Vampire culture has been present in video media for years and years – both in movies and television. Some of the earlier adaptations of vampires were in movies like Dracula and Van Helsing, For the most part, vampires were generally characterized in the same way: pale skin, jet black hair, fangs, capes, and only able to come out in night. Also, for a while they were believed to originate from Transylvania.
In the past decade or two, television and movies have brought back the aesthetic of these creatures of the night, but in a way where they are more beautiful and exotic rather than gruesome and scary. They’re still ruthless and lethal, but there is more to them than that. For example, in some movie series vampires are actually able to walk in the sun, which was one of the major characteristics that a vampire couldn’t do. There are also magical objects that allow a vampire to talk in the sunlight – think The Vampire Diaries and their daylight rings.
One thing that all of these vampire shows and movies have in common however is the need of humans in order to live. For the most part, the main characters in these adaptations usually resort to a vegetarian diet where they only live off of animals, likely to have them appear more human.
Edward Cullen is the main male protagonist in the Twilight series. He is among the handful of vampires that has additional powers on top of all of the vampire perks like immortality, enhanced hearing and speed. Edward has the capability of reading someone’s thoughts – the only person’s mind he cannot read is Bella’s.
Esme Cullen is one of the main characters in the Twilight series. She is characterized as the mother of the Cullen children, although she didn’t give birth to any of them. Her backstory is quite sad, because she herself lost a child, so it’s quite fitting that she is the mother figure for all the vampires.
Damon Salvatore is one of the main protagonists of The Vampire Diaries television series. Damon is a little more carefree than his younger brother Stefan when it comes to feeding – he doesn’t care that he drinks human blood, nor does he really care who he hurts. All that matters is that he get what he wants.
Elijah Mikaelson played a significant role in The Vampire Diaries in the beginning seasons. He is one of the five original vampires, created by their mother who was a witch. He is probably one of the more reserved Mikaelson children, often being the voice of reason to his brother Klaus and sister Rebekah.
Pamela Ravenscroft played a significant role on the show True Blood throughout its entire series. She was also a young vampire, where it was believed she was only over a century old. She was the co-owner of the vampire club “Fangtasia.” She was undeniably loyal to Eric, and had no issue saying whatever she thought.
Semira plays the antagonist role during the latest Underworld film – titled “Blood Wars.” She was at one point the leader of the Eastern Coven, turned by Viktor over six hundred years prior. In addition to her role as leader of the coven, Semira was also a member of the Elite Council.
Jane is a supporting character throughout the series. She is characterized as being a “villain” in the story, mostly because of her associations with the Volturi. She is responsible for doing most of the dirty work for the three Elder vampires, mostly because her special gift is quite useful – where she can inflict pain onto anyone.
Rosalie Hale is one of the main characters in the Twilight series. She is the adoptive sister of Edward, Alice and supposed “twin” to Jasper (or at least that’s their cover story for when they move to a new place). She was saved by Carlisle after her fiancé and a group of men hurt her until there was barely a pulse. She got her revenge on each of them, only finding peace after meeting Emmett.
Caroline Forbes is considered to be one of the newer vampires, for she was actually turned during the show. She is a vampire that has the most control, likely because of her personality as a human. She became a surrogate mother to Jo’s twins, and helped raised them with Alaric.
Lorenzo St. John
Lorenzo St. John is a secondary character in The Vampire Diaries later in the series. He has associations with both Damon and Lillian Salvatore. With Damon, he was imprisoned with him for five years, where vampires were experimented on. Lorenzo knows his mother, Lillian because she was the one who turned him in the first place.
Eric Northman is one of the main characters on the show True Blood. He is one of the older vampires on the show, roughly over one thousand years old. He has a little bit of a sarcastic personality, and a surprising capability to show love and affection, a rare characteristic among vampires.
Jasper Hale is one of the main characters in the Twilight series. He is the newest vampire in the Cullen coven, which is why he still has a hard time dealing with blood (this is evident when Bella gets a paper cut while at the Cullen house). He, like Edward, has a special ability where he can manipulate people’s emotions.
Irina is a supporting character, and was a member of the Denali clan. She attended the wedding reception of Bella and Edward. Afterwards, when she saw Bella, Jacob and young Renesmee, she feared that she was an immortal child and went to the Volturi for help – unfortunately she lost her life for feeding them false information.
Marcel Gerard plays more of a significant role in the spin of series of The Vampire Diaries called The Originals, although he has been featured in TVD. Marcel was sort of a protégé of Klaus, taking over New Orleans once he had left. However, he started to claim it as his own territory, even when Klaus returned.
Selene is the female protagonist of the Underworld series. Selene was undeniably loyal to her creator, Viktor – without knowing he was responsible for her entire family losing their lives. She became a “Death Dealer” which was essentially an elite organization of vampires responsible of eliminating the werewolf threat. Eventually she goes rouge and only starts to look after herself.
Katherine Pierce is one of the many antagonists on the show The Vampire Diaries. She is considered to be one of the older vampires, and successfully outran Klaus when he wanted to use her doppelganger blood. She turned herself into a vampire, and was also responsible for turning the Salvatore brothers as well.
