Every region has its own tales and legends. Even if they are all talking about the same thing, there are some marked differences between the way they characterise those things. The lore of vampires has a similar arc over various cultures. In the book, ‘V Wars’, the author explores this difference is much more detail than the show. The series has taken a considerable shift from the storyline of its source material, which is why, perhaps, they didn’t focus much on showcasing the differences between various types of vampires.
However, we do get an introduction to Vourdalaks or Verdulaks, which are identified differently from the Bloods. In his research, Luther discovers that the vampirism in people is induced due to some markers in their DNA. Your genetic make-up plays a key role in whether or not you will turn into a vampire. But that’s not it. It also acts as a deciding factor on what kind of vampire you will turn into. And this is where the legends of various countries come into play.
From Chinese folklore comes the mention of jiangshi, from Romania there are the strigoi (the kind we saw in another vampire TV series, ‘The Strain’), and from Russia, there are wampirs and wurdulacs.
What is a Vourdalak?
The myth of wurdulac, i.e., Vourdalak, comes from Russian folklore. According to it, these are the vampires that are constrained by the type of their prey. While normal vampires are free to feed on anyone, a Vourdalak can drink the blood of the one that it has an emotional bond with. So, when Michael turns into a vampire, he goes around feeding on the random women he meets in the bars. But when it comes to Danika, things are not the same.
For some time, she struggles with her lust for blood at work but isn’t attracted by the throbbing pulses of anyone who passes her by. She completes her transformation after she meets her sister. Notice how she has a sharp pang after she tells her sister that she loves her? This means that her vampirism is connected to the love that she feels for others. So, the moment she accepts that she loves someone, her hunger is kicked on. Hence, Danika feeds on Mila.
Further, because Danika was a Vourdalak and she had converted Mila, it means that Mila is also a Vourdalak now. In fact, anyone the sisters turn from now on will not be a regular vampire. This also creates a vicious chain. Since Vourdalaks can only feed on the people they love, they are drawn towards their family members. So, in order to satiate their thirst, they slaughter their own friends and family, and because they find it difficult to control their thirst, they will be quicker about killing people.
Now, for the one who has a large family or has a lot of emotional connections, it will be easier to live longer. But the Vourdalak who doesn’t have many people in their lives, the options will be exhausted very quickly. When no else is left for them to feed on, they will eventually starve to death. So, while this means that a Vourdalak is not as dangerous as any other Blood, it also means that this branch of the vampire family is self-destructive in nature and dies off quicker than any other form of vampires.
Another characteristic that sets Vourdalak apart from Bloods is that they are indulged in a game of give-and-take. While sucking blood from their victim, they release a toxin in their body. So, while the victim is losing dangerous amounts of blood, they are also high on the drug-like effect of the toxins in their blood. This means that the victim actually enjoys being sucked to death!
When Danika figures out that her options for a blood bank are pretty limited, she comes up with a way to have the cake and eat it too. She controls the amount of blood she consumes. This allows her victims to stay alive. They don’t die, neither do they turn into a vampire. They remain human, which means Danika has a continuous supply of blood bag. In addition to that, they actually enjoy being bitten by her, because it gives them a high. So, by having them addicted to her toxin, she knows that her humans are not going anywhere.
The Vourdalaks who don’t have any existing connections left, have to first build relationships with others. It is not just about seducing your prey. It is about how much you care about the person you want to eat! So yeah, being a Vourdalak is tougher than being a Blood. This makes it easier to understand why everyone else likes to be a vampire but Mila hates it so much that she embarks on a killing spree.
In the show, by far, only Danika and Mila are Vourdalaks. It has to do with their ancestry and genetic structure. Perhaps, in the next season, we’ll get to see more of their type. Also, with more and more people turning into vampires, we also expect the next season to give us a broader view of other kinds of vampires.
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