February 6, 2014

'Vampire Academy' Crash Course

February 6, 2014
If you've heard about another vampire franchise coming, you heard correct. It's called Vampire Academy, which is based on the Young Adult series written by New York Times bestselling author, Richelle Mead. The series sold over millions of copies since 2007, and maintained a spot on the New York Times Bestselling list for some time. 

Before you start comparing it to Twilight, you can stop now while you're behind. There's a lot action going on for it revolve around romance, though there are quite a few steamy lip-locking scenes. I'll catch you up in a crash course before it releases in theaters tomorrow (Feb 7) if you haven't read the books. 


The film adaption stars Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), Sarah Hyland (Natalie Dashkov), and Olga Kurylenko (Kirova).




Let's start with what Vampire Academy is about, shall we? (according to IMDb)
Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half-vampire and half-human, who is training to be a guardian at St Vladimir's Academy along with many others like her. There are good and bad vampires in their world: Moroi, who co-exist peacefully among the humans and only take blood from donors, and also possess the ability to control one of the four elements - water, earth, fire or air; and Strigoi, blood-sucking, evil vampires who drink to kill. Rose and other dhampir guardians are trained to protect Moroi and kill Strigoi throughout their education. Along with her best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir, a Moroi and the last of her line, with whom she has a nigh unbreakable bond, Rose must run away from St Vladimir's, in order to protect Lissa from those who wish to harm the princess and use her for their own means.

Characters:

Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch): Main character. Dhampir. Best friend to Lissa.
Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry): Royal Moroi. Best friend to Lissa.
Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky): Dhampir. Guardian. Instructor at St. Vladimir.
Headmistress Kirova (Olga Kurylenko): Moroi. Head mistress at St. Vladimir.
Mason (Cameron Monaghan): Moroi. Best friend to Rose.
Christian Ozera (Dominic Sherwood): Royal Moroi. Brooding. Pyromaniac.
Natalie Dashkov (Sarah Hyland): Royal Moroi. Daughter of Victor Dashkov. Friends of Rose of Lissa.
Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne): Royal Moroi. Father of Natalie Dashkov. 
Queen Tatiana (Joely Rachardson): Queen of the Royal Court. Of the Ivashkov bloodline.
Jesse (Ashley Charles): Royal Moroi. Jerk. Bully.
Ray (Chris Mason): (in the books, he's known as Ralf) Royal Moroi. Friend of Jesse. Bully.
Mia (Sami Gayle): Moroi. Rival to Rose and Lissa. Bully.
Aaron (Edward Holcraft): Moroi. Lissa's ex-boyfriend. Mia's current boyfriend.
Sonya Karp aka Ms. Karp (Claire Foy): Former teacher at St. Vladimir. Moroi turned Strigoi. Her appearance (in book 1) is in flashbacks.

Species:

Before I get started on explaining each of the species, I will tell you now that there are different types of vampires here. No werewolves, fairies or warlocks or anything else, however. This story, as their species, involve historical background. These vampires are based off of Romanian mythology.

Moroi:  Full blown vampires at birth. Yes, they are born, not turned. They are also not immortal. Their veins have blood coursing through their body, and they age as humans do. Telltale signs are tall and thin and pale skin. Sun weakens them if exposed for too long. Moroi can live off of human food and blood -- human or Dhampir. Moroi can go without blood for a few days in a row so long as they feed at least once a weak.

Dhampir:  Half vampire, half human beings. Their telltales are short in height, more muscular, curves resembling closer to a human than a Moroi. Their roles in the story is to serve and protect (well, actually just protect) the Moroi. Dhampir's attend the same Academy as Moroi to train to become a Guardian. Once they graduate to Guardian status, they are assigned to a Moroi. Or if they don't choose to become a Guardian, they choose to be domesticated (settled down, married, raising the children at home). Can only reproduce with a Moroi. Like, Moroi, Dhampir's are not immortal either.

Strigoi:  Full manic vampires who poses as the enemies to everyone, vampire or mundane. Yes, vampires who are against vampires. I'd say that they are against their own kind, but Moroi and Strigoi are two different classes of vampires. Oh, and they are immortal. They stop aging and live forever, so long as they don't get killed. Strigoi are faster, stronger, can compel and more ruthless than the Moroi and Dhampir's. Strigoi's are not born, they are turned.

The process on how one turns into a Strigoi is:  
  1. a Moroi, Dhampir, or human has to feed on blood of a Strigoi
  2. a Strigoi drains the aforementioned beings of their blood, then wait until they awaken.
That is then they have officially become a Strigoi. In this state they are not themselves, they're not fully in there mentally or physically, but internally they know what goes on in front of their eyes. Unlike Moroi and Dhampir, they drink to kill (to feed too, obviously).

Royal Moroi:  The heirs or heiresses in line to take the throne. There are twelve royal Moroi families, and there has to be at least one person from each royal blood line sitting in their seat in order to maintain their spot on the council.

List of the Royal Moroi family names:

Badica
Conta
Dashkov
Dragomir
Drozdov
Ivashkov
Lazar
Ozera
Szelsky
Tarus
Voda
Zeklos


Guardian:  Dhampir's who are trained to protect their assigned Moroi. They are to protect their assigned Moroi wherever they go so they are not harmed. Dhampir's have to finish their training at one of the Academy's and receive their Molijna marks in order to officially become a Guardian.

Spirit Users:  Only few of them exist. These are Moroi who obtain special abilities known as "spirit."

Feeders:  Humans who are willing to donate some of their blood for the Moroi and Dhampir. But don't worry, they don't drain the feeders. There are feeders available at the Academy as well as home at request for those who have graduated. 

Psi-hounds:  Mutant dog-like creatures.

Terminologies:

Spirit: Some of the Moroi have special abilities. They are scarce, far and few in between. Abilities vary. They can range from fire, water, air, healing, spirit dreams to aura's. Spirit comes at a cost though. The more a Spirit user uses Spirit, the more of their sanity they lose.

Aura: (I'm not sure you need to know this term until the second book/movie, but here it is anyway) Everyone has aura's that represent our current moods. Think of it as a spiritual mood ring only spirit users can see. Each color represents different moods just as a mood ring does. For example: gold means intelligence, purple means passion, etc. There may be multiple colors simultaneously in people's aura's.

Compulsion:  Ability to compel or force one's will. Pretty much mind control. All Moroi possess a standard level, while Spirit Users a more potent level almost as effectively as Strigoi.

Shadow Kissed:  A spirit user who has the ability to heal, heals a Moroi or Dhampir back from the dead, which creates a bond with the healer. Those who are brought back from the dead have kissed death. That's not all. The bond is a mental connection between the healer and healed that allows them to get into the mind of their healer and see through their eyes.

Wards:  Charmed with elements: fire, air, water placed around buildings (St. Vladimir being one of them) and homes to keep Strigoi from entering.

Blood Whore:  A Dhampir who lets Moroi drink their blood during sex.
Well, I've covered the basics of all you need to know. It's up to you to watch the movie (or read the book) to fill in the gaps. Until then, here's a trailer...Enjoy!


Vampire Academy hits theaters tomorrow, February 7!



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