The Twilight Saga

Yes, Virginia, Vampires Can Father Children

Yes, Virginia, Vampires Can Father Children


Discussion: NESSIE WAS A ***S T U P I D*** IDEA. What was Stephine meyer thinking, when she wrote Braking dawn??

Abstract

In my discussions, I found that some people felt deceived when Bella conceived Renesmee because they were certain that vampires could not conceive children. It was as if Stephenie Meyer (SM) had violated the very concept of vampire by giving Bella and Edward a child. In this blog entry, I examine this question.
First we will observe that very old vampire legends do allow for vampire children. Second we will observe that popular vampire literature also allows for vampire children. Third we will review physiology of SM's vampires as we knew it and see that fathering children is completely consistent with what we know.

Contents

Introduction

Let me preface this similarly to way SM prefaced her answer to same question. Of course vampires can’t have children they aren’t real. Given that we are talking about a fictional species it is impossible to know with certainty what that species may or may not be able to do. This gives the author a lot of liberty, but not complete liberty. If you call a thing a chair it could have many different shapes and sizes and come in many different colors, but to be a chair something still has to be able to sit on it. In the vampire world there is great deal of latitude because of the wide range of opinion both in legend and in fiction as to what exactly is a vampire. Some have supposed that by giving Edward and Bella a child that somehow SM has violated the definition of vampire. I will show that vampire children exist both in legend and in fiction; therefore, the definition of vampire is not violated. As long as the author stays within the broad definition, then it is only necessary to be internally consistent. I will show that fathering children is internally consistent with what we know about SM Vampire physiology.

Vampire Children of Legend

Dhampir
A Dhampir (also dhampire, dhamphir or dhampyr) in Balkan folklore and in vampire fiction is the child of a vampire father and a human mother, with vampire powers but none of the weaknesses. A dhampir is believed to have the unique ability to see vampires, even when they are invisible, and is unusually adept at killing them.
Incubus
An incubus (plural incubi) is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus. An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin, and some sources indicate that it may be identified by its unnaturally cold penis. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death. From Wikipedia.

Vampire Children of Fiction

D
A half-breed spawn of vampire and human, than man known only as D is feared and despised for his mixed lineage. Unlike most dhampirs, D is able to pass as a normal human, though he is rarely accepted by them. Possessed of unearthly skill and great resourcefulness, D’s natural strengths make him an ideal Vampire Hunter. While it’s clear he feels for the humans he defends from the forces of darkness, D is emotionally remote, incapable of true closeness to anyone. From Vampire-D.com
BloodRayne
In 1932 an American teenage girl was apprehended in Europe after carving a path of destruction trying to track down and kill her biological father. The girls’ name was Rayne and she claimed the people she killed, and her father who was still at large, were vampires. Before more information was attained, the girl disappeared.

That girl is a Dhampir; a product of her human mother’s rape by her vampire father. Born with powers of a vampire without all of the weaknesses. She was taken in by an underground organization calling themselves the Brimstone Society—a top-secret fraternity that hunts down and destroys supernatural threats. Agent BloodRayne, as she is known, protects humanity from things that ordinary people shouldn’t have to deal with. From www.bloodrayne.com.

Merlin
Merlin’s traditional biography casts him as born of a mortal women, sired by an incubus. From Wikipedia.

SM Vampire Physiology

We don’t really know a great deal about Vampire Physiology in the world of Twilight, but I think that we can pieces together what we do know to demonstrate that it does not violate her mythos for male vampires to father children.

One fact we do know is that vampires in SM’s world are capable of having pleasurable sex. Although SM doesn't go into great detail, it would appear that her vampires truly enjoy their marital status. ;-) Remember Edward's brother's said that sex was a great pleasure almost as good as drinking human blood. Edward thought that it was better than even drinking Bella’s blood. When Edward mentioned that Em and Rose would be getting married again soon, Bella asked if their marriage was like a human marriage. Edward said that it was.

For humans to conceive males and females both have three separate sexual organs that have to be working correctly. Males need a penis, prostate gland, and testes. Females need a vagina, uterus, and ovaries. If one of them isn’t working, then conception will not happen. The difference is that males need all three organs to be working to have pleasurable sex and females only need one. Women who are post menopausal or have had complete hysterectomies are still capable of having pleasurable sex.

If a male cannot achieve an erection then sex is not possible. Ejaculation isn't everything, but if you couldn't do it, it would certainly reduce the number of things sex is better than. It is my understanding that castrated males are not capable of having sex at all. This would make functioning testes a requirement. Given that a male vampire’s sexual organs are working well enough for him to pleasurable sex at all, we should be able to conclude that they are working well enough to conceive.

