- “I'm sure you've heard the stories. The tales. The legends. Do try to contain your fear. Would be a shame if terror dulled this extraordinary event. After all, it's not every day you meet... Dracula.”
Count Dracula was a famous and powerful vampire. Possessing amazing abilities uncommon to vampires, he sold his story and became a huge celebrity in both demon and human society, but was considered by many to be a myth. Both enemy and ally to the Scooby Gang, Dracula maintained a rivalry with the Slayer, Buffy Summers, and an unusual friendship with Xander Harris. His celebrity status was such that the Scoobies were all starstruck to meet him, and flattered that he had to confront them.
Rise to Fame
- “I'll tell you what. That glory hound's done more harm to vampires than any Slayer. His story gets out and suddenly everybody knows how to kill us.”
- ―Spike about Dracula[src]
Dracula claimed to have killed more people than God's plagues combined before he was ever a vampire, indicating that he was likely the historical Vlad Tepes. At some point in his life, Dracula was associated with gypsies, from whom he learned his unusual supernatural abilities. During the 14th century, he met and "hung out" with Anyanka, a vengeance demon and Patron Saint of Scorned Women. Anyanka had cursed a man by making him incredibly obese and Dracula complimented her by saying that the man was doomed forever. In the 19th century, Dracula's story was published in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, which caused concern amongst the vampire community, who labeled him a sell-out for making their vulnerabilities public knowledge to humans. He also formed a rivalry with the vampire, Spike, at least partially over a debt of eleven pounds, though Spike later claimed that Dracula "forgot all about his foes" because of his increasing fame from both the novel bearing his name and its various adaptations.
Dracula was a powerful ally of the gypsies who cursed Angelus. When Spike, Drusilla, and Darla massacred the clan in vengeance, Dracula promised they would pay. Upon meeting him, Dracula started a rivalry with Spike when he threw his signed first edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula, costing eleven quid, into a fire.
In 1947, Dracula was turned to stone by Comte De Saint - Germain. In 1959, Spike inadvertently released Dracula from imprisonment out of spite, by knocking over the "statue" of his rival. In the 1970s, Dracula engaged in a rivalry with the Slayer, Nikki Wood.
Battle with Buffy Summers
- “I have searched the world over for you. I have yearned for you. For a creature whose darkness rivals my own.”
- ―Dracula to Buffy[src]
In 2000, Dracula came to Sunnydale, a Californian town which lay on a Hellmouth and was home to Buffy Summers. He had heard the stories about the world-famous Slayer and wanted to meet her for himself. Introducing himself to the starstruck "Scooby Gang", Dracula hypnotized Buffy's friend Xander Harris into becoming his servant and later seduced Buffy into letting him at very least bite her whilst in her bed. Xander eventually led Buffy to Dracula's castle on the outskirts of Sunnydale, where she tried to take control and kill him, but once again fell victim to his "thrall". After willingly beginning to drink Dracula's blood, Buffy regained her senses and battled the vampire, staking him. Upon her apparent departure, Dracula tried to reform from mist, but Buffy reappeared and staked him a second time, telling him she was wise to his tricks, having seen his movies. When he again tried to reform, she reminded him that she was still there and would just stake him again if he came back. Finally accepting that the Slayer was too strong for him, Dracula left Sunnydale.
- “The world cycles... each generation must negate the generation before it. Overstay your welcome, and you'll become a tall tale for children. Fodder for terrible films and television serials. All because you committed the one cardinal sin — you aged.”
Some time after the destruction of Sunnydale, a lonely Dracula kidnapped Xander and put him under his thrall for a second time. Discovering Xander's location, Buffy arrived at Dracula's castle and demanded her friend be returned to her, brushing off his attempts to frighten her. While fighting Buffy, Dracula lamented how he had become a joke and warned Buffy that she too would become antiquated one day. Buffy simply ridiculed Dracula for his "mid-life crisis". He eventually agreed to release his "manservant" from his trance, but not before bidding him an emotional goodbye and genuinely thanking Xander for the time they spend together.
In November, 2003, Dracula came to the Los Angeles branch of demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart to solve the legal problem of losing his Sunnydale castle to the Hellmouth. Little did he know that Angel was now running Wolfram & Hart, with Spike his reluctant ghostly ally. When faced with the prospect of being haunted by ghost Spike, Dracula simply paid him the eleven pounds to get rid of him, but got the last laugh since the incorporeal Spike couldn't pick the money up.
