The original member of a line of monsters and said line's progenitor. Thus the oldest, and, often, the strongest
of the line. Likely to be the top Monster Lord
. In some settings it is possible that killing him would cause all of his line to be exterminated
(or, if each of those monsters Was Once a Man
, return them to normal). It is common for the Monster Progenitor not to have the Kryptonite Factor
or Weaksauce Weakness
of his descendants.
Just how the Monster Progenitor came to be can vary. Maybe he has always been, or was created by god. Maybe he Was Once a Man
and was cursed or changed. Similarly, how he reproduces can vary. Maybe he does it the old fashioned way, or via The Virus
, for which he is Patient Zero
is very often made into the Monster Progenitor of vampires.
Related to Mother of a Thousand Young
. Unlike her, however, the monster progenitor always
is the same species as his descendants. He may be tougher, but he shares many of the same basic traits, while Mother of a Thousand Young
may have nothing
in common with her descendants.
The biological equivalent of Super Prototype
. Related to Hive Queen
, Mother of a Thousand Young
and Stronger with Age
. Also known as First Of Its Kind
, making it the exact opposite of Last of His Kind
. If his death destroys his children, he may be the eponymous keystone in a Keystone Army
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Dracula as Original Vampire
- The original Dracula is this, of course. It's known he's the original vampire of his line of vampire, but not if he is the first ever vampire.
- Dracula in Blade Trinity is said to be the ancestor of all vampires. Of course, he's also the strongest. Blade's Dracula (AKA Drake) is not only the strongest but is also immune to any vampire weakness and can make himself look like anyone.
- Ditto for Dracula in Van Helsing.
- Ditto again for Alucard from Hellsing, who is said to be the first vampire.
- Jared Nomak, the progenitor of the Reaper strain in Blade II, is also immune to all but sunlight. His heart is protected by a hard shell, except for under the armpits. Unlike his progeny, who are all ravenous monsters who die if they don't feed for 36 hours, he is smart and calculating.
- In Dracula 2000, he's not only the first, but he's also Judas Iscariot.
- Lucy from Elfen Lied is the only fertile Diclonius, and spreads the mutation to the gametes of any human she touches with her vectors.
- Kuran Kaname from Vampire Knight may not be the original progenitor of the race, but he was one of the original purebloods, exerted a huge influence during his lifetime, and founded the royal line of purebloods who kept track of the species. Plus, he's totally badass in his current incarnation.
- The Idea of Evil is the progenitor of all demons — including the five members of the Godhand whose job it is to create new Apostles — in Berserk.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, it is implied that Evangeline may be one of these. She's been around for centuries, has none of the classic weaknesses of vampires, was not bitten by another vampire, but transformed in an experiment by the Lifemaker, is capable of transforming people into her type of vampire, and has been identified as being of a specific race of vampire.
- Fullmetal Alchemist has Homunculus Father. The name speaks for itself.
- In the manga version of Soul Eater, we eventually find out that Excalibur is the first demon weapon, upon which all others were based. It's still not clear where he came from in the first place, though.
- Hellblazer had the King of The Vampires, who was the first vampire and the one from whom all others descend.
- In the Wolverine Story Arc "Old Man Logan" Bruce Banner is the progenitor of the Hulk Gang.
- And in the mainstream verse, all Gamma mutates like the Hulk were descended from one common ancestor who was the first person born with the specific genetic quirk that grants people superpowers when exposed to gamma radiation instead of death by radiation sickness.
- The Marvel Universe has quite a few of these: Varnae is the first vampire, created by dark magic; various demons like Chthon and Set are the progenitors of monstrous races like the N'Garai and the Serpent Men; and the demonic villainess Lilith, who resembles her folkloric namesake in having a legion of supernaturally-powerful children called the Lillin.
- In The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice, Judas was the first vampire, but Dracula is not him. In fact, Dracula was crippled for centuries after drinking plagued blood.
- In Underworld, William Corvinus is the Progenitor of all Lycans. Markus Corvinus, his brother, is the progenitor of all Vampires. Unlike other Lycans, William cannot change back to a human. Markus, was unremarkable until he was accidentally turned into a hybrid.
