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Literature: Dracula

"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!"
Count Dracula

The original Bram Stoker novel that the Public Domain Character Dracula comes from. It was published in 1897.

Jonathan Harker, a young British solicitor about to be made partner, is sent out to Castle Dracula in Transylvania to see about a new client of his firm. Waiting at home for him is his young fiancee and secretary, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray. Jonathan expects to be back home within a few weeks, but he doesn't know that Count Dracula is an ancient vampire, whose intentions of moving to England are nothing less than a plan to feast on the teeming crowds of London.

Meanwhile in England, a Dr. John Seward, keeper of an insane asylum, notices a strange habit of his patient Renfield: consuming live things so as to absorb their life energy. Renfield keeps trying to escape to the old abandoned house next to his asylum, which seems to be seeing a lot of activity all of a sudden. And Lucy Westenra, Mina's beautiful best friend with three potential husbands (including Dr. Seward), is beginning to fall ill...

Concerned about Lucy's health, Dr. Seward notifies his Dutch mentor, Dr. Abraham van Helsing. When Van Helsing recognizes Lucy's illness as the mark of the vampire, he gathers Lucy's loved ones around him to save the girl: her fiance Lord Arthur Godalming, her American former suitor Quincey Morris, Jonathan Harker (who was found severely traumatized by Dracula, but alive), and Mina. Knowing that Dracula's power doesn't work during the day — although he can still move about, and fight, quite well during these hours — they form a plan to hunt him down and rid the world of him forever. Although the men initially try to keep Mina out of the loop to protect her feminine sensibilites, she quickly proves herself to be a strong and thoroughly clever investigator... which Dracula himself is just as quick to notice.

This book is now in the public domain, and can now be found on Project Gutenberg.

This story provides examples of:

  • Admiring the Abomination: According to van Helsing, the Count "must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'".
  • Affably Evil: Dracula is a most polite and charming host.
  • Agent Mulder: It doesn't take much to convince Quincey Morris that there are vampires about.
  • Agent Scully: Lord Arthur Godalming, on the other hand...
  • Animal Motifs: Howling wolves are a sign of Dracula's presence, and he's repeatedly associated with (and has power over) wolves, bats, rats, and at one point lizards. However, horses are terrified of vampires.
  • Animorphism: Dracula has the power to shapeshift into wolves, bats, and smoke, and probably other things.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Apocalyptic Log: The journal of the captain on whose ship Dracula came over is chilling.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Of the four men trying to track down Dracula, three of them are extremely wealthy by last act (two of them having inherited large estates, the other being a wealthy ranch owner), which means they can spend money and hand out bribes freely without having to worry about the expense.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Except for Lord Godalming, AKA Arthur, who is one of the protagonists, but not treated any differently from the rest. Dracula, however, is dead straight.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign:
    • Stoker uses the word "nosferatu" as an appealingly foreign-sounding synonym for "vampire", and identified as his source a work that cited it as the Romanian translation of "not living". Unfortunately, the word doesn't exist in Romanian, and no alternative etymologies (a Greek word meaning "disease-bearing," a Latin word meaning "you are our wild beast," or a mis-transcription of a legitimate, but unknown, Romanian or Slavonic word) have gained anything like consensus.
    • At times, Van Helsing's speech is just a random string of words without any resemblance to Dutch syntax. But every once in awhile, he sounds perfectly Dutch ("He infect you in such wise, that even if he do no more, you have only to live" is a very Dutch structure, for example). Less forgiveable are his occasional, very much not Dutch, very much German, exclamations of shock or horror.
  • Author Avatar: Jonathan Harker is the character most critics believe is Stoker's Author Avatar. Van Helsing might be an avatar for Stoker's father, who was also named Abraham.
  • Babies Ever After: And they call him Quincey.
  • Badass Mustache: While it's often left out in adaptations, when Dracula's appearance is first described, he is clean-shaven except a long, white moustache. This is probably based on portraits of Vlad the Impaler.
  • Blood Lust: Count Dracula goes from being a charming gentleman to a raging fiend with the flip of a switch — and the switch is Jonathan cutting himself shaving.
