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The Vampire Chronicles are a series of novels by Anne Rice that revolve around the adventures of an ever-changing coven of vampires. Throughout the series the protagonist, Lestat, seeks the origin of the vampire species and tries to fit his need for blood into a workable moral system. Books in this series:
A God Am I: Akasha was worshiped as a god for centuries, and came to believe it.
Above Good and Evil: Nicki decides there is no such thing as moral good or evil, only good and bad art. Since he's working at a low-rent theater in the commedia dell'arte at the time, he finds this conviction less than comforting.
Absurd Cutting Power: Even though the Elder states that you couldn't cut Akasha's skin without killing weaker vampires, and Lestat likens it to marble, no ill effects become apparent when her devotees feed from her, and Mekare decapitates her with shards of glass while pushing her through a window.
Afterlife Antechamber: Ghosts need some degree of self-realization to move on to Heaven or Hell, at least according to Memnoch.
Agent Peacock: Lestat spends much of his unlife wearing and surrounding himself with incredible finery, enjoys theater, and exhibits wild mood swings, but he'll fight anyone and anything.
All Love Is Unrequited: In the first book. Later books at least hold out the possibility of reciprocal love, although the odds never favor it.
Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Averted. Louis thinks that Claudia forgets her human life when she becomes a vampire, but it it doesn't keep her from delighting in tormenting and killing humans. Even Lestat calls her "my merciless Claudia."
The Aloner: Gabrielle is happiest exploring remote regions alone; Louis spends much of the twentieth century alone in his rundown Louisiana home; and Thorne spent centuries living north of the Arctic circle, feeding on (but not speaking with) the local Eskimos.
Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Averted. Louis thinks that Claudia forgets her human life when she becomes a vampire, but it it doesn't keep her from delighting in tormenting and killing humans. Even Lestat calls her "my merciless Claudia."
The vampire cult that Armand leads...at least until Lestat shows up.
And I Must Scream: Akasha had Mekare's tongue cut out, and then sealed her inside a coffin that she set adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.
Many vampires also believe that if they are left in the sun or burned, and their ashes are left unscattered, they will experience this.
And then there was the Parisian vampire tradition of burying their criminals alive.
Anti-Hero: Lestat becomes a Type V after "interview".
Anti Nihilist: Lestat essentially summarizes this philosophy when he says he can accept the lack of God, Satan, or eternal rewards or punishments, but not the idea that acts of human kindness lack value.
Anti-Villain: Lestat in Interview. He's controlling, egotistic, selfish, and proud; he also proves to be Claudia's main obstacle to freedom and Louis goes between tolerating him and flat-out hating him. But at the same time he's easily the most fascinating character in the story and his attitudes set him apart from other actual antagonists encountered later.
Asshole Victim: Magnus's assistant, the Back Street Strangler, Roger, and a whole lot of unnamed criminals.
Author Avatar: Lestat is sometimes this for Anne Rice, but sometimes he's based on her husband.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Any authority a vampire has over others is based either on having information the others need or being able to stomp their asses.
Autocannibalism: In a flashback in The Queen of the Damned, Akasha orders her soldiers to cut out Mekare's tongue. Mekare startles them by snatching it back and swallowing it.
Ax-Crazy: A lot of minor characters— vampires like eating baddies, and Akasha creates an army of misandrist women. Of the major characters, Armand exemplifies this trope in The Vampire Lestat. Most of his followers are relieved to discover they don't really work for Satan, need to fear religious symbols, or have to sleep among stinking corpses. Armand, however, hits a Villainous BSOD and starts chucking his underlings into a bonfire.
Magnus kidnapped, killed, and discarded dozens of young, blond men, leaving their bodies to rot in his crypt, before he selected Lestat as his fledgling.
Mael not only kidnaps Marius so he can become a trapped vampiric god, he also feels betrayed when Marius escapes.
Badass Gay: Before becoming a vampire, Lestat liked sleeping with both men and women and also earned the fairly badass soubriquet "Wolfkiller."
Bad Boss: Armand to the Parisian Children of Darkness. From his description, other coven leaders fall into this category as well.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Definitely not true, as Louis discovers with Lestat. He lampshades the aversion in Interview with the Vampire:
"What would Christ need have done to make me follow him like Matthew or Peter? Dress well, to begin with. And have a head of pampered yellow hair."
Bedouin Rescue Service: Bedouins saved Mekare and Maharet after Akasha and Enkil sent them into the desert to die in The Queen of the Damned.
Boyish Short Hair: Two of the first things Gabrielle does after becoming a vampire are kill a man for his clothes and cut her hair like a boy's. An odd example, since men of the time frequently wear their hair long, but Lestat clearly regards the haircut as part of her crossdressing.
Break the Haughty: A series of selfish, arrogant choices catches up with Lestat when Claudia and Louis leave him for dead; he spends years covered in hideous scars; and Armand manipulates him into testifying against Claudia, refuses his request for healing blood, and throws him off a building for good measure. Traumatized and humiliated, Lestat spends decades as a shut-in, surrounded by junk and animal corpses and abandoned by a string of vampires who show up out of curiosity more than compassion. Subverted in that he eventually recovers... after about a hundred years.
The women Akasha induces to rise up and kill all their menfolk.
