria as the Vampire Queen of Darkovia.
- In Soul Reaver, Kain is the oldest existing vampire, the progenitor of all other existing vampires, the last surviving Guardian of the Pillars of Nosgoth, and the ruler of the known world.
- Sluggy Freelance has Lysinda, leader of the Lysinda circle of vampires; and later Philinnon, leader of the Vrykolakas circle of vampires.
- Adventure Time has Marceline the Vampire Queen.
- The Simpsons: In a Treehouse of Horror episode based on Bram Stokers Dracula, in order to de-vampirize Bart they have to kill the head vampire. So Homer kills Mr. Burns, thinking he's the head. Turns out he's not - Marge is... who happens to be his wife.
"I do have a life outside this house, you know."