  • Blood Magic: In contrast to his animalistic thralls, Dracula was originally just as much a sorcerer as he was a vampire.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma:
    Van Helsing: Well, the milk that is spilt cries not out afterwards, as you say.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Quincey Morris fills this trope to a T.
  • Brain Fever: Jonathan falls seriously ill after escaping from Dracula's castle.
  • Break the Cutie: Mina.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: The Trope Codifier with a helping hand from Pop-Cultural Osmosis. Dracula never technically enters Lucy's bedroom. On the first occasion, he hypnotises her to leave the house and go down to the park. Thereafter, he goes to her bedroom window as a bat and she climbs partway out of it to be drained. When vamping Mina, he was able to enter because an inmate of the asylum she was sleeping in gave him leave. .
  • Buffy Speak: How appropriate that this then-Unbuilt Trope still appears in the definitive vampire story!
    Dr. Seward: [Renfield] seems so mixed up with the Count in an indexy kind of way...
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Vampire hunting expert Van Helsing has quite the disturbing sense of humour.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: Dracula's deal to get Renfield to invite him in. And the deal Dracula reneged on; he offered Renfield thousands of rats. To eat. Renfield's insanity was a fixation on eating living creatures to absorb their life. Dracula going back on this deal is part of what instigated Renfield's Heel-Face Turn.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: A stated weakness of vampires, except during "the slack or flood of the tide". It proves instrumental to slowing Dracula down near the end of the book.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • The peasants in Transylvania beg Jonathan not to go to the castle. He pretty much laughs them off.
    • Averted by Professor Van Helsing, who doesn't tell anyone vampires are involved until they see incontrovertible proof, because he knows they'd never believe him.
  • The Cavalry: This role is played by three terrier dogs when our heroes are attacked by a horde of rats.
  • Character Title
  • Chekhov's Gun: Arthur's dog whistle.
  • Child Eater: Dracula's vampire companions and Lucy after she turned, though the latter never really fully drained her victims because circumstances would force her to leave them behind before she could.
  • Cold Iron: Just as suitable as a wooden stake for destroying a vampire's heart.
  • Collateral Angst: Dr. Seward observes several times that Jonathan seems to find Mina's metaphorical rape harder to bear than she does, and she, ironically, seems to be the one comforting him.
  • Combo Platter Powers: This vampire can scale walls like Spiderman, control the weather, control wolves and rats, turn into a wolf and a cloud of dust in addition to a bat, and has Super Strength.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The boat that Dracula is on arrives at Whitby, where Mina Murray, the fiancée of the man who's unwittingly helped him, is by a strange coincidence on holiday at the time; in a twist of fate, his first victim is Lucy, Mina's best friend. What's more, one of Lucy's admirers, conveniently enough, runs the lunatic asylum right next door to Dracula's new house. He also has a friend and mentor who, while not a vampire hunter, certainly knows a lot about how to deal with them or ward them off.
    • In Chapter 2, Harker notes that Whitby is circled on Dracula's map of England, implying that the Count's arrival there is not strictly coincidental; why he would have chosen that place, even before he learns of Mina, is a bit of a mystery.
  • Cue the Sun
  • The Cutie: Lucy has three men ask for her hand in marriage in one day, and they then all pledge to protect and avenge her.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Dracula walks freely during the day, though he's more powerful at night. This is something that was eventually lost in vampire lore and did not return until recent years.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Jonathan's and Mina's child is named after all of the group, but goes by Quincey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The "laconic" Quincey Morris. Van Helsing gets his fair share as well, and Seward has his moments (especially when describing Renfield).
  • De-power: This is the only effect of sunlight on Stoker's vampires.
  • Distressed Damsel: Lucy and Mina. Mina, however, does something about it.
  • Driven to Madness: The Count leaves poor Jonathan a complete psychological wreck, convinced that what he'd seen couldn't possibly be real.
  • Dropped Abridged On It: The 1901 Abridged Edition.
  • Dual Age Modes: Dracula appears much younger when he's recently fed.
  • Due to the Dead: What makes Seward so uneasy about investigating Lucy's vampirism.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The scene where Dracula forces Mina to drink his blood reads like a rape scene.
