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. Dracula is very often made into the Monster Progenitor of all vampires, as is Cain. 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 Insect 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 the 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 vampire ever.
- 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.
- Dracula isn't the first vampire in the Marvel Universe, but he is the first vampire's chosen successor and the current leader of vampire-kind. His predecessor Varnae committed Suicide by Sunlight after growing weary of his unending mockery of life.
Anime and Manga
- 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.
- In Berserk, 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 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 the homunculus Father. The name speaks for itself.
- He was created as a homunculus some time before the start of the series, but he is responsible for the creation of the other homunculi.
- 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.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has Adam, the first Angel. Lilith, the second Angel, is the progenitor of the human race, which is collectively the 18th Angel Lilin.
- The Beast Titan from Attack on Titan has the ability to turn humans into Titans through some unknown means.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- The xenomorphs of the Alien series have a queen as the center of their hive. Though normally stationary, she is the biggest, strongest, and smartest member of her species.
- In Glen Cook's 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.
- Ungoliant, progenitor of the giant spiders in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings's Shelob, from The Silmarillion. This also applies with Draugluin, the first of werewolves, and Glaurung, the first of dragons.
- 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-Cro-Magnon 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 are descended. 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 Harry's 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.
- In Hogfather The Bogeyman was the original personification of primitive man's terror at the darkness and what hid within it. After they mastered fire other bogeymen were born, lurking in the shadows cast by fire but never knowing the primordial darkness that spawned their ancestor.
- Season 6 involves the Winchesters tracking down Monster Progenitors, known as "Alphas". Alphas do not typically have the weaknesses of their children, and may share some telepathic connection to them. The respective Alphas are in turn topped by their progenitor Eve, the Mother of All Monsters. It was in turn implied in Season 7 that Eve is herself descended from the Leviathans, which were the first beasts created by God, even before angels.
- 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.
- Doctor Who:
- Pictured above is Davros, creator of the Daleks. He isn't a Dalek himself, but with his Dalek-esque life support machine and Omnicidal Maniac tendencies, he's halfway there.
- We also have General Sontar (of whom the Sontarans are all clones), Jamie (Patient Zero of the "Empty Child" gas-mask zombie plague), and The Master (founder of the "Master Race"). The last surviving Racnoss tried to become this and recreate her species, but the Doctor killed all her babies.
- The Wirrn in "The Ark In Space" have a very complicated life cycle and figuring out how it works from the limited evidence is crucial to the Doctor's plan to stop them.The monster progenitor is a Queen who travels through space to find a suitable host. Once she finds one, she lays her eggs inside it, and the larva eventually hatches, consumes the host and goes on the move. Through consuming the host, the larva gains its knowledge and some elements of its personality, and it then goes on the move to find further hosts to transform into Wirrn by covering them in slime, causing the resultant creature to have the knowledge of the original host as well as of the further host. As the life cycle continues a "swarm leader" with a huge amount of knowledge is created and is capable of controlling other Wirrn.
- The progenitor of all vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the Old One Maloker. He and his kind used to rule the earth, but when early humans started rising up against them he decided he needed an army to fight them with, thus siring the first vampires.
Mythology And Religion
- Lilith, Adam's first wife in Jewish mysticism, 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. The rules for fighting Cain, in their entirety, are "You lose."
- 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.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 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.)
- Also from Dungeons and Dragons, there is the deity Io, The Ninefold Dragon. He's the progenitor of all Dragonkind (and in some myths: the creator of the entire D&D multiverse), and the father of Bahamut and Tiamat.
- In Magic: The Gathering, Baron Sengir is the progenitor of the Sengir Vampires.
- Genestealer Broodlords/Patriarchs in the Warhammer 40,000 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.
- Warhammer Fantasy:
- Much like Dracula is the progenitor of all vampires in various fiction, the various Vampire clans in Vampire Counts are named after their progenitor (or their nickname, such as the case of Abhorash the Blood Dragon). The clans of vampires were in turn created by Nagash, the First Necromancer and the "creator" of both undead factions and recently became the patron god of the undead.
- In this setting and in 40k, it's implied that the Chaos Gods can create their Daemons as aspects of themselves, tearing a bit of essence from their body which subsequently gains sentience. The Chaos Gods are also implied to simply be the biggest, oldest and most powerful Daemon of their kind, but the gap between them and their strongest lieutenant is so wide that no one, daemon or mortal, can ever challenge them for their titles (one tried to challenge Khorne, and was subsequently tossed so far into the sky that he flew for 9 days straight).
- 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 brethren, the Emperor Ing is a metamorph."
- Raziel's 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, 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 alongside an unfortunate quirk of Gaian elementals: going insane when they drink blood. It's easy to see how this went badly.
- 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 Dragon Ball Online, 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. This is probably just myth, 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.
Garrus: When the krogan name a Thresher Maw, you know you're in trouble. They don't think anyone is ever going to kill it.
- 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 "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 progenitors 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.
- This seems to be a common feature among demons, since Batreaux from the same game also seems to summon monsters with his presence. During nighttime in Skyloft, Keese, Chuchus appear and the Remlits turn feral. Once Batreaux becomes a human, the monsters stop appearing and the Remlits remain tame at night.
- Of Orcs And Men has Styx, an Orc deformed by abuse of magic, as the progenitor to the goblin race—hence why he's the only intelligent goblin around. The prequel Styx: Master of Shadows shows that goblins are essentially just inferior clones created by Styx that he spawns for various purposes.
- Wander in Shadow of the Colossus is the progenitor of the horned boys and, by extension, shadow children in Ico.
- Futurama features the original Were-car, Project Satan, who is the origin of the curse of all Were-cars.
- Codename: 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. However, as soon as her cursed necklace was taken off, she and all the rest returned to normal humans.
- In one episode of Thundarr the Barbarian the heroes ran into a conflict between an evil wizard and a pack of werewolves. The leader of the werewolves had turned innocent humans into his pack and he wanted to add the wizard to his ranks. The day is saved when the heroes discover a magical pool of water that can undo lycanthropy. All of the werewolf leader's victims are restored to normal after being bathed in the pool. When the werewolf leader is bathed in it, he turns into...a wolf. Ariel realizes that he was the original werewolf. He was never human in the first place.