Breakout Character: Interview With The Vampire is Louis's story, with Lestat as a villain and supporting character (he's actually absent for a good chunk of the novel midway). But thanks to all the positive feedback he got in Interview, Rice saw fit to not only make the sequel from Lestat's POV, but to pretty much make him the protagonist of the whole damn series.
Broken Pedestal: Once Louis joins Lestat in vampirism, he discovers that he really doesn't like him, although they are reconciled late in The Vampire Lestat.
Brutal Honesty: Any conversation with Gabrielle will probably contain this.
Bullying a Dragon: The Talamasca decides to issue a "Declaration of Enmity" against Lestat, who could obliterate the Louisiana branch if he cared enough. Then Stirling Oliver breaks and enters Lestat's home, during a tenuous truce, on the grounds that he was curious.
Bungled Suicide: Lestat in The Tale of the Body Thief, Armand in The Vampire Armand, and Louis in Merrick.
Cannot Cross Running Water: Addressed with the explanation that vampires don't cross running water because they're territorial and streams often serve as natural boundaries for hunting territory.
Charm Person: Vampires have the capacity to be this to humans and, to a lesser degree, weaker vampires. Armand is something of an oddity: his Mind Control abilities seem disproportionate to his other skills, and he can affect vampires of otherwise similar strength.
C-List Fodder: Once unleashed, Akasha kills off most of the vampire race except, conveniently, for every single major character in the series, and plots to exterminate all men on earth.
This (except for the "exterminate all men" part) is justified in that Lestat's cadre of friends is the upper echelon of vampires who have been around for hundreds to thousands of years and who have very aggressively marked out their territory. They've gotten that old by being very clever and by learning how to move around in vampire society (i.e. learning who to not piss off). The vampires that Akasha kills are the young ones barely out of their first century, and considering how few older vampires are actually out there it seems reasonable to assume that even if she hadn't gone on a killing spree, most of them would still have died competing with one another for supremacy in a process of natural selection.
Not to mention, Akasha states that she spared some of the vampires who were not old and powerful yet because Lestat loved them. Louis and Gabrielle fall under this as well.
Can't Have Sex, Ever: Once you're a vampire, you can't have actual sex. However, everything else practically becomes a substitute. Even the pattern on a carpet can bring rapturous pleasure to one's enhanced senses. Lestat specifically notes that male vampires' "equipment" no longer functions in The Queen of the Damned. This is why one of the first things he does when transferred into a human body in The Tale of the Body Thief is have sex with a woman (without her consent it should be noted).
It's also worth mentioning that vampires typically consider feeding upon one another to be almost as intimate as sex is to humans.
Cast Full of Gay: Lestat, Louis, Nicki, David, Armand, Marius, and Daniel all demonstrate sexual or romantic attraction to other men.
Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Louis, Lestat, Armand, and Quinn. Based on his description in Blood and Gold, even Marius qualifies.
Cessation of Existence: Until Memnoch the Devil, Lestat thinks this happens to everybody when they die. Whether or not this is true remains ambiguous afterward, as Lestat can't decide with certainty that what he saw was really Heaven, Hell, and human souls.
Lestat does this from time to time, the worst example being all of Chapter 16 in Blood Canticle, wherein he stops the plot to explain why he's in love with a character despite their complete lack of chemistry.
Lestat also takes time in the preface of Blood Canticle to complain about the fans' reaction to Memnoch the Devil, saying more or less that he gave them a glimpse into the mysteries of Heaven and Hell and all they wanted was "the fancy fiend" with glamorous leather and heavy motorcycles. He assures them that there's plenty of traditional badassery to go around but that he'll get to it when he's good and ready. Then again, that might be a full-on Author Filibuster, as well as Chapter 7 of the same novel, which has nothing to do with the plot or the series, but is a three page rave about the new Pope and some Saint in Mexico.
Chronic Villainy: A lot of vampires, including Louis and Lestat, switch to surviving on animal blood or the "little drink," but eventually surrender to temptation.
Cliff Hanger: The ending of The Vampire Lestat. Resolved in The Queen of the Damned.
Cool Old Guy: Despite being in his seventies, David Talbot is smart, brave, and charismatic enough to merit a crush by Lestat.
Quinn and Lestat both treat Aunt Queen as the female version of this.
Cold-Blooded Torture: The traditional Satanic covens regularly inflict this on humans as well as other vampires.
Come to Gawk: Armand's exhibition by the slave traders in Turkey.
Confessional: Louis confesses his sins to a priest in Interview. Unsurprisingly, the priest refuses to believe that Louis is actually an immortal creature of the night who feeds on the blood of the innocent... until it's too late.
The Corrupter: Santino brainwashes Armand from a relatively benign lifestyle (posing as a human while subsisting on the blood of evildoers) into the deliberately cruel practices of the Children of Darkness.
Corruption by a Minor: Despite Louis's horror at the thought of producing a fledgling, Claudia prevails on him to turn Madeleine for her because she knows Armand will take Louis for himself. Louis does it, but says the act destroyed his last vestige of humanity.
Creepy Crossdresser: Gabrielle kills a small man for his clothes within days of becoming a vampire.* Cruel and Unusual Death: When cutting off Akasha's head doesn't immediately kill her, Mekare finishes the job by eating her brain.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The vampires who attack Lestat at his concert stand no chance when Akasha shows up.