    • The scene in which Lucy is staked. Only the man who loves her best can purify her, by sweatily driving that heavy stake in and out, and in and out, and in and out, like the mighty hammer of Thor, forcing the blood to spew around it while her face contorts...
    • Vampirism in general. It's especially obvious in the situation when Lucy has been ravished and drained by the monster, and the men who love her have one option to restore her purity: to inject their own precious bodily fluids into her.
  • Eats Babies: The three women in Dracula's Castle. Lucy almost reaches this point.
  • Empathic Environment: Immediately after vampire Lucy is slain, the weather is described as sunny and pleasant.
  • Epistolary Novel: See also Scrapbook Story.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Quincey Morris. Lucy likes his funny turns of phrase, so when he proposes to her, he hams up the quaint cowboy-themed metaphors to an almost sickening degree.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Horses are disturbed by Dracula's presence.
  • Fangs Are Evil: The better to drink your blood.
  • First Name Basis
  • Five-Man Band
  • Foil: Van Helsing to Dracula: Both are confident, knowledgeable and affable, with a slight hint of a generic strange accent, and refer to people as "friend".
  • Food Porn: Jonathan Harker devotes a lot of attention to what he's eating at the beginning of the book.
  • Forgotten Trope: Dracula is described as having hairs in the centre of his palms which is what happens to little boys who go on dates with them.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Mina knows something is wrong when Jonathan calls her Wilhelmina.
  • Funetik Aksent: The old Yorkshireman, various cockneys, and of course Van Helsing himself. Stoker prided himself (without much justification) on his ability to do these.
  • Funny Foreigner: Van Helsing.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Van Helsing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Mina Harker's journal entry in chapter 23 paraphrases some sailors, and their obscenities. An example: "They say much of blood and bloom and of others which I comprehend not, though I guess what they mean" and "Whereupon the captain tell him that he had better be quick—with blood—for that his ship will leave the place—of blood— before the turn of the tide—with blood."
  • Ghost Ship: The Demeter is regarded as one of these when it runs aground at Whitby.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Dracula doesn't eat or drink, but Harker comments very favourably on the food and wine the Count serves.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mina gets an evil one that the Transylvanians recognise. Dracula gets one from Jonathan early on, but it's inconsistently described in the text.
  • Go Out with a Smile:
    • Vampirism is a curse, so vampires who are killed are implied to be relieved.
    • Quincey also seems remarkably chipper for one who has thirty seconds to live — but he dies knowing the Dracula is dead and Mina is saved.
  • Gotta Kill Em All: The heroes have to track down and destroy Dracula's lairs so he will have no place to go to change shape or rest in his native soil.
  • Grave Robbing
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Interesting variation. Lucy, befitting her treasured English Rose status, is described as blonde (Seward refers to her hair lying on her bed pillow in "sunny ripples"), but as a vampire, is described by eyewitnesses as having dark hair. Especially fitting as her childlike innocence before getting attacked by Dracula is absent from her vampire form.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "Holding his candle so that he could read the coffin plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which congealed as they touched the metal,". ... High-priced candles at the time were often made from spermaceti, the waxy effluence drawn from the head cavity of a sperm whale. It was not at all uncommon to refer to this substance simply as "sperm".
  • The Heart: Mina. Even Renfield is drawn to her.
  • Heroic BSOD: An epic one for Harker.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Quincey Morris.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mina mocks the "New Woman" a few times in her journal.
  • Hysterical Woman: There aren't any in the book, but Dr. Seward certainly believes in this trope. At one point he remarks, "Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness!". Mina seems to exist to defy this trope, as no matter how distressed she gets, she has it together better than her husband. She does go into hysterics at one point, but it's for a very good reason and she gets over it with amazing quickness. Several of the men also have brief hysterical episodes.
  • Idiot Ball: The main characters know that a vampire can only enter a house into which he is invited, but they still keep his victim in a house that they know Dracula can already enter. Also, they know that Lucy died and rose as a vampire after becoming paler and weaker over many days. When Mina's not feeling well and looking rather pale, they write it off as a simple illness.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: Never said in the book, but Jonathan does note that the Count never eats with him. "I have dined already, and I do not sup."
