Hemlock Grove is a novel by Brian McGreevy. It was released in March, 2012.The story starts when a young girl is brutally murdered and found near the former Godfrey Steel Mill. Amid mounting rumors, two of the suspects in her killing — Peter Rumancek, a 17-year-old Gypsynote The term gypsy is used in the novel, in-character. trailer-trash kid rumored to be a werewolf, and Roman Godfrey (heir to the Godfrey estate) — decide to find the killer themselves.Hemlock Grove is the first of a planned trilogy.In January 2013, Netflix announced it would be adapting the novel into an original series, produced by Eli Roth. Roth also directed the pilot episode. All episodes of the series were made available on Netflix Streaming in April 2013. On April 14th, 2014, a second season was announced.The book contains the following tropes:
Back for the Dead Christina returns briefly in season 2, albeit only in Vargulf form, and is quickly dispatched once again by Shelley.
Batman Gambit: When Olivia reveals the truth about their family's powers to him, Roman chooses to kill himself rather than complete the transformation into a full Upir... But this is exactly what CAUSES the transformation and exactly what Olivia planned.
Bedlam House: Averted in the case of Norman's hospital, although patients can still meet grizzly ends.
Beef Bandage: Peter has one after bullies beat the crap out of him.
Functional Addict: Olivia uses some sort of drug in the form of eye-drops and is fine unless she doesn't have them. Roman smokes, drinks, snorts cocaine, self-mutilates and still manages to make it through the day until he flies off the handle and ends up in a coma.
Ghostapo: A flashback reveals an Upir leading a squadron of Nazi soldiers.
Gory Discretion Shot: Most of the deaths happen off screen, or are shot in such a way so that we don't see things.
Grave Robbing: Done by two conflicting groups with the same grave on the same night.
Green Eyes: Members of the Godfrey family have green eyes.
Shelley dies in infancy and is resurrected/reconstructed.
Olivia killed her first daughter, Juliette. It's very likely she also killed Shelley but J.R. had her resurrected.
Not only Juliette. When showing the murder of Juliette, it clearly states there were more than one. "Juliette and many like her came, all of them disappointments." There were more babies, and more murders, until she had the child with the caul.
Even Peter's cat wasn't safe from death. He's forced to kill his pet in order to speak to his dead grandfather for advice on how to kill the vargulf.
Jedi Mind Trick: In the novel, Roman uses something similar to influence people and get himself out of trouble. Works in the TV show, too.
Karma Houdini: Roman snapped and raped a girl but because of his ability, nobody ever found out about it.
Christina, the vargulf, is defeated and given a pleasent burial by the Sheriff, but Shelley is shot and flees town to who knows where.
Olivia in the second season finale.
Kick the Dog: From Christina to Chief Tom Sworn, when both Alexa and Alyssa are both mutilated/murdered horribly by the vargulf, considering Chief Tom Sworn was always so kind to the murderer. Made worse when later Christina is killed, but is possibly alive, as she screams from in the grave even though she was the killer, he didn't know that and he saw her as a daughter.
Kill the Cutie: Several times, but Letha stands out as the most prominent example.
Kissing Cousins: Implied in the novel and the show. Until it's revealed that Roman and Letha are half-siblings and that Roman is the father of Letha's baby.
Malevolent Masked Men: A murderous gang of them set up shop in Hemlock Grove in season 2. They also appear to Roman and Peter in their dreams. These sequences are possibly intended to resemble the films of ToTheArk.
Peter the Werewolf calls to mind "Peter and the Wolf".
Shelley seems to reference Mary Shelley, since Shelley the child is a Frankenstein's Monster-like resurrection/creation of Olivia's dead daughter.
The last name Rumancek translates to "Chamomile". There's a particular kind of chamomile known as Roman Chamomile. This implies that there's some sort of familial relationship between the Rumancek and Godfrey families. It's confirmed in the novel that Roman's mother Olivia gave birth to a child that was given to the Rumanceks to raise.
Letha is in Greek mythology, "The river of forgetfulness, one of the five rivers in Hades." and "A condition of forgetfulness; oblivion."
GOD-frey, just as Norman's wife says, "Godfreys get what they want" when asked how she and Norman got together.
Chasseur means "hunter" in French.
The man who claims to have died and been brought back to life is named Pullman.
No Bisexuals: Jury's out with Destiny; she's more than happy to have sex with anyone as long as there's cash involved, but she seemed to really enjoy her time with Chasseur. She gets a new boyfriend in Andre in the second season.
Self Harm: Roman is shown cutting himself with a razor blade several times. In his case, it probably starts because he likes blood.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The way Shelley's emails seem. In this case it is unlikely that the character is trying to show off or be perceived as unusually smart, rather she's taking full advantage of the medium of writing to communicate in a way that is normally impossible for her because of her muteness. As such, it's not annoying from a character standpoint, but still comes across as the writers trying too hard to make her seem intelligent and sophisticated.
There Are No Psychologists: Somewhat subverted; Norman is a successful and empathetic doctor. However, all the patients we've seen him personally treat have ended up dead. He sleeps with Olivia for the first time when she visits him professionally, too.