Alice Cullen is one of the main characters in the Twilight series. She is depicted as being quirky and a little strange – both from her adoptive family and her peers at school. Alice has a fair amount of self-control around blood, or at least she knows her limitations. She has the ability to see into the future.
Marcus Corvinus played an antagonist role throughout the Underworld film series. He was the twin brother to William Corvinus, and was a Vampire Elder during his time. It was believed that because he was bitten by a bat (while he was an immortal), that’s how he became the first ever vampire.
Tanya is a supporting character in the twilight series and the third Denali sister. At first she was skeptical about Bella and Edward’s child, but once she learned the truth about her she joined forces with the Cullen’s alongside her adoptive sister, Kate. It’s unclear whether or not she had any special abilities like Kate or Edward.
Carlisle Cullen is one of the main characters throughout the series – and is the surrogate father to the Cullen children, and husband to Esme. Carlisle is the oldest vampire in the Cullen coven, which is why he is the “leader.” He is also responsible for turning three of its members, including Edward, Esme and Rosalie.
Stefan Salvatore is one of the main protagonists of The Vampire Diaries. He is considered to be a “vegetarian” vampire because he only likes to feed on animal blood. This is due to the fact that he is called a Ripper, where he loses control from consuming human blood – even from a bag.
Bill Compton played a significant role on the show True Blood throughout the first seven seasons. Bill, unlike Eric was considered to be a “young” vampire – where he was only under two centuries old. When he was first turned, his desire for blood was overpowering, thanks to his maker and companion. He became King of Louisiana for a short while.
Amelia played a supporting role in the series Underworld. She was a Vampire Elder – nearly as old as the first vampire, Marcus – in fact, she was turned by him. He did it for a purpose, which was to help him control his twin brother, William who was a werewolf. Amelia was the mother of David, close friend of Selene.
Lexi Branson was a supporting character on the show The Vampire Diaries. She was an older vampire (older than the Salvatore brothers at least), and was there for Stefan every time he lost control of his urges. She unfortunately lost her life to Damon, but she made recurring appearance as a “ghost” throughout the series.
Aro is one of the main antagonists of the Twilight series. He is the leader of the Volturi, the sort of government of all of the vampires – he and the others are responsible for ensuring there is order among their kind: such as making sure humans are unaware of their existence and that vampires don’t go on feeding frenzies.
Kate is a supporting character and is a member of the Denali coven in the Twilight series. She, like the Cullen family is considered to be a vegetarian vampire, for she relies on only the blood of animals to survive. She, like some of the vampires has a special gift, where she emits an electric shock to all those she touches.
Lillian Salvatore plays a supporting role later in The Vampire Diaries series. She was presumed to have lost her life from an illness, only to be discovered over a century later stuck in a prison world. She and her “family” of heretic vampires managed to escape thanks to the help of Kai.
David is main character in the last few movies of the Underworld series. His mother was Amelia, a Vampire Elder which made him the heir of the Eastern Coven. He stood up to his father after he shared his opinions about Selene and her daughter seeking asylum in their coven. Eventually David becomes her right hand man in all her battles.
Emmett Cullen is one of the main characters in the Twilight series. He was turned into a vampire after Rosalie came across him in the wilderness where he was attacked by a bear. She had Carlisle help because she didn’t want to accidentally take his life while turning him. He is the soulmate of Rosalie.
Elena Gilbert is the female protagonist of The Vampire Diaries television series. She had dated both Stefan and Damon Salvatore. With Stefan, she had no interest in becoming a vampire, nor did he want her to become one either. Damon was selfish and happy when she was turned because that meant they could have forever together.
Klaus Mikaelson played a sort of an antagonist role in the beginning seasons of The Vampire Diaries. Unlike the rest of his siblings, Klaus was not only a vampire, but he also carried a werewolf gene as well – making him the first hybrid. He desired nothing more than to build his own army of hybrids, using Elena’s blood to do so.
Nora Gainesborough played a supporting role later in the series called True Blood. She wasn’t technically a young vampire, although she wasn’t anywhere near Eric’s age. It was believed she was over three centuries old. She and Eric considered themselves to be vampire siblings –the two were often seen arguing like regular brother and sister.
Viktor played an antagonist role in the film series Underworld. He was a Vampire Elder who was responsible for creating the elite vampire association known as the Death Dealers. At one point, Viktor had a biological daughter who fell in love with a lycan. He would not have any of that and her story ended tragically.
Bella Swan is the female protagonist of the Twilight series. It wasn’t until the end of the second last/beginning of the last film that Bella officially became a vampire. She had wanted to become one for a while, but Edward was against it. He had no choice but to turn her after giving birth to her daughter, a half human, half vampire hybrid.
Rebekah Mikaelson was the only sister of the Mikaelson children, and first female vampire. She had a bit of a temper, evident in her continuous outbursts and uncontrollable rage towards Elena and a few other characters. However, it is revealed that all Rebekah ever wanted was to be human again.