- Alexander Corvinus is the progenitor of all immortals, but he chooses to live like a normal human and displays no power outside of immortality, which gets him chewed out by Selene.
- Drinking his blood does give Selene enhanced strength, endurance, and resistance to sunlight.
- Unlike other Lycans, William is an albino and has the most wolfish appearance. He can also spread the Lycan virus with his claws. This strain of the virus is so potent it can even turn the dead.
- At the end of Gojira, one of the main heroes suspects that Godzilla may be just the first of his kind. Cue the sequel, Godzilla Raids Again, and it's revealed that he's right as another Godzilla shows up.
- The film The Howling 2 features the queen and original werewolf Stirba.
- In The Faculty Marybeth is the alien queen. Killing the queen kills all of her alien offspring, freeing the hosts. This doesn't free the host of any injuries he might have received while infected, to one victim's dismay.
- In Slither the alien that takes over Grant Grant acts as this, creating himself a "brood queen" which spawns the parasites that give the movie its title. These infect people, turning them into ravenous zombies. Some of them seek to merge with Grant, while others produce more parasites. Killing Grant ends the infection.
- In Dagon it is revealed that all the fish-monsters in Imboca are either children or followers of Dagon.
- It's implied in The Lair of the White Worm that the eponymous worm spawned a race of snake-like vampires. It's also possible that the film's antagonist was one of the first or possibly the first.
- In John Carpenter's Vampires, Valek is the first vampire, accidentally created during a botched exorcism. He is the strongest, as the only thing that can hurt him is sunlight. He lacks every other vampire weakness. His goal in the movie is to complete the exorcism in order to become truly immortal. This would also allow him to make other vampires without weaknesses.
- In Dracula 2000, the eponymous vampire turns out to be Judas Iscariot and progenitor to all vampires. He is nearly impossible to kill (the only way is to recreate the conditions of his origin) and is able to turn any other vampire back into a human.
- In Glen Cook's The Black Company series, The Dominator is the original creator of the northern empire, and the one who Took all of the Ten Who Were Taken.
- The creature under Old Father Tree is the cause of the uncounted number of strange creatures on the Plain of Fear, or at least the change storms that caused them. HE also refers to the menhirs as his people.
- In Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, Akasha is the first Vampire, and the progenitor of all of them. She became a vampire when a demon entered her body and fused with her flesh.
- She is the strongest, especially after draining her husband and second vampire Enkil. She can fly, hypnotize hundreds of humans at a time, incinerate almost any vampire she sees, and track any of her progeny, which she uses to kill off the majority of the world's vampires.
- Additionally, any damage she sustains is mirrored by all other vampires to varying degrees. For example, when a vampire set her living statue out into the sun, many older vampires had their flesh seared, while the younger ones simply burst into flames. When Akasha is finally killed by decapitation, every vampire falls on the floor, feeling as if their heads were being removed. By eating Akasha's heart and brain, Mekare (the fourth vampire) becomes the host of the spirit Amel and the new queen.
- The Biblical murderer Cain is a Monster Progenitor by implication in the epic poem Beowulf, as both Grendel and his mother are said to be his descendants. Grendel's mother is a more direct example in the same work.
- Ugoliant, progenitor of the giant spiders in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings's Shelob, from The Silmarillion.
- The Mother of All Darkness from the Anita Blake series is the ancient progenitor of vampires and possibly werecreatures. Given the series has featured pre-cromagnon vampires, that makes her pretty old.
- Yaksha in The Last Vampire. Was once a stillborn infant in 3000 BC, but Demonic Possession revived him as the first vampire.
- In The Dresden Files, The Red King is the Red Court Vampire from whom all other Red Court Vampires came. This turns out to be a major weakness in Changes when a bloodline curse that was intended by the Red King to kill all members of a family resulted in the death of every single Red Court Vampire when it was turned back upon the Red Court.
