So now that I have the book up and published (click here to check it out on Amazon!), I want to try something geeky that I've been hoping to do for some time now. It’s called ‘Friday Faceoff.’ The idea is, every Friday, I will try to post up a ‘vs’ battle involving two characters from vampire fiction. Think Spike TV’s ‘Deadliest Warrior’ show, only with no meaningful statistical analysis, and meaningless extra points being awarded for style.
Each competitor will be evaluated on five criteria: Powers/Weaknesses, Intelligence/Experience, Sexiness, Material Resources, Attitude. At the end of the post I will use my unmatched powers of deduction to determine a completely arbitrary 'overall winner.'
For the first month I thought I'd start off with a real match for the ages. The Vampire Chronicles vs The Southern Vampire Mysteries (A.K.A. True Blood for those who are only interested in the franchise due to the HBO rule that requires a minimum of three sex scenes per episode, logic be damned.). The two franchises offer two conflicting visions of vampire society: one populated by erudite, tormented, sexually ambiguous angels of death, and the other by horny viking vampires in track suits. Most of us would be a little reluctant to admit our interest in either series, but let's be honest, no true vampire addict could pass them up.
To start us off, I thought I'd throw out a face-off between the two most famous 'I just can't let go of my humanity despite having eternal-life and godlike powers' pansy vampires in history. Bring on Bill Compton and Louis Pont du Lac!
Louis Pont du Lac
Due to his unwillingness to shed his last remnants of humanity and fully embrace his vampire nature, Louis is among the weakest vampires in the Anne Rice canon. That said, he is still the first vampire Lestat created after drinking the blood of the original vampire for the first time, so he is not completely hapless. He can move faster than the human eye can see, read minds, and generally do anything that a human can faster, better, louder, etc. He is superhumanly strong and exceedingly durable. His only weaknesses are to fire and sunlight, though if one were to behead him while he slept he would endure a horrifically painful existence until someone either reattached him, or disposed of him properly.
Bill possesses many similar physical powers to Louis: Super speed, super strength, advanced healing abilities. He cannot read minds, but he can mess with human minds by glamoring them, a technique that is essentially a Jedi mind trick without the hand waving. He is also weak to sunlight and fire (though perhaps a slight bit more resistant to fire than Louis, who is actively flammable), as well as being extremely vulnerable to both silver and the penetration of his heart by wood.
Advantage: Louis. He is a hundred years older, and you can't bring him down with a silver crucifix or wooden bullet.
Louis is a hundred years older, and the heir to a wealthy country estate in Louisiana. He likely had the best tutors money could buy in the late eighteenth century, and has remained at the cutting edge of human culture ever since, in an effort to retain his connection to the human world.
Bill is younger than Louis by a century, but he possesses a cunning intellect that allows him to stay alive in the cesspool of undead politics that is Charlaine Harris vampire universe. He is constantly outsmarting vampires who are far older and far more powerful than himself.
Advantage: Bill. Louis may well have more book smarts and life experience, but Bill has faced far more cunning adversaries and lived to tell the tale. Plus, when it came time for him to part with his maker, he figured out a plan on his own without needing to wait around for a little, sixty-pound girl to sort things out for him.
Bill is the consummate southern gentleman, and his quiet charm allows him to hold his own against the far more sexually dynamic Eric Northman in the ongoing struggle for Sookie's heart (seriously though, Sookie? If I had immortality, god-like powers, and impossibly good looks, I'd find someone a little more interesting than Sookie. Pam, for example, the hot chic with personality who has been into Eric for over a century--but I digress.)
Sure he's a whiney bore, but Louis is Brad Pitt circa 1994. Need I say more?
Advantage: Louis. Bill appeals to a certain kind of girl who values substance over style, but again, Louis is a young Brad Pitt. Also, the sad-sack, tortured emo thing appeals to a lot of girls for some reason, and no one does it better than Louis.
It is not exactly clear how rich Bill Compton is, but he does own a nice big family house in Bon Temps, and he’s certainly had plenty of time to procure wealth from his victims over the years.
Louis came from a very wealthy, plantation owning Louisiana family. He has also had an extra hundred years to steal from his victims. It’s unclear how wealthy he is now, but if he had half the sense that his maker Lestat did and put his money away in a compound interest account back in the nineteenth century, then he might well be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or even higher.
Advantage: Louis. He started off with more money, he’s had longer to accumulate it, and unlike Bill, he didn’t forfeit his estate when he was changed into a vampire. Once Bill became King of Louisiana this match-up would be more even, but Louis also has Armand and Lestat fawning all over him, and both of those guys are easily worth billions.
Bill is a gentleman to the end—he became a vampire in the first place because he refused the advances of his maker out of loyalty to his wife. Bill continually places the safety of his woman over his own happiness and reputation. Though he has an aversion to killing humans, he is not afraid to do so when the situation requires. He has morals, but also a firm grounding in reality. The only time he ever acts irrationally is when it comes to his ‘Suuuukey,’ for whom he would immediately get a pair of silver nipple piercings while sunbathing if she so much as joked about it.
Louis is perhaps the most aggravating character in Anne Rice’s long and storied tradition of neurotic douchebags. He wants to hold onto his humanity, and he hates killing humans, but instead of using his telepathy to search out evil humans on like Lestat (who Louis criticizes endlessly) does, he simply wanders around until the hunger overtakes him and causes him to kill some random innocent person out for a late-night stroll. He is immortal, incomparably beautiful, and able to access a host of unspeakably bad-ass super powers at will, and yet he somehow finds a way to shuffle his way through eternity moping about the unfairness of it all. Can you name anyone who wouldn’t trade places with him in a heartbeat? I mean, our usual measuring stick for the perfect life is a twenty-years-older, no super powers Brad Pitt.
Advantage: Bill. Bill may have his angsty moments from time to time, but he is probably the #1 vampire any halfway sane girl would want to call her own. (Of course at least 50% of women are in the retarded “I want the bad boy who may or may not kill me when he gets bored” camp, but that’s another discussion for another day.) Also, the guy knows how to get things done, rather than simply stumbling around aimlessly for all eternity, or sitting back passively as his insane grade-school daughter openly plots to murder the man he’s lived with for nearly a century. Louis would seem awesome at first, but his act would get annoying real quick.
Arbitrary Overall Winner
Bill is one of the most likeable characters on True Blood. Louis is interesting enough for one book, but then he falls off the radar pretty fast. Yeah, Bill technically didn’t win the majority of the showdowns above, but the kid has spunk. Despite the fact that Louis is older, richer, and stronger, I have no doubt that Bill would find a way to take care of him if need be. Don’t believe me? Just ask Queen Sophie and Nan Flannigan how those advantages worked out for them when they looked at Sookie the wrong way.
So Bill won this round. Do you agree? Disagree? Leave a comment. Be sure to stay tuned for the next Faceoff: Akasha, Queen of the Damned vs Sophie, Queen of Louisania!