There are good vampires, and there are bad vampires. And we can disagree day in and day out over which vampires fall under which category, but today, I'm going to share with you my personal top 10 favorites.
I chose some of these vamps because of their power or presence...some I chose because I find them incredibly hot. Feel free to agree or disagree with any vamp on this list. Fill up the comments with your discussion! If there's a vamp here you've never heard of... look them up and then come back to tell us what you think!
10. Father Abel Nightroad, Trinity Blood
I guess technically he's not a vampire, but a 'crusnik', a vampire that vampires fear. Still, I love him in all his fang-y goodness. He's an adorable, awkward, somewhat bumbling, sweet friendly priest by day...but piss him off and he turns into a black-winged, scythe-wielding killing machine. He's got that long white hair we anime fangirls are always squee-ing over, and honestly, he's one of the few true-hearted, benevolent 'hero' vampires I can really believe in and root for. Perhaps it's the setting (Trinity Blood is an absolutely beautiful anime, and if you haven't watched it, you should), but in his context, Abel is a wonderfully good-hearted vampire. I don't really like the 'white hat' vamps but this guy's truly worth rooting for.
9. Drusilla, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Who could possibly not love this complete and utter lunatic? She says the most insane, random things. And yet, at the same time, so very poetic. Drusilla doesn't have any real 'vampire' qualities that impress me more than other vamps, but she is nothing if not totally entertaining. She loses a lot of her speciality after her main season on Buffy, honestly, but a few flashback scenes later on still pack that zany "King of Cups" nuttiness. She does get legitimately scary for a little while in Angel, but I think the best Drusilla horror scene is her slow, hypnotic, and wicked murder of Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
8. Akasha, Queen of the Damned
This gal! It breaks my heart that Aaliyah was killed, and so shortly after this movie came out, too. I only had to watch it once, and I was hooked on her. I realize lots of people didn't like the film version, but I adored the sensual nature of it, especially in Akasha. This vamp is not just sexy, she's sexual, and beautiful, and deadly, and maniacal. If you've read The Vampire Chronicles you find out so much more about how this creature came to be, and it is really a terrific, tangled-up story. I'm always going to think of her as this gorgeous creature, though, and damn if I wouldn't follow her into eternity.
7. Eric Northman, True Blood
Must have. Gimme Gimme.
I've specifically chosen Eric's character from the HBO show True Blood, not from The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. The reason for this is while there's not exactly anything wrong with the book version, the show version has that wicked edge I like. And Alexander Skarsgård plays him deadly to the hilt. He's hot, vicious, passionate...just like I like 'em!
Note: Some may think Eric's Viking heritage was inspiration for the character of Sölva in Lotus Petals, who is also a Viking. Actually, I had conceived of Sölva many years before being introduced to True Blood. Frankly, if I'd met Eric first, I might not have made my ultimate villain share a heritage with him!
6. Lestat, The Vampire Chronicles
I honestly don't like either of the two film versions of Lestat, but I love him in The Vampire Chronicles book series. Contrary to expectations, though, I don't find him romantic at all...I simply like his stories and adventures, and his character in general. The one thing about his stories that game me something of a twinge was the way The Vampire Lestat tried to undo all of Lestat's cruelties from The Interview with a Vampire. I got over it fairly quickly and enjoyed him again as a sort of anti-hero, I just didn't appreciate the way Anne Rice tried to sweep away his past deeds as all being "for a secret good".
5. Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Another anti-hero I can't help but love, Spike was always the better blood-sucking love interest from Buffy. He had a better attitude than
Angel, better wardrobe, and when it came to being in love with the girl, he fought to find a way to get his soul back. He was never a goody-two-shoes or a true-blue hero, but one of the most appreciable example of an anti-hero in the vampire world.
4. D, Vampire Hunter D
Another classic anime vamp from my past, D holds a sentimental place in my heart. My husband introduced me to D when we were kids, and it was terrific. D is a half-vampire, or a dhampir. Here is another case of a vampire archetype I don't normally like—the half-human, half-vampire—but D gets away with it thanks to a character I just can't help but like. He's the strong, silent type, and brushes off human contact at first blush. When the chips are down, he comes through for those who need him—while still maintaining that strong, silent demeanor.
3. Meier Link, Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust
D's opposite number in the second film of the series, Meier is a romantic love interest vampire who captivated me from the start . I think one thing I love about Meier is that no one ever tries to pretend he isn't exactly what he is: a blood-drinking creature of the night. He loves, yes...but he doesn't pretend he isn't a monster, and he doesn't intend to redeem himself or become a hero: all he wants is to leave the human world behind with his beloved and take her to the eternal world of night, where they can be together undisturbed. Beyond the love story that I appreciate, Meier is a pretty certifiable badass: he walks out into the sun for his lady love, faces down a pair of famous vampire hunters, and takes on the very son of Dracula. I also want to point out he's beautiful. Naturally.
He will always be the quintessential, perfect vampire to me, and in my mind he will always be Gary Oldman. There are a lot of neat, original ideas running around in vampire fiction, and I can appreciate them when they're clever and good, but when I really want to look to the heart of vampires, I look back to Vlad Dracul. If there's one vampire Rhiannon Donovan could ever truly respect, I think it would be him.
And my Number One, All-Time Favorite Vampire Is.......
1. Vampire Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Anybody who has known me for more than a month could probably have guessed Willow would top this list. There's just no contest. She's beautiful, she's wicked, she's depraved and deadly, and damn does she look fine in tight leather. She's also a a rare specimen for her time: a serious badass and a bisexual. She's a complete vampire fantasy and she's a tragic betrayal all in one. Audiences were floored when familiar, sweet Willow first shifted into vamp game face. She's awful, because she is the walking, talking, terrible memorial to a favorite character's death. And she's wonderful, because what vampire in all the Buffyverse is cooler than Willow? None of them, that's who. Sign me up to be her blood slave because damn, is she everything you want in a bloodsucking creature of the night, and more.