- According to Paradise Lost, while many of the demons are actual examples of Fallen Angels, others are the spawn of Lucifer/Satan and his daughter Sin, making them Monster Progenitors.
Live Action Television
- Supernatural's season 6 involves the Winchesters tracking down Monster Progenitors, also referred to as Alphas. Alphas do not typically have the weaknesses of their children, and may share some telepathic connections to them. The respective Alphas are in turn topped by their progenitor Eve, the Mother of All Monsters.
- In turn, it was implied in Season 7 that Eve herself descended from the Leviathans, which were the first beasts created by God, even before angels and humans.
- It was also previously established that Lilith was the first demon, being a human soul that Lucifer personally twisted as an act of defiance against God.
- The premise of Werewolf was a man hunting down the werewolf who bit him to kill him and end his curse.
- Mr Snow from Being Human is said to be ultimately the progenitor of every other vampire in the show. He may even be one of the first vampires ever, but this is unlikely since the first vampires are said to have been a pair of Ancient Chinese brothers who made a Deal with the Devil, and Mr Snow is Caucasian-looking and ginger.
- The six Originals from The Vampire Diaries. They were the first vampires ever created by a witch, and all vampires in existence come from one of their bloodlines. Like all other vampires, they cannot enter the home of a human without an invitation, and vervain is still toxic to them and can block their compulsion. They have the same weaknesses as other vampires, but to a lesser degree: sunlight will burn but not kill them, and a wooden stake to the heart will only kill them temporarily. They are far more powerful than even the oldest non-Originals, have the ability to compel other vampires, and are practically impossible to kill. Unlike other vampires, they can be forced into a state of death-like hibernation with a special dagger dipped in the ash from a particular tree, and can only truly be killed by a stake carved from that same white oak tree. Additionally, when an Original is killed, all vampires descended from that Original's bloodline spontaneously die off within a few hours.
Mythology And Religion
- Proving that this trope is Older Than Dirt, Tiamat, the goddess of chaos and salt water in Mesopotamian Mythology, got revenge for the murder of her husband by spawning hundreds of monsters to kill everything in sight.
- Echidna in Classical Mythology is also called the Mother of All Monsters, and for good reason; her children include Cerberus, Orthrus, the Lernaean Hydra, the Chimera, and according to some authors even the Sphinx.
- Loki in Norse Mythology is the father or mother of several of the monstrous creatures in the setting.
- The most terrifying of his offspring (like, those fated to cause the apocalypse) were all courtesy of his giantess consort Angrboda ("she who brings grief"), who probably also qualifies.
- Lilith, Adam's first wife in Jewish mysticism, who bred with demons and spirits of the earth and air and thus birthed the lilim, a race of half-demon, half-humans.
- As opposed to Dracula, Vampire: The Masquerade pegs Cain(e) as the First Vampire, cursed by God for his slaying of Abel. His line was then split down into three childer (destroyed before the Flood), and thirteen childer unto them, whose ranks and divisions make up the thirteen clans of vampires who exist in the modern nights.
- Each Promethean Lineage (think Frankenstein's Monster) has at least one Progenitor, created by a human demiurge. Each Progenitor can create more of their kind by using human corpses in a ritual specific to the Lineage.
- In the Ravenloft boxed set Castles Forlorn, it's suggested that Tristan apBlanc may be this trope for the race of living monstrous humanoids called "vampyres", by way of his half-human daughter. Elsewhere in the Core, Doctor Heinfroth is the progenitor of the cerebral vampire strain of undead.
- The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition has the demon known as Pale Night. Her title is "The Mother of Demons", and while it is uncertain she actually fits the Trope, it is stated in several other sources that she is a mother to something, although they disagree on what. Many demon lords claim they are her sons, with another source claiming "she is the mother of several tanaríri lords, including Grazízt, Lupercio, and Vucarik of Chains." The Black Scrolls of Ahm claim she is the mother of nothing less than the tanaríri race (the tanar'ri are by far the most common types of demons). Yet another source says she is not a mother of demons, but the mother of several monstrous races on the material plane. Pale Night will not confirm or deny any of this (and few are insane enough to try asking her, given what happens to most who are caught trespassing on her property.)