Cursed with Awesome: The vampires have eternal youth, super speed, super strength, telepathy, telekinesis and the power of flight, but some of them still see their existence as a curse.
Though this is averted (kind of) since Lestat admits (after the events of Tale Of The Body Thief) that, if he's really honest with himself, he would much rather be a vampire than a human.
Despite the the bad things he's been through as a vampire.
Some of the vampires view immortality as a curse and some don't and think the ones that do are ridiculous. The series stresses (at least in the beginning) that there are many different philosophical perspectives from which a vampire can view his situation, all of them equally valid.
To be fair, the focus of the series is usually on the incredible psychological strain of living for hundreds, or even thousands, of years and the toll it can take on ones sanity.
But at the same time, their society is either anarchic and devil-may-care or conformist and stifling, and the characters are deeply flawed by their emotions and frustrations brought out by the transformation.
And not to mention that sunlight and fire can (and does) easily immolate them.
But even that gets mitigated with age. A sufficiently old vampire can, in fact, withstand exposure to daylight, at least for a time. The very oldest can even handle a full day out with minimal worry.
Lestat himself survives close to two days in the sun of the Gobi Desert. It hurts like nothing else (forgive me) under the sun, but when it's over, his powers and mobility are unaffected and aside from a massive suntan that will last for decades, the damage is, literally, only skin deep. Maharet regularly walks in the sun every several years in this way to keep up a tan that makes her more lifelike to mortals. The very eldest vampires, when they really consider it, worry that if the sun can't do the job, there may be nothing that can kill them even if they wanted it to.
Death Seeker: Nicolas. He experiences a complete breakdown after his capture by the coven, but also reveals that he never really thought he and Lestat could make it as entertainers in Paris, and in fact participated in the hope that they would fail and starve.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: Since many vampires predate modern conventions and a lot of the series takes place in the past, this trope cones up a good bit. Louis used to regards blacks as less intelligent than whites (although he no longer does), and a lot of the men divide attitudes and behaviors into "male" and "female" ( rather than merely "masculine" and "feminine") categories.
Demonic Possession: Not "demonic" but "spiritual". A particularly nasty spirit named Amel likes pricking people so that they bleed. When Akasha and Enkil are mortally wounded by their subjects, Amel enters Akasha through her blood and takes root, turning her into the first vampire. By draining and then feeding Enkil her own blood, Akasha spreads Amel to him, although the core remains in her. Amel's thirst for blood is what drives all vampires, although the thirst decreases with each vampire, as Amel's essence is lessened. Since Amel's core is in Akasha, any harm that comes to her is spread to all vampires to various degree (in one case, exposing her to the sun killed many young vampires but only burned older ones). Killing Akasha would kill every vampire in the world, unless another one eats her brain and heart, taking the core into him or her.
Depraved Homosexual: Lord Harlech. When Amadeo/Armand refuses to leave the country with him, Harlech responds by storming the apprentices' home, killing innocent bystanders, coercing Amadeo into a duel, and then cheating by fighting with a poisoned blade.
Dirty Old Man: David worries that he's one, having slept with two much-younger Talamasca employees.
Dramatic Irony: In a couple of Calls Forward dealing with fledglings: Eudoxia tells Marius to pick a young person as a fledgling in Blood and Gold; and Marius tells Lestat to make sure his potential fledglings have plenty of life experience in The Vampire Lestat. In both cases, the reader knows how much the younger vampire will or won't take the lesson to heart, and the resulting disasters.
Another combination with a Call Forward: In The Vampire Lestat, Eleni explains the mood in Paris by telling Lestat that the vampires could feed off humans on stage and the audience wouldn't tell the difference. Readers of Interview with the Vampire know this will actually happen, decades after Eleni sends her letter.
Driven to Suicide: The overwhelming majority of vampires end up this way, because they can't handle the continuous changes.
Drowning My Sorrows: Louis and Quinn. Daniel sort of, although he's trying to drown his on-coming madness from the knowledge that vampires exist.
Nicki deals with his depression by drinking heavily in The Vampire Lestat.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Vampires' feeding on blood has blatant sexual parallels, but an especially horrifying example occurs when Lestat turns struggling, pleading David into a vampire against his will. Later lampshaded by Armand, who calls it "a rape."
The Dung Ages: Armand was born into late-medieval Russia. Marius tries to introduce him to the Renaissance humanism that's flourishing during the same period in western Europe, but Armand remains one of the series' most superstitious characters.
Easy Amnesia: Armand thinks that being raped as a teenager caused him to forget not only the event, but his entire life until that point.
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Almost any dark-haired vampire will become this, but it's clearly indicated that Louis, Eleni, and Enkil qualify. Akasha takes it Up to Eleven in The Queen of the Damned.
The Eeyore: Nicki fills this role for Lestat. Explained by the fact that Nicki suffers from chronic depression that Lestat couldn't even imagine until he tasted Nicki's blood.
Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Despite the fact that he's a bling-loving, long-haired bisexual who describes himself as a "mother" in making a new vampire, Lestat "never imagined that a woman" could express thoughts like Gabrielle's; seems more disconcerted by Gabrielle's cross-dressing than by her killing people; assumes that Claudia lacks the will and cunning to defeat him; describes women as "terrifying"; rapes the waitress who tries to help him; agrees with Memnoch that the technically-sexless angels are "more male than female"; and describes the desire to conquer others as "purely male." Given that he has decades of chances to understand women as diverse as Gabrielle, Eleni, Claudia, Pandora, Akasha, and thousands of human examples, it's hard to attribute his attitude to anything but irrational prejudice.
Enfant Terrible: Claudia. Her favored method of hunting is taking advantage of her cuteness to trick people into thinking she's lost and helpless, and then ripping their throats out.
Ephebophilia: While Marius himself can't experience arousal due to the Dark Gift, he manually stimulates the adolescent Armand and surrounds himself with a troupe of boys in The Vampire Armand.
Eternal Sexual Freedom: Poignantly averted with Gabrielle's sexual frustration as a mortal woman in 18th-century France, as well as Eudoxia's backstory in ancient Alexandria.
The Vampire Armand mentions that some sex acts (implicitly male/male) are technically capital offenses in Renaissance Venice, although almost always ignored by the authorities.
Everyone Is Bi: Sort of. Vampires don't have actual sex, but the enhanced senses make them Sense Freaks to a point where rubbing against any sufficiently interestingly-textured surface makes an orgasm seem rather dull. Additionally, gender isn't an issue for romantic or sensual purposes; things become beautiful (to them) because said things are alive. So, everyone is Bi-romantic, bi-sensual and extremely hedonistic.
Evil Is Not Well Lit: The Children of Darkness don't allow themselves light and warmth (except for ceremonial bonfires) because they believe that, as servants of Satan, they don't deserve it.
Eye Scream: Akasha had Maharet's eyes cut out. Maharet's solution is to steal the eyes of her victims, pop them into her eye sockets, and let her vampire blood work its magic and allow her to see. It's mentioned that she has to, periodically, replace the eyes with fresh ones, until she takes Thorne's as punishment for disobeying a command.
Lestat gets one eye ripped out (although he gets it back) while fighting his way out of Hell in Memnoch the Devil.
Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Armand and Claudia. Claudia is repeatedly compared visually to a china doll, while Armand is often called cherubic. Both of them are deeply vicious.
The Fake Cutie: Claudia plays her adorable exterior for all it's worth while manipulating her human victims and vampire "fathers."
Forced Into Evil: Khayman rapes Maharet and Mekare pn Enkil's orders. It's implied that even worse consequences would have resulted had he refused.
Bianca's criminal relatives threaten to have her killed if she quits poisoning their marks. Marius's massacre of the Solderini clan earns her Undying Loyalty.
Foreshadowing: Nicki's father threatening to break his hands; Gabrielle longing for a vampire who will overthrow human civilization.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Lestat was an illiterate, impoverished actor when Magnus turned him into a vampire. 200-odd years later, he's one of the most dangerous creatures on Earth— and possibly Heaven and Hell, too.
Frozen Fashion Sense: The Satanists in Armand's coven wear old rags, some obviously outdated as well as rotting, when Lestat encounters them. Later, Lestat himself misses the luxurious fashions of the eighteenth century and dresses in the closest style he can get away with in late-20th-century Miami.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Humans who learn about vampires tend to go crazy; why remains unclear. It happens to Nicolas (although he already suffered from severe depression), Babette, Gretchen, and Daniel, Maharet seems to fear it could happen to Jesse before Jesse becomes a vampire herself, and Marius warns Armand that Bianca might go mad if they reveal their true nature to her.
Gone Horribly Right: Lestat wants to draw out the other vampires with his rock concert. It works!
Good Bad Girl: Gretchen, Dora, and Bianca all have premarital liaisons while being portrayed as basically good people.
Great White Hunter: David Talbot is an old Brit who keeps fondly recalling his youth, much of which was spent in the jungles of India and South America as this trope.
Gray and Grey Morality: Most of the characters have a high degree of moral ambiguity, although some (such as Louis) come across as A Lighter Shade Of Gray than the ones around them. Akasha is a likely aversion, considering that basically everyone besides herself thinks she needs to be stopped.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Claudia is an extreme subversion. This frail, doomed, golden-haired child doesn't die gracefully and accept her wings. Instead, she becomes an insatiable killer who delights in tormenting her innocent victims.
Healing Factor: Most injuries (such as a gunshot wound) heal almost instantly, with only massive physical damage causing long-term damage.
Hemo Erotic: When Claudia asks Louis what it was like to make love, he replies that it was like "the shadow of killing," which they perform by draining their victims' blood.
Hero of Another Story: During Armand's breakdown in The Vampire Lestat, Eleni proves to be the only vampire capable of imagining a new lifestyle for the coven and guides its transition from religious cult to performing troupe, but we only see a few glimpses of her talent at work.
Historical-Domain Character: None of the major ones, but we get cameos from Botticelli, Savonarola, and Marie-Antoinette, to name a few.
Hollywood Satanism:The Children of Darkness live in cemeteries, dance around bonfires, and practice human sacrifice, all in service to Satan. Other characters are quick to recognize the absurdity of their beliefs, with Marius noting that he actually predates their order, Christianity, and widespread belief in the Judeo-Christian devil.
