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Why Are There So Many Confederate Vampires?

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In the late 2000s and 2010s, the three major vampire series of the time: True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Twilight—all featured male vampire characters who were members of the Confederacy. Why?

Source : Why Are There So Many Confederate Vampires? | Nebula


The video starts with a quick history of the US Civil War, which is super helpful for non-US people.

Princess Weekes explains how the authors of True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and Twilight play into the Lost Cause narrative. This narrative has 3 hypotheses:

  1. The Confederate fight was heroic
  2. Enslaved people were happy
  3. Slavery was not the root cause of the war

The media

Twilight

Jasper doesn’t mention any political motivations and the only relevant part of this backstory is that he fought in a war. In that case, why not have him in the Union? It really wouldn’t have changed anything to the story, and it wasn’t that uncommon for Southerners to fight with the Union uniform.

But the Confederate soldier is romantic, an idea of the « noble person who just wanted to defend their home » and died in the process.

True Blood

When Tara asks Bill Compton if he owned slaves, he responds with a quirky, provocative list of his family’s slaves. Sookie blames Tara for being inappropriate and aggressive because she asked if he owned slaves, as if she’s the one who’s most in the wrong here.

When Bill gets involved in politics, he’s introduced as a Lost Cause person, literally by « someone who fought hard for his home » by Sookie’s grandmother.

(Interestingly, in the novels, the Stackhouses are the ex-slaveowners and Tara is a white character.)

The Vampire Diaries

The Salvatores are made from being noble during the Italian Renaissance to high-class people in Virginia. It’s said several times that Damon enrolled in the Confederacy to « make his father proud » and it’s heavily implied that the Salvatores are slaveowners themselves.

There’s again more Lost Cause propaganda: a young confederate soldier tells Damon « they’re just regular fellas who don’t believe in the cause, like me, like you » when they’re sent to capture deserters. Of course, it’s always « the cause », never « slavery » – that would make Damon unlikeable!

How did we get here?

Anne Rice’s character was also a slaveowner, and by defining the genre she might have defined this as well. Her character dehumanizes slaves, because he’s not a human himself; it’s very likely that she wrote this to make him unlikeable and to show how little empathy he has, but on the way, she also ended up dehumanizing them since the book is written from his perspective.

This is not just a problem of the three shows we saw about. The issue is how the Lost Cause propaganda is infused into all US media without any critical thinking, because it’s romantic and heroic. We’ve normalized confederate soldiers being heroes in fiction, and that’s just an answer of them being heroes in the street, with confederate statues or people marrying on plantations.

Princess Weekes ends the video saying that she doesn’t believe there’s anything deliberate about that; it’s just a sad testament on how we see the Civil War today.

 

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