- In Magic: The Gathering, Baron Sengir is the progenitor of the Sengir Vampires.
- Genestealer Broodlords/Patriarchs in the Warhammer40000 universe. Granted, an individual broodlord/patriarch is usually pretty "young", often "only" a hundred years old, but the cult he spawns certainly revere him as this trope.
- The Emperor Ing in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Scan logs will tell you that it "is the strongest Ing in the horde, the alpha and the omega," and that "like its bretheren, the Emperor Ing is a metamorph."
- Raziels vampiric brethren in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver all create fledgling vampires that share certain traits with their progenitors. Raziel and his brothers were themselves turned into vampires by Kain.
- In the Nasuverse, Crimson Moon can be considered the progenitor of True Ancestors and through them, of all vampires. While he didn't exactly spawn them, Gaia used him as a template for her purported defenders against humanity, which didn't go well, since all of them inherited Crimson Moon's Blood Lust, as well.
- The Dragon Age setting had the Tevinter Magisters who entered and subsequently corrupted the Golden City of The Maker. This, in turn, has corrupted them into the first Darkspawn, who then spread this corruption as a Mystical Plague to start the First Blight. At least one of these Magisters, Corypheus, is still alive and more or less sane a thousand years later, as evidenced by the Dragon Age II DLC.
- In DragonBallOnline, Majin Buu begets an entire race of Majin creatures, which is one of the playable races in the games.
- In Mass Effect 3, Krogan legend states that Kalros is this to the Thresher Maw species. Probably an exaggeration, but Kalros is by far the largest and most dangerous Thresher Maw in existence and proves perfectly capable of taking down a Destroyer-class Reaper single-handed.
: When the krogan
name a Thresher Maw, you know you're in trouble. They don't think anyone is ever
going to kill it.
- Also Harbinger, the oldest and largest Reaper.
- The Elder Scrolls lore tells of a woman named Lamae Beolfag, chronicled in the book "Opusculus Lamae Bal". Created through a traumatic rape by Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Enslavement, Lamae became the first recorded vampire dubbed as "Blood Mother". It is believed that all Vampires descend from her, upsetting the balance of death and rebirth normally administered by the Aedric God Arkay.
- Confirmed in Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC. We are also shown the Volkihar Clan of eastern Skyrim, who are unlike their Cyrodilic cousins are Vampire Lords and owe their unique and more powerful form due to being gifted with vampirism directly from Molag Bal himself. They likewise share several traits of Molag Bal, such as voluntary shapeshifting, being capable of enslaving the minds of others and being capable of raising undead thralls. Their Vampire Lord form also bears a resemblance to Molag Bal's Daedric servant race, the Winged Twilights.
- Subverted in Guild Wars 2 in that the Pale Tree is the Progenitor of the entire Sylvari Race (or at least all the Sylvari that appear in the game except one), however the Sylvari are the exact opposite of a monster race. In fact they are one of the playable races of the game.
- Played Straight however with the Elder Dragons who are the progenitor's of various types of monsters, including but not limited to Dragonbrand, Destroyers, the Risen (Undead), and various other monstrosities.
- Alex Mercer of Prototype. Created by accident when the dead body of a human was infected with the most powerful mutagenic virus ever designed, he began the game as a Humanoid Abomination, was well on his way to Eldritch levels by the end, and was creating more of his kind by the second. Even the title of the game refers to the rarely used definition of the word Prototype, meaning the first of a new species.
- The ancient Demonking Demise/The Person of the End/The Tyrannical Being from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the origin of all demons in the Zelda Series.
- Futurama features the original Were-car, Project Satan, who is the origin of the curse of all Were-cars.
- Kids Next Door had an episode where Numbah 5's teacher, Miss Thomson, was the Queen were-dog responsible for turning her student into were-dogs, including Numbah 5's rival, who, as a were-poodle, ate her homework in a previous episode. Unlike the other were-dogs the queen were-dog was able to eat Numbah 4's awful homework without becoming sick.