I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Either Trope Maker or Trope Codifier. Fledglings usually wind up despising their creators. Averted by Gabrielle, who, although she finds Lestat too boring for an eternal companion, still loves him and pops up from time to time to help him out.
I Love You, Vampire Son: Frequently averted: Lestat "couldn't stand the sight" of his fledgling Nicki; Louis shows no interest in a relationship with Madeleine; Marius doesn't even try to convert Armand away from the Children of Darkness; and Armand leaves Daniel with Marius soon after Daniel's transformation.
Illegal Religion: Marius lives through the Roman prohibition against Christianity and, eventually, against paganism.
Immortality Hurts: While vampires will eventually heal from almost any injury that doesn't kill them outright, the process can take years for severe cases, and they feel as much pain as humans.
Inappropriate Hunger: Shortly after becoming a vampire, Lestat makes his way to the dungeon full of corpses, where the smell and the creep factor make him vomit blood. However, being a vampire, he quickly adjusts to the situation and starts lapping it back up off the floor.
Don't forget Lestat and Gabrielle: at one point, she actually describes him as her penis, and he describes them (post-change) as lovers.
Lestat and Gabrielle are unusually close for a mother and son, but they never have sex, so the presence of this trope is debatable.
Though it's hard to make an argument for the presence of incest when most of the characters are incapable of having sex.
Inherent in the System: Lestat's maker Magnus warns him several times that he should not drain his victims completely; he should drink enough to sate his thirst and then let them die. The reason for this doesn't become clear until Lestat actually kills his second victim and and begins feeling guilt because he felt the man die instead of just watching it.
This is misinterpreted for the Queen of the Damned film, where it is stated that any vampire who drains his or her victim completely will die.
Ironic Hell: As shown in Memnoch the Devil, people in Hell have to suffer through the bad things they inflicted on others to gain the necessary empathy for redemption.
Jerk Ass: If you asked Lestat he'd tell you it was Armand, if you asked Armand he'd tell you it was Lestat.
And don't even get Louis started...
Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Claudia wears lavish clothing and jewelry, but she can still move faster than humans can see and has little trouble dispatching them.
Kill It with Fire: One of the few ways to actually kill a vampire, although you'd better have the kerosene handy: Marius and Lestat both survive sloppy burnings, and Pandora uses a small blaze as a form of handwashing.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: The core five books (Interview with the Vampire and all those featuring Lestat in a main character capacity) are written by Lestat and distributed as works of fiction, except for the first, which was dictated by Louis and distributed as a work of fiction.
Locked into Strangeness: Vampires' skin becomes whiter, smoother, and shinier upon their transformations and as they "age," while their eyes develop an iridescence, their nails turn glassy, and slight imperfections in their features disappear. For Lestat and Gabrielle, the change also leads to thicker, paler hair. Since some vampires, e.g. Akasha and Enkil, remain dark-haired despite centuries or even millennia of vampirism, it seems that the physical effects of vampirism vary from person to person.
Losing Your Head: After Mekare decapitates Akasha, their mouth keeps snapping while various body parts crawl toward the head.
Mael endured this trope twice, as his companion reattached the head at an odd angle, leading to the necessity of re-beheading him so that the parts can reattach naturally.
Lover and Beloved: Marius and Armand had this sort of relationship during the latter's mortal years. Eudoxia and Zenobia have a similar, gender-flipped relationship, but Eudoxia is far more controlling than Marius.
Lower-Class Lout: Roger describes Terry, his late ex and Theadora's mother, this way in Memnoch the Devil. He found her gaucherie both contemptible and sexy, which is how we got Dora. Another example is Armand's fat, greasy-haired victim from The Vampire Armand.
Louis views Lestat as this in Interview, even though most series readers interpret him as the polar opposite.
Made a Slave: Armand, by a Tatar raiding group, during his adolescence.
Some fledglings exist in a state of slavery to their masters. Think about how Lestat tried to keep Claudia as a perpetual ward, or Eudoxia's hapless servants and lover.
Manipulative Bastard: Lestat in Interview, Armand throughout the first three books, and Eudoxia in Blood and Gold.
Marionette Motion: The performers in the Theatre des Vampires employ this in their stage acts.
Martyr Without a Cause: Armand and Mael both attempt self-immolation in the belief that this will aid the miracle cred of Veronica's veil. Not only is the veil already drawing massive crowds, but it's dubious, at best, that most witnesses would regard a rash of spontaneous combustions as a sign of God's love. Marius lampshades the trope by saying, "What a fool," when he hears about Mael's attempt.
More Than Mind Control: While Armand doesn't hesitate to use mind control on his underlings (or anyone else for that matter), he also uses mundane torture and fire-and-brimstone sermons to keep them in line.
My God, What Have I Done?: Lestat after he turns Nicki into a vampire, and after he slaughters hundreds of men alongside Akasha, and after he switches bodies with Raglan James, and after he turns David into a vampire against his will...
Louis's reaction to giving Madeleine the Dark Gift.
Narcissist: No threat of horrendous consequences— to himself or others— will stop Lestat from doing what he wants, although he may (or may not) feel sorry afterward.
Naughty Nuns: Gretchen wants to have one fling with a man before returning to her life of piety. Lestat obliges.
Nay-Theist: After his adventures in Memnoch, Lestat isn't sure if God and Satan are real or not, but he's sure he doesn't like either of them.
