Created By: backpackApril 1, 2012

Pragmatic Vampires

Vampires who focus on survival

Name Space:
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Trope
Ok, this trope is pretty broad, so we might want to narrow it a bit. It can overlap with Vegetarian Vampire and Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, but doesn't necessarily. In fact, the vampire can often live in a world of Gray And Grey Morality, or even be a Card Carrying Villain. Basically, one of the most unrealistic aspects of vampirism in most fiction is that vampires leave a trail of bodies behind them, and somehow still hide their existence from humans. This trope is partially defined by a subversion of that, these vampires avoid mass slaughter for sustenance. The other defining trait of Pragmatic Vampires is that they are neither soul less monsters, nor incredibly tormented. The story mainly treats them as human beings, who want to continue living, may or may not object morally to killing, and for the most part just adapt to what they are. This can be carried out in a few ways:

1) Forming a symbiotic bond with a few humans who know of your existence, and drinking their blood without killing them.

2) Vegetarianism

3) In some versions the vampire has mind control that he or she can use to wipe the memory of victims after drinking from them.

4) Blood banks, clone blood, or some other substitute.

Examples:

  • Almost the Ur Example is Fledgling by Octavia Butler. Vampires are a separate species who form symbiotic bonds with humans, who are able to live for several hundred years.
  • While most vampires aren't like this, they were featured in two episodes of [[Supernatural]]. They fed on cows to avoid attracting hunters.
  • The [[Underworld]] movies are so deeply rooted in this that we literally don't see a vampire feed on a human until the fourth movie. However, the Underworld vamps are NOT Friendly Neighborhood Vampires by ANY stretch of the imagination.
  • Some of the vampires in the Saga Of The Noble Dead live like this, wiping people's memory.
  • Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series uses this. While Sita frequently kills people very violently, she requires only a relatively small amount of blood to survive, so she typically just feeds and wipes people's memories afterwards.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • April 2, 2012
    backpack
    Oh! Cassidy from [[Preacher]] all the way! He's a vicious killer, but he doesn't really mind being a vampire, and as he points out "blood is blood," so he can feed on just a rare steak and be fine.
  • April 2, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    The TV series Forever Knight had the protagonist generally using banked blood for feeding himself, concealing it in wine bottles in his fridge. More villainous sorts like LaCroix were more concerned with discretion than with any moral objections to murder.
  • April 2, 2012
    Earnest
    Curly brackets {{}} can be used to make wikiwords out of one word titles. So [[Underworld]] should be coded like this {{Underworld}} to create Underworld.

    Also, double apostrophe's italicize words, and site convention is to italicize series titles. So to correctly format the movie Underworld you'd write ''{{Underworld}}'' to create Underworld.

    The tools tab has a lot of resources in this and other regards.
  • April 2, 2012
    backpack
    @69BookWorM69: Actually, Nick on Forever Night would arguably be one of the few vampires on that show that DOESN'T fall under this trope, sinc he is angst ridden.

    @Earnest: Thanks.
  • April 3, 2012
    backpack
    Some of the vampires in True Blood fit into this category, particularly younger vampires like Jessica. The older ones tend to be far more vicious.
  • April 3, 2012
    DmM
    Vampires in Discworld novels tend towards this. As well as teetotal vampires, one clan's patriarch tries to train his family out of all the classic vampiric aversions. It doesn't end well.
  • April 3, 2012
    backpack
    Ok, looking back over I still defined this trope in a fairly vague way, so I wanted to clarify what I'm talking about. So, here are the basic rules I'm trying to embody with this trope:

    1) The vampires do not have to kill a human every time they feed.

    2) The transition from human to vampire is treated (by most vampires) as a primarily physical change, rather than a spiritual one. This means that their personalities will be more or less the same as when they were human (barring Character Development), and most of them will neither mope about not having a soul, or see humans entirely as cattle (and any exceptions will be seen as a bit strange, if not outright crazy).

    3) The vampires will have a wide-range of moralities, in the same way humans do, but the majority will dislike killing, but be more than willing to do so in defense of themselves or a loved one (the same as most humans).

    I think that would work a bit better for describing this trope.
  • April 3, 2012
    Astaroth
    Does this qualify?

    In the videogame The Witcher, a coven of vampires have taken control of the brothel in Vizima, and satisfy their hunger by feeding on the clients. A knight will pay you to hunt them down, thinking they had a hand in the disappearance of his sister, but since the witcher's setting is full of Grey and Grey morality, some investigation will reveal that the girl is working as a prostitute under the vampire's protection and the knight is a complete jerk who abused his sister until she ran away, so the vampires can come across as the lesser of two evils.
  • April 3, 2012
    backpack
    @Astaroth: Well, that still doesn't really address the key points here, so I honestly have no idea.
  • April 4, 2012
    backpack
    The Vampires from The Saga Of Darren Shan are a perfect example of this.
  • April 4, 2012
    StevenT
    Real Life
    • Vampire bats
    • Female mosquitoes
    • Leaches
  • April 4, 2012
    TrustBen
    Player characters in Vampire The Masquerade can take this option. It's a good idea, in fact. Leaving a trail of dead NPCs leads to complications.
  • April 4, 2012
    StevenT
    Not sure if this qualifies, but...

  • April 8, 2012
    backpack
    The vampires in the film Perfect Creature may qualify...or may be excluded as not-applicable, since vampires in that universe are public knowledge.
  • April 9, 2012
    TheNinth
    ^^^ Leeches. Not Leaches.
  • April 24, 2012
    backpack
    To correct my the above mention of True Blood, it seems to be implied that while the older ones are more violent, they don't seem particularly eager to kill humans, and really only do it when necessary (...by a VERY loose definition of the word "necessary"), and when they feed the humans usually survive.
  • April 24, 2012
    Antigone3

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