- “I loathe Buffy Summers, her whole army makes me want to retch, and I'd just as soon see them wiped off the map once and for all. However, nobody steals from Dracula”
Later, a band of vampires possessing abilities similar to Dracula's executed a raid on the Slayer headquarters in Scotland, successfully stealing Buffy's Scythe. With no other leads, Xander and Renee were dispatched to seek Dracula's aid. Unbeknowst to them, Dracula continued to deal with his crisis by drowning his sorrows in alcohol, having even lost his lust to kill as well. However, the sight of the approaching Xander led him to shave and shapeshift into a younger appearance
After meeting with Xander again, Dracula pretended he led a pleasurable existance with aid of his new manservant, Butterfield, while not hiding his disgust for Renee, whom he referred as "moor". After a while, Dracula revealed that, while intoxicated, he had lost the secret of his more-than-vampire powers in a bet with a group of Japanese vampires, wagered against a Kawasaki 21000 motorcycle. Outraged with both himself and his opponents, Dracula agreed to assist in the assault on Tokyo, despite his hatred of Buffy and the Slayers in general, in order to get revenge on the vampires who stole his powers.
- “Those filthy yellow swine!”
- ―Dracula on Toru and his cohorts[src]
Upon arriving in Scotland, Dracula aided Willow Rosenberg in preparing a spell to counter the magical plans of Toru, leader of the Japanese vampires. Toru sought to undo Willow's spell from years before, and remove the powers of the Slayer from the masses of girls that now composed Buffy's army.
Dracula fought in the battle at Tokyo, killing many of Toru's underlings, and providing a magical sword that was able to unmake the vampire's spell before it was completed. Dracula´s Sword was enchanted by demons and was likened to the Slayer Scythe. Willow used the Sword to remove the mystical powers that the vampires possessed. Toru himself was even bested by Dracula, but the killing blow was given to Xander, who struck Toru down to avenge the death of Renee. After scattering Renee's ashes, Xander told the departing Dracula that he was no longer the vampire's servant and would kill him if he ever called him one again.
- “My boy... I was never an ordinary vampire. Or did you forget what I used to be? I've killed more men than God's plagues combined. And that was before I started eating people for fun. The fields of Europe used to steam with the blood of my enemies. Trust me... the vampire's the least of your concerns. It's the old man you need to worry about.”
Personality-wise, Dracula was similar to a vain celebrity; he was deeply convinced of his own superiority and highly aware of his world-wide fame. Spike described him as both a "poncy sod" and a "glory hound". Charismatic and handsome, Dracula often inspired fear and respect from those around him, becoming visibly annoyed if they were not impressed. However, his pretension hid his true feelings of loneliness, and in recent years, he came to resent his status as a pop culture icon rather than a true and feared figure of evil.
Because of his advanced age and origins in landlocked central Europe, Dracula had an idiosyncratic and often bigoted view of race. He never addresses Renee directly, instead conveying messages through Xander to his "Moor". He also referred to a group of Japanese vampires as "filthy yellow swine" on more than one occasion.
Powers and Abilities
- Riley: “He's not just a regular vampire. He has special powers, right?”
- Spike: “Nothing but showy Gypsy stuff.”
- — Riley and Spike[src]
Besides the regular powers of vampires, Dracula possessed a number of magical abilities seemingly taught to him by the Roma tribes established in his domains. In terms of his basic vampire abilities, he did possess a decent degree of strength and fighting ability, able to send Buffy flying in the air with a single punch, but not as impressive as vampires like Angel and Spike. Dracula was also proficient when using a sword.
Shapeshifting: Dracula was able to transform into various nocturnal animals such as bats, wolves, and panthers. He could also assume the form of a cloud of mist which allowed him to easily dodge attacks. Finally, his shape-shifting powers allowed him to feed without assuming the "game face" of common vampires.
Reconstitution: If Dracula were ever staked, he would seemingly die as he turned to dust, but only before appearing as a cloud of mist and reconstituting himself. It's unknown if this invulnerability applied to decapitation, fire, sunlight or any other traditional vampire-killing method.