No Pronunciation Guide: Not massively, but you'll often find people confused about whether Lestat has a long or short "a". ('If they quit reading before Memnoch the Devil, where Lestat specifies that it's long.) Also, is Akasha AH-kah-shah, or uh-KA-shuh? Nicolas is almost always pronounced like the English name, including in The Musical, but the French pronunciation would be more along the lines of nee-koh-LAH.
They are not soulless. Just the opposite in fact. Their souls are so strongly bound to their bodies that they need to be almost completely destroyed to be assured of death.
No vulnerability to religious artifacts.
Stakes through the heart do not kill them, and they will be able to just pull it out.
Do not need to sleep in a grave or coffin. Anyplace free of sunlight will do.
But the books do imply that the belief that vampires need to sleep in coffins is a commonly held superstition among some groups of vampires (specifically those of the "Old World") or, in some cases, a practice based more in tradition than actual necessity.
Unaffected by garlic (although they cannot eat it, nor any other kind of food).
They have reflections.
They cannot shape shift.
Pretty much the only vulnerabilities they have in common with most depictions of vampires are fire and sunlight and if they're old/powerful enough, not even that will kill them.
Many vampires are seen to be unusually resistant to even fire and sunlight even when they do inflict harm. Both Lestat and Marius survived being burnt down to charred skeletons draped with meat and eventually recovered fully. And after converting Lestat, his creator Magnus went into an enormous bonfire and warned Lestat to scatter his ashes afterwards to ensure his death, as there was a fair chance he could eventually recover from even that.
They have heart beats (though their hearts beat considerably slower than that of a living person)
They breathe (though it's implied that this is more out of habit than actual need for oxygen)
They also need air in their lungs to speak.
Their bodies are smooth and poreless, giving them a kind of statuesque beauty but grows paler and ever more inhuman over time. Among other things, substances like water, dirt, and dust do not cling to a vampire's skin the way they would a human's and can be wiped clean the same way one would clean a mirror.
They cannot have "sex" as such. At least not the males anyway. Their phalli do not actually work anymore. Females could obviously be penetrated, but it is unstated if they could have an orgasm.
A vampire's powers come about through a combination of their own age, and the age of the vampire who created them and generally follow a particular order: The Mind Gift grants telepathy with one another and lets vampires read minds. The Fire Gift lets them set fires, from lighting candles to engulfing infernos. Then the Killing Gift can let vampires basically bludgeon their enemies from the inside out. The Spell Gift implants hypnotic suggestions. And finally, the Cloud Gift lets a vampire fly.
Out of the Inferno: A particularly powerful vampire (hinted to be Maharet) demonstrates her power to the Children of Darkness by walking through a bonfire and emerging unharmed.
Parental Abandonment: Lestat endures the vampiric equivalent, as he only knew Magnus for a couple of days before Magnus walked into the bonfire. Lestat also regards himself as having done this with regard to his difficult fledgling Nicki, making Lestat as responsible as Armand for his suicide.
Pet the Dog: Most of the vampires do this from time to time. Gabrielle and Lestat, despite their divergent interests, do show considerable loyalty to one another even after their transformations; Louis does his best to care for his "daughter" Claudia; Marius spent part of the fifteenth century sheltering abused boys; and, at one point, Lestat adopts an actual dog (which he does in fact pet). Even Armand went out of his way to save Bianca from becoming Marius's unfortunate lesson in vampire morality.
Physical God: Akasha imagines herself to be one as soon as she becomes a vampire at the edge of prehistory. This attitude only increases along with her powers as thousands of years go by. In The Queen of the Damned, the ancient vampire Azim has done this literally. He has a temple in the Himalayas where human pilgrims come to commit ritual suicide by offering themselves to him. His worshipers are quite excited when another "goddess", Pandora, stops by for a visit and are thrilled to offer themselves to her as well.
Plot Threads: Unlike most of the books, The Queen of the Damned includes multiple PO Vs filtered through Lestat's, which results in a lot of these, including not only Akasha's attempt to conquer the world, but also Marius's entrapment in ice; Daniel's self-destruction; Armand's adjustment to the modern world; the Akasha/Lestat, Lestat/Louis, Armand/Daniel, and Marius/Pandora romances; Mekare's emergence from seclusion; the origins of Egyptian mummification; and Baby Jenks's whole life story.
The Pornomancer: With them possible exception of Gabrielle, everyone who meets Armand wants to either bang him or suck his blood. At least until they get to know him.
All vampires possess at least some degree of Telepathy. Mind over Matter is the basic animating force of vampires, accounting for their superhuman strength and speed, which often seem to violate normal laws of physics. The older and more powerful ones also have various additional abilities, including telekinesis, pyrokinesis and the ability to kill people telekinetically. They can also fly and are capable of Astral Projection.
In the earlier books, it could be called Rage Against the Fact That There is No Heaven. The absence of God or underlying moral justice in the universe is a source of a lot of the characters' angst.
Rape as Drama: A very unusual example in The Tale of the Body Thief, which follows the perpetrator's perspective. Armand also states that he was raped as an enslaved human, but that actually caused less direct drama than most of the other things that happened to him.
Really Gets Around: Lestat's father was frequently assailed by men demanding recompense in the event that Lestat knocked up their daughters. The prodigal son also slept with multiple prostitutes and at least one man (although that was in a serious relationship) before he switched to giving the vampiric kiss instead.
