Dampyr Ending, Explained: Does Harlan Defeat Gorka?

‘Dampyr’ is an Italian horror fantasy film directed by Riccardo Chemello. Released in 2022, the movie is based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows the story of Harlan, a young man with a mysterious past embroiled in a war with vampires. When Harlan discovers that he has the ability to defeat vampires, he teams with Emily, an army commander, and Telsa, a female vampire, to hunt down the vampire master holding his friend hostage. The ending of ‘Dampyr’ sees Harlan facing off against the vampire master while also learning the truth about his mysterious past and true parentage. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Dampyr Plot Synopsis

‘Dampyr’ opens in a remote forest where a young woman is in labor. Three women with supernatural abilities guide the pregnant woman through childbirth as she screams for her baby’s father, Draka. In the distance, Draka, a vampire, swiftly approaches the house, but one of the witches prevents him from entering the cabin. The woman dies in childbirth while the three witches decide to raise the baby, preventing Draka from meeting his own son.

The story jumps forward to 1992, when Emil Kurjak, a military commander, arrives with his troop in a small town named Yorvolak in the Balkans during a war. In the town, Emil finds the locals have been massacred but is unsure who the enemy is. Meanwhile, in a nearby village, Yuri and Harlan, two youngsters, trick people into thinking Harlan is a “Dampyr,” a being capable of defeating vampires. On the other hand, Emil’s subordinate, Lazar, informs him of the “Dampyr” after signs indicate vampires killed the locals. Therefore, Emil tasks Lazar with finding Harlan.

Harlan and Yuri are brought to Emil, who leaves him to fight the demonic creatures that appear at night despite Harlan arguing that he is a scammer. At night, Harlan is attacked by Telsa, a female vampire, who is repulsed by his blood. When another group of vampires tries to attack Harlan, his blood burns one of them. As a result, the group’s master Gorka, a vampire overlord, recalls them. However, he tasks Telsa with befriending Harlan and learning more about his powers.

In the morning, Emil finds Harlan has survived the attack and killed a vampire. However, when the troop learns about Telsa being a vampire, and Emil tries to protect her, the soldiers turn on him. The soldiers abandon Emil, Harlan, and Telsa and leave the town, while Harlan urges Yuri to accompany the soldiers for his safety. Later, the trio forms an uneasy alliance to find and take down Gorak for their own purposes. However, Emil is initially skeptical and untrustworthy of Telsa after learning she is under Gorak’s mind control.

Meanwhile, Harlan hopes that finding Gorak will help him learn answers about the visions that have tormented him all his life. Telsa knows the route to Gorka’s lair, while Emil helps the group navigate the military restrictions. Telsa reveals she was forcefully turned into a vampire by Gorka and no longer wants to be his minion. At the same time, Emil wants to avenge his family and comrades who vampires killed. Once the group arrives at the library where Gorak’s lair is located, Harlan imbues Emil’s bullets with his blood, making them effective against vampires.

Dampyr Ending: Does Harlan Defeat Gorka?

On their way to Gorka’s lair, Harlan, Tesla, and Emil fight and defeat his minions. However, when they arrive at the library, the trio is surprised to discover that Gorka has turned Emil’s troop into a vampire. The soldiers attack the trio and strategically separate them. Emil and Telsa are caught and tied down, while Harlan encounters Yuri, who has also been turned into a vampire. After realizing the tragedy of their reunion, Yuri decides to sacrifice himself and, with Harlan’s blood, kills himself. Motivated by his friend’s death, Harlan prepares to face Gorka in a climactic battle.

Meanwhile, Emil and Telsa finally give up their inhibitions about each other and succeed in working together. The duo outsmarts the vampires and defeats them. However, when they arrive to help Harlan in his battle against Gorka, they are quickly sidelined by the vampire master’s mind-control powers. Gorka brutally beats down Harlan, who, despite his newfound abilities, is no match for his enemy. Eventually, Harlan is gravely injured, and his heart stops beating.

In this moment of desperation, Harlan finally sees the true meaning of his visions. Harlan meets his father, Draka, who encourages Harlan to accept his lineage. Consequently, Harlan’s heart starts beating again, and he is revived with a better understanding of his powers. Harlan fights Gorka, who is forced to unveil his true demonic form. Ultimately, Harlan overpowers Gorka after accepting his lineage as a half-human, half-vampire being known as Dampyr. Thus, He defeats and kills Gorka, avenging Yuri’s death and learning answers about his past along the way. However, Harlan, Telsa, and Emil discover another secret lair that points to a greater conspiracy and an impending war between humans and vampires.

How Does Harlan Get His Powers?

During the climax, the true nature of Harlan’s powers is revealed. In his vision, Harlan finds himself in the woods where his mother died. The three witches guide Harlan to his father, Draka. During this interaction, Harlan learns he is the son of a vampire master and a human woman. As a result, his blood is a potent threat and can be wielded as a weapon against all kinds of vampires. Since his childhood, Harlan was aware that he wasn’t entirely human. However, when he meets his father for the first time, he finally learns his true identity. Moreover, Draka encourages Harlan to accept the powers granted to him through his father’s blood. Thus, Harlan returns to life stronger than before, completely aware of his lineage, which helps him defeat Gorka.

What Is Inside the Lair?

After defeating Gorka, a mysterious door opens inside his lair, leading Harlan, Telsa, and Emil into another secret lair. After the trio enters the room, Harlan finds a book depicting his father and other vampires. In the comics, these beings are known as the Masters of the Night and are powerful threats to humanity. Harlan deduces that Gorka is not the only evil vampire trying to destroy humanity. As a result, he decides to become a vampire hunter and track down the other Masters of the Night. Telsa and Emil readily agree to join Harlan, forming a hunting party.

Meanwhile, Draka celebrates his son accepting his vampire heritage and seems pleased. However, descendants of the three witches appear to him and point out that Harlan has not chosen to join Draka. The witches are skeptical if Harlan will actually aid his father in his grand scheme. However, Draka seems confident that he can turn Harlan to his side. In the final moments, Draka mentions the start of a war between humans and vampires and implies Harlan is a key component of his plan. Thus, the film’s ending sets Harlan on a collision quest with his father through his newfound quest of vampire hunting, setting the stage for an explosive sequel with high emotional stakes.

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