Relating to Kate Beckinsale’s Selene – Vampire Verisimilitude

It seems many of you are obsessed with Kate Beckinsale, specifically her Vampire character Selene from the action-horror film series Underworld. She’s a Death Dealer who fights in a war against Lycans (read: werewolves) but usually ends up fighting everyone — and for good reason: she’s been lied to for six centuries about who she is, never mind the pettiness between the factions and having to choose her allies carefully to protect herself and those she cares about.

Can I relate? Oh Lord yes. While I don’t have werewolves to deal with (thank God for small favors), it turns out Vampires are neither a freak of nature nor an accident in my circles. Our original creators, the Blood Workers, made us with purpose… and we’ve all been at odds ever since.

So, in relating to dear Selene…

udnerworldselenecryingSecrecy. Similar to Underworld, the other Vampires I deal with accept we don’t trust one another. Because Blood Workers have various individual powers they can choose to pass on or withhold, the skill set of individual Vampires can vary. Even exposure to a power can help one of my kind to develop it if given enough time, so if you’re going to destroy a fellow Vampire using “a cool new ability,” do it quickly before your opponent figures out how to use it against you. Selene is a master strategist at this; the longer we survive, the better we become.

Paranoia. It isn’t entirely our fault we freak one another out: we were made not to trust one another — even instinctively hate each other — so we would keep to our creator and trust them in all things. When the first makers were destroyed, Vampires fended for themselves due to the restrictions placed upon them. We were created to be the tribal figurehead: the warrior chieftain that others would look up to while heeding the advice of their “spiritual guide.” Paranoia may seem extreme until you realize everyone is out to get you, so we both understand this.

underworldselenevengeanceProtector. Of everything Selene does or can do, this is the one I relate to the most: she cares, often to the point of putting herself in personal danger to save someone else. Gaining her trust isn’t easy — she’s been screwed over too many times — but once earned, Selene will go the distance. I like to think of myself that way, but cross either of us and you should probably run.

Memory. Blood transference of memory — a part of a victim’s soul itself — is something which still gives me the willies. In Underworld, Vampires can’t keep secrets from one another because they can taste their memories through blood; in my experience, immortal blood is useless to another immortal (which is why we have to stay close to mortals), so the transference only works between Vampire and human. This feeds into the aforementioned secrecy and paranoia because we can still deceive one another, but keeping the memories of victims separated from your own is a chore, and cheating those boundaries doesn’t make it any easier.

underworldseleneblueeyesBrooding. After six centuries: really, Selene? I did the everything-is-dark thing for a while, but after a year and a half I just couldn’t. It wasn’t me and was never me. Since purging my sire’s willfulness from my head, his memories often merge into my own and I catch myself being more sarcastic than I used to be, but the whole silent brooding over the city at night? I can’t do it, especially here in the country where the tallest structure is a water tower (cue the “Animaniacs” theme song). But hey, I can scare the living hell out of people by popping out of the shadows at them; it’s become a bit of a game for me now.

Smart, beautiful, deadly and dedicated, I’d like to think if Selene were real, we could be friends. And those blue eyes when she vamps out? Total girl crush.

And yeah, I’ll see the new movie when it comes out. How’s that for meta: a Vampire who likes Vampire movies?

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe.
~ Janiss

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