  • Informed Ability: Vampirism is really vague in this story and it's not really clear what it does besides what's shown. Most known is that it turns the victim into a monster, they gain a few powers and they drink blood. Okay fine, but outside that we only get hints that it's the worst thing ever for the victim, because apparently their souls are either trapped in their bodies or taken over by the monster they become. Or the person becomes corrupted and evil just from turning. Was Lucy truly evil just be-old monster? Outside of feeding on humans, it never really goes into too much detail on the specifics of what's causing the change. But that might just add to the mystique for the sake of horror.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Dr. Seward and Quincey lose to Arthur in wooing Lucy, but they're good sports about it. Both of them give blood to save Lucy without hesitation.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: When Dracula gets a hold of Mina in her bedroom, he ups the evulz by telling her "this isn't the first time" she's satisfied his... thirst.
  • Ill Girl: Lucy when Dracula starts feeding from her; her mother could also count.
  • I Made Copies: After Dracula attacks Mina, he trashes Seward's study and burns the Scrapbook Story the heroes are keeping. Unfortunately for him, they had another copy locked up in a safe.
  • Implacable Man: Van Helsing.
  • Kiss of the Vampire
  • Knife Nut: Jonathan and Quincey wield a kukri and a Bowie knife, respectively, which come in handy for finally killing Dracula.
  • Kukris Are Kool: It's Jonathan's Weapon of Choice.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis
  • Lost in Imitation
  • Love Dodecahedron: Arthur and Lucy become engaged, but Dr. Seward and Quincey Morris are in love with her as well. Van Helsing seems to grow to love both Lucy and Mina, even though he's technically married to a madwoman, and there's plenty of Ho Yay between him and Dr. Seward. Mina marries Jonathan, and the surviving six form a True Companionship where they all love everybody.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Doesn't appear, but Van Helsing reveals he's married to a madwoman. Well, what would a Gothic horror novel be without one?
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dracula. Also shows signs of Magnificence.
  • Monster Progenitor
  • Motif: The imagery of red-against-white is repeated over and over again — wolves with red tongues and white teeth, Dracula's red blood-stained lips against his pale white skin, a red wound on a white shirt, etc..
  • Mind Control: Dracula intends to do this with Mina, but it backfires on him once he realises that if she can show him whatever the heroes are up to, she can also show them whatever Dracula is up to.
  • Name Order Confusion: Dracula refers to Jonathan as "Harker Jonathan" at one point out of reflex.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job telling the woman to Stay in the Kitchen, heroes! Worked out pretty well, didn't it?
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nice job giving the heroine a VIP pass to your mind, Dracula.
  • No Immortal Inertia: The older vampires turn to dust shortly after being staked.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Killing the original vampire before its bitten victims die (and subsequently resurrect as vampires) returns said victims to normal. Otherwise its permanent.
  • No Time to Explain: Prior to needing to stake Lucy, Van Helsing's answer for everyone's confused questions amounts to, "I can't explain now, just trust me. You'll know everything soon enough, but you'll wish you didn't. Did I mention within the last five seconds that you just need to trust me?".
  • Not Himself: Lucy when she becomes a vampire. It's implied she's even aware of it when the transformation nears completion and the vampire part of her briefly surfaces to try and seduce Arthur as she's dying.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the novel, Jonathan Harker's escape from Dracula's castle.
  • Old-School Chivalry: The results of making Mina Stay in the Kitchen teach the men to toss Old School Chivalry out the window.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
    • Van Helsing is a doctor, scientist, occultist, detective, lawyer and holy man. This all comes in handy for hunting vampires. It's also stated that he has at least three doctoral degrees, one of which is an MD.
    • Dr. Seward is a general practitioner, every type of surgeon and a psychiatrist to boot.
  • One Degree of Separation: Dracula's first victim just happens to be Lucy Westenra, the best friend of the fiancée of Jonathan Harker, who is probably the only living human who's seen him for what he really is. Not only that, but Dr. Seward, one of Lucy's former suitors and the good friend of her husband, not only owns the mental institution right next door to Dracula's new house, but is also the protegé of Dr. Van Helsing, perhaps the only practitioner of modern medicine who can recognize vampirism and knows how to treat it. Also, one of Dr. Seward's patients, Renfield, happens to have a strange psychic connection to Dracula.