Armand spent days on end in brothels, at Marius's urging, during his years in Venice. He also received one-sided pleasure from Marius; had casual sex with his fellow apprentices; and pursued affairs with Bianca Solderini and, unfortunately, Lord Harlech before his transformation at seventeen.
Rebuilt Pedestal: It takes over a century, but Louis finally forgives Lestat for his failures as a mentor/lover/father figure.
Redemption Equals Death: Armand tries and fails to fulfill this trope in The Vampire Armand. Lestat tries at the beginning of Memnoch the Devil but it doesn't quite work.
Religion of Evil: The Children of Darkness believe that they serve God by serving Satan by living comfortless lives and torturing/killing innocents. This makes about as much sense to Lestat as it does to the reader.
Religious Horror: Subverted throughout the first three books: crosses don't frighten vampires, Lestat actually hunts in a church, and Marius says that, even if God and Satan exist, "[T]hey have little if anything to do with us." However, Memnoch the Devil is full of this. Whether or not the reader should take Lestat's adventures in Memnoch remains unclear.
Reluctant Warrior: Marius is described as this. He just wants to be a scholar but he went to war when he was a human (although this would have been normal in Ancient Rome).
Replacement Goldfish: Lestat says he turned Louis into a vampire in part because of how much Louis resembled Nicolas.
The Renfield: As Daniel discovers, this is what you become when you devote your life to tracking down and befriending a vampire like Armand.
Serial-Killer Killer: Lestat thinks serial killers make for fine hunting, as shown in The Tale of the Body Thief. Played with in that instance, since he's so disappointed by his catch that he winds up draining the serial killer's intended victim as consolation.
Sex Slave: Marius rescued Andrei/Amadeo/Armand from captivity in a brothel.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Zig-zagged with Armand. When his looks get him kidnapped, raped, sent hundreds of miles from home, and locked in a brothel cellar to die, it looks like this trope. However, after Marius rescues him, Armand enjoys his good looks, seducing men and women and decking himself out with luxurious clothes. Then Lord Harlech attacks him, the Satanists brainwash him, and we're back to this trope.
Another murky example is Lestat himself: as he points out, Magnus picked him, turning him against his will, in part for his physical beauty. Lestat waffles on just how unfortunate this was, but eventually decides that, all things considered, being a vampire beats beats being human.
The Speechless: Mekare, due to the fact that Akasha had her tongue ripped out.
Stage Name: As an actor, Lestat used the surname "de Valois," "which actually meant nothing," in preference to his real, arisocratic surname, de Lioncourt.
Stalker with a Crush: Lestat for Louis and later David. Armand and Daniel take turns being this to each other.
Starcrossed Lovers : Marius and Pandora. Poor Marius in general has the worst luck in that department, all of his greatest loves are taken away from him at some point. Usually by Santino.
Starving Artist: Lestat and Nicki, after moving to Paris to perform. Later, Lestat becomes the patron and maker of a composer who can't afford paper.
Stepford Smiler: Armand excels at seeming gentle and friendly, especially to his victims.
Stronger with Age: The psychic force that animates the vampires is gradually changing and adapting their bodies to make them more suitable vessels for its energy. Thus their powers only grow with the passage of time, even if they go through periods of hibernation, starvation or recovery from especially grievous injuries. The process can also be accelerated by drinking blood from older vampires. Akasha increases Lestat's powers by whole orders of magnitude by letting him drink large amounts of her blood.
Too Dumb to Live: Lestat receives little sympathy from other vampires when his Body Swap goes wrong in The Tale of the Body Thief, probably because they knew and told him it was a bad idea from the get-go. Daniel's determination to find Armand qualifies, too.
Toxic Friend Influence: Claudia goads Louis, who prefers to make his kills as quick and painless as possible, into cruelly teasing human victims for her enjoyment.
Trapped In Villainy: Many vampires, especially Louis, regard their need for human blood as this.
The Twink: Both Armand and Lestat sometimes play up their Pretty Boy looks to appeal to other men.
Unconventional Smoothie: One of Armand's fascinations while acquainting himself with the twentieth century is putting strange combinations of things in blenders, mostly sorted by colour.
Undead Tax Exemption: Material possession minded vampires employ elaborate systems of lawyers, front companies and multinational bank accounts to manage their assets. They actually find this even easier in the modern era, as people increasingly believe that as long as there is a record of something then it must be legitimate. Where necessary they employ telepathy to aid in maintaining their secrecy. Lestat actually selects his first attorney at least in part because he finds the man's mind very easy to read and is thus always able to come up with the right explanations for anything questionable.
Unfortunate Name: Santino reasonably decides that "Amadeo" ("one who loves God") is a poor name for a Satanist and changes it to Armand.
Unreliable Narrator: The Lestat that appeared in Interview with the Vampire was not merely the antagonist; he was a stupid, cruel and petty villain. The (vastly different) Lestat of the later books claims he was spitefully misrepresented by Louis.