Hypnosis: Dracula's main power was his hypnotic abilities. This was described as his "thrall". He could activate this power at will without the need of physical contact or even gaining the victims concentration like Drusilla did, simply by commanding his victim immediately to do it. With it, he could reduce Xander into a Renfield-like state, making Xander refer to him as his master, dedicated to please him in order to become a vampire himself, turn against his friends, eat insects and spiders and even change his mannerisms and posture into something resembling an Igor. His influence on Buffy didn't totally remove her free mind but made her willing and submissive if not hesitant. This stopped when she drank his blood, the reason why was never explained.
Razor-sharp fingernails: Like Darla and Drusilla, Dracula seemed to possess very sharp fingernails which allowed him to slit a person's throat and slit his own wrist in order to let Buffy taste his blood.
- The Three Sisters — Dracula has three Brides who he refers to as "the harpies". Although presumably loyal to Dracula, the Brides have also attempted to seduce Rupert Giles and dress Xander up like a "bobby".
- Anyanka — Anya told the Scooby Gang that she and Dracula "hung out a few times" back in her demon days. She claimed "He's pretty cool. You know, from a whole... evil thing perspective." Dracula was impressed with Anyanka's work as a vengeance demon, and Anya thought his compliments were "really sweet". However, she doubted he would remember her anymore, as she was "just a silly young thing. I mean, like seven hundred or so."
- Buffy Summers — Dracula was enamored with the infamous Slayer, viewing her as his equal. According to Willow Rosenberg, Dracula liked to make a connection with his victims before he sired them. Describing her as "magnificent", he seduced Buffy into letting him bite her in her bed but it is unclear if anything further occured between them. Buffy was initially starstruck by the vampire, and rather flattered that he held her in such regard. Nevertheless, when she broke free of his thrall, she ridiculed him for his cliched routines and defeated him relatively easily. When next they met, Buffy was distinctly unimpressed by Dracula, mocking him for his attempts to intimidate her.
- Xander Harris — When first they met, Dracula was confused by Xander, referring to him as "strange and off-putting". Xander, like Buffy, mocked Dracula and was not particularly frightened of him, even challenging him to a fight. Dracula effortlessly put him under his thrall, turning him into a loyal servant with a compulsion to eat insects. When the spell was broken, Xander expressed anger at being reduced to a "spider-eating man bitch". Dracula seemed to miss Xander, as he later went to the effort of putting him under his thrall once more, apparently for no other reason than to offer himself company. The two spent an unknown part of a year together, with Xander showing Dracula how to ride a motorcycle and other activities. When Buffy tried to rescue her friend, the brainwashed Xander remained loyal to his "master", slapping Buffy in an pathetic attempt to repel her. Realizing he belonged back with the Scoobies, Dracula reluctantly told Xander to leave, but thanked him for his company. At their next meeting Dracula displays unmistakable affection for Xander. Dracula protects him immediately after Renee is killed, offers him the coup de grâce after disabling the vampire who killed her, and even offers, in a friendly manner, to "assist" Xander in his private funeral for Renee.
- Joyce Summers — Joyce allowed Dracula to pick her up and have coffee together, later inviting him back to her house. It was left unclear if anything else occurred between them.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Rudolf Martin. Martin also played Dracula in the film Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula.
- The writers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer came up with the idea of using Dracula because Marti Noxon wanted a Dracula-like character who was "just another vampire who rode a horse and was all cool". Joss Whedon was the one who said, "Why not Dracula? He's public domain."
- Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rudolf Martin had already worked together in All My Children, where they co-starred as Kendall Hart and Anton Lang.
- The image of Dracula in a grey outfit and top hat from "Wolves at the Gate" resembles Dracula as played by Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar's husband, Freddie Prinze Jr, was considered for the role of Dracula.
- Count Dracula at Wikipedia
- Count Dracula at IMDb
- Dracula (Buffyverse) at Comic Book DB
- Dracula at Buffy: The Comic Book Monster Guide
- ↑ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight motion comics
- ↑ Wolves at the Gate, Part Four
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "Buffy vs. Dracula"
- ↑ "House of the Vampire"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Spike vs. Dracula
- ↑ Blackout
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Antique"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Wolves at the Gate"
- ↑ Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula at IMDb
- ↑ Interview with Marti Noxon