  • Orient Express: When Dracula escapes from England to Varna by sea, the cabal sworn to destroy him travels to Paris and takes the Orient Express, arriving in Varna ahead of him.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Dracula does not follow the standard rules, largely because he predates most of them.
  • Parental Substitute: Mr. Hawkins for Mina and Jonathan.
  • Poirot Speak: Van Helsing.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Van Helsing is understandably reluctant to tell anyone his theory that Lucy is being attacked by a living corpse each night, but Mrs. Westenra surely wouldn't have tossed out the garlic had she known the stakes. Similarly, had the gang deemed fit to include Mina in their conferences, she might have been saved from Dracula's attacks. The moment she is included in the discussions, she puts the pieces together that leads the group to finally confronting Dracula. An Aesop on the importance of including women in important conversations?
  • The Professor: Van Helsing.
  • The Power of Blood: Types A (binding), B (symbolic), and O (disturbing).
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Psychic Link: Mina is the Harry Potter to Dracula's Voldemort after the latter forces her to drink his blood.
  • Psychic Radar: And the above happening to Mina lets the protagonists use her as a sort of psychic divining rod to track the Count.
  • Real Men Love Jesus
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Red Right Hand: When Van Helsing tries to set a holy wafer to Mina's forehead, it burns her and leaves a red mark. When Dracula is defeated, the mark vanishes.
  • The Renfield: Trope Namer, but is actually an Unbuilt Trope here, seeing as he attempts to foil Dracula twice, the second ending with the loss of his own life.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Dracula goes after Mina when he realises her husband and friends are hunting him.
  • Science Hero: Van Helsing, especially compared to modern portrayals.
  • Science Marches On:
    • When Van Helsing realizes that Lucy is anaemic because her blood is being drained by Dracula, he orders that her three suitors give her blood transfusions to save her life. Transfusions were performed during this time period, but blood types had yet to be discovered. Depending on the blood-types of the parties involved, Lucy's transfusions could have been fatal in their own right. In the story, they are only unsuccessful because Dracula keeps preying on her.
    • Dracula's appearance is compiled based on Victorian ideas of physiognomy, which hold that criminals are racially degenerate and atavistically regressive. Dracula's features in particular paint him as a thug and sexual deviant. All of these principles have since been thoroughly discredited.
  • Scrapbook Story: Compiled by Mina.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Dr.Seward: I am satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one thing.
    Van Helsing: And what is that, friend John?
    Dr. Seward: That it is not there.
    Van Helsing: That is good logic, so far as it goes.
  • Shovel Strike: Jonathan Harker strikes The Count with a workman's shovel while he is in his coffin. This prove ineffective at slaying the vampire, merely creating a large scar on Dracula's forehead.
  • Southern Gentleman: Quincey Morris, Texan, and a very positively portrayed American; typical in British works of the day but surprising today.
  • Spiritual Successor: Has been compared to Frankenstein from the time it was released, as both of them are Scrapbook Stories that took old-school horror tropes and placed them in modern (at the time) settings with modern (at the time) technologies, to great effect. This comparison, as well as Universal's and Hammer's movies, have ensured that the two works remain widely associated with each other to this day.
  • Staking the Loved One: May be the first widely known example — the vampire formerly known as Lucy Westenra is destroyed by Arthur under Van Helsing's direction.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Deconstructed, as leaving Mina out of the action turns out to be the worst thing the men can do for her. When they do include her in planning sessions she's competent to the point of Only Sane Woman.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Mina doesn't develop Sympathy for the Devil until after he's bitten her, and after she previously decided that the Thing that did that to Lucy doesn't deserve a drop of pity. She still believes that he should be killed; not only to save mankind, but to save Dracula's own soul. She turns out to be right.
  • Super Smoke
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Mina expresses this in the later chapters.
  • The Team Benefactor: Lord Arthur Godalming adds in funding the hunt for Dracula by providing transportation, lodging,and the like. While Abraham van Helsing helps with his knowledge of vampire lore.
  • Team Dad: Van Helsing.
  • Team Mom: Mina.