I have seen some speculation that Bella conceived from sperm that left over from before Edward was transformed. Even if his cold body kept the sperm refrigerated for all that time, I highly doubt that could be the case. Second if Bella conceived with preserved human sperm then Renesmee would be fully human. No, Bella conceive with genetically altered vampire sperm. That is only explanation for Renesmee being a vampire/human mix.

When SM says that vampires do not change what she means is that time does not affect them the way it affects humans. Vampires do not grow, but they do change. For example their eye color changes to reflect the amount and type of blood in their systems. The circles under their eyes deepen and fade. Their eyes water, but not enough to cry. When they get injured, they heal. If they sit still for a very long time, they petrify. But I don’t think that their hair or their nails grow. It takes a significant amount of changes for a couple to have sex; however, men and women do not have to grow, beyond puberty, to have sex. So vampire men and women are able to have sex. Women have to grow and progress to be fertile and they are only fertile once a month, but men are fertile all of the time. Vampire women's bodies no longer undergo the monthly cycle so they are not fertile. Vampire men don't need a cycle to be fertile so they are fertile.

Conclusion

First and foremost, we learned up front and early that SM's Vampires are not like any other Vampires that we have ever read about. For example, they sparkle in the sun light and do not go up in flames. They don't sleep coffins. They can't sleep at all. They aren’t afraid of crosses. They can cross running water. They do not need permission to enter a home. They don’t have a problem with garlic, or silver. They cast a shadow and a reflection in the mirror. SM Vampires are as different for the vampires that we are familiar with as the "shape shifters" are different from lycanthropes. SM explains this by saying that the vampire legends are based upon and imperfect understanding of true vampires and exaggerations from there. This is entirely plausible because if there truly were something like vampires hiding in plain sight, they never would have let Bram Stoker live to publish his novel unless he was so far off the mark they did not consider it a threat.

There is nothing to indicate that SM Vampires are actually undead. They are not animated corpses but humans whose bodies have been radically changed by venom at a genetic level. They are not dead, but their metabolism is entirely different from ours. Yet they still retain those necessary or desirable functions like breathing. They don't need to breath, but they do it because they like it.

Why should we assume that vampires cannot reproduce sexually when; in fact, there are many cases in legend and literature where they do exactly that? The male child of a male vampire and human woman is called a Dhampir. The female child of a male vampire and human woman is call a Dhampiresa. These terms come from the folklore of the Roma people of the Balkans. Also SM is not the only author to associate the incubus and succubus with the vampire. We are clearly told that Tanya and her sisters could have been the origin of the succubus legends. If there are succubae in Twilight why wouldn’t we assume there are incubi? Isn’t Merlin said to the son of an incubus?

There are several examples of these vampire half breeds in popular literature. D from the Vampire D series is a Dhampir. BloodRayne is a Dhampiresa. Laurell Hamilton's vampires can conceive children as well as many others. In this area Stephenie Meyer (SM) did not violate the vampire cannon. She exercised an aspect of it which few are familiar.

The fact that male vampires are able to have sex at all testifies to their ability to conceive children.

So in the end, I have to say, “Yes, Virginia, vampires can father children.”

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Tags: children, conceive, father

Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Trotter on January 22, 2010 at 10:14am
I was doing some web research and Vampires A-Z is back on-line. I can't be certain, but this could be the very site that Stephenie Meyer (SM) used for her research and gave to us in Twilight (TW) if we wanted to learn more about the matter. It looks very much like what SM describes in TW. The are a couple of enteries that contribute to this topic. If I could have found this site when I orginally wrote the blog entry, I would have included these in the vampire children of legend section.


Incubus

Area from/nationality: unconfirmed - European. Without doubt one of the most famous forms of vampires, the male form of the Succubus, the Incubus used to visit women at night, make love to them and torment their dreams. It posses all the characteristic properties of the vampire, with nightly visits to its victims, draining of life and strength and extreme sexual desire. Like vampires found among Gypsy and Slavic communities it can father children.

Nosferatu

Area from/nationality: Romanian. A species of vampire, said to be the illegitimate child of parents who were illegitimate. Soon after its burial the Nosferatu embarks on a long career of destruction. It delights in tormenting and engaging in wild orgies with the living. The male can father children. The vampire hates newly married couples due to its own illegitimacy and wreaks its revenge on such couples by making the groom impotent and the bride barren.

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