Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vampire Pattern Baldness- who should be concerned?

So I was mulling this afternoon, because vizsla's enjoy a good mull - also bacon - where was I?  Right... mulling. 

So.  Vampire's are immortal, right?  I mean, barring stakes, beheading or Buffy*.  At the end of the day there aren't a lot of vampire death certificates that list 'Natural Causes', that's all I'm saying. 

*The vizsla is more a fan of Faith than Buffy, truth be told.  But it's probably more accurate to say that the vizsla is more of an Eliza Dushku fan than a Sarah Michelle Geller fan.  You know, like everyone else on the planet.

Pretty much all the varieties of vampire lore agree on this basic premise.  Vampires live until they are actively killed by something or someone.  Fair enough and good on them.

Where they start to differ is in the details on what exactly that immortality entails. 

I mean, ok - the trade off for eternal life is that they have to do the whole blood drinking thing.  And leaving aside that the entire thing was a pretty transparent metaphor for the way the aristocracy in Romania was living off the lifeblood of the workers- hence the entire Dracula story to begin with - this is our entry level assumption into the story.  I believe the industry term is 'flobotunum' - the one magical premise that you have to accept in order for the story to make logical sense.  (Vizsla = knowledge)

So, blood drinking logistics aside, what does immortality mean? 

I'm going to admit right up front that I don't know a thing about the 'Twilight' version of vampires- outside of the fact that apparently they've been dipped in glitter- because they seem to be atrociously written and so I can't be bothered with them.  This is the first and last time that they will be mentioned here.

What I'm really getting around to of course is this -

Do vampires go bald?

Do they have to worry about that middle age gut somewhere around 300 years old?

Records clearly indicate at least one prominent bald vampire.  I'm speaking of course of Nosferatu (later deliberately echoed in the design of the Master in Buffy Season One.)

"I'm considering a comb-over..."

From the German film of the same name made in 1922 (and if you haven't seen Shadow of the Vampire you should absolutely stop what you are doing right now, watch that, and come back to this later.  For the love of God it has John Malkovich AND Willem DaFoe in it.)

The Question of course is...  Was Nossie (as his friends called him) bald before he became a blood drinking immortal?  Or was that the work of several centuries of being denied mirror-access?

Now, according to Anne Rice in her once-great-but-increasingly-tedious-after-Queen-of-the-damned Vampire chronicles would have us believe that at the time a vampire is 'made', if I might use the True Blood parlance, they essentially become a 'fixed point', if I might use the Doctor Who parlance.  They become an extreme case of Captain Jack syndrome, only without the cool underground base in Cardiff and (slightly) more fluid collection.

To simple that up, a vampire can do whatever they want to their appearance, and the moment they turn around they will have reverted to exactly how they looked before.  Which would be profoundly irritating if you were turned into a vampire after a particularly bad haircut.

So, no baldness in Anne Rice's vampire world, which should be a relief to Stuart Townsend.

But what about True Blood - mentioned only a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here we have to acknowledge that there are in fact two entirely separate True Bloods.  There are the Sookie Stackhouse books on which the show is based, and there is the True Blood HBO TV series, which increasingly has little to nothing to do with those books.

And interestingly, it's sort of this exact topic that caused the initial divergence.  

Namely, in Season One of the show Alexander Skarsgard looked like this

When they went to film season Two he looked like this.

And so they had to write into the show a ridiculously contrived reason for him to cut his hair (although it was actually pretty funny and not a problem at all.)

So - in the books we have no data to go on (although I have not read the last few of them yet, so there may be followup).  In the TV show, clearly the vampires can alter their hairstyle however they like - no problem.

At this point I would like to mention that Alexander Skarsgard's father was in both Thor and The Avengers.  No reason, I just think that's awesome.

But what does this ability to change hairstyles mean?  Will Eric (and Bill, although nobody gives a shit about Bill) eventually have to deal with an embarrassing receding hairline and blood-gut?

And let's look at Buffy (and more pertinently, Angel)  Now, we can't help but notice that Season One Buffy Angel clearly looks different than Angel season five Angel.  To whit - he obviously stopped going to the gym at some point.  Also he probably should have remained faithful to his wife, but that's not really relevant to the topic.  

If we had reached Angel season 403 would he have a widows peak to explain?  Would he have gone the Vin Deisel shaved head thing to avoid it?  Would his Irish accent have gotten any better in the flashbacks?

To sum up - we're left with a lot of contradictory information here.  If you become a vampire, your best bet is probably to use a lot of product.

-Vizsla out.

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