  • Team Spirit
  • Terms of Endangerment: Even when threatening him, Dracula refers to Jonathan as "my friend".
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Heroes (See Unwitting Pawn).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jonathan goes from terrified vampire victim to hunting Dracula with a kukri.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mina is a "New Woman" of the times of emerging feminism, while Lucy is far more sweet and girly. They're best friends.
  • Tongue Tied: One of the things Dracula does to Mina through their Psychic Link.
  • To the Pain: Dracula's speech to Mina.
  • Trope Maker/Trope Codifier: Defined most of the standard vampire tropes; vampire folklore varies wildly throughout the world, but Stoker's winnowing of these inconsistent myths results in the standard set of vampire powers and weaknesses. However, some of Dracula's attributes didn't catch on, most notably his unhandsome appearance and weakness to Cold Iron (probably cribbed from Irish vampire-like fey the dearg-due).
  • True Companions: The Harkers, Lucy's three suitors and Van Helsing.
  • Tyke Bomb: When one thinks about vampire Lucy's attacks, considering she's now a servant of Dracula by that point. Her biting kids can be seen as this as if she had continued unopposed, they would've eventually die with no one the wiser on what was happening. Then came back as vampires and spread more of the vampirism and building up Dracula's undead forces.
  • Überwald, with tastes of Ruritania, and even a bit of Oireland.
  • The Vamp: Dracula's three vampire companions, and Lucy when she becomes a vampire.
  • Vampire Invitation
  • Vampire Refugee: Mina.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods:
    • Well, that's the subtext. Dracula is actually described as fairly creepy from the outset, with rotten breath to boot.
    • Female vampires, on the other hand, seem to become impossibly beautiful and seductive.
  • Vampire Vannabe: Renfield seems to be trying to emulate vampirism, though with less understanding of the mechanics as we know it today... by eating flies, spiders, and small birds. And at one point he asks for a kitten...
  • Vampire Vords: Subverted: Dracula speaks excellent English, and has called Harker to his castle to, more than anything, help him get rid of his accent so that he won't be seen as another Funny Foreigner when he has moved to England.
  • Victorian Britain
  • Victorian Novel Disease: Parodied, or Played for Drama, or used as a Red Herring, depending on how you read the novel. In classic literature, tuberculosis was used as a stock disease. It was rarely referred to by name, but the symptoms were always the same: a young lady would become pale and sleepy, and a blush would show on her sickly face. When Van Helsing refuses to name Lucy's illness, the reader of the era would have assumed that she has tuberculosis. But actually, Van Helsing realizes that she's becoming a vampire.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Stoker seemingly overestimated widespread knowledge of vampire lore, creating a situation where the fandom rather than the author is widely Sadly Mythtaken. Dracula is destroyed by a knife through the heart rather than a stake. Sharp steel or iron objects like needles or knives are effective vampire kryptonite in Slavic mythology, yet adaptations, sequels, and even "scholarly" annotated versions of the novel jump on the lack of a wooden stake as proof that Dracula is Not Quite Dead.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted. The sexually curious yet feminine Lucy is killed by the eponymous villain. However, Mina, the maternal yet logical wife of Jonathan Harker, survives. Indeed, Van Helsing even describes Mina as having a 'man's brain'.
  • Virus Victim Symptoms: We see it gradully with Lucy as more of her blood is taken. Starting with becoming weak and pale, then becoming susceptible to Dracula's power. And finally, as she dies the first time, the bite marks on her neck suddenly heal, her canines become sharper and her demeanor suddenly becomes more lustful.
  • Wall Crawl: Dracula. Also how Jonathan escapes the castle.
  • Wine Is Classy: Dracula does not drink... wine. He does serve it to his guests, however.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: All the vampires, whose souls are unable to find peace until their bodies are destroyed, and who are described as bearing tranquil expressions once they have been "purified". Mina even grows to pity Dracula, and to consider his destruction a mercy.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Save yourself a major headache — do not try to make the dates make sense. It's corrected in some editions.
  • You Are Worth Hell: To Jonathan, Mina is worth vampirism. Fortunately, it doesn't come to that. He even theorizes this is how vampirism has spread in the past. All the other men are willing to die for her, as well.

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