Although it can be debated whether Vampire Chronicles fits this trope at all, as we're not talking about one narrator who is inconsistent, we're talking about two completely different narrators within the series (not counting the multiple points of view of The Queen of the Damned). Of course a depiction of Lestat from the perspective of Louis (who resents him) is going to be more harsh and critical, and a depiction of Lestat from his own point of view is going to be more forgiving. No one sees themselves as being "stupid, cruel and petty." Lestat knows and fully understands the motivations behind his own action and Louis doesn't, which would account for any seeming inconsistencies in Lestat's characterization.
The simplest explanation is that Lestat went through a lot of personal change as the series progressed, which explains why he became a very different character in the later books than he was in the early ones (toward the end he even starts to believe in God.)
It is worth noting that Louis is self-absorbed to the point where, unlike most vampires, he almost never seems to exhibit any significant telepathic ability. Thus his point of view is entirely his own. Lestat, in contrast, makes extensive use of telepathy, particularly as his powers grow, and many of the observations in the stories he narrates came directly from the thoughts and memories of other characters. Thus he is to some extent an omniscient narrator.
Vampires Are Rich: Or at least, they can be if they choose. Being immortal, telepathic and willing to kill people makes the accumulation of wealth fairly easy. Some vampires do eschew money or property. But over time the older ones in particular just find it convenient to be rich, if only because they develop a taste for lavish lifestyles. Plus, one year's regular consumer product can be a priceless antique a century later.
Vampires Own Night Clubs: Well, bars— there's an international chain that provides them with a place to meet each other, although most clients are oblivious human Goths."
Villain Has a Point: Marius actually concedes Akasha's point that she could achieve world peace by killing 99% of human males (although he doesn't believe that the ends justify the means). A little odd when you consider that, even as a human, Akasha could have served as Exhibit A for female-induced destruction.
Villainous Breakdown: Armand can't cope when Lestat and Gabrielle disabuse him of his Satanic delusions and leave him in Paris.
Villain Protagonist: The main characters are all vicious murderers, but it's OK because they feel bad about it.
Debatable: Many of the main characters do not kill humans, but instead survive by the "little drink" (taking small amounts of blood from several humans instead of completely draining one) or at least only kill people who seem to deserve it (murderers rapists etc.) and a vampire who kills without discretion is usually depicted as being (at least somewhat) worse than one who is selective about who he kills.
This is usually chalked up to the fact that a vampires mind simply doesn't work the way a humans mind works and the fact that, if you look at it subjectively, humans really are below vampires on the food chain. Lestat himself alternates between idealistic and pragmatic on the matter throughout the books.
They don't always feel bad about it, in fact some of them never do.
Armand in particular exhibits little guilt over killing humans, although he is not always cruel to the victim when he does it. Gabrielle flat-out states "I will be a goddess to those I slay." when she decides to venture into central Africa (then largely unexplored by Europeans).
Marius encourages ethical feeding habits, but is not above a killing when it is convenient.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Three times in The Vampire Lestat, always accompanied by a surprising dose of Purple Prose. Since all the vomit in question is pure blood, it's different from the trope's norm... but it's still pretty freaky, even to Lestat himself, when he realizes he's lapping up his own vomit from the floor of Magnus's corpse-filled dungeon.
We Used to Be Friends: Lestat's relationships tend to turn into this trope, as do maker/fledgling relationships in general.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Akasha wants to create a peaceful world by killing almost all males. On a lesser scale, Mael and his fellow Druids fit this trope, as they kidnap Marius to replace the god of the grove.
Wholesome Crossdresser: Bianca sneaks around Venice dressed as a boy to avoid early-modern restrictions on women. She may have done some unsavory things in the past, but the other characters view this particular quirk as harmless, not to mention fairly common for human women.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: The whole corner stone of the series, at least until it Jumped the Shark (though when exactly this happened is debatable) is that eternal life really isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Armand grew up around crazy religious ascetics, got sold into slavery, lost everyone he cared about twice, and found out that Santino's coven had tricked him into murdering his last friend. He winds up committing his own list of atrocities, including: stuffing his coven's walls with starving vampires; kidnapping and tortutung Nicki just for knowing Lestat; stitching together the body parts of different living people out of curiosity; having two vampires executed to get Louis for himself; and stalking Daniel Molloy until the latter turns into a paranoid, homeless alcoholic.
Would Hurt a Child: Lestat kills a child for its blood shortly after becoming a vampire; Louis, while starving, drinks from the human Claudia;Lord Harlech kills two children in his pursuit of Armand; and Akasha's army of brainwashed women kills male children alongside the grown men.
Yaoi Fangirl: Bianca fantasizes about sharing her bed with Marius and Armand together.
Yaoi Guys: Lestat and Louis, Armand and Louis, Lestat and Nicki, Armand and Marius (and HOW!) , and so on...
The love vampires feel for each other is usually just depicted as a generically romantic sort of love, not distinctly sexual, though Rice's tendency to use somewhat sexually suggestive language to convey the intimacy of certain moments doesn't help.
You Can't Fight Fate: In The Vampire Lestat, Lestat asks,"Do you think we find our destiny somehow, no matter what happens?"
Your Vampires Suck: Aimed at Dracula in the series, the series itself is probably the second most common after Dracula to receive this treatment in other works.
Though this didn't seem like genuine criticism on the authors part, but more as a means of illustrating how her vampires are different than Bram Stokers Dracula (who is most commonly regarded as the "traditional" model of a vampire.)